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the Brown

vol. cxlvi, no. 88

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Since 1891

Simmons recommends Occupy protesters against cutting teams close bank accounts By Dan Alexander Senior Editor

By Talia Kagan Features Editor

Seven Bank of America customers closed accounts at the Kennedy Plaza branch yesterday as part of an action organized by Occupy Providence, according to Trish Phelan, an Occupy protester who has been living in Burnside Park since Saturday.

Phelan, who canceled her account, said the action came partly in response to new fees announced by the bank, which she pointed to as part of a pattern of corporate greed. Though the movement has no formal leadership, Phelan said she was involved in organizing the account cancellations through a working-group structure. Occupy Providence is organized around these working groups, informal committees that help manage various aspects of the movement including media relations, logistics and direct action. The cancellations occurred in three waves, at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. About 20 to 25 people showed up to each morning event to support the cancellations, she said, and just over a dozen protested at continued on page 5

After nearly six months of contentious debate over the prospect of cutting the ski, fencing and wrestling programs, President Ruth Simmons recommended yesterday that the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, keep all three programs this year. In a report sent to the Brown community yesterday at noon, Simmons wrote that the continued presence on campus of the three programs initially targeted for elimination by the Athletics Review Committee in April should be dependent on the teams’ ability to raise enough money over the next year to be self-funded. Simmons wrote that the teams should cover “no less than 100 percent” of their budgets with existing contributions from the Department of Athletics and new donations from alums and other outside sponsors. “I think it’s fabulous,” said Direc-

tor of Athletics Michael Goldberger, who called the recommendations “balanced.” In her report, Simmons not only made recommendations on the three programs, but also expounded on an overarching vision for the future of the athletics department. Simmons also proposed that admissions slots for athletes — which currently constitute about 13 percent of each matriculating class — should be reduced from 225 to 205 slots, a 9 percent decrease. But Simmons also recommended increasing the amount of money budgeted to matching financial aid offers from other Ivy League universities. The two recommendations, if implemented together, would make it easier for Brown coaches to recruit athletes that might be attracted by better financial aid packages at other Ivies, but would restrict the number they could recruit. “Obviously as a coach and someone that feels that a student-athlete

Herald file photo

Teams will be able to seek funding through gifts and pledges to meet Simmons’ proposed financial terms.

is like any other student on campus, it’s a shame,” said wrestling Head Coach Dave Amato. “But at least we’re only losing 20 (spots) instead of 30.” In April, the review committee proposed reducing the number of spots for recruited athletes to 195, continued on page 2

After announcement, teams look to stay By Ashley McDonnell and Jake comer Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer

Moments after President Ruth Simmons released her response to the Athletics Review Committee Report yesterday, men’s fencing captain Andrew Pintea’s ’12 phone started buzzing. Though he was in a meeting, he left to see what the texting frenzy was about. “I had to check immediately,” he said. Pintea said he was “incredibly happy” to find that Simmons recommended no teams be cut this

year. In her response, Simmons calls for the men’s and women’s fencing teams, the men’s wrestling team and the women’s ski team to find ways to raise “no less than 100 percent” of their annual operating budgets by next year. It does not specify what will happen if they do not meet that goal. The announcement was met with enthusiastic approval from representatives of the teams. “I think (Simmons) came up with what is a pretty brilliant compromise,” said Michael LeBlanc,

head coach of the ski team. Former wrestler Hudson Collins ’11.5 said he was pleased Simmons took many different community members’ concerns into consideration in forming her response. Wrestling Head Coach David Amato echoed that approval — “I think the big thing is that President Simmons listened to alumni and our student athletes,” he said. Atilio Tass, head coach of the fencing team, said his team is optimistic about achieving the goals

city & state

Herald file photo


Despite a 17 percent approval rating, Rep. David Cicilline ‘83, D-R.I., holds a clear campaign fundraising advantage over his opponents.

news........................2 CITY & State........3-5 editorial...............6 Opinions................7 SPORTS....................8

Pizza to Pita Thayer Pita Pockets is the new eatery on the block

City & State, 4

A March 24 Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions poll pegged Cicilline’s approval rating at 17 percent among Rhode Island voters, and a

Rhode Island legalized civil unions for same-sex couples in July, but lawmakers and lawyers have found that the legislation does not bestow all of the benefits of marriage. In particular, gay couples do not qualify for estate tax exemption and cannot file joint income taxes.

city & state

GoLocalProv poll released in late September found that 51 percent of registered voters in Cicilline’s district view him unfavorably. The latter poll had a margin of error of 6.8 percentage points. Cicilline’s likely Republican challengers share conservative outlooks and law-and-order backgrounds. John Loughlin, whom Cicilline narrowly defeated last November, currently serves as an aviation logistics adviser to the Iraqi Army Aviation Service and is scheduled to return in December. Loughlin is expected to announce continued on page 4

continued on page 4

continued on page 2

Bad Deal

Tobias ’12 thinks meal plan is a rip off opinions, 7


Rep. David Cicilline ’83, D-R.I., is facing a tough reelection contest in the race for Rhode Island’s first district following a controversy over charges of financial mismanagement during his time as mayor of Providence.

By elizabeth carr Senior Staff Writer

“The intent of the civil union bill was that all benefits and responsibilities that go along with marriage would apply to samesex couples,” said state Rep. Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, adding that he was surprised to find this is not the case. Following a person’s death, his or her estate is untaxed only up to $859,350, according to a Providence Journal article. Married couples have an unlimited marital deduction, meaning that the entirety of an estate can pass from one spouse to another without taxation. “The strict reading of the civil unions bill clearly states to me that the civil union couple should get the unlimited marital deduction in Rhode Island,” said Susan Gershkoff, a local estate lawyer. “What’s the point of a civil union if you can’t get an unlimited marital deduction?” But because state law requires the Rhode Island Division of Taxa-

Cicilline ’83 to face tough reelection battle By Hannah Loewentheil Staff Writer

Civil union loophole bars couples from benefits

t o d ay


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2 Campus News calendar Today

October 18

4:30 p.m.


October 19

The Brown Daily Herald Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Athletes optimistic about compromise continued from page 1

2:30 p.m. “Liszt in the World,”

Reading by Jed Berry,

Granoff Center

McCormack Family Theater

8 P.m.

5:30 p.m.

Middle East Talks with Barney Frank,

“Columbus and the Quest for

Salomon 101

Jerusalem,” John Carter Brown



Linguini with Tomato and Basil, Curried Chicken Saute, Italian Meatball Grinder

Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese Dressing, Zucchini Parmesan Sandwich, Swiss Fudge Cookies

DINNER Artichoke and Red Pepper Frittata, Carne Gizado, Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream, Magic Bars

Roasted Honey and Chili Chicken, Fettuccine with Baby Greens, Creamy Polenta, Magic Bars


Cr ossword

stipulated by the recommendation but called the financial target “a great challenge.” “We will have to work very hard to fulfill those benchmarks,” he said. Kia Mosenthal ’12, captain of the women’s ski team, said proving the team can raise enough money to meet its operating costs will be an important next step. “I’m hoping everyone remembers how scary it was to be up for elimination and can raise funds for future skiers,” she said. Alex Salter ’12, captain of the men’s ski team, said the ski teams already have plans in place to meet Simmons’ stipulations for lowering their operating budget and addressing the potential danger associated with traveling long distances for practice. For instance, the teams are considering holding their practices at a ski area in Massachusetts instead of in New Hampshire, part of a plan that also aims to cut their annual costs by 22 percent. The response calls for the dean of the College and the vice president for campus life and student services to review that plan. The fencing team is making a similar effort to find a new practice space, said captain Cory Abbe ’13. The Athletics Review Committee Report cited the team’s lack of a permanent practice and competition space as one of the reasons it could have been cut. Simmons’ response calls for a 9 percent cut in admissions slots reserved for athletic recruits as

Herald file photo

After raising about $700,000, the fencing team will live to fight another day.

well. According to LeBlanc, that means the ski team will lose one of its two recruitment slots every other year. But, he said, “I think we can deal with it fine. That’s one sacrifice we’re willing to make.” Amato, the wrestling coach, ex-

pressed disappointment over losing admissions spots for recruits, saying student-athletes are just as worthy of being admitted as nonathletes. But he said the reduction in admissions spots and the fundraising challenge “will work out.”

Athletics encouraged to grow endowment continued from page 1 a 13 percent decrease. In another move to make studentathletes more representative of the general student body, Simmons also recommended the next recruiting class meet stricter academic standards, including higher grade point averages and standardized test scores. To further increase Brown’s ability to compete with other Ivy League schools, Simmons suggested increasing coaches’ salaries across the board. She also recommended the University should look to pay men and women more equally in the department. At Brown, female head coaches’ salaries are on average 26 percent less than those of their


the Brown

male counterparts, according to information compiled by the Office of Postsecondary Education. Simmons’ report also recommended a plan initially proposed by Goldberger that would aim to raise $42 million across all sports. Under the plan, each team would be responsible for meeting its own fundraising goals, which would be established by the department. The Brown University Sports Foundation currently raises about $3.2 million each year, according to Amato. The fundraising goals for each team have not yet been established. “I’m hopeful we’ll be able to do it,” said Michael LeBlanc, head coach of the skiing program. “We’ll just have to work pretty hard and see what we

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come up with.” Simmons also wrote that she will support a $10 million campaign to raise the funds recommended in the original report for the improvement of athletics facilities, especially the field hockey field. But Simmons admitted that it is a difficult time to set bold fundraising goals. “The ambitious goals and strict time line in the report may not be possible in the current economic environment,” she wrote. Simmons wrote that the plan would be most effective if the University agreed not to cut the athletics budget over the next five years. “In this way, donors will be better incentivized to make gifts to support athletics,” she wrote. The report also suggested a new process that would give academic administrators more influence over athletics. The dean of the College and the vice president for campus life and student services should meet with the dean of admission “on a regular basis” to discuss whether athletics is appropriately fitting into the overall mission of the University. “My reaction was great admiration for President Simmons,” said fencing Head Coach Atilio Tass. “Probably we will have now a better and more dynamic and even a strong athletic department.” —With additional reporting by Jake Comer and Ashley McDonnell

City & State 3

The Brown Daily Herald Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adviser resigns at University of Rhode Island, ‘bullying’ cited By hannah abelow Staff Writer

When Andrew Winters, former assistant to the vice president for student affairs at the University of Rhode Island, resigned his post in June under controversial circumstances, faculty members, alumni and local organizations rose to his defense. Winters, who worked at URI for 17 years and served as adviser to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Programs and Services beginning in 2001, resigned four months after receiving a critical letter in March from Kathryn Friedman, the associate vice president for community, equity and diversity appointed by the university in January. A group of faculty members convened in defense of Winters immediately after he received the

letter. The group then drafted a response to the URI administration, which held that Friedman’s letter included allegations that Winters put his own “desires and opinions before the needs of the community,” is “difficult to work with” and “continually misrepresents issues.” The letter also called Winters “divisive” and said he drove away “away a significant population of GLBTQ from participation at the center,” according to the response. The group’s letter to the administration in April reflected that its members were “alarmed with the tone of Friedman’s letter,” said Albert Lott, professor emeritus of psychology. Faculty members protested Friedman’s lack of specific allegations other than those pertaining to Winters’ personality. Their response stated that Friedman’s letter “bears no resemblance

to the person we know as a good and decent man.” In September 2010, when Friedman was not yet employed at the university, Winters oversaw a student-run sit-in protest and the writing of a list of demands for GLBT rights on campus. The administration accepted the students’ demands, which included a larger space for the GLBT center and sensitivity training for faculty, staff and resident advisers. URI President David Dooley told the Providence Journal on Sept. 25 that Winters retired from his position and that the departure was mutually agreed upon. Though “President Dooley said (Winters) left voluntarily, realistically, it was the same kind of ‘voluntarily’ as one might use to describe a person accepting the protection of the mob in Providence,” said URI

Professor of Physics Peter Nightingale. He called Friedman’s letter an act of “bullying.” Tom Dougan, vice president for student affairs, said the administration could not comment on Winters’ departure because it is a “personnel matter.” The URI Student Senate also declined to comment for the same reason. In recent months, a group of faculty members has called for a full investigation of the circumstances behind his resignation. The group took issue with what they saw as a lack of “due process” or “checks and balances” in the system, Nightingale said. Winters “did not want to leave URI at all but had no choice other than fighting the university on his own dime for the next 10 years,” Nightingale said.

The group received no response to its letter to Dooley. Faculty members also wrote letters to the Board of Governors of URI and to Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14. Lott also wrote a letter defending Winters’ contributions to URI’s GLBT community to the editor of Options, a Rhode Island LGBT magazine. Marriage Equality Rhode Island has also been trying to get involved in the investigation, though their involvement is still in its “preliminary stages,” Nightingale said. Members of a Unitarian Universalist Church in Newport have also expressed interest in speaking out on Winters’ behalf, Nightingale added. He added many individual alums and faculty members who worked with Winters over the years continue to send letters to the university on his behalf.

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4 City & State

The Brown Daily Herald Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cones make way for pita pockets Loughlin, Doherty pose threat to Cicilline ’83

By Inni Youh Staff Writer

Like a star shooting across the night sky of low-priced dining options, pizza cone purveyor Toledo had a brilliant but short-lived run. Thayer Pita Pockets, the eatery that has quietly replaced Toledo, offers a combination of gyros, falafel, deli wraps, New York style pizza and pizza cones. Thayer Pita Pockets is a joint venture between Mark Joia, who owned Toledo, and his cousin Mike Najab. “I wanted to give the street something a little different,” Najab said. “Toledo used to be only cones, but we wanted to serve people well and noticed that pockets were very popular.” The new eatery is similar to East Side Pockets, but it will use the owners’ unique homemade Middle Eastern recipes, he said. The manager of East Side Pockets, Paul Boutros, said he was unaware of the change. But “competition is good because people can have a variety to choose from,” he said. “Many copied the concept, but with the economy not everyone can survive,” Boutros said, adding that he has been in business since 1997. “We even had a falafel place right next door that closed,” he said. While students said they appreciate the diversity of options on Thayer Street, they had mixed reactions to Thayer Pita Pocket’s debut. “I don’t really think we need to have pizzas in a cone. I definitely am loyal to East Side. I’m in no

continued from page 1

Tom Sullivan / Herald

Vince Biagiotti ’14 samples fare from Thayer Pita Pockets, which offers a mixed bag of wrapped foods.

way upset about Toledo going,” said Isabel Harvey ’12, who lives across from Thayer Pita Pockets. “I think on College Hill there is a great demand for quick sandwiches with fresh ingredients. So it depends on the ingredients and the people in charge,” said Tom Deighton ’13. Grace Wu ’13 does not eat at either pita pocket venue, but said her attitude is “the more the merrier.” Thayer Pita Pockets should keep its pizza cones, said Chris

Shikaso, a Providence local who visited the restaurant with a friend for dinner. “I don’t know anywhere else you can find it in the area.” Many added that the new eatery should introduce more sandwich deli menus or a salad option. Thayer Pita Pockets is also serving menu specials with fountain drinks for $5 to $6. “I want to give the students a little break,” Najab said of the deal. He is planning a grand opening for the new eatery in the near future, he added.

his candidacy in January. Brendan Doherty, who announced his bid to challenge Cicilline in May, resigned as commissioner of the Rhode Island department of public safety this April. Doherty’s spokesman declined requests for comment. Cicilline’s high negatives are an advantage for his opponents, said Michael Napolitano, Loughlin’s campaign spokesman. Loughlin was “the first to bring attention to the financial situation in Providence in regards to how Cicilline was covering it up,” he added. Last spring, Cicilline fended off accusations that he concealed Providence’s financial troubles. According to a March 14 Providence Journal article, Providence’s rainy day fund, which reserves money for financial emergencies, decreased dramatically during Cicilline’s tenure as mayor. The Herald reported March 17 that the current treasurer of Providence, James Lombardi, accused Cicilline of raiding the fund without notifying the City Council, an action that violates the city’s charter. “At the time, the media did not go after Cicilline,” Napolitano said. Loughlin turned public attention to Cicilline by introducing the issue in debates. “The Republicans will do everything they can do to make issues about things that are not happening in Washington D.C.,” Nicole Kayner, Cicilline’s campaign spokeswoman, said. “Rhode

Islanders want someone who will protect Medicare, Social Security and the environment,” she said. “These are pretty clear lines, and Republican candidates will not want to have conversations about these issues,” Kayner said. In the race for campaign funds, Cicilline has a clear advantage. He raised roughly $202,000 for his reelection bid in the most recent round of fundraising. Doherty raised more than $130,000, while Loughlin raised $23,377 in the same quarter. Nap olit ano att r ibute d Doherty’s cash advantage to the fact that Loughlin has been in Iraq. “Doherty raised six figures, but he is out there booking different events in different locations where you need to pay lots of money to go,” Napolitano added. “Although money is important in a race, it’s not everything.” There are two sides to every story, said Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science. Republicans accused Cicilline of concealing the city’s budget shortfall, but Cicilline denied these claims and argued that he was clear about the impending budget problems. Rhode Island is a blue state with a legislature dominated by Democrats, but this does not mean Cicilline’s district is out of reach for Republicans, Schiller said. “The district he represents is half liberal and half moderate conservative Democrats with some Republicans mixed in,” she said. Due to the district’s stark ideological divide, Cicilline must successfully appeal to his liberal base, she added.

Gay marriage advocates blast civil unions loophole continued from page 1 tion to follow federal definitions with regards to taxes — including the definition of marriage created by the federal Defense of Marriage Act — gay couples do not qualify for the estate tax exemption or joint income tax filing. “There’s nothing we can do on our end,” said Neil Downing, the division’s chief revenue agent, adding that it is the role of legislators and the governor to change the law. “We simply implement the provisions of any law that comes out of the General Assembly.” The Division of Taxation’s interpretation of the law is wrong, said state Rep. Peter Petrarca, D-Lincoln, who sponsored the

Herald file photo

Cones wear different hats at Thayer Pita Pockets, serving as containers for pizza toppings and receptacles for salads.

original civil union bill. “The only thing in the federal tax system we’re taking is the number we start with,” he said, referring to the federal adjusted gross income calculation. Legislators expressed uncertainty about how they would move forward to remedy the situation. The confusion arising from the civil unions legislation reflects the need for full marriage equality, said Ray Sullivan, campaign director for Marriage Equality Rhode Island. “There are approximately 400 rights, benefits, associations, obligations associated with the word ‘marriage,’” he said. “We see this as another issue of, if not social, economic discrimination.”

City & State 5

The Brown Daily Herald Tuesday, October 18, 2011

comics Chester Crabson | Tess Carroll

Sophia Seawell / Herald

Protesters have been camping out in Burnside Park since Saturday evening.

Cabernet Voltaire | Abe Pressman

Protesters close Bank of America accounts continued from page 1 3:45 p.m. At the bank’s Fulton Street entrance — closest to the movement’s camp in Burnside Park — doors were closed due to the protest. While the bank’s doors were open at the Westminster Street entrance, police positioned outside allowed in Bank of America customers only, telling protesters they had to remain outside. Beneath the bank’s vaulted ceilings, business went on as usual, with only a quiet murmur of activity. Protesters stood outside handing out fliers and taking videos. Several former customers said they planned to turn to local credit unions and banks, including Bank of Newport and Pawtucket Credit Union. Cranston resident Renae Chaves closed her personal Bank of America account as part of the protest, but still retains a joint Bank of America account with her husband. The couple has been researching credit unions and hopes to close their account over the next month, though there are various complications tied to the account, she said. When Mick Lefort walked out of the branch brandishing cancellation papers, he was met with applause and cheers from the protesters. “Very efficient,” he said jokingly of the cancellation process. Lefort said he closed his checking and savings accounts out of a desire to stop supporting corporate America. “I’m not a protester in the sense that a lot of these people are,” he said. Lefort is not directly involved in Occupy Providence but made the

decision to withdraw his accounts after speaking with protesters Sunday. He said he appreciated the “good, old-fashioned direct democracy” he saw on display at Burnside Park. Soon after Lefort’s exit, the group marched back to Burnside Park. Afternoon commuters at Kennedy Plaza looked on as the group chanted “Bank of America, Bad for America.” “We’re a peaceful group,” said protester Dennis Farias, pointing to one group member who carried a broom and dustpan and swept the sidewalk as he marched. Phelan said many people she has spoken with have expressed interest in closing accounts at Bank of America and other large corporate banks. But she said some are waiting to sort out direct depositing and other concerns. The group may organize further bank account closings and hopes more people will switch to local banks and credit unions over the next month, she said. Nov. 5 is Bank Transfer Day, an event distinct from the Occupy movement, though many in the movement support it. The event, which urges participants to switch over from major financial institutions to non-profit credit unions, currently has over 44,000 attendees on Facebook. Mass account closings at Bank of America made headlines across the country today. The Occupy Providence action was organized independently, Phelan said. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan ’81 P’14 is a trustee of the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. Representatives of the bank could not be reached for comment after business hours yesterday.

Michael Wuertenberg

Seven Bank of America accounts in Providence have been shut down so far as part of the Occupy protest. Above, the bank’s CEO Brian Moynihan.

Fraternity of Evil | Eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainline and Hector Ramirez

6 Editorial Editorial In favor of semesters at Oxbridge Brown’s guiding principle is that students should be the masters of their own education. The Office of International Programs’ decision to disallow semester-long study abroad programs at Cambridge University and Oxford University is not in keeping with this basic value. The OIP’s new rule reflects a we-know-best mentality thoroughly inconsistent with the Brown philosophy. Though spending a full year abroad might indeed be optimal, the OIP should not force students to do things its way. Spending a full year at Oxford or Cambridge is clearly valuable. But that does not mean that it is the only legitimate approach to studying abroad at these prestigious schools. There are a number of reasons students might prefer to spend only a semester abroad. First, the early application deadlines for both Oxford and Cambridge are far before many newly minted sophomores have even begun to consider studying abroad. The OIP’s decision prevents students who decide in their fourth Brown semester — when most study abroad applications are due — from studying at Oxford or Cambridge. Second, taking an entire year off means missing twice as much Brown time. Not having that extra Brown semester means students might not be able to make as much progress toward their concentrations. It also materially interferes with extra- and co-curricular activities. Because many student groups change leadership in the winter, many juniors return from abroad in January to leadership posts. The OIP’s new policy will deprive students in the Oxford and Cambridge programs of this opportunity. Furthermore, a year is a long time to be away from friends, mentors and the sense of home Brown provides. Each moment on campus is precious. We maintain that a single semester abroad spent at Oxford or Cambridge makes for a legitimate, scholarly, even exhausting experience. Though their terms’ duration might be shorter than other schools’, their reading lists certainly are not. It is laughable to refuse to offer single terms at such elite institutions while encouraging semesters at schools more noted for their proximity to the beach. The well-defined harm that will come of the OIP’s decision far outweighs any educational benefit. It might be good to remind the OIP that the New Curriculum gave students the “right to choose, the right to fail and above all the freedom to direct their own education.” We do not claim that we will always get it right, but we do insist on the right to direct our own education. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to

Letters, please!

The Brown Daily Herald Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Editorial cartoon

by lo r e n f u lto n

quote of the day

“What’s the point of a civil union if you can’t get an unlimited marital deduction?” — Susan Gershkoff, local estate lawyer See civil unions on page 1.

Correction An article in Monday’s Herald (“Simmons lauds parents at final Family Weekend,” Oct. 17) incorrectly stated that President Ruth Simmons gave her address on Friday. In fact, she spoke Saturday. The Herald regrets the error.

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Opinions 7

The Brown Daily Herald Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meal plan gone moldy By Ethan Tobias Opinions Columnist Something is rotten at Brown Dining Services, and it is not just the food (“Campus eateries found selling expired food,” Oct. 13). Dining Services forces its mediocre food upon us at exorbitant prices while many students have no choice in the matter — first-years are required to participate — and while others would like to cancel their plans, they can only do so in person during the first three weeks of school. It is not exactly the model of convenience. The entire system is driven toward forcing students onto meal plan. Students are automatically enrolled and re-enrolled in meal plan every year, adding a glaring $4,158 — the cost of the Flex 460 plan or the 20 meals a week plan — on top of the $40,000 or so that we already pay to come here. Somehow, after writing a check for nearly $50,000, an extra few thousand does not seem like very much. Yet hiding the cost of meal plan should not prevent us from seeing what a rip-off meal plan really is. First and foremost, the meal plans offer students a combination of credits and points totaling a lesser value than the cost of the plan. For Flex 460, taking the going rate of $6.40 per meal credit and adding it to the 500 points, one would find that

students are getting $3,444 worth of food. For students who find that the Ivy Room, Blue Room, Josiah’s and the Gate usually have better food than the Sharpe Refectory or the Verney-Woolley Dining Hall, literally paying in cash is a much better use of one’s money, and doing so avoids issues associated with meal credits. For starters, meal credits cannot always be used, and the entire meal credit is lost re-

on its balance sheet. Accepted at over 20 locations, MunchCard provides assorted cuisines at reasonable prices. Most meals cost less than $7, and many have additional discounts and packages for users. At an average of $7 a meal, students could buy a whopping 594 meals for the $4,158 they would otherwise spend on meal plan for a year. That is around 300 meals per semester, or 20 a week during the school year.

When it comes down to money, paying for meal plan just does not make all that much sense.

gardless of whether one rings up a dollar’s worth of food or the whole $6.40. Paying in cash eliminates losses from unused meal credits and provides an extra level of flexibility. Cash has an added bonus — it is accepted everywhere. For too long, the shackles of meal plan have limited Thayer Street’s myriad options limited to special occasions and that rare weekend meal for those living on Pembroke trying to make do while the V-Dub closes. Finally, however, students have an opportunity to do something about the situation. MunchCard, released this summer, offers students a way to vote against Dining Services’ policies where it counts —

And MunchCard is an even better deal for students on smaller meal plans. For the $3,914 one might pay for Flex 330, which only entitles the purchaser to 330 meals and 350 points per year, MunchCard users will find that they can afford over 550 meals at the $7 per meal rate. MunchCard currently has no minimum payment and students can add money at any time that never expires. Meanwhile, in the complicated world of Dining Services pricing, students will find that the best deal is always to pick the largest meal plan. As was illustrated by Flex 460 and Flex 330, spending about $200 less on a meal plan cuts out 150 points and 130 meals. Seeing as how

150 points good as $150, saving 50 bucks but losing 130 meals sounds like a pretty raw deal. Yet the Flex 330 people have it good when you consider that the off-campus meal plan students are paying $1,352 for 500 points and 50 meals. Treating points like cash again, that comes out to a little over $17 per meal credit. I hate to break it to those poor souls who are already on the off-campus plan, but dinner at the Ratty only costs $14.25 if you wanted to just pay in cash for those occasions you decide to eat there. It is not that the food on meal plan is all that bad. In fact, I happen to find that some of the on-campus eateries, like the Blue Room, Ivy Room and Jo’s, stack up pretty well with their peers on Thayer. But when it comes down to money, paying for meal plan just does not make all that much sense. With MunchCard taking the campus by storm — 250 students already signed up a month into the semester — students finally have another meal plan option. Dining Services take note, because, unless you get your act together, a gastronomic revolution is coming to College Hill. Soon, it will not just be the food that is past its shelf life, but on-campus meal plans too. Ethan Tobias ’12 is in no way being compensated by MunchCard for this column, but is on the plan and would very much like you to join him.

Rock vs. SciLi: It’s a circumstantial choice By LucIa Seda Opinions Columnist In a recent column (“Rock beats SciLi”, Oct. 7), Chip Lebovitz ’14 sings the praises of the Rockefeller Library while he vilifies what he considers to be the intellectually absent social scene at the Sciences Library. Lebovitz has a very valid point in observing how the topic of the Rock versus the SciLi is a divisive issue among members of the community. Just try asking any Brown student how they feel about either of these two libraries and you will find yourself in the midst of a heated, if not stimulating, argument. Yet I think we should not rush to box these libraries and their visitors in such narrow categories. I agree that we tend to overestimate the merits and potential of both the SciLi and the Rock. It might be because we are, as Brown students, so personally invested in this debate that we feel the need to pledge allegiance to either the Rock or the SciLi once we arrive on College Hill. What’s more, there seems to be a tacit imperative to not only play for one of these two teams, but also of defending our library of choice against slanderous tongues who seek to tarnish its name and reputation. I have met hardcore Rockers who snicker at the thought of stepping foot in the “concrete building made out of concrete” that towers over the intersection of Thayer and Waterman streets. I have also met their dis-

senters — the assiduous SciLi-goers who impassively dismiss the Rock as being either too far (lie), too quiet (not if you go there on a Sunday night) or plain uninspiring (that is contestable). And then there are the species of migratory birds who, come the heartstopping 2 a.m. alarm that puts an end to their Rock confinement, must transfer over to the SciLi to initiate the second round of their all-nighter. Besides places of study and houses full of books, the Rock and the SciLi are also Brown trademarks that we stereotype and class. The

what monochromatic decor that compels you to quit people-watching and bury your nose inside your book. Stereotypically speaking, it is for the hardworking student who would surely let out a scoff should you dare to break his or her concentration with even the most inaudible of whispers. On the other hand, we have the SciLi, the life and soul of the party that I once heard someone compare to a massive speed-dating event, a fast-paced place in constant flux, a Babel. In this case, it is for the gregarious student who wants to

All in all, Brown students frequent the Rock and the SciLi for different purposes so that different types of study, not students, set the tone for each.

Rock is not just the library on Prospect Street where you go to check out materials for your humanities or social sciences courses, just as the SciLi is not simply the multi-story building that is open 24 hours, five days a week. The Rock and the SciLi are pre-packaged concepts of study that we adhere to, criticize and help to maintain. For instance, let’s think about the schemata we have built around them. First is the Rock, with its low-key atmosphere, mood lighting in the lobby area and somber, some-

catch up on the latest gossip and perhaps get a bit of work done in the company of other people. I will not deny that some of these assumptions are anchored in careful observations of what actually takes place in these two libraries. Yet I am bothered by Lebovitz’s assertion that the Rock exists for a certain type of student — the studious one — whereas the SciLi is built to welcome its counterpart — the social one. While it is true that these two libraries might impose a certain code of be-

havior, they do not exclusively cater to one type of student or another. It is unfair, not to mention inaccurate, to say that “studying” students — as Lebovitz puts it — study at the Rock and that social students choose to study at the SciLi. In fact, if we take the word “social” to mean fostering the interaction and exchange between people, then the Rock is as social as the SciLi. The only difference is that another kind of social interaction takes place there — one that is marked by conversations ranking lower on the decibel scale than those that dominate the SciLi lobby and the Friedman Study Center. All in all, students frequent the Rock and the SciLi for different purposes so that different types of study, not students, set the tone for each. A group project might pull students to the study rooms at the Friedman Study Center — not that the Rock does not have study rooms either — while 200 pages worth of reading might make the Absolute Quiet Room at the Rock an attractive choice for an afternoon of uninterrupted thinking. What is necessary is to steer clear of library politics and the tendency to arbitrarily categorize the students who choose to study at either location. Rock dwellers are not loners. SciLi residents are not ravers. If we insist on holding on to the debate, then let’s allow “Rock versus SciLi” to be about the places, not about the people. Lucia Seda ’12 invites you to study at the Orwig Music Library if you really want to avoid crowds and relish in “post-Zombie apocalypse levels of quiet.” She can be reached at

Daily Herald Sports Tuesday the Brown

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cross Country

For second year in a row, Bears sweep Rothenberg By james blum Sports Staff Writer

The cross country squads sprinted their way to first place finishes at the second annual Rothenberg Run in East Greenwich last Friday, giving them meet titles for the second straight year. The men swept the first five individual finishes, scoring a perfect 15 points and beating Bryant and URI. The women’s pack running strategy earned them 29 points, which catapulted them to victory over URI, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Bryant. Mitchell Baker, head coach of the

women’s squad, said the teams did not race their top runners, thereby resting those athletes for the upcoming Ivy League Heptagonal Championships Oct. 29. “Our top-seven group didn’t race, and they did two workouts over the weekend,” said Tim Springfield, head coach of the men’s team. “I raced guys that needed competition. The guys that didn’t run needed training.” The women were led by Elaine Kuckertz ’13, a Herald contributing writer, who finished the fivekilometer race in 18 minutes, 32 seconds and finished in third place overall. Next to finish for the women were Bree Shugarts ’13 in 18:38 and

Roseanne Fleming ’12 in 18:39, fast enough for fifth and sixth place, respectively. Abigail Jones ’15 finished fifth for Bruno and eighth overall at 18:53. “It was good to have some upperclassmen bring some depth,” Baker said. “(Jones) had a bit of a breakout race.” Ethan Hickey ’12 led the men’s field and finished the eight-kilometer course in 26:13. “We executed the game plan that coach wanted us to do,” Hickey said. “So I was happy with my performance.” In an extremely close finish, Brendan Boyle ’14 earned second

W. Golf

place overall, also with a time of 26:13. Finishing a tenth of a second later was Conor Grogan ’13, who captured third place. “It was nice to see our top three run pretty solid,” Springfield said. “It’s exciting to be part of a team that’s doing really well,” Hickey said. “The team’s heading in the right direction.” The squads now have a weekend off from competition and will travel to Princeton for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships Oct. 29. The teams will continue to train intensely for the next week and then “back off ” before the race, Baker said. “Everybody we’ve got is looking

good in practice and feeling good,” Springfield said. “We have two weeks to get better, so we’re moving forward.” Only 12 competitors per team will race at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, meaning that the majority of runners have now finished their 2011 seasons. But, Baker said, the entire women’s team will continue to train until NCAA Regionals Nov. 12, where seven runners will participate. “There is value in having depth out there everyday,” Baker said. “You never know when someone’s going to get sick or who will look good in two weeks.”

M. Golf

Bears look to climb back in season closer Bears head into

hibernation, look ahead to spring

By Connor Grealy Contributing Writer

The last two tournaments for the women’s golf team were marked by both success and frustration — the team placed second at the Richmond Invitational Oct. 10 and 11, and stayed in contention for the win for the majority of the tournament. But the team’s string of successes, dating back to a second-place finish at the Princeton Invitational Sept. 24 and 25, ended in tough conditions this past weekend at the Harvard Invitational. The team made a strong showing at the 54-hole Richmond Invitational, shooting 917 for the weekend and coming close to forcing a team playoff. “We had a great start,” said Head Coach Danielle Griffiths. “True team effort for second place — thought we might have been tied for the win.” Stephanie Hsieh ’15 turned in a standout performance for Bruno, earning medalist honors for the tournament after birdieing the first hole of an individual playoff to give her the lowest overall score of the weekend, a dazzling one-under-par 215. “It was definitely crazy,” Hsieh said. “I hadn’t played that well in my life. Tried to focus on one shot at a time and not focus on future shots — that’s when you trip up.” In her first year on the team, Hsieh has already proven herself a contender in every tournament. “(Hsieh) made our team better in just one season,” Griffiths said. “We’re very happy that she’s here and leading us in our scores.” Hsieh’s strong play was complemented by the impressive play of the team’s upperclassmen. Heather Arison ’12 placed 12th individually with a 231 and Captain Megan Tuohy’s ’12 233 earned 18th. Carly Arison ’12 carded a 239, and Michelle Chen ’15 shot 246. Cassandra Carothers ’15, who played as an individual and whose score did not count toward the team’s score, placed eighth individually with a 229 in her season debut. “It was (Carothers’) first tourna-

By connor grealy Contributing Writer

Courtesy of

Megan Tuohy ’12 hopes to lead the Women’s Golf team this year.

ment, and she had a top-10 finish,” Griffiths said. “It was a great team showing.” But the Harvard Invitational was a different story, as the team faced a talented field amid unfavorable conditions. “The wind was blowing hard and the greens were tough,” Griffiths said. “Hardly anyone broke 80. Harvard shot 331 (Sunday) — they haven’t shot that in almost five years.” The 36-hole tournament proved to be the toughest of the fall thus far. The team’s 658 for the weekend left them a sixth place finish for the tournament. “The conditions were rough,” Tuohy said. “There was no place to miss. We had to be very accurate with our shots.” Though Tuohy found the course difficult, she led the team for the weekend, shooting 158 and placing seventh individually.

“She’s a great leader on and off the golf course,” Griffiths said. “She’s one of the best players in the Ivy League, and (Hsieh) is up there as well.” Hsieh had the team’s next best score of 164, followed by Heather Arison at 167 and Carly Arison at 173. The squad will finish its season at the Lehigh Invitational Oct. 22 and 23, competing in a field absent of Ivy League competition. “I see (Hsieh) and (Tuohy) leading us at this tournament,” Griffiths said. “You know they’re going to play well, and it makes the other girls on our team more consistent as well.” Tuohy said she believes the team is well prepared for the tournament and will look to end the season on a high note. “We hope we can use this weekend to learn and improve, and look forward to a course that is well-suited to our team,” she said.

The men’s golf team concluded its tumultuous fall campaign last weekend, ending on a disappointing note at the Classic at Shelter Harbor. The team carded a 36-hole 633 at the Shelter Harbor Golf Club in Westerly, earning a 13th place finish in the field of 15. “This weekend was disappointing under any circumstances,” said Head Coach Michael Hughes. Though the team did not finish in the top half of competitors, it outshot Cornell, an Ivy League rival. “We all threw away shots at some point,” said Captain J.D. Ardell ’13. “All of our rounds could have been better.” The team stuck with the young lineup it has used for most of the fall campaign. Justin Miller ’15 posted another team-leading round of 156, and placed 31st individually in the tournament. “I couldn’t be happier with the way he’s playing,” Hughes said. “He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.” Peter Callas ’14, who did not participate in the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational the previous weekend, was right on Miller’s tail, finishing with 158 for the weekend. Ardell turned in another solid round, shooting 160. John Greb’s ’15 164 and Kyohei Itamura’s ’14 172 rounded out the scoring. But Hughes said the underwhelming weekend, though at first worrisome, does not put a damper on his high expectations for the young team — the roster is predominately made up of underclassmen. “We’re a young team,” Hughes

said. “We’re going to get better as we get more seasoned and get used to the courses.” Building on a season that has featured the lowest score in Brown men’s golf history, as well as a last place finish at the Big 5, Hughes viewed the season as a true spectrum of how the team can play. “We played a good event, then we played a clunker,” Hughes said. “We have to look at the entirety of the season.” The fall campaign “is a good learning experience,” Ardell said. “We get to compete against Ivy League teams and see how we compare to them, see their weaknesses and strengths stacked against ours. The ultimate goal is getting to the NCAA tour.” The most likely way for the team to make it into the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Tournament is by winning the Ivy League Tournament during the spring season. Hughes said the team will take what it learned during the fall and tweak its game accordingly in order to pursue a berth in the spring. “The fall season was overall a success,” Hughes said. “But we’re looking to getting back at it (in the spring) and get right on top of our game.” Ardell echoed his coach. “The big thing for us is going to work on our weaknesses and turn them into our strengths,” he said. Though full of ups and downs, the fall season provides the team insight into what to work on for the spring. Both Ardell and Hughes see Brown as a team that can make its presence known in a perennially top-heavy Ivy League. “Wait for the spring season,” Ardell said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011  

The October 18, 2011 issue of the Brown Daily Herald

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