vol. cxlvi, no. 100
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Ripping Berlusconi, Italian author cracks up audience
Concern over expansion of research at presidential search forum
By kristina fazzalaro Arts & Culture Editor
Fewer than 20 show up to give input on U.’s next leader By morgan johnson Senior Staff Writer
Since President Ruth Simmons’ announcement of her resignation, many have professed the need to find a successor equally open and responsive. Yet few students answered the call to provide input on selecting her successor at yesterday’s open forum. The informal discussion, initiated by members of the Corporation Search Committee and the Campus Advisory Committee, drew about 15 undergraduates for an intimate and animated discussion on issues relating to the upcoming appointment. “Transitions are a critical moment in the lives of institutions,” said Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 P’07, chair of the CorporaSee full coverage of “The Search for Simmons’ Successor” and bios of key players. Pages 6-7
Rachel A. Kaplan / Herald
Italian journalist Giuseppe Severgnini bemoaned Italy’s “Houdini” prime minister.
“Italian politics in the last several years reminds me of a spaghetti version of Mel Brooks’ ‘Blazing Saddles’ — everything goes,” said famed Italian journalist and author Giuseppe Severgnini last night to a packed crowd in Smith-Buonanno Hall. Severgnini visited the University to discuss his bestselling book, “Mamma Mia! Berlusconi’s Italy Explained for Posterity and Friends Abroad.” As the crowd shook in their seats with laughter, Severgnini playfully admonished them, saying, “This is politics — it’s serious.” Amid further outbursts of laughter, Severgnini related stories hilarious, absurd and upsetting about Italian Prime Minister Silvio
By Kat Thornton Senior Staff Writer
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority presented its proposal for a new streetcar service to residents and Brown community members last night at Brown-RISD Hillel in the final of three discussions meant to gauge reaction to the proposed service. A streetcar line would be expensive — the estimated capital
cost is $126.7 million, versus an estimated $15 million for a bus route — but Mark Therrien, assistant general manager of RIPTA, said “long-term vision is key, even during short-term crisis.” The major difference between development around a bus route and around a streetcar route is that a streetcar route is permanent and would assure businesses of the long-term benefits of moving near a route, according to Therrien’s pre-
sentation with Amy Pettine, special projects manager for RIPTA. The benefits of the proposed line are divided equally among improved mobility and economic development, he said. Nearly 3 million square feet of vacant and developable land lies “within striking distance of this route,” Therrien said. RIPTA hopes to “capitalize” on expected develop-
continued on page 3
Jim Miller ’73, dean of admission, said his office attempts to select applicants who “will prosper here academically” but noted that students come from diverse backgrounds, which provide different levels of preparation. “Being prepared is a function of experience in secondary school, and this varies dramatically. Preparation doesn’t preclude excellence,” he said. And
news....................2-3 CITY & State........4-5 SEarch................6-7 editorial............10 Opinions.............11
“preparation is not as critical as potential.” Rachel Friedberg, senior lecturer in economics, said the students in her ECON 0110: “Principles of Economics” class, many of whom are first-years, are often accustomed to being at the top of their class. She said first-years at Brown often expect faculty “to protect and support and polish their records.” “My role is to challenge them, not to make sure that everyone walks away with an A,” she said. Lawrence Stanley, senior lecturer in English, also said his firstyears struggle with expectations. “What I find, when I’m advising freshmen, is when you’re at high school, you’ve got to be good at everything. But then you come to university, and you realize that you’re not good at everything,”
Do you find first-years to be well prepared for academics at Brown?
continued on page 2
Chong Yang / Herald
PostDrinks 1%, is the 99%
Who will follow President Simmons? Post-, inside
By Nicole Grabel Contributing Writer
Rhode Island’s small size can help the state create big change when it comes to education reform, said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at a town hall meeting yesterday. Duncan fielded questions
city & state from both the roughly 200-person audience and a five-person panel at the event, held at the Providence Career and Technical Academy. This August, Rhode Island won $75 million in the second round of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition, placing fifth in a field of 35 states, as well as the District of Columbia. “You guys earned that money because we believe in you,” Duncan said. He added that the Ocean State’s tiny size makes education reform easier to implement quickly. Outside, about 30 people gathered to protest Duncan’s policies. The group was mostly composed of members of Occupy Providence and the Coalition to Defend Pub-
Nearly 50 percent of faculty members find first-years to be “somewhat prepared” for academics at Brown, according to a Herald faculty poll conducted this fall. Almost 12 percent responded that first-years are “somewhat unprepared.”
continued on page 3
RIPTA presents proposed new line Secretary $127 million streetcar route could promote economic development Duncan: R.I. fertile ground for ed reform
First-years ‘somewhat prepared’ for Brown By Sona Mkrttchian Contributing Writer
Berlusconi, who he described as a “tycoon-turned-escape artist.” Severgnini opened his talk with a discussion of the book’s title. “I think ‘Mamma Mia!’ is a perfect summary of the situation,” he said. Berlusconi represents “some of the best, and much of the worst, of Italy.” Here representing those Italians displeased with the current government, Severgnini said he believes his nation is particularly good at “soul searching” — an activity “Mamma Mia!” takes up with gusto in its examination of just how Berlusconi managed to become one of Italy’s longest-serving prime ministers. The book, dedicated to Berlus-
continued on page 5
t o d ay
60 / 40
52 / 32
2 Campus News calendar Today
6 p.m. Brown Bag Concert Series,
Get Off Oil forum w/ Sen. Jack Reed,
8 p.m. Death Penalty on Trial: Panel,
THE BROWN STORY SLAM,
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
VERNEy-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH
Chicken Pot Pie, Zucchini and Parmesan Sandwich, Falafel with Tzatziki, Rice Krispie Treats
Sloppy Joe Sandwich, Vegetable Strudel, Cauliflower au Gratin, Rice Krispie Treats
DINNER Beef Strip Shish Kabob, Cheese Tomato Strata, Baked Potatoes, Frosted Brownies
Roast Turkey with Sauce, Shells with Broccoli, Butternut Apple Bake, Frosted Brownies
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
UCS names committee reps, talks tenure By katrina phillips Senior Staff Writer
The Undergraduate Council of Students appointed three committee representatives at last night’s general body meeting, following a talk with Dean of the Faculty Kevin McLaughlin P’12 about issues including tenure and advising. Alex Sherry ’15 was appointed to the Brown University Community Council. Gregory Chatzinoff ’15 — a Herald web relations manager — was chosen for the Information Technology Advisory Board and Angell Shi ’13 will serve on the Friedman-Rock Advisory Council. Three committees — the Public Safety Oversight Committee, the Officer Conduct Review Board and the Roberts Center Advisory Council — still await student representative appointments. Communications Chair Sam Gilman ’15 announced that the UCS fall poll received 1,067 responses this year. The data from the poll will be compiled soon. Mae Cadao ’13, student activities chair and a Herald senior
Madeline Schlissel / Herald
UCS President Ralanda Nelson ’12 presides over the general body meeting.
finance associate, said her committee hopes to initiate a student activities “educational awareness campaign” to provide students with information about Undergraduate Finance Board policies and the resources available to student groups.
The Campus Life Committee has been working on a SafeRide project, said Michael Schneider ’13, campus life chair. Outside consultants have been brought in to look at the project and address issues like the closing down of SafeRide for snow.
U. targets high school-college transition continued from page 1 he said. Gregory Elliott, professor of sociology, said he considers the issue of unprepared first-years indicative of a larger problem within the American education system. “You see the phenomenon of high school teachers teaching the test, instead of teaching people how to think. Brown’s not like that,” Elliot said. “Brown expects you to think about facts and information, to understand relationships between different concepts and to think creatively about them.” “I feel sad for the students who I see come here,” Elliot said. “I’m sad because they have been shortchanged through their tenure at high school.” The administration is aware of the leap between high school
and Brown academics, according to Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron. In the last four years, the University has introduced a new orientation session called “Taking the Leap: On Becoming a Brown Student” that focuses on the academic transition. Luis Campos, student coordinator for Excellence at Brown, said pre-orientation programs attract two different kinds of students: “People who are coming from schools where their writing programs aren’t the best ... (and) people who want to get a head start.” Campos said the programs aim to inform students about the Writing Center and various other academic support options available on campus. Stanley, who teaches a course on the academic essay primarily for first-years, said first-year writ-
www.browndailyherald.com 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I.
Ben Schreckinger, President Sydney Ember, Vice President
Matthew Burrows, Treasurer Isha Gulati, Secretary
The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for each member of the community. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Subscription prices: $280 one year daily, $140 one semester daily. Copyright 2011 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. editorial
(401) 351-3372 email@example.com
(401) 351-3260 firstname.lastname@example.org
ing suffers because students lack the requisite critical thinking and reading skills. “I’m trying to teach my students to pay attention to details. We’re trying to … get students to think inductively,” Stanley said. “If anything, Brown makes the transition easier than any other Ivy League school,” said Arnold Weinstein, professor of comparative literature, who teaches a firstyear seminar. “Brown has a more consumer-friendly approach. I think there is more of a collision between high school and college elsewhere.” While college work requires an academic leap, he said he believes his first-years have the ability to adequately complete the work he assigns. “Time management is the hardest thing,” said Andrew Triedman ’15, though he said he was “pretty adequately prepared for college-level work.” Methodology
Online questionnaires were sent to personal accounts of 902 faculty Sept. 25 and advertised on the faculty Morning Mail Sept. 27, Oct. 4 and Oct. 7. The poll closed Oct. 8. Only faculty that “teach, advise or interact with undergraduate students” were invited to respond, and 174 responses were recorded. The poll has a 6.6 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. Find results of previous polls at thebdh.org/poll.
Campus News 3
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
Italy ‘not hopeless,’ but in trouble, author says continued from page 1
Evan Thomas (top) and Kat Thornton (bottom) / Herald
Transit officials met with East Side residents and community members (bottom) to discuss a proposed streetcar line.
Community reacts to streetcar proposal continued from page 1 ment in areas such as the Jewelry District. There are several transit options for the proposed route, which would connect College Hill with downtown and the Jewelry District, including a regular bus system and a trolley system. Therrien said these options would only connect Providence and would not bring the economic development a streetcar service would foster. Pettine said streetcar routes have spurred economic growth around the country, pointing to successful systems in Portland, Ore. and Seattle. Forty-five percent of jobs in Providence are within a quarter mile of the proposed streetcar route, Therrien said. RIPTA has estimated the line would create
about 6,000 new jobs. The project is “extremely data-driven,” Pettine said. The presentation led into a lively debate as Pettine and Therrien took student questions. Some students were concerned the route would not include hot spots like the Providence Place Mall and the train station. Others, like Will Palmer ’15, said the service should not be centered on students’ needs because faculty and residents would be more likely to use it. Residents asked how weather conditions could affect the route, which would go up College Hill to reach Thayer Street. Pettine said the service would function just as current bus service functions and would be contingent on plowing in winter. Pettine told The Herald that
this was the best-attended event of the three held this week. The first was held on the south side of Providence and the second, held earlier yesterday, took place downtown. Pettine said the plan drew “very similar” reactions at all three meetings. But business owners downtown were “skeptical” about the proposed taxes on businesses around the route, Therrien said. Businesses within a half mile of the route would be taxed for the increased value of their property if the streetcar line were to be constructed. Mary Shepard, a resident of Middletown and a self-described “transit activist,” said she “loves” the proposal and hopes local artists can participate in designing the cars and stops.
coni’s “electors and disrespecters,” examines the prime minister’s success as a function of 10 different factors — including “the Human Factor,” “the Harem Factor” and “the Medici Factor.” These 10 factors became the chapters of his book and, in turn, the focus of his discussion yesterday evening. “I had to write this book,” Severgnini said. “It would have been like a coward not to try to tackle politics, and for the last few years, politics have been Berlusconi.” “Everything is not fine in Italy,” said Severgnini without a trace of humor, for once, at the start of his conversation. Though the ensuing discussion featured a sometimes ridiculous cast of characters led by a “Houdini” of a prime minister, it touched on topics frightening to many Italians, especially those in danger of losing their pensions. According to Severgnini, Italy is two trillion euros in debt, and it costs the nation 20 billion euros per month to finance that debt. Despite this, Italy remains a rich country where the collective wealth of families is worth 8.3 trillion euros, he said. “We’re not hopeless, but we are badly led.” Berlusconi has made several promises to the Italian people during the current economic crisis — promises Severgnini thinks he does not have “the will or the majority” to fulfill. “In Providence, Rhode Island, you have your fair share of colorful Italians,” but it is a whole other ball game in Italy, he explained. For example, Severgnini’s friend who works at Al Jazeera, asked him to appear live on the air to answer just one question. He readily agreed, only to be posed with the question, “How do you explain bunga bunga to the Arab world?” Thankfully, Severgnini said he is good at thinking on his feet. “Bunga bunga is the collective sound of thousands of Italians banging their heads against the wall in disbelief,” he quickly retorted. It is phrases like “bunga bunga”
that caused Severgnini to add an extensive appendix to his book, where readers can find links to videos and articles that show Berlusconi actually made the comments Severgnini cites throughout the work. The way Severgnini describes Berlusconi — familiarly, as “Mr. B” throughout “Mamma Mia!” — succeeds in explaining how Berlusconi kept power for so long. “Berlusconi immediately connects to people. He’s a master of it,” he said. “He can sing, he can flatter if you’re a woman — from two to 92, he’s going to find you wonderful.” And, if you have a weakness, he will know it immediately, Severgnini said. Severgnini also described him as Italy’s “absolver-in-chief ” and a master salesman. He tells Italians what they want to hear and gets reelected for it, even if he changes his policies multiple times throughout his term. “In Italy, voters do not punish politicians for inconsistency,” he said. “We expect them to be inconsistent, and they never fail us.” “Every Italian has a tiny bit of Berlusconi in himself or herself. If you have more than 50 percent of Berlusconi, you probably vote for him,” he explained. In the section of his book titled “the Truman Factor,” Severgnini explores Berlusconi’s media presence. “He knows television like no other,” Severgini said — unsurprising since he has controlled both public and private television since he became prime minister. But at the bottom of this portrait of the salacious politician, Severgnini paints a sad picture. “The man desperately wants to be loved and admired at all times.” “There is a sad, romantic moment when we realize the escape artist cannot wriggle free of his binds,” Severgnini said. “We don’t want to be stuck in the bottom with him.” “I’d rather not have a book and a book tour, and have a decent government and a decent prime minister,” he said.
4 City & State
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
Grants enable R.I. energy initiatives By Margaret nickens Contributing Writer
Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 announced 16 recipients of federally funded renewable energy grants totaling $2.7 million last Thursday. The grants, awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are expected to generate jobs in the state and reduce electricity bills by 10 to 70 percent for residents affected by the projects, wrote Melissa Chambers, senior communications and market development coordinator for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, in an email to The Herald. “Under the leadership of Governor Chafee and the General Assembly, expanding energy resources is a high priority in Rhode Island,” she wrote. “By expanding our energy resources, we can diversify our portfolio while investing in energy projects that support long-term price stabilization and reduction.” The Economic Development Corporation issued a proposal request Aug. 25, asking for project suggestions that would, among other things, create jobs, reduce energy costs and increase use of non-imported fuels. A sevenmember team with representatives from the development corporation, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the governor’s office reviewed 39 applications before settling on the final list of grant recipients. The development corporation mandated that all 16 projects be completed by March 1, 2012. If project coordinators do not meet the deadline, they must return unused grant funds to the state, Chambers wrote. The city of East Providence, one of the finalists, received $100,000 from the state to construct a solar-power system at the
former Forbes Street Landfill. According to the proposal, the project will cost between $40 and $50 million dollars and will eventually generate about 10 megawatts of solar power. The grant will cover the costs of pre-development engineering studies, such as determining the feasibility of using solar energy from the plant to power the city’s wastewater treatment facility and some of the city’s energy grid, said Jeanne Boyle, director of planning for East Providence. The council does not expect to have the power plant completely built by the March 1 deadline, but the first phase of the project should be finished by next year, she said. Another grant recipient, the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University, received $123,244 to conduct a “Net-Zero Energy” project. The project will investigate the possibility of using alternative energy sources at the state’s 53 public high schools, said Ray Thomas, associate director of the center. The project will be led by the BRITE team, a partnership between Bryant University and the software company RITE-Solutions Inc., whose members include Bryant professors, entrepreneurs and Rhode Island politicians. The group chose to focus on high schools because they are larger and more centralized than other education facilities, Thomas said. “It’s a good opportunity for either solar or wind or geothermal or some aspect of the renewable side to be put into play.” With the help of various professionals and software programs, the BRITE energy team will travel to each of the high schools starting in mid-November to assess factors like the schools’ roof areas and general structures. The continued on page 8
Lindor Qunaj / Herald
Students at Hope High School (above) were frustrated after learning that their school was listed as low-achieving.
Local schools combat failing label By Lindor qunaj Senior Staff Writer
When teachers at Charles E. Shea Senior High School in Pawtucket found out their school had been placed on the Rhode Island Department of Education’s list of failing schools, many were confused and frustrated. Yashua Bhatti ’10, adviser for the College Advising Corps program at the school, said teachers have not been happy about the designation, particularly because “they feel they already go above and beyond” with their students, many of whom speak English as a second language. The Rhode Island Department of Education designated seven schools — five in Providence and two in Pawtucket — as “persistently lowest-achieving” Oct. 7. The department’s leaders contend that by identifying the state’s worst schools, they can target them for drastic improvements. The state has $2 million in federal grant money to turn the schools around, an amount Elliot Krieger, executive assistant for communications in the commis-
sioner’s office, said is not enough. In the past, the University has worked directly with schools on the list. Maureen Sigler, lecturer in the Education Department and director of history and social studies education, is involved in a college access program at Central Falls High School, one of the schools named persistently low-achieving in 2010. The program is intended to boost graduation rates, Sigler said. Teachers, students, parents and community representatives were given 30 days to discuss which of four potential school reform models — turnaround, transformation, restart or closure — they deem most appropriate for their school. Following a public input period, school district superintendents will send a decision to Education Commissioner Deborah Gist for final approval. Turnaround and transformation models both require replacing a school’s principal. Restart involves hiring a new management team or charter operator to run the school, while closure, the worst-case option, stipulates that the school shut down and relocate its students. A variety of issues must be weighed in selecting the right plan, said Warren Simmons, executive director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. These considerations involve assessing the quality
of a school’s staff, professional development and curriculum. Simmons also explained that because many of the schools on the list have undergone improvement and reform before, it is important to learn from past experiences. “This isn’t new news,” he said. “The question we should now be asking ourselves at all levels is, ‘Why did our previous efforts produce these results?’” The Annenberg Institute does not focus on direct service in the schools but instead works to improve school district administration, community organization and policy analysis, said Michael Grady, deputy director of the institute and clinical assistant professor in the Education Department. He said the most important contribution Brown makes to Rhode Island’s public education system is through its graduates, particularly those in the Urban Education Policy and Master of Arts in Teaching programs. Many of these students go on to work in local public schools or take on leadership roles in education policy and research. Since 2010, federal regulations have required the state’s department of education to report schools that are among the lowest-achieving 5 continued on page 9
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
City & State 5
Abortion coverage sparks debate Duncan fields questions By Hannah Loewentheil Staff Writer
As Rhode Island awaits federal funding for its health care exchange, access to abortion and reproductive services remains a hot-button issue. Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 signed an executive order Sept. 19 establishing a state-run health insurance exchange. Part of President Obama’s health care legislation requires all states to create their own health insurance exchanges by 2014 in order to receive additional federal funding. It is unlikely health care plans covering abortion will be prohibited on the exchanges, said Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts ’78. While federal funds may not be used for abortion, “people using private dollars will not be restricted access,” she added. There are only a few cases in which women will be excluded from access to abortion under general health care coverage. State employees are prohibited from access to abortion, as well as employees of some employers who will choose to exclude abortion when purchasing health care insurance, Roberts said. Still, large health care providers like Tufts and BlueShield will not limit access, she said. But the executive order could face a lawsuit from Rhode Island Right to Life. Barth Bracy, executive director of the pro-life organization, said he plans to challenge the order’s constitutionality on the grounds that it could allow the state to subsidize abortion. “The taking of innocent human life is the antithesis of health care,” he said. Carolyn Mark, executive director of the Kent chapter of the Rhode Island branch of the National Organization for Women, said she thinks health care plans under the exchange could restrict women’s access to abortions. The state legislature is largely “anti-choice,” since some lawmakers that identify as pro-choice oppose health care plans that would subsidize abortion with tax credits or cost-sharing credits, she wrote in an email to The Herald. “Rhode Island’s General Assembly is overwhelmingly antichoice,” she wrote in an email to The Herald. The right-to-life argument is based on the fact that state and federal law prohibits the use of public funds for abortion,
and pro-life advocates argue that if the health exchanges are subsidized in any way by tax credits or cost-sharing credits, public funds would be illegally used to cover abortion, she added. Rhode Island allows individuals to buy separate coverage for abortion, “But, because no one plans to have an unplanned pregnancy, few people would be expected to actually purchase such coverage,” Mark wrote. Whether state public subsidies will fund abortions will depend on future legislative action. “The executive branch would like to see the executive order codified by the legislature, and the conservative forces in the legislature absolutely want to continue to fight the fight to exclude abortion coverage in the exchange altogether,” Mark wrote. Lawmakers that represent Brown’s district in the General Assembly have actively lobbied for abortion to be covered under the exchange. In an Oct. 14 Providence Journal op-ed co-authored by Sen. Rhoda Perry P’91, D-Providence, and Rep. Edith Ajello, D-Providence, the lawmakers, whose districts include College Hill, wrote that “the General Assembly was unable to pass the health insurance-exchange bill due to deceptive and inflammatory lobbying by the anti-abortion advocates.” Perry said she supports Chafee’s executive order. This April, the Senate voted down legislation that included an amendment sponsored by Rhode Island Right to Life, a pro-life advocacy group. The bill would have forced women covered by plans offered under the exchange to pay for abortion out-of-pocket. Perry voted against the Senate bill. Currently, the federal Hyde amendment allows taxpayer dollars to fund abortion only in cases of rape or incest, or when pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. “What the amendment would have done would have required not only an accounting segregation but an entirely different policy — a rider,” Perry explained. “I could not support a bill that put more restrictions on abortion than are currently there at the federal level,” she added. Ajello also emphasized the importance of granting women access to abortion. “Abortions are a legal, accepted health care practice in this country,” she said. “To
take this out of exchange policy is unfair, demeaning to women and dangerous.” Roberts said she is optimistic the executive order would survive a court challenge. “We have done everything possible to ensure that this executive order complies with state law and constitution,” Roberts said. “We worked with attorneys to draft the order very carefully.” Ajello, too, does not see any question of constitutionality. “Until it comes to the point where the General Assembly must provide funds, there is no reason why (state funds) must be involved,” she said. “The way that (health care reform) was actually passed does enable states to prevent state funding for abortions if they want to,” said Perry. But while there is a possibility that Rhode Island policymakers might still restrict access to abortion by preventing plans offered under the exchanges from covering it, Perry said she does not believe it is likely. Roberts stressed Chafee’s opposition to placing restrictions on abortion coverage. The upcoming deadlines related to the exchanges mostly concern federal funding, Roberts said, adding that there is no deadline for the state to decide whether plans offered under the exchange will cover abortion.
on R.I. education policy continued from page 1 lic Education, which organized in response to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras’ decision to fire all of the city’s teachers in February. Protesters held up signs reading, “Duncan — you are in need of corrective action,” referring to plans intended to turn around failing schools, and chanted rhymes like “Hey hey, ho ho, Arne Duncan has to go.” Questions were mostly directed at Duncan and came from the panel of community and school leaders who sat on the stage with him, as well as from the audience, which included teachers, students and community groups. Duncan repeatedly mentioned his pride in the state’s education reform efforts and his belief in the potential for further change. Many asked Duncan what the next step will be for the state after winning Race to the Top funds. Some, including Adeola Oredola ’02, a panel member and executive director of the community organization Youth in Action, stressed the importance of taking into account students’ perspectives. Most of the people who create improvement plans for schools have no firsthand experience in those schools, and it
is vital that young people are “coconstructors” of these plans, she said. Duncan said he agreed that students should be heard at every level of the process but offered no concrete ideas on how to solicit this input. Other questions centered on whether the Race to the Top funds will be sufficient to fix the state’s education system. Duncan said initiatives like Race to the Top are a start, but more investment in education is critical, especially given the country’s weak economy. “There’s a set of folks in Congress who don’t think we should invest in education,” he said. Jessica Hallam, a senior from Ponaganset High School on the panel, asked Duncan how he thought the government could motivate students to engage with their coursework. Good teachers and principals are important, Duncan said, but so is student involvement outside the classroom. He proposed keeping schools open after the end of the academic day to give students ample opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities both at school and in their communities. Duncan also gave a keynote address at the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council’s Annual Meeting last night.
The Search for
6 Advisory committee heavy on hard sciences By Jake Comer Senior Staff Writer
Though the Presidential Selection Campus Advisory Committee — meant to reflect the University’s diversity — achieves balance among genders and ethnicities, only one representative from the humanities sits on the 12-person committee. Chung-I Tan, chair of the committee and professor of physics, said the committee should represent diverse disciplines, but above all, the committee was looking for “academic scholars and leaders in their field.” The hard sciences hold five chairs and the social sciences hold four — leaving a single space for Susan Harvey, professor of religious studies and the humanities’ lone representative, along with two staff members. There are five Brown faculty members, five undergraduates, one graduate student, one Alpert Medical School professor, one
Med School student and the two staff members on the committee. Five of the 12 members are female. Eight of the members are white. Tan said there are three phases to the Campus Advisory Committee’s process. The first phase is assessing the community’s expectations for the next President — a stage that involves “taking a look at ourselves,” Tan said. Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 said the two committees will focus on community outreach through November. The second phase will be identifying candidates, and the third will involve actually selecting the University’s 19th president. Tisch said the Committee of the Corporation and the Campus Advisory Committee will work “practically as one” and will accept presidential nominations from anyone in the community. The governing body of each group included on the committee was responsible for electing its own representatives.
assistant professor of biology, holds a B.A. in English literature from Swarthmore College and a PhD in microbiology and molecular genetics from Harvard. She came to Brown as an assistant professor of molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry in 1996. Previously, she was an associate research scientist at Yale. She was appointed by the Faculty Executive Committee.
professor of geological sciences, holds a B.A. in physics from Grinnell College and a PhD in marine geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He came to Brown as an assistant professor in 1977 and was chair of the Department of Geological Sciences from 1993 until 1999. He was chosen by the FEC.
professor of religious studies, holds a B.A. in classics from Grinnell and a M.Litt. and a PhD in Byzantine history from the University of Birmingham in England. She came to Brown as an assistant professor of religious studies in 1987 and was appointed by the FEC.
professor of public policy and of political science and director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy, holds an A.B. in political science from Savannah State College, a M.A. in political science from Atlanta University and a PhD in government and politics from the University of Maryland. He came to Brown as an associate professor of political science in 1999. He was selected by the FEC.
Undergrads weigh in on presidential search continued from page 1 tion Search Committee. Tisch, who moderated the discussion, said Simmons’ departure presents a chance for the University to “step back and reflect on the nature of leadership.” Some students expressed concern with the direction research at Brown has taken with the ongoing expansion of graduate programs and questioned whether undergraduate participation in research would suffer as a result. One attendee expressed his hope that, in 30 years, the next generation of Brown students would still have the same opportunities to work directly with professors. But Alison DeLong, committee member and associate professor of biology, said such concerns rest on a “false dichotomy.” Undergrads’ research skills are a big draw for faculty hires, and an increase in graduate students would benefit undergraduates by providing mentorship in labs when faculty members are unavailable, she said. Tisch then turned the conversation to the ideal qualities of Simmons’ successor. The need for a president dedicated to understanding and interacting with undergraduates was an especially prevalent concern for the students in attendance. “We want someone who we’ll never question, ‘Well you didn’t go to here, do you really love
Brown?’” said Imani Tisdale ’12, senior class board president. Tisdale cited Simmons’ reputation for school spirit despite having never attended Brown as a quality her successor should also possess. Enthusiasm for Brown’s open curriculum was also singled out as an important quality. “We don’t have a monopoly on wisdom,” Tisch said of the University’s academic philosophy, though he said the new president should embrace Brown’s distinct learning environment for its own merits. Chung-I Tan, professor of physics and chair of the Campus Advisory Committee, proposed a hypothetical choice between a visionary candidate and one with extensive managerial experience. Some attendees argued that strong qualifications would be necessary to run an institution of Brown’s size and complexity, but a visionary leader would draw the attention of donors necessary to keep the university financially successful. The paltry attendance itself became a topic of discussion, and many participants remarked that undergraduates had failed to take advantage of the opportunity to express their opinions. Despite the poor showing, the members of the committee reaffirmed their commitment to making the selection process as transparent and participatory as possible. “Outreach is so elemental,” Tisch said.
Get The Herald delivered daily to your inbox browndailyherald.com/register
Courtesy of Brandon Broome
Courtesy of Raj Dhaliwal
Herald file photo
Courtesy of Neal Fox
Brandon Broome ’12, Raj Dhaliwal ’12
David Rattner ’13,
Neal Fox GS
who hails from Charlotte, N.C., is concentrating in both education studies and economics. Broome is a Meiklejohn Peer Adviser and a member of the Brown Investment Group, Brown Residential Council, Imani Jubilee worship service and Students of Caribbean Ancestry. He was appointed by the Undergraduate Council of Students.
is concentrating in commerce, organizations and entrepreneurship on the business economics track. He is from Boston. Dhaliwal is a presidential host and a member of the Brown Investment Group and Brown Pre-Law Society. He was chosen by UCS.
who is from New York, is concentrating in political science and economics. Rattner is vice president of UCS and a brother of Sigma Chi fraternity. Rattner was appointed by UCS. His father, Steven Rattner ’74 P’10 P’13 P’15, was formerly a fellow of the Corporation.
graduated from the University of Virginia in 2009 with degrees in cognitive science and mathematics and is now pursuing his PhD in cognitive science. He was chosen by the Graduate Student Council.
Sharon Rounds is a professor of medicine and pathology and laboratory medicine at Alpert Medical School. Rounds is vice chair of the Campus Advisory Committee. She came to the Med School in 1987 as an associate professor of medicine and served as the associate dean of medicine from 2001 until 2006. She was appointed by the Medical Faculty Executive Committee.
Julia Heneghan ’09 MD’13 participated in
lead systems programmer at Computing and the Program in Liberal Information Services, Medical Education and graduated with an A.B. in holds a B.S. in computer biology. She is a director of science from the University the Brown Club of Rhode of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He came Island and a member of the Campus Life Advisory to Brown as a senior programmer in 2002 and Board. She was chosen was appointed by the Staff by the Medical Student Advisory Committee. Senate.
Kathy Tomeo MPA’10, director of finance and administration for campus life and student services, holds a B.S. in business administration from Roger Williams University and an MPA in public policy from Brown. She began working at Brown in 2002. Previously, she was a treasurer and tax collector in Seekonk, Mass., for nine years. She was chosen by the Staff Advisory Committee.
Tisch: Search committee prizes diversity, capability By Sahil Luthra Senior Staff Writer
Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 P’07 graduated Brown with an A.B. in religious studies and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2002. He was named Chancellor in 2007. He is the managing partner of private investment firm Four Partners.
Vice Chancellor Jerome Vascellaro ’74 P’07 graduated Brown with an Sc.B. in engineering and was named vice chancellor in 2007. He is a partner at private investment firm Texas Pacific Group. He has served as the president of the Brown Alumni Association and co-chair of the Campaign for Academic Enrichment.
Treasurer Alison Ressler ’80 P’09 P’10 P’13 P’15
Secretary Donald Hood Sc.M.’68 PhD’70
is one of the few females with a significant ownership stake in Major League Baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers. Graduating with an A.B. in classics, Ressler is now a partner at the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell.
earned both his Sc.M. and PhD in psychology. He teaches psychology at Columbia University and has served on the Corporation since 2002.
The last time the University embarked on a search for a president, then-Chancellor Stephen Robert ’62 P’91 told The Herald that the Corporation’s Presidential Search Committee brought two vital strengths to the table: diversity and competence. Eleven years later, those two strengths were once again key factors in assembling the Corporation committee charged with finding the next president, according to Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76, who chairs the committee. “We wanted to have a committee that had a variety of perspectives and had the capacity to help carry the entirety of the Brown community,” Tisch said, adding that there was also “an emphasis on people that had fundamentally great judgment.” Committee members include alums from the 1960s through 1990s, a fact Tisch said he was “very proud of.” Of the 16 committee members, only three
Herald file photo
George Billings ’72 became president of the Brown Alumni Association this year. Twenty-nine years after graduating from Brown with an A.B. in literatures, he joined the Corporation as a trustee in February. Billings is also the president of Billings and Company, a management consulting firm that specializes in wireless communications.
Martin Granoff P’93 did not graduate
that we need to meet the challenges of the future.” Three members of the committee are not white, while half its members are female and half are male. But Tisch said he did not think any committee member acts “as a representative” for any particular group. Other members of the committee are bound by confidentiality agreements and were unable to speak to The Herald. Throughout the search process, the University will work with professional search firm Spencer Stuart, led by Jennifer Bol and Michele Haertel. Collectively, Bol and Haertel have worked with Boston University, Cornell, Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Wesleyan University. They have also worked with preparatory schools such as Choate Rosemary Hall, Hotchkiss School and Philips Exeter Academy. Bol and Haertel are unable to comment on ongoing searches, James Horton, spokesman for Spencer Stuart, wrote in an email to The Herald.
Richard Friedman ’79 P’08,
did not graduate from from Brown but his a trustee on the Brown. Her father, presence is felt on Corporation, graduated Sidney Frank, became a campus partly through from Brown with an billionaire liquor magnate the Perry and Marty A.B. in mathematical after dropping out of Granoff Center for the economics. Friedman Brown for financial Creative Arts. A trustee heads Goldman Sachs’ reasons and gave the on the Corporation, Merchant Banking largest donation in Granoff is heavily Division and chairs its University history. A involved in the textile Investment Committee. trustee of the Corporation, industry — he owns Val He is also chairman of the Halstead is an abstract D’Or Inc. and National Yankees Entertainment artist and the president of Textiles and chairs the and Sports Network. He Sidney Frank Importing American Apparel and is the namesake of the Company. Footwear Manufacturers Friedman Study Center. Association.
Matthew Mallow ’64 P’02
Samuel Mencoff ’78 Nancy Fuld Neff ’76 Theresia Gouw P’11 P’15 P’06 P’14 Ranzetta ’90
has been a trustee since 1990. He is a retired partner at global law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and is chair of the Brown Annual Fund and co-chair of Boldly Brown. He graduated with an A.B. in political science.
is a partner with Madison Dearborn Partners Inc., a private equity investment firm based in Chicago. Mencoff is a fellow on the Corporation and a co-chair for the Brown Annual Fund. He graduated with an A.B. in anthropology.
graduated with an A.B. in political science. After a stint at Morgan Stanley & Co., Neff became co-chair of the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation. A trustee on the Corporation, Neff cochairs the Committee on Campus Life.
graduated Brown during the ’80s or ’90s. Roughly half of the committee members have worked in finance, which Tisch said did not influence the selection and may simply reflect “where the world has been” in recent years. Roughly half of all members of the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, have some background in finance. President Ruth Simmons’ departure at the end of this academic year will mark the departure of the first black university president in the Ivy League and one of its first female presidents. But Tisch said he does not think Simmons is defined by either her race or gender. “When I see Ruth Simmons, I see a great president,” Tisch said. “I see an extraordinary leader.” Tisch would not comment on whether race or gender would be considered, though he said the committee is interested in identifying “the combination of skills and style and temperament
graduated with an Sc.B. in engineering and is a managing partner at Accel Partners in California. She has served on the Advisory Council on Computing and Information Technology and vice-chaired Boldly Brown.
Joan Wernig Anita Spivey ’74 Sorensen ’72 P’06 P’09 was elected as a P’06
Lauren Kolodny ’08, former vice president and Corporation liaison of the Undergraduate Council of Students, is the youngest trustee on the Corporation. After graduating with an A.B. in international relations, Kolodny worked as a clean energy analyst for the Clinton Foundation and is currently an employee at Google. The January Career Laboratory, scheduled to launch this winter, is her brainchild.
Jasmine Waddell ’99
served as the president of the Undergraduate trustee in 2007 and Council of Students. graduated with an A.B. chairs the Corporation Graduating with an A.B. in in psychology and is a former associate director Advancement Committee. political science, Waddell She also served as the is a Truman Scholar and of alumni relations. Boldly Brown vice chair. Rhodes Scholar. She A trustee on the Graduating from Brown currently works at the Corporation, Sorensen with an A.B. in political Heller School for Social is currently serving on the steering committee science, Spivey is a lawyer Policy and Management at Brandeis University. for the University’s 250th in private practice. anniversary celebration.
8 Federal grants target green technology continued from page 4 team will also look at the wind speed around the high schools and conduct other studies to determine the feasibility of using solar, wind or geothermal power at each school, Thomas said. He said the group expects to have all assessments completed by the March deadline, when it will present its findings to the school districts and the state. The evaluations will provide a “road map” to increased energy efficiency in the schools, Thomas said. Professor of Engineering Kenneth Breuer, who has researched renewable energy technologies, said he thinks the state is making good use of the limited resources available, but added that the University could do more to support such projects. “I’m a little disappointed that Brown is not further at the forefront of green energy. We would be a great campus to explore more green energy applications,” he said. “I would like to see some more visible projects taken by the University on green energy.”
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
Women’s hockey eyes postseason By Sam Wickham Sports Staff Writer
The women’s hockey team may look completely different this season. Under new Head Coach Amy Bourbeau and playing in a new system, the Bears are off to a 1-1-1 start and are hoping to finish with a winning record for the first time in six seasons.
w. ice hockey “Our team goal is to definitely make playoffs,” said co-captain and leading goal-scorer Katelyn Landry ’12. “We’re looking to at least go .500 in the league and every day get better as a group and as individuals.” Leading alongside Landry will be Paige Pyett ’12, who will direct Bruno’s back line this winter. The defense will also be bolstered by goalkeeping tandem Katie Jamieson ’13 and Aubree Moore ’14, who have both seen significant minutes in net for the Bears this season. The team also welcomes six new members to its ranks and will look to have them contribute right away. “The younger players are adapting really well,” Bourbeau said. “To me, they seem like pros. They really get it, they know what they’re doing and they’re working hard. That class as a whole, they’re really smart hockey players. They really
Herald file photo
With a new coach and six recruits, the women’s hockey team looks to post a winning record for the first time in six years.
see the game well.” “They come to the rink and want to work hard and do whatever they can,” Landry said. “They’re a great bunch.” Bourbeau joins the team after 16 years of college hockey coaching experience, including 14 years as an assistant coach at Ivy rival Princeton. “(Bourbeau’s) philosophy is just
to come out and work hard every single day,” Landry said. “She really knows how to motivate all of our players.” “We’re playing an all new system, so that is kind of a big change for everyone,” Bourbeau said. “Sometimes you can rely on the older kids to show the younger kids what’s going on out there, but because of this change, no one knows, and everything is new.” Bruno has already played three games this season, defeating Sacred Heart 10-0, tying Colgate 1-1 and falling to Cornell 9-0.
“The group effort is there,” Bourbeau said. “Everyone is working really hard, whether we’re winning the game or losing the game. We work until the buzzer and the game is over, and that is somewhat different maybe than in seasons past.” The Bears will seek their first conference victory of the year when Bourbeau faces her old team, Princeton (2-1-1, 1-0-1), Friday. “I really believe we’ll be competitive in every game,” Bourbeau said. “We always have a chance to win.”
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
Brown offers help for low-achieving schools continued from page 4 percent in the state each year using a formula tied to state assessments and graduation rates. This year’s full list includes Providence’s Carl G. Lauro Elementary School, Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School, Gilbert Stuart Middle School, Mount Pleasant High School and Pleasant View Elementary School, in addition to William E. Tolman Senior High School and Shea High in Pawtucket. A slightly different list of schools was initially released this past March, but the Rhode Island Department of Education requested a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for additional time to examine more recent data, Krieger said. Three schools — including Hope Information Technology School — were removed from the original list. Two Pawtucket high schools were then added because of a federal requirement that high schools with graduation rates below 60 percent be included. When students, parents and teachers at Hope Information Technology learned their school had been placed on the list, many were confused and frustrated, said Zack Mezera ’13, an organizer for Hope United and BlogDailyHerald staff writer. The low-achieving designation was distracting in both a “mental and pragmatic way,” he
said, explaining that, in addition to lowering the morale of the entire school community, administrators and teachers needed to dedicate a significant amount of time to navigating the transformation process. Roger Nozaki MAT ’89, director of the Swearer Center for Public Service and associate dean of the College, gave a similar analysis. “It is very important for us to get more connected to the schools and play a more integrative role,” he said. He cited the University’s involvement in the William D’Abate Elementary School as an example of collaboration. Instead of simply offering a few after-school programs at the school, the Swearer Center has been able to work with administrators to design a comprehensive set of extracurricular programs and now oversees virtually all of these programs. For Brown’s engagement to be as effective as possible, it must rely on schools to identify ways the University can help. “Being a very wealthy, elite university, it takes very little effort for Brown to make a difference in this sort of crisis,” Sigler said. In the midst of all these plans for improvement, it is important to consider the effect of these discussions on the morale of both students and adults, Simmons, of Annenberg, said. “For most of these schools, this is their third or fourth round of reform.”
City & State 9 comics Cloud Buddies! | David Emanuel
Fraternity of Evil | Eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainline and Hector Ramirez
10 Editorial Editorial
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
by sam rosenfeld
Why won’t Mayor Taveras support Occupy? Mayor Angel Taveras must realize that the unemployment rates in his city and the rest of Rhode Island are simply astounding. Rhode Island lost 7,400 jobs in August and September and has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 10.5 percent — a far cry from the state’s real unemployment. Rhode Island has the seventh-highest state debt per capita. Providence has a comparable unemployment rate at 10.1 percent. And very tough budget-cutting decisions are ahead. Taveras must also be aware of the shocking poverty numbers. Rhode Island has the highest poverty rate in New England at 14 percent. The child poverty rate is nearly 20 percent and has risen every year since 2008. What is worse, 43 percent of those living in poverty in Rhode Island live in “deep poverty,” meaning that one’s income is less than half of the national poverty level. Perhaps most shockingly, around 30 percent of Providence residents live in poverty. And we know that Taveras sees the racial disparities in the numbers. The 2010 American Community Survey revealed that in an already depressed Rhode Island economy, blacks have a poverty rate nearly four times that of whites, as 36.5 percent of blacks are under the poverty line. Hispanic residents in Rhode Island fare only slightly better, with 30 percent living in poverty. So while we commend the mayor for refraining from mass arrests and police violence to disperse the Occupy Providence protesters in Burnside Park, we wonder why he will not embrace the movement. Taveras has gotten national media attention for his plan to pursue a court order to evict protesters from the park. We are happy that Taveras has not pursued the repression seen in cities across the country — namely Oakland and Atlanta — which has featured despicable police brutality and aggression. But given that the movement is up against such powerful and intractable forces — the large segments of the mainstream media that are dismissive of the movement, politicians on both sides of the aisle, corporations and financial institutions — it is disheartening to see the mayor of an impoverished and liberal city take such a pronounced anti-Occupy stance. Taveras’ press release this weekend provided few justifications for his resistance to Occupy. He lists cold weather and “instances involving drug overdose” among his chief reasons for evicting the protesters. If the mayor wants to save people from the cold, perhaps he should devote his attention to combating the increasing problem of homelessness, which has risen statewide by 6 percent in just three months. It is time for politicians in Rhode Island and across the country to step up and speak out in favor of the Occupy movement, not necessarily because they agree with its varied positions and proposals, but because the movement is critical to reversing the country’s dangerous course. Occupy Providence has done great work to illustrate some basic, uncontroversial truths that many elected officials have chosen to ignore: that corporations enjoy massive and unfair influence in politics; that such drastic economic inequality is both immoral and economically counterproductive; that financial institutions need proper regulation. We urge Taveras to recognize the despair in his city and his state and to support the protesters in Burnside Park. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to email@example.com.
t h e b r ow n da i ly h e r a l d Editors-in-Chief
Sydney Ember Ben Schreckinger
Brigitta Greene Anne Speyer
Dan Alexander Nicole Friedman Julien Ouellet
editorial Kristina Fazzalaro Rebecca Ballhaus Claire Peracchio Talia Kagan Amy Rasmussen Tony Bakshi Ethan McCoy Ashley McDonnell Sam Rubinroit Anita Mathews Sam Carter Hunter Fast
Arts & Culture Editor City & State Editor City & State Editor Features Editor Assistant Features Editor News Editor Sports Editor Sports Editor Assistant Sports Editor Editorial Page Editor Opinions Editor Opinions Editor
Graphics & Photos Abe Pressman Emily Gilbert Rachel Kaplan Glenn Lutzky Jesse Schwimmer
Graphics Editor Photo Editor Photo Editor Assistant Photo Editor Sports Photo Editor
Production Dan Towne Olivia Conetta Anna Migliaccio Katie Wilson Leor Shtull-Leber Neal Poole
Copy Desk Chief Assistant Copy Desk Chief Design Editor Design Editor Design Editor Web Producer
Business General Managers Matthew Burrows Isha Gulati
Office Manager Shawn Reilly
Directors Aditi Bhatia Danielle Marshak Margot Grinberg Lisa Berlin
Sales Finance Alumni Relations Special Projects
Managers Justin Lee Collections Collections Sam Plotner Nicky Robbins Invoice Staff Kevin Lynch Daniel Slutsky Analytics Jared Davis Sales and Communications Alumni Engagement Nikita Khadloya Emily Simmons Ad Relations Human Relations James Eng Angel Lee Business Development Owen Millard Business Development Gregory Chatzinoff Web Relations Post- magazine Editor-in-Chief Sam Knowles Editor-in-Chief Amelia Stanton BLOG DAILY HERALD David Winer Editor-in-Chief Matt Klimerman Managing Editor
quote of the day
“Hey hey, ho ho, Arne Duncan has to go.”
— Protesters outside of town hall meeting See education on page 1.
Correction An article in Wednesday’s Herald (“Jocular journalism: The Onion greets Providence,” Nov. 2) incorrectly stated the day the Onion received permission from the city to install its newsstands and the day the newsstands appeared on Thayer Street. The paper received permission Monday, and the newsstands were installed Tuesday. The Herald regrets the error.
Letters, please! firstname.lastname@example.org C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to email@example.com. Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.
The Brown Daily Herald Thursday, November 3, 2011
Work harder, play harder By Nikhil Kalyanpur Opinions Columnist
The accomplishments of modern medicine are undeniable, including cuttingedge vaccines and easy access to Tylenol, but we often fail to value its wonders. Instead we reserve our revel for mostly illicit or prescription substances. Ignoring cannabis, the Brown student’s most common drug of choice has to be Adderall. Although its use may be necessary for some, it has become a fixation that demeans the faith and beliefs behind the Brown system. Our liberal curriculum is a thing of sheer beauty that few universities have been able to replicate — giving a student the ability to study whatever he or she wishes is truly underrated. But we still perpetually hear complaints of frustration with classes. The reason for this is that we often fail to live up to what is expected of us. To paraphrase President Ruth Simmons, the purpose of a liberal arts education is not for you to prepare for a job but rather to pursue your area or areas of intellectual curiosity. This is a notion we hardly recognize, despite living in the system that epitomizes it. Many of us choose majors to maximize future monetary gain rather than achieve our learning potential.
Our “addy” obsession clearly illustrates this point. Other than making music sound breathtaking, Adderall’s effects need little explanation because a large portion of the student body has probably experimented with this wonder drug. Its prevalent use raises a plethora of questions, one being whether it constitutes cheating. Considering how wary we are of plagiarism, it shocks me how ready students are to pop this study drug. At
term or a paper. The drug seems to have made students lose faith in their own abilities. We seem to have forgotten that we did not get into Brown on account of a capacity for swallowing, but rather on the merit of our intelligence. We are heralded as the laid-back Ivy. The lack of GPAs and the option of taking any course Satisfactory/No Credit are in place to dispel the theoretical stress. But we still obsess over getting that A, and
Ignoring cannabis, the Brown student’s most common drug of choice has to be Adderall. Although its use may be necessary for some, it has become a student fixation that demeans the faith and beliefs behind the Brown system.
the end of the day, it is a performanceenhancing drug. If a student-athlete were caught taking steroids, it would create serious controversy on campus, yet enhancing our academic abilities through banned substances barely raises an eyebrow these days. But the more pressing issue is consumer demand. It does not seem to stem from the desire to learn. It comes from the perceived need to perform better on a mid-
grade inflation does not help mitigate the anxiety, since we know that a B is often synonymous with “bottom.” Adderall eases many of these pressures. Though it is certainly biologically effective, even the placebo effect seems to work as it assures people of their capability to pay attention. But it gives us far too many excuses to live by a work-hard, play-hard philosophy. You can tell yourself you will go out and get smashed to-
night knowing full well that you have that 15 milligrams waiting for you the next day to pick up the slack. That philosophy does not contradict Brunonian principles whatsoever, but the way it is being practiced certainly does. The motive behind Adderall use is selfindulgence, not self-interest. I sympathize with those who fear receiving poor grades, especially when many of them were not accustomed to being challenged in high school. Nonetheless, we must ask ourselves if that fear is a sufficient excuse to degrade the idea of liberal education. We are constantly planning. The inability to live in the moment is a hackneyed cliche, but it is reflected by many of us who feel the need to look for that next big internship or who constantly spend hours on Mocha looking for enticing classes. It is virtually in our nature. We cannot get over the fact that we must have a good GPA in order to be successful. But this comes down to how you define success, and that is a whole other debate. I am not trying to condemn anyone who thinks about the future, nor am I trying to completely condemn Adderall users because there is a time and a place for its use. That said, I do not think it would hurt any of us to pay closer attention to the implications of acts that we now view as conventional. Nikhil Kalyanpur ’13 is a junior who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s not too late By Ethan Tobias Opinions Columnist
The revitalization of Providence has been many years in the making. Leaders have dubbed the city the “Creative Capital,” and those trying to reduce the purported brain drain of educated young people leaving the state after college have called for tax credits to incentivize remaining in state after graduation. What these efforts repeatedly miss is the city’s lack of appeal as a destination for young people. It is not that Providence should not be able to compete with bigger cities like New York and Boston. In terms of cost of living, Providence should be at a significant advantage. Yet the sad truth is that it is not an exciting city to live in. The main problem is that Providence nightlife is seriously deficient. The fact that businesses cannot stay open past 1 a.m. without a license — and almost none are open past 2 a.m.— is a big turnoff for young people who are trying to decide between Providence and a “city that never sleeps,” like New York. It is not just a problem in terms of nightlife, but also in terms of general convenience. The fact that convenience stores close down overnight is, frankly, inconvenient.
Anyone who has ever taken advantage of Antonio’s dollar slices can testify that the demand for late-night business is there. If businesses could stay open later, some would certainly do so. And let’s face it: Considering the economic downturn, keeping stores open late and attracting young people might be just the thing to turn around the local economy. Extra-long store hours mean more sales and more hours for waiters, bartenders and cashiers.
allowing bars and clubs to stay open until 3 a.m. in order to alleviate the crime caused when they all empty simultaneously. Rather than just moving the problem back to 3 a.m., eliminating the late-night ban altogether would mean a slow trickle throughout the night, making the streets a lot safer. Recently, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has proposed lifting the overnight parking ban in order to raise revenue for the city. I applaud Taveras for making this
Letting businesses stay open 24 hours per day is an opportunity the City of Providence should not pass up.
Allowing businesses to stay open 24 hours per day might also reduce crime. Currently, walking the streets of Providence past 2 a.m. is a dangerous affair because the streets are deserted. The complete lack of passersby make for a golden opportunity for potential criminals to target those who do need to walk around late. In fact, the city has already considered
common-sense decision to make living in Providence a little bit more convenient. Think how much more revenue the city could raise by issuing permits to businesses to stay open 24 hours per day. It would mean more money for maintaining schools, parks and police. It would prevent spending cuts, thereby stimulating the Providence economy at this cru-
cial juncture. The remaining concern that permitting businesses to stay open all night would disturb the peace and quiet is also flawed. Allowing businesses to stay open late does not void city noise ordinances. Clearly, 24-hour licenses could be contingent on keeping noise levels down or otherwise soundproofing bars, restaurants and clubs. As it is, businesses can already open as early as 4 or 5 a.m. Yet the majority of us, who do not wake until much later, do not seem to be bothered by all these businesses opening shop before dawn. Why should an early-morning bagel shop be tolerated while the late-night pizza joint be forced to shut down prematurely? The city has everything it needs to be the destination of choice for the thousands of college graduates the city produces. But most Brown students will leave the city, choosing to relocate to more exciting urban centers like New York and Boston. Letting businesses stay open 24 hours per day is an opportunity Providence should not pass up. It will mean more revenue for the city, more business for store owners, potentially less crime and more educated young people staying in Providence post-graduation. Finally, Providence will become the exciting Creative Capital it aspires to be. Ethan Tobias ’12 really wanted to go to Loui’s when he finished writing this column at 3 a.m. He can be reached at Ethan_Tobias@brown.edu