daily herald the Brown
vol. cxxii, no. 98
Meet the author Check out The Herald’s Q& A with author Lois Lowry
Yale shutout The Bears shut out Yale for the first time since 1949 Page 11
Endorsement Brown Republicans endorse Romney, slam Obama today
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45 / 32
Monday, November 5, 2012
Poll: Majority plan to vote liberal in home states By Sona Mkrttchian Senior Staff writer
A Herald poll conducted in October found that 65.6 percent of respondents said they planned to vote for President Obama this Tuesday, while 16 percent of students reported that they did not plan to vote, and only 7.1 percent said they planned to support Republican candidate Mitt Romney. A majority of students — 62.6 percent — said they plan to vote and are registered in their home states. Only 10.6 percent of students reported planning to vote in Rhode Island. “I’m not too surprised that we have strong liberal support on campus,” said Taylor Daily ’13, president of Brown Students for Obama. Daily said he would like to see even greater voter turnout for Obama, adding that students who hold more liberal views than Obama on social and economic issues may be disillusioned by the president’s inability to institute stronger liberal policies
during his first term. Michael Tesler, an assistant professor of political science who is teaching POLS 1120: “Campaigns and Elections” this semester, said this support for Obama matched up with his prediction that students would support Obama over Romney by a margin of at least four to one. “Brown would support whoever the Democrat is in a very strong fashion,” he said. “Brown attracts a more liberal student body,” Tesler said, adding that young adults hold political beliefs that are statistically attributable to “socialization.” In his class of more than 200 students, not one student claimed to maintain political beliefs divergent from those of both of their parents when they were questioned earlier this semester, he said. “When you’re 18 to 22, a lot of your political beliefs are simply informed by how you are raised,” Tesler added. Sofia Fernan/ / Poll page 4
Do you plan on voting in the upcoming election? I am unsure if I am voting 6.1%
No, I do not plan on voting 5.5%
No, I am not eligible to vote 15.1% Yes, and I am registered in Rhode Island 10.6%
Yes, and I am registered in another state 62.8%
einat brenner / herald
An October Herald poll indicates students are overwhelmingly in support of President Obama, and a majority plan to vote in their home states.
America abroad: The U.S. election on the world stage Lowry’s
new book wraps up ‘The Giver’ series
By Elizabeth Carr City & State editor
When the American public elected Barack Obama to serve as the 44th President Nov. 4, 2008, his supporters burst into celebration — not just on the Main Green of the University’s traditionally left-leaning campus and across the United States, but in the streets of Rome, Paris, Geneva, Hong Kong, Jakarta and even Kogelo village in Kenya, home to Obama’s step-grandmother. For many of those celebrating, Obama’s election meant a fresh face for American foreign policy. From his predecessor President George W. Bush, Obama inherited the “war on terror,” a tangle of two unpopular military engagements and heightened tensions across the Middle East. Following the 2003 American invasion of Iraq and the Bush administration’s foreign policy, world opinion of the United States was largely negative, and Obama’s message of change seemed to resonate. During Obama’s European tour prior to the election in 2008, an estimated 200,000 people gathered in Berlin to hear him speak, according to Berlin police.
Kat Thornton ’14 Havana, Cuba
David Chung ’14 Oxford, England
Emma Wohl ’14.5 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Hannah Abelow ’14 Cape Town, South Africa Greg Jordan-Detamore / Herald
Brown students currently studying abroad present an international perspective on U.S. presidential elections. But some international supporters say they’ve found Obama’s performance in office underwhelming. Over the last four years, the Obama administration’s decisions have had a profound effect on international affairs. Obama scaled back America’s military commitments — the last American troops left Iraq in December 2011, and American and NATO troops have begun to withdraw from Afghanistan in a process that will be complete in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Arab Spring, a series of revolutions in Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula against undemocratic regimes, and the recent terrorist attack
see spread pages 6-7 that killed four Americans at the Libyan embassy, have again brought the issue of American involvement in the Middle East to the forefront of national discourse. And Europe’s ongoing sovereign debt
crisis means the next president will face a volatile global economy that could hamper domestic growth amid already high unemployment. The winner of tomorrow’s presidential election will make policy decisions that will have broad repercussions on the global stage. Today, in reports by students studying abroad in Brazil, Cuba, England and South Africa, The Herald examines attitudes toward the coming election through the eyes of the world.
First R.I. Comic Con draws celebrities, gamers By Jordan hendricks features editor
Emily Gilbert / Herald
This weekend marked the first Rhode Island Comic Con. Attendees participated in panels, celebrity Q&As and film screenings.
About 15,000 people descended upon downtown Providence this weekend — among them stormtroopers, batmen, ninjas, superheroes, monsters and aliens. Some of them trained to be Jedi. Others shouted obscenities at a live cast of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Some met and interacted with the celebrities who played their favorite fictional characters of their childhood — or adult — lives. This weekend was the first Rhode Island Comic Con, held in the Rhode Island Convention Center Nov. 3-4. Its website promised it would be “the
biggest show in the smallest state.” And with a conservative estimate of 15,000 attendees for the weekend — including a handful of Brown students — the convention nearly filled Rhode Island’s largest convention venue. The convention took up a large portion of the convention center, with about 200 vendors, dozens of artists and celebrity guests setting up camp in a large — and completely packed — ballroom on the lower level. Other events, such as celebrity Q&As, shows and panels took place on the upper level. Celebrity sightings In the celebrity section of the / / Comic page 3 downstairs level,
By elizabeth koh senior staff writer
Since its publication in 1993, “The Giver” has become one of many simultaneously beloved and banned books of children’s literature. But nearly 20 years after her first foray into the colorless and emotionless world introduced in “The Giver,” author Lois Lowry, a former member of the class of 1958, returns a final time in the series’ fourth novel, “Son.” “Son” introduces 14-year-old Claire, who gives birth in the same community the protagonist of “The Giver” grew up in almost two decades before, and follows her mission to find and reclaim the son who was taken from her. It is a tale of travels and travails as Claire leaves the nameless community for a journey imbued as much with magic and transformation as with the immutable themes of love and loss. Where “The Giver” left readers contemplating the open questions posed by its ending, “Son” pulls all the characters together and answers almost all the questions. Though the novel begins with Claire, the first third of the book overlaps chronologically with the events of “The Giver,” layering the events from the first book with new meaning and tenderness. “Son” is as much a reunion with the characters of this universe as it is a closure. But the universe Lowry writes in has grown alongside its readers. Where “The Giver” and the following two books each feature a young adult with unique “gifts,” “Son” takes a / / Lowry page 3
2 arts & culture c alendar Today
6 p.m. Slicing Up Space
Kutlug Ataman Lecture
Smith-Buonanno, Room 201
Granoff, Martinos Auditorium
6:30 p.m. Fresh: the movie
SPEC Election Viewing Party
Smith-Buonanno, Room 201
Campus Center, Leung Gallery
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
VERNEy-WOOLLEY DINING HALL
LUNCH Pesto Pasta, Broccoli Rabe, Meatball Grinder, Garlic Bread, Spicy Black Bean Veggie Patties
Cavatini, Tomato Basil Pie, Vegan Minestrone Soup, Potato Vegetable Chowder, Peanut Butter Sandwich Bar
DINNER Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash, Grilled Cheese Sandwich on White and Wheat Bread, Bourbon BBQ Chicken
Cranberry Wild and White Rice Pilaf, Mashed Butternut Squash, Stir-Fried Vegan Mediterranean Salmon
the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
Exclusive: Q&A with Lois Lowry Herald: Since its publication, “The Giver” has faced multiple bans. “Son” could be seen as equally controversial. In general, how have you approached the controversy, and what is your answer to people who are trying to ban the books? Lowry: Public libraries are well-known for their defense of freedom of speech and so that’s never happened, but occasionally parents have raised an objection when the book is used in a school, and then it has become something, sometimes, of a controversy. And I’m always very surprised by that, and I sometimes have pointed out that the world of “The Giver” is a world that has no literature, and the reason would have been because with the best of intentions, with a protective instinct, the government would have removed books that would trouble the people. In an effort to keep the people content, they simply had destroyed all literature. And the banning of books has always been the first thing to happen when a totalitarian government takes over. It’s one of the first things Hitler did, for example. So I think it’s a very dangerous thing, and when I’m called upon to reply to a challenge where a book has been challenged, or where an attempt has been made to ban the book, I’m always happy to speak on its behalf and on behalf of freedom of First Amendment rights. But I don’t think the new book will fall into that trap because in recent years, since “The Giver,” which was the first dystopian novel for young people, I’m told, (there have been) so many recent books in that genre, and many of them have been very, very violent, and probably destined to become more controversial than the very more introspective and quiet books that I write. I don’t think the new book “Son” will have a problem. But who knows? I could always be badly surprised. On the flip side, “The Giver” has also become required reading in school curricula. How have you been approached by students who have read your book? What do you think about the cultural permanence it’s achieved? Well, I no longer visit schools because I just don’t have the time, so I’m only in touch through their emails which they send me. … It’s very affecting to me, very moving to hear from the number of young people who have responded so passionately to this book over the years. I often hear from kids, maybe since school, that it changed their life, that it changed their way of looking at things. I didn’t set out to do that. You can’t sit down to write a book and predict that it will do that. But “The Giver” has done that for a lot of kids, and it’s enormously
gratifying to the author to realize that. You were a photographer as well as writer. What do you feel is the link between visuals and writing, and how do you capture it on the page? That’s a hard question and an interesting one. I’ve always been a visual person. I studied photography in graduate school, and I worked first as a photojournalist for magazines and newspapers. And in fact the photograph of the old man on “The Giver” is a photograph I did once for a magazine some years earlier, and he was dead by the time the book was written. But I think the fact is that when I’m writing fiction, I’m seeing it in my mind, and it’s interesting. I don’t know how other people approach the writing of fiction — I’ve never talked to anyone else about it. But for me, I can always see what’s happening. I can see the characters. And then also, I can see the way the photographer does: We have a focus, blurred in the background, and I think I do that. It’s hard to describe, but I do that in the writing — what to focus on, what to zoom in on, as it were, and what to blur from time to time. I think the two things are related for me. You’re a prolific writer and have written in a variety of genres. How do you continue finding new ideas? How do you switch between genres so often? If I just do the same kind of book all the time, I think I would get bored. Switching back and forth, and the fact that I’m able to do that, keeps me energized. I’ve done stuff that would fit into the category of historical novels, and “Number the Stars” is one of those. And then “The Giver” series is not really science fiction, but it’s kind of a mix of fantasy and futuristic speculative fiction, so that’s very different. And then there’s realistic fiction. My mind goes back and forth. I always have lots of ideas — I just pluck out the one that’s going to be next. And right now I’m not working on anything. I’m in the middle of a number of personal crises. … So I’m not working on anything right now, but when I do, I just have to choose what idea I want to do next and which genre it will be in, and I can’t predict that at the moment. Many of your stories are read by children but deal with profound and mature themes. How do you convey those themes to children? I think you simply tell a good story. … The quartet, it’s not little kids, it’s 12 and up usually. And so you create a character they can relate to. And then you place the character in situations, and that becomes, of course, the book. And the reader, if he or she identifies with the character, then follows along and kind of
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rehearses their own future by weighing their own feelings against the decisions the character makes. And so, in a book for older kids, like “The Giver” quartet, I raised situations and issues that you know in a way have political implications and sometimes emotional implications. But they’re all … disguised by a narrative and by a plot, and the story carries the reader along. So it doesn’t, I hope, ever become didactic. As a Brown student in the ’50s, you were here on a scholarship for writing. What was your general Brown experience like? I went to Brown when I just turned 17. I was very young, and at that time of course the curriculum was different. A lot of required courses — but I went there in order to study writing, and so I was able to enroll in my freshman year in a couple of advanced writing courses. But I think I was competent as a writer, and I always got good grades, but I hadn’t had much experience in life yet. And I remember a writing professor, Charles Filbrich, who has since died, telling me that I needed to experience more before I became a writer, and I wasn’t sure at that time, at 17, 18 years old, what he meant. Of course, later, I experienced more; I did understand. But I dropped out of Brown at the end of my sophomore year, and that was not uncommon in the ’50s. I had a boyfriend who was two years older than I. I met him the day I arrived at Brown — he was a junior, and I was a freshman. And then when he graduated, he was headed out to California, and we got married and I dropped out of school and I didn’t go back … till I was in my 30s, till I was a wife, and then he went to law school and we had children, and a lot of things interrupted my education. But I was very happy at Brown and those years in the ’50s as a freshman and a sophomore. … The interesting thing is, in retrospect, that when I finished my sophomore year and told the school I would not be coming back because I was getting married, nobody, none of the people at the school, none of my teachers, not the dean in the dorm or anybody tried to dissuade me from that. “Oh congratulations, have a nice life” — and that saddens me now. I probably would not have been dissuaded, but I think it’s kind of sad it was okay for girls to give up their education and follow their boyfriend to whatever he was going to do and be supportive to his career at the expense of one’s own. What do you feel you’ve taken away from your Brown experience? How has it impacted your writing, if at all? I don’t think the courses I took in writing, though I enjoyed them and did well in them and learned from them, I don’t think they had much effect on me in the long run. I think what affected me was the literature. I was an English major and in those days I had to take, for example, math and political science and sociology and things that didn’t really interest me that much. I suppose I’m better for having done it, but I would have loved to have taken nothing but literature. Nonetheless, the courses I did take in literature served me very well. … When (children) say they want to be a writer, I tell them they should study literature, writing. I think that good writing arises out of a knowledge of good literature. — Elizabeth Koh
the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
/ / Comic page 1 Claudia Wells, who played Jennifer Parker, girlfriend of Marty McFly in the 1985 “Back to the Future,” stared at her cell phone intently, appearing to draft a text message. A photographer clicked a few shots of her. She asked to see them. After several attempts didn’t meet Wells’ standards, she said it would be better to take a portrait in front of a large poster on display next to her booth, portraying her 1980s cinematic boyfriend (McFly) and her 19-year-old self wrapped in an embrace. “It’s like he’s there,” joked Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander in the late 1990s smash TV hit “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” from a few feet away at his table. Brendon adjusted his gray fedora and turned to resume fraternizing with his fans. He hugged almost everyone who approached his table. Wells laughed at Brendon’s aside, but now it was time for her photo op. After almost 30 years of being known as Jennifer Parker, Wells had mastered this pose. The grown-up Jennifer Parker, juxtaposed with an image of her younger self, smoothed her hair, placed one hand on her hips, leaned her front shoulder slightly forward, lowered her chin, looked directly into the camera and smiled just in time for the camera to flash again. Click. Across the aisle sat 7’3” Peter Mayhew, an older British man almost exclusively known for his role as Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” movie series. “I own, basically, Chewie,” Mayhew later said at a public Q&A. “Chewie is me.” Not far away was one of the original Catwoman actresses, from the 1966 version of “Batman” and winner of 1955 Miss America pageant, Lee Meriwether. Classy, modest and charming, Meriwether’s bright blue eyes and silver hair remind her fans of the Catwoman that accompanied Adam West, the original Batman. At a press event, Meriwether reflected on the legacy of the most famous women to play Catwoman since her time in the role: Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway. Hathaway’s performance in the 2012 “The Dark Knight Rises” “captured the best of what we all had contributed up to that point,” Meriwether said, embodying “Michelle’s acting chops” and Meriwether’s own feistiness. Kermit meets Marty McFly Upstairs, on an upper level of the convention center, there was no shortage of events to keep fans or even celebrity guests entertained. Saturday afternoon brought together four voice actors, including RICC headliner Billy West — an iconic voice responsible for characters such as Fry
/ / Lowry page 1 different track. Claire is less the typical young adult protagonist and more a realistic one — unlike the protagonists of the quartet’s previous books, her only “gift” is the inextinguishable love she bears for her son. Those overarching themes of parenthood and sacrifice seem drawn from Lowry’s own life story, in which she lost her son Grey during his active duty . But those themes resonate regardless of personal experience. “Son”
arts & culture
on “Futurama,” Stimpy from “Ren and Stimpy” and Doug from the namesake show — to do a voice panel reading the “Back to the Future” script. In the panel, the audience chose which character’s voice would be used to read out which character’s part in each scene — for instance, one actor might read the part of Marty McFly as Kermit the Frog. An hour of laughs and discussion ensued. Voices from mainstream television and obscure movies read aloud the script of the 1980s classic. “...And scene!” shouted one of the panelists at the conclusion of the reading. The crowd erupted into a standing ovation. Nearby, a few rooms over on the upper level of the center, was a room that drew a much smaller crowd than other places in the convention. In this room, RICC attendees both competitively and casually played a variety of games, including “Magic: The Gathering” and “Munchkin” — both card games. Several tables offered entering patrons an opportunity to learn to play the “Pokemon Trading Card Game” or Magic. At the Pokemon table sat 9-year-old Ian Robb, U.S. champion for the junior division in Pokemon, the second best youth player in the world and an advertised celebrity guest for the convention. He taught other children at the table how to play Pokemon. A few adults were seated at the table as well. They seemed to listen in, surreptitiously seeking tips from the Pokemon master as well. ‘We’re going to offend you’ Down the hall, attendees watched RKO Army, a shadow cast group, perform a variety of live shows, including “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and “Buffy the Musical.” At the start of “Rocky Horror,” an announcer from the group — clad in terrifying zombie-like makeup, with neon color contacts to boot — asked any audience members under the age of 18 to stand up. A parent in the back lifted up his toddler. “Wait, lift the baby up again!” the announcer shouted. The parent lifted up the small child as a tech assistant scanned the spotlight toward the raised child. The announcer didn’t skip a beat, belting out the beginning notes of the opening song “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King” movie. “Naaaaaaaants igonyama, bagithi Baba!” He then summoned all the Rocky Horror “virgins,” audience members who had never seen Rocky Horror with a live cast, to the stage. About 20 people approached the front, some
is moving because of the universality of the emotions Lowry captures. The experience of a parent’s love, even for young readers, is both desired and relatable — and therein lies the novel’s strength. In “Son,” Lowry wraps up a quartet that began with the extremes of a world without love but also without the pain of loss. Her final book proves that sacrificing those two experiences, no matter how painful, is never worth the cost. It’s a lesson that promises to remain with readers of all ages even after they’ve turned the final page.
nervous, others obviously ecstatic and most dressed in some sort of costume. “This is like a frat party at the Teen Titan tower,” the announcer jabbed. The “virgins” were taught a dance that involved lots of hip thrusting to be used later in the interactive show. One member was selected to be in the show’s cast for the night. “If you’re gay, we’re going to offend you,” a cast member warned before officially starting the show. “If you’re straight, we’ve probably already offended you.” And the show began.
to her face — a stance ready for simultaneous defense and attack. Her friend was Baird from the video game “Gears of War.” But other people in and out of character at the conference were characters by profession. Professional wrestlers, Jake “the Snake” Roberts and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, both offered commentary on the future of professional wrestling at a press event. “To me, wrestling is like having sex,” Roberts said. “The idea is to start out slow and real, not shoot your best shot first.”
“Things that weigh 550 pounds shouldn’t be allowed to be playful.”
Jake “The Snake” Roberts Professional wrestler
Costume or character? The attendees of RICC in costume at the convention were not just dressed up — they were almost always in character. When prompted for a photo, those in costume spared no time in assuming their signature pose: an often photogenic action shot that highlights their elaborate costumes as well as their character. I asked a particularly promising couple of characters who the inspiration for their costumes had been. “I am secret agent Leon S. Kennedy from ‘Resident Evil 4,’” one woman barked, raising her closed fists — one hand positioned slightly lower than the other, both providing protection
Duggan agreed. As a professional wrestler, you “have to tell a story,” he said. Both wrestlers also recalled their experiences wrestling Andre the Giant, a 7’5” wrestler who weighed between 500 and 600 pounds. “Just to be in the ring with him was an experience,” Duggan said. “There’s nothing scarier than being in a ring with a playful f—king giant,” Roberts said. “Things that weigh 550 pounds shouldn’t be allowed to be playful.” RICC reloaded Lisa Franklin ’14.5 attended RICC with a friend on both days. Saturday, they dressed up as planeteers from the 1990s animated cartoon “Captain
Planet and the Planeteers.” During her time at RICC, Franklin said she talked to a variety of celebrity guests, including Larry Thomas, best known for playing the “Soup Nazi” in the TV show “Seinfeld,” a role he secured an Emmy nomination for. Franklin said she particularly enjoyed the voice panel from Saturday afternoon, but also attended a number of other events. She said she was ecstatic to meet her “childhood idols,” the Power Rangers, at their panel. “I was surprised at how much fun I had,” she said. Though RICC was her first comic convention, the event was in general was “a lot lower-key than other ones,” she said. While this is the Ocean State’s first Comic Con, it will not be the last. An event that took two years to plan by organizer Steven Perry, Sue Soares, the convention’s publicist, said, finally came to fruition this weekend when the convention exceeded its expected attendance of eight to 12 thousand for the weekend to a “lowballing” number of 12,000 on Saturday and an additional two to three thousand day tickets purchased Sunday. “We never expected to surpass that range,” Soares said. Soares said the convention has been signed on for at least one more year, and it will take place again Nov. 1-3, 2013. This marks an extra day of the convention for fans to do everything they participated in this year and more. “I have gotten a lot of thank yous” from excited attendees at the convention, Soares said. “It’s been an amazing weekend.”
4 campus news Int’l students participate in election By Alison Silver Senior Staff Writer
Students across the country will flock to polling booths in their college towns on election day, while others have already mailed in absentee ballots. But what about students from outside the United States who are not eligible to cast a vote? Brown students represent over 70 different countries, and international students have comprised, on average, about 11 percent of the student body from 2007 to 2011. Students can learn more about the political system by taking courses and attending lectures on American and international politics. They can also advocate their political views by participating in groups like Brown Political Review, the Brown Democrats, the Brown Republicans and Brown Students for Obama. While these groups are open to all students, regardless of their eligibility to vote, the reality is that such politically-inclined student groups are composed mostly of U.S. citizens. The Brown Democrats average around 30 to 40 students at their meetings, while a smaller core group of about 10 students participates in weekly canvassing and phone banking, said Sofia Fernandez Gold ’14, president of the club. The group is always looking for new members, and “students in general who can’t vote are absolutely welcome,” Fernandez said. But “by and large, we are American citizens and American citizens who are active voters,” she said. Of the international students who participate in political clubs, few are involved in activities like canvassing and phone bank outreach. Daryl Eng ’15, a citizen of Singapore, said though he enjoys discussing politics and sharing articles with his friends, his political
involvement does not extend far beyond academic conversations. It would be strange “if an American joined a group (in Singapore) and told me who I should vote for,” he said, explaining why few international students are directly involved in American politics. But others said voting eligibility is not the main contributing factor in students’ involvement in political discourse. “Everyone is definitely interested (in politics), but I thought that there would be more on-campus debates,” said Jacqueline Ho ’14, who also hails from Singapore. Such debates “would just make it much easier for international students to learn about the issues,” she said. An environmental studies and economics double-concentrator, Ho is particularly interested in climate change and environmental activism. Her experience with American politics has come largely from participating in the environmental community at Brown, which she said rarely involves other international students. Attending Brown has provided the opportunity to educate herself on what it means to be conservative or liberal and the different stances of political parties, she added. International students carry political perspectives often shaped by the political system of their native countries. Jonathan Poon ’15 said that in his native Hong Kong, he had always learned that America’s democracy was the best political structure. But after arriving in the United States and interacting with local students, “you realize that maybe the political system isn’t as awesome as you think it is,” he said. As an international student, Poon said he offers an interesting perspective on politics that differs from that of his friends, since he is “here as an
observer.” He said he likes that the University’s environment fosters an acceptance of different political views. Though Poon would like to vote if he were an American citizen — since the election will affect him as a resident alien in the United States — just being able to watch it unfold has its advantages, he said. “I don’t feel like I’m responsible if it goes bad,” he said. “Mainly why I wish I could vote is because it would just be fun to be a part of it, and I would feel I had a greater stake in it and be more involved in the discourse,” Ho said. Both Ho and Poon acknowledged that voting is not the only way to get involved with the election and political scene at Brown. Groups with no direct political affiliation, like the Brown Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, also offer the opportunity to discuss current issues relevant in the political sphere. A native Canadian, Haakim Nainar ’14 is one of two international students to help co-found the Brown Political Review, a non-partisan magazine run by students. “The fact that I can’t vote doesn’t mean too much to me,” Nainar said. One of the interesting aspects of being an international student is observing American politics firsthand as opposed to watching them on television as he did before college, he added. “I’m not from a country that has as much separation of powers or checks and balances,” Nainar said, adding that it is interesting for him to relate local and national political issues to current events back home. “At the end of the day, we’re coming here for an education,” Nainar said. “I think I’m getting a lot out of my education in terms of developing my political views, and that doesn’t relate to whether I can vote or not.”
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the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
/ / Poll page 1 dez Gold ’14, president of the Brown Democrats, said that student participation in her organization has increased this year and that more students are getting involved with the party compared to years past. She said she was surprised by the large turnouts they saw when they hosted phone banks or canvassing events for the party’s local and national candidates this semester. “We obviously are a very liberal campus, and it’s clear that we have a lot of Democrats on campus,” Fernandez-Gold said. Students on campus have historically shown large support for Democratic candidates. In 2008, 86 percent of the student body said they were in support of Barack Obama’s initial bid for the presidency, though the 2008 poll measured support and did not measure actual intent to vote, thus likely overstating the number of students who actually voted for Obama. But there is still a small faction of support for the Republican Party on campus. Brown is perceived as a very liberal campus, said Thomas March ’14, a member of the Brown Republicans. As a result, politically conservative students often feel pressured by their peers and do not publicly voice their support for Republican politicians, he said. “I know many Republicans on campus, but they are hesitant to tell their fellow students,” March said. “Before coming here, I always heard Brown was a liberal school, but coming here and meeting the people, it seems the kids who are liberal just speak the most and speak the loudest.” “They want to believe that Romney is the right choice, but they are hesitant to make that choice on a campus like this,” March said. “They just abstain.” Poll results also showed that a greater percentage of female students
by a margin of 10 percent — sup— port the president when compared to their male peers. Male students were also twice as likely as female students to support Romney’s campaign. “The gender gap is particularly strong in American politics, so it makes sense that it would filter down to college students,” Tesler said. “Issues that may be important to young women — such as access to contraception or contraception being covered under Obamacare — could exacerbate the gender gap.” In a national Gallup Poll conducted Oct. 1-21 surveying voter preference, 54 percent of women expressed support for Obama, compared to 43 percent of men. This gender gap in voter preference has persisted throughout the campaign, according to Gallup figures. Fernanadez-Gold said many Brown students support candidates who they perceive will represent their social values, which may include “strong” positions on same-sex marriage and reproductive rights. Voter turnout The majority of students polled reported that they are planning to vote, are registered in their home states and utilized the absentee ballot system this election cycle, while only 10.6 percent of the students who responded to the poll said they plan to vote in Rhode Island Tuesday. “Pennsylvania has a closer race than Rhode Island for the president, and Rhode Island is more solidly blue,” said Max Kaplan ’15, who plans to vote in his home state of Pennsylvania. He added that he is more knowledgeable about his home state’s politics than those of Rhode Island. Of the 285 voters the Brown Democrats helped register this semester during a voter registration initiative, 178 chose to register in Rhode Island, Fernandez Gold said. “There’s an interest in voting in Rhode Island for a couple of reasons,” she said. “Mainly, its easy. For a lot of kids, it’s a question of time and flexibility.” Of respondents who stated they will not vote, 15.1 percent indicated that they are not eligible to vote, and 5.5 percent said they do not plan to vote this election cycle. Hannah Rose Schonwald ’13 said she is consciously choosing not to vote this year because she is “fed up” with the system. “I’m from New York. Growing up in that atmosphere, I thought, ‘I’m a Democrat, I’ll always vote Democrat,’” she said. But more recently, she said she has attempted to break away from that mindset and approach politics from a more “moderate point of view.” Schonwald said she was also disillusioned by the lack of balanced political dialogue on campus. “I think if there were more bipartisan discussion of the issues at hand and what is actually important at the federal level, I think I would have been more likely to come to a decision,” she said. March said he thinks some Brown students will choose not to vote this year because “the last four years have shown that Obama has not fixed or improved anything, and they would feel bad reelecting him,” but they are also not willing to be associated with the Republican Party because of the negative sentiment on campus. / / Poll page 8 Te s l e r
sports monday 5
the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
Bulldogs go scoreless Bears lose two over the weekend against Bruno By Caleb Miller
The men’s hockey team dropped consecutive one-goal decisions at Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend to open its conference schedule. A three-goal second period by Harvard Friday night proved too much for the Bears as they lost 3-2. The following night, a late goal from the Big Green gave the home team a 2-1 win.
Emily Gilbert / Herald
In a historic victory, the Bears shut out the Yale Bulldogs for the first time since 1949. By Lindor Qunaj Sports Editor
Coming off a last-minute loss to Penn that virtually took them out of Ivy League championship contention, the Bears rebounded in resounding fashion, defeating Yale 20-0 Saturday at Brown Stadium. The victory marks Bruno’s first shutout of the Bulldogs since 1949. With freshman quarterback Eric Williams back in the starting lineup after sitting out last week’s Columbia matchup with an injury, the Bulldogs (2-6, 1-4 Ivy) may have been expecting a rejuvenated offensive attack. But the Bears (5-3, 2-3) came out with an electric defense, limiting Williams to four completions on 18 attempts for just 22 passing yards. “Our defensive line did a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback and flushing him out of the pocket,” said Head Coach Phil Estes. With Williams unable to gain any breathing room, the Bulldogs had to rely heavily on their high-powered running back duo of Tyler Varga and Mordecai Cargill. Together, they racked up an impressive 191 yards on 33 combined carries. Estes called Varga “one of the scariest running backs in the league” but added that the Bears’ defense “did a great job of containing him” even given his 104 yards. Despite Yale’s strong showing on the ground, simply rushing the ball was not enough to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. One reason for that was cornerback and co-captain AJ Cruz ’13, who picked off two passes in the first half. “We didn’t see too much of a threat on the pass but had to be smart in case they tried something overhead,” Cruz said. A first-quarter fumble recovered by outside linebacker Ade Oyalowo ’14 added to the Bulldogs’ turnover woes. That fumble stopped a drive at the Bruno 32, and Yale would only get that far downfield once more the entire game. Yale Head Coach Tony Reno said the “margin of error is so slight” in football that such turnovers typically cost the game. “We got on track in spurts but weren’t able to finish off drives,” Reno said. The Bulldogs were also called for seven penalties, which set them back an additional 62 yards. The Bears’ successful defensive effort was in large part due to the coaches, Cruz said, who “did a great job of preparing” the team.
Yale’s best chance for a score came on the first possession of the game. After a pair of good runs by Varga set up a 42yard field goal attempt, Philippe Panico came up short on his only opportunity. Though the Bears went three and out on their first drive, Cruz secured his first interception of the game on Yale’s next drive, spurring a dynamic 80-yard touchdown drive. A 23-yard reception by tailback Jeffrey Izon ’13 and a 24-yard run by quarterback Patrick Donnelly ’13 were the drive’s biggest plays, and a 3-yard pass to Cody Taulbee ’14 in the end zone capped off the drive. Reno commended the Bears for playing a “heck of game” and capitalizing on plays in the red zone. Bruno managed to score a touchdown both times it got inside the 20, while the Bulldogs were unable to advance the ball that far into Bears territory. The next score came early in the second quarter on a 37-yard field goal from Alex Norocea ’14, putting the Bears up 10-0. A short punt from deep inside Yale territory gave the Bears excellent field position early in the third, and though they were only able to advance the ball three yards, Norocea nailed a 46-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-0. The Bulldogs’ offense could not catch a break and failed to convert on all of their 10 third-down opportunities and both of their fourth-down attempts. Donnelly was able to easily pick apart the defense on the Bears’ next drive, passing to wide receivers Tellef Lundevall ’13 and Jordan Evans ’14 for a combined 55 yards on two consecutive plays. The explosive series got Bruno into the end zone to push the lead to 20-0. Especially in light of the injuries that have decimated the team’s running back corps, Estes said Donnelly has done a “tremendous job” this season. With Donnelly’s options limited, Estes said there has been “pressure on him to make a lot of plays.” Still, he added there was room for improvement, calling the team’s offense a “work in progress.” “Can he get better?” Estes said, speaking about the team’s quarterback. “Absolutely. But he’s done a good job and will only get better.” The Bears, now tied for fifth in the Ivy standings, prepare for their last road trip of the season when they travel to Dartmouth for another conference battle next Saturday. They will return to Brown Stadium for their final game of the season Nov. 17 against Columbia.
Harvard 3, Brown 2 Though the first stanza ended in a scoreless tie, injuries to young playmakers Nate Widman ’16 and Nick Lappin ’16 put the Bears (1-3, 0-2 ECAC) at a disadvantage after just half a period.“Nate’s a really solid defensive player, and Lappin is a great two-way forward who brings a lot of offense,” said assistant captain Richie Crowley ’13. He added that their absence means “a short bench, so less rest and everyone has to pick up a little bit of slack.” But Bruno was able to battle through the injuries to score the game’s first goal just three minutes into the second period. Forward Chris Zaires ’13 notched the goal for both his first of the season and the first for the Bears in five periods. Dennis Robertson ’14 put the play in motion by pushing the puck up to Brandon Pfeil ’16, who promptly slapped a shot in front of the net that Zaires deflected past Crimson goaltender Raphael Girard. The Bears could not hold the lead for long. The Crimson (2-1, 1-1 ECAC)
broke the game open in the middle of the second period on three consecutive goals in the span of five minutes. The outburst featured goals by Colin Blackwell, Kyle Criscuolo and Brendan Rempel. Crowley attributed the quick strikes to a loss of concentration. “We had a couple of mental breakdowns in the play,” he said. “Harvard is a good team. If you give them a couple opportunities, they are going to score on them. They quickly got us 3-1, and we had to crawl out of that hole the rest of the game.” The Bears cut the lead in half with less than two minutes to play in the second period. Robertson began the play with a pass to Matt Harlow ’15 who centered the puck to a driving Matt Lorito ’15 for the shot. Lorito flicked the shot over the goalie for his second goal of the young season. Bruno kept the pressure on throughout the third period, registering 12 shots, but Girard held strong and the Crimson emerged victorious.
Dartmouth 2, Brown 1 Less than 24 hours later, the Bears took the ice in Hanover, N.H. Recent history did not favor the Bears — Brown has lost nine of their last 10 meetings with the Big Green (3-0-1, 2-0 ECAC), including a 4-0 shutout last week. But the Bears were not fazed by the record books, as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead for the second straight night. “Our work ethic was better in the first period of last night’s game,” said forward Massimo Lamacchia ’15, comparing Sat-
urday’s game to their first meeting with the Big Green. “We were sticking to our game plan a bit more, putting more pressure on their ‘D’. We were able to take advantage of some of their turnovers and create more offense.” Lamacchia put the Bears on the board eight minutes into the game. After Jimmy Siers ’14 was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking, the Bears scored a shorthanded goal when Garnet Hathaway ’14 pushed a pass up the ice to Lamacchia, who fired a quick shot past goaltender Cab Morris. The lead stood until late in the second period when Dartmouth’s Eric Neiley knotted up the score by weaving through the Bears’ defense and maneuvering the puck past goalie Marco De Filippo ’14. Bruno fired off 10 shots in the final period compared to the Big Green’s seven, but it was Eric Robinson’s shot that proved to be the decisive blow with under six minutes left. Robinson took a pass from Brandon McNally and found the back of the net, giving Dartmouth a lead it would not relinquish. Though they were unable to pick up a win on the weekend, Lamacchia said the road trip provided the Bears with good experience that can help them against St. Lawrence University and Clarkson University. “They were definitely two tough losses against two good teams,” Lamacchia said. “I thought there were a lot of positives to take from both games that we could use as teaching points to help motivate us and prepare us for next weekend’s games.”
6 america abroad
the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
Capetonians follow U.S. race closely, offer support for Obama By Hannah Abelow Staff Writer
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — “Michelle Obama ate lunch next door,” bragged a shopkeeper selling an odd assortment of antiques and vintage knick-knacks in the gentrifying Cape Town neighborhood of Woodstock. “They had Secret Service here, in my shop! Can you believe it? And snipers in that building across the street,” he added. Exclamations like this can be heard around the city when the topic of American politics arises. Capetonians from all walks of life treat the Obamas with a certain air of celebrity. “The fact that Obama is a black guy plays into the interest shown by regular South Africans,” said Vinayak Bhardwaj, who has lived in Cape Town for nearly eight years. “Not just that he’s a black guy — he’s good looking, suave, et cetera. He connects the way Bill Clinton connected with ordinary people.” Originally from Zimbabwe, Bhardwaj works part-time for the investigative journalism unit at the Mail and Guardian — South Africa’s premier news source — and follows American politics avidly. His interest in American politics began during his childhood, when the repressive regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe censored the media, and his mother subscribed to Newsweek when his family could no longer watch BBC or CNN in their home. “It’s almost the way we used to follow the royalty in the U.K.,” Bhardwaj said. “We used to follow the goings-on with Princess Diana and all that. It’s the
personalities.” But “most South Africans are not too concerned with American politics,” Bhardwaj said. “I don’t think that the average knowledge spreads any more than knowing that Obama is this nice Democrat guy who stands for nice things but is being blocked by Republicans.” “Often a lazy analysis of why things aren’t happening in America is that the racist Republicans are to blame,” he added. On the campus of the University of Cape Town — which considers itself the top university not only in the nation, but in Africa as a whole — campus politics correlate directly with national politics. The campus itself was once a hotbed for political activism. During the apartheid era, anti-apartheid activists often held rallies on the campus’ central Jameson Steps. But in recent years, “UCT students and students around the world are apathetic,” Bhardwaj said. “But there definitely is a small group following American politics.” Some students professed to be avid followers of the 2012 presidential election, but others, such as Mfundo Mbambo, a UCT student originally from the Township of Langa in the Western Cape, said he did not follow this election as closely as he did in 2008. “I was more excited about last election because of Barack Obama, prospect of there being the first black president and the question of how that would change things,” Mbambo said. “This time it’s not so exciting. Barack didn’t live up to what I thought he would be.” But in this city, with plenty of so-
cio-economic and political problems of its own, taxi drivers and university students alike will immediately regale anyone with an American accent with their most recent thoughts on the U.S. presidential election. “Obama overpromises and underdelivers,” said a Cape Town cab driver named Omar who considers himself “fairly politically minded” and believes “Obama’s popularity is dropping by leaps,” but couldn’t recall the name of Obama’s opponent.
ing you can do to change anything in America. You don’t have a vote, you’re not a citizen, but you’re quite a fan of the show.” “I think it’s also a function of popular culture that we are generally quite enamored of the West and of western political discourse,” Bhardwaj said. “America still remains the global superpower. You can’t but be a bit interested in its politics.” For some, the lively spirit of the U.S. presidential debates seems to have
“Take that ‘binders full of woman’ comment. You’re like, ‘Ah, what an idiot.’”
University of Cape Town graduate
“Take that ‘binders full of woman’ comment. You’re like, ‘Ah, what an idiot,’” said UCT graduate Jean-Pierre Roux, laughing. “It makes no difference to us really, but for the cause of global feminism I suppose.” “Nobody I know who follows U.S. politics follows it to see what the implications of one candidate being elected over another will be for South Africa,” said Roux, who is pursuing his masters at Oxford while helping to teach a course on South African political thought at UCT. “They watch it because of the drama of it.” “I’m a sucker for ‘The Daily Show,’ ‘The Colbert Report.’ It’s great entertainment,” he said. “Definitely the funniest politics ever.” “It’s analogous to being a fan of British football,” Roux added. “There’s noth-
struck a deeper chord. “To a certain extent, the kind of democracy that America has is something that we aspire towards in terms of the uncertainty around the way the vote will go,” said Sihl Nontshokweni, a UCT student from the Eastern Cape Province. In a nation that claims to have the world’s most liberal constitution but whose politics since the fall of apartheid have been largely dominated by one party, the African National Congress, some still speak of American democracy as something to aspire to. “For all its faults, I still think America is the world’s best democracy,” Bhardwaj said. “It’s a country where Clinton, at the time of leaving office, was more popular than Gore or Bush put together and yet never chose to change the constitu-
tion to run for a third term,” Bhardwaj added. “In Africa, that’s unprecedented.” The fact that U.S. presidents remain limited to two terms indicates “how entrenched American democracy is in comparison with ours and really in comparison to every other place in Africa,” Nontshokweni said. In South Africa, a country still recovering from the devastating effects of apartheid, American policy toward Israel is important. South Africa recently passed legislation mandating the special demarcation of all Israeli products made on settlements in the West Bank, and comparisons between the Israeli-Palestinian relations and apartheid separation of peoples in South Africa are common. But many South Africans believe the outcome of the election will have little to no effect on U.S. policy in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world. When asked which candidate they supported for president, though, the answer overwhelmingly remained the same, despite disappointment with U.S. foreign policy of the last four years. “It’s like one of those awful deals where you buy one get one free,” Bhardwaj said. “You buy Romney, you get the Republican Party free, and that’s just not what you want for America.” “Am I the only one who sees through (Romney’s) insincerity?” Roux wondered aloud. “Definitely O-bee-zee,” UCT student Jesse Twum-Boafo said, speaking of Obama as he is often colloquially referred to in Cape Town. Mbambo nodded in agreement. “I’d still go Obama as well,” he added.
British public views election as ‘clash of ideals’ By David Chung Staff Writer
OXFORD, England — When Americans head to the polls Tuesday, most Britons will be rooting for another victory for President Obama. His superstar image may have diminished after what many here consider a disappointing term, but in the United Kingdom, the majority look unfavorably on Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s gaffes and oft-repeated goal to undo Obama’s signature health care plan. An opinion poll conducted in 21 countries, released Oct. 22 by the BBC World Service, found an overwhelmingly higher amount of foreign support for the incumbent over Romney, with approximately 50 percent of respondents backing Obama and 9 percent supporting Romney. In the U.K., the poll found 65 percent of respondents supporting Obama, with 7 percent backing Romney. The poll shows that Obama’s popularity in the U.K. has actually risen in the past four years. During the 2008 poll, 59 percent of those surveyed expressed support for the current president. But regardless of the election’s outcome, the relationship between the United States and the U.K. will largely stay the same, according to Gillian Peele, fellow and tutor at the University of Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall. Neither candidate seems to have developed a particularly close relationship with the British government, Peele said. Obama’s strong anti-colonial stance puts him at odds with Britain’s history of empire, and Romney paid a “mess” of a
visit to London this summer, when his remarks on the Olympic Games were seen by the public as “crass,” she added. “The British government will still feel cold regardless of who wins,” said Matthew Lakin, a member of the Oxford University Conservative Association and a doctoral student in politics at Oriel College, Oxford. Though Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron appear to “get on all right,” said George Mawhinney, president of the Oxford Conservative Association, some of Obama’s actions during the past four years have raised questions about his attitude toward Britain. Upon taking office in 2009, the president returned a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill — which had been loaned to former President George W. Bush and since graced the Oval Office — to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama criticized the multinational corporation BP and referred to it by its former name, British Petroleum. These remarks elicited criticism from sections of the British public and the press, who viewed it as an attack on the U.K. Obama has also pledged to remain neutral on the question of British and Argentine claims to the Falkland Islands, but he erred in referring to the islands as “the Maldives,” an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Argentina refers to the Falkland Islands as the Malvinas. Obama is certainly not sentimental about the U.K., said Nico Hobhouse, press and publicity officer for the Oxford University Liberal Democrats. But
he is “pragmatic and treats Britain on a fair basis,” Hobhouse said. The president has fostered a strong relationship with the U.K. by, for example, coordinating the response to the Arab Spring. Romney’s image in the U.K., by contrast, seems to have been negatively shaped by his gaffe-laden visit to London before the Olympic Games this summer. “That made him,” said Adam Whiley, co-chair-elect of the Oxford University Labour Club. Especially for people who are not well-versed in Romney’s stances on policy issues, the Republican candidate is defined by his criticisms of the British preparations for the Games. The Olympic Games were a source of national pride and were more successful than people had expected, Whiley said, exacerbating the effect of Romney’s negative comments. Not many Britons are holding a grudge for Romney’s remarks, Hobhouse said. Though a “silly thing to say,” the public did not deem his comments “malicious,” he added. But Romney’s attitude and position towards the U.K. and Europe remain vague and unclear, Whiley said. Oxford Labour Club Treasurer Will Brown echoed his sentiments, noting that a Romney presidency would most likely be characterized by inconsistency and ineffectiveness in working with the European Union, where the future of the U.K. lies. While the British Conservative Party and the American Republican Party share an interest in reducing budget deficits to stimulate economic growth, Obama
brings a more balanced approach to the table. Romney’s economic policies would probably not have a major effect on the British economy, Lakin said. The American and British economies are “not in sync,” he said. The future of the European Union will be a more central factor in determining the health of the British economy, Hobhouse said. A Romney victory would also signal less cooperation on social policy, Lakin said. Cameron wants to legalize gay marriage in the U.K. by the end of 2014, while Romney, who has voiced personal opposition to same-sex marriage, would likely leave the issue for individual states to decide. Obama officially voiced his support for gay marriage in June. Post-Bush politics Britons also view Obama’s foreign policy in a favorable light compared to that of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, Hobhouse said. People are accepting of an America that leads the world with a set of democratic values in a non-hypocritical way, he said. “Everything has to be understood in the context of Bush,” Whiley said. Oxford students are quite interested in this election, Mawhinney said, given America’s wealth and influential position in the world. Four years later, there continues to be a sense of “Obamamania” among the students, Lakin said, though with a “tinge of disappointment” that was not present in 2008. Peele said there is less enthusiasm for Obama because it is difficult to deem his term a “resounding success.” But Obama
is still “young and attractive and black,” which is appealing, while Romney is seen as “stiff,” she said. The British still view Obama as an idealist, a skilled orator and a generally decent person, Hobhouse said. The contrast between the two candidates has captured the attention of Oxford students. While Obama is viewed in terms of his 2010 Affordable Care Act and his support of increased Wall Street regulation, Lakin said, Romney is seen as a return to the Gilded Age or a 1950sstyle social policy. The election is a “clash of ideals, not just a clash of pragmatics,” Hobhouse said. Much of the British public supports Obama’s health care reform, as the issue of health care is the “most resonant” domestic policy issue for people in Britain, Whiley said. Britons almost unanimously support the universal health care provided by the National Health Service, Brown said. A majority of Conservatives in the U.K. would back Obama, Mawhinney said, as the political spectrum in the United States leans further to the right. “Things that we got over here 50 years ago are still discussed in America,” he said. The “ideological synergy” of the Thatcher-Reagan years no longer exists, Lakin said. Conservatives in the U.K and the Republican Party in the United States are heading in opposite directions. Most Britons lie far to the left on the political spectrum of even many Democrats, Peele said, and the British do not understand Romney’s desire to roll back welfare provisions. “America is at a crossroads,” Hobhouse said.
america abroad 7
the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
Cubans: Republican victory would hurt U.S. relations By Kat Thornton Staff Writer
HAVANA — In the seaside neighborhood of Vedado in Cuba’s capital city of Havana, a tall, heavily-guarded office building houses the United States Interests Section. Officially part of the Swiss embassy, the U.S. Interests Section takes the place of what would be the American embassy if the country had official diplomatic relations with Cuba. Outside the building stands the Jose Marti Anti-Imperialist Platform, where Fidel Castro has given speeches, and 138 flagpoles once used to hide an anti-Cuba billboard on the embassy building. There are also two slogans written in red: “venceremos” — we will overcome — and “patria o muerte” — homeland or death. There is a long history of conflict between the United States and Cuba, beginning publicly with the Cuban Revolution of 1959, during which leaders denounced U.S. imperialist involvement in Cuba’s politics and economy since the 1800s. Since 1962, the U.S. has maintained a full trade embargo on Cuba, which Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez called “the principal cause of the economic problems of our country” in September. Cubans look at the American election with acknowledgement of its importance and the potential impact it could have on the island-state. Most Cubans interviewed said they are disappointed with President Obama’s last four years in office, but they see him as the lesser of two evils. Some Cubans said they fear that American policy toward Cuba, not a central issue in the domestic campaign, would be worse under Republican candidate Mitt Romney, whose affiliation with his party reminds them of the aggressive politics of former president George W. Bush. Regulations on remittances and travel to and from the United States are the two most important issues at stake for Cubans in this year’s U.S. election, and the potential lifting of the half-century economic blockade between Cuba and the United States in the backs of people’s minds, according to multiple sources.
The best of the worst Many Cubans interviewed said they hope for an Obama victory — not because of what he can offer to Cuba, but because they see him as a better option than Romney. Obama’s reelection offers the potential of flexibility in the U.S.Cuban relationship, whereas Romney and his conservative values represent a return to hard-line Bush-era foreign policy, multiple sources said. Obama’s caution and lack of aggression toward Cuba has amounted to a “soft nothing,” said Margarita Alarcon, a Cuban journalist who lives in Havana but spent a large part of her childhood in the United States. Compared to the Bush administration, which oversaw a tightening of the American embargo on Cuba, Obama’s last four years have been a relief, she said. Obama’s next four years could bring about a slight improvement, whereas Romney’s would only deteriorate relations, said Aurelio Alonso, an investigative sociologist at Cuban cultural center Casa de las Americas. “Even if (Obama’s next term) doesn’t change things for Cuba,” Alonso said, “Obama is less bad than Romney, and that’s enough.” Alonso, unlike most Cubans, said he has been able to watch the presidential debates live. He said he noticed a trend between the two candidates when they talk about their stances on domestic and foreign issues. “Obama makes promises he won’t be able to accomplish, but (Romney) makes promises that from the beginning he knows he does not want to accomplish.” If he were an American citizen, Alonso said he would rather vote for Obama. “The United States is the most important country in the world, even if it doesn’t want to be,” said Yusimi Rodriguez, a writer and former journalist for the communist party’s official Havana newspaper, Tribuna de la Habana, adding that it gives an inherent importance to Tuesday’s election. Rodriguez said she thinks the Cuban national press has helped contribute to the generally negative sentiment among Cubans toward American poli-
courtesy of kat thornton
Many Cubans view the election in terms of its impact on already-tense foreign policy. Above, a wall outside an abandoned American sugar refinery in Hershey says the U.S. has “lots of wax and little honey.” tics. The state communist party controls television and most print journalism like the communist party’s official daily publication, Granma. Granma frequently features articles on the less flattering side of the American reality, like the handling of Hurricane Katrina or, more recently, the state of California’s private prisons. “I don’t remember ever having read an article that spoke well of the United States,” Rodriguez said. “Not in the official press.” But she said that the articles she read did not lie, and despite her acknowledgement of their bias, she has a low opinion of the United States. “It’s not a lie that the United States invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s not a lie that there are people in jail here (in Guantanamo) who have not had justice.” The last 55 years of American policy toward Cuba, instead of weakening the revolution, have convinced Cubans that Americans are “all a bunch of crazy warlords,” Alarcon said. Cubans see the American electoral process — with the intense media coverage and back-andforth insults between candidates — “as a circus,” she added. “They have no respect
for it whatsoever.” Hope lost Obama’s message of hope, change and “Yes, we can” resonated with many Habaneros in the 2008 election, Alcaron said. But there is less support for Obama on the island this year: Many have grown apathetic toward U.S. politics from the lack of change in his last four years in office. “I think, like most people from my generation, the idea of a candidate like Barack Obama as president in the United States was something unreal,” Alcaron said. She said she saw Obama — a member of her own Vietnam generation — as a real vehicle for change. While campaigning in Florida, Obama promised to undo restrictions on remittances and travel to Cuba put in place by former President George W. Bush, which restricted remittances to $300 every three months and family visits between Cuba and the United States to once every three years. In his first year in office, Obama eliminated all restrictions on remittances and visits between family members. “What Cubans here are worried about
is exactly what he took care of,” Alarcon said. But on a bigger scale, she said, Cubans want the United States to lift the embargo. “Nothing has changed here,” said Ania Gonzalez Diaz, a painter who sells photography in Old Havana. She, like many others, thought the embargo could be lifted during Obama’s presidency, but said she now thinks that all American politicians are the same. “For me (the election) is not important at all.” “I was one of the people who thought that by being the first black president, he would bring about enormous changes,” Rodriguez said. But she said she has been disappointed. “You think that if you’re black, then you have to identify with black people, you have to identify with the oppressed, and with that you are going to make changes, but in the end it’s not like that.” Alarcon said that while some of her expectations like immigration reform and universal healthcare have also been unfulfilled, she is optimistic about the next four years if Obama is reelected. “I still think he’s a breath of fresh air compared to what we had before,” she said. “I still think he wants to do good.”
Brazilians remain hostile to Republican foreign policy By Emma Wohl staff writer
RIO DE JANEIRO — The presidential election in the United States is likely to be determined by a handful of battleground states, but on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city, there is just one option. “It’s Obama. The other side is the dark side of the moon,” said Tiago Arakillian, a documentary filmmaker and movie producer who lives in Rio. “Even (conservatives in Brazil) think the conservatives in the U.S. are very old-fashioned — even the oligarchy,” he added. Economists and policy analysts worldwide have noted that President Obama’s foreign policy has been lacking in terms of U.S.-Brazilian relations — no trade accords exist between the U.S. and Latin America’s largest economy. At the moment, opportunities for increased commerce between the two countries are complicated both by Obama’s commitment to enforcing trade rules and by new protectionist tariffs in Brazil.
Meanwhile, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has yet to articulate his policy toward Brazil, and the Republican Party’s platform does not address the country directly. Romney has vowed to encourage free trade and private investment through the creation of regional trade zones in Latin America, but the governments of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela took action in 2005 to stop the formation of the regional trade zone proposed by the United States under former Republican President George W. Bush. Rubens Barbosa, former Brazilian ambassador to the United States, told Bloomberg News that those nations remain hostile to the idea. Romney calls the territory affected by his trade plan the “Reagan Economic Zone.” From a foreign policy perspective, this reference to President Ronald Reagan may be dangerous, said Mike Allison, assistant professor of political science at the University of Scranton. In Latin America, “many, including several of today’s presidents, associate (Reagan’s) tenure with torture, disappearances, murder and other human
rights violations,” Allison wrote in a Sept. 19 opinion for Al Jazeera. Such a label may simply feed into Brazilians’ negative image of the United States. In Brazil, “not just intellectuals, but the people” have a worldview that is “profoundly anti-American,” said Maria Paula Araujo, professor of social his-
president has changed how Brazilians view the United States. The president certainly has a much higher rate of name recognition than his opponent. Brazilians generally talk about “Obama or the other guy,” as Arakillian described Romney. Voting is obligatory for citizens from 18 to 70 years old in Brazil, but according
“It’s Obama. The other side is the dark side of the moon.”
Tiago Arakillian Documentary filmmaker and movie producer
tory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The legacy of American imperialism — colored by incidents including the Reagan administration’s involvement in Brazil’s military coup, “decades of intervention in Latin America” and contemporary issues like the war on terror — still shapes the country’s image abroad, students in Araujo’s class noted. Araujo declared herself “100 percent pro-Obama,” adding that the current
to Arakillian, that does not make for a more informed populace. The success of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s current president, was almost entirely the result of the endorsement she received from her predecessor, Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, Arakillian said. With the growth of the PT, or the Workers’ Party, in Brazil over the last three decades, the trend of politicians within the country is to appeal directly to
working people, said Bruno Rodrigues, a graduate student at the federal university. “In the U.S., it’s mostly the conservative thinking and the center,” Arakillian said. “There’s no left.” He said Brazilians were surprised the Occupy Wall Street movement’s idea of uniting the workers against the extremely wealthy was perceived as radical in the United States. The Brazilians interviewed could not pinpoint a way the election would specifically change the political situation in their country. “Lula had a very fluid form of diplomacy” and maintained a relationship with a number of other countries regardless of their political discord, Rodrigues said. During Rousseff ’s presidency, foreign policy has been “a bit more closed,” but maintaining a relationship with the United States is important no matter who runs the country, he added. But Brazilians are still paying attention, even if it may be “only superficially,” said Yama Arruda, a researcher at the City Archive of Rio de Janeiro. “The whole world is watching the United States,” he said.
8 campus news
the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
LGBTQ forum discusses relation between race, sex By Brittany Nieves Contributing writer
A group of around 20 students gathered on the sofas of the Third World Center Formal Lounge to share and learn from their personal experiences of dating, sexual attraction and racial identity Nov. 1. Part of the Multiracial Heritage Series, the annual LGBTQ Interracial Dating Forum aimed to provide an intimate discussion on the intersections of race, sexuality and dating within the LGBTQ community, said Krishnanand Kelkar ’15, co-programmer of the series. This year’s theme for the series is “Spreading the Loving” — a play on words on the 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case, which made interracial marriages legal in the United States. “Part of (the forum) is to create a space for the queer community to come together and just talk about issues that are affecting their community,” said Mary Grace Almandrez, director of the TWC and assistant dean of the college. “I think that’s important to create that space, but I also think it allows people to delve deeper into underlying issues that may not always be at the forefront, such as racism within the queer community.” Kelkar said he thinks the relevance of the interracial dating forum is sometimes brought into question. “One of the questions always at the general forum and the LGBTQ one is, ‘Do we even need this nowadays?’” Kelkar said. “I think the idea in general is to always be expanding our minds and not trying to rely upon our prejudices. It’s to break down those prejudices.” He added that events like these forums allow participants to deconstruct those biases. “I think the more that we have forums to talk about (interracial dating) and to be really open and honest about peoples’ experiences with interracial dating, the more we become comfortable talking about it in other avenues of our lives, whether that be with our families or in other settings,” Almandrez said. The layout of the LGBTQ Interracial Dating Forum differs from that of the general Interracial Dating Forum, which was postponed due to last week’s hurricane and will take place Nov. 15. The general forum draws a larger crowd and includes a table of panelists who come to share their experiences with the audience. The LGBTQ forum’s
/ / Poll page 4 said the proportion of students who reported planning to vote is impressive, given the normal national rate of voter turnout for young adults. Less than half of eligible voters in the 18-24 age range generally vote in national presidential elections, according to census data. Only days before the election, national polls show the two main candidates essentially tied. And while Tesler said Obama’s win four years ago cannot be tied to a certain group of voters because of the considerable margin between him and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this year’s close race means “all turnouts should be more important this time around.”
smaller attendance allows for a more intimate conversation. Following individual introductions, conversation was sparked by an activity in which participants were scattered across the lounge. With their eyes closed, they were instructed to clap in response to a list of statements on race, sexuality and prejudice if a particular statement applied to their own lives. The participants were divided into small group conversations following the activity and then moved into large discussion for the remainder of the evening. “(The activity) gives you an idea of who’s in the room and how they feel, without having to reveal exactly who said it,” said Hisa Hashisaka ’14, coprogrammer of the series. The hour-long conversation that followed the activity encompassed issues specifically pertaining to interracial dating, but also extended beyond that context. Participants spoke of intolerance, discrimination and the differences between the Brown community and their communities back home. Vanessa Flores-Maldonado ’14, a forum attendee, said she thinks more members of the Brown community should participate in TWC events. “I think it’s always great when you have these different opinions come together and see them manifest, and you have opposing opinions at times. It’s very important for the larger community here to be involved,” she said. Another forum participant, Darien Rosa ’15, said he appreciated the opportunity to talk about the intersection of race and sexuality. As a biracial individual, he said “it’s important to go to an event that’s about these sort of dynamics and how desire and race are related. Also, adding queerness into that, how those dynamics might change.” Both the LGBTQ and general Interracial Dating Forums were initiated in 2002, said Jon Sebastian-Walkes, program associate at the TWC, adding that as of the last academic year, the Multiracial Heritage Series is now a year-long series of events. In previous years, it was condensed into one week. The general Interracial Dating Forum will include six panelists who will answer a structured set of questions as well as questions from the audience. Barbara Tannenbaum, senior lecturer in theater arts and performance studies, will host the event.
“Youth turnout may make the difference between who wins and who loses,” he added. “They very well might make the difference this time around.” Methodology Written questionnaires were administered to 959 undergraduates October 17-18 in the lobby of J. Walter Wilson and the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center during the day and the Sciences Library at night. The poll has a 2.9 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. The margin of error is 4.4 percent for the subset of males and 3.9 percent for females. Find results of previous polls at thebdh.org/poll.
sports monday 9
the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
Bruno ties Dartmouth on Senior Night
Emily Gilbert / Herald
Concert features Baroque masters By maggie livingstone contributing writer
The Brown University Chorus transported nearly 200 audience members in Sayles Hall back in time to the Baroque Era through a concert this Friday that incorporated the music of Orlando di Lasso, Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Telemann. The 55-member undergraduate chorus, singing in Latin and German, was accompanied by a 16-piece orchestra, including wind players who are recent graduates of Boston University and the Juilliard School, and string players made up of University faculty, an undergraduate student and professional string players from Boston and New York, according to Frederick Jodry, director of the chorus for nearly 21 years. The chorus completed a set of eight songs before intermission, after which they launched into the centerpiece of
After Saturday’s 1-1 tie against Yale, leading scorer Ben Maurey ’15 and the men’s soccer team trail Cornell for the Ivy League title. By Alexandra Conway Sports Staff Writer
The No. 11 men’s soccer team battled Yale to a 1-1 double-overtime draw Saturday evening at Stevenson Field, dropping Bruno to second in the Ivy League standings. The hard-fought match was reminiscent of last year’s game when the Bears edged the Bulldogs 1-0 in a tight overtime battle. Forward Ben Maurey ’15 scored a goal less than three minutes into the game to get Bruno (12-1-3, 4-0-2 Ivy) off to a terrific start. But Maurey’s goal, his team-leading fifth of the year, did not guarantee the lead for long. Yale (4-7-5, 1-2-3) forward Peter Jacobson collected a rebound off the post in the 20th minute and nailed the ball toward the lower left corner, just out of reach of goalkeeper Sam Kernan-Schloss ’13. “I felt the guys really gave maximum effort,” said Head Coach Patrick Laughlin. “I was proud of the team for their effort and their commitment to trying to win the game.” Despite the chilly evening, there was a great fan turnout to cheer on the team’s seven seniors on Senior Night. “It’s always an emotional game for them celebrating their four years at Brown,” Laughlin said. “With all the success this group has had, it was a great night for them. ... I am really happy for them and their families.” Because of the fanfare, “emotions were running high in the first half, and it was a very fast-paced game,” said Bobby Belair ’13. Maurey’s goal was set up by Dylan Remick ’13, who sent a corner kick into the middle of the box. The ball caromed off Alex Markes ’15 to Maurey who sent it past 6-foot-5-inch Yale goalie Bobby Thalman to give the Bears an early 1-0 lead. “We started the game well and got an early goal but let off after that,” said co-captain Eric Robertson ’13. With the game knotted at 1-1, both teams fought hard throughout the remainder of the half. After the break, the Bears took command and came out firing, tallying 14 shots to the Bulldogs’ four. Daniel Taylor ’15, Belair, Thomas McNamara ’12.5 and Remick each had close attempts on goal. The Bears
totaled 15 corner kicks but could not capitalize to score the game-winning goal. “We created so many chances, and sometimes in soccer, the ball just doesn’t go into the net,” Laughlin said. “I thought their goalkeeper had an outstanding game, and we also had many chances that went off the post.” “On another night, maybe just one of our many shots could have taken a better bounce and gone in,” Maurey said. Bruno continued to press in the overtime periods, outshooting Yale 4-1 and 7-0, respectively. It looked as if the Bears were going to gain the edge in the second overtime when forward Jose Salama ’14 slipped past Yale’s defense and took a clear shot on net, but it hit the inside of the post and bounced back into play. “Credit to their goalkeeper for making some great saves, but also credit to our guys up there in attack who never stopped fighting the entire game,” Kernan-Schloss said. “I think we were able to play the way we wanted to play … Coach talked about earning everything we do, and all we earned was a tie.” “Yale played a great game and made it a battle for 110 minutes,” Robertson added. Because the Bears tied and Cornell (14-1, 5-1) won a double-overtime thriller over Dartmouth, Brown is now second to the Big Red in the conference. “Our mindset is that Yale is over, and that although we don’t control our own destiny, we’re still going into Dartmouth looking to make a statement win that will give us a possibility to win the league and prepare us for the tournament,” said Kevin Gavey ’13. The opportunity for that “statement win” will come Friday at Dartmouth, the team right behind Bruno in third place. This deciding conference game will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. Cornell will face Columbia the following night in New York. “I think everyone is excited for the game … and it’ll be a good test for our last regular season game,” Robertson said. “We still have a lot to prove and we’re not done yet.”
A & B | MJ Esquivel
the concert, J. S. Bach’s “Missa Brevis in F Major.” Latin for “short mass,” the piece is made up of six different parts: three choruses and three solo elements for a bass singer, a soprano and an alto. Lesser known than other works by Bach, the mass is ambitious for any chorus to undertake because it is rarely performed, Jodry said. “I was curious to explore (the mass) because it’s quite unknown,” Jodry said. “And it has a very particular orchestra of oboes, French horns and strings.” This arrangement, especially the French horns and oboes, contributed to a rustic, earthy tone achieved by the chorus and characteristic to the Baroque Era, Jodry said. “I tried to recreate as closely as I could the instrumental sounds Bach used,” Jodry said. The three student soloists for the show were Jacob Scharfman ’13, Kenna Hawes ’13 and Camille Briskin ’14. “It was my first time soloing with
the Brown Chorus and really doing a classical piece,” said Briskin, the soprano soloist for the “Qui tollis” section of “Missa Brevis.” “It was really exciting.” Preparation for this concert consisted of biweekly practices over the past two months and more frequent rehearsals as show time neared, Jodry said. But some members of the orchestra nearly had to cancel after dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The cellist was stuck in London due to the storm until Thursday, a mere day before the show, while a tree fell on the double bass player’s car, Jodry said. “It was great for the choir because we practiced both Monday and Tuesday,” Jodry said. “But it turned out to be quite problematic for the orchestra.” But the show went on as scheduled and elicited resounding applause. “Despite the hurricane, we were very prepared,” said Jimmy Besancon ’14, president of the chorus. “I am so proud of everyone here.”
10 editorial & letter Editorial
The East Coast is still recovering from the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy last week. As a precaution, University administrators canceled classes Oct. 29 and 30. Thankfully, Providence emerged relatively unscathed from the storm, and life at Brown resumed quite normally. The same cannot be said, though, for New York City and New Jersey and other hard-hit areas in the mid-Atlantic region. Coney Island and other low-lying districts were overwhelmed by 14foot storm surges. The neighborhood Breezy Point in Queens was destroyed by fire. Parts of the New York City metropolitan area are still without power. Gas stations that still have fuel are now rationing supplies for long lines reminiscent of the 1970s oil shocks. National attention in the aftermath has been focused on recovery efforts in America’s premier metro area. Though politicizing natural disasters goes against common decency, Sandy has coincided with the very last stages of the 2012 presidential election, and the two are now inextricably linked. The recovery from the hurricane has been the last major issue for candidates to tackle as the election approaches. Due to our Electoral College system, the election results will not be skewed by states still devastated from Hurricane Sandy. New Jersey has been deploying military vehicles to powerless and flooded communities to serve as polling places. But even if turnout is diminished due to the lasting effects of the storm, only the popular vote will be altered and not the all-important electoral vote. The Northeastern Seaboard almost uniformly consists of blue states, and it is expected that Obama will maintain his stronghold in the coastal regions. Sandy’s lasting legacy on the American presidency is not the physical toll visible in New York, but rather its effect on the national psyche in the midst of a divisive political battle. The hurricane has shifted the national dialogue in a direction that may help an incumbent Obama stay in office. A poll by NBC/Wall Street Journal shows a 68 percent approval rating for Obama’s handling of the hurricane among likely voters. But why should a natural disaster matter so much for both candidates? In the event of a destabilizing hurricane, or any natural disaster, the commander in chief is expected to shepherd the country and protect its people. After the United States inexplicably allowed a major port city to be razed and left helpless by Hurricane Katrina, both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard did much to improve national emergency response. As a result, Obama has been visible as an active leader and not merely a campaigner during this past week. Obama received effusive praise from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been an avid supporter of Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Citing climate change issues, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially endorsed Obama for re-election. As sitting president, Obama has received a level of momentum almost unprecedented at this stage in the presidential election. Meanwhile Romney, who does not wield national executive power, can only stand idly by while Obama does his job. Even Karl Rove pointed out that “if you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign.” Given this slight disadvantage, Romney can still emerge victorious, but a new focus on environmental and natural disaster issues does not help the Republican base. During his campaign, Romney has declared he would slash FEMA funding by 20 to 40 percent, as opposed to Obama’s suggested 3 percent cut. The aftermath of this disaster has shown that Romney’s plan may not be the wisest choice. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Daniel Jeon and Annika Lichtenbaum, and its members, Georgia Angell, Sam Choi and Rachel Occhiogrosso. Send comments to email@example.com.
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le t ter Poll results show abortion extremism To the Editor: Brown has been known for political indoctrination and elements of extremism in the past. But when I read that 42 percent of Brunonians support abortions at any time during pregnancy, I was shocked (“Poll: Majority of students plan to vote for Obama,” Oct. 31). Let me point out that I am a pro-choicer myself. I believe in a woman’s right to choose during the first trimester, and I also believe one can make an argument for aborting during the second trimester. However, if someone advocates unrestricted abortions during the third trimester — meaning even if the health of the mother and the child is not in danger — the pro-choice community should make it clear that this is not something we consider a respectable position. In the third trimester (months 7-9), babies can dream, they are most likely conscious, and they can
survive when they are born instead of aborted. Such late abortions have been used in China to kill girls due to the country’s one-child policies, and feminists all over the world have condemned this as murder. In fact, late-term abortion without special circumstances is illegal and/or considered murder in the United States and in almost any country in the world. Just like the Republican Party must distance itself from right wing extremists, Brown should do the same with people who advocate killing a baby capable of living on its own in the last trimester. We must make clear that this is not a pro-choice position. This opinion should be deemed unacceptable in the University dialogue, just like the University has taken an admirable stance against other inhuman “opinions” such as racism and sexism. Michael Schmitz ’10
quote of the day
“(Americans are) all a bunch of crazy warlords.” — Margarita Alarcon, Cuban journalist
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the brown daily herald Monday, November 5, 2012
Withholding judgment about career choices oliver Rosenbloom Opinions Columnist While Brown students tend not to be judgmental in regard to most personal decisions, when it comes to career choices, we can be a very critical group. During the fall recruiting process, I’ve overheard many classmates dismiss careers in consulting and investment banking as morally bankrupt. Such blanket condemnations of these career paths are simply not justified. It is overly simplistic to believe that all students who go into finance or consulting are participating in the so-called “brain drain,” in which our brightest young leaders forsake noble careers in the service of humanity for monetary gain. Last spring, Herald opinions columnist Rebecca McGoldrick ’12 wrote, “The financial and consulting sectors truly are America’s great ‘brain drain.’ At a time when we need social problem solvers and innovative scientists more than ever, many of our fellow students are entering a field that may be actively harming the stability and sustainability of our society” (“Feeling the brain drain,” April 26). This condemnation is based on an inaccurate understanding of the nature of the finance and consulting industries, as well as a misunderstanding of how to pursue a career of moral integrity. Like almost every other profession, these careers are neither
purely selfish nor purely honorable. They offer opportunities for both noble, community-based work and purely self-interested work. In her critique of those students who enter consulting or finance, McGoldrick falsely portrays these industries as purely evil. While the excesses of the financial industry deservedly get more attention than do its community outreach programs, the fact remains that investment banks have accomplished many noble goals. Wealth
Similarly, choosing a low-paying profession does not ensure that you will serve the world. In a May 24 New York Times column entitled “The Service Patch,” David Brooks commented on the trend of recent college graduates pursuing careers in finance. This column is a must-read for seniors contemplating different careers and helped to inform my own thinking on the subject. One of Brooks’ more insightful points is that early career choices do not define the
It is imperative that we do not automatically dismiss certain career paths as morally empty, for the truth is far more complicated than that. creation has lifted millions of people out of poverty, especially in the developing world. Viewed domestically, the often-vilified Goldman Sachs has also contributed to morally worthy causes. To list but a few examples, the bank invested more than $1 billion in affordable housing projects and is currently financing a recidivism-reduction program in New York City. A career in consulting also provides the opportunity to serve the community. By enhancing productivity and innovation, consultants can increase overall economic well-being. A frank assessment shows that these industries have been responsible for many of our ills, but also many of our successes. Choosing a career in finance or consulting does not automatically disqualify one from serving humanity and doing noble work.
entirety of our moral character, as some Brown students seem to believe. Brown students can positively impact the world in any industry and in any job. The focus should not be on choosing the most noble or morally pure industry, but rather on being the most noble and morally courageous person you can be within your chosen industry. This tendency to portray some professions as noble and others as immoral is informed by a skewed view of what constitutes a morally responsible career path. No one decision we make when we’re in our early 20s, whether that decision is to forgo high earnings or aggressively seek them, will determine our contribution to the cause of humanity. Our service to the community will be judged by the actions
we take on a day-to-day basis in our chosen industry, not by any single decision we made right after graduation. In addition, the unique personal circumstances of some Brown students make the consulting or investment banking paths more worthwhile. Some students have onerous student loans to pay back, while others have families to support. Other students who pursue these careers may do so in order to address the ethnic or gender imbalances in the leadership of America’s wealthiest companies. Some students use the skills they learned in consulting or finance jobs to make an impact in the nonprofit sector later in life. Finally, some students have genuine intellectual passions for such careers. Only a fool would claim that no student ever pursues these careers solely to make obscene amounts of money. Yet it would be similarly foolish to say that all students pursue these careers for such shallow reasons. We can only responsibly make condemnations of choices on a case-by-case basis. Many seniors, myself included, have deep insecurities about career decisions. Yet it is imperative that we do not automatically dismiss certain career paths as morally empty, for the truth is far more complicated than that. Oliver Rosenbloom ’13 is a history and public policy concentrator from Mill Valley, Calif. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Time for a change BY Brown Republicans Guest Columnists
In 2008, we elected a little-known junior senator from Illinois on the foundation of “hope” and “change,” but it took less than four years for most Americans to become disillusioned. Our modernday Robin Hood has not lined our pockets with the excess wealth of the greedy 1 percent — he has left us with a debt that will burden America for generations. Everyone in America knows that times are tough, which is why President Obama has spent considerable time trying to divert the public attention away from his record in office. Obama has the worst record of job creation of any president since 1948, and it is not even close. Obama had created 0.1 million jobs as of May 2012. In comparison, the second-lowest president for job creation was George H.W. Bush, who created 2.4 million jobs — 24 times more than Obama. Even worse than his job creation has been his unemployment record. The unemployment rate has remained above 8.5 percent for most of Obama’s tenure, despite his promise that it would remain below 8 percent. Even though unemployment has dropped slightly in recent months, much of that can be attributed to the labor force shrinking, as many Americans are no longer even looking for jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Sta-
tistics, the labor force participation rate for women has not been lower since 1992, or for men since 1948. The overall participation rate has dropped by 2 percentage points since Obama assumed the office of president in 2009, meaning that even though the unemployment rate is now at 7.8 percent, it only got that way because more Americans have given up. Yet despite this stagnant growth,
every citizen. So where was the transparency when he decided to invoke executive privilege in order to protect Attorney General Eric Holder against investigation in the Fast and Furious scandal? Fast and Furious was an operation that allegedly put over 2,000 firearms in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, and more than 1,300 of them are still unaccounted for. One thing that is known about these guns
Everyone in America knows that times are tough, which is why President Obama has spent considerable time trying to divert the public attention away from his record in office.
Obama has spent more of our money than any president in American history. His 2013 budget is $700 billion more than any other budget in history, at a time when America cannot afford such expenditures. By increasing the national debt at an unprecedented rate, he is essentially mortgaging the future of America. However, we shouldn’t focus solely on Obama’s flawed economic policies, because he’s made missteps elsewhere that deserve attention. Obama promised a transparent White House and an administration that would look out for
is that they have led to the slaughter of at least 150 Mexicans as well as American border agent Brian Terry. Instead of facing the public, the Obama administration decided to cover up the facts and protect their own by means of executive privilege. The Fast and Furious scandal is on top of the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Benghazi. For two weeks, the Obama administration blamed the attacks on mob protests when the president knew that the attacks were preplanned and had no relation to any protests.
This same president has failed to keep his promise to close Guantanamo Bay, fought to keep indefinite detention of “enemy combatants” legal and has constantly attacked small business owners through his policies and rhetoric. Obama has made unprecedented attacks on religious freedom with his Department of Health and Human Services mandate, and, under his watch, the State Department no longer considers religious freedom, a founding principle of our nation, part of its human rights requirements. The Obama administration has systematically failed at nearly every level. At what point will the president cease to believe that the American public will blame George W. Bush for the failures of the last four years? America needs a president who is willing to take responsibility for his actions, a president who has a proven history of reaching across party lines and getting the job done. There is only one candidate that meets those requirements, and that is Mitt Romney. Romney has a proven track record as a governor and businessman. He has shown time and time again that he is one of the most compassionate and humble candidates in recent memory, and he has the skills to pull America out of this recession once and for all. On Nov. 6, the choice is clear: We cannot afford four more years of the same.
The Brown Republicans think it’s time for a change.
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Monday, November 5, 2012
The November 5, 2012 issue of the Brown Daily Herald