vol. cxlviii, no. 10
Ambassador visit Rao says U.S. will increase relations with India and Asia
Kappa Delta approved as U.’s newest sorority The new addition to Greek life comes in time for the start of recruitment season By Brittany Nieves Senior STaff Writer
Twitter talk Co-founder speaks at RISD about entrepreneurship Page 5
Urban farming City agricultural project invigorates community today
30 / 25
39 / 19
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The Kappa Delta Sorority will join Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Chi Omega this year as the third sorority on campus in response to increasing student demand for another sorority, the Panhellenic Council announced Feb. 1. The year-long selection process to bring Kappa Alpha Theta to campus was spurred by unmet student demand for another sorority that would have otherwise forced the University’s current sororities to become more selective in their recruitment processes or to increase the number of women accepted, said Lena Weiss ’13, president of the Panhellenic Council and member of Alpha Chi Omega. It is unclear when Residential Council
will make its final decision on whether Kappa Delta will be a residential sorority this year, but the sorority is applying for the available space in Harkness House on Patriots Court, said Kate Tompkins, assistant director of summer and special programs, which includes Greek housing. The final decision was made Feb. 1., after which Kappa Delta was included in the Panhellenic Council’s recruitment kick-off Sunday. The committee pushing for the new sorority was composed of the Panhellenic Council’s executive board members, as well as the Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Chi Omega presidents, The Herald previously reported. The committee submitted a profile of Brown and filled out a questionnaire for the national conference, which then put forth a bulletin expressing Brown’s interest in a new sorority, Tompkins said. The 26 nationally-recognized sororities of the Panhellenic Conference then had the opportunity to apply. Over the past six months, several representatives flew in for meetings with Tompkins to / / Sorority page 2
DavID deckey / herald
Kappa Delta’s arrival will relieve pressure on other sororities to be more selective, said Panhellenic Council President Lena Weiss ’13.
Advocacy group ranks R.I. public schools fifth in nation BEAR StudentsFirst praises R.I. teacher evaluations but criticizes parent policies and lack of transparency By casey bleho contributing writer
Rhode Island’s public education system was ranked fifth in the nation in a January report from StudentsFirst, the advocacy group founded by education reform proponent Michelle Rhee. While only receiving a grade of “C+,” Rhode Island scored higher than neighboring Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut. Eleven other states received failing grades from the organization. StudentsFirst aims to improve the American public education system by building a nation-wide grassroots movement geared toward pursuing
education reform, according to StudentsFirst’s website. The State Policy Report Card was created “to evaluate each state’s educational laws and policies,” and thereby evaluate how the state is crafting education systems that matches “the needs of all children and puts them on a path towards success,” according to the website. Unlike traditional achievement evaluations, which may focus on school-wide performance on standardized tests, , the StudentsFirst report card assesses state education policies, according to a Jan. 7 StudentsFirst press release. Using a traditional A-to-F letter
We all scream for ice cream
grade system to evaluate and rank the efficacy of education policies in all 50 states, the StudentsFirst rubric evaluated the systems based on their teaching policies, parent-school relationships and finances. StudentsFirst described Rhode Island as “a leader in education reform” in its report, citing the state’s efforts to strengthen the teacher evaluation process and government willingness to intervene in struggling school districts. The report also praised the state’s accountability measures to ensure the wise allocation of resources. “They gave us a lot of credit because we are one of the few states who use an evaluation system that is not a teacher-specific evaluation system, but rather an educator evaluation system,” meaning that principals, school leaders
Urban farms sprout under community care Providence’s Lots of Hope partnership seeks to expand thriving urban agriculture practices By KATHERINE CUSUMANO SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The plot of land at the corner of Slocum and Almy Streets in Providence’s West Side has seen better days — the old building’s brown paint is peeling, slats are stripping from its walls and a fading sign reads “Providence Head Start,” a faint trace of the school it once housed. But the parking lot out front is home to rows upon rows of dirt mounds out of which small shrubs and plants, the remnants of last year’s
Alexandra Urban / Herald
The Class Board hosts the Class of 2015 ice cream social in Petteruti Lounge for “Sophomore Slump Month.”
and the Commissioner on Education are also evaluated, said Elliot Krieger, executive assistant for communications for the Rhode Island Commissioner of Education. But StudentsFirst also criticized Rhode Island’s system for its lack of transparency and communication with families, awarding Rhode Island a “D+” in this category. “We lost points in part because schools do not notify parents of the evaluation that each teacher receives,” Krieger said. “We believe the teacher’s individual rating is a private matter not to be publicized.” Massachusetts — which has historically led the country in test scores and student performance — received an overall grade of “D-,” scoring lower / / Schools page 5 than Rhode Is-
planting season, are visible. A small stone Buddha rests under a gnarly tree. In the back, massive piles of compost wait for the next season of planting. A quaint, rusty sign labels Nathaniel Wood’s most recent urban farming endeavor, Front Step Farm. After two years of renting another lot in Providence, one that was previously empty for about 70 years, Wood found himself ousted from the property when his landlord sold it to a neighboring nonprofit without his knowledge, he said. This provoked a massive community letter-writing campaign to prevent the nonprofit organization from receiving a grant to plant the land that had previously been Wood’s, he said. But the city wanted Wood to remain in Providence, he said. The Lots / / Farms page 5 of Hope pro-
day lauds dedicated staff A large crowd joined President Paxson to celebrate the work of University staff members By Aparaajit sriram Senior Staff Writer
“When your spouse or loved one or child asks you, ‘What did you do today?’, you probably don’t say, ‘I helped put a child through college,’ or ‘I supported first-rate, cutting-edge research for the common good,’” quipped President Christina Paxson Monday to a filled-tocapacity Salomon 101 crowd of University staff employees and their families. “The truth is — this is what you do.” Paxson’s speech was a part of her first-ever Brown Employee Appreciation and Recognition Day — BEAR Day — to celebrate staff members and their service to the University. BEAR Day, established by former President Ruth Simmons in 2005 as an annual event, offers special recognition for staff members who have served some increment of 5 years, from those completing their fifth year working at the University to those completing their 30th. It also honors roughly 25 Excellence Award recipients each year — individuals and teams who have done outstanding work at the University — in the areas of citizenship, diversity, efficiency, innovation, managing for excellence, rising star and service, according to the Human Resources website. Katherine Tameo, director of finance and administration for the Of/ / BEAR page 4 fice of Campus
2 university news c alendar Today
4 p.m. Peter Green House
7 p.m. Swearer Center Opportunities Fair
Sci Li Room 315
Faunce Multipurpose Room
By Alexander Blum
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
LUNCH Corn and Broccoli Casserole, Baked Potato Bar, Bacon Ranch Chicken Sandwich, Swiss Fudge Cookies
Buffalo Wings, Zucchini Parmesan Sandwich, Cauliflower Au Gratin, Nacho Bar, Swiss Fudge Cookies
DINNER Beef Terriyaki, Pan Seared Salmon in Cider, Spinach Stuffed Acorn Squash, Red Cabbage, Boston Cream Pie
Thai Basil Pork Stirfry, Thai Basil Tofu Stirfry, Rosemary Polenta, Macaroni Shells, Boston Cream Pie
As India and South Asia increase their geopolitical influence, both the country and the region will receive increased attention from the United States while China grows more powerful, said Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to the United States, in a seminar late Monday afternoon. The seminar was the first of spring 2013 for the Brown-India Initiative and was chaired by President Christina Paxson. The Initiative itself was inaugurated last September. Paxson began the lecture by introducing Rao as a “leading woman in India,” citing her strong background in foreign affairs. Rao’s lecture, titled “America’s ‘Asian Pivot:’ the View from India,” addressed how the United States is increasing its focus on South Asia’s
/ / Sorority page 1
RELEASE DATE– Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS 1 Iraq’s main port 6 Nonspecific feeling 10 Ukr. and Lith., once 14 Find repulsive 15 Waffle maker 16 Be on the mend 17 Dine 19 Hathaway of “Les Misérables “ 20 Afrikaans speaker 21 Creator of Q and M 22 Chicks together 23 Back muscle, familiarly 24 Commonly controlled substance 27 ’50s flop 29 His #4 was retired by the Giants in 1948 30 Social suffix 31 Sink below the horizon 33 Public hanging 34 Pontiac muscle cars 35 Roy Orbison classic 39 __ even keel 40 Glasgow veto 41 Shelley’s “To a Skylark,” e.g. 42 Reunion gp. 43 D.C. figure 44 Inviting door sign 48 1967 Human BeIn attendee 53 Gardner of the silver screen 54 Country bordered by Niger and Nigeria 55 Binary digit 56 WWII British gun 57 __ Grey tea 58 Awe-inspiring place where you might find the ends of 17-, 24-, 35- and 48Across? 61 “__ sow, so shall ...” 62 Sword with a bellshaped guard 63 Upper body 64 “So __ say” 65 River down under? 66 English Derby site
DOWN 1 Go on and on 2 Like an American in Paris 3 Some linens 4 Howl with laughter 5 First animal shelter 6 Like superpopular YouTube clips 7 Goodnight girl of song 8 Fluffy wrap 9 Terminate 10 Broken piece 11 Title for Miss Mexico? 12 Deserted 13 Big hammers 18 Cartoonist Keane 22 Lunch menu letters 24 Robert of “The Sopranos” 25 Like many gangster movies 26 When tots become terrible? 28 “Pardon the Interruption” channel 32 Opera hero, often 33 Gobbled up
34 FBI guys 35 Being walked, say 36 Deli order 37 After-shower powder 38 Pigged out (on) 39 Quirky 43 Ink holder 45 Volga region natives 46 “Yeah, but ...” 47 Hit-or-miss
49 __ Post, first pilot to fly solo around the world 50 Sweetie pie 51 Book end? 52 “Life of Pi” director Ang 56 Sow’s supper 58 Four-time All-Pro Patriots receiver Welker 59 Choose (to) 60 Numbered hwy.
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
learn more about Brown and its selection process. Following the meetings with Tompkins, interested sororities submitted applications due mid-December, and the committee hosted each of the three finalists individually on campus for lunches with leaders in the Greek community and formal presentations last week, Tompkins said. Following each presentation, the selection committee offered recommendations to the presidents of Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Chi Omega, who made the final decision. Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life and dining services, gave Kappa Delta its official approval Friday, allowing it to join Sunday’s recruitment kick-off. According to the Kappa Delta website, the sorority is “committed to providing opportunities and experiences that inspire women to greatness.” “They had really done their research about Brown. They went through how their mission as a sorority reflected Brown’s Greek community and Brown’s general values,” Weiss said. “They fit in with us in that their mission is to build confidence in women, and as a women’s organization that is very important to us.” The recruitment process for Kappa Delta will differ from that of the other two sororities this year. Kappa Delta will
developing economic and political climate. “There is no denying that the United States seeks to engage with the Asian region much more robustly than in the past,” Rao said. Citing maritime and economic collaborations, Rao said “cooperation between India and the United States has deepened.” India’s “relationship has grown in strength and substance” with its Southeast Asian neighbors, Rao said, adding that India’s foreign policy has changed from one of “looking east to one of engaging east.” “And then there is China,” Rao said. India, along with the rest of the world, will have to contend with China’s growing influence, she said. Though the countries have “significant overlapping interests,” Rao said India’s “bilateral relations with China” are targeted toward achieving shared prosperity. After Rao’s remarks, Paxson began a question and answer session by inquiring about India’s climate change initiatives. Students, / / India page 3 partake in a deferred recruitment process following both Kappa Alpha Theta’s and Alpha Chi Omega’s recruitment processes, Weiss said. Kappa Delta’s formal recruitment will not start officially until Feb. 27. Meanwhile, Kappa Delta representatives will promote their sorority and host events with interested students. “They want to make sure that what they are planning is what the women at Brown want to see and what would pique their interests,” Tompkins said. While the residential status of Kappa Delta is still not finalized, a space will be found for the sorority to hold chapter meetings regardless of ResCouncil’s decision, she said. “We would hope (it is decided before recruitment starts so women who are interested in this organization know whether they will be residing somewhere or not,” Tompkins said, noting that Kappa Delta has plans for both outcomes. Kappa Delta will be hosting coffee dates and other social events in the near future for interested students, and Thomas Fink ’13, Greek council executive board chair, said the new sorority is “very enthusiastic.” “We hope that (Kappa Delta brings) a new aspect and a new depth to our community and they help it grow,” Fink said. “We hope it turns into a successful and strong organization and that there’s a greater sense of community in the Brown campus.”
www.browndailyherald.com 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. Shefali Luthra, President Samuel Plotner, Treasurer Lucy Feldman, Vice President Julia Kuwahara, Secretary The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement and once during Orientation by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for each member of the community. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Subscription prices: $280 one year daily, $140 one semester daily. Copyright 2013 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. editorial
By C.C. Burnikel (c)2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
(401) 351-3372 firstname.lastname@example.org
(401) 351-3260 email@example.com
Science Center Trivia Showdown
United States will seek to engage more with India and South Asia, ambassador says
weekend crime repor t HOPE
“Potential History of Palestine“
Ambassador gives first India Initiative lecture of semester
History Dept. Ice Cream Social
the brown daily herald Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The following is an account of crime events that took place this weekend, reported to The Herald by Deputy Chief of Police for the Department of Public Safety Paul Shanley: 1. Between Thursday night and Friday morning An unknown suspect broke into the Building for Environmental Research and Teaching between 5 p.m. Thursday and 6:30 a.m. Friday, and appears to have attempted to steal $5,000 worth of copper pipes from the building, which is currently under construction. Wire ties securing the fencing in front of the building, formerly known as Hunter Laboratory, were found cut and the pipes were found bundled together and left behind. The incident resembles a completed copper pipping robbery committed last week in Brown Stadium, but DPS is unsure whether the two incidents are related because pipe theft has become a prevalent crime in the Providence area. 2. Sunday morning and night Four students living on Wriston Quadrangle reported their laptops stolen from their rooms. Three of the students, Marcy House residents, reported the robberies to have taken place between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. The fourth, a resident of Olney House, reported the robbery to have taken place later in the night, between 9 p.m. and just after midnight. There was no evidence of forced entry in any of the cases. DPS has little information on suspects in these cases, but laptop and cell phone thefts have been a frequent occurrence on campus this year, particularly in unlocked dorm rooms. 3. Sunday night DPS received a complaint of a man exposing his genitals at 155 Williams Street at around 9:30 p.m. Because the incident occurred off campus, DPS collaborated with Providence police. The identity of the man remains unknown, but the witness described him as a white man wearing a black sweatshirt. A series of public nudity complaints took place on and near John Street in 2011, but there appears to be no connection between the cases. — Caleb Miller
university news 3
the brown daily herald Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Designers push fashion Financial aid petition seeks support for Financial Aid boundaries in showcase Brown is circulating an online Students present their fashion designs that please both the eye and the environment By ISABELLE THENOR-LOUIS Contributing writer
When searching for the newest trends, one may not have to look much farther than the designs of students right on campus. A year after their designs were showcased at the StyleWeek NorthEast SEED show, Austen Snyder ’14 and BrownRISD Dual Degree student Caitrin Watson ’13 have continued their pursuits of success in the fashion industry. Designing with depth At last year’s SEED competition, which featured work by students at local colleges and universities, Snyder presented a high-necked black gown with dramatic sleeves, a piece he previously told The Herald was highly inspired by the Bosnian conflict. The collection also included two other pieces representing Serbia and Croatia, each conveying the position of the respective country during this hostility. “I have a stance on fashion that is different from a lot of other designers. I see so many people starting a collection with draping or texture,” Snyder said. “But I get analytical with a myriad of ideas. With those pieces, I dove deep into this conflict, and designing was my way of processing how something like that could occur.” While he is still working with historical themes, his recent work shows a shift in materials away from the knits he used at SEED. “After (the SEED competition), I moved to tailoring, which is essentially the organic chemistry of fashion design. With tailoring, I was able to create a lot of the coats in my most recent collection,” Snyder said. Last summer, Snyder interned in London for designer Mary Katrantzou, focusing on prints. As a fashion designer, Snyder said it was interesting to learn more about how form is created and how print drives design. Along with applying to graduate and design schools, Snyder said he is currently looking for paid internships
Arts & Culture
and wants to go overseas. His dream job is to work in an haute couture house in France. Unlike in the United States, the French government monitors these houses to make sure garments are crafted impeccably, he said. “Heading a couture house for me is like being the CEO of Goldman Sachs. I love the craft and culture,” Snyder said. Snyder’s senior show featuring some of his work will be in List Art Center 221 through Thursday, Feb, 7. A sustainable future While Snyder said the SEED show was a good opportunity to showcase his designs, Watson criticized the SEED program, which was focused on creating “innovative” and “green” fashion pieces. “Even though the dress that won was great, something isn’t green when you simply stick leaves to it or because it is made out of garbage bags,” she said, referencing the use of repurposed objects — such as mops — that last year’s winning design featured. “The industry, as a whole, has gotten past the mentality of literally making clothes out of postconsumer waste. Now, it’s refined. We have suits made out of plastic bottles, but they look like regular suits.” Watson has spent much of her time designing sustainable pieces, she said. She prefers to focus on knitwear because she can stitch patterns right into the fabric, she said, instead of cutting the fabric and disposing of the scraps, which creates waste. Watson often researches where her fabrics are made, she said. “I’m interested to see how luxury clothing moves into sustainability,” Watson said, adding that she believes the fashion industry will someday mandate eco-friendly practices. “They’ll need people who will be useful in this area, and that’s a job I hope to fill.” After graduating, Watson said, she would like to work for a company like Levi’s, which she said prioritizes sustainability by cutting down on the amount of water it uses and pollution it produces. The many hours dual degree students spend learning techniques have helped prepare her to enter the workforce, she said. “Entering the real world as a designer is in some ways less nerve-wracking (for me) than it is for a lot of people. We’ve been trained in specific skills,” she said. “When we graduate, we feel like we’re ready.”
Got something to say? Leave a comment! Visit www.browndailyherald.com to comment on articles and opinons.
petition for universal need-blind admission By Mark Valdez Senior Staff Writer
Brown for Financial Aid released an online petition at the beginning of the semester calling for President Christina Paxson, Provost Mark Schlissel P ’15 and the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, to commit to universal need-blind admission within the next 10 years. The petition also requests lower summer earnings expectation by “at least $1,000.” “Our goal is to get the administration to commit to specific and concrete policies now,” said BFA President Alex Mechanick ’15. The group’s first petition, which circulated at the end of spring 2012, garnered more than 1,500 signatures within three weeks, Mechanick said. The first petition was “broader and less specific,” because Paxson had not yet begun the strategic planning process at that time, he added. This second petition’s goals are similar to those defined by the Committee for Financial Aid’s interim report, released Jan. 25. The interim report lists universal need blind admission as a “long term commitment” and a reduction in the summer earnings expectation among “immediate needs.” The organization hopes the entire
/ / India page 2 fellows and faculty members then asked their own questions, which addressed a broad range of topics including cyber security, gender equality and deeper examinations of China’s rise in power. Mali’o Kodis ’14 said there was a “very impressive community turnout” at the lecture and added that she generally “found (the lecture) very informative.” But Rao seemed to be “addressing problems without speaking to specific solutions,” Kodis said. Mike Johnson ’13 said he “thought (Rao) spoke very diplomatically” and
undergraduate student body will sign the petition, which is being promoted through social media, contact with student groups and canvassing, Mechanick said. Takamichi Akutsu ’15 said he signed the petition in hopes of expanding the opportunity of studying at Brown to all applicants. “I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t that kind of support for financial aid,” he said. Jamelle Watson-Daniels ’15 signed the petition after hearing about friends who were negatively impacted by current financial aid policies. “It needs to be changed immediately,” she said. Watson-Daniels said the summer earnings expectation is “unrealistic” — she had two unpaid internships last summer and had to take out a loan to cover the expectation. But she said she understands the difficulty the University will face in changing current policies because of the costs it might incur. “These are goals that can be funded with a new fundraising campaign,” Mechanick said. “The student body understands that the money that goes into making sure we have the best undergraduate body … is a much more important investment than many other priorities.” In a poll conducted by the Undergraduate Council of Students in the fall, 53 percent of respondents agreed the University should adopt universal need blind admission, even if it means making spending cuts in other areas, while 29 percent felt it should be ad-
opted only if money could be raised from fundraising. The poll results reflected “heavy support” for universal need-blind admission for both domestic and international students, said UCS President Anthony White ’13. “We definitely support the mission of Brown for Financial Aid.” After last Wednesday’s general body meeting, all nine executive officers signed a letter to Paxson and Schlissel urging the University to commit to all goals outlined in the committee’s interim report. At its Feb. 27 general body meeting, UCS will host Jim Tilton and Susan Harvey, co-chairs of the committee, to engage in an extended dialogue on financial aid, White said.
may have “danced around a few key issues.” But Johnson added that he “kind of expected that” from an ambassador. The Brown-India Initiative “is an interdisciplinary hub for the study of contemporary India,” according to the Initiative’s website. “Our focus is on modern India and on the social sciences” with a smaller emphasis on the humanities, said Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science and director of the Brown-India Initiative. The Initiative’s emphasis on modern India stands in contrast to many other programs that are “devoted primarily
to the humanities,” and tend to focus on the classical, medieval, and ancient periods, Varshney said. The Initiative’s three main purposes are to promote research about India, increase the number of classes taught about India and engage the public sphere in both India and the United States, Varshney said. He said the Initiative seeks to “build bridges with other departments which have an interest in India,” citing collaboration with Brown’s English department and the Department of Modern Culture and Media. “We’ve had remarkable support from the University,” Varshney said.
Text of the petition: Dear President Paxson, Provost Schlissel, and members of the Brown Corporation: As members of the Brown community, we hold that improving financial aid should be the University’s top priority for spending and fundraising, and that Brown University should commit to: 1. Admitting all students need-blind within 10 years. 2. Lowering the summer earnings expectation by at least $1000. We urge immediate commitment to these goals, so that in becoming more competitive, diverse, and accessible, Brown may live up to its highest ideals. Boldly, The Undersigned Spring 2013
4 university news
the brown daily herald Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Twitter, Square co-founder talks innovation at RISD Dorsey emphasizes the importance of ‘artistry’ and ‘engineering’ in business endeavors By Sarah Perelman Senior staff writer
Entrepreneurship does not mean the desire to start a company but rather considering the world and creating the tools you think it needs, said Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, during his talk, “Square: Designing Commerce to Feel Amazing,” Friday at the Rhode Island School of Design. “An idea that can change the course of the company can come from anyone,” Dorsey said. Square’s offices are open to one another so that staff members can hear each other working and build on co-workers’ ideas, he said. Notes from staff meetings are sent to everyone in the company. Dorsey co-founded the company that became Twitter in 2006 and started Square — an application that makes it easier for small businesses to take credit cards — in 2010. In his talk, he discussed the value of technology and
/ / BEAR page 1 Life, served on the selection committee that picked this year’s recipients. The committee, which comprises administrators from various divisions of the University, asked staff members to nominate their peers for the awards in the fall semester, and the committee chose the winners in November. The process of selecting award recipients is difficult but enjoyable, Tameo said. “We come to the meeting with our top choices, and we have to explain which candidates we’ve picked and why,” she said. Serving on the committee is Tameo’s “favorite thing to do all year,” she said, and she enjoys learning “all the stories behind each nominee.” “Sometimes we receive nominations for one person from many different people, which is really amazing,” Tameo said. At this year’s BEAR Day, 22 individual staff members and four staff teams received awards. “It’s such an honor,” said Myra Liwanag ’91, who received an award for promoting diversity through her position as director of regional and multicultural programs for the Office of Alumni Relations. Liwanag, who focuses on alums of color and LGBTQ alums, has worked to connect these
innovation as he reflected on his experience with these companies. Technology should make daily tasks faster so people can focus on what matters, Dorsey said. “Giving people simple tools so that they can craft their own destinies” was the philosophy that inspired Square, he said. Square operates on the iPhone or iPad — which Dorsey said most small business owners already have or know how to use — and has one standard rate, instead of varying rates based on each credit card company. This allows merchants to take all credit cards without unneeded hassle, Dorsey said. The Apple compatibility and standard rate make running a business easier, he said. Dorsey pointed to the Golden Gate Bridge as the source of his inspiration — it is sturdy enough that people can focus on their destination without worrying it will collapse, he said, but it is also beautiful. Artistry and engineering are both key, and “what’s really important is the intersection of the two,” he said. He also discussed his title as a “founder” of Square and Twitter. Despite the popular conception that the founders of a company are the individuals who start it, companies have
communities with the student body through on- and off-campus events, said Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration. “It’s very humbling,” said Anne Buffington, a nutritionist at Health Services, who received an award in the rising star category. According to the program given at the BEAR Day ceremony, there has been a “35 percent increase in nutrition appointments in the past year,” due in large part to Buffington’s “popularity and effectiveness.” Hailing from Michigan, Buffington said she never thought she would “be living in the smallest state of the Union,” but was drawn to Brown’s “welcoming culture” and the emphasis it placed on “student independence.” Her parents, John and Beth, joined her from Michigan for the ceremony and the reception which followed in Sayles Hall. Though Monday was Paxson’s first BEAR Day, she maintained many of the day’s traditions as established by Simmons, Huidekoper said. “This is a day for staff and their families, a day to see how proud people are to work at and for Brown,” Huidekoper said. But for Paxson, BEAR Day was in some ways something new and distinct. “There’s a real sense of teamwork and community among the staff here
Tom sullivan/ herald
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, said the value of technology is to make daily tasks faster and leave more time for meaningful activities. “multiple founding moments” as they innovate and expand, he said. The invention of the hashtag and the word “tweet” are founding moments of Twitter but were developed by people outside the company, he added. He likened this attitude to the history of the United States — though
at Brown,” she said, noting that it is uncommon to find a such a cohesive community. “The staff are always willing to pitch in and help each other, which makes it a terrific place to work.” The atmosphere at the event was genial and relaxed. Staff members reaching 20-, 25- or 30-year anniversaries of service were called on stage for group photos with Paxson, a process that demanded lots of maneuvering and compelled the photographer to bark directions, eliciting laughter from the audience. Some groups posed in formations that evoked images of an athletics team — with some staff members kneeling and others standing, eliciting further laughter from the audience. Huidekoper read a short description about the awardees before calling them to the stage to receive their certificates from Paxson. Huidekoper joked about many of the awardees, commenting at one point, “There’s that efficiency!” about an awardee in the efficiency category, who received her certificate and quickly left the stage while Huidekoper was still detailing her achievements. Paxson also made some comic remarks, at one point noting of the 25-year service anniversary awardees that “all of them started working here when they were 12.”
people consider President Washington the founding father of America, when President Lincoln abolished slavery, he created a new founding moment for the country, he said. Dorsey spoke to a packed audience evenly distributed between students, graduate students and adults, including
many RISD and Brown students and some locals. The lecture was lively, and Dorsey appeared comfortable in his black jeans and sweater. An audience member kicked off the question-and-answer session with a question about the brand of Dorsey’s jeans. “Earnest Sewn,” he answered.
BEAR Day Awards Citizenship
Individuals: Michael Cohea, Public Affairs and University Relations Nancy Flynn, University Library Patrick Laverty, Computing and Information Services
Individuals: Myra Liwanag, Alumni Relations Felicia Salinas, Sarah Doyle Women’s Center
Individuals: Blanca Del Cid, Office of Student Life Andrea Goldstein, Bio Med-Office of Continuing Medical Education Karen Rapoza, Facilties Management
Individuals: Margaret Balch-Gonzalez, Annenberg Institute Jason Orrill, Dean of the College Digital Scholarship Team: Andrew Ashton and Barbara Schulz, University Library Tom Cousineau, Facilities Management John Huffman, Center for Computation and Visualization
Managing for Excellence
Individuals: Jaime Combariza, Center for Computation and Visualization Stephen Lynch, Athletics Bio Med Team: Jeff Griffin and Kathleen Bennett, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies
Individuals: Annie Buffington, Health Services Susan Ely, Office of the Vice President for Research Charles Klausen, Computing and Information Services Elizabeth Malone, Dean of the College
Individuals: Ann Beauregard-Young, Bio Med-Animal Care Facility Heather Johnson, Hispanic Studies Gail Lee, Graduate School Gerard Levesque, Bio Med-Facilities Planning and Operations Beth Murphy, Office of Financial Aid Robert Sowah, Facilities Management ITG Team: Sonia Benevides, Samantha Calamari, Ed Casey, Hong Chau, Julie Lirot, Sandesh Tuladhar, Pat Zudeck, Computing and Information Services MCM Team: Susan McNeil & Liza Hebert, Modern Culture and Media
urban farming 5
the brown daily herald Tuesday, February 5, 2013
/ / Farms page 1 gram, a partnership between Providence and the Southside Community Land Trust that seeks to plant vacant lots, developed out of Wood’s predicament — the city offered him the opportunity to rent a lot based on empty property listings. Wood’s most recent project sparked the city’s interest in urban farming, and the farmers have suggested the city implement five-year leases for other land plots, according to recommendations submitted to the city by the Little City Growers Cooperative. “It cuts through the cynicism that people have about government bureaucracy,” Wood said. Fruitful endeavors Providence restaurant Local 121 — which sources its produce from local and urban farms like Wood’s — was founded on a commitment to the local economy and ecology, said owner Nancy Miller. “In terms of our mission and our value system, it’s important for food security,” she said. Miller added that though it is not a financially sound arrangement — locally sourced food tends to be more expensive — her restaurant is not alone in its dedication to supporting local food and farms. Florence and Manton Farm, an urban farm in Olneyville, has been growing for two seasons. Farmer Adam Graffunder said he hopes the Lots of Hope program will result in “more consistent availability of more local produce.” Graffunder and Wood are working together to obtain a larger expanse of land in Providence to increase production. Graffunder noted his primary difficulty as a fledgling urban farmer was obtaining land. With Wood, he helped to make recommendations to the city about how best to create stability for farmers partaking in Lots of Hope. “Our goal is really to build the local economy,” Graffunder said. Neighbors have already seen the impact urban farms can have on the
local community. “It’s nice to have (Front Step Farm) near that really creepy house” on Slocum and Almy Streets, said Katie Worthington, a nearby resident. Though she did not know much about the farm when it first came to the area, she said she thinks it is a positive addition to the West Side. “We’re psyched they’re there,” said Desi Wolf, owner of Loie Fuller’s, a restaurant around the corner from the farm. The farm’s yield is not large or consistent enough to sustain her restaurant, she said, so she has seen little tangible impact. But Loie Fuller’s does source some of its produce from Sidewalk Ends Farm, another Providence urban farm. “It’s great to see empty lots turned into thriving gardens,” she said. Urban farms rid trash from blighted empty lots, reduce storm water runoff, remediate toxicity in the soil and provide a habitat for pollinators, Wood said. Sidewalk Ends Farm even has chickens, Wolf noted, adding that when she and her daughter used to visit the farm they appreciated the “bit of nature” incorporated into the urban environment. “It allows for things like healthier communities to form,” Graffunder said. “(Urban farming) really promotes a culture of sharing,” said Gregory Sankey, Jr., an AmeriCorps VISTA and sustainable communities director with New Urban Farmers. New Urban Farmers is a nonprofit food sustainability organization and urban farm lodged at a housing authority in Pawtucket. Urban farms support the local economy, reduce carbon emissions and promote personal health and empowerment for the individuals involved, he said. But the urban farmers are also confronted by “lack of respect,” Graffunder said — his collard greens have been stolen by the end of each of his past two planting seasons, he said. He said he has also encountered
courtesy of nathaniel wood
In addition to potentially fostering a spirit of community, urban farming efforts can bolster the local economy by stimulating use of the Harvest Kitchen, a food-processing center in Providence. some skepticism among the commu- where it should be from,” said Ryan food),” said Kate Venturini, landscape nity. One man hoped to buy cilantro Reeves, coordinator for Harvest restorations and urban agriculture from Florence and Manton Farm for Kitchen, a food-processing center in specialist at the URI Outreach Center. his restaurant but was accustomed to Providence. An additional group of “Master buying on a larger, cheaper industrial Urban farming ensures that mon- Gardeners” from URI have planted scale, Graffunder said. Urban farming ey from food production remains in about 30 plots of land for wider comwas simply outside the restaurant’s communities instead of funneling munity distribution. Until recently, usual business model and mindset, into “a system that has no face” — the produce from these plots supplied a creating a rift between two modes of corporate farming industry, Reeves food pantry in the South Side, but the production. added. park is now looking for new distribuLots of Hope will have a defined, tors to stock. Rediscovering roots positive impact for Harvest Kitchen Urban agriculture “empowers Going into its third season, co- because an increased volume of local people to have a better quality of life,” founder and Assistant Director of New produce will need to be processed, Venturini said. “It just gets you to meet Urban Farmers Emily Jodka said the he said. your neighbors,” she added, extolling Cultivating farmland in a city en- the positive community-building naorganization has seen its greatest impact among local youth. vironment is not new for Providence. ture of the program. “Children have a predisposition to For five years, Roger Williams Park People who previously had no exloving nature,” Sankey said. Involve- has been working on outreach with the posure to agriculture take immense ment in urban farming empowers University of Rhode Island through a pride in their produce, Jodka said. Senior citizens who have been far children, teaches them consistent re- massive community gardening prosponsibility and gives them a greater gram. Approximately 50 individuals removed from their “more agrarianunderstanding of the wider world, plant plots of land in the park, which style background” can return to their he added. ensures “underserved demograph- roots, she added. “It’s really for all Local agriculture “puts food back ics are actually engaging (with their ages.”
Mayor supports urban farming initiative Providence aims to turn abandoned urban plots into community gardens in midst of economic stagnation By Chad simon staff writer
Mayor Angel Taveras announced a partnership with Southside Community Land Trust and the Rhode Island Foundation Jan. 14 in a project aimed at renovating the vacant lots that sprinkle the city’s undeveloped land parcels and turning them into small farming plots. The Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund and the Rhode Island Foundation together provided the project, Lots of Hope, with $100,000 to put toward developing urban farms throughout Providence and its surrounding urban areas. Lots of Hope has become popular around the country, riding the coattails of urban farming success stories in Detroit and Chicago, said Dawn King, a visiting assistant professor at the Center for Environmental Studies. Like Detroit and Chicago, Providence has seen many urban plots abandoned, likely due to the poor
city & state
economy and subsequent decrease in population as former Providence residents seek work in larger cities, said King. Rather than let these plots succumb to overgrowth and litter, Providence will lease the land for a trivial sum of money to local farmers, she said. “Right now, there’s a heavy demand for local food,” King said. “The city has a lot of open land, so why not lease the land for dirt cheap to local farmers?” New Urban Farmers — an organization of urban farmers established in Pawtucket in 2009 — has had several positive effects on Pawtucket residents living in affordable housing units, said Emily Jodka, one of the two founders of New Urban Farmers. After New Urban Farmers started its first community garden, the group connected with the Pawtucket Citizen Development Corporation, which brought its members into the larger Pawtucket family, Jodka said. “We started going to a lot of community meetings and started to get to know the city and the Pawtucket Housing Authority,” she said.
The approximately one-acre plot New Urban Farmers currently owns was formerly a dilapidated playground but now serves nearby residents as a community garden providing fresh and local produce in an environmentally friendly and socially conscious way. “We connected with not just City Hall, but with community groups in the city, which has been very helpful in growing our business,” Jodka said. “If we’re going to change the environment we have to get through that red tape.” “You can’t always make big change on the fringe,” Jodka said. “We’ve luckily received a great response working with the city of Pawtucket,” Jodka said. She is proud of her role paving the way for urban farming to become a successful food system, she added. In cities acutely afflicted by the economic downturn, like Detroit and Philadelphia, “guerilla gardening” or “subsistence farming” is the reality for poverty-stricken residents, King said. “A lot of people are doing this for subsistence,” King said. “We shouldn’t always romanticize urban farming.” While Providence is a leader in the urban farming movement, the city is
not dependent on the food produced by these farms, King said. King said she believes urban farming could help Rhode Island revamp its economy, adding that it exemplifies the “triple bottom line,” — economic, ecological and social success. Land used for urban farming mitigates flooding and brings down the temperatures in urban areas, she said. “Middle of summer — it’s 20 degrees hotter on the pavement than it is above the top of the buildings. Just having unpaved areas can decrease temperatures,” King said. Americans spend about 10 percent of their incomes on food, compared to 30 percent worldwide, King said. “We expect cheap food, and there’s so many people in the older generation that are so entrenched in the idea that cheap food is okay,” she said. “This generation ... (wants) to live in a sustainable environment” and is willing to pay for it, she added. King said she believes investing in urban agriculture will not only create new jobs but also attract a younger demographic that she said Providence lacks. “Urban agriculture is pretty overall, and people want to see that,” King said.
/ / Schools page 1 land in all three categories. StudentsFirst called Massachusetts’ education policies “sub par,” citing considerable achievement gaps and limited education funding for minority students in its report. StudentsFirst reports have been criticized by educators and other reformers for using an ambiguous grading rubric and allegedly pursuing a particular agenda. Warren Simmons, executive director at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, said readers “must take the (organization’s) findings with a grain of salt, because their areas of focus and definitions of their indicators are very narrow.” The organization’s grading rubric used very broad language that could potentially mislead the public about the meaning of grades assigned, he added. But the report’s findings are valid if readers remember that “there are just more tools and factors to consider and a much broader array of things under categories — like teacher effectiveness — that Rhode Island should be graded on,” Simmons said.
city & state
6 editorial & letter Editorial
That textbook comes to zero dollars At the beginning of each semester, students begrudgingly trudge to the Brown Bookstore to pay an exorbitant price to purchase textbooks for their classes. Many others, looking to save money, resort to purchasing books through online retailers like Amazon, where they often revel in having saved money before realizing they somehow received the wrong book. In an age where sharing information is even easier than withholding it, students have many options to obtain course materials. Unless the textbook industry plans a significant overhaul in policy and distribution, buying a textbook may soon become obsolete. Purchasing textbooks is traditionally seen as a necessary college expense and can be a rite of passage for first-years taking their first courses. But students in this day and age have found other, sometimes illicit, approaches to obtaining textbooks. We do not condone the illegality of these methods, but we cannot deny their existence or their appeal to students. Rather than spending money, students can receive textbooks from a friend, borrow them “long-term” from the library, download them from the Internet, purchase international editions of textbooks that are often cheaper or even choose not to buy them at all. We do not specifically advocate any of these options, but they are certainly more sensible to the frugal college student. This begs the question: Should textbook companies adapt to remain relevant cornerstones of our educational experiences? Are they even capable of doing so? We have nothing against textbooks in general. Many students find having a physical copy of the textbook to be much more conducive to studying, and for those students who are perfectly content with purchasing textbooks, feel free to stop reading at this point. But many students do look to economize, and it is common knowledge that other options exist, such as the ones outlined above. After all, there are formal institutions that suggest knowledge is a public good that should be accessible to all who seek it. This is why websites such as Wikipedia have been so popular not just with students, but also with the general public. In addition, the popularity of free courseware with several top institutions such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology attest to the belief that the more people gain knowledge, the better. We hope the textbook industry can recognize the trend toward the de-commodification of education and take appropriate and drastic measures to stay relevant in these rapidly changing times. We understand buying textbooks is sometimes completely necessary. Many classes require course packets that can only be bought through the bookstore, and it can be difficult to obtain that specific gender studies or post-modernist Bengali poetry book from a friend or online. But simultaneously, we want to challenge the notion that buying textbooks is the only option or even the best option. In accordance with the now-prevalent principles of open, accessible knowledge, institutions and the general public alike have already fundamentally uprooted the tenets of education. While textbooks cannot be handed out for free, it is time for the textbook industry to seriously evaluate and adapt to compete with the new, worthy competitors that have risen in its previously monopolized market in education.
the brown daily herald Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Editorial cartoon b y a n g e l i a wa n g
le tter to the Editor Gun control discussion must consider all sides To the Editor: I was heartened to see Andrew Powers’ ’15 column (“Common-sense gun control,” Feb. 4) printed in The Herald. Before today, I have found the columns in The
Herald since the Newtown tragedy regarding gun control decidedly one-sided. Whatever one’s views are on any subject, it is important that all voices be heard — this is the essence of democracy. Evan Stern ’16
Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editor, Dan Jeon, and its members, Mintaka Angell, Samuel Choi, Nicholas Morley and Rachel Occhiogrosso. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
t h e b row n da i ly h e r a l d Editors-in-Chief Lucy Feldman Shefali Luthra
Managing Editors Elizabeth Carr Jordan Hendricks
editorial Greg Jordan-Detamore Strategic Director Sections Arts & Culture Editor Hannah Abelow Arts & Culture Editor Maddie Berg City & State Editor Sona Mkrttchian City & State Editor Adam Toobin Features Editor Elizabeth Koh Features Editor Alison Silver Science & Research Editor Sahil Luthra Science & Research Editor Kate Nussenbaum Sports Editor James Blum Sports Editor Connor Grealy University News Editor Mathias Heller University News Editor Alexandra Macfarlane University News Editor Eli Okun Editorial Page Editor Dan Jeon Opinions Editor Matt Brundage Opinions Editor Lucas Husted Opinions Editor Maggie Tennis Multimedia Emily Gilbert Photo Editor Sam Kase Photo Editor Sydney Mondry Photo Editor Tom Sullivan Photo Editor Danny Garfield Video Editor Angelia Wang Ilustrations Editor Production Sara Palasits Copy Desk Chief Brisa Bodell Design Editor Einat Brenner Design Editor Kyle McNamara Design Editor Sandra Yan Assistant Design Editor Joseph Stein Web Producer Neal Poole Assistant Web Producer
Senior Editors Aparna Bansal Alexa Pugh
Business General Managers Office Manager Julia Kuwahara Shawn Reilly Samuel Plotner Directors Eliza Coogan Sales Luka Ursic Finance Emily Chu Alumni Relations Angel Lee Business Strategy Justin Lee Business Development Managers Jacqueline Chang Regional Sales Leslie Chen Regional Sales Anisa Holmes Regional Sales Wenli Shao Regional Sales Carolyn Stichnoth Regional Sales Chae Suh Regional Sales William Barkeley Collections Nicole Shimer Collections Josh Ezickson Operations Alison Pruzan Alumni Engagement Melody Cao Human Resources Owen Millard Research & Development Post- magazine Editor-in-Chief Zoë Hoffman Editor-in-Chief Claire Luchette BLOG DAILY HERALD Meredith Bilski Editor-in-Chief William Janover Managing Editor Connor McGuigan Deputy Managing Editor Cara Newlon Deputy Managing Editor Georgia Tollin Deputy Managing Editor Jason Hu Creative Director
quote of the day
“An idea that can change the course of the company can come from anyone.” —Jack Dorsey , co-founder of Twitter and Square See twitter on page 4. facebook.com/browndailyherald
C O R R E C T I O N S P olic y The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentar y P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olic y Send letters to email@example.com. Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olic y The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.
the brown daily herald Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Keeping up with the Congress Elizabeth Fuerbacher Opinions Columnist Imagine you are earning a handsome salary, attending soirees in the most exciting cities and gracing television screens and newspapers regularly. The best part is that you do not need to apply an established skill set or engage in rigorous thought, as your assistants do most of the preparation and analysis for you. In these uncertain economic times — when industrious individuals and even graduates of the most illustrious universities have difficulty obtaining employment — you are subject to characterizations that you are “famous for being famous” and need not work hard for a living. If you thought I was describing the Kardashians, who seem to be America’s favorite target for criticism regarding undeserved wealth and fame, you are wrong. Instead, I describe the vast majority of our congressmen rather than private individuals who happened to monetize their popularity. This column is intended to be apolitical, so I am not criticizing politicians’ lackluster performance based on the current balance of power in Washington. I am not aiming to emulate Fox News by championing the policy expertise of Paul Ryan and attempting to render him the next Milton Friedman. On the other hand, I am certainly not echoing MSNBC’s celebration of the
Obama administration just because the unemployment rate miraculously dipped below 8 percent right before the presidential election. Regardless of one’s ideological affiliation, there appears to be a sorely misguided focus on the earning power of celebrities and reality stars, who seem to offer little talent, while the unimpressive abilities of Congress to enact meaningful immigration reform or introduce housing market initiatives go unnoticed.
desirable perks regardless of their legislative aptitudes. One might counter that inept politicians risk the loss of re-election. But, it is demonstrably hard to unseat sitting officials. In fact, 90 percent of incumbent U.S. congressmen and 91 percent of U.S. senators were reelected in 2012. These strong statistics prevailed despite dismal approval ratings of Congress, which were marked at only 21 percent in mid-October last year. In late November, Gallup polls estimated that only one in 10 Americans pos-
Our congressmen and senators should be entitled to zero compensation until they can learn to reign in spending, better organize their priorities and focus meaningfully on issues such as entitlement reform, job creation and immigration initiatives. More bluntly, why should we care if the Kardashians reportedly earn $40 million for three seasons of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” or if the stars of “Honey Boo Boo” supposedly rake in up to $20,000 per episode? We have congressmen and senators each taking home at least $174,000 per year — plus expenses — and producing quite lackluster legislation. At least celebrities are paid from the coffers of private enterprise and help generate strong ratings for networks that, in turn, corroborate their pay. Our elected officials are compensated by the public’s tax dollars and are guaranteed their salaries and other
sesses robust confidence in the ethical nature of members of Congress. The electorate should be more concerned with the performance of its very handsomely paid officials. Granted, $174,000 is not an earth-shattering amount of money. But it is quite a generous sum if we adjust the figure for the actual amount of effort required to do the job. I find it ironic that people lambast investment bankers, lawyers or doctors, who take home six figures annually after toiling for nearly or even more than 12 hours per day and have likely spent between $250,000 and $500,000 on higher education.
Our congressmen and senators should be entitled to zero compensation until they can learn to rein in spending, better organize their priorities and focus on issues such as entitlement reform, job creation and immigration initiatives. Patching together some last-minute agreement on the debt ceiling — the innate problems of which, by the way, persist — is not tantamount to exercising rigorous thought or critical skills that deserve monetary reward. And trust me, our lofty elected officials would not suffer without a salary: Many of them have law degrees they can hopefully put to use, or at least can leverage their connections to land a consulting gig or political commentator job. We ought to follow in the footsteps of the shareholders at KB Home who rejected multimillion dollar compensation packages for executives in 2012 in light of their dissatisfaction with the company’s ability to generate stronger earnings. Before we expend more energy criticizing reality TV personalities who have become wealthy by virtue of silly antics and outlandish behavior, we should redirect our exasperation to the real culprits who are “famous for being famous.” Perhaps we can even feature them on a new C-SPAN reality program, “Keeping Up with the Congress.” Elizabeth Fuerbacher ’14 has more confidence in KBH’s ability to generate earnings than in Congress’ ability to generate legislation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
In rationis speramus By Jesse Hartheimer Guest Columnist In an oversized bold font, at the top of Brown’s Spiritual and Religious Life website, it is affirmed, “A nonsectarian institution, Brown embraces all spiritual traditions and celebrates the diversity of religious identity on campus.” Considering this forthright affirmation of religious neutrality, how is it that our motto remains “In Deo Speramus” — literally: “In God we hope”? How does such a statement at all reflect the spirit of religious impartiality? Where is there room in this motto for the dozens of atheist and agnostic students, not to mention believers in polytheistic faiths? Furthermore, do these three words really encapsulate the essence of Brown? As I will argue, this motto is antithetical to the ideals that Brown itself professes and exemplifies. Brown’s policy to accept students regardless of religious affiliation was the first of any college in the nation. This is laudable and has, over the years, nurtured a student body rich in religious diversity. But you don’t need a detective to discover a significant number of “infidels” parading around campus. Daily conversations make it fairly clear that many Brown students are non-believers and many more are skeptical thinkers. That said, many fail to see a problem with the perpetuation of our antiquated and religiously fueled motto. I imagine many people simply gloss over it, thinking to themselves the motto
is simply a relic of the “olden days,” an era at Brown when religious belief reigned. But our school statement is a remnant of a pious past Brown has maintained out of unwillingness to challenge the standard. Since when has Brown been in the spirit of maintaining the status quo — in perpetuating tradition for tradition’s sake? As far as I know, it hasn’t. Throughout its history, Brown has been about progress and promoting equality and well-being for everyone — regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, religion or any other division you can conceive — in our own community and,
Furthermore, it seems especially hypocritical that an institution that cherishes reason, evidence and argument in the pursuit of truth and insight would support a motto that reflects the antithesis of these values. Simply put, religious faith is unjustified belief, glorified by centuries of fiery — albeit misplaced — confidence. In no other area of discourse apart from religion do unjustified beliefs about the nature of the universe receive such unquestioned respect. You do not need to respect your professor’s theory about biology if he does not — or worse, cannot — provide good reasons and
Any person with a Latin-English dictionary could devise a motto that is vastly more meaningful and relevant to Brown’s essence as an institution than is the current one.
more recently, beyond our gates. The spirit of Brown is not and has never been to hope for divine intervention to better our society. On the contrary, it is in our very nature as Brunonians to intervene ourselves, to get our hands dirty, and to “be the change (we) wish to see in the world,” to quote Gandhi. For me personally, it feels as if nearly all of my fellow Brunonians — driven by their own initiatives — are constantly involved in remarkable and admirable activities.
evidence for you to do so. Likewise, you wouldn’t simply accept your psych professor’s theory of behavior on faith — that is, without justification. “In Deo Speramus” spits in face of the standards by which members of the Brown community conduct research and explore the sphere of knowledge. Our current motto only caters to those who believe in a monotheistic God. It explicitly excludes the rest of us — skeptics,
non-believers, polytheists and more. Worse, it misrepresents a significant portion of our student and faculty body. This is not quite in the spirit of a “nonsectarian institution.” Is this the motto that best reflects Brown’s core values? It seems patently clear that the answer to this question is a resounding “No.” Does it suffice that this motto could carry some metaphorical meaning or inspiration? Perhaps for some, but why beat around the (burning) bush? Why not endorse a motto that concretely outlines Brown’s core values? I’m not saying Brown is a vault of hopeless, dispassionate reason. There are many things Brown students hope for: warmer weather, a decent Spring Weekend line-up, a lucrative job that also does some good in the world. But hope in God does not seem high on the list. You wouldn’t create an ad campaign for apples using pictures of oranges. Just saying. Moreover, how much moral or spiritual wealth does one really gain by reading these three words? Any person with a Latin-English dictionary could devise a motto that is vastly more meaningful and relevant to Brown’s essence as an institution than is the current one. How about “In Rationis Speramus” — “In Reason We Hope”? Or “In WhisCo Speramus?” Whatever it may be, let us abandon our antiquated superstitious slogan and brand Brown with a motto that truly reflects our collective core values. Jesse Hartheimer ’14 enjoys discussing religion — over politics — and can be contacted at email@example.com
daily herald sports tuesday the Brown
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Bruno breaks recent record, finishes third at Rutgers Bears gives strong performance with score improvements on vault and floor exercises By lloyd sy CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Emily gilbert / the herald
The gymnastics team broke the University record for most points on the vault, set only one week earlier at the University of New Hampshire.
The gymnastics team finished third with 191.85 points at a competition held in the Livingston Recreation Center at Rutgers University Saturday. The Bears set a University record of 48.625 points on the vault, breaking the previous record of 48.4, which they recently set at a Jan. 26 meet at the University of New Hampshire. The Scarlet Knights won Saturday’s meet with a score of 195 points of a possible 200, edging out second-place Pittsburgh University’s 194.625, while Southern Connecticut State University finished fourth with a total of 188.525. “Our goal is always to break the school records in all events,” said Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne. “It just so happens that vault has been the event we’ve been doing well at.”
Danielle Hoffman ’15 led Bruno in the vault with a score of 9.775 and placed fifth overall. Michelle Shnayder ’14 and Diana Walters ’16 tacked on a 9.75 and a 9.725 in vault, respectively. Walters finished first in the allaround competition, hitting all four of her events for a combined score of 38.475. Carver-Milne said this was the third time Walters had ever competed in this series of events and that she handled the pressure well. The Bears combined for a score of 48.5 in the floor exercise, improving from last week’s score of 47.5. Shnayder finished sixth among competitors on the floor, with a 9.8, while Corey Holman ’16 tied for 10th with a 9.725. Holman and Walters are among a class of six first-years and co-captain Kasey Haas ’13 attributed much of the team’s success this year to the new recruits’ “combination of physical skill and passion.” On the bars, Bruno earned a 46.8 and was led by Nicole Abdo ’13 and Alexandra Chretien ’16, both of whom scored 9.575. Meanwhile, the Bears’ score of 47.925 on the balance beam
was driven by a 9.775 by Emily Lutfey ’13. Allison Rubenstein ’15 finished tying 10th overall on the beam with a score of 9.675. Rubenstein competed for the first time this season, missing the first two meets due to an ankle injury, Carver-Milne said. Rubenstein stepped in as a last-minute replacement for the injured Julia Meyer ’13. “(Rubenstein) wasn’t supposed to compete,” Haas said. “But she stepped up and hit an amazing beam set right out of injury.” Haas said Brown’s improvement from last week’s total score of 191.75 was due to the women “gaining more confidence in practice.” “I think that everyone is beginning to see our potential,” Haas said. “We could accomplish things we’ve never had the opportunity to do.” The Bears will next compete Feb. 10 at their final home meet of the season in the Pizzitola Center. In the seniors’ last home competition, they will face Rhode Island College, the University of Bridgeport, SUNY Cortland and Springfield College.
swim & dive
Bears face off against Cornell’s Big Red on Senior Day Amidst hopes for talented recruits in coming years, the swimming and diving teams honor seniors By GEORGE SANCHEZ CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Following losing performances at Columbia, the men’s swimming and diving team beat Cornell 178.50-121.50, while the women’s swimming and diving team lost to the Big Red153-147 on Senior Day. This is the first season in which the squads have competed in the newly constructed Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center. “The energy on the team this season has been very different — (the new pool) has changed the dynamics of everything,” said co-captain Ian Slater ’13. In the coming years, Brown’s swimming and diving teams expect to improve consistently because the new pool will attract better recruits. “We definitely have the best pool in the Ivy League — it speaks for itself,” Slater said. “The caliber of people we are recruiting will definitely improve over the next few years.” During the last home meet of the season, Bruno took time to honor the contributions of the four members of the men’s swimming and diving team
and the five members of the women’s swimming and diving team who will graduate in 2013. “They are a special group that has been through a lot,” said Swimming Head Coach Peter Brown. “The seniors’ dedication and leadership have kept the program strongly intact.” On the men’s side (6-4, 2-4 Ivy League), the first individual win of the day went to Tommy Glenn ’14, who came in first place in the 200yard freestyle, stopping the clock at one minute, 41 seconds. In the 200-medley relay, Alex Pascal ’15, Jeffrey Strausser ’15, Mike McVicker ’13 and Glenn put together a first place finish with a time of 1:31.83. Bruno dominated the 500-yard freestyle, with Cory Mayfield ’16, Ryan Saenger ’16 and Brian Barr ’15 finishing consecutively in the top three spots. On the boards, Sazzy Gourley ’16 claimed second place in the 3-meter event with a score of 255.30. In that same event, William Holder ’15 took third place, compiling a score of 254.78. The win against Cornell (1-7, 0-7) featured three double-winners on the men’s swimming and diving team
emily gilbert/ the herald
Tommy Glenn ’14 placed first in the 200-yard freestyle and helped the 200-medley relay team to victory. — McVicker, Glenn and Strausser each won two individual events in addition to their relay victory. “Coming off the tough loss to Columbia last weekend, I told the team, ‘We are back in our own pool next week. Just shake this off and prepare for the next one,’” Slater said. On the women’s side (6-2, 2-4), Kate Dillione ’15 earned Bruno the first individual win for the women’s team, placing first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:50.30. In the 100-yard freestyle, Reia Tong ’16 claimed first
place with a time of 50.92, just beating out teammate Dillione who touched the wall with 51.01 on the clock. The 200-medley relay squad, consisting of Catherine Pittman ’14, Kristin Jackson ’13, Emma Lamothe ’14 and Tong, finished second with a time of 1:44.79, just losing out to Cornell’s squad by six hundredths of a second. In the 200-yard butterfly, Gina Matsumoto ’16 and Leigh Holmes ’14 took first and second place, respectively. “(The first-years) have made strong contributions to our program — their
good attitude and hard work have brought a lot to the table,” Brown said. In the diving events, Rachel Speakman ’16 grabbed second place in the 1-meter event with a score of 244.50, while in the 3-meter event, Meghan Wenzel ’14 placed second and Michelle Miller ’15 finished close behind in third place. Cornell’s women squad (2-6, 1-6) ultimately beat out Bruno in a close win that was only separated by six points. Bruno’s season continues this weekend in New Haven, where the Bears will face off against the Yale Bulldogs.
track & Field
Bears stumble during in-state meet with fewer competititors Captains’ and select individuals’ successes prove unable to secure a team victory By MARIA ACAbADO Sports Staff Writer
The men and women of track and field were trumped by their hosts at the University of Rhode Island Coaches Tribute Invitational in Kingston last weekend. The men’s team secured a seventh place finish while the women’s
team claimed fifth overall, both falling to first-place Ram finishes. Ajani Brown ’14 claimed an individual title in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.22 seconds. “Everyone took something away from the meet,” Brown said. “A lot of the team was taking the week off to just train, but even with less numbers
we were able to compete well.” Co-captain Kenneth Thompson ’13 also secured another victory for the Bears by taking the triple jump with a leap of 14.31 meters. “The captains have been great this year,” Brown said. “Not only do they motivate the team by encouraging everyone daily at practice and in everyday life, but they also motivate on the track through their performances.” For the women, co-captain Lacey
Craker ’13 and Josephine Darpolor ’16 took the top spots in the weight throw. Craker took first with a toss of 17.71 meters while Darpolor’s toss of 16.28 meters earned her second place. “We performed pretty well overall,” Darpolor said. “Some of us still have adjustments to make to get our desired results, but the team as a whole is progressing in the right direction.” Hannah Wallace ’13 added an-
other first place win for the Bears in the pole vault by clearing 3.55 meters. Elaine Kuckertz ’13 earned the top spot in the 1000-meter with a time of 2:57. The Bears are now preparing for the Boston University Valentine Invitational Feb. 8 and 9. “We are very much looking forward to Friday,” Kuckertz said. “It’s a really good meet on a fast track at (BU).”