BROWN DAILY HERALD vol. cxlix, no. 47
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
Adrift in the Ocean State
For Rhode Island’s homeless population, service providers offer some answers — and some obstacles
Carl Freese lives in a small, white house with a red door. He sits inside on a weathered leather chair with his legs crossed, his wrists hanging over the armrests. He is aware of his body’s frailty. Behind him, a map of the world looks over a table covered with little orange prescription bottles. Freese’s phone rings. He listens for a few seconds, chuckles and hangs up. “How exciting! I won a free cruise to the Bahamas!” Freese has quite a bit of experience with cruise ships. After studying music at the University of Rhode Island, he worked on the Queen Elizabeth II for 11 years, traveling through the Caribbean, South America, Hawaii and Tahiti. He quickly moved up to become the cruise director, one of the ship’s five senior officers. “I thought, at the time, I had enough money stacked away to be able to do whatever I wanted to do.” Freese had a large savings account, a down payment ready for a house and a 12-month emergency fund. He returned home to Rhode Island and began managing jewelry stores in southeastern New England. In 2002, doctors found that he was
going through congestive heart failure and needed a transplant. “I remember them coming at me with the cardiac paddles and thinking, ‘Oh, this is probably not good,’” Freese says. By 2005, Freese was selling furniture to pay for his medical care. “Do I buy groceries, or do I buy the pharmaceuticals I need?” he recalls thinking. Freese soon lost his apartment. The threefold path For Rhode Island’s homeless population, 2012 was a tumultous year. The state’s first housing program, the Neighborhood Opportunities Program, and stimulus money from the Obama administration both expired. But activists succeeded in passing the Homeless Bill of Rights, which calls for increased attention to equal treatment for the homeless, and the Housing Resources Commission adopted “Opening Doors Rhode Island: A Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.” In 2013, Rhode Island saw a 9 percent drop in the number of homeless people, from 4,868 to 4,447 people. When it comes to managing homelessness, there are essentially two major players: the service
TOM SULLIVAN / HERALD
“I had a much gentler form of homelessness than any of the street people,” said Carl Freese. “I was never … out sleeping on concrete sheets.” providers and the homeless. From the perspective of a service provider, it is most efficient to group people with the same problems together. But homeless people are not thinking about which category they fall into. They’re thinking about where they’re going to sleep each night.
IFF releases annual lineup Next week’s program includes screenings, Wes Anderson Q&A and student films By EMMAJEAN HOLLEY SENIOR STAFF WRITER
With grand hotels and hot dogs, this year’s Ivy Film Festival lineup features diverse screenings and speakers, including a Skype questionand-answer session with acclaimed director Wes Anderson, according to an email sent out by IFF Sunday. The festival runs Monday, April 14, through Sunday, April 20, at locations around campus and at the Avon Cinema. This year’s IFF program features a panel, talks with filmmakers and a variety of free screenings. Some of the films being screened have yet to hit national theaters, and other screenings will be followed by question-and-answer sessions with the films’ directors. Wednesday night’s free screening of Wes Anderson’s latest film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” will show at the Avon Cinema at 6:15 p.m. The film retraces the misadventures of a top-tier
ARTS & CULTURE
concierge and his trusty lobby boy in the mythical Eastern European country of Zubrowka. Its star-studded cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law and Edward Norton. A Skype Q&A session with Anderson will follow the performance. “He’s known for his artistic peculiarity and a sense of direction so unique to himself,” said Yongha Kim ’15, IFF publicity coordinator. “It’ll be really interesting to hear his insight on how he came into film, why he does things in (a) certain way, what he’s motivated by and what difficulties he’s faced.” A free screening of “Noah,” directed by Darren Aronofsky, will kick off the week’s events at the Avon on Monday. Russell Crowe plays the film’s eponymous protagonist in this critically acclaimed adaptation of the Biblical story, with other major cast members including Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson ’14. Fans of “Spring Breakers” and “The Bling Ring” will find a similar, albeit slightly darker, viewing experience in Tuesday’s advanced screening of “Locke” in List 120, Kim said. Starring Tom Hardy in what Kim called “basically a one-man show,” the plot
develops through the enigmatic, onesided telephone conversations of Ivan Locke as he drives through the night to an undisclosed location. “This is a very tense, very interesting way of creating a film, and I’m excited to see how that folds out,” Kim said. Kim said multiple Brown alums, including director Leah Meyerhoff ’01, contributed to “I Believe in Unicorns.” An advance screening of the film will take place on Thursday in MacMillan 117, followed by a question-andanswer session with Meyerhoff. Thursday’s free screening of the documentary “Cutie and the Boxer” illustrates the life of struggling Japanese artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. The film focuses on the sometimes fraught relationship between husband and wife as they both pursue careers in visual art. “This isn’t some snobby art film about weird Japanese artists,” Kim said. “It’s about the universal theme of love and what does it mean to be together with someone forever.” Blake Beaver ’14, executive director of IFF, spoke of the film’s social implications, stating that it “takes a really incredible look at what it means » See IFF, page 7
The current infrastructure categorizes the homeless as following one of three main routes. Service providers may divert them from shelters completely, prompting them to find refuge on a friend’s couch or in a spare room while searching for permanent housing.
Some may be offered a short stay in a shelter before developing a longterm solution. And others could need more extensive services before being able to settle into long-term housing. Freese followed the first path. He started out couch-surfing at the » See HOMELESS, page 4
Students react to first online housing lottery ResLife aims to reduce housing stress, some students miss in-person lottery By EMMA HARRIS SENIOR STAFF WRITER
For the first time in Brown history, the housing lottery, which opened yesterday at 3 p.m., took place on an online platform, instead of in Sayles Hall. The lottery will last through Thursday, running during the afternoons and evenings. After previously declaring their intent to participate and choosing housing groups and group leaders, lottery entrants were randomly assigned a rank and corresponding three-minute time slot. The assigned times and dates were announced March 26 on the Residential Council’s website. During their allotted times, group leaders log on to the Office of Residential Life’s housing lottery website and search for rooms based on hall and room type. The leaders then designate which room each member of their
Arts & Culture
Rep. McNamara proposes a pilot program to help adults finish their college degrees online
Providence policies and increased funding have reduced rates of childhood lead exposure
The Spring Thaw Powwow celebrates Native American food, music and dance
A play written and directed by Phoebe Nir ’14 examines disordered eating at Brown
By EMMA JERZYK SENIOR STAFF WRITER
group will live in for the 2014-2015 academic year. After the three-minute time slot, the next group leader can log in, but the previous group leader is not kicked out, Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential life and dining services, told The Herald in March. Group leaders may change their selected rooms until the end of their lottery day, The Herald reported at the time. The sophomore and upperclassman lotteries are running simultaneously, since each draws from a separate pool of residence halls. “I think (the lottery) was very easy overall,” said Alex Evangelatos ’17, whose group was assigned a mid-range number. His group of four didn’t get its top choice but “got close to it,” he said, landing a two-double suite in Barbour. While other group members cannot select any rooms, they can log on to ResLife’s housing lottery website to see the live list of remaining, unreserved rooms. Samantha Spear’s ’17 group of two watched its top-choice room disappear » See LOTTERY, page 2 t o d ay
62 / 40
58 / 33
2 university news
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
Students divided over financial aid allocations Fin. aid priorities vary among recipients of financial aid, students of different socioeconomic backgrounds By MARINA RENTON STAFF WRITER
Undergraduates are nearly evenly divided on whether the University should prioritize extending need-blind admission or expanding financial aid for middle-income students, according to a Herald poll conducted March 3-4. Close to 37 percent of students support awarding financial aid to middleincome students who do not currently qualify for it as the University’s top financial aid priority, the poll found. Around 32 percent of students polled endorsed expanding the University’s need-blind admission program to include international, transfer and Resumed Undergraduate Education students as the top priority, while just over 19 percent supported increasing financial aid for students who already qualify for it. Holly Gildea ’16 said students may have responded in part based on their current financial aid situation. Students who currently receive insufficient aid or who receive loans as part of their aid packages may be inclined to support increasing aid for students who already receive it because “it’s more salient if you’re experiencing it,” she said. Gildea selected universal needblind admission because it “enhances the culture of the school,” she said. “The fact that I can enjoy (financial
aid) benefits when someone else can’t because of where they’re from is just not fair.” Admission being partially dependent on financial standing for some applicants “seems counter to what Brown is about,” said Christopher Thompson ’15. Among students who receive no tuition assistance, approximately 39 percent favor prioritizing financial aid to middle-income students — a figure higher than among the overall student body, the poll indicated. Close to 57 percent of students receiving just loans from the University selected the same option. Only around 9 percent of respondents who receive no University financial support — the lowest proportion among all groups — advocated increasing aid for students who already receive it. Students who receive any form of financial aid were more likely to favor this option than the undergraduate population as a whole. Roughly 46 percent of students receiving grants covering all costs supported prioritizing the expansion of the University’s need-blind admission policies. Approximately one-third of students receiving grants covering some of their costs and those receiving no financial aid favored this prioritization, while students receiving only loans or a mix of grants and loans were not as supportive of universal
need-blind admission, with about 14 and 27 percent of respondents, respectively, choosing it. Alex Mechanick ’15, president of Brown for Financial Aid, said the poll’s question — “What should be the University’s top financial aid priority?” — was “really silly.” The question “belies the fact that we can make progress on all of these (issues) simultaneously,” he said. He cited plans to expand Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards and Linking Internships and Knowledge (LINK) Awards as initiatives that benefit individuals who do not receive financial aid as well as those who do. Mechanick said there is a discrepancy between the conceptions of “middle-income” in the nation and at the University. Students from families who earn less than $60,000 per year — above the national median income — receive full financial aid, Mechanick said. Among Brown undergraduates, “middle-income” includes students from families who earn between 100,000 and 150,000 dollars a year, he added. “It’s not clear to me that many students selecting this option are thinking of expanding financial aid to families earning $150,000 a year,” Mechanick said, adding that “we need to be suspicious of … just what a result like that means.” Director of Financial Aid Jim Tilton said he does not foresee a “giant change” in the percentage of middle-income
students receiving financial aid in the near future, but he added that the Office of Financial Aid is looking “more carefully” at the financial situations of undergraduates whose families fall in the middle-income category. “We’re communicating with them more closely, getting much more information about their particular and specific financial situations, and I think that’s allowed us in some cases to assist families in that category,” he said. Students might not be fully informed about the University’s financial aid policies, which might skew poll results, Mechanick said. “There’s a lot of information that isn’t necessarily accessible to everyone answering the question right now.” Whether or not the question was phrased in an ideal manner, “a more relevant consideration is, given that everyone thinks we should be allocating more of our resources to financial aid, why aren’t we?” Mechanick asked. Tilton said he was pleased by the extent to which students participate in discussions about financial aid, particularly during last year’s strategic planning process. “I think students here are fairly in tune with the policies that we have,” he said. Thompson said when he filled out the poll, he selected extending financial aid to middle-income students because “that’s most similar to where I fall.” But upon reflection, Thompson said he would rather have responded in favor of extending need-blind admission policies.
» LOTTERY, from page 1 20 minutes before their time slot, she said. They were vying for an Olney room, complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, which used to belong to the community director. Residential Council members are stationed in Andrews Commons, Arnold Lounge and the first floor of Grad Center E from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. every lottery day to answer questions, according to an email Thursday from ResLife to all students participating in the lottery. During these hours, ResLife also designated a special phone number for “emergencies that may arise during the housing lottery,” according to the email. No ResLife staff members could be reached for comment Monday because they were all answering phones. With the move online, some students recalled the in-person lottery fondly. “As stressful as the lottery was, it was kind of fun,” said Daniel Hoadley ’15. Online, students don’t get to watch people stand and scream when the last Young Orchard or Vartan Gregorian Quad suites are taken, he added. There was a “Hunger Games” element and “risk of bloodshed” to the old lottery, said Naomi Varnis ’16. The new system will give students more “time to breathe,” she added. The online system would have been easier to navigate if the links for floor plans, lottery numbers and general information were all on the same webpage, said Georgina Halpern ’17. But the actual lottery was “easy,” she added, and she had no problems in choosing her room.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
R.I. bill aims to help adults finish college degree online Pilot program, proposed by Rep. McNamara, seeks to improve workforce by bolstering education By EMILY DOGLIO STAFF WRITER
Rep. Joseph McNamara, D-Warwick and Cranston, proposed legislation March 19 to create a three-year pilot program for Rhode Island adults to complete their college degrees online. The program will be facilitated through partnerships with Charter Oak State College, a Connecticut public online college, and College Unbound, a Providence-based nonprofit organization that helps adults finish their degrees, according to an April 2 General Assembly press release. The legislation also outlines an evaluation plan through the Rhode Island Partnership Project, a program run by the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education to increase the state’s learning opportunities. Following its evaluation, RIPP will then submit its findings on the success of the pilot program to the General Assembly. “It’s tremendously exciting that (McNamara) is working to create multiple pathways for R.I. residents to earn degrees,” wrote Adam Bush, the director of curriculum at College Unbound, in an email to The Herald. The pilot program is limited to 1,000 participating adults over 21 years old with a high school diploma or its equivalent and a minimum of nine college-level credit hours, according to the bill. “Many adult Rhode Islanders who have some college credits and who would like to obtain their degree simply run into various life circumstances and challenges in pursuing further education by traditional means,” McNamara said in the press release. “This is one way to address a very interesting challenge,” said Professor of Education Kenneth Wong, adding that “the workforce quality and training is closely tied to the potential for economic growth in the local community.” On average, the college graduation rate for four-year colleges in a six-year period is approximately 50 percent in the United States, Wong said. Along the way, some students find it necessary to begin working in order to afford their tuition, he added. Though some fields such as education and nursing may require more hands-on learning, other disciplines — including industrial business and management — translate better to an online course, Wong said. Adults who have job experience could have more success in studying certain subject areas like business, because they have already been in the workforce, Wong added. “I think it’s a new territory,” Wong said of online learning. “We need to make sure that the quality is there.”
City leads state in lead reduction policies Providence aims to make homes safer for children, requiring contractors to be aware of lead poisoning By YVETTE RODRIGUEZ CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Providence policies aimed at reducing childhood lead exposure have contributed to a 25 percent decline in the number of cases reported in 2013. There were only 402 exposure cases in Providence during 2013 as compared to 503 cases in 2012, according to a press release from the Rhode Island Department of Health. Though Congress cut the Centers for Disease Control’s Healthy Homes and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program by 94 percent in 2012 — reducing its budget from $29 million to $2.5 million — the fiscal year 2014 budget includes $15 million for lead poisoning prevention programs across the nation, according to a press release from Lead Safe Kids, a Rhode Island nonprofit organization focused on community outreach. The General Assembly also increased funding for Rhode Island’s lead poisoning prevention programs to account for the decrease in federal funding, said Roberta Hazen Aaronson, executive director of Lead Safe Kids. Lead poisoning has detrimental effects on childhood development, such as shorter attention spans and some learning disabilities, according to the CDC. Providence has been one of the first cities in Rhode Island to craft policies that have successfully contributed to a significant drop in children exposed to lead. One policy that has been instrumental in these efforts requires rental properties built before 1978 to obtain a lead safety certificate, Hazen Aaronson said. Other key actions included
RYAN WALSH / HERALD
Most houses built before 1978 likely contain lead paint, the leading source of lead exposure, though incidence of childhood lead exposure in Providence fell 25 percent in 2013. requiring contractors to be educated and licensed about lead poisoning before receiving building permits and holding landlords accountable for not disclosing lead hazards in rental homes to potential tenants, wrote Robert Vanderslice, a member of the RIDOH’s Healthy Homes and Environment Team, in an email to The Herald. There were over 1,000 new cases of childhood lead poisoning in Rhode Island in 2013, Vanderslice wrote. Though Rhode Island cities and towns have experienced a dramatic decline in incidence over the last 10 years, cases of lead poisoning remain concentrated in the core cities. This is partly because around 80 percent of
Rhode Island homes were built before 1978 and likely contain lead-based paint — the most common source of lead exposure to children in Rhode Island, according to RIDOH’s website. Another major source of lead poisoning comes from contaminated drinking water that originates from a prevalence of old pipes in Rhode Island homes, Vanderslice wrote. Various state agencies are responsible for regulating the different public threats posed by lead poisoning. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management measures concentrations of lead in the air, while RIDOH oversees water quality and the Healthy Homes program, wrote Doug McVay, chief of RIDEM’s Air
Resources Division, in an email to The Herald. The Office of Healthy Housing works with local organizations and property owners to help make homes lead-safe for occupants, said Simon Kue, former housing commission coordinator for the Rhode Island Division of Planning. The office provides funding to assist eligible homeowners in renovation efforts aimed at ensuring homes are lead safe for children under 6 years old. Many low-income families are disproportionately affected by lead paint exposure due to often-inferior housing conditions, Hazen Aaronson said, adding that “lead poisoning is not an equal-opportunity disease.”
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
» HOMELESS, from page 1 homes of friends, family members and members of his church. “I had a much gentler form of homelessness than any of the street people,” Freese says. “I was never … out sleeping on concrete sheets.” Couch-surfing works for only so long, says Irene Glasser, a research associate who teaches ANTH 1301: “Anthropology of Homelessness.” Family members or friends who rent apartments usually cannot accommodate a visitor for more than 30 days. Barriers to entry One night more than a decade ago, John Freitas and Barbara Kalil had no place to stay. “Up until we put our stuff in a friend’s car we thought something was going to happen — her unemployment check was going to come in, someone was going to help us,” Freitas says. “There’s a million reasons why people become homeless, but there’s a general theme: They didn’t plan on it. They didn’t think it would happen. And it wasn’t real until it happened to them. “If you’re lucky, you’ll land in a city that has shelters. We did. We ended up in Providence.” Freitas’ friend took them to a shelter called Travelers Aid, which was renamed Crossroads 10 years ago. “We brought toasters, coffee pots. We had about eight bags on the sidewalk,” Freitas says. The staff at Travelers Aid told them to catch the “Goose,” a bus that would take them to Cranston, where they could stay. Freitas spent the night at a men’s shelter, while Kalil had to check into
TOM SULLIVAN / HERALD
Eric Oliveras, front desk supervisor at the Crossroads homeless shelter and service provider, processes paperwork for client intake. a women’s shelter. “It was scary, even for me. … These are the first homeless people I’ve ever talked to,” Freitas says, “and all the things I’d seen in the movies … are running through my head. “I’m sleeping with one eye open, … and I’m worried about Barbara down the street.” Crossroads is Rhode Island’s largest provider of services to homeless
Homelessness in Rhode Island 2008
4,162 Over 4,000 people enter the R.I. homeless shelter system annually.
4000 people Source: Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
JILLIAN LANNEY / HERALD
Breaking down the R.I. Division of Planning
Rhode Island’s two main programs combatting homelessness lie within a four-tiered bureaucratic umbrella.
Division of Planning Office of Housing and Community Development Housing Resources Commission Office of Homelessness
Consolidated Homeless Fund
JILLIAN LANNEY / HERALD
individuals and families, according to Karen Santilli, chief marketing and strategy officer at Crossroads. The former Young Men’s Christian Association building, a tall brick building that towers over Broad Street, was renovated when the organization moved in 10 years ago. Walking through the front doors, the smell of disinfectant is strong, and the decor is simple and clean. The Crossroads mission is to “secure stable housing for homeless and at-risk individuals and families” through emergency services, case management, education and employment services and an emergency shelter. Entering into a shelter like Crossroads prompts a number of assessments. Most attempting to enter a shelter will first call 211, a hotline intended to be a “one-stop service for vital information” started by the Atlanta United Way in 1997, according to 211us.org. Though 211’s original purpose was to provide information about food banks, shelters, physical and mental health resources and employment support, the hotline has also become a burden for many people hoping to enter shelters. Sometimes, homeless people cannot get into a shelter unless they have already called into 211, Freitas says. One night, years after he first arrived at a homeless shelter, Freitas was doing the “HUD count,” counting homeless people on the streets or in shelters for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He met a homeless family with a 2-year-old son and a 7-month-old baby. “They went to a shelter and were told, ‘You’re not on the list. Go out. Call 211. Get on the 211 list. Do the intake, then come in and we’ll try and help you.’” Freitas spent the night trying to get them into a shelter but was unsuccessful, ultimately letting the family into the ATM lobby at Kennedy Plaza, where they spent the night. “How do you do that? How do you tell a family that’s standing right in
TOM SULLIVAN / HERALD
Crossroads is located in Providence’s former YMCA building at 160 Broad St., where it moved 10 years ago. front of you, ‘You have to go out and call 211 and register with them’?” Freitas remembers. “And they’re standing at your desk, you’ve got a space at your shelter, you can’t take ’em in.” Santilli says she has heard stories of shelters holding spots for families in the community who were not registered with 211 but whom the shelter believed needed a space. But these shelters then denied beds to Providence families registered with 211 that were previously told the shelter had open beds. “There were some struggles when this system first started,” Santilli says, adding that the Crossroads Family Shelter manager met with 211 and state officials when it was first launched in Rhode Island. Those who end up in a shelter will likely encounter the Homeless Management Information System — an
online electronic database established in 2004 when Congress directed HUD to start gathering homelessness data. “The reality is that we are working with human beings who are in crisis,” Santilli says. Before being able to provide services, case managers have to input required information into the HMIS. “You have to prove that you’re homeless. How do you prove that you’re homeless? How do you prove a negative?” Santilli says. “They just want to take a shower or do their laundry.” The HMIS collects universal data elements, including name, social security number, date of birth, race, ethnicity, gender, veteran status, disabling condition, residence prior to program entry and housing status. Emergency shelters collect additional data related to income sources and chronic health conditions such as
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
Myths that linger Homelessness first became a major issue in the United States during the Great Depression. But between the 1940s and the 1980s, “there weren’t too many homeless people in the U.S.,” Hirsch wrote in “Understanding Homelessness in Rhode Island.” The homelessness crisis resurfaced in the 1980s when many social programs were cut due to budgetary constraints, including the revocation of the New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation Programs in 1983. HUD created the project-based Section 8 housing program in 1968, which included previously repealed records. HUD has not approved any projects since 1983, though projects approved before 1983 are still
TOM SULLIVAN / HERALD
Amos House, a service provider that currently maintains Rhode Island’s largest soup kitchen, serves over 400 meals per day. Lines of people waiting for lunch begin to form each morning before Amos House starts serving the meal at 11 a.m.
HIV/AIDS, mental illnesses and substance abuse, information that many people are hesitant to share. Data is also collected for eligibility in other types of housing, such as permanent supportive housing, transitional housing or motels paid for by vouchers. “We’re one of the best states in the country at collecting data about the homeless,” says Jim Ryczek, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. But while data collection makes sense in theory, it creates obstacles in practice for both well-intentioned service providers and the homeless themselves. HUD won’t fund people without the HMIS, wrote Eric Hirsch, a professor at Providence College who evaluates housing programs, in an email to The Herald. And the data sets are used to assess the efficacy of different programs, funnelling more funding toward programs identified as effective by its standards, Hirsch wrote. Shelters and service providers also have their own ways of deciding what the homeless need. Crossroads uses the Service Prioritization Decision Assessment Tool, which gives a score based on the acuity of the homeless individual’s or family’s needs, Santilli explains: the higher the perceived need, the higher the score. “We have another series of tools that assess their employability,” she adds. Amos House, another service provider, does an initial intake assessment of mental health to help determine whether the center can accommodate individuals or whether it should refer them elsewhere. “When an individual or family is homeless, and they come to Crossroads seeking help, we will connect them with a case advocate that will start working with them right away,” Santilli says. The case management component of shelters is a more recent development, Freitas says. “That happens today because of the advocacy work and because of the bitchin’ we did back then.” The case workers aim to connect the homeless individual or family with necessary resources, either within the organization or outside of it. “We can’t be everything to everybody,” Santilli says. These resources include housing. But the approaches that different programs take can seem contradictory, because they have evolved in different ways.
31.6% of the U.S. population experienced poverty for at least two months between 2009 and 2011
In 2010, 59% of homeless Rhode Islanders were male and 41% were female 13% of R.I.’s homeless population in 2010 was five years old or younger Families composed 39% of the R.I. homeless population in 2010
TOM SULLIVAN / HERALD
Sonny Ramsey is a case manager at Amos House, which has a 90-day transitional housing program for those who agree to a sobriety pact. receiving subsidies. “We started to see some more investments in public housing” in the 1990s, Ryczek says. The conservative culture shift that occurred in the 1980s sparked a belief that people would not engage with services that would better their lives unless they were incentivized to do so. Some believed that the homeless should not receive housing unless they were ‘housing-ready.’ “It used to be that we had this idea of a continuum of care,” Glasser says, which involved taking people living on the streets and placing them into temporary housing, then transitional housing and finally permanent housing. “The dominant view was that many homeless people, particularly those who had been homeless for a long time, were not ready for an immediate move back into the community in their own permanent housing
unit,” Hirsch wrote. “The idea was to put homeless people into two-year programs to make them ‘housing ready,’ … to become ‘clean and sober.’” These two-year programs are considered transitional housing, and are largely being phased out, as the majority have been labeled ineffective. The ’80s culture shift also resulted in a very specific stereotype associated with the homeless that still pervades today. Many people blame homelessness on homeless people themselves, Hirsch wrote. “Some have suggested that homeless people lived on the street by choice, and that many of them were former patients released from state mental institutions who had walked away from shelters,” Hirsch wrote. “Others blame substance abuse and suggest that most homeless persons are alcoholics.” But this line of thought is not logical, Hirsch wrote, because most state mental institution closings occurred
Source: Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, U.S. Census Bureau JILLIAN LANNEY / HERALD
between 1955 and 1975, and “the trend in abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs has been down since the mid’70s, not up.” There isn’t nearly as strong a correlation between these two issues and homelessness as people are led to believe, he added. But substance abuse is still a pervasive problem in the homeless community. “A lot of homeless people become substance abusers after they become homeless,” Freitas says, “because ‘homeless’ and ‘hopeless’ are like one word.” Addiction, particularly to cigarettes, is tricky among the homeless population, Glasser says. Not only are cigarettes physically addicting, but there is also a social component to the addiction because cigarettes are frequently used to barter between homeless people. Since the 1980s, the rise in homelessness has correlated with
increasing levels of income inequality. The rise in income inequality can be seen at “both ends of the distribution,” says Nathaniel Baum-Snow, associate professor of economics and urban studies, as the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer in most recent decades. This polarization emerged as a result of a shrinking middle-skilled job market. Many middle-skilled jobs, like clerical tasks and filing, have been replaced by computers. Technological advances have created a demand for more high-skilled jobs, while low-skilled jobs, such as those in construction and agriculture, have not changed much. Many transitional housing programs require group therapy or substance abuse treatment as a prerequisite to involvement. When faced with the choice between participating in these mandatory programs or living » See HOMELESS, page 6
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
» HOMELESS, from page 5 on the streets, many homeless individuals walk away. But transitional housing programs are becoming less and less popular. The Housing First model, which Rhode Island has embraced, differs from these transitional housing programs in that it aims to house homeless people regardless of their status, Glasser says. The program allows participants to access any and all services relating to physical and mental health, education, training, jobs and public assistance benefits on an entirely voluntary basis. The Housing First program at Riverwood Mental Health Center marries housing — funded through various voucher programs, like Section 8 — and services, which are funded at Riverwood by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, Glasser says. The Housing First model has also been adopted at House of Hope, Providence Center and Access Agency. Housing First has been very successful, advocates say, because its tenants are given no requirements other than what a regular tenant would assume. Glasser says she has observed a pattern of behavior in which clients initially just want the apartment. “But after they don’t have to worry about where to sleep every night, or where to eat every day, they say, ‘Okay, what am I doing with my life?’” They then start taking advantage of the services available to them on a voluntary basis, she says.
starting at Amos House. “Men listen to me because they know I’ve done it all,” he says.
Different approaches Many of Crossroads’ housing programs are based on the Housing First model. Research and program results show that once an individual or family is housed, treatment programs for issues like mental health or substance abuse are much more effective, Santilli says. Before its recent overhaul, Crossroads’ mission statement was to provide essential services to homeless individuals and families. Though Crossroads still provides services, it is now more focused on “securing stable homes,” Santilli says. Amos House, on the other hand, still has a 90-day transitional program that requires clients to take a “pact of sobriety,” before entering into “Phase Two,” their permanent supportive housing program. “We know that that’s a big part of turning your life around,” says Annie Colella, coordinator of marketing and special events at Amos House. Amos House consists of several small buildings, including an old blue house that now serves as the development offices and the social services offices, and a building that houses the soup kitchen and serves as a meeting space for the many support groups within Amos House. The organization’s Phase Two housing is currently full, and Amos House is engaged in a capital campaign to convert the houses currently serving as offices and classrooms back into client housing. Around half of Amos House’s staff are graduates of the program. “We don’t look at people’s pasts. If they had looked at my past, they would have never let me in this building,” says Sonny Ramsey, an Amos House case manager. Ramsey was imprisoned over 47 times by the time he was 35 before
Solutions within reach “Homelessness is unacceptable. It is solvable and preventable,” wrote the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission in its 2012 report. The plan includes, among other goals, ways to retool the state’s “homeless crisis response system” and increase access to affordable housing. Anticipating a HUD-required overhaul of the current service provider assessment process, the report includes suggestions on how to streamline intake procedures for the homeless. The plan also suggests that case managers, outreach workers and drop-in center staff members in temporary, transitional and permanent housing receive comprehensive and consistent training. The HRC aims to develop a system where more low-income housing is available for individuals and families across the state, with plans to create 100 permanent supportive housing units each year. For Freese, the strong pharmaceuticals he was prescribed after an episode of double pneumonia wreaked havoc on his organs. After his cancer surgery, he needed a stable home in which he could recover from his pneumonia in order to become eligible for a new heart. Without supportive housing, Freese would not have been able to heal from the surgery enough to get the transplant, he says. “Without subsidized housing,I still could not today afford a place of my own.” Freese started working with the House of Hope Community Development Corporation and got an apartment through a supportive housing program. Freese received his “new ticker” in 2008. “People laugh at me when I say that supportive housing saved my life,” he says. “But it really did.”
TOM SULLIVAN / HERALD
While Carl Freese’s illnesses forced him into homelessness, he subsequently found permanent housing through the House of Hope Community Development Corporation in Warwick. House of Hope enabled his recovery, Freese said.
Taking action on homelessness
Low-Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act offers incentives for renting to low-income citizens R.I. Housing Resources Commission created Homeless Management Information Systems begins collecting data The Housing and Economic Recovery Act establishes the Housing Trust Fund, though it has yet to receive funding The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program expires. The Neighborhood Opportunities Program is defunded. The General Assembly passes the Homeless Bill of Rights. The Housing Resources Commission adopts Opening Doors Rhode Island: A Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
1965 1968 1970 1973 1974
1983 1990 1998 2001 2004 2005 2008 2009 2012
Source: Understanding Homelessness in Rhode Island, recovery.org
1970 1965 1974
General Assembly creates Rhode Island Housing, a quasi-public agency that manages federal housing dollars
HUD begins testing efficacy of national housing allowance program Housing and Community Development Act increases Section 8 affordable housing choices
Fair Housing Act of 1968 creates housing programs such as Section 3 and Section 8
Housing and Urban Development becomes Cabinet-level agency
The Housing and Urban Rural Recovery Housing Act of 1983 repeals the New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation Programs due to budgetary constraints. Existing projects maintain subsidies
First state housing program, the Neighborhood Opportunities Program, begins, targeting state funds at disabled single adults and families with a single wage earner at minimum wage
U.S. Housing Act institutes affordable housing subsidies
Office of Housing and Community Development created
2008 2004 1998 1990
For almost a century, the federal and state governments have been combatting homelessness. The following is a timeline of major actions and legislation that have impacted homelessness beginning with the U.S. Housing Act in 1937.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocates $1,485,655,730 to HUD for homelessness prevention Federal stimulus dolllars fund Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program
Federal action Rhode Island action JILLIAN LANNEY / HERALD
arts & culture 7
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
» IFF, from page 1 to be a struggling artist in an elitist, capitalist society, how those tensions work and what sacrifices the artist has to make within that system.” A question-and-answer session with director Zachary Heinzerling and the Shinohara couple will follow the screening. The festival will also include a “Women in Entertainment” discussion panel, which will take place Saturday. The panel will feature talent agent Nancy Josephson, set decorator Karen O’Hara, casting director Samantha Stiglitz and TV executive Lauren Zalaznick. “From the beginning, we decided we wanted to have a women’s panel to answer the call for changes in the contemporary film industry,” Beaver said. “All of these women are extremely prominent and successful and really great models for how women in the industry are subverting those disproportionate representations and inequalities.” Friday night will shine the spotlight on two figures in the film industry with highly divergent career tracks. The first event will be a Q&A with David Frankel, who directed blockbuster hits such as “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Marley and Me.” The second will be a lecture from filmmaker Casey Neistat. Neistat “does really cool stuff like subversive small film pieces and extended advertisements for progressive brands,” Beaver said. “In this way, we can see how filmmaking merges with sectors of social innovation and enterprise, and serves as an avenue for students to see that there’s not just one channel of hugebudget, comedy, drama films,” Beaver said. IFF will also showcase studentmade work in three blocks of two hours each Friday and Saturday in the Martinos Auditorium of the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the
Creative Arts. “The blocks provide a platform to highlight achievements by student filmmakers and to celebrate film as medium itself,” Kim said. Studentmade films do not often receive attention due to their low-budget production and less-than-feature length, he added. The program committee selected 27 films out of approximately 300 submissions from around the world, Kim said. Erica James ’14, one of the programming coordinators, said submissions fall into three categories: undergraduate, graduate and international student work. The committee of approximately 20 students pares down the submissions to the best three to five in each of the genre categories, which include drama, comedy, animation, experimental and documentary. James said this process is “collaborative,” often relying on group discussions or votes. Though films are ultimately selected based on general criteria such as cinematography, acting and production value, each film is also evaluated against other films in its category. “We definitely have an eye toward how each film fits into one another — for example, we try to structure our blocks to show the diversity of the films in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing for the audience,” she said. James said the best submissions strike a balance between technical quality and the proper execution of an idea. “Sometimes it’s tricky, because we’ll get some films that are visually great with an incredibly high production value, but leave something to be desired in the way of story, character development or acting,” James said. This year, James said she is most impressed with the quality of work in the animation category, which features “some incredibly strong pieces — the best I’ve ever seen.”
COURTESY OF ERICA JAMES
“First Place,” pictured above, is one of the 27 student-made films selected for screening at this year’s Ivy Film Festival.
8 arts & culture
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
Powwow seeks to uphold Native traditions, values Local communities engage with Native American culture through food, dance, rhythm of drums By EBEN BLAKE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Brown’s Native American Heritage Series and Native Americans at Brown hosted the 13th annual Spring Thaw Powwow for students and local Native American communities Sunday. Offering dance competitions, drumming, native food vendors and arts and crafts, the powwow attracted members from various tribes and kicked off the start of the Northeast’s powwow season. It will be followed by events at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Harvard. “We have people coming up from upstate New York and a group bringing a drum down from Nova Scotia,” said Niyo Moraza-Keeswood ’16, one of the co-organizers of the powwow. “There’s a real close-knit community on the powwow trail.” People from around the Northeast greeted each other as old friends, demonstrating this closeness. After each of the 14 dance competitions, the competitors shook hands and congratulated each other on their performances. “We teach these youngsters how to act at a young age,” said the announcer of the dance competition. As the Mystic River drum group played, head dancers Quahna Mars and Atsa Zah continued the sense of unity, inviting many spectators to join them for larger dances. The powwow “is a way of life,” said Domingo Talldog, a craft vendor from the Narragansett tribe who has come to the event every year. “You see friends here who you haven’t seen since last year. It really is a ‘spring thaw’ after the winter, like everyone’s thawing out as they return to this special community.” “We try to go to as many powwows from the border of Canada to
Competition in the Spring Thaw Powwow’s adult dance competition was colorful and set to the rhythm of drums. Participants wore traditional Native American outfits and modeled sportsmanship by shaking hands and congratulating each other after every competition. Florida,” said Talldog’s sister, Darlene Monroe. Talldog was one of several craft and wampum vendors at the powwow, selling walking sticks, jewelry, t-shirts, belts and dance regalia. And while many people wore their street clothes, much of the crowd wore traditional Native American outfits. “The powwows are the same thing as Sunday mass for me; there’s that same spirituality, tradition and communion that you’d have at church,” said Nancy Spiritbire from both the Abenaki and the Mohican tribes, dressed in a buckskin dress with two pelts draped across her shoulders. This culture of inclusivity and
spirituality at the powwow relies on a combination of different traditions, said Elizabeth Hoover MA’03 PhD’10, assistant professor of American and ethnic studies. The “powwow” originates from the Algonquin word for a medicine person. It eventually became used to describe the large crowds and rituals surrounding the healing process, Hoover said, adding that in response to the 19th-century banning of Indian religion, tribes of the Western Plains used powwows as a more general means of spirituality and celebration. The powwow created an opportunity to bring the public onto the reservation, while maintaining traditions
and family connections that would have otherwise been lost. As these celebrations spread, many tribes added to the traditions of the powwow. At the Spring Thaw Powwow, for example, people performed the Grass Dance from the plains, the Jingle Dance from around the Great Lakes and the Eastern War Dance from the Northeast. For Hoover, who helped introduce the Powwow to Brown in 2002, this gathering has a spirit and identity of its own created by the union of multiple Native American cultures, she said. While the local Native American community remains heavily involved and active in the Spring
The powwow also included a dance competition for boys. Traditional Native American dances, including the Grass Dance, the Jingle Dance and the Eastern War Dance, live on in younger generations, who are taught dance steps and sportmanship at a young age.
Thaw Powwow, the student group NAB hopes to increase the student population at the event. “The hardest part is advertising to the general Brown community,” said Nate Harris ’15, another co-organizer of the event. “We’re really excited to put on the powwow after working on it since November, but we’d like to raise participation for students.” “The powwow should help the Brown community as a way to interact with Native culture,” MorazaKeeswood said.“There’s a general lack of acknowledgment and understanding of a culture that is still very much alive and thriving. Once you’re in the circle of the powwow, it’s a sacred place bringing people together, and ideally it would allow Brown students to experience the Native cultural experience.” The movement for broader awareness of the Native culture on campus first came about in the 1980s with the inception of NAB. Currently, Native American history and culture is taught as a possible focus of the ethnic studies concentration in the American studies department, though Hoover said she hopes to eventually turn it into its own program. “Right now it’s basically more of a faculty group than an actual program — and it will be a while until we have a program — but I’m trying to gradually build interest in the studies,” she said. “Part of the problem comes with the number of faculty, as multiple professors in the discipline have fellowships at the same time next year so a good portion of the courses that were offered in Native American history can’t be offered.” Because “Brown University was founded on tribal land — something the University refuses to admit — it’s important for students to recognize this group and culture on campus that has been largely invisible to much of the community,” Moraza-Keeswood said.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
in rememberance VERNEY-WOOLLEY
LUNCH Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Portobello, Braised Rainbow Swiss Chard, Vegan Greek Beans and Vegetables, Whole Wheat Brownies
Beef Pot Pie, Caesar Salad Pizza, Sauteed Spinach with Garlic, Rice Krispie Treats, Vegan Black Eyed Peas with Spinach
DINNER Chicken Artichoke Pasta Medley, Vegan Ratatouille, Italian Vegetable Saute, Italian Beef Noodle Casserole, Ricotta Pie
Artichoke and Red Pepper Frittata, Fresh Broccoli, Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce, Mashed Red Bliss Potatoes with Garlic
QUESADILLA OR GRILLED CHEESE
Stuffed French Toast
Spinach and Feta, Sausage and Lentil, Three-Bean Chili
Chicken Curry with Potatoes, Vegetables Cooked with Lentils
ARJUN NARAYEN / HERALD
Students gather to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide on the Faunce steps Monday evening. The vigil was hosted by the Brown/RISD Hillel.
comics Cat Ears | Najatee’ McNeil ’17
crossword Bacterial Culture | Dana Schwartz ’15
12 P.M. ANNUAL LIQUID NITROGEN ICE CREAM EVENT
Chemical and biological engineers will lead an experiment in which liquid nitrogen freezes ice cream. Attendees will have the chance to dive into a bowl of ice cream during this spring tradition. Barus and Holley 2:30 P.M. LORI BAKER READS FROM THE GLASS OCEAN
Lori Baker, a prize-winning novelist and publicist/archivist in the Literary Arts Program, will read from her new novel, “The Glass Ocean.” Author John Banville has described Baker’s prose as “the flash and fire of molten glass.” McCormack Family Theater
3 P.M. THE FREEDOM TO BE RACIST? HOW THE U.S. AND EUROPE STRUGGLE TO PRESERVE FREEDOM AND COMBAT RACISM
Erik Bleich, professor of political science at Middlebury College, will discuss racism in a lecture as part of the Antisemitism and Islamophobia lecture series, hosted by the Program in Judaic Studies. Petteruti Lounge 3 P.M. FILM SCREENING: THE DAY THAT LASTED 21 YEARS
The Brazil Initiative will be showing the film “The Day that Lasted 21 Years” at the Joukowsky Forum with the director of the film, Camilo Tavares. Watson Institute, Joukowsky Forum
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
Srinivasan ’15 and Gourley ’16 for Brown Today marks the beginning of Undergraduate Council of Students and Undergraduate Finance Board elections, and above any single endorsement, we would very much like to emphasize that all candidates would make great leaders. We seek to inform the student body of the positive qualities of each. For UCS president, we are thrilled to endorse Maahika Srinivasan ’15. Srinivasan currently serves as chair of the UCS Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee, experience we believe would be integral to her goal of improving the advising system. In both the debate and an interview with The Herald’s editorial page board, she chose to emphasize improving the advising system through measures like comprehensive institutional review, working on expanding mental health resources, enacting policy change through the Code of Student Conduct review and bringing diverse perspectives to the table at UCS. She also emphasized maintaining the relationships she has already developed with administrators involved in effecting such changes. Srinivasan stands out as the candidate with the most concrete goals and experience for implementing change across the board. All the presidential candidates were personable and professional, favored student representation on the Corporation and believed transparency in UCS to be a key issue in the upcoming year. Asia Nelson ’15 in particular had an outstanding idea for increasing student input through social media with the “Brown See It Say It” hashtag. She stood out among the other candidates as being involved with a great variety of student groups on campus, including but far from limited to the Black Student Union and Brown University Women in Business. Jonathan Vu ’15 is the candidate most interested in working on institutional changes in, for example, dining services and advising. He cited informative conversations with medical and graduate students about advising undergrads. His most notable campaign platform was improving financial aid and becoming fully need-blind, though we are unconvinced the UCS president has a great deal of power in this regard. For UCS vice president, we endorse Sazzy Gourley ’16. While Gourley’s performance in the debate was decidedly underwhelming, he won us over in an interview with his campaign for student wellness, which involves fostering relationships to create peer support groups outside professional mental health services and expanding sexual assault training to student athletes. Gourley further emphasized the need for UCS to actively seek out student voices that may not be as loud as others, citing his recent meeting with the student veteran community. He has played an integral role in moving projects forward through UCS, such as implementing a campus-wide bike share program. Gourley believes his project-oriented experience will allow him to be an effective vice president, since the position largely involves assisting students and committees with advancing such projects. Alex Drechsler ’15 serves as the chair of Student Activities and emphasizes student representation on the Corporation, service group funding and active engagement with the Minority Peer Counselor and Women Peer Counselor programs. His enthusiasm for student voice in representation is heartening, and we are confident Drechsler would consistently value student opinion over his own. We appreciate Drechsler’s emphasis on student representation on the Corporation, but we feel that UCS will address this issue in any event, given that all three presidential candidates enthusiastically endorse this effort. Both the UFB chair and vice chair positions are uncontested. For UFB chair, we endorse Alex Sherry ’15, who seeks to improve communication with groups by, for example, creating a handout that includes basic questions groups will be asked. For UFB vice chair, we endorse Dakotah Rice ’16, an enthusiastic candidate who values increasing student understanding of the UFB process. We would like to stress once again that this year included a particularly strong pool of candidates and that any of these candidates would make outstanding leaders. We recommend that voters carefully review candidate platforms online to see what issues the candidates will emphasize most in the upcoming academic year.
K I M B E R LY S A LT Z
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Anthony, Kelly protesters are source of pride To the Editor: I am a recent Brown alum. Since I graduated in May 2012, two moments have made me proud to claim my alma mater. The first was the protest of former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s speaking event in October. The second is the protest of Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Benjamin Anthony’s talk at Brown/RISD Hillel last week. These two moments best exemplify the spirit that made me choose Brown for my undergraduate career, the same reason I feel proud to claim the institution now. Universities have often been accomplices to and creators of some of the most oppressive ideological technologies in modern history. I am currently a graduate student at the University of Amsterdam, and I frequently pass the Dutch Free University on my way to work, where apartheid was first imagined. Suffice it to say that the intellectual savvy required to defend these voices on the basis of distorted Western conceptions of freedom of speech has not always led to brighter futures. I say distorted and I qualify with Western, because we all are well aware of the limits of our First Amendment rights. It is not difficult to agree that we do not in fact have the right to utter all words, particularly racist, oppressive, fatal, divisive ones that may cause harm to large sections of the population. It is not difficult to agree that those who speak with the accent
of institutional power (the kind that can destroy homes and make violence state-sanctioned, and thus legal) bear a different sort of responsibility in the wielding of their voices. Which brings me back to why I am proud: that some students who attend this prestigious university understand the debt they now owe to the world to be responsible speakers. I am proud that some of my fellow students used their free speech to ensure that Anthony’s legitimacy does not go unquestioned. Based on my reading of the organization of the event, it appears to have been arranged clandestinely — though surely Hillel welcomes all voices, including the loud ones that chose to sit outside the event in protest. Once upon a time, people thought Jim Crow was a good idea, too. There are plenty of supporters of imperialism who believe they have good intentions, as Anthony must, since he paints himself as the victim each time he is protested on college campuses, as he was at Hampshire College and others. I am proud that some of my fellow students asserted the boundaries of free speech and held the IDF responsible for the power it has fatally used against the Palestinian people. History will surely frown upon the actions being taken by the Israeli government against Palestinians, immigrants, refugees and non-white Jews. Actions such as those taken by the protesters ensure that my university does not end up on the wrong side. Samantha Carter ’12
Q U O T E O F T H E D AY
“It really is a ‘spring thaw’ after the winter, like everyone is thawing out as they return to this special community.” — Domingo Talldog
Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Matt Brundage ’15 and Rachel Occhiogrosso ’14, and its members, Hannah Loewentheil ’14 and Thomas Nath ’16. Send comments to email@example.com.
See powwow on page 8.
Visuals & Production
Editor-in-Chief Eli Okun
Arts & Culture Editors Katherine Cusumano Andrew Smyth
Design Editors Brisa Bodell Einat Brenner Assistant: Loren Dowd Assistant: Carlie Peters Assistant: Taylor Schwartz Assistant: Sean Simonson
General Managers Jennifer Aitken Nicole Shimer
Managing Editors Mathias Heller Sona Mkrttchian Adam Toobin Senior Editors Maddie Berg Kate Nussenbaum BLOG DAILY HERALD Editor-in-Chief William Janover Managing Editors David Oyer Georgia Tollin POST- MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief Ben Resnik COMMENTARY Editorial Page Editors Matt Brundage Rachel Occhiogrosso Opinions Editors Gabbie Corvese Sarah Rubin Maggie Tennis
Features Editors Sabrina Imbler Maggie Livingstone Metro Editors Kate Kiernan Katherine Lamb Science & Research Editors Isobel Heck Sarah Perelman Sports Editors Caleb Miller Dante O’Connell University News Editors Kiki Barnes Michael Dubin Maxine Joselow Tonya Riley
Photo Editors Head: Tom Sullivan Brittany Comunale David Deckey Emily Gilbert Samuel Kase Sydney Mondry Video Editor Henry Chaisson Graphics Editors Andersen Chen Avery Crits-Christoph Greg Jordan-Detamore Jillian Lanney Web Producer Joseph Stein Copy Desk Chief Claire Postman Assistant: Sara Palasits Illustrations Editor Angelia Wang
Directors Sales: Winnie Shao Finance: Sarah Levine Finance: Sameer Sarkar Alumni Relations: Alison Pruzan Business Dev.: Melody Cao
Location: 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. www.browndailyherald.com
Editorial contact: 401-351-3372 firstname.lastname@example.org
Business contact: 401-351-3260 email@example.com
Office Manager Shawn Reilly
Corrections: 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.
Sales Managers Regional: Edward Clifford Regional: Sarah Pariser Regional: Ananya Shukla Regional: Jessica Urrutia Student Group: Moniyka Sachar
Commentary: 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.
Finance Managers Collections: Jacqueline Finkelsztein Collections: Joshua Tartell Operations: Jessica O’Dell Alumni Relations Manager Engagement: Sarah Park Business Dev. Manager Project Leader: Kaden Lee
Letters to the Editor: Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion. 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. Subscription prices: $280 one year daily, $140 one semester daily. Copyright 2014 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Postmaster: Please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
Academic steroids ANDREW FELDMAN opinions columnist
Performance-enhancing drugs taint every aspect of professional sports. Athletes such as Barry Bonds will always have an unofficial asterisk next to each record they set, and some — like Lance Armstrong — have already had many of their achievements revoked. Many students are incredulous that athletes would be willing to poison their bodies and most likely decrease their eventual lifespans by taking steroids in order to improve their careers. Yet are students really that different? Just as some athletes ignore the consequences of steroids, some students similarly use Adderall without a medical need to improve their academic careers. Adderall is an amphetamine commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder. ADHD patients have difficulty paying attention, which is believed to be caused by a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain’s frontal cortex. Through prohibiting reuptake of dopamine, Adderall increases the amount of the neurotransmitter present, thereby increasing the frontal cortex activation. Increased activation bolsters cognitive processes such as focus and problem solving, making Adderall the academic performance enhancer that some students have come to rely on. While the effects of Adderall could have shortterm benefits in the classroom, the neg-
ative medical effects of the drug should keep it far out of the reach of anyone without a valid prescription. To people suffering from ADHD, this prescription drug is extremely beneficial. But what happens to students who use Adderall without having the disorder? According to a National Institutes of Health study, close to two-thirds of college students are offered Adderall by their senior year, and between 7 and 36 percent of college students have used a prescription stimulant without a medical reason at least once during their lifetime. While Adderall normalizes the amount of dopamine in ADHD patients, it causes an excessive amount in those without the disorder. One of the biggest dangers with Adderall is its high level of addictiveness. Consistent intake causes an overall increase in dopamine levels, which causes a person to adapt to that unnaturally high level. This creates a brain dependency on Adderall to maintain the high dopamine level at all times. The raised dopamine levels decrease the effectiveness of Adderall, necessitating a higher Adderall dosage to get the same effect. Adderall usage can also lead to depression, anxiety and difficulty sleeping, all of which prompt further medication. Depending on the symptoms of Adderall abuse, the need to alleviate those symptoms with medication is expensive and can lead to additional drug de-
pendencies to mitigate the side effects. Make no mistake about it — besides being dangerous, taking Adderall is cheating. It gives students who take the medication without a medical reason an unfair advantage over students who rightfully restrict themselves to natural studying techniques. In sports, performance-enhancing drugs are illegal for similar reasons. Besides making sports unfair, using PEDs takes away from the game. Professional athletics showcase who can play sports the best humanly way possible, not who can take the most steroids. Anyone can take
people learn how to handle obstacles with improved time management, seeking outside help or working with peers. Depending on medication throughout college to face every obstacle makes an individual unprepared to handle realworld challenges. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent students from getting access to these prescription medications. When not getting the prescription drug from friends or family, students find it relatively easy to get Adderall prescribed from a health care provider. ADHD, like most psychological disorders, is extremely difficult to diagnose because physicians’ diagnoses rely on self-reported symptoms and lack a test to prove that a patient actually has the disorder. All a patient has to do to get an Adderall prescription is complain to a physician about feeling hyperactive and unable to focus. In sports, athletes are tested for Adderall because it is considered a performance-enhancing drug. Increased attention and focus can give athletes an unfair advantage, especially in sports like baseball and football. One baseball player, Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies, was actually suspended for 25 games last year due to Adderall usage, though he has since been given an exemption due to an ADHD diagnosis. But in sports, athletes are tested for a myriad of performance enhancers, not just Adderall. It is not as if the average
Besides being dangerous, taking Adderall is cheating. enough steroids to gain the strength to hit a baseball out of a ballpark, but not everyone can do so just from natural talent and practice. Students will often argue that there is no difference between Adderall and coffee and other sources of caffeine. But people who make that argument should stick with using caffeine in the first place. Without getting into the chemical differences between the two, caffeine is something found naturally while Adderall is synthetically made — I have yet to accidentally ingest Adderall while eating chocolate. Even if Adderall weren’t a dangerous substance, students still should not resort to the drug. One of the purposes of college is to learn how to handle stress and deadlines. It’s a time where
student could be consistently tested for any drug usage, let alone for Adderall. It would not be practical to require urine testing when handing in every term paper and exam. Ultimately, students are the only ones who can protect themselves from the health implications of Adderall. Colleges cannot oversee Adderall usage without invasive measures such as drug testing, so making an example of a few students caught with the drug would seem excessive and unreasonable. The only beneficial intervention would be a large-scale reform of medical treatment of psychological disorders, which is a topic large enough for several columns by itself. Those who use Adderall without a medical reason do so at great medical risk. Taking drugs to benefit inside the classroom is truly an unfair performance enhancement — just not the kind America has become accustomed to hearing about on the news. Whether due to the moral argument that Adderall provides an unfair advantage or due to the physical argument that it causes detrimental brain plasticity, Adderall needs to be regarded as a dangerous substance.
Andrew Feldman ’15 is working on compiling an academic Hall of Fame in which known non-medical Adderall users will receive asterisks next to their names and can be reached with comments or suggestions at email@example.com.
Preserve college sports MEGAN GRAPENGETERRUDNICK opinions columnist
College sports has evolved so extensively in terms of recruitment and scholarships that it has transformed into a business within itself. A recent Herald editorial (“Editorial: Take the sports out of college,” March 31) raised the possibility of taking sports such as basketball and football out of college. The editorial argues that “the NCAA should move toward separating its college basketball and football programs from universities that shield the teams from paying taxes, compensating their players and protecting players’ health.” This would be simply cataclysmic. The recent brewing of opinions concerning college sports stems from a regional National Labor Relations Board ruling that Northwestern University athletes receiving scholarships could be considered a labor organization. This recognizes them as employees of the university, thus entitling the players to health benefits and to the right to unionize and bargain collectively. With this change, Northwestern athletes are protected and compensated for their work. The question then ensues: Should sports be taken out of college? After all, what are these athletes contributing to the school? If they are perceived to be ill-equipped to handle the level of education at the university, and require a supposedly fabricated curriculum and degree because of the amount of time they devote to their sport, perhaps they should not be attending school, the editorial argues. If they are merely occupying space in the educational sphere, these play-
ers may as well take their team and sever themselves from the university. It would save money and space for other students. But this logic is flawed. Imagine a university without its sports teams. Without the major teams that merit scholarships, where would be the spirit and unity? How would students have the chance to experience the virtues of being on a team, something that is highly valued in the business world? The assets that the teams and individual athletes bring to the school are too rich to eliminate. The presence of such popular sports teams serves as a source of revenue from local game attendees. There are many areas in the United
much vigor as a school like Duke University — which only reinforces their unifying qualities. Without the element of sports teams, students lose an opportunity to unite over a shared sense of exhilaration and potential victory. Since there is no other event that comes within spitting distance of football or basketball in mustering school spirit at small schools, the school spirit of a university that cut these sports would plummet. The ramifications of such a loss would include not only an uninspired, fragmented student body with an insufficient sense of teamwork, but also a lack of publicity and potential students. A school’s draw for prospective students is
The assets that sports teams and individual athletes bring to a school are too rich to eliminate. States where entire cities are enthralled by their local universities’ sports teams, such as Birmingham, Ala., where the University of Alabama’s football team utterly captivates the community. Scenarios like this — often found around large state schools — bring in the dollars for game tickets and paraphernalia purchases. Why rid the school of such external support? From an ambience perspective, one of the most appealing characteristics of a college is its unity. The empowering morale that a football team brings to the student body and the school spirit that the community reciprocates are pivotal to the camaraderie of the school. Schools without these major sports teams, typically liberal arts schools or universities similar to Brown, simply lack this element. The Brown community still comes together over sporting events — granted, not with as
highly reduced in the absence of sports teams to rally around and boost student harmony, and copious amounts of school spirit are often attractive. The number of applicants interested in attending the school — and spewing money at it — may be contingent upon a unified and spirited ambience that the sports teams generate. More importantly, the ability to participate on a team is a highly valued attribute in the business world. Is that not the overarching purpose of college — to prepare students for the real world? Businesses prefer to hire student athletes because they have experience in working on a team and possess good sportsmanship. They are extremely competitive, skilled at time management and organizationally competent. While many of these aspects may be gained from involvement in a group other than a sports team, athletes have an additional advantage in the physical endurance
that comes into play under extreme pressure on the field. The players and sports teams are performing one of the crucial functions of college by preparing students for the future. Taking this option out of college and away from students is simply counterproductive. The postulation in response to a recent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scandal that all college athletes on scholarships are taking falsified courses and aren’t earning an “honest college degree,” as the Herald editorial puts it, is a generalization. Though it was revealed that numerous student athletes attending the university took courses that didn’t exist and wrote a single 100-word paper per semester, this situation cannot be applied to the general mass of student athletes. Stanford University, for example, fosters an exceptionally competitive Division I football team whose athletes have requirements that are the same for non-athletes. Some participate in extremely high-level courses. NCAA officials argue that though there may be a handful of fabricated programs like those at UNC scattered sporadically around the country, the majority of athletes do, in fact, engage in high levels of education in college, CNN reported in January. The elimination of athletes — not just sports — from colleges takes with it the drive, talent and sportsmanship that the players bring to the table. Their knowledge and experience of being on a team can prove crucial in the real world and to the atmosphere of the university.
Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick ’17 can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
BROWN DAILY HERALD arts & culture Cloud Nothings showcase angst and fun in new album With fast pace and fierce energy, band will bring punky edge to Spring Weekend lineup By JACOB DOUGLAS CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Like all great angsty rock music, Cloud Nothings’ new album finds just the right balance of hooks and shouting, anger and catchiness, fun and catharsis. Cloud Nothings, performing at Saturday’s Spring Weekend concert, is an indie rock trio from Cleveland, Ohio, led by singer and guitarist Dylan Baldi. In 2012, they broke into the open with the release of “Attack on Memory,” an album that landed on a number of best-of-the-year lists and marked a departure in their sound, as they moved away from power-pop and into heavier — and punkier — territory. Their new album, “Here and Nowhere Else,” continues that transition. Clocking in at a brief 32 minutes, “Here and Nowhere Else” is barely longer than an EP, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in aggression and energy. Its short running time is filled with nothing but fast, catchy, dirty indie rock. Backed by blownout, raw production, Cloud Nothings
launch into track after track of assertively catchy songs. The album almost sounds like a live recording, with Baldi’s vocals a bit buried in the mix, his lyrics often obscured under layers of churning guitars. His voice is recorded in such a way that it sounds like he’s breaking the mic, each shouted chorus throwing off bursts of distortion. Being so short, “Here and Nowhere Else” is easily consumed as a whole. The opener, “Now Hear In,” is one of the strongest songs on the album. It bursts forth with an amazing energy and intensity, pulling listeners in with one of the album’s best hooks (see also: “I’m Not Part Of Me,” “No Thoughts”) and setting the stage for the next half-hour of music. The only breathing space on the album is the third track, “Psychic Trauma,” which starts off slower, a respite from the intensity of the first two songs. But the relief is short-lived: Right as the chorus starts, the song explodes and continues at this same frantic pace through to its finish, at which point drummer Jayson Gerycz goes — for lack of a better word — nuts. Gerycz is one of the album’s best elements. His fevered drumming drives every song forward beneath the raging, distorted guitars. Perhaps the highlight of the album is its penultimate track, the seven-anda-half-minute “Pattern Walks.” The
song follows in the footsteps of Interpol’s “PDA” and Pixies’ “No. 13 Baby,” which are also propelled from good to amazing by their extended outros. While Gerycz continues to hammer away at the drums, the guitars in the last two minutes of the song take on an almost ethereal quality. Vocal tracks echo over one another, turning into a repeated chain of “I thought. I thought. I thought.” These parts keep building on top of each other, each second more frenzied than the last, bringing the song to a mesmerizing, cathartic, almost haunting end. There isn’t really anything that doesn’t work. On “Here and Nowhere Else,” all the songs are at the very least solid and catchy. But it’s not a particularly ambitious or experimental work. It’s basically the same mix of noisy guitar, bass and drums throughout, and is more of an expansion of their previous album — all the things that worked on “Attack On Memory” have been refined and kicked up a notch. “Here and Nowhere Else” is catchier, rawer and more energetic, their overall sound tweaked to ragged perfection. This isn’t a timeless record, but if you’re looking for some catchy and trashy indie rock a la Japandroids, “Here and Nowhere Else” will absolutely hit the spot. One can only imagine that the live sound emulated on the album will be even better, well, live.
COURTESY OF CLOUD NOTHINGS
In their new album, “Here and Nowhere Else,” Cloud Nothings — set to perform at Spring Weekend — offer 32 minutes of audacious, punky rock.
Food for thought: Play challenges definitions of eating disorders Phoebe Nir ’14 compiles survey responses into monologues addressing disordered eating By ASHWINI NATARAJAN CONTRIBUTING WRITER
In the world of food, there can sometimes be three stereotypical types of eaters: those with eating disorders, those with a healthy relationship with food and those who are male. Yet these divisions are anything but precise, and among them lie numerous gray areas yet to be addressed, as shown in “The Secret Life of Eating at Brown.” This production, written and directed by Phoebe Nir ’14 and performed this weekend, aimed to clarify this obscure middle ground of disordered eating, particularly on campus. Nir said she crafted the script as a compilation of responses to an anonymous survey she sent out in early March through Morning Mail. The survey asked students questions about their relationships with food and eating disorders and how these affected their lives at Brown. The questions covered eating experiences and perceived relationships with food, including whether there were situations when food caused an individual anxiety or the frequency with which the respondent thought about food. For Nir, the play provided the ideal forum to call attention to this gray area of disordered eating that is often not adequately addressed by society, but nevertheless is highly prevalent. “I felt like there wasn’t enough conversation surrounding that issue,” she said. During the performance, students sat in a semicircle, taking turns reading
monologues selected from the survey responses or created by synthesizing multiple responses. In between the monologues, actors rattled off questions similar to those in the survey, providing the performance with momentum and contextualizing the monologues. Nir wanted to shed light on society’s definition of eating disorders and disordered eating, which she said tends to be qualified by extreme images of emaciated bodies and mentally tortured women. While these severe cases exist, many people who suffer from these conditions “don’t fit into those very narrow categories,” she said. “As a result, a lot of people stay quiet.” Nir said her own struggle with disordered eating motivated her to send out the survey. She suffered from anorexia in high school, but has since recovered, she said. Though her eating disorder was not visibly reflected in her figure, she said she was still internally battling with her relationship with food in college. “I felt that I wasn’t really diagnosable in any sort of specific way, but at the same time I felt like I was really struggling,” she said. “You’re in some sort of weird middle ground that’s not clinically diagnosable, but there’s definitely an issue.” “It definitely made me feel less alone in a lot of ways,” said Nika Salazar ’16, who performed in the play. “I think that, just in my experience, a lot people at Brown struggle with food and their view of food.” Eating in high school was regulated by a set lunch time and dinner with the family, she said, but in college, the freedom with food can be overwhelming.“With that power, things can get a little bit out of control,” she
COURTESY OF PHOEBE NIR
“The Secret Life of Eating at Brown,” written and directed by Phoebe Nir ’14, addressed the gray area in which students may find themselves outside the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder, but inside the mindset. explained. Rather than writing a creative piece or staging a one-woman show, Nir said she wanted the script to be organically sourced from the student body. “I don’t think it would be of the most value to my community for the play to be about my amazing recovery and self-discovery,” she said. “The play wasn’t about solving problems or putting forward a solution of ‘this is what it looks like to have a healthy relationship with food.’ It was just about ‘okay, what’s going on?’” The definition of disordered eating was a vital message of the play. “It’s an internal experience,” Nir said. “Even if you’re eating a perfectly healthy diet, if you feel like you’re feeling a lot (of) stress and unhappy, then you can have an eating disorder.” People’s feelings about food vary
“at different points in their lives and different points the day,” said Gabriela Gutierrez ’14, a performer, adding that individuals’ relationships with food can be confusing. Students who attended “The Secret Life of Eating at Brown” expressed an interest in discussing issues of disordered eating among their peers. “I was really excited to see it because I did think that it addressed something on campus, a conversation that people weren’t having, which is exactly what Phoebe noticed,” Zoey Downes ’14 said. Jonathan White ’15 said he perceived the show as an opportunity to view a different perspective. “While I haven’t been personally affected by (an eating disorder), a family member of mine has, and it’s something you don’t really talk about that often and I never
asked about either,” he said. “It was just nice to hear other people’s experience and to try and understand it.” Caitlin Deal ’14 said she appreciated how the show exposed a clandestine food culture at Brown. “I think a lot of people know it’s a thing that’s more prevalent than reported, but again, we don’t really talk about it.” The show was a way to raise awareness about the lack of attention Brown gives to eating disorders and other mental health issues, said Emma Blake ’15, one of the performers. “I think Brown is a really open community in general, especially we’re very progressive as far as sex and other things go,” she said. “But I think as far as eating disorders and other mental health problems, it’s often hard to find the support you need on campus.”
Published on Apr 8, 2014