BROWN DAILY HERALD vol. cxlix, no. 52
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
Archival project sheds light on Brazil-U.S. relations Students from Brown, Brazil collaborate to digitize 10,000 previously classified documents By ANDREW JONES SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Researchers and students all over the world can now access thousands of U.S. State Department documents about Brazil at the click of a button. On the 50th anniversary of the Brazilian military coup, members of the University’s Brazil Initiative have released over 10,000 documents online containing information about the country from 1963 to 1973, when a military dictatorship ruled. The “Opening the Archives Project” was organized in partnership with the Universidade Estadual de Maringá in Paraná, Brazil, said James Green, professor of history and Brazilian studies and a leader of the project. The newly digitized documents contain information about Brazilian political and diplomatic proceedings, including day-to-day operations of the U.S. Embassy in Brazil and even information about dinner-party conversations, Green added. “There are generally no smoking guns of dramatic information that has been revealed,” he said. “It’s more to
SCIENCE & RESEARCH
understand the logic and practice of diplomacy between the two countries.” Making the historical documents widely available will spur Brazilian and U.S. researchers and students to undertake new projects to learn more about this decade of Brazilian history, Green said. Before the Opening the Archives Project began, scholars interested in the documents had to travel to the National Archives at College Park, Md., and pay for a hotel, he said. But now they can access them anywhere. “We’re hoping that our successful model will be copied by other universities in other countries on other topics,” he added. There is much to be learned from the relationship between Brazil and the United States, wrote Adam Waters ’15, the student coordinator for the project, in an email to The Herald. “I hope that these documents allow the people of both countries to face together their difficult past, recognize the wrongs that have been committed, and then work toward a better future,” Waters wrote. Some Brazilian scholars have historically been suspicious of the United States and its policymakers, said Andre Pagliarini GS, a coordinator of the project. Opening the Archives serves as an “alternative form of diplomacy” between the United States and Brazil by » See BRAZIL, page 4
BRITTANY COMUNALE / HERALD
Over 30 years ago, Al Forno’s grilled pizza made Providence prominent on the national restaurant scene. Owners George Germon and Johanne Killeen invented the dish, but the origins remain a partial mystery.
City food scene fosters trattorias, traditions Recipes passed down for years yield community among Italian eateries on and off Federal Hill By DREW WILLIAMS SENIOR STAFF WRITER
You need to wait until it’s lit, Chef Phil Niosi explains. Then it’s really something to see. The main kitchen of Al Forno is a sight to behold, with its racks of freshly
baked bread tempting the taste buds at 3 p.m. last Friday afternoon. Station upon station of cutting boards and burners promises to provide even more delectable wonders when the restaurant opens at 5 p.m. Niosi is referring not to the unit as a whole, but rather its most distinctive inhabitant. Set back into the wall rests an enormous brick pizza oven — old hat for an Italian restaurant, save for the grill spanning its width. This, he
ARTS & CULTURE
proudly announces, is the home of Al Forno’s famous grilled pizza. As the cooks begin to populate the kitchen for the night’s work, the oven bursts into flames and the fire roars majestically to life, perhaps recreating the scene of grilled pizza’s invention by the restaurant’s owners George Germon and Johanne Killeen when it opened in 1980. The invention was an accident, Niosi says, but so many versions of the genesis tale exist that he is unwilling to divulge » See FOOD SCENE, page 8
Writers discuss India’s development ‘Geographic lens’ may be key to HIV prevention
India’s unique history, demographics and unlikely democracy create new capitalism, panel says
Researchers publish paper arguing for shift in HIV treatment to low-income neighborhoods
By EMMA HARRIS SENIOR STAFF WRITER
By RILEY DAVIS SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Geography may be the key to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States. In a new paper published in the American Journal of Public Health, Amy Nunn, assistant professor of medicine, argues HIV should be tackled through a “geographic lens” — one that focuses on regionally targeted treatment and prevention. The paper focuses on “two interrelated issues,” wrote Ira Wilson, a professor of health services, policy and practice who is not affiliated with the publication, in an email to The Herald. The first issue is improving the implementation of effective intervention techniques, Wilson wrote. The second involves using geospacial mapping
SCIENCE & RESEARCH
KATHLEEN SAMUELSON / HERALD
Speakers said periods of “modern citizenship” and clientelism drive India’s political issues, though its democracy has survived longer than expected. India’s democracy, modernization process and capitalist economic structure emerged as key topics for the speakers, who highlighted the country’s defiance of conventional wisdom about how nations develop politically and economically. India has followed a different path from many Western nations in its development,
the speakers said. Varshney’s presentation on his recently released book, “Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable Democracy,” explored how India’s democracy survives against statistical odds. Referring to the work of the political scientist Adam Przeworski, » See INDIA, page 3
Science & Research
People construct rules to help them make decisions, even if those rules don’t apply, study finds
Temperatures in the earth’s core determine the height of underwater mountain ranges
Powers ’15: Overusing ‘oppression’ diminishes its significance
Rattner ’15: Americans must consider the international impact of domestic issues
It’s a question about a question: “Why is the argument about how to write about India such a contentious one?” asked Jonathan Shainin, news editor for the New Yorker, at a “Writing India: Two Authors and an Editor” discussion Tuesday night. Shainin, previously a senior editor at the Caravan — a Delhi-based narrative journalism magazine — moderated the panel talk in Alumnae Hall, attended by about 50 students, scholars and community members. Organized by the Brown-India Initiative, the discussion featured book presentations by Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science and the Initiative’s director, and novelist Rana Dasgupta, distinguished visiting lecturer and writer-in-residence in the Department of Modern Culture and Media. Varshney and Dasgupta’s talks were followed by a question-and-answer session.
techniques to identify “hot spots” with high rates of HIV. “This means that one can target specific neighborhoods for interventions, making the time, effort, and dollars much more intelligently spent,” he wrote. Low-income communities with high minority populations — especially African-American and Hispanic populations — are hot spots, Nunn said, adding that though this information has been previously published, it has not been used to target HIV treatment effectively. The geographic disparity is a “very real issue,” Nunn said — for example, white people living in affluent neighborhoods who contract HIV are far more likely to receive treatment than black people living in poor neighborhoods. “We know exactly where people are living who are getting infected,” she said. “But our HIV prevention and interventions haven’t really responded to that challenge appropriately.” Responding to the indications of maps is key to lowering HIV rates around the country, Nunn said. “The » See HIV, page 3 t o d ay
46 / 31
49 / 34
2 restaurant week
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
The Herald’s lunch picks BY KATHERINE CUSUMANO, ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR
Olneyville NY System
EMMA JERZYK / HERALD
The Korean barbecued squid and pork belly at Denden Cafe Asiana provides a combination of spicy and refreshing flavors. The cafe is located at the corner of Benefit and Meeting streets.
Asian cafe spices up College Hill
Denden Cafe Asiana compensates for lackluster service with strong Japanese, Korean cuisine By EMMA JERZYK SENIOR STAFF WRITER
With its simple design and laid-back vibe, Denden Cafe Asiana, one of the latest additions to College Hill, can easily be missed. Sitting at the corner of Benefit and Meeting streets, the cafe’s exposed brick walls frame white orchids in the windows, as single light bulbs hang from the ceiling and patrons dine at minimalist wooden furniture. The staff is nearly as bare-bones as the decor, with the two men running the front of the house offering attentive service when available. But the most important part of the restaurant — the menu — is large and diverse, offering delicacies from both Japanese and Korean cuisines.
Odd combinations seem the modus operandi of Denden, but unlike at many other Asian fusion restaurants, the combinations are thoughtful and deliberate. Korean barbecued squid and pork belly fuses the sizzling, edgy side of Korean barbecue with a fresh, light flavor — a perfect combination for a spring lunch. The squid’s chewy texture provides a surprising and welcome alternative to the soft medallions of pork belly, and the sauce, which is absorbed by a generous portion of rice, provides a spicy burn, slowly building with every bite. Perhaps the only way the dish could be improved would be with an increased ratio of meat to vegetables, as the chunks of cabbage seem a sad alternative to bites of the tender pork. The teriyaki chicken bento box, though a more standard dish, also packs a punch, combining the warmth of comfort food with the vigor of fresh vegetables and seafood. The chicken comes arranged over a bed of rice with various delicacies on the side — a cluster of seafood
salad, a blossom of pickled ginger, a bundle of seaweed salad. Each of these complements the others, with the salty seaweed salad playing off the sweet sauce and nutty toasted sesame seeds. The miso soup, which comes as an appetizer with the chicken, is a weak point among Denden’s offerings. It is jarringly salty and includes too-small bits of tofu, creating an odd texture. With each of these meals ringing in at $13, the dishes may be considered a splurge for a weekday lunch. But the main courses come with sides and extras, making the price tags worth it. The Denden experience leaves something to be desired. Though the design of the restaurant is appealing, the service is somewhat slow, and the attention of the server is hard to get — even at 11:15 a.m. on a recent Tuesday. But if the service can develop to reach the excellent standard set by the cuisine, Denden could have a prosperous future on College Hill.
It’s not a hot dog — it’s a wiener. Olneyville NY System has been dishing out the quintessentially Rhode Island sausages since the 1930s. The restaurant recently won the 2014 James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award, which vouches for its authenticity and diner charm. Wash down a hot wiener with “the works” — a delicious, unique combination of relishes — and a glass of ice-cold coffee milk. It’s like chocolate milk, but better. Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. | 18 Plainfield St.
Not Just Snacks
This Hope Street outpost is sort of like Kabob and Curry’s more mature cousin — a little spicier, a little more authentic. Owner Mohammed Islam, originally from Bangladesh, emigrated from Kuwait in 1998 and started Not Just Spices, the Asian grocery across the street, the following year, soon expanding to food service as well. It’s a homey scene, with childlike murals painted on the walls, but don’t be fooled by the sparse decor; Not Just Snacks packs a heavy punch, and lives up to its name with giant curries and stews dished out over hearty rice and naan bread. Every day 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. | 833 Hope St.
Foo(d) at AS220
A lively bar and seasonal menu establish Foo(d) as a more accessible, budget-friendly edition of farm-to-table heavyweights like Gracie’s and New Rivers. Choose from a variety of small, medium and large plates, or, better yet, order everything to share. Foo(d) is vegetarian- and veganfriendly, with a comprehensive menu that notes most prevalent dietary sensitivities. Tuesday-Saturday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. | 115 Empire St.
A close neighbor of Brickway on Wickenden, Amy’s is a betterkept secret of the Fox Point area. It serves up classic soups, salads and sandwiches, along with an almost overwhelming smoothie menu, whose items have names like “Hella Bomb” and “Whuddaberry.” Though the menu is somewhat limited, Amy’s makes up for it in location. The patio out back is ideal for relaxing and enjoying lunch during a lazy summer afternoon. Every day 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. | 214 Wickenden St.
Got something to say? Leave a comment online!
university news 3
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
» INDIA, from page 1 Varshney said income is the best predictor of democracy. But India is an outlier in remaining a democracy while having extraordinarily low levels of income, Varshney said, citing Singapore as another exception to expectations. Singapore continues to have an authoritarian form of government even with high levels of income, Varshney said. Both the “cross-cutting” of diverse languages, regions, tribes and religions within India and the country’s “unlikely” nationhood allowed India to defy the odds in becoming a democracy, Varshney said. “India is a civilization … 20 nations, not one,” he said, crediting Mahatma Gandhi, whose unifying efforts “hyphenated Indian identity” by permitting people to identify simultaneously as Indians and as part of a subgroup of the population. “India is the longest-surviving low-income democracy in history,” Varshney said. The key to understanding India’s democracy comes from recognizing the gap between the nation’s free elections and the corruption that occurs between elections, he added. India’s democracy is “ambivalent” — elections are a “celebration of modern citizenship” due to the plurality of Indian voters being poor or underprivileged for the past 20 years, yet the five years between elections witness a return to clientelism, when ordinary citizens lose influence over their officials’ actions. Dasgupta offered a less analytical but more descriptive approach to India. Reading two passages from his upcoming book, “Capital: The Eruption of Delhi,” Dasgupta presented a detailed look at the contrast between ultra-rich residents of Delhi — who often can afford to have property outside the city — and the city’s lowincome inhabitants. Calling the business elite the “agents of new India,” Dasgupta spotlighted the high level of wealth
accumulated by the nation’s top income earners amid fast economic growth, while others make their beds on the streets of Delhi. Audience members expressed interest in the speakers’ books and focus on the nuances of India’s politics and economy. “I think that Dasgupta’s book is exemplary,” said Emilio Leanza ’15. “I think there’s a tendency of thinking the Indian robber barons are particularly vile, but what Rana presented today is … why are these billionaires any less culpable than those in the U.S.?” “I really liked Dasgupta’s talk on corruption,” said Uday Agrawal ’15. Clientelism in India is “a unique problem in India for India,” which is hard to compare to political corruption in the United States, he added. Looking at India through both a local lens and a global lens is necessary, Dasgupta said. While Indian capitalism cannot be entirely explained using other nations’ historical trajectories, observers must also look at the global dimensions of India’s development, he said. There is “turmoil” in India, but that is “capitalism as usual,” he said, disputing the vilification of the rapidly growing country’s super-rich. Comparisons of today’s India to Gilded Age America bring many questions, such as whether the American past can help predict India’s future, the speakers said. Citing the “irreproducible” American history through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Dasgupta said the two countries’ political-economic development patterns cannot be accurately compared. “The rich of India can finance campaigns, but they can’t win them,” Varshney said, drawing a contrast with Gilded Age industrialists who held political sway in the United States. The “instincts” of Indian businessmen are blocked by the high turnout rate of the nation’s low-income citizens in elections, he said. India represents “capitalism of the future,” Shainin said.
COURTESY OF BROWN UNIVERSITY
Door-to-door programs like the “Do One Thing” program established by Professor of Medicine Amy Nunn advocate for screening and testing for HIV and other diseases in low-income neighborhoods.
» HIV, from page 1 maps tell the story. Where you live influences whether you live or die.” HIV prevention efforts have focused on disease transmission over the last 30 years, Nunn said. But the government should emphasize treating the disease instead — “treatment is prevention,” she added. “It doesn’t make sense for us to be focusing our efforts in areas where the epidemic is not,” said Phill Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute and a co-author of the paper. “It’s what I call the Alice in Wonderland school
of prevention, where we pretend what is isn’t, and what isn’t is.” Building government infrastructure in affected neighborhoods is a priority for turning HIV prevention efforts toward the “geographic lens,” Phill Wilson added. Nunn has established several grassroots projects to help jumpstart the geographic battle against HIV. One such project — “Do One Thing” — is a “comprehensive neighborhood approach” to educate people about HIV screening and testing, she said. Through the program, volunteers go door to door in a low-income area in
Philadelphia to encourage residents to get tested for HIV and Hepatitis C. Nunn intends to start a similar program in Rhode Island focusing on sexually transmitted infections, she said. Three Rhode Island ZIP codes have especially high numbers of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases, and little effort is being made to target these areas, Nunn said. “I think that it’s a social justice issue,” Nunn said, adding that the best thing to do for communities with high cases of either HIV or STIs is to “flood (them) with resources that promote testing and treatment.”
4 science & research
Study explores methods of rule-making Researchers use EEG monitoring to determine how people structure new information By JASON NADBOY STAFF WRITER
“People like to build rules, even when rules don’t necessarily apply,” said James Cavanagh, a former postdoctoral fellow at Brown and assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico. Cavanagh and several colleagues recently published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience about how humans apply rules and strategies to tasks they have to complete, using new technology to analyze the data they collected. The researchers were the first ever to be successful in creating a computer algorithm to recognize specific patterns in electroencephalography data, which was used to analyze neural activity as participants completed tasks, Cavanagh said. According to electrophysiological data, the prefrontal cortex was activated when the participants were learning the initial task, wrote Michael Frank, associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, in an email to The Herald. The prefrontal cortex is “particularly involved in executive functions, or cognitive control, that allows us to make more complex choices by taking into account contexts, past events, goals, information in working memory, etc.,” wrote Anne Collins, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences, in an email to The Herald. “This study showed that people tend to construct abstract rules even when it is not needed in a task, but that this allowed
» BRAZIL, from page 1 promoting transparency and collaboration between the countries, he added. Pagliarini accompanied the team to the Archives last summer to enter the documents online and will lead a group to the Archives again this summer to complete the digitization of documents. Researchers and students at Brown and Brazilian universities have already begun analyzing some of the documents, using them to study topics such as the United States’ stance on Brazilian military policies and instances of torture, Green said. In order to transfer the State
them to then generalize the rules to new tasks,” Frank wrote. In the study, participants were shown sets of shapes and colors on a computer and had to learn to press the correct button associated with the particular figure. “There were just four different buttons on the keyboard, … and they aren’t told which is correct but have to learn by just trying out different buttons for each shape and getting feedback that tells them if they are right or wrong,” Frank wrote. Next, the participants completed two more sets with different colored shapes. In the first additional set of tasks, participants could use rules they created to their advantage to successfully finish the tasks. But in the following set, these rules stymied participants’ efforts to select the right button. EEGs connected to participants’ heads allowed researchers to collect data on what parts of the brain were activated during the experiment. The researchers collected data from 35 participants in the study. Throughout the sets, “it’s very clear that people do develop rules to help them,” Cavanagh said, adding that participants naturally created rules even when they did not turn out to help. “It’s probably because it’s most often a rewarding strategy: Structuring new information helps us to simplify it when possible, and to generalize it,” Collins wrote. For the study, the team of researchers had to develop an algorithm to understand the EEG data, Cavanagh said. “We trained an algorithm to notice when people were attending to color and to shapes.” The program was difficult to make because each person uses different neural networks in his brain when recognizing shapes or colors, he said. “It took quite
a few months to get these algorithms to be bias-free.” Since the algorithm is a new application of technology, researchers were surprised by how successful it turned out to be in recognizing patterns, Cavanagh said. “What is particularly striking about this result is that (the researchers) were able to decode the rule structures that different people had constructed,” said David Badre, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, who was not involved with the study. The researchers could even use this structure to “predict how well (participants) would generalize that rule to a new task,” he added. This study may hold a lot of potential for future research and discovery in learning and memory. “We will try to understand better what benefits come from structuring what we learn, to figure out what constrains how we structure it and to observe more precisely how the brain creates that structure,” Collins wrote. Collins and her team began this study in 2011. “We have already conducted pilot experiments for future investigations, and are hoping to publish more results within a year,” she added. The team’s research on how the brain creates a series of rules to respond to varied contexts could “eventually inform the types of strategies that are used when teaching new skills,” Frank wrote. It could even help “encourage those who are less likely to engage this system” to develop a systematic approach to learning. The individual differences in rules participants made “may help us explain how people differ in their ability to successfully adapt to novelty in their everyday lives, as well as better understanding neurological and psychiatric disorders that compromise this ability,” Badre said.
Department documents from paper to the Internet, a small group of undergraduates traveled to the National Archives, Green said. The students scanned the papers and then indexed them in an online catalog. Digital records are the future of archiving, Waters wrote. Paper documents are not sustainable because they age and can be damaged, so digitization provides an easy-access alternative, he added. The Brazil Initiative aims to “make Brown the best place to study Brazil outside of Brazil” and to strengthen the University as a hub of international research collaborations about the country, Green said. The University held a conference
last week titled “Brazil: From Dictatorship to Democracy,” which highlighted many of the same historical events that are covered in the documents, Green said. The Opening the Archives team plans to release another 10,000 documents in the coming year, Green said. Student participants will travel to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, to continue to unveil the diplomatic history between the two countries. “It’s part of preserving and indexing history,” Green said.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
Science & Research Roundup BY SARAH PERELMAN, SCIENCE & RESEARCH EDITOR
Drug addiction takes similar form as AIDS epidemic Today’s epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs bears a striking likeness to the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and efforts to deal with the problem can be improved through similar interventions, according to a report by a team including two University researchers. The study was published online in advance of print release in the American Journal of Medicine. Just like HIV/AIDS patients, people suffering from addiction tend to be young and previously healthy individuals, and their care has been influenced by a public perception that only certain groups are affected, according to the report. Though the death toll from unintentional drug overdoses is similar to that from the HIV/AIDS epidemic, so far the response to opioid dependency — the United States’ fastest-growing drug problem — has been less effective, according to a Lifespan press release. The rise of HIV/AIDS 30 years ago prompted an unusual public health response, which focused on human rights and included not only biomedical advances but also community advocacy and activism, the researchers noted in the report. The study’s authors, which included Traci Green, assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology, and Josiah Rich, professor of medicine and epidemiology, called for a similar multi-pronged approach to addressing the addiction and overdose epidemic. They recommended increased education for the medical community, better access to evidence-based treatment, reformulation of pain medications and broader access to the drug naloxone, which can reverse overdose.
Hot mantle areas cause high midocean ridges Temperature differences deep in the Earth’s mantle control the height of mid-ocean ridges, the vast mountain ranges snaking along the ocean floor, according to a report published April 4 in the journal Science. Researchers led by Colleen Dalton, assistant professor of geological sciences, set out to determine why some mid-ocean peaks remain miles below the ocean’s surface while others have higher elevations, even rising above the water level in places like Iceland, according to a University press release. Researchers looked at speeds of seismic waves caused by hundreds of earthquakes and compared that data to information on elevation and rock chemistry. They found that hotter temperatures in the Earth’s mantle led to higher ridges, while areas with cooler mantle temperatures had lower peaks, according to the press release. “It is clear from our results that what’s being erupted at the ridges is controlled by temperature deep in the mantle,” Dalton said in the release. “It resolves a long-standing controversy and has not been shown definitively before.” The composition of the magma forming the ridges was less important in determining the peaks’ height, the release said.
Africana studies graduate student wins year-long fellowship
Nicosia Shakes GS will travel to Jamaica to spend a year exploring how theater can inspire women to engage in grassroots projects, according to a University press release. She received the Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship, which will fund her research at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies Regional Coordinating Unit at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. The organization awards fellowships to graduate students who have conducted high-level thesis research in the areas of physical sciences, social sciences or other disciplines related to developmental studies in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the group’s website. Shakes’ project, entitled “Mobilizing Women through Performance in Jamaica: A Study of Sistren Theatre Collective,” will be incorporated into her dissertation. Her research has also explored the Garvey movement and Pan-Africanism and the ways political ideology can be expressed through creative arts, according to her Brown research page. Congress founded the IAF in 1969 to provide development help to citizens of poorer areas of Latin America and the Caribbean or interest groups seeking to support them. The organization offers fellowships in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, according to the IAF website.
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
menu SHARPE REFECTORY
on tour VERNEY-WOOLLEY
LUNCH Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwich, Sundried Tomato Calzone, Seafood Cavatelli, Cream Cheese Brownies
Tacos, Vegan Burrito, Vegan Three Bean Casserole, Mexican Succotash, Cream Cheese Brownies
DINNER Rotisserie Style Chicken, Ginger Pasta, Apricot Beef with Noodles, Angel Food Cake
Carne Gizado, Mashed Potatoes, Stewed Tomatoes, General Tso Chicken Stir Fry, Angel Food Cake
QUESADILLA OR GRILLED CHEESE
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Butternut Squash and Apple, Baked Potato, Chicken and Wild Rice
ALAN SHAN / HERALD
During a student-led tour, prospective students on their spring break explore Brown’s campus in hopes of one day calling College Hill home. Tours proceeded Tuesday despite the windy, rainy weather.
comics Against the Fence | Lauren Stone ’17
RELEASE DATE– Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Los Angeles Times Puzzle c r o sDaily s w oCrossword rd Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis ACROSS 1 Monarchy 6 Many a class reunion tune 11 “Captain Phillips” actor Hanks 14 __ ink 15 Fishing spots 16 Title heartbreaker in a Three Dog Night song 17 *Tyke’s dinnertime perch 19 “I’m not a crook” monogram 20 Rogue 21 Plowing measure 23 Ad Council ad, briefly 25 *Unfair deception 28 Energetic 31 Obvious joy 32 “Spider-Man” trilogy director Sam 33 Feel sorry about 34 Quipster 37 *Insignificant amount 42 Weekend TV fare for nearly 40 yrs. 43 Reading after resetting 44 “Roots” hero __ Kinte 45 Scandinavian port 47 Comeback 48 *Numero uno 53 Used to be 54 Lover of Euridice, in a Monteverdi work 55 Decide not to ride 58 Cambridge sch. 59 Try, or a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues 64 Rocks found in bars 65 Software buyers 66 Kevin of “Cry Freedom” 67 Audio receiver 68 Tag cry 69 Loosened DOWN 1 Cage component 2 Ambient music innovator 3 Worship
4 Brainy Simpson 5 Yoga class supply 6 Onetime rival of Sally Jessy 7 Stocking thread 8 Mark of concern 9 Roth __ 10 Collection of heir pieces? 11 Country singer Gibbs 12 Ancient Mexican tribe known for carved stone heads 13 Capital WSW of Moscow 18 “__ homo” 22 Style reportedly named for Ivy League oarsmen 23 Western chum 24 Lasting marks 26 Hot-and-cold fits 27 Working class Roman 29 Collapse inward 30 Sundial hour 33 Greek consonant 35 “Don’t tell me, don’t tell me!” 36 Neon swimmer 38 Court plea, briefly 39 Multi-cell creature?
40 Commonly fourstringed instrument 41 Bits of ankle art, say 46 Former Japanese military ruler 47 Horseradish, e.g. 48 Pal, slangily 49 Novelist Jong 50 “... happily ever __”
51 Oteri of 42-Across 52 Lift 56 Knockoff 57 Land surrounded by agua 60 Prefix with metric 61 Doc who administers a PET scan? 62 United 63 English poet Hughes
Eric & Eliot | Willa Tracy ’17
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
calendar TODAY firstname.lastname@example.org
6:15 P.M. “THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL” AND WES ANDERSON Q&A
The Ivy Film Festival presents a screening of “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Following the film, a Skype Q&A with director Wes Anderson will take place at 8:30 p.m. Avon Cinema and Metcalf Auditorium 8:30 P.M. DON’T BE BORED GAMES NIGHT
Brown/RISD Hillel is hosting a board game study break for students. Ben & Jerry’s, FroyoWorld and Blue State gift cards will be awarded to the first three winners. There will also be a make-your-own matzah station with Nutella, Fluff and caramel. Hillel
4 P.M. A CONVERSATION ON THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JESUS OF NAZARETH
Rev. Janet Cooper Nelson, University chaplain, and Nicola Denzey-Lewis, visiting associate professor of religious studies, will discuss the historical evidence and implications of the life and death of Jesus Christ in a panel. Wilson 101 7 P.M. TEAM HBC AWARENESS WEEK: MOVIE SCREENING By Gareth Bain (c)2014 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Brown Team Hepatitis B vaccination will present a short documentary, “Another Life,” on the disease and its effects on 04/16/14
people’s daily lives. There will be Kabob and Curry as well as refreshments. Salomon 203
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
Abolish legacy status as an admission consideration A recent Herald poll and article reveal that over half of students disagree with the consideration of legacy status in Brown admission (“Students question use of legacy admission,” April 14). We stand with the majority of the student population against this consideration and believe the Admission Office ought to eliminate it during its next policy review. Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 claims that the consideration of legacy maintains a sense of community wherein alums will donate their time and money to the school. It is certainly no surprise that accepting legacy students encourages their parents to contribute to the endowment, but to claim that this maintains a sense of community is a poor argument. Such a sense of community might also be maintained by responding to the current student body’s beliefs about appropriate admission practices. Further, the community cohesion argument was historically used as a rationale to exclude Jews, black students and other minority groups, and it is no more convincing today. As for the fiscal argument, we of course recognize that legacy admission remains in place for the sake of the endowment, but we do not accept this as an appropriate justification for its consideration. The same justification could be used to give admission preference to applicants who come from wealthier families, to applicants who intend to study economics rather than English or even to white applicants. One could argue that such practices would improve our endowment, but surely that does not mean we ought to follow them. The consideration of legacy status is poor policy for a number of reasons. First, it gives an upper hand in the admission process to those that are already privileged compared to the average non-legacy student. A legacy student likely was raised in a household where at least one parent received an elite college education and is more likely to be of a higher socioeconomic status. Further, while some legacy students today may be minorities, the vast majority are white and wealthy. The continuation of this policy, then, perpetuates the discriminatory policies that were firmly in place in past generations. We find it unsettling that while affirmative action policies that seek to improve the chance of admission for minority students are frequently challenged in the media and in the courts, legacy policies that also improve the chance of admission go largely unconsidered and are not even well documented. Brown, for example, does not track (or, more likely, does not report) the admission rate of legacy students. This is not intended to criticize the presence of students who are children of alums, who contribute greatly to our school and are incredibly successful, in and out of the classroom, in their own right. If preference for children of alums were eliminated, the student body would still likely disproportionately be composed of legacy students who were raised by parents with fond memories of their college years. Michele Hernandez, college consultant and former assistant director of admission at Dartmouth, suggests in the Herald article that if people understood that legacy plays only a small role in admission decisions, they probably would not care so much about its consideration. She and other critics find the policy unfair, largely for the same reasons we do, but she still believes that other critics have a tendency to overstate its impact. The consideration of legacy may not be particularly egregious, though with the lack of transparency it is difficult to be certain. Nonetheless, it constitutes an unfair admission policy that perpetuates past discrimination and elevates students who are already privileged. It is time to respond to the majority of Brown students’ beliefs and abolish legacy status as an admission consideration.
I VA N A L C A N TA R A
Q U O T E O F T H E D AY
“The maps tell the story. Where you live influences whether you live or die.” — Amy Nunn, professor of medicine
See hiv on page 1.
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. Editorial Leadership
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 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
Comfort and oppression ANDREW POWERS opinions columnist
We hear a lot about oppression these days, especially at Brown. Listening to the hyperbolic language employed by social justice activists, one might think times are worse now than they were 50 years ago. These aren’t cases of the boy who cried wolf, as the considerations put forward are not completely baseless, but using the same words to describe vastly different concepts homogenizes our understanding of the concepts themselves. The repeated exaggeration of relatively minor concerns for rhetorical effect trivializes more serious historical and ongoing grievances. When an Asian woman like Suey Park, the inventor of “#CancelColbert,” describes herself as a “person of color” who faces discrimination to construct a platform from which she can criticize stop-and-frisk, it trivializes the suffering of those who are the actual targets of the policy — young black men. When a drunk married couple agrees to have sex and we describe it as “rape” — asymmetrically blaming the men in the relationships, calling them “rapists,” and idolizing the women, calling them “survivors” — it trivializes the immorality of perpe-
trators and the trauma of victims involved in serious, physically violent sexual assault. The slightest perceived injustice is now termed “oppression” at the malicious hands of the heteronormative, racist patriarchy. Oppression used to mean something. Now it can mean nothing more than encountering disagreement from a straight white male. Social justice activists look for any excuse to be offended because ultraliberal society socially rewards these
feelings are valid.” The term has no etymological connection to the racial slur. With respect to an incident the previous week involving the use of the same word, Julian Bond, thenchairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said, “You hate to think you have to censor your language to meet other people’s lack of understanding. … Order dictionaries issued to all … who need them. … We have a hair-trigger
As former President Ruth Simmons said in her 2001 convocation address, “We expect that you will not be reckless or deliberately assault, intimidate, harass or harm others under the guise of free speech. … However, don’t be fooled by these admonitions. They should not interfere with the confidence you feel as a learner to be … uncompromising in the expression of your opinion. … I won’t ask you to embrace someone who offends your humanity. … But I would ask you to
Oppression used to mean something. Now it can mean nothing more than encountering disagreement from a straight white male. winners of the oppression Olympics. The specious logic is that if one so much as feels oppressed, one actually is oppressed, and is therefore in the right with regard to the debate at hand. In 1999, Amelia Rideau, then-vice president of the Black Student Union at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, brought a complaint before the faculty senate regarding the use of the word “niggardly” in her English class. Her professor was explaining Geoffrey Chaucer’s use of the term — meaning “stingy” — in “The Canterbury Tales.” Rideau said she “was in tears, shaking. … It’s not up to the rest of the class to decide whether my
sensibility, and I think that is particularly true of racial minorities.” Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious disease that is increasingly trivialized by these complaints of “triggering language” — language that makes people uncomfortable. Unless one has a genuine psychiatric condition, learning how to deal with mental discomfort is a standard part of intellectual maturation. The vast majority of life takes place outside the padded cribs into which we were born. That’s not to say we should encourage the unnecessary use of “triggering language,” but the pursuit of truth is our priority here at Brown.
understand that the price of your own freedom is permitting the expression of such opinions. … The process of discovery need not make us feel good and secure.” Brown students often aren’t interested in having these uncomfortable conversations. I was informed by an anonymous Internet commentator on a previous column of mine (“Powers ’15: Gettin’ frisky,” March 17) that “debating upper-class entitled provocateurs like Andrew Powers isn’t a good use of anyone’s time.” Let’s pretend that unfounded appeals to authority and ad hominem attacks by social justice activists are sound. Let’s imagine that “oppressed”
individuals are experts on the absolute truths of morality and that straight white men aren’t entitled to any opinion regarding such issues — a view Park and like-minded activists advocate. I’ll grant these premises as true for the sake of argument. Fortunately, there are always those who are considered disenfranchised enough to have a “legitimate” opinion and who don’t buy into the overblown rhetoric — Bond and Simmons are two of them in the above cases. Both grew up during the ’50s and ’60s and can attest to the government-sponsored oppression under Jim Crow laws that characterized that period of American history. We can condemn “privileged” individuals all we want, but this will do nothing to derail the force of their arguments, even under the outrageous epistemic framework I granted. But we don’t need to make unwarranted references to “expert opinion” regarding these questions anyway. We’re all smart enough to think for ourselves at Brown. Getting at the truth necessitates engaging an individual’s reasoning, not engaging the individual himself. Let’s criticize arguments on the basis of their flawed logic, not on the basis of who supports them.
Andrew Powers ’15 can be reached at email@example.com.
No such thing as isolationism JAMES RATTNER opinions columnist
In today’s media and public discourse, government policies and current events typically get categorized into two camps: domestic and foreign. But the two cannot be divorced and should not be treated separately. The New York Times, think tanks and even presidential debates label issues as either American or foreign. The truth is that little of what goes on in the United States does not affect other countries, and the last century has shown that oceans no longer isolate us from Eurasia and Africa. The United States has nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP and, for better or worse, is scrutinized and respected by other countries. Indeed, our domestic policies as much as our actions abroad are analyzed by foreign democracies. National issues should be discussed with regard to how they affect not only the United States but the rest of the world. Ignoring the ramifications of our actions, even domestic ones, is narrow-minded and selfish. Immigration, for example, is generally considered a domestic policy issue. Debate focuses on how regulations affect American jobs and wages. But more attention should be given to the cost of human capital exacted on immigrants’ countries of origin. A 2012 National Science Foundation study found that among Indians who got a doctorate abroad in science, engineering or health, only 5.2 percent were working in India. Some consider-
ation should be given to how the loss of this talent affects a country with dire infrastructure and medical needs. Even where we might not have a direct impact, actions within our borders are scrutinized by others. The most private of domestic issues, like marriage laws, can have global consequences. The battle fought here between evangelicals and young voters is fought across Africa as well. Some American Christians have given strength to the Uganda AntiHomosexuality Act at the same time that our
abroad do not have a significant effect on us when the impact is not immediately apparent. The Syrian Civil War poses no imminent threat to the United States and will not be solved by unilateral American intervention, but that is not to say we cannot ease the suffering. The refugees flooding into Jordan and Lebanon are not begging for American missiles — they want basic necessities and education to prevent a lost generation. Aside from the compelling humanitarian argument for our aid, a more cynical person
National issues should be discussed with regard to how they affect not only the United States but also the rest of the world. government’s support for gay rights bolsters activists. Similarly, problems abroad are largely considered with regard to only their direct and immediate impact on the United States. This filter leaves most issues out of the conversation. Reuters tracking in 2012 found that despite events in the Middle East, including the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, no aspect of our foreign policy was considered the most important issue among even 5 percent of voters. Except in the case of war, international issues rarely decide American elections. But we should not pretend that we can opt in and out of foreign issues or that events
should consider the long-term effects of our isolationism. A refugee crisis and a generation of uneducated children can lead to regional instability, terrorism and global health epidemics. Even something like a civil war that is inherently domestic and unrelated to the United States can have repercussions on our soil. Making the world’s problems America’s problems is a dangerous road, and arrogance has led to quagmires in the past. But that does not mean there is not more we could be doing, and at the very least we should be paying greater attention to these issues. Unfortunately, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last year found that 61 percent of Ameri-
cans thought we spent too much on foreign aid. It also found that the average American believes over a quarter of our budget goes to foreign aid. Twelve percent thought aid was over half the federal budget. The real number is closer to 1 percent. Our politics and culture seem to perpetuate a belief that we can label ourselves as isolationists and interventionists, or that some issues are national and others international. But this categorization encourages us to ignore the repercussions and secondary effects of government policies. Even those who do not want to send money or troops abroad should consider how actions within our borders ripple beyond them. Those who think we can effect change abroad only through airstrikes should consider what President Bill Clinton called “the power of our example.” The media and academia must do more to present the larger significance of a story and blend national with international coverage. The New York Times should not do away with geographically organized sections, but in reading about New York City’s e-cigarette policies, we should also learn how they might affect European cities or Chinese manufacturers. Presidential debates should not be divided between domestic and international issues but rather ask candidates how Russia’s invasion of Crimea affects our relationship with Puerto Rico. In a world of intercontinental missiles and Instagram, we cannot pretend that any issues are restricted by distance or sovereignty.
James Rattner ’15 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
BROWN DAILY HERALD restaurant week » FOOD SCENE, from page 1 a history twisted over the years. Germon explains that one day, while he was picking up fresh fish for the restaurant shortly after it opened, someone at the market mentioned he had just returned from Italy, where he witnessed pizza being grilled. Germon discussed this intriguing kitchen technique with Killeen, who thought the man most likely had his terminology wrong, calling a typical beehive oven a grill. But they went to work and tried it anyway, creating a dish that would put Al Forno — and in some ways Providence — on the map as the dough hit the grates for the first time. Al Forno now sits on a different plot than its original home on Steeple Street — the new location offers a serene escape from city life right near the waterfront on South Main Street. The upstairs and outside dining areas offer views of the water and a garden, respectively, sheltering customers from the traffic outside. Born of the couple’s two loves — Providence and Italy — Al Forno is both a reflection of and inspiration for today’s vibrant Providence food community, particularly in the realm of Italian cuisine. Italian imports The story of much of Providence’s cuisine begins with a tale of migration. Zooma Trattoria began serving southern Italian food in 2004 after owner James Cardi, born on Federal Hill, decided to reach out to his family’s roots. General Manager Armando Bisceglia, himself from Naples, is proud of the authenticity found in the restaurant’s Neapolitan pizzas, handmade pastas and Bolognese recipes passed down from Italian immigrants and produced by a chef from Pisciotta, Italy. “I don’t know if you’re going to be able to get more Italian than us,” he says. Julian Forge, owner of Julian’s since 1994, was born in Federal Hill to parents who came to the United States from Italy after World War II. Chris Tarro, who owns Siena along with his brother Anthony, says he reconnected with his Tuscan roots through the restaurant — his parents, who were born in the United States to Italian immigrants, grew up a half-mile away. Domenic Ierfino’s family was attracted to the Italian section of Providence, which consists of eateries and clothing stores. Thirty-one years after its founding, his trattoria Roma adds to Federal Hill’s heritage. This Italian tradition has made national waves since the 1950s, when Frank Sinatra regularly visited Federal Hill when touring New England, Forge says. Local flavor The story of the Providence restaurant scene continues with the emergence of community solidarity. “I made sausage with peppers and onions one Sunday, and I came out of the kitchen to see how everyone was doing and there was a young woman who looked like she was sobbing,” says Bob Antignano, owner of Angelo’s, which his grandfather-in-law opened in 1924 after immigrating from Pescara, Italy. “I said, ‘Is everything okay?’” he recalls. “She looked up at me and said, ‘You brought my grandmother back to life.’” Angelo’s has three customers who still only refer to the restaurant by the
This Week in Higher Ed BY KIKI BARNES, UNIVERSITY NEWS EDITOR
URI to arm campus police
name Civita Farnese. Ninety years ago, when they started dining there, that was its name, Antignano says. “I’m not a restaurant that just makes money and leaves,” Forge says. “I clean my neighbor’s sidewalks, I help the older lady cross the street.” Forge is simply repaying the community that accepted him in 1994 when he opened Julian’s after returning to Providence to spend time with his sick father. He knew next to nothing of the food business — his work experience consisted of founding a worldwide professional paintball league. But as he learned the tricks of the trade from local butchers, seafood vendors and sushi entrepreneurs, Julian’s developed into an establishment he describes as busy since its early days. On a larger scale, Providence’s renowned restaurants have opened up to supporting Rhode Island in another way — through local food sourcing. “I would say the focus on local and sustainable food sourcing has taken off,” says Katie Kleyla, director of private events and marketing at Gracie’s, a restaurant focused on seasonal dishes. What the restaurant doesn’t grow on its own, it gets from local farms and purveyors, something the proprietors of Zooma Trattoria, Julian’s, Al Forno and Siena all stress in their menus. Evolving tastes And today, the story of Providence’s cuisine becomes a story of change and the fight for tradition. Thirty years ago — around the time Al Forno burst onto the scene — Federal Hill was almost strictly Italian, leaving every restaurant to find its own niche within the cuisine, says Suzann Ierfino, whose husband Domenic coowns Roma. Giants like Camille’s and Al Forno cemented Providence’s national reputation as one of the most dominant food scenes in the country, something Germon says contributed to the explosion of restaurants after that time. “It just opened the doors to Providence, and I think it gave other people inspiration to open restaurants there and do well.” “I knew if I could just be near them, I’d be okay,” Forge says. “I’d catch the overflow, and that’s eventually what happened.” As the food scene boomed and the local farm movement caught on, restaurants realized they no longer had to cater solely to an Italian-hungry audience. “The trend of Italian being the hip thing to do doesn’t exist anymore,” Kleyla says. “Most restaurants that are on the map are seasonal-inspired and are pulling from many different types of cuisines.” Patrons strolling Federal Hill
now see establishments offering Mexican, Indian, Chinese and Lebanese food. “Me being Italian, most people expected I was going to do Italian food,” Forge says. “I like to think I helped to create or recreate Providence’s first original cuisine.” This change in cuisine is also accompanied by a change in clientele. Food Network’s “50 States, 50 Pizzas” featured Al Forno in August 2011. One year ago, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” stopped by Angelo’s on Atwells Avenue. Due to this national coverage, both restaurants receive hungry customers from around the world. “Twenty years ago, you couldn’t turn on the TV and see a restaurant seven states away,” Bisceglia says. With the expansion of the Internet, the food economy has widened, allowing customers to find new things to experience, Germon says. Travelers can instantly know which eateries have received media praise. On any given Saturday night, over a third of Siena’s patrons hail from out of state, Tarro says. The influx of young talent from Johnson and Wales University’s culinary school is changing the game, Kleyla says. Gracie’s, Siena and Zooma Trattoria all employ interns from the institution. These converging factors are erupting in an identity crisis for Federal Hill, one of Providence’s most storied areas, Bisceglia says. The Italian restaurants “have a history on the street and a culture that is vastly going away,” Bisceglia said. “We would rather have someone eat on the Hill than eat anywhere else in Providence, even if it isn’t at our restaurant,” Tarro says, echoing Bisceglia’s sentiment. But Tarro worries the fabric of Federal Hill is being challenged — by lounges, nightclubs and a rowdier clientele. While Antignano praises the variety Federal Hill now offers customers, Tarro favors a comparison to other areas with traditionally Italian roots: “When you think of Boston’s North End, you don’t think of nightclubs and lounges, you think of great Italian restaurants and markets.” But even confronted with an uncertain future, Providence restaurants have chosen to react as they always have — as a community. Owners on Federal Hill have joined to launch beautification, policing and advertising projects, realizing the need now, in a tough economy more than ever, to cement their position in the area. “The better the Hill does, the better we all do,” Tarro says. “I don’t think anyone can outperform the Hill.”
University of Rhode Island administrators announced Monday that the school will arm campus police, Rhode Island Public Radio reported. The controversial decision comes after a year of community forums and meetings with students, faculty members and staff members, instigated by an incident last April in which a gunman was reported to be on URI’s Kingston campus. Though the reports were false, the unarmed campus police were forced to wait for local police to respond to the threat. “In order to provide the safest environment possible and to ensure a timely response to any threat to the safety of our campuses, our police officers must be equipped properly to function as first responders,” URI President David Dooley said in a statement. Critics of the university’s decision say arming campus police is unnecessary due to the negligible presence of gun-related violence on URI’s rural campus, RIPR reported. Questions were also raised about URI, as a public institution, using taxpayer dollars to arm campus police. URI officers will undergo psychological evaluations, additional background checks and firearms training prior to carrying guns on campus, university officials told RIPR.
Pitzer to divest from fossil fuels Administrators at Pitzer College announced Saturday that the institution will divest all but $1 million of its holdings in fossil fuel companies by the end of 2014, multiple news sources reported Monday. The Claremont, Calif., liberal arts college also pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent over the next two years. Pitzer’s $125 million endowment puts the school at the same financial level as some other institutions that have already decided against divesting from fossil fuel companies, Inside Higher Ed reported. Pitzer is believed to be the largest college endowment divested from fossil fuels thus far nationwide. The college currently has $5.4 million in fossil fuel investments. Pitzer President Laura Skandera told Inside Higher Ed, “We are an institution that is socially progressive, and we have been since our founding,” referring to divesting as “a logical next step.” The debate at Pitzer over whether to divest fossil fuel holdings was started by the student group Claremont Colleges Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign. The group’s efforts failed to convince administrators at neighboring Pomona College to divest last year, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Administrators at Pitzer were initially opposed to the divestment campaign as well, Pitzer senior Jess Grady-Benson, campaign leader, told the Chronicle. But over time, the divestment option gained traction. “It ended up being a very interesting collaborative process,” Grady-Benson said. “We’ve really developed a relationship of mutual respect.”
University of Southern Maine revokes faculty layoffs After laying off a dozen liberal arts faculty members in late March, University of Southern Maine President Theodora Kalikow announced Friday that the institution will rescind the layoffs and work to keep the faculty members employed, Inside Higher Ed reported this week. Hundreds of students protested the layoffs, which administrators said were due to $14 million in financial difficulties that the university is currently facing. Kalikow will now meet with administrators and faculty members to hear other options in restructuring the budget. A grievance was presented to USM administrators on Thursday claiming that the layoffs violated the professors’ contracts and were biased against ethnic minorities, women and lesbian professors, Inside Higher Ed reported. The layoffs were also entirely in humanities and social sciences fields, including economics, English, philosophy, sociology, theater and music. Though the rescinded layoffs will save jobs for the designated faculty members, layoffs of over 30 staff members and the elimination of three entire academic programs and the programs’ seven faculty members will still take place. “Maine was too poor to be the test case for the dismantling of tenure,” Christy Hammer, a USM sociology professor who filed the grievance on behalf of the faculty, told Inside Higher Ed. “It was like spaghetti they just threw at the wall — some people’s lives, some tenured faculty in the prime of their life.” The 12 faculty members whose jobs were saved may still be laid off depending on the results of budget talks, Inside Higher Ed reported. John Baugher, associate professor of sociology at USM, spoke out against the university’s financial restructuring at a Janus Forum panel about higher education finances last week at Brown.