THE BROWN DAILY HERALD WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016
VOLUME CLI, ISSUE 88
Event staffer allegedly harasses students at party Office of Student Life addresses concerns, notifies third-party contractor of incidents By LAUREN ARATANI NEWS EDITOR
ELI WHITE / HERALD
The University and the United Service and Allied Workers union signed a new contract Monday night. The new agreement boosts pay and benefits for Facilities Management workers.
Facilities union negotiates new contract
Contract includes pay raises of 2.25 percent each year until 2021 for all facilities union members By JACKSON CHAIKEN SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The University signed a new contract with the United Service and Allied Workers union — representing Facilities Management workers — that was approved by the union Monday night, said Karen
McAninch, the union’s business agent. “Staff members from the Facilities Management bargaining unit play a critical role in maintaining and improving the Brown campus and cultivating a setting that allows the University to fulfill its academic mission,” wrote Vice President of Facilities Management Stephen Maiorisi in an email to The Herald. “Our negotiations with union leadership were positive and productive, and we’re pleased to have reached a fair and competitive agreement.” The old contract, which had been in
effect since October 2011, expired Oct. 13, and the current contract is effective until October 2021, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Herald. Because the old contract expired Oct. 13 and the new one was not approved by the union until Oct. 17, Facilities Management workers were technically working without contract for those four days. This is “not the first time we have worked without a contract,” said Anthony Ward Jr., president of the union and a heating, ventilation and air conditioning » See CONTRACT, page 2
Multiple students were allegedly harassed by an event security staff officer at a party co-hosted by Brown’s Organization of Multiracial and Biracial Students and Harambee House Oct. 14, according to a statement released by BOMBS Oct. 16 on its Facebook page. The security officer is employed by a third-party contractor, wrote Director of News and Editorial Content Brian Clark in an email to The Herald. BOMBS first described an incident involving a black student who was standing outside of the party on a ramp outside the door. The white security officer told the student to get off the ramp, and the student told the officer that his “ancestors built this campus” and that his tuition allowed him to be in that public University space, according to the statement. The officer responded that his own ancestors “were practically slaves on a potato farms,” according to the statement. In the second incident, an unnamed
female student was provoked by the same officer after walking into the party without waiting in line. When she walked in, the security officer “grabbed the student while yelling at her” and proceeded to “push the student out of the building by her neck,” according to the statement. The officer later bragged “to other employees and BOMBS (executive) board members about how the student would likely have bruises on her neck in the morning.” The third incident involved the same officer enticing two male students who were deciding whether or not to enter the party “by offering them different members of the BOMBS (executive) board with phrases like, ‘What about her? She’s pretty’ and pointing to various women,” according to the statement. The “officers are supposed to remain unprovoked. The officer’s response was unprofessional, racist and hurtful to the student,” according to BOMBS’ statement, which was signed by the group’s executive board. The BOMBS executive board met with University administrators Tuesday afternoon to discuss the incidents, BOMBS said in a second statement released on its Facebook page Tuesday. Clark also confirmed that staff from the Office of Student Life “have already » See BOMBS, page 2
‘Gigs on the Grass’ features BUCC meeting covers Title IX Office updates Members discuss Title student musical talent IX Oversight, Advisory U.’s first student-only festival kicked off Saturday, best acts chosen for “Spring Prekend” By ROLAND HIGH SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Student bands took turns at the two stages on Pembroke field Saturday afternoon, drawing a steady flow of concertgoers up from Thayer for Brown’s newest festival, “Gigs on the Grass.” The first festival at Brown to exclusively feature student artists, “Gigs” was organized by the Brown Concert Agency and the Class Coordinating Board with the support of the Student Activities Office. It is also the first event that the BCA and CCB have coordinated together. Senior members of both groups said it marks the beginning of an annual tradition and an important platform for talented student musicians. But “Gigs” is more than a concert.
ARTS & CULTURE
After a “Battle of the Bands,” a panel of three judges, all recent alums, announced the winners: Luk and Val Make Music, Pure Evan, DIASPORA and richard. These four bands will be featured in a concert to be scheduled just a couple weeks ahead of Spring Weekend; the CCB will call it “Spring Prekend,” said Pia Struzzieri ’18, president of CCB 2018. The judges seem to have been impressed by the contestants, as they found themselves unable to winnow down the list to only three bands as they originally intended. Most of the musicians at the concert delivered skilled performances. The four groups headed for Spring Prekend showed an impressive combination of energy, spot-on vocals and infectious rhythm. The Prekend lineup promises something for every taste, from DIASPORA’s intense raps to Luk and Val’s more simple, indie melodies. The creation of these concerts were spurred by a desire to elevate student musicians and reach out to new students looking for opportunities in the musical community, said BCA co-chair Riley » See GIGS, page 2
Board, faculty training, current prevention work By SHIRA BUCHSBAUM SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The Brown University Community Coalition met Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Title IX Oversight and Advisory Board’s review on the implementation of the Sexual Assault Task Force’s recommendations and general issues relating to sexual assault prevention and education on campus. Laurel Bestock, associate professor of archaeology and chair of the Title IX Oversight and Advisory Board, shared the major points that came out of the 2015-2016 review and the priorities of the board moving forward. Since the SATF released its final report in 2015, the University has made “massive strides” in implementing the recommendations, Bestock said. Goals accomplished include the creation of the Title IX Office, the hiring of an internal investigator and the expansion of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources
SARA RUNKEL / HERALD
The Brown University Community Coalition’s Tuesday meeting reviewed the Title IX Office’s 2015-2016 report and campus education efforts. and Education program. The board was born out of a recommendation from the SATF and is charged with reviewing and making recommendations concerning all Title IX issues. Though not currently in a review year, the board still collects information regarding Title IX to continually assess the implementation of the SATF’s recommendations, Bestock said. Bestock emphasized that the board identified developing institutional trainings — especially for faculty members — as a top priority for the coming year. Though current training exists, it is not comprehensive and specific enough to Brown faculty members, Bestock said.
“I was so impressed with the effort, but I was mortified” by the actual content of the faculty training, said Susan Harvey, professor of history and religion. Other faculty members shared Harvey’s concerns about the content of the training, and the Title IX Office is thinking critically about how to develop educational training for faculty members, said Amanda Walsh, Title IX program officer. Bestock said faculty members have been “unclear about technical responsibilities” regarding reporting and providing resources if a student discloses an experience of sexual harassment or assault with them. The current training » See TITLE IX, page 3
WEDNESDAY, OC TOBER 19, 2016
ARTS & CULTURE Cancer research group plans third annual Food Truck Festival for Parents Weekend to raise funds
ARTS & CULTURE Documentary by Canner ’91 questions creation of drug for female sexual dysfunction
COMMENTARY Rose ’19, Shire ’19: Brown Republicans do not endorse Trump, citing policies, character
COMMENTARY Zheng ’20: Due to instrumentality and insincerity, networking events produce few real connections
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PAGE 2 • WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016
» CONTRACT, from page 1 technician in Facilities Management. “Our negotiations have been characterized by a positive spirit of cooperation, understanding and goodwill as all parties have worked expeditiously toward a fair and equitable resolution,” wrote Director of Labor and Employee Relations Paul Mancini in an email to The Herald while the negotiations were still ongoing. The union’s goal was to expand the whole package and increase the standard of living for its members, Ward said. This would allow them to draw more talented and highly skilled workers to come work at Brown, he added. This involved improving the pension plan along with raising wages, McAninch said. The lowest starting wage in the new contract is $16 to $17 an hour for mail workers, McAninch wrote in an email to The Herald. The union was looking to increase starting wages by “another 9 to 10 percent,” Ward said. The new contract includes 2.25 percent wage increases across the board each contract year, according to the contract. In addition, grounds workers, service response workers and stores clerks are now classified as Level 107 union workers, and
mail drivers and clerks are now amended Level 102 union workers, which means they are making 5 percent more than the old Level 102 workers, according to the agreement. In addition, Facilities Management workers within the union are part of an “aging workforce, and over the next five to six years people will be retiring,” Ward added, emphasizing the need to attract new, skilled workers to the University. There are currently about 275 employees and 15 open positions, McAninch wrote in an email to The Herald. The contract also includes an increase in the retirement multiplier from 1.78 percent to 1.8 percent effective Jan. 1, 2017 in the pension plan. The pension plan is a “monthly benefit” that pays 1.78 percent “of the average monthly compensation received (based on the best five years) multiplied by the employee’s total number of years of credited service,” according to the agreement. Union members are also granted two personal days each benefit year, according to the agreement. This was one of the union’s goals in negotiations, as under the old contract, non-union workers had two more days off including vacation time, McAninch said.
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THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
» GIGS, from page 1 Ryan-Wood ’17. Speakeasies, small shows for student musicians, were discontinued this year partly because they were “poorly attended,” Ryan-Wood said. The BCA believed it could accomplish more with a larger concert event. Meanwhile, the CCB was planning a similar event to help address the “lack at Brown of events that feature student musicians or student artists,” Struzzieri said. “The two groups kind of came up with our ideas independent of each other and then realized that we had the same goal: (an) event that would showcase Brown student talent and bring people together,” said BCA co-chair Anisha Rathod ’18. “Of course, we came at it from slightly different angles, and I think that they really complimented each other,” Struzzieri said. After discussions that began not long after last Spring Weekend and continued through the summer, the BCA and CCB jointly held auditions. Out of 84 groups to express interest, 45 groups were invited to audition, Struzzieri said. Struzzieri and the co-chairs of BCA stressed that the process was organized to be as fair as possible, and both a
» BOMBS, from page 1 been in touch with the contractor to make them aware of what the students reported to ensure that the employee in question is not assigned to upcoming
ALEJANDRO SUBIOTTO / HERALD
The first annual “Gigs on the Grass” showcased student performances at Pembroke field, culminating in a “Battle of the Bands.” dedicated committee and an algorithm created to reduce the bias in the notes of the evaluators chose the same list of bands. Once the groups were chosen, they were given important “tools to promote themselves,” Ryan-Wood said. These included “taking professional-quality photos of them (and) getting them to actually record a song,” she said. Around 1,400 people attended the concert, though not necessarily for its full length. “It went off pretty much without a hitch. As it becomes an annual thing, I think more and more people are going to attend,” Struzzieri said.
Struzzieri was reluctant to highlight a single band for praise but spoke highly of Electric Kitty and Luk and Val, among others, and she called Sam Hill “the smoothest rock ever.” As the BCA focuses its efforts on next semester’s Spring Weekend, the CCB will organize Brown’s first Spring Prekend. “That’s going to be an event that’s put on entirely by CCB,” Struzzieri said. “It’s going to be nighttime, it’s going to be these four bands, and they’re going to really have full control over their performance.” “My main goal is to just keep bringing attention to student musicians,” she added.
student group events and to discuss additional and ongoing training for staff,” he wrote in the email. The Student Activities Office told the BOMBS executive board that “staffing at events in the future will be more
intentional in terms of the diversity of the staff employed,” according to a second statement issued by the group. BOMBS and Harambee House did not respond to The Herald’s requests for comment.
ARTS & CULTURE WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016 • PAGE 3
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
» TITLE IX, from page 1 “did a very bad job explaining what a responsible employee is,” she added. Those in the category of responsible employees are required to report incidents of sexual harassment and assault to the Title IX Office, unlike confidential employees, including advocates from the Sexual Health and Assault Resources and Education group, ordained clergy, Counseling and Psychological Services professionals and health care providers. Any faculty members serving as undergraduate advisors qualify as responsible employees, but the lack of clarity has caused confusion, Bestock said. Moving forward, Bestock said the Title IX OAB will focus on the transparency of the Title IX Office and the flexibility with which Title IX advocates internal and external resources for people involved in the process. Walsh proceeded to share an update on the Title IX Office itself, noting that while the office is committed to providing open feedback, a balance must be struck between being transparent and remaining cognizant of privacy concerns for students involved in Title IX proceedings. In the 2015-2016 academic year, the Title IX Office reported 68 incidents — 60 categorized in areas of sexual harassment and assault and eight uncategorized incidents, Walsh said. Walsh noted two major areas where changes occurred during the year: policy and process. The most significant change regarding policy was clarifying the definition of consent, she said. Previously, the definition included that consent could not be obtained through coercion, taking advantage of incapacitation or manipulation. The previous definition also defined coercion and incapacitation but not manipulation. The new definition struck manipulation from the included circumstances. Regarding the process, Walsh noted that the office now aims to provide more continuity to hearing appeals. Rather than pull any three or four members of the Title IX council to hear appeals, the office will now use the same three or
four members — provided there are no conflicts of interest — to build continuity within the appeals process. Kelly Garrett, program director for the LGBTQ Center, led an extended Q&A session in which Elliot Ruggles, a SHARE advocate, and Molly Sandstrom ’17, a Sexual Assault Peer Education coordinator, shared more about current sexual assault prevention and education work on campus. Sandstrom shared the new SAPE curriculum, which focuses around community standards and values rather than bystander intervention. The curriculum aims to “move the undergraduate community beyond codified standards” and to incorporate “identity components” of communities into action plans for preventing and ending sexual violence, Sandstrom said. Alexis Rodriguez-Camacho ’18 asked if SAPE plans to extend the trainings to beyond Greek and program houses, which require all new and returning members to receive SAPE training. Sandstrom noted that because SAPE is a volunteer student group, more requests for training require more volunteer power. The group is discussing possible trainings with various student groups, including the Undergraduate Council of Students, the Meiklejohn program and various athletic teams. SAPE trained over 800 students last semester and is working to increase its capacity, she added. Another student questioned how to assess relationships with those who have perpetrated said acts of violence while also advocating to eliminate genderbased discrimination and violence on campus. The student shared that he had an acquaintance who recently returned from a suspension because he was found responsible for such an act. Ruggles noted that Brown has community reintegration programs, and that Janet Cooper Nelson, chaplain of the University, is specifically available for those needs. He also stressed the way these situations present the opportunity to prevent further violence from happening.
An ICERM Public Lecture at Brown University
Why we won’t be able to verify the outcome of the 2016 election Many US election systems are past their prime. Election officials trying to cope with failing voting systems and inadequate funding may consider what they hope are cheaper alternatives, such as Internet voting. Barbara Simons, an expert on electronic voting, will describe how we got to where we are today and what needs to be done to move to an evidence based voting system. She will also discuss some of the false claims made about Internet voting, as well as why Internet voting is a major security threat to our democracy.
Thursday, October 20, 2016 Doors open at 6:00pm, talk begins at 6:30pm Salomon Center at Brown University Free and open to the public. Ticket required. Reserve your seat today: icerm.brown.edu
BrUOG throws food truck fundraiser Brown University Oncology Research Group prepares for annual Food Truck Festival Oct. 22 By JUSTIN FERENZI CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The Brown University Oncology Research Group — BrUOG — will throw its annual Food Truck Festival Oct. 22 to help raise funds to support its work in developing cancer treatments. The Food Truck Festival is a free event open to Brown students and the Providence community at large. It will feature food from four different local food trucks: Friskie Fries, the Salad Man and Juice Bar, Sarcastic Sweets and Rhodies Food Truck. The festival will also feature performances by Oliver Hu ’18 and Corey Morrison ’19 in addition to Lainey Dionne, a local musician. The festival aims to “increase awareness for the BrUOG,” said Kristen Mitchell, a clinical research coordinator with the group. Additionally, proceeds from the festival will go directly into funding the BrUOG’s research efforts. BrUOG does work with Phase I oncology research. Through its collaborations with partner hospitals in the Providence area, the group develops new research practices from the ground up by developing protocol proposals, drafting submissions to the Food and
COURTESY OF DANIEL SHAY
The proceeds of Saturday’s food truck festival, sponsored by the Brown Oncology Research Group, will be donated to cancer research. Drug Administration and farming out practices to hospital sites where patients can receive those new treatments, Mitchell said. The Food Truck Festival is studentrun. BrUOG offers an internship every year in which one Brown student is able to work with the group to coordinate this event. The idea for the festival was conceived three years ago by Derek Shay ’16, the intern at that time. The festival is “a really interesting way to capture the Brown community,” Mitchell said.
It is important to raise awareness for BrUOG within Brown and neighboring communities, she added, given that it is a small and busy office that does not often have time to reach out to students and Providence citizens. The event should be “huge,” Mitchell said, given its central location off Thayer in front of the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts and its coinciding with Family Weekend. BrUOG expects a turnout of around 1,000 people and has been planning since the summer.
ARTS & CULTURE PAGE 4 • WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
‘Orgasm Inc.’ investigates motives of pharmaceutical industry Liz Canner’s ’91 documentary challenges women’s Viagra, female sexual dysfunction By SARAH WANG STAFF WRITER
Oct. 14 moving.media@brown screened “Orgasm Inc.,” a 2009 documentary directed by filmmaker Liz Canner ’91. The symposium, moving.media@ brown, was hosted by the Department of Modern Culture and Media Oct. 14and 15. The goal of the symposium was “to get people thinking through what media can and cannot do,” said Wendy Chun, professor of modern culture and media and a member of the moving.media@ brown organizing committee. Chun also added that both the MCM department and symposium organizers are “dedicated to creating dialogue between alums and current students.” Chosen as one of the symposium’s featured films, “Orgasm Inc.” follows the
race to create a Food and Drug Administration-approved female Viagra in the 2000s. Canner had originally been hired by Vivus, a drug company, to edit erotic movies for a drug trial testing Alista, a cream intended to treat a disease coined as “female sexual dysfunction.” Curious about the topic of female pleasure, Canner got permission to film the process. But what started out as some footage on Vivus soon turned into a full-fledged documentary questioning the motives of the entire pharmaceutical industry. “I would ask them very basic questions, and I got very strange answers, which made me curious about what was going on,” Canner said before the screening. “The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t just develop drugs.” What interested Canner was not the development of the drug, but the concept of FSD, the troubling problem that companies like Vivus, Procter and Gamble and Pfizer claimed created a need for a female Viagra. All over the United States, the idea of FSD was running rampant. A 1999 study
claimed that 43 percent of women suffer from FSD, and the market for a drug to treat it skyrocketed when Vivus made it known that they were experimenting with the creation of a female Viagra. Canner began digging deeper, interviewing doctors, patients, advocates and protesters of the potential drug. Through what ended up being nine years of research and filming, Canner discovered a fierce debate over the existence of FSD. Promoters of the drug claimed that it would solve sexual issues for women by increasing sex drive and inducing orgasm, but Canner found that many of the doctors who said this had ties to drug companies. Canner also discovered that the authors of the study that found 43 percent of women suffer from FSD had ties to Pfizer. When Canner questioned Vivus over what was inherently wrong with the women who allegedly had FSD, its employees couldn’t answer the question. Critics of the drug and the idea of FSD claimed that a multitude of other reasons, including body issues, stress and
previous sexual assaults, could explain troubles with sex. Furthermore, many of the drugs being created to treat FSD came with negative side effects and risks. Despite protests, the drug companies still managed to influence the public and convince many women that they were ill. “Not only am I not normal, I am diseased,” one woman told Canner in her documentary. Canner watched others go under the knife in an ultimately fail attempt to rid themselves of FSD. By the end of Canner’s film, all the companies vying to create the female Viagra failed to get approval from the FDA. But while companies failed to develop an
approved drug during the timeline of the documentary, Sprout Pharmaceuticals recently got its own version of the drug, Addyi, approved by the FDA in August 2015 after initially getting rejected twice. Its sales have been far from successful. Though the film made a smaller impact in the United States than it did abroad, Canner is still happy with the attention her film has gotten. “We were able to get the issue out to the press and to me, that’s what it’s about,” Canner said. “It’s about having an impact and using the media to do that in any way we can,” she said. “It’s not always just about seeing the film.”
COURTESY OF ORGASM INC
Liz Canner’s ’91 documentary started out as some footage on Vivus and soon turned into a full-fledged film questioning the company’s motives.
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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016 • PAGE 5
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
b e yo n d t h e l a b e l
SATELLITE DINING ANDREWS COMMONS
Pizza: Mushroom’s Revenge, Spicy Sausage and Garlic, Honey Boo Boo Po’ Boys JOSIAH’S
Beef Chili With Beans Burrito Bowls
DINING HALLS SHARPE REFECTORY LUNCH
Chicken Curry, Hot Roast Beef Au Jus, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Cream Cheese Brownies
Breaded Chicken With Apples and Kale, Bean and Potato Goulash, Pumpkin Pie
Mac and Cheese Bar, Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches, White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
Rotini Pasta, Chopped Sirloin, Pastito, Roasted Butternut Squash and Leek Risotto
HUAYU OUYANG / HERALD
Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee (right) speaks at a No Labels at Brown event to discuss the upcoming election, the current political landscape and the state’s role in national conversations.
Q U O T E O F T H E D AY
“I’ve only been in (Shades of Brown) for about two weeks, and it already feels like a family away from crossword
— Daryl Polk ’19
See shades on page 8.
Hormone Heroes and Hucksters Lecture 5:30 P.M. Pembroke Hall, 305
The Night Sky as Inspiration 5:30 P.M. MacMillan Hall, 117
Concentration Fair 7:00 P.M. Sayles Hall
Final Debate Watch Party 8:45 P.M. 85 Waterman Street, 130
TOMORROW National Day on Writing: Why We Write Panel 12:00 P.M. Sciences Library, 520
Intersecting the Ivory Tower and Ebony Power 4:30 P.M. 85 Waterman Street, 130
TBS Presents: Search Party Pre-Screening 6:00 P.M. Leung Gallery
Jazz Combos Concert 8:00 P.M. Grant Recital Hall
COMMENTARY PAGE 6 • WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
U. still committed to undergrad experience To the Editor: Duncan Weinstein’s ’17 assessment (“Weinstein ’17: Brown decides to chase its ‘peers,’” Oct. 12) of Brown’s significant assets is right on: We have exceptional faculty, a stunning campus and a curriculum that attracts intellectually independent students driven to explore across disciplinary boundaries to advance knowledge. Together with our graduate programs, the Alpert Medical School and the Schools of Engineering, Public Health and Professional Studies, we offer a vibrant academic community — one that we are committed to cultivating. “Building on Distinction” outlines our plans for solidifying Brown’s unparalleled undergraduate program while enhancing its excellence and contributions through research and graduate education — and doing so in a fiscally sustainable way. These goals are not mutually exclusive and in fact are deeply intertwined. At the recent faculty meeting, I outlined our approach to achieving our ambitions in a challenging global economic context. What I presented calls for limiting the growth of the undergraduate student body to maintain a highly personalized, largely residential learning environment, maintaining our current commitment to need-blind admission and meeting the demonstrated financial need of all students admitted to Brown. These initiatives are driven not by our budget, but rather by an appreciation for our excellent undergraduate educational experience and our efforts to strengthen this experience. We also proposed limited and targeted growth in graduate programs — growth that, again, is aligned with the University’s academic priorities and commitment to excellence. Our proposal calls for a short-term slowing of faculty growth, and for maintaining our commitment to being an employer of choice, providing competitive salaries and benefits so that we can continue to attract and retain the most talented faculty and staff to the University. Finally, in an effort to ensure the long-term financial health of the University, we discussed preserving (and growing) the endowment by both increasing fundraising and reducing the annual withdrawal rate over time from the current 5.5 percent to 4.5 percent by fiscal year 2021. Through a series of proposals, we are seeking to enhance educational excellence on a campus that values outstanding research, teaching and service while increasing the endowment over time to reduce the University’s heavy reliance on tuition and fees as a source of revenue. And while the writer suggests that to balance the budget we could simply forego certain capital projects, like the new Engineering School building, it is important to note that improving our physical infrastructure is central to enhancing the excellence of our academic programs, and these projects are actually supported not through the operating budget, but through gifts to the University that cannot be simply shifted to a different use. One last point: The headline of the column states “Brown decides to chase its ‘peers.’” By benchmarking against other leading universities when developing our own plans, we seek to study best practices and to try to learn from them, when it makes sense, to achieve our goal of making Brown’s truly distinctive approach to higher education even stronger. In fact, everything we are doing is focused on strengthening Brown as a university — for undergraduates and all members of our community. Richard Locke P’17 Provost
R O L A N D H IG H
comic P-Branes and Bosons | Ricky Oliver
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COMMENTARY WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016 • PAGE 7
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Brown Republicans do not endorse Donald Trump AUSTIN ROSE AND FRANKLIN TARKE op-ed contributors The 2016 presidential race has been an extraordinarily difficult one for conscientious voters on both sides of the political spectrum. Indeed, 60 percent of the country dislikes both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The Brown Republicans Club took the question of who we would support for president to a vote, and the result was definitive: We cannot endorse Donald Trump for President. Only 36 percent of the Brown Republicans Club plans to vote for the Republican nominee in this election. About 38 percent will vote for another candidate, 17 percent remain undecided, and 9 percent will not vote at all. The fact that only just over a third of the club can support the nominee of our party three weeks from election day is an unprecedented indication of how poorly Trump represents the values we hold dear. As conservatives, we believe that the best way to maximize human potential is through an unfettered free enterprise system. We support a strong military and secure borders in order to best defend our freedoms. We understand that state and
local control of civic responsibilities is the most effective form of governance. And we respect a national government that operates within its monetary means and constitutionally defined powers. How does Trump fail to represent our values? First, he is a poor champion of conservative policy. His support of “no fly, no buy” gun control legislation is flagrantly ignorant of the Bill of Rights’ protections of due process and the Second Amendment.
for example, misinterprets the most basic of facts. He has claimed he will force Mexico to build a physical wall by threatening remittances from people of Mexican origin in the United States. This would be an egregiously unconstitutional executive action that requires interpreting the Patriot Act in ways that would make President Barack Obama blush. Conservatives demand efficiency and a clear reckoning of opportunity costs for government projects, but a physical wall would
Even on the issue of appointing Supreme Court justices, Trump drops the ball. He has repeatedly endorsed gross violations of the Bill of Rights and basic human rights. He interprets constitutional questions of eminent domain and libel laws in a blatantly unconstitutional and self-interested manner. If his own interpretation of the Constitution is so flawed — despite months of careful guidance from the party’s top advisors — why should we assume that his Supreme Court selections will be
We cannot endorse Donald Trump for President.
His opposition of the North American Free Trade Agreement and anti-free trade economic policy would not only precipitate a disastrous economic slowdown, but it’s not conservative. His opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is dangerous and disloyal to our military treaties with allies across the globe. When he is not advocating for ideas that are flatly at odds with conservative thought, Trump seems to grasp the general direction of some conservative tenets. But he utterly fails to implement them appropriately. Trump’s immigration policy,
be a grossly inefficient allocation of resources to stop illegal immigration. Trump also proposes a ban on all Muslims from entering the country in a bid to stop radical Islamic terrorism. His impression that a simple yes-or-no question about a potential immigrant’s faith would be more effective at rooting out terrorists than the actual background check already in place is misguided. Further, treating a group of people worse than others because of their faith is an obvious violation of the principles on which America stands.
any better? Policy aside, Trump’s character is antithetical to the standards of common decency. From outright racist comments about a federal judge early in his campaign to his utterly unconscionable brags about sexually assaulting women, Trump has continually shown that he is unfit to lead the nation. As an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse group of individuals, we are deeply disturbed by Trump’s continued appeasement of the alt right. Despite all this, some of our members feel there is no other op-
tion than to support Trump because even though he is not an ideal candidate, they find his opponents comparatively worse. His support for pro-life policies and his National Rifle Association endorsement are examples of such relative advantages. Though we are forced to denounce Trump’s candidacy for president, we maintain faith that Republican leaders in Congress will continue to advocate for sound policy. Our club has been working closely with the U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, reelection campaign to help maintain a Republican majority in the Senate, and we look forward to more legislation in support of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan’s, R-WI, plan, A Better Way. Despite the fact that the GOP failed to produce a worthy presidential candidate, we are optimistic that the Republican party will move forward with a renewed commitment to conservative principles.
Austin Rose ’19 and Ethan Shire ’19 are executive board members of the Brown Republicans and Franklin Tarke ’18 is a member. The three write on behalf of the club and can be reached at austin_rose@ brown.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.
The net wrong with networking CINDY ZENG staff columnist Several months ago, I attended a networking mixer for a business organization I had regrettably joined. For three hours, I sat at a table in a stiff white collar and listened to a fellow student puff himself up to corporate executives. I did not care at all about what he was saying, and when it was my turn to speak, I doubt he cared either. We were there with only one goal in mind: to schmooze and impress. From what I’ve heard, this experience is fairly representative of the average networking experience. I don’t understand why people think networking sessions are productive spaces. After all, they essentially consist of a room full of sweaty people who don’t actually want to be there but fake-smile and exchange insincere pleasantries anyway. When you attend a networking event, every one of your interactions is underscored by the awareness that you’re only there because you’re angling for something. You know it. The person you’re speaking to knows it;. But both of you will carry on pretending as if you don’t. The format of networking sessions promotes a very specific aim: to help connect as many people as possible. But all this setup does is contribute to an atmosphere of superficiality. Conversations don’t last long, and true connections aren’t made when the objective is to expand networks rather than strengthen them because people just don’t have the incentive or time. Networking events also fail to support professional development and the shar-
ing of knowledge. With the pressure to appear knowledgeable, poised and professional, it’s easy to be dissuaded from asking sincere questions and engaging in more honest conversations. In the end, it is fairly common to leave the sessions feeling dissatisfied and with a host of unanswered questions, regrets and frustrations. So it’s no wonder that most of our networking hours prove fruitless. The context is painfully ill-suited to meaningful communication. It forces us to become more concerned
left in the dust. As a rather introverted person myself, this aspect is incredibly frustrating because we have no choice but to engage in sessions of idle chatter. Some argue that networking sessions are good preparation for future careers, but career success is not so dependent on making instantaneous impressions or being the most vocal person in the room. Since companies rely on this skewed mode of recruitment, the process favors extroverts and makes companies miss out on a more varied pool of talent.
Our notion of networking has devolved into a series of neverending, banal conversations — a hollow competition to collect the most hellos and business cards.
with the impressions we make on potential employers than with any sort of authentic human connection. We think more about how we’re coming across — if our smile is right, if our words are coherent — than how we can connect with and learn from others. Perhaps it isn’t likely that we’ll develop an instantaneous, lifelong connection within seven minutes, but at least some depth and sincerity are necessary to find relevant people to connect with later. Furthermore, the social nature of networking sessions means that introverts are often
The unfortunate truth is that networking is essential for discovering new opportunities. Its purpose can include learning about companies on a personal level, learning about other people’s experiences and gaining industry and interview tips. At its roots, it is a way to meet new people and expand your professional web. And if that were all networking were, I wouldn’t mind so much because meeting new people can be socially and professionally enriching. But our notion of networking has devolved into a series of never-ending, banal conversations — a hollow competition to col-
lect the most hellos and business cards. How many of those numbers are we really going to call? Wouldn’t a better system be one in which we don’t rely upon follow-up conversations but start making real connections on the spot? Some organizations are beginning to reflect this way of thinking by adapting their outreach methods. For example, finance and consulting groups now hold coffee chats for juniors and seniors interested in recruitment, so students can talk with and learn from recent alums in honest and constructive ways. These efforts are worth appreciating, but more needs to be done. Our entire outlook on networking needs to change before we start to see a more inclusive, accessible and enjoyable recruitment process. I don’t think networking is irredeemable. If we all approached conversations with the intention of sincerity, we might actually get something out of it. We might not leave feeling emotionally drained — our only real gain being the stack of business cards in our pockets. So the next time you’re invited to a networking mixer, you should ask yourself two questions: Are you interested in meeting these people — not because you want the practical benefit, but because their stories and career journeys genuinely intrigue you? And are you prepared to think more about the conversation at hand and less about your professional image? If the answer isn’t yes to both of these questions, do yourself a favor. Don’t go.
Cindy Zeng ’20 doesn’t want to think about networking until she’s at least 25. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTS & CULURE THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2016
Shades of Brown fosters collaboration, builds family community Multicultural a cappella group to celebrate 30th anniversary with concert over Family Weekend By GEORGE KLEIN CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Shades of Brown, a multicultural and multi-ethnic a capella group, will perform over Family Weekend to mark its 30th anniversary. The group, founded in 1986, sings a variety of genres — namely rhythm and blues, soul and pop, among others. But beyond its music, Shades of Brown has a history of diversity and togetherness that persists to the present day. “When I’m with Shades, I really feel like I’m with my family. … I’m singing songs I grew up listening to,” said Daryl Polk ’19, a member of the group. “We have so many diverse backgrounds. It’s a really beautiful melting pot of people.” The group’s newest members have also noted the Shades’ strong community. “After auditions, if we saw someone, we were already friends,” said Patience Adegboyega ’20, a new member of Shades. “I’ve only been in Shades for about two weeks, and it already feels like a family away from home,” Polk said. This sense of community goes hand in hand with cooperation between the 13 members. “There’s a true
collaborative effort in Shades. The group has been around for decades, and the collaborative effort has been there and will continue to be there. That’s what we want to foster,” said Kristin Ramcharan ’17, another member of the group. “When you participate in Shades, you are participating in a collaboration. It should be a manifestation of everyone’s singing choices,” Ramcharan added. “Everyone’s involved.” The group is currently preparing for its upcoming concert, its first Family Weekend performance in three years. “I first fell in love with Shades by hearing them at the Family Weekend concert my freshman year,” Ramcharan said, “so it feels like the manifestation of a full circle.” “I hope to blow people away because honestly the members of Shades are really, really talented,” Adegboyega said. “They are absolutely amazing and incredibly talented,” said Kiran Cartolari ’19. Preparation has ramped up in anticipation of the concert, with the group meeting two or three more times a week than usual to practice. “We’ve been practicing a lot,” Ramcharan said. “We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable with their parts.” “It’s a lot of rehearsing, but it’s so fun that you forget you’re working — the time flies,” Polk said. “It’s like a class you really want to take because you
COURTESY OF SHADES OF BROWN
Acapella group Shades of Brown fosters collaboration of multicultural and multiethnic group members, rooting itself in strong history of diversity.
really love it.” A welcoming mood is important for Shades of Brown. “We strive for a warm environment that’s familial and
familiar. … We want you to find some connection with Shades to what family means to you,” Ramcharan said. “You’re not scared to mess up,”
Adegboyega said. “It’s a space where people can really grow.” Shades of Brown will perform Oct. 22 at 4 p.m.