THE BROWN DAILY HERALD MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018
VOLUME CLII, ISSUE 31
Number of women in statewide, Bears down Monmouth in decisive victory national races up since 2016 Powerful offensive attack R.I. candidates, advocacy organizations push for more representation of women in politics By SOPHIE CULPEPPER SENIOR STAFF WRITER
More women are running for office in the Rhode Island General Assembly in this election cycle than previously, according to Rhode Island Public Radio. On a national level, more than twice as many women are running for Congress this year compared to 2016, according to NPR. While the reasons these women have for running vary, the uptick is consistently linked to the 2016 election and misogyny in political discourse, which have acted as catalysts for their political involvement. Among local women running for office for the first time is Justine Caldwell, Democratic candidate for state representative of District 30. A key reason that Caldwell decided to run was a lack of diverse representation in Rhode Island politics. “A lot of the people at the State House are older; they’re mostly white, they’re mostly male and they’re mostly rich, and I don’t think that … is representative of the population in Rhode Island,” Caldwell said.
“The election of Donald Trump and the loss of Hillary Clinton (were) really a wake-up call for women to see that we have to get involved, and if we continue to stand on the sidelines, then we’re never going to have the seat at the table that we deserve,” she said. Specific policy issues can also play a role in motivating women to run. “Standing up for women’s health and women’s rights” is one of the priorities that has driven more women to run for office, Caldwell added. Even with the increase in candidacies, Caldwell noted that women continue to face unique challenges in running for office. Especially as first-time candidates, “there’s a fight to be taken seriously, which men often don’t have,” Caldwell said. This can result in a distortion of the policy issues they champion, including access to abortion and birth control. “Women want to come out about those things because we know how much they matter, and (they) get pigeon-holed as only caring about these issues, which is difficult to overcome,” she added. Terri Cortvriend, who is running for state representative of District 72, echoed this sentiment, stating that though “reproductive rights in the state of Rhode Island” are “underrepresented,” she does » See, WOMEN, page 3
helps Brun earn early advantage in 20-goal effort By EMORY HINGORANI CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The past week has been a busy one for the women’s lacrosse team. The Bears (4-2, 0-1 Ivy) were edged out by Princeton (3-2, 1-0) 12-10 last weekend before earning a 15-14 win over in-state rival Bryant University (2-2) Wednesday. The action continued Saturday, as Bruno posted 20 goals and displayed strong defensive play at home in a 20-10 victory against the Hawks of Monmouth University (1-6). Brown opened scoring in the first thirty seconds of play with a goal from Maggie Fowler ’21. The team conceded to Monmouth a minute and a half later, but quickly went on a 7-0 run to post an 8-1 advantage with 15:10 left to play in the first. “Monmouth … started the game off with really high pressure, which was good for our offense because we have a lot of really good dodgers,” said Caroline Zaffino ’19. “That’s the perfect time to drive to cage.” The Bears were able to spread the ball around in their rally with goals from Fowler, Zaffino, Hafsa Moinuddin
ISE*CON offers int’l students career support International alums give advice on life after U., share experiences through panels, discussions SENIOR STAFF WRITER
’19, Zoe Verni ’19 and Emma DeGennaro ’20 before the Hawks finally replied with just under 17 minutes left in the period. The fast start was a point of emphasis for Brown’s offense. “Coming off of our last game against Bryant, we didn’t open up that game (as) well as we wanted to,” DeGennaro said. “I think that really gave us a big drive in this game to come out super strong and just put away those shots like we normally do.” DeGennaro and Risa Mosenthal ’21 each posted goals to give Bruno an eight-point lead before Monmouth
By EMILY DAVIES METRO EDITOR COURTESY OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EXPERIENCE
ISE*CON was CareerLAB’s first CareerCon for international students. The event concluded a series of four CareerCons for different identity groups. students have expressed concern that final frontier, but there’s more.” CareerLAB focuses on getting a job Devika Girish ’17 agreed with in the U.S.,” she added. Phillips said Guha. In the same panel discussion, she hoped ISE*CON would show in- she encouraged students in attenternational students that “there are dance to “think about your reasons multiple pathways to getting a good for wanting to stay in the U.S.” after job and being successful.” graduation. In an alumni panel for internaThe day-long event also featured tional undergraduate students, alums smaller breakout sessions with alums reassured attendees that they don’t and a luncheon where students could need to stay in the United States af- network with international alums and ter they graduate. “When I came to faculty, said Amy Tarbox, a career Brown, I thought I was on my way to counselor at CareerLAB and manager making it, and being in the U.S. was a of the CareerCon series. big part of that,” said Advik Iyer Guha “We made sure that the alums that ’16, a software engineer at Google. were coming back were a good cross “There’s this sense that the U.S. is the » See CAREERCON, page 2
scored with 14:44 left in the half. Mosenthal scored once more before back-to-back goals from Monmouth set the game at 11-4 in favor of the Bears. Zaffino notched another goal with five minutes left to play. DeGennaro scored once more with four seconds remaining in the first and sent Bruno into the second half leading 13-5. The Bears again got off to a quick start in the second half, as Moinuddin found the back of the net in the first 45 seconds. The goal — her second of the afternoon — put the game at 14-5. » See W. LACROSSE, page 3
Local advocacy group pushes for rent control Direct Action for Rights and Equality hopes to establish right to year-long lease, limit rent increases
By JACOB LOCKWOOD
Students from all over the world joined alums and faculty at 85 Waterman St. and Brown/RISD Hillel Sunday for ISE*CON, CareerLAB’s first CareerCon geared toward international students. The event, co-hosted by International Student Experience, brought international alums back to College Hill to discuss specific challenges international students face in the job search process, said Director of CareerLAB Matthew Donato. “International students tend to view the career planning process differently because of limitations on work permissions, whether it’s internships or full-time jobs when they graduate,” Donato said. In particular, many students have concerns about “how difficult it is to get a job in the U.S. if you’re an international student on a visa,” said Christina Phillips, program director of ISE. “International
COURTESY OF BROWN ATHLETICS
The Bears were edged out by Princeton and Ocean State rival Bryant before earning a 20-10 victory against Monmouth.
After a childhood littered with eviction notices, Providence native Franklin Rivera began adulthood by moving into an apartment last year — and was promptly faced with a leaking roof, hazardous electrical outlets, an unresponsive landlord and the burden of filing a lawsuit. The apartment is so “unlivable” that Rivera has sued his landlord for “not maintaining the apartment and not having a habitable house to live in,” he said. But the lawsuit may very well prove fruitless for Rivera; his lease is month-to-month, which means the landlord could choose to evict him at any time during the process with only 30 days notice. Direct Action for Rights and
Equality is hoping to support Rivera and other renters like him by putting rent-stabilization on the Providence ballot this fall, DARE advocates announced at a press conference in February. The initiative would establish the right to a year-long lease and enact regulations that allow rent to increase only once a year and by no more than four percent, said Christopher Samih-Rotondo, community organizer for the Tenant and Homeowner Association at DARE. It would also set up a rent board to publish annual reports on Rhode Island property and mediate disputes between landlords and tenants, he added. In order to make it on the city ballot in November, the initiative must collect at least 6,000 signatures from Rhode Island residents. DARE plans to submit the first 1,000 signatures in the next two weeks, Samih-Rotondo said. The rent-stabilization campaign comes as more and more renters enter the private housing market in » See RENT, page 2
MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018
NEWS ResLife has changed housing lottery with housing by class year, online portal, group numbers
NEWS Facilities Management plans residence hall renovations for next two summers
COMMENTARY Klein ’20: Houston Rockets star James Harden is the clear-cut 2017-18 NBA MVP
COMMENTARY Ulichny: U. elementary MAT program produces teachers who enrich surrounding community
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PAGE 2 • MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018
» CAREERCON, from page 1 section of undergraduate and graduate alumni, people who stayed in the U.S. (and) people who went internationally,” Tarbox said. Phillips added that the 10 alums who returned to campus for ISE*CON represented a “diversity of experiences” in career paths such as finance, journalism, technology and international development. In addition to offering students a chance to build connections and confidence through networking, Donato said
» RENT, from page 1 Providence, said Steven Fischbach, supervising attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services Housing Law Center and Foreclosure Prevention Project. The hike in renters follows a foreclosure crisis that dominated the city in the mid-2000s, when high-interest, flexible and non-sustainable loans made it nearly impossible for homeowners to maintain their homes. As a result, many homeowners became renters, Fischbach said. “Former homeowners have been pushed into the private rental market. … And the rental market is not set up to absorb them,” Fischbach said, adding that poor credit statuses caused by the crisis make it difficult for potential renters to borrow money. The large volume of foreclosures created an excess of relatively low-price housing for investors to
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
ISE*CON aimed to “showcase success stories” of former international students who have built prosperous careers. “Being an international student, I’m confused about career opportunities,” said Huayu Wang ’20, who attended ISE*CON. Wang said she went to the event “searching for answers” from international alums who have dealt with the same challenges she will face in finding employment after graduation, including “immigration issues, financial issues and what does
‘home’ mean?” Emma Kumleben ’21 said she was excited when she heard there was an event “to highlight issues that international students face.” Beyond issues like the challenge of immigration to the United States, Kumleben said she was especially interested in how the CareerCon addressed “issues from a personal perspective,” such as the difficult decision of “where you want to be” after graduation. Kumleben added that she found ISE*CON to be “very helpful” in
teaching how to “leverage your international background” and providing networking opportunities with both international faculty and alums. “Those connections will be very useful going forward,” she added. Biying Zheng GS moderated the alumni panel for international graduate students. Zheng said she focused much of her discussion with alums on the skill of networking, which she said “is especially difficult” for many international students who come to the University from cultures that don’t
encourage them “to speak up in class.” Hearing alums share their experiences facing such challenges “is very instrumental” to students preparing to enter the working world, Zheng added. ISE*CON capped off a series of four CareerCons held in the past month that focused on addressing career concerns for specific identity groups, including students who identify as LGBTQ and first-generation low-income students, Donato said. “This is one step toward supporting international students better,” Donato added.
purchase, which often forces residents out of their homes to make room for businesses, Fischbach said. For instance, the Trottier family at 40 Grove St. in Federal Hill is facing eviction after the local rental business Providence Student Living purchased the three-family house to lease at a higher price to students, The Providence Journal reported. Rent control would help mitigate the consequences of increased rent prices and investment presence, but the city needs to do more, said Betsy Stubblefield Loucks, consultant for Rhode Island Alliance for Healthy Homes. “Rent control is certainly a part of the picture of creating more affordable housing stock, but another huge part is healthy housing,” Loucks said, adding that Providence housing stock is one of the oldest in the country and often comes with lead and insulation
issues. “We can’t just look at these short, quick fixes without a bigger, broader process.” There is also concern among housing advocates that rent control could lead to the exclusion of certain communities in areas that are more desirable to live — landlords tend to try to give apartments with “good deals” to friends and family, she added. In addition to DARE’s efforts, nonprofits and legislators in the state are working to address concerns around affordable housing. The Housing Opportunities Initiative, a Housing Network of Rhode Island project, is designing a ten-year strategy to respond to the concerns around affordable housing in Providence, Loucks said. The State House has scheduled a hearing to discuss trusts and services for children around the state, she added.
DARE is collecting signatures to put a rent stabilization measure on the city ballot this November. The group wishes to prevent frequent rent hikes.
COURTESY OF DARE
NEASC OPEN FORUMS: PLEASE ATTEND!! Every 10 years, Brown undergoes a process of reaccreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), one of six geographically based non-governmental, non-profit organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of educational institutions and programs. Brown’s next accreditation review is occurring this month, March 11 to 14, 2018. The review is led by a visiting team, which is interested in hearing from students, faculty and staff as part of its process. The following are the dates, times and locations of the forums. Please visit the following website to review the University’s self-study document and to learn more about the process and opportunities for public comment.
FORUM DATES, TIMES, LOCATIONS FACULTY Forum
Monday, March12, 12,2018 2018 Monday, March 4 to to 4:50 4:50p.m. p.m. Salomon Center, Room 001 001 Salomon Center, Room
Monday, March 13, 12,2018 2018 Tuesday, March 6 4 to to 75 p.m. p.m. List Art Center,Street, Room1st 120 85 Waterman Floor Carmichael Auditorium
STAFF Forum Monday, March 13, 12,2018 2018 Tuesday, March 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. 3 to 3:50 p.m. South Street Landing, Landing, 4th 4th Floor, Floor, #498 #499 South Street
MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018 • PAGE 3
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
» W. LACROSSE, from page 1 The rest of the half went back and forth. Monmouth added a goal with 26:06 remaining, which Zaffino followed with her team-high fifth goal of the game. Monmouth then posted its seventh point, before Emma Dahle ’18 answered with another tally for Brown. Subsequent goals by the Hawks and Rosenthal gave Bruno an eleven-goal
» WOMEN, from page 1 not want her campaign to center on this topic. Bridget Valverde is running for Rhode Island State Senate in District 35. She currently serves as vice chair of the Women’s Caucus of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, which was created last year partially in response to the 2016 election and aims “to ensure gender equity in our laws and in our representation,” Valverde said. “We need to elect more women. So I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and run for office,” Valverde added. “In the Rhode Island General Assembly, less than 31 percent of the seats are held by women, but women make up 52 percent of the Rhode Island population,” Valverde said. “And we’re actually doing better as a state than we are nationally,” as women hold less than 20 percent of the seats in Congress, she added. However, many organizations are fighting to increase the national representation of women in upcoming elections. EMILY’s List, which contributes funding to the campaigns of female prochoice Democrats early on in the election process, has observed an enormous increase in demand for their support since 2016.
advantage. After another Monmouth goal, Katelyn Igneri ’21 found the net with 6:51 left to play, posting the first goal of her collegiate career. KC Williams ’20 scored next for the Bears, earning her first goal of the season. The Hawks scored once more with two and a half minutes left in the game, but Williams posted another goal to secure the victory for Bruno.
Overall, Brown dominated all phases of the game. Nine different players scored on offense as the team recorded 35 total shots. “What we say is on any given day, anyone can have a multiple goal game,” said Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00. “We want everyone to be a threat.” DeGennaro also emphasized the depth of the team’s offense. “Everyone on our offense is a threat, so no matter
who has the ball, we trust that that person can score.” Strong defensive play matched the team’s offensive success, as Brown caused ten turnovers for the game and forced several shot-clock violations on Monmouth’s offense. The Bears’ busy schedule continues next weekend. The team travels to New Haven to face Yale Saturday and returns home to host Iona College
Sunday, which will mark a total of five games played in only fifteen days. “Something that we like to say is that when we’re tired, our communication is what’s going to be our armor. You’re going to get tired with all these games back-to-back, but when we talk a lot we can help each other be clear, we can help each other out through the game,” Zaffino said. “The thing that our team always falls back on is each other.”
“Since Election Day 2016, we’ve heard from over 34,000 women who are interested in running for office at some point in their life,” said Alexandra De Luca, press secretary for EMILY’s List. “It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before in our history.” “When women are at the table, you get equal pay legislation; you get maternity care; you get legislation on choice; you get legislation on immigration, because the majority of immigrants are women and families,” De Luca said. “You get good legislation on the environment, because women are very concerned about being able to pass on an earth to their kids.” But hesitancy has kept some women from running for office, De Luca said. “Men wake up in the morning and they look in the mirror and they see a congressman,” whereas women “think that they have to be a lawyer; they think that they have to be previously in office; they think that they have to have $10 million in the bank account in order to run for office,” she said. In fact, all they need to run is a passion for improving their communities, she added. It is also important to acknowledge that “all across the country, it’s definitely not just women who are coming forward and working to either elect women or to stand up for women’s rights; it’s a lot of
strong male allies, and I think we’re going to continue to see that going forward,” De Luca added. Adjunct Lecturer in International and Public Affairs Vibha Pinglé emphasized that running for office should not be viewed as the final objective. Rather, an increase in female representation should be viewed as the first step in implementing systematic change in politics to safeguard women’s rights. However, Pinglé said that the #MeToo movement “might still peter out” and result in the election of “a few … women and not do much more, because the women who are elected sort of become part of the system and end up playing by the rules of the system rather than transforming it.” Despite expressing support for a progressive agenda, Pinglé said the greatest challenge to female involvement in politics is learning to reach across the political aisle. “We can’t just speak to women who are like us and ignore women who are not like us; that’s true for women of color, or women of certain economic background, a certain nationality, or ethnicity, or … political view,” Pinglé said. The organization She Should Run holds a mission in precisely this vein, as it is a nonpartisan funder of women’s campaigns. She Should Run has also experienced a dramatic uptick in the number of women expressing interest in running
Bridget Valverde, third from right, serves as vice chair on the Executive Committee of the Women’s Caucus of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. for office. “Prior to the 2016 election, the external barriers of people underestimatgoal was to have about 400 women in ing us or not thinking we’re qualified this program, with steady growth, and enough or the sexism that can exist on with the 2016 election happening, we the campaign trail,” Pereira said. now have around 13,000 women,” said De Luca imagines a future in which Sofia Pereira, mayor of Arcata, Califor- organizations such as EMILY’s List are nia, and community manager for the no longer necessary. organization. Maggie’s List, an organization that Women must overcome barriers to contributes to conservative women’s becoming leaders “whether they’re in- campaigns, and The Rhode Island Fedternal barriers of questioning our quali- eration of Republican Women could not fications and our readiness to run, (or) be reached for comment.
COURTESY OF BRIDGET VALVERDE
Politicians, students respond to Trump’s offshore drilling plans Lawmakers introduce bill to block offshore drilling three miles from coast, community pushes back By DYLAN CLARK STAFF WRITER
Since United States Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the Trump administration’s new National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program in early January, the outcry has been swift and persistent, both from the public and private sector. If implemented, the proposal could open 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters for oil drilling, including coastal waters in Rhode Island. Gov. Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, officials from the Rhode Island state legislature and R.I. congressional leaders have all made appeals to Sec. Zinke to stop the proposal. Students from the University have also called for the leasing program to be changed. State Rep. Lauren Carson (D-Newport) and state Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Newport, Jamestown) introduced identical legislation (H7250 and S2116) after the proposal was made public that would block offshore drilling up to three miles off of Rhode Island’s coast, according to Rhode Island Public Radio. The bill would act as a deterrent for companies that might want to drill off of Rhode Island’s coast and would block the construction of “infrastructure passing
through state waters for the purpose of transporting any oil or gas generated by any offshore drilling program into this state.” Similar to Florida Governor Rick Scott, Raimondo sought to convince Sec. Zinke to exempt Rhode Island from offshore drilling and met with him Feb. 25. “(Raimondo) emphasized that Rhode Islanders won’t stand for oil drilling in our waters and called for the same type of exemption as was granted to Florida,” wrote Josh Block, press secretary for Raimondo, in an email to The Herald. Sec. Zinke denied the exemption, but Raimondo “made it clear she will continue fighting for one,” Block added. Separately Kilmartin, along with attorney generals from 12 other states, wrote a letter to Sec. Zinke in an attempt to convince him to reverse the decision. In the letter, Kilmartin stated that Rhode Island’s tourism and fishing industries would be put at risk if companies were to engage in drilling. Kilmartin also formally submitted remarks on behalf of R.I. through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which is in charge of leasing policy for the Outer Continental Shelf. “Rhode Island … and all coastal communities benefit greatly from the preservation and protection of our natural resources. Allowing drilling for oil and gas will be detrimental to our economy and our quality of life,” Kilmartin wrote in the letter. Congressman David Cicilline ’83 (DProvidence), along with representatives from other New England states, sponsored the New England Coastal Protection Act to oppose the administration’s
COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
The proposal to open up 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters for oil drilling has met opposition from R.I. politicians, non-profit organizations and students. Gov. Gina Raimondo has sought an exemption for R.I. from the drilling. decision. The act would permanently ban offshore drilling off those states’ coasts. “Rhode Islanders should get to decide what happens off the coast of Rhode Island, not (Trump’s) administration,” Cicilline said. He hopes that the efforts of the New England delegation, coupled with the efforts of state legislatures, will ultimately change Sec. Zinke’s mind. But Cicilline said it will be extremely difficult to bring the bill to a vote due to the Republican stronghold on Congress. Non-profit organizations like the Conservation Law Foundation are also working to oppose BOEM’s proposal. Vice President and Director of CLF Amy Moses said the foundation is willing to take the matter to court. “CLF has been
fighting against offshore drilling for forty years, and we had to take it to court forty years ago so it could happen again,” she said. Moses stressed that, instead of offshore drilling, the administration should focus on renewable energy sources. Moses highlighted other environmental impacts of offshore drilling, including species endangerment, specifically of the north Atlantic right whale. “It makes absolutely no sense. In general, the drilling offshore puts our wildlife, fisheries, our tourism industry and our coastal economies all at risk,” Moses said. Students from the University have also expressed their outrage at the decision. Lauren Maunus ’19, a member of the Rhode Island Student Climate
Coalition, attended an event Feb. 28 hosted by BOEM to hear comments from citizens. “Instead of facilitating a discussion where (BOEM) would listen to the voice of the people … they set up tables and they had computers up for people to submit public comment through an online submissions and nothing else,” Maunus said. When organizers from Climate Action Rhode Island, a political action group that advocates for environmental protections, heard about BOEM’s plans to hold a hearing, about 150 to 200 people came and organized their own hearing, Maunus said. “I think it was a really effective action that generated a lot of public attention,” she added.
PAGE 4 • MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Living space aesthetics impact students’ mental health Students find lighting, decorations, overall ambiance can be vital to mood, happiness By EMILY MILLER CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Students moving into their dorms each year are faced with familiar questions: Should they curate the perfect display of photos featuring the optimal balance of high school friends, family and travel experiences? Or perhaps their time is better spent compiling posters to display alternative music choices and civil engagement. Some may eschew these considerations to focus on finding the perfect mattress to ensure that they get their eight hours of sleep. These questions have implications for students’ well-being, as living spaces can considerably impact their mental health, according to several students interviewed by The Herald. Though Brown has the reputation of being the “chillest” Ivy with the “happiest” students, mental health issues and their stigmatization remain a pervasive challenge confronting students. Of the many elements of a room, students find lighting to be an essential component of a healthy living space. Dara Bernstein ’18 remarked that the “overhead light” in her Champlin Hall room made her feel as though she was “living in a hospital.”
After moving to an off-campus location, where she employs a carefully chosen mix of lamps and even a lavender oil diffuser, she has noticed that her mood has improved. For many students, Providence weather can also adversely affect mental health. One senior, who requested anonymity to discuss his challenges with mental health, said he has struggled with seasonal affective disorder. To combat SAD, he uses a specific type of light, which he credits with diminishing symptoms during the winter. On the other hand, Francie Holte ’19 and Talia Curhan ’20 pointed out their need for darker rooms, explaining that this lack of light helps them relax. Students interviewed expressed a wide range of motivations behind choosing their room decorations, creating different environments in the process. Isabel Blalock ’18 said she chooses decorations that add familiarity to her space, such as art painted by friends and other “eclectic finds” from thrift stores. Blalock has discarded specific decorations she associates with darker times living in “the dormitory cell that is” the Graduate Center, she added. Holte also said she hangs art painted by her sister and other decorations that remind her of her home in California. Since moving into her new apartment, she feels as though she can effectively escape from the “bubble” of Brown that can be “suffocating” at times, she added. Holte
PIA MILEAF-PATEL / HERALD
has experienced a newfound ability to “reset” in her room that was lost while living in Keeney Quadrangle and Harkness House, she added. Even though Holte’s off-campus housing is in a basement, she has created a homey environment by being aware that her physical space affects her mental space.
Another senior, who requested anonymity to discuss her challenges with mental health, reflected on her negative experience living in the “dungeon” of Grad Center. Because her anxiety was exacerbated by physical conditions at the time, she developed a reliance on substances. After moving off-campus and taking
control of the preparation of her own food, she has felt an overall improvement in her mental health, she said. Buying a new lamp or adding a brightly colored duvet will not cure a mental illness, but students noted that awareness of their personal space allowed them to make beneficial changes to improve their mental health.
Housing lottery undergoes multiple changes since 2013 Advancements include housing based on class year, weighted lottery assignments, online portal By ARJUN GANGA STAFF WRITER
LITERARY ARTS PRIZES 2018
The housing lottery, a long-standing University tradition, has historically given students autonomy by allowing them to “choose the exact room in which they will live for the next
academic year and (be) responsible for deciding exactly who they will include in their Housing Lottery group,” according to the Office of Residential Life’s website. Since its inception, the housing lottery has undergone many changes and is a popular choice among students, with 2,000 to 2,200 students
opting to participate each year, said Paul Villemaire, assistant director of ResLife. In fall 2013, ResLife changed the lottery system by designating certain buildings for rising sophomores. Previously, sophomores, juniors and seniors could select any room on campus. One of the biggest complaints that ResLife “heard from students (was) that we prop you up in these first-year
The Literary Arts Department is sponsoring the following prizes for the Brown community
Academy of American Poets Prize: For the best poem (up to 10 pages). Open to all Brown students. Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Awards: For the best poem or poems (up to 20 pages) written in celebration of life. Open to all Brown students. Mark Baumer Prizes for Language Art: For the best works in language art (any media). Open to Brown students. A discrete Mark Baumer Prize is open to university staﬀ and information about this will be shared under separate cover. Feldman Prizes in Fiction: For the best story or stories (up to 20 pages). Open to all Brown students. Beth Lisa Feldman Prize in Children’s Literature: For best story or stories for children four to eight years old (up to 50 pages). Open to all Brown students (and may be a collaboration). Frances Mason Harris ’26 Prizes: For a book-length manuscript of poetry or prose fiction by a currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate woman. John Hawkes Prize in Fiction: This contest honors the memory of John Hawkes, the internationally-recognized author and dedicated professor of creative writing at Brown University. The contest is open to all students currently enrolled in the Graduate Program in Literary Arts. The submission must be a work of fiction (up to 50 pages). Edwin Honig Memorial Prizes in Poetry: Honoring the memory of Edwin Honig — poet, translator and founder of the Literary Arts Department at Brown University (up to 10 pages). Open to all Brown students. Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop Prize for Innovative Writing: For literary work, any genre, that best exemplifies the spirit of innovation found in the writings and translations of Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop. Up to 15 pages. Open to all Brown students. DEADLINE: 11:59 PM ON 19 MARCH. ALL APPLICATIONS ARE COMPLETED ONLINE. TO APPLY, VISIT: HTTPS://WWW.BROWN.EDU/ACADEMICS/LITERARY-ARTS/LITERARY-ARTS-PRIZES-2018-LISTING
communities and then in the housing lottery, you’re the last ones to pick and are scattered everywhere,” said Richard Hilton, associate director of ResLife. “By creating intentional sophomoreyear housing, it allows students to cluster and live together.” A recent change that was rolled out two years ago adjusted the weighted number assignments given to students participating in the lottery. The number assignments, which determine selection order, were previously given to each student in a housing group, and ResLife then averaged the numbers for each group. Now, each group participating in the lottery receives one equally weighted number, Hilton said. This change was a key suggestion offered by the Residential Council, a student-led advisory board for ResLife, he added. The biggest change to the lottery system occurred in 2013 when it went from an in-person selection process to completely online, Hilton said. To select their housing for the next school year, students would gather in Sayles Hall to pick rooms for their housing groups. For instance, in group of eight, “one person can go up to the podium, and you have 30 seconds to pick the rooms.” With the present-day system, students can discuss and deliberate over their rooming options, Hilton added. “We did that … to make sure that students could choose their housing for the following year in a more relaxed setting,” he said. Looking ahead, ResLife is working to improve the housing lottery’s
website to streamline “the functionality and the appearance of (the) system,” he said, adding that ResLife is open to considering recommendations from Residential Council and others to improve the process. Despite the housing lottery’s status as a rite of passage for most Brown students, misconceptions around navigating the process still exist. One such misconception results in individuals choosing not to enter the lottery alone, Villemaire said. “Groups can range in size from one to 10. … Sometimes, individuals will not think that they need to create a group. But everyone who is going to participate in the lottery, regardless of their group size, needs to be part of a group,” he said. Additionally, the number of students in a housing group does not affect the order of selection, Hilton said. “A group of 10 gets a number just like a group of one. In the junior and senior lotteries, the group size also doesn’t really matter because all the seniors get weighted heavier than the juniors,” he said. Even-numbered groups can have an advantage in the housing lottery, particularly toward the end of the process, when there tend to be more available two-person and four-person living arrangements than singles and triples, Hilton said. “If you end up towards the end of the housing lottery, the configuration of groups doesn’t always work out with the configuration of the rooms that are left. But there is a bed for every single … rising sophomore who enters the lottery,” he added.
Emily yang 3
Narrativizing the Self PIA MILEAF-PATEL 4
Shrimpy Medicine ISABELLE OLIVE 4
JULIAN CASTRONOVO &
postCover by Pia Mileaf-Patel
VOL 21 â€”
The End of Temporary Protected Status for One Rhode Islander written By Louis epstein – illustration by tiffany chiu
im had to hide her books.
She kept them on the roof of her home in Monrovia, Liberia, out of her abusive half sister’s sight. At six years old, Kim left the coastal town of Lexington, where she had lived with her parents and 16 siblings, to move in with her half-sister’s family in Liberia’s capital. If her
Letter from the Editor
By running away from her half-sister's abusive household at 23, Kim left behind both her family and a civil war that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people, 8 percent of Liberia's population, before peace was restored in 2003. Dear Readers, After an anticlimactic Oscars ceremony (To be
Providence. (I’m really quite jealous of our
fair, what could live up to the previous year’s
A&C staff assignments.)
glorious debacle?) and a week of being buffeted
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by Providence’s weather, I’m ready to curl up
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We check it every so often.
the world of movie monsters to the stuff of real issues: namely, to vape or not to vape. In all seriousness, Louis Epstein’s story on the consequences of the end of Temporary
Saanya - EDITOR IN CHIEF
3. Gluten Free 4.
5. Jerky 6. Ham(burger)
Protected Status on a Liberian refugee in
Providence is a beautiful, painstakingly-
researched piece, while Narrative presents a very meta take on the place and purpose of
narrativizing our own lives. We also answer
the burning question of where to satisfy your craving for good Cambodian soup in
half-sister found out Kim had been teaching herself to read and write, she would certainly hit her, or worse. Kim knew she needed an education. But that would cost money, and she was on her own. So she improvised, secretly selling wood and candy to pay for her school fees, hiding her earnings in a box under her bed. Life at home grew steadily worse as Kim grew up. Over the 17 years she spent in Monrovia, the verbal abuse from her half-sister and her half-sister's husband turned into regular beatings and sexual abuse. Nevertheless, against the wishes of her half-sister, she kept attending school and managed to keep her part-time job at the Liberian Department of Education, where she helped create curriculums for local students. Then, she found a way out. *** I met Kim on a windy Sunday morning in Smith Hill. She had just finished her night shift, and she told me, with tired eyes, how she had come to the United States. Through the First United Methodist Church, Kim won a scholarship to study music in Spartanburg, South Carolina. With the help of a friend who worked for Pan Am, she bought a discount ticket to New York
with the money stashed under her bed. She left Liberia without telling her sister. Immediately after Kim landed in February 1987, her suitcase and everything inside it was stolen. She stood in the center of JFK’s arrival terminal and cried. 1991, the year Kim finished her music degree at Spartanburg, was a dark year in Liberian history. A military coup that had started years earlier instigated a decades-long civil war. In response, the Bush Administration granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Liberians who were already in the United States if they had a clean criminal record. Kim was granted TPS and decided to remain in the United States, reapplying each year for the employment authorization. By running away from her half-sister’s abusive household at 23 years old, Kim left behind both her family and a civil war that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people—8 percent of Liberia’s population—before peace was restored in 2003. In 2017, the Pew Research Center reported that about 325,000 immigrants from 13 TPSdesignated countries live in the United States. Primarily from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, these TPS beneficiaries fled earthquakes, civil wars, and other forms of violence. With TPS papers, which cost Kim $655 in annual fees, she is able to work, drive, and live legally in the United States. But this year, the US Citizen and Immigration Services’ website had a different message for her: “The designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone terminate effective May 21, 2017.” *** After 29 years of living in Providence, Rhode Island, Kim’s roots here run deep. Kim came to Rhode Island with her ex-husband, and the couple settled down with their son in an apartment along Broad Street. At first, the only work Kim could find was flipping burgers at a local Burger King, but when she was offered a free certified nursing assistant course at Golden Crest Nursing Home in North Providence, she jumped at the chance. That certification got her a job at Golden Crest, where she spent 15 years taking care of elderly Rhode Islanders. The work was tough, with more than a dozen people depending on her for their daily needs. But after her husband left her and moved to Georgia to avoid paying court-ordered child support, she had no other option. Alone with her young son, Kim had to move into subsidized housing in a project to save money on rent. She remembers coming home to their small apartment on a particularly difficult night. Her son was hungry, but they had no food. Their refrigerator was “bare, like brand new.” She had applied for government food vouchers through the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program but was refused by the program because of her immigration status, even though she was here
legally. That night, still hungry, Kim tried to kill herself. But Kim survived that night and many others. She is immensely proud of her son, who recently graduated from college. He’s now looking for his first job and living with Kim, trying to help her as she deals with possible changes to her immigration status. It’s been five years since her son, now 24 and a US citizen, sponsored her for a green card. But after 31 years in the United States, this may be her last. Though she paid almost $500 to apply three years
were told by the Trump administration that their TPS status will expire. These immigrants must either leave or try to remain in the country illegally. The administration has still not decided if it will continue the protections for 50,000 Hondurans. When I asked if US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has “slowed down the 90 days it takes certain types of employment authorization cards to reach immigrants,” Public Affairs Officer Paula Grenier directed the inquiry to John Martin, the regional public information officer for the
ago, US Citizenship and Immigration Services still hasn’t told her if she will be approved for a green card, only that they are “investigating her.” Her time is running out because the employment authorization papers from the last TPS cycle expire this June. Once that happens, it’ll only be a matter of time before the hospital where she currently works the night shift finds out. *** According to Deborah Gonzalez, Director of the Immigration Law Clinic at Roger Williams University, immigrants like Kim with a clean criminal record, US-born children, and steady work were generally approved for new employment authorizations within 90 days. Gonzalez says she has seen a systematic effort by the Trump Administration to slow down US immigration courts, stalling cases and leaving many potentially qualified citizens and green card holders in legal limbo. With a backlog of more than 600,000 cases for only 334 judges to hear, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pledged to hire 60 more judges in the next six months. Still, many applicants must wait years to learn if they qualify for citizenship. Though immigration courts have been overwhelmed with cases for more than a decade, under the Obama administration, immigration enforcement could use “prosecutorial discretion” to choose which cases they wanted to prioritize. This meant that some immigrants who were not considered a risk to public safety could have their removal proceedings dropped, speeding up the system for everyone. However, a recent executive order has changed this policy. Immigration enforcement has now been instructed to prioritize all people who they consider “a risk to public safety or national security.” Gonzalez says this purposefully vague order is meant to let immigration enforcement begin deportation proceedings for as many immigrants as possible. For Kim, a lengthier immigration court case might be disastrous. “I spent all my life here working. I don’t have a home in Liberia,” says Kim. Without authorization, she may be deported to Liberia, a country she has not been to since 1987, without ever knowing if she qualified for a green card. Other nations’ TPS programs are also at risk. In the last few months, 200,000 Salvadorans, 60,000 Haitians, and around 2,500 Nicaraguans
Northeast at the US Department of Justice. Martin made clear that it is in fact USCIS, not the department of justice, that grants TPS and employment authorizations. When pressed on
Without authorization, she may be deported to Liberia, a country she has not been to since 1987, without ever knowing if she qualified for a green card. the timing of authorizations again, Paula Grenier recommended looking on the USCIS website, which has information on processing times. However, this data had not been updated in months, and when Grenier was made aware of this, she recommended filing a Freedom of Information Act Request. Attempts to contact Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for comment were ignored by their media relations team as well as by their regional office in Johnston, Rhode Island. *** Kim won’t stop fighting to stay with her son in the country she calls home. Deborah Gonzalez, her pro-bono immigration lawyer, will soon file a lawsuit in the Federal District Court of Rhode Island, ordering US Citizenship & Immigration Services to schedule an interview for Kim, whose case has been pending for over 15 months. She maintains hope, quoting a Liberian proverb that says, “If you look at the mountain, you will never climb it.” Much like the 325,000 other immigrants granted TPS, and their 275,000 US-born children, Kim plans to put her head down and work, as she’s always done. If her green card does eventually get approved, she wants to build off of her music degree and start singing again, this time professionally. (At her request, Kim’s name has been changed to protect her identity.)
"My first thought when I woke up naked after sex: My internship applications!" "I'm closer to my roommate's girlfriend than to my roommate." "I hold a patent on a wind turbine I designed with my identical twin."
march 09, 2018&3
Narrativizing the Self Merits, Pitfalls, and Non-conclusions
By emily yang illustrated by rémy poisson
Just over a year ago, my friend S was diagnosed with - bipolar mood disorder, - post-traumatic stress disorder, - bulimia nervosa, - and anorexia nervosa. S’s eyes glossed over the list once, twice, thrice. She held the letters in her palm, pressed them into her skin to see what would happen. She watched as they sunk into the creases of her flesh. During a manic episode a few months ago, S told me that she thought she might also have narcissistic personality disorder. I fit all the traits when I’m
in the most trivial of ways, from subscribing to random literary journals to signing oddly specific petitions under her name. When I spotted my name and address, printed on a cover sticker, it occurred to me that someone might’ve stolen my identity for the most banal cause possible: a shitty bridal magazine subscription. In my story, the protagonist receives anonymous calls that tip her off to the identity theft, to which she responds with total nonchalance. Of course, all the action transpires in either a snazzy jazz bar or a dim taxi cab, always on a dreary night in Tokyo, the city pulsing to the beat of rain pitter-pattering against glass. For a second, I was enthralled. And then I took a good look around me. Instead of a flickering Tokyo rainstorm, I was drenched in a crowd of students in a mailroom in Providence, Rhode Island. Neither femme fatale nor particularly badass, I was thinking about the readings I had to do instead of the Ponzi schemes I had to bust, and that New England Bride used way too many sans serif fonts in one page. In that hot second, I had felt
Nothing distinguishes us from other animals more than our ability to generate and articulate meaning. In that sense, the narrative is probably the most powerful weapon we possess, sans atomic bombs and nuclear weapons. manic, she insisted. It makes too much sense. The other day, she contemplated whether her manic and depressive sides could constitute a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder. Another time, she confessed to me that she wished she hadn’t been diagnosed in the first place. Ever since, she has been trudging begrudgingly from one self-diagnosis to the next. She no longer sees a version of herself that isn’t rooted in her suffering. *** Last semester, my own fiction came to life in the form of New England Bride, allegedly America’s only monthly bridal magazine. Months before, I had written a piece for some neo-noir-themed assignment in which someone steals a girl’s identity
the poles of reality and fiction swing so close as to almost intersect, only to swing apart once more. When I received a mailed invitation to a bridal shower weeks later, I chucked it straight into the recycling bin. *** In my abnormal psychology class last spring, Professor Hayden repeatedly emphasized the effectiveness of narrative therapies for clients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the American Psychological Association, narrative psychotherapies facilitate an “engagement in the re-storying of people's lives and relationships.” More importantly, narrative therapists ground the practice in “the re-
consideration, re-appreciation, and re-authoring of clients’ preferred lives and relationships.” The method aims to help clients come to terms with their pasts by building a framework through which they can contemplate their lives constructively. In Milan Kundera’s Identity, one particularly succinct scene encapsulates the essence of narrative therapies. While vacationing along the Normandy coast with her lover, protagonist Chantal muses over her past—namely, the accidental death of her five-year-old child years before. Suddenly, a surge of happiness overtakes her—she realizes that her relationship with her present lover would be far less absolute had her child not passed away. She decides to withhold this thought from her lover, who she fears might think her monstrous; however, had she voiced it, say, in a narrative therapist’s office, she might’ve received a laudatory pat on the back, or a smile that implied a goal had been met. To judge Chantal’s thought as inherently positive would be reductive. Outside of clean-cut narratives, every such feeling sits on one face of a double-sided coin. Feeling happy that something awful happened to you or someone close to you is often followed by waves of regret or guilt. To repeatedly siphon a silver lining out of every tragic pratfall seems too simple of a solution. Which brings us to mindfulness-based therapies. Geared toward depressive patients, these therapies emphasize emptying or decluttering one’s mind. Viewed another way, however, emptying might lead only to repression, allowing patients to never truly “deal with” certain cognitive biases and deeplyrooted issues. Of course, the two techniques target drastically different disorders. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering the implications of both types of therapy: one that forges something anew, and one that empties what already exists. Both effective, both lacking—I can’t make up my mind as to which one would work better for me. *** To some degree, we’re all guilty of narrativizing our own lives, or seeing meaning where there is likely none. Prolonged eye contact at a party means he’s interested. Your commitment issues mean that you’ve got an insecure attachment to your father,
ARTS&CULTURE stemming from something he did when you were three. The list goes on. Most of all, we’re guilty of conveniently construing details in ways that funnel into our oftchimerical, usually-myopic views of the world. We swim in a sea of biases, and the confirmation bias is probably three oceans combined. If you’re prepared to see everything as a greeting from your god of choice, you’ll probably see it. Like most people, I’ve tried to weave quasiliterary themes into my own narrative as well. I’ve arbitrarily spun a Kafka quote into at least five incidents from high school. I’ve romanticized almost every feeling I’ve remotely felt, trying to optimize my feeling of the feeling. I’ve written narratives in my journal and retold them to friends and cast them in six different lights and ended up at the same sensational story and thought, This is it, this is probably me, only to be reminded with New England Bride in my face that no, this isn’t it, and it probably never will be. The urge to read your life like a novel is no novel impulse—in fact, we’ve been writing our lives into books for millennia. Given our predilection for existential traction, this urge often becomes recursive. In AD 397, when Saint Augustine wrote the first de facto autobiography, he did so in the name of Christianity, itself a way in which, for centuries now, people have rendered their lives into something seemingly greater than an accumulation of fortuitous events. Whether it be the children’s biography series Who Was…? or Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle, there’s something alluring about “true stories” and real lives committed to the page, maybe and probably because they feel like substantial contributions to our timeless struggle against oblivion. We drink memoirs and (auto)biographies up like they’re elixir, as if a glass a day might somehow hurtle us toward some semblance of permanence at last. *** Nothing distinguishes us from other animals more than our ability to generate and articulate meaning. In that sense, the narrative is probably the most powerful weapon we possess, sans atomic bombs and nuclear weapons. The way you wield it can harm and shield, destroy and heal. When S and I try to parse through her feelings and experiences, the narrative becomes a cat chasing its own tail. Any coherent thematic stream meets its demise in her newest actions, and plausible motives quickly become archaic. There’s no breakthrough to be found, no moment of catharsis condensed into four minutes of well-lit screen time, as Good Will Hunting might have us believe. I’m just going to take it day by day, S said a little while ago, effectively ending our conversation on future courses of action. With S, my amateur attempts of constructing her narrative feel more like trying to ripen a rock-hard avocado in a toaster oven. *** For a while now, I’ve resigned myself to my own endless production of meaning. I’m trying to take it day by day, as S suggested, and I don’t know whether that’ll take me in the direction of a narrative thrust I can foresee, or if my future is yet another subject to the universe’s whims. “In the end,” Paul Auster wrote bleakly, “each life is no more than the sum of contingent facts, a chronicle of chance intersections, of flukes, of random events that divulge nothing but their own lack of purpose.” He’s really not wrong, but I don’t think we are either.
The Brief Popping of the JUUL Bubble By julian castronovo & Isabelle olive illustrated by Molly young A few weeks ago, I received an anxietyinducing text message regarding a vice that I am not particularly proud of. It is a vice concealed by sleek metal, by powerful marketing. It is a vice that has achieved some degree of cultural omnipresence— always between someone’s fingers, in someone’s pocket, used discreetly in class, on buses and street corners. The vice in question is the JUUL, an e-cigarette that’s recently risen to popularity. The text I received was a screenshot of a conversation of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend. But despite the dizzying degrees of separation between myself and the source of the message, the text, which stated that “one of Chris’s friends” had contracted lung cancer from his frequent JUUL use, shook me up more than I care to admit. Judging from the flux of Reddit threads from the same day (admittedly not the most sophisticated method of statistical analysis), this text appears to have gone viral in the 48-hour window before and after I received it. The internet responded like I did— with alternating skepticism and panic. One Reddit user, determined to get to the bottom of the issue, created a “megathread”: “We’ve all heard these rumors the past couple days. If any of you ACTUALLY have PROOF I think all of us on this sub would want to see it—for our safety.” Many respondents said they threw out their JUULs after receiving the message. What are we to make of this? The story of Chris’ friend, with his “lungs completely black,” seems to have struck a chord with JUUL users. But the curious thing about how people reacted to the message is not that they were simply alarmed by news of any individual JUUL user getting lung cancer. Of course, a young person getting lung cancer is obviously
LIFESTYLE sad; the thought of blackened lungs is viscerally disturbing. But the curious, and unbelievably stupid, thing is that this unverified, impersonal text message seems to have caused JUUL users to seriously consider the potentially lethal consequences of JUULing for the first time. Were JUUL users truly deceived by the JUUL’s iPhone-esque design that severs any connection to cigarettes? Or did this viral screenshot, a message of sudden death, simply cut through a cloud of willful and blissful ignorance? Either way, the JUULing masses were, apparently for the first time, confronted with the face of death. The current moment in the history of nicotine consumption is something like an “e-cigarette bubble.” E-cigarettes have become immensely popular among young people—according to a report published by the U.S. Surgeon General, e-cigarette use increased by 900% among high schoolers between 2011 and 2015. But scientific literature and regulations haven’t had a chance to catch up. The literature that does exist is inconclusive on the long-term effects of e-cigarette use because as yet, virtually no one has experienced such effects. The technology is too young. Several studies simulating long-term e-cigarette use with mice, however, suggest a host of potential problems. A study published by NYU earlier this month suggested a correlation between long-term use and cancer and heart disease. Other studies have linked popcorn lung, a scarring of the bronchioles, with e-cigarette flavor additives. Still others have suggested that merely inhaling heated vapor, regardless of chemical additives, can cause serious lung damage. Still, whereas smoking is indisputably bad for you, there remains a degree of ambiguity regarding the effects of inhaling nicotine attached to vaporized glycerin and additional chemicals for flavor directly to the lungs. If we’re honest with ourselves, though, we know the JUUL is bad for us. The social and consumptive contexts of the JUUL, however, let us believe that the device is a healthy alternative to cigarettes. This is new, at least in terms of widespread social acceptance: a few years back, hookah pens and vapes were certainly around, but they were attached to
march 09, 2018&5
ARTS&CULTURE a certain stigma and humor. Memes and popular culture derided vape-users; the act took on a certain douchiness. Then, the introduction of the JUUL changed the social perception of e-cigarettes, transforming these devices from being the butt of many jokes and a sure sign of millennial stupidity to being fairly acceptable. The e-cigarette reached a whole new demographic: the younger and richer. Sorority girls. Teen boys. The text message about Chris’s friend popped, for but an instant, the JUUL bubble. We were confronted with the fact that this chemical death was already in us, that black stuff sticking to our ribs, lining our lungs. A rare instance of a widespread, instant reckonings with mortality. The case of the JUUL and the sudden-death, though, is a farce of things like DDT or asbestos. We enacted a mass performance of shock, a feigned outrage in hopes of covering our purposeful ignorance, our cucumberflavored shame. And the real kicker? The text message was fake. Our reactions, however, were very real. This was the beauty of it all. We were forced to deal with the fact, even if only for a moment, that we were dying at the hands of a sleek USB drive of a vape. It was a simulated death, a digging of practice graves. And what now? We retreat from this death: return to ritual, hide behind the ether of our ignorances, those clouds of sweet smoke.
Losing Yourself in a Cambodian Secret Recipe By pia mileaf-patel illustrated by ella rosenblatt ***Disclaimer*** According to Yelp, Angkor Restaurant does not accept Bitcoin, as of the date of publication. You are in Providence, Rhode Island. You are at Fox Point. There are a lot of coffee shops over here (see Post- issue no. 1’s “Browntown Beans and Brews”). It’s pretty cold, or maybe not at all. In fact, it’s been 70 degrees all week. But it’s February, so in theory you are cold. You seek soup.
At Angkor, the soup is the type of medicine you hateread about on wellness websites while stress-eating Oreos in the library. You are in Angkor Restaurant. You are here for medicine soup. You might have the flu. (If you have the flu, go home—the rest of us do not want your flu,
but we will send you some soup.) 10 Traverse St The other things Providence, RI 02903 on the menu are also Phone Number good, great even. You 401-383-2227 will enjoy them. Perhaps some spring rolls and an order of green curry with beef and eggplant will set you right. Or a big dish of bee bong, Vietnamese rice noodles with crushed peanuts, herbs, cucumber, bean sprouts, and chicken won’t do you wrong. But remember, you are in here for medicine soup. You might get an order of scallion pancakes for the table, because you should always get an order of scallion pancakes for the table. But at Angkor, those things better be followed by medicine soup. There’s no medicine in the way of a CVS aisle— don’t bother bracing yourself for a shot of creamy grape or drinkable orange Motrin. At Angkor, the soup is the type of medicine you hate-read about on wellness websites while stress-eating Oreos in the library. Words like “restorative” and “healing” come to mind. Whether or not you’re on board with “wellness,” or even understand what that actually means, try this soup. Here, medicine is a deep bowl of hot, spicysweet, almost thick tomato-based broth. Buried within are chewy, crinkly ramen-like noodles— choose the “wheat noodles” from the menu—waiting to be mixed into the verdant handful of fresh herbs floating atop the soup. Some shrimp is mixed into the broth. You dig in with chopsticks to scoop up a large mouthful of noodles and the savory steam spills into the air to clear out your sinuses and your wintertime woes. What is it, exactly? Bay leaf? Cardamom? Galangal? The muted sound of announcers on the TV hanging in the corner near the kitchen commenting on the Olympic ice dancing competition? Here, decor is six formica tables with a wood Angkor Restaurant
pattern slapped on top, and one unidentifiable plant by the door. Climate control is a ceiling fan. Company is yourself because, while take-out orders fly out the door, it’s unlikely that more than one of the six tables is filled. But as you sit tucked into the table nearest the window looking out at the Portuguese Catholic church across the two-block stretch in Fox Point known as Traverse Street, your experience of Angkor entirely an experience of their excellent, un-inimitable, rich, and arguably famous medicinal naam yaa soup. Sure, you will always crave your mother’s chicken soup but then on another level, with a fiery passion, you will crave this. I’m not sure it can even be called a craving. It’s a calling, begging type of fluseason-feeling. Luckily, it’s not too far from campus, and they deliver. Go, as long as you can just forget about the fact that your ex’s ex-dealer used to live in the apartment upstairs.
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MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018 • PAGE 5
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
LaFragola ’19 wins second NCAA Championship bid in wrestling Junior set to compete in 184-pound weight class starting March 15 in Columbus, Ohio By RILEY PESTORIUS SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Last year, CJ LaFragola ’19 had to wait to receive an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA Championships. This year, that wasn’t a problem, as his fifth place finish in the 184-pound weight class at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships secured him an automatic bid to the tournament. LaFragola will be joined at the championships with teammates Justin Staudenmayer ’18 and Jon Viruet ’19. Over the next week, the trio will make small adjustments as they prepare to go head to head against the best wrestlers in the NCAA. For his accomplishments, LaFragola has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week. Herald: Congrats on a strong performance at EIWAs and qualifying for the NCAA championships once again. How does it feel? LaFragola: It’s an awesome feeling. Last year, I didn’t qualify at the EIWA tournament — I got an at-large bid. So it was a great feeling to punch my ticket at the tournament this year by placing. … It’s going to be the second time around,
so I kind of know what to expect. It won’t be a total shock going out there on the big stage.
guy in front of you. That’s how it starts. The brackets will come out today, so I’ll know who my first guy is.
How does qualifying for NCAAs work? It depends on your conference. We’re pretty fortunate. The EIWA invites a certain number of wrestlers per weight class, and in my weight class, the top seven finishers at the tournament got sent to nationals. Some other conferences may have fewer spots to give. I got fifth, so I was able to punch my ticket.
How are you training in the next week to prepare for NCAAs? Well, we always say the hay’s in the barn already. That’s what we’ve been saying all year. We just have to stay fresh and tweak a couple of things from conference. We watch a lot of film, just adjusting little things here and there techniquewise. We’re going to probably hit it kind of hard today and the next few days and taper down next week until the tournament day. Just make sure I’m making weight, staying healthy and staying fresh. … Usually, whoever is the most healthy gets a big advantage, because a lot of kids are banged up at this time.
What do you feel is your strongest quality in competition? I might not be the most technical wrestler, but I feel like I’m pretty physical and I just bring hard work. It might not always go your way, you might get taken down early, for instance, but I feel like I keep my head on straight and I keep grinding out the match. I just try to outwork the guy. That’s the number one goal. If you keep attacking and keep working, usually things go well. What are you hoping to achieve at NCAAs? Obviously, the ultimate goal is to get up on that podium. I always shoot for the stars, because who knows? People knock people off all the time. I may not have the highest seed going in, but the goal is be on top of that podium. You just have to work hard each match. You don’t have to beat the whole field at the tournament, you just have to beat the
This is the first time Brown Wrestling is sending three wrestlers to NCAAs in 10 years. How does that feel? It’s really awesome. Last year, I was fortunate enough to make it there, but I was riding solo. So it’s nice to have some of my guys with me. It’s really nice when you have a couple guys out there because, typically, you have your whole team at competitions and you can feed off of each other’s energy. So those two guys get to go before me, because they’re lighter, and if they do well, it helps build my confidence. What have been your biggest goals for wrestling since coming to
ELI WHITE / THE HERALD
CJ LaFragola ’19 placed fifth in the 184-pound weight class at the EIWA Championships to secure a bid to the NCAA Championships. Brown? Team-wise, we always want to win the Ivy’s or place high in the conference, so it’s pretty cool that we placed second this year as a team. And everybody wants to be an All-American, and now I’m beginning to believe in that goal a little more, so it’s pretty cool. There’s an opportunity now. I’m at the national tournament, so there’s a chance I could do it.
(Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations) right now, so something in business. Maybe if I’m feeling crazy, I’ll do something with sports. I don’t know if I’m UFC ready, though. But something in business, maybe marketing or design. I really like designing stuff, believe it or not. I’ve been drawing on shoes and whatnot. That’s kind of my thing, just as a thing I do on the side.
What are your plans for life after Brown? I’m not really sure. I’m studying
LaFragola is slated to take on 14th seed Nick Gravina of Rutgers University in the first round of the tournament March 15.
Facilities Management to renovate five dorms over next two summers Vartan Gregorian, Minden, Grad Center, Hegeman, Machado to see improvements By JACOB LOCKWOOD SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Continuing with a long-term plan to improve and maintain the quality of dormitories on campus, the Department of Facilities Management plans to renovate five residence halls over the next two summers. Vartan Gregorian Quad, Minden Hall and the Graduate Center will undergo renovations this summer while Hegeman Hall and Machado House will be renovated in summer 2019, said Vice President for Facilities Management Michael Guglielmo. Altogether, these five renovation projects will total around $8.4 million. The University has invested around $95 million into residence hall renovations since 2012, Guglielmo said. Of this total, $73 million mainly addressed “building first-year community” through “transformative renovations” of first-year dorms like Keeney Quadrangle and Andrews Hall. The current phase of dorm renovations — which has cost $22 million so far on projects such as renovating Barbour Hall and residential buildings on Wriston Quadrangle — targets dorms due for renewal through cosmetic and mechanical upkeep. Minden and New Dorm will undergo cosmetic renovations this summer, Guglielmo said. Both dorms will receive carpet replacement in areas that have seen the most wear and tear, and the fire alarm system for all of
New Dorm will be updated. Some of Minden’s flooring and suite bathrooms will see upgrades as well. In addition to interior cosmetic renovations like those planned for Minden and New Dorm this summer, Grad Center will house a new lounge and Hegeman and the older section of Machado will receive exterior repairs and electrical updates in summer 2019, Guglielmo said. Machado’s lounges will also see updates, and some of the oldest bathrooms in the building will be renovated. “Some of those are definitely beyond their life cycle,” he said. Alex Song ’20, a resident of Minden, had few complaints about the features targeted for renovation. “Everything’s pretty consistent with what you would expect from a building that age,” he said, noting that Minden was built in the early 20th century. Instead, Song expressed more concern for the state of the building’s piping and heating systems. Song recalled an incident where a pipe burst in one of Minden’s walls. “On that side of the building, every floor had water pouring down through the ceiling,” he said. He added that the heating turns on and off sporadically, making temperature difficult to control. This has been a problem for his suitemates, whose room has been unheated for the past week. “It’s been really cold in their room, and obviously, they can do nothing about that,” he said. Guglielmo said that heating “is not part of the scope” of the renovations planned for Minden this summer. “But in future renewal, that may be one of those items … that might be considered for an upgrade,” he added.
COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
An $8.4 million set of dorm renovations planned for the summers of 2018 and 2019 will focus on cosmetic upgrades and routine upkeep. Vartan Gregorian Quad, pictured, will receive a new fire alarm system. While these renewal upgrades are Center lacks community. The build- cosmetic upgrades to interior walls, routine, Guglielmo emphasized that ing consists of four separate towers carpeting, bathrooms and suites. “I upkeep projects can also help build and every room in Grad Center is a thought they were going to be renocommunities within dorms. This single, Pugliese explained. Because vating the actual residence halls,” she summer’s renovation of Grad Center of this, many Grad Center residents said. “They’re not terrible, but they aims to do just that by constructing a have few opportunities to interact with don’t look nice.” Such renovations common lounge area on the second each other. Pugliese acknowledged could also help build community by floor of Grad Center E. “Right now that a common lounge “is a good idea,” encouraging more students to move in the Grad Centers, (students) don’t but she expressed uncertainty that the to the Grad Center with their friends, have a common space to hang out in,” renovation plan will help build a com- Pugliese added. said Associate Director of the Office munity within Grad Center. “We’re always trying to make of Residential Life Richard Hilton. Furthermore, the tower which will sure that we’re staying ahead of any “We’ve heard from students loud and house the lounge, Grad Center E, is surprises (such as) systems breaking clear that they need a sense of com- not residential. This means students (and exteriors) leaking and failing,” munity within the structure.” in the Grad Center will need to go Guglielmo added. By maintaining a Grad Center’s renovation will outside to reach the lounge, Pugliese “responsible level of renewal,” Gugclosely resemble the project that in- said. “It probably would be better if lielmo said that Facilities Managestalled a large common lounge in Mor- they could put lounges in the towers ment and ResLife are able to select ris Hall last summer, Hilton added. where people live.” renovation projects based on student Sarah Pugliese ’20, who lives in Pugliese also said that the Grad feedback and institutional priorities Grad Center B, agreed that the Grad Center could benefit more from “rather than projects picking us.”
PAGE 6 • MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Why James Harden is the NBA’s MVP GEORGE KLEIN SPORTS COLUMNIST As the NBA regular season heads towards its conclusion, the MVP conversation is heating up. LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are in the discussion every year as the NBA’s three foremost talents. Anthony Davis, meanwhile, has put up shocking numbers this season, especially after the loss of DeMarcus Cousins, while leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a 38-27 record and vying for a top-three seed in the stacked Western Conference. But make no mistake, James Harden is this year’s MVP. And it shouldn’t even be close. Harden has come up short several times in the race for the award, finishing in second place in both the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons. He lost to Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook, respectively, undone by historic seasons from the pair. Curry emerged as a superstar in 2014, the best player on a championship, 67game winning Warriors team. Meanwhile Westbrook, of course, averaged a 30-point triple-double, the first player to achieve the feat since Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season. Harden has simply been unlucky. Nothing stands in the guard’s way this year, however. Harden’s statistics speak for themselves. The 28-year-old
guard is averaging 31.1 points, 8.8 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game, with a 30.45 Player Efficiency Rating. To put that final mark into perspective, Harden is on track to have the 18th best season of all-time according to PER. Compared to last season, he has improved his three-point shooting and cut down on his turnovers — the only two (slight) offensive criticisms one could make about Harden. Defense has been Harden’s signa-
proven to be active and feisty. Meanwhile, as a team, the Houston Rockets have turned into a juggernaut. The team’s record of 51-14 is a half-game better than the Golden State Warriors’ and the pairing of Harden and guard Chris Paul has worked out splendidly. Though there were initial concerns from many basketball analysts that Harden and Paul would have trouble meshing and sharing the ball, the two have done so ef-
rebounds and 11 assists as well — an almost incomprehensible stat line in the modern NBA. His Feb. 28 crossover against Wesley Johnson of the Los Angeles Clippers went viral for the move’s incredible disrespect. Harden took a step back, then waited, licking his lips, for Johnson to get back and contest the shot, which went in. This season has belonged to Harden. That doesn’t mean other players do not belong in the MVP discussion —
But make no mistake, James Harden is this year’s MVP. And it shouldn’t even be close.
ture weakness, but he has made great strides in that part of the game and is no longer a complete zero defender. Harden ranks 47th in the league in defensive win shares, just behind Andre Iguodala, Jimmy Butler and Steven Adams, who all have reputations of defensive greatness. For those who favor the eye test over advanced statistics, it is obvious that Harden is putting forth a superior effort to stick with his man and provide help defense when necessary. Instead of standing still gathering his breath, Harden has
fectively. Paul is averaging 8.0 assists per game to Harden’s 8.8, as the two have split up control of the offense. The team as a whole has played well together thanks to Harden’s passing. Clint Capela has continued to progress, averaging a double-double, and several role-players have all fit into the offensive structure. Everything starts with Harden, however, and he has enjoyed the defining moments that an MVP needs. Harden scored 60 points against the Orlando Magic Jan. 30, collecting 10
they just have not had performances equal to Harden’s. Davis probably has the best case for an argument, averaging 28.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game with a 28.90 PER. Over his last ten games, Davis is averaging 35.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, putting the rest of the Pelicans on his back with Cousins out for the season. Unfortunately, Harden’s numbers are slightly better when taken in sum (look to the PER numbers for a good approximation), and when considering New Orleans’ record — a full 13
games worse than Houston’s — it is tough to make a claim for Davis over Harden. James’ candidacy has similar problems. The forward deserves more MVPs than his four (voters simply grew tired of voting for him) but this season is not one of those times. James did not put forth his best effort when the Cavaliers were struggling during the grand Isaiah Thomas era and has been disappointing defensively. While James will probably be the best performer in the playoffs when he cranks his energy up to 100 percent, he has not been the most valuable player of this regular season. Curry and Durant cancel each other out. How can one of them be the MVP of the League if we’re not even sure which player is the MVP of the Warriors? Taking into account the added contributions of Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, it is clear that Harden has done more with less: The Houston Rockets are above the Warriors in the standings with three fewer All-Stars. James Harden is on the best team by record in the league with the best stats and best moments. He is the MVP.
George Klein can be reached at email@example.com. Please send responses to this opinion to firstname.lastname@example.org and op-eds to email@example.com.
The next Babe Ruth is in Tempe, Arizona JAMES SCHAPIRO SPORTS COLUMNIST Take a moment out of your day and follow me, if you will, on a trip to Tempe, Arizona, which is home to the Los Angeles Angels’ Spring Training facility. You’ll thank me for dragging you along when we get there: We’re going to observe one of the most exciting baseball phenomena of the millennium. This player has gone by many names. ShoTime. GOATani. A modern-day Babe Ruth. But whatever you want to call Shohei Otani, one thing you can’t call him is mundane, ordinary or business as usual. It’s hard for me to understand how Otani could be anything less than the most exciting baseball story of the year, or even the decade. And the season hasn’t even started yet. If you’re not familiar with Otani’s story, here it is. He spent the first five years of his professional baseball career in the Japan Pacific League, which is part of Japan’s highest professional baseball league, Nippon Professional Baseball. As a pitcher, Otani has always been formidable: Over the course of his five seasons in Japan, he put up an earned run average of 2.52, won 42 games and lost only 15. In 2014, he threw the fastest pitch in Japanese baseball history, at 102.5 miles per hour. But lots of pitchers excel in Japan, and many of them have also excelled in the United States. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Koji Uehara … the list goes on. Here’s the thing though: Otani isn’t even on the list. He’s in another dimension. Here’s why: on his offdays, Otani doesn’t rest in the dugout or the bullpen. He plays the outfield. In 2016, while pitching to a 10-4 record with
a 1.86 E.R.A., Otani broke out at the plate, batting .322/.416/.588, with 22 home runs in only 104 games. Though his 2017 season was shortened by injury, he again batted .322, and put up a .942 onbase plus slugging. And then he came over to the MLB and signed with the Angels. And manager
is 37, and was one of the least valuable players in baseball last year. Shohei Otani is 23. And — this bears repeating — he has been called the next Babe Ruth. So, here we are. As the 2018 MLB season begins, the Angels will take the field with a player ca-
It’s hard for me to understand how Otani could be anything less than the most exciting baseball story of the year, or even the decade. And the season hasn’t even started yet.
Mike Scioscia assuaged whatever doubt remained when he said at Otani’s introductory press conference, “We definitely plan on him being a two-way player, there’s no doubt about that.” With the Angels, Otani will likely not be a fulltime outfielder when he’s not pitching: Rather, the Angels have indicated that he will share designated hitter duties with Albert Pujols. But Albert Pujols
pable by all indications of simultaneously winning a Silver Slugger and a Cy Young. And for the life of me, I don’t understand why baseball fans — or, really, all of America and most of the world — aren’t more excited about this. So far, we’ve only gotten a few brief glimpses of Otani in training with the Angels. What we’ve seen doesn’t tell us much. Otani has gotten off to a slow
start on both sides of the ball, but it is also Spring Training, where statistics mean very little, and he has shown nothing but potential. While the numbers from his first start of the spring didn’t look spectacular, several of the pitches did: Otani made opposing hitters look foolish, and at times, seemed to simply defy physics. But the real allure of Otani, right now, isn’t seeing him play. It’s imagining just how good he could be. At 23 years old with a 102 mile per hour fastball and the potential to bat .300/.400/.500 or better with 30-plus home run power, Otani, for all intents and purposes, is two complete players, both of whom have superstar potential on their own. I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to watch a player with Otani’s background and pitching numbers, or one with the offensive statistics he put up in Japan. To see them both, in the same player, is nothing less than a breathtaking baseball experience. This will not happen, but imagine the kind of career numbers a successful Otani could put up. Over a 20-year career, he could hit 500 home runs and bat a career .300/.400/.500, while also winning 300 games as a starter with an E.R.A. near or below 3.00. This, I can confidently say, will not happen: It’s baseball and nothing ever works out that well. But for the first time in my living memory, MLB has a player who brings such an outcome into the realm of possibility. And the chance to watch such a player, for as long as his legend persists, isn’t something to be squandered.
James Schapiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send responses to this opinion to email@example.com and op-eds to opinions@ browndailyherald.com.
MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018 • PAGE 7
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F R O M H O S P I TA L T O U N I V E R S I T Y H A L L
SATELLITE DINING ANDREWS COMMONS
TK TK TK TK JOSIAH’S
Jo’s Burger Grilled Cheese
Grain Bowl Tom’s Bao Bao
DINING HALLS SHARPE REFECTORY LUNCH
Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders, Gnocchi With Basil Pesto, Magic Bars
Linguica Sub Peppers and Onions, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Sauteed Greens With Garlic
Cavatini, Vegetable Frittata, Steak Fries, Sliced Carrots, Moroccan Beans With Raisins
Turkey Pot Pie, Spinach Strudel, Herb Rice, Mashed Butternut Squash
KAITLYN LEW / HERALD
Now the chief administrative building, University Hall was once used as barracks and medical quarters for French soldiers during the Revolutionary War. It is currently home to the deans of the college.
Q U O T E O F T H E D AY
RELEASE DATE– Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle C RNorris O S SandWJoyce O RNichols D Lewis Edited by Rich
ACROSS 1 As yet 6 “Atlas Shrugged” writer Ayn 10 WWII carriers 14 ’60s-’70s Twins star Tony 15 Sautéing acronym, à la Rachael Ray 16 Ear-related 17 “Doesn’t bother me!” 19 “__ Zapata!”: Brando film 20 Harbinger of lower temperatures 21 Man on a misión 22 Biblical mount 23 More than hesitant 24 Sign of puppy love? 25 Ben & Jerry’s purchase 26 Spice gathered by hand from crocus flowers 30 Leave no escape route for 33 Aquamarine, e.g. 34 Carol syllables 35 After “on,” relying mostly on hope in desperate circumstances 39 Stinky 40 Floor cleaner 41 __ fit: tantrum 42 “500” racesanctioning group 44 Boxer Max 46 Fed. property agency 47 Prefix suggesting savings 49 Sox, on scoreboards 52 Creep 54 Deli sandwich 56 Brit of Fox News 57 “Shake!” 58 Most draftable 59 Fortitude 60 Cardiologist’s concern 61 Cold War initials 62 Year, on monuments 63 Small fry
DOWN 1 Puccini opera 2 Butterlike products 3 Bohr of the Manhattan Project 4 Ancient Roman poet 5 Hemming and hawing 6 Apply more varnish to 7 __-garde 8 Waters between Great Britain and Europe 9 Fawn’s mom 10 Chick flick subject 11 Dangerous bottom feeders 12 DVR pioneer 13 Battle reminder 18 Wrinkle remover 21 Personal ad abbr. 25 Schoolyard handshake 27 Sound system part 28 Cheers for a torero 29 Not a one 30 Mata __ 31 Obi-Wan portrayer
32 Psychological tricks 33 Econ. yardstick 36 Org. with a much-quoted journal 37 Like beer cans before recycling 38 Dimming gadget 43 Lo-__: lite 44 Mackerel-like fish 45 Pre-med subj.
48 Replace a dancer, perhaps 49 Paper-pusher 50 Gold rush storyteller Bret 51 “Don’t get any __” 52 Dynasty during Confucius’ time 53 Legs it 55 Hail in a harbor 57 Sports tour organizer, for short
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
“We need to elect more women. So I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and run for office.” —Bridget Valverde, R.I. state senate candidate
See WOMEN on page 1. CORRECTION A previous version of the March 7 article “UCS, UFB election process begins for prospective candidates” misidentified Katie Barry ’19 as Katie Garry ’20. The Herald regrets the error.
CORRECTION A previous version of the March 9 article “Politicians, students respond to Trump’s offshore drilling plans” stated that Amy Moses is vice president and director of the Conservation Law Foundation. In fact, she is vice president and director of the Conservation Law Foundation Rhode Island. The Herald regrets the error.
Masssage Mondays 12:00 P.M. Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center, 229
Venezuela: The Paradox of a Fragile Petrostate 12:00 P.M. Watson, McKinney Room
Study Abroad and the LGBTQ+ Community 4:00 P.M. LGBTQ Resource Center
Chipotle and Chat 6:00 P.M. CareerLab
By Norm Guggenbiller (c)2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
25 26 04/18/12
Cleaning Your Data with OpenRefine 1:00 P.M. Rockefeller Library, 160
The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages 4:00 P.M. BERT, 015
ICERM Public Lecture: Crowd Computing 6:30 P.M. Brown ICERM
Brown Space Engineering at Ladd Observatory 8:00 P.M. Ladd Obervatory
COMMENTARY PAGE 8 • MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018
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COMMENTARY MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018 • PAGE 9
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Brown’s elementary MAT program gets it right POLLY ULICHNY OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR As director of the elementary Master in Teaching program from 2000 to 2009, I’d like to make a case for not only continuing the elementary MAT program but financially supporting it more robustly than it has been. During my tenure as director, I authored an annual comprehensive report for four consecutive years to justify the continuation of the program for four different audiences. One such audience included three national experts on teacher education and teacher education reform. After reading our documentation and interviewing students and alums as well as local principals from Providence and Central Falls, they recommended that the program be continued and better funded to support its mission. The mission of the elementary MAT program, first created in 1998, was specifically tied to educating teachers for urban school careers because of the continuing local and national need for smart, talented and well trained teachers to effect positive change for already vulnerable young people and their families. The program has been very successful in carrying out its mission. Let me give you an example of its effectiveness. The Learning Community, a charter school in Central Falls, opened its doors in 2004 for kindergarten and first grade. After adding a grade level each year, it is now a K-8 school with 573 students who enter via lottery and come from Central Falls, Providence and Pawtucket. The Brown MAT program has been a major feeder of highly successful teachers, coaches and administrators for The Learning Community. Our graduates were hired each year as the school expanded its grade levels so that by the time I left Brown, nearly one half of the teaching faculty at The Learning Community were Brown elementary MAT grads or mentor teachers that we recruited to supervise our students during the SummerPrep
experience and in their classrooms, the majority of which were in Providence. I myself have been on the Board of the Learning Community since it began and have been an active participant in many aspects of the school’s development. According to national statistics, The Learning Community’s demographics suggest that it is among the schools that are most likely to fail. It is in the highest poverty district in Rhode Island, with 85 percent of its students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, the public school measure of poverty. Seventy-nine percent of the student body is Latino, 16 percent is black and 5 percent is white. Thirty-two percent of the students are English language learners, and a much higher percentage live in homes where English is not the primary language. Fifteen percent of students are special education classi-
in grades three to seven on the 2017 PARCC Math assessment was 43 percent for white students in Rhode Island, 9 percent for Latino students statewide and 42 percent for Latino students at the Learning Community. The Learning Community was the top performing R.I. urban middle school in math. While these are extraordinary results, they are even more impressive because The Learning Community is not a test-centered school unlike many expanding, chain urban charter schools. The Learning Community’s students are actively engaged in every classroom, debating their views and explaining their thinking. They have a social justice mission that is realized in concrete projects that enhance the Central Falls community every year. On top of that, The Learning Community, as part of its charter, is committed to bringing what it has learned to urban districts through
programs, would be very proud of this legacy. As the elementary MAT program was taking shape and becoming more urban focused in 2001, The Learning Community was in the planning stages, and my association with the co-directors helped create a common vision of excellent instruction between The Learning Community and the MAT program. We were on the same page from the beginning, having both experienced the positive outcomes of the Reading and Writing Workshop model of instruction developed by Lucy Calkins and colleagues at Teachers College, Columbia University. The main idea behind the workshop model is that whole-class, teacher-led instruction takes place in a mini-lesson of 10 or 15 minutes, which gives students multiple opportunities for active engagement, and the rest of the 60 or
Brown has a responsibility to enrich the community that hosts it. It is abundantly clear that the elementary MAT program serves the surrounding urban community in tangible and critical ways. fied, which is similar to the percentages of the sending districts, Central Falls, Providence and Pawtucket. In spite of this statistical profile, which correlates highly with school failure, The Learning Community’s students have defied the odds. On the 2017 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers’ English Language Arts assessment — a state-wide assessment, 23 percent of R.I. Latino students in grades three to eight were deemed proficient. Fifty percent of white students in all of Rhode Island scored proficient. Fifty-seven percent of The Learning Community’s Latino students scored proficient. That means they closed the achievement gap between white and Latino students by outperforming the state’s white students by 7 percentage points. Furthermore, The Learning Community reached proficiency at two-and-ahalf times the rate of their Latino peers statewide. Math results are also impressive. The proficiency level of students
the Teaching Studio, a professional development entity within the school staffed by teachers at the school. They have worked successfully with Central Falls elementary schools, raising their ELA proficiency rates from the first year of collaboration. Funded by the Rhode Island Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation, they expanded their work to include Woonsocket, Smithfield and other urban schools. There is a great deal that goes into making a school as successful as The Learning Community, but a major part of its success is due to the amazing teachers that work there. The critical mass of Brown elementary MAT graduates who are teachers and administrators has created a nationally recognized school that is doing it right — fulfilling the vision of the first champions of the charter school movement, which is to incubate ideas and share successful practices with their district counterparts. Ted Sizer, former chair of the education department, the greatest influence on the current Brown MAT
90 minute period allows the teacher to work with individuals or small groups at their particular level. Meanwhile, all students are engaged in doing independent work at their own level of proficiency. In each subject area, students get individualized instruction an average of three times a week. Since 2001, the workshop model — the basic instructional methodology of our MAT program — has been refined and adapted to the needs of an urban school by The Learning Community. It has been expanded to include math and science instruction as The Learning Community developed its own curriculum in those subject areas. At The Learning Community, Brown MAT grads are teacher leaders, coaches and some have become administrators, charting the course of the school with the co-directors. Because The Learning Community is very democratically run, teachers create the curriculum for their grade levels and have a lot of say in how the curriculum, instruction and culture of the school un-
fold. They work very hard, are evaluated rigorously and continue to refine their craft. However, teaching methods are not the only thing that make The Learning Community excel. The co-directors have a vision for a school that deals with the whole child, so there is a large safety net program to assess student learning and to intervene, with additional adults working with small groups of learners, so no child loses ground and falls behind in his or her learning. Of course some do, but they are then even more heavily supported by other adults. Not only is there an instructional safety net but there is also a social-emotional team of social workers and interns who work with students experiencing all sorts of environmental and psychological stressors — including immigration policies that are tearing apart many of the families. Another leg of the stool that supports the excellent outcomes of the school is the involvement of families. The school is a support for many families and caregivers and actively involves them in their children’s education. Parent involvement, as measured by Rhode Island Department of Education criteria, is about 98 percent! In its current self-study, I understand that Brown’s administration may eliminate some programs that don’t align with its intended focus. In my opinion, however, Brown has a responsibility to enrich the community that hosts it. It is abundantly clear that the elementary MAT program serves the surrounding urban community in tangible and critical ways. It would be a great loss to the children and families of the Providence area urban core if the program were to be eliminated.
Polly Ulichny is a retired senior lecturer and the former director of the MAT program’s elementary education track. She is also a board member of the Learning Community Charter School. Please send responses to this opinion to email@example.com and other op-eds to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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