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Anth. concentration to undergo changes


BUCC considers fair food initiative Brown University Community Council also hears proposed changes to Code of Student Conduct

to increase transparency regarding food information — peaked in 2013 but has since dwindled, she added. Additionally, Brown Dining Services previously agreed to raise their proportion of fair trade certified bananas to 40 percent, but ran into quality control issues thereafter, according to Rice-Aguilar. Ma proposed ideas the Fair Food Committee could implement to maintain a strong influence over the University’s food systems. She suggested measures such as the annual publication of information about the University’s food suppliers, contracting decisions and social impacts. In addition, she recommended creating a third-party multi-stakeholder committee by the end of the semester to foster dialogue, efficiency and continued success. In the students’ closing remarks, Rice-Aguilar highlighted the widereaching impacts the resolution could have for the University and beyond. “We recognize that Brown is a leader,â€? RiceAguilar said. “It’s imperative, now more than ever, to become part of this national movement toward more sustainable and ethical food purchases. We can utilize our privilege and simple purchasing power to really create (a) huge effect.â€? Following the students’ proposal, Wolfe presented on prospective revisions to the University’s current Code of Student Conduct. Wolfe has been Âť See BUCC, page 2



Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, the department will offer seven concentration tracks, including medical and linguistic anthropology.

Department will create tracks, provide individual faculty advisors, restructure senior seminar By AURIA ZHANG SENIOR STAFF WRITER

The Department of Anthropology will add tracks to its concentration and begin implementing changes to the

curriculum in the 2019-20 academic year, said Andrew Scherer, associate professor of anthropology and director of undergraduate studies. The department will also modify its advising structure and create a more unified senior seminar. Students who have already declared an anthropology concentration will be able to choose between the old and new requirements, Scherer said. These changes follow an external

Performer brings magic to campus Renowned magician performs tricks for students, tells tragic stories from industry By SARAH WANG STAFF WRITER

Council aims to increase engagement through social media, facilitating conversations with admin



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Almost half of undergraduate students ­— 49.9 percent — have no opinion on the Undergraduate Council of Students, while 40.7 percent of students either strongly or somewhat approve of the Council, according to The Herald’s spring 2019 poll. This semester’s no opinion rate increased slightly from 48.9 percent in the fall, but both semesters’ results show a marked decrease from the spring 2018 rate of 60.2 percent. “Compared to last year’s 60 percent of students who had no opinion, it’s great that fewer students have no opinion,� said UCS Vice President and President-elect William Zhou ’20. “Ideally, we want all students to have an opinion about UCS and, hopefully, a positive




Half of undergrads indifferent on UCS

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Blindfolded and with his back turned away, the magician instructed a volunteer to think of a card and communicate its number and suit to the rest of the audience silently. Without speaking or showing their chosen card — the seven of diamonds — the volunteer dealt seven cards to represent its value and four cards to represent the diamond suit. Still blindfolded, the magician sifted through the face-down cards, using only his sense of touch to “feel� for the volunteer’s chosen card. Raising a single card in the air, he asked, “Is this

by chance a seven of diamonds?â€? The surprised audience erupted in applause. This magic trick was one of three that the magician and bestselling author Joshua Jay performed during “Office Hours with a Magicianâ€? Tuesday afternoon. Jay, who fooled magician duo Penn & Teller on their show “Fool Usâ€? with this card trick, is a former world champion of magic who has performed in 110 countries and has helped design illusions for the HBO show “Game of Thrones.â€? Alongside the close-up magic, Jay also answered audience questions about the craft of magic and his own experience as a magician. The event was followed by a talk called “Tragic Magic,â€? Jay’s evening lecture on the magicians, spectators and assistants who died in the act of magic. During “Office Hours,â€? Jay told the audience his interest in magic began when he was six years old after Âť See MAGIC, page 2

review last year and a review by the College Curriculum Council this year. The department is set to create seven concentration tracks: general anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology and an option to self-design a track, according to Katherine Mason, assistant professor of anthropology. Âť See ANTHRO, page 4

Students proposed a resolution aiming to create a Fair Food Committee that would set environment and labor standards for food products across campus at Tuesday’s Brown University Community Council meeting. Kirsten Wolfe, associate dean of students and assistant director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, also proposed changes to the Code of Student Conduct at the meeting. The Fair Food Resolution, introduced by Camila Rice-Aguilar ’21, Emily Ma ’21 and Vanesa Mora ’21, features four goals: establish a Fair Food Committee of students and faculty, ensure products across campus meet the committee’s standards, increase social advocacy on this issue within the University and pass a resolution reflecting the University’s commitment to these goals. The University has previously addressed food awareness efforts proposed by students, but there is more work to be done, Mora said. The impact of the 2008 Real Food Campaign — a previous effort by University students


opinion supporting what we’re doing.� The increased rate of students with an opinion on UCS this academic year could be a result of recent initiatives the

Council has piloted, Zhou said. These include Campus of Consent bill trainings, more community-wide emails, Âť See UCS, page 3



ARTS AND CULTURE Fermata Composers Collective’s annual spring concert is largest in group’s history

COMMENTARY Blalock ’18 GS: Conversation about abortion must contextualize late-term procedures

COMMENTARY Richardson ’21: Kaepernick settlement endangers political activism for athletes

COMMENTARY Aman ’20: Advancement Office should increase transparency in admissions and fundraising







61 / 41

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» BUCC, from page 1 working directly with the committee tasked with a re-draft. The University’s Student Conduct mission statement currently emphasizes social justice, an area not many other offices of Student Conduct underscore nationwide, she said. Wolfe and the committee maintained this emphasis on social justice in their proposed changes. The committee proposed supplementing the traditional justice approach with a restorative justice approach. This implementation would “lead to more student growth and learning,” Wolfe said. “While a traditional justice approach revolves around the questions of ‘What rule was broken? Who did it? What do they deserve as a consequence?’, a restorative justice approach aims to ask and answer the questions of ‘What harm was caused? What do the harmed parties need? Whose obligation is it to meet those needs?’” Students would need to take active

accountability to shape their disciplinary outcome under this approach. The restorative measure will “lead to agreements that are heavy on learning and repair and less focused on punitive measures,” Wolfe said. Though outcomes “might not look the same for two students who did the same kind of behavior,” the restorative justice approach will focus on the needs of the harmed party, so “it is going to require a shift in …what constitutes fairness.” Wolfe also discussed two other revisions to the Code of Student Conduct. She proposed more solidified disciplinary measures for students who participate in de-recognized organizations, and suggested conduct code documents for the individuals be separated from those for the student organizations. Additionally, the committee proposed solidifying mechanisms of discipline for students who engage in disruptions of safety ranging from tampering with fire safety equipment to making bomb threats.



At yesterday’s BUCC meeting, Associate Dean of Students Kirsten Wolfe presented a restorative justice approach to the Student Code of Conduct, and students proposed the formation of an eco-conscious fair food committee.

» MAGIC, from page 1


Joshua Jay, a former world champion of magic who helped designed illusions for HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” performed tricks and told stories of past magicians who died in the act.

FALL 2019 COURSE PHILOSOPHY 1400: ETHICS IN THE NOVEL Felicia Nimue Ackerman Tues Thurs, 2:30-3:50 Do you like to read novels and discuss them? In this course, we will discuss novels in terms of such ethical themes as love, friendship, envy, death, courage, faith, integrity, betrayal, responsibility to others, revenge, justice, and mercy. Authors will include George Orwell and Sir Thomas Malory as well as contemporary American novelists. How can such discussions offer fresh perspectives on fiction as well as on ethical issues? This course is open to all students who are interested in exploring this question; no background in philosophy is required. This is a writing-designated course (WRIT). If you want more information about the course, please telephone me at 863-3240 or email me at We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

his father performed a card trick for him and didn’t tell him how it worked. Frustrated, the young Jay went into his room, where he “made charts and tore up three decks of cards.” After about three hours, he went back downstairs and showed the same trick to his father. “Everything in that little story is everything I still love about magic,” Jay said. “I still love to be amazed by everything. I still like to get inspiration from outside magic or my trade. But then figuring it out, figuring out a way to do it, that’s how I spend 75 percent of my career — in my boxer shorts, on the floor of my apartment, making charts and figuring out magic.” Jay also discussed the psychology that fuels spectators’ interest in magic, the techniques of renowned magician David Blaine and the physical and mental distractions that magicians use to fool their audience. Jay’s process for magic consists of two parts — a dreaming part and a “toolbox” part. The dreaming part begins, for example, with “a pie in the sky” visualization of the trick’s surprise. From this initial conceptualization of a trick, Jay then turns to what he calls his “toolbox,” which is filled with the knowledge he has gained from years of reading books, magazines and attending lectures. “You get this toolbox to try to patch together a method, and the scary part is that you have to try it out and hope that it doesn’t fail completely,” Jay said. The dangerous side to magic was brought up by Logan Cody ’19, one of the attendees at Jay’s “Office Hours.” Cody asked Jay if he felt there was “a point of diminishing returns with how dangerous an illusion can be” as spectators can either be impressed with the trick or attribute it to a set of fake props. In response, Jay said that magicians in the past and present are able to cleanly establish a trick as real and that spectators “attach to that reality.”

Having not seen any of Jay’s performances prior to the event, Cody came to the event doubtful of the authenticity of magic. “As a layperson, as a skeptic, no matter how real anything seems, there’s always a part of me that goes, ‘Oh, well that’s fake,’” Cody said. After watching Jay perform, Cody added that he was “more appreciative” of the work of magicians and that “part of the fun is trying to guess on what’s happening.” For the evening event, Jay emotionally told the stories of fallen magicians such as Balabrega and Chung Ling Soo, who died while performing magic. Jay began his lecture with the story of Sigmund Neuberger, who went by the stage name the Great Lafayette. Lafayette was in the process of performing a trick when the theater caught fire from the oil lamps used for his act. Authorities found what they thought to be his burnt body, but days later, the actual body of Lafayette was found. The previously discovered body had been his body double — Lafayette had escaped but went back into the burning theater for his beloved horse and soon perished. As a result, Lafayette had not one, but two funerals. This story was interesting to Janet Qi ’22, who added that she liked how Jay “combined PowerPoint slides and music” into his presentation because it added “a historical lens.” As a fan of Penn & Teller’s show, Qi said she decided to attend the event because Jay had been a guest on the show. Jay concluded the evening show with one of “Houdini’s most dangerous but most beautiful illusions.” Jay swallowed several sewing needles, having audience members check his mouth and touch his throat to confirm. “It’s always the magician’s job to blur the line between reality and illusion,” Jay said. “What you just saw is very real, but this is the illusion.” Jay then proceeded to place a string into his mouth, grunting momentarily before pulling the string out, this time with the swallowed needles hanging off from it.




» UCS, from page 1 increased project publicity on social media and the “Chip in on the Conversation” project, which invited students to converse with UCS members in the Blue Room, Zhou added. Students interviewed by The Herald said they had no opinion on UCS because they lack awareness of the Council’s work. “It feels like we have the elections, and then I don’t necessarily hear about any consequences,” said Gus Kmetz ’21. “I’m sure they’re doing something, … but I would definitely say maybe their publicity could be better.” Though Hannah Santos ’19 said UCS is important, she does not consider herself informed about the Council in part because she does not know where to find more information. “My lack of knowledge or lack of opinion about UCS does not translate to disapproval or disappointment, necessarily,” she said. To heighten student engagement and approval ratings, UCS plans to increase collaboration with the Class Coordinating Board and the Undergraduate Finance Board, work to be “more attuned” to campus conversations and make the Council more accessible, Zhou said. Over the summer, the executive board “will be thinking very critically about different ways in which UCS can become more efficient (and) more effective,” to help them “accomplish more community-building initiatives,” Zhou said. Simple ways to increase student

engagement next year include keeping the UCS website updated, expanding the Council’s social media presence and hosting more in-person feedback events, he added. Santos suggested sending out more regular newsletters to ensure that the Council is “proactively communicating what’s going on.” Recently, the Council has focused on facilitating conversations between students and administrators by creating spaces for them to meet, such as inviting administrators to general body meetings, Zhou said. The Council has particularly been looking at “ways in which we can engage further with important administrative committees that can have a lot of influence on the day-to-day lives of students,” Zhou said. UCS’ role as “a conduit for student voice,” is one of the Council’s most important functions, Zhou said, especially in light of results from The Herald’s poll indicating that almost 40 percent of students thought their voices and opinions have little to no influence on administrative decisions. Increasing student engagement with UCS “has been a continuing conversation that we’ve been having, and I think that there have been improvements made,” said UCS President Shanzé Tahir ’19. Zhou added that moving forward, “we want to continue building on the work that we’ve done this semester with creating those communication channels between administrators and student groups.”

Income Inequality and Social Mobility: Data Meets Policy in Providence

a discussion featuring JORGE O. ELORZA

Mayor of Providence


Professor, Department of Economics and Watson Institute for International and 3XEOLF$LJDLUV




Tickets available





comic: find the tourist


» ANTHRO, from page 1 “There’s so many subfields in anthropology that we can’t cover them all with the tracks,” Mason said. “So we’re kind of picking the main, big, umbrella ones.” Anthropology is a very broad discipline, she added, and some students didn’t see a place for themselves in the previous concentration structure. “My own personal hope … is that those students of mine who I have lost to other concentrations or really wish (to concentrate) in anthropology … (will) be able to benefit from what I think can be a really good disciplinary basis for things they’re interested in,” Mason said. The department will also implement a system to pair students with faculty advisors relevant to their interests. Currently, the concentration’s sole advisor is Scherer, who focuses on archaeology and biological anthropology. “Unless they’re doing research that I do … I’m not particularly wellequipped to advise” students on their academic or research opportunities, he said. With the new system, students will be assigned a faculty advisor who will ideally have interest in research that aligns with the students’ interests. “We’re hoping students will have a better advising experience … and (Scherer) won’t be quite as overburdened,” Mason said. The department is “shifting towards a system that’s more attentive to students’ interests and allows them another element of faculty advisorship and mentorship that wasn’t necessarily formalized before,” said Shira Buchsbaum

’19, a Departmental Undergraduate Group leader for anthropology and former Herald reporter. The pairing of students to advisors “might not line up perfectly … (but) it will be more intentional,” said Colby Parsons ’19, another DUG leader. “It’s a good step.” Another major change to the concentration is the restructured senior seminar, which Scherer described as a chance to look at what constitutes anthropology. Students in all tracks will be required to take the class. The course will go beyond the history of the discipline, allowing students to take a critical look at the past, present and future of anthropology, Scherer said. “We were very conscious of the idea (that) if we’re going to create these tracks, at the same time we want a singular senior seminar experience,” he said. “So while we simultaneously created these tracks, we actually then reduced the variability of that senior capstone experience.” Buchsbaum and Parsons responded positively to the changes. With the new tracks, the anthropology degree will have “a little bit more heft to it, … a little bit more gravity,” Buchsbaum said, adding that the changes will offer students a clear-cut path through their studies. Parsons agreed, adding that the medical anthropology track would act as a signal to both students and medical schools that the concentration has relevance to a career in medicine. The changes fit “with how Brown undergraduates relate to their concentrations,” Scherer said. “This will create a little more transparency in what we actually do with anthropology.”






s p r i n g b lo s s o m s


Grinder, Pho Bar, Queen’s Green Salad, Spicy Sausage and Garlic Pizza, Baked Pasta, Po’ Boy, Steamed Fish with Papaya Salad JOSIAH’S


Chicken Wings Bar, Quesadilla Station, Build Your Own Burger

Chunky Beef Chili, Blue Room Grain Bowl, Bread Bowl



Chicken Gumbo Soup, Ratatouille, Roasted Vegetable Melange, Cavatini, Blondies

Split Pea Soup, Cottage Pie, Texas Style BBQ Brisket, Mexican Ribbon Cake



Pasta Fagioli, Cannellini Bean Burger Patty, Curly French Fries, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chicken Marsala, Antipasto Special, Lime Balsamic Grilled Chicken, Mexican Ribbon Cake REBECCA HO / HERALD


As spring blossoms on campus, students depart historic campus buildings and students return to frolic upon the Main Green. Cherry blossoms last for a few weeks at most and students rush to enjoy the sun and the sights.


“There are two things that fire does not destroy: the memories you have and the capacity to rebuild.” — Julian Gau ’19, student composer

See fermata on page 1. RELEASE DATE– Monday, October 15, 2012

Los Angeles Times Puzzle c r o sDaily s w oCrossword rd Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

ACROSS 1 Trot or gallop 5 Home with a domed roof 10 Stylish 14 Earth Day sci. 15 Playground chute 16 Avatar of Vishnu 17 Four-to-midnight production overseer, say 20 Bill of Rights amendment count 21 “Les Misérables” author Victor 22 Parisian love 23 “What __ the odds?” 24 In liberal amounts 26 Dead battery hookup 31 Get hitched in a hurry 32 Without warning 37 Unload for cash 38 Colorado ski city 39 Secure in the harbor 40 Mind readers 42 Luxurious bedding material 43 Encased dagger 45 Popular restaurant fish 49 18-Down, on a sundial 50 Shoreline feature 51 Stare at impolitely 53 Time Warner “Superstation” 56 Dry runs, and a hint to the starts of 17-, 26- and 43-Across 60 Clumsy one 61 Mail for King Arthur 62 Wrinkle remover 63 MDs for otitis sufferers 64 With tongue in cheek 65 Maddens with reminders DOWN 1 Bothersome insect 2 Exercise woe 3 Nickel or dime

4 Tiny toymaker 36 Seaside swooper 47 Alaskan native 38 Contented 48 Outplays 5 Periodical sounds 51 “Goodness publisher 41 Exams for sophs gracious!” 6 Sound from a 52 Earth sci. or jrs. water cooler 53 OʼHara 42 Winter Olympics 7 Fat-reducing entrant homestead procedure, briefly 44 Swank of 54 Opinion website 8 Poem of praise “Amelia” 55 IRS form entries 9 “__ the ramparts 45 Move furtively 57 Inexperienced, as ...” 46 Scandalous recruits 10 Punishmentʼs newsmaker of 58 Go wrong partner 2001-ʼ02 59 Moral wrong 11 Is wearing 12 Poker concession ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE: 13 Have in stock 18 Midafternoon hour 19 __ parking 23 Winesap, e.g. 24 Most capable 25 Draw up a schedule for 26 Kid around 27 Oscar-nominated Peter Fonda role 28 “__ Flanders”: Defoe novel 29 Social divisions 30 Wolf pack leader 33 Muscat resident 34 “Surely you donʼt mean me” 10/15/12 35 Hairdo

CORRECTION The April 15 article “Course organized by students tackles ethics in CS” stated that Elaine Jiang ‘19 and Heila Precel ‘20 were head TAs during the first year of CSCI 195I: “CS for Social Change.” In fact, Jiang and Precel now serve as head TAs. The Herald regrets the error.

C L A R I F I C AT I O N The April 15 article “Course organized by students tackles ethics in CS” quoted NIkita Ramoja ‘20 saying that “The (general consensus) was that we were getting a really great computer science education, but we didn’t really have that social component.” In fact, Ramoja was referencing the “social (impact) component” of the education. The Herald regrets the errors.

calendar TODAY






















Blood Drive 11:00 A.M. Brown/RISD Hillel

Talk by Julio Crivelli 5:30 P.M. Rochambeau House

Screening: Period. End of Sentence. 7:00 P.M. Granoff Center

Brown-Michigan Online Poker Battle 8:30 P.M. Smith-Buonano Hall


By Nancy Kavanaugh (c)2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.



















‘Bread and Butter’ Community Buffet 11:30 A.M. Faculty Club

Ethics of Education Technology 12:00 P.M. CIT, 241

Gallery Night at the Haffenreffer Museum 5:00 P.M. Manning Hall

Contemplative Studies Concentrators’ Open House 6:30 P.M. Horace Mann House



The problem with the Kaepernick process RANDI RICHARDSON op-ed contributor Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality against the black community became iconic when he knelt during the national anthem before kickoffs in 2016. He became a symbol of bravery for some and disrespect for others. Just two months ago, he and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid settled a collusion case against the National Football League, which they alleged had purposely blackballed them for their political action. As much as I love Kaepernick, the fact that he resolved the pending grievance case with a confidentiality agreement gives me zero confidence in him or the league in addressing these matters. I desire a greater level of closure than a buyout. Kaepernick’s settlement gives the NFL a pass on how they handle protesting players, and enables them to continue this process in the future. As a basketball player who believes in social justice, I am flabbergasted by what this all could mean. Kaepernick’s settlement opens the doors for so many questions: What was settled? No, seriously. I know this may seem like a rhetorical question, but just because the grievance case itself has concluded does not mean that the matter at hand is resolved. The initial issue was Kaepernick protesting, which he did not stop doing until he was permanently out of a uniform. So, his buyout therefore becomes problematic for a few reasons. There is no established protocol for the next NFL player who wants to kneel or demonstrate in his own manner; he could do so during the upcoming season or 20 years down

the line. The point is, however, that the succeeding player who protests — especially if he is black and the cause he is drawing attention to predominantly impacts the black community — will eventually be out of a job, according to the Kaepernick Process. While political activism in sports is often responsive to national discourse, after what happened to Kaepernick, athletes may have little incentive to follow his lead. And this hesitancy is a commonly held position: Folks are glad that Kaepernick

member of the football team Caleb Clarke ’20, he revealed that the team is always in the locker room when the anthem is played: he has never been on the field for a rendition of the nation’s song. But this does not mean that Clarke does not believe in Kaepernick, nor that athletes should be hesitant to use their platform to advance issues of social justice. It’s actually just the opposite — Clarke plans to make a career out of it. His dream job is to run community service-based initiatives

Kaepernick’s settlement gives the NFL a pass on how they handle protesting players, and enables them to continue this process in the future.

sacrificed his career for them, but they wouldn’t have acted similarly because many simply don’t want the sideshow or the outcasting that follows such a visible stance. Some experts agree. Visiting Assistant Professor of Education Hilary Levey Friedman, who is teaching EDUC 0860: “Sports in American Society” this semester, told me that “in his settlement, Kaepernick did what was best for himself, and he took a political stand that hurt himself. Until another athlete takes such a public stand it will be difficult to know whether or not the settlement helped or hurt other athletes.” In a conversation with three-year

for professional leagues, such as NBA Cares. “The way I see sports, personally, is using it as a platform to do good,” he told me. “It unifies all different demographics and socioeconomic backgrounds.” But like many athletes throughout the nation, Clarke worries about the potential ramifications of protesting. Even at Brown, he has feared possible condemnation from coaches and being kicked off the team “in the most gentle and politically correct way as possible, like ‘Hey… stop.’” Herein lies Kaepernick’s impact and his settlement’s shortcomings: There is now an entire generation of athletes using him as the standard blueprint,

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“problems,” which, in the eyes of the NFL, is what Kaepernick represented: a problem. Paying him off, in a way, communicates that each player has a sticker price. Perhaps more importantly, however, a confidential payoff means that discussions, subpoenaed records and the entire case that Kaepernick and his lawyer mounted against the football giant will not be released to the public. The league can keep reiterating its tired story, in which no collusion took place and Kaepernick lacked substantiating evidence. Apparently, however, he had enough evidence to encourage a hefty settlement.

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while coaches can reliably use the NFL’s rhetoric in response. Regardless, Clarke still believes in advocating through visible sports platforms: “You’re only on the field for two hours a day. You’re still a person. You have the rest of your life to be a person.” Yet, the NFL simply does not share this sentiment. There is an operational framework for how to approach athletes that publicly protest for social justice ideals. A buyout to Kaepernick symbolizes that there is always a dollar amount high enough to erase

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On the other hand, all of this entanglement is why the long-held debate of separating politics and sports continues to be so controversial. It’s safe to say that sports and politics do, in fact, go hand in hand. The proof is in the pudding. Jackie Robinson desegregating Major League Baseball was historical not because of his athletic ability, but because of the broken color barrier formally used to perpetuate racist propaganda — race is in the very fabric of sports thanks to earlier league commissioners who insisted on keeping things as white as possible. And now that the color palette has turned — today, the MLB is increasingly Hispanic and black — all of a sudden sports and politics are at completely opposite ends of the totem pole. Oh please, stop it. Giving Kaepernick hush money is a failure to acknowledge the history of sports and the ways in which it is formed by race. Nevertheless, athletes and myself — who are personally and politically weary and aware of the violence against people of color — continue to be discombobulated with what will historically be known as the Kaepernick Process. The future of our ability to express and advance noteworthy causes — particularly in a time of political unrest — in the face of athletic powerhouses is at stake. And no amount of money is worth that.

Randi Richardson ’20 can be reached at Please send responses to this opinion to and op-eds to

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A response to Khurana ’18.5: Reconfiguring abortion rights in the era of technology ISABEL BLALOCK op-ed contributor In his April 10 piece “Reconfiguring abortion rights in the era of technology,” Jay Khurana ’18.5 writes: “Most of us agree that in the vast majority of cases … it would be wrong to abort a third-trimester fetus. However, why should we feel any differently about a fetus in its third trimester than we do a fetus late into the second?” “For students who are pro-choice,” he writes, “it is especially important to engage with these ideas instead of dismissing them.” As a pro-choice, Master of Public Health candidate, I am here to respectfully engage with the portion of his argument questioning late second-trimester abortions. I am not writing this piece to argue the morality of abortion. I know all too well from working at Planned Parenthood and testifying at the State House that many anti-choice individuals in this country believe abortion is murder. Rather, I write to contextualize the conversation surrounding late second-trimester abortions and to frame abortion as an issue of health disparities. I recently finished my master’s thesis about Rhode Island’s declining abortion rate. For this project, I was provided data for all legal, recorded abortions performed in Rhode Is-

land between 2012 and 2016. Of the 14,778 abortions in my data set, there are only 56 abortions at 21 weeks, 29 abortions at 22 weeks and one abortion at the 23-week mark — and nothing beyond that. For reference, the second trimester of gestation consists of weeks 13 to 28. The rarity of later abortions in my Rhode Island dataset parallels national data. The CDC Abortion Surveillance System reported that only 1.3 percent of abortions in 2015 were performed at or after 21

nity. Or, perhaps it was the cost of the procedure or other barriers that prevented these womxn from receiving earlier abortion care. In 2014, 49 percent of abortion patients in the United States lived below the federal poverty level, and 75 percent of abortion patients that year qualified as low-income. As the cost of a first-trimester abortion is approximately $500 and the price only increases after that point, it may take many of these womxn months to af-

majority of abortion patients already have children. She thought nothing of a “late” period due to the irregularity of her menstrual cycle. She works 10-hours a day at a minimum wage job at $7.25/hour. She has no savings and it takes her seven weeks to raise the $500 to cover the abortion, while still paying for rent, utilities and food for her family. By the time she has the money, she can no longer get an abortion in her home state because Mississippi recently passed legislation to

I write to contextualize the conversation surrounding late second-trimester abortions and to frame abortion as an issue of health disparities.

weeks. Perhaps Khurana and pro-life individuals can then understand my frustration when so much of the controversy surrounding abortion (especially in the media) is about later abortion care. The data does not say why these womxn had an abortion at 21, 22 or 23 weeks. Regardless, it is not my place to judge that individual’s decision. Perhaps it was a congenital anomaly. Perhaps the patient’s life was in danger. Perhaps it was the stigma from family, friends or the commu-

ford any sort of procedure. I would like us all to take a moment to recognize the immense privilege that comes with having $500 or more readily accessible. Bear with me as I pose a hypothetical situation — though undoubtedly a situation many womxn have faced. A woman in Mississippi, a state with only one abortion clinic, finds out she is eight weeks pregnant: an unintended, unwanted pregnancy. This woman already has two young children at home — not surprising since the

ban abortion in some cases as early as six weeks. She then has to raise the funds to travel to another state, expenses which include childcare, missed work, housing and travel accommodations. For me, it is easy to understand why womxn may have to have abortions after the first trimester. All of this is to say two things. First, later abortion is incredibly rare compared to the total number of abortions. Second, womxn most likely do not wake up in the middle of their

second trimester and think “I do not want to be pregnant anymore.” Perhaps either something has gone horribly wrong in a pregnancy, or they’ve been trying to raise funds for the often insurmountable barrier of cost. Khurana calls on us — the Brown, pro-choice community — to be more compassionate toward individuals with views different from our own. I would flip that narrative to ask the anti-choice community to first acknowledge the rarity of later-term abortions, show compassion toward individuals that have to make the (sometimes) difficult decision to get an abortion and attempt to understand the expenses, stigma and stress that come with that decision. Challenging the right to a second trimester abortion challenges the right to abortion, as Khurana notes through Supreme Court cases. Challenge my right and I guarantee an evidencebased response.

Isabel Blalock ’18 GS studies the public health implications of abortion access and can be reached at Please send responses to this opinion to and op-eds to

It’s time to rein in the Advancement Office REBECCA AMAN opinions editor In a February letter to the Providence Journal, President Christina Paxson P’19 claimed that “Brown’s central administration was not aware that some staff in Advancement was providing logistical support” for the now infamous Granoff dinners. In March, when The Herald reported that the Advancement Office arranged meetings between faculty and prospective students and asked professors to write notes for these students’ admission files, Dean of Admission Logan Powell claimed he was not aware of this practice. Senior Vice President for Advancement Sergio Gonzalez told The Herald that the Advancement Office had stopped asking professors for notes two years ago, even though email evidence obtained by the Herald suggests otherwise. These denials and contradictions leave us with two options: Either our administrators know very little about the school they administrate, or they are lying to us. Just as much as our administrators seem to be in the dark, I am as well. As I write this, I am not even quite sure what the Advancement Office does — they do not even have an official website. This level of opacity is unacceptable. In light of the recent revelations about the Advancement Office’s less-than-savory practices, as well as the unfolding national college admissions scandal, the Advancement Office

should adopt and publish clear, consistent internal regulations, which should be monitored by Paxson’s office. For example, how should the Advancement Office interact with parents of prospective students, or the students themselves? In her 2015 State of Brown address, Christina Paxson asserted that admission and fundraising are separate. But if the Advancement Office is setting up meetings between prospective students and professors and asking these profes-

planning to apply to Brown; if they are not already, all interactions between parents of children who are juniors or seniors in high school should be subject to additional scrutiny. Additionally, the Advancement Office needs a policy to regulate interactions with current students. As the Granoff dinners show, when the Advancement Office courts parents as potential donors, the special treatment of their children may not stop once they are admitted to the Uni-

These denials and contradictions leave us with two options: Either our administrators know very little about the school they administrate, or they are lying to us.

sors to provide content for students’ admission files, this is clearly not the case. I cannot think of a reason why the Advancement Office would interact with prospective students unless they were courting the parents for a donation. In order to ensure the admission process is fair, the Advancement Office should limit interactions with prospective students and their parents. To do so, the Advancement Office could officially commit to delaying discussions of donations with parents of children who have applied or are

versity. Students should be treated as students, not as potential donors or bargaining chips. I understand that fundraising is important to non-profit institutions like Brown and in many ways, its success furthers my education. But the Advancement Office should be able to do its job without bolstering specific current and prospective students. It is Brown’s commitment to ethics and equity that should compel donors to contribute in the first place, and so affirming high fundraising standards could even help the Of-

fice do its job. The University has demonstrated an ability to grow when scandal strikes — and I encourage Paxson to promote transparency as any investigation unfolds. In an email to the student body earlier this month, Paxson announced that a new ad hoc Committee on Equity and Integrity in Admissions will assess the admission process to ensure that it “lives up to Brown’s commitment to integrity, access and inclusion.” This committee should be sure to publish its findings and recommendations to the Brown community — enabling the community to hold the University accountable. The committee should also push the Advancement Office to adopt clear rules and make them widely accessible. To start, the Advancement Office should create a webpage that specifically details what it does and what its guidelines are. This kind of oversight may seem excessive to some. But when the President of the University, the Dean of Admission and the Senior Vice President for advancement are all misinformed about what’s happening at the Advancement Office, it’s clear something big needs to change.

Rebecca Aman ’20 can be reached Please send responses to this opinion to and op-eds to




Students unveil compositions at Fermata’s spring concert Fermata holds largest concert ever, with 22 original compositions, 38 performers By GRAYSON LEE SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Student composers took center stage Monday night, filling Grant Recital Hall with sounds ranging from classical to jazz to electronic. During Fermata Composers Collective’s annual Spring Concert, 22 students presented pieces that had been months in the making. Fermata, a student club dedicated to cultivating student composition and performance by making music more accessible, hosted an open call for submissions at the beginning of the semester. The group’s board then helped match composers with performers, maintaining a focus on including all skill levels and genres. “The review process is not based on selectivity and weeding out pieces because we really want to encourage people to learn and grow,” said Lucy Duda ’20, a Fermata board member. “Often, especially for people who are just getting started as composers, it’s hard to find opportunities to hear your work played and that’s really the best way to grow as a composer.” This semester’s show was Fermata’s biggest concert since its inception, according to Karya Sezener ’21, a member of the Fermata board. Thirty-eight students performed the show’s 21 original student compositions, which included solo pieces, ensemble pieces, sound recordings and video. Some pieces utilized only instruments, while others consisted of voice performances. Highlights of the show included Anna White’s ’19 video presentation, entitled “Oz.” White created the music

entirely with computer programs and accompanied the sound with photos of her brother, to whom the piece was dedicated. Several of the performers also mentioned the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral Monday evening. Xiaoyu Huang ’21 was initially going to play an original composition, but after experiencing technical difficulties, he decided to play an improvisation of the song “Danny Boy” on the piano, saying that it was the first song to come to his mind upon hearing about the fire. “What we are really doing is saying goodbye to the personhood of that space,” Huang said. The first piece after the intermission was a work by Julian Gau ’19 titled “Marcia Con Brio: A Love Letter to the Fire Safety Announcement.” Before conducting his humorous ensemble piece, which set the words of a fire safety announcement to music, Gau also mentioned the Notre Dame fire. “There are two things that fire does not destroy: the memories you have and the capacity to rebuild,” Gau said. Fermata’s leaders praised the diversity of this year’s submissions. “I love getting that exposure to musical styles that I might not otherwise,” said Duda, who performed in several of the pieces in Monday’s concert. Sezener hopes to draw inspiration from the group’s name. In musical notation, a fermata elongates a note for an indefinite amount of time. Sezener theorized that the name functions as a “nebulous metaphor” between musical notation and the goals of the club. “Our goal is to leave space in a way that composers and performers can express themselves. … We don’t tell composers specifically what we are looking for, so that’s the indefinite aspect of it, but we’re an avenue for them to take space.”


In Fermata’s largest concert, performers showcased music from student composers, which included solo pieces, ensemble pieces, sound recordings and video in a variety of genres.

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