Vol. 8, No. 6
MARCH 4, 2011
B R A N D E I S U N I V E R S I T Y ' S C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R
Univ seeks answers after student’s death Suicide leaves questions in its wake By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
Kat Sommers ’14 is smiling in a photo next to Prof. Sabine von Mering’s desk inside her office. Two weeks before Sommers took her own life on Feb. 15, she sat in that same office, telling von Mering she was happy at Brandeis. The day before her death, Sommers appeared happy, smiling and participating in von Mering’s class. In fact, that week, Sommers had taken the initiative, helping to organize a class field trip to see the Disney film “Tangled” after she had missed an earlier class discussion about one of her favorite films. “The reason why it shocked me so much was she was so enthusiastic,” von Mering said in an interview in her office Thursday afternoon. “That really bothers me—that I didn’t see any signals.” After Sommers’ suicide von Mering read a paper Sommers wrote for her class, trying to discover warning
signs in the text that she might have missed, but found nothing to indicate such distress. “It was a strong paper that addressed some personal issues but also came across as optimistic,” von Mering said. As the Brandeis community searches for answers and missed warning signs, it is left filled with questions, simply wondering: How did someone desperately needing help get lost in a college with so many resources and departments specifically designed to help students in need? A broad support system The third leading cause of death for people between the ages 15 and 24, suicide is an issue universities are often forced to confront. The suicide rate at Brandeis, however, is well below the averages for the college age range, with Sommers’ death being the first student suicide since 2009, Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer said in an interview last month. Von Mering, citing a recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, said that across the country, more students are approaching facSee STUDENT DEATH, page 3
Pachanga alias ?
pachanga Students dance inside Levin Ballroom at Pachanga on Oct. 23, 2010.
By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
In place of the bi-annual dance Pachanga, the International Club, in coordination with other student organizations, has planned a new cultural dance party called Rumba to take place Saturday evening inside Levin Ballroom. WBRS is also hosting the second annual Jehuda RAVEharz on Friday evening in Levin.
By Destiny D. Aquino Editor
Tickets for Rumba cost $5 and will be sold tomorrow. If they are not sold out, they will also be sold at the door on Saturday. Admission to Friday’s event is free. The administration advised the International Club to host a different event after concerns about behavior of intoxicated students and crowd rowdiness from Pachanga last semester. “We promised that we would make
trade mission IBS Dean Bruce Magid will join Gov. Patrick
photo from internet source
on an international trade mission.
and the other members of the delegation as we work to advance and deepen our alliances between Massachusetts and our foreign partners.” In a BrandeisNOW press release Magid explained his aims for the trip, “ I’d hope to help advance the level of commercial and academic cooperation in innovative sectors where the state has a robust offering of intellectual and financial capital, especially in the areas of clean technology and life sciences,” said Magid. According to a release by the govSee TRADE, page 4
it a more cultural event,” Can Nahum ’12, president of the International Club said. The International Club is sponsoring the party along with Colleges Against Cancer, Girl Effect and Custom Clothing Club. Nahum said that there will be new surprises at Rumba, including new music styles, compared to Pachanga in the past. See RUMBA, page 4
New study abroad program in Hebrew By Nathan Koskella
and Israel may collaborate in order to advance joint research, and business opportunities in the life sciences and information technology industries. He will then be traveling with the delegation to the United Kingdom where he will meet with leaders from government and the private sector to continue scheduled meetings. “I’m a strong advocate for collaboration between the public and private sector, along with higher education, that is being advocated in this economic development mission,” wrote Magid in an e-mail to the Hoot. “It’s an honor to serve Governor Patrick
photo by andrew rauner/the hoot
International Club plans ‘rumba’ alternative
IBS dean to join governor’s trade mission Bruce Magid, Dean of the Brandeis International Business School (IBS), will accompany Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as one of two representatives for higher education on an economic and trade mission to Israel and the United Kingdom this week. “I’m happy to have Brandeis International Business School Dean Bruce Magid joining our great coalition of leaders on this trade mission,” said Governor Patrick. “Bruce is at the forefront of our innovation economy, and we know his expertise will go a long way towards forging lasting economic ties and partnerships between Massachusetts and Israel.” The Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission 2011 will focus on current and future partnerships and coalitions for job creation in Massachusetts in the leading fields of clean energy, technology and life sciences. The mission will be comprised of 40 representatives from state government and influential business executives. Magid will be representing the university at the official visits and programs planned for the mission. He will also be serving on panels that will explore ways in which Massachusetts
WA LT H A M , M A
The university will run a landmark study abroad program beginning in the spring of 2012: The program, in Israel, will for the first time be taught exclusively in Hebrew. Students will attend Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in the city of Beer Sheva. Brandeis is partnering with Middlebury College and each will send students collectively. The new program marks the second full-semester study abroad program introduced this year at Brandeis, following the announcement of the Brandeis in The Hague spring program. (This year Brandeis students can choose from among some 250 programs in 70 countries around the world. More than 45 percent of the junior class studies abroad during the academic year, with more students participating in overseas summer programs.) The curriculum will be geared towards upper-level and advanced Hebrew language students as all coursework will be taught, read and written in Hebrew. Students may qualify to enroll di-
rectly in courses at Ben-Gurion University alongside domestic students. Program members will live with Israeli students in residence halls, adhering to the Middlebury College Language Pledge—a promise to speak no language other than the one they are studying. The university anticipates initial enrollment to be about 10 to 15 students per semester. The Israel program is the second collaborative effort between Brandeis and Middlebury. The first, beginning in 2008, was the Brandeis UniversityMiddlebury School of Hebrew, a joint summer program. “Brandeis is pleased to continue our collaboration with Middlebury College,” said Brandeis University’s Assistant Dean of Academic Services and Director of Study Abroad J. Scott Van Der Meid, as quoted in a BrandeisNOW press release. “This new program offers an outstanding combination. Brandeis University brings its historic connections to Israel, emphasis on experiential learning, and its innovative leadership in Hebrew language instruction. See STUDY ABROAD, page 2
2 The Brandeis Hoot
March 4, 2011
Trinity professor talks about 9/11, racism
photo by yuan yao/the hoot
By Josh Kelly Staff
Professor Vijay Prashad, the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Relations at Trinity College in Connecticut, delivered a lecture In Rapaporte Treasure Hall Thursday on the racism faced by those of “olive skin” as he described them, following the attacks of Sept. 11’ entitled “The Day Our Probation Ended,” he also touched on the overall development of South Asian communities within the United States, and the changes associated with different generations of migrant groups. Towards the beginning of his speech Prashad told, in the same booming and confident voice which characterized his entire speech, a story to encapsulate the sentiments towards anyone who looked potentially like a terrorist following Sept. 11. The story was of an experience on a train in New York City eleven days after the attacks. “Along the way—I can’t remember when—a troop of policemen came onto the train. The train was at a station. They asked various people to follow them onto the platform. I was among them. We were asked some
basic questions, and then told to get back on the train … There was fear, and there was anxiety. Would I, like so many others, be then sent off to a deportation detention center?” He then extrapolated his own experience into the broader picture of a movement that had started. “News reports of such removals had begun to sneak around … A Sikh man had already been killed in Arizona. Mistaken identity was the order of the day.” He also mentioned briefly and somewhat comically that none of the hijackers from the Sept. 11 attacks were in fact from South Asia. Prashad described some of the feelings of those of specifically Indian descent living in America during this time. “The general sentiment among Indian Americans was dismay. Racism against the olive skin had begun to rise…By 1998 thirty-two percent of all assaults on Asian Americans took place against South Asians compared to about four and a half percent in 1995...” He summed up a few major responses of the community. One response was to try to place all of the blame on Muslims, and concurrently de-secularize their communities in
an effort to be more Hindu. Another response by some was to essentially wait it out, and hope that eventually things would settle down while others attempted to create more of an open dialogue about racial profiling, relating their plight to the plight of racial profiling against other minority groups in the US. However, Prashad states that “the majority tried to camouflage their outward signs in patriotism” expressing love for America and support of the government. While this strand of racism against olive-skinned people was a major point throughout the speech, he also focused on the evolution of the South Asian community in the United States. He explained how from 1924 to 1965 Indian immigrants were barred from the United States, but that they were then allowed in, provided they would take up positions helping to develop technology which would help the United States in competition with the Soviet Union. Despite the initial attitude of immigrants to generally look back home to their own individual country of origin, by the nineties South Asian Americans began to crystallize as a group in the US. He described the active nature of students on college
campuses who brought South Asians together in South Asian Student Associations across the country, and also the influx of politically active South Asians. “By the 1990s as these young people left college it was hard to walk into a non-profit organization anywhere in the United States and not find a South Asian American on the staff. It was equally difficult to find a civil rights legal office without a South Asian American. Making the best of their advantages and unlike many of their parents they threw themselves into the wider political world…Unlike their parents they had lived with the contradiction of coming of age in the United States. No privilege, without recognition for most of them. But the children of 1965 had antecedents for this category South Asian American.” He then went on to describe various movements of the previous generation which preceded the wide-reaching youth movement. Later he mentioned the political change since the nineties and the quest for South Asians to become part of the country through struggling with the country. Overall, Prashad came to the conclusion that while racism has declined because of post-9/11 responses to
these attitudes, those responses did not go at the core problem, which he feels is essentially imperialism. During the question period, Professor Rosenberger of the International and Global Studies Department asked about this theory, wanting Prashad to give a definition of imperialism with the thought in mind that India has a vast growth rate in its economy versus the United States. Prashad claimed that in the globalized world, imperialism has taken on a new form through outsourcing jobs and removing the products and profit from the majority of the people of those countries. “What is imperialism? Imperialism is now not the same as imperialism before 1973, but it’s imperialism nonetheless. It’s never the case that the central country of an empire benefits everybody in the empire. It’s always been the case that certain classes inside the core benefit. Now those classes are mobile...and they’re unfettered from social commitments, and that’s the genius of 21st century imperialism.” Overall, Professor Prashad presented an interesting viewpoint of the problems faced by South Asian Americans and the roles of racism and imperialism in recent history.
Brandeis partners with Middlebury for study abroad STUDY ABROAD, from page 1
Middlebury College boasts a century of experience in language immersion programs.” Dan Terris, vice president for global affairs at Brandeis, called the new program “a natural extension of Brandeis’ commitment to being a global liberal arts university. It creates a permanent presence in Israel for Brandeis in partnership with two quality institutions.” Beer Sheva is in the heart of the Negev desert in southern Israel. One of the world’s oldest cities, it has been inhabited for some 6,000 years. Lo-
cated in an area rich with Biblical and archeological history, the city is now a modern regional capital with a population of about 185,000, including a large number of Russian and Ethiopian Jews who arrived in the 1990s. “Students who participate on this program will be engaged in a city with a diverse population; a true window to the Israeli society,” said Professor Vardit Ringvald, director of the Hebrew Language Program at Brandeis. “It’s a chance to live and learn with Israelis while immersing oneself in the Hebrew language.” Michael Geisler, Middlebury’s vice
president for language schools, schools abroad and graduate programs, called Ben-Gurion an ideal partner for such a program in Israel. “Ben-Gurion University, which is seen by many as having one of the strongest and most diversified academic programs in Israel, is an excellent location,” said Geisler. “Since the university is well integrated with the town of Beer Sheva, students will find it easier than in many other cities in Israel to gain access to the community. It also offers better opportunities for language immersion since there are fewer English speakers there than in some other Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv.”
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photo from internet source
March 4, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Tufts professor explains science of climate change By Debby Brodsky Staff
William Moomaw, professor of international environmental policy and Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, gave a lecture Tuesday in the International Business School’s Lemberg Academic Center, on climate change and politics. Moomaw, a physical chemist, taught the first environmental courses at Tufts, and has worked extensively with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He asked students their opinions on how to get the word out to the greater public about climate change, and how to ensure that future generations will be safe. Moomaw began by describing how the science behind climate change works. When it gets warmer, he explained, the ocean does not absorb as much carbon dioxide, and much like the effect of opening a warm soda can, the ocean expands. In addition, nights are getting warmer faster than days because of excess heat trapping particles in the clouds. As a result, climate change is now a known reality. Moomaw defined the climate as the 40-year average of weather, because 40 years is roughly a career length, and half of a human lifetime. He also said that there are now 7500 sites around the world that measure the earth’s temperature every day. Recently, climate changes have been far more noticeable. The first 11 months
of 2010 set record highs for highest recorded temperatures, and there was heavy rainfall in Pakistan, China and India, as well as heavy snowfall in the United States. Record heat was also recorded in Moscow, exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and sparking more than 500 fires. “It got so hot and so dry,” Moomaw said, “even the wheat fields burned. This would not have happened if the earth hadn’t been on its warm trend, but we still have to wait and see if it was caused by global warming.” Referencing Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood’s statement following the July 2010 flood in Pakistan, that “climate change with all its severity and unpredictability has become a reality for 170 million Pakistanis,” Moomaw emphasized how the international community needs to take immediate action to become more energy conscious. Presently, chunks of ice the size of Massachusetts are breaking off of Antarctica, and as a result of melting glaciers and thermal warming expansion, the rate of sea level rise has doubled since 1993. Following these statistics, the IPCC concluded in 2007, that the increase in average global temperatures is “very likely due to human activity.” The greenhouse effect, Moomaw explained, is the cause of the heating of the earth’s surface. When the sun radiates to the earth, the earth absorbs some of its heat, and the clouds reflect some of the sun’s heat back into space. The earth’s absorption of the heat from the sun results in the emission of infrared radiation back
into the atmosphere. Since the industrial revolution however, the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is reemits heat to the earth’s surface, thus further heating up the earth. A current theory to counteract earth’s temperature rise is to mimic a volcanic eruption with the emission of sulfuric acid droplets into the atmosphere. With the eruption of a volcano or the rise of industry, the increased amount of sulfuric acid droplets in the air act as little mirrors, reflecting sunlight back into space, creating a temporary plateau effect for earth’s temperature. The impacts of climate change as listed by Moomaw, are increased temperature, altered precipitation, intensity of storms, melting of glaciers, polar sea ice and permafrost, increase of fires and droughts, sea level rise, lost species and insect and disease migration. Currently, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is working to take precautionary measures to mitigate adverse effects of climate change globally. Their objective is to avoid interference with the climate system in dangerous ways for the benefit of present and future generations. Local and global processes are underway to mitigate climate change effects. For example, the Boston area became the first in the country to replace its traffic lights and street lamps with more efficient, LED lights. “Be energy conscious,” Moomaw concluded. “Get LED lights, take public transportation, turn off power strips. It is important to get the word out, because climate change is not theoretical.”
photo by nafiz “fizz ” r. ahmed/the hoot
Univ tries to make sense, find answers after suicide STUDENT DEATH, from page 1
ulty and staff about mental health issues and medication they are taking to treat them. At Brandeis, all community members have 24-hour access to multiple professionally managed organizations and departments. Administrators also said that the most important prevention mechanism is the caring attitude of students and staff. “There’s an emphasis on caring that goes with our social justice mission,” von Mering said. Sawyer agreed. “The safety net on this campus is extraordinary. It’s not just us. It’s [students] too,” he said. At the beginning of every semester, Sawyer sends a memo to faculty and academic administrators detailing the 24-hour access to professionals trained to respond to emergencies. Campus Police, BEMCo and the Psychological Counseling Center are available by phone 24-hours a day. At all hours, the Community Development Coordinator on duty has access to senior staff in Community Living, who can communicate with an associate dean of student life on call. The memo includes cell phone numbers for the senior staff in Community Living, Public Safety and Student Life. The response procedures include an “integrated protocol,” between the Division of Student Affairs, Public Safety, Health Services, the Psychological Counseling Center and the Provost’s Office in which contact to one department can be relayed to oth-
ers, according to a copy of the Spring 2011 memo obtained by The Hoot. “A concerned staff or faculty member need only contact someone in the protocol network for a speedy and effective response,” Sawyer wrote in the memo. “For safety and potential liability issues, it is highly recommended that members of the community who witness or hear of a student in crisis pass along the information immediately to someone who is in a position to initiate a response.” Faculty concerned about a student’s academic stress are instructed to notify an advisor in Academic Services. For faculty and staff unsure of who to contact, they are asked to call Public Safety to manage the situation. Von Mering explained that faculty often face the dilemma of encouraging students to talk with them when they are stressed about personal issues, but also respecting a student’s right to be known only in an academic context. “The student should have a right just to be a student,” she said. The Faculty Senate Council, on which von Mering sits, has decided to schedule a meeting this semester for faculty to speak with staff from the Counseling Center about how to most effectively discover warning signs from stressed students in need of help. In certain cases, the notification system works both ways. Advisers in Academic Services can notify faculty to watch out for students who have recently experienced a traumatic or stressful event, and von Mering said
she has been notified by administrators when students of hers experience a loss in their family such as the death of a parent. “We treat sensitive information with respect,” Erika Lamarre, director of Community Living said in an interview, adding that staff is encouraged to be respectful of students’ wishes regarding notification. In an interview on Feb. 16, Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer said staff from Community Living and the Office of Student Life had been in contact with Sommers during the week leading up to and on the day of her death, however von Mering said that she was not notified of any concerns related to Sommers. Sommers was found dead by a community advisor in her residence hall only days after she had moved rooms from the first to the third floor of Gordon Hall in North Quad. A student changing rooms typically is required to meet with members of the Community Living staff, however Sawyer would not comment further as to the nature of the contact with Sommers, and Lamarre declined to comment Thursday on the nature of any contact with Community Living citing privacy concerns. Immediate and long-term threats Administrators and psychiatrists or counselors in the Psychological Counseling Center are trained to respond to immediate threats that a student poses to his or herself or others. Psychiatrists and counselors must comply with state regulations. According to Massachusetts state
law, licensed mental health counselors can violate patient confidentiality under specific conditions, including when “there is a threat of imminently dangerous activity by the patient against himself or another person.” Counselors can break confidentiality in order to assist placing the patient in a hospital, but confidentiality must continue once the patient is in the hospital, under arrest, or “under the supervision of law enforcement authorities.” “When you move into the area of suicide and homicide, the confidentiality guidelines no longer exist,” Dr. Robert Berlin, Senior Director of the Psychological Counseling Center, said in an interview in his office earlier this semester unrelated to the Feb. 15 suicide. Von Mering said that faculty and staff recognize immediate responses are crucial in emergencies. “If there is ever a fear that this student needs something right now, then you walk them over there,” von Mering said. University police are prepared to work with the Psychological Counseling Center and provide “immediate assistance” during crises, Ed Callahan, Director of Public Safety said during an interview earlier this semester unrelated to the Feb. 15 suicide. Senior staff in Community Living meet weekly with staff from Student Rights and Community Standards and the Dean’s Office, part of the Division of Student Affairs, Lamarre said. Lamarre explained that many universities adopted new policies and
approaches to handling mental health issues and responding to crises following the Virginia Tech shooting massacre in April 2007 that left 33 students dead. But because of a strong system already in place at Brandeis, she said the university changed its policies and response system very little, with the exception of logistical changes like emergency sirens. The university tries to address student’s mental heath issues on campus rather than force them to leave. “I’m not the gate-keeper,” Berlin said. “I protect people in terms of their mental health issues.” The Dean’s Office largely controls the decision for a student to leave the university, he said. Administrators and staff have said that many students, even those who did not know Sommers, have been affected by her death. Several students were directly impacted because the suicide occurred inside a residence hall. “We’re not going to forget them, and we don’t expect them to get over [the suicide] overnight,” Lamarre said. As the community continues to grieve and react to Sommers’ death, students return to the normalcy of their daily lives at college, days filled with studying for midterms, club meetings and time with friends. The photo of Sommers on von Mering’s desk remains as a gesture to students, hoping they will reach out in their times of need, whether they are smiling or not.
The Brandeis Hoot
The News in Brief SAGE alters privacy settings All students have been urged to review their privacy settings on Sage, Brandeis’ student account portal, after the university’s identity management department changed how the settings work, according to a campus-wide e-mail sent by Mark Hewitt the university registrar. Hewitt wrote that the changes alter both how the portal groups data together and how the groups interact with displaying information on Brandeis’ online directory. The result is that students’ privacy settings may have been changed to provide greater restrictions for their data. “The most important change is that if you restrict the ‘Name/OnCampus Info/On-line Diretory’ category your information will not appear in the on-line directory,” Hewitt wrote. In the e-mail Hewitt wrote students should review their current settings in sage as well as the display of information in the online directory to ensure that the information
is accurate. The student directory is updated at the start of every fall semester, according to the Office of the University Registrat’s website on privacy settings. Under the Family Educational Rights and Pricacy Act of 1974, students have the right to withhold any information. In order to access SAGE privacy settings students can log onto the portal and in the “personal information” section of the “student center” select “privacy settings” from the drop-down menu; however changes in privacy settings may require up to 48 hours to take effect and the university assumes that students approve of disclosure of their information unless students change their personal settings. Catagories of privacy settings on SAGE include “name/on-campus info/online directory,” “photo/offcampus contact info,” “academic information” and “athletic information.”
Pachanga replaced RUMBA, from page 1
The fact that the two parties are taking place on the same weekend is coincidental, Aarish Sheikh, personnel director for WBRS, said. When Pachanga was last held on Oct. 23, 2010, nine students were transported to a hospital for alcohol intoxication and BEMCo received a total of 17 calls for intoxicated students. Local towns suffered a shortage of ambulances due largely to drinking in dorms before the party. Two students were also arrested for allegedly assaulting university police officers near the Ziv Residence Quad. That evening, at about 12:30 a.m., an unknown individual pulled the fire alarm, Callahan said in October. The building was evacuated, and shortly after police decided not to resume the event, considering the behavior and attitude of the students outside. “Security for both events will be similar [to Pachanga] since we have worked and met with the same or-
ganizers as last year,” Ed Callahan, Director of Public Safety wrote in an email to The Hoot. Levin holds a capacity of 700 students. Nahum said that, as in the past at Pachanga, the International Club will sell no more than 650 tickets, in order to allow its volunteers to enter the party after they are done working and not to exceed the capacity in Levin. At a Battle of the DJ’s in January, many students had trouble getting their coats from the coatroom at the end of the party. The room became overcrowded quickly. Nahum said that the Sailing Club will manage the coat check at Rumba. “I encourage students to be patient while waiting to enter the events since it takes time for many guests to enter through the admittance process,” Callahan wrote. “Also my staff will monitor closely any line that forms outside the venues and communicate with those students in the line awaiting admittance.”
IBS dean to visit Israel, UK TRADE, from page 1
ernors’ office there are close to 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies in Massachusetts. These companies employ over 5,000 people and in 2009 generated $2.4 billion in direct revenue for the state. That same year local firms exported over $180 million worth of goods to Israel. There are over four hundred companies with UK-ties in Massachusetts. These companies employ over forty thousand Massachusetts residents. For two years in a row, the UK has been the largest market for Massachusetts’s exports. “This is a great opportunity for us to increase our visibility among pub-
lic and private sector leaders abroad and to expand our relationships with overseas companies who might employ graduates. Also, the contingent of local business executives on the mission is impressive-so I hope to widen our corporate relationships right here in Massachusetts. Finally, this trip will enhance our ties with leading research centers and universities in Israel and the U.K,” Magid said in a BrandeisNow press release. “Massachusetts is an unparalleled leader in the global economy and a trailblazer for the nation. To continue to compete on an international level and create new jobs here at home we must look outward to new markets, and position Massachusetts as the North American destination for business growth,” said Governor Patrick.
March 4, 2011
By Ariel Wittenberg, Editor
Fellowship started for Israeli parliamentarians The Ruderman Family Foundation has partnered with Brandeis to bring members of the Israeli Knesset to the United States for a week of meetings with leading scholars, community leaders and professionals in an effort to help political leaders in Israel develop a deeper understanding of the American Jewish community. “A surprisingly large number of elected officials in Isrial don’t have a strong understanding of what makes the American Jewish comunity tick— its influence, complexity, cultural richness and connections to the political and business communities.” Jay Rudderman ’88 said in a press release on Brandeis NOW. “This program is designed to address that and to build deeper relationships between our two communities.” This year Finance Commitee Chair Carmel Shama and Tzipi Hotovely (likud), Avi Ditcher and Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) and Eitan Cabel and Danny
Ben Simon (labor) will visit Waltham, Boston and New York between April 3 and 8. The fellows were chosen by an advisory committee that included Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan (Likud), former Minister of Welfare Isaac Herzog (Labor) and former Minister of Internal Security Avi Dichter (Kadima). At Brandeis, the fellows will participate in sessions with various Brandeis professors including Professor Leanord Saxe (NEJS), Professor Jonathan Sarna (NEJS) and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israeli Studies Ilan Troen ’64. They will also meet leaders of Jewish organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anit-Defamation League, JEwish Federations of North America, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and memebrs from other Jewish federations, philanthropies, educational institutions and media.
Alum named Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro ’91 will replace the current United States Ambassador to Israel James B Cunningham when his term ends in June. Shapiro previously worked as Middle East Director at the National Security Counsel since Obama took office in January 2009 and was involved in attempts to repair relations between the administration and the Natanyahu government in Israel. According to The Jewish Forward, a New York based Jewish community newspaper, Shapiro has promoted an
Israeli-Palestinian peace accord and has traveled to Israel frequently for both business and pleasure. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Shaprio served as the Obama liason to the Jewish community and joined the then-presidential candidate on his trip to Israel before the elections. The Forward reported that Shapiro has met with almost every Israeli official who has visited Washington in the past two years and to attend most major Jewish conferences.
Brandeis celebrates 50th anniversary of Peace Corps Brandeis will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps and of its relationship with the organization with a panel discussion of faculty, staff and alumni on March 7. All members of the panel will be returned Peace Corps volunteers who participated in the organization founded by United States President John F. Kennedy in 1960 to promote peace by working in developing countries. Kennedy visited Brandeis shortly after founding the organization and discussed it with then-faculty member Eleanor Roosevelt. Then Dean of the Faculty Lawrence Fuchs, who co-taught a course with Roosevelt, became the first Peace Corps director for the Philippines. Fuchs was quoted in a Brandeis NOW press release saying he was encouraged to bring his own staff with
him on assignment. “That made the connection between Brandeis and the Peace Corps in the Phillippines that much closer,” he said. Comparative Literature Professor Jane Hale first heard about the Peace Corps as a teenager watching Kennedy on television, according to the press release, and then went on to work in Chad where she spent two years teaching English in a French and Arabic school. Brandeis’ connection to the Peace Corps is still strong today and the new Peace Corps Fellows/USA program guarantees returned Peace Corps volunteers who are accepted into one of four Heller School programs $10,000 toward tuition for each year of study, making Brandeis the second school in Massachusetts to form this partnership.
March 4, 2011
Established 2005 "To acquire wisdom, one must observe." Alex Schneider Editor in Chief Destiny D. Aquino Managing Editor Nathan Koskella News Editor Jon Ostrowsky News Editor Leah Finkelman Features Editor Morgan Gross Impressions Editor Alex Self Impressions Editor Kayla Dos Santos Arts, Etc. Editor Sean Fabery Arts, Etc. Editor Gordy Stillman Sports Editor Leah Lefkowitz Layout Editor Vanessa Kerr Business Editor Yael Katzwer Copy Editor Savannah Pearlman Copy Editor Photography Editors Nafiz R. “Fizz” Ahmed Ingrid Schulte Alan Tran
Associate Editor Ariel Wittenberg Senior Editors Bret Matthew Max Shay
Staff Rick Alterbaum, Candice Bautista, Alana Blum, Chris Bordelon, Debby Brodsky, Becca Carden, Haley Fine, Emma Chad-Friedman, Jodi Elkin, Andrea Fishman, Paula Hoekstra, Adam Hughes, Gabby Katz, Josh Kelly, Christina Kolokotroni, Anthony Losquadro, Ariel Madway, Estie Martin, Alex Norris, Alexandra Patch, Lien Phung, Andrew Rauner, Alexandra Zelle Rettman, Ricky Rosen, Nate Rosenbloom, Imara Roychowdhury, Morgana Russino, Aaron Sadowsky, Jessica Sashihara, Aliza Sena, Emily Stott, Brian Tabakin, Ryan Tierney, Steven Wong, Yuan Yao and Suzanna Yu
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The Brandeis Hoot 5
Housing process needs review
very year March brings a madness to Brandeis completely separate from the NCAA basketball tournament. As students scramble to make sense of their housing lottery numbers, friendships are made with people whose names you barely knew a week before and close friendships are torn to shreds over who makes the cut for a four person Ridgewood. Many students are left to wander through finding their own housing in Waltham. Every year, housing is a stressful proces. We realize that no matter what is done short of building more student housing, this will still be the case. There are, however, some quick-fixes that the Department of Community Living could employ in order to bring some sanity to the madness. Perhaps the easiest solution would be to publish statistics of at which housing number each dorm (or quad) was filled in last year’s housing lottery. Publishing which numbers got the last Ridgewoods, Zivs, Mods and Grads, would at the very least allow students a reasonable idea of what they can expect. There
are numerous horror stories of friend groups who were planning on living in six person suites but who cut out two friends when it came time to select housing because a more desirable, yet smaller, option became available. While no student would be as foolhardy as to believe that these numbers were set in stone for this year’s lottery, it would allow informed decisions to be made and for “Plan Bs” to be created before the scramble that is housing selection at the end of the month. Additionally, it would be less stressful if there were less time between when numbers are released and when housing is chosen. Information travels fast on a college campus, and within the first week or two everyone knows their situation. There is no reason to prolong suffering and allow people to wonder aimlessly about which rooms will be filled for another two weeks. Currently, many students opt to live off campus before housing selection has taken place out of fear that if the lottery does not end in their favor, there will be no desirable off-campus options left. Given that Brandeis students already flood the Waltham housing market due
to a lack of on-campus housing and given the university’s budget problems, one would think the university would want to ensure that as many students as possible participate in on-campus housing. Additionally, Brandeis students living off campus are inherently cut off from the Brandeis experience that makes on campus housing so desirable. Other colleges, such as the University of Michigan, have large and spread out campuses and while they don’t ensure housing for nearly as high a percentage as Brandeis does, the spread out nature of their campuses provides many options for private housing within the general university area. The Waltham Crystal Shuttle/BranVan route severely limits the area within which students without cars can look for housing. However, if the campus shuttle service were to expand, students without cars would obtain a greater area search for housing. We aren’t asking for miracles. We aren’t asking for new dormitories that we know the university cannot afford. Housing will always be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be a migraine.
A survey on race at Brandeis The Brandeis Hoot is taking a look at how race affects all levels of Brandeis. We need your help. Visit our web site to fill out a survey about race at Brandeis.
About the project This project will explore how race plays out at Brandeis University on multiple levels, including but not limited to academically, socially and historically. The purpose of this project is not to propose a solution to any potential problems the university may have, but to hold a mirror up, tell a story and spark a conversation. In order to do this properly, we need your help. Your answers to this survey will be completely anonymous unless you choose to share your name at the end of the questions.
For more information Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attention club leaders Want to publicize an event? We have solutions for you: Special spring 2011 offer:
Prices for students, faculty, and Brandeis organizations
3.5” x 1.75” ad: $15/week 4” x 5” ad: $25/week Send an e-mail to email@example.com with questions. Also available: Classified ads at http://thebrandeishoot.com Special offer: First post is free
6 The Brandeis Hoot
This Week in History
March 4, 2011
Seth Grande wins PETA’s Student Leadership Award for work with cage-free eggs
2003 BEMCo places
fifth in a skills competition at a national emergency medical services conference.
2007 The ICC cel-
ebrates 15 years of campus diversity since being founded in an old athletic office.
The Salem Witch Hunt begins. Hundreds are accused of practicing witchcraft and 19 are executed.
The Boston Massacre occurs when British troops fire upon American colonists.
1845 Florida, “The Sun-
shine State,” becomes the 27th state after 300 years of European rule.
1872 Yellowstone is
signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant, becoming the world’s first national park.
2002 Citizens of Swit-
zerland narrowly vote for their country to become a member of the United Nations.
2009 The Sri Lankan
cricket team is attacked by terrorists while on their way to a test match against Pakistan.
TAKING IT ALL OFF: Grande and PETA volunteer Lauren Quillo particpate in the “Fur-Out, Love-In” campaign.
By Morgan Gross Editor
It is no secret that Brandeis’ campus is filled with students who are passionate about social action and social justice. There are always a few students, however, whose passion and drive push them ahead of all the rest; and even on a campus like Brandeis, Seth Grande ’12 is no ordinary activist. Just a few weeks ago, Brandeis student Seth Grande—along with several other students from campuses across the country—was awarded the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Student Leadership Award. According to the PETA press release, the Student Leadership Award “recognizes students who have made tangible progress in reducing animal suffering and advancing animal welfare on their campuses in 2010.” Grande received this honor as the result of his impressive work; he worked to make Brandeis commit to switching to exclusively serving cage-free eggs in all dining halls starting in August of 2011. Grande, along with the Brandeis Real Food Coalition—a non-chartered student organization started this past fall—successfully brought Brandeis to this point. Grande was inspired to complete this by previous campaigns at Brandeis dedicated to bringing cage-free eggs to campus. He specifically cited Max Roberts ’10, a friend of his, as a major inspiration for the initiative. As a result of the past campaigns of Roberts and others, cage-free eggs were made available on campus in all dining halls, but not exclusively. Grande explained that the option to go cagefree was not advertised and that most students were unaware of the option. The initiative started with a group of students drafting a petition that dining services go exclusively cage free. They would solicit signatures and—once they reached a great enough num-
ber—submitted it to dining services to prove students support the campaign. At first, the project seemed ambitious and was met with resistance from administration; however, before long, the petition had received about one-third of the student body’s signatures. Once student support was clear, Grande and other members of the Real Food Coalition met with dining services and members of the university administration to work out if the change would be feasible. The main concern holding the success of the initiative back was the question of cost and whether or not students would be comfortable absorbing the extra cost of the switch.
rande says that his passion for animal rights didn’t originate at Brandeis. He has been a vegetarian on and off since age 12, and he transitioned to being fully vegan once he entered his first year at Brandeis. His passion for animal rights was born out of the value system instilled upon him by his parents. As a result of this uncertainty, Grande and the Real Food Coalition were charged with gauging whether or not students would be willing to pay as much as three times the price for cage-free eggs. With the help of a Student Union poll, Grande was able to successfully prove student support. The combined weight of the survey, a unanimous student union senate resolution, and the support of administration and dining services all contributed to the realization of Grande’s vi-
photo courtesy of seth grande
sion of a cage-free campus. Grande, an International and Global Studies major, says that his passion for animal rights didn’t originate at Brandeis. He has been a vegetarian on and off since age 12, and he transitioned to being fully vegan once he entered his first year at Brandeis. He says that his passion for animal rights was born out of the value system instilled upon him by his parents. He said that—although vegetarianism and veganism is more than common in his hometown of Seattle—there was something about the openness of the community at Brandeis that helped him to commit fully to the vegan lifestyle. This past summer Grande interned for PETA and, a few weeks ago, Grande continued his involvement with PETA by participating in their “Fur-Out, Love-In” campaign. As a part of the campaign, Grande stripped down to his underwear and cozied up to fellow PETA volunteer, Lauren Quillo, on urban street corners all across the Midwest. The couple cuddled on air mattresses outside in the freezing cold and—along with other PETA volunteers—handed out literature about animal cruelty. This semester, Grande is studying abroad in Israel in an environmental studies program. The program allows students from North America, Europe, Israel and its surrounding countries to examine environmental problems that affect the entire globe and focuses on using these common problems as a common ground for inter-cultural dialogue. Post graduation, Grande is interested—not surprisingly—in working in animal rights. Though the idea of life after Brandeis is daunting, Grande feels like the question “doesn’t inspire as much fear” in him as it does in many of his peers. Grande is confident in his commitment to making the world a better place for animals, and it is clear that he will do just that.
March 4, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Life after college
(Don’t worry, it’s possible) By Leah Lefkowitz Editor
Every senior has heard the daunting question, what are you doing after college? As a senior, I am used to the question but I cannot help but feel defensive almost every time it is asked of me. Somehow, I always feel like the “adults” who are asking about my future are also looking down at me. I always imagine them thinking, “How can she, a student who has such limited life experience, survive in the real world?” I do, fortunately, have an answer to this inquiry because I am going to graduate school in the fall. Still, although graduate school is still school, it is closer to “real life” than undergraduate school. Therefore, I know that a lot of new experiences lie on the horizon. For example, for the first time I will have to find an apartment of my own and maybe buy a car of my own that I do not need to share with my brother. Of course, I am not the only senior asking these questions. To help seniors prepare for this future, the Department of Community Living organized an event yesterday titled “Life After College Panel.” At this panel there were six speakers who took turns explaining aspects of post-graduation life, in particular finances. The first speaker gave a very brief overview on taxes. Although there was not much he could say in only 10 minutes, he did caution students to be careful when filing taxes. In the worstcase scenario, if you keep money from the IRS, it can cause a lot of complications for you in the future. The second panelist, Nicole Bonnani, works in the Brandeis office of Student Financial Services. She, unlike the other speakers, included financial concerns for our existence as undergrads at Brandeis because many students have taken out loans from Brandeis or from other sources to pay for their undergraduate education. Not only must students who have received financial aid organize a meeting before graduating with the Student Financial Service, students can also visit if they need help preparing for the future. Although some seniors already own cars, plenty others will buy a new vehicle in the near future. This is yet another financial concern that many of us have not had to deal with on our own yet. In order to give us some background on what to expect, Steve Kelley listed some practical tips. For
graphic by leah lefkowitz/the hoot
example, do not expect to get a great deal when you buy a car, cars are almost always “money pits.” Instead, focus on finding a reliable vehicle with a good warranty, and then when you have more money you can buy something more luxurious. Next, we learned about what to expect from credit scores and apartment searches. Questions included: How do you check your credit score? How do you control your credit score? The answer to this question was similar to Nicole Bonnani’s answer; that is, pay off your credit as soon as possible. This will not only help to keep your credit score high, it will also prevent you from falling too deeply into debt. As for apartments, make sure that you read your lease carefully and know what to expect. If you are staying in New England, in particular, ask about the heating bill because it can get very expensive. Finally, a Brandeis Psychology PhD student rose to speak to the audience. She explained what to expect when applying to graduate schools. Although I have already applied to schools myself, I found her advice very helpful. For example, she recom-
mended that you take the GRE early, in case you need to retake the test; the tests are valid for five years. Also, it is easier to find loans as a graduate student because you can declare yourself as an independent on your tax forms more easily than you can as an undergraduate student. I found the entire presentation very informative, but not very unexpected. Much of the advice included warnings against not paying your loans and your credit, because a low credit score can be detrimental in the future. Also, apparently everyone is out to trick us and we cannot trust landlords
or car sales-men. These precautions were helpful reminders, but also a little scary. Maeve O’Conner ’11 seemed to have a similar reaction. “I am glad I came,” she said, “but it is all a little overwhelming.” Likewise, Amy Brooks ’11 found the event productive and helpful. I am grateful that the Department of Community Living planned such a practical event. Although there was only so much we could learn in one hour, it was certainly better than nothing. There is a lot to consider for life after Brandeis, and at least now I am a little more prepared.
8 The Brandeis Hoot
Gordy’s baseball rankings Spring training week one
By Gordy Stillman Editor
As spring training begins and baseball starts up again, it’s time to start some weekly rankings. Unlike the NFL, where it is possible to make picks by each game, baseball is played more often (162 games per season plus spring training and postseason) and power rankings are the best way to keep everything in order. The real season does not start until March 31 and until then we have about four weeks of preseason to go through. Let’s get started. The rankings are organized by league and by conference. The American League (AL) East Division 1. Tampa Bay Rays: Surprising many, the 2010 Rays managed to edge out the Yankees for the top of the AL East and, in doing, they so prevented the Red Sox from reaching the postseason. Whether Tampa can stay strong remains to be seen. 2. Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox always seem to be viable contenders. With only a small level of change between this year and last, they should be able to overcome the, at the moment, weak Yankees. 3. New York Yankees: Speaking of teams for Bostonians to pay attention to, there are of course the New York Yankees. The team may be surprisingly low-placed to start off the preseason, however, the Yankees are expected to have a relatively weak year. After failing to acquire Cliff Lee and losing a starting pitcher to retirement, the Yankees are going to need to show that their farm system can produce quality players; or they could always try to trade for what they need. 4. Toronto Blue Jays: I’ll be honest that I have a level of disdain for the Blue Jays. It was in a game against the Blue Jays that Twins star Justin Morneau suffered a concussion and was lost for
the rest of the season. That being said, they were one of four teams in the AL East to secure winning records last year and are a large part of what keeps that division so competitive. 5. Baltimore Orioles: Unfortunately for the Orioles, they cannot seem to mimic the success of the original Orioles (the Yankees). Central Division 1. Minnesota Twins: The Twins have been consistently making strong runs for the postseason. Last year was the first in three that the AL Central was not decided by an extra (163rd) game. Despite losing a few players during the offseason, new members, as well as returning closer Joe Nathan, should ensure the Twins remain a team to watch. 2. Chicago White Sox: The White Sox are one of the three teams that typically fight it out all season in the AL Central division. Out of the AL Central, these Sox are the most recent world series champs (2005) and never seem to be out of the running. 3. Detroit Tigers: The Tigers, despite the best efforts of the White Sox and the Twins, help keep the AL Central a three-way fight. Last year they split their season 81-81; this year they are hoping to finally secure their first division title since the creation of the AL Central. 4. Cleveland Indians: The Indians were a successful team in the late ’90s but have since slumped against division competition from the Twins, White Sox and Tigers. 5. Kansas City Royals: Another perennial weak link of the AL Central. I personally like them because they appear to win whenever it benefits the Twins. West Division 1. Texas Rangers: While being the runner-up to the world champions earns a high ranking, I’m awarding this spot because the Rangers were the team to stop the Yankees’ bid for a repeat
championship; that’s worth a lot in my book. 2. Oakland Athletics: Oakland, like Detroit, had a split season as well. Whether Oakland will make it remains to be seen. Last year they ended a full nine games behind the Texas Rangers. 3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The Angels bring the total count to five teams. The Angels ended last year with a record of 80-82. After breaking a three-year division winning streak, the Angels are hoping to regain their divisionleading reputation as they celebrate their 50th season. 4. Seattle Mariners: I like the Mariners for one simple reason—Nintendo owns them. The National League (NL) East Division 1. Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies won it all in 2008 and spent both 2009 and 2010 losing in the postseason to the eventual champions. With the reacquisition of Cliff Lee, the Phillies should be ready to make a strong run again. 2. Atlanta Braves: The Braves made it to the post-season last year, securing the wildcard spot only after all 162 season games. Additionally, for Boston fans at least, the Braves should be an interesting team to follow considering they were once the Boston Braves. 3. Florida Marlins: With a disappointing losing record last year, the Marlins are probably wishing they could have the success of their AL counterparts the Tampa Bay Rays. 4. New York Mets: Another team with an AL counterpart. The Mets are a team I’m hoping has some success this year not only because I despise the Yankees, but because I really don’t mind the Mets. 5. Washington Nationals: The third team to be based out of D.C., this is the only one to be in the NL. Central Division 1. Cincinnati Reds: The Reds returned to the playoffs last year after a 15-year absence. It took a sweep by the heavily favored Phillies to knock the NL Central team out of the running last year. Additionally, they were able to sign (and re-sign) more players than not. The Reds should stay strong this year.
March 4, 2011
2. St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals are an interesting team to say the least. They have recently been in the news because star player Albert Pujols suspended contract negotiations at the start of spring training and will not look at a contract for the future until the end of this season. 3. Houston Astros: It is no surprise that a state with two NFL teams and three NBA teams is also a state with two MLB teams. The Astros ended last year with a 76-86 record. 4. Milwaukee Brewers: I hate Wisconsin teams on basic principal. That isn’t the case with the Brewers because they simply are not worth the attention. 5. Chicago Cubs: The Cubs may be one of the oldest franchises in the NL, but they still appear to need a miracle a la Rookie of the Year in order to be competitive. 6. Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates had the worst record in baseball last year with less than 60 wins. West Division 1. San Francisco Giants: As the reigning world champions, they automatically get the top spot. 2. San Diego Padres: The Padres were the only team in the entire MLB last year to win 90 or more games and not make it to the postseason. Their season came down to the 162nd game, which happened to be against the San Francisco Giants. The Padres almost forced an extra game but the Giants got it together and started their World Series run. 3. Colorado Rockies: The Rockies are a team not to underestimate. Sure they have only been around since ’93 and sure they have never won a division title, but they did make it to the World Series in 2007. A team that can make it to the World Series in its first 15 years is definitely not one to underestimate. 4. Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers are no longer managed by Joe Torre and are also coming off of a season where their longtime rival, the Giants, won it all. 5. Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks won a world series in their fourth season as a franchise back in 2001. Other than that, nothing suggests they will be front-runners this year.
Fantasy baseball tips By Ricky Rosen Staff
The sun is out (no it’s not). The weather is crisp (hardly). The grass is green (what grass?). You know what that means? It’s time for baseball! But for those of us that lack the God-given ability to hit a 100 mile-per-hour fastball 450 feet, we can always pretend- and that’s why we play fantasy baseball! Yes, it’s that time of year! Time to gather up all your friends for the fantasy baseball draft. Time for lots of laughs, lots of competition and lots of bickering. Fantasy baseball really brings out the best of us. Are you ready for the season? Here are some tips to put your fantasy baseball team ahead of the pack! 1. Diversify your team. Try to refrain from picking all power guys or all speed guys. Mix your picks up a bit—select several RBI guys, a few solid contact hitters, some stolen-base threats and one or two sluggers. If you’re in a rotisserie league (where the scoring is based on categories of offensive and pitching stat lines), all of these stats will likely be factored into deciding who wins! 2. Go for hitting early and pitching late. Ordinarily, starters should not go until the fourth or fifth round. But this year, pitching is particularly deep in both leagues, so you can grab some legit top-of-the-rotation guys in the later rounds and select All-Star hitters early on. 3. Follow baseball headlines before the season begins. It would be wise to go into the season with an idea of who is starting on a team and who is healthy. You would look pretty silly selecting a guy who hasn’t pitched in four years. 4. Pick weaker positions early on. This year, third base is especially light, so go for an Evan Longoria or David Wright in the early round. If you choose not to go for the weaker positions first, you’ll end up with Andy LaRoche as your starting third basemen and nobody wants that. 5. Don’t pick your favorite players just because you like them. Try to take the human factor of the equation. Sure, it’s nice to say that you have your favorite player on your team, but at the end of the day, fantasy baseball is about winning. And unless your favorite player is a first round pick, you can’t let anything get in the way of that.
6. Choose young players. There are a lot of aging veterans in the league who put up good numbers year in and year out, but it would be wise to pick a young guy who could have a break-out season instead. And unlike the vets, young players won’t have to leave every game with tendinitis. 7. Factor in players’ contract statuses. Guys who are in their contract years (this year’s Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Prince Fielder) usually have monster years, and guys who just got long-term contracts (this year’s Adrian Beltre and Jayson Werth) historically do not have very good years, so be wary of selecting them. 8. Take a gamble on high-risk, high-reward players. A lot of guys have high upsides, but come with warning labels. Mark Reynolds is a solid third or fourth round pick, but strikes out a ton. Among pitchers, Jeff Francis and Chris Young are high-risk picks, since their health is in question, but they have a lot of potential. 9. Consider players’ teams. Any player on the Yankees or Phillies has a leg up on other players because of the team they play on. Batters have more protection in those lineups, and so those players are bound to have good seasons. On the other hand, Shin-Soo Choo virtually has no protection on the Indians, so he would not be a great early pick. 10. Consider players’ divisions. In terms of divisions, you have to realize that players in less competitive divisions will usually have more success than players in competitive divisions who face tough pitchers on a nightly basis. For this reason, I would recommend selecting Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers instead of Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox, since the AL East has much tougher pitching than the AL West.
graphic by steven song/the hoot
11. Take players’ ballparks into account. Adrian Gonzalez hit 31 home runs at spacious Petco Park last year—he’s gearing up for a monster year at Fenway with the Green Monster this season. Regarding pitchers, Cliff Lee is returning to the bandbox in Philadelphia, which drafters should most definitely consider before selecting him. 12. Go for sleeper picks. Do research to see which rookie players are bound for success this season, or what current players are getting ready for a break-out year. Current players that are projected to have tremendous seasons are Mike
Stanton of the Marlins, Dexter Fowler of the Rockies, Neil Walker of the Pirates and Drew Stubbs of the Reds. Rookie sleepers include Desmond Jennings of the Rays, Freddie Freeman of the Braves, Dominic Brown of the Phillies and Ivan Nova of the Yankees. 13. Look at the experts’ rankings. It can’t hurt to see what the experts at ESPN or Yahoo have to say. But don’t base all your picks off that. 14. Nothing is final. Even after the draft is finished, you can still make trades or pick guys up off waivers. So don’t be discouraged if your round doesn’t go as well as you’d like!
March 4, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
UAA standings and over-all records
End of basketball s eas on Women’s standings Team UAA Chicago 14-0 Washington (Mo.) 11-3 Rochester 10-4 Case Western 7-7 NYU 6-8 Brandeis 4-10 Emory 4-10 Carnegie Mellon 0-14
All 22-3 20-5 20-5 13-12 12-13 12-13 11-14 2-23
Men’s standings Team UAA Rochester 12-2 Emory 11-3 Washington (Mo.) 7-7 Chicago 7-7 Brandeis 6-8 Case Western 5-9 NYU 4-10 Carnegie Mellon 4-10
All 20-5 20-5 13-12 10-15 17-9 9-16 15-10 7-17
Women’s standings Team UAA All Rochester 0-0 4-0 Chicago 0-0 2-0 Carnegie Mellon 0-0 6-1 Brandeis 0-0 4-2 Case Western 0-0 4-2 Washington (Mo.) 0-0 2-1 Emory 0-0 3-2 NYU 0-0 0-1
B ox s cores Women’s basketball Judges At Chicago Loss 70-54 At Washington Loss 79-47 At NYU Win 57-54
B ox s cores
Men’s basketball Judges At Chicago Win At Washington Loss At NYU Loss At Keene State Win
71-63 77-75 70-54 84-73
B as eball and s of tball Baseball
Team Emory Case Western Brandeis Washington (Mo.) Chicago Rochester
UAA 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
All 7-4 5-3 3-3 1-1 0-0 0-0
Team Emory Washington (Mo.) Brandeis Case Western Chicago Rochester
Women’s tennis Judges At Whittler Win At Redlands Loss At Occidental Win At Claremont Loss
6-3 6-3 9-0 9-0
Men’s tennis Judges At Occidental Win At Cal Lutheran Loss At Pomona-Pitzer Loss At Chapman Win At Claremont Loss
7-2 6-3 8-1 7-2 7-2
Track and f ield UAA All 0-0 10-0 0-0 0-1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
B ox s cores Baseball Judges Davenport Loss Davenport Loss Augustana (Illi) Loss Farmingdale Win Grove City Win Grove City Win
Men’s standings Team UAA All Chicago 0-0 3-0 Emory 0-0 7-1 Rochester 0-0 5-2 Case Western 0-0 4-2 Washington (Mo.) 0-0 4-2 Carnegie Mellon 0-0 7-5 Brandeis 0-0 3-3 NYU 0-0 0-2
Event UAA Championships at University of Chicago
Event UAA Championships at University of Chicago
7-6 7-2 7-3 7-1 6-4 6-4
Men’s Track and Field Judges Points 35 Sixth Place Women’s Track and Field Judges Points 39 Sixth Place
Women’s Fencing Judges New England Second Place Championships
Men’s Fencing Judges New England Second Place Championships
photo from internet source
Judges split Florida series Brandeis sports shorts By Adam Hughes Staff
In Vegas, hitting three 7’s usually means winning a jackpot. For the Brandeis baseball team, it meant an 0-3 start to their season, as they lost the opening games of their season by scores of 7-6, 7-2 and 7-3. The Judges finally hit their lucky 7 in the fourth game, beating Farmingdale by a score of 7-1 before sweeping a doubleheader with Grove City with identical 6-4 tallies. Brandeis opened the year on Feb. 22 against Davenport in Winter Haven, Fla. The Panthers scored first in the top of the third inning, but the Judges responded immediately with two runs, and they led 6-3 heading into the eighth frame. Unfortunately, Davenport managed four runs in the top of the eighth for the final tallies of the game, and Brandeis spoiled a three-hit, two-run effort from Kenny Destremps ’12, with Jesse Link ’13 taking the loss. One day later, the Judges and the Panthers faced off again in Auburndale, Fla., and this time the Panthers didn’t wait to take control of the game. Davenport never trailed after a threerun first, and Brandeis couldn’t score again after a two-run second. Rafi Stern ’11 was credited with the loss.
On Feb. 24th, the Judges stayed in Auburndale to play Augustana. They outhit the Vikings by a 12-6 margin, but three costly errors and five runs allowed in the fourth inning led to defeat. The loss went to Dylan Britton ’13. The next day saw no rest for the weary as Brandeis played its fourth game in four days, playing Farmingdale in Auburndale. The Judges weren’t tired out; rather, they had just warmed up. Pat Nicholson ’11 allowed just one run in seven innings, and Jon Chu ’12 tallied two hits, two runs and an RBI. Finally, the Judges saw Grove City in Winter Haven, Fla. for two games on Feb. 26, and two strong performances evened their record at 3-3. In the early game, Andrew Cohen ’13 hit three RBI’s, while Alex Tynan ’12 earned the win in relief and Brian Ing ’14 got the save. Then, Brandeis pulled off a win despite committing four errors and getting only three hits behind a seven inning, one earned run complete game from Mike Swerdloff ’13. Brandeis finally gets a well-deserved break; they’ll be out of action until March 7, when they play Drew in Winter Haven. Then, they move to Sanford, Fla. for the start of the UAA Tournament with games against Emory and Rochester on March 10.
By Gordy Stillman, Editor
First year sprints to Rookie of the Year Vincent Asante ’14 was named Rookie of the Year for University Athletic Association indoor track and field 2011 season on Thursday. Asante, known as a sprinter, was elected by UAA coaches after a successful appearance in the UAA conference championships during February break. While winning two All-UAA honors, Asante won the 55-meter dash with a
time of 6.55 seconds in both the preliminaries and the finals, matching his personal best. He was .01 seconds short of the Brandeis record, and .07 seconds short of the NCAA provisional mark. Asante is the second Brandeis athlete ever to win the 55-meter at the UAA event along with Sunil Srinivasta ’91.
Brandeis fencer named best in conference Foilman Julian Cardillo ’14 was named Fencer of the Year in the Northeast Fencing Conference last Wednesday. Cardillo managed a record of 24-1 to surpass nearly 400 fencers on 24 teams. Other stars from the Brandeis fencing teams included sabre Anna Hanley with a record of
31-3 and Brandeis’ top women’s foil Vikki Nunley managed a 27-7 season. The Brandeis Mens team finished its season in the upper-middle of the conference after losing four meets this season. The women’s team was in the running for a championship after a 10-2 season, but surprisingly lost to MIT and not surprisingly to Vassar, the eventual champions.
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ARTS, ETC. Community discusses future of campus arts
10 The Brandeis Hoot
By Sean Fabery Editor
Between budget cuts and the near-shuttering of The Rose Art Museum, the last two years have been, to put it mildly, difficult for the Brandeis arts community. To address this, the Office of the Arts hosted a forum Thursday afternoon in the Laurie Theater, allowing students and faculty—as well as university President Frederick Lawrence—to voice their hopes for the future of arts at Brandeis. “This is a unique opportunity to redefine and reimagine the future of arts at Brandeis,” said Scott Edmiston, director of the Office of the Arts. Perhaps unsurprisingly for an arts event, the forum’s two-hour agenda was broken into two acts. In the first act, each department within the creative arts gave a report about their department, and students were then encouraged to voice their feelings about the strengths and needs of the art community. In the second act, Theater Arts major Julie Judson ’11 interviewed Lawrence and then opened up questions to students. During the interview, Lawrence tried to assure students of his belief that The Rose Art Museum is “an important asset to the school.” “This is a place where there are misconceptions. Some ... think the museum has been shuttered,” Lawrence said. “No art has been sold, and it’s certainly not my intention to do so.” Several students asked Lawrence about the possibility of new buildings for the arts departments, declaring the current buildings to be too small and old. Lawrence acknowledged these concerns but cited other areas as higher priorities. “The major focus has got to be on financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students,” he said. Prior to Lawrence’s arrival, three departmental representatives—Professors Nancy Scott (FA), Susan Dibble (TA) and Mary Ruth
March 4, 2011
saddened,” said Ray. “We’re getting by but barely meeting the needs of our students.” Key complaints revolved around outdated buildings, the small size of the arts faculty and the lack of merit scholarships available for arts students. Dibble specifically signaled out the termination of the MFA program in design as a sign of the declining state of the arts at Brandeis. Still, there was hope. The departmental representatives expressed hope for a new outlook for the arts under the new Lawrence administration. In terms of specifics, Scott highlighted the addition of new faculty to the Fine Arts department that now allows for a more global outlook. Dawes, meanwhile, hesitantly forecast a rosier future for The Rose. “I want to tell you that The Rose is open,” Dawes said, a statement that elicited applause from those gathered. While noting that he’s noticed “a 180-degree turn in style from the last president,” he also cautioned that, while the museum’s collection remains untouched, the “option [of selling artwork] remains on the table.” The Rose will undergo renovations during the summer and is expected to reopen in September, just in time to mark its 50th anniversary. While serious discussion abounded, the forum did find time for levity. Students learned about Lawrence’s life-long involvement with the arts, particularly music. “I literally cannot remember a time when I was not involved with music,” Lawrence said. “I’ve always kept a hand in it for my own enphoto by nate rosenbloom/the hoot tertainment and fun.” As a child, he learned to play the French arts under fire: Professor Nancy Scott (TA) was among the faculty members who discussed the present state of horn and joined his school’s choir. He continarts at Brandeis at the arts forum on Thursday, where hopes for the future were also hesitantly shared. ued singing after high school, joining various “From where I sit, I’ve simply felt that the college and community choral groups. At one Ryan (MUS)—and Rose Art Museum Director Roy Dawes described the current status of arts are under attack at Brandeis … they’re point, he even performed at Carnegie Hall their departments and recapitulated how each not valued as part of the academy,” said Scott, with the New York Choral Society. had been affected by the university’s financial who described the arts departments as “a goto place for money.” situation. See FORUM, page 14 “We’re feeling stretched and stressed and Their reports were almost uniformly dire.
Krause probes Renaissance witchcraft
By Yael Katzwer Editor
“‘She confessed and was burned’ was a refrain,” Virginia Krause, an associate professor of French at Brown University, said during her lecture yesterday, titled “Under the Witch’s Spell: Demonology in Renaissance France.” During the lecture, held in the Mandel Center for the Humanities and sponsored by the Mandel Center for the Humanities, the Romance Studies Department, the History of Ideas Program and the Comparative Literature Program, Krause focused on the intangible evidence that many courts required while prosecuting witches. Her main focus was on Jean Bodin, the 16thcentury French author, who wrote treatises advising the French courts to rely on auricular evidence rather than visual, believing that the auricular was more trustworthy than the visual. Due to this belief, most witches were prosecuted with their own confessions, obtained after torture. Bodin wrote that a confession “must pass from the mouth of the witch to the ears of the judge.” Krause asked rhetorically, “What sort of truth must pass from the witch’s mouth to the judge’s ears? Secret crimes? Heresy? Witchcraft’s dark crimes—crimes that cannot be seen in the light of day but only whispered in the darkness?” Krause explained that there was a set formula of speech, almost like a spell, that all judges had to say when sending an accused witch to be tortured for a confession; Krause said, “All the judges said, ‘Considering that your statements are not constant and that there is sufficient proof to warrant this and so that your speech will not offend the judges, you will be subjected to torture …’ on such and such a date.” There was also a set formula for confessions, which has led historians to wonder what the accused witch actually said and how much of their testimonies have been honestly preserved.
photo by nafiz ‘fizz ’ r. ahmed/the hoot
bewitching: Professor Virginia Krause provided a detailed examination of witchcraft trials in Renaissance France in a lecture given Thursday.
In order to elicit a confession, Bodin suggested different ploys aside from torture. The main ploy was to send a friend of the accused witch to visit them in jail, where they would converse with the accused until nightfall, at which point they would ask to remain in jail overnight in order to continue their discussions. The court
would place spies outside the jail cell to write down everything the witches say, the darkness both hiding them and setting the tone for the things being discussed. Once they had the auricular evidence that the accused was a witch, they would get the witch to confess. The main question that Krause sought to an-
swer during the lecture, however, was why auricular evidence is preferable to visual evidence. Courts tended to discount visual evidence because it was believed that the devil could confuse See DEMONOLOGY, page 10
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The Brandeis Hoot
Stuttering ‘Speech’ gives insight into the speechless By Gabby Katz Staff
Welcome back from February break! Hope everyone had a relaxing time and that you’re ready for the home stretch of this semester! One thing I’m sure many people did over break was catch up on their television watching and may have watched the Academy Awards. Even me, the self-proclaimed anti-television watcher, couldn’t help but notice all the attention a particular Academy Award winner was getting, especially “The King’s Speech.” I then decided to watch the movie and discovered a graphic portrayal of the struggle a man goes through in order to communicate with others due to his terrible struggle—all while becoming king of a nation. I couldn’t help but wonder if this movie was an accurate depiction of the disorder, so I did some research. According to The Stuttering Foundation of America, “stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this) or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering is also referred to as stammering.” These long stoppages and prolongations were consistent with the king in the movie; however, I think his outburst of swears was more Hollywood than anything else. The disorder affects about five percent of all American children and usually begins between the ages of two and six with more than 50 percent of those children having another family member who stutters. Boys are twice as likely to stutter and four times as likely to continue stuttering through adulthood. Seventy-five percent of diagnosed children will stop stuttering; however, because little is known about the disorder, this statistic cannot be attributed to one single therapy regiment or pill. The disorder is often difficult to predict until the very onset of problems like pronounced grammatical errors in their
photo from internet source
left speechless: In the film “The King’s Speech,” Colin Firth portrayed George V, a British king who suffered from an infamous stutter, which he cured with the help of an
unorthodox speech therapist.
speech and has been proven not to be directly linked to traumatic childhood experiences. This is unlike what is depicted in the movie, in which his horrible stutter is the result of the king’s mistreatment by his nanny and family. In trying to explain the science behind stuttering, researchers believe it may result from a misfiring in the brain or in the muscles used to produce words. In an interview with MSN, speech pathologist Luc De Nil described stutters in the following words: “They don’t have difficulty developing words or syntax, although they may process language differently. They have difficulty with efficient coordination of motor movements, and speech is such a high-de-
mand fine-motor skill that requires extremely fast sequencing and timing.” He goes on to explain that the speech part of the brain is also responsible for hearing, planning, emotion, breathing, movement of the jaw, tongue, lips and neck, all of which can subsequently be affected. One of the most effective methods of treatment for stuttering is speech therapy with a trained professional, which is why the king built a relationship with a doctor in order to overcome his condition. Although the movie portrays the king as incapable of uttering a fluid sentence, stuttering has a range of effects and varies among individuals. Despite the over-dramatization, the movie
creates awareness of a disorder that over three million Americans suffer, which is important in understanding how it affects their daily lives. The movie also proves that a person’s intelligence or heart isn’t defined or hindered by his or her stutter. I give the movie a thumbs up for plot and for the accurate portrayal of this disorder. If you or someone you know is suffering from this condition, the web site http://www. stutteringhelp.org/ has a list of local speech pathologists and therapists who can help. As always, tune in for more health tips and send me an e-mail at email@example.com with any health-related questions you may have.
‘I Am Number Four’ proves surprisingly effective sci-fi By Gordy Stillman Editor
“I Am Number Four” is exactly what it appears to be at first glance in its frequently shown trailer: a sci-fi film with a relationship subplot based on an early teen-oriented book series. It’s no “Harry Potter,” but it’s surprisingly engaging. What first drew my attention was the premise and backstory of the movie. A group of nine gifted children, each with a guardian, arrive on Earth from the planet Lorien in order to escape annihilation at the hands of an invading race called Mogedorians, also known as Mogs. As a safety mechanism employed to protect the refugees, the Mogs can only track and kill the children in a pre-determined order. The movie begins with the murder of Number Three. It’s quickly established that the Mogs are significantly more powerful than young Loriens. Cat-and-mouse chases have never appealed to me, yet this movie just got better and better. Soon after, the next target—Number Four, also known as John Smith (Alex Pettyfer)— is introduced along with his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant). As a safety precaution, they move from Miami to the comicallynamed town of Paradise, Ohio. As is almost standard with movies aimed at teenagers, Number Four begins displaying an excess of teen angst. In Paradise, John meets photographer Sarah Hart (Dianna Agron, bonus points for being Jewish); their interest in each other becomes all too apparent. While some of the generic elements of the movie annoyed me, the special effects helped redeem the movie to my surprise. One of the best examples came near the end (minor spoiler alert!,) of the movie when John’s pet dog transforms into an awesome fighting “Chimera” which helps defend him against the Mogs.
photo from internet source
‘number four’: Alex Prettyfer stars as Number Four, an extraterrestrial trying to outrun another alien race bent on killing him. Along the way, he falls in love with Sarah Hart (Diana Agron of “Glee” fame).
Another positive part of the movie was the acting. Pettyfer, Olyphant and Agron all proved better than I expected. I’d never seen Pettyfer in a movie before, so I merely underestimated him. Olyphant has many movies to his credit and surprised me through the variety of emotion he conveyed in one single movie. I’m used to seeing him play comparatively simple characters. Agron may have been the biggest surprise of the three. I’d previously seen her as a cheerleader in the second season
of “Heroes,” and I have heard she also plays a cheerleader on “Glee.” It might have simply been the fact that she wasn’t playing a cheerleader that surprised me, but it just goes to show that typecasting can be a bad thing. Another part the romantic sap in me liked an interesting anecdote about the Loriens and love. Around the middle of the movie, Henri (Olyphant) informs John that Loriens do not feel love “the same way as humans do.” It turns out that Loriens take the concept of soul
mates to a whole new level where they literally only feel love (the romantic kind) for one person. Ever. “I Am Number Four” was one of those movies where you walk out of the theater wishing you were the main character. It’s also a movie that everyone can enjoy. It appears that the director cared more about making it appeal to a broad audience than about making it a guy-oriented sci-fi action flick. I think he succeeded in doing just that.
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The Brandeis Hoot
March 4, 2011
Vermeule explores the new unconscious Literary critic proposes moving beyond Freudian psychology
By Sean Fabery Editor
It’s not uncommon to discuss the psychology of fictional characters in literature classes, but most psychological interpretations of literature remain distinctly Freudian, despite the fact that many of his theories have fallen out of favor in other disciplines. Literary theorist Blakey Vermeule is trying to change that. Vermeule, a professor at Stanford University, discussed new approaches to understanding the unconscious—both in literature and in reality—in a presentation, titled “Confabulations: How the Unconscious Shapes Our Stories,” at the Mandel Center for the Humanities on March 2. When we sit down and ponder our lives, we tend to envision them in the form of stories. For each action we commit, we generally believe there’s a clear, coherent reason and that we are aware of it. According to Vermeule, however, there’s one big problem with this. “The stories we tell about ourselves don’t match up with the actual state of affairs,” Vermeule said, contending that it’s hard to give a “whole or semi-adequate account of ourselves.” Most of us can spot these discrepancies in accounts given to us by others, but, on the whole, it proves difficult for people to notice these problems in their own thoughts. Vermeule used the example of a therapist who can spot every problem in the lives of his patients but is fundamentally unable to gain insight into his own troubles. Vermeule compared this state of affairs to “confabulation”—a term used in psychology to describe reports of events that never occurred. In terms of the conscious and the unconscious, she contends that such
photo by lien phung/the hoot
confabulations: Blakey Vermeule, a professor at Stanford University, discussed new ways of interpreting the unconscious that go beyond
the confines of Freudian psychology, which remains a favored way of interpreting characters in English departments across the country.
confabulation is natural for humans. “The fact that we confabulate two dimensions into three levels leaves us prone to [a host of] visual delusions,” she said. Vermeule contended that such an
understanding should be incorporated into the way we understand narrative, as she noticed that other fields like neuroscience, cognitive science and even behavioral finance have taken a more active role in examining new understandings of the
unconscious. Instead, English departments across the country still continue to look at Freudian psychoanalysis most frequently, even though this is something that scientists no longer take seriously.
Vermeule chalked this up to our shared propensity for viewing life in the form of a narrative arc, not unlike the kind we find in literature. She used a clip from the television series “The Sopranos” to help illustrate her point; in one scene, a character reflects by noting that “every character has an arc … where’s my arc?” In trying to fit our lives into an arc, we rely too heavily on the idea of a conscious will, which Vermeule termed a “cognitive illusion” when really no one knows exactly why they undertake certain actions. “I’d like to think of the conscious as a fine film on a roiling sea of processes,” she said. Vermeule is hardly alone in her views of the conscious, however. She presented clips from the documentary “Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait” to show how others—in this case filmmakers Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno—have tried to reveal the idea of the arc as a delusion. The documentary centers squarely on French soccer player Zinedine Zidane during one specific 2005 game. The camera stays squarely on him the entire time; the actual events of the game are unimportant and, in fact, indecipherable from the film alone. In making this film, Gordon and Parreno ignored the carefully constructed narrative of a soccer game to focus on the way people act unconsciously—not as part of some grand arc. “The filmmakers work hard to tease apart the illusion of story,” Vermeule observed. “You never know what Zidane is going to do [in the film]… it’s like you’re in the part of one of the opposing players.” Vermeule plans to incorporate the ideas she presented into a book she is currently writing on the unconscious and its literary importance.
McMillan dives into radical underground presses By Kayla Dos Santos Editor
As part of his tumultuous first book tour, which included a foodpoisoning incident, a small theft and a plane catching fire, McMillian spoke to Brandeis students about his book titled “Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America.” The book is an analysis of the ‘60s counterculture movement and the amateur magazines and newspapers that both propelled it and gave the movement a cacophony of voices. “Smoking Typewriters” is also about the many, as McMillian described them, “zany, over-sized characters” that wrote for and edited the newspapers. Despite McMillian’s misadventures prior to arriving at Brandeis, his breezy and relaxed talking style mimicked the pasted-on, groovy style of the ‘60s alternative newspapers. Instead of reading from his book, he spoke generally about the origins of the underground papers and their impact. Between 1965 and 1966, six newspapers served as the alternative press and formed the Underground Press Syndicate. A few years after-
wards, there was an explosion of similar newspapers. Roughly 400 to 500 publications were printed and attracted over a million readers. He explained how the newspapers varied both in tone and purpose, which was due, in part, to the locations in which they were based. While Californian “The Berkley Tribe” stressed the politics of confrontation with police, “The Great Speckled Bird,” based in Atlanta, Georgia, was preoccupied with drug culture. He chose to focus his book on alternative newspapers as a way to correct the distortion of past historians’ analyses of the time period, which he thought looked too much through the “prism of the Students for a Democratic Society.” While admitting that SDS had a large impact as a group, he stated that analyzing the history through their records would be a top-down, elitist perspective. In contrast, newspapers were written primarily by amateurs, were widely available and were very critical of American culture. Many of the newspapers developed the tropes of the ‘60s. After the Rolling Stone Concert at Altamount, which ended in the murder of one of the concert attendees, it was “The Berkley Tribe” rather than a mainstream
newspaper that called the event a “disaster for counter-culture” and marked the end of the optimism of the sixties. Throughout his talk he also stressed the harassment the newspapers faced from the government despite freedom of speech. At one point, the FBI even published two counterfeit underground newspapers that tried to spread more moderate views. Although McMillian expressed great admiration for the underground newspapers, he did mention how they were problematic. The newspapers did, at times, print salacious and crass material, and, as an institution, the underground press was also flawed for being sexist and homophobic. During the question and answer session that followed, he discussed what today’s bloggers can learn from the underground newspapers. “[Newspapers] fetishized the democratic process,” he said. The underground refused to have an editorial hierarchical structure, resulting in “editors refusing to edit” and a varied range of quality of content. He implied that bloggers shouldn’t make the same mistake. Currently, McMillian is working on a book about the rivalry between the Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
photo by alex patch/the hoot
pariah papers John McMillian discussed the proliferation of radical alternative presses in
America in the 1960s on Thursday.
March 4, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
By Kayla Dos Santos, Editor
Previously,in Part I: After running into loner Veronica Dent, high school athlete Tim discovered that his novelist mother may be cheating on his father … “Hey Mark, is Veronica Dent having sex with Coach Saunders?” Tim asked after the second lap around the track. It was the day after he found out that his mother was cheating on his father. He had thrown himself into his classes, taking neat, comprehensive notes, raising his hand for almost every question. He needed an outlet for the steadily increasing wave of panic that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up and his hands sweat. Running usually helped stem similar anxious tides, but now the ugly secret interfered with his rhythm. “Cassie saw Veronica in Coach Saunders’s pick-up truck last Friday,” Mark grunted, struggling to keep up. Track was not his sport, he had only joined the team because running didn’t involve any kind of catching or throwing of balls, for some reason Mark got conked in the head a lot. He joked that his head was a ball-magnet, but Tim thought it was because Mark was nearsighted and refused to wear his glasses because they were too dorky or to wear contacts as they freaked him out. “That’s all?” Tim asked, watching Coach by the orange cooler, sipping lemonade from a paper cone. “They’re always in his office, too. I walked in on them when I was going to ask Coach to sign my hall-pass.” Mark smiled, his blue eyes glinting, “Do you like her or something?” Tim pictured Veronica standing by the reservoir, pale skin pink with anger, green eyes blood-shot, hands fisted. “No, I was just curious about the rumors.” Coach blew his whistle and a ragged line of boys wearing red and white jerseys ran to his side. After Veronica told him the news, Tim had not been able to avoid his mother entirely. He had found a variety of excuses to be out of the house. He went back to the reservoir and he ran, but he couldn’t find his mental rhythm, he kept on starting and stopping. Since he wasn’t paying attention to where he was running, he almost tripped over a goose, which raised its wings and hissed at him. He gave that up and tried to think of other ways to keep himself busy. They needed milk (they had plenty). He needed new track shorts (the old ones were fine). He wanted to try Mark’s recently purchased zombie-hunter video game (he disliked playing video games on nice days). This pretended frenzy of activity, far from distracting him, only made him twitchy. A minute past his curfew, he
graphic by ariel wittenberg/the hoot
pulled into the driveway. In the dark, the house, a jumble of additions that amounted to what looked like a highspeed collision of shapes, seemed unfamiliar. Maybe time had shifted without him knowing. Maybe a different family lived there: one with happy, functional and boring lives. There was a light on in the kitchen. It should have warned him away, but instead Tim was drawn to it. He quietly unlocked the front door, slipped into the house and stepped into the kitchen. His mom was eating a slice of New York-style cheesecake. “Don’t you think you’re pushing it a bit?” she said between tiny bites. “I was in the middle of a good video game. How’s the cake?” he said to the cabinet, which he had opened in order to hide his confusion at seeing his exercise-fanatic mother indulge in a whopping serving of calories and fat. She must be miserable. He knew that his mother’s favorite tool of procrastination was gorging herself visually on food blogs, but he had never seen her sample any of his father’s creations before. He felt like he had caught his mother with the Duke. “Not your father’s best effort. It’s delicious, but not mind-blowing.” She sighed and pushed the half-eaten dessert away. “The Duke hasn’t been cooperative lately. He just sits regally on his steed and refuses to do anything. I think I’m going to miss a deadline.” “Can I read what you’ve written so far? Maybe I can help.” His mom’s lips curved into a smile. “You’ve never seemed interested in my writing before. Is everything
OK?” Tim turned around. His mom was pretty in the conventional way, she had blonde hair she pulled back into a pony-tail and clear green eyes. His favorite thing about her was her toobig nose. When he was little and had nightmares she used to read “The Three Little Pigs” to him, acting out the scenes. He would forget why he had been so afraid and laugh at how she scrunched up her nose and lowered her voice theatrically when she said the wolf ’s parts. Are you happy? Tim thought. But gazing at his beautiful mother he knew he couldn’t ask her. What if her answer was no? What would he do then? “There’s this girl at school. I don’t understand her.” “Is she pretty?” His mom leaned forward in her chair. This was the first time they had talked alone in a while. “No, just confusing.” “Fascinating. Well, people aren’t easy to understand, unless you spend more time with them.” Tim nodded feeling sick from the words, the questions he was holding back. Are you in love with dad or are you in love with the Duke? “Your mother is crazy,” Tim’s dad whispered. He nudged the sausages around on the grill. Over his shoulder, Tim’s mom was setting up the tents with a series of efficient actions that was somehow terrifying to watch. She unsnapped poles, stabbed them into the ground and each violent gesture was punctuated by a small explosion of breath. Tim shrugged, smacking a bug that had perched on his nose. “What do you expect?” Tim said.
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They had forgotten to pack the coffee. Tim was damp with sweat and bug-bit. He was in a foul mood. He hated Bumpkin Island with its stupid name and its bent trees that offered no shade and squashed bushes that pricked his ankles. He hated Veronica Dent. She was the reason Tim had suggested to his parents that they go on a family camping trip to the Boston Harbor Islands. His plan had been to observe them closely and judge for himself if they were happy. But little things that had gone wrong during the trip were distracting him, from the forgotten coffee to the realization that they were on an island with no shade in the middle of a heat wave. How could he judge the happiness of others when he was feeling so miserable? “Keep an eye on them,” his dad said, handing Tim the poker. Tim grunted, he was seated hunched over the sausages with his shoulders up and his eyebrows furrowed. His mom had called this pose “Tim’s turtle mood.” Sometimes when Tim was brooding, he would contort himself into as small of a shape as his long limbs would allow. “You’re doing it wrong!” his mom shouted. Tim’s dad let the fabric of the tent he was holding drop from his fingers and laughed. He bowed in a mock gallant pose and Tim could see his bald spot red and glinting in the sunlight. His mom stomped off like a moody teenager. Tim poked a sausage.
“You’re acting like a child.” “I’m done with this conversation.” Tim burrowed into his sleeping bag. When was the last time his parents acted like they loved each other? All Tim could come up with was a dim childhood memory of his parents making pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning and throwing batter at one another. Most of the time they weren’t even in the same room. His mom usually nestled in her office while his dad spent longer and longer hours at the bakery. He sat up and shoved the sleeping bag off. The air was stale and hard to breathe, he fumbled with the tent flap and crawled outside. Passing his parents’ tent he heard, “He’s taking over my life.” He froze. His mom’s voice was soft, like how she used to read him a bedtime story, but the tone was completely different. “All you have to do is choose us. Choose your family,” his father said. There was a moment of silence and Tim couldn’t bear it any more. He ran to the pier, which was a short distance from the campsite, and collapsed in a crouch at the edge. Well, they weren’t happy. Tim knew this for a fact now. The knowledge made a crater in Tim’s understanding of the world. He looked across the dark water of the Boston Harbor and scowled at the bright lights of the city in the distance. It was time to plot with Veronica Dent.
In the middle of the night, Tim woke up to loud whispering from his parents’ tent.
Read the third installment of “The Duke” in the next issue of The Hoot!
14 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
March 4, 2011
Krause examines French demonology DEMONOLOGY, from page 10
one’s vision. The courts believed that the devil could cause visions in women, making them believe that they had the ability to fly. Krause said that “the eyes of these women are blinded” became a mantra during the Renaissance. Additionally, Krause said, “Knowledge about some things, such as the sacred, could be gained by the senses such as hearing and touch, not vision.” Moses was the only prophet to see God; all the others merely heard Him. Bodin, who believed that he was a prophet of God, had personal “proof ” that the miraculous manifested itself in sound, not sight. He tells his story, paraphrased by Krause, that “during his 37th year, he became aware of a spirit and he had prophetic dreams. He heard something knocking on his door at 2 or 3 a.m., a time of darkness, but he could see nothing. He began to
fear that it was some evil spirit.” Bodin eventually became convinced that the spirit was not evil, but was in fact a sign that Bodin himself was a divine prophet. He claimed that this spirit communicated with him via touch rather than sound or sight. Bodin wrote, “Since then the spirit always accompanied me, giving a perceptive sign by touching me first on the right ear and then on the left ear.” Krause pointed out that it was significant that, although the spirit was not communicating by sound, it was touching Bodin’s ears. Although Krause spent the majority of her lecture discussing the importance of speech and hearing during witchcraft trials, her respondent, Professor Govind Sreenivasan (HIST), focused on putting the prosecution of witches into a context that would be easier for modern people to understand. “It can be related to questions of terrorism—there’s a tendency for the gloves to come off,” said Sreenivasan.
Arts Recommends |
“The rules have to be different for witchcraft because it is a very different kind of crime.” Sreenivasan was adamant the audience not think of the rigor with which the courts prosecuted witches as normal for all prosecutions in that day. Only 50 thousand witches were burned in Europe in a 300-year span but even more people were executed for property crimes in a 100-year span. Torture was not used in most criminal cases but, like with terrorism today, witchcraft was something that terrified people and caused them to behave drastically. Professor Michael Randall (FREN), chair of the Romance Studies Department, said while introducing Krause, “In the field of Renaissance Studies, often academic value is weighed in how many footnotes and dead languages you can put on one page. It can get pretty dry.” Luckily for the audience, Krause and Sreenivasan were anything but dry.
photo by nafiz ‘fizz ’ r. ahmed/the hoot
‘she confessed and was burned’ Stanford University Professor Virginia Krause discussed the intricacies of the law in Renaissance France as applied to potential witches.
Not everyone has the time to see the latest films or read the newest bestseller. We make some recommendations that you can pick up at the nearest library.
Film ‘A Single Man’ This aesthetically stimulating film by director and fashion designer Tom Ford focuses on George (Colin Firth), a gay professor in 1960s coping with the recent death of his longtime partner, Jim (Matthew Goode). But then you begin to see the way the aesthetics of the thing play into George’s view of things, with him becoming hyper aware of the beauty around him— and, by extension, the pain—and its connection to his lost relationship. Firth is something of a revelation here and even better than his turn in “The King’s Speech,” for which he recently won an Oscar. The supporting
cast, especially Julianne Moore as George’s boozy friend Charly, is also superb. Moore manages to completely flesh out her character and her back story with George despite the fact that she has two real scenes in the film. The chemistry between them is fantastic, but nothing comes close to matching the easy chemistry between Firth and Goode in the film’s many flashbacks. It’s a great film, universal in its beauty and its grief, and I certainly anticipate the next film by Tom Ford. —SF
Film ‘Drag Me to Hell’
For my money, few films come as close to being this entertaining, which marked director Sam Raimi’s return to horror-comedy. It wholeheartedly embraced all the conventions of horror, gleefully indulging in one over-the-top, schlocky scare after another. It also proved surprisingly timely considering the recession, as its plot followed a young bank employee (Alison Lohman), who, seeking a pro-
motion, denies a loan to an old gypsy woman (Lorna Raver) trying to keep her home. This woman, of course, proceeds to curse her. Horror ensues. Sam Raimi’s direction is great, and, though Alison Lohman’s performance is merely good, she does create a likable character with some definite flaws, not to mention some major problems.—SF
Forum examines future of arts at Brandeis FORUM, from page 10
While he’s sung less frequently since becoming a father, he has been called upon to perform occasionally. While dean at George Washington University Law School, Lawrence once performed in the annual student comedy show. Specifically, he sang “Give ‘em the Old Socrazzle Dazzle,” a parody of a song from the musical “Chicago” which focused on the Socratic method. Lawrence also listed his favorite works of art. His favorite musical, for instance, is Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” while he also expressed admiration for composers like Igor Stravinsky, Robert Schumann, and Johann Sebastian Bach. As an avowed fan of classic cinema, he also singled out the films “Casablanca,” “On the Waterfront” and “The 39 Steps” as favorites. He also fondly recollected his own liberal arts education. “I had two semesters of art history that I’ve probably drawn on just as much as anything else,” Lawrence said, which must have been music to the ears of the department representatives who spoke earlier in the forum. “It’s our job to keep this place alive… to reach our students, new students and students in the future,” Dibble said earlier that afternoon.
March 4, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot 15
What should we study?
By Gordy Stillman Editor
This last winter break (December, not February) before heading back home to the snow-filled wonderland that is Minne*snow*ta, I made a small stop in New Jersey. As I sat around looking for ways to occupy myself, I discovered that my family had acquired many of the old Disney classics on Blu-ray; I found something to watch. As I sat back, watching Dopey be Dopey (Snow White) and once again reconnected with the Beast (Beauty and the Beast) I realized something: this should be part of a college education. Some may say Disney movies are garbage, and as far as newer Disney movies are concerned, I might agree. That being said, I’m tempted to say that America has failed you as a person if you have not seen these classics at least by the end of college. A part of a university education’s purpose is to achieve a broad knowledge base. We have a core curriculum specifically to ensure this. Rather than allow arts students to only study art, they are required to take a science class and a humanities and vice versa. One part of the core curriculum that appears to be missing is American culture. What is one of the biggest factors in a student’s decision to study abroad? Ask many students, and they will likely say that to experience the country’s culture ranks high on the benefits. I suspect that
e x p e r i e nc ing American culture is a factor in why so many international students come to study in American schools (like Brandeis!). While many of us grow up with a degree of exposure to American culture, it doesn’t appear to be a standard part of the college education to grasp the history and vastness of this culture. Additionally, Fantasia, arguably Disney’s magnum opus would serve as a centerpiece blending music, film and stories into one experience. While watching a few Disney movies made me realize one part of what education is missing, I’d hardly say that Disney movies alone should comprise an American culture curriculum. Movies such as Star Wars (the ORIGINAL trilogy) and The Wizard of Oz could be added as part of a film unit. You may also notice that many of the movies mentioned are built upon European fairy tales and European compositions. This too would
be a great thing to look at as America was largely built upon other cultures. Why stop at movies? This could continue with music and literature. Music classes, for example, could spend a few weeks going over and learning to appreciate some of the top music of recent decades. Literature classes, which might constitute the largest portion of a core class, should read To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m sure there’s a lot of classic content that I’m missing (I certainly couldn’t list everything I know of that should contribute to this content). Additionally, there is likely to
be a huge wealth of culturally significant music, literature and movies that I h a v e never seen. The importance of a class like this would be that all students who go through it would be able to walk away and at the very least be confident that they have experienced a decent degree of American culture. The administration should seriously consider the addition of a required class in American culture. It would not only add an interesting course to the core curriculum, but would also improve over all enjoyment. graphic by steven wong/the hoot
The Chosen Rosen
By Ricky Rosen
Like every article I write, the process is a long one. I usually sit down, flip open my laptop and open a Microsoft Word document. I stare at the blank document for about a minute, waiting for ideas to come to me. When they don’t, I casually log onto my Facebook as I browse through the pictures and skim through the statuses on my home page, occasionally clicking on ones that interest me. I then explore the links that are posted and watch the hilarious YouTube videos that parody everyone and everything. And before you can say: “Charlie Bit My Finger,” two hours have gone by and my stomach is growling. I scurry over to Usdan and eat with my friends. My friend asks me what my plans are for the night and, as I open my mouth to respond that I have nothing to do, my brain reminds me that I have a column to write. I hurry back to a disapproving laptop and force myself to start typing (eventually). As you can see, you’re not the only one that struggles with procrastination. In fact, I find it hard to believe that there is anyone out there who doesn’t. As human beings, we’re naturally prone to distraction. We can’t just ignore everything that is going on around us, no matter how loudly our music is blaring. Additionally, as college students, we need to balance our classes, clubs, organizations and social lives. And so, to sit down and write a paper when you’re completely overwhelmed is no easy task. Part of the problem is that we don’t schedule ourselves enough time to relax. Many Type A Brandeisians (like myself) plan out their entire
schedules for the day—where they’re going, who they’re meeting, what work they’re doing—and don’t leave themselves any time to go to the bathroom or laugh. And so our overworked brains react through procrastination. Procrastination is our mind’s cry for diversion. We get tired of the same dense textbook readings and the same monotonous essays. Taking a breather to play basketball with friends or to watch a comical video is necessary to keep us sane. Waking up every day to do work is hardly a healthy or happy life. And so, in many cases, procrastination is preferable to doing work. But the problem is, many of us procrastinate so much we don’t know how to do work anymore. Most of the things we procrastinate are work-related. After all, how many of us actually want to do the work we are assigned? And, as a result, we put it off. We push off reading assignments until we forget about them. We push off papers until the night before they are due (or the morning before). We justify this by saying we work well under pressure—and some of us do—but, the truth is, we cannot escape the web of procrastination that we are tangled in. At the root of this is repulsion; we won’t procrastinate eating chocolates or watching a movie, but we’ll procrastinate reading a memoir for a class or writing a lens essay. Procrastination also comes from a desire to be perfect. The reason it always takes excellent writers so long to start writing is because they expect so much of themselves; they expect themselves to write Pulitzer Prizewinning novels every time out and the result is a lot of pressure and a lack of success. Senior year of high school was the
worst for me—“Senioritis” took hold, and I was never really cured. Prior to senior year, I had never missed a homework assignment in my life—I had a rock-solid work ethic. But after getting into college, I—like every high school senior that ever existed—stopped trying and stopped caring. I preferred to go to sleep early and not do any work (which for me is unprecedented), rather than waste time on a calculus problem that would have no weight on my future. But it turns out it did, because the lethargic attitude that I had my senior year in high school affects me today. Currently, I employ many different strategies to procrastinate. One of them is the Half-Hourly Procrastination Technique. It involves looking at the clock, and telling yourself that you will start your work at the nearest half-hour. If it’s 9:46, you give yourself until 10. If it’s 9:13, you give yourself until 9:30. But the problem with this is that you end up repeating it every hour and never actually get anything done. That is just one of many strategies that we use to procrastinate. Luckily, there are some visible symptoms of procrastination, so you can know if you procrastinate regularly (you do). If you have any of the following symptoms, don’t be alarmed, consider yourself normal: Symptoms of procrastination: 1. Sitting on the bench in the bathroom counting the ceiling tiles 2. Playing hide and go seek with friends in your hall 3. Text-messaging everyone you’ve ever met in your life 4. Spending any amount of time on Facebook
5. Closing your eyes and day-dreaming 6. Running up and down the Rabb steps as fast as you can 7. Finding a random person and making it your mission to get to know everything about them 8. Calling home and asking to talk to your pets 9. Having snow (or ice) ball fights with your friends 10. Sitting down on the floor and trying to get up without using your arms (it’s physically impossible) 11. Going to the library with anyone (you can talk to the other person to procrastinate) … 12. … Talking to yourself 13. Compulsively checking your email every five minutes and refreshing the page if nothing comes up 14. Pondering life’s unanswerable questions 15. Playing with your food 16. Thinking about what every person in your life is doing at that exact moment 17. Making raspberry sounds with your tongue 18. Doing your friend’s homework (oddly we’re willing to do other people’s work but not our own …) 19. Watching “Family Guy” clips on
graphic by leah lefkowitz/the hoot
Hulu 20. Making nicknames for celebrity couples 21. Causing a massive food fight (but since it’s Brandeis, nobody will join in) 22. Organizing your desk or cleaning your room 23. Playing Pacman … or Tetris … or Snake … any game online, really 24. Changing your desktop background 25. Going through your roommate’s things 26. Listening to Foamy the Squirrel’s rants (if you haven’t heard of him, look him up!) 27. Doodling in your notebook 28. Planning your schedule for next semester See Procrastination, page 17
The Brandeis Hoot
March 4, 2011
Israel: The oasis many overlook
By Pinky Polack
Special to the Hoot
Many people do not realize how much Israel contributes to the world and our everyday lives. Since the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, a conflict that has rocked the Middle East since modern Israel’s inception, there has been growing ignorance as to how Israel plays a direct role in the world’s routines. With Israel Peace Week taking control, I would like to respond with the very daunting task of conveying that very inner beauty of Israel to many–but it shouldn’t be that hard. Why? Although she is a baby (the State is merely 61 years old, relatively young in statehood) Israel does so much. Take social justice for example, a cornerstone cherished by the Brandeis community. Israel is currently the only democracy in the Middle East, a right that many people from neighboring countries are right now, as I am typing, fighting aggressively to procure. This right is usurped from millions of people belonging to fundamentalist-Islamist regimes, such as the tyrannical regime in Libya, where hundreds of citizens are dying for this highly desired mode of government. And when you bring up human rights, there is just no comparison. Israel is the bastion of human rights in the Middle East, providing gender equality since its birth in 1948. In fact, its Prime Minister Golda Meir was the third female prime minister in the world. Gay rights and anti-discrimination laws are also a top priority in Israel; the Jewish state is the first and only country in the Middle East to protect against discrimination against homosexuals. Contrary to popular belief, Is-
raeli-Arabs are given equal opportunities provided by Israeli society. Currently, 12 of the 120 members of the Israeli parliamentary system are Arab. There is a Christian Arab sitting on Israel’s Supreme Court. There are even high-ranking Arab officers in the Israeli army, including Major Generals. So don’t even think of telling me that Arabs are “ethnically cleansed” or “purged” from Israeli life. Furthermore, Israel is a leader when it comes to science and technology. According to the Council of Higher Education (a non-profit, independent organization), Israel ranks fourth in scientific development. In fact, Israel reigns supreme when it comes to research and development (R&D) in its relationship to its GDP. Your Intel Core Duo chip was first produced in Israel; many drugs and pharmaceuticals originate from the state (and it’s no wonder, because Israel contains the largest pharmaceutical company, Tevah); that flash drive in your hand-that was invented in Israel. The Jewish State has made its contribution to the world of science. Now don’t get me wrong–Israel makes mistakes. Sometimes big mistakes. My point is definitely not to stop the legitimate criticism that Israel receives. When it’s deserved, it’s OK. But when invalid condemnation and incessant demonization becomes a daily part of dialogue regarding the Jewish state–that’s when we cross the line. I’m here to say that there are many things that we can celebrate about Israel, and a multiplicity of contributions that Israel has bestowed upon the world. So let’s take a minute to celebrate the good things that Israel has produced. .
graphic by internet source/the hoot
A strategic switch of roles
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
By Rick Alterbaum Columnist
During the past few weeks, an interesting paradox in American politics has emerged: Republicans, on the state and federal level, are acting as radical reformers while Democrats are the defenders of the status quo. Traditionally, conservatives have a healthy, Burkean respect for institu-
tions and are highly skeptical of radical changes that can disturb, subvert or replace the preexisting order. If reform is necessary because the current situation has become corrupt and intolerable, it should come in a gradual and incremental fashion, as opposed to any drastic and sudden transformation. And yet Republicans in America, who presumably embrace these and other virtues of traditional conser-
vatism, are seeking to alter the status quo fundamentally on both the federal and state level. Conversely, Democrats, who often are in favor of centralized, rationalized and farreaching changes as embodied, for instance, by the recent health care reform bill, find themselves as the de facto defenders of the present state of affairs in America. This dynamic is emblemized by
the scene in Wisconsin, which faces an unprecedented budget crisis. Instead of making tepid modifications to ameliorate Wisconsin’s current fiscal condition, newly-elected Republican Governor, Scott Walker, has used the occasion to transform completely the behavior of public sector unions, the nature of collective bargaining and the pensions and benefits system. At the same time, unions and their Democratic representatives, who are usually in favor of progressive reforms, bear an extremely reluctant attitude toward this change. Similar situations have already or will play out in states like New Jersey, Florida,and Michigan. On the national level as well, Republicans, particularly those who are associated with the Tea Party, are emboldened to bring about radical restructuring to the nature of administrative institutions. When President Obama recently presented a budget that would make minor cuts to federal programs, barely reduce the deficit,and would hardly touch gargantuan entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the Republican caucus was furious. The GOP is far more intent, it seems, on seriously downsizing the role, impact and size of the federal government than the Democrats, as proven by their recently passing a bill that will cut over $60 billion from the budget. The question that faces American political leaders today is whether or
not such huge changes are necessary. Do drastic circumstances call for such drastic measures or should a more cautious and traditionally conservative approach take precedent? In answering this, one must also consider the nature of institutions such as government and whether or not something is fundamentally wrong with the current state of our social contract. Some individuals, such as Scott Walker, respond to this inquiry in the affirmative, and believe that when government, and the benefits and entitlements it provides, becomes overly excessive in size and scope, it can become a corrupting force that diminishes individual freedoms, liberty and responsibility. Others, like Barack Obama and the public sector unions, hold the opposite view, deeming government as a very positive force in the utilitarian sense that is part of the solution as opposed to being a major problem. Cuts to it, therefore, only ought be a measure of last resort. The Great Recession and the symptoms associated with it, such as unemployment, deficits, and debt, demands action from responsible policymakers. However, as opposed to a unified pragmatic vision, these calls have been met with two conflicting philosophies concerning the necessity of structural political, social and economic reform. Only time and the changes it brings will tell which one will prevail.
March 4, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Book of Matthew
Total recall: Breaking the Wisconsin deadlock By Bret Matthew Editor
The situation in Wisconsin has reached a stalemate, but it may not stay that way for much longer. Opponents of Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal have done all they can to prevent the bill— which includes steep spending and the elimination of collective bargaining rights for most public employee unions—from passing the Republican-controlled state legislature. Protesters, ranging from average Wisconsin citizens to high-profile politicians, have spent more than two weeks perpetually picketing the state capitol in Madison. Meanwhile, the ship of state remains adrift thanks to the 14 Senate Democrats who fled Wisconsin for Illinois, denying the state senate the quorum it needs to pass the budget and putting themselves out of reach of Wisconsin State Police. But rather than convince Walker of the need for a major compromise, these actions seem to have only hardened his heart. Walker still insists on passing the budget as written, and he recently threatened to send layoff notices to 1,500 state employees if this does not happen today. His allies are being just as stubborn: Republican senators are punishing their renegade Democratic colleagues by fining them $100 for every day they do not show up to vote. As this has so far made little impression upon the Democrats, there has been talk of Republicans taking control of absent Democrats’ staffs—leading many staffers to worry about their potential new supervisors firing them in the name of fiscal responsibility.
Faced with these grim realities, supporters of Wisconsin state employees have only one option left that does not involve caving to Walker’s demands: recall elections, for which papers were officially filed Wednesday. Though Governor Walker himself cannot yet be challenged (Wisconsin election laws stipulate that all elected officials must serve a year in office before being recalled) eight Republican senators are eligible. Democrats would only need to defeat three of those Republicans to regain control of the senate. Could it work? The numbers are surprisingly favorable. Out of the eligible Republicans, six come from districts that President Obama carried by at least 50 percent in 2008. Three won their last elections by only a few percentage points—most notably Senator Randy Hopper of the 18th district, who was elected in 2008 by a margin of 187 votes. The actual process of holding recall elections, however, may prove more difficult than winning them. Supporters of each recall must collect—within 60 days—signatures equal to at least 25 percent of the votes cast in that particular district for the last gubernatorial election. This means that for each of the eight eligible Republican senators, anywhere from 15,000 to 21,000 signatures are required. Once those enormous petitions are submitted, a certification process of up to six weeks will commence to ensure that the petition meets all legal requirements. After that, the election period begins, which is another six weeks (or 10, if a primary is held). That’s an awful long time for the Democratic senators to remain AWOL, and it won’t be easy for
29. Exploring every level of the library 30. Making a drum beat with your hands 31. Sporcle—need I say more? 32. Holding your breath for as long as possible, just for fun 33. Looking through all the clothes in your drawers and ordering them in order from worn most often to least often 34. Asking other people for ways to procrastinate 35. Google-searching everything that comes through your mind 36. Bouncing a ball against a wall 37. Solving a Rubix cube 38. Knocking on the doors of everyone in your hall to say “hi” 39. If in the library, picking a book at random and reading it cover-to-cover 40. Start an argument about why the Earth is flat (If you’d like, you can try to do everything on this list for fun. Or procrastinate doing these things until later …) Unfortunately there is no doctor for procrastination. And there’s no immediate cure. But there are things you can do to cope. You can try changing your work habits; attempt to do your work in a distraction-free environment (not your room). You can take half-hour breaks every two hours to give yourself a breather. You can study with lots of snacks. But when it comes down to it, you just need to do get the work done. And it’s better to it sooner rather than later. After all, why put off until tomorrow what you can do … in an hour …
supporters to sustain their political momentum. But if they can muster the same enthusiasm during the next few months as they have in the past few weeks, several Republicans are going to be sorry that they ever tried to curb the power of unions. American history is full of tales of angry groups of citizens sending
their leaders home early: from the replacement of California Governor Gray Davis with Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 to the recall provisions found in the laws of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t believe recall elections are to be taken
lightly. They should only be reserved for when elected officials violate not only the will of the people but also the public’s faith in their ability to lead. But with polls showing increasing support for unions and the right of collective bargaining, and lessening support for Walker and his budget, now is one of those times.
DOMA: To defend, or not to defend? By Alan Tran Editor
Procrastination, from page 15
graphic by internet source/the hoot
Three years ago, when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama declared that he would work towards the repeal of the1996 Defense of Marriage Act if elected, members of the LGBT community across the country, including myself, were hopeful. When this candidate actually became president, and his Department of Justice filed a brief defending DOMA in June of 2009, we were outraged and disappointed. And now, upon hearing that just last week, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced that he and the president had reviewed DOMA (likely in anticipation of two cases found DOMA to be unconstitutional and that the president has ordered the DOJ to stop defending it in court cases, the LGBT community feels… what? Whether read on-line or overheard in passing conversation, the general reaction among the LGBT community has been something like, “Cool! That’s a good thing! Right?” Or else it’s been, “Well gee, maybe he cares after all.” Yes, it’s true that this is not the complete reversal of DOMA that we were hoping for, and it’s unclear what the effect of Obama’s decision will ultimately be – but doesn’t this public change of policy, re-defining the Obama administration’s official legal stance to support marriage equality while also opening Obama to attack from the many opponents of gay marriage, deserve a little more than that? Opponents of gay marriage have certainly been more vocal about their views. In fact, conservative opposi-
tion towards gay marriage has nearly drowned out all reasonable criticism on the issue of whether the president, and the DOJ of the executive branch, has the right to decide that a law is unconstitutional and indefensible, with hysterical, petty, and factually incorrect claims. Gay rights advocates have known for some time now that this is not only a legal policy decision on the part of the president, but also a justifiable action in the case of DOMA. So let’s take a moment and clear up that web of misconstrued accusations regarding unconstitutionality and impeachable offenses. The executive branch of government is tasked with enforcing laws as well as defending them in court through the DOJ. US attorneys argue cases where the United States is a defendant, until it reaches the Supreme Court level, where the solicitor general takes over. He or she determines the position the government will take in defending a law, preparing briefs and arguing the case orally; and in some cases, may determine that the law in question his unconstitutional and indefensible, after which any member of Congress is invited to prepare a defense for the law. This is the process usually taken when DOJ chooses not to defend a law. As stated in Attorney General Holder’s confirmation hearings, the DOJ has a duty to defend the laws of the United States, “unless there is some very compelling reason not to,” which is sometimes the case. For example, in 1992 under the first Bush administration, the solicitor general at the time chose not to defend a US law in Hornell Brewing Co. v. Brady, a law which barred ap-
proval of any beer label using the words “Crazy Horse,” arguing that it wouldn’t pass First Amendment scrutiny. In 2004, under the second Bush administration, the solicitor general at the time chose not to defend a law barring the display of ads promoting medicinal marijuana on mass-transit vehicles belong to agencies that received federal funding, as the law was obviously based not on legal grounds but on personal viewpoint. During the Reagan administration, the DOJ chose not to defend a federal law in at least three cases, while in the Clinton administration, the DOJ took the stance of enforcing but not defending a law requiring the military to discharge personnel infected with H.I.V. As early as 1946, a solicitor chose not to defend a federal law in United States v. Lovett, and since 2004, the DOJ has chosen not to defend a federal law in court at least 13 times. In the current case we have before us, it was not the solicitor general who chose what stance to take in defending a law, but the president and attorney general. As the attorney general is the overall head of the DOJ, and represents the United States in legal matters generally according the US government website, it is appropriate for him to decide how the DOJ will defend, or in the rare case, to not defend, federal laws. As part of the attorney general’s duty is to give advice to heads of the executive branch, including the president, upon inquiry, it is not inappropriate for the president to confer over and weigh in on this decision, though it is not necessary. And the president and attorney general are not just throwing their weight around. As stated in the letter written by Holder, because DOMA is
a law which in part targets a minority group, the LGBT community, with a history of discrimination against it, it should be held to “a more heightened standard of scrutiny” beyond what is currently required by the courts. It is because of this that the this law was considered to be unconstitutional and indefensible. Ad this idea for the executive branch to stop defending DOMA did not just pop up out of nowhere. It appeared on a blog post on AMERICA blog in 2009 after Obama’s DOJ first filed a brief defending DOMA, as well as on a post on Queerty, which stated that “the Department of Justice has a clear history in picking and choosing which laws it will uphold and defend in court, and those it will not – on the basis of discrimination.” And just a week before President Obama declared the change in policy on defending DOMA, The New York Times wrote an editorial stating that he should not defend DOMA, and that “[t]he executive branch’s duty to defend federal laws is not inviolate. This one’s affront to equal protection is egregious.” But now that the deed is done, the only voices that are to be heard are those of conservatives such as Representative Steve King, who wishes to cut the DOJ’s budget by the amount that would have been spent on DOMA in what would be an entirely petty and childish act of revenge; or Representative Trent Franks, who thinks Obama could be impeached for taking this action; or Mike Huckabee, who has stated that if Obama had taken this position during his presidential campaign, he might have lost. See DOMA, page 18
The Brandeis Hoot
March 4, 2011
The Self Shelf
Preventing piracy through a projection of power By Alex Self Editor
Manning up in 2011 By Sam Allen Staff
America’s young men need to man up. At least that is what Brandeis alum and writer Kay S. Hymowitz believes, who recently penned an article in The Wall Street Journal titled “Where Have the Good Men Gone”,,and wrote a book on the subject titled, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys.” According to Hymowitz, the “knowledge economy” and its consequences has allowed young women to overtake men, who are now getting stuck in an extended adolescence during their 20’s. She uses excellent sociological evidence to show the gender gap has closed, but she is wrong that college educated men aren’t manning up. Hymowitz is hampered by the fact that she has a problem with the hobbies men choose to pursue today and she doesn’t understand that what it means to “man up” is very different in 2011 then it was a few decades ago. Hymowitz gets her theory by pointing out correctly that over the last two decades a new life-stage, which she calls pre-adulthood, has been created for college educated Americans in their 20’s. This has occurred because the most desirable jobs in the economy require a very high level of edu-
cation. Consequently, between 1960 and 2000, the percentage of people between the ages of 20 and 30 enrolled in school doubled, and between 1985 and 2007, graduate school enrollment increased 67 percent. All of this time spent in school has meant that large numbers of single young men and women are now living independently, with some disposable income, which is an unprecedented sociological development. College educated Americans in their 20’s now have an assortment of choices about what to do with their lives and, according to Hymowitz, women are making the better choices. Hymowitz uses sociological data widely available to show that women are doing better than men in the new “knowledge economy.” She cites the fact that women now earn 57 percent of all bachelor degrees, and that young, unmarried, childless women are now earning more than their male peers men in 147 of the largest 150 cities. Hymowitz is correct that college-educated young women have closed the gender gap; however, she is incorrect in her idea that collegeeducated men aren’t “manning up” because she fails to acknowledge fully that what it means to “man up” in 2011 has changed. In past decades American men could look to John Wayne and the Marlboro Man as the definition of
what it means to be masculine. Today, however, masculinity can mean different things, and men certainly are no longer judged solely based on their ability to be providers and protectors. Kay Hymowitz fails to realize that the freedom of choice for a young, college-educated American also applies to men in terms of how they define their own masculinity. In the knowledge economy, pursuing activities that are traditionally considered nerdy, instead of traditional “masculine” activities, no longer has the social stigma attached to it that it used to. Hymowitz says that many men in their twenties are playing too many video games, acting like children in the process. Apparently Hymowitz thinks that men aren’t “manning up” if they play Xbox, but they are acting like real men if they waste their leisure time working on their sports car. Hymowitz’s book “Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys”, presents excellent sociological evidence that the gender gap among young, college-educated Americans has closed. However, instead of shouting about the failure of young American men, she should have praised the strides college-educated women have made. Finally, she needs to understand that men will always have their hobbies, be they hunting, sports cars or, dare I say it, video games.
bee’s claims might be believable. Those who are wary of Obama’s actions creating a precedent for future Presidents to simply ignore the defense of federal laws they do not like have asked, what if a future president chooses not to defend Obama’s health care policy in the same way? This is an interesting connection to make, seeing as how conservatives also spoke loudly and misleadingly over the president’s health care plans, and how supporters for his health care overhaul
were not able to overcome the spread of misinformation of things such as “death panels.” So if you have read about Obama’s decision not to defend the constitutionality of DOMA, or heard it on the radio or news or from a friend, speak up. Talk about it, and let people know what you think about it. Only with reasonable debate and discussion can we hope for progress on equality, and that requires the voices of everyone, especially with LGBT community.
Obama and DOMA back together DOMA, from page 17
But the truth is Obama campaigned on the platform of repealing DOMA, and many if not most of those who voted for him would agree with him in saying that DOMA is unconstitutional and indefensible. But if only the hot-headed and narrow-minded are heard, clamoring in their opposition to the DOJ’s policy shift, Hucka-
A little more than a week ago, four American citizens were executed by Somalian pirates in the midst of negotiations for their release. The navy immediately swooped in and captured the pirates, killing two of them. Yet another ship was hijacked mere days later. This is the latest epoch in what has become the second coming of the golden age of piracy. In 2010 alone, 53 ships were hijacked by pirates and more thanthousand sailors were taken hostage. Even as I write this article, there are hundreds of hapless sailors being held for ransom as their countries try to maneuver their release along with their cargo. The odd thing about the piracy phenomenon is that it has been getting steadily worse for the past five years without a large international response. Attacks span from the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea. Naturally, this area is one of the largest shipping areas in the world–more than 30,000 ships pass through these straits every year. And every year since 2006, the attacks have increased in number. This year has been the worst yet with 12 attacks so far. The world has not stood completely silent but their efforts have been futile. In 2008, the United Nations passed a measure allowing warships to violate Somali territorial sovereignty to pursue pirates. There have been sporadic attempts by the United States and other countries to police the waters. Obviously, considering the increase in piracy, these measures have not had the intended effect. Now there are four citizens dead and we have little to show for it in terms of stopping the endemic problem. Killing and capturing the pirates in that one ship was the equivalent of killing a single operative of Al Qaeda–it is treating the symptoms of the problem but not the cause. The first and most obvious solution is to reform Somalia. The root cause for piracy in this area is the turmoil left over from Somalia’s second civil war which ended in the early 2000s. Unfortunately, this option (which we are currently trying to pursue through aid) will take at least a decade. Thus we have to employ more immediate means to stop piracy now. This is why I think it’s high time the United States acted against the pirates on land. I’m not talking about a fullon invasion of Somalia but instead a covert strike on the pirate leaders. Admittedly, this would require putting troops on the ground but would not constitute an occupation of any sort. Basically, I’m advocating for a Special Forces attack on pirate strongholds on land to capture or kill pirate leaders. The navy has already mobilized against some of the mother ships but by the time these ships are found, it is often already too late. I realize that finding these pirate strongholds would be fairly difficult but I think the benefits far outweigh the difficulties. The advantages of such an attack would be threefold. First there is the idea of deterrence. At the point where pirates aren’t safe on the seas or on land, there’s a larger reason for them to not turn to piracy in the first place. If we can instill the
idea in the average Somalian that piracy is never a safe profession, we can help both ourselves and the world by making for fewer pirates. Furthermore, this would certainly deter pirates from attacking American ships in the future. For the average pirate, the decision to attack a ship is based on some sort of cost-benefit analysis. If the United States can show that attacking American shipping in particular will lead to a robust American response, it will make pirates think twice before attacking a ship flying the Stars and Stripes. Secondly, by attacking the pirates, America would increase both foreign and domestic respect. To illustrate this point, I am going to use a metaphor. Imagine if a terrorist group detonated a small explosive device in the United States that killed four people. If the United States were not to retaliate against the perpetrators as a whole, it would certainly undermine the idea of American power abroad. America should not wait until another hijacking occurs to act decisively. America’s retaliation against the pirates would project power to the rest of the world in addition to increasing international respect for taking the initiative on the piracy problem. Importantly, it would also increase respect at home. The average citizen does not like the idea of pirates attacking and killing Americans without a strong response. While the navy did kill or capture the pirates involved in the attack, they did not capture the pirate leaders who ordered the raid nor did they prevent future attacks in any meaningful way. By scoring a victory against the pirate leadership, the United States can prove to its citizens that it will go out of its way to protect American interests, both at home and abroad. Thirdly, there is a huge benefit even for Somalia insofar as a lessening of the piracy will lead to it moving away from its current position as an international pariah. When your country is a springboard for attacks on international shipping, it hurts your international image in devastating ways. The Somalian people are better than pirates and with more aid could reestablish a functioning civil society. Yet piracy deters giving more aid to the region as most countries merely write it off as a bastion for terrorism on the seas. Furthermore, the lessening of this dangerous and illegal activity will force former would-be pirates to find a legitimate livelihood, something which will help the local economy much more than illegal cartels in addition to helping preserve the lives of would-be pirates who would otherwise have most likely died in combat. In the end, it boils down to the fact that a pirate-free Somalia is a better Somalia. There is still a long way to go in terms of actually pulling Somalia out of the morass it is currently mired in but stopping piracy is definitely in line with doing so. At the point where it is hugely beneficial to the interests of the United States, the world and the Somalian people (including the men who take up piracy by deterring them from such a lifestyle), I think a military strike is not only warranted but necessary to alleviate this plague of the seas.
This is why I think it’s high time the United States acted against the pirates on land.
March 4, 2011
The birds & the trees
Scenes from vacation by Ingrid Schulte and Nafizz “fizz” Ahmed
The Brandeis Hoot
20 The Brandeis Hoot
March 4, 2011
Paint the Campus Purple Week draws students to Relay For Life
photo by nafiz “fizz”r. ahmed/the hoot
By Leah Finkelman Editor
For Colleges Against Cancer President Sarah Cohen ’11, spring at Brandeis means the arrival of Relay For Life. In preparation for the March 26 event, Cohen, the event chair, and the other coordinators of Relay organized Paint the Campus Purple Week, a national initiative to increase awareness of Relay For Life. Throughout the week, members of the Brandeis chapter of Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) tabled in Usdan as an “extra push for people to be aware that Relay is coming,” Cohen said. They passed out purple Mardi Gras beads, stickers and Kosher mints in purple wrappers while encouraging students to sign up and continue raising money that will eventually go to the American Cancer Society. Due to inclement weather the group was unable to stand on Rabb steps between classes and pass out treats, but Cohen said the week was still very successful. She credited its success to the “very dedicated people on the committee,” who she said are always willing to “spring into action and take it on themselves to help out.” At the end of the week, more than 450 participants on 65 teams had raised almost $20,000. The ultimate goal is $100,000 from 1,000 participants by March 26, the day of Relay and the last chance to register. Last year, 800 participants on 90 teams raised $85,000. Cohen became involved with Relay For Life during her first year
photo by max shay/the hoot
at Brandeis. That year, women’s basketball coach Carol Simon and athletic trainer Niki Rybko organized the first Brandeis Relay, a 24hour event in Gosman that would raise money for the American Cancer Society. Cohen’s friends encouraged her to go and, although she describes herself as “not an all-night kind of person,” she ended up staying until 4 a.m. “That was the beginning of the end,” she joked. “I haven’t been able to live without it since.” The year that Relay was started at Brandeis, Katy Agule ’09 and Nadine Channaoui ’10 started the Brandeis chapter of Colleges Against Cancer, which is also associated with the American Cancer Society. There was always overlap between the Relay For Life committee and CAC because of their shared cause, Cohen said, but there was no official connection. Now, however, CAC is a chartered club and Relay For Life is their biggest event. Following her first Relay, Cohen became the coordinator of Luminaria, a Relay tradition to remember individuals’ fights against cancer. During the ceremony, candles (or the more fire safety-conscious option of glow sticks) are put in paper bags, a Southwestern tradition of remembrance. Each bag represents someone who has fought cancer, whether they have survived, lost their fight or are still fighting. “My involvement in the event as Luminaria co-chair allows me to make a difference, Ariel Glickman ’13 said. She has worked closely with Sarah Hirsch ’12 to plan the ceremony this year. “The Luminaria Ceremony reaches out to all who have been touched by cancer to hon-
TABLING FOR A CAUSE: Cohen and Rachel Danzig ’12 table in Usdan during Paint the Campus Purple Week.
or, celebrate and remember loved ones who have fallen victim to this disease,” she said. “The ceremony itself is always beautiful, seeing how people come together in support of one another is very moving,” Hirsch said. As Luminaria chairs, they also put together a slide-show of pictures and names of people who have battled cancer, which Cohen described as the most emotionally difficult part of the job. “The ceremony gives people the opportunity to grieve. It’s also important to find time to reflect on those who have lived, and remember that we will continue to fight,” she said. “Relay is THE way to make a difference. It’s a fun and exciting way to raise money for an honorable cause,” Jess Granville ’12 said. Granville is one of the publicity chairs for Relay this year and has been involved with Relay throughout her time at Brandeis. This year’s Relay is carnival-themed, and will include student performances and activities provided by participating teams. In a March 2009 column in The Hoot, Channaoui told the story of losing her friend Brian to cancer and explained how her experience had pushed her to become involved in Relay For Life. “I Relay because of Brian, and because I know that my story is not unique,” she wrote. “There are millions of people—young and old—diagnosed with cancer, which in turn means that there are millions more mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, partners, grandchildren and friends who are enduring challenges similar to my own.”
photo by nafiz “fizz” r. ahmed/the hoot