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Volume 8 Number 21

www.thebrandeishoot.com

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.

October 28, 2011

Classical Studies proves itself as timeless as Virgil Once on chopping block, department now flourishes By Connor Novy Staff

Amid of the university’s budgetary crisis in 2008, Brandeis humanities departments faced imminent, and possibly fatal, downsizing in response to economic realities. Yet less than three years later and despite the setbacks, at least one department has managed to flourish. The Classical Studies department, under the guidance of Professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, who goes affectionately by “Professor AOK-O,” has not only recovered from the imposed cutbacks but has grown. By instituting a graduate program three years ago, which now contains more than 20 students and is seeking out private donor support, Classical Studies has gone from a small department under threat to that rare example of one that brings revenue to the university. “Small does not necessarily mean weak,” AOK-O said, and cited the initiative of the students and alumni, many of whom were not Classical Studies majors, who showed strong

support for the department. Under AOK-O’s leadership, the department is now thriving. Many in the community were troubled by the administration’s willingness to cut so much of the humanities. AOK-O explained, “Classics is at the core of a liberal arts education. Brandeis’ message of social justice— some of these ideas were developed by the Romans and the Greeks.” Even to those majoring in business or economics, the liberal arts provide balance and guidance, according to Professor Catherine Walker (CLAS), which may explain why some of the students and alumni who avidly supported the Classical Studies department had only taken a few courses in the subject. The Classical Studies department and chair AOK-O were already known for their cross-curriculum activity. This semester, a course on historical economics was taught by professor, alumnus and journalist Paul Solmon, Professor Cheryl Walker from the Classics department, as well as others. AOK-O even allied with the Physics department, successfully offering a Classics-affiliated course on ancient architecture. See CLASSICS, page 2

the rose at fifty Students examine “Moondog” by Gene Davis at the reopening of The Rose Art Museum. For more coverage, turn to page 4.

Rose reopening marks new era By Jon Ostrowsky Editor

More than two years after the university’s decision to close The Rose because of a widening budget gap and shrinking endowment launched an international controversy and media frenzy, Brandeis celebrated the 50th anniversary of the art museum this

PETA: Vegan options not everything By Nathan Koskella Editor

The university is again a top contender for the title of “Most-Vegan Friendly College” among all small schools, a title awarded annually by the scholastic arm of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA2. Brandeis placed third in the competition last year, losing to Brown, who in turn lost in the final round to what the organization calls

“the team to beat,” Northwestern. Thus, PETA has given Brandeis reliable vegan—and animal rights—credit before. Its manager of all college campaigns, Ryan Huling, told The Hoot that Brandeis is a top contender this year in the wake of recent, positive progress. The university has expanded its meatless Monday program and, more prominently, moved to an entirely cage-free egg program at a higher cost for students.

photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot

The assessment may be at odds with some vegan students who actually eat the food prepared by Dining Services and are most affected by the menu of vegan and vegetarian options available. Some have also taken issue with the methodology of the contest, saying it places too much weight on an online vote on PETA2’s website. “I think what we have is a good start,” See VEGAN, page 6

Presenting her internship at the Expo

experiential expo A student presents her poster at Tuesday’s Hiatt experiential learning showcase.

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

week. Inside The Rose, the $1.7 million renovation project created freshly painted white walls, new LED lighting systems and energy efficient glass to showcase the contemporary art collection that came to define Brandeis and its former president in the international arts community. Just as June 30 marked the end of

the settlement with Rose benefactors—the university’s decision not to sell any artwork, Thursday marked the official beginning of a new era for Brandeis, President Fred Lawrence said. “Welcome to the beginning of the second 50 years of The Rose Art MuSee ROSE, page 4

College Notebook

MIT student found dead in his dorm room By Jon Ostrowsky Editor

A first-year MIT student was found dead in his dorm room Tuesday evening, authorities said. Satto Tonegawa ’15, an 18 year old from Newton and the son of MIT professor Susumu Tonegawa, who won the 1987 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, was found by MIT police after 5 p.m. Tuesday in his dorm room. Students had not seen Tonegawa for about a week and noticed an odor coming from his room, MIT’s student newspaper The Tech reported. “This is a very sad situation, and the entire MIT community shares a deep sense of loss and grief,” MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson said in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to the family, friends, classmates and dormmates of Satto, as well as to the graduate resident tutors, housemasters and others in the student-life system who knew and worked with Satto.” “At this time it does not appear to be suspicious or involve foul play,” Cara O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, said.

The DA’s office and university officials at MIT declined to comment further on the case and address possible causes of death, citing a pending investigation and autopsy. Tonegawa, who graduated cum laude from Milton Academy, was a distinguished pianist and cellist selected to perform with an elite group of high school musicians at Carnegie Hall in high school. In September, another MIT student, Nicolas Del Castillo, a sophomore from Colombia, was found dead in his dorm room after an apparent suicide, just days before classes began. MIT has seen several student suicides in the past two decades and, after the death of Elizabeth Shin in 2000, her parents sued the university for $27 million, settling the case in 2006 for an undisclosed amount of money. At Brandeis, university officials say the suicide rate is well below average for the college age range. There have been two suicides at Brandeis since 2009, including a first-year student who was found dead in her residence hall last winter.


NEWS

2 The Brandeis Hoot

October 28, 2011

Whistleblower who took down Enron explains corporate culture

photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot

alison bass and sherron watkins

By Josh Kelly Staff

Sherron Watkins, the former vice president of Enron Corporation and the whistleblower who exposed the corporation in 2001 for its fraudulent accounting practices, visited campus Wednesday and spoke about the intimidating corporate culture that prevents employees from asking questions. Watkins is known as the primary whistleblower in the Enron collapse. Enron, under the leadership of Ken Lay and in association with an accounting firm called Arthur Andersen, had been falsifying reports on the company by excluding massive amounts of debt from balance sheets. Watkins, in August 2001, delivered an anonymous memo to Ken Lay in which she warned him of the possible issues and that she was worried the company could “implode in a wave of accounting scandals.” Watkins described Enron as the tale of everyone in a group buying into something that they know is substantively flawed, simply because of a power structure that discourages any

doubt. “That is so much what happened at Enron. [It was] highly complex and, if you spent a lot of time questioning, you would get a very intimidating, high-pressure ‘You’re not going to keep asking questions [unless] you’re too stupid to get this. We’ve hired the sharpest accountants, the sharpest bankers … they’ve signed off on this,’” Watkins said. “So even our board of directors were intimidated into saying ‘ah. What robes!’” On the panel with Watkins were Brandeis professor of journalism and investigative journalist Alison Bass and director of the Government Accountability Project’s American Whistleblower Tour Dana Gould. Throughout the event the speakers discussed several key themes about the role of whistleblowers in society, the challenges associated with being a whistleblower and attempts at facilitating more people to have the courage to come clean. Descriptions of the intimidating corporate culture that prevents questions ranged from the extreme of Watkins discussing how six private investigators were digging up any information available to use

Classics department thrives after setbacks CLASSICS, from page 1

The administration had called on these departments to reduce their spending because the enrollment in them was low and because it would often cost the school more money to fund these low-enrollment classes than to do without them. Through inside initiative and cooperative effort and, according to Walker, spectacular leadership by AOK-O, however, the department found less painful ways to balance their budget. Classical Studies found outside donors to fund the department, which is in an area that is less likely to attract them naturally because there are fewer alumni. Business and economics programs are often the beneficiaries of corporate patronage, but the business sector has less reason to support departments like Classical Studies and other humanities. Many regular personal donors funded scholarships for classics majors, lecture tours and private classes. But by vigorously marketing their graduate studies program, the department was able to increase enrollment. Three years after its founding, the Classics graduate program will be graduating its first full class this

spring. Enrollment numbers of undergraduate courses have also grown and increased the revenue of the department, which was a “good solution,” Walker said, to their problems and have also proved that they could be an asset to the university. Faculty consensus is that the new administration has been far more open to the internal initiative of the departments and allowed them to find their own solutions to the crisis. “The administration has shown up to faculty meetings for our department and we appreciate that. The new president and provost, they seem far more open to our field of study,” Walker said. Other departments have not been so fortunate. Italian Studies is not replacing Professor Richard Lansing, who is set to retire. Initially even the Physics department was threatened by the cuts, evidently because it was also a small program. AOK-O, who has taught courses in the School of Science as well, laughed at the idea of a university without Physics—or Classics. She said, “The Physics department is small because it’s hard to be a physicist. Just because the enrollment isn’t high doesn’t mean we’re not an asset to the university.”

against her, to the more subtle pressure of moving someone to a worse office space after they attempted to dig into possible corporate malpractice. Watkins summed up the issue associated with whistleblowing as being a power issue, which makes it necessary to have support behind you. “You cannot speak truth to power without somehow changing the balance of power and, in the situation with Enron, it would have taken more than just me [as] the lone voice.” Bass and Gould reasserted the same theme, with Bass focusing on the role of investigative journalists to challenge power structures. “Just like it takes individuals who speak truth to power, it also takes journalists who are willing to challenge authority and speak truth to power [and] not all journalists [have this mentality]. A lot of business journalists don’t have that ‘speak truth to power’ mentality.” Bass blames this journalistic phenomenon for the failures of media to cover financial issues appropriately. The panelists also agreed that whistleblowers need more protec-

tion. Legislatively, they spoke of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which came into effect soon after Enron. The act, according to Watkins, had a provision attached to it to protect whistleblowers from discrimination in the workplace. This act was ignored by corporations, however, and even after having the principle reaffirmed as a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act, it insufficiently addressed protection issues. Gould spoke about the negative cultural connotations associated with whistleblowing that lead many people to try to solve problems within the confines of their corporations without going to the mass media. “It’s interesting [how] we all have our own social baggage around what the word whistleblower means … they’re disgruntled employees. They’re snitches.” Both Watkins and Gould agreed that corporations focus on how to silence whistleblowers and have a “shoot the messenger”-type mentality, Watkins said. Gould stated that we need to educate leaders of corporations to try to rid ourselves of this mentality. According to Gould, “the whistleblowers aren’t the problem. The problem is the problem.” Gould also expressed, however, that she believes legal reform is necessary. In addition, Bass and Watkins spoke about the need to incentivize higher-up employees to stay in corporations for the long-run through regulating or eliminating stock options for employees. “By getting the stock options,” said Bass, “it makes them more incentivized to go after short-term profits.” In the case of Enron, higher-ups, including CEO Ken Lay, sold off massive amounts of stock prior to the collapse. In an interview earlier in the afternoon, Watkins spoke about what individuals could do to be more responsible within the confines of a corporation. She advocated for people to investigate small claims, even if they appear to be gossip. “Listening to the water-cooler talk [could help] … [Or] when you’re

working for a big company you have management meetings and they have competitions where you come up with plays and entertaining skits and there was a great study done on what Enron’s skits were really saying about themselves.” Watkins also addressed the collapse of major financial institutions in 2008. “[S]ince 2008, the big question has been: ‘Why no prosecutions of the financial scandal problems?’ ‘Why no prosecutions of the executives of Lehman, Merrill, Bear Stearns?’ … If you look at Lehman’s number sheets … they were doing some very similar things [to what] Enron did.” Speaking specifically about the recent Occupy Wall Street movement, which has come to spread to cities all across the country, Watkins said the issues relate to Enron and the sense that corporations make poor decisions with a wide impact on everyone. “There is a feeling that the game is rigged and it does come from Wall Street … There’s this sense that the Wall Street lobbyists are setting up an unfair game and we’re all players because we have retirement accounts and 401 K plans … So their unfair game is impacting us.” After the event, Adam Marx ’14 spoke about the cultural view of whistleblowers that was addressed during the event. “There is a pejorative [connotation] when you hear the word whistleblower. It has a very negative connotation … It doesn’t make sense that should be a pejorative, negative connotation to it, but there is.” Aspiring journalist Xinxin Yu ’14 said the speakers accurately portrayed the challenges that are also arising in investigative journalism. She explained that the notion of how to avoid being attacked and threatened in one’s daily life for telling the truth is an important lesson for journalists. Gould described whistleblowers as “the first line of defense for the public against wrong-doing.”

SEA, Union call for healthy eating with ‘Food Day’ By Sarah Weber

Special to the Hoot

Students for Environmental Action and the Student Union celebrated National Food Day on Monday, promoting “The Real Food Challenge” campaign to present students with healthier eating options. Students hosted a workshop in the SCC, discussing how to bring “real food” to campuses that support the healthy eating movement. During the workshop, students were asked to share their own experiences with food on campus. They had many complaints about the limited amount of vegetarian and healthy choices. The Real Food Challenge campaign began in 2007 when college students informally came together to discuss how to change food choices on their campuses. In 2008, the campaign adopted an official message, striving to shift “$1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources—what we call

‘real food’—by 2012.” Many schools have already seen a range of healthier options on campus, including 300 campuses with college farms, fair-trade initiatives or farm-to-cafeteria programs, thus moving away from the standard supply of packaged food, according to The Real Food Challenge. “The amount of money spent funding food for college students is tremendous, yet the food options are not good,” said campaign representative Jessie Yuraw, who recently graduated from the University of Maryland. Yuraw said he became interested in campus food options when he decided to spend one year living on a farm in 2009. After returning to school he saw the disparity between the quality of food on campuses and on farms. “On the farm I experienced planting my own food and eating it. I had planted a tomato and it was the most powerful tomato I ever ate,” Yuraw said. Nina Mukherji, a visiting member of The Real Food Challenge committee, first became interested in healthy choices on campus-

es when she attended college in a small town and learned about its environmental impact. From there she joined the Wisconsin League of Conservation and saw change in the food movement. “Just the experience [of] seeing change made me frustrated that nothing is happening at colleges” Mukhherji said. The Real Food Challenge separates itself from other movements because it engages both college students and recent college graduates. “We could be working with just farmers, but our focus is more of a holistic view of the food system … to make a systematic change. As students, we have a tremendous amount of power,” Yuraw said. In addition to advocating for healthier dining options, the campaign also focuses on all food issues concerning producers, consumers and communities. Mukherji said that only student activism can drive food change on campuses because “a wheel without all its spokes will never make a revolution.”


October 28, 2011

NEWS 3

The Brandeis Hoot

Debate team ranked highest in nation By Debby Brodsky Editor

The Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society (BADASS) currently boasts the best team of the year and the second best club of the year after Yale University. Keith Barry ’13 and Russell Leibowitz ’14 won the tournament at Harvard this semester, marking Brandeis’ second consecutive win against Harvard. Barry and Leibowitz have won tournaments at Syracuse and Harvard this year, and placed as finalists at Vassar. Following their win at Harvard, Barry and Leibowitz became the highest ranked team in the nation. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that Russell and I are the number one debate team in the country,” said Barry. “To know that there is literally not a single team that is better at debate than us feels pretty great. It feels

especially good because, unlike most debaters, I had no success at all my first novice year of debate and really struggled to get good.” The debate team at Brandeis is part of the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA), an entirely student-run organization that hosts about 40 tournaments per year as well as a national championship. Students debate from both private and public universities, located primarily along the east coast. In addition to the national tournament, there is also an annual world debating championship. Brian Schon ’06, Heller MPP ’10, competed on the debate team and attended the world debating championship in Malaysia. Last year Brandeis sent several of its students to Botswana to debate and observe the prestigious tournament. Barry described the World Championship in Botswana as an “amazing experience” where he and other

Brandeis attendees were able to meet students from around the world and represent Brandeis at one of the most prestigious debating events of the year. “It’s nice to be able to look at the rankings after having debated every weekend for the past year and say that a Brandeis team is the top-ranked team,” said Leibowitz. “That’s never happened before.” While some members of the debate team have previous experience from high school debate clubs, many members, including Leibowitz and Barry, had no prior debate experience before coming to Brandeis. Barry joined the debate team in the middle of his first year and Leibowitz joined at the beginning of his first year. After only a year for Leibowitz and two years for Barry, the duo hold a highly sought after national title. “Joining the debate team was something I really wanted to do,” said Lei-

bowitz. “I like to talk about politics and debate gave me an outlet to do that every weekend. There’s so much I like about the team. Every weekend we get to travel around the country and meet new people. The whole debate circuit is like a second family.” The debate team holds practice rounds twice a week, where members come to hone their debating skills and practice for weekend competitions. While members can choose their level of involvement in the club, Barry and Leibowitz practice between five and six times per week to keep themselves sharp and ready to compete. “During the final round [at Harvard],” Leibowitz began, “after waiting for the results, we were on edge. I couldn’t even sit down. When the judges read the results, it was a 4-3 decision. Keith and I jumped up and hugged each other. It was exhilarating.”

BADASS generally has an even number of club members from all years; however, this year there is an unusually large group of first-years, giving Brandeis an edge at novice tournaments. “This year we had a lot more aggressive recruiting,” said Leibowitz. “We put out flyers and held a demonstration round about gay rights. A lot of people enjoyed it.” Leibowitz continued to say that the first meeting of the year had more than 50 people in attendance and the debate team currently has more first-years than sophomores, juniors and seniors combined. Following graduation, Barry, like many debaters, hopes to attend law school. Leibowitz plans to run for political office and to attend graduate school for public policy. Leibowitz is currently the Campaign Affairs Coordinator and serves on the Executive Board for Brandeis’ Democrats club.

JBS emerges from tough rollout as successful program By Yael Katzwer Editor

Univ seeks to avoid citation for website compliance By Nathan Koskella Editor

After an open letter from the federal Department of Education reminding university presidents about legal obligations to students and potential students with disabilities, Provost Steve Goldstein announced the creation of a university committee to determine Brandeis’ compliance with federal regulations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The relevant portions of the Department of Education’s rules implementing the Act concern Brandeis websites and new technologies—tools which are not inherently accessible to those who may be blind or suffer to other degrees of visual impairment. Dean of Academic Services Kim Godsoe will lead the effort and said that while “years ago a school would provide a person to read to someone who is legally blind, new technology provides that there is a way that online text can go straight to speech.” She also said that “all university websites, including learning environments like LATTE and SAGE, must be able to be used by electronic readers so that someone who is visually impaired can access the material independently.” The letter from the government called it “unacceptable” otherwise, “to use emerging technology without insisting that this technology be accessible to all students.” Schools found not to be in compliance with the Department of Education’s own office for civil rights guidelines, and cited for possible ADA infractions, may find themselves un-

der the attention of the more famous Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice—which can of course bring charges for violating civil rights, as it famously does in voting or racial discrimination. According to universitybusiness. com, schools have recently fallen under this microscope for using new technologies like Google application software, something Brandeis’ Library and Technology Services embraced the last year. The Justice Department has reached settlements with Florida State University, New York University and Northwestern. Pennsylvania State University was even charged for violations of unfair access and inaccessibility of the website of their Office of Disabilities Services. Legally speaking, universities must provide all “reasonable accommodation,” according to the Act and court rulings, to modify existing practices for those with disabilities. Godsoe said that Brandeis will determine the current state of compliance in terms of websites that meet the regulations. “We are still in the process of assessing what our websites are like,” she said but added that “I think we are smack dab in the middle, with a very typical level compared to other universities.” But she noted that 70 percent acceptable is very different from even 50 or just 30. “This is not just about current students or to jump through regulation hoops,” Godsoe said. “This is about meeting our responsibilities—the rights—of our students: and that includes the very important issue of attracting prospective students.”

The three summer 2011 Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS) programs completed a successful run Tuesday with student presentations detailing their accomplishments. The individual accomplishments of the programs—“JBS Mobile Applications and Game Development,” “JBS Goes South: Civil Rights and Racial Justice in Mississippi” and “JBS Filmmaking: From Script to Screen”—are, however, unremarkable; the remarkable thing is JBS’ success as a whole. JBS got off to a rocky start in spring 2010 when it was first proposed. Eight programs were originally planned for summer 2010 but half that number were canceled due to lack of interest. They had each failed to attract the eight necessary applicants. “There are many interesting opportunities for students during the summer, such as studying abroad, working, engaging in an internship and participating in JBS,” Alyssa Grinberg, program manager for the JBS project, said via e-mail. “We have learned from 2010 that the scale of the program is important and right now it appears that running 2-4 summer JBS programs will meet the demand of students.” Scaling back the scope of the JBS program and choosing popular topics seem to have been key decisions for JBS’ success. “There is a small committee that reviews the JBS program proposals,” Grinberg said, explaining how one JBS program is chosen over another. “The proposals are reviewed for approval based on the following criteria: academic coherence; excellence and feasibility; expected appeal to undergraduates; financial viability; and health and safety.” The students who participated in this summer’s programs enjoyed themselves and learned a great deal. “I definitely enjoyed my JBS experience and gained a tremendous wealth of knowledge and practical experience from it,” Taha Bakhtiyar ’13 wrote via e-mail. Bakhtiyar participated in the “Mobile Applications and Game Development” JBS program. In this program, Bakhtiyar “learned how to design android applications [and] develop video games …” Bakhtiyar worked with two other students on Happy Track, a sub-program within the JBS program. “Happy Track is an application that allows users to track their moods

along with time, location and memos,” Bakhtiyar explained. “These moods can then be revisited using Google maps, pie charts or log-book interface.” The six other students in this JBS program split to work on two other sub-programs: Giraffe and Vogueable. While Bakhtiyar could not think of anything specific to improve with the program, he admitted “plenty of improvements and changes [are] possible, yet there are very technical and specific …” Grinberg, however, after receiving student feedback, told The Hoot, “Based off of past participant feedback, the Web Services and Social Networks program [which has similarities to the “Mobile Applications and Game Development”] will be offered this coming summer as a 10week program, rather than an eightweek program. This change will allow more depth and time for students to create their own Web-based programs.” Edwin Gonzalez ’13 participated in the “JBS Goes South: Civil Rights and Racial Justice in Mississippi” program to learn about the Civil Rights movement, which can only complement his sociology major. “The JBS program that I was a part of was a joint effort between Brandeis and Jackson State University,” Gonzalez explained. “The research that we conducted in Mississippi was an effort to help the Mississippi Truth Project.” The Mississippi Truth Project is a statewide grassroots effort that began in 2008 and works to unveil racially motivated crimes and injustices committed in Mississippi between 1945 and 1975. Like Bakhtiyar’s program, Gonzalez’s program was separated into subprograms. “Our group consisted on 10 Brandeis students and five Jackson State students and we were split up into three different teams,” Gonzalez said. “Each team had a set of goals and we decided how we would accomplish those set goals. “I spent my eight weeks researching in the city of Jackson,” he said, “and I had an amazing time talking to local residents about their experience in the Civil Rights movement, plus collecting data from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.” The “JBS Filmmaking: From Script to Screen” program culminated in the 10 students working to create a

20-minute film. Their film, “Evie,” was written by Karla Alvidrez ’13 and directed jointly by each student. They hired their actors from C.P. Casting, a Boston-based talent agency. It was clear at the screening of their film that the students were proud of their accomplishment as their names flashed across the screen during the lengthy credits. “Everyone got to do everything during the summer,” Hannah Pollack ’13, a program participant, told The Hoot after the screening. She explained that as they made various clips and short films during the eightweek program, each person had the chance to write a script, to direct, to produce, etc. “We chose Karla’s script but [the film] was a joint effort,” she said. The film centered on Nikki, a student who was once a party-girl but has of late not been interested in the party scene. At a party, to which her friends drag her, Nikki meets Evie, a transfer student who seems to be looking after her, and runs into two boys, who she clearly has history with. Although the movie was well-written it was somewhat predictable and, although the actors were professionals, perhaps the students should have acted in it themselves as they could have done no worse. Though successful this summer, it remains to be seen if JBS will continue to thrive. On her Beacon Hill JBS program, which was canceled, Professor Eileen McNamara (JOUR) told The Hoot in 2010, “We’re in difficult economic times and most students did not seem to want to take a semester off to do JBS and, if not, ask their parents to assume a largely financial burden to do it.” When JBS was first suggested, it was meant to take place during the fall and the spring semesters in order to relieve overcrowding. “I will perhaps not participate in another JBS program,” said Bakhtiyar, “however, this is only because it is offered during the summer and, as a junior, I must focus on securing an internship instead.” Gonzalez, on the other hand, has already expressed interest in participating in another JBS program next summer. “We will continue to explore the possibilities for future JBS programs and think that some of the past proposals have a lot of potential,” Grinberg said. “I think the upcoming three programs in 2012 will be strong in terms of their academic and experimental components.”


4 NEWS

The Brandeis Hoot

October 28, 2011

Community gathers to rededicate the Rose A new beginning ROSE, from page 1

(Top to bottom) The Brandeis community gathers on Thursday evening, listening to President Fred Lawrence deliver remarks at the ceremony for the reopening of The Rose Art Museum; Trustees, alumni and artists enjoy a VIP gala dinner on Wednesday evening to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the museum; Student Union Secretary Todd Kirkland ’11 discusses the new exhibits on display; DJs play music at the Rose reception as guests view the paintings.

seum,” Lawrence said at a VIP dinner with trustees, artists and alumni underneath a heated, circus-like tent Wednesday evening. “Things already look bigger than they used to look and they hold much more promise than they used to hold.” Less than a year after his announcement on Jan. 26, 2009, that the university’s board of trustees had voted to close The Rose and sell its art, Jehuda Reinharz stepped down as president without mentioning The Rose as a reason for his resignation. When Reinharz announced the decision to sell the art, Brandeis was suffering from the global economic recession that had decreased endowment by 17 percent, leaving an anticipated $80 million budget deficit by 2014 if no cuts were made. Reflecting on the decision on his final days in office last year, Reinharz said that after lay-offs, Brandeis looked to art for revenue. “People may criticize that, but I would ask my critics: ‘Would you give up your job, or someone else’s job, to save some art?’ If the answer is yes, I would like to meet that person,” Reinharz told The Hoot in December 2010. “I’m here until the 31st.” Last summer, Lawrence began meeting with interim director Roy Dawes and the Rose benefactors who filed the lawsuit, attempting to resolve the crisis that had angered many students, faculty and alumni in the Brandeis community, as well as sparked fear and outrage at Brandeis. The university has framed the revival of The Rose as a direct result of Lawrence’s effective leadership and one of the major accomplishments in the first year of his presidency. Dawes said he recalled a conversation when Lawrence told him, “A museum on a university campus is a sacred thing.” “I felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders that day,” Dawes said in front of students, alumni, faculty and friends of Brandeis Thursday evening. While the anger directed at Brandeis spread across the globe over the artwork debacle, inside the university, it was also errors in decisionmaking and communications that angered students, faculty and other officials. Although it recognized the difficulties of closing budget gaps during a recession, The New York Times was one of multiple media organizations that launched a spiraling media firestorm for the university and its management leaders who knew little

about art and the reaction to closing the museum. “The donors who made such purchases possible almost certainly did not think of them as temporary gifts to be cashed in during hard times,” the Times wrote in an editorial Feb. 1, 2009. “They thought of them as gifts in perpetuity, a way of enriching students, visitors and the wider community able to see works from the Brandeis collection on loan to other museums.” Speaking at an elegant gourmet trustees dinner with fruit salsa appetizers filled with pineapple, beats and tomatoes, seared white fish and chocolate raspberry mousse cake; with tables covered in neon orange and yellow flowers, long pink tablecloths and with glowing magenta and blue lights to illuminate three TV screens with a glowing “Rose Art Museum at Fifty” message, artist James Rosenquist said, “I want to congratulate The Rose Museum on its great comeback.” Rosenquist spoke about the passion that drives artists like himself, explaining how the arts community can feel unrecognized and excluded “Artists appear, work like hell, give everything away and disappear, and that’s a track record,” Rosenquist said. “We do good work and there’s no demand for it and there’s only a few of us left.” He added that the purpose of arts was to express ideas over imagery. “A whole number of ideas get me off the chair to do something,” Rosenquist said. “Every painting has an idea.” As part of the 50th anniversary, The Rose showcased three new exhibits including “Art at the Origin,” Bruce Conner’s film series “EVE-RAY-FOREVER” and “Collecting Stories.” Adam Weinberg ’77 called The Rose “one of the great collections of post World War II art,” adding that “the center of my life at the university was at The Rose Art Museum. After more than three hours of dining and drinking with trustees and other guests at Wednesday’s gala, Rosenquist interpreted many paintings on a slideshow differently than Weinberg. “The spectator and the traveler looking at something at the speed of light see it differently,” Rosenquist said. “It’s all visual. It’s things that happen to all of us all the time.” On Wednesday, Lawrence walked around the tent, talking with trustees and artists about the new future of The Rose and Brandeis. “This is not a story with an unhappy ending. This is a story with a new beginning,” he said on Thursday.


October 28, 2011

NEWS 5

The Brandeis Hoot

Three Rose exhibits spotlight collection

By Sean Fabery Editor

For those already well-acquainted with The Rose Art Museum’s wonderful permanent collection, Thursday’s reopening contained little in the way of surprises. It did, however, unveil three expertly curated exhibits that reveal the museum’s rich history and focus on modern art—all in time for its 50th anniversary. The “Art at the Origin” exhibit focuses on artwork produced between 1961 and 1965, the first years of the museum’s existence. All but three of the pieces were acquired in the 1960s under the tutelage of The Rose’s first two directors, Sam Hunter and William Seitz. Both men were clearly well acquainted with the edgy New York art scene, as the exhibit contains artwork by some of the masters of pop art and abstract expressionism. These include some of The Rose’s most iconic works, like Roy Lichtenstein’s “Forget It! Forget Me!” (1962) and Andy Warhol’s “Saturday Disaster” (1964). Considering the time period, it’s no surprise that many of the works

exhibited show a clear interest in other media. Lichtenstein’s painting, for example, is a meticulous recreation of a comic panel, while Warhol’s “Saturday Disaster” presents the same photograph of a car accident twice on silkscreen. There’s also evidence of a similar interest in consumer items. The most notable example of this is Claes Oldenburg’s “Tray Meal” (1962), a sculpture of a TV dinner. In general, there’s an inventiveness in how the pieces have been composed. Yayoi Kusama’s “Blue Coat” (1967) features stuffed cloth phalluses affixed to a blue cut-out, while Bruce Conner’s “Light Shower” (1963) intentionally incorporates detritus material so that it will change as it ages. Robert Rausenberg’s “Second Time Painting” (1961), meanwhile, is a neo-dadaist work whose sections of pink, beige and blue incorporate a torn t-shirt and a pair of pants. Unsurprisingly, there are constant reminders of the period in which these works originated. This is especially true of another work by Warhol, “Race Riot” (1964), which depicts a confrontation between the Birmingham police and civil rights

protesters. Dogs have just been unleashed upon the crowd. If the first exhibit focuses on the revolutionary artwork acquired by the museum in its infancy, then the “Collecting Stories” exhibit serves as a neat summary of the diverse works The Rose has acquired in the last 50 years. The diversity of pieces is breathtaking, with cubist works hanging in close proximity to contemporary art. Much like the Lichtenstein and the Warhols in the previous exhibit, some works stand out based on name recognition alone. For instance, there’s a sketch by Oskar Kokoschka and a 1934 reclining nude by Pablo Picasso. Some of the best works, however, are by artists whose names you might not immediately recognize. For example, Nam June Paik’s “Charlotte Moorman II” (1995) is an eye-catching video sculpture consisting of nine antique TV cabinets, two cellos and 11 color TVs. There’s also Alan Bechdel’s “Santa Barbara Motel” (1977), a great example of photorealism, and Hyman Bloom’s morbid “Corpse of an Elderly Man” (1944). Perhaps the piece that got the

most people talking on Thursday night, however, was Yasumasa Morimura’s “Untitled (Futago)” (1988), a restaging of Eduardo Manet’s famous “Olympia” (1863). Manet’s painting features an audaciously nude prostitute whose direct gaze almost sparked a riot when it was first exhibited. In the 1988 restaging, the Japanese artist has put himself in place of the prostitute; for that matter, he’s also assumed the role of the African servant in the background. This humorous, cross-dressing melting pot is completed by the jarring presence of a Maneki Neko, the ubiquitous Japanese beckoning cat statuary. What makes the second exhibit even more effective is the clear sense of continuity with the ’60s exhibition. To give one example, paintings by Robert Colescott and Mel Ramos directly reference the work of Willem de Kooning; one of de Kooning’s untitled paintings is among the first you encounter when you enter the “Art at the Origin” exhibit. To close things out, The Rose acquired a video installation, Bruce Conner’s “EVE-RAY-FOREVER”

(1965/2006), with a clear Brandeis connection. The film triptych originally appeared at The Rose in 1965; prior to his 2008 death, Conner painstakingly recreated the footage he used. The exhibit consists of three silent films playing simultaneously and unsynchronized. The footage consists of a variety of things: naked women, TV commercials, “Mickey Mouse” cartoons and cheetahs charging across the savannah. The combination of images constantly changes, sometimes resulting in chaos and sometimes creating fascinating juxtapositions. One of the most interesting ones occurred when the footage was joined by a rocket launching and a cartoon cannon exploding—Freud would have had a field day. The Rose Art Museum has long been the hidden gem of Brandeis but it need not be hidden any longer. Here is a collection containing works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th and now 21st centuries, and it’s easily accessible from any place on campus. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting The Rose in your time at Brandeis, now is your chance to get a full sense of the scope of the museum’s mission.

Editorial

Rose controversy left lasting shadow

Photos by Nafiz “Fizz” Ahmed and Albee Qian (Top) Students talk with staff at a reception on Wednesday to celebrate the reopening of The Rose. (Middle, left to right) Director of Museum Operations Roy Dawes introduces President Lawrence at the reception on Thursday; Former Provost Marty Krauss talks with President Lawrence and Director of the Office of the Arts Scott Edmiston. (Bottom) Students admire the new exhibits and paintings.

Celebrating the reopening of The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis community members talked about a new era for the university this week. But as much as the Rose debacle resonated with the arts community, the lessons of the crisis that followed resonated with many others who were unfamiliar and uninterested in the role of the arts at Brandeis. What the university made clear in 2009 was that the original decision to close The Rose never considered the artwork. It was about an organization trying to close a budget deficit during a global recession, an institution trying to weigh the trade-offs between laying off workers, cutting academic departments and selling art to rescue finances. Then-President Jehuda Reinharz and management focused on the financial reasoning of the decision, not the wide-ranging impact on the community. The lesson from The Rose is clear: When leaders make decisions they need to listen to a wide range of voices and not just from their closest advisers. Had university leaders and trustees solicited feedback from the arts community before they announced their decision to sell the art, Brandeis would have been prepared for the response that followed and perhaps it would have conveyed or crafted it differently. The Rose controversy also taught the university that communication and transparency, whether to students or alumni, is crucial for community members to feel connected. The original idea to sell the art was poorly thought out but its reasoning was not. Like all other institutions, in 2009 Brandeis was forced to make difficult decisions in order to account for unexpected and expanding losses of revenue. Decisions must me based on what is best for the university and that includes the impact it has on all people associated with the school. While financial stability is undoubtedly tied to the success and progress of universities, so to is it tied to the pride students and alumni have in their school. For students both in and outside of the arts community, the Rose debacle shifted the focus of Brandeis so far from what we want our vision and image to be in the world. Now, we are just grateful to close the Rose chapter, mindful of the lessons that came with it, and continue to rebuild Brandeis’ image and influence in society.


6 NEWS

The Brandeis Hoot

October 28, 2011

Nobel a boost for Econ professor’s U.S. history research By Connor Novy Staff

Economics Professor George J. Hall is currently working on what he describes as an “ambitious project that tells the history of the United States through government spending, taxes and borrowing,” with recent Nobel Prize winner and New York University professor Tom Sargent. What began as a conversation between colleagues about the repercussions of government borrowing became an analysis of the fiscal history of the United States. Hall had done some work in graduate school on the cost of borrowing under Sargent, but not of this scope. What they initially intended to be a paper or series of articles might become a book, perhaps even for the popular audience, especially with the boost in publicity after Sargent’s Nobel Prize. Hall and Sargent have been crawling through history, divining the economic repercussions of America’s spending choices. Last week, two undergraduate students were hired to assist Hall and Sargent. Alex Bargar ’12 described the imminence of the research: “George Hall’s project is impressively expansive and, from what I understand, its depth has thus far been unmatched.”

While studying the current effects of government borrowing, they compared the “choices the country has made at various times,” Hall explained. “By looking at history, we can think about the choices we’ve made in the past and that might help influence our decisions now.” As they studied the situation, it made sense to look back at similar moments in history, especially World War II and the spending policies during and after. The scope continued to expand. They turned toward the first World War, then the Civil War. “We just said, ‘let’s keep going’ and we went all the way back to 1776,” said Hall. Submersed in historical documents from the United States Treasury, they began to notice trends. In times of war, the United States repeatedly suspended the gold standard in order to fund the government spending, beginning with the Civil War. Bargar has been sifting through these documents. “What I’m focusing on right now are the bonds issued by the United States government in order to pay for the Civil War. Looking through copies of documents that are over 100 years old, just recently having been digitized, and likely having only been seen by a handful of people in the last several decades (if not century)

is intriguing.” Sargent and Hall met when Hall was working for another Nobel Prize winner, Chris Simms, and was a student of Sargent’s at the University of Chicago. They had conversed on the subject of government spending for years and three years ago wrote a paper on the trends of government spending. After publication of the paper, Hall and Sargent decided to move forward with the concepts they had long entertained: that the repercussions of the government’s fiscal policies can be witnessed in its past actions. He briefly explained the historical concepts: From the beginning, America has had a policy outlining how it would finance its wars. Outlined by Albert Gallatin, fourth Secretary of the Treasury, the government chose to borrow instead of to tax, explained Hall; “It’s not efficient to tax when you need a lot of output.” The country has been able to borrow at an extremely low interest rate for centuries because Hamilton’s decisions at the birth of the nation, which set the precedent that America did not default on its debts and amalgamated the debt of the states under the federal government to ensure that no state defaulted. “U.S. citizens benefit immensely from

In PETA contest, univ embraces just one of group’s goals VEGAN, from page 1

Megan Elsayed ’14 said, but “my main issue with the survey is that it isn’t metrics based.” Huling of PETA defended his view, saying that the student online vote, while a celebrated part of the contest that all can participate in, “is just one component and is a way that students can make their voices known.” “But ultimately it comes down to us,” he said. “PETA looks at both the quantity as well as the quality of the vegan and vegetarian options offered on campus,” Huling said. “We contact students and school administration, and relationships students have with dining services is a very important factor.” According the contest rules on PETA2’s website, the other components of the contest take into account student feedback in the form of contact with the organization, school administration support of vegan issues, and PETA’s own assessment of positive change and activism. In recent years, Huling said, “More and more schools are working on getting ahead of this trend,” and so fine-tuning results for a contest becomes even more important. The trend Huling refers to is the animal rights cause, which is something many vegans, even if their school could do with some improvement, are sympathetic to as well. “I even think it can be defined as going past cruelty and into things like socioeconomic or environmental responsibility,” Elsayed said. PETA believes that “animals are not ours to eat,” and not ours for entertainment, according to their mission statement. In the contest this year, which will run until a winner is named Nov. 21, Northwestern is again a favorite and the competitive reason is clear. According to PETA, the Northwestern “dining services department reports that between 35 and 55 percent of students select a vegetarian or vegan entree every day.” Huling stressed though that PETA sees positive change—like that at Brandeis in the last year, as a value. Indeed in Brandeis’ blurb on the contest’s website, the organization lauds Brandeis for “a vibrant streak of progressive activism dating back several decades. Brandeis students are known for setting the bar high and waging high-profile campaigns when their de-

mands aren’t met.” (In a bit of publicity perhaps negated by this investigation, they also assert that “thankfully for the campus chefs, vegan food is one area where students have nothing but kind words.”) PETA sees the Brandeis menu as a step toward the positive. “We’re looking for vegans to be able to have the same choices—strong, savory flavors—and you can finally have more of these on college campuses of today,” Huling said, adding that “more and more students are choosing vegan versus traditional dishes,” perhaps because of a growing sympathy with PETA’s goals. He also said that by tapping into other movements and types of activism, PETA is expanding the numbers. Pro-environmental protection or “green” activism is perhaps one of the most “in” causes of the current college generation, and Huling said that pro-animal policies are also “good for the environment, and come to institutions [that] are putting a higher priority now on sustainability.” According to Huling, “many of the same companies that are hostile to animal rights are these same ones both destroying the environment and even the one treating their workers abysmally—often they go hand in hand.” In this way the animal-rights cause can co-opt labor movements as well. On college campuses, PETA also looks at the issues of dissection in science and medical research and other ways that colleges interact with animals. Huling happily regaled an anecdote from the University of Michigan where students rallied to remove a tradition of bringing a circus—with trained animals either in cages or performing stunts—to school, which successfully helped ban the entertainment. “Schools don’t revisit the core issue until students press them on it,” Huling admitted, which is the point of this core issue to PETA. While PETA makes use of other causes like labor or the environment and sells its policies to schools when a fiscal advantage argument can be made, his organization sees these as incidental steps to try and diminish animal cruelty regardless of method. To PETA members the issue is a moral, philosophical decision to combat cruelty, barbarism and destruction of life. Not eating meat is only the easiest step to take in a moral lifestyle shift. “It takes 16 pounds of grain to feed a

cow enough to produce one pound of meat and, even if people aren’t performing acts themselves, they’re often paying someone to do it for them,” Huling said. PETA would have all animal uses, from food and agriculture to medical research, disbanded on the view that all animals are capable of feeling pain. It calls the use of animals for food not only unsustainable, wasteful and fiscally unsound—arguments that are at times not wholly supportable—but more importantly, simply wrong. Even if the current, consensus system of eating meat and using animals for human progress were cheaper, sustainable and more efficient, the moral issue trumps, according to PETA. Huling was asked at the conclusion of the interview if he supported PETA’s recent spectacle of a lawsuit against Seaworld for its treatment of the orcas who famously perform there. The suit, the latest in a history of famous suits by PETA, claims that Seaworld is “violating the 13th Amendment to the Constitution’s prohibition against slavery.” PETA claims that because the article does not specifically hold illegal slavery to persons, Seaworld is violating the law of the land against involuntary servitude. Huling proudly defended the quixotic claim: “It should be tried; these animals are kept in terrible conditions. And by any natural definition, the animals at Seaworld are slaves.”

george hall

tom sargent

Hamilton’s actions,” Hall said. The wars that borrowing funded increased government spending, according to Hall. “If you want to see the start of the welfare state and the beginning of welfare programs, wars are really important because they set the mechanisms for how these things get started.” Government spending has increased with every war, because of the interest payments on the loans it took out, but also pensions for soldier. The government began after the Civil War what would eventually become social security. “Generally what’s happened is spending

photos from internet source

rises during wars and it never goes back to the prewar level,” Hall said. The United States government’s actions in the late 19th century mirror choices it has made more recently—when bondholders, largely Wall Street bankers, were repaid after the war, they were paid in valuable gold dollars instead of the relatively worthless “greenbacks” that the soldiers were being given, which amounted to a kind of “bailout” according to Hall. Next year, Hall and Sargent have plans to jointly teach a class at NYU on the fiscal history of the United States, and Hall hopes to bring it to Brandeis the following year.

Obama admin announces student loan rate reduction By Victoria Aronson Special to the Hoot

Debts incurred by college graduates have increasingly spiked during the years in a trend that is concurrent with the recent economic downfall and troubling decline of the job market. In an effort to lessen the mounting debts owed by college students, President Obama declared on Wednesday the administration’s new “Pay as You Earn” loan repayment proposal. Student borrowers are currently expected to pay a cap of 15 percent of their total income toward loan payments, with all remaining debts to be forgiven after a period of 25 years. As of 2010, Congress implemented an act lowering this cap to 10 percent and diminishing the forgiveness period by five years. Initially designed to be implemented in 2014, President Obama’s current proposal is planned to be enacted in 2012. Not only would this plan thus seek to lessen the financial burden placed upon college students but it would also bear greater implications on those currently attending university. To reduce interest costs and regular payments further, eligible students would be allotted the opportunity to consolidate their loans through the Direct Loan program as well. Rather than attempting to push the proposal through Congress, President Obama bypassed this hassle by utilizing executive authority. Obama asserted that “steps like these won’t take the place of the bold action we need from Congress to boost our economy and create jobs but they will make a difference. And until Congress does act, I will continue to do everything in my power to act on behalf of the American people.” Furthermore, the U.S. secretary of education, Arne Duncan, claims such actions can be taken without cost to taxpayers. Ideally, such measures taken by the Obama administration for the purpose of relieving the financial strife suffered by college students will aid in negating the rising cost of college attendance.


impressions

October 28, 2011

Editor’s Desk

The Brandeis Hoot 7

At The Rose, an admission that art trumps money

By Alex Schneider Editor

Amid the paintings and sculptures on display in the recently reopened Rose Art Museum, there’s one piece of art that clearly doesn’t belong. It’s a small lawn sign that reads in bold red and white lettering, “ATM available inside.” In 2009, The Rose almost became a metaphorical ATM. But thanks to the design efforts of artist Steve Miller, the sign instead reminded the campus that “Art Trumps Money.” Stumbling on the sign in the renovated Rose Art Museum is nothing short of eerie. A small plaque accompanies the sign, but this one is unique. It doesn’t just explain the meaning of the artwork. It describes the history of the museum itself, including the Rose controversy and lawsuit and the role students and community members played in ensuring the Rose galleries were never sold to the highest bidder. The original decision to close The Rose was made with little forethought or regard to the impact the decision would have on Brandeis’ reputation in the art community. Steve Miller’s artwork had been displayed at The Rose in 2007 and he returned to Brandeis to join the majority of community members in showing solidarity with patrons of the museum.

His work, the ATM sign, became a rallying call across campus. The community was outraged and the ATM sign focused that sentiment. That the sign now sits among Warhols and Lichtensteins is remarkable. But the decision to display the sign is also indicative of a changing attitude at Brandeis concerning The Rose. Brandeis administrators and trustees are no longer on edge when they discuss The Rose. They instead display a remarkable level of comfort in discussing both the original Rose decision and the reaction to it. The damage that was done is no longer seen as an affront to Brandeis’ image. Brandeis has a new president, a new set of administrators and a new—albeit temporary—museum director. Of course, the trustees who voted to close The Rose aren’t going anywhere but, then again, they are the same people who this week celebrated the reopening. They sure aren’t about to sell the artwork. Missing at the celebrations this week was former President Jehuda Reinharz, who became a symbol at Brandeis of the real or perceived crusade against the museum. Reinharz admitted that he “screwed up” but he never publicly acknowledged the history of the entire debate as described succinctly and candidly on the plaque accompanying Miller’s ATM sign. It was this inability to accept the narra-

The Katzwer’s Out of the Bag

By Yael Katzwer Editor

There are certain words one cannot say without bringing on excessive ire. I won’t list any here but we all know what they are. The question becomes, however, in what settings and contexts can these words be spoken, or is it never all right? Schools should be safe zones in which to conduct discussions about these words and the feelings and meanings behind them. If children are not taught which words are acceptable and which words will get them beaten up, how will they know before it is too late? At the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York earlier this month, Barry Sirmon, a ninth-grade teacher, was fired because he used some of those words in his class. To clarify, he was not using them to berate students or to display a hatred for any particular group of people. Although neither Sirmon nor the school’s administration will release what Sirmon said, Sirmon did tell The New York Times that it was not his intention to attack anyone. “It was an attempt to show how lame and stupid these ‘isms’ are—racism and antiSemitism,” Sirmon said. Admittedly, Sirmon may be incredibly racist despite the fact that he claims he is not. Sirmon is a white man from South Africa who grew up during apartheid. For a lot of people, that is all they need to hear to label Sirmon a racist. Sirmon, however, was court-martialed during his mandatory two-year stint in the South African Army because he refused to set up a network of informants, as ordered, to abate Namibia’s black independence movement. He refused, knowing the potential consequences, because “anyone becoming an informant would face retribution and probably be killed.” After this incident, Sirmon fled to

photo by alex schneider/the hoot

tive of the Rose debacle that kept Reinharz from rehabilitating his image. Conventional wisdom would hold that the ceremonies marking the reopening of The Rose Art Museum are clearly all about public relations—a way of bringing closure to a saga that at one point threatened the reputation of Brandeis University.

But actions speak louder than words. And today, by displaying the ATM sign in The Rose, Brandeis has accepted the story of The Rose’s darkest days and indicated a willingness to move forward. Only time will tell whether The Rose remains a financial and aca-

demic priority. One indicator will be the person chosen as the next director, while another indicator will be whether donors or the university fund new acquisitions and displays at the museum. But for now, in the galleries of The Rose sits a reminder for all to see that art trumps money.

Think first, don’t overreact

the United States and was granted political asylum. Since then, he has married and both he and his wife teach at Fieldston, a school with a large minority population and a focus on tolerance and diversity. Even his son graduated from Fieldston. Sirmon, his colleagues and his students all admit that he has a somewhat out-there sense of humor. People need to calm down and not get so worked up over such little things. All jokes—educational or not—step on someone’s toes; jokes that do not offend anyone tend not to be that funny. Whatever he said was not meant as a pejorative but was meant to be educational; it was meant to embody the school’s own mission and they fired him for it. A Fieldston mother, who asked not to be identified for some unknown reason (Come on, NY Times, I expect better from you!), said, “He is a very anti-P.C. guy in a very P.C. school.” Why is this a bad thing? Isn’t the whole point of Fieldston to celebrate differences? Oh, right, just not the differences they do not like. She continued: “I wouldn’t condone this in the workplace and I’m not a prude. Words matter.” If you have to say that you are not a prude, you probably are. Since being fired, nearly 350 of the 592 students at the upper school have signed a petition to reinstate Sirmon. While the administration and the parents seem to have lost their minds, at the least the students are behaving rationally and are able to distinguish between education and vulgarity. Sadly, this seems to be a trend; one student in a class full of them overreacts and goes to their parents, who similarly overreact (I wonder from where the student got it), and the teacher is then reprimanded for doing their job. Last year, Sarah Jordan, who had been teaching seventh-grade English at a school in Westborough, Mass., was forced to resign her job in the

face of a parent’s unbelievable overreaction. Jordan was teaching a lesson on media analysis and the main focus of her talk was how gender is portrayed. She showed her students a short clip from Eminem’s “Superman” music video. Sure, not the most appropriate video but a student’s father had an even more inappropriate reaction. He went to the police. Really? He did not want to talk to the principal, maybe. The police? Really? The police, who obviously had nothing better to do, launched an investigation—students were interviewed, Jordan was asked to hand over the clip she had shown, etc. Meanwhile, irate parents flooded the school’s principal with letters demanding Jordan be fired. The principal, who kept a cool head unlike Fieldston’s principal, did not fire Jordan. Instead Jordan was suspended. By the end of the investigation less than a week later, the police had determined (I still do not understand why the police even pursued this.) that there had been no nudity or excessively explicit material in the clip. Jordan’s reputation was ruined anyway. Due to pressure from parents and the embarrassment this teacher suffered, she quit her job—the job she had been performing for 10 years. That is—plain and simple—wrong. One father gets dramatic and a woman’s professional life is ruined. Parents really need to take some chill pills (not that I’m condoning using drugs, although they may help in this case). Unless your kid comes home saying, “Mommy, Daddy, I saw Eminem’s penis at school today,” stay calm. It is not like they are not seeing these things elsewhere. Scantily clad people dancing together! Why I never! Oh, wait, it sounds like a Miley Cyrus concert, to which parents bring their elementary school-aged children.

And do not think this is just a problem faced at middle and high schools. There was a similar backlash against Professor Donald Hindley (POL) in 2008 when he used the term “wetback” in a lecture. Let’s be clear again, the man was teaching a class on Latin American politics and he used the word to educate his students so they would know that “wetback” is a pejorative term. He did not call anyone by that word nor did he condone its use. Still, the school found him guilty of discrimination and harassment. Despite repeated requests, Brandeis University never provided Hindley with a record of what he supposedly said that was so offensive. Yet again, someone took something too far and put an educator through a frustrating and completely avoidable process of hardship. Unlike Sirmon and Jordan, Hindley did not lose his job; he still works here. For a semester after the incident, monitors were as-

signed to watch him teach and he was ordered to attend antidiscrimination training. He refused to go, knowing that he had done nothing to warrant such a punishment. People need to remember that schools are meant to be safe zones where anything can be discussed for the sake of education. Replacing the “N-word” in “Huck Finn” with the word “slave” (a topic on which I have much to say but will not say here) is just the tip of the iceberg. These are people’s lives, not books written by dead men. What will we lose next? What words will we not be able to say in a classroom tomorrow without fear of expulsion or of the teacher losing their job? Enough is enough. Calm down and remember that not everything is an insult, not everything is an atrocity. Words are words and they only have as much power as we give them.

graphic by steven wong/the hoot


8 IMPRESSIONS

Altered Consciousness

By Rick Alterbaum Columnist

At this point, one year before Election Day, it seems likely that former governor Mitt Romney will become the Republican presidential nominee—assuming that all current trends persist. Romney has a lot going for him, including the fact that he is a very capable and polished debater; possesses a firm and nuanced grasp of domestic, economic and foreign policy; and is an articulate speaker and skilled communicator. He is also running a very well-organized and professional campaign; he is a prodigious fundraiser and has a wide range of experience and accomplishments both in the public and private sector. Furthermore, the quality of his primary opponents is lacking. Herman Cain is a political neophyte who has never served in public office, seems completely ignorant about foreign affairs and has a major propensity for gaffes. Furthermore, the 9-9-9 plan, which essentially is Cain’s campaign, can be criticized from the left for being regressive, from the center for not raising enough revenue and, finally, from the right for giving Congress a whole new revenue stream with which to play. Romney’s other main rival, Governor Rick Perry, is also facing a number of problems. At recent de-

Chosen Rosen

By Ricky Rosen Columnist

Like most of you, I wouldn’t be caught dead without my cell phone. Pretty much the only times I don’t have it on me are when I’m taking a test (fearing it will ring, I turn it off and take the battery out) and when I’m in the shower. And ironically, as soon as I finish both activities, I always rush back to check if I have any new messages. I use my cell phone for many things—obviously to make calls, but also to check my e-mails, to surf the Internet, to tweet and to post on Facebook. But the most important feature of my cell phone is text messaging. I’m always texting. For every phone call I make, I send about 50 texts. On average, I probably send at least 100 texts per day to anywhere from 10 to 20 different people. My texts can either be short requests for friends to meet me for basketball or intense conversations about whatever drama is affecting me that week. Texting is my main means of communications with others. Texting has because such a huge part of my daily routine that I’m not even aware of how often I check my cell phone throughout the course of the day. But, I bet if someone followed me around and observed me for a day, the first comment they would make is that my fingers are practically cemented to the keyboard on my Blackberry. No matter where I am, there’s a good chance I am texting. I text in between classes. I text when I should be doing homework. I text and walk down the Rabb steps (which is actually pretty dangerous). It’s the first thing I do in the morning and the last

The Brandeis Hoot

October 28, 2011

Romney is right for Republicans bates, Perry has been alternately unfocused, incoherent, distracted and at times downright nasty—especially during his attempt to smear Romney for hiring an illegal immigrant. Also, like Cain, Perry lacks knowledge of international issues and does not seem to know a lot about things not directly related to Texas. These are considerable advantages. Romney, however, still has trouble rising above approximately 25 percent in the polls and he lacks a passionate support base. Perhaps he should consider taking the following steps. First, lay out your core, underlying principles. Observers of the 2012 race are understandably skeptical about what Romney truly believes—other than the fact that he wants to become president. This is a man, after all, who once attempted to run to the left of the late and very liberal Ted Kennedy and is now positioning himself to the right of Rick Perry, one of the most conservative governors in the country, on issues like immigration. With this turn rightward has come a great deal of shifting on a range of important social and economic issues. Romney should try combating this image of inconsistency by clearly stating what his core political philosophy is and how it has guided him in public life. Second, be bolder in your policy proposals. The Republican primary electorate, in particular, is looking for a candidate who can capture the populist spirit of the Tea Party move-

graphic by linjie xu/the hoot

ment and present a clear, concrete and bold alternative to President Obama. In contrast, some of Romney’s positions, such as on entitlements and tax reform, seem timid. Romney should try to negate the impression that he stands for the status quo. And third, don’t pander to interest groups at the expense of the rest of the population. For example, to curry favor with Iowa farmers, Rom-

ney supports ethanol subsidies that increase food prices and distort international trade. Or, in line with union demands and increasing anti-China sentiment, he seeks to impose tariffs and duties on imported goods from China. While China’s atrocious human rights record, dramatic military buildup and aggressive foreign policy are causes for immense concern, starting a trade war with one of our

largest creditors and economic partners, particularly in a recession, is still not a very good idea. Nonetheless, Romney is in fact a strong candidate, and has a very good shot at being the next Republican nominee, barring some unforeseen development. It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for him and the rest of the Republican field in the coming months.

Don’t call my name ... just text me thing I do before I fall asleep. I text for three main reasons. First of all, like most things, I text as a means of passing the time. Since I always have my cell phone on me, I find myself texting when bored since my cell phone is just another toy to play with. The second reason I am addicted to texting is that it’s a great way to keep in constant contact with friends. If I haven’t talked to a friend in two months, a quick text message is all it takes to remind him of my existence. And it’s so quick and simple to communicate with friends that it’s almost silly not to text. As college students, and as human beings, we are ridiculously lazy creatures, so we usually choose to do whatever requires the least amount of work. And, believe it or not, sending a four-word text inviting your friend to come over on a Saturday night is about as easy and effortless as it gets. The third reason I am addicted to texting is that it makes communication extremely easy. More than e-mail, Facebook or the Internet, texting is the fastest and most reliable means of communication nowadays. And it cannot even compare to the telephone. Texting is quick and easy; you send a message and receive a response in less than a minute, as opposed to undergoing an entire process, whether it be sending an e-mail and waiting hours for a response or making a phone call and having to wait what feels like an eternity for your friend to answer their phone. Another reason texting is so convenient is that the majority of people carry their cell phones with them everywhere, so you won’t have to wait long to get an answer. When compared with the phone call, texting is superior. You don’t have to wait 15 seconds for the call to actually connect, 30 seconds for the phone to ring and 20 seconds to do the whole “can

you hear me now?” dance. Instead, you say what you need to say via text message and that is all. Another reason texting is better than the phone call is that, if a person doesn’t pick up their phone, you’re left leaving voicemails and playing phone tag. A better alternative is just texting what you wanted to say. If you want to talk to them via the phone or in person, you can just text them asking what time they’re free and plan it then. I first learned about the versatility of text messaging the summer of my sophomore year in high school. I went to this gigantic concert, Warped Tour, with my friend and, the second we walked out onto the field, we were separated. As it was my first real concert, I panicked and called my friend at least a dozen times and, each time, he did not answer. I left him several voicemails telling him to call me back. And he did. He called me back several times and each time, I missed his call. A few times, I picked up and tried to tell him where to meet me but it was too loud to hear each other. It was only after we had played phone tag for two hours that it dawned on me that I could just text him. And so I texted him to meet me outside one of the trucks and we finally met up. Texting in that situation, and in most situations, turns out to be exponentially more convenient than calling. One last benefit of texting is that it does not require the unilateral commitment of a phone call. Phone calls require all of your attention, which is senseless if you just want to ask someone what your Italian homework is. Texting is better because you can ask them, do other stuff and then wait for a response. As you very well know, I am not the only one in the world who feels this strongly about texting. This is in fact a worldwide phenomenon. And not

just teenagers and college students are textaholics anymore. Lots of adults are now communicating via text message. And yes, my mom texts me at least a few times a day As for the telephone, few people call via the phone anymore for casual interaction. It has become outdated and is now reserved for long conversations with family and formal business interviews. While 99 percent of the people I interact with on a daily basis use texting, a few of my friends have refused to hop on the bandwagon. Honestly,

it is difficult to get in touch with these people. This is especially true when I forward a text message to six people, which takes less than six seconds. I then have to call my one friend who doesn’t text, which can take five minutes! While I might be able to go a day without Twitter and I’d definitely be able to go a day without Facebook, I would not be able to go a day without texting, as it is my main means of communication with the outside world. And, thankfully, I don’t have to.

graphic by steven wong/the hoot


October 28, 2011

IMPRESSIONS 9

The Brandeis Hoot

Nineteen going on thirty By Betty Revah Staff

I have always wanted to be 30. Since I was a little girl, all I ever wanted was to be an adult. I used to envy older women for being able to dress beautifully, put on their makeup and go to work or simply go have coffee with their friends. I envied their serious conversations, their manners and their confidence. There has always been something about thirty year olds that has attracted my attention—the fact that they are old but not too old, confident but still fun and serious but a little crazy—that has made me regret everyday that distances me from that age and the adulthood that follows. Now, I know what you’re thinking, so there is no need to say it. Trust me, I have heard many people say it all before, including nonsense like: “There is no rush,” “You’re wasting your youth,” “This is the best stage of life,” “Things only gets more complicated from here” ... really, I know it all. Maybe it’s just me, who knows, maybe I’m a little crazy but I have always thought that 30 is the perfect age and, until recently I hadn’t stopped to question this idea—this rush to be 30. But, what if these are actually the best days of my life and by trying to get them out of the way quickly, I’m actually wasting my life away? Have you ever heard someone say “Youth is wasted on the young?” Well, I have. Everyone has always told me that I act like an adult, not like a teenager, that I am way too serious and that I drink too much coffee. I have even heard people say I will regret being the way that I am, so serious, so preoccupied all the time when I could be doing whatever it is teenagers do these days like having fun, crashing parties, being irresponsible, etc. Last week I turned 19 and realized that this is officially my last year as a teenager, finally! The day was here.

Still Writing

By Gordy Stillman Editor

I’m not sure if Warner Bros. is trying to annoy me but whatever they’re doing is working. Last week, they implemented a new digital copy system, and now they’re messing with “Harry Potter.” This week reports have been circulating that Warner Bros. intends to implement a moratorium on the sale of the “Harry Potter” films beginning Dec. 29, 2011. It seems that if you want to get your hands on a copy of the eighth and final film, or even the full eight-film set, you’ll have less than two months to do it. For people in the United Kingdom, they won’t even get a month to decide. I don’t know who is in charge of these decisions. I had moved past my irritation at WB for delaying the sixth “Harry Potter” movie a while ago and had even forgotten how upset some fans were when the countdown to release it tripled overnight. It seems that the executives at Warner Bros. have only been biding their time, waiting for another opportunity to annoy consumers. First came the new digital copy technology, which is a digital version of a movie that can be generally downloaded for free through iTunes

I was thinking about how happy I was—only 11 more years to go. I was closer to my goal, closer to being 30. And then it just hit me, what everyone else had been telling me for so long, what I had always heard but never really thought about. There truly is a charm in being young. You can get away with so many things. If you decide to fake an illness and miss a day of school, nothing happens—it’s not the end of the world and no one suffers the consequences but yourself. If you spend a lot of money on unnecessary things—and we all know that we do sometimes—it’s OK! No one (except your parents maybe) will think twice about it. If you mess up, people will not judge you so harshly because you only learn from your mistakes. If you live life to the fullest and enjoy yourself, no one will think that you’re being stupid or immature because they will simply say, “Oh well, she’s young. Let her have a little fun.” To be honest, fun has not always been my thing. I have always been so concentrated—on school, getting good grades, getting into a good college, building a future—that I have not stopped, even for a second, to realize what I might have been missing. I’m not saying that I will become the life of the party all of a sudden or that college does not matter to me anymore I’m only saying that, while I still want to be 30 (and trust me, I really, really do, despite what other people might say), I’m no longer rushing. Yes, I can’t wait to wake up in the mornings and dress beautifully before going to work, instead of waking up and running to class in my sweats and I can’t wait to be a journalist or a writer—or whatever it is that I end up doing with my life—but I don’t feel like fast forwarding 11 years in order to get it. There’s a reason you have to be a teenager before you can be an adult and, while I’m still young and reckless, I might as well enjoy it.

graphic by sarah sue landau/the hoot

Stories of smartphone success By Debby Brodsky Editor

The day I got my Android Incredible smartphone, my mother got one too. For two weeks we sat, fiddling with our new toys, engrossed in their speed, intelligence and sexiness. Nearly a year later, we are still discovering new tricks our phones can perform and update each other regularly with the latest applications we’ve found. Owning a smartphone has allowed me to text at lightning speed, play Words With Friends whenever boredom strikes and surreptitiously check Facebook, even when I’m in class. This incredible Incredible is working 24/7 to make sure I am up to speed and in the loop on everything possible. I get buzzes when receiving an e-mail, chimes when receiving a text message and I jam to my favorite song when anybody calls. My smartphone is so good at solving my every need, I affectionately

call it the dumbphone. If I want to play Angry Birds instead of doing homework, the smartphone says “Sure!” Should I choose to play Mad Libs instead of reading The New York Times, my phone is right behind me. Is a gentleman with a bro-stache invited to this party? Thanks to GEICO’s Android and Apple bro-stache app, I can goof around with my own stache, even if I’m not a bro. The best thing about the smartphone is its accessibility to all generations. While I consider myself adequately Droid-savvy, my grandmother is leaps and bounds ahead of me in all things technology. Instead of making chicken noodle soup, my Yiddish bubbe schools me in Words With Friends. At my grandparents’ active adult community, there are text messages and e-mails whizzing from house to house, keeping seniors, who would otherwise be slowing down, up to date with technology and the lives of their families. My grandmother and I have shared a close relationship for years but we are perhaps even closer now that we can relate to each

other as adults, through the quickly adapting technology of the smartphone. While my parents and grandparents are as up to speed with technology as I am, the way they deliberately press each key on the touch screen of their phones will never cease to be adorable. The millennial generation was born into an age of tape cassettes and dial-up, and grew up in an age of iPods and MacBook Pros. We therefore hold an inherent advantage over most people aged 50 and older—the speed at which our thumbs are known to zoom across a phone screen. I can only imagine what sleek new technology will be coming out when I’m a parent or a grandparent. Can phones get smarter? I like to think that growing up with the smartphone, I can take on any challenge quickly and, well, smartly. Will I have to fly a hovercraft in 20 years? A spaceship in 30? If my parents can make the leap from records to iPods and from typewriters to laptops, I know that my smartphone and I can take on anything.

Warner Bros., what gives? or Windows Media Player by using the code provided when you buy a labeled Blu-ray disc or DVD. Usually the code has a one-year shelf life, meaning that after the movie has been in stores for a year, the digital copy is no longer offered. Digital copy technology first started appearing around 2007, when there was almost no standardization. Some copies worked with iTunes and Windows Media; some worked with only Windows Media; some worked with Windows; and some worked with Sony’s Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable. In recent years, thankfully, it has become fairly standard that, if a digital copy is included, it will work in both iTunes and Windows Media Player. Additionally, it’s increasingly become standard to include a digital copy as a part of the purchase when someone buys a new movie. For example, when “Green Lantern” was released a couple of weeks ago, consumers could choose from standard Blu-ray version with special features; a DVD copy and a digital copy available in both 2D and 3D; a DVD that was just the movie without special features; and a Blu-ray version without special features. I’ve always bought the versions with special features because deleted scenes are a lot of fun and it can be very interesting to see how movies are made. Even when special features are in-

cluded across the board, versions with a digital copy tend to sell for a couple dollars more. Starting this month with “Green Lantern” and “Horrible Bosses,” both distributed by Warner Bros., digital copies are changing for the worse. Both of these movies, and upcoming movies like “Deathly Hallows Part II,” are using a new technology called Ultraviolet. The idea behind Ultraviolet isn’t all that horrible. You create an account and then the system keeps a record of all the digital content rights you accumulate as digital copies. You can stream the content to any device that supports the technology and the content file-type can potentially be optimized for the specific device on which you watch the movie. That’s about all that’s good with this service. Inconveniences include needing to sign-up for another service (on top of Netflix, Xbox Live or whatever services each consumer already uses), a lack of devices that support the technology and the inability to watch movies on an iPhone or iPad. Additionally, the main use of the service is for streaming movies and not having to store the movie files on your computer. I can get past the need to sign up for another account, especially because I can opt out of all the e-mails. I can get past the fact that not many devices currently support the service because they will eventually and com-

puters just need to download an application in order to play the movies. What I cannot get past is its incompatibility with iTunes and the lack of choice between getting an iTunes version or this new Ultraviolet version. When a digital copy is available on iTunes and Windows Media Player, the one-time validation code works with both formats. I can choose whether or not I want an iTunes file or a Windows file. The new Ultraviolet method does not include any way to use the digital copy with iTunes, so when I want to watch the movie on a flight, it won’t be readily available. Additionally, when mobile devices such as cell phones do support the technology, it will only serve to bring people closer to reaching their monthly data caps. If I had a twogigabyte cap and were to stream a standard definition digital copy of “Scream 4,” it would consume more than 75 percent of my monthly data allotment. That is pure insanity. This service is meant to compete directly with Apple’s iTunes as a digital media hub. On to the decision that is nothing short of idiocy: Warner Bros.’ decision to cease home video production of the entire “Harry Potter” film series, until some later release, is just insane. The idea, long used by Disney, is that by pulling the films from retail, there would be a huge boom in

sales when they eventually re-release the series some time in the future. Meanwhile, prices will skyrocket in secondary markets like eBay. Furthermore, since 2009, Warner Bros. has been releasing “Ultimate Editions” of the “Harry Potter” films including an eight-part documentary to be spread across the eight releases. All that are left to be released are the two parts of “The Deathly Hallows.” The release dates have not even been announced yet and if this marks the cancelation it would amount to Warner Bros. saying “screw you” to the dedicated fans who have been buying the movies. Every company occasionally makes bone-headed decisions. After the delay of the sixth “Harry Potter” movie by eight months, I thought that was it for Warner Bros.; clearly I was wrong. Digital copies were an awesome idea. They gave me numerous options for movies on flights or even movies at school without having to carry a DVD around. If more and more movies only include Ultraviolet, then Warner Bros. will have become the harbinger of the end of what I consider a digital copy to be. Furthermore, Disney used to be the only company that openly practiced moratoriums on its most successful films. Warner Bros. is effectively opening the floodgate by showing that other companies can do it too. Seriously Warner Bros., what is this?


features

10 The Brandeis Hoot

By Emily Beker

Special to the Hoot

Terry Chenyu Li ’14, a Beijing native, ventured a little farther from his home than many other students did this past summer. Li took part in the Brandeis-India Initiative program and had the opportunity to teach children of different ages in a village in India. The India Initiative, a program sponsored by Global Brandeis, gives students like Li the chance to volunteer or intern in India. When they return to campus, they give a presentation on their experience. According to Li, a large part of his job now that he is back on campus is to encourage other students to go on the program. “I would encourage more Brandeis students to join this program,” Li said. “Brandeis is paying you to go to India and you can see how other people live.” When asked about the differences between his experiences in India and Beijing, Li explained that there are many differences between the two countries. “It was a really big culture shock. When I arrived at the airport I

thought they would be really poor and different from my country but once I arrived at the village the life was totally different,” Li said. “The host family I stayed with had a motorbike and a car but they didn’t have indoor showers that worked. Most people there are vegetarian, so I didn’t eat meat for 48 days.” Before living in India, Li couldn’t imagine eating vegetarianstyle either in China or at Brandeis but he enjoyed the experience. While learning to enjoy vegetarian meals in India, Li found that he also came to enjoy teaching. Li explained that he was not really interested in teaching before this but quickly gained an interest in it. Li had the opportunity to volunteer in a daycare and teach English and computers at a local elementary school. “I have never had this interaction with children who are smaller than me since I am the only child in my family, so getting in touch with children is a new experience for me,” he said. Since coming back, Li has applied for a teaching opportunity with the Waltham Group. “I found that [teaching] can really change your perspective. In India they are really eager to learn about the outside world [since] the opportunity for them to learn about it is limited due to the lack of Internet access,” he said.

October 28, 2011

When he told them about China and the United States they were really interested in learning more about it. The experience over the summer was a learning experience for him as well. While taking “Introduction to South Asia,” he learned a lot about India but at the same time felt that the class was biased and he wanted to see India in his own eyes. When Li was in India he visited the Himachal project, where many exiled Tibetans live. After the 2008 riot that killed many Han Chinese the impression was that the Tibetans hated the Chinese but, in reality, they were just angry at the government, according to Li. He learned that “they didn’t really have the freedom of religion when they were in Tibet,” adding “if I were Tibetan and [were] not allowed to do these acts of religion, I would protest against it.” Li is trying to raise awareness for the apparent lack of formal education in India by giving presentations on his experience and he is already planning a second presentation as well as a video. He also said that he would do the program again, whether he goes back to India or to another country. He also strongly encouraged other Brandeis students to join the program since it provides new perspectives of other countries.

a summer in the life Clockwise from bottom left: Li with chil-

dren and women at the daycare center; Li with students at a local elementary school; Li in McLeod Ganj; Norbulingka in Dharamsala, an institute which helps preserve Tibetan culture; and the road Li took to school each day, climbing a hill and crossing a river. photos courtesy of terry chenyu li


October 28, 2011

FEATURES 11

The Brandeis Hoot

View From the Top: Chris Amstutz

You Know We’re Right

Ditch the dude or the drama? Maybe both? Dear Leah and Morgan, I’m having some boy problems and I need your help. For a while I’ve been really good friends with this guy and we’ve been hooking up for about a month. Neither of us wants a relationship for various reasons and we were both happy with our situation—until recently. We have a lot of mutual friends and they’ve been pressuring us, not to be in a relationship, but to care more about each other. Don’t get me wrong, I care about him a lot as a friend but I don’t care if he’s hooking up with other people as long as I don’t have to see it. Drama was part of the reason I didn’t want to be in a relationship in the first place, and I’m getting tired of it. I still want to be friends and keep hooking up with him, but what should I do to get my friends off my back? Sincerely, Done with drama

Go away. Seriously. thanksgiving in kenya Chris Amstutz ’12 with the turkey that later became her Thanksgiving dinner while she was in Kenya last year.

By Chris Amstutz Special to the Hoot

In my time at Brandeis, I have been a slightly cliche college student and have tried many new things. I have tested the waters in a wide range of clubs and academic departments; I have been to dozens of random student events, activities and performances; I have at least once read the entire way through every student paper and magazine (yes, my darling Hoot, I’ve even read the Justice). In short, I have attempted to be a good experimental Brandeisian. As I near the end of my college career, I can safely say that one specific decision unequivocally was the best I ever made: going abroad. It was such a good decision, I made it twice! I spent fall semester of my junior year studying wildlife management and environmental conservation in Tanzania and Kenya. I then spent the summer before my senior year studying language and literature in Argentina. Aside from studying in these incredible and new places, I got the chance to live the cultures. My time in Tanzania and Kenya made it literally impossible for me to be sheltered anymore. Where else could I watch an eagle snatch lunch out of my friend’s hands while on safari? Or have class interrupted by birds chirping so loudly we couldn’t even hear the professor? Or have young children ask to

hold my hand as we walked, even though I was a complete stranger? For my group of 28 American students, Thanksgiving meant watching our Swahili teacher take a machete to a couple of turkeys and then give them to us, still warm, to pluck and make edible. Never has a Thanksgiving meal been so gratifying. When I returned to Brandeis after my first jaunt abroad, I went through such a degree of culture shock that all I wanted to do was go back to East Africa. I left sub-Saharan summer for New England winter. I left a country whose GDP is smaller than Harvard’s endowment for, well, Harvard’s neighborhood. I left a country with a Global Hunger Index of “serious” for the world’s leader in obesity. It took almost the entire semester for me to readjust to Brandeisian ways. It would be logical for me to have spent longer here at home, trying to live my life with my new broadened perspective. But no, instead I fled the country again, this time to Argentina. My second experience abroad was on the opposite end of the spectrum from my first. I lived in the center of Buenos Aires, a city of 14 million people. When before I had been afraid of poisonous snakes biting my ankles as I walked through the tall grass to get to class, I was now afraid of getting hit by the very bus I had to take to get to the university. I used to be in awe of

photo courtesy of chris amstutz

how vast and clear the sky was; now I was choking on the immense amount of cigarette smoke and car smog in the atmosphere. Although it was completely different, Argentina managed to add its own flair to my now expanding basis of knowledge and life-altering experiences. Even after all my gushing about studying abroad, you still might be wondering how it impacted the little time I actually spent here at Brandeis. To explain that best, I’m going to (roughly) quote a moment from Admitted Students Day way back when I was an admitted student (that would be 2008 for all you non-math majors): “Brandeis can’t prepare you for every career you will have; no college can. But we can prepare you for the rest of your life. We can teach you how to truly think, how to problem-solve, how to communicate, how to actually work. We will challenge you. And we will teach you how to succeed.” Not only has Brandeis done this for me so far, but going abroad through Brandeis has helped me to expedite the process. So if you take nothing else away from my foreign rambling, hear this: Go away. Leave, at least for a little bit. Then come back. Brandeis loves you and people here want you to get the most out of your time at college. I did that by leaving for a smidge, then coming home to good ol’ Waltham.

Rent the Runway promotes winter designs By Leah Finkelman Editor

Rent the Runway, one of Brandeis’ newest clubs, will be hosting a fashion show and afterparty Nov. 21. The fashion show, beginning in Levin Ballroom at 7:30 p.m., will showcase this year’s winter and holiday trends, as well as showing girls options for holiday and New Year’s parties, Public Relations Coordinator Sara Goldman ’13 said. Following the fashion show, the after-party will continue in Levin Ballroom until 11:30 p.m. The party will feature DJ Venti, Dutch Damage and DJ Octokyu, the winner of Brandeis’ DJ battle. Attendees can expect free food, free vitamin water and VIP treatment if they arrive early enough. Beginning Nov. 1 tickets will be on sale in Usdan 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in the Shapiro Campus Center from 3 to 5 p.m. The first 300 tickets will be sold for $5 before the price rises to $7 for advance tickets and $10 at the door. Wearing a dress from Rent the Runway guarantees free

admission. Rent the Runway is a New York-based website where members can rent designer dresses for a fraction of the retail cost. It has recently begun reaching out to college students by creating College Runway Reps and groups on campuses that promote the company. At the first meeting of Rent the Runway Brandeis, manager Emily Troge ’14 explained that the majority of Brandeis students don’t have opportunities to get dressed up. In addition to simply promoting the website, she said, the College Runway Rep’s job includes creating events, like the fashion show and afterparty, that give girls a reason to rent a designer dress.

photo by andrew rauner/the hoot

Dear Done, Ditch the drama! Your relationship with your guy (whether it’s platonic, sexual or romantic) is about two people: you and him—not your entire group of friends. To do this you can either end things with him and work to stay friends or keep hooking up but clarify the situation so everyone knows what’s up. It sounds like you’d rather do the second. Have “the talk” The most important thing to do if you want to “stay together,” for lack of a better word, is confirm that you and your guy are on the same page. That way, if a friend alerts you that he’s hooked up with someone else, you can say with confidence that you’ve agreed you aren’t exclusive (or that you are … in which case you should probably have the talk again!). Explain to him how you’re feeling about your friends’ involvement. Chances are, he feels the same way. Dealing with your crew This is where things get tricky. Short of sending a mass public service announcement, you won’t be able to reach all of them at once, so you’re going to need to grin and bear it and deal with individual situations as they come up. When a friend tries to tell you that your guy did something they’ve deemed wrong, simply smile and tell your friend: “Thanks for looking out for me, but we’ve talked and he hasn’t done anything that goes against how we see ourselves, so I’d rather just not think about it.” If the drama continues, it might be easier just to end things, but you really seem to want to make things work, so for your sake we hope he and your friends shape up! Best of luck! Peace, love and good advice, Leah and Morgan Have questions that you want answered by the lovely ladies of The Hoot? Submit your questions to advice@thebrandeishoot.com or at formspring. me/leahandmorgan! They will be answered by Leah Finkelman ’13, Features Editor, and Morgan Gross ’14, Impressions Editor. We’re so excited to hear your questions!


12 NEWS

The Brandeis Hoot

This Week in History Brandeis

2005 A fire-suppression sprinkler in East Quad floods Pom 6 after accidentally being struck by a football.

2007 University adminis-

trators ban the Less You Wear dance after alcohol-related issues and BEMCo calls.

Massachusetts

1775 A British proclamation issued by Major General William Howe forbids residents from leaving Boston.

1915 A referendum to

give Massachusetts women the vote fails, due in part to women opposed to suffrage.

United States

1929 The stock market

crashes and billions of dollars are lost, setting the country up for the Great Depression.

1998 Senator John Glenn goes into space for the second time on the Discovery as the oldest human to travel in space.

1517

World

Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses on the door of a German church, inspiring the Protestant Reformation.

1993 The Maastricht

Treaty goes into effect, establishing the European Union from 12 European countries.

October 28, 2011

Redefining the Holocaust

Israeli author Michal Govrin offers insight for survivors’ families By Alana Blum Editor

Michal Govrin, an acclaimed Israeli writer, visited Brandeis this past week to discuss her book, “Hold on to the Sun.” Her newly translated book presents a collection of short stories and essays in which Govrin explores her identity as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Her words redefine what it means to live in a post-Holocaust world. As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Govrin’s well-articulated thoughts certainly helped me come to terms with my own family’s story. Throughout Govrin’s speech, she spoke about “cracks in [her] existence,” which she was able to look through. She explained that as a young Ph.D. student in Paris, she was finally able to face the legacy of her mother’s past. She had to come to terms with the fact she once had an older brother, who was murdered during the Holocaust at the young age of eight. Through literature, Govrin is able to express these moments of deep revelation. As part of Govrin’s visit to Brandeis, she was invited to speak to several small classes, including my Israeli Literature and Culture class. In preparation for her visit, each student was given a copy of “Hold on to the Sun.” One essay in particular, titled “The Journey to Poland,” helped me shed some light on my own family’s story as I began making connections between Govrin’s past and my own. “And what about Mother’s shrouded story? Details continued to join together in fragments. For years, here and there, she mentioned events ... I listened when she spoke, and she spoke little. Never did I ‘interview’ her; never did I ask. I respected her way of speaking, as well as her way of being silent ... I learned from her the lesson of telling in silence,” Govrin writes. I took these words as a lesson about my own grandfather’s silence. For as long as I could remember, he never spoke about his past. One evening, as he was sitting with my sister and I, he shocked both of us as he opened up for the first time about his experiences. Like Govrin’s mother, he shared his story as a series of separate events. Through his fragmented story, I began connecting the dots of his past. After the Nazis invaded Poland, his family was forced to close their family-owned store. Starving and penniless, he and his siblings decided to leave their hometown of Krakow. They left their parents behind, not expecting never to see them again. Perhaps naively, and perhaps

out of curiosity to hear more, I asked my grandfather why he hadn’t forced his parents to come with him. After a moment of silence, he whispered, “Yes. That is the question.” For the first time, I felt as if I could truly see him. He was no longer my elderly grandfather but a man forever tormented by a decision he had made as a teenager. I could only imagine how he must have fruitlessly replayed scenarios in his mind in which he had forced his parents to join his escape. Through Govrin’s essays, I’m now able to understand this memory. I’ve come to realize that I’ve learned more from his silence than from his words. His silence after I had asked that naive question and his silence after he had responded together told me more about his suffering than his stories ever would. Each Holocaust survivor has a different story to tell, and their children and grandchildren each inherit different memories. Nevertheless, I still began focusing on the similarities between Govrin’s story and my own as I continued reading Govrin’s essays. As I read about the murder of Govrin’s older brother—a brother she never met—I again stopped to connect the dots of my past. This time, I focused in on my mother. I had recently learned that my grandparents had a son who had died in a displaced persons camp following the Holocaust. This was a baby that neither my mother nor her siblings had ever met. Although I knew about this child’s death, I don’t think I truly understood its meaning until reading Govrin’s essays. It’s difficult to under-

survivor Above: Michal Govrin’s new book. Below: Govrin gazing at her native Israel.

Halloweening? Play it safe! By Stacy Handler Special to the Hoot

In middle school and high school we were taught that alcohol and drugs are dangerous and that we shouldn’t use them. It was that simple. This limited education did little to prevent kids from clandestinely experimenting with illegal substances without much understanding of what they were actually consuming. In college, however, students are placed in an environment without parental control where they are held responsible for their own decisions about drugs and alcohol. As a first-year, three years ago, I appreciated the way Dawn Skop, the university’s alcohol and drug counselor, presented basic information about the effects of alcohol. She made it clear that even though we were all under 21 and were not legally allowed to drink, we were nonetheless in college, where alcohol was readily accessible. She taught us how to be in control of our own alcohol consumption in a way that was practical and honest. That is why I am a proud member of PERC, Peers Educating about Responsible Choices. PERC is a peer-based education group that promotes informed decisions about drugs and alcohol through various events on campus. Contrary to popular belief, PERC does not advocate abstinence but rather promotes education so that individuals can make their own informed decisions. Despite the comprehensive programming that all first-years are supposed to undergo during orientation, many operate with very little knowledge about the effects of their decisions. Last year, our community faced a lot of problems from other high-risk events, such as Pachanga. As a result, the university formed the

stand that one’s parents had another life before you came along. It’s even more difficult to comprehend the thought of them having another child before you. For Govrin and my mother, this is something they would have to come to terms with. Govrin sums up her search for understanding in her poem “Won’t You See;” “... On my cheeks still lie the curls of my brother. In whose death I live. His breath is the wind of my hair ...”

ad hoc Drug and Alcohol Committee. PERC was the only student-run club, besides BEMCo, to be specifically mentioned in their report released last month. PERC strongly believes that it is more important for everyone to have a certain base level of knowledge rather than for only a select few to have a high level of knowledge. That way more people will be equipped to make their own informed decisions. This past Monday PERC tabled by Usdan with games, candy and helpful tips for a safe and memorable Halloween, including the information listed below. 1. Make a plan for the night and stick to it. Ask yourself, what’s your target BAC? How many drinks do you want to have? For most people, a target BAC is .06-.1. For a female who weighs 110 pounds, that usually means one drink per hour, but there are lots of factors that can influence a person’s tolerance such as gender, weight, lifestyle, family history, etc. 2. Don’t go too hard too fast. Stocking up ahead of time won’t last the whole party. 3. Stay hydrated by drinking water. It is a good idea to space out your alcohol intake with nonalcoholic beverages. 4. Make sure you know what is in your drink. Don’t let anyone you don’t know pour your drink for you and never leave your drink unattended. 5. Be there for your friends. Watch what they’re drinking and don’t leave them alone at parties. 6. Don’t be afraid to call BEMCo if you feel that it may be necessary. Contrary to popular belief, calling BEMCo does not result in legal repercussions. BEMCo, however, does not respond to calls from off campus. If you need medical assistance off-campus, call 911. Have a fun and safe Halloween!

photos from internet source

A Halloween suggestion from the mailroom Don’t want the condoms that SSIS gave you? At least save the glow-in-the-dark ones. Blow them up, tie them off, turn off the lights, find a friend and have a Jedi battle!

Happy Halloween from The Hoot!


EDITORIALS

October 28, 2011

"To acquire wisdom, one must observe." Editor-in-Chief Alex Schneider Managing Editors Sean Fabery Yael Katzwer Jon Ostrowsky Senior News Editor Nathan Koskella News Editor Debby Brodsky News Editor Leah Finkelman Features Editor Morgan Gross Impressions Editor Gordy Stillman Sports Editor Candice Bautista Arts, Etc. Editor Alana Blum Hoot Scoops Editor Savannah Pearlman Copy Editor Steven Wong Graphics Editor Nafiz “Fizz” Ahmed Photography Editor Ingrid Schulte Photography Editor Leah Finkelman Production Editor Emily Stott Layout Editor Brian Tabakin Deputy Sports Editor Suzanna Yu Deputy Copy Editor Destiny D. Aquino Senior Editor

Volume 8 • Issue 21 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

The Brandeis Hoot 13

Classics integral to liberal arts education

W

e were happy to see the Classical Studies department, derided and in danger a few years ago, a thriving, economically successful program today. Every selfrespecting university must preserve these most vital of studies, the heart and soul of the liberal curriculum. Brandeis has avoided a grave folly. During the so-called Dark Ages, the Western World forgot about the classics. The world of Socrates, Plato and Homer, Virgil, Caesar and Cicero was, for a time, lost as the lights went out all over the continent. Civilization took a great step backward—life was bleak; feudalismcreated war and anarchy were as rampant the Black Death. It took centuries for it to remember what it abandoned. Rediscovering the philosophy, art, sci-

ence and politics of the classical period, Europe was reborn. The Renaissance that was born in Italy and spread throughout saved the continent from its dark fate. This miracle, that was by no means the work of Europeans alone, was made possible by returning to the tracts and remnants of a former time. Reaching back into its past, Europeans built great nation-states capable of traversing and, for better or for worse, conquering the world. Preserving the study of classics is as imperative now as ever. Western society and institutions are eternally indebted to the Classical world. Without the Lyceum of Athens or the Gymnasiums of Rome to serve as forebears, the very universities cherished today could not exist. Without the classical pursuit for more perfect knowledge, the mission of academia

and the fruits it continues to bear would never come to be. Learning the classics helps to appreciate the legacy of education we have inherited and the heights to which it has propelled us. Further, the Renaissance did not end our learning from classical society. We can still be inspired every time we pick up the “Republic” or the “Odyssey” or think to the Parthenon or Pompeii. This world is still rich in lessons we have yet to learn. Our society has not been perfected and our knowledge remains incomplete. Yes, the modern experience has helped us to advance far beyond the world of Hippocrates and Alcibiades, but their ideas and their world-view will be critical to our ability to understand and improve in a world still rankled by the same questions it always has.

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman

Mission As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.

SUBMISSION POLICIES The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to letters@ thebrandeishoot.com along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.

STAFF Sam Allen, Rick Alterbaum, Louis Berger, Alex Bernstein, Emily Breitbart, Adam Cohen, Haley Fine, Jeremy Goodman, Edwin Gonzalez, Paula Hoekstra, Adam Hughes, Gabby Katz, Josh Kelly, Christina Kolokotroni, Arielle Levine, Ariel Madway, Estie Martin, Adam Marx, Connor Novy, Anita Palmer, Alex Patch, Lien Phung, Andrew Rauner, Betty Revah, Alexandra Zelle Rettman, Ricky Rosen, Nate Rosenbloom, Imara Roychowdhury, Aaron Sadowsky, Jessica Sashihara, Alex Self, Ryan Tierney, Alan Tran, Dana Trismen and Ariel Wittenberg

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Institute senior preference in course registration

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ith course registration quickly approaching, this editorial board strongly urges the office of the registrar to revise the arbitrary system for registering students that has long been used. Currently, students are randomly assigned a time to register for classes on the first day of the enrollment period. On the second day, the times are reversed. Then, on the third day, all students are allowed to enroll at the same time. Brandeis is a small enough school that getting into classes is not an insurmountable challenge. But surely juniors and seniors—who do not have as much lee-

way in choosing classes—ought to have preference when it comes to registration. At other schools, seniors are the first to pick classes. If that were to happen at Brandeis that wouldn’t mean that first years won’t get into the classes they want; it would merely recognize that seniors have more to lose if they can’t enroll in a particular class because of an unlucky registration period. We admit that no system is perfect. If seniors chose all their classes first, some students would be shut out of classes. We propose a straightforward compromise: On each day of registration, seniors enroll at 10 a.m., juniors enroll at 11 a.m.,

sophomores enroll at noon and firstyears enroll at 1 p.m. The current system of enrolling in one class on the first day, a second class on the second day and the rest of one’s classes on the third day would still hold. Under this system, preference is mixed: Seniors are guaranteed their first choice of classes while underclassmen would still have a good chance of getting their first choices as well. Random course registration ignores the importance of senior and junior preference in course selection. Our proposed system would correct that problem.

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sports

14 The Brandeis Hoot

October 28, 2011

Savonen shines as Judges blank Lasell Men’s soccer Team

UAA

All

Washington

4–0

13–1–1

Case Western

3–1

12 – 3

Rochester

2–1–1 8–3–2

NYU

2–2

7–6–1

Emory

2–2

8–7

Brandeis

1–2–1

10–4–1

Carnegie Mellon

1–3

5–7–1

Chicago

0–4

7–6–2

Box Scores Lasell

photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot

By Brian Tabakin Editor

In his second collegiate start, midfielder Tyler Savonen ’15 scored two goals, leading the Judges in a 3-0 win against local rival Lasell College in a non-conference matchup. With the win the Judges improve to 10-4-1, their second straight season with at least 10 wins, while the Lasers fall to 9-5-3. Forward Alexander Farr ’12 gave the Judges an early start in the 27th minute of play when midfielder Sam Ocel ’13 executed a beautiful pass to

Farr down the left side of the field. Farr then one-touched the ball directly past charging rookie Lasell goalie Aren Moorman into the right side of the net. The goal was Farr’s fourth of the season and his first winning goal of the season. With his goal, Farr moved into 21st place on the Judges all-time scoring list with 48 points and 16th place with 22 goals. Farr only needs one more goal to become the 20th player in Judges history to score 50 career points. Brandeis outshot the Lasers, 12-5, in the first half and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Savonen shined in the second half, scoring both of his goals. Savonen is now tied for the team lead with six goals and leads the team in scoring with 16 points. Savonen’s first goal came at the 53:41 mark off of assists from Ocel and midfielder Theo Harris ’12. Ocel started the play by sending the ball to the corner, where a waiting Harris then crossed it through the box to Savonen. Savonen then headed it past the new Lasell goalie, rookie Alex Serrazina, to put the Judges ahead 2-0. With his two assists, Ocel is now tied for the team lead with six. Savonen scored his sec-

Student athletes; to pay or not to pay? Should student athletes be able to collect payment for their athletic skill when their teams earn millions of dollars in revenue and publicity for their respective schools? This is a recurring question. Paying athletes may be the popular view but I honestly cannot see why and absolutely disagree. It’s easy to argue that student athletes should get paid. They help earn their school revenue from ticket sales, merchandise and even national publicity if their team makes it into AP or ESPN’s top 25 teams in a given week. Also, there is the money the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) makes by licensing athletes’ likenesses for the “NCAA Football” game series or the discontinued “NCAA Basketball” series. Additionally, it has been argued that paying student athletes could encourage some, especially the most talented, to stay in college for their full eligibility and complete a degree before entering the draft and trying to go pro. “South Park” even had an episode on the topic, “Crack Baby Athletic Association,” which goes so far as to suggest student athletes are treated as nothing more than slaves by the current system. This week the NCAA announced plans to push for a $2,000 grant for student athletes to “more closely match” the full cost of attending college. Other than that, student athletes have little chance at employment during the school year due to the time commitment of classes, studying and

Staff

training. I will concede that being unable to work during the year to the same extent as other students might shortchange student athletes. But to say that student athletes, especially in Division I or Division II schools, which give athletic scholarships, do not receive any compensation is pure lunacy. Aside from the occasional full-ride scholarship, which could account for thousands of dollars at some schools, student athletes also can receive access to academic resources that aren’t available to all students. For example, at some schools members of the football team are required to spend two to three hours on weeknights in organized study sessions. Part of being an athlete requires they commit to their academic coursework in a controlled, supervised environment. At other schools, people are hired to tutor athletes personally to help make sure they do not become academically ineligible. Even more so, student athletes are intended to be amateur. Yes, there is a desire for excellence from student athletes but paying them would only further the idea that while in college they are already professional. If an athlete is making money because of their athletic skill, is that not making the athleticism into a profession? Even at Division III schools like Brandeis, or at Ivy League schools, where no athletic scholarships are given, student athletes are shown to be students first and athletes second.

At Brandeis, as far as I know, student athletes do not receive any kind of perks or special resources. I applaud the fact that our student athletes are able to find the balance between academics and athletics on their own because paying student athletes would effectively make them athletes-taking-classes instead. “Walk-on” athletes make the issue slightly more complex. They are athletes who try out and make a team without first being recruited or offered a scholarship. They put in the work but do not receive any of the monetary benefits awarded to athletes recruited for their skills. While this complicates the matter, it does not derail my stance that student athletes should not be paid. Student athletes, including walk-ons, still get the same resources that the average student does not receive at the schools that provide resources. The only thing a recruited student might get that a walk-on student would not receive would be an athletic scholarship. Colleges and universities should not exploit student athletes. But by not paying students athletes, schools are not engaging in exploitation. Student athletes are students first and athletes second. Especially at Division I schools, student athletes have access to resources that serve as compensation for the work. Can anyone really say that an athlete is exploited if they get a full-ride scholarship? I think not.

3–0

the second half. Lasell also had two defenders clear the box. Brandeis goalie Blake Minchoff ’13 only had to make one save on the way to his ninth shutout of the season. Minchoff only needs one more shutout to lead the Judges to just their fourth season with 10 shutouts in program history. When asked about the difference in starting a game and coming off the bench, Savonen responded, “I prepare the same way whether I come off the bench or start. Obviously I’ve been coming off the bench most of the time but I have to be prepared to start.” Savonen continued, “I’ve had an awesome rookie year. The team is filled with great guys and, with three games left, hopefully we can make NCAAs.” When requested to comment on Minchoff ’s play, Savonen said, “[I] love Minchoff. I feel safe with him in [the] net, knowing that, if it comes down to it, he’s going to make the save and keep us in the game.” Brandeis returns to conference action Friday at 5 p.m. when they visit

Volleyball snaps losing streak

By Louis Berger

By Gordy Stillman Editor

ond goal at the 62:06 mark off of a corner kick. Savonen’s corner kick deflected to him outside the box and he chipped the ball back into the net past the Laser’s goalie for the final goal of the game. The Judges thoroughly dominated Lasell throughout the entire match outshooting the Lasers 20-1 in the second half and 32-6 for the game. The Judges put 14 of those 32 shots on goal while the Lasers were only able to put one on net. Moorman made three saves against one goal allowed during the first half while Serrazina had six stops against two goals allowed in

Win

This past Friday at the 2011 Hall of Fame Invitational, Brandeis women’s volleyball won the first match against Smith College in straight sets but lost the next two games. The Judges had been without wins since their Sept. 17 victory against Emmanuel but Brandeis was back on top after sweeping Smith 25-16, 26-24 and 25-22. Outside hitter Liz Hood ’15 led Brandeis with 11 kills and middle blocker Lauren Berens ’13 nailed nine kills while making no errors. Libero Elsie Bernaiche ’15 was the standout on defense for the Judges with 19 digs, while team captain setter Yael Einhorn ’14 kept the offense going with 32 assists. During the second day of play the Judges lost both of their matches in straight sets. In the first match of the day, Amherst defeated Brandeis 25-18, 25-17 and 25-22. Outside hitter Si-Si Hensley ’14 and Hood both led the Judges with 11 kills each, and Einhorn once again led the team in assists for the second game in a row with 28. Amherst improved to 17-5 after the victory. In the second match of the day, Brandeis lost to 25th-ranked Bowdoin 25-9, 25-11 and 25-23. Hensley and Hood again paced the offense, with Hensley adding nine digs and two blocks. After an impressive tournament performance, Hensley was named to the All Tournament team. She finished second on the team in blocks and kills, third in digs, and

topped off the great effort with two aces. Brandeis dropped to 8-17 after the tournament, while Bowdoin improved to 20-2. Tuesday, the Judges traveled to nearby Lasell College and cruised to an easy straight set victory 25-11, 25-19 and 25-15. Hood led the offense with 10 kills and middle blocker Becca Fischer ’13 followed with eight kills. Hensley had another great performance, leading the team in digs with 15, and added six kills.Brandeis improved to 9-17 after the win, and Lasell fell to 13-17. The Judges will host U-Mass Boston Saturday at 1 p.m.

Volleyball Team

UAA

All

Emory

7–0

29 – 2

Washington

6–1

25 – 1

Chicago

5–2

27– 4

Case Western

4–3

21 – 8

NYU

2–5

16 – 12

Rochester

2–5

15 – 14

Carnegie Mellon

2–5

13– 12

Brandeis

0–7

9 – 17

Box Scores @Smith

Win

3–0

Amherst

Loss

3–0

Bowdoin

Loss

3–0

@Lasell

Win

3–0


October 28, 2011

SPORTS 15

The Brandeis Hoot

Women’s soccer avoids losses over past two games

photo by paula hoekstra/the hoot

By Brian Tabakin Editor

In back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, the Judges defeated Endicott College in a non-conference match-up 2-1 and battled to a scoreless draw with Lesley University. The Judges improved their record on the season to 6-8-2 and remained 0-3-1 in UAA matches. The Judges played a very physical game Monday against Endicott. The Gulls dominated the match early on, outshooting the Judges 15-4 in the first half and earning six corner kicks compared to the zero for the Judges. Despite the numerous scoring chances Endicott had, however, they could not put the ball in the net and Brandeis struck first. In the 27th minute of play, midfielder Mary Shimko ’14 played a ball toward the box. Forward Hilary Andrews ’14 then blew by Endicott’s central defender and beat the keeper to the ball, enabling Andrews to chip it into the left-hand corner of the net to put the Judges ahead 1-0. The goal was Andrews’ second of the year. The Gulls finally got on the scoreboard late in the first half on a free kick. Endicott junior captain Caitlin Peters crossed a free kick into the far post to the feet of senior forward and fellow captain Colleen Peppin. Peppin then blasted the ball past Judges’ goalie Francine Kofinas ’13 to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the half. In the second half, Endicott continued to dominate the tempo of play and the time of possession. The Gulls outshot the Judges 13-4 in the second half and had four corner kicks compared to just one for the Judges. Despite their chances in the second half, the Gulls once again could not capitalize on their opportunities and the Judges took advantage of the Gull’s ineptitude to finish at the net. At the 48:38 mark Brandeis defender Alex Spivak ’15 took a free kick from inside the center circle. Spivak’s perfectly placed kick found the feet of midfielder Mimi Theodore ’12 who was streaking in from the right side. Theodore caught the ball in stride and shot it into the left corner of wthe net past diving rookie Endicott keeper Katie Donnelly to put the Judges ahead 2-1. Kofinas made six saves against just one goal allowed in the first half while Michelle Savuto ’15 played a perfect second half, making saves on all three of the shots she faced. Donnelly had one save against two goals allowed for the Gulls in the first 58 minutes. She was replaced by sophomore keeper Natalie Wyrsch for the final 32 minutes of the match. Brandeis looked to take advantage of the momentum acquired from their hard-fought win against Endicott when they faced Lesley the following day. The two teams, however, played to a scoreless draw after a chilly 110 minutes of play. The teams combined for just 25 shots on goal for the game with the Judges taking 16, nine on goal, and the Lynx taking nine, six on goal. Lesley freshman keeper Emileigh Lloyd entered the match with just 13 saves on the season but she was outstanding throughout the match, saving

all nine shots that came her way. Savuto and Kofinas saved all six shots in their split time of play, en route to keeping the nation’s third-ranked offense off of the scoreboard for the entire match. Late in the first half, midfielder Dani Chasin ’15, who had just been inserted into the match, had the best scoring chance of the back-andforth first half. Chasin lifted a shot from inside the left corner of the keeper’s box towards the opposite post; however, Lloyd made a leaping save deflecting the ball off of the far post to keep the game scoreless heading into halftime. Brandeis outshot the Lynx 5-3 in the first half with starting goalie Kofinas stopping all two shots from the Lynx and Lloyd saving all three shots from the Judges. Over a five-minute period in the second half, a would-be goal for each team was negated by an offside call. Lesley freshman defender Hannah Landerholm appeared to beat Savuto with a shot; however the shot was whistled dead on an offside call. Moments later, Brandeis midfielder Alyssa Fenenbock ‘15 had a potential goal wiped away for the same reason. The teams headed to overtime with the Judges holding a 9-8 advantage in shots. Brandeis midfielder Alanna Torre ’12 missed a shot from 20 yards just outside the top right corner of the goal at the 95:24 mark and Brandeis defender Kelly Peterson ’14 had her shot from midfield saved by Lloyd just below the crossbar to send the game into a second overtime. In the beginning moments of the second overtime, Savuto immediately saved a shot from Lesley’s leading scorer, sophomore midfielder Veronica Halen, off of the opening kick. The shot was the only quality chance the Lynx would have in the period. A fatigued Lynx team kept the Judges offense silent for the final ten minutes of the period to end the game in a 0-0 tie. The Judges return to action Friday at 7:30 PM when they travel to Emory for a UAA matchup.

Women’s soccer Team

UAA

All

Emory

3–0–1

12–0–2

Case Western

3–1

11–2–2

Washington

2–2

12 – 4

Carnegie Mellon

2–2

8–5

Rochester

2–2

8– 5

Chicago

1–1–2

8–4–2

NYU

1–3

10 – 5

Brandeis

0–3–1

6–8–2

Box Scores Endicott

Win

2–1

@Lesley

Tie

0–0

Gordy’s game guesses, week eight

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Miami Dolphins at New York Giants New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Last week’s record: 8-5 2011 season’s record: 56-31


16 The Brandeis Hoot

views of the week

Student Events holds Fallabration

October 28, 2011

Blonsky discusses Hollywood

photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot

beyond tracy turnblad Actress Nikki Blonsky discusses her career with Ethan Mermelstein ’12 after a screening of the 2007 film “Hairspray,” in which she stars as Tracy Turnblad. Blonsky has also appeared in the TV shows “Valemont” and “Huge.”

ExCEL caffeinates campus

photo by alex hall/the hoot

excelerate your morning ExCEL Fellows hand out coffee and donuts in anticipation of their Experiential Learning Expo

event on Oct. 25

Sustainability Fund gets $25,000 grant

photos by ingrid schulte/the hoot

fallabration Students enjoy fall-themed fun such as wax hands, pumpkin carving, hot apple cider and candy apples on the Great Lawn on Oct. 21.

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

sustainable rewards The Brandeis Sustainability Fund receives a $25,000 grant from National Office Furniture in a check-

presentation ceremony on Oct. 25.


Arts, etc.

October 28, 2011

The Brandeis Hoot 17

‘Freedom Riders’ discuss social movements, then and now By Sean Fabery Editor

They were warned: You’ll be called names. They’ll harass you, beat you, maybe even kill you. But that wasn’t enough to deter the brave men and women who traveled down to the South by bus in the summer of 1961 to challenge the segregation of transportation. Labeled agitators and communists by their detractors in both the North and South, today’s history books call them the Freedom Riders. On Monday night, the Levin Ballroom hosted a special screening of the PBS documentary “Freedom Riders,” which was based on the eponymous book by Ray Arsenault M.A. ’74, Ph.D. ’81. Arsenault appeared for a panel question-and-answer session along with three of the Freedom Riders: Diane Nash, Ellen Ziskind and Paul Breines. Due to time constraints, roughly 30 minutes of the two-hour long documentary was screened for the audience. The portion screened focused on the first Freedom Rider expedition, which consisted of two buses en route to New Orleans. When the buses reached Alabama, calamity struck. One bus was attacked and set on fire in the town of Anniston while a mob targeted the Freedom Riders on the other bus when they arrived in Birmingham. The movement is then shown be-

ing resuscitated by a group of students from Fisk University in Memphis; Nash was their leader. The previous year they had successfully desegregated the city’s lunch counters; now they embarked on a potentially deadly journey into the heart of the South. “Freedom Riders” won three Emmys last month, one of which was for exceptional merit in nonfiction film-making. Based on the segments shown, it’s a truly affecting documentary, revealing the very human faces behind this brave moment. As President Fred Lawrence noted prior to the screening, “This is not a legend. This is the stuff of individual action.” After the screening, Professor Stephen Whitfield (AMST) hosted a discussion with the three activists. Each discussed how they became involved with the Freedom Rider movement. Nash spoke of the racial environment she encountered while a student at Fisk. At lunchtime, she would see blacks eating on street curbs; although they could buy food from the lunch counters, they were banned from eating inside. “Every time I obeyed a segregation law, it felt like I was agreeing … I really hated it and started looking for an organization,” Nash said. Nash began attending local meetings about non-violence and then became heavily involved with the local civil rights movement, as shown in the documentary. Ziskind, meanwhile, reflected on

photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot

talking about race Ray Arsenault, author of the book on which the documentary “Freedom Riders” is based, hosts a question-and-answer

session about his book on Oct. 25 in Levin Ballroom.

the moment in which she became aware of racial inequality. While attending a boarding school, she wanted to invite one of her black schoolmates to dinner, a proposal promptly dismissed by her mother. “That was my last moment of innocence,” Ziskind said. Once a student at Columbia University, she began volunteering with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), where she worked with several black students from the South.

Her interactions with them inspired her to become involved with the Freedom Rides. “There was something about them, their commitment … something happened inside me. I wouldn’t call it a decision. It was just a moment of seamless commitment,” she said. Breines, meanwhile, attended a fundraiser in Long Island and immediately decided to join the effort. Though he noted his Jewish identity did mean “eating bagels and lox and

supporting the oppressed,” he characterized the move as impulsive. “I said to myself and to a friend, I’m going, and I never thought about it after that,” Breines said. Nash also spoke extensively about African American identity in contemporary society. “In the ’60s and ’70s, we were con-

See FREEDOM, page 19

Upscale ‘Puccini for Beginners’ almost entertains By Candice Bautista Editor

Movies, in many cases, are a way to get away from the stresses and demands of real life. Why deal with a pressing issue when you can sit on a couch and watch a movie about people who have sillier issues that will inevitably get resolved? Or watch a movie about people with worse issues but who still have hope for a better future by the end of the film? Movies give people a way to escape by presenting other situations in which the viewer could potentially be instead. It is for this reason—and this reason alone—that the movie “Puccini for Beginners” is a somewhat enjoyable film. This film begins with Allegra (Elizabeth Resser), along with her girlfriend Samantha (Julianne Nicholeson) and two other friends, watching an opera at the Met. It zones in on each of their thoughts and differing opinions of the opera, ranging from “The Met must be sorely mistaken if they think I paid $250 for this?” to “Don’t fall asleep, don’t fall asleep.” This sets the environment of the movie very quickly; opera and those who pretend to dabble in opera are pretty high class. This isn’t a film with which everyone can connect. It appeals to the Upper West Side born-and-raised, Whole Foods shopping, liberal arts college graduate. It is a very specific niche of people, but one that appeals to many in this day and age—think a more highly educated “Friends.” The next scene depicts Allegra breaking with up Samanatha. Samantha talks about her hatred of the opera and how she can’t stand her friends trying to one-up each

photo from internet source

being classy for beginners Allegra (Elizabeth Resser, left) and girlfriend Grace (Gretchen Mol) discuss their favorite halal cart in Manhat-

tan in this underwhelming film.

other in intellectual discussion. This isn’t a problem for long, though, as Allegra meets Philip (Justin Kirk) and Grace (Gretchen Mol) and finds budding romances in both of them, even though Allegra is a proud, selfreminded lesbian. The main premise of the film is Allegra trying to decide between the two of them. This feeling is further amplified when she discovers that when Philip and Grace talk bitterly about their most recent exes, they are referring to each other. Though a very typical love triangle, the movie is engaging because of how lavishly each character lives, even if it’s in somewhat shallow ways.

Allegra is the author of a recent book that won some sort of award, Philip is a graduate student at Columbia who’s recently gotten a teaching job at U Chicago and Grace, though not as academic as the others, has a lush enough means of living to be interested in glass blowing. Whenever Allegra and her friends are seen hanging out, they spend their time in various restaurants in Manhattan trying out different types of wine. All of them have achieved some sort of elitism: They are educated and bide their time with intellectual conversations and figuring out how else to furnish their apartments and, oh yeah, what they are going to write

about in their next books. What’s more, Allegra’s “conflict” is not really a conflict, something that is recognized in the film. Her only problem is that she is dating two people at once and that she has to choose between one of them. That, in a nutshell, is why the movie isn’t as successful as it could be. The characters have no true depth except for the achievements they readily list off. Instead, the one thing keeping the viewer going is enviously watching their lives play out, wanting to be Allegra or Philip or any one of them. As a result, when the movie ends and Allegra ultimately makes her decision, the viewer can’t help but feel

somewhat disappointed—can that really be how the movie ends? Elizabeth Resser as Allegra, for one, at times seems like a very “forced lesbian.” Though she proclaims at least 20 times in the film that she is in fact a lesbian, she seems to have more chemistry with Philip than she does with Samantha or Grace. In fact, her interactions with Samantha and Grace seem instead sort of like a slumber party mindset—her lesbian sex scenes, to say the least, are not the most interesting. Her character overall, however, is very likable in that her charm lies in her faults. Samantha has a fear of commitment! She doesn’t really like Grace or Philip so keeps them around until she gets her mind! Though silly, it makes her character more realistic. The Woody Allen-esque parts of the film, which involve random people on the street responding to her monologues, also help strengthen her character and the film overall. At one point, Samantha is sitting on a park bench with a stranger and says to herself, “It’s hell being alone,” to which the stranger responds, “No honey, hell is other people.” Sometimes, these asides work to add humor to the movie while others add meaning. The stranger’s Sartrean reference makes complete sense in the context of Allegra’s relationship(s) and, best of all, is a reference the viewer can feel good about understanding. “Puccini for Beginners” is a feelgood film for allowing the viewer to have a peek into Allegra’s life in all its uncomplicated glory. When the movie ends though, the viewer does not have much onto which to hold, except for a tiny bit of jealousy that goes away once it’s remembered that it was only a movie.


18 ARTS, ETC.

The Brandeis Hoot

October 28, 2011

Novelist Evelyn Waugh still wows, even today

By Dana Trisman Staff

You wouldn’t normally think that Evelyn Waugh, usually shown in photographs as a middle-aged, portly man, could possibly inspire bonding between mostly normal college-aged students. I for one have always been a huge fan of this English author’s novels and, upon discovering my roommate’s interested in him, I’ve decided to unearth as many facts about Waugh as possible. Born Oct. 28, 1903, Waugh released his most famous works in the early 1930s and died April 10, 1966. His masterpieces include “A Handful of Dust,” “Brideshead Revisited” and “Scoop.” Like many of his characters, Waugh attended Oxford. He led a wild lifestyle, at one point writing to his friends that he had been “living very intensely these last three weeks. For the last fortnight I have been nearly insane.” Waugh was recognized as a great writer relatively early in his career and soon could charge large fees for his journalism; later, the Royal Marines commissioned him during World War II. Waugh’s postwar years remained glorious until his breakdown around 1953, which was caused by his popularity as a writer declining. He became poor and arguably insane until doctors discovered he was actually suffering from bromide poisoning, the result of drugs he’d been giving himself. Waugh, a staunch religious convert, eventually died from heart failure while attending Mass. As a creative writing major, part of what interested me in Waugh is the way he integrates his everyday life into his writing. As a young man,

photo from internet source

before middle age Despite having released his most famous works in the 1930s, author Evelyn Waugh is still as relevant as ever, especially on college campuses.

Waugh had many aristocratic friends and loved the culture that surrounded them. This is reflected in many of his works. For example, in “Brideshead Revisited,” this is what draws Charles, the main character, to charismatic, rich Sebastian. Waugh also converted his religion to Catholicism after the failure of his first marriage, which is reflected by the level of religious tension present in his novels. Indeed, some of his novels are even referred to as “Catholic books.” I empathize with Waugh be-

cause I often feel as though my fiction constantly reflects my own life, no matter how hard I try. So why Waugh and why right now? Though he attained a new following after the film version of “Brideshead Revisited” was released, it’s still been more than 50 years since his death. Despite that, Waugh seems increasingly relevant, and not just to me— my roommate instantly recognized him by name. Now we’re planning to read each other’s Waugh novels and to watch the movie adaptations to-

gether. We occasionally stroll around Brandeis people watching, pointing out those who look like they could be characters in a Waugh novel (i.e., attractive, popped collar, upper-class). We are even considering adding “Waugh Wednesdays” to our weekly schedule. “Brideshead Revisited” especially relates well to the current modernday college student. Its protagonist, Charles, is a student at Oxford, experimenting for the first time with freedom, alcohol, sex and making a

name for himself. This idea can easily be transposed to the modern day; college students still experience basically the same problems. One could also argue that Waugh is creating storylines similar to “Gossip Girl”—just in a totally different time period. “Gossip Girl” entrances millions of viewers and readers with its display of fancy clothing and upperclass life. Waugh does the same, just more eloquently and without quite as much hooking-up. Waugh’s ideas are timeless, as are his novels.

Getting reacquainted with ‘Harry Potter’ By Candice Bautista Editor

It is bizarre to think that “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was released in the United States in 1997. I remember first picking it up and being bewildered at why so many people were interested in reading these books. Pretty soon, though, I had breezed right through it, along with “The Chamber of Secrets” and “The Prisoner of Azkaban,” and was eagerly awaiting the fourth installment. From then on, every time a new book came out, partially due to my faulty memory and partially because I loved it, I reread each book so that I could enjoy the newest one all in a sequence. This may not sound like a feat, but when the books started averaging to be around 600 to 800 pages each, it took a while to get through the words I had read so many times before. I stopped this when “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” came out, however, and decided to read it straight off the bat. That proved to be difficult. Having read “The Sorcerer’s Stone” so many times, I forgot key details, whether it be who had died in the last novel or who was secretly evil or secretly a good guy or anything of that sort. By the time I had caught up and understood what was going on, the book was half over and I couldn’t help but feel like I was forcing myself to read it; something you should never feel when reading. Because of this, by the time the last installment “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” had been released in 2007, I had no reason to read it. By that time I was a sophomore in high school—surely too busy to be read-

photo from internet source

seven books later Although “Harry Potter” has been around for more than a decade, it still remains as relevant as ever. In addition to the

seven books written by J.K. Rowling, the series has sold $15 billion in merchandise.

ing kids’ books. As my other friends read it and freaked out like everyone else about the epilogue and about spoilers yelled outside a local Borders, I went back to studying chemistry. Surely they were just messing around, right? There are only a handful of regrets I have in life and, believe it or not, more than one is “Harry Potter” related: not camping out along with other fans outside Barnes and Noble waiting

for the next book to be released, not seeing the films at midnight decked out in Gryffindor robes, noticing that Daniel Radcliffe had blue eyes instead of green and not complaining about it. I remember the day I turned 11 and, just like everyone else, did not get a letter to Hogwarts. Maybe that’s when I didn’t want to be as into the books as much as other kids were; I don’t deal too well with rejection. To com-

pensate for my lack of “Harry Potter” fandom in my youth, I’ve decided to start anew. I went home, picked up my battered copies of the books I owned (one through three) and headed back to Brandeis with a game plan. I would reread novels one through six, all in order and in an acceptable amount of time, then I would finally read “The Deathly Hallows.” This way, I’ll be able to go through some sort of generation-specific rite of passage, reading

the epilogue in the context of the rest of the story. I’ll get to remember who died, why they died, and feel just as hurt as the first time around. Maybe, if feeling particularly brave after reading it, I’ll go through the movies. I think I’ve seen maybe the first two movies, but not enough to feel like I’ve really watched them. Be that as it may, I’ve just finished the first book and I still feel the effects of the movies being around. When reading the first pages, I couldn’t grasp onto the Harry Potter that had acted out the book in my head when I was a kid. Instead, I saw Daniel Radcliffe in all his prepubescent glory with faint hints of what I remembered from my youth, like his green eyes. This happened with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as well, though my ideas of them were even fuzzier than what I believed they looked like when I was younger. Even my previous perception of Snape couldn’t be brought back to memory—all I saw was Snape a la “Potter Puppet Pals.” Like it or not, “Harry Potter” is a big part of the world we live in today. Everyone knows to laugh at a Hufflepuff and, even if we pretend it’s lame, the fact Brandeis has a Quidditch team is pretty cool. Not only has it been translated into 67 languages, making Rowling one of the most translated authors in history, but “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” has also been translated into Ancient Greek, making it the longest published work in Ancient Greek since the novels of Heliodorus of Emesa in the third century CE. As much as I wish I had experienced all this when I was younger, it’s interesting to see how I am perceiving all this in a culture saturated by Harry Potter’s universe.


October 28, 2011

ARTS, ETC. 19

The Brandeis Hoot

Still holding out for ‘Heroes’: Arts Recommends revisiting the first season film

‘The Science of Sleep’

photo from internet source

would you still call me superman Even after five years, it’s still obvious that much of “Heroes” season one’s

strength rested in the well-developed characters.

By Gordy Stillman Editor

I’ve always watched more than my fair share of TV shows. Unless I’m doing homework, you can always expect me to have a TV on in the background. Recently, though, I’ve begun to feel that network TV shows are nothing but crap. There’s the occasional funny sitcom but there hasn’t been a show that has really engaged me since my first year of college. At the end of my first year, NBC announced that the show “Heroes” would not be renewed for a fifth season. I was fine with it; the show had long lost the greatness of the first season. Now, however, I realize just how great it was compared to some of the stuff that passes for good TV now. If you ever have the chance, I seriously recommend watching the first season of “Heroes.” You don’t have to be a comic fan, just a fan of good storytelling. Season one begins very disjointedly and disconnectedly. In New York City, a man runs for Congress while his brother works as a nurse. Somewhere else in the city, a painter struggles with his use of narcotics. In Texas, a popular cheerleader deals with the stresses of high school. In Los Angeles, a police officer fails his detective’s exam for the third time due to his dyslexia. On the other side of the world, however, a Japanese office drone discovers he can travel through time and space. Outside Vegas, a woman seems to have a split personality with superhuman strength. Not everyone has powers. There’s a genetics professor who investigates his father’s murder while continuing his research on human evolution. A mysterious man known only by his horn-rimmed glasses moves through the shadows, manipulating people’s lives while trying to protect his teenage daughter. This isn’t a full list of key characters, but the ones listed give a sense of the vastly different backgrounds of the characters. As the series progresses, everyone’s stories intersect; everything is connected. Not only is there a vast ensemble of characters but each character also has a great amount of depth. For instance, Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), the office drone, is the personification of comic book geek. He has a heart of gold and wants nothing more than to do the right thing. His best friend Ando (James Kyson Lee), meanwhile, serves as a foil both when he tries to use Hiro’s power to win big in Vegas (it doesn’t go well) and when he offers “sage” advice. Even shady characters like Horn-Rimmed Glasses (Jack Coleman) prove well-developed and complex. His job investigating “posthumans” for a group known simply as The Company shows him capable of doing terrible

things like abducting and tracking some of the main characters, while also willing to help and protect others. The series’ villain is also thoroughly developed. Sylar (Zachary Quinto) is a watchmaker with the ability to understand instantly how things work. His wickedness, it turns out, was inspired by his mother, who instilled in him such a desperate need to be special that it has driven him to kill others in order to acquire their abilities. Season one begins with many characters discovering they possess some kind of special ability. One man can fly, another can read minds and one can even paint the future. The cheerleader can heal from any injury and even attempts suicide five times just to prove it. One man can mimic the powers of anyone he encounters. What made the show great was that it wasn’t about these people running around being superheroes; instead, it was about seeing them cope with these abilities in addition to handling everyday life. Right from the first episode, it’s clear that the show is not going to be episodic, preferring instead to focus on long-term story arcs. Early on, Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), the police officer, gets assigned to investigate a murderer who gruesomely kills his victims without leaving the slightest trace of evidence (as it turns out, it’s Sylar). The pilot ends with the artist painting a prophetic picture of New York City amid an atomic explosion, setting the stage for an exciting finale. To add to the mystery, a helix symbol appears in various forms throughout the series either as a pattern in mundane objects, on jewelry or even as a tattoo on a character’s shoulder. “Heroes” had good reason to be an instant hit when it first aired in 2006, when it became one of the few shows I made a priority to watch. In short, “Heroes” started off as a great execution of a great idea. Instead of making a show about an established superhero character (think “Smallville,” for example), “Heroes” creates a huge group of ordinary people with which the audience can connect. Younger brothers can identify with Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), the brother of congressional candidate Nathan (Adrian Pasdar). Comic and pop culture fans can connect with Hiro and his at times funny “Star Trek” references. Students might identify with Claire (Hayden Panettiere) as she deals with the stress of high school and later college. Further, the show didn’t become cheesy with spandex costumes, or costumes of any kind, and it avoided the pitfalls of code names or other hero identities. With all these qualities going in its favor, season one of “Heroes” definitely falls under the category of “must see TV.” More than a year since its cancelation, it’s still well worth checking out.

photo from internet source

A French film starring Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (also in “Y Tu Mama Tambie”n), “The Science of Sleep” is a mix of fantasy, romance, and dreams coming to life. The last bit is not as much terrible cliche as it is a psychological disorder that Stephane (Bernal) has that keeps him from distinguishing dreams from reality. This allows Stephane, an introverted and socially awkward individual, to narrate his life as he tries to woo his new neighbor, Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). A particularly memorable scene of this movie is when Stephane is showing Stephanie a school-grade type project he’s working on. He struggles with his piano, trying to get the “perfect chord” and, once he finds it, a cotton ball cloud along with blue pieces of cellophane start levitating as Stephane and Stephanie laugh. Scenes like this, in which it’s unclear whether it is a dream or reality or a brilliant mix of the two, are what keep the movie together and keep it flowing.

candice bautista, editor

Activists discuss Freedom Rides

photo from internet source

freedom rides Activist Diane Nash (center) rejuvenated the Freedom Rider movement

after the disasterous first ride.

FREEDOM, from page 17

sistently saying, ‘We are negroes and are being discriminated against,’” she said. “As years pass, I’ve seen an assault on black people’s identity.” Nash specifically cited a reluctance to discuss race, with some whites criticizing blacks for playing the race card. She also found the decline in African American studies departments troubling, particularly in cases where they have been replaced by ones examining multiculturalism or diversity. “When blacks were put under an umbrella of diversity or multiculturalism, they were put with other groups—but there was no other group that was put in slavery for several centuries,” she said. “It all happened with few of us noticing.” At one point, Arsenault remarked, “It’s never too late to get on the bus,” which provoked a discussion about what exactly that means today. “I think … that [Occupy Wall Street] movement has the right idea: people taking the future into their own hands,” Nash said. “Can you imagine how long it would have taken if we left it to elected officials to desegregate Greyhound and Trailways?” Breines agreed, though he did offer one word of caution. “This is not the ’60s. Everything is completely

different … just go and do what you have to do,” he said. Ziskind stressed the need to be an active member of your community, which she cited as the best way to understand the viewpoints of others. Nash agreed: “There are millions of us citizens in this country. Why aren’t we meeting in our neighborhoods and talking about what we want to do? … The only reason our country is going in the direction it’s going is because we are not active.” “Oppression always requires the participation of the oppressed. If the oppressed withdraw their participation from an oppressive system, that system will fail,” Nash said, pointing to the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56. All three called on today’s protesters to live by the dictates of non-violence that governed the Freedom Rider movement. “It’s always troubled me … that we moved so quickly beyond it [non-violence],” Breines said, referring to the riots and assassinations that became more frequent in the late ’60s. Nash, meanwhile, criticized the government for ignoring the lessons of non-violence. “I’ve just about had it with the government of this country, who put up a statue of Martin Luther King [Jr.] and talk about the Freedom Riders and then do things that are diametrically opposed [to their ideals], including bombing Libya,” she said. “Don’t just praise non-violence; use it!”


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October 28, 2011


The Brandeis Hoot - Oct 28, 2011