Volume 8 Number 24
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.
Fighting grade inflation, real or imagined Latin honors changes a short fix By Connor Novy Staff
Students will never be particularly angry about grade inflation, but it creates contention between faculty
and staff, who argue about the solutions, culprits and the question of its existence. Last April, Brandeis considered changing the Latin honors system to a percentage-based system, which would rank cum laudes by top 5, 10 or 15 percent. The change would significantly decrease the number of recipients—currently about 50 percent—temporarily but, accord-
ing to Mark Hewitt, the university registrar, “it would only push the problem further down the road.” A change in the reward system would not solve grade inflation, only mask its symptoms, he said. “Ten years down the road,” Hewitt said, “we’d likely have the same problem.” There would be short-term issues, as well. Students would be
less able to track their own accomplishments. “The problem with a percentage-based system is that it is essentially arbitrary. A student’s not going to know from year to year what exact level of GPA is going to get you which level of honors,” Hewitt said. Some faculty members are more
By Nathan Koskella Editor
Standing behind the bleachers in Red Auerbach Arena Thursday evening as the Judges racked up a 28-point victory over Emerson College, Andrew Flagel talked about a re-energized athletic pride and a university filled with unique, untraditional school spirit. Flagel, the university’s senior vice president for students and enrollment and top student life official, previously served at George Mason and University of Michigan, two schools known for their Division I athletic excellence. But at Brandeis, he leads a new administration determined to spread school spirit and vibrant student life on campus. “Busy night @brandeisu: MLK See ANALYSIS, page 3
See PROVOST, page 2
Administration seeks to create, mobilize school spirit By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
One provost, many assistants Earlier this month veteran chemistry Professor Irving Epstein (CHEM) was named senior adviser for research by Provost Steve Goldstein, in what is only the most recent of several new appointments under the chief academic officer in recent months. Under former Provost Marty Krauss, the first such of recent jobs created was that of Professor Dan Perlman (BIOL) as associate provost for assessment last academic year. Irene Abrams, already the director of the university’s office technology licensing and patents, was promoted to the new role of associate provost for innovation. Goldstein has preferred the senior adviser title and, as he put it at the November faculty meeting, “these appointments are the equivalent of a vice president,” and other administrative adviser at other institutions. Last month Goldstein made national news because he conferred a special adviser title on Anita Hill, who teaches at the Heller School and will handle communications and the university’s image in addition to strategic planning. The provost’s principal number two
See GRADES, page 2
cheering the judges President Fred Lawrence speaks with Henry Loughlin at Sunday’s championship match.
November 18, 2011
Rumba sees fewer incidents than Pachanga By Victoria Aronson Staff
Relay for Life and the International Club hosted the Rumba dance in Levin Ballroom on Saturday, holding it in place of last year’s Pachanga, which university officials canceled after two students were arrested and nine others were hospitalized for alcohol intoxication. The number of students detained last weekend was much lower than last year’s. Late Saturday night, a
female student in Cable Hall was transported by ambulance to Newton-Wellesley Hospital after suffering from alcohol intoxication. Early Sunday, a male student was arrested for disorderly conduct in the Usdan Student Center following the dance. “I think both events had good leadership but this year everyone learned from what went wrong. No fire alarms were pulled, they shut the doors when the event became too crowded, and increased numbers of staff members were present,” Student Union Presi-
a victory for brandeis
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot top of the division Top-seeded Brandeis Judges repeated as ECAC Division III New
England champs with an 8-0 blowout win against Albertus Magnus College. For more, turn to page 15.
dent Herbie Rosen ’12 said. Stipulation as to the source of the chaos that occurred at Pachanga has led many to believe that the incidents associated with the night should not be linked directly to the dance. There is “no real chaos associated with the event Pachanga itself. There is a history of student pre-gaming on that night and students become inpatient waiting in line and sometimes behavioral concerns occur,” Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said. Event planners of Rumba emphasized the cultural theme this year, alluding to the evolving social atmosphere on campus. “Pachanga is more of a DJ event,” Rosen said. “Rumba had a couple live performances from other bands, and it’s more diverse music scene may have attracted a different audience.” Some students initially approached Rumba with hesitance, fearing overexcessive security and a constraining social atmosphere. When asked if he would like to see Pachanga return in the spring, Rosen clearly expressed his approval. “Why should we deprive the student body of the event? I’d be willing to work hard to make sure it would be as successful as possible,” Rosen said. In the meantime, he plans on aiding in the organization of a presidential ball reminiscent of the Inaugural Ball held last year, portraying classy social events held at Brandeis.
president fred lawrence and governor deval patrick
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
Patrick touts MA-Israel ties By Rachel Hirschhaut Special to the Hoot
The Brandeis International Business School (IBS) welcomed Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to campus Monday to open the fourth annual New England-Israel Business Council’s 2011 Data Storage & Security Summit. The event brought business and technology leaders from
both New England and Israel together to discuss issues of international trade. Just one week after addressing the consequences of anti-Semitism at the ADL’s “New Anti-Semitism” event, Patrick turned his attention to “building bridges,” as President Fred Lawrence said Monday, and formSee PATRICK, page 4
2 The Brandeis Hoot
November 18, 2011
Brandeis Democrats and Tea Party hold mock debate
mary-alice perdichizzi ’12
By Sarah Schneider Special to the Hoot
The lights were dimmed in Chum’s Coffeehouse Wednesday night as impersonators of Mitt Romney (Josh Nass ’14), Barack Obama (Russell Leibowitz ’14) and Michelle Bachmann (Mary-Alice Perdichizzi ’12)
took center stage to discuss the economy, foreign policy and the Obama presidency in a debate hosted by the Brandeis College Democrats or ’Deis Dems. The three students role-playing the politicians represented ’Deis Dems, Brandeis Libertarian-Conservative Union (BLCU) and The Brandeis Tea
Party Nation. “Being someone with any conservative views on this campus is a rarity, and I felt it to be important that … the views of a leading GOP candidate be heard and be known … They don’t have to necessarily be accepted, but they should be put out there and considered,” Nass said. Jake Weiner ’13, president of ’Deis Dems, explained the purpose of the event as, “less about winning the debate and more about telling the truth,” also noting that “the point is to keep people informed.” In a light-hearted mood, the three students sought to combine intellectual political discussion with humor. Charles Shu ’14, president of BLCU, said it was, “very rewarding to see that the atmosphere was amiable.” Questions in the debate covered issues ranging from the role of the United States in the Middle East, to the role of the United States Department of Education, to which fictional characters the presidential candidates best embody. Other topics for debate included the Occupy Wall Street movement and the recent overturn of Proposition 26 in Mississippi, a proposition that would have defined fertilized eggs as people. After the moderator asked questions of the candidates, audience members had an opportunity to ask questions as well and they focused on other popular issues in modern political debates, including the issue of illegal immigration as well as the debate over same-sex marriage. The candidates also discussed the nation’s high unemployment and other economic woes. The question, “Given five minutes to fix the econ-
Prof. Irving Epstein the newest of several provost advisers
photo from internet source
PROVOST, from page 1
is Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Michaele Whelan, who is a full-time administrator and outranks other associates and assistants. She said the recent spate of promotions and titles—including, surprisingly, to stillfull-time members of the faculty like Epstein, Perlman and Hill—reflected a wish to “draw increasingly on the expertise and experience of our faculty.” “The assortment of titles, whether
‘associate’ or ‘senior adviser to,’ can just reflect the preference of the administrator who hired them,” she said. The more meaningful distinction is between full-time staff members like Abrams, who merely got a promotion, and distinct faculty members who have expanded their roles with the title to complement this. Whelan called the professors who have taken on added administrative responsibilities “senior people who have the capacity and the expertise and who want to take a role” in ad-
ministrating the academy. Epstein has this expertise to advise the provost—he was in the top job himself under former President Jehuda Reinharz for a time. And, as a research czar, he brings to the job the record of having secured the Brandeis POSSE program for science—a prestigious program for inner-city students to attend top colleges—almost single-handedly, applying for the grant and fostering the students. The fancier titles do not come with a significant pay grade increase either, according to Whelan. While precise salaries and contract negotiations are confidential, these professors also teach fewer classes, for instance two per year instead of four, and lose parts of the original faculty salary for that reason even before the small pay increase for an adviser’s job is added. Whelan said that faculty are thus “willing to give back to the institution, in a service on their part, in addition to their course teaching and own research.” In this way, the university actually saves money, and not at the cost of quality and, Whelan said, it even produces added benefits. Not only would it be more expensive to hire a full-time outside adviser on innovation or communications, but “it would so much longer to train them, and get them up to speed, with for example the strategic planning process with its large ramp-up time,” Whelan said. She added that “expanding the role of faculty allows the provost to pay these portfolios extra attention.”
omy, what would you do?” produced answers telling of the candidates’ contrasting views. Playing Bachmann, Perdichizzi cited the need for “more taxes” and “incentivizing the private sector,” while Leibowitz, playing Obama, mentioned how he “created 19 straight months of economic private sector growth” as well as “GDP growth every quarter for the last two years.” He also described how he would enact policies similar to his previous ones to spur economic growth. Nass, playing Romney, said that “two out of every three jobs are created by private businesses” and added that the government should “give those business owners the ability to
josh nass ’14 and russell leibowitz ’14
employ more people.” The crowd’s initial reactions and applause favored Obama, but soon, after other students filled the room, each candidate had several supporters and received applause at various junctures. Charles Shu ’14 said this was the “first such political debate I’ve seen on campus thus far” and expressed an interest in viewing another debate. He predicted that as time moves closer to the 2012 election a “future debate will be more potent and will hold more sway over campus.” Shu went on to say that he would suggest other Brandeis students take an interest in such debates if they do occur as they are “time well spent.”
photos by paula hoekstra/the hoot
Grading, Brandeis style GRADES, from page 1
concerned about grade inflation. Professor Thomas Doherty (AMST) suggested two solutions for grade inflation: “First, get rid of pass-fail,” he said, explaining how students often manipulate the pass-fail system to their advantage and use it to raise their GPA rather than for its intended use. “It was created so that a science major could take a poetry class or the poetry major could take a science, but we all know that students cover bad grades so they can keep their GPA high.” He also warned of misuse in the course evaluation system for untenured professors. “Course evaluations are taken into account when awarding tenure and, a lot of the time, better grades mean better evaluations.” He fears that professors, in seeking tenure, dole out higher grades in an attempt to court the goodwill of their students. Hewitt disagreed, explaining that he is not convinced that higher grades are necessarily a result of grade inflation. “If we do our job really well, there’s no reason everybody in the class can’t get an A. Are we testing the knowledge someone has received, or some artificial distribution
with 10 percent who are elite and 10 percent who are not?” A required grading system, whether a bell curve or straight scale, was met with universal chagrin. “Every professor is captain of their own ship,” Doherty contended, “What a teacher tries to do is clearly state their standards and apply them equitably. And students demand that.” Hewitt felt similarly and emphasized the importance of acquiring knowledge rather than a grade. The changes in teaching methods in the last 30 years has also changed the way professors grade, he said. Professors take more into account than is evident, especially in the case of experiential learning, which Brandeis has taken steps to expand in the past two years. While the proposed changes to the Latin honors system have been shelved in favor of the administration’s strategic plan to balance the university’s finances, the debate is not going away. A national problem, grade inflation has compelled a few highly selective schools, including Princeton, to get rid of Latin honors completely. Hewitt assured that a lack of cum laude would not negatively affect the value of a Brandeis degree.
November 18, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Brandeis in finals to be named ‘Most Vegan’
By Nathan Koskella Editor
Brandeis has succeeded to the final round of a contest to be named “Most Vegan-Friendly Campus” by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the national animal-rights organization. The champion will be named Monday.
The university is up against Northwestern, last year’s winner of the honor and a “powerhouse” of vegan advocacy, according to Ryan Huling, the head of all student campaigns at the organization’s collegiate wing, PETA2. He said history could very well repeat itself, and that Brandeis has a difficult challenge ahead. “Northwestern
University offers vegan french toast and country-fried steak,” Huling said, and “these are delicious dishes that didn’t even exist five or 10 years ago, so students—vegetarians and meateaters alike—are eating them up.” The PETA poll is conducted online, but the winners advancing after reach round rely on more than just the online vote. According to Huling, round winners are determined not only by “the number of votes, Facebook ‘likes,’ received,” but also by “the quality and variety of vegan foods offered by the schools, the schools’ enthusiasm in promoting vegan options and student feedback.” PETA2 takes other factors like their own internal rankings and even communications with the schools’ dining services and administration. “We contact the Dining Services department during the research phase of the annual contest to learn more about recent menu additions and programs designed to promote cruelty-free dining options,” Huling said. And “if a school is nominated, we keep them posted as the cam-
Chomsky denounces Obama on Israel By Connor Novy Staff
Professor, philosopher and one of the world’s most preeminent linguists Noam Chomsky spoke to Brandeis students on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Thursday for the second consecutive year. He largely reiterated sentiments, also given at the 2010 speech, that the U.S. alliance is the largest impediment to resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He denounced President Barack Obama, who he said held “the world record of any American president when it comes to ignoring the atrocities of America,” and his voting record on Israel. “It is one of the simplest problems in the world,” he said, “The world is full of problems so stark and complex that it is hard to imagine a solution for them. This is not one of them.” According to Chomsky, the twostate solution is realizable, but for the United States’ interference and backing of Israeli policy decisions. “We know what stands in the way, United States ‘rejectionism.’” In the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions, he says, and the gradual return of democracy to the region, “the United States is trembling in fear of a working democracy. A democratic Egypt is a severe threat the United States and its allies, dedicated to stop democracy from functioning as more than a superficial veneer.” Israel and the United States’ diplomatic history has been dappled with instances of failed negotiations, which American media has, according to Chomsky, grossly misrepresented. Instead of Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Chomsky says, the United States and Israel have consistently refused the Palestinians basic human rights and burdened proposed treaties with stipulations that antecedently refused Palestinians their requests, including evacuating settlements. He says the lack of Palestinian recognition is “not a conflict between two groups of human beings, but people and un-people.” His classically firebrand statements inspired demonstrations and a walkout of Chomsky’s previous lecture at Brandeis. Last year, a group of students stood up during the talk, carrying or wearing Israeli flags, and left the hall. Students also stood on the Raab steps, holding signs that read “I support Israel.”
pus progresses through each round so that they can inform the student body.” In the impending award of “Most Vegan-Friendly,” Brandeis will necessarily either be named first or second in the nation in terms of PETA’s animals rights advocacy, willingness to eat food other than that made on the supposed pain and suffering of animals, and other sustainable goals. PETA itself uses the contest to increase awareness and promote debate on these issues. “There is no one single ingredient or dish that puts a school over the top, but there is a growing trend among most top-tier schools to have a ‘Meatless Monday’ program, or other initiatives aimed at encouraging students to choose healthy and ecofriendly vegan options,” Huling said. PETA has benefited from the innovation and other activisms—whether environmental or pro-labor—driving sustainable decision making even if one does not believe in the PETA dictum that “animals are not ours to eat,” and does not support the animal rights agenda.
Flagel tries to create sports culture ANALYSIS, from page 1
The lecture Thursday night, however, did not stir any such action. The event went quietly, and few, if any, of the audience members disagreed with Chomsky. The majority of Brandeis students, however, may not. “I don’t think it’s the majority,” said Sarah Fahmy ’14, “but many students do agree but don’t step forward.” Many students were not aware of the event, which may have explained the lack of uproar. Chomsky was extremely critical of United States foreign policy in the Middle East and Northern Africa, especially the Arab Spring uprisings. He repeatedly told the audience that the perceived threat to the region, according to opinion polls of the region, was not Iran, as the United States government claims, but the United States and Israel. The free elections in Palestine were quickly put down by Israeli forces, Chomsky says, and this reaction touched on “something deep in contempt for democracy, and were a danger to elite sectors of society. Of course they don’t say it that way but it’s painfully obvious.” According to Chomsky, the United
photo by max shay/the hoot
States’ backing of Israel was against the consensus of the rest of the world and, if the situation were to be resolved, Europe must stop “toddling along behind whatever the United States tells them to.” If the United States were serious about resolving the conflict, they would begin “authentic negotiations run by a neutral country, like Brazil. One side would be the United States and Israel, on the other side the world.” He called the United States a “rogue state, a major perpetrator of oppression,” not only within its own borders, but a funder and supporter of oppression internationally. United States press on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “ironic”: “Israel is perfectly open according to the United States press, when it’s exactly the opposite.” The United States press, according to Chomsky, consistently fails to represent attitudes and events in the Arabic world as they occur. He chastised the lack of media coverage of the travails of the thousand Palestinian prisoners traded for Gilad Shalit, while they focused intensively on the single Israeli soldier.
“Because of the dramatic rise in the number of students demanding vegan food on campus, the nomination process has gotten tougher every year— and this year’s competition is the fiercest yet,” Huling said, adding that “one of the common trends among many top schools this year though is an emphasis on vegan versions of traditional animal-based dishes.” PETA of course continues to believe in the near-equal rights of animals, (including recently suing on behalf of the orcas of Seaworld—and all under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution’s prohibition against slavery). Whether sustainability or economic benefits are PETA’s goals or not, and though these traits can help further PETA’s goals, ultimately animal rights and the decision to eat meat or not is a moral issue, according to the organization. Whether Brandeis wins the accolade of most vegan-friendly campus Monday or not, PETA has a long way to go to convince the campus of its absolutism.
Cohesion Dinner, #NoamChomsky speech, then Mens basketball destroys #Emerson 78-50 - Go Deis!” Flagel tweeted online after attending the Judges’ second game of the season. “I think school spirit means different things at different institutions,” he said, with just minutes to go in the second half, pausing to cheer as the Judges grabbed a turnover and sprinted down the floor on a fast break, with a student fan club called the Jury cheering and yelling until the final seconds ticked off the clock. “Yeah, it’s not a lot of paintyour-face-on-the-weekend and act-as-stupid-as-you-can,” Flagel said, explaining the spirit and energy on campus in comparison to universities that are known as athletic powerhouses. But he added that small schools such as Brandeis provide an ideal atmosphere for school spirit at games, compared to Division I schools where athletes live an isolated life from the rest of the student body, living in separate dorms, eating in separate dining halls and even finding separate study spaces. “There’s something phenomenal about cheering for your friend,” Flagel said about the small school atmosphere. When the Judges captured the ECAC soccer championship with an 8-0 victory over Albertus Magnus College on Sunday, the administration made a noticeable push for school spirit and energy over the weekend. University officials sent out multiple e-mails about the game and, on Saturday night, President Fred Lawrence sent a message to the Brandeis community, urging them to attend. “It was wonderful to see school spirit at Gordon Field today. Let’s go for even more tomorrow on what promises to be a perfect day for soccer at Brandeis,” he wrote. “We claimed the ECAC Men’s title
in 1994, 2006 and last year. You can help the Judges add another Championship tomorrow. Join me on the sidelines and make some noise.” For Lawrence, Flagel and the rest of the senior leadership team, connecting with and relating to students has been easier because the timing of their new job comes at an ideal time for incoming first-years—both the officials and the students are beginning on new journeys at Brandeis. As Brandeis tries to capture its school spirit to spread its influence publicly, Lawrence and his team face a challenge of image, different from the challenge of identity that Reinharz inherited in 1994. Identity is about name-recognition, whether people know a school when they hear someone mention it. Image is about what people think of a school, what message and mission they associate with it. Now, with a new leadership team and a strategic plan underway, Brandeis will have to redefine its image, locally, nationally and internationally. As Flagel explained, both students and alumni need to take more pride in wearing their school letters and logo. “It’s almost as if we’re a little hesitant to be too braggy. I think it’s okay to get a little braggy, too have a little swagger,” Flagel said. Swagger may be the desired outcome but it will take careful planning and new communication to get there. After the buzzer sounded, as players headed to the locker room and students filed out of the bleachers, Flagel walked down to the floor, talking with Director of Athletics Sheryl Sousa ’90. Later Thursday evening, he posted another tweet. “Move to Brandeis is wonderful. I miss my Mason team, but the students faculty and leadership here are phenomenal!” Flagel wrote.
The Brandeis Hoot
November 18, 2011
Hiatt holds informational law school panel By Sarah Weber Staff
photo by alex patch/the hoot
The Hiatt Career Center sponsored a law school forum Wednesday afternoon in Hassenfeld Conference Center as admissions representatives from more than 25 East Coast law schools discussed the admissions process and the impact of the recession on application rates. “Penn State has definitely seen a decline in applications,” a representative from their law school said. While unable to prove any direct connection between the state of the economy and application rates, the official said, “There certainly seems to be a causation.” Other schools have also seen similar patters and so have attendance rates at for LSAT prep courses. At Touro Law School in New York, the beginning of the recession led to a sharp increase in applications, but recently numbers have fallen. In addition to the decline in applications, Touro has seen more applicants going straight to law school rather than entering into the work force first for a few years. The economy is not the only factor in decreasing applications, accord-
ing to the Touro Law school representative. The cost of law school has increased greatly and average tuition per year has climbed to between $30,000 and $50,000, according to U.S. News & World Report. During the past two years Touro has made an effort to decrease its class size in order to cover better the financial aid needs of its students, the representative said. The idea is that the smaller the class size, the greater the likelihood of increases in financial aid. At Brandeis, students have continued to express a strong interest in attending law school. “While nationally there is a 10 percent decrease in law school applications, we are still seeing roughly the same number of students applying to law school at Brandeis,” Nancy Waggner, Hiatt’s pre-law school adviser said. When asked about what she is doing to prepare students for the harsh financial realities ahead for law school students she said, “We try to make students aware about the costs of law school before they fully commit themselves.” “We prepare students for the reality of law school but they ultimately choose their future,” Waggner said.
Governor speaks at IBS event PATRICK, from page 1
ing strong business partnerships between New England and Israeli companies. “Collaborating across the private and academic sectors, as well as with government, is how both of our countries will effectively compete in this global economy. We are looking to enrich the conversation and build on these opportunities both here in Massachusetts and in Israel,” Patrick said, before addressing the eight Israeli companies who presented products there: “You have a home and a friend here.” For the five years he has been in office, Israel has been one of the foreign states with which building a strong business relationship Patrick has specifically targeted. In February of this year, Patrick and IBS Dean Bruce Magid led a coalition of the state’s top academics and business executives on the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission to Israel and the United Kingdom. The goals of the mission were to strengthen bonds between companies in Massachusetts, the United Kingdom and Israel in an increasingly globalized economy—all goals that Patrick continues to strive toward. “Today’s event is an opportunity
governor deval patrick
to grow and strengthen the relationship between Massachusetts and Israel,” the governor said, saying that “As of 2009, there were nearly 100 Massachusetts companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technology—it is how we will mutually benefit from our leadership in innovation.” Brandeis plays a significant role in this international business dialogue. Much of its success hinges on collaboration between businesses and academic institutions in Boston, and Brandeis helps bridge the gap between these two worlds. Brandeis is also an institution that supports collaboration with Israel on all fronts— academic and economic. Patrick’s speech was preceded by that of Shai Bazak, consul-general of Israel to the United States for the New England region and President Fred Lawrence. Afterward, Pat Geisinger, president and COO of EMC Corporation, gave the keynote address on the evolving role of data storage and companies’ need to embrace new business technologies. Several companies, both from New England and Israel, gave short presentations on their new technologies relating to database scaling and digital recovery; other university leaders from commonwealth state college systems will accompany the governor on his mission as well.
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
C-Store tests new late-night hours By Debby Brodsky Editor
In the past week, the Student Union, in collaboration with the Department of Public Safety and Dining Services, experimented with new hours at the C-Store and a trial shuttle bus to the Riverside MBTA station. In a series of trial runs, the C-Store held extended hours on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 from midnight to 2 a.m. and will do the same on Saturday. In addition, a trial shuttle bus to Riverside MBTA Station on the Green Line in Newton ran on the hour from 12:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 12 and will run again this Sunday, Nov. 20. Ricky Rosen ’14, who leads the Student Union Ad Hoc Dining Committee, ran a student survey early this year asking about student desire for extended hours, Student Union President Herbie Rosen ’12 said. “Ricky followed up with Aramark about the survey results, and extending C-Store hours became a Student Union initiative. Hopefully it will become permanent,” Herbie Rosen said. During the Saturday trial hours, at least 300 students showed up at
the C-Store, and 220 made purchases, Ricky Rosen said. “This is about making the lives for students more convenient,” he said. “We got a lot of feedback from students telling us that they were very enthusiastic. This is only the beginning. The Student Union Ad Hoc Dining Committee is planning to examine other on-campus dining locations to see how we can maximize hours.” Currently the C-Store is open until 2 a.m. on weekdays. It is possible that with overwhelming student support and enough business to justify the cost of running the store, the Saturday extended hours will become permanent. “Of course we look at customer counts and sales to determine if it’s feasible and makes business sense,” Aaron Bennos, director of Dining Services at Brandeis, said. “But we also look at all the locations as a whole to see what best fits the needs of the students. Not all the information is in yet, but it looks like there was a good turnout during these additional two hours.” Although Brandeis is still running trial hours for the Riverside MBTA shuttle service run, this Student Union experiment is proving
less popular than the extended CStore hours. “Students are in love with the idea of the Riverside shuttle, but how often they would use it on a regular weekend is lower,” Herbie Rosen. “We’ll have to work with the Graduate Student Association to find times for the grad student population to use the shuttle. It’s a worthwhile investment, but we need to find the right times to place the shuttle.” Last Saturday there were approximately 71 students using the Riverside shuttle, according to Herbie Rosen. “It will be interesting to see how it comes back on Sunday,” he said. “We’ll have to reevaluate then. If we’re going to make a permanent investment of the shuttle, there needs to be more student support. Following this Sunday’s second trial run, the Student Union and the Department of Public Safety will take steps toward determining whether the Riverside shuttle should run regularly during the next academic year. “We’re not giving up on the riverside shuttle despite what the numbers say. We’ll modify it to fit the student body,” Herbie Rosen said.
November 18, 2011
views of the week
The Brandeis Hoot 5
Dancing the night away
photos by lien phung/the hoot
taking it slow Michelle Sinnreich ’13 and Jordi Goodman ’12 dance at Swing Dancing club.
swing dance The Brandeis Swing Dancing club teaches members new steps.
Swinging in the trees
Fornication 101 with Megan
photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot
sex ed Megan Andelloux visits campus to talk with students about safe
sex, self pleasure and body image in Golding Auditorium on Tuesday night.
swing time Brandeisians enjoy swings suspended from massive trees on campus in the
fall weather between classes.
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
6 The Brandeis Hoot
The Katzwer’s Out of the Bag
November 18, 2011
Girl Scouts: Award badges for brilliance, not beauty
graphic by diane somlo/the hoot
By Yael Katzwer Editor
When I think of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA), I remember my adorable brown vest as a Brownie, my snazzy green sash when I graduated to Junior, practicing my “sweet” face in the mirror before going out to sell cookies and, of course, the badges. I loved my years as a Girl Scout; they were fantastic. I was a tad awkward when I was younger and my troop helped me to socialize and it got me out of the
house to do fun things with girls my age. Now, I admit, sometimes I looked at my troop and thought, “Gee, something is missing.” I had wished my troop could be more formal and a bit more active. Now, don’t misunderstand me: I did not want my troop to be anything like my brother’s Cub Scout troop, with that ridiculous flag ceremony at the beginning of every meeting. (My brother did not remain a Cub Scout for long.) My biggest problem was that I was in what my mother affectionately called “Troop Beverly Hills.” My
troop leader was one of the moms who, like the other moms, was just trying to socialize her daughter. Our leader was not the outdoorsy type. We never once went on a campout and we only once made s’mores … in the microwave. Nevertheless, we did have fun. We would have outings to the local mall to earn our Fashion Badges and we went to Moshavi, a local kosher restaurant, to exhibit our proper table etiquette and earn our Manners Badges. (In case you could not figure this out from the last sentence, I was in a Jewish troop
because all the other troops met on Saturday.) But I did wish we could have gone on one camping trip or maybe done more arts and crafts projects. According to the GSUSA website’s history section, “With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars, and studied first aid.” I did not do any of those things. Recently, GSUSA has revamped
their accessories for young girls in honor of its upcoming centennial; Girl Scouts of the USA was founded by Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low on March 12, 1912, and it shows. A lot of the activities are somewhat sexist. My brother never had to earn a Manners Badge or a Fashion Badge. Why did I? To update their organization, the women running GSUSA have introduced new badges and gotten rid of some antiquated ones. I applaud their effort but I do not think they went far enough. For example, two new badges are the Science of Happiness Badge for Cadettes (notice the “feminine” spelling of the word cadet) and the Science of Style Badge for Seniors. Why not just have a Science Badge? Let’s let our young girls earn a Chemistry Badge or a Physics Badge! These new “science” badges are almost more demeaning because they are pretending to be equal and empowering. Last time I checked, style isn’t a science. This is the Fashion Badge I earned, just with a flashier name. Also, embracing the technology of the 21st century, GSUSA has introduced new badges for product design, local food awareness, customer loyalty and digital filmmaking. They have a new badge called the Netiquette Badge for Internet etiquette. This badge horrifies me. Although this badge is for Cadettes, who are aged 11 through 14, it seems to be pushing girls onto the Internet. Not all 11 year olds are ready for the Internet. They are still incredibly immature and there are a lot of dangers out there. This badge teaches them how to be polite, not how to be safe. Also, the badge features two emoticons on it and I just hate emoticons. I think they are lazy and ugly. If you want to smile at someone, go see them in person or write them something encouraging that See SCOUTS, page 9
Debating decline in the United States By Rick Alterbaum Columnist
graphic by sarah sue landau/the hoot
Is the United States in decline? Now is certainly not the first time Americans have pondered this question. During the Cold War, people in this country worried over whether the Soviet Union—with its determined, driven ideology of MarxismLeninism, and perceived military, technological and economic dominance—would overtake America as the world’s superior superpower. Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, Americans looked on in awe and envy at Japan’s dramatic economic growth and dynamism. Of course, the Soviet Union ultimately disintegrated and Japan is currently stuck in a perpetual state of debt and stagnation with a rapidly aging population. And America just plowed on ahead. Yet now, some say, things are different. Growth has stalled. Debt in both the private and public sector are far too high. The unemployment rate refuses to fall. The political system seems dysfunctional. Our society appears to be polarized and divided. We have lost confidence in government, markets and ourselves. Arguably, the Tea Party Movement on the right and the Occupy Wall Street movement on the left are manifestations of the frus-
tration with these problems. I am still relatively optimistic though. America has endured worse crises from the Civil War to the Great Depression. In addition, the American people are still among the most hard-working, productive, well-educated, entrepreneurial and innovative in the world. Furthermore, our economic problems are in fact solvable if leaders on both sides can get their act together and pass the right policies. Specifically, this country needs tax reform that will lower individual and corporate tax rates in exchange for the elimination of credits, deductions and loopholes, with the exception of, say, the charitable-giving deduction. It needs comprehensive entitlement reform that increases the retirement age for Social Security for future beneficiaries; changes the fee-for-service structure that incentivizes redundant health care procedures and allows for additional private-sector competition for Medicare; and blocks grants for Medicaid. Also, government should eliminate regulations that do not meet the test of an objective cost-benefit analysis; increase investments in things like research, development, and infrastructure and at the same time decrease See DECLINE, page 9
November 18, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
A guide to getting ahead in the (wrong) rankings By Sam Allen Columnist
When the 2011 college rankings were published, Penn State found itself among the top schools in the nation. Of course, it was not the U.S. News or Princeton Review college rankings in which Penn State was doing well. Instead, they were second in the nation on the Playboy Top Party Schools List and their football team reached a peak BCS ranking of 12th in the nation this year. The recent scandal at Penn State has exposed a campus culture where the football team took priority over all else, including the safety of children. Thankfully, Brandeis has an almost polar opposite campus culture to the one found at Penn State. If Brandeis wanted to shoot up its “Playboy” and BCS rankings at the expense of our current number 31 ranking on the U.S. News list, however, this is a satirical look at how we could be more like Penn State and other big party schools where football comes first and learning is an afterthought. The first thing Brandeis should do is restart our football program. We should also change the school motto to “Football Before All,” which would accurately reflect how important football will be to Brandeis, even at the expense of things like social justice and a commitment to diversity. The administration should then knock down the three chapels and build a football stadium on Chapels Field, which will serve as a cathedral for Brandeis’ new religion: football. Canning academic scholarships in favor of athletic scholarships will be an excellent way to help stock our football team with top talent. By also giving our football players early registration for classes and an automatic 2.7 GPA for excellent performance on the field, we will be able to attract the kind of players who won’t get distracted by academics. Finally, by raiding the scholarship fund of all available monies, the school can then pay a top football coach millions of dollars per year. There is no doubt the football coach should make more money than President Lawrence; after all, the coach will be a more important figure on campus. Lastly, The Rose Art Museum will need to be repurposed as a trophy case and shrine to our football team.
Call Me, Tweet Me
By Leah Finkelman Editor
“Do they make nude pantyhose for black people? Or do you just have to buy black?” Not one of my finer moments. A friend of mine is shopping for clothes from American Apparel during lunch and she was debating whether to get one of her choices, their t-shirt leotard, in black or nude, with the intention of wearing it under dresses or loose shirts. We agreed that she should get nude if she intends to wear it under other clothes, and then, I’m embarrassed to admit, I had a realization that should have happened a long time ago. I turned to the other girl who was part of our conversation, a proud young black woman with African roots, Rasheedat Azeez ’13. I looked her up and down and asked something that sounded pretty ignorant. Luckily she’s used to my saying dumb stuff and she laughed about it, answering immediately. Apparently, light-skinned people of color can get away with the darkest shade of pantyhose, but ebony women
graphic by yi wang/the hoot
After reinstating our football team, the next step in Brandeis’ transformation will be to change the culture of the school so that it will be a nationally acknowledged party school. To do so, fraternities and sororities will need to be recognized immediately, with rules against hazing abolished and the number of fraternities tripled. The Mandel and Rabb academic complex will need to be knocked down so a “Frat Row” can be constructed in their place. By replacing academic buildings with fraternity houses, Brandeis will be making a statement about its new priorities. Brandeis will
also have to institute certain rules regarding Greek life to ensure they take their rightful place on campus. To start, anyone who is not Greek will have to pay a “tax” to the university. As well, like at Penn State, only Greekaffiliated students will be able to attend fraternity parties. These rules, tied in with the fact that the administration will subtly encourage fraternities and sororities to blacklist anyone who fails pledging or leaves Greek life from clubs and activities, will strongly encourage every student to go Greek and stay Greek. This policy of blacklisting the rejects of the Greek system
is done very effectively at some small universities with a large Greek community. Brandeis should be among these prestigious institutions. To truly give the fraternities and sororities the power they need, however, other rules will be established to reserve Student Union positions for Greeks only and allow Greeks to cut those unaffiliated losers in the dining hall lines. With a campus dominated by Greek life and football, new campus traditions and committees will need to be instituted and quickly. One such tradition will be the “Louis Lap.” The “Louis Lap” will be a na-
ked lap around the Loop Road that takes place at the end of Louis Louis week, in which all first-years will be pressured into taking part. To raise money for troubled youth, the fraternities will have an event called “Keg Stands for Kidz.” Hillel dinners will also be scrapped in favor of football rallies and Waltham Group will be disbanded so those funds can be used for the “Keisha for Kol Nidre” drive. Brandeis should not settle for a choir during Yom Kippur; instead, we should have Kesha singing on the holiest Jewish holiday. Other traditions will include “Sun’s Out, Guns Out,” a tradition practiced by jerks at colleges throughout America, challenging students to complete the “Ménage Louis,” which entails having sex on the Louis Brandeis statue. A hotness committee, staffed by the presidents of each fraternity and sorority with an honorary seat for the football captain, will have to be started as well, which will grade each student on their physical appearance during orientation. By doing all of these things, Brandeis will be on its way up the Playboy Party School rankings. To achieve the top ranking, however, classes will have to be canceled on Fridays and Mondays so students can get the full experience of Thirsty Thursdays and Smashed Sundays. Finally, the last recommendation I have would be to put Four Loko vending machines across campus to help raise funds for the school (as well as to hydrate students). Who knows, if Brandeis actually implemented all these wacky ideas we might be the number one party school in America according to “Playboy.” Tragically, many schools across the country actually have a few of these wacky ideas incorporated into the life of their campus. Brandeis is a wonderful place to go to school precisely because we don’t have a football team that dominates the campus. We should take pride in the fact that instead of binge drinking, we’re known for our collective commitment to social justice. I am proud to go to a school that takes academics seriously, which is not to say Brandeis students don’t have a good time. We do, but somehow we manage to enjoy ourselves without the kind of debauchery that occurs at many of America’s other academic institutions.
The inherent racism of language: ignorant, but not necessarily ideological like Rasheedat have to go with black and hope it doesn’t clash with a navy or brown dress. I hadn’t really thought about the word “nude,” in its colloquial meaning of light tan, as a racist term since I’d come across Crayola’s version of “flesh”: the color that, I learned after some research, was renamed “peach” in 1962. Now, Crayola has expanded with their “multicultural” set: a range of flesh colors that spans the globe— multicultural might be a little more PC than they intended, but whatever. Anyway, I vividly remember a deeply insightful and mature (considering that I was probably only seven or eight at the time) conversation with my mother when I found “flesh” in a nearly-antique box of crayons but since then I haven’t thought about the racial undertones of that crayon. In the 1980s, acclaimed feminist and anti-racism activist Peggy McIntosh wrote a paper about white privilege and male privilege. McIntosh, then the associate director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, highlights the inherent racism and sexism in society that often goes un-
noticed by the “privileged” groups: whites and males. She writes that she “was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” Those invisible systems, however, do exist. She lists advantages afforded to both whites and men, many of which are unnoticeable to those who have them. Whites can easily be “in the company of people of [their] own race most of the time,” they can “turn on the television or open the front page of the paper and see people of [their] race widely represented,” and they are “never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.” She even lists such trivial differences as being able to “talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.” Overall, McIntosh aims to argue that racism, unfortunately, is an inherent part of our culture and society, and not always a group of individuals expressing that race is a factor that makes people different and less worthy of society’s benefits. Racism, though troubling, is less
photo from internet source
because of ideology and more because of ignorance. We—meaning the white majority and possibly including people of color who haven’t noticed—simply don’t realize the connotations of what we’re saying. Every day, we use words with racial meanings. It took me a long time to realize that when I was saying I got “gypped” I was being insensitive toward Gypsies, who supposedly swindled customers. Then there was the time I had to explain to a high school classmate why I was offended when I tried to “jew” him. Ignorance and consciousness are the
keys to understanding, harmony and egalitarian communication. Be aware of the cultural contexts of what you’re saying, the etymologies and the connotations. Be aware of how you’re a privileged member of society and work to extend those privileges to others. McIntosh’s article should be required reading for everyone. It truly opened my eyes about the world around me— and it’s probably not a coincidence that it was a class with her daughter, Janet McIntosh, that continued to open my eyes and in part inspired this column. Anthropology 26a, Communication and Media. Take it.
The Brandeis Hoot
November 18, 2011
Finding fabulous friends: the truth about friendship By Betty Revah Columnist
When it comes to friends, which is better: quality or quantity? Some people prefer to have a lot of friends regardless of how close they are—a friend for every occasion, if you will. They need friends with whom to go to the movies, friends with whom to party, friends with whom to be silly and friends with whom to do absolutely nothing. Some people, meanwhile, can count their friends on one hand and prefer one truly good friend over a million acquaintances. The problem with friendships is that a truly good friend—one who will always be there, one on whom you can always count, one who will always look out for you—is not easy to find and, even when found, is usually taken for granted. And, while it is easier to keep a lot of acquaintances, making and keeping close friends is never easy. Trust is earned; it is not casually handed to strangers or suddenly given to a friend. It takes time to trust someone—and even longer to surrender that trust yourself— but it takes very little time and even less effort to lose that trust. That is why making friends is so difficult and losing them so easy. I personally believe that friends—even good friends— come and go. But if you look back over the years and find that there has always been someone there for you through the good and the not so good, through the fun and the tears, through the heart aches and the smiles, then you know you are in possession of a fortune. Only then can you know for sure that you have what others consider a “friend.” Even though it is really sad to end friendships, it always happens for a reason. It is heartbreaking to look back at the past, back to the time of silliness, questions and giggles, and think about the friends we made, the friends we once considered “best friends” and then notice that
they are not in our present. But I really believe in fate and I trust there is a reason for every one of the people in our pasts that did not make it to our futures. While it is tempting to blame yourself, to think that if you ever lost a friend it was your fault and never their’s, it is important to know that such a thing is impossible. As they say, it takes two to tango. Maybe the people that we meet are people we are meant to meet, people we can learn something from, people we can admire, people that at a given time are exactly what we need. And losing a friend, even though it is sad, should not be so deeply regretted. What should be regretted is not learning from the friends that were once had, not appreciating the good times that were spent with them, not cherishing the good memories instead of remembering the bad ones. People change and friends change as well. It would be fun to able to look to the future for answers, to ask, for example: Who will be my ultimate best friend? Do I know someone now who I will know forever? Unfortunately, it’s not actually possible to get these answers. If it were, there would be no point in meeting new people, in being many different versions of yourself with many best friends, in getting a feeling of warmth when someone opens up to you, in hoping to befriend someone whom you admire and being happy when you succeed. Sometimes friends come and go; you learn something from them and then you move on. Sometimes, without realizing it, you look back to the friends once made and lost and find that there was one friend who never left your side, who stood by you through everything, who grew up with you and laughed with you. And if you have that, that friend who knows you better than you know yourself, that friend who will always be there for you, then be happy. You have that thing for which some people spend their entire lives looking. graphic by donna varnick/the hoot
A Goodman is Hard to Find
Addicted: the trials of technology and social interaction By Jeremy Goodman Columnist
The world has openly embraced technology. Technology allows us to explore the galaxies, keep friends updated on what we’re doing and talk without speaking. Thanks to texting, cell phones, social networking and the other ways in which we now communicate, technology has shifted the way humans express themselves. People have become numb to emotions, lack basic social skills and have no compassion for others. Recently, I went on a trip to British Columbia, Canada, and was deprived of phone and Internet access for the duration of my visit—the international fees were not worth it. During this trip, I realized how much I personally—and society as a whole—am dependent upon and addicted to technology. It was during this trip that I fully realized how much the ways people interact with each other have changed and the extent to which this redefinition has limited social interaction and changed the dialogue in human social interaction.
Thanks to communication via the Internet and social networking sites, basic interaction and social skills within our generation have been altered noticeably. Contrary to popular belief, awkward social interactions are not limited to Brandeis. It’s always been easier to send an e-mail or write on someone’s Facebook wall than to pick up the phone and call them. My iPhone is my constant connection to the world. I admit that I check my Facebook numerous times per day and send thousands of text messages. I have even, inadvertently and as a result of this technology overload, adopted new slang and dialogue with terms and emoticons like “lol,” “jk,” “:)” and the more expressive “;)”. I like to stay connected with my friends whether I’m just saying hi or making plans to hang out. During my two-week vacation to Canada, I was forced not to use my phone. The cellular service provider was different and as a result the prices were dramatically raised. I felt absolutely lost. I had no way to talk to my friends or check my Facebook. I walked a mile to 7-Eleven to buy a calling card so I could phone my best friend.
It wasn’t until we moved locations to Victoria, where I had access to a computer, that I realized how much I depend on my iPhone to connect with the outside world. I had thought I wasn’t one of those people addicted to Facebook or always texting on their phones but I was wrong—I have become one of them. The new generations of computer savvy, technologically adept people like me are reducing face-toface interactions. The way in which we communicate ideas, feelings, news and information will continue to become restricted by this massive decrease in human interaction. Our emotions have run dry and lifeless; basic social skills are unknown because kids haven’t been forced to use them. Compassion has become scarce, resulting in bitter and mean people. I do admit that the increase in technologically driven communication has helped to connect us, has made information more accessible and has influenced us with diversity from different cultures. No matter how big or small, however, human interaction is necessary as human beings living in a civilized society.
November 18, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
The Chosen Rosen
Listening to music while studying: distraction or motivation? By Ricky Rosen Columnst
It’s the night before the biggest test of the semester and you haven’t read a thing besides the syllabus. And it gets worse—for the life of you, you cannot focus. So you take the walk of shame down three flights of steps to get to the dungeon in the library, you plant yourself down in front of your laptop while surrounded by an avalanche of notes, and you put your earbuds in and flip on some Kanye West to which to jam as you study. But is it really a good idea to listen to music while you prepare for your test? Psychologists, scientists, professors and students alike are all divided on whether listening to music helps you retain information. The question is part of a much broader question that has flustered researchers for generations: Under what circumstances do we learn best? Now, there is no clear answer because we all function differently and have different preferences. Some of us might find listening to music distracting, while others might draw on music as a source of motivation to get through the work. But, for the most part, as different as we are, we must submit to our biological and physiological dispositions. And so, if our brains cannot process information while we listen to music, then we cannot. But the question becomes: Is it possible for us to work efficiently while listening to music? Yes and no. According to a report by CNN, if you’re reviewing for a test, putting on background music that you like is a very good idea. There are several reasons why this is so. First of all, nobody wants to write a 10-page paper on the fundamental theories of Friedrich Nietzsche, so listening to some uplifting music like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” makes the experience more bearable and enjoyable, not to mention it inspires you to get the paper done. In addition, listening to music that you like increases your focus on the task at hand. Simply put, it’s easier to focus when we’re surrounded by things we like doing. For me, I find it difficult to focus in many of my classes and, if I don’t have my laptop with me, I eventually fall asleep dur-
ing the course of the lecture. If I have my laptop, however, I am able to surf the Web, which is something I enjoy doing, so I can stay awake and focus. Thus, listening to music that you like while studying will help you focus on studying. Listening to music while studying also prolongs your attention span. When you are wearing your headphones, you enter your own world, your own zone, and you completely remove yourself from your physical surroundings. How many times have you been listening to music and doing work to the point that you’ve been completely unaware of what’s happening around you? Earlier this year, I was doing work in my room with my headphones on and I realized that I completely missed the fire alarm going off in my building. While the study does reveal that listening to music is preferable while reviewing for a test, it also reveals that when you need to memorize a list of facts or data, music is definitely not the best option. The report drew on a study that was done at the University of Wales Institute, which looked at the ability of subjects to recall information while listening to different sounds. Subjects were instructed to memorize as many words in a list as possible under several sound conditions. The participants had to memorize the words in silence, while listening to music they liked, while listening to music they disliked, while listening to a voice repeating the number three and while listening to a voice reciting a series of random numbers. This study found that subjects performed worst on the memorization task while listening to either type of music, best in the quiet condition and somewhere in between in the number-three condition. This demonstrates that when trying to memorize information, our brains store and retrieve information most efficiently with a minimal amount of outside distraction. And music, in this circumstance, is a distraction that impairs our ability to recall. Why is this? When you’re trying to remember a list of facts, you need to be as focused on the list as possible. When Nicki Minaj is blaring in your ears, however, it is difficult to focus on the task, as opposed to concentrating on the changing notes,
graphic by linjie xu/the hoot
beat, rhythm, lyrics and melody of the song. Would you be able to memorize every element on the periodic table while listening to people around you having a loud conversation? In many ways, that’s the kind of hindrance that music poses to you when you have to perform a memorization task. The reason for this is that music is extremely complex. When you need to perform tasks that demand your full, undivided attention, you should listen to sounds that are as simple as possible. Listening to a natural sound like a waterfall is far more beneficial than listening to a complicated genre of music like rap. Despite all this, music can still be incredibly helpful to you when studying for a test (but not when memorizing information). But this is only if you listen to the right kind of music. It is preferable to listen to music without lyrics. Lyrics can be distracting, whereas instrumental music maximizes concentration. Research in this field substantiates this, as scientists have found that the brain tends to focus on patterns. Thus, most mainstream music with choruses and melodies that
Girl Scouts should keep cookie sales low-tech SCOUTS, from page 6
will make them smile. This techno-trend is also taking hold in the much-beloved Girl Scout tradition of selling cookies. Picture this: An adorable girl scout rings your doorbell in her uniform, wearing an “Ask me about cookies” sticker (I still have some of those), and she suckers you into buying 10 boxes of cookies with her pout and cherubic demeanor. You are about to pull out your cash when she whips out her smartphone and asks for your credit card. Some troops in Ohio are testing out this new payment plan by installing GoPayment, a free credit card reader, onto smartphones. While I understand how useful this can be, I am also a little skeptical. First of all, to be my paranoid self, do I really trust an eight-year-old girl with my credit card number? No, no I do not.
Second of all, it just feels wrong. Cookie sales have been branching out in the past decade or so. No longer can you only get cookies by having an “in” with a Girl Scout; you can buy them at the store. I understand that GSUSA needs money to continue running but the cookie sales, when I was a Brownie and a Junior, were not about making money (although there was a competition, which I won two years in a row). It was about overcoming shyness and going out there to talk to people. It was about independence and acquiring the skills that you will need later in life. Now it is about money. I find that sad. Also, tradition means a lot to me. Girl Scouts have been going around selling cookies door-to-door with a pencil and paper to keep track of everything since 1917, when, five years after its inception, GSUSA began baking and selling cookies, small-scale at first. I know that times change but childhood should
not. With the availability of Girl Scout cookies in stores and online and the shift toward technology in the sales, I fear that someday soon, the scouts will no longer sell the cookies at all. It will just be a brand name like Nabisco or Keebler. While I think GSUSA needs to update their organization, they need to be careful how they do it. They should stick to their original mission of empowering young girls and socializing them. Give these girls badges that show them how bright and innovative they can be, how successful and resourceful they can be. Do not curb cookie sales; let them acquire the essential skills from cookie sales that will aid them later in life. Rather than rushing to change everything for the centennial, honor Juliette Gordon Low’s mission. For the 100th anniversary, empower our young girls to become intelligent and valuable young women.
repeat would invite the attention of the brain and make it difficult to concentrate on one’s work. On the other hand, classical music is an example of a style of music that maximizes efficiency while doing work. Since it has no lyrics, it does not pose a threat of distraction; since a lot of classical music is not repetitive, the brain does not focus on it while studying. Another benefit of instrumental music such as classical music is that the tempo, for the most part, is slow. And, according to the Natural Sciences of Phoenix, there is a link between memory recall and musical tempo. For example, most classical music has a tempo of 60 beats per minute. This tempo activates the right hemisphere of the brain, while the material being studied activates the left hemisphere of the brain. With both hemispheres activated, the brain can process information more efficiently. Another key thing to keep in mind when listening to music and studying is that you should always listen to music you know rather than music you don’t. If you listen to music that’s new, you will find your-
self listening closely to the song, rather than focusing on your work. That’s why I had to stop listening to Pandora while doing work. Pandora is great to listen to when I’m on Facebook or hanging out with friends. But, when writing a paper, I simply put on my iPod shuffle and I’m all set. So if you choose to listen to music while studying, follow these tips: 1. Listening to music is beneficial for studying but detrimental for memorizing information. 2. Music with no lyrics is better than music with lyrics. 3. Music that does not repeat itself is best (classical music). 4. Music with a slow tempo is preferable (classical music). 5. Choose music you’re familiar with, rather than new music. If you follow these steps, you will find that you no longer have to battle with yourself about whether you should listen to music while cramming for a test. So when you’re rushing down those steps to the Dungeon for an all-night study session, before you flip on Kanye, maybe give Beethoven a listen instead.
Is America in decline? DECLINE, from page 6
unnecessary spending in other discretionary areas. Another reason why the United States will not lose its status as the world’s preeminent power is because of the quality of the competition. For instance, Europe is in a state of utter disarray, plagued by sovereign debt crises; weak leadership; startlingly high unemployment rates in places like Spain; unfavorable demographic trends; populations that are overly dependent on government and entitlement programs; and social and cultural tensions, particularly in relation to immigrants. Furthermore, the notion that several dozen completely different countries with disparate nationalities, societies, histories and economic systems could start using the same currency and fuse into one entity known as the European Union is ludicrous. I suppose, however, it is too late now to reverse that mistake. China, our new main rival, is also challenged by a plethora of problems. With its repressive one-child policy, it faces an imminent demographic crisis in which a relatively small workingage population supports everyone else who cannot help themselves. Its
belligerent, militaristic and aggressive foreign policy has provoked tensions with nearly all of its neighbors, with the exception of North Korea. The communist regime must confront intermittent social and ethnic unrest internally as well as the challenge of acquiring legitimacy from non-democratic sources. Additionally, China may very well be hit by a housing bubble within the coming years and its economic growth could stall. In contrast to these cases, the United States is in a far better position. I am not inclined to believe the doubters and the persistently pessimistic prognosticators of our decline. Ultimately, we can recover and improve our current situation.
10 The Brandeis Hoot
sexologist lectures on 'fornication'
Morgan gross, editor
On Tuesday Nov. 18, several hundred students crowded into Golding 101 to see Megan Andelloux—also known as Oh Megan—present what the event’s Facebook page advertised as “a study of how people experience the erotic and express themselves as sexual beings with an emphasis on jollies, attitude awareness, and sexual skill building.” They stressed that the course was “designed to introduce students to carnal knowledge, comfort in awkward situations and hot safer sex behaviors.” Megan—who has been visiting Brandeis annually for the past seven years—is a Board Certified Sexologist through the American College of Sexologists and a Nationally Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE) through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. She has worked full-time in the sexual education field for the past 12 years—including nine years as a youth-focused sexuality educator. In 2010, Andelloux created the Study Sex College Tour—through which she visited Brandeis’ campus this semester. Megan explained in the workshop that she decided to start the tour in reaction to claims among experts in the field that it is impossible to create respectful and educational sex education on a college campus. Megan took these criticisms as a challenge, and set out to create a curriculum focused on cultivating future sexuality educators, creating a safe environment for students to learn more about safer sex practices, consent, sexual pleasure and sexual politics. As a part of the Study Sex College Tour, Megan travels to universities around the world, giving lectures with titles including “Fantasy Island” and “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!” All lectures are based around the goal of allowing college students to feel that they can explore sex and sexual issues in a fun, educational and respectful way. Tuesday’s topic was “For-
photos by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot let’s talk about sex, baby Sexologist Megan Andelloux speaks to students Tuesday. From top: Andelloux explains male anatomy; Andelloux and Simon Zahn ’12 explain female anatomy; and sex toys she endorses.
nication 101.” With the help of a variety of media and visual aids, Megan’s covered topics including “ejaculation, petting kitties, putting condoms on with your mouth, anal adventures, g-spot stimulation and sexual positions.” The event was brought to campus by Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS), a campus organization dedicated to cultivating a safe, sex-positive community while satisfying every Brandeisian’s sexual health needs, as an addendum to their typical orientation and dorm rap education programs. Emily Zoller ’14, an SSIS counsellor, explained that sex education on the college campus is important because “sex education tends to end for most people in high school although, as people get older, they continue to have questions, maybe even more than before. Megan promotes a sex positive environment that lets people ask anything and have a conversation about uncomfortable topics. We need this at Brandeis.” SSIS is a completely student-run organization that focuses on making sure that these important conversations are had in a comfortable and constructive way. Megan’s work as a sexual educator is conducive to this goal. Nicole Nightingale ’13, another SSIS counselor, explained that Megan is “a great asset to help further educate anyone on sexual health. She’s very open and knowledgeable, and has a talent of making individuals feel comfortable when discussing sexual health and behaviors. She is also very respectful of people’s different comfort levels and opinions. I was thrilled to have her come to Brandeis. I was happy to be able to have her share her knowledge with our university.” This type of informal sex education was well-received by students, as demonstrated by the event’s overflowing attendance. Lilli Meier ’14, who attended the lecture, stated that Andelloux “was really approachable and her presentation was interactive; it helped people open up and have fun with the material rather than get embarrassed.” While parts of the lecture were graphic and potentially uncomfortable, Meier “was happily surprised by how open the audience was, people asked deeply personal questions without hesitation or fear of being judged.” Mark Hajjar ’13, one of SSIS’s coordinators, explained that the event “was excellent. Brandeis students had a great turnout and were able to handle all of the material in an appropriate and mature manner, and Megan presented everything in a way that encouraged participation and a relaxed environment. It was a blast!”
November 18, 2011
You Know We’re Right
Get that unwanted hair off of there! Dear Morgan and Leah, I’m a pretty hairy guy. I always have been and it’s never bothered me. I’ve been dating someone for the past few months, however, and recently she’s been dropping more and more hints about manscaping. I’m not opposed to the idea but I’m not really sure how to go about doing it, like what to shave, how to trim and where to stop. Should it bother me that she doesn’t like the hair? She’s put up with it the whole time we’ve been together, but I don’t want it to be a deal breaker. Sincerely, Happily Hairy Dear Hairy, First off, if you want to postpone a decision, remind your gal that it’s No Shave November—there’s no reason to shave any part of your body right now! For anyone who’s a little confused, “manscaping” is the masculine art of removing hair, generally body hair (as opposed to facial hair and hair on your head). It can include hair on the chest, back, “down there” and other parts of the body. Many women, including your lady, apparently, are turned off by what they perceive to be too much body hair. So what can you do about it? The history of manscaping Removal of men’s body hair has long been a cultural and religious custom, according to AskMen.com, and is occasionally done to prevent fleas and lice in lessdeveloped parts of the world. There has always been a visual component, which is why many men in America today choose to remove body hair. Your options Should you choose to fix the frizz, you have a few options. The easiest, shaving, also requires the most upkeep, as it grows back the fastest. You can get hair removal cream or wax at your local drugstore, or you can get it waxed professionally—the most expensive method, but also the easiest. Just remember that if you do anything other than shaving, it will take longer for the hair to grow back and you might be unhappy with it. The joys of trimming In some more sensitive regions of the body, growing hair back can be an itchy experience. Your best bet may be to trim and shape the hair rather than removing it completely. Dos and Don’ts In places where there’s a LOT of hair, just trim it. Women expect you to have hair in your armpits … your girl will wonder why it’s all gone. Same goes for your chest. Just thin it out! Don’t shave patterns. Do we need to explain why? Unless she has a great sense of humor and you can play it off well, your name in your chest or an arrow (ahem) are less classy than you might want. The worst thing you can leave for your lady is prickly stubble that pokes her when you’re trying to set the mood. Just remember that you don’t want to go completely hairless—”porn star chic” is not in these days. Also, if you’re as hairy as you’ve made yourself seem, be careful about where you nix the hair: You’re going to look silly if your happy trail is gone and your chest is bare, but your back is still hairy. Chances are, though, if you’ve made it this far it won’t end up being a deal-breaker. If it is, do you really want to be with someone who’s taken the time to get to know you but can’t get over your hair? 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!
November 18, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Auslander writes on legacy of slavery in Georgia By Debby Brodsky Editor
Mark Auslander, a former professor at Brandeis who now teaches anthropology at Central Washington University, published his first book this fall called “The Accidental Slaveowner.” Auslander’s book delves into the myths surrounding “Miss Kitty,” or Katherine Andrew Boyd, a slave in Oxford, Ga., who is said to have been one cause of the Civil War. Before working at Central Washington University, Auslander was an assistant professor of anthropology at Brandeis, directed the interdisciplinary graduate program in Cultural Production and served as Brandeis’ academic director of Community Engaged Learning. He is still affiliated with the university and assists with the graduate program in Anthropology. Auslander’s research into Miss Kitty’s life was originally intended to be an article but, after connecting with the residents of Oxford, Ga., and seeking the help of Miss Kitty’s living descendants to uncover her “real” story, Auslander’s article turned into a book. “I began to realize there were many levels of the story that had to be told,” Auslander said. “I was interested in locating the family members of Miss Kitty, and what happened to their prosperity. The Oxford community had been praying on that question for many generations.” The story of Miss Kitty has been twofold for generations. In standard white mythology, Kitty is seen as one of several loyal slaves of Methodist Bishop James Osgood Andrew, the first president of Emory University’s board of trustees. Miss Kitty is said to have willingly remained in slavery in 1841. Bishop Andrew is therefore regarded as an “accidental” slave owner because he neither bought nor sold Kitty and Kitty “has since been celebrated as a loyal slave,” Auslander said. According to black residents of Oxford, however, Kitty remained enslaved as Bishop Andrew’s coerced lover and was unable to live freely. “For the white community, the story of Miss Kitty seemed to exemplify the story of the supposedly loyal maid,”
Auslander said. “This is an important part of white southern mythology and is a long-running American story.” According to Auslander, when it was discovered that Bishop Andrew was still a slave owner in 1844, there was a great national schism of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This split subsequently led to divisions in other American churches, as well as the unraveling of religion in the 19th century. “What tied the United States together was common membership to churches in the north and south,” Auslander said. Auslander said he was pulled into the study of slavery by a teaching position he held in Oxford, Ga. When he first began teaching in Oxford he taught about present-day injustices. “In 1999 Oxford had an all-white police force and a segregated cemetery,” Auslander said. “I couldn’t begin to work on current injustices if I didn’t go back to their origins.” Auslander also said he believes the United States is founded upon systems of slavery, and that the overall health of present day society depends on reexamining that history. Remarking how slavery seems so far away at Brandeis, Auslander stressed that the past still matters. Through his research, Auslander worked with the black community in Oxford to trace Miss Kitty’s descendants, and eventually contacted sisters Darcel Caldwell and Cynthia Caldwell Martin, the great-greatgreat-granddaughters of Miss Kitty. Caldwell and Martin have since traveled to Oxford twice. Upon their second visit this past October, the Oxford community erected a new headstone for Miss Kitty in the Oxford community cemetery. The headstone now reads “Miss Kitty, Katherine Andrew Boyd, wife, mother and member of the Oxford Emory community.” Upon their first contact with Auslander, Caldwell and Martin were only aware of their family lineage as far back as their great-great-grandfather, Miss Kitty’s son, Alford Boyd. “I felt the new headstone was a good combination of the legend and the reality,” Caldwell said. “The headstone is an excellent acknowledgement of Kitty’s role in the community. The black and white, and the Emory and Oxford community. My hope is
new gravestone The grave of Catherine Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. Miss Kitty, a Georgia slave with a complicated connection to the Civil War.
to be able to maintain a relationship with the community in Oxford now that I know that I have some sort of roots there.” For Caldwell and Martin, discovering Miss Kitty meant discovering a part of their past they had never known before. Their journey has been emotional and unusual because, while most Americans try to find their own family history, Caldwell and Martin’s family history found them. “Professor Auslander’s research has given me an opportunity to form an attachment with the Oxford Emory community,” Martin said. “I was aware of Alford Boyd because he raised my grandmother, so she frequently spoke of her grandfather and grandmother, aunts and uncles. So, including my children, I was already familiar with six generations of my ancestors. Finding Katherine was a bonus. It wasn’t something I ever expected.” Caldwell was stunned to learn about Kitty. “Sometimes it’s difficult,” Caldwell said. “It turns out there’s an ancestor I didn’t even know existed, and she was known as the person that caused the Civil War. She may also have been the coerced mistress of Bishop Andrew, and her oldest son Alford may have been the child of the
rest in peace The Oxford, Ga., community erects a headstone for Miss Kitty in Oxford’s newly-unsegregated cemetery.
bishop.” Martin, too, described how shocked she was to learn of Miss Kitty’s role and the impact it had on the Methodist Church, the south and on the United States. “It is mind boggling,” Martin said. “I am very protective of Kitty and her memory, and I am honored to know of her.” Next month Emory University will celebrate its 175th anniversary. As part of the celebration, Emory will recognize 175 of its “history makers,” and Miss Kitty will be honored as one of them. “The fact that the Oxford and Emory community knew of Kitty shows that she was very much a part of their lure and legend,” Caldwell said. “I would like to hope that any attention that my great-great-great-grandmother gets helps people recognize that there was a whole community of slaves in Newton County, Ga., who were involved in the establishment of Emory University,” she said. “Kitty was one of many. Personally my sister and I can symbolize not just Kitty, but the rest of those nameless people who are not being identified.” Auslander said he will continue to work with the Oxford community. Since the publication of “The Accidental Slaveowner,” Auslander and
residents of Oxford have begun an effort to create a scholarship that will allow the descendants of slaves to go to college. He is also working to build a monument in honor of the slaves who built universities nationwide. Auslander is currently working on a number of books, one of which will discuss race, labor and science. “Mark and his wife Ellen deserve a lot of credit for following through with this project,” Martin said. “This is a fascinating story, and it goes beyond that. It’s my family history. What’s even more interesting is that this woman was born around 1822, she had three children, and my sister and my two children are her only living descendants.” Auslander and his wife Ellen Schattschneider, associate professor of anthropology and women’s and gender studies at Brandeis, were active leaders of the faculty movement to save The Rose Art Museum in 2009. Last week, Auslander delivered a presentation to the Brandeis community at the 11th annual Saler Lecture in Religious Studies, called “In Slavery’s Shadows: Paradoxes of Religion, Race and Art.”
photos courtesy of mark auslander
The Brandeis Hoot
View From the Top: Abby Kulawitz
Learning ‘real life’ lessons By Abby Kulawitz Special to the Hoot
Apart from the cold weather, our Brandeis community often reminds me of my grandparents’ gated community in Boca. Brandeis students and senior citizens seem to have Bingo, group fitness classes, guest lecturers and 5 p.m. dinners in common. Other times, it has felt like a reality television show: Who can join the most clubs? Rack up the most majors and minors? The most Dean’s List appearances? And what about the most hookups? Bonfires, Shabbat services and late night hangouts with friends have brought back my memories from
summer camp. And anyone who has ever spent even a minute at an upstate New York resort can see the similarity between Brandeis and hotels like Kutscher’s—hotels with talent shows, large Jewish family reunions and games of Simon Says. The one thing that Brandeis has not felt like is the “real world”—the very thing for which it is supposed to prepare me. Brandeis has not given me experience with paying rent, dealing with bosses, commuting to work or setting up bank accounts. Call me sheltered, but I still have very little experience writing checks, pumping gas and budgeting groceries. Worse yet, and even more daunting, my life plan remains a blur. I still lack a clear sense
of purpose, a clear plan for navigating post-college life. So what, then, have I gotten out of the past four years? At the top of the list are friends. I can say with the utmost confidence that my friends from Brandeis are my friends for life. The people who I have met throughout my time at Brandeis continue to amaze me every day— their stories, passions, accomplishments and goals. I can see my closest friends and myself celebrating birthdays, holidays and even weddings together in the future. Last year, a close friend and I spent one late night predicting our friends’ futures: Who will be doctors, lawyers, art-
November 18, 2011
ists, bankers and CEOs? Which couples will get married and which will live in one of those little utopian societies where the institution of marriage does not exist? Who will break the glass ceiling and who will live in a McMansion? Who will have five kids and who will adopt from overseas? Who will be a typical Jewish mother and who will be a PTA-going father? Whatever happens, I know that I will always be proud of each and every one of my friends. If you had told me in high school that I was going to major in American Studies, I would have laughed and rolled my eyes. And if you had told me that I was also going to major in Sociology, I would have asked the inevitable, “What is Sociology?” While far from my high school fascination with physics, today, I see my studies as part of my identity. They have brought me to look at the world in a totally different way (as well as encouraged me to see 15-page papers as pieces of cake). Perhaps my biggest academic accomplishment is my acquisition of a second language. Having never taken modern Hebrew before Brandeis, I now consider myself close to fluent. My time in the classroom (and the library) has truly transformed my worldview, giving me passions and interests that I never previously knew existed. One Friday night of my first year, I decided to venture outside Brandeis and attend the Harvard Chabad. I remember feeling underdressed and out of place, sitting under extravagant glass chandeliers and dining with fine china. During dinner, one diamondclad Harvard student inquired, “Abby, what are your extracurricular activities?” Feeling as if I were being interviewed by Harvard Admissions, I felt inadequate. Having just entered Brandeis, I had not yet found my niche in the “extracurricular” world. Fast-forward three years and I have. I have done things outside of the classroom that I never thought I’d be able to do. I conducted more than 90 interviews in the span of one week, orchestrated chaotic Senate meetings, planned an off-campus retreat on a tight budget and advised first-years with problems that I myself faced not too long ago. Even with no classes, my days at Brandeis would be booked minute-to-minute with meetings, workshops and advising sessions. I know that one day, I will have successfully mastered “real life” skills—I can pick up budgeting, gas pumping and house-hunting skills anywhere. But the relationships, interests and goals that I have cultivated at Brandeis are Brandeis-specific—unique to this campy, Boca Raton-esque, reality show-like environment—an environment that has prepared me for so much more than the real world.
Triskelion and TransBrandeis aim for transgender awareness By Gabby Katz Staff
This week Brandeis was on its A game. There was a Fornication 101 course in Rabb. Seniors out on the town at Skellig on a Wednesday night. Brandeis sports dominating. Many events highlighted the community coming together and achieving great things, but one event truly encompassed the open-minded, unbiased Brandeis mentality: Transgender Awareness Week. Cynthia Simonoff ’12, events coordinator of Triskelion, or Trisk, Brandeis’ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally undergraduate student group, described the week as a series of events designed to bring awareness to the transgender community and ultimately to advocate the nationally recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance this coming Sunday, Nov. 20. Simonoff
explained how this celebration is meant to use the term “transgender” in its broadest sense, including but not limited to: transsexuals; people who identify as genderqueer, drag kings and queens; people who identify as intersex; and any other people who don’t feel they conform to established gender roles. Simonoff described the daily hardships trans people face while living in a society with a clear, distinct gender binary (male and female). Small daily decisions taken for granted like choosing names for ID cards, class rosters and registering on Sage, or what pronouns to use, or even which bathroom to use are more complicated. Fortunately, Brandeis provides some accommodations like genderneutral housing and gender-neutral bathrooms, but there is still a lot of work to be done, she said. As a whole, transgender individuals are a minority and are often overlooked and even discriminated against on a daily basis
because of their own personal gender and sexual identity. This type of intolerance still occurs every day in all parts of the world. The goal of Trisk’s events this week was to fight these injustices Brandeis-style and fill some of the gaps that Brandeis does not. The week included “Break a Gender Norm Day,” for which students were encouraged to dress or act as the opposite gender. It also included a day focused on self-image, a coffee house and many other activities that were both educational and fun. Trisk ultimately aimed to help the Brandeis community understand what it means to be transgender and get people to recognize that the key to having a close-knit community is to accept and celebrate people for who they are. Sara Brande ’15 is a co-coordinator of TransBrandeis, a branch of Trisk for people who identify as transgender and trans allies. Brande expressed hope that the effect of hosting the first Transgender Aware-
ness Week would make “the Brandeis community become a safer and healthier space for all who are a part of it.” Halee Brown ’13, Trisk’s general coordinator, added, “Ideally, this open-minded perspective will carry on past this week and disseminate further into the Brandeis community, allowing us to reinforce our commitment to social justice and maintain respect for those around us.” So whether you are a transgendered individual, or you personally know someone in this category, or you were completely unaware of this community on campus, being educated and spreading the knowledge to others seems to be the number one way to fight transgender injustice. Transgender Awareness Week will continue with a peace vigil this Sunday, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., walking from the Shapiro Campus Center to the Usdan Peace Circle in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to hatred and ignorance.
Core chosen for class of ’16 orientation By Leah Finkelman Editor
Mitchell Schwartz ’14 applied to be next year’s coordinator of first-year orientation after two successful orientations, one as a first-year and another last year as an Orientation Leader. Like the four students chosen this week to plan orientation with him, Schwartz wants to recreate and give back to the class of 2016 and show them how incredible being a Brandeis student can be. Schwartz will live in Waltham this summer with the rest of Orientation Core, Jason Dick ’14, Stefani Gospodinova ’14, Dillon Morris ’14 and Samanthan Gordon ’14, as they plan orientation with adult staff, including Jenny Abdou, assistant director of orientation. “I love orientation and I think it’s such a unique experience. No other school does orientation the way that Brandeis does and I wanted to be a part of such a special and fun program,” Dick said. When Gordon came to Brandeis for her first-year orientation, it was her first experience at Brandeis because she had never visited as a prospective student. “As cheesy as it may be, I have always had a strong connection to Brandeis, before I even came here, and orientation just made me love Brandeis even more,” said Gordon, who was an Orientation Leader last year. Morris felt the same way: excited with the desire to give back. “My orientation experience was phenomenal, and not only did it demonstrate the amazing community I’ve come to know and love at Brandeis, it also provided me with an exceptionally warm welcome to a brand new place where I have been able to grow and flourish and become someone I had always wanted to be,” he said. During the interview process, each Core applicant did an activity for the selection committee, which at that point included Schwartz. Gospodinova taught the committee how to write the perfect Tweet (a useful skill for Core, which runs @ ReadyForDeis), and Gordon taught them how to destress by tensing and relaxing various muscle groups. In terms of learning from last year’s Core, led by coordinator Rachel Nelson ’13, Morris said, “I would have to say that the single most important thing I have learned from those previously on Core is that, while people certainly demonstrate different points of view and ambitions in what exactly they wish to accomplish, the ultimate goal is the same: provide incoming first-years with the best possible orientation imaginable.” Living together this summer, Dick is looking forward to putting together ideas and “seeing our hard work come to life,” as well as becoming a better cook. The five sophomores are already excited to create something magical for next year’s first-years. “I really hope to continue many of the traditional aspects of Orientation while also finding ways to surprise with the new ideas we come up with for our program,” Gospodinova said. “I’ve always really enjoyed being able to work cooperatively with a group of individuals who are passionate about a specific topic,” Morris said. “The great thing about the Core committee is that we have all been chosen because we have demonstrated a true passion for orientation as well as a true love for Brandeis and its amazing community. We are all very different people, but I am looking forward to working with all of them, as we share a common goal.”
November 18, 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 Brian Tabakin 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 Suzanna Yu Deputy Copy Editor Destiny D. Aquino Senior Editor
Volume 8 • Issue 24 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma
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.
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The Brandeis Hoot 13
College is no place for vandalism
magine you are a prospective student, walking up the stairs and past the doors of Usen One. Your first views of Brandeis have been pleasant so far and you have to say that Massell Pond is actually quite attractive. Then, as you walk past the girls’ bathroom, you behold a view of vulgarity: the word “cocks” written in Sharpie, blatantly on the door. And, when you walk past the boys’ bathroom, you see “penis” prominently displayed. This is an egregious wrongdoing—an embarrassment to our community as a whole and an unwarranted clean-up job for the maintenance staff that works here. This act resembles something an immature high school freshman would do amid their new situation. But you are not high school freshmen anymore and this disparity reflects how truly disappointing it is to find such words strewn across the halls. Not only do the students who live there have to see this vandalism, but so do the tour groups that traverse the halls on a daily basis. What image do they take away about Brandeis from this? Do they think we are juvenile children who play the penis game, regardless of the time and place? Hopefully not. In truth, this does not make us look like the community of intellectuals and unique individuals for which we would like to be known and hopefully are. Most disturbing is the fact that the careless individuals who marked Usen Hall are not—and most likely have no intentions of—removing the indecencies from the doors, thereby leaving the onus on the maintenance staff. For Usen Hall residents who know the staff, this is an embarrassment. It is disheartening to know that the kind and hardworking individuals who clean up after our messes
photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot
every week have to see this vandalism. As if the dirty dishes tossed around the lounges and various smells emanating from the garbage cans weren’t enough, it is now a further embarrassment to have derogatory terms brazenly written on the doors. The industrious facilities workers have tried to remove the profanity but have been unsuccessful.
We hope that incidences like this do not discourage future students from applying. We hope that the facilities workers know that we appreciate and respect them. And we hope that the people who did this are reading this and know that this sort of behavior is unacceptable and places a black mark on the entire community.
14 The Brandeis Hoot
November 18, 2011
First half disappearing act dooms Judges in second
photo by nafiz “fizz ” ahmed/the hoot
By Brian Tabakin Editor
In their season opener, the Judges fell 91-82 to visiting Lasell College. The Lasell Lasers built a 21-point halftime lead thanks in large part to the Judges’ offensive woes. In the first half, the Judges shot a miserable 20 percent from the field (7-35) while Lasell hit 51.7 percent of their shots (15-29). The Lasers also outshot the Judges from beyond the arc 58.3 percent to 16.7 percent and from the free throw line 76.9 percent to 52.6 percent. Junior guard Sean Bertanza and junior forward Sonny Mello led the Lasers’ offense in the first half scoring 13 points each en route to a 47-26 halftime lead. The pair combined to score as many points as the entire Brandeis roster. Forward Vytas Kriskus ’12 led the Judges with eight points and seven rebounds in the first half. The Judges changed their defense in the second half opting to go with
By Alex Bernstein Staff
The Brandeis women’s basketball team started off their season in great fashion Tuesday night, beating Worcester Polytechnic Institute 5242. Guard Diana Cincotta ’12 led the Judges to a road victory with a teamhigh 14 points. After a long preseason, the Judges went into Tuesday’s game feeling good. Guard Julia Scanlon ’14 explained that in preseason the team worked on playing good defense. “Defense was our focus—we worked on not being individually good on the defensive end but rather being good at team defense.” Scanlon also spoke about how im-
a 1-3-1 half-court trap zone defense. The new defensive scheme caused Lasell lots of trouble as the full court pressure lured Lasell into many turnovers. Behind their increased defensive pressure, the Judges immediately began rallying. Uncharacteristic mistakes, however, deflated any chance of a rally. Occasionally, while in the 1-3-1 zone, Brandeis defenders did not completely rotate, leaving Lasell shooters wide open in the corner. The Lasers made the Judges pay for these defensive miscues sinking three after three. Furthermore, the Judges were unable to finish at the rim. The Judges missed a surprisingly high number of layups and were unable to convert their offensive rebounds into points as they continuously missed tip-in shots. The Judges also committed silly fouls away from the ball quickly sending Lasell into the bonus and to the free-throw line. Lasell opened the second half scoring the first five points on a threepointer from junior guard Arthur
Alexander and a layup by senior forward Javon Williams to double up the Judges 52-26 less than a minute into the second half. But, Brandeis overcame 19-point deficits twice last season and, with nearly the entire team returning for this season, the Judges were not daunted by the deficit. After the Williams layup, the Judges went on a 19-8 run over the next six minutes to cut the Lasell lead to 15 points on a three-pointer by guard Derek Retos ’14 at the 13:09 mark. Lasell answered with a run of their own, scoring nine of the next 13 points to push their lead back to 20 points on a layup by senior forward Dominik Orloff at the 11:25 mark. The play went back and forth for the next four minutes with the Judges only able to shave three points off of the Lasell lead. Two layups from Judges guard Tyrone Hughes ’12 bookended an 11-3 run that cut the Lasell lead to single digits, 76-67, with just 4:02 left in the game. After sophomore guard Bran-
don Ganesh sunk a jumper to put the Lasers back up by 11, Brandeis center Youri Dascy ’14 converted a threepoint play after being fouled on a putback to pull the Judges within eight points with 3:29 left in the game. The visiting Lasers proved to be resilient as they quickly got a score off of a Ganesh feed to Orloff and then got a defensive stop on the other end. After two free throws, Lasell was back on top by 12 points with only 2:37 left. The Judges were unable to cut the deficit back to single digits until the Lasers gave up an uncontested layup at the buzzer. Lasell was led by Bertanza, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-3 from downtown and 2-of-3 from the line. He also led the Lasers with nine rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Nate DiSessa and Ganesh each scored 15 and Mello finished with 13 points while Alexander led the Lasers with five assists. The Lasers continued their solid shooting in the second half finishing with a 54.2 field goal percentage (1324) to finish at 52.8 percent for the game (28-53). The Lasers were also hot from beyond the arc shooting 55.6 percent (10-18) and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line (25-32). Although the Judges’ shooting dramatically improved in the second half, connecting on 51.3 percent of their shots (20-39), it only raised their field goal percentage to 36.5 percent for the game (27-74). Both Dascy and Kriskus finished with double-doubles when Dascy scored a game-high 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds while Kriskus tallied 17 points and grabbed 11 boards, including seven on the offensive glass. Guard Ben Bartoldus ’14 finished with 13 points while Hughes and Retos each scored 10 points. Despite outrebounding the Lasers 48-33, including 25-5 on the offensive glass, the Judges were unable to overcome their poor first-half performance as their rally fell short. And yesterday the Judges rebounded from their tough loss to Lasell with a dominating 78-50 win over Emerson. The Judges’ entire roster towered over Emerson with each Brandeis player having at least an inch on their opponents. Retos paced the Judges offense with 17 points. In stark contrast to their first game, the Judges connected on 58.7 percent of their shots (27-46) including 44.4 percent (8-18) from beyond the arc. The Judges also were much improved from the freethrow line shooting 72.7 percent (1622). The Lions started the game in a 2-3 zone defense. The Judges quickly attacked the zone defense scoring the game’s first three points on a three-point play from Retos. Emerson quickly answered with a layup from freshman point guard Eli KellAbrams. The Judges started off slowly on the offensive end going just 1-4 in the first four minutes; however, their
Women’s basketball splits first two games
portant it is for the team to step up and fill the shoes of last year’s seniors who graduated. “Obviously losing some key members is a huge loss for our team not just on the court but off the court too. But every year you’re going to lose some people and it’s time for everyone else to find a new role.” Going into the game, the Judges hoped to bring some of the defensive intensity that they worked on in preseason. Brandeis started off slowly, going 1-for-13 from the field in the first six minutes. Fortunately, the Judges played very well at the defensive end early on, forcing four turnovers and holding WPI to just 1-for-8 shooting. Forward Erika Higginbottom ’13 scored five points in the first
half off the bench for the Judges and Cincotta hit a late three-pointer to give Brandeis a 26-22 lead going into the half. Scanlon felt that the Judges did a great job on defense right out of the gate and felt good going into the half. “We came out with great intensity and focus. Defensively, we really stuck to the fundamentals and were good at disrupting the other team’s offense.” The offense, however, was not producing the way the team would have liked. “In the locker room, we talked about picking up the tempo and execution of our offense. We were successful when we ran through our sets and got easy baskets.” In the second half, senior guard Lauren Hannmann immediately
tied the game for WPI, scoring four straight points. The Judges responded with a 5-0 run, including a threepointer by captain guard Kelly Ethier ’12. Brandeis would not give up the lead for the remainder of the game, keeping the lead to around 10 points for the last six minutes of the contest. Cincotta was the only Judge to reach double digits, while Higginbottom tallied nine points. Hannmann lead WPI with 16 points but the WPI bench outscored the team’s starters 22-20, including 12 points from sophomore forward Siena Mamayek. A key to the Judges’ victory was their ability to convert WPI turnovers into points. The judges scored 21 points off of 25 WPI turnovers, while WPI could only convert one basket
stellar defense and hustle kept the game low scoring until the Judges’ offense came alive. Guard Jay Freeman ’13 started a 18-7 Judges’ run with a layup at the 16:09 mark of the first half. Less than eight minutes later, the Judges had pushed their lead to 21-8. Emerson responded by pulling within nine, 31-22, at halftime. Despite leading at the break, the Judges could not have been happy with their first-half performance. The Judges committed turnovers off of a sloppy ball handling that let the Lions hang around in the game. The Judges blew Emerson out of the arena in the second half, opening on a 20-4 run over the first 5:28 to blow the game wide open with a lead of 5126. On the Judges first 10 possessions of the second half, they scored threepoints six times, including three traditional three-point plays: one by Hughes on a breakaway layup off of a steal and two by Dascy. With the 5126 lead, the Lions never pulled within 15 points for the rest of the game. Retos fell one point short of his career-best with 17 points in 19 minutes of action. He shot 6-for-9 overall, 4-for-6 from downtown and calmly hit his only free throw. Bartoldus added 10 points, with six coming in the first half, while Hughes, Kriskus and Freeman each scored nine points. Dascy led all players with seven rebounds, leading the Judges to a 37-24 advantage on the glass while Hughes led all players with three assists. Senior forward Nathan Firn led the Lions with 13 points, with 11 points in the second half, while junior guard Bilali Kalilou-Mack added 12 points and 10 points from Kell-Abrams, all of which came in the first half. Kell-Abrams also led Emerson with six rebounds despite being the shortest player on the court. He played all 20 minutes of the first half but was limited to just eight minutes in the second half before he fouled out. Kell-Abrams energetic play led to a flagrant foul as he wrapped his arms around the neck of Hughes to prevent a breakaway layup. The Judges return to action Saturday at 1 p.m. when they host Becker College.
Box Scores Lasell
91 – 82
78 – 50
off of the Judges’ 17 turnovers. The game also saw rather poor shooting from beyond the arc, with Brandeis and WPI going 3-17 and 4-17 from downtown, respectively. According to Scanlon, it was the Judges’ rebounding and improved offense in the second half that allowed them to achieve the victory. “We rebounded better and we did a better job running through our sets and pushing the tempo of the game.” Scanlon also mentioned what a great job the captains have been doing so far. “Our captains are not only great on the court but great off the court. They do a great job keeping our team focused, motivated, and See Basketball page 15
November 18, 2011
The Brandeis Hoot
Three Judges earn UAA Athlete of the Week honors By Gordy Stillman Editor
Kate Warwick ’12, Lee Russo ’13 and Joe Eisenbies’13 were all selected as UAA athletes of the week for the week ending November 14. Warwick earned her spot as the Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week. Warwick recently earned a berth to the NCAA Championships after placing 14th at the New England regional tournament. At the New England tournament she had a career best performance with a time of 21:49.28 in the six km course; more than a minute faster than her time at the same event last year. The championships are Saturday hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. This award is just one of many honors Warwick has collected over her senior cross-country season. Warwick also earned Athlete of the Week on October 17 after placing 10th among Division III runners and 35th
photos from internet source
Joe eisenbies ‘13
kate warwick ‘12
lee russo ‘13
overall at the UAlbany Invitational. Warwick also earned second place at the 2011 UMass Dartmouth Shriner’s Invitational. Russo earned is place as Athlete of the Week as the Men’s Soccer Offensive Athlete of the Week. Russo
was a core member of the Judges’ offense that successfully defended their Eastern College Athletic Conference New England Division II title over the last two weeks. In the quarterfinal game he scored both goals in the 2-0 shutout against Southern Vermont on
November 9th. Russo also had a goal and two assists in the championship match against Albertus Magnus on November 13th. Russo’s season included a team leading nine goals and 24 points. He’s among 20 other Judges that have
Babson crushes Judges’ momentum
BASKETBALL, from page 14
create an environment that is fun to be a part of.” The entire team was encouraged by the victory. Scanlon said that every year the team’s goal is to make the NCAA tournament and this year is not different. Yesterday, the Judges were unable to overcome a pair of large first-half deficits as the Judges fell to local rival and fifth-ranked Babson, 64-35. With the loss the Judges drop to 1-1 on the young season. The Beavers quickly scored the game’s first 13 points forcing the Judges to play from behind for the entire game. Brandeis finally got on the board when center Nicolina Vitale ’14 made one of her two free throws. The Beavers extended their lead to 18-1 before Higginbottom fi-
nally made the Judges’ first field goal at the 10:02 mark of the first half. The Judges closed the half on a 16-8 run, behind four more points from Vitale, and even pulled within seven points at one point; however, senior forward Kathleen King hit two free throws for the Beavers with 1:22 remaining in the first half to give the Beavers a 2617 halftime lead. Babson stormed out of the locker room at the half and immediately went on a 19-5 run over the first 9:12 of the half to double up the Judges 4522. With their massive lead, the Beavers cruised to victory. Babson scored 38 points in the second half, three points more than Brandeis scored in the entire game. Vitale finished with nine points to lead the Judges, a new career high, while her four rebounds and 17 minutes of play were the second highest
of her career. Higginbottom grabbed six rebounds off of the bench to tie Ethier for the team-high. Cincotta added six points as well. Brandeis shot a meager 27.3 percent from the field (15-55) and was just 10 percent from beyond the arc (1-10). The Beavers had three spectacular performances from their front court. King and preseason All-American Nicki Wuerdemann each had doubledoubles. King had game highs with 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while Wuerdemann added 19 points and 11 assists. Sarah Collins further stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks and six steals. Brandeis limited the Beavers to just 38.5 percent shooting (21-55) but the hosts shot 74.1 percent (2027) at the free-throw line to outscore the Judges by 16 points at the charity stripe.
Cross country in brief
The Judges’ next game is Saturday at 5 p.m. when they host Endicott.
By Louis Berger
This past weekend at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship at Bowdoin College, the Men’s Cross Country team showed some strong performances but failed to qualify for a fourth straight NCAA championship berth. Mark Boutin ’12 was the top performer for the Judges, finishing in 21st place with a time of 25:16.65, while classmate Chris Brown ’12 finished 27th with a time of 25:21.64. Both runners earned All New England honors for the fourth year in a row. Alex Kramer ’13 and Ed Colvin ’14 rounded off the top 50, finishing 46th and 49th respectively. Kramer finished the 6-K with 25:41.37, and Colvin had a time of 25:45.49. Meanwhile, the Women’s Cross Country team finished 10th overall for the second year in a row at the New England Cross Country Regional. The Judges were led by Kate Warwick ‘12, who finished 14th and earned her first trip to the national championships this weekend at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Warwick ran a career best 6-K, with a time of 21:49.28, over a minute faster than her time at last year’s event. Brandeis also had strong performances by Ali Kirsch ’14 , who finished 41st, and Miriam Stulin ‘15, who just missed the top 50 finishing 51st. Amelia Lundkvist ’13 finished 63rd with a time of 23:10.29 and classmate Victoria Sanford ‘13 was the team’s final scorer finishing in 84th place with a time of 23:29.16.
Box Scores @ WPI
After ECAC title, Judges look toward future By Brian Tabakin Editor
The top-seeded Brandeis Judges repeated as ECAC Division III New England champs with an 8-0 blowout win against second-seeded Albertus Magnus College on Gordon Field Sunday at noon. Brandeis finishes the season at 15-5-1 while Albertus Magnus finishes at 17-4-1. Midfielder Joe Eisenbies ’13 was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Eisenbies led a sensational defensive performance for the Judges. Brandeis held all three of their opponents to a combined nine shots. Throughout the tournament, the Judges outshot their opponents 93-9, including 30-4 against Albertus Magnus. Eisenbies paced the Judges to a new single season record with .61 shutouts per game—13 shutouts in 21 matches—including four in a row to end the season. Of the Judges’ 15 victories this season, 13 of them came via shutout. Goalie Blake Minchoff ’13 finished
the season with 12 individual shutouts, finishing just two shy of the school record. The Judges led an extremely balanced offensive attack throughout the game, with seven players tallying eight goals and five players totaling 10 assists. Forward Steve Keuchkarian ’12 was the only Judges player to score two goals during the contest. Keuchkarian scored the winning goal when he angled the ball from the deep right sideline into the far left corner of the net, which put the Judges ahead 1-0 just 7:03 into the contest. Midfielder Theo Harris ’12 assisted on the play, finishing the campaign with a team leading eight assists. Forward Alexander Farr ’12 and forward Lee Russo ’13 were each involved in three goals with a goal and two assists for the pair. Farr and Russo became the 20th and 21st players in Brandeis history to record 50 career points. Farr finished his collegiate career in 19th place with 23 goals and six assists for 52 points, while Russo will enter his senior season tied for
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
20th with 50 points. Russo and Farr passed Albertus Magnus associate head coach and Brandeis Hall of
Gordy’s game guesses: week 11 Tampa Bay Bucaneers at Green Bay Packers Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns Oaklan Raiders at Minnesota Vikings Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons San Diego Chargers at Chicago Bears Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Byes: Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans Last week’s record: 8-7 2011 season’s record: 81-48
reached 50 points over their careers after earning 20 goals and 10 assists. Russo will have next season to build on his recent campaign and chase records as the newest member of the “50 point club.” Eisenbies, also on the Men’s Soccer team, earned the Men’s Soccer Defensive Athlete of the Week. He served as a strong defensive force during the ECAC tournament that included shutouts in all three games and a mere nine shots allowed. He earned the honor of tournament MVP for his work in the shutouts. Eisenbies finished the season with two goals and an assist for five points and started in all 21 games this year. The defense he was a part of allowed 11 goals over the year and earned 13 shutouts, putting the Judges at eighth place among all Division III teams with a 0.51 goals against average and ninth place among shutouts with 0.62 shutouts per game. Brandeis’ strong defense helped the team win 15 games for their highest win total since 1997.
Famer Frank Raio ’84 who had 49 career points. Other offensive highlights for the Judges included a goal and an assist from forward Sam Ocel ’13, two assists from defender Ben Applefield ’14, and the first career goal for defender David McCoy ’12 in the 64th minute. In his 39 seasons Brandeis head coach Mike Coven has led his team to four ECAC crowns; the other titles were in 1994, 2006 and 2010. The Judges have won nine-straight ECAC tournament games dating back to the 2006 championship. With 15 wins this season, the Judges tallied the most wins by the Brandeis men’s soccer team since 1997. Looking forward to next season,
the Judges will surely miss the leadership and scoring of Farr; however, Russo should be able to fill the gap left by Farr. Russo has substantial offensive gifts, as seen by his amazing 50 points after his junior year. As a senior, Russo will likely take on an expanded leadership role along with his classmates Minchoff, Eisenbies and Ocel. Along with Farr, the Judges will also miss the collective leadership of Terris, forward Luke Teece ’12, Keuchkarian and McCoy. Expect defender Tyler Savonen ’15 to have a more prominent role with the team next season. Furthermore, it remains to be seen if Minchoff can continue his near flawless play in net next year. While there have been no indications that he will take a step backward, it is difficult to duplicate the spectacular and sensational season he had this year. While the Judges are losing a key group of seniors going into next season, they have enough talent on the team to overcome these losses as they look to win a third straight ECAC title next season.
16 The Brandeis Hoot
November 18, 2011
‘Father’s Footsteps’ a fantastic French film By Yael Katzwer Editor
When I agreed to attend a Jewish film series screening hosted by the Brandeis University Conservative Organization (BUCO) in conjunction with the National Center for Jewish Film, I was skeptical. I steeled myself for an overtly Jewish movie that would leave me feeling either woefully depressed or irritated by how the Jews were being depicted. The French 2007 film “Father’s Footsteps,” “Comme ton pere” in French, did neither. It was a fantastic movie. Despite its strong Jewish roots, the movie’s plot could have, for the most part, played out in many countries and with many cultures. This movie played out in Paris in the year 1973 with a Tunisian-Israeli family of Jews. “Father’s Footsteps,” directed by Marco Carmel, follows 11-year-old Michel (Jules-Angelo Bigarnet) as he navigates his life, confronting both the everyday trials all 11 year olds face and the problems created by his father’s imprisonment. Michel’s father, Felix (Gad Elmaleh), is imprisoned for armed bank robbery after he joins a motley Parisian mafia composed of Israelis, Tunisians and Arabs. In Paris, they are all outsiders. Felix is Israeli, having fought in the Six-Day War, and his partner, Serge (Richard Berry), is a Tunisian who fought for the other side in the war. Serge is from the same Tunisian town, Gabes, as
photo from internet source
riding in cars French film “Father’s Footsteps” stars, from left, Yaël Abecassis, Corentin Daumas, Jules-Angelo Bigarnet and Gad Elmaleh.
The film was screened as part of a Jewish film series hosted by BUCO.
Michel’s mother and Felix’s wife, Mireille (Yaël Abecassis). This tension sets the stage for the drama that makes this film suitable for a BUCO film screening. At the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in Israel, the Israeli and Arab children in Paris begin a street-fight. Al-
though Michel does not partake in this, his older brother Eric (Corentin Daumas) does. The complex relationship between Parisian Jews and Arabs plays out in the relationship of Eric and Michel with their friend Farid. Although they are friends, they have fundamental differences of belief and
fight often. One particularly compelling moment is when Farid and Eric are slugging each other, fighting about who should have control of Israel, when Eric finds out about the brawl a few blocks away. Jumping up and taking off down the street, Eric calls
back to Farid asking him to walk Michel home. Farid at first asks why he should but then acquiesces and walks his young friend home. Such complex relationships make this movie a delight. The most complex relationship in this film is that between Michel and Felix. Whereas most father-son movies follow the trajectory of a shaky relationship strengthening as the movie progresses, this movie does the opposite. In the beginning of the film, the two are incredibly close, sharing secrets and generally being a united front. As the movie continues, however, and Michel finds out how unsavory his father is, their relationship sours. This change is signified quite compellingly when Michel promises to show his father his secret hiding place. Michel climbs a tall fence and drops down to the mattresses below with the expectation that his father will follow. Just as Felix begins to climb the wall, however, the police arrest him and Michel is left alone on the other side, not realizing what has happened to his father. All he knows is that his father did not follow through on a promise and has abandoned him. Every actor in this movie was phenomenal. The two best were Elmaleh and Abecassis, as Felix and Mireille Maimon respectively. Elmaleh is quite charming despite being a rapscallion. You know you are not See FOOTSTEPS, page 19
Haunting ‘Melancholia’ probes depression, apocalypse By Sean Fabery Editor
“Melancholia,” the latest film by Danish provocateur Lars Von Trier, begins with the end: Melancholia, a rogue planet that has been hiding behind the sun for millennia, collides with Earth, instantaneously destroying all life on our planet. Immediately before this happens, we’re shown dream-like images of life in its last flourishes—a bride floats down a green, fecund river, while a mother runs with her child, getting nowhere; all of this is set to the prelude of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.” Wagner’s music recurs throughout the film, which is more interested in the dynamics between two sisters, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), than it is in the nitty-gritty details of the apocalypse. The film is appropriately split into two sections, each taking its name from one of the sisters. “Justine” focuses on the wedding reception for Justine and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard), held at the opulent estate belonging to Claire and her husband, John (Kiefer Sutherland). Justine initially appears happy, but that quickly changes as she becomes increasingly distant. As it turns out, spiritual horrors surround her: Her divorced parents (Charlotte Rampling and John Hurt) are so selfinvolved that they use their wedding toasts to insult one another, while her boss (Stellan Skarsgard) hounds her in the hopes that she can supply a new tagline for his ad campaign— this despite it being her wedding night. Michael tries to comfort Justine but their relationship proves too shallow; Claire, meanwhile, berates her for all the trouble she’s causing (“Sometimes I hate you so much”).
looking at the stars “Melancholia” stars, from left, Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The film functions
photo from internet source
as a metaphor about depression, as both Dunst and Gainsbourg’s characters suffer from it.
On the surface, this doesn’t sound too bad, but these details portend something much worse—absolute corruption wrought by narcissism and unadulterated capitalist greed. In contrast, “Claire” is a more intimate, sparsely populated act. Justine, badly in need of spiritual detox, returns to Claire’s estate just as the news of Melancholia’s approach arrives. Claire is immediately consumed by concerns about the planet’s trajectory—what will become of her and her young son, Leo (Cameron Spurr)? Justine, on the other hand,
is now the more stable one—she’s completely at peace with Earth’s fate and refuses to comfort Claire. “Life is only on Earth, and not for long,” she tells her sister. Melancholia, with a capital M, is a metaphor for melancholia of the lower-case variety. This big, looming metaphor isn’t exactly subtle, but it’s certainly creative and effective. Like the planet, melancholia comes out of nowhere, looming over life and refusing to disappear. A rarefied few, like Justine, eventually revel in it— at one point, she basks naked in the
planet’s blue glow. Von Trier based the film on his own battles with depression, which almost crippled him during the production of his last film, 2009’s ultra-disturbing “Antichrist.” “Melancholia” certainly conveys its central emotion very well, but to focus solely on the film’s ruminations on depression is to miss out on just how funny it can be at times, particularly in the first half. Justine’s wedding planner (Udo Kier) literally shields his face every time he’s near her, angry that she has ruined his perfect wedding. When Jus-
tine later returns to the manse barely able to move due to her depression, Claire makes her meatloaf, believing it to be the ultimate cure-all for depression. (Justine indeed lights up when she sees her favorite dish but then declares it “tastes like ashes”— hilarious!) For someone who seems to agree with Justine that “the Earth is evil,” Von Trier presents both the natural and the man-made in their best light with the help of cinematographer See MELANCHOLIA, page 18
November 18, 2011
ARTS, ETC. 17
The Brandeis Hoot
BTC stages lively and error-free ‘Comedy’
photo courtesy mike lovett
shakespeare with a twist In the Brandeis Theater Company’s production of “The Comedy of Errors,” Antipholus of Ephesus (Dotan Horowitz) is confronted by Pinch ( Jonathan Von Mering), a conjurer.
By Hannah Levinger Special to the Hoot
The Brandeis Theater Company performed William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” this past weekend. The play follows two sets of identical twins separated shortly after birth on a wacky one-day adventure of mistaken identities. The very beginning of the play began with the Duke of Ephesus (Ben Gold ’13) speaking casually to members of the audience. Metatheatrically, he broke the fourth wall and explained the usual theater instructions: no flash photography, cell phone on silent and the like, all while playfully mocking the inherent anachronisms in his comments. This opening was a good way to start this
type of comedy; the audience now had a heightened sense of awareness to the strange things that would probably follow such an opening. It also gave Gold a chance to improve and deepen the character of Duke Solinus. Once the play actually started, the audience focused immediately on the impending execution of Aegeon (Chuck Schwager), an old man from Syracuse. While waiting to be killed, he begins to cry and explains the back-story for his execution and in essence the play. Aegeon used to be married to a beautiful woman named Aemilia. Together, they had two identical twin boys. The same night, in the same inn, another woman also had two identical twin boys. This woman could not raise them, however, so she sold them to Aegean as
servants for his own boys. On their journey home, their ship sank, and Aegeon and Aemilia each took charge of a boy from each set of twins. Aegeon and his wards were rescued by a ship from Syracuse and he assumed his other son and wife drowned that day. This is a surprisingly tragic beginning to one of Shakespeare’s goofiest plays, so to keep the mood light and the audience interested during Aegeon’s long speech, there was a shadow puppet show. The shadows comically depicted the series of terrible events in Aegeon’s life that brought him to be executed on the day in question. The duke became so moved by his story that he gives Aegeon one day to find money for his bail. This is when the play really starts. Very rarely in theater can one find
a set of identical twins to play the two roles necessary in “Comedy of Errors,” and it is a coup to find two sets of identical twin boys who are all trained in the theater. Aidan and Dotan Horowitz, both ’12, played the two Antipholuses, and Jared Greenberg ’12 and his brother Zach Greenberg ’12 were their respective Dromios. Along with the twins, there was an interesting assortment of cast members; everyone from Elizabeth Terry who is a member of the acting faculty to Jonathan Von Mering, a high school junior. Along with the diversity of the cast there were other interesting ambiguities. Both the time and the settings of the play were unclear. If this had been almost any other play it would have been distracting from the action, but given that the action of the
play carries itself, the lack of clarity in time and place combined with the simplicity of the set was not distracting. The characters were dressed as anything from a mid-19th-century officers to a Middle Eastern belly dancer and a South Asian-style conjurer. The script remained true to the original language, but the physicality of the actors brought it into a very modern light. Seeing two characters fist bump amid iambic pentameter is quite a sight. It also helped to remind the audience in subtle ways that the happenings of the play are wacky and that the audience should suspend its collective disbelief. Bill Barclay was the director, and it was clear from watching the play that See COMEDY, page 18
‘Merely Players’ more than just a side-project for HTP By Candice Bautista Editor
“Merely Players” was a wholly successful side-project put on by the Shakespeare group Hold Thy Peace this past weekend. A comedy by Brandeis graduate Phoebe Roberts ’09, M.A. ’12, “Merely Players” playfully mocks theater troupes’ and actors’ constant bid for the spotlight while still glorifying them. The play was put on in Schwartz Auditorium, a venue that I personally had never seen used for a show, having only attended lectures in there. HTP successfully utilized the space, however, by moving the desks out and moving in tables for a sort of dinner show/cabaret setting. Indeed, placed on the tables were pieces of papers that doubled as mini-playbills and menus. Proceeds from items ordered went toward HTP fundraising. HTP actresses not acting in the show were waitresses as they took my table’s orders for brownies and cider. It was a very welcoming and surprising part of the setting that helped set the jovial mood for the play beforehand.
While we ate and waited for the show to begin, the actors in the actual show appeared in character and engaged in hilarious banter. At one point, Malcolm, the pretentious lead played by Ben Federlin ’14, yells to another actor, “You fungal growth! You’re homeless! Go back to under the bridge where we found you!” before hitting her on the head with his copy of “Othello.” These conversations occurred mostly along the sides of the stage portion of the auditorium, but occasionally the characters would venture into the audience along the side rows of the theater to great effect. The humor only continued to flourish when the show began with the introduction of Cornelia (Stephanie Karol ’12) as the reluctant leader of the Shakespeare group. She discussed the difficulties of the burden of leading and how repulsed she was by actors. Karol, dressed in all black and donning white gloves, was hilarious and simultaneously terrifying. Having spent much of the pre-show act rolling around on various surfaces in Schwartz Auditorium, her entrance was doubly funny.
After her introduction of the theater troupe, the group breaks into a well-choreographed scene depicting the different aspects of acting, from applying make-up, to practicing lines, to struggling to get so much done in such a short period of time. From
which to poke fun. For example, at one point in the play, Malcolm and Orlando (Andrew Prentice ’13) fight for the attention of newcomer Sylvia (Gabrielle Geller ’12) and end up pulling her back and forth during the “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” rehearsal. Other plays mentioned include “Hamlet,” “The Tempest,” “Henry V” and “King Lear,” which features a particularly hilarious bit with Malcolm tearing his shirt open, ripping off one of his buttons. Whether or not that was intentional will never truly be known by this audience member. “Merely Players” differs greatly from the main shows that HTP puts on due to the fact that it is not written by Shakespeare, but the underlying emotions and passions the group has for Shakespeare carries through to put photo from internet source together a great show. Archite the fool was played by Lenny Somervell ’12, then on, the play depicts the actors well-known for her comedic roles in rehearsing for Shakespeare plays that previous HTP shows, and this transare clearly noted by a sign on the side lates extraordinarily well in the small of the stage. This works incredibly well Schwartz venue. She showed no reas it gives the actors something with straint when it came to breaking down which to pretend to be preoccupied while also having source material at See PLAYERS, page 19
18 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
November 18, 2011
‘Au Revoir’ says hello to typical young adult writing By Dana Trismen Staff
“Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick” by Joe Schreiber is quite the stereotypical young adult novel. All the right moves are made to attract readers to the book: hot girl, hot guy, prom, murder, suspense. Despite all these best efforts to target the proper teenage audience, the novel falls a bit flat, mainly because it seems forced. A brief plot summary: “Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick” concentrates on main character Perry, a senior in high school. Perry makes a pretty uninteresting hero. Stressed out by his college applications and the constant pressure placed on him by his father, Perry grudgingly conforms to his father’s ideals. When not worrying about college applications or SAT scores, the only thing Perry does for himself, it seems, is play in his band. To shake things up, Perry’s family has been hosting a Lithuanian exchange student named Gobi, an extremely homely and unsociable girl. This is especially embarrassing for him because his mother coerces Perry into bringing Gobi to prom, as it is her last week in America and Gobi essentially asks Perry’s mother for this to happen. On prom night, however, Perry learns Gobi is an undercover assassin trying to avenge her sister’s death. Chaos ensues when Perry chauffeurs Gobi around to commit the five murders she hopes to accomplish in one night. It is also important to note that, by this time, Gobi has somehow transformed into a very attractive female, and she and Perry enjoy some kissing in the mid-
dle of the street between murders. What confused me most about “Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick” was the exact age or gender demographic the author was going for. Personally, if I were a 17-year-old male, I would not want to read about Perry. Perry spends his pre-Gobi life stressing about college applications and his virginity. When thrust into this alternate universe of hired assassins, Perry is still stressing out, whether he’s constantly having convulsions about seeing blood or potentially damaging his father’s Jaguar. If I were a male reader, I would want to read about a guy who actually stood up for himself once in a while—a person with a backbone. I would not want to read about a character that stresses out even more than I did during my senior year of high school. Reading is meant to be a venue for escape, and not for reading about characters that are incapable of standing up for themselves. Though Perry does eventually stand up to his father at the very end of the novel, that does not excuse the fact that he allows his father to get shot or that he allows Gobi to come up with all their escape plans. In one memorable scene, the chapter sets Perry up to describe a group endeavor in which he participates. This entire chapter consists of Gobi somehow jerking her knee upward into her torturer’s face and getting the keys to free both herself and Perry. What is Perry’s contribution? He sits silently in his chair until he is freed, then mutely follows Gobi up the stairs. From the viewpoint of a female reader, I was slightly disgusted with how Gobi was only allowed to be
‘Comedy of Errors’ embraces physical comedy
badass once she becomes attractive, and how she is constantly used as a figure of desire. I also believe that the novel is too simple for any 17or 18-year-old reader, yet deals with concepts that are unfit for a younger age, such as virginity. So what age range or gender would read this novel? Each chapter in the novel begins with a college essay prompt. The prompt usually relates to something that happens in the chapter, something Perry could possibly write about. I actually liked this technique; I felt that it grounded the novel in reality when wild actions were occurring in the text. Brandeis is included as one of the colleges whose prompts were mentioned. The prompt reads, “In one page or less, describe an impossible scenario, real or hypothetical, and how you would respond to it.” Perry, as noted, reacts to most scenarios with sniveling hysterics, a trait I doubt would actually get you into Brandeis. Despite all this and possibly due to its many action scenes, “Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick” sold its screen rights last year to Paramount Pictures in a rather spirited auction. This is a big break for Joe Schreiber. Although Schreiber is a New York Times best-selling author, this is his first novel outside the horror genre. He also mainly seems to focus on “Star Wars”-based novels, which makes “Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick” slightly more impressive because it is not based on any previous work. “Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick” is not an entire bust, but should have focused more on character development.
photo from internet source
At world’s end in ‘Melancholia’ MELANCHOLIA, from page 16
Manuel Alberto Claro, who ensures that the film is always beautiful. Its images are glossy like a wedding invitation, absolutely natural while somehow simultaneously reveling in its own artifice. Von Trier has a history of eliciting strong performances from the likes of Emily Watson, Björk and Nicole Kidman, and his stars here are no different. At her best, Kirsten Dunst is one of the best actresses of her generation—look no further than her collaborations with Sofia Coppola for proof of that. She’s been largely absent from the screen these last five
years, but this is quite the comeback for her. Justine is one of her most mature, fully-realized creations, confident in her despair. Gainsbourg also puts in an excellent performance, one markedly different from Dunst’s. In the first half, she betrays little about Claire save her priggishness, but she later shines, reconciling Claire’s usually reserved facade with the absolute agony of assured destruction. The remainder of the cast is uniformly excellent. For those only familiar with Sutherland via the now defunct “24,” his performance here is surprising in its depth. Unsurprising is the mileage Hurt and Rampling get out of their small parts.
The one aspect hampering the film is its tempo. Both halves last roughly an hour. The first is wellpaced. Though it takes place entirely on one night, the bulk of the movie’s characterization is established here. The second half has its excellent moments—most notably its absolutely riveting, beautiful conclusion—but it lags at times. There’s only so many ways you can be shown how Claire copes—or can’t cope—with impending death. “Melancholia” may be labeled bombastic by some, but it’s well-executed, beautiful bombast with vital, dark thoughts backing it up. Watching it can, at times, be a depressing experience but it’s well worth a watch.
photo courtesy mike lovett
comedic courtship Antipholus of Syracuse (Aidan Horowitz, center) woos Luciana (Leah
Carnow) as Duke Solinus (Ben Gold) watches.
COMEDY, from page 17
he is a Shakespeare specialist. The use of physical humor among all four twins was well-choreographed and highly amusing. The Shakespearean jokes were depicted in both words and actions. Although the play is male-dominated, both Leah Carnow ’12 and Nicole Carlson ’14 held their own. Carnow played an over-sexualized and highly romantic Luciana, who worked well as the foil for her, ironically, much younger-seeming older sister Adriana, played by Carlson. The play is inherently chaotic, with misunderstandings, misinterpretations and mistaken identities,
but the chaos was choreographed so beautifully that it was not only comprehensible as an audience member, but also highly enjoyable to watch. At times the sounds of characters screaming over each other was overwhelming, but it generally lent extra comedy to the scenes. Finally, in the last few moments of the play, everything was clarified and each person was returned to his rightful place. The chaos that had reigned throughout the play until this point died down and gave way to a sweet reunion of brothers; the Greenbergs clasped hands and coyly smiled over their shoulders as the lights went down.
photo from internet source
in happier times In “Melancholia,” Justine (Kirtsten Dunst) finds happiness in the first hours of her marriage to Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) before she sinks into sudden and deep depression.
November 18, 2011
ARTS, ETC. 19
The Brandeis Hoot
Following ‘Father’s Footsteps’
Arts Recommends film
photo from internet source
say it in french Yaël Abecassis (right) and Gad Elmaleh star in “Father’s Footsteps.” photo from internet source
FOOTSTEPS, from page 16
supposed to like him as he makes deals with Serge—deals you know will result in the neardestruction of his family and the complete destruction of other families through murder— but you like him nevertheless. Every time he smiles at one of his sons or tells his wife that he adores her, you smile and adore him. Abecassis is an incredibly strong actress and steals every scene in which she appears. This movie is about the changes a person goes through during difficult times and her character goes through more than most. Still, every change is believable and captivating. When Felix is arrested, Mireille is furious with her husband as she concerns herself with protecting and supporting her sons. As time continues, however, she returns to her husband and allows her love for him to control all of her decisions. Also, one of her strongest moments is when she returns home and sees her sons playing with Serge and the new toys he has brought them. She screams at her sons, packs up all the toys and kicks Serge out of their apartment, warning him to stay away from her and her sons. She sees Serge as the ultimate causal force in the destruction of her family because, as angry as she is at Felix, she still loves him and is looking for a scapegoat. Yet, just a few scenes later, Mireille is forced to go to Serge for money to buy food for her sons. Swallowing her pride
and anger, she begs Serge for the support he once offered her. Berry as Serge also delivers a solid performance. Although he was not as good as Abecassis or Elmaleh, he imbued Serge with a likeable and sympathetic demeanor despite the character’s clear lack of humanity. This is certainly a credit to the writers, who could have easily made Serge the “monster” of the film, the out-and-out bad guy. Instead, he has small moments of redemption. He apologizes to Mireille after insulting her; he supports Felix’s family while Felix is in prison. This is certainly a must-see film. The script and acting are impeccable and the movie grabs you from the moment it begins and keeps you hooked until the screen goes black an hour and a half later. Although many people are turned off by subtitles (the movie is in French and Hebrew), it is still definitely worth it. Each character changes during the course of the film and these changes resonate with the audience. I always find it comforting to find a good movie that neither shows the Jews as victims nor makes me say, “Why us? Just leave us alone!” When I saw 2005’s “Munich,” I was thrilled to see a movie that had Jews in it who weren’t just being slaughtered or being the bad guys. “Father’s Footsteps” aroused even more admiration in me because, although the Jews were the bad guys, it was just any other mafia movie and the main motives behind their actions did not relate to them being Jewish but to them being people.
Don’t be a ‘Players’ hater
“Maria Full of Grace” is a shudder-inducing film. For the entirety of the film, the audience is constantly in disbelief as we follow the life of Maria Alvarez, a 17-year-old Colombian girl. The movie begins with her working in a flower plantation, where she works in conditions similar to a sweatshop to support her sister and mother. The cinematography is rough and makes the inhumane conditions simultaneously more real and unreal. She soon becomes impregnated and, after unjust treatment from her boss, Maria quits her job, much to her family’s disapproval. While traveling to Bogota to search for a new job, she is invited to become a drug mule and is ultimately roped into doing it. The trip for Maria and two other drug mules is the main action of the film, and is a horrifying and personal look into drug trafficking.
candice bautista, editor
photo from internet source
PLAYERS, from page 16
the fourth wall and walking into the audience, petting one of my tablemates, and going around to give someone else her phone number. Truly Karol’s and Somervell’s performances were the highlights of the play, their acting pulling the various pieces of the show together into a clever whole. The show ended with just the two on the stage, concluding the show with Archite’s line, “Better to be a witty fool than a foolish wit,” a reference to “Twelfth Night.” The exact allure of “Merely Players” is hard to pinpoint because of the various phenomenal parts of the show, but a great contributing factor is the DIY nature of the show. Every part of the performance from the food, to the wait staff, even to the script was all made for and provided by the HTP members. At some points, it felt as though I was just in my friends’ basement on a Friday night, finally seeing the show my friends had been preparing. In fact, since HTP’s fall show “Margaret: A Tiger’s Heart” was put on about a month ago, the members must not have had that much time to put this together. All in all, “Merely Players” was a very good show with a homey feel that showcased not only HTP’s talent but also their dedication and affection for Shakespeare.
‘Maria Full of Grace’
Director Phil Morrison’s “Junebug” is the prototype of the classic fish-outof-water story, but the film manages to be much more than that. Chicago art dealer Madeleine (Embeth Davidtz) travels to North Carolina in order to find a reclusive painter known for mixing zombies, genitals and Civil War battlefields in his paintings. More importantly, this trip brings her into contact with the family of her new husband George (Alessandro Nivola). The family initially reacts coolly to Madeleine, save for George’s sister-in-law Ashley (Amy Adams), who is absolutely entranced by Madeline’s cosmopolitan nature. When Ashley finds out Madeline was born in Japan, her eyes nearly pop out of her head. While “Junebug” could easily submerge itself in an array of Southern stereotypes, the film chooses instead to intelligently investigate the dynamic that develops between Madeleine and her new family. Adams is easily the film’s standout, imbuing her character with a lightheartedness that has a real fragility beneath it, but the cast is uniformly excellent. Most importantly, everyone involved with “Junebug” clearly knows that families are living, breathing organisms, not the tired, cliched things you see in your typical Hollywood movie.
sean fabery, editor
photos courtesy tom federlin
20 The Brandeis Hoot
November 18, 2011
Love Your Body Day at Brandeis: challenging media’s narrow beauty ideals
‘i love my body because ...’ Students will have the opportunity to deisgn their own “I love my body” t-shirts on Love Your Body Day.
By Alana Blum, Editor
It is no secret that our media’s emphasis on beauty and thinness has fostered a negative body image among the majority of young women. Magazines and advertisements usually feature unnaturally thin and digitally edited white women throughout their pages, which sends a message to all girls that being thin and white is equivalent to being beautiful. College campuses across the country have therefore started an annual Love Your Body Day campaign to combat society’s standard of beauty. This year, Brandeis’ Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) and Triskelion are cosponsoring Brandeis’ own Love Your Body Day for the first time on Nov. 18. As members of FMLA were browsing through the National Organization of Women (NOW) website, they came across information about the Love Your Body Day campaign and decided it would be a beneficial event to bring to the Brandeis community. “I think everyone—myself included—have these pressures based on what our society tells us we need to look like and what we need to act like because of our gender or because of our race … so I think having a Love Your Body Day is really important. It’s a selfacceptance day, where you can just appreciate who you are and love who you are,” explained FMLA member Ellie Kaufman ’14. Love Your Body Day will have two components to it: a campus-wide campaign and the event itself, which will involve a series of booths in the Shapiro Campus Center atrium. As part of the campus-wide campaign, FMLA members have been sticking postit notes on bathroom mirrors throughout Brandeis with positive messages such as “You’re beautiful,” “Love your body” or “You’re an amazing person inside and out.” The post-it notes are already proving to have a positive impact. “I really like seeing the post-it notes on all of the campus mirrors,” Marcie Lieberman ’14 commented. “They actually affect people’s psyche because it’s when people look into mirrors that they become the most self-deprecating. I’m considering adopting that principle and adding post-it notes to my own mirror.” As part of the campus-wide campaign, FMLA has also been putting up posters that
serve as advertisements for the event but also help promote self-appreciation. In addition, slam poets will be reciting poetry about body image in unannounced locations throughout the campus. FMLA hopes that the campus-wide component of Love Your Body Day will therefore affect students regardless of whether or not they can make it to the actual event. Meanwhile, the actual event taking place in Shapiro Campus Center will consist of seven booths. The first booth will provide students with t-shirt decorating tools, where they can spray-paint t-shirts with statements about why they love their bodies. Through this booth, the Love Your Body Day campaign’s message can continue even after the completion of the event. A second booth will portray a collage of magazine clippings to show how media negatively affects body image. This booth will offer students a chance to write letters to Sugar in the Raw, a company which recently featured an advertisement which portrays a man trying to figure out if he should buy his wife a calorie-free sweetener. Throughout the advertisement, the gentleman is trying to figure out if his wife is dieting that week. He’s worried that if he buys her calorie-free sweetener he will be insinuating she is fat. This emphasis on her dieting habits creates a negative portrayal of women in a number of ways and similarly shows how the media has fostered a bodyconscious society. “What kind of message is the ad sending about women? And what kind of message is
that sending about body image? Is this how women act all the time and, if so, what does this say about our society?” FMLA member Amalia Bob-Waksberg ’14 questioned. In addition, there will be a booth dealing with the lack of people of color in popular color. As Bob-Waksberg noted, when people of color are shown in the media, they are often digitally edited to look lighter than they actually are. This therefore creates a negative body image among young people of color and the Love Your Body Day campaign hopes to negate the harmful stereotype that
light skin is equivalent to beauty. Triskelion will also be hosting a booth at Love Your Body Day as part of Trans-Awareness Week. In this booth they will be offering information about alternatively-labeled bodies, intersex bodies, gender queer bodies and trans bodies. Other booths will include “Struggling with Fat-Phobia,” “Struggling with Eating Disorders” and a group mural in which students can write or draw what they love about themselves. In preparation for the event, FMLA member Esther Lee ’15 went around campus and asked students if she could take pictures of their favorite body part for a poster design. Much to her astonishment, a majority of students responded they did not have a favorite body part. “A lot of people just said ‘I don’t really love my body.’ It’s sad, but it makes us realize this event would be very beneficial on this campus because a lot of people do have body issues. We want to tell people that they can find at least one thing about their body that they love,” Kaufman said. FMLA and Triskelion are optimistic about this campaign’s impact. They have already received positive feedback on the event’s Facebook page and have overheard people excitedly discussing the post-it notes on campus mirrors. The letter-writing booth in particular will help the Love Your Body Day campaign reach off-campus heights and will remind companies their advertisements negatively affect society. FMLA hopes Love Your Body Day will become an annual event, becoming bigger and having a larger impact each year. “We’re told all the time through the media and through society that something about us is not right,” Bob-Waksberg said. “We have to be a certain way or we’re not beautiful. People think there is something wrong with themselves. Instead, we’re trying to show that there is something wrong with the message being sent to us.”
photos courtesy of fmla
love your body Post-it notes with messages
promoting a positive body image have been placed on mirrors throughout the campus.
narrow standards of beauty FMLA members create a magazine collage to show negative portrayals of
female and male bodies in the media.
The Brandeis Hoot - Nov. 18, 2011