Volume 9 Number 1
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.
Police bust shower’s Peeping Tom Log of gym visitors to be monitored By Nathan Koskella Editor
Public Safety has identified the man accused of looking into a shower in the Gosman Athletic Center women’s
locker room on Jan. 6 as a Brandeis student. Officials referred him to the Community Standards office and the student conduct board for potential disciplinary action, Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said. In light of the incident, the university installed an electronic ID card scanner on Monday to monitor anyone entering the building. Callahan did not rule out further
action against the man, who was identified by the alleged victim and another student who works in Gosman. Recreation and Aquatics Director Ben White, who helps manage the student staff in Gosman and who assisted police with the investigation, expressed some shock that the case See GYM, page 2
Proposed rail cuts threaten access to Boston
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
fare hike Proposed service changes from the MBTA would eliminate evening trains after 10 p.m. on weekdays.
By Alex Schneider Editor
MBTA fare hikes and service reductions announced earlier this month would eliminate Fitchburg commuter rail service from Brandeis on weekends and after 10 p.m. on weekdays while increasing fares by as much as $2.25 per ride. The cuts would leave the free Boston/Cambridge Shuttle Service— which runs strictly when classes are
in session—as the only campus-accessible public transportation option for weekend travel to Boston. Administrators have raised concerns over the proposal with local State Representative John Lawn, according to Andrew Gully, senior vice president for communications. Despite the considerable hardships that could result, the administration has not yet reached out to students or indicated whether or not it will elevate its opposition to the changes as a high
priority issue. Announced as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), which seeks to close a projected FY2013 budget gap of $161 million, the commuter rail cuts See MBTA, page 3
January 20, 2012
Handler presidency reflected identity shift By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
It was the symbolism of Evelyn Handler’s decisions to introduce pork and shellfish in the dining halls and to remove the listing of Jewish holidays from the academic calendar that angered Brandeis supporters during her time as president in the 1980s. Her desire to diversify the student body at the cost of angering the Jewish community defined her legacy. But it is also the legacy of a leader who transformed the infrastructure and name recognition of Brandeis at a time when universities across the country saw a significant drop in the number of college applications. “The challenge that she faced which any president would have faced is how to reconcile the support of and … sponsorship of the American Jewish community with the ethos of multiculturalism and diversity,” Professor Stephen Whitfield (AMST) said in an interview. “What she tried to do was reconcile them as best she could which was inevitably interpreted as a kind of repudiation to the connection of the Jewish heritage.” As Whitfield explained, it was not simply the effort to attract a more diverse and international student body that angered Jewish supporters. It was the manner in which Handler attempted to do so—by offending Jewish culture and its dietary laws. The foundation of Brandeis is unique from other institutions—a nonsectarian university founded with deep roots in and sponsorship from the Jewish community. In contrast to Jesuit schools such as Boston College or Georgetown University, Brandeis receives the indirect rather than di-
rect support and sponsorship of a religious community. When former President Jehuda Reinharz took office, like Handler, he was less observant than others to lead the school, but his Israeli heritage created an instant connection level of trust with the Jewish community. “Israel matters more” to Brandeis supporters than observance “and it tends to be a kind of support of Israel that protects Israel against criticism,” Whitfield said. President Fred Lawrence, himself an observant and practicing Jew, said Brandeis can be a school that both recognizes its support from the Jewish community but also promotes diversity. “The school that I inherit has got a strong set of traditions but also an extraordinary diversity,” Lawrence said during an interview in his office on Wednesday. Whitfield agreed, explaining that all students can be drawn to Brandeis because of its academic reputation and quality of education. Lawrence added that his own background models the university identity he seeks to promote as president. “In terms of my own background this is sort of the world in which I live,” Lawrence said. “I am, I think, as everybody around here knows, a practicing Jew and that is an important part of my life. At the same time, my career comes out of the legal world and the legal academic world.” But Lawrence also acknowledged that serving as president of Brandeis in 2012 is a different challenge than was leading the university in 1983. For whatever controversy and See HANDLER, page 4
Another day, another picture
Linsey Pool gets $1M donation By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
Thelma Linsey donated $1 million Thursday to support the sports center and pool named after her late husband, former Brandeis Trustee Joseph M. Linsey, university officials said. President Fred Lawrence began meeting with Thelma Linsey after the university announced last winter it would renovate the Joseph M. Linsey Sports Center and pool. Although the agreement had been reached weeks ago, the donation arrived as a check on Thursday two days before a reopening ceremony and party to celebrate the $3.5 million renovation. Officials said the donation would support the programs and operations of the Linsey center and planned to make a formal announcement at Saturday’s ceremony.
photo courtesy alumni & development
The money could be used for a range of purposes, including athletic program funding, debt relief and See LINSEY, page 12
resolution For 365 days, Sindhura Sonnathi took one picture a day, with this picture being one example. For more, turn to page 17.
2 The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
Public Safety to monitor Gosman entrance after indecency GYM, from page 1
was being referred “only” to the inhouse Brandeis discipline system at this time. “I was surprised the initial response has been just a referral and not filing real criminal charges,” he said. White added that it was beyond his jurisdiction and up to Public Safety and senior administration officials. Callahan said it was still possible for the man to face criminal charges. “A criminal complaint may also be applied, and we are currently looking at this course of action,” Callahan said in a phone interview on Thursday. The man has been described as a lanky 6’ 3” with light brown hair and is believed to be about 20 years of age. Both the eyewitness, a student monitor who works for the Athletics department, and the complainant assisted in the investigation, Callahan said. Footage from Public Safety’s CCTV cameras confirmed the account and led to the meeting with the man on Wednesday. University officials cannot reveal the identity of the suspect, they say, due to federal education privacy statutes.
The incident of alleged privacy violation and potential harassment was concluded relatively quickly, from an investigatory standpoint, and Callahan credited the technology as the feat that helped solve the situation so quickly. He remarked that in his 34 years at Brandeis, there have been only a couple of other instances at this level of privacy violation. Technology will also be used to try to prevent such occurrences in the future with the card scanner. Public Safety will have a record of the cards used to enter the building and refer to it if a situation arises again. “The card reader system can identify whose card is used to open the building at exactly what time,” Callahan said. The Athletics office had been planning this security improvement for “at least a year,” according to White, and Public Safety was able to put it into place immediately in light of the shower incident. “I have been pushing for this type of system,” White said, “and we were planning on installing it this summer, but Public Safety made it a priority and paid for it immediately after this report.”
Callahan said that “safety is paramount” and he consequently saw that it was installed as soon as possible—it was put in place by Monday. The incident, which coincides with the new re-opening of the Linsey Pool scheduled for Monday, offered an “opportunity to review the safety procedures in the department before opening,” White said. Both officials referred to the Brandeis Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook for the alleged violations and complaints against the student, citing its protections for individual privacy and rules banning such invasive harassment as the shower complaint would be. Callahan said that his office makes determinations based on recommendations from both the Dean of Student Life’s office—which includes Community Standards and runs the conduct board—and the Middlesex District Attorney’s office. The university is viewing the incident as an unfortunate anomaly that they hope to avoid in the future. “Our hope is that when [community members] swipe, they are aware of the new card reader system,” White, the recreation director, said, “and if
photo by nate rosenbloom/the Hoot
card swipe Public Safety installed an ID card scanner in Gosman this week.
they are inclined toward this behavior, they know that we’ll know who they are. Hopefully it will prevent them from doing it.” Callahan said that although Public
Safety investigates all cases, “people have to police their own behavior.” He called the invasion of privacy both disrespectful and completely unacceptable.
Suffolk names new president By Emily Belowich Staff
photo from internet source
winter street City and state officials broke ground last month on the Winter Street Bridge after years of construction.
Winter Street Bridge opens after 7 years By Rachel Hirschhaut Staff
The city of Waltham celebrated the completion of the Winter Street Bridge Dec. 30, re-opening it to traffic after nearly seven years of setbacks and delays. The bridge, located at Exit 27B on Route 128, is meant to provide commuters with easier access to the highway while alleviating traffic congestion in the Boston suburbs, and connects the area west of Route 128 with the main part of Waltham. Improvements to the bridge include an expansion from four to seven traffic lanes, a wider intersection at Wyman Street and fresh concrete and antique lampposts. The extra lanes, officials hope, will make it easier to navigate the ramps on and off the highway, as Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) spokesperson Sara Lavoie told The Boston Globe. The project also looks to benefit students’ families and other visitors to the Brandeis campus. According
to the Brandeis website, many of the recommended local hotels are located on Winter Street, a short drive away from campus. The re-opened bridge will provide a less complicated path to South Street. Many local politicians attended the re-opening, highlighting its importance to the community. “The end result is a step in the right direction for our community, and will ultimately help keep our property taxes down,” Rep. Thomas Stanley said at the ribbon cutting, according to The Boston Globe. Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, State Representatives John Lawn and Tom Stanley, and MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey all participated in the ceremony as well. “I’m happy that the bridge is finished and it looks great. Thank you to all,” McCarthy said at the ceremony. The project, which cost taxpayers $23 million during 7 years, was only supposed to cost $19 million during four years. Ironically, the harsh national economic times disrupted the progress of a project initially designed to help boost the local
economy. “It took a while to get the money in the budget, and then it took a while to get all the permits for the utilities required,” state Senator Susan Fargo told The Waltham News Tribune. The original contractor suffered financial trouble in 2006, and the need to restructure utility wires under the bridge added expenses, Lavoie said. “Governor Deval Patrick has made bridge and roadway infrastructure improvements a priority in his administration,” Davey said. “Residents, commuters, local business and business travelers are already benefiting from the newly reconstructed Winter Street Bridge. Projects like this one help to fuel a healthy economy.” “It’s all about economic development. It’s not just transportation for transportation’s sake,” Davey added. He and Waltham officials hope that an easier commute will attract more customers to Waltham’s businesses, and put Waltham in line with other areas like Cambridge in economic growth.
The Suffolk University board of trustees unanimously approved James McCarthy as Suffolk University’s ninth president on Wednesday. McCarthy, currently provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York, will join the Suffolk community on Feb. 1. McCarthy’s wide range of leadership experience thoroughly impressed the search committee. Since 2007, McCarthy has administered Baruch’s academic programs and services, managing a budget of more than $100 million. His duties have included overseeing the school of arts and sciences, business and public affairs, in addition to the College’s library and technology center and an extensive program dedicated to continuing education. In addition to his administrative experience, McCarthy was also professor of Health Management and Policy and dean of the School of Health and Human Services at the University of New Hampshire for six
years. He served Columbia University for 13 years and John Hopkins University for four years as professor of public health and sociology, respectively. His sociology research, primarily in demography and adolescent and reproductive health, earned him recognition from The Irish Voice as one of the top 100 Irish-Americans in higher education in the United States for the past three years. Suffolk welcomed McCarthy following a time of expanding programs, student enrollment and facilities. He is receiving praise from many of his esteemed colleagues and will enter the community with high expectations. The presidents of both Tufts and Princeton universities believe McCarthy will be an excellent addition to Suffolk University as well as to the Boston higher education community. “I congratulate Suffolk University most warmly on a truly excellent appointment,” said William G. Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University in a press release sent out earlier this week. “I have a very high regard for Jim McCarthy as an academic and educational leader.”
photo from internet source
January 20, 2012
The Brandeis Hoot
Access to Boston at risk with proposed service cuts, (un)fare increases MBTA, from page 1
would accompany service reductions, including the threatened elimination of local Waltham bus routes 505, 553, 554, 556, 558 and 70A under one of two proposals that have been submitted for public scrutiny. Charlie Card fares on the T could rise as much as $0.70. For Brandeis, which promotes its nine-mile proximity to Boston, the proposed cuts could limit weekend travel and would make access to Logan Airport more arduous in terms of time and cost. Travel to North Station—currently possible in less than 30 minutes by commuter rail—would take nearly double the time both from Riverside and from Harvard Square with a transfer from the Cambridge Shuttle. The MBTA cuts were announced on the tail of student-driven proposals to increase campus transportation options. Last semester, the Student Union ran a test Riverside shuttle service but found insufficient demand to continue the program. Student Union President Herbie Rosen ’12 explained that reinstating the Riverside Shuttle might be a last
resort if the commuter rail service is eliminated. “It would just hurt us because it’s more money being spent,” he said. That’s “not an avenue we want to go down.” Rosen reached out to students by e-mail on Thursday with information about the cuts and upcoming MBTA town hall meetings. “We don’t want the fees to increase,” Rosen told The Hoot. Rosen also indicated that administrators had not yet discussed the matter with the Union. Both Rosen and Gully urge students to attend a March 1 town hall meeting in Waltham to speak out against the cuts. “We will be encouraging members of the community who could be affected by the proposals to attend,” Gully wrote to The Hoot. The university has not indicated whether or not it plans to meet separately with MBTA officials on the matter. Rosen, on the other hand, indicated that he is exploring options to protest the cuts along with neighboring Boston-area schools.
Waltham initiatives far off
In an interview with The Hoot last month, Waltham Mayor Jeanette Mc-
Carthy detailed vague plans to improve Waltham public transit. “We have been studying where do the people travel and where do they want to travel?” she said. Among her goals, she plans to institute a shuttle system to connect downtown Waltham, Totten Pond Road, Route 128 and Riverside, all with the hope of “[encouraging] people to get out of your cars.” But as McCarthy made clear, the plans are still in their first stages. When Waltham had a city bus under the previous mayor, ridership was insufficient to justify operating costs. While MBTA cuts might lead to increased discussion as to local transportation alternatives, Waltham officials have yet to indicate any timeline for implementing new options.
The MBTA has released two detailed plans that it claims would help close the budget gap. Under both plans, commuter rail service would end on weekends and after 10 p.m. on weekdays. Ferry routes would also be eliminated. The first scenario matches fewer service cuts with higher fare increases. Charlie Card fares on the T would rise from $1.70 to $2.40. Brandeis would be affected by a rise in commuter rail Zone 2 fares from $4.75 to $7, by the elimination of Waltham bus route 554 and by the elimination on weekends of route 553. In contrast, under the second scenario, Charlie Card fares would only rise to $2.25 and commuter rail Zone 2 fares would rise to $6.50. The tradeoff would be for an elimination of a long list of bus routes affecting more than 30 million passengers, including every MBTA bus that services Waltham except for route 70. Both scenarios will be subject to public scrutiny at a Waltham community hearing to be held at 6 p.m. on March 1 at Government Center, 119 School St.
Give a Hoot, Join The Hoot!
photo by brandeis university
U-Ill. dean named LTS chief By Victoria Aronson Staff
John Unsworth will succeed Perry Hanson next month as Brandeis’ vice provost and chief information officer for Library and Technology Services. He was formerly dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In an e-mail announcing the appointment, Provost Steve Goldstein stated, “John impressed the search committee and the Brandeis community with his intelligence, deep expertise, collaborative approach and easy manner.” The search committee, which consisted of 18 individuals, included both faculty members and students who were responsible for selecting potential candidates for the position. Daniel Feldman, vice president for planning and institutional research, co-chaired the committee with Professor Ann Koloski-Ostrow (CLAS). Remarking upon the selection process, Feldman stated, “What was especially striking throughout was how committed all search committee members were to keeping in view the best interests of the university as a whole rather than just one particular perspective.” Andrew Hyde, an undergraduate member of the committee, said the position was difficult to fill because of the nature of thinking of both library and technology services as a single department. Elaborating upon the criteria for selecting candidates, Hyde recalls, “We were looking either for an individual with experience in both realms or someone, say, with a focus in the technical side that could learn and be sensitive to the concerns of the other group.” According to Unsworth, it was actually this unique culmination of services that initially attracted him to Brandeis, in addition to the university’s “relatively small scale combined with a core liberal arts component.” Although Unsworth acknowledges that library and technology services are often organized separately, he asserts that “good IT infrastructure is essential to delivering quality library services,” for “it is crucial [in] understanding the informational needs of the community.” He claims “that the advancement of library and technol-
ogy services is essential to the future of Brandeis.” Hyde recognizes that “Unsworth emerged as a strong candidate for the position due to his pioneering work with the online learning environment as well as his role as dean of one of the most prestigious libraries.” Unsworth derives his experience in the field from his position as dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Urbana-Champaign since 2003, in which he succeeded not only in surpassing his goal of raising $15 million, but also in anticipating to finish at approximately $18 million once the campaign is concluded. In terms of his goals at Brandeis, Unsworth plans on spending the first few months of his role as vice provost in the process of strategic planning. This entails establishing appointments with various members of the organization in order to gain a wellrounded perspective of the specific needs of the university. From there, he will then formulate an approach that will satisfy the requirements of the Brandeis community, both in regards to technology services and the library component. When questioned about the current issues plaguing LTS, Hyde spoke of the recent budget cuts in 2009 and the continued deferred maintenance of the library. In an interview with The Hoot, Unsworth recognized these concerns, further adding that the LTS workforce is currently down by about 10 percent. He hopes to gain “an understanding of how this organization needs to evolve to meet the changing needs of the university.” He asserts that opportunities to raise money for the library include federal funding, research funding and endowments from alumni among other sources. Furthermore, Unsworth revealed that new positions at LTS may be created. Hyde states that LTS has been responsible for “innovations at the national level, and continues with the hope of restoring the budget and hiring new workers.” Daniel Feldman bears an optimistic outlook upon the future ventures of LTS, stating, “I think I speak for Professor KoloskiOstrow, too, in saying that, as cochairs, we could not be more pleased with the outcome of the search, and we look forward to Dr. Unsworth’s arrival on campus.”
The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
Univ pool will re-open Monday for recreation and sport By Emily Belowich Staff
The Linsey Pool, which has been closed since 2008, is scheduled to reopen Monday, after approximately eight months of construction. According to head swimming and diving Coach Mike Kotch, the original pool was built in the late 1960s and the heating and filtration system was failing to the point that it was no longer operable. Subsequently, student surveys showed that re-opening the pool was a top priority and leading members of the Brandeis community actively lobbied for the re-opening. Last April, the Brandeis board of trustees voted to renovate the Linsey Pool, which cost approximately $3.5 million to repair. Re-opening the pool was one of President Lawrence’s first projects when he arrived on campus last year. The project snowballed momentum very quickly, which allowed construction to begin shortly after the board voted in favor of the renovation, according to Kotch. The vacant space forced Brandeis’ swimming and diving team to become a club team, downshifting its focus, commitment and competition from the varsity to the club level. The team had been forced to hold night practices at Regis College in Weston and early morning practice at nearby Bentley, which impacts the team’s time commitment to the sport. Coach Kotch says his team has not allowed these challenges, however, to hinder their determination and motivation to succeed. “At the end of the day, these kids have found a true passion. The general nature of students having to put in a little bit of extra time has made them even more passionate about the sport and of the success of their team,” he said. In the fall of 2012, Brandeis’ swimming and diving team will renew its membership to the varsity program. A number of students who participated in the varsity program as firstyears have continued to swim for the club team and will join the varsity program next fall as a new chapter in the program begins.
Coach Kotch says that students on the team have been the recruiters themselves for the past couple of years and that their leadership has allowed a high level of commitment and energy. Since last spring, however, Kotch has been on the road recruiting for next fall and says that the Linsey Pool re-opening will only have positive benefits on prospective student athletes. “Any time you have the opportunity to renovate, it helps you recruit,” Kotch said. “But the main attraction will still be the high caliber of the academics and the ability to compete in the UAA [University Athletic Association].” Kotch says the combination of the two opportunities have always been present, but now the school is able to continue its 35-year tradition of successful swimming. The new pool, which includes a modernized locker-room facility, new lighting, an updated heating and filtration system, and updated multipurpose rooms, will become Brandeis’ newest functioning space. In addition to the repairs to the pool and its facility, the building also boasts a new pool deck and updates to the main lobby that will encourage the Brandeis community to cheer on the swimming and diving team. “When you look at it from the outside, Brandeis has had a vacant, broken-down building and now it is a functional space that will rally school spirit and encourage the community to live a healthy and active lifestyle,” Kotch said. “It’s nothing but a positive addition to the school. Students, faculty and staff can all benefit from this new space.” This Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Student Events, in collaboration with the Student Union, WBRS 100.1FM, Athletics and Student Activities, will sponsor “Making Waves,” the pool’s grand re-opening ceremony. Students will cheer on the swimming and diving team seniors, as they compete to raise money for their respective clubs. Afterward, members of the Brandeis community are invited to take a dip in the new pool in order to celebrate the new milestone in Brandeis history.
Handler left lasting mark on Brandeis HANDLER, from page 1
identity changes Handler provoked, she also guided a school by running a successful capital campaign to improve campus buildings, strengthening the life sciences and bringing Brandeis into the University Athletic Association. Those achievements, along with the decision to serve pork and shellfish in Usdan have lasted through the years. Those closest to Handler described her as a woman with a passionate desire for achievement and massive change “She was very forceful, set her goals, worked hard to reach them and had little patience for wasting time,” Eugene Handler said. As the community mourns Evelyn Handler’s death and reflects on her legacy, it remembers a leader who cared most about implementing change and worried little about how others would react.
grand opening Brandeis will celebrate the reopening of the Linsey Sports Center and Pool on Saturday
photo by mike lovett/brandeis university
after a $3.5 million renovation.
In memoriam: Evelyn Handler, 78 By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
Evelyn E. Handler, the first female president of Brandeis, who transformed the university’s life sciences and athletic programs, serving as a pioneer for women in higher education and a leader who sparked a debate over the Jewish identity of Brandeis, died Dec. 23 after she was struck and killed by a car in Bedford, N.H. She was 78. Handler, who lived in Bow, N.H., was crossing the street near the Bedford Grove Shopping Center when she was struck by a car on the evening of Dec. 23. She was later pronounced dead at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester. Handler served as the first female president of the University of New Hampshire from 1980 to 1983 before her tenure at Brandeis from 1983 to 1991. Under her leadership at Brandeis, the school joined the Association of American Universities and launched the Volen Center for Complex Systems. Brandeis also joined the University Athletic Association during her tenure. Before assuming the presidency of Brandeis in 1983, Handler told The
Boston Globe that determination would be her greatest asset as a leader. “I don’t relent, I don’t give up,’’ she told the Globe in October 1983. “It’s more a strength than a weakness. … You don’t get done what an institution needs if you give up the fight too early.” “She was very forceful, set her goals, worked hard to reach them and had little patience for wasting time,” her husband Eugene said in a phone interview on Wednesday. Her tenure, however, was not without controversy. In an effort to increase diversity and attract more non-Jewish students, Handler oversaw changes in the dining halls that included new options of pork and shellfish. In addition, Brandeis did not mark certain days off from class as Jewish holidays on the calendar. In June 1990, she announced her resignation to take effect one year later. The decision to leave Brandeis led to controversy in the press over whether Handler left under pressure from the board of trustees. Louis Perlmutter, who served as chairman of the Brandeis board of trustees at the time disputed the theory. “Evelyn Handler, contrary to your interpretation, was not forced out
by the current chairman,’’ Perlmutter wrote in a letter to The New York Times published in August 1990. Her husband said that she enjoyed cooking, spending time with her family and solving cross- word puzzles in her free time. “She enjoyed the challenge that they presented and she enjoyed solving them,” her husband said. “It is with great sadness, particularly during this holiday season, that we write to let you know that former Brandeis President Evelyn E. Handler died Friday night …” university President Fred Lawrence and Chairman of the Board Malcolm Sherman wrote in a statement last month. “On behalf of the entire Brandeis community, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Handler family.” Handler graduated from Hunter College and earned a master’s degree and doctorate in biology from New York University. Her scientific research focused on leukemia and, before serving as president of UNH, Handler was the dean of the Division of Science and Mathematics at Hunter College. Handler is survived by her husband Eugene, two sons, Jeff Varsa and Bradley Handler, a sister, Adrianne Gluckmann, and three grandchildren.
January 20, 2012
views of the week
The Brandeis Hoot 5
Senators host midyear snowball mixer
photos by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
class of 2015 First-year senators hosted the first ever snowball mixer in Sherman Function Hall on Jan. 17 to give incoming midyears the chance to meet, talk and hang out with other first years in a winter-environment.
Thin Mints, Thanks-A-Lots and Caramel deLites
Hillel hosts kick-off
photo by inate rosenbloom/the hoot
photo by ingrid schulte/the hoot
feeding college students Members of a local Girl Scout troupe sell their famous cookies to the Brandeis
community in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium on Jan. 19.
welcome back Students start the semester by enjoying performances and learning about Brandeis Hillel at
their Beit Cafe and Activities Fair on Jan. 19.
6 The Brandeis Hoot
The Katzwer’s Out of the Bag
January 20, 2012
Let’s talk about the tough issues
By Yael Katzwer Editor
While I was home in northern New Jersey for break, I was disturbed to see a few articles in The Star Ledger about anti-Semitic attacks on local synagogues. On Dec. 11, swastikas, white supremacy symbols and the graffiti saying “Jews did 9/11” were painted on Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel in Maywood, N.J. On Dec. 20, swastikas were painted on Temple Beth El in Hackensack, N.J. On Jan. 3, a fire was set using accelerant at Congregation K’Hal Adath Jeshuran in Paramus, N.J. On Jan. 6, five Molotov cocktails were hurled through windows at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford, N.J. This last attack was especially egregious as the synagogue’s rabbi and his family live above the temple; one of the Molotov cocktails was thrown through the rabbi’s bedroom window and he sustained minor injuries. Of course, this happened in New Jersey and we are in Massachusetts. And I certainly do not need to tell you that anti-Semitic attacks on
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
synagogues are wrong. So, why am I telling you about this? Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the reverend once said:
“History will have to record that the palling silence of the good people.” greatest tragedy of this period of soI am telling you about these atcial transition was not the strident tacks because we need to talk about clamor of the bad people, but the ap- these things. We need to acknowl-
edge them. If we ignore them or, as may be the case for many students at Brandeis, simply never learn about them, they will continue unchecked. This is not confined to issues of anti-Semitism or, as Dr. King was talking about, racism; this involves all sorts of crimes and injustices. This is one of the things I love about working for a newspaper. It gives me the ability to bring issues to the community’s attention that I feel are worthwhile issues. I always hope that the readers will use my articles, other Hoot articles and articles in other periodicals as jumping-off points, as the impetuses for thought and discussion. These conversations are often uncomfortable, as they force people to examine their own beliefs and prejudices and as they force people to listen to beliefs and prejudices that may drastically differ from their own. This discomfort may be a sign that these conversations are so important. In spring 2011 The Hoot did a three-part series on race at Brandeis titled “Shades of Gray” (April 8, 15, See DISCUSSIONS, page 9
The incalculability of education By Lilli Meier
Special to The Hoot
At the end of last year, a group of Ivy League-affiliated economists published a study discussing the relationship between “good” teachers, higher test scores and the future success of elementary and middle school students, titled “The Long Term Impact of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood.” Education is an undeniably important and complicated social institution that cannot be understood simply in terms of facts and figures. In these economically and socially unstable times, many academics and politicians look to percentages and ratios in order to vindicate the costcutting “reforms” they seek to impose on our education system while shooting down true reform efforts that have potential, yet cannot promise the same short-term “results.” Studies such as this most recent one ignore the incalculable aspects of education and place the burden of success on individual teachers without giving them the benefit of the doubt. As an aspiring teacher and critic of standardized testing, I think that studies such as these will lead to the death of American education. According to “No Dream Denied: A Pledge to America’s Children”— a 2003 study, published by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future 2003—more than 46 percent of teachers leave within their first five years on the job. With statistics like this becoming more and more common in the world of American education, we must recognize the importance of not only determining who “good” teachers are, but how to help those who don’t quite yet fit the bill. Within education, we must create a community of educators that supports new teachers and gives them the tools to succeed, rather than an institution that—as a recent New York Times article put it—seeks to “fire people sooner rather than later.” This winter break I visited Japan with some of my relatives who are educators, touring the sites as well
graphic by rachel weissman/the hoot
as some schools. While there, I was able to begin to understand the great differences between American and Japanese culture, particularly in terms of our education systems and how we evaluate students and teachers. Before I visited, I researched a bit about Japanese education and was extremely impressed by what I found. In Japan, there is no standardized testing that dictates funding and firing, as there is in America; instead teachers participate in the process of “lesson study” in order to improve their own teaching as well as the students’ experience of the class. Lesson study is a collaborative and constructive process that allows teachers of all grades and experience levels to work together for the betterment of the student experience. The first step of lesson study is developing a well-considered and origi-
nal lesson plan. Rather than using a lesson plan that is handed down from the administration or the previous teacher of the class, all of the teachers in the school work together as a team to brainstorm and create fresh, relevant and effective lesson plans for each others’ classes. By bringing so many voices to the table and creating a community atmosphere, new teachers are able to gain insight from experienced teachers, while veteran teachers gain new perspectives from those just beginning their educational careers. Teachers are also able to give their colleagues more insightful advice because they participate in what the lesson study process calls “observation and evaluation.” In the observation phase, the actual teacher of the class steps back to observe, allowing another teacher to perform the lesson plan for the day.
Instead of having an external administrator, essentially a stranger, come in and judge the students and teachers as we do in America, the teachers themselves, the ones who know the students and lesson plans the best, are those to evaluate their own classes. By observing their own classes, teachers are able to understand dynamics of the class that are difficult to see from the front of the room; they take painstaking notes on student behavior, lesson plan effectiveness and other factors that impact the success of their teaching. After observing their own classes and getting the opportunity to teach other classes, the teachers come together as a team to discuss any problems and possible solutions. Instead of developing a lesson plan based on standardized test scores, teachers in Japanese schools brainstorm together to determine
what their students should learn and how they will best learn it. Despite the rising uncertainty of the times, we must do more than try to protect American education, we must continue to try and perfect it. Using standardized testing to judge “intelligence” and crunching numbers to determine “good” teaching will create nothing but an unbalanced education system that can be fooled by high scores. Japan went through a similar economic hardship in the mid-to-late 1980s; however, the quality of Japanese education did not suffer as ours does today. America should reevaluate our great emphasis on standardized testing and embrace collaborative methods such as lesson study in order to create school communities that understand the importance of communication rather than competition.
January 20, 2012
The Brandeis Hoot
Holiday spending: How much is too much? By Victoria Aronson Staff
graphic by connor novy/the hoot
Despite the joy of the holiday season, I cannot help but notice the burdening stress of holiday shopping. For some, it seems the entire season has been transformed from a time meant to be spent with family and friends to an insane frenzy of market-driven spending. Our holidays have been utterly commercialized, and many of us do not seem to notice. In the past, when I have voiced my opinions on the foolishness of overspending during the holidays, I have been labeled a scrooge. Yet, I cannot help but argue that the price tags attached to gifts are by no means any rational testament to the relative strength of a relationship, as some seem so adamantly to believe. Rather, tossing cash away as if it has no value on frivolous gifts that are so generalized demonstrates a lack of effort. Simple gifts that truly speak to an individual’s personality or interests are far more indicative of a genuine relationship. For example, I unfortunately had to suffer and listen as couples I know discussed the exchange of their holiday presents. Girlfriends may boast about how wonderful their boyfriends are as they flash their new coach purses, only for the relationship to end a few short months later in a cheating scandal, messy tears and residual anger over spending so much on gifts for each other. Receiving expensive gifts can also be awkward, creating unfair obligations to reciprocate an equally costly gift in return while also creating strained friendships. What amazes me even more is those individuals who manage to max out their credit cards, spiraling into debt during the holiday season. In my own family, my siblings and
I usually do not exchange gifts and, if we do, it is a simple gesture. For instance, a package of my brother’s favorite gum may equate to a birthday gift, while I have been given many homemade cards. When I ask my parents what they would like for Christmas, they adamantly tell me to save my earnings for college tuition bills rather than spending it on unnecessary gifts. As a student managing two part-time jobs, I honestly appreciate my family’s lack of emphasis on gifts. I’d much rather form longlasting memories than spend my holidays obsessing over purchasing costly gifts and standing in line at the retail stores. Even my roommates and I manage to keep the gift exchanges simple but sweet. One of my roommates, for example, made us all necklaces with different charms based on our personalities, and we absolutely love wearing them. I gifted a ridiculous owl stuffed animal in return, a spoof on the Brandeis mascot, and received a cute little planner from my other roommate to keep track of all my classes. Gifts such as these are humorous, useful and truly show how well we have come to know each other. I am not saying to negate gift exchanges altogether, but I am saying that keeping it simple is far more genuine. Don’t base the degree of someone’s affection on the amount they spent on your gift. If you judge a relationship so strongly on material factors, clearly that is an issue in itself. When you look back upon your past holidays, whichever it is that you celebrate, which memories come to mind? Do you even remember what gifts you received two years ago? I can honestly say I have absolutely no idea. When I recall past holidays, I remember my grandfather’s nativity set, the delicious food and my loud Italian family crowded around several tables. And that’s the way I think it should be.
‘Fish are friends, not food’ By Dana Trismen Staff
Most people would say a fish is not a satisfactory pet. They are not furry, nor can you pet them. They will not play fetch with you or sit on your lap. And while my friends have always made fun of me for being a “fish lady,” I argue that they make the perfect pet for someone in college. I live in a forced triple here at Brandeis. My room is smaller than my room at my house. Neither my roommates nor I are particularly clean, our bunkbed ladders constantly fall on us and our rug has ingrained cereal crumbs. If I stay in my room too long I find myself going stir crazy, since I can pace the entire length of the room in two seconds. Having always been an animal lover, at home I have a cat and dog. Yet, there is no way any furry animal that needs space to move can live in our humble Brandeis abode. So to make up for the fact that I need animals in my life, our room has turned into a sort of haven for fish. We currently have four, all bettas in separate bowls, and we are quite obsessed. While fish cannot make you feel physically better by being in contact with them (such as petting a dog can sometimes have health benefits), I believe my fish make me feel better. They
are a constant in my life, occasionally the only males that like me. The benefit of having a betta (also called Siamese fighting fish) as a pet is that that they are very well suited for dorm life. They don’t require a heater or a filter and are easy to take care of. Since bettas often take gulps of air from the surface of the water (strange fact since they are fish, but their gills are made this way) they are very aware of humans around them. My fish respond to me if I stand near their tanks- swimming closer to me and thus making up for my need to have animal contact. While fish make the perfect pet at college, not all students take care of them the way they should. While bettas are occasionally sold at the SCC by the vendors we occasionally have there, they are sold in very tiny bowls that allow the fish no room to swim or grow. Students are also not informed about how to care for their fish: bettas need weekly water changes and without that will get infected and die. While being a crusader for fish is not exactly my goal here at Brandeis, I would like students to be more aware that they can actually do harm to these animals if they force them to live in small bowls and not clean water. I personally am fond of all fish, bettas being my favorite. The aquarium is my favorite place and I occasionally look up facts about aquatic life just for
graphic by steven wong/the hoot
fun. Many people have encouraged me to consider becoming a marine biologist (though it is a major that Brandeis does not offer). While my major here at Brandies is English, I would love to become a marine sup-
porter in the same sense that Rachel Carson was a environmental crusader- using my writing skills to help others understand the realities of what is occurring in our environment. Marine life, whether we are eating
it, keeping fish as pets or going on a whale watch, is an integral part of the Earth’s ecosystem. While not as fun to play with as a dog, fish offer the planet a lot and should be granted the importance they deserve.
By Rick Alterbaum Columnist
Romney is inevitable. This was obvious months before the former Massachusetts governor narrowly clinched the Iowa caucuses and no less decisively defeated his competitors in New Hampshire. Largely, this was due to the fact that serious potential rivals, as opposed to the second-tier candidates that constitute everyone else in the running, abstained, including Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, South Dakota Senator John Thune and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Sure, the race isn’t over yet. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich has been kept afloat by a huge loan from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Additionally, Gingrich’s personal vendetta against Romney, fueled in part by an inflated ego that convinces him that he is a modern-day amalgamation of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, prevents him from admitting defeat just yet. Former Senator Rick Santorum is still relevant due to the fact that he is now the consensus social conservative alternative to Romney. Considering that he is retiring from his House seat this year, Congressman Ron Paul has nothing better to do besides grace us with his conspiracymongering, extreme domestic views, and isolationist and defeatist foreign policy. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had such a promising resume, realized that his inability to articulate a coherent sentence and to remember that third cabinet department he would eliminate were slight obstacles to achieving the nomination. Finally, nobody really seems to miss the likes of Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann
The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
What’s so bad about Romney? and Jon Huntsman. This all leads us back to our good old friend Willard. The conventional wisdom is that Romney is a weak candidate. We all know the caricature: Mitt is a flip-flopping, soulless, robotic, awkward, ruthless capitalist who ran to the left of Ted Kennedy, laid off thousands of blue-collar workers for his personal gain and, considering his wealth, is out of touch with the common man. Now that we have gotten this stuff out of the way, let me play the contrarian and argue that Romney actually would not be that bad a nominee for the Republican Party. First, when considered in its entirety, Romney’s experience contrasts well with Obama’s. The fact is that, until becoming president, Obama never really possessed any experience as a leader or manager, nor did he have any real accomplishments besides writing books about himself. Obama went from community-organizing to being a part-time lecturer, lawyer, state senator and U.S. senator for two years, and then to the presidency, where he has done a mediocre job at best. Romney has actually been a real leader in the private equity world through his role in the 2002 Olympics and as a governor. I also find Romney’s general vision of a European-style social democracy versus a merit-based market-driven economy to be compelling, especially since countries that belong to the former category are currently falling apart at the seams. Excessively high taxes; punitive regulations; endless and unaffordable pensions and welfare benefits; widespread dependency on government; a moribund and demonized private sector; demographic crisis; an erosion of self-reliance and a strong work ethic—these are the types of intractable problems that nations such as Greece, Spain and Por-
tugal are facing. Romney is making a credible case that this could be our future should we reelect President Obama. Finally, Romney seems to be tak-
ing a prudent, practical and reformminded stance on a number of issues, such as Medicare, the tax code and government spending. He supports a forward-looking internationalist
foreign policy. He is being advised by experienced and accomplished policy veterans. I look forward to seeing how he will fare this upcoming fall.
Religion: friend or foe? By Carlton Shakes Special to the Hoot
In modern times, we are bombarded by subtle reminders of the dominance of religion in our world. For example, our pledge of allegiance states: “and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” It is somewhat eerie to witness the mass of monotheistic beliefs in the global perspective. Especially in the upcoming 2012 presidential election, the morality of abortion and same-sex marriage has been publicly debated. While this candidate debate is not necessarily novel, the common thread of the opponents of these specific arguments, is religion is a fundamental platform for the disagreements in ideology and—by extension—policy. My concern with this phenomenon stems from a question of whether religion is really what is says it is and whether this tendency of controversial policy being influenced by theology is helpful or harmful in the long run. Before organized monotheism— think Christian, Jewish and Muslim theologies—dominated the global religious scene, much of the world celebrated polytheism. Most people believed that gods and deities were responsible for the creation and functions of every object in our universe. So, instead of praying to one god for forgiveness, someone could give offerings to the god of water, the god of the sun or even the god of the trees to keep them safe. People based their
beliefs on things observable around them in nature and other people. In contrast to this rooting in the concrete, modern theologies have placed themselves in a position where participants are forced to base beliefs upon “faith” in the unobservable. Personally, I believe faith is a beautiful thing to acquire. However, it is not necessarily a force that motivates individuals towards the impartial and universal decisions on which our national policy prides itself. The human mind is beautiful, in that it allows us to think and exercise logic in the effort to gain a pragmatic conclusion. Romans 1:27 states “the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” This biblical passage is a source that is commonly cited by those who oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. The fact that it is commonplace for politicians and lobbyists to base their public opinion and their proposed policy on a religious text speaks to the unsettling prevalence of church-state interaction, even in our world. This debate stirs a controversy in the American political approach. In this decade—especially when looked at in comparison to the 1970s—it seems that civil rights have been stalled and progression in human rights movements have lost momentum. Today, fewer than 10 states in the United States allow same-sex marriage, including Massachusetts, Cali-
fornia, New York and Iowa. It seems that the rejection of same-sex relations on religious grounds influences legislatures in more than 35. If we continue to allow policy based on theology—particularly in a country that is firm in its separation of church and state—without skepticism or question, we are not fostering a government that is in-line with our own values as Americans, or making sure that this government is doing the best that it can for all, and not just religious, Americans. As human beings in times of
graphic by linjie xu/the hoot
struggle, we instinctively turn to the easiest place for comfort and hope. In most cases, religion is that immediate source of consolation that much of the world turns to during difficult situations.
It is crucial that in these situations, we avoid the temptation to act like sheep and follow the majority. Instead of just doing what we’re told, we must at least sometimes open our eyes and question the reality of the situation.
January 20, 2012
The Brandeis Hoot
Prostitution: Should it be legal? By Josh Kelly Staff
Legalizing prostitution is one of those ideas that sounds ridiculous to people and at first it sounded that way to me too. It’s one of those things that immediately evokes a visceral reaction in people. It’s gross and therefore should not be allowed. It’s subjugation and is therefore bad. It’s shameful exploitation. A recent experience, however, led me to question this viewpoint. During a trip to the Netherlands, I spent a day in Amsterdam with friends. Our day was filled with gawking at the “coffee” shops, drinking beer and, of course, strolling through the Red Light District, the well-known area of the city where one goes to find prostitutes, pornography, sex toys and just about anything else relating to sex. After walking through some alleys, my friends and I passed by a group of girls standing next to a sign which read—if I recall correctly—“Free Prayers.” We discovered that these girls were from the United States. After one of the guys—whose girlfriend was also present—explained that we had been walking through the Red Light District, one of the girls asked her, “How did that make you feel as a woman, seeing your boyfriend looking at other women?” As the conversation progressed, we learned that the girls were speaking with the prostitutes, singing to them and handing out bibles. The girls were kind, and certainly seemed to have nothing but the best intentions. I was soon plagued, however, by a basic question I hadn’t considered before: Why do we consider prostitution to be wrong at all? Why is it that those girls from the United States felt that the condition of the workers in the Red Light District was so pitiable and immoral that it was necessary to visit them at all? While I wasn’t interested in getting into a debate right then, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would say to one of those girls were I to argue with them about the ethics of prostitution and whether or not it should be legal.
There are, of course, the pragmatic arguments that we often hear. In a state where prostitution is legal, it is no longer a black market industry, and therefore it becomes subject to governmental regulations just like any other occupation. This opens the door for taxation, which could lead to increased revenue. In an economy with slow growth, that does not sound like a bad idea. Furthermore, there is the argument that the legalization of prostitution can lead to better health care for the prostitutes. In countries where prostitution is legal, the government can conduct health inspections to ensure that the prostitutes are healthy. This can help decrease the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases both by prostitutes and members of the general population. While these pragmatic benefits suggest that prostitution should be legalized, people still feel uncomfortable. People see prostitution, pornography and any other industry that exploits sexuality for profit as wrong, demoralizing and dehumanizing. This brings me to the core of my argument. Upon thinking about the argument that prostitutes are exploited in an unfair way, I realized that people exploit their bodies all the time for profit. Consider football. Imagine that I am Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. While I have other skills, I am of the opinion that football is my best—and therefore my most profitable—skill. While playing football, however, I use resources I’m given as a human being. Humans are endowed with a brain that makes decisions, in this case the decisions that Brady needs to make before throwing the football. Furthermore, humans are endowed with arms that are used for actual throwing. While these things are obviously cultivated through practice and training, they are pieces of human capital being exploited for profit. Without Brady’s mind and arms—parts of his body—Brady would not be rich. Why is it OK for laborers to ex-
ploit every part of their body except for their sexual organs? I really do not feel that there is an adequate answer. It’s OK for Tom Brady to use his biceps to make money, yet what prostitutes in the Red Light District is not OK, at least according to many in society. The arguments against legalization are pretty clear. People argue that individuals could essentially be forced into the field if prostitution were legalized. I believe this argument, however, is flawed as people are already forced into prostitution under the status quo. In fact, if prostitution were legalized, the market demand for labor would go down. If government intervention resulted from legalization, it would be an incredible burden to employers of prostitutes. If these employers had to pay minimum wage and provide health benefits, then fewer prostitutes would be hired. Most likely, fewer people would wind up as prostitutes. Other critics of legalization argue that sex is distinct from other types of labor-based exploitation because sex is viewed as a more meaningful act and should not be conducted in such a cavalier fashion. I do not deny that there’s great meaning ascribed to sex by many in society, yet I argue that it is up to every person to decide how they ascribe meaning to private acts. Perhaps a person finds playing baseball with his best friend far more meaningful than sex. Are we to dictate that no, sex should be considered more meaningful? No, that is not our responsibility. What it comes down to is that we, as a society, accept things such as prostitution as bad without thinking enough about what the act is in its most mundane form. While throwing a touchdown pass or operating heavy machinery are obviously different from sex, they all exploit human resources in one way or another for profit. Coupled with the pragmatic benefits that could come for both the prostitutes and society on the whole, there seems to be a pretty compelling argument that we should rethink our policies.
graphic by diane somlo/the hoot
Difficult discussions after synagogue attacks DISCUSSIONS, from page 6
and 29), which incorporated interviews, surveys and admissions statistics to pinpoint what racial issues there are on our campus. We told our readers that there are many fewer black professors than there are white professors. We told our readers that many people admitted to spending time mainly with people of a similar racial background. When The Hoot undertook this effort, a few people told us that we were just trying to make hoopla out of a non-issue, that we were rabblerousing. Through their work on the series, the writers uncovered that race is an issue at Brandeis. Perhaps the discomfort that some people felt when hearing about the series was the first sign that the series was necessary. Did The Hoot’s series on race change anything at Brandeis? I truly do not know. Perhaps in a few years, the future editors of The Hoot will decide to revisit the issue and will run another series on race that will talk about how these issues have changed. The point is that the series fostered conversation and pushed some people to stop and wonder, “Do we have a race problem at Brandeis?” That is what matters. Conversation and acknowledgement are the first steps in fixing any social problems. Of course, sometimes The Hoot’s articles do not foster the right con-
photo from internet source
a growing problem A police officer examines damage to the roof of Congregation Beth El in Rutherford, N.J. Five Molotov cocktails were
hurled through its windows on Jan. 6.
versations. Last semester I wrote a news article on the human sex trafficking trade in Israel after Rabbi Levi Lauer, an activist who works to help women forced into the sex
trade in Israel, came to Brandeis to speak. The article, “Rabbi discusses human trafficking trade in Israel” (Sept. 16), became one of The Hoot’s most-read articles for the semester.
At first I was really glad of this because I feel that the article addresses an important issue. My enthusiasm faded greatly, however, when I realized who was reading my article.
A lot of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and white supremacist websites have linked to my article. While the point of the article was that women are being forced into sex slavery in Israel, just like everywhere else in the world, and it needs to stop, these websites have been using my article as proof that Israel and Jews are evil. I want my articles and the rest of The Hoot’s articles to shed light on issues about which we either care or should care and I want for the articles, if anything, to dispel hatred rather than increase it. That being said, I certainly do not regret writing that article. I wish that it were being used differently and that everyone were getting the same meaning from it as I did, but they are not and there is nothing I can do about that. I still think the topic of sex slavery in Israel is important and I have to hope that enough of the right people will come across my article to make a difference. All that being said, the most important thing is to keep talking about any issues that make you uncomfortable because only by talking about them can we resolve them. Keep the channels of communication open; sometimes it may end up like a game of broken telephone but that does not mean you should not try. So, there have been several antiSemitic attacks on synagogues in northern New Jersey. Discuss.
10 The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
BRANDEIS INDIA INITIATIVE By Zachary Ramano Special to the Hoot
President Fred Lawrence and members of the Brandeis academic community will travel to India next month as part of an initiative to increase Brandeis’ global presence by expanding its academic relationships with worldwide universities and institutions. The trip includes visits to both New Delhi and Mumbai with public forums and meetings at various institutions, including the Indian Institute of Science and the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore. A two-day trip to Singapore is also on the itinerary. “Social justice and sustainable development are both areas in which Brandeis has achieved international recognition. Many outstanding activists in these fields—not a few of whom are our alumni—are in India, aspiring to make our world a better, healthier place,” Lawrence said in a university press release. He hopes to expand Brandeis’ general presence in the international scientific community. “Brandeis is renowned for our science research and teaching, and India has some of the world’s finest scientific institutions,” Lawrence said. Several members of the Brandeis community, including Harleen Singh, the Helaine and Alvin Allen Assistant Professor of Literature, and Preeta Banerjee, an assistant professor of strategy at IBS and winner of Fullbright-Nehru Fellowship, are already working on their own projects in India. Both Singh and Banerjee will be cooperating with President Lawrence during his dialogue, “Seeking Social Justice: A Brandeis University and Partners for Urban
Knowledge Action and Research Conversation.” The event will be coordinated by Lawrence and PUKAR’s board president, Arjun Appadurai, a well-known scholar on the anthropology of globalization and the modern world. Brandeis has strengthened its connection with India through the Brandeis-India Initiative and its establishment of a multi-faceted network of alumni, faculty, students and others affiliated with Brandeis. Alumni activity has also been increasing in India as a growing percentage of Brandeis students are from India. The initiative is part of Brandeis’ current global strategy to find unforeseen academic opportunities in hopes of expanding our intellectual horizons. Former Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz visited India in 2010. The university hopes that the relationship will be mutually beneficial. “I have made multiple trips to India in recent years, and each time I have been impressed with the vast potential that exists for collaboration between the world’s two largest democracies and between the educational and social institutions that help shape their values and cultures,” Lawrence said. As Ddean of The George Washington University Law School, Lawrence made several trips to India. Lawrence’s itinerary includes meetings with prospective students, alumni and academic leaders. Students have the opportunity to become involved with the Brandeis-India Initiative through the Fellows Program, in which they can apply for grants to pursue Indian-oriented projects. Some of the recent projects included interning with an India-based NGO, researching public health, and studying Indian art and literature.
Photos by Melissa Donze & Nusrath Yusuf
January 20, 2012
The Brandeis Hoot
Confronting expectations, embracing change: reflections on India For years I had dreamed of going to India, the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. My interest in world religions drew me to India. I had studied Gandhi and Mother Theresa, and I yearned for its rumored mysticism. I used to think of India as a medley of ashrams, Gandhi, yoga, ornate Hindu temples, vivid colors, Buddha, kama sutra, luscious forests, tranquil silence, exotic animals and an overwhelming, omnipresent feeling of spirituality. I finally got my chance to experience all this. I traveled to Bangalore, India during the summer of 2011 as a Social Justice WOW fellow and a Brandeis-India Initiative fellow to intern with MILANA, a family support network for people living with HIV and AIDS. However, three weeks into my two-month stay, I found myself asking: Is this really India? To me, Bangalore felt like a bad imitation of the so-called “Western” world. I had come to India searching for the old India, and although I didn’t quite know what that meant, I felt I was not finding it in Bangalore. It was then that I hit my lowest low. I struggled to find purpose and intention in my work, and I felt like a complete outsider. In a city of millions, I felt so alone. I stuck out like a sore thumb and there was nothing I could do about it. The beautiful Hindu temples were lost among the chaos, noise and confusion of the city. The vivid colors of the women’s saris and salwar kameez were beautiful, but I failed to see their beauty among the many buildings and overcrowded streets. Bangalore was beginning to take its toll on me, and I was tired of feeling lost. About a week later, I found myself. After a meeting with a local lawyer to discuss the HIV bill that is currently proposed, my friend and I decided to check out a protest at the town hall being held by the LGBT community and its allies. The protest was being held in opposition to remarks made a day earlier by Indian Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad. Azad made comments about homosexuality being “unnatural” and claimed it was a disease that
needed to be cured. The scene we came upon was incredible. A substantial number of people had arranged themselves on the steps of the town hall, and various media representatives were at the scene, filming and interviewing participants. Many who stood in the crowd held rainbow umbrellas open as a sign of government opposition, and it was truly a wonderful sight. The crowd was composed of such a wide variety of people: men, women, young, old, rich, poor, students, hijras and more. Although some of their chants were in Kannada (the local language of Karnataka), some were in English, and I eagerly joined in. The leaders of the protest shouted “We want …” and the crowd shouted back “Justice!” They called for an apology from Azad and for his resignation as health minister, especially since his comments came almost exactly two years after the decriminalization of homosexuality in India. Being at that protest was one of the highlights of my time in India. Sex and sexuality is such a hot topic in India right now and to be a part of the movement to change certain notions of homosexuality was incredible. At that protest, I didn’t feel like I was being judged. I felt comfortable. For once, people weren’t looking at my gender or the color of my skin. It didn’t matter to them. What mattered was the fact that I supported them in their fight against homophobia. Finally feeling comfortable in Bangalore, I began to open myself up to the experiences and opportunities around me. I began to succeed at work, and I felt myself growing closer to the group of HIV positive women I worked with everyday. My greatest accomplishment was the program I planned and oversaw for a group of 27 of MILANA’s children in my sixth week. The title of the program was “A Journey towards My Future,” and intended to give children affected by HIV the chance to express their feelings and goals for their futures through art. The information we collected from these children was absolutely groundbreaking. The children used drawings, stories and poems to illustrate how HIV has affected them, the impact of MILANA on their lives, and their goals and
hopes for the future. MILANA can use the information collected to better advocate for the rights of children affected by HIV. It was a fantastic day filled with fun, laughs and heartfelt expression, and some of my favorite memories of MILANA and India resulted from that day. I finally came to understand what social justice is. I arrived at a point where I realized that what mattered the most were the small changes I was making in the lives of individuals. Helping a child envision their goals and instilling in them hope for their futures is just as important as launching a national movement against stigma and discrimination. Sharing stories and laughs with a group of HIV positive women is just as important as passing a bill to protect the rights of HIV positive people. Many Americans believe they can change the world in big ways. For most, this is social justice: going out into the world and doing good things for ordinary people. To be honest, I had this same arrogant mentality for quite a long time. I came to India wanting to make big changes to the way that HIV/AIDS is under-
stood and perceived there. Unfortunately, I took my American mentality with me. I realized, though, that making huge changes in the larger picture of HIV/AIDS in India is not social justice. I realized that, no matter how hard I tried, there would always be a barrier between myself and the HIV positive women with whom I was working, because I would never truly understand their struggles and suffering. Once I let go of my American mentality and embraced the way of life in India, however, I found that I enjoyed my time with MILANA so much more. The women of MILANA were like my mothers, and our goodbyes were difficult and full of tears. On my way to the airport after spending two months in India, I realized I had grown so much as a person. My perspective and outlook on life was radically altered by my encounters and confrontations with cultures, ideas and people that were so different from those with which I was familiar. Despite all my struggles, I had finally learned to embrace change.
- Melissa Donze, Special to The Hoot
India – A land with more than meets the eye It was Friday night when I recalled the successful interview I had with one of the community health workers in Bhopal. That was five days and two cities ago. I was in Bangalore at this point and I still had two more cities to which I needed to travel. Somehow by the end of that week I had that familiar feeling that all of us experience on any given month at Brandeis—Gosh! So much has happened within the past few days! It was very surprising to experience this same feeling even on the other side of the world, in a small bedroom, crammed with four other girls, all the way in India. I guess I travel as a Brandeisian no matter how far I am from Waltham. This was only one of the few surprises of my summer spent in India. I traveled to India as a Social Justice WOW intern and a Brandeis India Initiative (BII) fellow this past summer to intern with a renowned tuburculosis-related NGO. I spent most of my time researching with a fellow intern on community health workers who are in charge of TB clinics located in different cities across India. In preparation I read “Lonely Planet,” “Rough’s Guide,” all sorts of travel guides on India, met with faculty, and got support from the coordinators of the Brandeis India Initiative and WOW to prepare for my travels and convinced myself that the next 10 weeks would fly by. I was prepared and I was sure of it up until the moment my plane departed from JFK airplane. After landing in New Delhi, however, I began to realize that there was nothing that could have prepared me for the vibrancy of India. There were moments when I was thankful that I had read up on how to travel smartly and dress appropriately in India but there were other moments when new situations just left me baffled. Nonetheless, that is just one aspect one must embrace about traveling—there is only so much for which one can be prepared. Having
learned Hindi, one of India’s main languages, at an early age, I thought I had a slight advantage over my peers traveling to India for the first time. Besides, I had studied the geography and history of the place when I was younger and I had seen enough Bollywood movies to know what to expect from a place like India. Or so I thought. The more I traveled around India during the summer, the more I found out that, besides my skin color, there wasn’t much that I shared with the people around me. Granted, I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb and wasn’t stared at like some of my other American friends. It was still pretty clear, however, that I was not Indian despite the fact that I wore the traditional Indian clothes. It was apparent from the way I spoke Hindi with a slight accent, to the way I expressed and interacted with the locals. All of this was more evident as I traveled to some of the smaller cities in India. I spent the majority of my time in New Delhi, where the main offices of the NGO for which I was working are located. New Delhi is very welcoming to foreigners and is very used to seeing people of other nationalities. It would be quite easy for a person to get away with just speaking English and knowing only a few phrases in Hindi. The same holds true for the other big metropolises across India too. But as one goes to some of the smaller cities, the attitude changes slightly. Not all the cab drivers will understand or speak English and not everyone is as used to seeing foreigners. So the locals in the smaller cities were more curious to find out about us. But no matter what the size of the city the people were very willing to help. They knew that we were guests in that city and they knew how to be very hospitable. That is perhaps one of the most remarkable things about India—they are tremendously and wonderfully hospitable. One of the other remarkable things I discovered about India was something I hadn’t realized till the end of my stay there. I was one
of five Brandeis India Initiative fellows interning this past summer and we were spread all across India. I was the only fellow in New Delhi but a few were in Bangalore. Every time I got off the phone with a fellow located in Bangalore, I was quite surprised to see how different each of our experiences in India were shaping up to be. I hadn’t begun traveling for my research yet and up until early June I had only been in New Delhi and only spent weekends in a few other northern Indian cities. The people in all the cities I had been to spoke Hindi in varying degrees. The food in these cities was prepared slightly differently but they were all quite spicy. On most days the temperature stayed within 90 to 110 degrees. The monsoon hadn’t hit northern India yet but the days were hot and humid. But then I heard about how the weather stayed a cool 70 degrees in Bangalore. It was expected to rain almost everyday because the monsoon had hit southern India already but the rain was never as bad as everyone hyped it to be. That part of India sounded very different from the part of India where I was. Sitting in New Delhi, I felt like I was in the New York of India and my friends had found the Silicon Valley of India in Bangalore (Bangalore is also known for being the hub of tech innovations in India). And then I begin traveling for work and I decided I would make a pit stop in Bangalore to visit the other BII fellows. As I traveled farther south I started to notice a decline in the number of Hindi speakers. By the time one travels south of Mumbai it is difficult to find people who speak Hindi at all. In Bangalore and further south in Chennai I had to rely on English completely to navigate the city, as most people there had never learned how to speak Hindi in their life. Seeing southern India presented another strange disconnect for me to feel from the locals. Once again, besides their skin color, I shared nothing with them besides that we all spoke English. The weather was milder here and
of course southern Indian food was not as spicy as northern Indian food. The weather, the languages spoken and the food—these were just three of the many differences I noticed right away about India. India is a land that has 28 different states that speak (as of last count) 22 different languages, of which each language have hundreds, if not thousands, of dialects. The weather, the food, people’s religions and their customs are all different and sometimes very particular to a city or state. There is a huge and very visible disparity of wealth and the sources that are available to people are directly dependent on their financial situations. On some of those very packed days in India, I found myself shocked to be spending the entire day visiting TB clinics in urban slums and then getting dinner at night at one of the fanciest malls in India—malls that can easily be confused for one of those in America. Both those people in the mall and those people living in the slums seemed to have no idea how different their worlds were and I got this glimpse as an outsider and saw no way in which the two could ever reconcile. At the end of my stay the biggest thing I took away from India was that it has a vast amount of diverse experiences to offer its foreigners. Each of us who participated this past summer had a different experience of India and it varied and changed depending on the region of India to which we had chosen to go. Even the pace and the energy of the life in the cities and villages across India are different. There is a lot to learn from each of these places. I found that once I grasped the true diversity within India, it was easier to soak up what made each and every city so special and how in the end this is what made each of them truly, incredibly Indian.
- Nusrath Yusuf, Special to The Hoot
The Brandeis Hoot
Univ makes foodie YouTube clips By Samuel Kim Staff
Brandeis administrators Kathryn Howell and Shannon Hunt recently shot webisodes for “Food New England,” a video channel that launched as a beta channel on YouTube in mid-November. “Food New England” is produced by Robert Mighty, who also directed the show when it was aired on television. When “Food New England” was featured on Channel 5, celebrity chefs, such as Todd English and Ming Tsai, taught viewers the culinary arts. Now, home cooks have flooded “Food New England” with their skills and cooking techniques. Howell is one of these Internet personalities. “Knowing that I am comfortable on-camera as well as in the kitchen, Robert [Mighty] asked me to sign on,” Howell said in a university press release. Howell became passionate about cooking when she chose to bake a few cakes with her mother from her mother’s childhood baking book. She has also worked as an actress, performing for the Charles and the Gloucester Stage Company. “As an actress it’s not easy just ‘being me’ in front of the camera. I’m used to folks telling me what I need to be and not just be myself, so this was actually an interesting challenge,” Howell said.
Howell has shot one webisode, where she teaches viewers how to make shortbread cookies. In the process of working on her webisode, Howell recommended Hunt to “Food New England.” “On my webisode, I made garlic linguine with asparagus and pine nuts, which is a great meal for every-day eating. It’s fun to make fancy dishes, but on a day-to-day basis, people don’t always have the time or will to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen, and the recipe on the webisode takes just about a half hour, including prep,” Hunt said in a press release. Hunt describes that her expertise in cooking and baking, however, were rather poor as a child. She describes a time when she tried to bake a pound cake, but instead nearly burned down the house. “I became much better at baking as I got older, but I didn’t really get excited about cooking until I came to Brandeis back in 2001,” Hunt said. As an administrator in the English department, Hunt became close acquaintances with many graduate students, many of whom were solid home cooks. She credits them for igniting a desire to learn more about food and for building her cooking skills and knowledge base. “I think the best part of having a show on “Food New England” is showing other people that if I can cook, they can cook,” Hunt said.
January 20, 2012
In memoriam: Robert Shapiro, 81 By Connor Novy Editor
Brandeis alumnus Robert Shapiro, a longtime university donor and honored trustee, died earlier this month after having struggled with cancer for more than a year. He was 81. “To me, Robert was Brandeis,” Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement Nancy Winship said. “He was dedicated to two families— the Shapiro family and the Brandeis family.” The son of a founding trustee, Robert Shapiro was inextricably part of the university’s history. He was involved with the university for the majority of its existence, as a member of the first graduating class, a president’s councilor and trustee. He built both the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex, in his father’s memory, and the Robert and Valya Shapiro Endowment for Sephardic and East European Jewish Studies. Shapiro’s counsel was invaluable to Brandeis, university officials said, especially in the recent years of financial hardship. “The next board of trustees meeting in March will be difficult for many of us because Robert will not be there to offer his guidance and wise counsel,” Winship said. In a letter from the president, Frederick Lawrence called Shapiro “a man with a generous spirit who embodied the values of Brandeis in so many ways.” He was not just an articulate spokesperson or just a talented fundraiser for Brandeis. “His father helped establish the university during the time when the concept of Brandeis
photo from internet source
robert and valya shapiro
University was just a vision and a dream,” Winship explained. “He met his wife … through Brandeis. Three of his nieces [are] Brandeis alumni. Robert was a member of the first graduating class in 1952 and grew up with Brandeis—from student to alumnus to trustee.” His siblings have also served as university benefactors, with his sister as a president’s councilor and two brothers who functioned as a trustee and a Brandeis fellow. His father was a founding trustee and helped to establish the university in 1948. Shapiro was also a leader of the Boston-area Jewish and philanthropic communities: the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Temple Israel of Boston, the Boston Association for the Blind, and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association. He and his family funded numer-
ous philanthropic endeavors in the Boston area, but no single institution has been so profoundly affected by Shapiro and his family’s attention as Brandeis. Even after his passing, Shapiro’s influence will remain strongly felt. “Every time I walk or drive past the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex, which Robert built to honor his father’s legacy, I will think of Robert and smile,” Winship said. “He was such a vibrant, active member of the Brandeis community for so long,” she continued; Winship was “heartbroken” at the news of Shapiro’s passing, as were many others. Robert is survived by his wife, Valya (Kazes) Shapiro ’61, his sons Bram and Steven Shapiro, as well as his five grandchildren, Isak, Leyla, Nola, Robert and Sophie.
Peace Corps finally a reality for ’Deis alumna By Connor Novy Editor
Emily Gelb ’11 hopes to make her university proud. After four years at Brandeis, she shipped out Jan. 19 with the Peace Corps to Ecuador, where she intends to use her degree in biology and her experience overseas to “assist another community in developing sustainable solutions to the challenges that they face,” she wrote in her application to the Peace Corps. She joins more than 9,000 people currently working around the world for the Peace Corps. Her specific mission, according to the announcement from the Peace Corps, is “to encourage conservation of natural resources and to promote environ-
mental education and awareness.” She saw the potential for creative solutions to economic and environmental problems after studying the effects of butterfly farming in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Her first three months will be spent with a host family in Ecuador as she absorbs the culture. Once ready, Gelb will be “sworn into service and be assigned a community,” according to a Peace Corps press release about her departure. Gelb spent time abroad in Zanzibar during her senior year at Brandeis, as well as Honduras during high school with an internship at the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center. The experience abroad prompted the realization of just “how much need there is throughout the world,” she said.
Many encounters at Brandeis compelled her to join the Peace Corps, Gelb explained. “My Conservation Biology and Ecology courses with Professor Perlman and Professor Olson, and my World Music class with Professor Judy Eissenberg,” contributed significantly to her choice. Her Leonard Bernstein Scholarship, though for music, greatly increased her belief in creative solutions to concrete problems. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the chance to attend a school like Brandeis, which I would not have been able to without this scholarship, so I think that Peace Corps will give me the chance to use my education to work with a possibly less fortunate community to find ways to work around the
environmentally-related problems that they are facing while figuring out ways to make alternative livelihoods. “I spent most of my time at Brandeis split between the science and music buildings,” she reminisced. “I also was involved with Mochila, an Arabic-jazz band, Salseros, and the ELL (English Language Learning) group. Being on the [Leonard Bernstein Scholarship] was definitely the most wonderful part of my college experience, since I had the opportunity to be a part of a string quartet for four years with three amazing musicians and people. “I actually have wanted to apply to Peace Corps since the beginning of college,” she said. After studying “coastal ecology and natural
resource management, and … a month doing a research project on butterfly biodiversity and the socio-economic impact of a butterfly farming project in a small village,” in Zanzibar during study abroad, she finally applied to the Peace Corps in the hopes of continuing her work. It is not easy work. “I know that this will be an extremely challenging experience, and that I may very well gain more from my community than I will give,” she said. Nevertheless, she hopes that her work in the Peace Corps will be enlightening both personally and globally, allowing her “to open my eyes to the world,” she explained, “and to strive to make a difference in the world and contribute whenever I [have] the chance.”
Thelma Linsey donates $1 million to new pool days before grand opening LINSEY, from page 1
building maintenance, officials said. In 2008, the pool closed because Brandeis could not afford the estimated $2 million needed to repair the HVAC system and piping in the basement. The allocated funds also repaired locker room facilities, the entrance way and upstairs cheering areas for the pool. Beginning Monday, the pool will be open for weekday lap swim hours in the early morning afternoon and evening. The facility will also be open for lap swimming on the weekends from noon to 4 p.m., with a few separate time slots designated for only men or women. The university’s varsity swimming program will begin Sept. 24 under the guidance of Head Coach Mike Kotch. With the pool re-opened, Brandeis will also hold gym and fitness classes this fall.
January 20, 2012
The Brandeis Hoot 13
Continue investing in student life projects
“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.” Editor-in-Chief Jon Ostrowsky Managing Editors Sean Fabery Yael Katzwer Nathan Koskella Alex Schneider Editor Emeritus Connor Novy News Editor Morgan Gross Impressions Editor Candice Bautista Arts, Etc. Editor Alana Blum Features Editor Brian Tabakin Sports Editor Ingrid Schulte Photography Editor Nate Rosenbloom Deputy Photography Editor Emily Stott Layout Editor Steven Wong Graphics Editor Leah Finkelman Production Editor Gordy Stillman Business Editor Suzanna Yu Copy Editor Destiny D. Aquino Senior Editor
Volume 9 • Issue 1 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma
he re-opening of the Linsey Pool this week, after much fanfare, complete with Saturday’s planned pool party, represents a great success not only for Brandeis’ student activists but for intelligent and effective budgetary decision-making as well. The board of trustees announced the donation of the money to renovate the pool last spring, a decision that reflected leadership to improve student life on campus. The pool renovation is an example of money well spent—it’s something students really want, it’s something relatively quick and feasible to implement, and it’s something that Brandeis’ image not only deserves, but requires. The board should take advantage of
other ideas that are both worthy and financially feasible: The campus needs more study spaces; dining options could be expanded; the Village gym should be renovated. If that is out of the question, the administration could aim even smaller: updated furniture in dorm rooms, or the type of repainting and modest refurbishment that was done to Gordon Hall could be done elsewhere. Any project of this nature, however minor, would help the university’s image, measurably improve student life on campus and be virtually without downside. The board could accumulate some great outside press for the university and be serving students as well at relatively low cost.
Currently proposed plans, like renovations to East and the Castle, which were announced at the last State of the Union, must be accomplished as promised. Avoiding the disappointment of the student body and making real progress could be achieved together. The university should learn from its own lesson as we celebrate the reopening of the Linsey Pool, the family’s generous donation and what these things mean for Brandeis. Projects like these could accelerate and become the norm at Brandeis. We could change for the better in small but constant ways. On the fund for improving the university, the Linsey Pool should not be the board’s last dip.
Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman
Mission As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.
SUBMISSION POLICIES The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to letters@ thebrandeishoot.com along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.
STAFF Senior Staff Nafiz “Fizz” Ahmed Debby Brodsky Savannah Pearlman Sam Allen, Rick Alterbaum, Victoria Aronson, Louis Berger, Alex Bernstein, Emily Breitbart, Adam Cohen, Morgan Dashko, Haley Fine, Jeremy Goodman, Edwin Gonzalez, Rachel Hirshhaut, Paula Hoekstra, Adam Hughes, Gabby Katz, Josh Kelly, Samuel Kim, Christina Kolokotroni, Sarah Sue Landau, Arielle Levine, Ariel Madway, Estie Martin, Juliette Martin, Adam Marx, Anita Palmer, Alex Patch, Lien Phung, Andrew Rauner, Betty Revah, Alexandra Zelle Rettman, Ricky Rosen, Imara Roychowdhury, Aaron Sadowsky, Jessica Sashihara, Alex Self, Diane Somlo, Ryan Tierney, Alan Tran, Dana Trismen, Sarah Weber and Linjie Xu
connect phone • (781) 330 - 0051 e-mail • firstname.lastname@example.org online • thebrandeishoot.com twitter • twitter.com/thebrandeishoot facebook • facebook.com/thebrandeishoot
Advertising information Advertising in The Brandeis Hoot helps spread your message to our readers across the Brandeis campus, in the Waltham community and beyond through our website. All campus organizations receive a 25 percent discount off our regular prices. We also design basic ads for campus organizations free of charge. To reserve your space in the paper, contact us by phone at (781) 330 - 0051 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Give a Hoot, Join The Hoot! The Hoot is looking for writers, editors, photographers and illustrators this spring semester.
Join us for an information session
Sunday, Jan. 22 8 p.m. 3rd floor, Shapiro Campus Center
14 The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
Judges still winless in UAA conference play By Alex Bernstein Staff
After losing to the fifth-ranked University of Rochester Friday night, the Brandeis women’s basketball team lost to Emory University Sunday afternoon. Losing both games at home by a margin of more than 20 points, the Judges are now 7-7 on the season, including 0-3 in the University Athletic Association game. Although Friday’s contest appeared one-sided, the final score of 77-56 did not reflect how close the game was. In the first half, in which there were 11 lead changes, the Judges led by as many as five, with a 28-23 lead. The Judges’ defense played well, holding Rochester to just 35 percent shooting from the field. The Yellowjackets finished the first half on a 10-2 run, however, going to the locker room with a 33-30 lead against the Judges. Brandeis started the second half with a 7-3 run, tying the game up at 37 apiece. After that, however, Rochester would lead for the remainder of the game. The Yellowjackets went on a 12-3 run, but Brandeis guards Diana Cincotta ’11 and Kelly Ethier ’12 kept the Judges in the game, knocking down three-pointers and making it just a two-point game with 10:30 left in the contest. The excellent play of Rochester senior forward Jodie Luther was too much for the Judges to handle, however, and the Yellowjackets pulled away with a career-high of 32 points that night, 14 of which came in the fi-
nal 10 minutes of action. Luther shot 10-of-12 from the floor, including 2-2 from three-point range, and 10-10 from the charity stripe. Luther also finished with eight boards and three assists. For the game, the Judges struggled from the field, shooting only 33 percent and turning the ball over 15 times while the Yellowjackets finished with only seven turnovers. Something encouraging for Brandeis is that they outrebounded Rochester 4541, including 21-13 on the offensive boards. Judges guard Morgan Kendrew ’12 led the team with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while coming down with six rebounds. Hoping to rebound from the tough loss, the Judges faced Emory University Sunday afternoon. Kendrew had another good game, scoring 11 of the Judges’ 16 points in the first five minutes of the contest and helping the Judges get off to a fast start. Seven minutes into the game, the Judges had a 20-15 lead after going 7-for-12 from the field. The Emory Eagles then went on a 20-7 run during the remaining 13 minutes of the half in which the Judges went just 1-for-16 from the field. Eagle guard Hannah Lilly scored 18 first half points, going 7-for-10 from the field and 4-7 from three-point range. She finished with 23 points to lead all players. Things did not improve for Brandeis in the second half, as the Judges were outscored 35-13, shooting just 23 percent from the floor. Overall, the
Judges turned the ball over 28 times, compared to 14 Eagles turnovers. The Eagles efficiently converted Brandeis turnovers into 26 points, while the Judges only scored five points off turnovers. Emory also made 13 of its 34 three-point attempts, in comparison to the Judges’ poor 4-for-17 effort. Kendrew finished the game with 11 points to lead Brandeis, while guard Hannah Cain ’15 added eight points and nine boards. The Judges, who have now lost three-straight games, hope to put an end to their losing streak Friday night when they travel to eighth-ranked Washington University in St. Louis. The team will then head to secondranked University of Chicago on Sunday afternoon.
Women’s basketball Team
14 – 0
14 – 0
11 – 3
Box Scores Rochester
77 – 56
70 – 40 photo by alex hall/the hoot
Tebowmania: the second coming By Louis Berger Staff
The rollercoaster ride that was the Denver Broncos’ season finally came to an end this past Saturday with a blowout loss to the New England Patriots. Tebow had a sub-par performance with no touchdowns, five sacks and a lost fumble, but the Broncos team played even worse, which is clear in the 45-10 loss. Some people would like to think that this game put Tebowmania to bed, but an overwhelming majority still can’t seem to get enough of that Tebow. Tebowmaniacs can take a sigh of relief because this entire offseason will be dedicated to following the Denver quarterback. The offseason edition of Tebowmania has already begun with John Elway’s “vote of confidence,” saying that Tebow will be the starting quarterback going into training camp. This is the most unconfident vote of confidence I’ve ever heard; I think what Elway meant to say was that Tebow will be trying out to keep his starting job this summer. If people looked at Tim Tebow like any other quarterback, a phony statement like this wouldn’t even be necessary this early, but that is one huge if. Since nobody can seem to look at him as the quarterback he truly is, it drains out all the drama. If you look past the mystique of Tebow and simply look at him as an NFL quarterback, you get this: Tim Tebow had the worst completion percentage among quarterbacks this season, along with the lowest pass yards per game. He’s tied for second in fumbles for quarterbacks and threw 12 touchdown passes, the same number as Jacksonville rookie Blaine Gabbert. Rookie Andy Dalton of the Bengals led his team to more wins and had much better numbers than Tebow, but America didn’t go through “Dalton Fever” or “Andy-mania.” So what was it about Tim Tebow that captivated football fans and de-
fined the entire NFL season? Why did the simple act of bending on one knee in prayer, which athletes have done forever, create the term Tebowing? I don’t have all the answers, I don’t even think the guy for whom Tebow is kneeling knows, but I think people like seeing Tebow prove all the critics wrong by grinding out and winning games without having the prototypical skill set. Tebow is the anti-Brady, the anti-Brees and the anti-Elway, and fans like this deviation from the norm. They want to see a guy beat all the odds, do things his own way and most importantly win his way. Last Saturday Tom Brady threw six touchdowns, tying the NFL record for pass touchdowns in a playoff game, but Tim Tebow left the field
surrounded by dozens of cameramen and reporters, not Brady. It is a sure sign of the constant surveillance that Tim Tebow will be under this offseason. Golf tournaments, charity events and even vacations will be followed just as closely as one of his fourthquarter drives down the field. CBS even asked Tebow to join their studio as an analyst for the remainder of the playoffs; however, Tebow denied. Tebow will probably still be in commercials, unnecessary press conferences and, who knows, maybe even a new reality show. I think “Kourtney and Kim Take Tebow” sounds like a sure hit. Don’t be surprised to see hours of offseason practice footage of Tim
Tebow and the analysis of his throwing mechanics that is sure to follow. People will question his future with the Broncos and his potential as a quarterback in the NFL. Even people who don’t believe in his ability as an NFL quarterback will have to talk about him. They’ll simply pour on the compliments to his personality and work ethic. “He’s such a great kid.” “Nobody works harder than Tim Tebow.” “The kid is a winner.” Even Tebow’s own coach, John Fox, took part in this, refusing to comment on his raw skills, as the 31 other head coaches have done concerning their quarterbacks. Whether you like it or not, Tebowmania is here to stay and it’s going to be a long ride. If you need a
photo from internet source
break from it this offseason, I suggest watching college basketball, unless Florida is playing of course, or watching the NBA, unless the Denver Nuggets are playing. Maybe just put on some golf but don’t watch the ProAm at Pebble Beach in a few weeks because Tebow was invited to that too. On second thought, your best bet is to read a good long book, work on your penmanship or clean out that cluttered attic. Just stay away from the Internet and keep the TV turned off. You could explode from a Tebow-verdose when you see Tim Tebow’s golf swing examined in slow motion on ESPN. But why does he need a good swing? He’s such a great kid; he’ll find a way to win.
January 20, 2012
The Brandeis Hoot
Judges’ six-game winning streak ends By Brian Tabakin Editor
The Brandeis men’s basketball team saw its six-game winning streak come to an end with a blowout loss to the Emory University Eagles, currently ranked fourth in the nation, 95-58. With the loss the Judges fell to 8-6 (2-1 UAA) while the Eagles improved to 13-1 (2-1 UAA). The Eagles rode their red-hot shooting to a comfortable lead at the end of the first half. Emory shot 60 percent (21-of-35) from the field, 90
percent (9-of-10) from beyond the arc and 91 percent (10-of-11) from the free-throw line to take an insurmountable 61-34 lead at the break. Of the four Emory players who scored in double figures, all four of them had done so by halftime. Emory rookie forward Alex Foster shot a blistering 5-of-6 from the field, 3-of-3 from downtown and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe in the first half and was 7-of9 overall and 4-of-4 from beyond the arc for the game. Emory sophomore forward Alex Davis added 14 of his 19 points in the first half, hitting 4-of-
Track and field brief By Louis Berger Staff
The men’s and women’s track and field teams were in action this past Saturday at the Bowdoin 5 Way Meet. The women’s team finished fourth overall but saw some strong individual performances. Ali Kirsch ’14 finished second in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 3:08.22, with teammate Kristi Pisarik ’15 right behind her in third place with a time of 3:08:59. Erin Bisceglia ’12 finished fifth with a time of 3:11.07. Brandeis also had strong performances in two field events. Lily Parenteau ’12 had a leap of 5’ 2.25” in the high jump, just two inches short of first place. Kim
Farrington ’13 took second in the triple jump with a distance of 34’ 5.75”. The men’s team had several winners last Saturday and finished in fourth place overall. Vincent Asante ’14 won in the finals of the 60-meter race with a time of 7.15 seconds and finished second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.57 seconds, just a quarter of a second behind the winner. Jeff Maser ’15 earned his first collegiate victory in the high jump with a height of 6’ 4”. Chris Brown ’12 won the mile run with a time of 4:24.49, which is not his personal best but still ranks him 13th nationally. Both the men and women will be competing this Sunday at the GBTC Invitational in Allston, Mass.
10 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line. Davis also chipped in with a game-high eight rebounds. Emory junior forward Michael Friedberg and senior guard Austin Claunch each had 11 points in the first half and finished with 17 and 14 points respectively. Claunch also finished with game-highs of eight assists and three steals. The Eagles took advantage of 18 Brandeis turnovers, converting them into 27 points, while committing just six turnovers themselves. Guard Ben Bartoldus ’14, forward Alex Stoyle ’14 and forward Vytas Kriskus ’12 each led the Judges with 12 points. In 18 minutes of playing time off the bench, Stoyle recorded a career-high in scoring on 5-of8 shooting including 2-of-3 from downtown while his team-high seven rebounds tied a career-high. Bartoldus scored six points in each half while nine of Kriskus’ 12 points came in the first half. Just two days after shooting 61 percent in the second half in a win over Rochester, Brandeis was held to just 38.9 percent shooting (21of-54) in the game. The Judges were able to outrebound Emory, 34-30, and finished with five blocked shots to Emory’s one but it wasn’t enough to overcome Emory’s hot shooting. Earlier in the week in a tightly contested game that was much closer than the final score indicated, the Brandeis men’s basketball team defeated the visiting Rochester Yellowjackets 78-64. In the first 26 minutes of play, the game saw nine ties and seven lead
changes as Brandeis and Rochester traded blows. Brandeis trailed by one at halftime, 29-28, and quickly found themselves down three points as Rochester scored the first basket of the second half. After a number of empty possessions, Bartoldus tied the game at 31-31 with a three-pointer. After a defensive stop on the other end, Bartoldus scored again to give the Judges the lead. The two teams continued to trade baskets and a pair of free throws by Emory senior forward Nate Nosovel at the 14:21 mark of the second half gave Rochester their last lead of the game. On the next possession, Brandeis guard Jay Freeman ’13 put back a missed three-pointer, tying the game and igniting a 10-0 run. Kriskus grabbed the rebound on a Rochester miss on the next possession and then drained a jumper on the other end to give Brandeis the lead for good. The Judges scored their next six points directly off of steals from guard Tyrone Hughes ’12, Kriskus and forward Alex Schmidt ’14, pushing the lead to 45-37 with 11:27 left in the game. Rochester junior center Rob Reid converted a traditional three-point play on the next possession to cut the Brandeis lead to five points; however, the Judges responded with a 10-3 run to extend the lead to 12 at 55-43 with 8:24 left in the game. The Judges led by as many as 18 points in the second half as they shot 61.3 percent (19-of-31) while holding Rochester to 46.7 percent (14-of-30) and outrebounded the Yellowjackets
19-10. The Judges had three players in double figures for the game. Kriskus led the team with 15 points on 5-of12 shooting, including 1-of-4 from beyond the arc and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Kriskus also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, finishing two shy of his third double-double of the season. Bartoldus scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half where he shot 5-of-6 overall including 2-of3 from downtown after missing all three of his shots in the first half. Bartoldus also finished with two assists, two blocks and two steals. Brandeis will return to UAA action Friday when they travel to Washington University in St. Louis for a 9 p.m. matchup.
Men’s basketball Team
11 – 3
13 – 1
12 – 1
Box Scores Rochester
78 – 64
95 – 58
Jeffrey Maser named UAA athlete of the week By Brian Tabakin Editor
The University Athletic Association (UAA) selected Jeffrey Maser ’15 as the UAA’s men’s indoor track and field athlete of the week ending Jan. 16. Maser earned his first collegiate victory in the high jump at the Bowdoin 5 Way Meet this past Saturday with a height of 1.93 meters (6’ 4”). Maser’s height is the second-best in the UAA this season by 2.5 inches. He also currently ranks 22nd in the current NCAA Division III rankings. Maser is a 2011 graduate of the Morristown Beard School in Morristown, N.J. He is the son of Steven and Kara Maser. photo from internet source
A new way to share what you know
You’re invited! Join Brandeis News, The Hoot’s new campus liveblog. Members are invited to share what they know—campus news, events, links and quotes.
Try it today! http://brandeisnews.com
16 The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
Moveable feasts: the top 10 films of 2011 By Sean Fabery Editor
A confession: I love making lists. If there’s downtime in class, I’ll make chronological lists of the American presidents, British monarchs and novels of William Faulkner. My desk always features at least one to-do list, while my laptop houses lists of all the books and films I’ve seen since beginning college. Consequently, when I became an editor in January 2010, the first thing I did was draft a top 10 films list, copying the annual rite of passage staged by all my favorite film writers. There’s something so appealing about making sense of a given year in cinema, even if the very project of ranking art is silly—looking at my own list, how do you compare the raucous “Bridesmaids” to the meditative “The Tree of Life,” the thoroughly adult “Melancholia” to the kid-targeted “Tintin”? You can’t—but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. I approached the 2011 list with a bit of trepidation, as I felt fewer films than usual appealed to me. Yes, there were a number that I liked and respected, but few inspired love at first sight—nothing like the slick intelligence of David Fincher’s “The Social Network” or the gonzo psychodrama of Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.” In saying that, the respect I feel for the 10 films I’ve assembled has almost universally transformed into love, particularly in regard to my top pick, which I’ve watched several times since its release. Of course, there are films I wish I had room to include, and I’m sure that if I were to draft this list another day some new films would appear and others currently on the list would become also-rans. There are also the films I did not get a chance to see, ow-
top films Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” and Abbas Kiarostami “Certified Copy” rank as the top three movies of 2011.
ing to the nature of release schedules for more independent fare and the fact that—alas!—no one pays me to see movies. 1. “The Tree of Life” Director Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” is the rare film that’s both epic and intensely intimate, coupling the story of a family in 1950s Waco with scenes depicting the earth’s creation. The film thrives in this contrast between the emotional immensity of human experience and the physical largeness of the universe. “Where were you?” the family’s spiritual mother (a radiant Jessica Chastain) asks God after one of her sons dies, and the film
answers by presenting life, swathed in Malick’s painterly, evocative images, as one whole religious experience. 2. “Drive” In contrast to Malick, director Nicolas Winding Refn imbues his “Drive” with a stylized verve as he presents the story of a Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who moonlights as a getaway driver, a job that gets him into trouble when one heist goes awry. Our unnamed, psychotic hero’s main antagonist is a former producer of ’80s action flicks—“One critic called them European,” he says—and “Drive” proudly flaunts its genre influences, coupling omnipresent neon
lighting with a pulsing, synth-heavy soundtrack. 3. “Certified Copy” When Juliette Binoche offers to show William Shimell around a small Tuscan village in “Certified Copy,” their blatant singleness and the film’s sun-kissed lensing immediately suggest that this will be a conventional art-house romance. Thankfully, director Abbas Kiarostami subverts that expectation, as he’s more interested in exploring how all things in life and art are simply certified copies of something in the distant past. Though Binoche and Shimell’s characters have just met, they begin telling oth-
photos from internet source
ers they’ve been married for 15 years and quickly invent a backstory—hotels visited, hearts broken—that leaves you wondering which version of them is authentic and which is fake, and whether that even matters. 4. “Bridesmaids” The Judd Apatow School, as some have dubbed the recent wave of raunchy-funny-films-with-hearts-of-gold, has produced some funny films in the last six years. None has been as singular and hilarious as “Bridesmaids,” a fantastic exploration of a woman on See FILMS, page 19
Criss and Bridges ‘Succeed’ on Broadway By Yael Katzwer Editor
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”: Let’s face it, that’s the ideal Broadway show for a secondsemester senior to see. This break I saw the show with my mother at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City. Straight off the bat I want you to know that I loved it. For those of you unfamiliar with this musical, “How to Succeed in Business” is about a young man named J. Pierrepont Finch, called Ponty, who buys a book that is guaranteed to help him rise to the top of a company of his choosing. The audience gets to watch Ponty maneuver the corporate world of the ’60s through humor and really fun musical numbers as he deals with his somewhat eccentric boss, J.B. Biggley; falls in love with a secretary, Rosemary Pilkington; and vies for promotions with Bud Frump, the boss’ weasel-like nephew. Until recently, Daniel Radcliffe of “Harry Potter” fame was starring as Ponty. My mother and I did not realize that Radcliffe was no longer in the show, though it would not have altered our decision to see it; instead Darren Criss of “Glee” had just taken over from Radcliffe the day before. It was only Criss’ second performance as Ponty. Although I watch “Glee,” I am certainly not obsessed with it and was a bit unnerved by the giggling girls who were hugging Criss’ likeness on a poster outside the theater before
photo from internet source
dancing to success Broadway show “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” recently starred Darren Criss as J. Pierrepont
Finch and Beau Bridges as J.B. Biggley.
the show. Of course, it was really a nowin situation as, when Criss, who is scheduled to be with the show until this Sunday, leaves, Nick Jonas will take over the role. So, no matter what happened, I was going to see this show with screaming girls, whether they are part of Pottermania, Gleeks or teenyboppers. Nevertheless, Criss was fairly good. He was very charming as Ponty, de-
livering each joke with a sense of panache and embracing the adorable, bowtie-wearing character. Additionally, his dancing was impeccable. During the numbers “Grand Old Ivy” and “Brotherhood of Man” he was dancing back and forth across the stage with verve and accomplishing many somewhat acrobatic dance moves with aplomb. As it was only his second show, he flubbed a few lines but he al-
ways recovered well. The biggest problem was his voice; while he has a nice voice, it is not nearly strong enough for a Broadway theater. He was often overpowered by the chorus. To be entirely honest, when I saw who was going to be in the show, I was much more excited by who would be playing J.B. Biggley: Beau Bridges. That’s right. How cool is that? My mother and I joked that I was the
only girl there younger than 30 who was more excited about Beau Bridges than Darren Criss but, come on, it was freakin’ Beau Bridges. Bridges, who was also acting in only his second performance, was very good. While he is not a singer, the role of J.B. Biggley does not really require much singing. Also, as a man in his 70s, he was unable to dance as much; after “Grand Old Ivy,” I was a tad worried he was going to have a heart attack. His acting, however, more than made up for his limitations. Every line hit home and he truly personified J.B. Biggley. As someone who loves the 1967 movie, I was worried that I would have trouble accepting other people in the roles but I was not at all disappointed with Beau Bridges. In my mind, he is now J.B. Biggley, whereas Robert Morse, Ponty in the movie, will always be the corporate climber. The best performance in the show, however, was from Christopher J. Hanke who played Bud Frump, J.B. Biggley’s whiny and entitled nephew. Hanke has an amazing voice and was able to be both likable and irritating, which is key for Bud. While he could have played Bud as dramatically overthe-top, Hanke kept Bud cartoonish but at the same time believable. Bud was the “most” of everything—whether that was sanctimonious, supercilious, etc.—without being too much so. The second best performance came from Mary Faber, who played Smitty, See SUCCEED, page 19
January 20, 2012
The Brandeis Hoot
Another day, another picture By Sindhura Sonnathi Special to the Hoot
On Jan. 1, 2011, I took a photograph. From then on, I took a photo a day for the entirety of 2011. These photos didn’t have much in common. I didn’t adhere to any specific guidelines. As an aspiring photographer with a consistent college course load, I simply wanted to ensure that I’d set aside a bit of time to pursue photography and would not get buried in the deep, dark hole that academia can be. The 365 photos I took in 2011 range from artsy, well-thought-out conceptual photographs to goofy ones of my friends and family, to crappy ones of my textbooks during miserable lab days. There were a couple of self-portraits scattered in there on days when I decided to experiment with the self-timer. There were also lots (and lots) of photos of food. I posted each photo on my Facebook photography page, along with a brief blurb, quote or sometimes nothing at all; it became a daily routine. In these 365 days, there were many days when time and inspiration were plentiful. There were other days when the stress, frustration and exhaustion of both school and life, sometimes mixed in with a lack of time and energy, made it terribly difficult to focus on taking that one picture. The support and encouragement I received from friends, family and others, coupled with my own motivation, allowed me to power through it. And I’m so glad I did. I pushed myself; I stretched my mind more than I had thought possible. For example, on those cold, miserable winter nights when I couldn’t bring myself to step outside to take my photo of the day, I would have to find inspiration in
my dorm room or somewhere else on my hall. At first it was simple: There was always something that was somewhat interesting to incorporate into the photo. After a point though, there wasn’t. It was through this frustration that I began experimenting with my desk lamp and playing with light ultimately to capture some of my favorite, most interesting photos in the project. Additionally, I continuously experimented with Photoshop and learned how phenomenal of a tool it truly is. As cliched as this may all sound, I learned an incredible amount from this experience. By consistently taking these photos and learning new editing techniques, I developed a keener eye and became a better and more enthusiastic photographer. I also learned quite a bit about the world around me and life in general, and came to appreciate both more than I had ever before. I mean, there were days when my photos completely sucked. Like picture-of-random-crap-in-my-uninspiring-dorm-room-taken-at-11:59p.m. terrible. But when it comes down to it, that photo just represents that day. And in one year, there are good and bad days. I had a great year on the whole, but I can’t have expected all 365 pictures to be perfect. Now, amid my prior jumble of thoughts, I am getting to a point—a different point than I originally intended on making. On the first day of each year, my dad asks me what my New Year’s resolutions are. In my experiences, most of these resolutions I spew out don’t actually get accomplished. They are things that I want to happen but don’t ever really get around to doing. My 365 project was never a firm “resolution” for 2011; it was just kind of a thing I wanted to do. And it was the one thing that I
did. I rang in the new year with my best friends. After I posted my last photo of 2011, even though I was dead exhausted and it was entirely too late, I looked through all of my photos. I clicked through each one on my Facebook page and read my captions and re-remembered the big and little moments, essentially re-living the past year in 15 minutes. In those 365 days I experienced events to which many people can relate: the start of a new semester, really bad movies on Netflix, incredible professors, not so great professors, tragedy, reuniting with best friends from home, the Super Bowl, reuniting with best friends from school, questionable Sherman stir-fry, sibling rivalry, sibling love, cathartic summers, lovely and relaxing holiday seasons, losing touch with old friends, delicious home food, frustrating papers, long nights studying and liberating weekends. Happiness, sadness, joy, guilt, anger, fear, contentment and just about every adjective in front of, at the end of and in between these ones. My camera became a part of me this year, which sounds completely dramatic, but is true. Through my 365 project, I gained invaluable knowledge and insight into my year and my world. And along the way I figured out that the year (like life) (and like my 365 project) (and like this article) has a way of not going how you originally anticipated it to go. My project started with a camera, some interest and a bunch of ideas. I never thought it could and would make my year so memorable, meaningful and fulfilling. Seeing as I’m no motivational speaker or life coach, I think it’s best that I stop at that.
photos by sindhura sonnathi
365 days of photos Samplings of Sindhura Sonnathi’s 365 project. Clockwise from top: Day 214, Day 79, Day 112, Day 264 and Day 52.
ARTS, ETC. 17
18 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
‘War Horse’ brings little-told story to screen By Dana Trismen Staff
Steven Spielberg’s new epic film “War Horse” is about a boy and his horse whose bond cannot be broken by World War I. In this film, a horse named Joey and his original owner, Albert, hope to be reunited despite the slim chance that either of them will survive. “War Horse” was originally a children’s novel written in 1982 by Michael Morpurgo and is told in Joey’s point of view as he narrates his travels from fighting in the British cavalry to pulling heavy machinery for the Germans. “War Horse” was later adapted into a play in 2007, a remarkable feat within itself since Joey is depicted as a life-size puppet horse. Spielberg, who has directed eight films set around the time of World War II, read the “War Horse” script and reportedly became invested in not only the story but also World War I itself. From the farms of Britain to the battlefields, from rolling hills to grisly battle wounds, each camera angle places the audience in the present. In one particular scene early in the movie, Albert desperately tries to get Joey, who is not a plow horse, to plow an entire field himself in order to save the farm. The camera zooms out to include the rolling countryside and you feel yourself standing nearby, cheering Joey on. From the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the D-Day invasion in “Saving Private Ryan,” World War II has been frequently covered by movies. There is much less coverage in cinema of World War I, and consequently there’s much to be learned here. For one, I never knew cavalry was used in World War I, and, as the movie indicates, it was not done very successfully—most of the horses got gunned
photo from internet source
a boy and his horse Albert ( Jeremy Irvine) gazes longingly into Joey’s eyes in ‘War Horse.’
down. “War Horse” illustrates the grittiness of trench warfare and the perils of the poisoned gas that was thrown in the trenches. Historically, “War Horse” proves interesting since it presents what is almost America’s forgotten war—a war in which success crept along in inches, with few gains in ground made while millions of lives were lost. Spielberg also deserves credit for making Joey interesting to watch and investing viewers in his outcome. While not told from Joey’s point of view like in the novel, it is impossible
to watch “War Horse” and not care about Joey’s survival. The camera focuses constantly on Joey, and it helps that he was played by very expressive horses. Watching Joey onscreen when he is in distress is disheartening. In a terrifying scene, Joey tries to escape from pulling machinery by running through trenches and into No Man’s Land. Panting furiously, he becomes tangled up in barbed wire until he is unable to move. The scene takes a tremendously long minute: Spielberg makes the audience care enough about Joey that we watch with deep
anxiety as he endures that much pain. During filming, 14 different horses were used to play Joey. Representatives from the American Humane Society were on the set at all times, and they gave “War Horse” an outstanding rating for the treatment of the animals. Some of the main actors even underwent two months of horse training. While some movies have taken to phasing out the use of live animals in order to avoid dealing with the American Humane Society (such as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), movies like “War Horse” would be
cheapened by computer animation. The fact that Joey is played by a live horse (except in perilous scenes such as the barbed wire one) is integral to the honesty of the film. Despite all the non-animal lovers out there, “War Horse” deserves whatever Oscar acclaim it might eventually win. Though some parts of the film are not worthy of praise (the ending was particularly cliche), the movie immerses the audience in the setting while making them actually care about the characters, both equine and not.
‘We Bought a Zoo’ inspires laughter, tears By Alex Patch Staff
“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Benjamin Mee lives by this saying in director Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo,” based on Mee’s memoir. From the preview alone, I expected a somewhat slow-moving girl-meetsboy romance. (I also wanted to make fun of the title until I found out that this is also the title of the memoir.) It was definitely not what I expected, however, and it far exceeded my expectations. It was a sad tale of love lost, of a man bringing up two children alone without knowing how and of great adventure. While I knew it would be a dramatic movie, I was caught off guard by the number of humorous lines in the film. The comedy found within the drama was surprising, but it made me love the movie even more. I found myself genuinely laughing multiple times, as the actors authentically portrayed the dynamic characters that so beautifully and often comically interacted. I have always been a Matt Damon fan, and my love for him only increased throughout the film. He plays Benjamin Mee, a man who is simultaneously witty, romantic, and emotional. He’s always looking for adventure, which he finds by being swarmed by bees, flying into an erupting volcano and—in what he
photo from internet source
eye of the tiger Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) decides the fate of a sick tiger..
considers his biggest adventure—by owning a zoo. Throughout the film, we experience his heartbreak over his late wife and witness as he tries to move past her death while still holding onto her memory. Occasional flashbacks to his family when his wife was still alive makes the audience feel for him even more. Benjamin knows, however, that he has to move on at some point. Scarlett Johannson plays Benjamin’s new romantic interest, Kelly, though she is not in her usual glamorous role; here she is a zookeeper. I did not love her character, as I found her to be annoy-
ing whenever she shot him flirty yet innocent looks. Still, I liked that in contrast to other semi-romance movies, they did not definitively end up together in the end. There is a sweet kiss followed by her saying maybe they can do it again on New Year’s. Though I knew Damon and Johansson were the main actors in the film, there are various other well-known actors who appeared. One was Elle Fanning, Dakota Fanning’s younger sister. I had never seen her act before, and I thought she did pretty well. She plays Lily, an energetic, love-struck tween, as well as Kelly’s cousin. When
I saw Fanning’s interview on “Ellen,” however, I realized she was exactly like her bubbly character in real life, so my thoughts on her acting abilities have dwindled some. Despite this, I found Lily’s young romance with Dylan (Colin Ford), Benjamin’s rebellious son, to be sweet. Though she definitely has a crush on Dylan, we come to see that they have more of a deep friend love, rather than a romantic one. I liked this, as it seems more real to me than two 13 year olds falling in love. Benjamin has another child, Rosie, played by seven-year-old Maggie Eliz-
abeth Jones. Rosie keeps her father in check, and tells him that he will be OK when he needs to hear it. She also adds cute comments throughout the film that only added to my laughter; she is adorable! Benjamin’s brother, Duncan (Thomas Haden Church), also tries to help him, but his advice is not as wellreceived as cute little Rosie’s. Unlike Benjamin, Duncan is a pessimistic realist and added much laughter to the movie. From the beginning, his negativity toward Benjamin’s endeavors comes across humorously, as he grunts and moans about his brother’s decisions. The fact that Benjamin never listens to him only increases the hilarity, as he continues to go on one adventure after another. In the end, Duncan supports him, and of course this can only be portrayed through a comic visual gag: He brings the zoo a trunk full of huge, smelly fish to be used as bear food. The combination of characters really makes the movie as touching as it is. Together these people are quirky, awkward, anxious and loving. Even Benjamin’s wife plays a part, as he tells his children the story of how they met. She’s also responsible for teaching him the motto by which he lives: Why not? These are the two words she says after he first introduces himself to her, as he wonders aloud why such a beautiful woman like her would talk to a guy like him. This final flashback only added to the tears building in my eyes, and completed the touching movie in a fitting way. I definitely recommend that you not judge the film by its title and the somewhat boring previews. Go see it!
January 20, 2012
ARTS, ETC. 19
The Brandeis Hoot
2011 in video games: the best of a decent year By Gordy Stillman Editor
2011 presented a dearth of great new video games, despite the many new editions of established franchises. Nonetheless, below are my top 10 favorites from last year. “Dragon Age II”: The second game in the highly successful “Dragon Age” franchise sold a million copies within two weeks of its launch. While the game is generally considered worse than “Dragon Age: Origins,” the game it follows, it still tells a compelling story about a refugee who rises to become a leader in his city. “Portal II”: “Portal” was a surprise hit that was packaged in a bundle with two other games. It was a game filled with puzzles that a player solved through the use of a gun that creates portals to move from point A to point B while also using an amateur knowledge of momentum and other elements of physics. “Portal II” is similar, but bigger and better. The game is noticeably longer, features voice-acting from well known actors such as J.K. Simmons, and adds new features such as gels that can either allow the protagonist to run faster, jump higher or place portals on surfaces that normally wouldn’t work. “Pokemon Black and White”: While the fad element of the “Pokemon” phenomenon has come and gone, the games are still popular. It’s easy to say that the games are made better in each successive generation. The current generation’s pair of games is also recognized as the 15th game ever to get a perfect score of 40 (scores of 10 from four separate panel judges) in Famitsu, a well-regarded Japanese video game magazine. “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”: Skyrim is another game that got a perfect score from Famitsu, but part of what
top video games Bioware’s “Dragon Age II,” “Star Wars: The Old Republic” and Valve Corporation’s “Portal 2” are among the top 10 videogames of 2011.
makes Skyrim notable is that it is the first game made by an American developer (Bethesda Softworks) to get a perfect score. “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary”: The game isn’t exactly new, other than the few changes from the original release 10 years ago. But, even with only a few new features, it’s one of the best games of the year with an engaging campaign and new maps for online multi-player. “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D”: Another re-release, “Ocarina of Time” has proven to be a gold standard in video games. While earlier re-releases began to feel dated, this latest edition featured a graphical update that allowed it to look like a 2011 video game. After playing through it, it luckily didn’t feel like an old game
with annoyingly difficult controls as compared to more modern controls. It fit in well among more modern games. “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword”: Yes, another “Zelda” game. This time it’s a new game and this time it’s on a console and not a handheld. Spoiler alert: “Skyward Sword” has a great story that tells the origin of the “Master Sword,” the weapon used by most of the heroes in the series. It even establishes how Link, Zelda and their eternal enemy, usually known as Ganon or Ganondorf, manage to keep being reborn throughout time. The only complaint I can raise is that the game requires the use of motion controls. While the motion controls are an interesting and somewhat fun option, it’s the one problem with the
game that keeps it from being perfect. “Super Mario 3D Land”: Mario is back and better than he’s been in a long time on a portable system. While the “Super Mario Galaxy” games were great on the Wii, it had been a while since Nintendo truly reinvented the wheel that they built an empire with but that’s exactly what they accomplished with “Super Mario 3D Land.” It’s a near perfect hybrid of the linear level maps that the handheld games are known for combined with 3D environments that allow Mario not only to walk left and right, but also into the foreground and background. “Star Wars: The Old Republic”: I generally avoid computer games and it can be chalked up to personal bias. That being said, “The Old Republic” has not been short of hype since its
Ranking the best films of 2011
photos from internet source
first trailer, in which an army of Sith lay waste to the Jedi temple as well as the capital city of Coruscant. Now that it’s finally out, the biggest complaint around the net is the long wait times to access the servers. This only adds to the strength of the game that the most notable issue is that its more popular than expected. “MineCraft”: One of the biggest reasons that “Minecraft” makes the list is because it is a great game that is in no way connected to an already established series or franchise. “Minecraft” has been around for a couple of years now in alpha and beta releases but in November the full version was released with very favorable reviews. The game is basically a giant sandbox where you are limited only by your creativity.
‘Succeed’ a success SUCCEED, from page 16
photo from internet source
bridesmaids Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Helen (Rose Byrne) embarrass themselves during a toasting duel.
FILMS, from page 16
the edge, with poop thrown in for good measure. The scene in which bridesmaid Annie (Kristen Wiig) engages in a toasting duel with fellow bridesmaid Helen (Rose Byrne) at an engagement party remains one of the most uncomfortable scenes committed to film in recent memory. 5. “Meek’s Cutoff ” Director Kelly Reichardt explores the limits of human physical and mental endurance in her latest film, an Oregon Trail story which features sparse dialogue and even more sparsely vegetated vistas. Michelle Williams stars as a frontier wife who ultimately takes command of a wagon
train lost in the Oregon scrub desert and decides to place her faith in a captured Native American who may want them dead. 6. “Midnight in Paris” Woody Allen’s latest feature brings 1920s Paris to full, vibrant life— Hemingway, Dali and the Fitzgeralds all put in appearances. Despite Allen’s clear reverence for the period, the film never falls victim to the uncritical nostalgia that plagues its characters. 7. “Beginners” Director Mike Mills meditates on love in his sophomore feature, which finds Ewan McGregor playing a man coming to grips both with his own inability to commit and his 75-yearold father’s coming out of the closet. Though the film features a dog who
communicates via subtitles, it never succumbs to emotional shallowness or preciousness. 8. “Melancholia” Of today’s filmmakers, only Danish provocateur Lars Von Trier could have gotten away with staging a filmic apocalypse as a metaphor for his own battle with crippling depression. Kirsten Dunst gives a defining performance as a bride consumed by her personal and societal demons yet perfectly content with the imminent destruction of Earth. 9. “The Adventures of Tintin” Steven Spielberg’s last film, the fourth installment in the “Indiana Jones” series, proved to be the opposite of a good adventure film, which is usually plodding, cheesy and often nonsensical. Luckily, his adaptation
of the Belgian artist Herge’s Tintin series is quite the opposite, providing a sense of real wonder and discovery missing from too many films. Roving boy reporter Tintin and his canine sidekick Snowy are worthy successors to Indy in the Spielberg canon. 10. “Moneyball” Despite its focus on sports and statistics, director Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball” proves addictive viewing even for those unaccustomed to dealing in either subject. Brad Pitt, who also wowed in “The Tree of Life,” stars as a former baseball player trying to prove his worth as the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, and he’s aided in that quest by Miller’s unfussy direction and a crackling script by Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian.
one of the secretaries at the company. She was perfect. Her dancing was spot-on and her acting was enjoyable. Keeping with the acting of her Smitty forebears, Faber used a slightly highpitched, nasal voice, which really rounds out the character. She sang “Been a Long Day,” one of the shows catchiest tunes, adroitly, making me wish the song had been longer. Also, as a point of interest, Mary Faber is a Brandeis graduate and earned her B.A. here in 2001. Even though Sunday is Criss’ last performance, I highly recommend seeing the show, for which discounted tickets can be bought at TKTS. Bridges will still be in it, as well as the rest of the cast. Also, Jonas may even add to the show. My one complaint about Criss was that his voice was not strong enough, but Jonas has played concerts and knows how to project. Perhaps Jonas will improve on Criss’ performance. Most importantly though: This show is a classic. It is fun and it is impossible to walk out of the theater not humming the show-stopping number “Brotherhood of Man.” But, if Broadway is not your thing, I highly recommend the movie. As good as I heard Radcliffe was, as good as Criss was and as good as Jonas may be, no one will ever be as adorable as Robert Morse when he sings “I Believe in You.”
20 The Brandeis Hoot
January 20, 2012
Brandeis commemorates Dr. King ‘My advice to you: Do something for love. You will not only change yourself, you will change the world.’ - The Rev. Liz Walker By Alana Blum Editor
Memories of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision were palpable throughout the Brandeis community on Monday, as students and local residents participated in community service projects and listened to inspiring words. After almost five decades since Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, the Brandeis community joined together to assure that his dream has not been forgotten. This year’s Dr. King celebration, themed “Occupying the Dream,” focused on both remembering and preserving the dream. During a conversation about the Occupy movement, Associate Dean of Student Life Jamele Adams and Protestant Chaplain Alex Kern realized that “Occupying the Dream” would be a relevant theme for this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. “It was just almost instantaneous— that it came to make perfect sense— considering the Occupy movement is taking place and in many ways it seems that it can be reminiscent of a modern-day version of the sit-ins,” Adams said. The celebration began with the “Day of Interfaith Service,” as part of President Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. This event was sponsored by Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, an interfaith action network founded during Boston’s participation in the civil rights movement. Other sponsors included the Brandeis University
Chaplaincy, student groups, and local congregations and community organizations. The daytime activities included community service projects both offcampus and on-campus. Members of the community were invited to create care packages at Cradles to Crayons, to serve food to the homeless at Community Day Center of Waltham or to participate in other local projects. Meanwhile, children younger than 12 created prayer flags for Haitian orphans and homeless children in Massachusetts. Participants who stayed on campus were also invited to attend a variety of workshops, including a learning workshop on Dr. King’s teachings on militarism, materialism and racism. Each of these daytime events was specifically engineered to channel Dr. King’s vision into a concrete reality in the community. The Dr. King Day celebration concluded with Brandeis’s Seventh Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which was founded by Jamele Adams the year he arrived at Brandeis. Prior to Adams’ arrival, the previous associate dean of Undergraduate Affairs, Michele Rosenthal, would gather students in a recitation of the “I have a dream speech.” Wishing to continue the tradition, Adams began a memorial service that has since grown in its varieties of events and participants. Because Brandeis is an institution that focuses heavily on social change, this type of memorial is indeed a fitting event to include in the university’s celebration of Dr. King’s contributions. “We continue this energy that sur-
mlk’s legacy at brandeis Dr. King meets with students in 1957.
rounds social justice by memorializing someone who was basically the poster child for social justice and being a social change agent,” Adams said. David Wheaton ’15 played slow jazz on his saxophone as the audience shuffled into Levin Ballroom for the memorial service. The event then began with a pseudo-conversation be-
‘growing with gratitude’ Brandeis students write thank-you cards for a local nursing home during the “Day of Interfaith Service.”
photos courtesy of amanda dryer
tween Mahatmas Gandhi, played by Usman Hameedi ’12, and Dr. King, played by Jamele Adams. “Both Usman and Dean Adams … are synced by far more than just growing up in the Big Apple. They are linked by a commitment to spread social justice through poetry. With that said, I was not surprised to see that these talented poets took the stage to create a present-day dialogue between Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.] and Mohandas Gandhi,” said MLK and Friends member and slam poet Amanda Dryer ’13. A variety of poets, singers and other performers proceeded to remind the audience to perpetuate Dr. King’s dream. The keynote speaker Reverend Liz Walker, an award-winning television journalist, stressed the importance of taking risks in service of unconditional love of humanity. She told a story that began in 2001, when she had visited South Sudan with Gloria White-Hammond. Outraged by the scene of suffering, they decided to videotape the story. Rev. Walker’s request for a crew was refused even though she was hoping to expose terrorism in Sudan. After the devastation of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. citizens re-identified those suffering from terrorism as the “other” an themselves as the devastated “us.” Rev. Walker knew something had to be done as she found herself remembering a certain Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who had come to speak in Little Rock, Ark., when Rev. Walker was only six years old. Dr. King had talked about the importance of love as he made a choice between receding back into his comfort zone or taking the ultimate risk. Like Dr. King, Rev. Walker decided that it was also time to take a risk for love and she proceeded to build a school for girls in South Sudan. “My advice to you: Do something for love. You will not only change yourself, you will change the world,” Rev. Walker instructed the audience. The memorial service was filled with several standing ovations, cheering and clapping as the audi-
photo from lts archives
ence internalized the words of each performer. “The greatest feeling that comes from this event is the energy that is emitted from the emotionality of the audience. Every time this event has taken place there’s an emotional journey that the audience takes, and that journey is always unique, it’s always different, it’s always appreciated,” Adams said. Brandeis’ celebration of Dr. King does not end with the yearly celebration of his life and inspiration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Rather, Brandeis’ MLK and Friends Club helps to ensure that Dr. King’s vision stays alive throughout the entire year. MLK and Friends Club was founded in 2003 by MLK Scholars. During Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the club ran a letter-writing campaign titled “Growing Together in Gratitude.” In this particular community service project, participants were able to send letters to senior citizens and thank them for setting the foundation for social change. MLK and Friends also usually hosts an event each April commemorating the assassination of Dr. King on April 4, 1968. In past years, MLK and Friends Club hosted art galleries that chronicled Dr. King’s life and accomplishments. They have also held panels and dinners in order to bring the community together to discuss Dr. King’s legacy. “In a lot of ways MLK and Friends is the legacy of the MLK scholars’ who founded the club, and I, as an MLK scholar, am happy to continue a mission that stresses community and cohesion. In this way we—not only the MLK scholars—but all of our members, collectively, are constantly working to honor Dr. King’s memory and make the community in which we live a better, more conscious place,” said MLK and Friends Club co-president Rasheik Trammell ’13. Dr. King visited Brandeis on two occasions during the civil rights movement. His contribution to social justice and non-violent social change—which are both major themes at Brandeis—continues today.