Page 1

Volume 9 Number 19

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.

September 21, 2012

New café opens in Farber library By Connor Novy Editor

After months of construction over the summer, Java City has opened a new location in the Farber wing of Brandeis’ library. The plans existed since April, with an initial hope that it would open by the start of the fall semester. More recent estimates gave mid-September. The official opening is not until Oct. 2, but the café began serving this Wednesday. “We have had generally great response,” said Library and Technology Services chief information officer John Unsworth. In a previous interview with The Hoot, he said that the Farber location was chosen because it has traditionally been a louder area of the library, and would not disturb studying students both during construction and after it opens. He hopes that the space will be used as a common meeting area for students and faculty; where groups can meet to discuss both classwork and extraacademics and make use of the space in a collaborative way. Other renovations are in the works to make the library a more inclusive part of campus life, including initial plans to install docking screens for laptops, where students can display

work in a more efficient way to large groups. The Farber café was paid for largely by Java City, which funded the renovations and will take the profits from the sales. It provides much of the same fare as other locations on campus, including sandwiches and fruit cups from the P.O.D. store and the same roast varieties as Sherman and other locations on campus. Java City has provided a wider variety of speciality coffee options than in their other campus locations. The Farber café boasts an espresso machine and the capability to serve flavored lattes and blended drinks. “I think the cafe is very legit. In fact, I think it’s nicer than Einstein’s, which often feels cramped and cluttered,” says Isaac Rabbani ’14. “And it has a better selection too—like smoothies, for one thing and “javalanches,” whatever those are.” Associate Vice President of Communications Bill Burger assures that the wide floor space in front of the café will soon be filled with comfortable sofas and chairs. Unsworth hopes that the rest of the furniture will arrive in time for the official opening on Oct. 2. He is also in See CAFE, page 4

today show Students hold signs on the Great Lawn during lunch hour Thursday as part of contest for

’Deis a finalist in Today Show contest By Dori Cohen

Special to the Hoot

and Connor Novy Editor

Brandeis has been chosen as one of six finalists to have the fourth hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, hosted live from campus. The winning campus gets a

History professor instrumental in battlefield protection bill By Nathan Murphy Needle Staff

U.S. Representative Rush Holt (DNJ) announced last week the passage of the Battlefield Protection Bill in the House, a large victory for historians committed to the preservation of national historical sites, including Brandeis’ own Professor David Hackett Fischer (HIST).

Fischer delivered crucial testimony before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands last January, during which he illustrated the vital importance for allocations of funds to protect battlefields in the coming years. The bill gives matching grants to Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War battlegrounds, including many in the Greater Boston area.

The bill is a bipartisan effort to give matching grants to noted sites of all three wars, many of which are facing or have already faced destruction. It is an expansion on a previous program enacted in 1999, the American Battlefield Protection Program, which supports private efforts to support Civil War battlefields. See FISCHER, page 3

No. 12 Men’s soccer beats Babson 2-1 in double-OT

men’s soccer With a home win over Babson on Wednesday evening, the Judges’ record is now

photo by morgan dashko/the hoot

8-0 for the season

Inside this issue:

City: Thief nabs test booklet News: Brandeis drops to no. 33 in rankings Features: Alum’s art is showcased worldwide Sports: Hood and Einhorn break records Impressions: After an apology, let go Arts, Etc.: Baan Thai satisfies students

Page 2 Page 5 Page 7 Page 8 Page 13 Page 18

photo by sindhura sonnathi/the hoot

Brandeis to host the fourth hour of the Today Show in October.

chance to increase its publicity on live television. On Thursday, a Today Show camera crew filmed a rally on the Great Lawn, where students showed their Brandeis pride by making posters and wearing Brandeis sweatshirts. The campus store took 20 percent off all apparel for the event, and postermaking supplies were available in the

SCC. The contest closes voting, Friday at 3 p.m. Other finalists competing against Brandeis include Creighton University, Ohio State University, University of South Florida, Syracuse University and the University of Tennessee. Colleges vied for victory by tweetSee TODAY SHOW, page 3

Union error forces re-vote for several positions By Connor Novy Editor

Thursday’s election ended with new officials in a number of positions, but more notably a number was left unfilled due to errors in the voting process. First-year students were unable to vote and recent alumni had not been removed from the polling process and were still able to cast ballots. According to Student Union President Todd Kirkland ’13, no upperclassmen were affected by the glitch. When he looked at the polling software, officials discovered that the incorrect security group was chosen. Last semester’s student body was sent the voting announcement email, which included recent graduates, leaving out the first-year class, who were not on campus last semester. Elections will be re-held this Friday for Eco-Rep, Brandeis Sustainability Fund and the Judiciary. Ridgewood Senator ended in a tie, after results were manually analyzed and the position will be held to a re-vote as well. The elections ended midnight Thursday with a usual low voterturnout for Brandeis. Approximately 11 percent of the student body cast votes, but 50 first-years

reported that they were unable to vote and the results may have been skewed. Student body president Todd Kirkland commented on the low voter-turnout, which has been consistently below the majority for the last few years. “If students don’t feel like it’s important to them, they aren’t going to take the time out of their day to go and vote. Now, why exactly students feel that way, I don’t know,” Kirkland said. No seat has been filled for the East Quad Senator position due to the lack of interest in the position. The positions elected included Alexander Burger as North Quad Senator, Jonathan Jacob as Massell Quad Senator, Biana Gotlibovsky as Rosenthal Quad Senator, Shukai Zheng as Castle Quad Senator, Ha Raum Cho as Village Quad Senator, Daniel Schwab as Charles River/567 Quad Senator, Daniel Marks as Ziv Quad Senator, Nicholas Polanco as Mods Quad Senator, Dean Kaplan as Off Campus Senator, Andrew Chang and Jianqiang Yao (the latter of whom won by default as runner-up without meeting the quota for majority vote) as Class of 2016 Senator, and Dennis Hermida-Gonzalez as Transitional Year Program (TYP) Senator.

Murders revisited

Dor Guez opening

Editorials: Page 12

Arts, Etc.: Page 16

One year later, why do police still not have an answer to a Waltham triple homicide?

The Rose Art Museum reopens with exhibit featuring Palestinian Christian family.


2 The Brandeis Hoot

Bentley student involved in believed hitand-run A Bentley student was struck by a car Saturday night in what police believe to be a hit-andrun. The driver is still unknown, but Waltham police are searching for a black Ford Mustang. The student, 18, is recovering from serious wounds to the head and shoulder.

source: cbs boston

Man arraigned for local robberies

Commuter rail to repair lines

Brown, Warren debate after dueling polls

Price of rent jumps across county

A man has been charged with several Waltham home breakins after police suspected him of dealing in stolen goods from multiple addresses. Craig Cromartie, 44, of Dorchester was arraigned Wednesday on 10 counts of receiving stolen property. Cromartie, who has a history of breaking-and-entering, will next appear in court Nov. 1.

The MBTA will repair a portion of the commuter rail servicing Waltham from Oct. 5 to Oct. 7, the Waltham Police Department announced Wednesday. Train tracks between Prospect and South streets are to be repaired but commuter rail service—in addition to the bus lines—will operate as normal, with special parking permitted and a police officer on duty during the work.

A new Boston Herald poll gave incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown a five-point lead against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren Thursday, coinciding with the day of their first Senate debate. Warren had received a string of polls, showing her lead since her primetime speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month.

Rents in West Boston suburbs like Waltham have greatly increased as compared with prior years, according to a real estate brokerage firm, Estates in Middlesex County are up 9.6 percent from August 2011. The median rent in Waltham was valued at $2,230.

source: waltham patch

source: wicked local

BC celebrates 150 years By Gordy Stillman Editor

Last Saturday Boston College alumni, faculty and students filled Fenway Park in Boston for a Catholic Mass to celebrate the school’s sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary. Boston College, one of the countries more well-known Jesuit schools, was founded in 1863 after many years of being denied a formal charter by the then anti-Catholic legislature. Commenting at the Mass, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley discussed the role of Boston College in the history and growth of Boston and the “Catholic Emancipation” that Boston College was a part of; referring to the strongly anti-Catholic sentiment many Irish immigrants faced when they came to Boston a hundred and fifty years ago.

September 21, 2012

Among the 20,000 people to attend the Fenway event was U.S. Representative Edward Markey, a graduate of BC as well as Boston College Law School. Regarding the event, Markey noted “It was perfect … All of the Jesuits who built BC are smiling down on this perfect day at Fenway,” according to The Boston Globe. When asked about how the school has changed since he graduated, Markey said, “now the facilities match the quality [education] they’ve always provided.” Many of the people who attended the event had multi-generational connections to the school. Bernie O’Kane, a 1970 graduate whose great-uncle graduated in 1909 and BC’s director of employee development. Speaking about the growth since his great-uncle graduated, O’Kane remarked that at the 300th anniversary “it’s going to be even better. The place’ll be filled,”

The Globe reported. In the years since founding, BC has grown from a class of 22 students to over 14,600. While Brandeis’ history is far briefer than Boston College’s, with only a little over a half a century rather than a century and a half, there is common ground for the founding. Brandeis is situated on the former campus of Middlesex University, a school that was known for being one of the few medical schools in the country that did not impose a quota on Jewish students. The founding of Brandeis, and its history, is tied to the fight for religious and ethnic equality, first in the initial founding of a Jewish, non-sectarian university and then in the 1960s civil rights protests. Brandeis, in a little over 60 years of history, has grown from an initial class of 107 students to a current student population of 5,057.

source: waltham patch

source: boston globe

MCAS test 10th grade scores record high By Gordy Stillman Editor

Last Monday, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that 10th grade standardized test scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exams were the highest in the history of the test. Eighty eight percent of Massachusetts 10th graders scored proficient or better in English Language Arts (ELA), and 78 percent scored proficient or better in mathematics, according to a press release from the Department of Education. Compared to scores from 1998, the first year the MCAS was used, this year’s data is extremely significant. In the first year of the test, only 38 percent of students were considered proficient in ELA and 24 percent reached the benchmark in math. An additional 40,000 students in grade 10 are scoring proficient or better since the first test. The improved performance sheds light on the progress of initiatives meant to eliminate the achievement gap between white and minority students. Both African American and Hispanic/Latino students scored noticeably higher since testing in 2008. Since the passing of the Achievement Gap Act in 2010, schools have had additional resources available to help close the historic gap. Along with the achievement gap legislations, initiatives like Race to the Top and the Gateway Cities Education Agenda, schools have made strides in both

working to close the gap and improve scores overall. Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, said in the press release that “students and educators across the Commonwealth are rising to the challenge of the high standards and expectations we set for them.” Looking at the longevity of the scores and improvements since the inception of the test “validates the state’s significant investment in public education and its effort to prepare all students for success after high school.” Improvements were not limited to the 10th grade. All years saw improvement since last year in nine of 17 tests, and in 14 of 17 compared to five years ago. Fourth graders saw improvement by four percent in both ELA and math compared to a year ago. Among the three grades tested in Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) each realized improved scores compared to last year. With all of this improvement seen in the difference of a year, there were still a few points of regression. Third grade math and fifth grade ELA saw a drop of five and six percent respectively, both reaching 61 percent. Despite these drops from a year ago, the overall progress makes these slips little cause for concern, officials believe. Since last year, five tests saw improvement across the board among every student subgroup (African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, white, students with disabilities, English language learners and low income students).

photo from internet source

SAT booklet conned from Waltham High By Rachel Hirschhaut Editor

Waltham High School students and faculty are left struggling to figure out how a school security breach led to the theft of an SAT test booklet,” according to the Waltham News Tribune. At a Waltham citywide school board and PTO meeting on September 12, Waltham Public Schools Superintendent Susan Nicholson announced that a man broke into the high school in May and stole the SAT test booklet that was to be used for

the June 2 test date. According to the sign-in sheet at the front of the school, the man entered at 2:30 PM on May 31 and went directly to the guidance counselors’ office. There he posed as an employee of Educational Testing Service (ETS), the company that makes the SAT tests, showed his ID to an administrator who photocopied it, and asked to check something inside the safe, eventually leaving with the test booklet. The man was seen at Waltham High School the night before the theft, as well. The Waltham police believe that

he was testing security and possible ways to breach the school’s security systems. “No one noticed that he was able to hide [the test booklet] on his person. He did leave the guidance office, as far as we could tell, with one copy of the test booklet.” Nicholson told The Tribune. The incident was immediately reported to Waltham police, who, upon investigation, discovered that the man was carrying a fake license and phone number. Though the police would not release his identity, he was identified by school administrators, and they

believe that it is the same man who was responsible for a similar theft in Newton three years ago. Nicholson said that the school is learning from the event and school security will be tighter and significantly “more vigilant” in the future. Front desk staff will check the identification of unrecognized visitors, and they will be required to give the office their reason for visiting. In other cases, stolen SAT test books have been replaced immediately to prevent possible cheating. The June 2 exam, however, went on as planned, using the same test booklet. photo from internet source

September 21, 2012


The Brandeis Hoot

Hackett Fischer key in advocacy for Univ showcases spirit Battlefield Protection Act TODAY SHOW, from page 1

FISCHER, from page 1

“The bill would reauthorize the ABPP and create an identical program to preserve battlefields from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812,” Holt said in a press release. The ABPP has seen great success in the last decade. “Since 1999, the program has helped to save more than 16,500 acres of historical sites in 14 states,” Holt said. The numbers are staggering for earlier battle sites that are in danger. Statistics released by Holt’s office indicate that out of 825 significant places pertinent to both wars, more than half are in poor condition or may be destroyed in the next ten years, and more than 100 have already been lost. Many sites in the immediate Boston area are on this list. “The rate of loss is accelerating,” Fischer said. “Sites now presently endangered include some of the most important events in the history of the American Revolution. Among them are sites of fighting on the day of the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, the fighting around New York at Pell’s Point and other places in 1776, the Delaware crossing on Christmas night in 1776 … and many more. These were not minor or marginal

events. They were the major campaigns.” Some of these sites are within mere miles of Brandeis, including the Battle Road in Lexington, which is fifteen minutes south, and several landmarks along the Freedom Trail in Boston. The call for preservation of historical sites extends far beyond the conservation of national landmarks, maintaining the idea that greater historical knowledge can increase awareness about current events. “Surveys show that people who don’t know much about history also know little of current events,” Fischer said. “They are less apt to vote, or to have a sense of civic engagement … the question is how to reach these

people, and to encourage an interest in history. One way is to engage in thinking about history on the ground.” In the coming months, a companion bill will be introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer in the Senate. If it passes, millions of dollars will be allocated to the safekeeping of sites that are important to the nation’s founding and possibly paid for by federally funded public campaigns, such as the minting of commemorative coins. “With every year that goes by, this legislation grows more urgent,” Fischer said. “Some of these sites are now at risk, but might be preserved and protected at least in part if we can act decisively.”

ing their pride. In less than 140 characters, students, faculty, staff and alumni were required to include the college name and the hashtag #klgandhodau, with an explanation as to why their college is superior. For the Brandeis community, this sweepstakes is a welcomed opportunity to express what it means to be a part of Brandeis. As a small university, the chance to widen its audience on a national level is welcome to many in both the faculty and student body. Brandeis beat a number of larger schools for a place in the finals, including Penn State. Voting is currently live online, and considering that Brandeisians make up only a small fraction of the students, faculty members, and alumni of larger colleges, the achievement is significant. In an interview, Brandeis students and masterminds behind Brandeis’ Today Show campaign, Reed Zukerman ’13 and Rachel Nelson ’13, chair of student events, made a video spotlighting Brandeis’ vehement school spirit. The video features President Frederick Lawrence, Provost Steve Goldstein, and many students who attest to their affection for the university.

In a statement to The Hoot, Zukerman and Nelson said, “This is a great opportunity for Brandeis to receive free exposure and publicity and show everybody how strong the Brandeis community rallies behind a cause. We are tired of hearing of other larger schools constantly earning media attention for their top-ranked sports teams. It is time for a small liberal arts school to be appreciated and acknowledged for their commitment to bettering the community and making a difference.” Although Brandeis is smaller than the rest of the schools, Zukerman and Nelson advise students not to lose hope and to continue voting, “As the smallest institution among the other five schools up for the contest, we really need the Brandeis community to rally together to win. Even though it is possible to win, we are definitely the underdogs. We really need everyone to come together and show their support,” they said. The reaction from the student body to the news thus far has been positive, excited at the prospect of being on national television. “I used to watch the Today Show every day in middle school, so it’s really great that the show might come to Brandeis, and I can be a part of the show that I used to enjoy as a child,” Josh Luger ’16 said.

photo from internet source

Brandeis alum Brian Paternostro ’08 dies at 27 By Debby Brodsky Editor

Brian Paternostro ’08, a dedicated friend and passionate Brandeis theater star, died on Sept. 12 after a long struggle with cancer. He was 27. During his time at Brandeis, Paternostro participated in the Free Play Theater Cooperative, the Hillel Theatre Group (HTG), directed the 2005 HTG production “Hair” and was the Student Union Director of Communications, among other accomplishments. He also graduated with a degree in politics. Mark Samburg, Paternostro’s close friend and the producer of HTG’s 2005 production of “Hair” recalled his warm personality and joy of theater. “One night Brian just knocked on my door, in this booming ridiculous voice, he said “Samburg! We are doing “Hair” and I need you to produce it,” said Samburg. “He was always very proud and happy that he had directed “Hair.” I remember the cast and crew looking back on “Hair” with fond memories; we had an unbelievable time. We put on one hell of a show, that was all Brian.” According to Samburg, he stood out on campus because of his caring personality in addition to his unique height. “You couldn’t find anyone at Brandeis who didn’t know Brian,” Samburg continued. “Brandeis isn’t a huge school, but that means something. Brian was six foot six, and everyone knew who he was. Brian genuinely cared about people, and he liked doing things that made people happy and that brought people together. That is a big part of why he was so special to the Brandeis community.” Susan Dibble, the Brandeis Director of Theater Arts spoke fondly about Paternostro as a student in her modern dance class, several years ago. “I remember that Brian was very tall, and that he clearly wanted to explore. I just loved the fact that he was

a risk taker,” Dibble said. “Brian had strong ideas about theater, and he was very vocal in the theater department and interested in directing,” Dibble added. “What I loved was that he had a political dynamic about him, but he was also gentle and quiet. I like that character because I understand that sort of person.” Dibble described Brian’s personality as a “balance” between politics and theater. Brian’s balanced personality exemplified the balance at Brandeis between political passion and the arts. “Being a politics major and being involved in theater was a great combination for Brian,” Dibble said. “While Brian was at Brandeis, he was really trying to discover who he was. And my impression of him was

that he always asked questions, and that is an important thing. He was a walking question, and he was great with his long legs,” Dibble said. Following graduation, Paternostro was the Development Coordinator at United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, a nonprofit organization that encourages donors, advocates and volunteers to help improve the lives of people in the region. “Brian brought together people from all walks of campus,” Samburg said. “Brian was such a special friend. That’s one side of Brian everybody misses. The other side of Brian is that I never knew anybody more fun than he was. The laughter and the car rides and everything else in between. Time with Brian was going to be fun, you

hair Brian Paternostro ’08 directed the 2005 Hillel Theater Group production of ‘Hair.’

always knew. At his funeral on Monday, I saw people I haven’t seen in five years. We had this unbelievable shared connection and that was a friendship with Brian. His ability to befriend so many different people was unparallelled by anyone at Brandeis. Everything felt larger than life with Brian because of his energy. You couldn’t stop him.” Brian is survived by his parents, Carl and Denise Paternostro and by his brother Jeffrey, all from Wethersfield, Conn.

photos from internet source


The Brandeis Hoot

Student Union senators continue work on projects By Rachel Hirschhaut Editor

Now, with classes in full swing, the Student Union and senators-atlarge are working to accomplish last year’s goals, including club support, aesthetic and safety improvements on campus and improved dining services. The two current senators-at-large are Theodore Choi ’14 and Charlotte Franco ’15. Their positions differ from the rest of the Senate because unlike class senators or quad senators, their work is not limited to helping one specific constituency. They “work on projects to improve campus life and try to be a good liaison to the administration,” Choi said. This year, Franco is a co-chair of the newly established Club Support Committee. Their mission is to “tackle the number of clubs we have, how we can fund them, and how we can make club funding more efficient,” she said. They will work in conjunction with Student Activities on club initiatives. The new initiative means that each

club’s constitution may change. Every club is already required to fill out mandatory forms for club renewal each year, a “census” that determines their funding needs, and which clubs are still active or inactive. Brandeis students will notice the aesthetic improvements to campus that the Senators are also working on. “Keeping the campus safe, in regards to fixing walkways, stairs, and the sort, is especially important for students,” Choi said. “Keeping it looking nice and pretty is a plus. All senators have the potential to be involved in this project, though I think quad senators are more involved than class senators.” Dining services is also a hotly debated issue that remains on the forefront of the Student Union’s agenda. Last year, the Union advocated for extending POD market hours until 2 a.m. on Saturdays, and Einstein’s now opens at noon on Sundays instead of 4 p.m. This year, the Senators-at-large are collaborating with the Dining Services Committee to bring more dining options to campus and maintain more convenient hours.

Farber café hit with library-goers

library becomes new java city Students order from new coffee spot.

CAFE, from page 1

talks with DeisBikes to create a rental station in front of Farber, and is in the process of getting tables and benches for the patio. The response to the library has been largely positive. Unsworth and

BIOL professor wins New Innovator Award Brings $300,000 a year for ALS research By Lassor Feasley Special to the Hoot

Professor Avital Rodal (BIOL) has been awarded the Director’s New Innovator Award, which includes a $300,000 annual grant for the next five years given by the National Institute for Health. Her research is tackling long unanswered questions which may one day lead to a more thorough understanding of the disorder, and hopefully, a treatment. Little is known of the causes and effects of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and related neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s. Rodal is working to change that, and by mapping the paths of neurological signals, she hopes to discover the cause of the degenerative effects of ALS. Rodal studies how the transference of neurological “packets” effect cells and nerve growth. Using highpowered microscopes, Rodal has been able to examine the actions of neurons in real time. “Until now, we’ve had to rely on still shots of growth factor traffic in neurons to guess what could be changing in different environmental and disease conditions,” Rodal said. Her creative application of the new technology has allowed her to better understand the behavior of neurons and the paths of their signals in ways that were not previously possible. “By watching the dynamics of these movements, we can actually visualize stops, starts, and reversals and transfers along trafficking routes,” she said. In the past decade, scientists in similar fields have made strides in understanding ALS through their

utilization of the Human Genome Project. By modeling the disease’s basic cellular biology using genetic information, they can better understand the degenerative processes that are caused by ALS. In the future, Rodal seeks to apply her research to these models. “I hope that we can combine these animal models with our studies of growth factor trafficking in neurons,” she said. She speculates that this research will facilitate relief for ALS patients. In the future, her research may be used “to try to reverse some of the breakdown in growth and survival signals that lead to neuronal death in ALS.” Rodal anticipates several benefits as a result of the NIH grant. “The award will allow us to recruit additional students and postdoctoral scientists to do these experiments,” she said. In addition, new investment in equipment will further enhance Rodal’s ability to “control neuronal firing and record the fast movements of growth factors in neurons.” This will allow her to establish a better comprehension of how diseased cells function. Rodal projects that processes involved in transference of these data packets could explain the development of neurological disorders. “These are the dynamic cellular events that we think might change dramatically the more a neuron fires during diseases like ALS,” she added. Rodal has long been fascinated with neurological growth, especially pertaining to the development of nerve cells. “I’ve been interested for a while in how nerve cells extend and wire up very precisely over very long distances in the body,” she explained. The relationship between neural firing and nerve growth motivated her

September 21, 2012

earlier research. “There have been some hints that this connection exists,” she said. “We devised a set of experiments to test if neuronal firing affects growth factor movements, and also come up with a molecular explanation for how this occurs.” The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award was created in order to help fund projects that are undertaken by scientists with exceptionally innovative methods whose work has potential for high impact discoveries. The grant is designed to encourage young scientists whose research is too preliminary to qualify for more traditional funding-channels that the NIH offers to more established labs. The award is reserved for scientists who demonstrate exceptional innovation and creativity. The grant exists “As part of NIH’s commitment to increasing opportunities for new scientists, [it] supports a small group of exceptionally creative early stage investigators,” according to the NIH website. The award recipients generally focus on biomedical and behavioral research problems.

avital rodal photo courtesy brandeis

the rest of the LTS staff installed a message board by the doors to Farber and students and faculty have been leaving exuberant messages, praising the library and calling for increased hours or to make the café open whenever the library is. Many students are excited about the prospect of using the café dur-

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

ing finals, when the students spend hours in the library during some of the coldest months. Other students, however, are disappointed with the change. “I’m not sure. I guess I’d rather have the extra space in the green room than save the two-minute trip to the C-store. I’ll still go, though,” said Ben Hirsch ’15 .

Stanford professor to receive Gittler prize By Rachel Leaf

Special to the Hoot

Stanford University sociology professor and director of urban studies Doug McAdam is the recipient of the 2012 Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize. McAdam is the author of two books on the civil rights movement, including “Freedom Summer,” a 20year follow-up study of the lives of those who applied to take part in the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, a campaign to register African American voters. McAdam has also researched the ongoing civic effect of participation in Teach for America, the relationship between neighborhood religious and civic life in Chicago. His research also seeks to explain county level variation in the burnings of churches in the United States between 1996 and 2001. Surprising research that Professor McAdams has conducted was in collaboration with Professor Rob Sampson, a professor of sociology at Harvard University on civic and religious life in the neighborhoods of Chicago, which revealed that religiosity and civic activism are inversely related. Last year, in response to the Occupy protests at Stanford, McAdam and other colleagues launched Occupy the Future, described by the Brandeis University website as a more academic, broad-based alliance that organized a series of teach-ins and a rally on campus. The goal of Occupy the Future is to make the product of the Occupation a permanent third-force, a Civil Society, which can balance the powers of business and government by bringing more voice to the average citizen than to the CEO’s and politicians, according to its website.

“The struggle for racial and social justice is long and complex,” President Lawrence told BrandeisNOW, “and requires the work of scholars and researchers unwaveringly committed to the search for truth. Doug McAdam’s work places him in the top tier of such scholars. This is precisely what the Gittler prize was designed to honor. McAdam will visit campus on Nov. 15 to receive the medal and $25,000 award that accompany the Gittler prize, in addition to delivering a lecture titled “The Continuing Significance of Race in America’s Politics of Inequality.” The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize is awarded to those who have made scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic or religious relations by Brandeis University. The award is named after the late professor and respected sociologist Joseph B. Gittler, who served as a member of the faculty of many leading universities, including Duke University, George Mason University, the University of Rochester, Iowa State University, the University of Georgia, Yeshiva University, Cardozo Law School, Hiroshima University in Japan and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The award also honors Gittler’s mother, Toby Gittler. In 2011, the prize was awarded to Professor Emerita Frances Smith Foster of Emory University and Stanford historian Clayborne Carson. Smith Foster has written work that disputed established ideas about African American family life during and following the era of slavery in the United States. Carson is director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute and since 1985 has directed the Martin Luther King Papers Project, a long-term project to edit and publish the papers of Martin Luther King Jr.

September 21, 2012


The Brandeis Hoot

Brandeis drops to No. 33 in U.S. News and World Report By Emily Belowich Staff

Still ranked among the top universities in the nation, according to the U.S. News and World Report released on Sept. 12, Brandeis dropped two spots to number 33 in the Best National Universities 2013 edition, following New York University and preceding the College of William and Mary. Each year since 1999, Brandeis has been ranked number 31-34. Two years ago, Brandeis ranked number 34, and last year Brandeis ranked number 31. Brandeis Associate Vice President for Communications Bill Burger, said that these rankings fluctuate each year and the university is not overly concerned with changes by one or two spots. “We are not concerned with minor blimps, up or down a spot,” Burger said. “We watch them but we don’t obsess over them. We understand how the game works.” The methodology of measuring these rankings is very complex and does not stay constant, according to Burger. The rankings allow prospective college students and families to compare the relative quality of colleges and universities at a glance. Some of these factors include first-year retention rates, student-faculty ratio and graduation rates. The system is broken down into two parts: quantitative measures that experts believe are the

best indicators of academic quality and the U.S. News’ own research of important factors of education. Schools are first categorized by their mission, which separates the types of higher education schools— originating from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Basic Classification in 2010. This system was developed in 1970 but has been utilized by the U.S. News and World report since it first published the rankings in 1983. Higher education researchers extensively use this system as a means for classifying schools and it is the accepted standard in higher education that ultimately allows the U.S. Department of Education to effectively organize data. After schools are categorized, the U.S. News and World Report gathers data from each college, on up to 16 factors, each of which is assigned a weight that is based on the Report’s judgment. Following these steps, the colleges and universities in each category are ranked against one another, based on their weighted scores. The following categories and weightings indicate the U.S. News and World Report’s measurements of academic quality: undergraduate academic reputation (22.5 percent), retention rates (20 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent), graduation rate performance (7.5 percent) and alumni giving rate (5 percent). A number of schools are not

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

ranked and are listed under a separate category if they do not consider standardized test scores in the admissions process. Other schools are not ranked if they have fewer than 200 students, a large number of “nontraditional” students and no first-year students. In addition to being ranked one of the top universities, Brandeis also ranks 31st in “Best Values Schools.” This category only takes into account the schools that were already ranked

New group of students attempts to reestablish AEPi fraternity By Zach Reid Editor

Last Wednesday, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) announced that it was attempting to bring a chapter of the fraternity back to the Brandeis community, recognized by the AEPi national office but not by the university. That night, a group of 29 founding fathers in a new generation of AEPi were inducted into the organization. Each of these 29 were accepted after an interview process with representatives from the national organization, in order to ensure that a diverse group of campus leaders dedicated about the values of AEPi would be chosen to help bring a chapter back to Brandeis, according to AEPi President Danny Reisner ’14. This generation of AEPi is currently recognized as a “colony” rather than a “chapter.” According to Reisner, this is one of the initial steps in the creation of a chapter. A colony must exist for a certain amount of time before it is termed a chapter of AEPi. During the fall semester last year, the AEPi composed of Brandeis students was shut down by the national organization. While there have been many rumors as to why this occurred, Reisner only said that the group had been “a risk management issue,” and that they “didn’t have the best relationship with the national organization.” The AEPi colony rejoins four fraternities and three sororities, each founded by and comprised of Brandeis students. The chapters, all chartered chapters of national organizations, do not have official ties and are not recognized by the university. A 1988 Board of Trustees Resolution prohibits fraternities and

sororities, according to the Rights and Responsibilities Handbook: “Exclusive or secret societies are inconsistent with the principles of openness to which the University is committed. Therefore, social fraternities and sororities, in particular, are neither recognized nor permitted to hold activities on campus or use University facilities.” The current executive board of this generation of AEPi is comprised of Reisner, Vice President Jake Altholz ’15, Secretary Morris Dida ’14, Toby Bern ’14 as Member at Large, Jake Cohen ’15 as Treasurer and Dean Kaplan ’15 as Pledge Master. There is also a Minor Board in the group, which according to Altholz houses a number of committees that ensure AEPi’s values are followed, as well as that the needs of its brothers are met. “Committees in other chapters include philanthropy and athletics,” Altholz said, adding that new committees are always welcome to enhance the overall AEPi experience. Reisner told The Hoot that Kaplan approached him after the shutdown of the previous chapter to discuss a possible reformation, and that he was “very interested … when presented the opportunity to start fresh.” The process of founding this colony had been in the works since last semester. “National representatives have come to work with us on multiple occasions,” Reisner said, adding that the new AEPi is not a group of students grasping at an idea, but a group of people who are dedicated to bringing AEPi back to campus in a positive way. “No one wants a repeat of the unfortunate situation that occurred with the previous generation on campus,” Altholz said. To prevent this, he said that two professional staff members of the national AEPi organization have been working very closely with the founding fa-

thers, and that there is trust on both sides. Altholz also emphasized that the goal of the founding fathers was to “leave a lasting, positive legacy” of AEPi within the Brandeis community. An international Jewish fraternity, AEPi was founded to “provide opportunities for the Jewish college man seeking the best possible college and fraternity experience,” according to its website. The website also clarifies that AEPi is “non-discriminatory and open to all who are willing to espouse its purpose and values.” Reisner also moved to clarify this policy, telling The Hoot that AEPi is “100 percent non-discriminatory,” and that the founding fathers are “looking for people who want to join because of Jewish values, not because they’re personally Jewish.” When asked how these values would be applied to this generation of AEPi, Altholz stressed that the founding fathers are each “dedicated to community service, social justice and philanthropy,” and that the goal was to make sure that these values were followed by AEPi at all times. He also mentioned that the national organization is incredibly dedicated to philanthropy, with three full time professional staff members who work in its philanthropy department. These sentiments were also echoed by Reisner, who stated that the founding fathers want this chapter to “have a great reputation, and to give AEPi the respect that it deserves.” Both Altholz and Reisner also said that, if everything goes according to plan, AEPi will hold its first recruitment during the spring semester of 2013. Despite the limited resources that the group will naturally have due to its youth, Reisner commented that the group will be “looking for a big rush process during the spring,” and that they “want a solid amount of people who will stick through the pledge process.”

in or near the top half of their Best Colleges 2013 edition ranking categories. The ranks of the “Best Values Schools” are measured upon three variables: ratio of quality to price, need-based aid and average discount. Burger remarks that while there is a methodology to these rankings, in no way are they scientific, but rather a solid resource of information. “Even the U.S. World and News Report strongly suggests that stu-

dents don’t place too much weight upon these rankings,” Burger said. “We don’t view this as a competition, and like us, other schools tend to move up and down.” “The whole idea is to stay true to yourself as a university but always look for ways to improve,” he added. “If you set your own course and stay true to your mission, long-term things will take care of themselves.”

Farhat Agbaria facilitates seeds of peace through dialogue By Jennifer Spencer Staff

Wednesday at Brandeis’ International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, Farhat Agbaria coexistence facilitator from Givat Haviva and Seeds of Peace, discussed the science of conflict facilitation between Israeli and Palestinian groups. Agbaria is involved with organizations like Seeds of Peace, which regularly brings young Jewish-Israeli teens to Maine for a month to partake in dialogues on the Middle East. “It’s a complicated situation … part of my state is at war with its own people,” Agbaria said. Initially, Agbaria had difficulty listening to his opponents, but over the years he has become a more sophisticated facilitator. As a facilitator, Agbaria repeatedly mentioned that you have to begin with an empty mind, avoid single sides and be available to every participant. “In the beginning it was difficult to listen,” Agbaria said, especially when the other side shared his ideas. He goes on to say, “even though I’m a facilitator, I’m part of the conflict.” Agbaria was raised in a small village of about 4,000 people in Israel. Having lived through the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it has always been something that has caused him inner conflict. Agbaria feels that during productive discussion it is important to say everything within the group. The discussions will become heated, he said, but a good facilitator will not allow the atmosphere to become so vehement that people

feel they need to leave the room. If a participant does leave, a facilitator will talk to them individually and try to bring them back. Agbaria has found that a facilitator’s most important job is to be there for those involved in the discussions and to avoid being preoccupied with one’s own agenda. At Seeds of Peace, Agbaria and other facilitators observe and give feedback to the discussion groups. Agbaria has seen close friendships form and affect real change in the participants from start to finish. Many participants return to their parents with such drastically new ideas that Seeds of Peace has created programs for parents in order to allow them to look at their own way of thinking. In several years, the young Israeli Jews will go into the Israeli Army and face Palestinians in combat. The prospect of such physical combat raised ethical concerns from the audience. Agbaria stated that Seeds of Peace allows participants to give a human face to the enemy and learn about the history of both sides. Without programs like Seeds of Peace, Agbaria believes that people will continue to hold onto their old way of thinking and fail to challenge their society’s belief. Regardless of whether or not participants remain involved with the program, Agbaria feels discussion itself leaves a lasting impact. “Even just a few days in, a facilitator discussion setting does help people,” Agbaria said. “The basic idea is that we are dealing with Israeli and Palestinians [and] the alternative to discussion is to just leave it [the situation], and we can’t do that.”


6 The Brandeis Hoot

September 21, 2012

Unique clubs reflect diversity of student interests By Dana Trismen Editor

Brandeis boasts its collection of more than 125 clubs, which vary from dance clubs to pre-law. Some of Brandeis’ clubs verge on being labeled as unusual, yet Elly Kalfus ’12, a member of the Brandeis Finance Board insists that “we try to give all clubs money, the only reason we wouldn’t give a club money is if none of their requests were allowed to fund based on the scope.” Kalfus defines the “scope” as a document that is available online, detailing appropriate activities that clubs are allowed to participate in while using university funds. Kalfus gives the example of giving gifts to club presidents, saying “we don’t want to give clubs money for gifts for a specific student.” The scope is updated each year and depends on university rules, and each club is evaluated using its criteria. During Finance Board Meetings, which ran last week, the Finance Board evaluates applications from each club, examining their own budget and appropriating money. Kalfus does admit “we have a budget based on how we get 1 percent of student tuition, but because clubs over request we always have to cut some things.” Despite the cuts in funds that some clubs endure, Kalfus believes it is appropriate to give all chartered clubs money, stating that, “we see giving clubs money as improving quality of student life.” Clubs such as Skydiving and the Brandeis Cheese Club believe that they use their money from Finance Board in important

ways, bringing unique opportunities to campus. Ariana Schache, president of Skydiving Club, explains that Brandeis finances “money for jumps, a discount of $50 per jump. If you went [skydiving] alone it would be $234 dollars, with a group of 30 people or more $175 dollars. Then we get a $50 discount so it is $125 per person. That’s all the money we ask.” Grateful for the money from Finance Board, Schache stated, “We don’t ask them for that much for different events, it is very basic stuff and without it our club would be gone, and they’ve been pretty understanding about it in the past.” Schache expounded on the draw of her club, explaining that there are 800 people on the listserv and approximately 100 people will register to go skydiving. The club is so popular that some students get stuck on the waitlist. Schache describes it as “the most amazing experience I’ve ever done. I strongly believe everybody should skydive. If you are scared of heights it will get you out of it, and if you’re not, you are flying.” Schache also believes that Skydiving Club gives Brandeis a certain flair that more average clubs lack. “It has a personality, kind of a danger side, an adventurous side that people may not get from like a newspaper. If you are jumping out of a plane it’s like one of those things that if they didn’t exist, you maybe wouldn’t wish for it, but since its here it is so cool.” Padraig Murphy, president of Cheese Club, explains that his club “is so marketable, I think Brandeis likes to promote it exists because they like the idea of people socializing and enjoying food.” Cheese Club uses their money from Finance Board to fund five to six cheese tastings a semester, spending up to $300 a meeting on fancy chees-

es. Cheese ranges from $28 to $40 a pound, including extremely expensive varieties such as truffle cheeses. Murphy explains that at each meeting he usually “construct[s] a theme or a collection based on a country; I pick a region and stick to it. We try to spend three minutes in the beginning, explaining the cheeses, making it somewhat educational.” Cheese Club is also immensely popular, with up to 100 people attending a cheese tasting. Murphy also believes that it is unique because of its low commitment. “It is rewarding. It’s one of those clubs where the members don’t have to do anything; they get a lot just by coming.” Kalfus explained that she first got involved with Finance Board because of a desire to make funding more accessible to students who wanted to plan events. Originally attempting to bring “The Whitest Kids You Know” to campus, Kalfus commented, “I had no idea how to get funding or anything. I went through this whole process with emailing everyone and very few people replied, and then we couldn’t get a space on the right night and in the end it didn’t happen.” Kalfus was extremely disheartened by her experience. After that she decided to run for Finance Board. “I was like, I have to change [this system] and make it easier for people.” Now on Finance Board, Kalfus emphasized the importance of giving money to all kinds of student events and clubs. While it is not up to Finance Board to judge what qualifies as a club (the Brandeis Senate decides that), the money it dolls out improves student life. “If students are going to student events, we want to keep having that

truffle cheese from france The cheese club spends up

photo from internet source

to $300 a meeting on cheese.

club help students,” Kalfus states. She vouches for Skydiving Club, saying “I think there are some clubs that students may not ever be able to do in their lives since they are so expensive, such as skydiving. We are giving them an opportunity they may not have at any other time because we are able to subsidize it.” Murphy commented on how “Brandeis markets the Cheese Club; on every tour I’ve joined up on I’ve heard admission officers say it.”

He believes it attracts both parents and students to the school. Kalfus declares that the varied and numerous clubs that Brandeis possesses are simply adding diversity to campus, including interesting activities that are “just reflected by the student body.” Brandeis is a unique school with students who are invested in a great many things. Brandeis Finance Board serves to finance whatever it is that students find enticing, be it cheese or the crew team.

Univ energy conservation still a work in progress By Naomi Soman Special to the Hoot

Despite the perception that Brandeis is environmentally conscious, the university earned only a “B” on the 2011 Campus Sustainability Report Card and a bronze on last year’s STARS (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System). While many here applaud the environmental and recycling initiatives, questions about the effectiveness of those efforts remain.

Recycling is very important, but according to Professor Eric Olson (HS), a senior lecturer for the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, it’s not as crucial as energy conservation. “We could stop the recycling program and focus double down on energy,” says Olson, “and we would have a bigger impact. I wish people were more aware of the actual impacts of running university causes,” he added. Many large buildings running lights, computers, telephones, heating and air conditioning can contribute to greenhouse gases. A network of underground

massell garden First-years participate in sustainability.

steam pipes heats the entire university and campus sustainability Energy Manager William Bushey has found leaks in the steam pipes. Over the summer, the school renovated the North Quad pipes, the Castle boilers and the Faculty Club air conditioning to improve heating and cooling efficiency, but there are still many renovations needed. Recycling opens people’s eyes to the sustainability needs, but additional improvements can come from energy conservation, Olson said. Alie Sarhanis and Lea Lupkin,

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

who took over for the Sustainability Coordinator Jana Cohen-Rosenthal agree, recognizing that Brandeis has to move away from burning fossil fuels and toward renewable resources. Options include building more solar panels like those on the athletic center and a new solar-thermal system, currently being built in the Charles River. The solar panels cost $3 million to install, and the solar-thermal project cost $300,000, and that only heats four buildings. “You can’t just suddenly flip a switch and have all that happen immediately,” Lupkin said. “There’s opportunities everywhere. In every sector there are things that can be done,” Sarahanis added. Brandeis sends all leftover food to the WeCare commercial composting facility in Marlborough Mass., however, Brandeis does not get all of its food from local sources. Buying food from local farmers reduces greenhouse gases because it doesn’t have to travel as far and boosts the local economy. As far as transportation is concerned, Brandeis offers Deis Bikes, the Crystal Shuttle and ZipCars, but students can also take public T buses and the Commuter Rail to reduce their carbon footprint. While Brandeis may have scored mediocre on food and transportation, it struggled with recycling. In one year, Brandeis used 92,490,948 gallons of water, threw out 1209.98 tons into landfills, composted 612.98 tons and only recycled 191.11 tons, according to information on the Brandeis Sustainability website. There are bins all around the school, labeled “single stream recycling,” a new method of recycling in which paper, glass, plastic, cardboard and metal can all go into one bin. In

Usdan there is a Green Bean machine where students can recycle bottles for five cents to a Paypal or Whocash account. The university does have resources available for students, but rated poorly in education of its efforts. There are 25 sustainability-focused courses and 48 sustainability-related courses out of a total 1,368 courses offered, scoring 1.83 out of 10 possible points in the STAR report. The Eco-Reps play a big role in getting the message out to students about sustainability. There are 11 total and one in each dorm quad. According to Flora Wang, the eco rep for North quad, the program puts, “emphasis on going out and doing something.” They organize programs like Give and Go and the Move-in Market to reduce waste, rent out drying racks to students, and “dorm storm” to teach students about turning off lights and appliances when not in use. They gave out recycling bags to all incoming first-years with LED light bulbs discounted from NSTAR that last for 22 years and are much more energy efficient. They created the Green Room Certification Program and the Green Event Certification to reduce waste at events. There’s also the SEA, Student Environmental Action Club that has weekly meetings to discuss how to improve sustainability. Lastly, the Brandeis Sustainability Fund (BSF), is a $25,000 per-year fund students can apply to use for different sustainability projects such as the Lucid Dashboard System, solar powered lights, Deis Bikes and the Green Bean recycling machine.

September 21, 2012

The Brandeis Hoot



Artist Fran Forman ’67 showcased around the world By Victoria Aronson Editor

Receiving recognition for her unique artistic compositions, Fran Forman ’67 was recently granted the prestigious honor of being selected as one of 30 artists to have her work displayed in a traveling exhibition that is set to reach Beijing and Shanghai, in addition to other regions across the globe. Forman pursues her artistic vision not merely for the aesthetic quality of each piece but in hopes of evoking thought provoking messages that are pertinent to issues that plague society today. Although her work is currently on display across the globe and within prominent museums such as the Smithsonian, Forman did not originally immerse herself within creative ventures. Spending her childhood in Baltimore, Md., Forman proceeded to study sociology during her undergraduate career at Brandeis, merely dabbling in other courses, such as anthropology and the arts. Although she did not pursue the arts as the focus of her studies, she describes her experience at Brandeis as “positive in terms of understanding my place in the world.” In particular, she recalls one of her art professors, Arthur Polanski, as a source of inspiration through his eccentricity and encouragement. Forman further recalls her enrollment in a course taught by a visiting artist, Jacob Lawrence, whose work depicted the historical struggles endured by African Americans. As a student herself, enduring the social and political turbulence of the 1960s, Forman reveals that her education at Brandeis enabled her to “see the world with a critical eye.” This would allow her to generate an awareness that would later transcend her experience as a student to become a crucial impetus behind her artistic ventures. Recalling the moment in which she first stumbled upon Photoshop more than 20 years ago, she proclaims, “I immediately saw the ramifications for me and sunk my teeth into it.” Viewing this technology as not only a continuation but a revolution of her prior love for creating collages, she enrolled in media classes at Harvard Extension

School to pursue her budding interest in the possibilities that Photoshop provided. As a consequence, she describes growing along with the program, developing broader skill sets as technological advancements continued to occur. Forman utilizes a unique medium to generate her compositions, manipulating images with Photoshop software and blending together the vivid reality of digital pictures with the soft feel associated with paintings. In order to begin the process of creating a piece, Forman first selects a striking image, whether it be a photograph that she captured herself or a 19th century tin engraving. Attributing her background in drawing and painting to her ability to replicate the warmth of a hand-painted piece, Forman treats the monitor as her canvas, hoping to “create a reverence for life on the earth and the planet.” Describing this assemblage, she states, “I want to try to tell a story with the interplay of elements, I want the images to talk to each other.” Dismissing the desire for purely aesthetic appeal, Forman pours many hours into the development of each work, sifting through endless images and the works of other artists in order to derive inspiration. Regarding her inspiration, Forman possesses particular admiration for the work of artists such as Joseph Cornell, an artist renowned for his collages and assemblages of images. In terms of her own artistic impetus, she said, “I don’t want to just create a bunch of pretty pictures,” but rather wishes that her audience will “hopefully gleam the issues that inspired each piece.” She added that “being at Brandeis made me realize our commitment to try to leave the world a little better than we found it.” This is an ideal that she strives toward with her artwork, demonstrating the embodiment of social justice within creative expression. She described a piece she is currently creating, which depicts the image of a lion nestled within a meadow. After much deliberation, she positioned a soldier within the backdrop of the image, seeking to title the piece “Predator.” In doing so, she hopes to challenge the preconceived characterization of the lion as the traditional predator, instead alluding to the harm that human beings inflict upon nature

girl with a rainbow, 2011 Forman claims to capture hidden messages in her art.

and the environment. Forman further reveals her broader message, explaining, “I am interested in portraying the relationship between the human and the nonhuman, and our interdependence with one another.” In the past, Forman’s work has been exhibited at galleries such as the MFA in Houston, the Smithsonian, a museum in Pennsylvania celebrating photo collage and montage, as well as in institutions across the globe, from Paris to Beijing. As she explained her desire to stress the significance of interrelationships within the world through her work,

it dawned upon her that her artwork bore a similar impact upon her own personal life. Describing how she was “embraced by the photographic and fine arts community,” she states, “I have made wonderful friends through this experience, and am now in touch with people from countries I had never even heard of before.” Through exchanging information regarding techniques, Forman found the artistic community to be supportive in spite of its competitive nature, resulting in the development of bonds with individuals she never would have had the opportunity to meet if

photo from internet source

not for her art. “Trying to suggest an interrelationship with the rest of the world” through her art, she incidentally found herself developing bonds across the globe as well. Beyond her current fascination with Photoshop and collage montages, Forman seeks to continue to perpetuate her artistic endeavors by experimenting with new mediums in the future. In particular, she cites her desire to become involved with theatrical work, citing her aspirations to generate video projections of her images to correlate with theater productions.

Six recent graduates leaving for Fulbright grants abroad By Zoë Richman

Special to the Hoot

While many of us are settling into our school year routines and are preoccupied with the thrill of the fall semester, six recent Brandeis graduates are focused on new experiences, far away from campus. Jesse Appell ’12, Daniel Servando Chavez ’10, Olivia Edelman ’12, Skye Fishbein ’12, Kelsey Grab ’12 and Rachel Klein ’12 were all named Fulbright scholars for 2012-2013. Recipients of the U.S. State Department Fulbright scholarship are given funding to pursue an independent research project, enroll in a graduate program or teach English in an international setting, all of which is demanding but rewarding work. The application process, unsurprisingly, requires a considerable amount of time and diligence. Grab explained the process as “grueling, but for good reason—it’s a big commitment and a big decision.” Prospective Fulbright scholars, an honor that applies to graduating seniors and recent alumni, typically begin their applications

three to six months before the October due date. Director of Academic Fellowships Meredith Monaghan, who coordinates the Fulbright application process at Brandeis, explained that this year’s Fulbright scholars “were completely committed to the application process. Nobody starts out with a first draft that’s perfect!” The application deadline becomes difficult for juniors who spend their spring semesters abroad, but Monaghan works hard to collaborate with interested students in this situation. She utilizes the omnipresent technology of our generation wisely, communicating with them via email and Skype. Like the application process, the selection process is not simple. Each country has a distinct method for choosing its recipients, but there are general similarities in the process. After students submit their applications in October, finalists are chosen by country-specific review panels in late November and into December. Each country has one three-person panel that must choose two finalists

for every grant given. These applications are then sent to a separate incountry committee that ultimately decides which students will receive the grants. Understandably, the Fulbright scholar selection process is extremely selective. All of the applications show standout personality, drive and creativity. “What distinguishes the ones who were chosen,” says Monaghan, “is a total investment in their proposal—in most cases, these people were determined to go to these countries and do these projects with or without a Fulbright.” This year’s selection of six Brandeis graduates is higher than in years past. The greater number can be explained by several factors. First, there were more applicants this year than in recent years. Brandeis also has a Fulbright Committee made up of faculty and staff who are devoted to providing constructive criticism and feedback to the students throughout the lengthy application process. Monaghan emphasizes that “Fulbright is a great match for Brandeis students—they have great ideas,

they’re willing to work hard, and they have a real interest in engaging with the global community. That’s exactly what Fulbright is looking for.” This year’s six scholars are pursuing a wide array of exciting adventures. Appell is working on his performance art project titled “Face and Voice: Chinese Traditional XiangSheng Comedy and the Value of Humor” in China. Chavez is at the Royal Institute of Technology in Haninge, Sweden, where he is studying architectural lighting design. Edelman is in Turkey working as an English teaching assistant. Fishbein is conducting a research study titled “A Study of the Synergy between Mycobacterial Infections and HIV” in Capetown, South Africa. Grab is working as an English teaching assistant in Malaysia. Klein is working as an English teaching assistant in Nepal. Grab, who will leave for Malaysia in January, credits her Fulbright scholarship to the nature of her involvement during her undergraduate career at Brandeis. She cites the skills she obtained during her stint as an Orientation Leader, a Roosevelt Fellow, and

an Eco-Rep. Her sociology major and passion to art have also been “invaluable to [her] experiences abroad.” Grab explains that traveling to India, Dublin and Indonesia as a Brandeis student “helped [her] to recognize [her] passion for learning about other cultures and finding ways to relate with art.” Unlike many scholarships, Fulbright fellowships are more than a venue to seek funding. Monaghan explains that applying for a fellowship doubles as a way to explore what you may want to do further down the road, post-college. She advises, “Being honest with yourself about the answers, and learning how to express them in a compelling way, are valuable skills that will serve you well, wherever you go in life.” Grab recommends taking advantage of fellowship and study abroad opportunities. “And with them,” she says “go as far away from home as possible. Only then will you recognize the value of the Brandeis community and also your own incredible ability to thrive under the most challenging of circumstances.”

8 The Brandeis Hoot


September 21, 2012

Judges split games but bounce back with dominating win By Evan Goldstein special to the hoot

It was a week full of ups and downs for the women’s soccer team as they lost their first match of the season 2-1 against Bowdoin. On Tuesday, however, they bounced back with a 1-0 victory against undefeated Gordon College. The Judges dropped in the rankings but remain at No. 24 in the country. Before last Saturday’s home game against Bowdoin (3-0), the Judges were 5-0 and looked like the team to beat in the Northeast. The first half featured physical play with both teams sharing equal possession of the ball. Although the Judges were able to play defense and keep some possession, it was Bowdoin that controlled scoring chances. All in the 21st, 25th and 40th minutes, Bowdoin had cringe-worthy chances to score but was somehow kept away from the goal line, either by luck or by keeper Francine Kofinas ’13. By the 35th minute, Bowdoin had secured a better handle on possession and posed a greater threat than at any other point in the half. This was partly because the Judges were turning the ball over due to mishandled passes and unproductive decision making. Finally, by the 45th minute, nearly 30 seconds before half, Bowdoin striker Audrey Phillips created space from her defender to the right of the box and lifted a looping shot over Kofinas into the back of the net. When asked what she told her team at half, Head Coach Denise Dallamora told The Hoot, “It’s a tough game. We have to hunker down and focus on possession and not get carried away by the emotions of the game.” In response, the second half saw much better passing, possession and scoring chances by the Judges. In fact, midway through the second half it looked as though Bowdoin was on

photo by paula hoekstra/the hoot

its heels. The match could have been equalized at two separate occasions when shots in the box were extremely close to the Bowdoin goal. They were stopped too soon, however, by Bowdoin keeper Bridget McCarthy. McCarthy also saved a low strike by Sapir Elelati ’15 who found herself in space in the 67th minute, keeping another equalizer out of the net. In essence, McCarthy kept Bowdoin in the match when it could have been on the opposite end of many a goal. Much to the surprise of the crowd, Bowdoin found a chance in the 85th minute when a low cross from Jennifer Hofstedder was deftly touched into the net a couple of feet from the goal-line by Mary Popolizio. Normally, having occurred five minutes from full time this would have been a crippling blow, but the

Judges rebounded within three minutes with a goal from Edelati who had missed nearly 20 minutes earlier. The goal came on a soaring corner kick by Alec Spivack that found the far post area and the head of Edelati, who forced the ball right into the top of the net. Nonetheless, the Judges could not muster any more goals in the last two minutes and the game ended with defeat. Dellamora, however, managed to reflect on the loss as motivation. “We played well. I thought we put in a lot of effort, we just didn’t come out on top today,” said Dellamora. “We had no momentum. This game is definitely a point of motivation moving forward.” Tuesday’s match started off with a bleak atmosphere as the match was

moved up due to inclement weather forecasts. Somehow though, Dara Spital ’15 did not get the alert. In the 5th minute she found space in the midfield and dribbled towards the goal. As the centerback came to challenge her, she cut to the left and unleashed a left-footed firecracker that found the back of the net for Spital’s six score of the season. Starting the match, Gordon was 6-0, but overall, the Judges dominated the match, outshooting Gordon 25-5. Yet it was only the play of Gordon keeper Kari Christensen that kept the Judges from dominating the scoreboard. Christensen recorded 11 saves during the match, some of them dangerously close to crossing the goal line. Sapir Edelati ’15 and Alec Spivack ’15, crucial players near goal, found themselves with chances only

to be thwarted by Christensen. The Judges were not without their own tales of strong goalkeeping, however, as Michelle Savuto ’15 made some key saves in the second half when Gordon started to pick up some momentum in the offensive zone. One save occurred in the 78th minute when Savuto dove on a loose ball that had been in the middle of a scrum inside the box after a corner. The match ended in a 1-0 win for the Judges that proved to be a great rebound from Saturday’s loss. They hope to carry this momentum on a three-match road trip, starting Friday against Bates, Wellesley and Rochester respectively. Rochester will mark the beginning of UAA conference play, the most important seven games of the season. The Judges begin their trip at 6 p.m. on Friday at Bates.

Hood and Einhorn break career-highs as winning streak continues By Dani Chasin

special to the Hoot

The women’s volleyball team has continued to solidify their near perfect season with two wins this past weekend against Emmanuel College and Colby-Sawyer College. With the victories, the team stretches their winning streak to five games and continues to dominate with a 9-2 record. In the first game on Saturday against the Emmanuel Saints, the Judges settled the game with an easy 3-0 win, boasting scores of 15-25, 20-25 and 21-25. The highlight of the match was the breakout performance by Liz Hood ’15, who broke her career-high record with 21 kills and a .455 hitting average. Hood has continuously performed as one of the top outside-hitters for the Judges and has pulled some clutch plays to lead her team to victory against teams like Babson College, Rhode Island College and Endicott. The sophomore currently holds the highest record with 168 kills in the season. She explains that going into the Emmanuel game on Saturday she and her team “were all excited, the freshman helped a lot. Since we didn’t lose anyone last year, we’ve all grown as a team. There are four freshman this year, and Maddie Engeler ’16 is a big addition to our team in the front row at blocking.” Hood also credited Coach Michelle Kim for their hard-earned success this season. “She’s trying to motivate us and keep our energy level high,” Hood said. “She’s been having us scrimmage a lot in practice to work

on game situations that really help us play better together. She’s also a very supportive coach, which helps a lot.” Although Hood has put on a tremendous performance for the Judges, she admitted that her team is successful because of their much improved group effort and unity this season. “This season we started a lot stronger, so it helps us to keep building on it. As our season progresses we play tougher teams, and each win gives us the confidence we need to go into the next game and play tough,” she said. The second game on Saturday against the Colby-Sawyer Chargers, however, tested the Judges’ strength and willpower. The Judges were down the first two-sets, losing by margins of 26-24 and 25-23; they had to battle back to win three straight sets. With a final score of 3-2, the Judges defeated the Chargers in the last three sets by scores of 20-25, 22-25 and 11-15. The game between the Judges and the Chargers saw breakout performances by Yael Einhorn ’14, Si-Si Hensley ’14, Engeler ’15 and Elsie Bernaiche ’15. When the Judges were down after the challenging first two-sets, the girls came together in the third to battle back and work together to gain momentum on the Chargers. With Einhorn leading the way with a career-high 51 assists and 9 digs, she was able to line up hits for her teammate hitters, Hood ’15 and Hensley ’14. Einhorn now holds a whopping record of 421 assists for the season with a 9.57 assisting average pergame. When asked how she felt about her team’s performance against the Char-

photo by paula hoekstra/the hoot

gers, Einhorn said, “While we were happy with the wins, we were only really happy with the fact that the last game against Colby-Sawyer, where we played to 15 for the tie-break, was the game where we performed. We came through and pulled together and had high energy, which is something we need to play with every game.” Einhorn explained that as a setter she is one of three players that are always on the court. She went on to say that it is her job “to keep the

momentum rolling on our side of the court, and make sure I better the ball if we get a bad pass so my hitters can do well.” With the support of Einhorn on the court, Hensley was able to score a double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs, Bernaiche had 25 digs and Engeler scored 9 kills in 15 attempts. Although Coach Kim is satisfied with the intensity that the Judges bring to their games and practices, she explained that her team needs

to continue raising the bar for the tougher teams they will soon face in the season. “We’ve been talking as a team about playing with more consistency, and it’s something that we’ll need to continue to work on throughout the season,” Kim said. “We have seen some flashes of great plays so far this season and it shows the potential of this team. We need to work hard as a team to make those plays appear on a more consistent basis.”

September 21, 2012


The Brandeis Hoot

Ocel’s header leads Brandeis to best start in 26 years By Brian Tabakin Editor

The 12th ranked men’s soccer team continued their early season success with a thrilling victory in double overtime against rival Babson Beavers on Wednesday night. The victory is the 13th straight for the Judges, dating back to last season. With the win, the Judges improve to 8-0 on the season with UAA conference play rapidly approaching. For the first time this season, the Judges entered the break facing a deficit. While the Judges outshot the Beavers in the first half, 6-4, they had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. In the 29th minute of play, Babson All-American senior Eric Anderson scored against the Judges for the seventh in his collegiate career. Taking advantage of some lazy and sloppy defense by the Judges, junior Mike Fisher played a nice through ball from the right flank to Kevin Israel who then redirected the ball to Anderson. Anderson then made a spectacular diving-header to net the first goal of the match. While the Judges had numerous chances to score in the first half, they were unable to successfully take advantage of their shots on goal and time of possession. Sam Ocel ’13 downplayed the possibility that the team’s undefeated start was weighing on them. “We try to keep our cool. There’s so many misses but our teammates always back us up,” Ocel said. “I had some chances. But every time I missed, my teammates would help me out.” Lee Russo ’13 added, “It’s part of

the game. You’re not going to score on every chance. You just have to try to capitalize on the one’s you do.” A common occurrence in this rivalry is the very physical and chippy style of play. Ocel noted, “We try to play physical. It gives us a little mental edge to keep us in the game.” After halftime, the Judges came out and played a strong and up-tempo second half. Head Coach Mike Coven said that it “was the best half we’ve played in two to three years.” Brandeis completely dictated the pace of play in the second half. While they continued to struggle to capitalize on their scoring chances, they continually got opportunities. The Judges finally notched the equalizing goal in the 66th minute. Babson keeper Jackson Klein, who had made a pair of great saves on chances from Russo and Tyler Savonen ’15 just a few minutes earlier, looked like he had shut the door on yet another Judges’ scoring chance. Klein blocked Russo’s initial attempt and also Ocel’s rebound; however, he was unable to corral the ball and Russo secured the second rebound to knot the game at 1-1. The goal was Russo’s team-leading eighth of the season and 28th of his career, moving him into ninth place on the Judges’ career list. He also became the 13th player in program history to register 70 points. After Russo’s equalizer, the game remained scoreless for the rest of the second half. While Brandeis maintained scoring chances, they were continually stymied by Klein. It was the same story in the first overtime with neither team able to score the golden goal; however, in the second overtime, the Judges finally

eye on the ball Robbie Lynch ’13 protects the sideline against the Babson attackers

were able to close out the match. Just two minutes into the second overtime, from the deep end of Babson’s side of the field, Russo threw a long-ball into play toward Ocel at the near post. Ocel headed it across the goal line hoping to find a teammate but instead his header found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season and his third game-winner. Immediately after scoring the golden goal, Ocel was swarmed by fans as they rushed onto the field from what they are now calling Coven’s Corner. Throughout the entire game the fans were actively involved. Coven commented on the motivation behind the school spirit. “The school spirit that has been generated the last few games, it shows that Brandeis has school spirit. I think it’s a beautiful thing. The fans are great. They’re boisterous, they’re obnoxious, they don’t do anything that’s off-color, and I think that the way my team responds to them after we score a big goal, and after the win today is

great for all of us.” The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Judges against the Beavers. This was the 60th match up between Brandeis and Babson and the third-straight game decided in double overtime. Babson still leads the all-time series 28-22-10. Earlier in the week, the Judges defeated local rival Lasell College with a 1-0 victory. The match was evenly contested with Lasell holding a slight advantage in shots on goal, 4-2, while the Judges had the advantage in corner kicks, 7-3. Lasell started the game with momentum and had a trio of great scoring chances; however, they were unable to capitalize as two of the shots sailed wide of the goal, and keeper Blake Minchoff ’13 made a spectacular save to stymie an attempt from Lasell’s Mike Skelton. Brandeis began to turn the momentum to their side in the middle of the first half; however, just like Lasell,

photo by morgan dashko/the hoot

they were also unable to translate this new momentum into any goals. The beginning of the second followed suit as neither side could break through the opposing defense. But in the 64th minute of play, the Judges capitalized on a great square ball from Ocel. Ocel threaded the ball through the Lasell defenders and set up Jake Picard ’16 with a one-on-one against the Lasell keeper Miguel Colmenares. Picard took advantage of the matchup, firing a low shot past Colmenares as he tried to close the space on the charging Picard. For the next 25 minutes, Lasell fought valiantly to notch an equalizer. They nearly succeeded in sending the game to overtime but Minchoff made a sensational save on Skelton to preserve the lead for the Judges. The Judges next contest comes on Tuesday, Sept. 25 when they take to the road for a two game swing against Wentworth and Rochester before returning home on Wednesday, Oct. 3 for a matchup against Wheaton.

Men and women’s cross country open season with fifth-place finishes By Brian Tabakin Editor

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams returned to action this past weekend at the Dartmouth Shriner’s Invitational after a long offseason. The men placed fifth out of 39 teams while the women placed fifth out of 38 teams. The men began the season without recently graduated All-American Chris Brown ’12. Brown was a standout performer for the Judges last year with numerous top-10 performances. He frequently set the bar for the team and the Judges were left with the question of who would replace his production and leadership. Ed Colvin ’14 said that without Brown, the team has lost a lot of its depth. “I was pretty good friends with

[Chris]. He got sick his sophomore year and then put in two really good years of training and obviously you saw what happened his senior year. So I think it just showed everyone that if you can put in a full year of really hard work it’s going to pay off. But losing him was definitely a hit.” After one race, though the sample size is small, it looks like the Judges may have found their answer. The men were paced by three top 20 performances. Their best finish came from Colvin who came in seventh out of 293 competitors. Colvin completed the eight-kilometer race in 25:11, roughly 30 seconds off the pace of first place. Alex Kramer ’13 finished in 12th place just nine seconds off Colvin’s mark. Mik Kern registered a 19th place finish with a time of 25:36. Greg Bray ’15 finished the course approximately a minute later in 77th place with a time of 26:51 while Jake

Newfield ’14 was the last Brandeis runner to place, finishing in 100th with a time of 27:08. Colvin was satisfied with his finish, considering it was such an early meet in the season. “Coach usually eases us into the first meet. We don’t do much fast stuff just a lot of mileage training so to run that fast this early shows a lot of promise for the rest of the season,” Colvin said. The team finished with 206 points, just eight points behind Coast Guard for fourth place. Colvin explained that “our fourth and fifth (runners) will actually end up being our sixth and seventh. Our fourth and fifth guys, one is injured while the other was home for the holiday. But they’ll be back.” “Kramer was in Kenya this summer. He did some serious training there. And Mik also ran really hard this summer. We have a really good

top three and hopefully we can get our guys healthy,” Colvin said. The work ethic and dedication that Brown established during the past three years are still in full force and as Brown demonstrated, the work pays off. On the women’s side, the team had three runners place in the top 50. Victoria Sanford ’14, who finished in 11th place out of 293 total runners, paced the team, completing the fivekilometer course in 18:50. Her time was within six seconds of the top six finishers and 25 seconds out of first place. Graduate student Erin Bisceglia was the next Brandeis competitor to place, finishing 31st with a time of 19:18 while Ali Kirsch ’14 placed 48th with a time 19:46. The Judges also got two encouraging performances from their rookies. Kelsey Whitaker ’16 barely missed the 20-minute mark finishing in 73rd

with a time of 20:03 while Maggie Hensel ’16 finished only five seconds off her classmate’s mark with a time of 20:08, good for 84th place. Kristi Pisarik ’15 and Molly Paris ’16 finished in 118th and 129th place with times of 20:36 and 20:44 respectively. The Judges finished with 232 points, resulting in a fifth-place tie with Division I Bryant University and falling just nine points shy of Coast Guard who finished in fourth place. After losing many key competitors and leaders to graduation this past season, both the men and women looked strong in their season debut, each finishing in fifth place in a tough field littered with Division I, II and III competitors. Both squads will look to build on their strong first meet when they compete in the Open New England Championships at Franklin Park in Boston on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Milo and Jordan reach doubles finals at Middlebury Invitational By Brian Tabakin Editor

This past weekend at the Middlebury Invitational in Vermont, Steven Milo ’13 and Josh Jordan ’13 started the season off by reaching the finals of the ‘A’ flight in doubles. The pair began the tournament with a matchup against Nik Telkedzhiev ’16 and Rob Jacobson ’16 of Tufts University, easily dispatching them with an 8-2 victory before facing Alex Johnston ’14 and Palmer Campbell ’16 from host Middlebury. Against the duo from Middlebury, Milo and Jordan won 8-4. With momentum on their side, they moved on to face Oliver Loutsenko ’14 and Danny Knight ’14 from Skidmore. The duo from Skidmore provided a challenge for Milo and

Jordan; however, the Judges were able to eke out an 8-6 victory to move on to the championship round. In the finals, Milo and Jordan faced a daunting task as they matched up against 2011-12 All-Americans Matt Bettles ’13 and Rob Crampton ’13 from Bates College. While the Judges put up an admirable fight, the tandem from Bates proved too much for them as they fell 8-2. Crampton and Bettles also faced each other in the championship round of the ‘A’ flight singles. Despite the loss in the championship round, Milo and Jordan’s performance is an auspicious sign for the Judges in these first few weeks. If the pair can stay healthy for the season, they have proved that they can hold their own and win against some of the toughest doubles competition in the Northeast.

photos courtesy of brandeis athletics

In singles action, only Jordan was able to advance. In his first round matchup against Dan Freeman of Vassar, he won in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); however, he ultimately fell in his quarterfinal matchup against Johnston, failing to register a game and losing 6-0, 6-0. While Milo and Jordan were the standouts of the tournament for the

Judges, other players achieved some success in ‘B’ flight doubles. Ben Fine ’15 and Robert Xie ’16 won their opening round matchup, defeating Jordan Kemp ’13 and Cam Smith ’16 from Trinity College 9-7; though they fell to Austin Blau ’14 and Mark Westerfield ’13 of Tufts, 8-2. David Yovanoff ’13 and Michael

Secular ’15 also won their opening round matchup against the Trinity pair of Daniel Carpenter and Aaron Segel, 8-5, before falling in the quarterfinals, 8-2, to the Tufts’ tandem of Jay Glickman and Brian Tan. The team will look to build on the early season success when they return to action on Friday, Sept. 28 for the ITA New England Regionals.

10 The Brandeis Hoot


today Brandeisians come out full force to show school spirit in hopes of winning

the Today’s Show University contest. A camera crew visited campus on Thursday and held an event on the great lawn where students wore their university gear and donned signs.

September 21, 2012

photos by sindhura sonnathi/the hoot

September 21, 2012

The Brandeis Hoot



12 The Brandeis Hoot

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.” Editor-in-Chief Jon Ostrowsky Managing Editor Leah Finkelman Associate Editors Nathan Koskella Emily Stott Brian Tabakin Connor Novy News Editor Debby Brodsky News Editor Rachel Hirschhaut Deputy News Editor Victoria Aronson Features Editor Dana Trismen Features Editor Juliette Martin Arts, Etc. Editor Zach Reid Deputy Arts, Etc. Editor Zoe Kronovet Impressions Editor Nate Rosenbloom Photography Editor Morgan Dashko Copy Editor Senior Editors Ingrid Schulte Suzanna Yu Business Editor Gordy Stillman

Volume 9 • Issue 19 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma


September 21, 2012

Still no answers one year after Waltham triple homicide

ore than one year has passed since last Sept. 12, when detectives began an investigation into the triple murder of Brendan Mess, 25, of Waltham; Erik Weissman, 31, of Cambridge; and Raphael Teken, 37, of Cambridge, who graduated from Brandeis in 1998 and majored in history. Updates on the investigation have not been significant. The scene at 12 Harding Avenue last September, when police detectives, reporters and families huddled behind crime scene tape, shocked at the violence on a quiet Waltham Street, rattled the community. There, three men under the age of 40 were stabbed to death just three miles from Brandeis University. Law enforcement officials were left searching for answers. This week, officials provided similar lines as they did one year ago. On

Thursday, Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s office said that the investigation is still active but that she had no public updates to report. “The investigation is active and ongoing. We are following leads,” Guyotte said in a phone interview. “We do not believe that this was a random attack.” A spokesman for the Waltham Police Department declined to comment, referring inquiries to the District Attorney’s office. We recognize that there is no timetable on murder investigations and do not pretend to understand or assume the motivations behind last year’s triple homicide. When three bodies are found, however, reportedly covered in marijuana and police believe that the murder was targeted, a full year should not go by without answers as to what happened

and who committed the crime. Last year, police and detectives rushed to the scene on a warm summer afternoon. We do not doubt that there are still police and detectives investigating the murder now, but we question how effective their investigation and allocation of resources and personnel has been to date. As we have written before in this paper, the crime scene on Harding Avenue, although only three miles in distance, felt much further from the South Street campus. But the impact of that murder, which claimed the life of a Brandeis alum, is still felt closely by the Brandeis and larger Waltham community. As members of this community, we urge investigators to find new ways, methods and officials to investigate what happened. The time for answers, one year later, is more urgent than ever.

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman

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

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Student spirit high, but why isn’t university promoting its name more?


his week we’ve seen an influx in school spirit, thanks primarily to The Today Show with Kathie Lee Griffin and Hoda Kotb, and in part to Rachel Nelson ’13 and Reed Zuckerman ’13. The seniors took charge of the campaign to bring the show to Brandeis in a national collegiate contest, helping propel the school into the top six. Under the leadership of both Nelson and Zuckerman, the student community has rallied quickly to promote Brandeis and the values for which it stands. We’re happy to see the campus this alive. The two students and staff deserve all the credit we can give them for their work this week, and their drive is a reminder to the university’s communications team of the steps they can and should be taking to bolster the Brandeis University brand. With the departure of Senior Vice

President for Communications Andrew Gully last summer, the search committee is currently looking for someone enthusiastic about new opportunities to showcase the university. Skills in publicity campaigning and the new media on which it thrives should be first on the committee’s checklist. Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel has brought a strong skill set in this field. The university should look for a communications vice president who brings similar spirit, enthusiasm and skills. Brandeis faculty are known for being specialists in their fields, with 97 percent holding the highest degree in their field. The faculty guide boasts of awardwinning authors, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, MacArthur Fellows and members of the national academies. The administration has an opportunity to put these professors in the spotlight, on

national television with a Brandeis blue background and logo. University President Fred Lawrence travels the country fundraising for the school, but the former lawyer is also a renowned expert on hate crimes. We have professors teaching here at the Crown Center who are international experts on the Middle East. Brandeis could do more to get them on TV, in on campus studios, talking about their respective expertise, behind a university logo. Many of our professors and deans are already quoted in major news sources. But for the news sources that aren’t contacting our professors, our provost, our deans and our president, why isn’t the university taking more steps to reach out and offer them as a resource? It’s good for public discourse, and it’s good for Brandeis’ name.

September 21, 2012

Weekly Kos

impressions The unknown is OK too

By Nathan Koskella Editor

There are two different types of Brandeis seniors. The first sort resembles members of other class years, going to meetings, running club events and doing their homework at reasonably appropriate times. You would never suspect that these seniors have a deeply buried aneurysmin-waiting because they know that inevitably, college has to end: for the great beyond doesn’t spook them. They actually sound credible when they confidently say, “I’ll just get a job somewhere; I’ll wing it—I’m sure I’ll figure something out.” Some of us are quite fine with the unknown. And some of us aren’t. This second type of senior is the cluster of unfortunate souls that I have found myself a part of, during this first month of my last year. This sort is decidedly not OK with not knowing where they’ll be on May 20. And so its members, and I have sentenced myself to be one, are buried in internship paperwork, application forms and test prep booklets; some even repeatedly go and demean themselves at the Hiatt Career Center. The first sort of seniors are still thriving and enjoying Brandeis, while my sort are racing ahead, thinking of the day when we will leave it. While the more reasonable first group takes days one at a time and tempers worry with solid down-time, we type-two seniors are the ones walking around campus, blisteringly quickly, making a substantive appearance in the

Call me, Tweet me

By Leah Finkelman Editor

As the High Holy Days come to a close with Yom Kippur, the Jewish community’s focus turns to making amends for wrongs we have committed in the past year. We are commanded to ask forgiveness. During services we chant prayers like Al Cheit, a list of mistakes we have made, whether “under duress and willingly,” “through having a hard heart,” “through immorality,” or for any other reason. Our focus differs from Catholicism’s, in which practitioners confess individual sins to their priest and receive penance from God weekly. While we publicly beg forgiveness from God during the services of Yom Kippur, the focus remains on apologies made directly to the person or group we’ve hurt—apologies that actually affect our relationships. Ten days before Yom Kippur, we observe Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. One tradition of the holy day is Tashlich, in which we recall Micah 7:19, which reads that God will “cast [our] sins into the bottom of the sea.” Using bread crumbs or slips of paper, we symbolically cast our own sins into a body of natural, flowing water, relieving ourselves of our burden and reminding ourselves to atone for our transgressions. While it is certainly beneficial to cast-off the indiscretions we ourselves have committed through apology and repentance, we must equally be able to cast-off the negativity placed on us by those who have hurt us. After a dispute that ends a relationship, no matter how serious or lasting the connection, we are left with a profound sense of loss, both for the

photo from internet source

outside world far too infrequently because of the senior-autumn mania. We aren’t any more ambitious or responsible than our much-healthier peers—everyone at Brandeis is overextended. But we bring a large amount of additional stress on ourselves because we so greatly fear the twentieth of May. I’m taking three or four practice LSATs a week. Now, of course part of the reason is because I love the law. It’s how I can best demonstrate my talents, and being an attorney is how

I can best do some good before I die. If that were the only motive, however, I would not have taken so long to accept the wise counsel of taking a year off before law school. It’s the smart thing to do tactically, I knew: but I couldn’t bare the unknown for even a year. The only way I could accept it was to go ahead and take the LSAT now, anyway. May as well apply now, just in case. So I’ve been taking them. Every day I take a full three-hour test, I can’t do anything else for the rest of

the night, with the possible exception of fantasizing about poking my eyes out with ice picks. The mania should stop. As much sympathy as I have for all of you who, like me, are afraid to look ahead to post-Brandeis without a definite plan, (and this includes underclassmen as well!), the first sort of Brandeisian just looks to be having a much better time. Those of us who are constantly focused on the next step will wind up regretting it. We could miss the best

The Brandeis Hoot 13

part of the step that we’re on—the one we worked so hard to attain, to enjoy, with our mania a few years ago, in high school or our first year at Brandeis. Seniors should be applying for fellowships, graduate schools or eventual job openings. Seniors, however, are also college students. One important factor is that we’re only 75 percent done with our degree transcripts— who’s going to hire or accept us if we bail out on a quarter of our first credential? More seriously though, this week, after spending the first month of senior year buried in stress, I’m enjoying being a senior when I’m not enduring an LSAT. I’m still going to study and practice and apply, but that isn’t the only reason that I’m here and it isn’t the only reason I get up in the morning. I’m taking the best classes of my career and by now I have the experience and know-how to drain what Brandeis has to offer me to the fullest. To others: If I’d realized this as a sophomore or junior, I’d have enjoyed that year as much as first-year, too. Uncertainty is horrifying. But it’s also what makes life interesting. After your latest internship deadline or GRE practice session, go out with some friends. Introduce yourself to random new ones, both of whom will be happy you got off of your maniacal pedestal to talk to them. Nail your test, but not to the point that you want to drive one through your retinas. You’ll need them to read the map you use to navigate the great beyond.

After an apology, forgive and let go person we’ve lost and for that person’s potential to affect our lives. We have no way of knowing who could have become a life partner or a lifelong friend, had there been no fight. Depending on the dispute, and from which side we face it, we might feel betrayal, disappointment, regret and countless other emotions, but we will always feel just a little bit of heartache that will remain with us until we are able to let it go and move on. One of the hardest emotions we must cope with is hope. Hope that they might change; hope that we might be able to move forward; hope that we still mean as much to them as they always have to us. To wait endlessly for proof of love is truly devastating. Often, whether the cause of the dispute was intended or inadvertent, the person at fault also feels this pain. Unless the conflict was caused with the goal of ending the relationship, the person at fault has lost someone they likely cared about, and might one day apologize. While a study published by “Psychological Science” showed that apologies are much less effective in soothing tensions than they are perceived to be, they remain an effective part in restoring peace between two parties. Upon apologizing, the guilty party may be hoping their “victim” will feel the social pressure to accept the apology and move on, but in extreme cases it is, of course, much more complicated. When we are on the receiving end, we are faced with several choices. Do we accept the apology? Do we remain friends? Do we let the incident change our relationship in any way? Do we let ourselves once again trust the offender? Do we know that we’d be better off without them in our lives? Of course, the offender could have

ulterior motives or be manipulating you for their own benefit. If someone, however, extends an olive branch and they are genuinely apologetic, you have nothing to lose by taking it. Recognizing and acknowledging their mistake or faux pas does not make you weak. When someone breaks your heart,

platonically or romantically, the best thing you can do for yourself is forgive that someone. You don’t have to advertise your forgiveness, and you don’t even have to tell the person who hurt you. At that point, you deserve to be completely selfish. By letting go of that pain, you open yourself up to new experiences and happiness with-

out focusing on the past. This Yom Kippur season, search yourself for wrongs you may have committed. No matter how small the transgression, it’s never too late to apologize to someone you care about. If someone you care about has hurt you, forgive, forget and let go for the sake of your own peace of mind.

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot


The Brandeis Hoot

September 21, 2012

Video reveals that Romney’s not fit to lead By Jennifer Spencer Special to the Hoot

Many of us have seen the leaked video of Mitt Romney, speaking privately about Obama voters who he feels pay no federal income taxes: the “47 percent that believe they are entitled to health-care, food, housing, to you-name it.” He continues to say that these people “do not take personal responsibility or care for their lives.” Romney’s elitist comments throughout the video have obviously stirred negative emotion among many voters during this closely contested presidential campaign. The outrage is justified, even if you were to look at the percent of voters being cast away in Romney’s view, 47 percent, an astonishing percentage and nearly half of Americans. He makes these people seem worthless, intimating that they do nothing to help society. More importantly though, who is it that makes up this 47 percent he casts away? Are there really that many people that don’t pay taxes—so-called free-loaders living off of the system? Some quick fact-checking reveals that the majority pay payroll taxes but are exempt from income taxes as their salaries don’t meet the pre-

scribed minimum income levels, or are elderly people or young people, including dependents. notes simply, “Most of [the 47 percent] are working people who simply do not earn very much money.” The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center also clarifies those who make up this 47 percent of the implied “freeloaders.” Many are older people on Social Security whose adjusted gross income is less than $25,000. An additional 15.2 percent receive tax credits for children. The rest are the working poor. Sorry, Romney, but you may want to check the facts before you make such bold claims. It is elitist to throw together 47 percent of the people and label them as those that “feel they are entitled.” There are also people who lower their tax rates, or who have paid federal income taxes all the way up until retirement but are still thrown into the 47 percent. Only 18.1 percent of American households paid neither federal income taxes nor payroll taxes in 2011, according to the Tax Policy Center. Of that 18.1 percent, 10.3 percent were elderly and 6.9 percent were non-elderly households earning less than $20,000 year, which include low-income families and stu-

graphic by yi wang/the hoot

dents. It makes no sense, logically or even politically, that Romney would just write-off such a large part of the country. Expressing support and finding solutions, including market oriented solutions for those in need has been what America expects from presidential candidates, rather than dividing the country along imagi-

nary lines, based on willingness or unwillingness to adhere to a conservative vision. By contrast, despite flaws Obama’s plan seems intent on addressing the needs and aspirations of all Americans, regardless of their political beliefs. Romney seems to ignore, at his political peril, those Americans who don’t fit his prosper-in-a-free mar-

ket litmus test. They will ignore him back at the polls, because a president is not supposed to lead only those people whom he views as worthy of his attention. With students graduating with higher and higher amounts of debt and embarking straight into a troubled economy we can relate to those who are struggling to pay the bills.

The Self Shelf

Romney remarks are small part of systemic problem By Alex Self Staff

A few days ago, a tape was released of a United States presidential candidate, disavowing 47 percent of U.S. citizens as living beyond his help. This, however, did not strike me as particularly surprising. Every once in a while, the shiny, populist veneer of our politicians fades for just a second and we get a glimpse of their true colors. These episodes of unexpected honesty are what we refer to as gaffes. What surprised me was not that Mitt Romney uttered such a line but rather the fact that he immediately owned up to it and tried to defend his sentiments. A man running for the nation’s highest political office openly proclaimed that if elected, he would not be able to represent nearly half of his constituents. This unprecedented episode is just another trajedy in what has become the most polarized and pessimistic presidential campaign I have ever witnessed. How is it that United States politics came to this? How did we get to the point where a presidential candidate feels comfortable enough in his constituency to openly proclaim that he does not care about those who do not have the means to support themselves? While I am sure that the true roots of this problem could be traced back to the founding of the country, I think this most recent trend of polarization began with Bush vs. Gore. I am referring to the Supreme Court case that handed George W. Bush the presidency as opposed to the presidential election, which on its own could not. One can debate the merits but a 5-4 decision on ideological grounds, in order to decide the presidency, does not appear as unbiased justice to the losing party. Thus, when President Bush took office, he took office with a significant proportion of the population, especially liberal Democrats, viewing his presidency as at least somewhat illegitimate. This sentiment manifested itself in the first year or so of his presidency (the numerous attacks on the amount of vacation time he took comes to mind) before 9/11 momen-

tarily united the country. Yet, as the war against the Taliban made way for the Iraq War, the angry minority manifested itself once more. The 2004 presidential election was closely contested and Bush won narrowly. Meanwhile, the Republican Party had taken control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It seemed that America was trending conservative. Yet the very vocal and fiercely polarized minority of frustrated liberals was coalescing into something more corporeal. One can see this minority manifested in, for example, the runaway success of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a movie that accused Bush of everything from engineering election fraud in 2000 to protecting the Bin Laden family after 9/11. I find it quite difficult to imagine a similar movie coming out about the Clinton presidency in 1996 (although admittedly, it may have been far more interesting if it had). Additionally, one can see this minority manifested in the largest wave of anti-war protests in the United States since the Vietnam War. Yet this polarization had and continues to have its most politically meaningful impact in the increasing usage of the filibuster. It appears to be common knowledge that the usage of the filibuster has become the norm in recent years but it was not always so. The filibuster was considered a technique that was only to be utilized in desperate measures. As Ezra Klein of The Washington Post pointed out, using a convenient graphic depicting the frequency of the usage of cloture in the past few decades (cloture refers to the parliamentary procedure for breaking a filibuster so an up or down vote on a bill can take place), the amount of times cloture is needed (and thus filibusters have taken place) has nearly doubled since 2006. This increase in filibusters is emblematic of the increase in polarization as it is the literal representation of a political system collapsing due to an inability to compromise. I would argue that much of this started with the anger of the left toward Bush v. Gore but in the end, it was the right wing that truly revolutionized the way in which the filibuster is used. In the 2008 elections, the Grand Old Party lost control of both houses

of Congress and the presidency. The Bush presidency was commonly referred to by both parties as a political debacle and the name of Karl Rove was essentially a political taboo. The Democrats had a historic and popular president with a strong mandate, a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and a strong majority in the House of Representatives. The angry minority that had decried Bush v. Gore stood triumphant. The severe recession notwithstanding, the first few weeks after President Obama’s election-win seemed like the most politically calm days of the new millennium. Yet there were occasional ripples that foreshadowed what was to come. Rush Limbaugh talked about his desire for Obama to fail. Right wing pundits chafed at the idea of having a so-called socialist agenda forced upon them. When Obama took office in January of 2009, his idealism ran into a steadily hardening pit of quicksand in the Republican Party. The stimulus was passed by an increasingly divided Congress—it was one of the last major bills that would be passed during President Obama’s first term. Yet it was the President’s pursuit of the heretofore impossible liberal dream of providing every American with health insurance that proved to be the utter undoing of any hope of bipartisanship. The battle over the health care policy was (arguably) won by the Democrats but at the cost of nearly everything else on their agenda. The increase in filibusters that had started with the far left in the waning Bush years had increased substantially with the new Republican minority. At some point during these years, Congress simply started deciding whether bills were passable based on whether they could produce sixty votes in the senate, as opposed to a simple majority. The filibuster ceased to act as a tool of last resort and had instead become a formality. The conservative movement reformed itself after the Bush years into a leaner, more libertarian version of its former self. The combination of this return to grassroots conservatism and the strong discontent with President Obama’s health care plan led to the formation of the tea party (there were other causes but I would argue

MITT ROMNEY Romney’s comments at a closeddoor fundraiser draw heat after leak.

that these were the most important). Similar to many grassroots movements, the tea party was not of the compromising disposition. On the other hand, unlike other grassroots parties, they were one of the main factors in delivering the House of Representatives to the Republicans in 2010. At the beginning of the summer of 2011, the political climate was polarized between a Democratic Party that had just passed something as close to universal health care as the United States will see for some time, while the Republican Party had just dominated an election with its most libertarian platform in decades. The recipe for disaster was complete; all that was needed was a relatively routine vote to raise the debt ceiling. This had happened many times under Bush and under Obama in the past. Yet the increasing national debt had become a matter of Republican concern due to the advent of the hawkish tea party. Such a clash of philosophies climaxed with the budget crisis of 2011, when Congress’ inability to get around a Republican filibuster-threat nearly destroyed the credit rating of the richest country in the world. With this background in mind, the negative tone of the 2012 election makes sense. The election is between

photo from evan vucci/ap photo

a president who finds himself uniquely powerless before an intransigent Congress in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Obama is going negative because it is the only chance he has to win the election. The better question is why Romney is going negative. Could he not create a campaign based on the idea of a vision of a better America? And if he could, what would that vision be? Romney has been careful to avoid such specifics but perhaps this leaked tape of his true sentiments speaks to these questions. If Romney’s vision involves telling 47 percent of the country that he cannot truly help them, perhaps he has made the political calculation that it would be best for him to remain silent and simply attack Obama. After the tape was released, Romney pointed to a tape of Obama stating that he believed in the redistribution of wealth. Irrespective of whether these are the true ideologies of these candidates it appears that politics in the United States will continue to function as if this were the ideological distance between the views of the two main parties. Regardless of who wins in 2012, increased polarization will likely continue to plague politics for the foreseeable future.

September 21, 2012


The Brandeis Hoot

Still Writing

Limits of the unlimited

By Gordy Stillman Editor

There’s an old adage that says, “sharing is caring.” While sharing stuff is great when it comes to sentiments, childhood toys and ideas for what to do on a Friday night, there are some things that just shouldn’t be shared. Like test answers or the flu. Now, cellphone data plans can be added to the list. More than a year ago, both AT&T and Verizon stopped offering unlimited data plans to customers that did not already have them. Both companies said that they would grandfather in the customers that already had unlimited data, effectively rewarding longtime customers with a good deal. Since the Big Two eliminated the unlimited data option, only Sprint remains among the national carriers that offer it. AT&T throttles data speeds for customers who exceed a preset limit, meaning that a customer with a limited data plan, say 10 gigabytes (GB) a month, will suddenly have sluggish service once they use 5 GB. In the meantime, the networks introduced tiered plans where customers could buy preset levels of data for each line on their account. With this, everyone could relax and know that if they were responsible, they wouldn’t get knocked over by the “fee-hammer.” Under this system, like the older unlimited system, no consumer could ever be harmed by the data use of another consumer. Taking another step away from offering something good for consumers, Verizon has started to actively promote their new “share everything” plans as a replacement for the more traditional individual and family-share plans. For customers that currently pay $30 a month for unlimited data under the

old system, the new system charges $50 a month for a single GB. I used to think that the tiered plans were bad, simply because they limited data and charged insane fees for overages, but these new plans are simply horrid. Under the old system of unlimited data, it was as if Verizon and AT&T offered data like coffee offered at a restaurant. Customers paid for their first glass along with their meal (the minutes and texts), with offers of free refills whenever the glass got low. When the two networks switched to tiered plans it became as if refills were no longer free. Under the newest system, it’s like everyone at the table gets the same pot of coffee. Everyone ahead of time has to agree on whether or not they want regular or decaf, and how much coffee they plan to drink. When one person at the table drains the entire pot earlyon in the meal then everyone else in the group either endures the rest of the meal (month) without a sip of coffee or individually pay more than it’s worth to get more. If that analogy was confusing, that’s because it is. There is really no way to simply and comprehensively explain Verizon’s system. The website, Digital Trends, broke it down with an analogy, which says that under the old tiered-system everyone on the same bill used to get their own cup of water, and now with the new system everyone has their own straw and shares a single cup of water. While the newer plans can be good for some people, such as individuals, it is clearly bad for almost everyone on a shared plan. Imagine a family of four in which each member has a smartphone. Under the tiered system each member could buy 10 GB, giving the family a total of 40 GB. Under the new system, that same family is only allowed to buy 20 GB with a fee of $15

a month for every additional GB. While I am primarily using Verizon for examples, make no mistake that other networks are working along the same path. AT&T offers shared data plans, but at least momentarily, also sells less prohibitive individual tieredplans. While this remains speculative, the last few years have shown that when one of the top two networks takes a stance against consumers, the other network is rarely far behind. If Verizon can get away with only selling the shared plans, not counting prepaid options, then AT&T can be expected to follow suit within the year. Now you might ask if there’s anything good about the new style of plans. If you make a lot of calls, and send a lot of texts, and don’t do too much data intensive activity, then perhaps the unlimited minutes and texts will be a good offer. But if you’re a more typical consumer, who nowadays likes to check their email, download apps, browse the Internet and maybe even use your phone as a GPS, then while limited data is bad enough, sharing that data among two to three other people can seem like a nightmare. The one reprieve available, at least to Verizon customers, is that the company is letting customers keep their favorable, unlimited data plans if customers pay full price for their devices. Take the iPhone 5, for example, which is priced on average at $199. If a Verizon customer wanted to buy the phone and keep his or her unlimited data, the price skyrockets to about $649—more than triple the subsidized price. If customers want to keep their old plans, they’d have to go back in time to the days of the original iPhone when they weren’t subsidized and cost $499 for a fourth the capacity of the current iPhone.

graphic by alexa katz

APPLES AND HONEY Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah by

photo from internet source

dipping apples in honey, symbolizing a sweet new year.

The real meaning of Rosh Hashanah By Emily Belowich Staff

We are in the midst of celebrating the Jewish New Year, year 5773. Rosh Hashanah, which literally translates to “Head of the Year,” is observed during the course of two days and celebrates the creation of the world. It is the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays, arriving before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A traditional greeting during Rosh Hashanah is, “L’shana Tova U’Metukah,” which is Hebrew for a “good and sweet new year.” It is customary that Jews eat sweet foods on Rosh Hashanah to wish for a sweet year, including apples and honey, honey cake and raisin challah. I often find myself asking a lot of questions on this holiday. It sets a time to question and reflect on what you have done in the past year, but it also raises questions about what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Sometimes these questions are technical, such as inquiring about the significance of the shofar or the meaning of a prayer. But more often than not, I find myself asking questions that are larger and much more open-ended. What does it mean to be Jewish? And how can anyone answer that question even remotely in the same way? This year I found myself asking these questions after listening to my rabbi’s sermon during High Holiday services at my nearby synagogue in Wellesley. He addressed subjects regarding religion, spirituality and the importance of creating your own connection to both. He talked about living in this fast-paced world, and said that in this day and age it seems as though we are so concentrated on being “on-the-go” that we don’t take enough time to focus on the present. We are so focused on preparing for the future world that we are forgetting to fix our current world. I felt most connected to his sermon when he talked about creating your own meaning of religion and spirituality. On Rosh Hashanah, it is tradition that we attend synagogue for two and a half hours or more, and pray for a sweet and healthy year. But why? Does physically attending synagogue force us to reflect on the past year? Or do we only partake in this act because it is what we are expected to do? My Rabbi urged the congregation to explore a new meaning for themselves in religion and spirituality in this upcoming year. As the world advances in technology and business, so does the world of religion and spirituality. The increasing popularity of

spirituality practices such as meditation and yoga allow people to find faith and meaning in their own individual way. While traditions are still an important aspect of observing religion, people will always find new ways of connecting. This could mean hosting a family dinner once a month, or even sitting on a beach somewhere in silence. Whatever it might be, the point is that it is your practice and you have the right to express that in any way that you want. I wish that everyone could see religion in this way; that it is a practice intended to be altered in some way, shape or form by your own desires. Due to the fact that there are different sects of every religion that vary in strictness, I know that this is not realistic to say. But even in a circumstance where you are tied to strict rules, I would hope that you find some room to make your own choices and take pride in making decisions for yourself. I recently had a conversation with a friend here at Brandeis who is a practicing Modern Orthodox Jew. I asked him about his transition to college and whether or not he questioned practicing the religion. I was surprised to hear him say that when he first got to Brandeis, he felt lost, in that he had no one forcing any rules upon him. When he first arrived, even though he knew of the Orthodox community that existed here, he felt that no one understood his transition. It was at that moment that he realized that his religion and practice were choices, and that he had decisions to make about how he wanted to continue to act. His comment stuck with me and connects to my story perfectly. Before my friend arrived at college, he never questioned or pushed the limits of his religion. It was never a choice, although he did not know anything different. For the first time in his life, he was given the opportunity to make a decision about his religion. Although he is still a practicing Modern Orthodox Jew, he now makes his own decisions and often questions what he can and cannot do. He is aware that at any moment he could reconstruct his beliefs and he takes pride in having that capability. I would like to urge my peers at Brandeis to make these choices and find these connections in the upcoming year. It is important to recognize that there is no right or wrong way to practice and that there is no harm in trying more than one way to feel connected. My Rabbi’s sermon made me question my own practice and how I might alter it for the New Year and I urge you all to do the same.

16 The Brandeis Hoot


Dor Guez enthralls at Rose opening

By Max Randhahn Staff

The Rose Art Museum reopened this evening after a summer hiatus, allowing the public to see its collections once more, and giving new director Christopher Bedford the opportunity to prove himself with the exhibit “100 Steps to the Mediterranean,” by Dor Guez. Guez, a Jerusalem-born photographer and video artist, lives and works in Jaffa, and received an MFA from Tel Aviv University in 2008. Guez’s work has appeared everywhere from Berlin to New York, and his new body of work is a boon to The Rose in his first major museum exhibition in the United States. The exhibit is incredibly personal and moving, exploring the overlooked histories of the Christian-Palestinian minority in the Middle East. The bulk of Guez’s work comes from a series of video interviews with three generations of his own family. The artist’s grandfather, Jacob Monayer, is the subject of “July 13,” a video wherein he describes the 1948 invasion of al-Lydd by the Israeli Defense Force. Monayer describes the chaos and oppression of living under Israeli occupation, and recounts his time spent in St. George’s Church, where many Christian Arabs hid during the fighting. Four years of Monayer’s life were spent in that church, only to be replaced by life in a ghetto. Spliced together are clips of Monayer taking Guez to the church and posing inside it, as well clips of Guez decorating his family’s Christmas tree. The result is a somber reflection on the importance of fam-

ily and history. “Subaru-Mercedes,” the second video in the collection, focuses on Guez’s Uncle Sami, who attempts to reconcile his identity as a mix of Arab/Eastern and Israeli/ Western cultures. Sami describes life as a Christian Arab as one of self-censorship, working to avoid the genaration of hatred upon himself. Hailing from mixed nationalities, especially those in the minority, offers countless opportunities for others to brand one as they see fit. Sami attempts to describe this difficulty while his wife and children shout over him in the background, adding to the chaotic nature of his interview. The third video, “(Sa)mira,” follows Guez’s cousin’s account of an instance of racism at the restaurant where she works. After a meal in which three men expressed distaste that Samira was an Arab, her boss subtly told her that she must change the name that appears on the restaurant’s receipts, or else be fired. Samira acquiesced, but some prodding from Guez reveals that her decision was far from easy. Samira breaks down in tears about halfway through the video and demands that Guez retake the interview. The viewer can almost feel Samira’s barely-restrained rage and sadness: Her name is what identifies her, more so than labels such as Christian or Palestinian, and to change it is to change her. “Watermelons Under The Bed” rounds out the series of videos, as another uncle of Guez’s, Samih, reflects upon Monayer’s stubborn but flexible nature and the symbols of his childhood that have become so much a part of his personal culture. As Jacob Monayer cuts up melons and cacti, Samih wonders how best to define

himself, given his cultural conflict. The centerpiece of the videos is “Sabir,” a 17-minute piece of the sun setting on a beach as the elder Samira Monayer describes her life in vivid detail. Similar sentiments to Jacob’s are made: the war changed everything; the war was too long; the war made things different. These are contrasted with short anecdotes telling of Samira’s childhood and its formative effects on her. The piece is simultaneously soothing and uneasy; the idyllic setting is completely out of place with the war stories, but Samira’s other tales enhance it, as if to say, “Things were bad, but life goes on.” Alongside the Monayer videos are a few photo galleries, including old pictures of the Monayers before and after the IDF occupation. One gallery explores a section of Lod where the IDF destroyed Palestinian architecture. Taken at night and lit only by the city lights, the photos are eerie and remarkable. Two videos of St. George’s Church are also present. One is a looping shot of the church, zooming out from the iconostasis and other parts of the church to highlight their importance and symbols. The other is of a sermon delivered by the Greek Orthodox minister, delivered in Greek with an Arab translator on hand. This illustrates the power of the Greek patriarchate, and fits well with Guez’s other works. Bedford closed out the reopening with a short speech, expressing his excitement toward working at The Rose, accompanied by Provost Steve Goldstein. Guez will deliver an artist’s talk on Tuesday, Oct. 30, and the exhibit closes Dec. 9. Guez’s work is well worth seeing; the artist delivers powerful messages simply and effectively.

dor guez Provost Steve Goldstein and Rose Director Chris Bedford speak about the collection; students,

faculty and guests peruse the exhibits.

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012


The Brandeis Hoot

Shrouded in controversy, ‘Elementary’ soldiers onward By Juliette Martin Editor

America, it seems, has gone mad for Sherlock Holmes. Since 2009, two films starring Robert Downey Jr. have been released to great success, and the British BBC’s “Sherlock” has a strong American fan base. Now, the United States is to get a television Sherlock of our own: “Elementary,” a similarly modernized take on the classic detective story, set in New York, premieres Sept. 27. Though the pilot will not officially air until that date, it has been pre-released on DVD to a number of watchers in order to influence conversation about the show. Though Sherlock Holmes adaptations, commonly set in the modern day have become commonplace, “Elementary” has found definite ways to stand-out through their characterization. Sherlock Holmes (played by Jonny Lee Miller) enters the series as a recovering drug addict, in keeping with Conan Doyle’s original canon for the character, and progressively gets more interesting. This is a very modern, tattooed Sherlock who finds sex repulsive. Yet he spends his first scene implying that in order to quite his body’s desires and better utilize his mind, he could thoroughly enjoy a BDSM-flavored romp with a young woman. He has all the classic, cold and intellectual snark of a classic Holmes, but has a strong emotional grounding: He hates to admit that he’s wrong but would rather give in to admitting failure then watch the people he cares about get hurt. He is certainly a Sherlock with a heart, and the duality between the cold, crime-solving machine and the man the audience is shown is bound to create an interesting set of internal conflicts for our protagonist.

elementary Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller play modern, New York versions of John Watson (in this case, Joan) and Sherlock Holmes.

Watson, meanwhile, has all the underpinnings of a classic Watson portrayal. There is, of course, one major obvious change: Watson is played by Lucy Liu and her name is Joan. Joan Watson presents an equally loyal and determined sidekick, a companion who sticks with her admittedly difficult charge, keeping him grounded in the human world that he so often forgets about. She is a tough New Yorker with a tougher past and should prove to portray a very interesting adaptation of the original character.

In addition to the unusual choices made about characters, “Elementary” stands out in other ways. Both the main actors, Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, have strongly taken on the personas of their characters. Both are multi-faceted and complex, presenting real people with often contradicting sides of their personalities. Miller’s emotive ability is particularly noteworthy, showing a mastery over his expressions with great variety. The show’s cinematography was also particularly impressive, highlighting the architecture and the busy environ-

ment of the city in which it is set. Though clearly very well made, “Elementary” is not without its flaws. The plot of the first episode was of course a classic, formulaic Sherlock Holmes story: Holmes finds a case, thinks he’s solved it, discovers a twist with the help of Watson and eventually brings the unexpected and unsuspected perpetrator to justice. The plot focused on highlighting and establishing the personalities of Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson but seemed to have made some sacrifices in order to hone in on this characterization. As

photo from internet source

a result, the story became predictable where it was clearly meant to be twisting and shocking. The twist was easy to guess with even a small amount of effort, taking away from the mysterious and surprising tone that has classically given Sherlock Holmes stories their lasting appeal. “Elementary” has also been shrouded in a great deal of controversy. It was released on the heels of the British “Sherlock,” a similarly modern and technology-heavy Sherlock Holmes that appears on the BBC. As a re See ELEMENTARY, page 19

‘Grimm’ offers new take on a classic concept

grimm Detectives Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntol) and Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) investigating a crime scene.

ByZach Reid Editor

When one thinks of a police drama, perhaps “Law and Order,” “Miami Vice” or “The Shield,” gritty portrayals of police work and criminality almost immediately come to mind. “Grimm,” however, is a rather atypical member of the police-drama community because it focuses on one detective who is forced to manage and combat magical occurrences in both murder cases and his personal life. The show takes place in Portland, Ore., where Nick (David Giuntol) initially enjoys his stable career as a detective and his longterm girlfriend, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch). This all changes, however, when his Aunt Marie Kessler

(Kate Burton) comes to town. On her deathbed, she tells him that his family is a line of “Grimms,” or creatures that exist to protect humans from Wesen (fairy-tale creatures) who only reveal their true nature when under emotional duress, and only to those who can see them (chiefly Grimms and other Wesen). The show’s summary reveals to the audience that these creatures are largely based off of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, so there is already a sense of belonging among the menagerie of Wesen in the series. Shortly after this, Nick begins to encounter Wesen all around Portland, including in his murder cases. He must find a way to balance his

newfound responsibilities as a Grimm with his police work, as well as protect his friends and loved ones from the aggression of different Wesen. Along the way, Nick is able to make use of Aunt Marie’s trailer, which is a storehouse for all of the equipment she used in her time as a Grimm, as well as a library of information on Wesen. He also becomes friends with Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) a “reformed” species of Wesen called a Blutbad (a wolf-like creature) who helps Nick understand the intricacies of Wesen society. While “Grimm’s” plot alone is enough to make the show stand out, the relationships between its characters are also a quality factor of the show. Recurring characters are ex-

photo from internet source

tremely well fleshed out, and almost always contribute something significant to each episode. The friendship between Nick and his partner Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby), for example, quickly morphs from the typical “cop-buddy” relationship to one in which Nick struggles desperately to keep the existence of Wesen secret from Hank for his own protection. He even goes so far as to cover up evidence in murder cases that involve Wesen. As Hank becomes more suspicious as the first season progresses, Nick finds himself misleading Hank on a more frequent basis. In an attempt to avoid being seen, Nick had shot a Wesen that was determined to kill Hank, and then never admitted his role in saving his partner’s life.

Monroe also serves to show how Nick’s priorities are forced to change with the realization of his true identity, even by his character’s simple existence. As a Wesen who has renounced his brutal ways and now endeavors to control them, Monroe represents the best of both worlds for Nick—a Wesen who can help him understand the incredibly complex world he’s been forced into, but also a friend who can relate to keeping his identity a secret. Because of this, the two quickly become good friends, to the point where Nick consults with Monroe on nearly every encounter with a Wesen, as well as confides in him about major life issues, such as the tension between him and Juliette or his difficulties in keeping the truth from Hank. This is not to say that Monroe only exists as Nick’s friend—there have been several episodes that feature him prominently, as other Blutbad have come to Portland with intention of seeking him out, including his ex-girlfriend. Nick’s relationship with Juliette is also a major issue throughout the series. As Nick devotes more and more time to his duties as a Grimm, Juliette feels he is growing distant and their relationship is strained. As Nick agonizes over when and how he could possibly explain what’s been happening to Juliette, he begins to find that the cost of living a double life is greater than he anticipated. Despite this, he refuses to heed Aunt Marie’s words and leave Juliette, fighting to both keep her safe and maintain their relationship. “Grimm” also delivers a level of special effects that is rarely seen on primetime television these days, with the Wesen’s transformations becoming more and more impressive with each new species; as of right now, 33 species of Wesen have been See CRIME AND MYTH, page 19


The Brandeis Hoot

September 21, 2012

Best senior artists on display

the gallery ‘New Work From Home and Abroad’ is presented in the Goldman-Schwartz Art Center and runs until Oct. 28.

By Juliette Martin Editor

In the Goldman-Schwartz Art Center on Wednesday, select members of the senior classes opened a show, highlighting the work that they have produced over the past summer. The show is called “New Work from Home and Abroad,” showcasing the fact that some of the art in the show was produced overseas by students in the thick of their entanglement with a new and foreign culture. The show represents a wide array of styles, an enormous level of effort and dedication on the part of the artists and a great deal of talent. The funding for the show, and for the support of the artists, comes from

two sources: The Brandeis Arts Council and the Remis Fund. The Brandeis Arts Council is made up of alumni, parents and friends of Brandeis, who select and provide grants for outstanding programs, exhibits, performances, concerts and individual artists at Brandeis. The council, which has 20 to 25 members, funds educational opportunities for direct artistic development, with each member giving an annual gift of $5,000, creating a pool of funding to support the School of Creative Arts. The second source of support for the artists of “New Work from Home and Abroad” is the Remis Fund for Prints, Drawings and Photographs. The Remis fund is a private, non-profit trust, operating out of Boston that provides financial support

for the arts. In funding “New Work from Home and Abroad” these sources looked to strengthen the vivacity of the artistic community at Brandeis. Soon-to-be graduating art students were encouraged in their endeavors, wherever their paths may have taken them during this past summer, be it on home soil or in distant lands. The show itself is laid out along a hall, with some artists displayed in clumps and others spread throughout the exhibition. Each group of work is accompanied by a small blurb written by the artist, describing the creative experience of creating the displayed pieces, and the goals and ideas in mind over the process of their creation. All of the artists displayed present enormous talent and clear dedica-

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tion, indicative of the funding that allowed this show to come together as it did. With numerous artists represented, the show presents a wide array of themes. One artist, Violet Soued, explores “perception of space, objects and ourselves,” displayed in several pieces, including a pair in which binary numbers overlay bright, dual-covered human forms. Beside her works, Diana Eunsoo Chung displays a large set of mixed-media animal paintings. These unique paintings adorn everything from canvas that is decorated with plastic beads to glass dishes, and are clearly made with great skill and care, using brush strokes to create very realistic looking patterns of fur. Similarly, David French presents sev-

eral animal-themed pieces in bright, unusual colors, drawing inspiration from “aesthetic forms found in nature,” in addition to global religious and folk traditions. In contrast, Clare Churchill-Seder’s work displays the familiar urban landscape of Boston, particularly featuring vistas along the Charles River in blurred, soft shapes and lights. In her blurb, she discusses her experimentation with “notions of specificity and place.” Far from Boston, another artist, Sophie Golomb spent her summer in India; her work strongly reflects the location of her studies. Her works are portraits in the style of Indian miniatures, utilizing flat, opaque colors, careful details and distinct outlines. Nearby, Tess Sucoff displays her studies in New York City of the human form in a series of blurred but unapologetic portraits of the nude human form. Sara Weininger’s paintings appear throughout the exhibit, primarily on the largest canvases present, and are consistently fascinating. She uses interesting and original color choices and paints with a sense of unconstrained and unperturbed freedom. In her description, Sucoff mentions a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do the thing you think you cannot do.” Sucoff writes that with this quote in mind, she tried to “listen, not think, and do what [her] painting required.” Diverse and beautiful, “New Work From Home and Abroad” is a lovely display of a less-seen aspect of the vast pool of talent present at Brandeis. Running in the Goldman-Schwartz Art Center until Oct. 28, the show is surely a must see for any member of the Brandeis artistic community. It could well prove an enlightening and cultured diversion for those unfamiliar with art as a whole, or to the art of Brandeis’ many talented students.

For busy Brandeisians, Baan Thai comes through By Ben Fine

Special to the Hoot

Baan Thai is a restaurant that many Brandeis students know and love, but for those who have yet to discover one of Main Street’s best restaurants, there are several reasons that make the trip worthwhile. Baan Thai staff love Brandeis students just as much as the students love Baan Thai. The staff makes ordering incredibly easy, which is helpful in the middle of a tough study session. While menus are not being distributed around campus, students can find the full menu online. Orders can be placed over the phone or online. It should be noted, however, that Baan Thai will only deliver for orders costing more than $15. This minor hiccup is more than compensated for by the fact that the delivery staff will bring you food wherever you are on campus. The staff has made many deliveries to Brandeis over the years, and easily knows the campus as well as students. Customer service at Baan Thai, both at the restaurant and for delivery, is a definite plus.

After the five minute Branvan ride or the 30 minute walk to the restaurant, students will find a pleasant, though slightly generic atmosphere. The eating area is a simple, clean room filled with standard wooden tables and chairs. The only truly interesting aspect of the restaurant is the walls, which are lined with huge mirrors. The restaurant becomes social on weekend nights with Brandeis and Bentley students creating most of the minimal noise. It’s fun to go there with a huge group, especially due to Baan Thai’s willingness to split the check into separate bills for a big group. Many restaurants begrudgingly give large groups separate checks or may even deny the request completely. While it is a pain for restaurants to split the checks, Baan Thai’s staff is always polite and willing to go over the top in order to make their customers’ experience better. The conveniences and fantastic customer service of Baan Thai, however, wouldn’t mean too much if the food was not good. Thankfully, Baan Thai has some of, if not the best Asian food in the Waltham area. It is worth

noting that the food is not cheap. Appetizers are in the three to seven dollar range, the prices of main courses are mainly in the mid to high teens, and sushi will cost between six to 14 dollars per roll. If money is not a pressing concern, then definitely go to Baan Thai, because it will be money well spent. One of the best meal combinations starts off with an eel avocado cucumber roll, which translates into ten huge pieces of seaweed covered in rice, filled with an equal proportion of the three ingredients. The roll is covered lightly in its own sauce but it’s highly recommended to take advantage of the soy sauce and some of the green wasabi. The avocado is certainly the dominant flavor in the sushi, but the sweet tastes of the fruit and the eel, cucumbers, avocado and sauce work well together, especially when combined with the salty soy sauce and spicy wasabi. Other popular sushi rolls are the spicy tuna roll and the surprisingly good chicken teriyaki roll. These definitely merit a try if one is a fan of raw fish, or if you are looking for something new and unique. The sushi can easily be substituted by another appetizer, and the dumplings or apple salad come highly recommended. The pork dumplings are standard fare, nothing out of the ordinary but are cooked to perfection and served with a mouth-watering sweet oil. The apple salad, simply a bed of sliced apples with a fresh vinaigrette, is surprisingly one of the most refreshing appetizers at Baan Thai. All of the other appetizers are tasty, except for the soups. While they are the cheapest items on the menu, this is due to the fact that they come in extremely small portions with little flavor. The Rainbow Soup, despite having a fancy name, is

baan thai Located on nearby Main street, Baan Thai pro-

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vides. delicious thai food to hungry Brandeis students.

the one of blandest substances in the restaurant. Unlike the soups, the main courses more than complete a satisfying meal. Popular dishes include the curries, which cost around $15 or the noodles or fried rice, which are quite cheap at around $10. The Yellow Curry, which consists of stewed meat or chicken and vegetables in a sweet and spicy coconut broth, is a very enjoyable entree. Each curry is served with a bowl of white or brown rice that soaks up all of the delicious sauce. The fried rice and noodle dishes are very popular because they are both large portions and fairly affordable. The classic fried rice and Pad Thai

are staples at any Thai restaurant, but Baan Thai executes them very well, to the point that they should always be considered an option if the more unique meals are unappealing to a customer. The Pad See Ew, a stir fried wide noodle, is a very popular main course among Brandeis students. The noodles do not veer into unknown territory, but the savory dish of stir fried noodles, meat and vegetables, have become an integral part of many meals at Baan Thai. If you ever want a delicious study break or want an enjoyable meal on a Friday night in Waltham, then call or head over to Baan Thai. Chances are, you’ll be going more than once.

September 21, 2012

The Brandeis Hoot

‘Elementary’ shows promise despite flaws


Arts Recommends books

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ELEMENTARY, from page 17

sult, there has been an outcry against “Elementary” from “Sherlock” fans, who accuse it of attempting to ride the wave of “Sherlock’s” success. “Sherlock” producer Sue Vertue told fans in an interview with The Independent that CBS had in fact initially approached the BBC, asking to make an adaption of their hit “Sherlock,” which is still on the air. They also promised that should the details of “Elementary” prove too close to those of “Sherlock” legal action would be taken. As of yet, many of the parties (including actors) seem unbothered by the similarities between the two shows. Further conflict between the

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two camps remains to be seen. Despite the copyright-based troubles that have so far dogged “Elementary,” the pilot shows great promise as a successful show. The overall production quality is clearly at a high standard and features two talented, invested actors in the iconic lead roles. As an adaptation of an already well-loved story, “Elementary” shows great potential to become a lasting member, even a staple of American television. Though the pilot was certainly flawed, this can be attributed to a desire to set up characters that would make it more challenging, given time and production limitations, to present a perfectly compelling plot. “Elementary” officially premieres Sept. 27 on CBS.

A mixing of crime and myth on ‘Grimm’

‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin “Game of Thrones,” the television adaption of “A Song of Ice and Fire,” has been critically acclaimed and gained an incredible amount of fame. The novels enjoy an even more intense devotion from their fans. Written by George R.R. Martin, the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” currently contains five novels, each of which have surpassed fans’ expectations set by the last. The epic series has been in progress since 1991, with each novel taking approximately four years to complete. The novels chronicle the political infighting of the Seven Noble Families of the land of Westeros, as they vie for dominance. At the same time, one of the last members of the exiled Targaryen family, Daenerys, plots her vengeance on the other nobles who took the Iron Throne from her family, which she believes to be her birthright. Additionally, the other main plot line chronicles the tale of the Night’s Watch, as they man the massive wall to the north of Westeros and try to prevent the Wild Men and supernatural Others from overwhelming the land. The main appeal of the novels in lieu of the TV series is the vastly expanded levels of characterization and plot development. Because the TV shows are limited to an hour each, the writers are forced to rewrite scenes and cut out a lot of the details, and while the show does a great job of making the franchise more approachable for the average fan, reading the novels allows a fan to gain an even greater appreciation for the world that Martin has laboriously crafted. The only downside of the series is the length of each novel, which can discourage some potential readers. That being said, the extra pages are full of great content, and the length is more than worth the time it takes to read. Overall, “A Song of Ice and Fire” is a must-read for any “Game of Thrones” fan that wants to gain a better understanding of the overall story, or any literary fan that doesn’t mind lengthy books.

zach reid, editor


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GRIMM, from page 17

portrayed on the show, but as Aunt Marie’s books shows, there are many more that have yet to be revealed. As what appear to be ordinary humans transforming into exotic creatures, such as the dragon-like Damonfeuer or the snake-like Lausenschlange, the audience cannot help but be awed by the fantastical creatures. The bloodspattered crime scenes also develop in intensity as the show goes on, and as of the second season, have turned into “Dexter”-esque bloodbaths. The scenery of the show is simply gorgeous. Filmed in Oregon, the state’s natural forests lend their own sense of rustic beauty to the series, as well as providing a backdrop for a number of Nick and Hank’s cases. Additionally, the quaint neighborhoods of Portland help to emphasize

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how fragile the relationship between Wesen and the general public is, and how easy it would be for a single malicious Wesen to induce harm. The wide variety of murder cases take Nick and Hank to locations ranging from abandoned factories to well populated resort towns, which serve to keep the show’s background from stagnating and boring the audience. In nearly every aspect of the show, “Grimm” proves itself to be a significant deviation from the standard police drama. While it may be a bit harder for the audience to believe in Wesen, as opposed to the serial killers and kidnappers “Law and Order” have exposed them to, the innovative concepts behind “Grimm” help to make it a popular member of the fall primetime season, and it is a must-see for any fan of police or legal shows, as well as the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Owen Pallett The Canadian born Owen Pallett creates music that defies real categorization. Pallett, who has now created his own blend of indie and classical music, got his start while studying under his father, studying classical violin and composing his first piece at age 13. Pallett’s primary instruments are violin, keyboard and his voice, assembling intricate and unusual music. Pallett records under the name Final Fantasy, but has now begun to release albums under his own name, and has recorded and created string arrangements for several other more prominent acts, including most notably Bon Iver and Arcade Fire. Of all his contributions to the modern indie music scene, Pallett’s least known and perhaps most original recordings come from his solo work, including his 2010 album “Heartland.” Pallet’s music utilizes his considerable talent to create beautiful and unusual sounds, songs that can seem strange and jarring at first but prove a wonderful listen, time and time again. Each subsequent experience brings new, unnoticed elements into view. Pallett’s lyrics are also one of his great musical strengths. He writes songs that are relevant and thought-provoking, without any sense of pandering to a particular audience. It is written earnestly and beautifully, dealing with issues of homeland and identity in songs that not only hold up, but prove yet more fascinating under analytical scrutiny. Pallett is certainly not intended for a mainstream audience: It is not music to be played at parties or blasted from car stereos, but rather prides itself on being intelligent, original and truly artistic. juliette martin, editor


The Brandeis Hoot

September 21, 2012

The Brandeis Hoot  

September 21, 2012 issue of The Brandeis Hoot.