Volume 10 Number 3
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.
February 1, 2013
Greek life urges members not to discuss alleged sexual assault Waltham Police investigating allegations By Jon Ostrowsky Editor
With allegations of sexual assault at a Dartmouth Street party under investigation by the Waltham Police Department, leaders of Brandeis University’s unrecognized Greek life organizations urged members to refrain from discussing the incident in order
to protect their reputations. Police confirmed their investigation of allegations at a party during the weekend of Jan. 18-20. “There is an ongoing investigation at this time,” Detective Brian Smith of the Waltham Police Department said Wednesday, declining to comment further. Officers from the organizations Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) and the Greek Awareness Council (GAC), comprised of Brandeis students, wrote an email to all Greek life members on Jan. 24, explaining the incident and their immediate response. Following the allegations, ZBT suspended the accused member indefinitely, termi-
nated all formal rush events and will organize educational workshops this semester, according to the email obtained by The Hoot. “If you do not read this entire email, the most important thing to take away from this is that we should not be talking about this. The details do not matter,” the GAC officer wrote. “We must stand by ZBT through this, and that means not discussing the situation … I intend to do everything in my power to preserve the reputation that ZBT has worked so hard to build, and the reputation of Brandeis Greek life as a whole.” University officials and senior lead-
ers from the Greek organizations declined to comment for this story. In a message to Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer and Associate Dean Maggie Balch, included in the Jan. 24 email, the GAC officer expressed concern for the reputation of Greek life at Brandeis. “My top priority is to maintain the reputation of the Greek organizations that Brandeis students have chosen to join, as well as to show that the trust the administration and student body have put in our self-regulation is welldeserved,” the officer wrote. Nearly 10 percent of undergraduate students belong to unrecognized
fraternities or sororities. A 1988 Board of Trustees Resolution prohibits the university from recognizing such organizations, stating, “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 GAC officer sent the email to be forwarded to members of all Greek organizations, through a university See ASSAULT, page 2
bVIEW brings students to campus from across Boston By Emily Belowich Staff Rachel Hirschhaut Editor
faculty meeting President Lawrence speaks at the faculty meeting Thursday afternoon.
photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
Stragetic plan to be finished, but still no definites By Lassor Feasley staff
The university’s strategic plan, which was originally scheduled to be presented for its approval by the board of trustees later this month, is expected to be finished by the end
of the semester. In a faculty meeting Thursday, Provost Steve Goldstein refrained from giving definite dates. The construction of the plan was intended to utilize a highly democrat-
More than 250 students representing 17 different universities gathered in Levin Ballroom last Sunday for the first annual Brandeis Visions for Israel in an Evolving World (bVIEW) conference to have a serious, thought-provoking discussion about Israel and its future, which President Fred Lawrence said would, “move the conversation forward in a productive manner.” The conference was separated into two different parts with two centers of focus: the first discussed Israelrelated culture on American college campuses and the second looked ahead to Israel’s future, allowing students to have conversations about solutions and steps to take beyond bVIEW’s conference. The conference was led by a pluralistic group of students: Israeli
students such as Chen Arad ’15 and Natan Auddenheimer ’15, who came to Brandeis after serving in the Israeli Defense Forces; Sarah Geller ’13, who found herself challenged by the question of how to relate to Israel in a changing world and “how to depolarize the dialogue” after studying abroad in Lebanon; and Noam Lekach ’14, an Israeli who is involved in the group, Students for Justice in Palestine. Arad summarized the mission of the conference: “We need to ask whether our actions make the situation better, not worse. The conversation needs to be depolarized, and the discourse needs to bring us forward,” he said. The conference featured a combination of keynote speakers, panels and roundtable discussions, all of which were student-led. Geller, Co-Founder See BVIEW, page 16
Launching a dialogue on gender justice
See PLAN, page 5
Suspicious encounter reported in library By Connor Novy Editor
A female student was approached in the library last Sunday around midnight by an unidentified male, who made “unwelcome advances.” The incident is the last in a small string of off-campus trespassers. Officials have yet to determine his identity or whether or not the individual is a community member. “Individual could possibly be a grad or Ph.D., which we are looking into. If the person is identified, we will review any type of applicable charge,” Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan wrote in an email. Individual could possibly be a grad
Inside this issue:
or PHD which we are looking into. If the person is identified, we will review any type of applicable charge. If a Community member a Judicial referral and possibly criminal charges. If a non Community member possible criminal charges and letter of Trespass. Two weeks ago, a man was arrested for trespassing in the Village. Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer sent the campus an email about the incident. It read, “Last night a man who is not affiliated with Brandeis was arrested inside the Village. Campus Police were called by students who did not recognize the man, were concerned
justice Juhu Thukral speaks at the inaugural Anita Hill Annual Lecture on Gender Justice Wednesday afternoon, discussing “Gender. Sex. Money. New Frontiers in the Flight for Sexual Rights.”
photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
See TRESSPASSER, page 3
Ke$sha as role model News: Construction angers residents Page 2 Features: Students remember music professorPage 2 A senior finds inspiration in Ke$ha and her music. Arts, Etc.: HOT hooks audience with tap Page 11 Opinion: A world without tech Page 14 Opinion: Page 12 Sports: Men’s basketball breaks winning streak Page 7
Disney rocky horror Rocky Horror, the Disney version, brings eccentric fun.
Arts, etc.: Page 9
2 The Brandeis Hoot
February 1, 2013
Students remember music Professor Ray Communications Forum brings networking to campus By Rachel Hirschhaut Editor
100 Brandeis students and 30 off-campus employers from the communication and media industry gathered for an evening of roundtable discussions and networking at the Hiatt Career Center’s third annual Communications Forum. Bill Imada, founder, chairman and CEO of IW Group, an intercultural marketing agency, gave the keynote address. Imada’s advice to the room full of students was to “take risks … because your careers will take twists and turns … focus on solutions rather than problems … [and] let go of the idea of perfection” in careers and in life. After the keynote lecture, participants networked with communications companies in
15-minute blocks of time. Employers visiting campus ranged from the Today Show, CBS, Clarks, a fashion design company and Hill Holiday, an advertising agency. Students in attendance said they found the experiences of talking to potential employers, and simply listening to their stories, to be insightful. “It was fascinating to learn more about all the communication industries and how they work,” said Rebekah Lee ’14. “I found that the forum relieved a lot of my anxiety [about finding a job],” said Sydney Appelbaum ’13. Appelbaum said that her psychology major has made her interested in a career in marketing. “The people here understood what it was like to be overwhelmed, so seeing successful alumni in all fields definitely helped,” Appelbaum said.
photo courtesy brandeisnow
By Rachel Hirschhaut Editor
Mary Ruth Ray, a beloved Brandeis music professor and performer, passed away Jan. 29 after a battle with cancer. Student performer Yoni Battat ’13, sharing memories of Ray, remembered her modesty, saying, “She would have said ‘Enough about me, some music would be nice.” Ray started teaching viola and chamber music performance at Brandeis in 1980 and became chair of the music department in 2005.
Ray was also known for her role as a founding member of the Lydian String Quartet. With the group, she performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other well-known concert halls. Several of the quartet’s recordings were honored as “Best of the Year” by The New York Times. “Mary Ruth had a profound and lasting impact on the arts at Brandeis, as both a teacher and an artist. Her legacy is one of grace and beauty,” Scott Edmiston, director of the Office of the Arts, told BrandeisNOW. “She created exquisite moments of transcendence, beyond language, that can only happen through music. Her talents and her gentle spirit will live on in our memories.”
Main St. strip mall angers Waltham residents
By Debby Brodsky Editor
Roughly one mile from Brandeis, there is a major construction site on Main Street that is simultaneously angering Waltham residents for damaging nearby homes and promising the addition of several exciting shops and restaurants. Last week, a group of angry Waltham residents met with project officials to complain about the recent rock blasting at the site, led by the Maine Drilling & Blasting company. Construction and development of the site, led by J&Co. Project Manager Rick Vallarelli, is currently in the demolition process, tearing down the former Polaroid building in order to break down rocks and widen Main Street to make room for the incoming strip mall. Residents have complained that the
blasting at the Polaroid site has damaged their homes, and on occasion has come close to hitting nearby people. Residents have also complained that Maine Drilling & Blasting company has not been following blasting regulations. Maine Drilling & Blasting, however, claims that company monitors have not cited the company for violating blasting rules, and that they are acting within the law. According to a Maine Drilling & Blasting representative, all blasting should be completed within six weeks. “There are legitimate blasting complaints and there have been various meetings between the developer and the city,” Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy said. “The Fire Department monitors blasting on site and the State Fire Marshall has also been involved.” Despite blasting concerns, however, McCarthy said she was looking forward to the addition of the strip mall,
and that its presence would benefit Waltham residents in the long run. McCarthy explained that the new site will preserve more than 20 acres of the former Berry Farm, an irrevocable trust that in two years automatically vests to the City of Waltham. The site developers will also build a rail trail on the property and will have more diverse retail at the site than there is currently. Unlike angry Waltham residents, Brandeis students who live off campus near the Polaroid site, like Zoe Siegel ’13 have not been bothered by blasting noises or nearby construction. According to Siegel, she and her housemates have not yet heard the blasting and are looking forward to the addition of the strip mall. “I am definitely looking forward to it! Traffic has not been an issue surprisingly and I think it will be very convenient to students. None of us have been frustrated at all.”
photos by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
While Siegel thought the presence of the new strip mall would encourage future students to live off campus and increase the value of local homes, Siegel, unlike McCarthy, did express concern for many of the “local treasures” of Waltham, including Cafe on the Common and Taqueria Mexico, that will face client competition from the incoming restaurants in the strip mall. According to Vallarelli, construction on the strip mall is scheduled to begin in May or June, and the largest
tenant, Market Basket, is scheduled to partially open by the end of 2013. The new strip mall will include tenants such as Starbucks, Marshall’s, TD Bank, Bonefish Grill, Jake & Joes and a Verizon store. Vallarelli also plans to create a town green park in addition to outdoor seating for incoming restaurants. The construction site spans a tremendous 119 acres and the strip mall itself will span 280,000 square feet with an additional 100,000 square feet of office space.
February 1, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot
Greek life responds to alleged sexual assault
ASSAULT, from page 1
listserv approved by LTS. A senior member of ZBT’s leadership voiced serious concern about the charges but also urged students not to discuss them. “ZBT has always been an organization that has emphasized personal integrity and has always been especially conscious of its image. Given this, allegations of this nature are appalling to every brother of this chapter,” the ZBT officer wrote. “However, despite whatever personal opinions anyone has surrounding the events, I STRONGLY suggest that all members of the Greek community refrain from discussing the situation, particularly in public.” The email also advised students with further concerns to contact the officers, the Dean’s Office, the campus club, Students Talking About Relationships (STAR) or the Brandeis Counseling and Rape Crisis Hotline. During the past three years, sexual assault gathered significant attention at colleges and universities, including at Brandeis. In April 2011, the Department of Education sent a new guidance letter, reminding school administrators of their obligations to comply with Title IX.
One of the most important requirements is the obligation for universities to conduct internal investigations when they hear of sexual assault or harassment, separate from any law enforcement investigation. University policies shifted to a lesser burden of proof for cases of sexual assault heard before the student conduct board. Like many other universities, prior to the 2011 guidance, Brandeis used a “clear and convincing standard” as opposed to a “preponderance of the evidence standard” required by Title IX and currently in use. At nearly the same time as the evidence standard was changed, the Brandeis student conduct board heard this case—a female undergraduate student alleging she was raped by a Heller School student at their off-campus apartment nearly a dozen times between October 2010 and January 2011. The Hoot reported that story in April 2012, including claims that the university sought to protect its image and remained fearful of lawsuits, rather than prioritizing her safety. The male student was found responsible for nine of 11 code violations in Rights and Responsibilities, including section 3.1, which prohibits sexual contact without consent and an appeals committee later up-
held the board’s ruling, but prosecutors at the District Attorney’s office decided not to charge him. Last August, following the 2011 guidance, Brandeis adopted a separate grievance process for cases of sexual misconduct. Under the new process, unlike other violations of Rights and Responsibilities that appear before the student conduct board, the special examiner will investigate sexual assault and harassment cases and the dean of student life will render the final decision for the outcome of the case.
However, despite whatever personal opinions anyone has surrounding the events, I STRONGLY suggest that all members of the Greek community refrain from discussing the situation, particularly in public.”
Beyond Nuremberg: The future of international criminal justice By Nathanial Lurie Staff
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein serves as Jordan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, and previously served as Jordan’s ambassador to the United States. He spoke Wednesday on the future of international criminal justice. Introduced as one of the few men capable of “standing above the canopy and describing the forest,” his big-picture insight helped make sense of how international criminal law may add real world consequences to violations of human rights in the near future. He remained objective when questioned about his title and his country’s vulnerability to an Arab Spring uprising. As a prince in one of the few remaining monarchies, he responded, it is important to remember that you are working for the people and not above them. A colleague of Prince Zeid, Donald Ferencz gave the introduction. His personal narrative was significant: born in Nuremberg to an American prosecutor in 1952, he felt as though he was a direct heir to the “Nurem-
photos by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
berg legacy.” His revelation that his own father had liberated a concentration camp and later illegally held the gun to the head of a Nazi officer in an interrogation room, exposed a new type of reality. The International Criminal Court provides a system to make this ruleof-law become a reality. To many around the world, this seems to be lofty hope, but Prince Zeid spelled out the pieces that must fall into place for the idea to be realized. Factions would not retaliate against factions for cold-blooded behavior if there is a court of law able to convict the offender, just as there is no reason for the family of a murder victim to take the law into its own hands. If this system gains ground, cases that would otherwise erupt into war may be avoided. There is no clear path to convince countries around the world to adopt this regime. Prince Zeid was stumped on this point as well: the best plan he could offer was that every child in the world be educated to respect human rights from an early age.
Trespassers on the rise TRESSPASSER, from page 1
about his actions and realized that he did not belong in the building.” The university has seen an upswing in incidents concerning nonCommunity members, said Callahan, mostly concerning drunk or disorderly students on weekends. “University police have encountered several intoxicated non students, over the last several weeks. I believe these individuals may have been invited or heard about social events/parties, which have occurred on campus during evening/night time hours,” he wrote. Police always attempt to identify individuals not from campus who come into contact with Public Safety, and answer why they were here in the first place. Callahan said his staff can usually find the root of the event by searching Facebook for the pages with invitations to the party or event. “We always attempt to determine how non students, who create a problem, end up on campus.” In response to the library incident, Callahan says they have increased both uniformed and plain-clothes patrols by members of Public Safety in the library. He warns students to be cautious of unknown individuals. “Although we are a welcoming Community, students should not tell strangers any type of personal information,” Callahan wrote. Callahan notes that while Brandeis is a generally welcoming campus, students should use good judgment when inviting non Brandeis community members to campus. “I would advise students, that if they invite a guest to campus, they should understand that they are responsible for the actions of their guests.” “Although students are comfortable in their community environment, they should secure their room doors to prevent unauthorized entry,” Callahan wrote, reminding students that while Brandeis is considered a safe environment, students still need to function using reasonable caution and responsibility.
The Brandeis Hoot
February 1, 2013
February 1, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot
Strategic plan delayed but Provost defends structure and method PLAN, from page 1
ic structure, allowing all interested members of the Brandeis community to contribute. Goldstein was not disheartened by the broad range of some of the more far-reaching ideas. “Our inclusive process has demonstrated the enormous pride people take in this University … That collaborative spirit is what I was hoping and expecting going into this process,” he said. One of the primary purposes of the plan is to create a platform for the University’s fundraising initiatives. “The key point with the more ambitious ideas is to make them compelling enough to attract support—and that’s what we are striving to do,” Goldstein said. In other words, before the plan is finalized, it’s more far-fetched ideas will either be reigned in or given a veneer of believability. “We have sought out the best ideas, without seeking to constrain their scope or ambition …
It’s in the nature of a strategic plan to include some ideas that will require significant philanthropic support to implement, as well as ideas that can be implemented with existing resources.” Dean of Arts and Sciences Susan Birren has long been an active participant in the plan’s construction. She reflected the views of many other interested parties, stating, “While it is true that many different ideas have been discussed, I have been struck by the broad consensus on the mission and goals of Brandeis and the drive to create a plan that strengthens our position at the forefront of research and the liberal arts.” In defense of the delays, she added, “Strategic planning for Brandeis is a significant undertaking and we are taking the time needed to do it well … we are taking the time needed to put this all together and get community feedback on the emerging plan.” Although no one involved in the creation of the plan would say the enthusiastic response of the Brandeis community is detrimental to the
document’s spirit, some felt that it has had a stifling effect on the original timeline. Student Council President Todd Kirkland stated, “I think the response from the community contributed to the delay.” He added, “Regardless, [the] administration seems to be confident that the plan will be released to be put in effect by next academic year.” While details of the final plan are forthcoming, Goldstein emphasized the “living” nature of the document, suggesting that some aspects of the plan could be altered after its approval. “Even after the plan is finalized, it will remain a living document, as we proceed to apply it in ways that are responsive to evolving circumstances and our cumulative experience,” he said. Despite this, Goldstein said that the delay is not indicative of any structural issues, but rather a simple matter of time. “For everyone involved in this process, strategic planning is a large task on top of everything else they are already doing,” he said.
photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
“Our small size as a university makes it possible for this process to include everyone who wants to participate in the public discussions and in giving feedback to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. So we have been able to keep the process moving steadily forward.” Kirkland echoed Goldstein, stating, “The delay is in response to recognition that the plan needed more work.
This is an extremely important process and it is something that should not be rushed.” He does not see the delays as indicative of a failure of the compilation of the plan. “Our aim has been to complete this process during the current academic year, so that we can begin to implement the strategic plan next year—and we remain on schedule for achieving that,” he said.
This Week in Photos
photos by sam way/archon service fair Students learn about Waltham Group activities at the fair last week in the SCC.
6 The Brandeis Hoot
“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.” Editors-in-Chief Jon Ostrowsky Emily Stott Managing Editor Brian Tabakin Connor Novy News Editor Victoria Aronson Features Editor Dana Trismen Features Editor Morgan Dashko Copy Editor Nate Rosenbloom Photography Editor Ally Eller Deputy Photography Editor Jun Zhao Graphics Editor Rachel Hirschhaut Deputy News Editor Zach Reid Deputy Arts, Etc. Editor Senior Editors Debby Brodsky Gordy Stillman
Volume 10 • Issue 3 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma
Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman
Shota Adamia, Emily Beker, Emily Belowich, Dani Chasin, Dori Cohen, Gilda DiCarli, Ally Eller, Lassor Feasley, Ben Fine, Evan Goldstein, Maya Himelfarb, Paula Hoekstra, Brittany Joyce, Ari Kalfus, Sarah Sue Landau, Rebecca Leaf, Nathan Murphy Needle, Aliya Nealy, Alexandra Patch, Max Randhahn, Brendan Reardon, Zach Reid, Zoe Richman, Charlie Romanow, Alex Self, Alec Siegel, Diane Somlo, Sindhura Sonnathi, Jennifer Spencer, Matthew Tagan, Alison Thvedt, Yi Wang, Shreyas Warrier, Pete Wein, Lila Westreich, Linjie Xu, Suzanna Yu
Mission As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.
SUBMISSION POLICIES The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to letters@ thebrandeishoot.com along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.
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Advertising in The Brandeis Hoot helps spread your message to our readers across the Brandeis campus, in the Waltham community and beyond through our website. All campus organizations receive a 25 percent discount off our regular prices. We also design basic ads for campus organizations free of charge. To reserve your space in the paper, contact us by phone at (781) 330-0051 or by e-mail at email@example.com. CORRECTIONs
An article published last week, “Univ scholars reflect on violence against women,” incorrectly connected the World Cultures Study Group to the Heller School. It is organized by Ghosh. An article published last week, “Brandeis professors discuss upcoming Israeli elections,” incorrectly identified Professor Shai Feldman. He serves as the Director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, which hosted the panel with the Schusterman Center. unsolicited submissions
We welcome unsolicited submissions from members of the community sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit submissions to 800 words. All submissions are subjected to editing.
February 1, 2013
With serious allegations, silence not the answer
n seeking to protect their reputations, following allegations of sexual assault, Greek life organizations at Brandeis have already destroyed them in our view. We admit, we don’t know what happened or didn’t happen or might have happened at their off-campus party earlier this month. But we do know that facing accusations of sexual assault, their urgent advice and response can be summarized in one word. Silence. Because, silence, not discussion, they wrote in an email to all Greek life members, is the best response to protecting their reputation. No one in reasonable and fair judgment would connect allegations about an individual incident to the character or integrity of an organization. But the response sent last week is far more telling of such
reputations and images. Community discussion, not silence, is the answer. We aren’t asking fraternity and sorority members to talk with the media. But we are asking them to cultivate a discussion about sexual assault, about consent and sexual relations involving alcohol and parties. Surely they are right to prevent the spreading of rumors and gossip about the incident. But there is a way to discuss the issue without creating rumors. We are greatly disappointed by the tone of their message. Not one out of the 1,000 words in their email makes reference to the possible victim in this incident. It’s no secret as to why cases of sexual assault are underreported on college campuses. Victims, often traumatized enough about the alleged assault,
find a bureaucratic system of reporting the case quite burdensome and scary. That, coupled with pressure from peers and societal stigma, makes it even more difficult to report. We don’t mean to issue a critique of Greek life in general. While we believe strongly that such organizations should not be formally recognized by Brandeis because the core values of openness and social exclusion differ too much, we don’t deny their significant and meaningful contributions to this community through philanthropy and social causes. As this editorial board wrote last year following its story on allegations of sexual assault, the priority in these cases must be about student safety and fostering community discussions. The solutions to addressing issues of sexual assault come from speaking, not silence.
Letter to the Editor
Tea Party defense of debt ceiling debate To Whom It May Concern: First of all, I wish a Happy New Year to The Brandeis Hoot. “Stepping Away From the Fiscal Cliff,” while I read it, made me realize something. I am wary of governmental growth, but the debt ceiling, as a theory, is good. For those who do not know, a debt ceiling is the limit one can spend without running out of money. Unless the United States reverts back to the 1971 gold standard, a debt ceiling is a necessary evil. One cannot simply “eliminate the concept.” It gives a reason to trust the “full faith and credit” of the United States. When one borrows money, one puts up collateral. If we do not have a gold standard, we need some way to have other countries trust us. A debt ceiling will give the U.S. some credibility when borrowing money. Our Moody credit rating was downgraded this past year from AAA to AA+. The other countries are losing trust in us. If they
continue on that path, we will have no money at all to pay the country’s outstanding bills. Having countries trust the U.S.A. on economic matters is not a “ludicrous” idea. Of course, a debt ceiling is only fine if we cut the spending levels. A debt ceiling means nothing if we do not drastically cut spending levels, a sign of fiscal responsibility. Another thing that annoyed me was that the writer devalued my very existence. The writer called my political presence a “hostage” and that “radicals” like me cannot “accept compromise.” Unfortunately, I have noticed this trend from The Brandeis Hoot in the past. Had the author tried to learn about the Tea Party, instead of accepting what people accuse us of being, he would have had a very different story. The Tea Party is about governmental responsibility, as delineated by the Constitution and Founding documents, and reverting back to that state. We want a Constitutional government, a government that
does not intrude into our personal lives, provided there is no harm to fellow human beings. Had the writer asked me or looked at Tea Party websites, he would have understood that we don’t compromise on principles. The standard that other groups do not need to back down on their principles to compromise, but we need to suppress our ideals to advance disagreeable ideas, is hypocritical. People need to realize that we Tea Partiers are people too, and that we are more than what people accuse us to be. Do I agree ad nauseum the Tea Party “believes” in? No. Unlike other political entities, we welcome dissent. We welcome people as they are, and if they want to follow the Constitution, they are Tea Partiers. Thanks for reading, Joseph Lanoie Brandeis Tea Party President JMJ
February 1, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot 7
Judges drop two more games as skid grows to six games By Dani Chasin Staff
On their second UAA road trip this past weekend, the Brandeis women’s basketball team fell to two top teams, Emory and Rochester. Scoring the season’s lowest output, 28 points, for a second game in a row against Emory, the Judges managed final scores of 2859 in the first game and 72-58 against Rochester. The team now holds a season record of 7-11 and a conference record of 1-6. Head Coach Carol Simon, member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and Brandeis coach for 26 seasons, states that the two teams the Judges played this weekend were not only top teams in the conference, but also top teams in the entire nation. When asked what was missing from her team’s performances when they faced the tough competition, she answered, “Consistency on both ends of the court. Against Emory we needed to shoot better. Against Rochester we needed to defend better.” It was even speculated that perhaps the back-to-back travel weekends could have affected the team’s performance and mindset in both games. Starter guard Kasey Dean ’14 assures that her team is always ready to rise to a challenge even if the outcome does not go in their favor. “This past weekend was going to be hard regardless of who we played. It is a lot to do back-to-back travel trips, but I was surprised by the positive team attitude. We are as good as any team and we proved that this Sunday against Rochester, we just have to play a full 40 minutes and we can beat anyone,” Dean said. In the game against Emory, the number one team in the UAA with
a record of 16-2, the Judges shot just 17 percent while the Eagles shot 40 percent. By halftime, the Eagles had already more than double the Judges’ score at 12-32, though the Judges improved their shooting in the second half by adding 16 points and the Eagles decreased their output with 27 points to add to the final score of 28-59. The game against the Eagles started with the Emory team sinking the first layup and the Judges responding on offense with an exciting 3-point field goal by guard Janelle Rodriguez ’14 off an assist by point guard Hannah Cain ’15. After that play, however, the Judges struggled to regroup on offense and the Eagles flew into scoring mode and quickly nailed three more baskets to bring the score to 3-10 in the 14th minute. At the end of the first half, Rodriguez scored all of the Judges’ points except for a free throw by Cain and a layup by forward Samantha Anderson ’13. Although the Judges didn’t have some key players in the game due to illness, Rodriguez, the 5’9” guard from Peabody, M.A., stepped up for the Judges and scored a career-high 14 points for the Judges and managed a team-high four steals. Altogether, the Judges forced 21 turnovers on the Eagles’ end. Against the Rochester Yellowjackets, the second ranked team in the UAA with a record of 14-4, the Judges were able to nail more shots on offense and match their score of 28 points in the past two games at the end of the first half alone. Gaining 30 points in the second half, the Judges managed to stay in close range of the Yellowjackets who scored 36 points in the first and sec-
photo courtesy of rochester campus times
ond halves. The final score of the game was 58-72. The game started for the Judges with another exhilarating 3-point jump shot that was nailed this time by Anderson a minute into the game. After trading shots for the first seven minutes with a score of 7-7, the Judges went into offensive mode after a 3-point jumper by Rodriguez. Maintaining the lead with six minutes left in the half, the Judges lost their grip as the Yellowjackets got a few extra shots, which left them in the lead until the buzzer sounded and the score steadied at 28-36. At the start of the second half, Cain nailed the first seven points for
the Judges, sinking one layup, one 3-point jumper and one jump shot. The Yellowjackets continued to press hard on offense and the Judges were unable to hold a solid defense. Although the Judges continued to score as well until the end, they gave up 17 turnovers and were only able to force 15 on the Yellowjackets, leaving them with a final score of 58-72. Three players broke double digits for the Judges: both Cain and Rodriguez recorded 12 points and Dean scored a team-high 14 points. Both Anderson and forward Erica Higginbottom ’13 nailed six points, while Cain recorded the team’s highest rebounds with six and steals with
five. Compared to the previous game against the Eagles, the Judges shot 39 percent from the field and the Yellowjackets recorded 46 percent. Much to their delight, the Judges are getting their opportunity for revenge against Emory and Rochester as they prepare to face them again this upcoming weekend. Dean admits that she and her team are ready for whatever comes their way. She even stated, “We’re looking forward to this weekend because it is not often you lost to a team and then have the opportunity to play them the following week. It just makes the loss and the game more fresh in our minds.”
Judges take step back, losing two on the road, have winning streak snapped By Brian Tabakin Editor
photo courtesy of rochester campus times
This past weekend, the men’s basketball team dropped a pair of games on their second UAA road trip of the year, losing to No. 1 Rochester 69-65 and to Emory 69-55. With the losses, the Judges fall to 14-4 on the season with a 5-2 record in UAA play and slide from No. 19 in the nation to No. 25. Against the Rochester Yellowjackets, then ranked No. 2 in the nation, the Judges were poised to upset the team and pick up a signature—and possibly season-defining—victory. Brandeis led Rochester 29-25 at the half, only the third time all season Rochester had trailed at the half, behind 12 points from Ben Bartoldus ’14 on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc and 2-of3 at the free throw line. Additionally, the Judges’ defense held Rochester to just 33 percent shooting in the first half despite averaging a UAA-leading 51 percent from the floor on the season. In the second half, the Judges extended their lead and led by eight points, 50-42 after a Bartoldus threepointer with just eight minutes remaining in the contest. Soon enough, however, Rochester senior guard John DiBartolomeo, the leading scorer in the UAA and 6th leading scorer in the nation, caught fire, scoring Rochester’s next 12 points to tie the game at 52-52 with just four minutes remaining. After trading scores, Bartoldus drove to the basket and converted the and-one to put the Judges ahead by three points, 59-56, with 2:53 re-
maining. The next possession was the turning point of the game. After DiBartolomeo drained two free throws to cut the Judges’ lead to just one point, Gabriel Moton ’14 missed a straight away three-pointer and after Youri Dascy ’14 grabbed the offensive board. Dascy kicked the ball out to Moton at the top of the key but Moton was called for an offensive foul. This gave the ball back to Rochester and DiBartolomeo swung a pass to his teammate Kevin Sheehy for a corner three to put the Yellowjackets back on top 61-59 for the first time since they led 8-5 in the first half. Although that was the last field goal by Rochester for the game, DiBartolomeo hit eight free throws to close the game as the Judges’ upset bid fell short, losing 69-65. Bartoldus and Moton led the Judges with 21 points each while Dascy dropped 14 points combining for 56 of the team’s 65 points. Their scoring was not enough, however, as DiBartolomeo blew up for 36 points, including a school record 19-of-19 from the free throw line. During the final eight minutes of the game when Rochester mounted its comeback, DiBartolomeo scored or assisted on 21 of his team’s final 23 points. The key stat of the game was the free throw disparity as Rochester outscored the Judges 29-11 from the line and had 31 free throw attempts to the Judges’ 14 attempts. A few days earlier, the Judges saw their seven-game winning streak dismantled against the Emory Eagles. Despite leading by as many as eight points in the first half, the Judges were never able to pull away as Emory im-
mediately went on a run of their own, scoring 11 of the next 12 points to take the lead at 21-19. Brandeis responded with another run to retake the lead at 26-21, but they couldn’t close out the half strong as Emory scored the next eight points to take a three-point lead into halftime, 29-26. Trailing at the half was nothing new for the Judges, as their two previous UAA road wins this season came after trailing at the half. They would again have to come back from behind as Emory extended their lead to eight points in the first five minutes of the second half; however, the Judges responded with an eight-point scoring flurry to tie the game at 40-40 with 13:15 remaining in regulation. For the rest of the contest, the Judges’ shooters went ice cold, hitting just three field goals the rest of the way. Emory held the Judges to a paltry 21 percent shooting (3-of-14) down the stretch while Emory shot a hot 55 percent (12-of-22) to put the game out of reach, coasting to a 69-55 victory. For the game, Moton once again led the Judges with 14 points while Bartoldus added nine points. Dascy led the Judges with five boards while Colby Smith ’16, Alex Schmidt ’14 and Moton each grabbed four caroms. Smith also tied for game-high honors with three assists. After flourishing offensively in the second half in the last two games, shooting 51 percent, Brandeis struggled in this one shooting just 35 percent and a disappointing 55 percent from the free throw line. Brandeis will look to bounce back from the losses as they host Emory and Rochester this weekend.
8 The Brandeis Hoot
THIS WEEK IN PHOTOS
February 1, 2013
a-trak Award winning DJ Alain Macklovitch played that funky music for Student Eventâ€™s winter concert.
Making sweet music bearstronaut Out of this world dance-rockers wowed students Saturday night
photo by maya himelfarb/the hoot
February 1, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot 9
Rocky Horror Disney entertains with ‘anything goes’ policy By Vinh Nguyen
Special to the Hoot
For all those truly unfamiliar with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, be advised: there is a special induction process for those who have never been to a midnight showing of this cinematic classic, just like the one presented last Saturday here at Brandeis. Somewhat of an underground cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show follows newly-engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, who, after a flat tire, find themselves stranded along a road surrounded by woods. Having seen a mansion nearby, the couple trek toward it with the hopes of seeking refuge as well as a working phone. Unknowingly, they actually stumble upon a gang of misfit aliens led by the “sweet transvestite” from the planet Transsexual, in the Transylvania galaxy: Dr. Frank-NFurter. As the narrator foreshadows the above, the two find themselves taking a fantastically strange journey filled with screams, shock and sexual discovery as the plot unfolds. Through the campus club RHOPE (Rocky Horror Official Production Ensemble), first time goers and veteran fans alike were treated to a special performance held in Schwartz Hall of Rocky Horror by RKO Army— a Rhode Island and Massachusetts based shadow cast. A shadow cast performance is one where a cast acts out the actions shown in a movie playing in the background. In this case, it can be described as one part pantomime, two parts lip-sync, add a pinch of rock concert vibe and take it out of the oven before the timer goes off and you have the typical Rocky Horror shadow cast performance. Following this recipe, RKO gave a production true to the rawness and decadent spirit of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. What makes RKO’s production atypical, however, is the creative Disney twist added into the mix. It was not, however, the Disney with which most of us are familiar. It’s Disney gone raunchy, like a kind of Disney bedtime story told by drag queens and spanked with profanity between every other phrase. This was demonstrated in the pre show performance, where Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” was turned into an innuendo for things better left for SSIS to discuss. Indeed, as the characters from the Rocky Horror universe are trans-
cruella de vil RKO Army performs a Disney twist on famous characters.
formed into beloved Disney counterparts, the feel of the production becomes an amalgam of cartoonist fun and kinky hedonism. Following this atmosphere, the cast members were impressive with their commitment to bringing the characters of Rocky Horror alive. Also praiseworthy was RKO’s fun and witty Disney character casting for each of the Rocky Horror
toy story RHOPE supports a raunchy twist on famous Disney characters.
iconic characters. For example, the cast played off the initial innocence and naivety of Brad and Janet by portraying them as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, respectively. And who better to play Frank than the unapologetic—and unapologetically vain—the one and only Cruella De Vil? Magenta was portrayed as Alice and gave the impression of a girl who lost
photos courtesy aviva paiste
her mind along with a few articles of clothes, among other things, in Wonderland. If Magenta was Alice, then of course her brother would follow suit as the White Rabbit. Other characters included Wall-E as Dr. Scott, Buzz Lightyear as Eddie and Aladdin as Rocky Horror. A cast that prefers to be known by its aliases, Lin-Z was notable as Dr. Frank-N-Furter who played off her Cruella De Vil inspiration to amplify the fiercely sinister and my-way-orthe-highway mentality of Dr. FrankN-Furter. Lin-Z was brilliant in the way she was able to evoke the larger-than-life personality of the mad, “sweet transvestite” scientist Frank, and in doing so donned black stilettos and fishnets the entire time. Another standout performer was Cassia, who played Jessie from Toy Story, as Columbia, a groupie in Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s eccentric entourage. Cassia mirrored the energy and playfulness in the character of Jessie in a way that heightened the spirited dimension of Columbia. Cassia gave it her all, as she screamed and tapdanced her way through the Time Warp and did not fail to impress the audience. As a Rocky Horror virgin myself, I was quick to learn how interactive and colorfully offbeat midnight showings are. Cast members made the whole hall their stage by running through the aisles and occasionally finding a seat on the lap of an audience member. Furthermore, the audience was
encouraged to participate throughout the show by shouting things at the screen—things that would make my Sunday school teachers reach for their rosaries. Admittedly, the constant banters shouted by the production cast at certain scenes were, although funny as a whole, very distracting at times. Even worse, these shouts were met with disapproval because of their offensive nature by the more serious members of the audience. On top of this, audience members are also encouraged to dress up, as well as standing up for the show’s signature throw down, the “Time Warp.” Maybe best of all was the collection of items, within purchasable “sh!t bags” that audiences were invited to throw at each other at select scenes during the movie performance. The items ranged from toilet paper, sponges and even playing cards, but traditionally, audiences can also bring their own items—like food—to be tossed around. With that said, expect to get dirty, in more ways than one, at any showing. It was a shame that the Rocky Horror Presentation fell under the shadow of the much-anticipated ATrak concert. Nonetheless, those who did show up were not disappointed by the liveliness and exuberance of RKO production of The Rocky Horror Disney Picture Show. For new and endearing fans alike, the production excited and shocked, and begged the life question of simply: “Why not do it?”
10 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
February 1, 2013
Dreitzer gallery displays student art in comfortable atmosphere By Emily Beker Staff
Brandeis thrives on its theater and arts. Appropriately, students and faculty gathered at the Dreitzer gallery in Spingold Theater to view recent artwork completed by undergraduates this past Wednesday night. The opening reception for the exhibit, titled “Dimensions 2,” featured work from the more advanced art classes as well as the introductory drawing classes. A handful of students were gathered in the hallway soon after the opening and many students walked around the gallery. Students whose work was being featured as well as one or two staff members from the art department were touring friends and peers through the gallery. The open layout and visibility of the gallery from above made it aesthetically pleasing. The lighting was gentle and the pure white room made it seem open and warm. The gallery’s openness allowed the people viewing the art to avoid getting in each others’ way while looking at the exhibit. Viewing the art was an enjoyable experience, with the gallery empty enough to walk around, allowing the viewer to really appreciate the different pieces of artwork that were featured. The variety of paintings hosted by the intermediate painting class—a selection of larger paintings and tiny paintings—included an interesting mix as the subjects varied with every image. The collection of drawings and pieces by the beginning drawing class demonstrated skill much beyond that expected of a beginner’s class. The interesting collection of mirrors and reflections done by one of the painting classes was fascinating. The variety of ways by which they portrayed the
students display their progress Brandeis art students enjoyed the professionalism of a gallery showing.
reflections of different people made looking at each a unique experience. The image of the reflection of the girl in the smartphone was an example of how technology has taken over a large part of our lives, and how most people always have their phones. The vivid coloring of the paintings in the gallery made a huge impact on the viewing experience. The drawings themselves, even with black and
white, had so many aspects that made them easy to look at for a long time and discover things not seen at first glance. One selection of pieces, done in pencil then a nude-colored medium, showed a figure. The way the artist incorporated pencil and a second medium to the drawings made the figure more prominent. The image of the figure on the toilet with his pants
around his ankles was surprising, giving viewers a shock. The students present in the gallery were helpful in directing the visitors to where the gallery started and began. Being able to exhibit the work based on a class gave the students an opportunity to remain anonymous if they wished, but still be able to have their work shown. The professionalism of a gallery is a step up in the
photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot
right direction, as compared to the blandness of art building presentations. Now, students, staff and visitors to the university can take in students’ work, further reminding them of the talent Brandeis students possess. The strong pieces coming from these beginner and intermediate classes gives a strong promise of the art that we can expect as these students gain skill and hopefully go on to take more classes.
FIFA 13 improves on its predecessors By Shreyas Warrier Staff
FIFA 13 is the latest installment of EA Sports’ long running, best selling franchise. The game sold 1.23 million copies in 48 hours and 7.4 million four weeks after its release, making it by far the largest videogame launch of 2012, and of all time. The game was ranked nine out of 10 by IGN, and nothing less than an eight out of 10 by GameSpot. This installment of the franchise features many
improvements over its predecessors, both in game play and in the overhaul of its game modes. New game modes include the widely popular skill games, in which the gamer can choose one professional as his player and complete a series of challenges at bronze, silver and gold skill levels. There are skill games in passing, dribbling, shooting, crossing, penalties and more, with each level containing a twist: targets to get past, hindrances and extra points if specific moves are performed. The manager mode has been revamped,
largest videogame launch of 2012 FIFA 13 brings more soccer realism for players.
in that one can now manage an international team after gaining sufficient acclaim as a club manager. The better one’s record as a club team manager, and the more experience one has, puts higher profile jobs at the gamers’ doorstep. For example, if the player performs well in career mode, he can expect a call up from a decent team, such as the Ivory Coast. If he does poorly, he can expect a call from a lesser team. As time goes on, he will soon be called upon to manage teams such as England, France and Brazil to World Cup fame.
photo from internet source
Another new addition to FIFA 13 is the EA Sports Catalogue: a giant shopping center that finally gives players a chance to utilize the points that are gained by completing challenges and winning matches. In earlier editions of FIFA, the gamer could gain points and traverse levels, with no real impact unless he chose to play online, in which case it affected the caliber of his opponent. Now, the points and levels count for something more: money. The levels are used to unlock new items that can be purchased using the points—from alternate or retro kits, to new boots, customizable styles for created players, perks for the campaign and perks for online play. For example, the Financial Takeover purchase allows one’s team in manager mode to be taken over by a rich mogul, who heavily invests in the transfer budget of the squad. The Scout Future Star perk allows one to send out a scout who then returns with a youth player who can be assured to reach a great level in the game, if given enough opportunity. For the online world, one can add an extra match to his or her season’s mode to give him another chance at promotion or championship. The game play has been changed drastically since FIFA 12. Defending has become much more of an art, one which requires as much training and precision as attacking. There are new ways to defend; a new impact engine and grappling system makes fighting for the ball much more realistic. Inju-
ries are more real than ever, with specifics being given as to how the player was injured and how long he will be out of the game. The artificial intelligence has greatly advanced, with the computer consistently doing the right thing, and making game play harder for the gamer, especially at higher difficulty levels. And to make matters tougher, the player’s first touch is not assured. Before, the ball would stick to the player’s foot no matter how highly he was ranked in the game; now, the ball bobbles away from players, causing game plans to change and attacks to be reset, along with the odd defensive mistake. The commentary has also improved since the last FIFA game, with more history and insightful comments provided. Unfortunately, as with all FIFA games, after having played so much, the gamer learns the commentary by heart as it is regurgitated throughout the campaigns. A new addition, however, is the injury update, through which Geoff Shreeves reports on any injuries, minor or otherwise, throughout the game. The soundtrack, while still of high standard, is not as attention-grabbing as the FIFA 11 soundtrack, though it is better than that of FIFA 12. All in all, the game has been built to suit a variety of players: it has been refined for the soccer fan who likes more realism in play and it still retains the qualities that make it fun for any gamer to pick up and play repeatedly. FIFA 13 continues a great franchise.
February 1, 2013
ARTS, ETC. 11
The Brandeis Hoot
Choreography student moves a hit in ‘Hot in Here’ By Dana Trismen Editor
Brandeis’ club Hooked on Tap performed their well-attended, all-inclusive tap show, last Saturday. “Hot in Here” drew a crowd with a line of students and parents waiting for entry, something unusual on a night that also boasted attractions like “Disney Rocky Horror” and the A-Track concert. By involving tap groups from Boston University and Brown, along with their own alumni, Hooked on Tap kept audiences engaged through multiple group performances and playacting. “Hot in Here” was choreographed entirely by students, which is impressive given the abundance of difficult and complex tap moves. Student dancers were charismatic, smiling at the audience who would often cheer in between songs while dancers were onstage, and the music choice for this show was particularly well-thoughtout. Including old favorites like “Hit Me Up” and “Space Jam,” the music was consistently uplifting and allowed a good rhythm for which to tap. The show also included songs such as “Don’t You Forget About Me,” a favorite song from the film “The Breakfast Club,” yet it was remixed impressively with a Coldplay song. Hooked on Tap’s performances also added to the music in a unique way as a sort of additional percussion. Hooked on Tap’s main strength was entertaining via not only dancing, but also costume changes and attitudes. In their song “These Boots are Made for Walking,” choreographed by Heather Stoloff ’13, dancers dressed in country outfits such as plaid shirts and began the song by clustering together and pretending to drink together. This lent the song an authentic attitude, as though audiences were seeing the dance performed in context. Similarly, in what was by far the best dance performed by Brandeis, in “TE: Swing Set” dancers wore plaid checkered dresses. Choreographed by Anna “Falcon” Yankelev ’13, dancers tapped while incorporating some
traditional swing moves.In a standout performance by Chris Knight ’14, the dancer performed a solo improvisational tap dance. Knight held a certain charisma, for he looked completely at ease with the audience and tapped as though he was simply there to enjoy himself. Possessing a very good sense of rhythm, Knight would stop and start his dance unexpectedly. While occasionally Knight looked in danger of falling, his dance was surprising and renewing, and immensely enjoyable for the audience. Unfortunately, Hooked on Tap struggled with formations. For many of the larger numbers (the show began and ended with the entire cast dancing) some dancers were blocked by those in front of them. In other dances, students seemed to accidentally move out of their formation and would look somewhat awkward tapping too far away from the other dancers. Hooked on Tap also was not entirely synchronized, many times some dancers would move before others and there would be excess tapping. Visiting groups had fewer problems with synchronization. Brown University had an especially incredible performance to the song “Don’t Give a Fairy.” Dressed in fairy wings and carousing down the aisles, Brown performed extremely complex moves with both their feet and arms, moving together in almost perfect time. Boston University, with a less stellar performance than Brown, nevertheless was entertaining to watch as they performed a sticky-sweet, cheery tune. Brandeis’ alumni group was also impressive, as it was revealed that they practice mainly via recorded video. Courtney Choate ’11, Stacey Frisch ’12, Samantha Lakin ’08 and Alyssa Mauriello ’12 “learned” the dance through video clips and then practiced together in the afternoon before the performance. Given this disadvantage, their performance was surprisingly entertaining, perhaps attesting to the fact that Hooked on Tap breeds good dancers. Hooked on Tap’s true talent lay in
photo by ally eller/the hoot
hooked on tap Dancers include elements of tap and swing styles.
the group’s inventiveness. In their dance performed to “Space Jam” choreographed by Taliah Ahdut ’14, students created a rhythm before the song began by slapping cups and clapping. The song also involved
aesthetic dance moves on the floor. Hooked on Tap also consistently ended dances creatively, such as a basketball themed ending for “Space Jam” and the iconic fist pump during “The Breakfast Club” for the song “Don’t
You Forget About Me.” By including other groups to bring variety, to costume switching and variations on tap performances, Hooked on Tap’s show was entertaining and deserved the large audience it garnered..
Honors thesis student expresses emotion through art By Victoria Aronson Editor
Through his artistic renditions of close friends, Lenny Schnier ’13, a studio arts major pursuing an honors thesis project in painting, seeks to convey the turbulence of emotions experienced by students on the brink
of graduation as the progression into adulthood looms in the imminent and increasingly encroaching future. Originally from Long Beach, New York, Schnier recalls his passion for the arts as a child, yet he did not begin to seriously cultivate his artistic capacity until high school. Despite intending to continue his artistic ventures as a compliment to another course of study, Schnier soon found
photo by victoria aronson/the hoot
the art of lenny schnier Schnier depicts iconic celebrities.
himself enamored and immersed with the program, leading to his declaration solely as a studio arts major. Although his work consists mainly of portraits of individuals he is close to, he reveals that they also serve as a mechanism of self reflection, projecting his innermost concerns and trepidations. Describing a painting leaning against the studio wall, Schnier explained his desire to capture “a transitional phase, an element of the future, the fear of the unknown” within his work. The striking combination of the nude figures lounging against the vibrant colors of the painting is meant to convey anxiety regarding not only the future, but relationships and the process of unearthing one’s identity as well. Bearing a sense of intimacy through the rendition of the subjects without clothing, the painting exemplifies Schnier’s close relationship with his subjects. Titled “Do you think Virginia will go blue in 2012,” the painting has been exhibited to the public at gallery showings in the past. Noting that the titles of his pieces often bear personal connotations, Schnier emphasizes that his paintings “speak in a way to what I’m thinking about, my future and anxiety.” While browsing through the stu-
dio, the spectrum of distinct styles and techniques utilized by students working within the studio becomes evident. Schnier described his own personal techniques, using lines to emphasize and portray the forms of the figures he paints. Displaying a sense of intimacy, his paintings usually reflect nude figures cast within domestic environments, although he acknowledges the limitations he faces in terms of space. Despite Schnier’s deep involvement in the program, he acknowledges the challenges faced by members who must commute to the off-campus Prospect Studio, revealing his aspirations for the university to someday provide more accommodating conditions on campus. Tracing the progression and evolving nature of his art, Schnier explains his former tendency to use less-representative colors to create the image of the figure he was painting. Deeming these colors arbitrary, he now focuses on generating closer renditions of skin tone and using colors more indicative of his intent as an artist. Beyond his personal transformation as an artist, Schnier recognizes the personal nature of his interactions with the individuals who model for his portraits. In particular, he recalls a close friend finally demonstrating acceptance and comfort with her body
by modeling in the nude, stating, “it was a moment of triumph for her and for me.” When questioned as to the process underlying the generation of his paintings, Schnier echoed the sentiments of a previous professor who described the ever evolving nature of art. “The concept of a painting being done is very ambiguous,” Schnier said, commenting that as an artist he may return to a previous piece completed weeks, months or even years earlier. Prior to devising the grand scale version of a piece, Schnier will at times create a series of miniature paintings to play with the usage of distinct colors and techniques. He has also created a series of miniature scale portraits of iconic celebrities, demonstrating his interest for pop culture and the field of Americana. Schnier recognizes this to be his next challenge as an artist, and nevertheless asserts his desire to “keep being weird, a little angsty, upset, confused, yet also very purposeful” in the manner in which he creates his paintings. In terms of his future aspirations, Schnier hopes to continue pursuing artistic endeavors, possibly teaching and gaining some experience within the workforce before pursuing graduate studies to further his skills.
12 The Brandeis Hoot
February 1, 2013
Ke$ha is the role model I’ve been looking for For a second semester senior, the pop star is a goddess By Leah Finkelman Staff
Remember that quote by John Lennon that was all over Xanga seven or eight years ago? “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” While I’m not entirely convinced that conversation happened, as it’s entirely too adorable and quotable, I love the idea behind it—especially as a second semester senior. I attended Hiatt’s Communications Forum this week and was reminded that I have only the faintest idea what I want to be doing after graduation and with the rest of my life. All I know is that I want to become someone I can be proud of. That’s why this week I’m writing about the young woman who has become my newest role model. I can’t get enough of Ke$ha. I should use this column to formally and publicly apologize to the editorial board of The Hoot, who had to listen to “Die Young” on repeat at one point last semester, but I’m just not sorry. You are the lucky few—some of my friends have been conditioned to turn my car’s radio volume up when it comes on so I don’t have to distract myself. It’s just so catchy, and encapsulates everything I want out of my senior year at Brandeis: “Livin’ hard just like we should. Don’t care who’s watching when we tearin’ it up. That magic that we got, nobody can touch.” Isn’t she magnificent? I wouldn’t say I’m “looking for some trouble tonight,” but between 4 a.m. drives into Boston and 3 a.m. basement raves, I’ve become much
more spontaneous, because when else am I going to get a chance to do whatever I want? Let’s examine a few more examples of why Ke$ha’s music is going to help me get the most out the rest of my senior year. Your love is my drug: “I don’t care what people say, the rush is worth the price I pay.” YOLO, man, YOLO. While working at camp last summer, I was putting a group of 15-year-olds to bed, and one of them asked me what I wish I’d known when I was their age. My answer was relatively simple: You only live once. They laughed, but then I explained that I was serious—you’re going to have some regrets in life, but it’s always better and more productive to take the bad and turn it into something good. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and, to some extent, don’t be too afraid of consequences. Kiss n Tell: “I never thought that you would be the one, acting [promiscuously] while I was gone. Maybe you shouldn’t kiss ‘n’ tell.” People are going to hurt you, and sometimes you’re going to find out about it secondhand. Nothing is worse than that, but it’s a fact of life. The only way to protect yourself from getting hurt is by closing yourself off to the people around you, and I truly believe that the relationships we create and the bonds we forge are the meaning of life, the only things that make it worth living. When someone hurts you, try to find it within yourself to forgive and forget, but if you can’t do that, let go. Let go of the person, let go of what they did, let go of the way they made you feel. C’mon: “C’mon ‘cause I know what I like, and you’re looking just like my type.” This song is about prowling for dudes at the bar, but it has a very valuable message, probably one of the most important ones that I can glean from a Ke$ha song (or any other song for that matter). Know what
graphic by jun zhao/the hoot
you want. Know what you want, and don’t be afraid to do whatever it takes to get yourself there. Don’t be a pushover, don’t let people walk all over you, don’t acquiesce when you want to fight. Don’t screw other people over, but do what you need to do for yourself. Hopefully I’ll be able to utilize my own advice in my job search. We R Who We R: “We’ll be forever young, you know we’re superstars, we
R who we R!” The key to knowing what you want is knowing who you are. This seems like a pretty simple task: I’m Leah, I’m an older sister, I’m a sorority sister, etc. More importantly, know who you want to be. Figure out your dreams, your goals, your aspirations. Figure out the kind of person you can be proud of first thing in the morning and as you’re falling asleep.
There’s quite a bit of talk about glitter in Ke$ha’s lyrics, which just seems too messy, and she parties a little harder than I would likely enjoy. I took a little bit of creative liberty in analyzing her lyrics, and some of my interpretations aren’t what she intended. I do, however, look to her for advice on making this semester memorable, enjoyable and just a little bit crazy.
Look to your community, not across the globe, to help those in need By Emily Stott Editor
Although many students travel across the globe to serve those less fortunate, there are plentiful opportunities for service in our own backyards. One does not need to travel to a third-world country to help people who are suffering from injustices. As the refugee population of the United States continues to increase, there are people right here that need help and are facing difficulties even after leaving the terrible conditions of their homelands. Refugees are resettling in the United States from countries such as Nepal, Sudan, Iraq, Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia. They are some of the lucky ones who have been able to get sponsors in the states that allow them to escape violence and persecution. However, they are now in a country they may know nothing about. Over half of new refugees do not speak any English, presenting an enormous barrier to communication. They also have little
knowledge of the culture of the US, making typical daily activities more difficult and confusing, and likely even frightening. When they were in their home countries, focusing on surviving from day to day in refugee camps or fleeing the country, they couldn’t possibly focus their energies on learning English or American customs. Students that want to make an impact in the world can start right in their own neighborhoods, where refugees are making their new homes. Refugees face difficulties toward accessing services, and students can step in to help while learning about new cultures and experiences. Some refugees were dignitaries, had important government positions or were highly educated in their home countries, but here in the US they do not have the tools to express themselves. Students can reach out through community organizations to introduce them to life in the US. English language learning initiatives, helping people by tutoring them in a language you already know, can give people the basic skills they need to perform typical daily tasks: buying
food from the grocery store, calling a friend, setting up a doctor’s appointment, applying for a job. Without language, the lack of communication limits refugees’ future opportunities in the US. They just need someone willing to teach them. Pre-med students interested in becoming physicians can have an especially important role in providing assistance. Refugees must have a physical exam within 30 days of arrival, and some of them have specific problems or diseases that are not usually prevalent in the US. Tuberculosis is a particular disease that can affect many, and students can learn from those who suffer from the disease themselves here in the US. Primary care health providers can start a person’s new life in the right direction, creating a link between the patient and provider that can lead to trust. Refugees need people that can help them navigate the health system with its various intricacies and confusing policies, and case managers can help set up continuity of care. One doesn’t have to travel to Africa or the Middle East to see injustice against these people. For a multitude
of reasons, refugees do not always receive the same treatment as middleclass Americans. Even after escaping war zones, they face discrimination and disrespect in the country claiming to provide a safe haven for them. Perhaps because of they way they look, act, dress, or the difficulties in communication, people they interact with may quickly become impatient and unkind. As citizens of the US, we have a duty to welcome our new neighbors with kindness. They deserve our respect, just as anyone else. Social injustices are easily seen when many refugees are found in low-income areas, facing difficulties finding jobs, and are forced to move from a safe neighborhood because their landlord requests unreasonable money for rent. As students, we can address these injustices by working with different groups that focus on providing equal opportunity and equal access to services. Adult empowerment courses, teaching life skills such as sewing and money management, are vital to helping refugees overcome their struggles and begin to create independent lives for themselves.
One doesn’t even need to travel across the world to hear stories for a variety of cultures and walks of life. Many people enjoy talking about themselves and what they have gone through, and students can learn from their experiences. Students can strengthen their global knowledge of the politics of these countries, as well as learning intangible qualities such as patience, determination and listening skills. They can learn about new cultures with first-hand experience, while creating a bond of friendship between themselves. For those who are interested in working across the globe, starting in their own communities is a perfect place to start. Though it may not feel like it at times, the US is one large community of people. We owe it to our community to help those who are struggling, and teach them the tools they can use to become independent and in turn help others. Next time you are looking to help those who need it most, begin by looking in your own neighborhood. We can act right here and now, putting our tangible mark on the world.
February 1, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot
The end of Apple’s growth narrative and the company’s future By Lassor Feasley Staff
For years, Apple has enjoyed an untouchable status as the gold standard of publicly-traded tech companies. Product upon product was met with virtually limitless enthusiasm from consumers and investors alike. Its record remained impeccable, quarter after quarter, its meteoric trajectory seemed to have no end. That is, until the past three months, which have seen Apple’s valuation sink by more than a third from its high of more than 650 billion dollars. With such dismal quarterly performance, one would expect the company’s fundamentals and projections would have had a similar decline. But last Wednesday, Apple posted one of its most profitable quarters of all time! So what changed? How does the omnipotent giant of the tech world become an economic horrorstory in the fleeting course of just several months? A leaked scandal from the ultrasecretive depths of the company’s cloistered upper management? No. A silver bullet product from a savvy competitor? Not at all. A collapse in market conditions? No. One would think that for such a precipitous decline something fundamental would have to have changed about the company’s condition or prospects. But Apple has not shown any signs of decline or loss of organization. The driving force pummeling Apples valuation is seemingly innocuous, but incredibly, talks louder than money. That force is narrative. In the old days, Apple’s narrative could best be described as that of an underdog; a trendy and even cuttingedge entity, but nothing compared to the goliath double-threat of software giant Microsoft and hardware mogul IBM. Apple distinguished itself by producing both the operating system and the products on which it would run. This was condemned by many tech gurus as an archaic relic of the days when personal computers were the domain of underground hobbyists. It would bring Apple scorn at the worst of times but investors would slowly come around as the firm built an international reputation for seamless integration and top notch quality. But the narrative had changed. As
Apple forced its way into competitors’ market share, it was no longer seen as the underdog, but instead as the attack dog. Soon the smart money was taking a second look at Apple. The sentiments of legions of fanboys declaiming Apple’s products’ merits were echoed by the enthusiastic and growing consumer base that introduced a level of customer loyalty unmatched in any industry. Equally as impressive were the eye-popping profit margins, which never ceased to captivate wall street investors. Rising from underdog to attack dog, Apple now took its place atop the throne as top dog, making headlines in 2011 as it surpassed Microsoft as the world’s largest tech company, then again when it even surpassed Exxon as the world’s highest market capitalization public company—it was now the most valuable company on earth. This rise was due, in large part, to the introduction of the iPhone, which catapulted Apple to be the world’s most profitable smartphone producer. But throughout all of its phases, Apple’s narrative was one of growth, and the company has taken pains to keep that perception alive. Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in cash reserves, Apple refused to create a dividend or stock buyback program, both of which many investors demanded. Despite growing investments in research and acquisitions, Apple’s cash reserves remained at astronomical levels. But for a company pushing the growth narrative, a dividend program could be deadly, indicating to investors that the company had reached terminal velocity. A company with a steady dividend is like an accountant with a steady job; predictable, boring and safe. That was the narrative Apple wanted to avoid at all costs. The stigma of blue-chip stability is antithetical to what Apple portrays itself to be: the boat rocking innovator, the game changer, the future. Apple stubbornly remained deaf to investors’ calls for reform, instead opting to perpetuate the growth narrative. And it seems to be paying the price. Ask an Apple analyst today what is causing the company to lose billions in market capitalization, and you will likely receive a slew of prophecies predicting the company’s imminent demise. Its competitors are underpricing and out-inventing Apple’s products. They will point to the
graphic by sindhura sonnathi/the hoot
myriad of gizmos coming out under the banner of Windows and Android platforms. The lifeblood of this corporation is in the margins, they will say, and Apple’s margins are unsustainable. But this has always been true of Apple’s products, yet Apple has consistently rolled out the new-new thing consumers are willing to pay a premium for. Yet, right now many investors have little faith. A fair number of them are calling for Apple to start developing downmarket products to
compete with the inferior hardware that many of Apple’s competitors have taken to spewing out in order to win pricing wars. They want Apple to produce a product that is below its standard production quality for the sake of preserving market share. Yet, the company resolutely refuses to fold on product quality. So Apple has lost control of its narrative. It is now accused of being the same type of stubborn bureaucracy that it prides itself of not being. Like IBM was. Like Microsoft was.\
photo from internet source
But the company’s staunch refusal to go downmarket should not be seen as a sign of obstinate sloth. It should not be compared to 1990s Microsoft. The foundation of Apple’s success has been its commitment to quality. From the early days, when Steve Jobs had every employee’s signature etched into the interior casing of the original Macintosh, this has been the catalyst of Apple’s success. Apple works because it understands that customer loyalty is only a function of great products, not cheap gimmicks or pricing advantage. If you haven’t guessed, I am a serial consumer of Apple electronics. I am not going to go into the individual suggestions for cheapening Apple’s products that I have read in newspapers and investor forums. I will only say that I have faith. Faith that Apple knows what it is doing. It has produced a nearly-flawless line of products for more than a decade. What has changed? Why do some believe that its time for Apple to reform? Apple did not achieve the market share it has today by madly chasing customers. Customers came to Apple because it always strove to entice them by producing the best product, rather than the product that would appeal to the greatest number. Now, some investors are demanding that Apple turn that model on its head and cheapen their products in order to appeal to a broader audience. I do not think that that is the wise course of action for Apple to take. Yet it is being punished in the markets for staying true to the path that it has followed to the fantastic heights of prosperity that it now enjoys. Smart investors will be patient. They risk jumping ship from the most successful destroyer the world has ever seen.
The Brandeis Hoot
February 1, 2013
Toying with a world without tech By Victoria Aronson Editor
Sometimes when lost in thought, or perhaps after pulling too many late nights in the library, I gaze around at all the technology that surrounds me and I come to a devastating and perplexing conclusion. If suddenly all these tools were abolished, and the human race were left to recreate the innovations that define our modern lives without the aid of the engineers, researchers or scientists who created them, would we be able to do it? Or would we be thrown back in time to pursue the same discoveries and inventions at only a slightly accelerated pace? Would the entirety of scientific history have to repeat itself? I confess that I have absolutely no knowledge of the mechanisms that drive my antiquated LG Cosmo, never mind the sophisticated technology behind an iPhone or Blackberry. I could not construct a laptop, or even devise the mechanisms for creating a simple microwave. I know that a car moves when I press the gas pedal, but if I was told to construct the engine for an automobile, I would be at a complete and utter loss. Although this might not be a normal thing to think about, it does seem baffling. We are surrounded by all this technology, it has become an inherent part of our lives, yet do we truly understand it? How many of us, if stranded without the aid of Internet access, would be able to devise the plans necessary to recreate a cell phone? With the technological geniuses of society aside, does the common user of these devices, which have become so integrated and fundamental to our daily routines, have any notion of the underlying knowledge behind such tools? I for one have never taken a single physics class in my entire lifetime, a fact which seems to be a crucial missing component of my education. Even individuals who claim to be tech savvy, ridiculing those of us who require assistance with formatting an excel sheet, might be at a loss. Knowledge of how to use a device and the depth of understanding required to comprehend the mechanisms that power technology remain devastat-
graphic by linjie xu/the hoot
ingly distanced. Mastery over the usage of an object does not indicate true intelligence and understanding, but rather exposure and familiarity.
So while we think of ourselves as highly advanced, in reality we have just become extremely adept at using the inventions and innovations of
others. Although I am not saying I am basic as a mechanical toothbrush, I do suddenly overwhelmed by the desire think this trend is relatable to diverse to learn how to create touch screen aspects across our lives. software or even create something as Exposure to a subject should not warrant automatic beliefs of intellectual superiority. While you may be well-versed in the poetic lines of Shakespeare or the neurotransmitters that play a critical role in Parkinson’s disease, memorization is no substitute for the development of original ideas or the potential to work through intricate problems. Never underestimate someone simply on the basis that they have never read a certain novel, for they could potentially emerge as the greatest novelist of our time. It is acceptable to rebel against the standard measures of culture and intelligence created by society. “Death of a Salesman” may be an acclaimed classic work of literature, but does the fact that I thoroughly disliked reading it reflect negatively on my intelligence? I don’t think so. The sad truth is that countless individuals’ potential is never given the opportunity to emerge or flourish, whether it be due to difficult circumstances or other barriers that appear throughout life. Yet, their intellectual potential and capacity may far exceed someone who has been granted all the opportunities to absorb a wealth of information through higher education and leisure time. Even our own inability to understand the devices that have become such an integral component of our daily routine reflect the distinction between true understanding and the blind usage of tools presented to us. I highly doubt we will be confronted with a situation in which all technological innovations are suddenly eradicated; but that doesn’t stop the thought from giving me pause. Photo courtesy Internet source
February 1, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot
A loss for consumers in the wallet By Gordy Stillman Editor
It’s not often that I’m excited to spend most of my year in Massachusetts. With toll roads, Dunkin’ Donuts everywhere and an overabundance of Patriots/Red Sox/Bruins/Celtics fans, it can get to be a little much. As of this past Sunday, however, going to school in Massachusetts has a major benefit. This week in Massachusetts, it did not become more expensive to use a credit card. Starting this week, as part of a settlement between merchants on one side and Visa, MasterCard and the several major banks that partly-own them on the other, merchants in many states can add a surcharge to customers paying by credit card. Luckily, Massachusetts is one of the 10 states where these added charges cannot occur. When someone pays with a credit card, merchants pay a fee to be able to process the transaction. It is a fee for use of the bank-supported credit card network—and for using the customers they have, who happily swipe their cards. Some places have minimum prices before they accept credit cards as a safeguard to ensure that they aren’t losing more money on the transaction than they take in. Under new rules that took effect this week, merchants can add a charge (as long as it doesn’t exceed the rate they pay) on almost all credit card transactions. Why is this happening? Simply put, merchants that accept credit cards claimed that Visa, MasterCard and issuing banks were wrongfully changing the prices they charged per transaction. While it’s generally been legal to offer a discount for using cash, only
recently did it become legal to implement a minimum before using a credit card. For example, some restaurants or delivery places refuse credit cards on transactions under $10 because it’s not worth it for them to take credit and then pay the banks and card companies. Luckily there are some exceptions that can help, even when not in states like New York, California, Texas and Massachusetts where the surcharges are prohibited. Using debit cards cannot result in a surcharge. So while some may naturally be able to avoid these fees, it could take a while before other states block them, too. After all, four out of five states have nothing to prevent the surcharges. Using a credit card, rather than carrying cash, could become a lot more expensive. While it remains to be seen whether retailers and restaurants will add these surcharges or not, the possibilities alone encourage us all to carry more cash as a general rule rather than credit. I’ve had a credit card in my own name since a little after my eighteenth birthday. It became especially useful when I got to Brandeis because my bank, Wells Fargo, doesn’t have a location in Massachusetts. And with things like rewards programs, credit cards can theoretically be better than cash if one manages to avoid interest. And on the off chance of getting pickpocketed or otherwise losing a wallet: if you keep a lot of cash, it’s gone instantly. If you keep minimal cash and make most purchases through a credit card, then as soon as it’s gone, a quick phone call is all it takes to make the small plastic card useless. Plus, certain purchases, like plane
Photo courtesy Internet source
tickets or large appliances are simply unreasonable to purchase with cash. Imagine walking into a Best Buy to buy a high-end HDTV. The TV costs $1,000 plus tax, but because of the surcharge—though I don’t know whether Best Buy will add the additional fee— it could cost another $30 before even considering taxes. With expensive purchases, it seems unreasonable to carry so much cash.
Unless every merchant in a given industry, such as similar restaurants or similar specialty retailers, implement the fee, then consumers should naturally flock to others who don’t charge the checkout fee. For instance, if Walmart were to add the fee while other retailers abstain, one could expect Walmart to lose customers to its competition. While the new permitted charges
won’t affect any of us on campus while we are in Massachusetts, in a few weeks when many of us head home for February break, things will likely be just a tad more expensive. Consumers are now footing the bill for this dispute between credit card companies and merchants, paying not only fees or interest for having the card, but now forced to pay for the privilege to use it.
Never kill Peter Pan
photo from internet source
By Zoe Kronovet Staff Connor Novy Editor If anyone is a fan of TED talks and education, they have probably watched the TED Talk by Ken Robinson about how creativity is being sucked out of our classrooms at an alarming rate and having a detrimental effect on students. After re-watching this video in one of many endeavors to procrastinate, I became inspired, yet again, by Robinson’s lofty ideals about restoring creativity and imagination in the
minds of our youth. While a sense of imagination is something that every person is born with, it is also something that continually is pushed to the wayside both during school hours and afterward. We are taught to boil creativity to a checklist. The process of learning to write the perfect essay starts in elementary school and ends only when your time in school comes to a close and you heave a sigh of relief that you will never again have to check off each paragraph, or struggle
for a last hundred words. During this time, through the adoption of various writing tactics, mind-numbing math problems and too few arts and music programs, little by little our imagination is forced to take a backseat to the pragmatism preached in school. While there is nothing wrong with being realistic and learning these writing habits—in fact, discipline can be necessary to creativity, if used in tandem—so too should our schools and ourselves be committed to upholding and strengthening our imagi-
nations. Yet as we grow older, explore new ideas, develop new opinions and broaden our horizons, things that should make our minds more agile, not less, our imagination, are relegated to a small corner of our brain. Too often we are taught to think critically, to analyze problems, create solutions, to think “out of the box” but in order to do so we have to be able to enlist our imagination to help create these solutions. After teaching us to eschew wild joy for responsibility, we must instill the same wild joy into our work. But, we run the risk of becoming so rusty in jubilance that the ability will entirely disappear. Just like your quads, your penmanship and your second language, your imagination is something that needs to be exercised and routinely engaged. Unless we are immediately talented at a creative process, we feel we have to abandon it for more productive pursuit. But any intelligent person will know that what they are making isn’t very good, and our lack of imagination leads us to give up, rather than daydream about how one day, maybe, our endeavors will be good. Imagination is a kind of hope, and if we don’t practice hope, there won’t be any. How can we be expected to think outside the box or write well when we only have tactics in front of us and not a dearth of images and faux experiences, or real experiences, conjured up in our heads? We never have time to daydream anymore, or do wild things. Spacing out in class results in the loss of potentially important notes or being called out by your teachers. If we do,
it’s fantasizing about hours of sleep, and the feeling of your face against a pillow at two in the afternoon. Even on our break, we fill hours with trivial business, watching TV or playing video games, constantly spoon-fed stimulation. Eventually, out of necessity and out of habit, we forget how to create our own entertainment. We’re always too busy in front of a notebook to daydream, to imagine and escape our own lives for a while. Not knowing how to escape can have more dire consequences. When we can’t escape momentarily, we do it by periodic breakdowns and binges. The entire world has taught us that being imaginative is childish, and that Peter Pan is a dirty slacker, but everyone needs downtime to function well during the other 90 percent of the day. Many weeks ago, I wrote about how the demands of college don’t allow students to pleasure read and what a shame that is. Reading for fun and daydreaming are two sides of the same coin. In a day and age where stress holds your hand as you go to and from your daily classes and activities, take a few moments to drift away into your subconscious and explore your own mind. Most people can’t remember their dreams that happen while asleep, as their bodies take refuge from the toils of life. But the images our sub consciousness creates don’t just shut off once the sun comes up. Each of us is endowed with an imagination that is just waiting for you to explore it. Like a positive Pandora’s box, we all have the option to open it and harness what lay inside.
16 The Brandeis Hoot
February 1, 2013
bVIEW hosts campus forum on Israeli politics BVIEW, from page 1
and Logistics Director for bVIEW, described the conference as, “for the students, by the students.” Geller used the word “movement” to describe the bVIEW conference; she personally aspired to have the conference as the first step in engaging students toward a more serious and civil conversation about Israel’s future. Geller wasn’t alone in her vision. She was joined by 15 other students on the bVIEW team who believe in having conversations about their hopes for Israel’s future. Aaron David Miller, the first keynote speaker and an advisor to six U.S. Secretaries of State, spoke about the political challenges America faces in supporting Israel today. “Supporting Israel is not a cost-free enterprise,” Miller said. Still, he attempted to disprove some of the common public opinions about President Obama, specifically the assumption that he does not act with Israel’s best interests at heart. “Barack Obama is not an enemy of the State of Israel,” Miller said. “He also is not a member of the Zionist Organization of America … He did not grow up with the images of Israelis as cowboys and Palestinians as Indians.” Other speakers covered a diverse range of topics relating to contemporary life in Israel. Bambi Sheleg, an Israeli journalist and founder of Eretz Acheret, a newsletter about current Israeli society, spoke about the relations between Israelis and Diaspora Jews and their diverse views on social issues. Sheleg also criticized the media’s coverage of Israel for being “too focused on extreme ideas and ratings … [Israel is] a society at the moment of maturity. We have to deal with our problems. To deal with our problems is to change … Israel cannot be a coalition of fantasies.” Breakout sessions led by Brandeis professors also gave participants the chance to learn about specific aspects of life in Israel today. Professor Ilan Troen (NEJS), head of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis, facilitated a discussion, “Divergent Jewish Cultures,” on the cultural differences between Israelis and Jews in other Western nations. Professor Yehudah Mirsky (NEJS) led a “Guide for the Perplexed” discus-
sion of the recent Israeli elections, and gave participants the chance to run their own mock political campaign or act out their own governing body. bVIEW’s conference was not sponsored by other campus clubs, although they did collaborate with some of the pro-Israel clubs including J-Street U and BIPAC. “What sets bVIEW apart is that we aren’t trying to promote a certain agenda. We are simply trying to say that there are a lot of people that care about Israel but need to have more innovative discussions,” Chen Arad ’15 co-founder and media director of bVIEW said. Participants from other campuses also learned from the ideas of the conference. Becky Santora, a sophomore at Barnard, hopes to implement bVIEW-style programming on her campus. Panelist Lex Rofes, a Brown University senior who spoke about the current state of Israel discourse on college campuses, said that the conference “gives me a clearer view of how the discussion is different from one campus to another, which is something we need to know so we can change it.” “We got in touch with different foundations and pitched our idea about having a better discussion regarding Israel. Many people liked it and that’s where our donations came from,” Arad said. But Arad said that what worked particularly well in bVIEW’s conference was that they brought together a diverse group of opinions that made students think about conversations in a different way. Instead of attending an event sponsored by a particular club, this conference was simply meant for students to engage in a holistic discussion about Israel’s future. “In the past, I’ve been to events where there is a shouting match. That usually deters people from coming to events; we didn’t want that,” Arad said. Arad spoke of the positive feedback he got from one of their events last semester. In an event during Israel Peace Week, Arad and his team brought together a few different scholars with varying opinions about Israel. Instead of asking them to discuss their opinions on the current state, he asked them to share what they believe the future of Israel should look like. Surprisingly, he said, their
photos by shota adamia/the hoot
answers were practically the same. “The future-oriented discussion can be used as a good platform,” Arad said. “It is this kind of conversation that will allow us to be successful in creating a better future for Israel and its people.” The second keynote speaker, Sheleg, discussed the direction in which she sees the Israeli culture moving. Sheleg spoke of the media and its importance in shaping an outsider’s perspective on Israeli society. “We know when the media is saying the right thing,” Sheleg said. “In the news, if you say something extreme, you become famous for it. But if you say something moderate, you’re boring.” Sheleg also spoke about the role of Zionism in shaping a new identity for Israel. Her belief is that Zionism started from newspapers, grew into
literature and philosophy and has now shifted toward movements and political parties. “The content of Jewish identity is different in the most radical ways: from the beginning of time, before the Holocaust and before the state,” Sheleg said. “We used to be a different people.” The conference concluded with two students, Eli Phillip ’15 and Eva Gurevich (GRAD), sharing their hopes for Israel’s future to a panel of guests, including the Consul General of Israel to New England, Shai Bazak. Phillip, who grew up in Israel, moved to the United States with his family for a better life and education. Attending a Jewish day school, he spoke about the absence of criticism for Israel, and that Zionism to his peers meant nothing but absolute support for Israel. Phillip believes that
in order for Israel to be a more just society, it must accept a painful partition. Gurevich spoke about the possible solutions for Israel, particularly her suggestion of a confederate state in which there are two states with permanent boundaries and independent governments. The point of this concluding part of the conference was to have two students present their ideas of a better future for Israel. Bazak praised Phillip and Gurevich for their ideas and applauded the rest of the student body attending the conference. He spoke of the great strides Israel has made in its short time of existence, in the doctors, soldiers, engineers and much more. “Whatever your political opinion is, as long as you care about Israel, you deserve all the credit, blessing and my salute to you,” Bazak said.