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Volume 10 Number 9

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.

April 26, 2013

Students speak; divestment passes in a landslide vote By Rachel Hirschhaut Staff

The second round of Student Union Elections was held Thursday, April 25 to fill open Senate and Associate Judiciary seats, and most notably to vote on a ballot initiative supporting divestment at Brandeis. The Brandeis University Undergraduate Divestment Campaign Petition passed with a majority of 79.03 percent voting in favor of it. Abstentions are not included in the totals,

according to the Student Union Constitution Article XI on petitions. Andrew Chang ’16 and Jon Jacob ’16 were elected as Class of 2016 Senators; Anna Bessendorf ’15 and Caiwei Zheng ’15 were elected for the Class of 2015 Senators; Andre Tran ’14 and Annie Chen ’14 were elected to represent the Class of 2014. Daniel Schwab ’14 was elected as a Senator at Large with the other seat unfilled; Michael Abrams ’15, Sarah Park ’14, Maris Ryger-Wasserman ’16 and Claire Si-

nai ’15 were elected as Associate Justices of the Student Union Judiciary. No senator for Racial Minorities was elected. Any vacant seats will remain vacant until they are filled with a special election in the fall. “We’re really excited about the outcome and student support for divestment. Not only did we achieve amazing results, but in the process we have developed new student leaders and created a discussion on campus about climate change,” Tali Smookler ’13, a

leader in the campaign wrote. “We should be a leader in social justice, and it’s a big step to show such strong student support for this; Harvard voted 72 percent in favor on a similar ballot, and Brandeis not only matched but surpassed this.” Smookler says the next step is to meet with some faculty and members of the administration. Andrew Nguyen ’15, stressed that “our impact by divesting is political and social, not economic.”

Stanley Bergman wins Perlmutter Award for excellence in global leadership By Debby Brodsky Editor

Stanley Bergman, chairman and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., was awarded the 2013 Perlmutter Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership on Tuesday. Since 1989, Bergman has been chairman and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest provider of dental, medical and veterinary products and services to more than 200 countries and regions around the world. The Perlmutter Award is sponsored by trustees Louis Perlmutter ’56 and Barbara Perlmutter, who also established the Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership as part of the Brandeis International Business School. The Perlmutter Institute teaches students to value the intersection of global business leadership with promoting the public good. Bergman was presented the Perlmutter Award at a luncheon reception by Louis Perlmutter, a long-time family friend, and was welcomed by President Fred Lawrence and Dean Bruce Magid. “Henry founded the company in 1932 in the middle of the Great Depression. He was an amazing entrepreneur. Today we are the largest provider for dental, medical and veterinary practitioners in the private practice, and we have a great customer base,” Bergman said. Bergman continued to explain how

Henry Schein, Inc. teaches newly certified health care practitioners how to run small businesses, and helps its customers to work through practice management challenges. “Health care practitioners spend a lot of money getting their education. Our customers get a good clinical education, but no one has taught them how to run a small business,” Bergman said. “We educate them in the methodology, and we provide them with practice management services. Our customers need these products, and See BERGMAN, page 2

photo by katie chin/the hoot bernstein Students involved in “yarnbombing” decorated trees outside of Admissions with

colorfully knit sleeves.

Police look at bombing suspect’s link to Waltham triple murder By Jon Ostrowsky Editor

It’s been more than a year and a half since police found three men murdered inside a Waltham apartment with their throats slit and marijuana sprinkled on their bodies. But authorities believe they may have new leads on the investigation because Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspected Marathon bomber, was close friends with one of the victims. On Sept. 12, 2011 detectives discovered the bodies and began an investigation into the murder of Brendan Mess, 25, of Waltham; Erik Weissman, 31, of Cambridge; and Raphael Teken, 37, of Cambridge, who graduated from Brandeis in 1998 and majored in history. The three men were found inside an apartment on Harding Avenue off of Main Street. The Boston Globe reported on Saturday that Tsarnaev was close with Mess, and once introduced him to the owner of a local gym as his “best friend.” A spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said the investigation remains ongoing. “We continue to follow all leads,” Stephanie Guyotte said, adding that the office will pursue any new information that comes to light in the investigation of the Marathon bombing. At the time, the murders shocked the quiet residential street, and families gathered behind police tape as officials from the District Attorney’s Office began their investigation. That night, former Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone described the apartment as a “very graphic crime scene.” Leone later released a statement saying that “based on the present state of the investigation, it is believed that the victims knew the assailant or assailants, and the attacks were not random.”

New biology major requirements encourage interdisciplinary study By Emily Belowich Staff

photo from internet source

Inside this issue:

Editorial: Campus safety sets a high bar Week in photos: K-Nite in focus NEWS: Johnston reevaluates Vergil’s language Arts, Etc.: ‘Visions’ captivates audience Opinion: Four years in college journalism Sports: Baseball struggles at Bowdoin

New changes to courses and requirements in the biology department will offer a more holistic, interdisciplinary approach, according to Dr. Melissa Kosinski-Collins, professor of biology. The new changes will go into effect for students matriculating in the fall semester of 2013. The updated curriculum introduces a set of three new one-semester courses: BIOL 14a (Genetics and Genomics), BIOL 15b (Cells and Organisms) and BIOL 16a (Evolution and Biodiversity). These courses will stand in place of BIOL 22a/22b, which currently focus on cell biology and genetics, but will no longer be offered beginning this fall. Additionally, these courses have no prerequisites and can be taken as early as the first year. As an already matriculated

Page 6 Reflections Page 16 Senior encourages students to Page 2 engage in their community. Page 9 Opinion: Page 14 Page 12 Page 7

student, you have the option of either staying within the current rules or completely switching to the new rules; however, there will not be any mixing of the rules allowed. Other changes to the curriculum include Physics I, II lecture and lab being required only for the BS, not for the BA. BCHM 100 is no longer required for the BS and there are five electives required for the BA and six for the BS. Currently, only two electives can come from the School of Science elective list. Soon there will many more elective choices available. According to Dr. Kosinski-Collins, there were two major reasons behind making changes to the curriculum. First, the biology major has been criticized for being too “molecular” heavy in which the focus has solely been on cellular biology and genetics. This has prevented students from being able to take biology in their

first year, because general chemistry has been a prerequisite for the core biology semester set. “There was a group of students coming through the major that didn’t have this group of interests,” Dr. KC said. “Students had to wait until sophomore year to take biology, and they weren’t able to take ecology or evolution until much later on. Students were signed up as biology majors but weren’t taking any of the core classes until their sophomore year.” Thus, Dr. KC and other science education faculty began to consider breaking down the biology core courses into different interests to encourage more participation in the major. Overall, the changes are designed to give students more of a variety in their coursework and encourage them to be excited about the courses See BIOLOGY MAJOR, page 2

Relay for Life

Students raise money for cancer awareness and research.

News: Page 5


2 The Brandeis Hoot

April 26, 2013

Classics professor to speak at Case Western about new insights in “Aeneid” translation By Emily Stott Editor

Patricia Johnston (CLAS) will present novel research findings she has discovered while publishing a new translation of Vergil’s “Aeneid” to students and faculty at Case Western Reserve University Friday. Case Western sponsors “Vergil Week” each year, and this year Johnston’s book was chosen as the highlight of the week, with a complete reading of the book taking place all day Thursday. Johnston will deliver the keynote address Friday and will discuss the difference between Juno as a Roman goddess and the Greek goddess Hera. As she was translating the “Aeneid,” Johnston was struck by Vergil’s discussion of “the storm of Juno’s unforgiving anger.” While other scholars have compared the Roman Juno to the Greek Hera, Johnston thought that there was more to Juno’s character than a bitterness for Jupiter’s many affairs. She argues that Juno has significance as a Roman goddess, and her anger stems from a protective feeling toward the citizens of Carthage and Italy, rather than simply the jealousy of the Greek goddess Hera. She hopes people will learn about what Vergil is writing about historically, because the scholarship can

be misleading. “Most commentaries on the ‘Aeneid’ and also on classical mythology just lump them together mindlessly, but there’s a big difference. When goddesses and gods from one land are joined with those of another, local aspects creep in as well as the Greek aspects,” Johnston said. “Each place [the Greek myth] is used, it’s modified and adapted and reflects local traditions as well.” Johnston’s new translation of the “Aeneid,” published in 2012, has received critical acclaim from scholars across the country. Although there are many translations of Vergil’s wellknown work, few translators strive to put their translations into dactylic hexameter, the same poetic meter in which the epic was originally written. The Department of Classics at Case Western invited Johnston to speak after the new translation was published. “The book just came out, and it’s getting a lot of attention now. They’re doing Vergil week and it’s really quite natural,” Johnston said. This Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., students and faculty read Johnston’s English translation in its entirety. She is pleased that they read the full 12-book poem, and expressed hope that people who do not already know the “Aeneid” will be inspired to learn more about Aeneas’ quest to found the Roman race.

Johnston has been interested in research on Vergil for quite a while, but she never intended to write a translation of a book that many others had already completed. Yet, after colleagues encouraged her to do so, she decided to assume the task given that she would be doing something different and worthwhile by writing in dactylic hexameter. Vergil wrote the Latin in dactylic hexameter, but translating the epic into English and following the same meter is a simple task. “I’ve tried to keep as close as possible to the purity of Vergil’s language and not become overly poetic with my own poetry, as sometimes tends to happen in translations,” Johnston said. She has devoted most of her career to Vergil’s works, and now Johnston has an exciting new theory she hopes to publish soon about the historical role of Juno in Roman culture. Looking forward, this summer Johnston will be preparing a third edition of her introductory Latin textbook as well as directing the nineteenth annual symposium in Grumentum, Italy, on “The Role of Animals in Ancient Myth and Religion.” She will also be editing papers from previous symposia for publication: one will focus on Artemis and the other on Arcadia. photo from internet source

Biology major requirements changing

Bergman honored for focusing business on giving back BERGMAN, from page 1

photo from internet source

BIOLOGY MAJOR, from page 1

they’re taking. “In such molecular-heavy classes, you lose students who are not as excited by math,” Dr. KC said. Students who are active in the biology department, such as biology lab TA Deepti Kanneganti ’14, have expressed their excitement over the new curriculum and are looking forward to seeing it develop during the next few years. “I strongly believe in using an integrated approach to problem solving in any field, and this new major really does allow for opportunities for students to take classes in other sciences and make connections between these disciplines. There will be a confusing and hectic grace period, but after a few years I think Brandeis will have an even stronger science program than it already does,” Kanneganti said.

The second main reason behind the curriculum changes is to ensure that students who are planning on taking the MCAT are prepared with a more diverse background. Recent changes in requirements to this test are now looking for better critical thinkers and problem solvers. As a result, the new biology curriculum is designed to teach a more holistic approach while leaving time and space to also think about scientific literacy. The effects will impact non-premed students as well as pre-med students, but Dr. KC believes that this will primarily affect students who are both on the pre-med track and also biology majors. Students on the premed track will still have to take Bio 14 and Bio 15, as well as general chemistry, organic chemistry, and all of the other requirements needed to apply to medical school. The new changes will also impact other majors that have cross-listed

classes under biology, such as HSSP and biochemistry, because these majors will have to consider which biology classes can count for their requirements. Kanneganti, a rising senior, will still follow the curriculum track she is on, but has high hopes for the new changes. “I honestly think that these changes are really good for Brandeis, especially for students that are interested in biology and the sciences in general. I think the first reaction to major changes such as these is a lot of confusion and wondering what was wrong with the old requirements for the major. However, once you look closely at these changes, it is easy to see that the new major allows for a greater exploration and integration within the field of science. Students now have a way to begin their interest in biology from the beginning of their Brandeis experience, but are never limited to this one field,” Kanneganti said.

we have been able to help them go into private practice and provide good clinical care. That is our formula and it has worked well.” Social responsibility has always been an important component of a successful business for Bergman, who enjoys getting to know people from around the world, and bettering the environment through the development of Henry Schein, Inc. “I have always had a passion for social responsibility. Our company’s culture allows for the business side to excel, and the opportunity for our team members to participate in programs that make a difference in society,” Bergman said. After graduating from college, Bergman “did something very boring,” and became an accountant for four years. According to Bergman, by becoming an accountant he was able to learn the language of business, and later combined his knowledge of business with his passion for social responsibility. Bergman encouraged seniors graduating into business fields to enjoy working with people above all, and stressed the importance of giving back to society. “We are a business that competes with competition that provides exactly the same products we do. We are three times bigger than any of them. It’s all about people. Work with people, enjoy people,” Bergman said. “There are a number of constituents that make up what we call the Henry Schein Mosaic of Success. That is, our clients, our customers, our team, our

investors and giving back to society through social responsibility. Any graduate should seek out organizations and lifestyles that allow for the balancing of constituents, and focus on giving back to society.” According to Bergman, one of the most exciting parts of business is the digitalization of dentistry that prevents the use of a harmful x-ray developing solution and employs environmentally friendly digital technology instead. “When I started out at Henry Schein 33 years ago, there weren’t even computers available at a dentist’s office. Now you can have a digital xray made that is sent straight to the dentist’s computer,” Bergman said. Beyond receiving the Perlmutter Award Tuesday, Bergman does not have an extensive relationship with Brandeis. “We are friends with the Perlmutters. Their eldest son Eric is a partner in business with our youngest son Eddie. Lou founded the Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership, and asked me to spend the day today. The students were so engaging, and they have a great appreciation for business and social values.” Bergman said. Bergman concluded by remarking that his favorite part of business has always been the people he meets. “People. I love people. Being chairman and CEO allows me to meet people from every walk of life. From business, to academia, to government, to NGOs in every country in the world. I just love people. They excite me and get me going every morning. I don’t work, I have fun!”


The Brandeis Hoot

Documentary director discusses the conflict in the Congo By Victoria Aronson Editor

Exploring the brutal sexual abuses committed against women in the Congo, the event “War Over Minerals in the Congo, I don’t want my cell phone to fuel a war” showcased the devastation of economic warfare. It began with a film screening of the documentary, “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo,” the event incorporated a panel of Congolese speakers who discussed the vast human rights violations stemming from the exploitation of resources utilized in electronic devices, including cell phones. Directed by Lisa F. Jackson, the documentary depicts speakers arguing that “rape has always been used as a weapon of war.” According to the film, hundreds of thousands of women and underage girls have been raped in the course of 10 years, to be left “invisible, shamed and silent.” More than 4 million people have died as a consequence of the war raging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Jackson reveals her personal impetus behind capturing the voices of women who have been victimized and traumatized within the Congo, stating, “if I told a woman my own story, she would break the silence that surrounded hers.” At 25 years old, Jackson herself was gang raped by a group of three men, though her attackers were never found. Traveling across the Great Lakes region, Jackson spoke with victims who had endured sexual violence, international volunteers and doctors who witness trauma on a regular basis and countless other individuals. One of the men interviewed in the film blatantly revealed that “if she says no, I must take her by force.” Beyond the violence and brutality endured by victims of rape, the social isolation and stigmas suffered by these women only perpetuate the severity of the situation. One such woman, who was pregnant when she was raped by multiple soldiers, reveals that “he [her husband] tells the children I want to be raped.” Conveying her suffering, she states, “My heart is broken. I know that wherever I go people will say that woman was raped. I hated myself.” Another victim of sexual violence

expressed her desire to marry, even though women who have endured sexual assault are rejected by their spouses and spurned by the community. She explains that “in our country, people consider sexual violence a taboo.” Tracing the bloody history of the Congo, the documentary depicts the implicit role of foreigners within the human rights violations. According to the film, more than $1 million worth of minerals utilized in electronic devices are stolen from the Democratic Republic of the Congo every day. Despite the presence of more than 17,000 peacekeepers from the United Nations, the area is still raged by war and the continued acts of sexual violence, committed by both Congolese and foreign militias. The documentary captures the scene of soldiers extorting money from villagers, who are rendered defenseless against the very entities designed to protect them. Depicting the gravity of the situation, the film reveals that it is not only the Congolese militia that is responsible for human rights violations. According to the documentary, peacekeepers from the U.K. have been accused of committing rape, with 19 recently investigated for exchanging milk and eggs for sex with girls as young as the age of 10. The documentary takes viewers within the confines of the Panzi hospital, where women are treated for injuries suffered as a consequence of rape. One of the doctors reveals the unusual lesions and mutilations he has witnessed in patients as young as 2 years old to women in their eighties, stating that “this is the monstrosity of this century.” Suffering injuries caused by guns, sticks and other objects used to destroy the wall of the uterus and cause severe mutilation, many of these patients undergo multiple operations, although they may be forced to suffer chronic pain for the remainder of their lives. Following the conclusion of the documentary, a panel of speakers debated the nature of the crisis within the Congo. Alain Lempereur, The Alan B. Slifka professor here at Brandeis, emphasized that “it is not about us and them.” He acknowledges the rapes and massacres committed by members of troops from the U.N. Jeanne Kasongo L. Ngondo, or Mama Jeanne, president and founder

of the Shalupe Foundation, emphasized that it is not only Congolese women who are being raped, but women from Uganda and other regions of Africa. She said, “it’s time for us as women from the Great Lakes region to come together and fight for peace.” Discussing the lack of government and education, Germain Indjassa, who recently completed a masters degree in coexistence and conflict from The Heller School, explains that the soldiers lack training and pay, therefore abuse the locals as compensation. Pointing out that the documentary itself was produced by an American, he asserts its failure to confront issues pertaining to the government. “We are all part of the human family,” he said, urging a sense of global responsibility for the human rights violations and economic warfare occurring within the Congo. Despite the involvement of multinational corporations in financing the atrocities committed within the Congo, Lempereur urges that “if we say we don’t want minerals from the Congo, it will have a terrible impact on poor people in the region.” He asserts the need to approach the situation carefully, explaining, “weapons are coming in, minerals are going out, but the problem is the people of the Congo are the ones who are suffering.” Father Emmanuel Bueya, a Jesuit priest, activist and doctoral student at Boston College, expanded on the economic basis of the human rights violations occurring in the Congo and stressed that the focus should not be solely on sexual violence, but on the exploitation of resources and armed strength as well. Designed as an interactive discussion, an audience member responded, “We just want to stop the killing and the suffering of the people.” Emphasizing the implications of the economic warfare raging in the Congo, Father Emmanuel Bueya stated, “When I see your cellphones, what I see is violence and rape.” Co-sponsored by Congo Action Now!, STAND, Amnesty International, Heller School Program for Coexistence and Conflict and the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the event concluded by urging audience members to become involved through letters to legislators.

photo from internet source

College Notebook

Remembering Sean Collier

By Charlie Romanow Staff

27-year-old Sean A. Collier of Somerville passed away on the night of April 18 in the line of duty while in his patrol car near Kendall Square in Cambridge as the Boston Marathon bombing suspects attempted to attain additional firearms. He died at a local hospital from gunshot wounds. Collier served as a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since January 2012 after having been an information technology employee and volunteer auxiliary police officer at the Somerville Police Department. Collier was set to begin a job at the Somerville Police Department in the summer. He grew up in Wilmington, Mass., a town located about 25 minutes outside of Boston, with five siblings. Collier graduated from Salem State University. A service was held on Tuesday at St. Patrick’s Church in Stoneham. Many members of the MIT community as well as law enforcement officials and Governor Deval Patrick attended the service. A truck that Collier had recently bought sat outside of the church filled with flower arrange-

ments and was adorned with an MIT police insignia. A memorial service was held at Briggs Field on the MIT campus on Wednesday. The service was not open to the general public, but for those in law enforcement and members of the MIT community. More than 10,000 people attended, including Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Those who knew Collier since his childhood agree that he was destined to become a police officer and always enjoyed helping others. MIT students who knew him spoke of a man that was genuinely interested in student’s lives, so much so that he joined the MIT Outing Club and participated in many hikes with them.

photo from internet source

Rosen ready to work on ambitious agenda By Dori Cohen Staff

Last Friday, the new Student Union was elected into office. Among the various positions vying for representatives, however, the most eagerly anticipated news was the results of the race for Student Union President. After a close race between three highly capable contenders, Ricky Rosen ’14, David Clements ’14 and Daniel Schwab ’14, Rosen was determined the winner. Originally, Rosen, current Executive Senator of the Student Union, was not extremely confident that he would be the victor. “It’s absolutely an honor and a privilege to be able to serve the student body,” he said. “It was a very close election, and I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out. When I got the email [containing the results], I was overjoyed.” Part of the reason Rosen was elected president was his agenda, which was both ambitious and highly descriptive, including such issues as dining reform, additional assistance with student off-campus housing, transparency of tuition and a larger role of the Student Union within the school. Rosen wants to start working on his goals quickly, and knows that doing so is both time consuming and difficult.

“I’m not going to wait to start working,” he said. “I already met with the Executive Board yesterday, and plan on meeting with the administration on dining very soon, making sure that student input is part of process. I want to make sure that students are comfortable with dining options on campus, something I emphasized with the school administration.” Rosen already made waves around campus with his highly publicized Youtube video, in which he was kept hostage and interrogated by Aramark, Brandeis’ food provider. Additionally, Rosen started the campaign to get school administrators to eat food from Sherman Dining Hall for an entire week to see, or taste, for themselves the quality of the food that most students on campus eat on a daily basis. “I’m going to get started as soon as I can,” Rosen reiterated. “I’m looking to make ’Deis Day celebrations an annual part of the Brandeis community— make it a spirit rally where all clubs and sports teams can participate. I also plan on meeting with the Board of Trustees, and make sure they understand what I want our relationship to be.” “I’m really glad that the students of this university recognize all the hard work that I put in and that I will try my hardest to make the student experience at Brandeis even better.”

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

April 26, 2013


The Brandeis Hoot

April 26, 2013

Lavender Graduation honors LGBTQ students and allies By Sarah Margulies Special to the Hoot

This past Thursday, members of the 2013 graduating class marched in the second annual Lavender Graduation to receive recognition for their numerous accomplishments while at Brandeis. However, this was not simply an early graduation exercise. Instead, Lavender Graduation was a way of celebrating LGBTQQIA students and their allies in an intimate, yet formal, environment. The LGBT community has not always had a positive relationship with the term “lavender.” However, judging by the plethora of streamers, balloons, and clothing in different shades of purple, the color has been reclaimed for honoring these

students. Professors Bernadette Brooten and Susan Lanser served as MCs for the night. They welcomed the fifteen graduates in the audience with an oral history of the LGBT community at Brandeis. Both remarked upon the continuing trend toward more openness on campus since each began working at the university. Professor Brooten also noted that this was the 35th year of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department as well as the 30th year since Triskelion (Trisk) was founded. Dillon Harvey ’14, the coordinator of Trisk, delivered a student leadership speech. Noting his junior status in comparison to most in the room, he continued to encourage the graduates to “always remain aware, vigilant and brave” in addressing adversity,

and advising them to “commence the house down” during their graduation ceremony with the rest of the student body. Halee Brown, a member of the Sex and Sexualities Symposium and Trisk, gave a heartfelt speech, recalling the victories of the past few years, including Trans Awareness Week, gender neutral changing space in the pool facility, and of course, Lavender Graduation itself. She still pointed out, however, the necessity of a full time coordinator for sexuality and diversity. She closed in saying, “My Brandeis is queer Brandeis; it’s up to you all to stick with your inner rebel and push until everyone’s Brandeis is queer Brandeis. It’s the best Brandeis I know.” Jennifer Cleary (THA) was the keynote speaker of the night and gave

a little more traditional graduation fare. She expressed the importance of “not planning for the rest of your life” and encouraged the audience to partake in the mantra several times. “Look around and take a mental picture of this moment … Remember who is around you,” she said. Jesse Beal, the Program Coordinator for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, explained that a Lavender Graduation takes place at many different universities throughout the country, including Georgetown University, the University of Southern California and the University of California-Berkeley. The presence of one is taken into account in the campus climate index, a tool to determine how LGBTQ friendly a campus is. Beal also talked about how “homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia exist here too” and

how those seniors recognized work very hard to make Brandeis more aware of it. The presence of many university officials, including Andrew Flagel, Alwina Bennett and Jamele Adams “all show that queer issues are Brandeis issues.” Many of the graduates were impressed by the intimate yet sophisticated atmosphere of the event. Andrew Honig ’13, was not an active participant in queer organizations before becoming involved with the Sex and Sexualities Symposium this past year. Honig said, “When I first started, I felt [the community] was very closed off,” but he has seen that the community has become more open since then. The Lavender Graduation reflected this close-knit atmosphere.

Univ hosts kickoff event for Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit By Jaye Han Staff

A kickoff event for the Museum of Science’s major exhibition of Dead Sea Scrolls and artifacts from ancient Israel was held on Tuesday in Rapaporte Treasure Hall. This event was made possible through the CLARC of Brandeis University’s Classical Studies Department and the University’s educational partnership with the Museum of Science. The CLARC or “Eunice Cohen Classical Artifacts Research Collection” from the classical studies department at Brandeis University is comprised of 800-900 objects mostly from The Rose, as well as donations by professors and anonymous people. The CLARC is run by Professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, and allows internships for students interested in museum studies. In the exhibit’s discussion, “Science, Artifacts and the Ancient World,” Professor Brettler explained that the Dead Sea Scrolls were initially discovered in 1947, jarred in a cave that is now known as the Qumran Site. These Scrolls provide very important information regarding the background of the first pre-Christian and post-Christian century, he said, as well as providing the missing links to understanding “how the Bible became a Bible” and giving insight into Hebrew scripts. Professor Michael Henchman (CHEM) argued that the sciences

photo from internet source

and arts are closely intertwined and this modern way of examining the Dead Sea Scrolls was crucial to understanding them. Speaking after him was Professor Andrew Koh (CLAS), who is interested in the interactions between sciences and humanities. He agreed with Professor Henchman and further noted his appreciation for the support he found at Brandeis University. This exhibit of artifacts from the era

of the Dead Sea Scrolls was presented by Ben Federlin ’14 and Allison Crandall ’13. They are both Undergraduate Department Representatives for Classical Studies majors and Federlin is currently an intern at CLARC. Federlin stated that they were lucky to have so many of the donated artifacts be related to their Dead Scrolls exhibit, which allowed them to be more selective with the artifacts. The CLARC works have to research the

items they receive because the donors are often anonymous and provide little information, he said. The artifacts of this exhibition are examined through the CLARC’s use of both archeological and chemical analyses to better understand life in ancient times through their context and contents, Crandall explained. “It’s very cool to combine both my majors: chemistry and classical studies,” she said, “I knew it was possible,

but never figured I would have a chance to. It’s not everyday that undergraduates are allowed to touch ancient artifacts—forget pouring chemicals on them.” “What’s more amazing is that we got results,” she further added. “We found ancient perfume, honey and wine. How awesome is it to be able to look at an ancient container and know exactly what was in that specific one?”

photos by nate rosenbloom/the hoot


April 26, 2013

The Brandeis Hoot 5

Relay for Life celebrates cancer survivors

By Theresa Gaffney

sat in the middle. Attendees were called in groups to throw a glow stick inside, Brandeis’ Relay for Life depending on their relation took place Saturday night in to the person that they were on the track inside Gosman honoring. gym. The event was not well Shortly after this, a attended, however, and shut hypnotist show took place, down at around 4:00 a.m. entertaining the audience Many seniors were upset by with comical stunts by the lack of students there, hypnotized students. The remembering their freshcrowd began to disperse man year when the track after this. When Relay for was packed with students. Life volunteers read out Nevertheless, the lighting of the raffle winners a few the luminaras and ceremo- hours into the morning, nious walk around the track many tickets were pulled saw the highest volume of out whose owners were not students of the night, as present. Despite the low students and community turnout, this year’s Relay members honored relatives, slogan, “celebrate, rememfriends and acquaintances ber, fight back,” was emphathat have suffered from sized throughout the night, cancer. Small luminaras with personal stories, songs lined the track, as one taller and photos celebrating the than all of the people there fight against cancer. Editor

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

To our graduating staff members and writers: We thank you for the many years of hard work and support that you have kindly committed to The Hoot during your time at Brandeis. We are grateful for the time you’ve taken to write articles, create graphics, design layout, take photos and edit. Your work has not gone unnoticed, and has benefited this campus in ways unimaginable. We wish you nothing but the best of luck in all of your endeavors!


6 The Brandeis Hoot

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.” Editors-in-Chief Jon Ostrowsky Emily Stott Victoria Aronson Arts, Etc. Editor Dana Trismen Arts, Etc. Editor Lassor Feasley Opinion Editor Morgan Dashko Copy Editor Nate Rosenbloom Photography Editor Jun Zhao Graphics Editor Katie Chin Online Editor Rachel Hirschhaut Deputy News Editor


Volume 10 • Issue 9 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, Gilda DiCarli, Ben Fine, Theresa Gaffney, Evan Goldstein, Jaye Han, Maya Himelfarb, Paula Hoekstra, Brittany Joyce, Ari Kalfus, Sarah Sue Landau, Rebecca Leaf, Nathan Murphy Needle, Aliya Nealy, Alexandra Patch, Max Randhahn, Zach Reid, Zoe Richman, Charlie Romanow, Alex Self, Alec Siegel, Diane Somlo, Sindhura Sonnathi, Jennifer Spencer, Matthew Tagan, Alison Thvedt, Coco Tirambulo, Yi Wang, Shreyas Warrier, Pete Wein, Linjie Xu

In appreciation of campus public safety

ust as the Brandeis and Greater Boston community began to mourn and recover from last week’s marathon bombings, the area was forced into a lockdown and for an entire day, the commonplace everyday activities of our lives came to a sudden halt. The university administration, including but not limited to public safety, communications, student life and facilities staff awoke to frightening news of a manhunt located just miles away from campus. They responded with an

Senior Editors Debby Brodsky Suzanna Yu


April 26, 2013

unwavering sense of calm that protected our campus and reassured worried students. Police managed to secure the campus without increasing the frightened attitudes students already felt from following media coverage. The communications team turned to a wide range of outlets, including Facebook and Twitter to send out constant communication throughout the day. With campus dining facilities and the library remaining open, students were also allowed to

access their usual spaces on campus and avoid being confined to a dorm room for the entire day. The university has continued to rally its support for victims of the tragedy and remind students about the multitude of resources available to them. Faced with the most difficult of circumstances, Brandeis leadership responded immediately and employees were able to serve the best interest of the student body. We are incredibly grateful.

Participation lacking in student democracy

t’s an exciting time for the Student Union as new and old candidates run to fill open seats and participate in their government. But it would be even more exciting if the student body took it seriously and more students voted in elections. With only 1,360 students voting in this week’s second round of elections, including the question about a divestment petition, the results reflect less than half of the undergraduate population. Brandeis students are known for their interest in activism and club leadership. But complaints about Student

Union transparency and communication with the student body can’t be considered legitimate if students don’t encourage one another to vote in higher numbers. One of the agenda items for the incoming Union administration should be to mobilize participation and increase the voting percentage significantly. The recent divestment campaign reflects the success of organizing student support and democratic participation. Nearly 99 percent of those who voted in the election voted for the question on the divestment petition. It comes as no surprise as to why. Leaders of this move-

ment spent months campaigning and reaching out to different student groups and leaders to engage in conversations about the issues they cared about most. While it’s exciting that the petition passed, the process and campus activism surrounding the campaign is equally as exciting. Students need to take the energy and attention surrounding that petition and apply it to other campaigns and elections. Voting needs to be viewed as an exciting opportunity, not something taken for granted.

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@ 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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Thank you, Jon! Thanks for the past four years of hard work, of staying up until 3 a.m. on production nights after everyone else leaves, for the IHOP runs at 4 a.m., for friendship, for the encouragement, for your leadership, and most importantly, for the solid journalism. We wish you the best of luck!


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Love, The Hoot


April 26, 2013

The Brandeis Hoot 7

Softball measures up to Clark 1-1 for the weekend; reaches 20 game win mark By Dani Chasin Staff

The softball team faced Clark University in a doubleheader at home last Saturday, and went 1-1 against the Cougars. With this victory, the Judges have reached their 20th win of the season for the eighth year in a row. Brandeis now holds a record of 20-11, while the Cougars stand at 13-15. When asked how she felt about accomplishing 20 wins thus far, Coach Johnson was quick to downplay the accomplishment. “I think the 20-win mark is given more respect than it deserves, but I think it coincides with the fact that most programs schedule 40 games so achieving 20 wins means you’ll at least finish .500. We schedule 48 games, however, so we don’t make too big of a deal of reaching 20,” Johnson said. The Judges fell in the opener on Saturday with a score of 9-7, but fought hard to come back in the second game and managed a 3-2 win. Clark had a quick start in the opener, nailing four runs in the first inning, with Casey Ducinski ’13 pitching for the Judges. Two of the big hits were back-to-back doubles, and the first run was scored off of a throwing error by left field. Brandeis recorded their first run in the bottom of the second inning. To

start the play, shortstop Anya Kamber ’15 singled to right field. Advancing to second off a walk for the Judges, Kamber scored when second baseman Leah McWilliams ’14 reached first off an error. The next score for the Cougars game in the fourth inning when a player for the Cougars scored off a single RBI. However, in the sixth inning, both teams saw a lot of hitting action. The Cougars started with a score off a single, to left while the Judges managed to add three runs in the sixth. Ducinski stuck a double with 2 RBIs that sent right fielder Madison Sullivan ’16 and Kamber to home. The third run came when Danielle Novotny ’16 grounded out to second base and

sent McWilliams home to tighten the score to 6-4. The seventh inning also saw a lot of action. Both teams managed to record three runs each, two of the Cougars’ hits were off single RBIs. The highlight of the game came when two Brandeis players, Sullivan and center fielder Cori Coleman ’15, both nailed homers that secured three runs for the Judges. Coleman’s 2 RBI hit to center field also sent first baseman Melissa Nolan ’14 home. Though the Judges managed to stay in close range of the Cougars, they never seemed to gain momentum early on in the game to get the lead. Coach Johnson attributed the loss to a “lack of acuity. Physically, the skills set was there but we just didn’t show

photos by katie chin/the hoot

up focused or ready to play a club that is much more competitive than their record would indicate,” she said. In the nightcap, the Judges managed to counter their loss with a tight 3-2 win. This time on the mound, Nolan stepped up to pitch for the Judges. Clark scored the first run again off a single RBI in the top of third inning. The Judges responded with a run when sophomore center fielder Amanda Genovese ’14, after stealing second, advanced to home off of a double RBI by Novotny. Brandeis took the lead with a score of 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning when a single struck by Kamber sent Genovese home for her second run of the day. Clark answered with a run at the top of the sixth of a fielding error and RBI to tie up the score 2-2. Finally, at the bottom of the seventh inning, a single up the center by Sullivan caused Nolan, already on base, to advance to third and score off an error, making the final score 3-2. Nolan had an impressive performance on the mound, recording a team-best 8-2 with a four-hitter, her sixth start in which she only gave

up four hits or less. She managed to strike out seven Cougar players, her second best of the season, and walked three. Though the Judges have a better overall record than the Cougars who are 13-15, Johnson pointed out that it is dangerous to undermine the Clark team. “Clark plays in a very competitive conference and we have them on our schedule because we know we’re going to have to play quality ball to win and we didn’t do that in the first game,” she said. The Judges have managed to win at least one of the games in all of the double headers throughout the month of April. Their steady pace and consistency is just what Coach Johnson says the team needs to make a run at achieving their goal for the season. “We hope to continue to keep improving, finish solidly with the rest of our regular schedule which will be very demanding, make a run at a post-season championship, and give next year’s returning players some feedback to use over the summer to build into next year,” she said.

Baseball continues to struggle and drops three of four By Charlie Romanow Staff

The baseball team went into the week 9-17 and left at 10-20; they currently stand in last place in the UAA. The Judges lost a close matchup on Wednesday to Bowdoin College. Brandeis gained an early lead in the first with a double by Chris Ferro ’13, but the Polar Bears responded with one run of their own in the first, and an additional three in the second inning. Brandeis tied it up again in the fifth but could not overcome the three runs that Bowdoin added in the sixth. The Polar Bears made three errors in the top of the eighth to allow the Judges to score two runs, but the scoring ended there at 8-7 in favor of the home Bowdoin team. Ferro and Nick Cortese ’13 each had two hits, and Brian Allen ’15 had two RBIs. Starter Dylan Britton ’13 had a tough outing allowing eight runs, including six earned, on eleven hits over 5 and 1/3 innings. The final two and two thirds innings were led by relievers Elio Fernandez ’15, Jesse Link ’13 and Stefan Weiss ’13, who cumulatively gave up only one hit. The Polar Bears offense was led by

the trio of John Lefeber, Aaron Rosen and Dan Findley. Lefeber led the game with three RBIs and three hits. Rosen had two hits and two RBIs and Findley had two hits and scored three times. The Bowdoin pitching staff had eight players take the mound. The Polar Bears left the game at 21-9 and sit atop the East Division of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a 7-2 inconference record. The Judges had two games on Saturday against Springfield College. They split the doubleheader. This marks the third consecutive doubleheader in which Brandeis has won the first game and lost the second. All three doubleheaders took place at home. The second game of the day featured strong pitching performances from both sides. Each pitcher lasted the entire seven-inning game. Judges’ pitcher Mike Swerdloff ’13 allowed two earned runs and nine hits, while striking out six. This solid outing was not enough to make up for the Pride’s two-hitter by Greg Marakovits who earned his first win of the season. Marakovits kept Brandeis to their least amount of hits this season. Swerdloff left the game at with a 2-5 record on the season. The Pride got off to a quick lead

scoring a run in the first and following this up with additional runs in the third and fifth. Brandeis’ lone hits came from Ferro and Tom McCarthy ’15. Springfield was led by Shane O’Leary, Brent Poulin and Matt Artigliere who each contributed two hits. Poulin also drove in two runners on his two doubles. This marks the fifth time that Brandeis has been shut out this season. The weekend began on a positive note after a 4-3 win over Springfield. The Pride led the game until the bottom of the fifth which featured the Judges coming alive and scoring three runs, getting hits on three consecutive at-bats. Springfield scored two in the first with Brandeis responding with a run of their own in the inning. The visitors then scored an additional run in the fifth which led to the Judges’ strong half-inning. Each team was able to get runners on base, Springfield out-hitting Brandeis 11 to 10. Judges Ferro, Dan Gad ’14 and Dominic Schwartz ’14 each had multiple hits. Gad led the game with three runs batted in. Pitcher Kyle Brenner ’15 pitched a complete game, allowing 11 hits and striking out five batters. Despite allowing double digit hits, Brenner and the defense salvaged the game by forc-

ing Springfield to leave ten runners on base during the game. Brenner moves to a 2-5 record on the season. The Pride were led by O’Leary, Frank Calabrese, Mike McGowan and Poulin who each had two hits. Oliver Collette received his first loss of the season, pitching all but one-third of an inning of the game. Springfield College left Waltham with a 12-17 record and stand at 12-18 after a loss to Amherst. The Judges left last week with an 8-1 loss at Roger Williams University. Brandeis led 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Hawks pulled ahead with three runs following up with an additional five in the eighth. Judges’ starter Britton took a no-hitter into the fifth before allowing a single to third baseman Mike Thomas, who also contributed with and walk and a run. Each team allowed seven hits but Brandeis also had five errors, three of them coming in the final two innings, allowing the Hawks to score eight runs. The big loss will not hurt the Brandeis pitching staff ’s earned run average though, with all eight runs being unearned as a result of two fielding errors, a wild pitch, two walks, fielder’s choice and a double steal on a throwing error. Britton al-

lowed three hits over seven innings letting by three unearned runs, while striking out five. James Machado ’16 pitched one inning permitting four hits and five runs, all unearned. Britton sits at a 4-5 record. Pat Seaward ’13 and Schwartz each had two hits. The Hawks used three pitchers during the game, with starter Dan Julian letting by one run on four hits in four and two-thirds innings. Josh Orosz then earned the win with three and one-third innings allowing three hits and no runs. Mike Pascarella was the Hawks sole batter to get multiple hits, also driving in two runners. Trevor Larson scored twice and Jaime Timothy scored twice and drove in three base runners. Roger Williams left the game against Brandeis at 20-13 but now stand at 20-15 after a doubleheader loss to Western New England University who leads the Commonwealth Coast Conference at 24-8. Brandeis stands at 2-6 in the competitive UAA conference. The team has six games remaining in the season beginning with home games on Thursday and Friday against Gordon College and Salve Regina University. Sunday also features a doubleheader at home against Trinity College.

arts, etc.

8 The Brandeis Hoot

April 26, 2013

Culture X sheds light on extraordinary talent at Brandeis By Vinh Nguyen Staff

Culture X made its annual return to Brandeis last Saturday to once again dazzle the stage of Levin Ballroom. This year, the venue was more packed than it has ever been, and the stage has never been as lit up by the bright talents of Brandeis students as it was this year. Brandeis alumni and students alike have given the show such acclaims as the “best ever” and “most successful.” This year’s theme was “Light Up The Night” and Culture X 2013 truly accomplished this through the diversity it brilliantly showcased. To set up the theme, Alex Esakof ’16 opened the program with his swirling light show. Swinging glowing orbs around him, Esakof wowed the audience with his colorful display and the concentric shapes made from swinging the orbs. AHORA! took the stage next and continued to add momentum to the night with their energetic presentation of “Bachata en Fukuoka.” The performance mesmerized the audience as they moved with Latin flare and smooth movements on stage. Some of the most memorable and show-stopping performances of the night were the cultural dances. Southeast Asia Club (SEAC) charmed audiences with their tinikling dance. The tinikling dance originates from Philippine traditions and involves two people sliding and beating a set of long bamboo poles horizontally on the ground. The dancers move simultaneously in and out of the bamboo poles in precision with the beat. SEAC captivated the audience with this traditional dance, and their choice to incorporate modern music made the performance all the more fun. The Bharatanatyam, or Indian

cultural dance Student performers dance in elaborate costumes.

classical dance, was another exciting piece of the show. Performed by Niv Baskaran ’15, Shalini Gingipally ’15, Sathvy Reddy ’15, Lekha Grandhi

celebrating dance Students showcase different cultures on stage.

’16, and Pooja Gupta ’16, these students impressively shed light on this cultural dance with their intricate movements. Dancing in traditional

costumes, the ladies used delicate hand shapes to expressively phrase thoughts and gestures that made the dance all the more special. TSA’s pre-

photos by jesse zeng/the hoot

sentation of “On the Mountain Top” was another remarkable piece with the explosive formations of their Aboriginal storytelling dance. Besides dancing, a cappella groups Manginah and the debut of The Namjas (Korean for “Guys” featuring Will Cheon ’15 and James Lee ’13 with Clarence Lee ’15 accompanying on guitar) and KSA’s premiere of their own a cappella group “Rhythm Blues & Seoul.” So Unique brought the tradition of stomp with their incredibly upbeat, rowdy and sassy performance. Women of Color Alliance (WOCA) also gave energy and spunk as they took the audience back in time with their retro-inspired dances of previous decades. KAOS Kids used the clever idea of channel surfing to showcase their myriad dancing skills and styles. Their isolations were on point and their choreography was cleaner than ever. Brandeis Bhangra was the last to perform, but their colorful costumes and high-energy dance really brought Levin Ballroom to its feet. It must be noted that the success of Culture X this year was the result of the collective passion of five students: a Chair Team comprising of Shaquan Perkins ’13, ShuMay Williams ’13, Julie Yu ’13, Jennifer Kim ’14 and Bridgette Tran ’14 as well as numerous volunteers. Student MCs Naya Stevens ’16 and D’Andre Young ’15 kept the audience excited and pumped in between performances and through occasional technical difficulties. The colors black and gold echoed throughout the show from the luminous backdrop to the outfits of the MCs and coordinators. Indeed, even more precious than gold was the intimate experience shared between performer and audience and between culture and culture, which truly made Culture X 2013 a night to never forget.

April 26, 2013


The Brandeis Hoot

‘Visions of an Ancient Dreamer’ astounds By Dana Trismen Editor

This weekend, Brandeis Theater Company presents “Visions of an Ancient Dreamer,” a stunning medley of well-executed acting, blocking and translation that transported the audience to a different century. “Visions of an Ancient Dreamer” is composed of Euripides classics: “Orestes” and “Iphigenia at Tauris.” Originally written in Greek, Professor Leonard C. Muellner (CLAS) and his students translated the text for this production. Their translation was then adapted and directed by Eric Hill, the Louis, Frances and Jeffrey Sachar Chair in Creative Arts, along with Aparna Sindhoor, a renowned choreographer,

dancer and teacher. For those unfamiliar with “Orestes” or “Iphigenia at Tauris” these works illustrate for the audience the tragedy that has been bestowed upon the house of Tantalus. Agamemnon, hero of the Trojan War, meets his tragic end before the play’s commencement. Agamemnon dies at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra, who murders him as Agamemnon killed their daughter Iphigenia to grant fair winds for his ships during the war. Clytemnestra is then murdered by her son, Orestes, who strives for revenge. At the play’s open, Orestes and his sister Electra mourn their father’s death and hide from the townspeople who seek to exile them and murder them. While the question of who-killed-who could be confusing, Euripides is a master and

opens both “Orestes” and “Iphigenia at Tauris” with an explanation of Greek gods and lineage. “Visions of an Ancient Dreamer” is terrific on all accounts, from its costumes to the acting. The set switches only once, changing from tents during the first act to platforms after intermission. The lighting creates a sort of terrifyingly dark vibe, while still managing to highlight the actors’ every move. The costumes are intricate and vibrant, and recall ancient Greece perfectly. Sarah Elizabeth Bedard (GRAD) truly shined in her role as Electra, the downtrodden daughter of Agamemnon. Bedard lit up the stage with her electricity and fever, as she held daggers, threatened to light palaces on fire, and spoke in tandem with the

Greek chorus. She played Electra passionately, as the kind of woman who sexually embraces her brother and is praised for her intelligence. Captivating in her movements, Bedard would move slyly around the stage and call out ominously. Her acting was echoed in the second act by Sara Schoch (GRAD). Schoch plays Iphigenia, Electra’s sister, who is presumed dead but was actually saved by the God Artimis. Channeling the energy of her “sister,” Schoch is extremely believable in her portrayal of a forgotten daughter stranded far from home. She is skilled at emoting sadness and woe. Minor characters were also unforgettable in this performance. Nicole Carlson ’14 acted as Hermione, a young child who is taken hostage by Orestes and Electra. Through her

pouting face and plodding feet, Carlson succeeded in bringing to life the character of someone much younger than her chronological age. Eddie Shields (GRAD) also shone in his small role as a Trojan slave. Through jerky arm movements and incredible faces, he made the audience laugh numerous times. Perhaps most notable were the women who composed the chorus (defined as the Argive women, and in the second act, the Greek women). These five women (six in the second act) would speak together, raising the intensity of the performance. They would also shout out individual lines, act as props in the background and dance. The blocking in “Visions of an Ancient Dreamer” was extraordinary. The chorus would move together in the background to the thumping of a staff and the beat of eerie music. Characters would play off each other, moving forward as the other person stepped back. While it was rare that the characters would straight out dance, the marching and hard-angled movements of the cast truly added to the authenticity of the performance. The main complaint that could be made about this performance is that it was delivered all on one level. Every scene was acted out with incredible intensity and severity, so no crescendo was possible. Some scenes certainly deserved more passion than others, yet since every moment was acted out with extreme emotions, the more important scenes were not highlighted. The level of acting and choreography should have grown over time and escalated in certain moments, but this was lacking. Actors would also occasionally stutter, not entirely forgetting their lines but stumbling over the words. The translation was also interesting. While much of the language was dramatic and formal, there were some lines that stood out and were exclamed in the vernacular. Lines like “what a pile of bullshit,” “things look pretty hopeless” and “it is Trojan for holy shit” stood out. While they garnered laughs from the audience, they were occasionally awkward and seemed like odd inclusions. “Visions of an Ancient Dreamer” is a true boost to Brandeis’ 2013 Festival of the Creative Arts. This incredible work can even relate to everyday issues. Orestes calls the Trojan War a “worthless war,” and Iphigenia responds: “is there any other kind?” With relevant themes and passionate acting, “Visions of an Ancient Dreamer” is a performance Brandeisians should go see this weekend.

photos courtesy mike lovett

priestess Iphigenia (Sara Schoch) makes sacrifices to the Gods.

Students showcase language skills By Shota Adamia Staff

loving sister Electra (Sarah Bedard) protects her brother, Orestes (Sam Gillam).

Even though many Brandeis students are overwhelmed with the hectic schedules that the end of the year bestow upon them, students who are in their second semester learning Chinese, German, Japanese, Italian and Russian seemed more than happy to present their projects this Thursday at the Multilingual Student Video Festival. Each of the students groups, representing different languages, created two videos that revolved around daily situations in all of the aforementioned languages. Most of the videos were comical and left the audience highspirited and rejuvenated. The beginning of the event was interrupted by a technical problem, but the professors and students were hap-

py to stage impromptu performances, singing songs in their languages, as well as teaching others basic words in the languages they represented. Having resolved the problem, Professor Dubinina of the Russian Studies Program launched the evening with a video in Chinese, featuring Aya Abdelaziz ’16 and Ben Lovenheim ’15. Aya and Ben’s Chinese language skills were impressive, given that they started studying the language only at the beginning of this school year. The video was amusing, yet involved quite complicated language and amazing performances. The story revolved around two characters: a lonely male and a girl that he is trying to charm. The first thing he asks her is, “I enjoyed our date in the library last week, do you want to go to China with me next week?” The next in program was a German video, describing the “revenge

of the Washing Machine,” followed by “Japanese Cultural Norms” and Italian “Repentaglio!” The Russian video, “Americans don’t know anything about Russians,” depicted American students living in Russia, lacking ideas about appropriate Russian conduct. They end up getting flowers for their host with very kind intentions, yet the former interprets it as an omen for death, because Russians traditionally bring flowers to funerals. The rest of the night was full of jokes, which, thanks to the brilliant performers, were translated, and therefore the audience was able to enjoy them. The event gave students from different language programs a unique opportunity to socialize and even bolster interest for other languages that they might consider studying in the future. Some of the students already spoke three or more languages.


The Brandeis Hoot

April 26, 2013

Belly dance ensemble showcases unique talents By Dana Trismen Editor

Performing this past Sunday in the Shapiro Campus Center, the Belly Dance Ensemble brought to life Egyptian and Turkish dance through a myriad of Brandeis undergrad students, masters students and staff. Deena Horowitz ’13, leader of Brandeis’ Belly Dance Ensemble said, “What really gets me are the people I’ve been dancing with in this troupe.” What is at first most noticeable about the Belly Dancing Ensemble are their outfits. Adorned in elaborate costumes with arm-cuffs and flowers in their hair, their look was as flowing as the dance itself. Every dancer’s costume was different, allowing each dancer to celebrate her own individual look. Most wore jewel-tones, with skirts and necklaces that jingled and made noise when their bodies moved. Horowitz explained, “Belly dancing requires confidence.” The club members’ page states that “members of the ensemble also have the opportunity to voluntarily perform at school events.” This is a voluntary choice, not a requisite. While many may consider belly dancing sexual, Horowitz celebrates it more as accepting one’s body. The club states that belly dancing “was traditionally created to help women strengthen their bodies in preparation for a safer childbirth.” After beginning with a slideshow highlighting previous performance moments, the troop began with an ensemble number. This dance used silk veils—a fabric prop that extended the movement that began with the dancers’ arms. The dancers moved fluidly, timing the swell of the music with a sway of the veil or the lifting of a knee. The veil would touch the dancers’ shoulders, necks and then move to their stomachs. The dancers smiled and did not appear to be selfconscious. The show also displayed the dancers’ talents through a series of solos. First, Candice Sheehan ’16 performed. Sheehan had extremely fluid arm and foot movements. She used the floor as a prop in her dance, dropping close to the ground and then popping back up. She would also kneel, adding different levels to her dance. Playing with her hair and unsmiling, Sheehan seemed slinky and snake-like to match the music choice.

Lauren Laperriere, a masters student, chose a vibrant purple outfit. Dancing to faster-paced music, almost hip hop style, Laperriere extended her long arms up and moved her hands with her hips. While the music was repetitive, it was also joyous, and Laperriere timed her moves very well. Another solo, performed by Anne Rookey, a staff member at Brandeis, focused on the use of hands in the dance. She would clasp them together, and raise her palms upward in a sort of pleading yet joyful motion. Her face remained extremely expressive throughout the entire dance. Rookey has been dancing for years, and is even the leader of her own troop off campus. The solo performed by Horowitz was also entertaining to watch, as she employed the use of a cane to make her performance unique. The performance also involved duets. In one notable number, dancers held clackers in their hands, which they used to make noise in time to the music. In these duets, the dancers would often play off each other and catch each other’s gaze. Swaying in synchrony, the duets were entertaining as the dancers directly engaged the audience. Belly dancing often involves rib isolations, allowing the stomach to move on its own. It also encourages fluid arm and leg movements, and each dancer adds her own music to the song through clinking and clacking of jewelry and bells. While the Brandeis Belly Dance Ensemble struggled slightly with synchrony, the club celebrates diversity in the type of dance and music it brings to campus.

belly dance ensemble Performers accentuate movement with the clacking of jewelry.

performing with confidence The belly dancers are adorned in ornate costumes and jewelry.

photos by dana trismen/the hoot

“Oblivion” lacks depth By Victoria Aronson Editor

“Oblivion,” starring Tom Cruise and directed by Joseph Kosinski, features a post apocalyptic Earth ravaged by a supposed alien invasion. Although interesting, the film lacks coherent plot development. The film traces the journey of Jack Harper, a technician living with his wife Victoria in a dwelling stationed above the Earth. While Victoria directs his expeditions from their station, Jack returns to Earth to repair drones, machines designed to eradicate the aliens that have invaded the planet. During one such expedition, he discovers human survivors, kept alive but unconscious inside metal devices depicting their vital signs. Suspicions arise as one of the drones begins killing the human survivors, evoking an inexplicable desire within

Jack to save the life of one woman, Julia, whom he seems to share an unshakable connection. The camera focuses on dramatic shots of Harper (Tom Cruise), leaving viewers thirsty for actual plot progression. It becomes apparent that Harper and Julia share chemistry stemming from some sort of forgotten shared history together. During his treacherous expedition to Earth in which he rescues Julie, he is captured by the aliens, who are revealed to be human beings in disguise. The aliens are adorned with some sort of strange headdress, which, they say, act as a protective device, although it obviously proves obsolete against the attacks of the drones. Casting themselves as victims, they bequeath the aid of Harper, who is too ravaged by confusion to process what has enfolded. Returning to his wife Victoria, who

appears to be less than thrilled about the new guest, Harper nurses Julia back to health. His recurring dreams and strange connection to this woman shatter the reality of his world, as Julia reveals herself to be his wife. Witnessing the two sharing a moment together, Victoria is plagued by jealousy and reports to the commander Sally that she and Harper are no longer an “effective team.” This “Sally” figure then sends a machine to murder Victoria, leaving Harper and Julia to be together. For a man who has just witnessed a woman he thought to be his wife murdered by machines he repairs on a regular basis, and who discovered he has another wife who had been completely eradicated from his memory, Harper seems quite calm and emotionless. The plot only becomes more complex, or more accurately, bizarre, as

Harper discovers he is but a clone of Julia’s original husband, and that there are other versions of himself and Victoria operating for the strange “Sally” figure. At this point, it becomes almost painful to follow the random twists and intended psychological turns in the film. The idea of implementing surprises throughout the film, revealing aliens who are actually human survivors, a man who is actually but a clone trained to aid in an initiative to deprive the Earth of resources, and the projection of Sally as some sort of mechanical alien entity, may appeal to huge fans of sci-fi. Despite attempts to incorporate plot twists, however, each of these surprises is highly predictable, failing to instill shock in the audience and instead becomes a tangled mess of a story. Julia, who has lost her husband through some tragedy, accepts this

new Harper in his place, barely questioning the bizarre nature of the situation. She seems convinced that he shall replace her lost husband, despite the fact that there are hundreds of clones just like him. Toward the conclusion of the film, the plot truly begins to unravel while focusing on fighting scenes without maintaining a coherent thread of events. Harper, of course, murders the alien entity Sally, although exactly how this occurs is incomprehensible. Skipping over what could potentially be an illuminating moment in the film, Harper is depicted in action scenes destroying Sally—a large, metal entity. Although the film attempts to engage the reader in a complex, psychologically stimulating journey, the intended surprises in the film are actually highly predictable and the plot itself lacks depth.

April 26, 2013


The Brandeis Hoot

Miras project celebrates non-western music By Jess Linde

Special to the Hoot

April 22 marked the final major performance by the Middle East Music Ensemble, as part of the Miras Project, directed by Ann Lucas. The all-student ensemble, which included guests Jamal Sinno on the qanun and dancer Erzulie, performed to a group of students, family members and other guests in the Slosberg Center’s main auditorium. The ensemble performed an eclectic selection of Middle Eastern music divided into seven themes, including songs from Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Egypt. In addition to the members of the ensemble, other student performers included singer Tameen Jaara ’15 and the members of the Brandeis Belly Dance Ensemble. One of the most interesting aspects of the performance was that not all of the music was Middle Eastern traditional folk music. In fact, many of the songs were composed by contemporary musicians, including Egyptian composer Hediyat al-Eid and popular Lebanese singer Fairuz. Fairuz’s song Lamma Bada Yatathana was sung beautifully by oud player/vocalist Yoni Battat ’13 and Jaara, and many other songs featuring vocals were also quite wonderfully performed. Slosberg’s main auditorium was an ideal venue for the concert as well. Its large space has great acoustics that accentuated the percussion instruments as well as highlighted the harmonies created by string instruments. The auditorium also highlighted the distinct sound of Sinno’s qanun, a large harp-like instrument from Kazakhstan. Sinno masterfully played the instrument’s 78 strings, creating an ethereal atmosphere for the songs, which made them that much more engaging. In between certain songs, senior student musicians received

photo by firstname lastname/the hoot

gifts from the bandleaders, such as CDs of Middle Eastern music and other tokens of gratitude. For most of the concert, the participants just transferred through songs with no real interaction between the musicians and the audience except to explain the origin of a new section. These sections, containing traditional poems, folk songs and modern

compositions, were all played in different keys and contained different exotic instruments. Everything went as planned and nothing out of the ordinary happened. That is, of course, until guest dancer Erzulie took the stage to support the ensemble. Erzulie, a professional belly dancer and instructor from the Massachusetts area, worked very well with the music. As

she has obviously been dancing to this kind of music for many years, her performance was very natural and fit perfectly with the theme of the performance. It is very clear that the Miras Project and the student performers put a lot of work into this concert, and it definitely paid off. All the students are very talented and introduced music that is great, but little

known in the West, to their peers and the Brandeis audience. The Brandeis Belly Dance Ensemble helped make the show lively and memorable. The only regret is that many members of the ensemble are graduating this year, and will not be around to deliver further concerts. There is no doubt, however, that the Brandeis Middle East Music Ensemble will live on.

Students sing for charity at annual A Cappella Fest By Robin Briendel Special to the Hoot

Starving Artists’ A Cappella Fest made its 14th annual return this past Thursday night in Sherman Function Hall. The show, a charity event, will donate its proceeds to The Greater Waltham Arc, an agency that provides services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Featuring 11 Brandeis groups

and one Lexington High School group, Sherman Function Hall was filled, although more with performers than attendees. Although there was a small crowd, the event presented a nice showcase of the vocal talent at Brandeis. To begin the night, all the groups came together to sing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The song was a tribute to the recent events in Boston, dedicated to those who lost their lives. The MCs,

starving artists The host group closed off the show.

two members of Starving Artists, began the event, stating, “Today, we all come together to sing, ‘Imagine,’ and hope for peace and harmony in Boston, especially in light of the recent tragedies at the Marathon and in Watertown.” While the decision to perform this song was made with good intentions, the constant reshuffling of soloists broke up the flow of the song. The MCs added little to the event, presenting random “did you know?”

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

facts about each of the a cappella groups. While it is understandable that Starving Artists wanted to fill the time gap between groups with some form of entertainment, elevator music would have sufficed and been less awkward. Starving Artists opened the night with a medley, including hit songs such as Neon Trees’ “Animal,” and Fun.’s “We Are Young.” The medley was well constructed and produced, providing a great opener to the evening. The performance captured the attention of the audience, despite the extremely loud sound system that persisted for the entire first act. By far the most memorable performance of the night was Company B’s rendition of “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.” Debuting the song for the first time, Company B’s Sarah Brodsky blew the audience away with her amazing voice. Everyone in the audience got into the song, bobbing their heads, dancing in their seats and clapping. Even Dean Flagel was bopping away. Rather Be Giraffe’s medley was another exciting piece of the show. The medley, which included “Any Way You Want It,” “Hit me with your Best Shot,” “Ghostbusters” and many other songs, featured solo performances from every member of the group. It was refreshing to see all of the group’s members have their talents showcased as it seemed that many of the members of other a capella groups were lost in the background if they did not have solos. Jewish Fella A Cappella added a touch of comic relief by highlighting the fact that they had an Asian

member of their group, Felix Liu Ku. Sporting a yarmulke, Felix brought laughs to all in the crowd. VoiceMale and Ba’Note cleverly incorporated dance moves and theatricality into their performances, adding another element to the show beyond just singing. VoiceMale, a four-man group, invoked images of a traditional barbershop quartet with their blocking and dancing. Ba’Note incorporated an element of interpretative dancing to their performance, acting out many of the words in Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am.” Two of their members also mock-proposed to members of the audience at the conclusion of their performance of Bruno Mars’ “Marry You,” bringing smiles and laughter to everyone. It must be noted that Lexington High School’s Pitchpipes reawakened the audience with their enthusiastic performance of Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” and a Mumford and Sons medley. As the second to last performance approached, much of the audience was beginning to fade, yet this all-male group’s booming voices caught everyone’s attention. Their unique dance moves that included stomping and kicking added a creative touch to their performance. To close the event, Starving Artists performed again with Demi Lovato’s “Lightweight” and 90s hit “Waterfalls” by TLC. After the lengthy show, the group’s encore performance struck many as unnecessary. The audience quickly filtered out after these performances, with few closing notes from the MCs and seemingly little regard to the organization for which the concert was dedicated.

12 The Brandeis Hoot

Editors Desk

By Jon Ostrowsky Editor

Today I will pick up a copy of The Hoot and slowly, the realization that my time as editor is now over, will begin to sink in. Few articles, letters or essays from the past four years can match the difficulty level of this one—a farewell column to my career as a college journalist. Through journalism, this community has taught me a series of lessons that I will try to briefly explain. Students founded The Hoot to establish a community newspaper for Brandeis University. We take that mission seriously—it’s what drives us to report stories each week and stay up until the early hours of Friday morning writing and editing them on carefully designed pages. Brandeis is a community filled with individuals of incredible character, heart and achievement. It has been an enormously gratifying privilege to serve this community as a reporter and editor for four years. What I have learned to love about journalism, what I will miss beginning tomorrow, is the opportunity to meet ordinary people and tell their stories. I’ll miss the unlimited chances to discover the impact of policy on people, to learn how current events change the lives of our peers, friends, staff, faculty and alumni. And I’ll miss the chance to talk with those people—to listen, ask questions and then tell those stories for the community to read every Friday morning. As journalists, we are often given unique access to stories and interviews with famous people—politicians, professional athletes and movie


April 26, 2013

In appreciation of college journalism stars. Famous people have their share of stories, but it’s the ordinary tales of private citizens that bring journalism to life. After four years, I don’t remember many memorable quotations from the people deemed celebrities by our society. But what I do remember, and will not forget, are community stories. Hearing memories about a former BEMCo director who sacrificed his life in Hurricane Irene because he thought someone was trapped in a submerged car. An interview with a Brandeis employee who lost a relative on 9/11 and struggled with the media hype over the tragedy’s 10-year anniversary. The fear in the voice of a young woman alleging she was the victim of repeated sexual violence. The U.N. director on a fact-finding mission for the 2009 Gaza War who spoke in simple terms about the impact of politics on his family. These are the interviews and stories, filled with a complexity of human emotion, that brought journalism to life for me at Brandeis. In journalism, you learn quickly that truth can be more complicated with extra stipulations and longer footnotes than it first appeared. In pursuit of the truth for any story, the more controversial and contentious the underlying facts, the more uncomfortable sources and readers become. Nearly each week at The Hoot, I was reminded of a speech Governor Deval Patrick gave in his 2010 reelection campaign. As he spoke at the Democratic Convention in Worcester, I sat on the press riser with other

photo by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

campaign interns and journalists and heard these words: “I know some of those choices have made even some of our traditional allies uncomfortable. But this job and these times demand more than making each other comfortable.” Those words are also true for journalism.

For if journalists don’t ask the uncomfortable questions and seek to answer them as best they can, who can our society turn to for the job? What I value even more than the interviews and stories, however, are the people who made working for The Hoot so enjoyable—the friendships formed on Thursday nights in a tiny

little campus newspaper office. Throughout college, I have often been torn between my career interests in politics and journalism. I don’t know which path I’ll start on or end up on, but I do know this: It’s difficult to imagine finding a job as rewarding, fulfilling and simply enjoyable as this one has been.

Live blogging the news By Lassor Feasley Editor

Last Thursday night I was put in the unusual position of possessing national news hours before any reputable source could break it. I am, of course, referring to the Marathon bombers’ rampage through Cambridge and Watertown. It started when rumors of a shooting in MIT started bouncing around the Web. I happened to be in The Hoot newsroom compiling the ops section of the newspaper when the tremors of the story started to shake. Soon the entire staff was listening to an online broadcast of the Boston police scanner, captivated by the avalanche of developments that unfolded before us. I was soon thrown into an awkward position. How could I dissemi-

nate the events as fast as possible while respecting the gravity of the situation? My first instinct was to create a post on Facebook to describe the situation, continuing to update the site with an additional thread of comments. First I hesitated. It would take careful wording and a cautious approach to this strange form of ad-hoc journalism to share my knowledge without offending my audience or inspiring panic. Using as many direct quotes from the scanner as possible, and confirming my statements with links to established news sources where I could, I set about breaking the story on my own terms. I later found that this form of vigilante journalism is, while not illegal, frowned upon by investigators. Although the police scanner is broadcast on a public frequency and anyone can listen in, I later read a request from the Boston police that listeners not

publish quotes online for fear that it might harm an ongoing investigation. Had I known officials harbored such anxieties about the dissemination of scanner information, I would have respected it, despite my doubts of what good it might do. The main reason I felt compelled to share my knowledge was because other sources of news were woefully uninformed and dated. By the time that the scanner announced that the assailants had reached Watertown, even the best news sites had only just announced that an MIT officer had been shot, an event which had occurred more than an hour earlier. Even the most informed sites relegated the column to a modest square below their headline on the Marathon bombings, which occurred several days prior, and at this point the two events had not been connected. Perhaps using social media to dis-

photo from internet source

seminate such sensitive information constituted some sort of faux pas beyond official condemnation. Just minutes after I started broadcasting what I heard, a friend urged me to stop, saying that I was causing my friends to panic. At first I respected her wishes and removed the post, replacing it with an apology for any sleep lost over my behavior. Moments later, I was inundated with messages from other friends demanding to be kept informed. By this point, the online streaming service through which I was listening to the scanner had been overwhelmed. I noticed it had more than 80,000 listeners, where minutes before it had just a few thousand. Although I shared the link, the servers were probably maxed out, and friends complained that they were unable to join. I felt obligated to continue broadcasting. My peers were worried for their own safety. Two men were driving within a 10-mile radius of Brandeis, firing automatic weapons and discharging explosives. But even normally astute sources of news were scrambling to get up to date. I maintained a thread of updates throughout the night. I cannot say that I did not get a kind of voyeuristic rush from listening to the proceedings of the scanner. It was fascinating to get a firsthand look at the organization (and, at times, chaos) with which the police communicated. The adrenaline in the voices of

the officers was palpable, and often contagious. The sheer magnitude of the chase was exhilarating as K-9 units, the FBI, helicopters, bombdefusing robots and blockades were deployed with breathtaking agility. You can hardly blame traditional media for becoming overwhelmed with all the data. By four in the morning, the chase had slowed, giving traditional media a chance to catch their breath. The Boston Globe confirmed that the Marathon Bombing and the MIT shootings were connected. The Web and police scanner were in agreement that one of the assailants had been shot dead while the other was on the lam. It was just a matter of time before police tracked him down, as they did on Friday afternoon. By that point, I felt that the major news media was sufficiently current and that my contributions were no longer necessary. I posted a link to my favorite news aggregator and called it a night. When I woke up at one in the afternoon the next day, the previous night’s engagement seemed almost as if it were a dream. Although the University had been closed for the day, my friends seemed to be taking the horrifying news lightly, as they enjoyed the warmth of the impending summer. I had some anxiety over whether my decision to broadcast the previous nights events would incite any ethical qualms, but many of my friends who had followed the thread were grateful to be kept informed.

April 26, 2013


The Brandeis Hoot

A Constitution up for renewal By Roy Fan Staff

The United States Constitution, first adopted in Philadelphia in 1787, is now more than 200 years old and today there are many people, myself included, who are impressed with the Constitution’s vitality and durability. The rules, frameworks and guiding principles of America’s founding document still define and shape modern American politics. Yet, one can’t help but feel that from a contemporary point of view, the Constitution was written for a drastically different time. Notwithstanding the views of extreme right-wingers, some of its 18th century values today seem like chokeholds on the progress of the American nation. This conflict between the new generation and the founding era has visibly manifested itself in several areas of modern political discourse. From the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms to the Fourteenth Amendment’s provisions for adequate due process, constitutional controversies abound as the American government and political system tries to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. One of the most striking examples of this conflict reared its head once again, tragically, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack during one of Boston’s most joyous and celebratory traditions—the annual Boston Marathon. More specifically, the debate that this horrific event reignited is one surrounding the rights of the accused in the case of terrorism and

related activities. It has already been announced that the only surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was questioned without having been read his Miranda rights by law enforcement officials. Miranda rights, originating from the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, must be read to suspects in order to count their testimony and actions as evidence in a court trial. These include Fifth Amendment protections against selfincrimination and Sixth Amendment rights to legal counsel. In the decision of New York v. Quarles (1984), a “public safety exception” was created to allow law enforcement officials to question a suspect without reading him the Miranda rights if the accused’s answers have immediate public safety implications. This is not the first time this issue has come up during the Obama administration, which has already issued very broad legal interpretations of this exception to vastly expand the sphere of acceptable interrogation. There are even members of Congress who have advocated for the labeling of the Boston attacks suspect as an ‘enemy combatant’ under the laws of warfare. Such labeling has been used in the past to justify interrogating a terror suspect without reading him his rights or providing him with legal counsel. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union will, of course, howl at these claims until the end of time. But the issue doesn’t only debate whether or not such interrogations are constitutional, or even whether these actions are morally justifiable. This controversy, among

photo from internet source

other things, highlights the disparity between the Constitution written to govern an America that fought wars using muskets and cannons and the Constitution required to deliver justice and the appropriate legal protections in an era of terrorism, cyber warfare and other unconventional methods of fighting. This episode is a stinging reminder of the grave need to update the Constitution as it is currently written. Now, this essential update could take one of many forms. On the subject of rights of suspects related to terrorism, I favor a system

whereby the right to legal counsel and Habeas Corpus requirements may be waived when dealing with cases related to terrorism, national security or treason. However, I wish America was at the point where we could be discussing these specific remedies to the many constitutional conflicts that have already surfaced and will inevitably surface in the future. But that is a discussion for another day, another time or maybe even another generation. Right now, let’s focus on getting Americans to recognize the dire need

Helping those with mental illness By Charlie Romanow Staff

The objective of psychiatric institutions in the United States has changed dramatically during the last half-century due to overcrowding, economic burdens and human rights. This has had both positive and negative consequences on the mentally ill. I was recently able to experience the atmosphere of a psychiatric hospital as a patient and began to see mental health in a different light. The current mission of psychiatric hospital facilities is to stabilize patients so that they can be quickly discharged. The norm has come as a result of multiple waves of deinstitutionalization in America. Deinstitutionalization has occurred as a result of overcrowding in psychiatric facilities and the associated economic woes that plague private individuals and taxpayers who have to pay for the 24hour treatment. This practice allows

many of those who would have previously been committed to a hospital to live independently or in a cooperative environment. A significant number of people who would have otherwise received intensive treatment are not able to live on their own. The number of individuals utilizing in-patient treatment is less than one-fifth of what it was in 1965. Many of the more severely affected individuals alternate between incarceration, often for non-violent crimes, and homelessness. A recent study found that one-third of the homeless suffer from either schizophrenia or manic-depressive disorder. There are more people who are homeless and suffering from mental illness than there are patients in hospitals receiving psychiatric care. While mental illnesses can often go undiagnosed and untreated, it can plague many people’s lives for years. The World Health Organization found that mental illnesses are the leading causes of

disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide, accounting for 37 percent of the years lost to non-communicable diseases. The financial impact is just as weighty, accounting for $57.5 billion from mental health care and loss of income for patients. While it is not good to detain people who are able to live on their own, it is also not good to be careless or refuse help to those who are in desperate need of it. Mental illness can be debilitating, and like other ailments, mental illness affects all types of people indiscriminately. Age, education, profession, religion and income do not affect one’s susceptibility to mental illness. A common misconception is that mental illnesses, especially the two most prevalent—generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder—are based on one’s life circumstances. Mental illness is not based on how successful or put together one’s life seems to be, but can depend on how one naturally thinks.

Someone can be wealthy, successful and have a loving family but still be depressed while others could be alone and have professional and financial difficulties but be mentally well. A mental illness can be as incapacitating as any physical or biologicallybased disease. It can become a constant pain in all situations, interfering with daily decisions and activities. Much of the public has a skewed or disapproving view of those with mental illness, even if they are not overtly aware of it, which prevents many individuals from seeking help and being comfortable with themselves. Instead of being talked about as a taboo, mental illness should be discussed with honesty and transparency so that it can be dealt with effectively and directly. It should not need to be hidden or silenced. Brandeis’ motto, “Truth even unto its innermost parts,” applies to the law as well as to the individual. I do not mean to criticize the public attitude toward mental illness but in-

to adapt the Constitution to the values and principles of 21st century America, whatever those may be. If anyone thinks that there are too many loopholes that the president can exploit, then that person should be leading the effort to close those constitutional and legal loopholes. Most importantly, we need to convince the country’s leaders to take real action on this problem and we might even find ourselves quarrelling less among fellow Americans.

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stead to attempt to increase support for those who suffer from mental illness. In recent decades, sexuality has become a more open, honest and exposed topic that has led more individuals feeling comfortable enough to be who they were and are meant to be. Mental illness should be discussed in a similar way. I encourage those with mental illness—no matter the severity—to seek help from either off-campus professionals or the Psychological Counseling Center. I also want to see students encourage friends who may be dealing with mental illness to seek professional help. You never know what kind of struggles others are going through. For those who have dealt, are dealing with or will be dealing with mental illness, there is a fellow Brandeisian who understands what it is like.


The Brandeis Hoot

April 26, 2013

My Brandeis experience: an overview

graphic by jun zhao/the hoot

By Sarah Azarchi

Special to the Hoot

Before I cross the commencement stage erected in Gosman and enter the world as a college graduate, I am thrilled to use this piece to reflect on my past four years as a Brandeisian. The lessons I learned during my semesters here were very much my own, and yet I believe they might be worthy of being shared. To all of you underclassmen for whom the college experience is still in the making, this

Self Shelf

By Alex Self Staff

As my time at Brandeis draws ever more quickly to a close, a separation anxiety of sorts is finally starting to grip me. The odd thing about this is not so much my growing sentimentality, but rather the strange ways in which it seeps into my life. I have found myself feeling a pang of nostalgia on my morning death march from Ridgewood to Rabb (and trust me, as a second-semester senior, a daily trek to Rabb is a death march). Recently, my friends dragged me to Sherman and I found myself savoring the experience simply because it was one of the last times that I would ever have it. Yet, the occasional burst of warmth and the halting attempts of trees to bloom are incontestable signs that my time here is running out. I come from a small town in southeastern Massachusetts near Providence, R.I. The town is largely conservative. My parents, both New York transplants, helped make sure that I was less conservative than most in my town, but nonetheless, more conservative than the average Brandeisian. I had always followed the news and considered myself fairly knowledgeable about contemporary events, but I eventually realized that I had no real conception of what was going on in the country and the world when I first set foot on campus. Now, as graduation approaches, I think it is fair to say that my worldview has expanded significantly and my political views have shifted farther to the left from where they once were. I was transformed from a small-town moderate who leaned conservative to a liberal intellectual. There are two main reasons why Brandeis spurred this change in me. First, the students of Brandeis are some of the most politically-aware I have ever come across. They show it through rallies, signs, clubs and a myriad of other activist accomplishments. This spills over into regular

is my advice to you: Read the Brandeis police log every week. Even during the toughest weeks of the semester when you may feel like your UWS or organic chemistry professor is determined to deprive you of sleep, take the time to learn about the biggest offenses on this campus. Whether it be Ollie’s stolen (and later returned) gavel, an abandoned briefcase in the library found to contain a very healthy lunch, or stolen sugar packets from Einstein’s, it is impossible not to be amused by the happen-

ings on this very peculiar campus. Use your study breaks to browse the log, and I promise you’ll be laughing. Appreciate the things that you will only have access to as a student at this amazingly quirky university. This includes weekend trips to In A Pickle (in my unbiased opinion the best breakfast place on earth), bragging rights to one of the country’s best fencing teams, and the free Wi-Fi everywhere on campus. I know at times

we can all be caught complaining about the shortcomings (especially when the BranVan is running late or when we haven’t seen the sun in 12 days), but take a moment to value all the resources you have as a student here. Never live your semesters as a countdown. While it may seem gratifying to declare (most likely as a Facebook status) that you have just “3 papers, 1 exam, and 1 presentation until freedom!” college should not be endured like a sprint. Use your time at the end of semesters to appreciate how much you’ve learned, the new friends you have made, and the many combinations of meals you have created at Sherman. Do something your high school friends would never believe. And make sure it’s legal. I danced in Liquid Latex (much to the horror of my parents), and knew it would be one of the only opportunities I would have to do something so out of my comfort zone that isn’t considered erotic. If performance is not your thing, there’s always the Quidditch club (I hear they’re frequently in need of a Snitch) or the opportunity to write an article for The Blowfish under a ridiculous-sounding pseudonym. Explore the cultural smorgasbord of opportunities. Go to Chabad for Shabbat dinner or the Purim party. Paint others unrecognizable with colored powder at Holi. Celebrate Christmas with suitemates by hanging stockings from the sprinklers (but don’t tell your

CA I said so). Take part in the weekly Peace Vigils, or follow the more passive route by napping in the Peace Room. Immerse yourself in campus life. Sure, we’re close to Boston, but 20 minutes on the nauseating Crystal Shuttle stuck in traffic will make you want to turn around. Attend improv shows and go to undergraduate theater performances; after you graduate, they will be called comedy shows and off-Broadway productions and will cost a lot more than the suggested $2 donation. Be at every 24-hour musical—or better yet, be in it. Be that person for whom “Brandeisian” is not a definition but a synonym of your name. Socialize with people with whom you have nothing in common. I have gained so much confidence here that I feel comfortable entering foreign social situations—a prospect that prior to college seemed unfeasible to me— and in doing so, I have met some enjoyably eccentric people and made some lifelong friends. Look at that; I spelled “Brandeis.” A place that I will forever consider a home, a place whose architecture makes it recognizable from any angle, and a place whose community spirit unites all those who pass through the very green walls of the Shapiro Campus Center.

Self-Reflections conversation and I often felt that, as a Brandeis student, I was expected to know something about everything. I remember when Noam Chomsky came to campus at the beginning of my sophomore year and there was a huge controversy over it. At the time, I had no idea why, but I quickly learned that everyone else did know, and that I had better follow suit if I did not wish to be the guy who had nothing to say. The second reason for the expansion of my view of the world, however, came from debate. Having been deprived of a debate team in high school, I was eager to take advantage of the club at Brandeis. One of my new friends was also eager to join the team—it was largely through her support that I remained involved, for debate was not an easy activity to master. It took me years to figure out how to compete as side opposition but I eventually became a sort of intellectual dabbler in many topics out of sheer necessity. After every round and every tournament, I found myself looking up not only the subjects I had debated but the topics that others had as well. The convergence of debate and the general atmosphere of social justice at Brandeis opened my eyes to a world that had never been so clear to me. I guess if I could offer any piece of advice in regard to my experience, it would be to get involved in something that intrigues you intellectually. Find something that you are passionate about and go for it. For most of you, this is the only time in your life when you will have the ability to dabble and not have to make money. You have the ability to take part in one of the most politically and socially active domains in the United States. Regardless of your interests, I can guarantee you that there is a club or team that will provide for them. During my time at Brandeis, I realized my full potential. I know—that sounds like something that came off an orientation flier. While I had

graphic by jun zhao/the hoot

a successful academic career during high school, I never put in a significant amount of effort. This was a function of both my own personal incompetence at the time, and the fact that my town’s school system was not particularly promising. When I came to Brandeis, I had moderate expectations for my academic development yet I found myself stunned by my professors’ talents. My first year was truly an eyeopening experience where I saw how exemplary an education could be and I enjoyed the vast majority of my classes. This in turn spurred a reciprocal reaction, as I started pouring effort into work like never before. By sophomore year at Brandeis, I would

complete my work weeks ahead of time and would often send in a draft if at all possible. My studiousness paid off; I attained better grades and had the most enjoyable intellectual experience of my life. Your professors are some of the most brilliant people you will ever meet and the academic system here is top notch. You should try as hard as possible in your classes so that you can get the most out of them. It may not be fun to do all of the readings or to study for days before the test, but the rewards (both for your future and your own sense of self) last far longer than the difficulties. In the end, the entire system is built to help you achieve your dreams—it is you, how-

ever, that must be willing to put in the work. I recommend getting the most out of your time at Brandeis. The time goes by more quickly than you expect, and the last thing you want to do is find yourself sitting on a pile of “what ifs” at the end of your undergraduate career. In the end, I feel that I got the most out of Brandeis, which is something that will hopefully comfort me in the weeks ahead as I drift out toward the vast expanse of uncertainty that is the future. I hope that when you find yourself an old and grizzled second-semester senior such as myself, you will be able to say the same.

April 26, 2013


The Brandeis Hoot

Looking back on four Greek years By Jordan Klebanow Special to the Hoot

“I got you, brother!” exclaimed Matt as he gripped Eric by the waist. We were climbing up a steep, icedover, 50-yard stream to the summit of Mount Mansfield, and Eric was wearing Nike sneakers. He had no traction. Matt, donning a sleek pair of Timberlands, straddled the fourfoot wide luge track and found his footing in roots and mossy earth. Eric slipped back into Matt’s arms with every step. Occasionally both Matt and Eric would lose grip and come tumbling backwards into me. If I lost control, we three would go tumbling down the face of the mountain. Mount Mansfield is the tallest peak in Vermont. I had organized a trip for 11 of us to summit this bad boy last November. We packed water, food, layers of clothing and did our best to gather appropriate footwear and gloves. We climbed icy boulders, crawled hand in hand across steep ledges and trekked,

branch by branch, through uncharted wooded territory. We were in over our heads. The trails were not appropriate for my group of inexperienced young men. Alas, we pushed on, physically and emotionally dependent on one another. At one point we came to a five-foot gap. Falling into the gap meant riding a frozen stream down toward a potentially painful, distant end. When I arrived, Fritz was on the far side, one hand wrapped around a tree, the other beckoning me to jump. His sinister grin was not comforting. I looked down at the gap, said the Shema and leapt into Fritz’s arms. After making it safely across, I wanted to hug Fritz, but he was already focused on the next brother. Fritz was my pledge. One of 11 young men entrusted to me for several long weeks last semester. I pushed Fritz and the other young men as hard as I could. The 12 of us met twice a week for 7 a.m. workouts, and twice a week for three-hour library sessions. We camped, hiked, farmed, laughed, studied, wrestled, cooked, opened up

and became intimate friends. We shared a process that was exhausting, spiritually challenging and deeply gratifying—one that we would not want to repeat. One of the hardest things I have ever done was to stand before my brothers and tell them that the way we initiate new members is wrong. I took it upon myself to rewrite our process of new member education. Firm traditions defined what we did with our new members and how we treated them; practices that I felt were no longer appropriate or relevant. I decided that the time was right for a new playbook, for building a fresh process rooted in hard work, cooperative learning, unforgettable fun, love, respect and a true sense of commitment. Build away I did, eventually gaining the support of many brothers. The results of our elections last week symbolize a victory of progress and courageous foresight over narrow-minded tradition. They demonstrate a fundamental shift within our organization toward a new era in which deliberation and

critical thought shape what we do and why we do it. In hindsight, my semester as Fraternity Educator was the most exhausting and rewarding of my time at Brandeis. The men who yelled at me for failing in my job were also my best friends. The men who were hesitant and uncomfortable with my changes were respectable peers and beloved brothers. My ideas came from the heart; their resistance stemmed from a commitment to protecting the fraternity. That clash cuts to the core of something unique to our chapter of Phi Psi and Greek Life in general: doing business with friends. We 60 men collectively manage a six-figure budget and a mortgaged 10 bedroom home. We fill 20 committees and a leadership council, who organize events, fundraisers and complete hundreds of community service hours. And, the men who keep this 25-year-old organization alive, with zero professional oversight, must also be best friends. And we are darn close. Although I will miss many broth-

ers dearly, I know I will see them again soon. Not only will I return for alumni weekends and ad-hoc surprises, but many will come to my wedding. Others will visit me when I have children. Even more brothers will help me move, help me find a new career, help me vacation and help me stay young as I grow old. The relationships in this fraternity are as real as they come, strengthened by the fact that despite our antics, we must do business with each other. If I have learned anything at Brandeis, it is that I know nothing. Phi Psi introduced me to young men from all walks of life, and humbled me to the point of recognizing that I ought not pass judgment on any person, culture or organization. I am deeply indebted to the men of this chapter who took care of me as an underclassman, and am forever grateful to the underclassmen who let me struggle, plow, improvise and guide their way into this fraternity.

Reexamining relations between student body and union

By Emily sharf Staff

Last month, I published an article criticizing the now non-existent Brandeis Hookups Facebook page. The people who ran Brandeis Hookups wrote a public response directly to me on their page the following week, and when I wrote a response to their comments on the wall, a heated debate ensued. One of the first comments on my response appeared the next day from our Student Union Secretary, Carlton Shakes ’14. The comment was undoubtedly inappropriate and included foul language. Since then, I went through a lengthy process involving meetings with deans, Shakes and others to try to resolve the issue and figure out my

next steps. Throughout this process, I’ve realized how little connection there is between the Student Union and the student body. Here are a few of my observations. First, there doesn’t seem to be much transparency between the student body, Student Union, and Brandeis administration in general. This may be a skewed view due to my personal experience, but I was surprised to be talking to a friend when she said something along the lines of, “I wish there were a way to report what Carlton said.” I let her know that it is possible to report a student’s actions to the Student Conduct Board and directly to the Student Union, anonymously or not. But even with people now (hopefully) informed on the student reporting services offered by the school

(partly due to the broadcast email Andrew Flagel sent to the student body), the Student Union’s “Talk to Us” page seems troublesome. I submitted a complaint with my name attached and received an email reply from Union President Todd Kirkland ’13. However, I was curious as to who exactly was reading these complaints. What if Kirkland was the only one reading them? And what if a student wasn’t comfortable complaining to him? The website did not provide any answers. I contacted the Student Union Senator at Large and asked if she saw the complaints. She said she did not. She offered to ask who did see them, and later let me know that it was Todd and a few other E-board members. I still do not know who, exactly, reads these “Talk to Us” forms, but I put that on

myself for not asking. However, I do think the website should be more clear in letting students know exactly who will be reading their complaints. Finally, I realized I didn’t even know when the Student Union met, or where or if students were allowed to go and speak or sit in on meetings to figure out what’s going on, or anything of the sort. I was told again by the Senator at Large that Senate meetings are open, and that there is actually a time set aside for students to come and speak. Great, I thought. Except that no one knows about this. I looked for such information on the Brandeis Student Union webpage and found nothing. I also found the whole process— from Shakes’ response to my post to the formal apology issued to the student body via e-mail—unneces-

The legitimacy of Quidditch By Emily Sharf Staff

When most people hear that quidditch, the fictional sport in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, has been adapted for real world play, they are skeptical and mocking. Many think that quidditch players are not true athletes and cannot be taken seriously. As a player of the sport myself, I have to say that the naysayers are incorrect. Not only is quidditch one of the more dangerous and intense sports out there, but it’s also a lot of fun. Yes, we straddle brooms; that fact only adds to the difficulty and danger of the sport we Potterheads love. Just like in the books, there are seven players on a team and four different positions: three chasers, two beaters, one keeper, and one seeker. The chasers’ job is to put the quaffle (a slightly deflated volley-

ball) through any of the three hoops on the other side of the pitch to score 10 points. Standing in the chasers’ way is the other teams’ chasers, all of whom are trying to steal the quaffle by any legal means necessary—including tackling. Also in their way are the other team’s beaters. The two beaters from each team fight for possession of two of the three dodgeballs, which are known as bludgers. If a player is hit with any of these, they must dismount their broom (which must be between the legs at all times) and run back to their team’s hoops. If you’re hit while holding the quaffle, you must drop that too. The idea is that if you were actually hit with one of these while flying in mid-air, you’d likely fall off your broom. Running back to the hoops simulates the time it would take for you to remount and get back in the air. The keeper is essentially the team’s goalie but can also act as a chaser if necessary. This point-scoring

aspect of the game is intensely physical. Quidditch is the world’s only full contact co-ed sport. The other components of the game are the seeker and the snitch. The snitch is not a tiny magical flying ball, but a human being. This person dresses in yellow with a tennis ball in a glorified yellow sock attached with velcro to the back of his/her shorts. The snitch is also usually trained in cross-country running, and in some cases, in martial arts. The seeker’s goal is to not only find the snitch, but to catch the ball attached to the back of their shorts. Only acquiring the snitch will end the game, earning that team 30 points, often making the difference in close-played games. How is this a legitimate sport? Well, different aspects are very similar to other sports already in existence. The chaser/quaffle position can be compared to either football or rugby. It is closer to rugby because there are no

plays; the game is constantly going. It’s also full-tackle, which is difficult in a co-ed environment. In addition, the goals are much smaller than in either rugby or football, linking the scoring much more to basketball in its precision. The beater position could perhaps be called a more intense version of dodgeball, and a keeper is similar to a soccer goalie. Comparing a seeker to anything is hard—there really isn’t any sport that incorporates long-distance running, evasive tactics, large-scale hide-and-seek, tackling, grabbing, and dodging: that’s how complex it is. Quidditch is essentially a compilation of some of the world’s most intense sports, and we do it all one handed—the other hand is almost always holding the broom. The broom makes for more dangerous tackles and plenty of possibilities for broom-breaking. Not long ago Jimmy Fallon bashed the sport of quidditch, which recently

sarily long and arduous. I was also surprised by how I felt that I was the one pushing to get the Union to react to the situation while they generally seemed to think, at least initially, that what Shakes said was not, while rude, worthy of consequence. After all this, I’ve found that the Student Union is not as communicative as I would think it should be. Perhaps it’s because of the low voter turn-out; when I was discussing this issue with friends, we all acknowledged that we hadn’t voted the previous year. I can only hope that people start to vote more, and that next year’s Student Union makes some muchneeded improvements.

photo from internet source

held its 6th World Cup in Kissimmee, FL. He tweeted: “The Quidditch World Cup is this weekend. Fans say it’s fun, while their parents say, ‘When are you gonna move out of the house?’” Reactions to his words from the quidditch community were heated, to say the least. One pro-quidditch commentator invited Fallon to practice with the quidditch club at Virginia Commonwealth University to see if he has what it takes to play the sport. Quidditch is not just a group of nerds running around on broomsticks. We’re a team of athletes who share a common love for sports and Harry Potter. We find ourselves having to be athletic in ways most don’t imagine, and we do it with a passion. Next time you see the quidditch team practicing on Chapel’s Field, don’t just roll your eyes; instead wonder if you have what it takes to join us.

16 The Brandeis Hoot

this week in photos

April 26, 2013

bemco’s 30th anniversary BEMCo founder Dr. James Meisel speaks at BEMCo’s thirtieth anniversary gala.

High Holi Days

photos by nate rosenbloom/the hoot

The Brandeis Hoot 4/26/13  

The Brandeis Hoot April 26, 2013