Volume 10 Number 14
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.
September 13, 2013
Univ proposes new volunteer tour guide program Tour guides may no longer be paid next semester By Emily Stott Editor
photo by mariah beck/the hoot
family Hodes displays portraits of her family at the Women’s Studies Research Center.
Exhibition gives insight into portraiture, family By Moira Applebaum Special to the Hoot
On June 20, the Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) opened an exhibition of works by Walthambased artist and activist Suzanne
Hodes. Titled “Family Matters: Three Generations of Women,” the collection explored the lives of Hodes, her mother and her grandmother while expressing themes such as family, time and both physical and emotional distance.
Hodes, a New York City native, attended both Radcliffe College and Brandeis University, where she studied with Arthur Polonsky and Department of Fine Arts founder See WSRC, page 3
A new program has been proposed through the Office of Admissions to create a volunteer tour guide position. The university will no longer be paying tour guides after this semester, but will instead create additional volunteer opportunities to assist with the Admissions Office. The proposal was discussed by Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for students and enrollment. It was said that current tour guides will continue to be paid through the end of this semester, but next semester it will become a volunteer-only position. “The model of tour guides as em-
ployees with payments per tour has not yet been abolished, but it is prudent that we explore and question whether this is the right model for Brandeis,” Flagel wrote in an email to The Hoot. Flagel wrote that with increased applications and a higher volume of students going on tours, there is a need for more tour guides. He explained that one option would be to increase the budget, but that his preferred option would be to cut costs and expand the program by making it entirely volunteer-staffed. “We have begun exploring how we best do that without significantly expanding your costs, while still honoring any commitments to our current tour guides,” Flagel wrote. A Brandeis alumna who previously worked in Admissions, Savannah Pearlman ’12, responded that she disagreed with the premise of the new program. As for the cost of the program, each tour guide is paid approximately $10 for each tour. On off-season months, the See TOUR GUIDES, page 3
Treasurer resigns after failure to communicate
By Victoria Aronson Editor
In the wake of failed allocation of funding to several clubs on campus, lack of communication and threats of impeachment, Student Union Treasurer Sunny Aidasani ’14 has announced his official resignation to the Brandeis community. Citing personal health concerns for his inability to fulfill the position of treasurer, Aidasani stated in an email to the community that these issues “are inhibiting me from performing my duties to the best of my ability, along with conflicting with my personal commitments.” Student Union President Ricky
Rosen ’14 notes Aidasani’s failure to respond to emails and other forms of communication from not only students, but also club leaders and administration figures, throughout the summer. “Having not heard from our treasurer for four months, a lot of people on campus and lot of people in the Student Union were worried about the status of our treasury,” said Rosen, “At that point, since Sunny was virtually inaccessible, the only option that we had was to go to the Senate and present our case.” Following a personal meeting with Aidasani, however, Rosen and the student executive board chose to allot the treasurer the opportunity to resolve these issues or resign if failing
to do so, rather than pursue impeachment charges against him. In addition to neglecting to respond to inquiries from students and administration, Rosen wrote, “There were certain summer treasury responsibilities that Sunny did not have the time to attend to, such as dealing with the P-Card transaction, notifying club leaders about the results of allocations and purchasing supplies for the Union office and Romper Room.” Jane Taschman ’14 was personally affected by Aidasani’s inability to perform his duties as Treasurer this past See TREASURER, page 2
Molly destroys student lives By Dana Trismen Editor
When Brittany Flannigan, a 19-year-old sophomore at Plymouth State College, died of an overdose on Aug. 28, her family and friends could not believe the news. A business major who enjoyed dance and volunteering, Flannigan died after taking a lethal dose of a drug called Molly, a form of ecstasy, at a concert at the House of Blues in Boston. The concert hall closed its doors for a day of respect for Flannigan, and her family created a charity in her name. But
Inside this issue:
Flannigan is still gone, and she is not the only one to have died in connection with this drug. Molly overdoses among college students in the past few weeks have prompted many universities to send out warnings to their students, and this does not exclude Brandeis. Dean of Students Jamele Adams sent an email to all students on Sept. 9 warning of the effects of this potentially lethal drug. “We want to remind our Brandeis family to be aware of the possible presence of this drug, particularly at social gatherings, its dangers and
Editorial: Admin emails ineffective Week in photos: Clubs share cuisine
Page 10 Page 16 NEWS: BUGS begins free tutoring Monday Page 2 Arts, Etc.: Student performer pursues passion Page 7 Opinion: The off-campus advantage Page 12 Sports: Men’s soccer undefeated Page 11
the need to be safe and make choices beneficial towards good health and wellness,” said Adams in the email. In addition to Flannigan’s death, Molly has been connected to the death of Olivia Rotondo, a University of New Hampshire student. Rotondo was attending the Electric Zoo Concert in New York when she overdosed. According to the New York Post, her last words were spoken to an EMT before she collapsed into a seiSee MOLLY, page 3
photo by morgan dashko/the hoot
eat up Students crowded into the SCC for free Pan-Asian food. See more photos on
Doubt and daring
Arts, etc.: Page 2
Sports: Page 11
“Tick, Tick, Boom!” enthrals the audience.
Women’s soccer sweeps yet again.
2 The Brandeis Hoot
September 13, 2013
BUGS offers comfortable, flexible tutoring for free
photo from internet source
By Alexandra Patch Staff
Brandeis Undergraduate Group Study, better known as BUGS, starts up again this Monday, Sept. 16. BUGS is a free tutoring service run through Academic Services, for students by students. 24 tutors in 28 subjects cover 65 different classes in all. Tutoring can be one-on-one or group study. This year, tutors are available for five new subjects: Biology 16a, German 109b, Math 20a, Neuroscience 22b and Psychology 52a. BUGS has revamped its location in Academic Services with new couches,
whiteboards, learning materials and more space than in previous years. The extra room is much needed, as more students come in each year. Last year, there were 752 sessions and 348 students in total. Associate Director of Class-Based Advising Brian Koslowski co-supervises the program with David Gruber, an academic advisor. Doing the math, it is easy to see that there are often “repeat customers,” Koslowski’s term for the students who keep coming back for more help. The BUGS tutors are patient, creative and “a good group of students who know their stuff,” Koslowski said. Not only do BUGS tutors go through training at Academic Ser-
vices, but they have also been highly recommended by faculty and done very well in the courses they tutor for. Students can feel at ease when coming in for a session, as the tutors are students themselves who have gone through the same coursework. It is a non-intimidating atmosphere that consists of students who love to help others learn, Koslowski explained. “Tutoring also helps to strengthen and solidify one’s own knowledge,” he added. For some tutors, this may be a step on the way to becoming teachers of the subject. Koslowski relayed that anyone and everyone is welcome and can benefit from the sessions. Students in intro-
Brandeis Bridges encourages students to connect culturally By Dor Cohen Staff
A diverse group of Brandeis University undergraduates seeks to bridge divisions between the Jewish and black communities on campus. As part of a new initiative called Brandeis Bridges, 10 students—five black and five Jewish undergraduates representing their respective communities—will be chosen to participate in an ambitious intercultural leadership training program. The 10 Brandeis Bridges fellows, selected by the Dean of Student Life and the Director of Hillel, will program events for the Brandeis community throughout the academic year and will return from the intercultural trip to Israel with a renewed understanding of each other’s communities. Brandeis Bridges is a collaboration between three prominent organizations on the Brandeis campus: Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee (BIPAC), Brandeis Black Student Organization (BBSO) and Martin Luther King & Friends. The fellowship was founded in November 2012 by the leaders of these three organizations, Ryan Yuffe ’15, Alex Thomson ’15, Amaris Brown ’16 and Cynthia Jackson ’16, with help from Amanda Dryer ’13. These founding coordinators mapped out an extensive program that includes a 10-day intercultural trip to Israel that will take place in January 2014. The coordinators met with donors and organizations to raise $50,000 to fully fund
the trip, rendering it free of cost for all participants. According to the program’s website, its founders believe that the black and Jewish communities on campus have so far been “distant,” and according to Yuffe, this trip is meant to “fill the gap between the two communities,” “cross cultural boundaries” and bond over similar interests. “Students from non-Jewish descent [at Brandeis] feel that they are at a disadvantage because they are not fully aware of Brandeis’ Jewish roots and the campus culture that emanates from those foundations. The Jewish community at Brandeis has generally seen little organized interaction with black students and therefore has not been exposed to the community’s passions, ideas and culture,” Yuffe said. “Dating back to before the civil rights movement, there was a robust bond between the black and Jewish communities. Leaders of both communities marched together at Selma and fought alongside on many other issues. Brandeis Bridges looks back to
photo from internet source
this period as a sign of great achievements that can be had through cooperation and mutual understanding,” Brandeis Bridges’ Facebook page states. “We believe strongly that Brandeis Bridges can begin to transform the campus environment between the two communities.” “This is a landmark opportunity for these communities to interact and discover their common pasts,” said Jackson. “I am really proud to be working on such an initiative.” The Office of the President, the Office of Student Life, Hillel at Brandeis and the Department of African and Afro-American Studies have expressed their support for the program, which received funding from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Israel Campus Roundtable, the Jacobson Family Foundation, Brandeis University, Students Organized Against Racism and private donors. First-year Megi Belegu said, “Brandeis Bridges seems like such an amazing opportunity. If there was a program like this for [me] I would definitely go on it myself!”
ductory classes may want the more personalized attention, while upperclassmen needing to complete certain requirements, such as a language class, can also profit from BUGS, as these courses cannot be taken “Pass/ Fail.” Koslowski also spoke about the two main types of people who come to BUGS tutoring. There are students who feel completely stuck and come in because they have no idea what is going on in the class, and there are students who want to put in their best effort to get that A by using all resources available to them. “BUGS can help lift students up from a D to a C or a B to an A, depending on what the needs of the student are,” Koslowski said. Besides getting better grades, Koslowski lists learning how to take notes appropriately, asking the right questions and knowing how to approach faculty as other benefits of BUGS sessions. Students also learn how to be stronger self-advocates and that there is no shame in asking for help, according to Koslowski. Whatever students are wishing to get out of BUGS, it seems to be working. The program hears positive feedback regularly from students who attended sessions, whether it is getting a high grade on a test or simply going into class with more confidence about the material. Tutoring sessions typically range from one to 12 people. While they normally take place in Academic Services, it is also possible to meet elsewhere. Sessions for language classes, for example, normally have fewer people, and it is helpful to meet somewhere a little quieter. The music tutor meets in Slosberg, as there is no piano in the Academic Services space. Some tutors are even on call when there is
not a lot of demand for the tutoring, but they are free and happy to meet if a student contacts them. Nina Spring ’14, a second-semester BUGS tutor, had up to a dozen tutees attend her physics sessions last year, the largest number as of yet. “My goal as a BUGS tutor is to help make physics approachable and manageable for all students,” she explained. Spring tailors each session according to her students and their interests. Some days, they took turns using the whiteboard to teach their peers and work through the problem. “This method allowed students to interact and tackle the problem using all their knowledge collectively,” Spring said. Other days, students worked together in pairs. “I would walk around and spend time with each group, giving them new ways to think about a concept, drawing and creating visuals to help organize material, and support their progress as teams.” Both Spring and Koslowski emphasized that BUGS is a great way to meet people in the same class and create study groups. “I would see the students at the library in the evenings still working together, and we’d all resume our work at the next session,” Spring stated. “I hope all students reach out to their BUGS tutors and experience the support from fantastic students on campus.” BUGS has a number of ways to promote the program, which include classroom visits, flyers and Facebook and Twitter pages. However, the most powerful way is by word-of-mouth, as students tell their friends about the positive experiences they had at BUGS. Koslowski noted there is a negative stereotype around tutoring, and BUGS wishes to turn this around.
Aidasani resigns TREASURER, from page 1
summer. Selected as a course evaluation guide editor, Taschman’s duties included sifting through and summarizing hundreds of evaluations of courses and professors. “We were supposed to be paid half of our stipend at the beginning of the summer,” she said. Her compensation, however, never arrived. “After a while, I was just like, does this job even exist anymore?” Attempts to contact Aidasani during the summer proved futile. Coupled with the absence of payment and technical failures of the submissions site, Taschman was unable to complete her duties. “I wasn’t doing it because I wasn’t being paid,” she stated. Along with other course evaluation guide editors, Taschman contacted Rosen at the beginning of the semester. “I think Ricky’s been really understanding,” Taschman said, but after months of failing to respond, “Sunny had said we didn’t fill out the forms we needed to.” Taschman asserted that she completed them during the spring semester, and commented, “It seemed like they didn’t know it wasn’t our fault we weren’t getting paid.” Amid the hectic schedule of classes and extracurricular obligations, Taschman is now faced with the daunting task of completing the evaluations during the semester. “We have to get this sorted out as soon as possible. The whole point is so that people can look at it while selecting their classes, but course selection will be over,” she explained. With the close of the shopping period occurring on Monday, firstyears and upperclassmen alike will
no longer have the opportunity to use the updated evaluations as a resource when enrolling in classes. In the wake of Aidasani’s resignation, Mohammed Ali ’14 will serve as the new interim Treasurer until a replacement candidate is elected, according to Rosen. Ali will work alongside a team of assistant treasurers previously compiled by Aidasani to handle finances. “100 percent, I feel that Sunny was capable of performing the job,” Rosen said. “But ultimately, the decision for everyone came down to Sunny’s wellbeing and what is best for our student body.” When questioned as to what methods the Union might employ to prevent similar failures from arising in the future, Rosen referenced a policy implemented last year. This policy essentially strips senate officers of their positions if they accumulated three absences at senate meetings. “We have discussed the possibility of instituting a policy like that for the E-Board. In addition we are exploring the idea of having E-Board members undergo performance evaluations with the president of the Union in situations like this when members statuses are in question,” Rosen said. Campaigning will run Wednesday, Sept. 11 at midnight until Wednesday, Sept. 18 at midnight, according to Rosen, with a new treasurer to be elected shortly thereafter. Despite the near impeachment and ultimate resignation of Aidasani, Rosen looks to the future with a positive mentality. “After a week or so of uncertainty, I feel that the treasury is on the right track, and we should be fine for the rest of the year,” he said.
September 13, 2013
Drug proves lethal at concerts MOLLY, from page 1
zure and died. “I just took six hits of Molly,” the 20-year-old said. A Syracuse graduate was also found dead of the same cause after the concert. Three men in their 20s also overdosed on Molly at the Bank of America Pavillion on the same day. The drug, common at raves and electric concerts and promoted by celebrities like Miley Cyrus, has hit the college community hard. “Molly is a slang term for MDMA … you may also hear it called Ecstasy, X, E, or Mandy,” Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor at the Brandeis Health Center Lauren Grover said. “Molly was a term used originally to describe pure MDMA. This is no longer the case, as Molly often contains a number of substances which mimic the effects of MDMA.” As Molly is a “designer drug,” the risks associated with it are higher. “These drugs are produced without regulations and with unknown purity and potency to the user,” Grover said. “They can contain anything, so you really do not know what you are ingesting.” Faculty at Brandeis believe the campus-wide email reminding students of the dangers of Molly was a necessity, according to Associate Dean of Student Life Maggie Balch. “I think for us, it is understanding what is hitting college campuses everywhere and trying to figure out how to keep our students safe and healthy,” Balch said. “We learn a lot by watching other universities and keeping up to speed on these things. Health and safety is really what it’s about. That is the top priority to me.” Grover believes that if Brandeis students know about the dangers of Molly, they will avoid the toxic drug. And if students have friends who are still intrigued by the prospect, she has
cost is about $30 a day, while on peak season months, near application deadlines and acceptance notifications, the cost may be around $80 per day, at the maximum. Pearlman wrote that it “seems to be a very small fee on the part of the tour guide for the years of volunteer work and grooming they go through.” When asked how many tours were given per year and how large the current budget is, the Office of Admissions did not provide a numerical response. Director of Admissions Jennifer Walker wrote, “The number of tours we give each year varies depending on the number of visitors and the number of tour guides, but we host thousands of guests on campus every year. The cost of expanding tours will depend on how many are added and at what size and structure.” Students have differing opinions on the proposal. Benjamin Hill ’14 expressed that he understood the need for more students, but felt that choosing to discontinue payment was the wrong approach. “Expansion can’t be done for free. More workers cost more money. That’s a simple fact of running an organization. It is unfair to new recruits to the tour guide program to ask them to work for free while others around them collect a paycheck,” he wrote in an email.
NYC colleges partner to promote clean tech By Charlie Romanow Staff
photo from internet source
some simple advice: “I would suggest that people talk to their friends about this before going to a party or getting into a situation where MDMA may be offered. Do not wait until the moment arises. I would say to remind your friends about the consequences of using the drug. Make a plan with your friends, and stick to it.” Balch recommends calling BEMCo if on campus or 911 if your friend is off campus. “Make sure they get the help they need, and then, try to figure out where it came from; that would be the next question,” she said. “Is this an isolated incident, did it come from somebody on campus or off campus, so we can make sure the [Brandeis] community is safe.” Both Balch and Grover insist that Brandeis has many resources for students seeking help, either about drugs like Molly or if they just want to learn more. The Psychological Counseling Center, the Health Center and even the Student Affairs offices are all with-
in reach if students choose to visit. “I think our students do a nice job of regulating and helping other students and letting us know about students they’re concerned about,” Balch said. “We talk with them about choices that they’ve made and try to figure out what that student needs to continue to be making good decisions.” Grover pointed out there are so many activities that Brandeis students could be involved in that do not involve Molly. “There are so many events on this campus that obviously do not involve drug use! Get involved! In addition, Boston is an exciting city to explore and have fun in without the use of any mind-altering substances,” she said. Balch has had plenty of experience coaching students she knows toward making the right decision. “It’s the informal, it’s life skills, we’re teaching people how to communicate and empowering them to find the answers within themselves.”
New ambassador program may discard pay and bring in first-years TOUR GUIDES, from page 1
The Brandeis Hoot
“It is against the ‘rock’ of social justice that President Lawrence articulated [in his inaugural address] for salaried management to tell wage workers that there is no more money to pay them, even if there is still money to pay the management,” Hill wrote. Fallon Bushee ’16, a current student ambassador, was unconcerned with the change. “For me the satisfaction of the job comes from showing people a place I’m really proud of and really passionate about. And if I can make a family’s college search even a little bit easier or more pleasant, that’s all that really matters to me. Being paid was just an added bonus,” she wrote. Although the pay is unnecessary for some, others are incentivized to give tours because of the monetary benefit. “I know that I probably wouldn’t have gotten up at 8am on a Saturday or led that tour through the rain or snow if not for that extra motivation,” Pearlman wrote. The new programs intend to increase the number of student volunteers. Flagel explained that incoming first-year students, chosen based on their high school activities and transcripts, had been contacted and asked to participate in the new program. “A starting point in that process has been nominating some of our best first year and transfer students to help us explore a new model of student ambassador/guide,” he wrote. Since students were required to volunteer first as a chatter or host, before
submitting an application and having an interview, Pearlman indicated that the program was strong. “We had the ability to only choose those who would represent Brandeis best because they needed to be “hired,”” she wrote. Discussions of the change began last May, but current tour guides were not notified of the proposal until the beginning of this semester. In the past, first-year students have not been easily able to be hired as tour guides because they lack the experience of older students, and do not have the same stories to share with prospective students. Bushee wrote in defense of younger guides, however. “Brandeis students obviously have a wide range of different interests, so it’s good to have ambassadors who represent the wide range of ways people can get involved here,” she wrote. There is no set date for when the changes will officially take place. “We will continue to explore the best possible model for our students and visitors and the timeline for any changes will depend on how we decide to implement them,” Walker said. Flagel also mentioned a potential change in the way tours are run, or how tour guides may be evaluated. “It is possible, however, that we’re not entirely consistent in tour quality, and in that case we should unpack how we’re doing them and how we can work together to make them everything that Brandeis deserves,” Flagel wrote.
Columbia University and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University are two of the institutions that will be headlining a program coordinated by the state of New York to improve the clean technology industry in the state. Each of the two schools, in addition to High Tech Rochester Inc. will receive $15 million over the next five years to help encourage and facilitate university researchers to launch commercial start-ups relating to clean technology, including renewable energy and energy distribution. The program will begin operating this month with groups pairing with entrepreneurs next month and the winners announced in March. Despite New York’s vast population and economic strengths, it has stood behind Boston and California in the clean-technology industry. PowerBridgeNY is the program that will attempt to increase the state’s share in the field. The program will emphasize connecting researchers with those who are knowledgeable and experienced in business as well as educating them in how to get further in the process on their own. The academics who have ideas on how to boost the field often have little experience in getting their idea off the ground and introducing it to potential investors. There is a sharp divide between researchers and investors in the field, as investors are often turned off from the idea of a complicated, capital-intensive business venture that will take some time to turn a profit. In describing the program, Micah Kotch, director of innovation and entrepreneurship at NYU-Poly stated, “A lot of PowerBridge is going to be helping these people connect with the community, real estate owners and developers, utilities and big corporations to help them understand where they fit in the market,” according to an article in Crain’s New York Business. Columbia University will open the Downstate Regional Energy Technology Accelerator, which will collabo-
rate with the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cornell University’s NYC Tech and Stony Brook University. NYU-Poly will partner with the City University of New York and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress to focus on challenges specific to the urban environment. Groups will apply for $150,000 grants which will be funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) based in Albany. Although the environment and clean technology have been recent issues in the news, it is estimated that only a handful of the 900 startups in New York during the last 10 years have been part of the burgeoning industry. Those behind the program hope that similar ones will arise around the state with the implementation of PowerBridgeNY. Multiple professors have already expressed interest in applications, including Roger Anderson of Columbia University’s Center for Computational Learning Systems. Anderson, already an experienced entrepreneur, has an idea that will potentially provide a wireless exchange of energy between vehicles and buildings. Also, two chemical engineering professors at Columbia have developed a process that uses electricity to convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into liquid fuel, which they hope will be propelled by the NYSDERA program. The University of North CarolinaGreensboro has recently conducted a study, “Proof of Concept Centers in the United States: An Exploratory Look,” which found that universities produced 35 percent more start-ups after such programs and centers were launched. Similar programs have been put into place around the country to promote the establishment of clean-technology businesses, many of which are partnerships between competing schools, as is the case with Columbia and NYU. Massachusetts has already been involved in clean technology. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering has a similar program in place, as do the University of Massachusetts, Boston University and Harvard University.
photo by firstname lastname/the hoot
The Brandeis Hoot
September 13, 2013
Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit explores Christianity and Judaism
photo from internet source
By Iona Feldman
Special to the Hoot
In a three-hour session on Sunday, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Ph.D. candidate Jamie Bryson gave a presentation on the Dead Sea Scrolls to complement the exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Science. Bryson recounted the story of their 1946 discovery in what is now the West Bank, subsequent transfers of ownership and efforts by archaeologists to piece them together. He also spoke extensively of the search to understand who exactly wrote the scrolls and what help they can provide in understanding the de-
velopment of Judaism and Christianity 2,000 years ago. In a presentation displayed on a large screen in front of about 50 people, Bryson used images and videos to tell the audience about the discovery of the scrolls. The first of the Qumran caves was accidentally discovered by a Bedouin shepherd boy, but many parties would ultimately handle them, including a Bethlehem cobbler, an Orthodox Metropolitan and international archaeologists. The volatile political situation would cause serious difficulties, as the scrolls were discovered on the eve of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Eventually, most of the scrolls and scroll fragments came into the custody of the Israeli govern-
ment, and they may be found today in Jerusalem. Of the 900 manuscripts, 206 were copies of books of the Hebrew Bible. Bryson explained that the books found most often were likely the most important to the people who used the scrolls. For example, the original five books of the Torah were especially popular, with about 20 copies of Genesis and 30 of Deuteronomy. The Book of Esther, the origin of the holiday of Purim, however, was not found at all. There were some texts found from books that did not make it into the final version of the Hebrew Bible. These include the Apocrypha, which are treated separately today due to their non-Hebrew origins, although
F-Board to commence marathon funding sessions By Rebecca Leaf
Special to the Hoot
This week marks Brandeis University’s Finance Board’s marathon period. This is the time allotted by the F-board to meet with club leaders to hear funding requests for the semester. Meeting in person is not necessary, unless the funding requests call for further explanation. It is only during this time that club leaders can make funding requests for items such as theater rights, publishing and printing costs, the cost of hiring individual contractors, guest speakers, coaches or instructors and the cost of lodging and transportation for clubrelated trips. To assist in the marathon proceedings is an online resource, SUMS, on which club leaders can submit PRFs, NEPRFs and other treasury related documents, as well as sign up for marathon time slots and make F-board-related requests all on one site. While SUMS has been used for finance documentation in the past, myBrandeis, not SUMS, was used in past years solely for marathon meeting finances. F-board Chair Mohamed Ali described the transition to the new website: “Over the summer, when myBrandeis was no longer being used, it was somewhat difficult, but due to the fact that many of our F-board members are new, they did not need to adjust,” he wrote. After the marathon period, when club leaders send in their requests,
is the allocations period, when the board discusses how much to fund each club based on their requests. Ali said that there should not be any concerns about possible delays due to the resignation of Treasurer Sunny Aidasani ’14 days before the marathon period, as the treasury and the F-board are two separate entities, although they do cooperate frequently. The Constitution and Bylaws of the Student Union state that only secured and chartered clubs are eligible to request and receive funds. The clubs receiving funding from the Brandeis F-board are bound to certain restrictions. For example, events funded by the F-board must be open to the entire Brandeis community. Also, political campaigning for any specific political party or member for any public office is prohibited due to Brandeis’ non-profit status while campaigning for a specific law is acceptable. While older established clubs might be more familiar with what is necessary for these proceedings, leaders and treasurers of newer clubs are likely to need to explain the function of their club to the F-board as well as need more explanation concerning the process of securing the necessary funding. The Brandeis Education Reformers is a club started last year, “dedicated to creating well-resourced schools, supportive classrooms, researchbased teaching and healthy communities for all children.” Their goals are
to “discuss possible solutions, learn from education reform experts with articles and visiting lecturers, watch thought-provoking documentaries, volunteer and fight politically,” according to their Facebook page. In her first year as treasurer of the relatively new club, Maryanne Cai ’16 described the meetings held by the F-board for those in charge of their respective clubs finances as extremely helpful. Along with the meetings helping her to estimate possible event expenses and the types of things she can ask the F-board to fund, these talks also held other pieces of important information for clubs hosting events. The first meeting is the presentation given by the F-board on the concerns and expenses the club leaders and treasurers can address. Most of this information can be found on the F-Board marathon presentation’s slideshow on the Treasury/F-Board section of the Brandeis Student Union website. The other meetings are held before the Marathon Period to bring new club leaders up to speed on what regulations they need to follow in order to secure funds for their clubs. Cai noted that while there was some initial difficulty while using the new site, its overall layout was simple to learn. As Brandeis clubs secure their funds this week and next, it ensures another year of Brandeis community activism, publication, theatre productions and more.
Catholic and Orthodox Christians regard them as fully canonical. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was significant from an archaeological standpoint because they are the earliest known surviving manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible. Before 1946, this title went to the 10th century Aleppo Codex and the 11th century Leningrad Codex, which is the basis for the current Hebrew Bible. In contrast, assorted parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls date anywhere from as early as the fifth century BCE to the fourth century CE. Bryson pointed out multiple intriguing differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Leningrad Codex. The latter had vowels written out while the former, like contemporary literary Hebrew, left them out. The older scrolls also contain variations in spelling, chronological details and some expanded text that no longer exists in today’s Hebrew Bible. Also, the name of one scroll is written in Paleo-Hebrew, an alphabet that had fallen out of common use by the fifth century BCE, when the Jewish people began to adopt the Aramaic alphabet. Many of the other scrolls featured writings specific to the sect that used them, including legal texts, a solar calendar, scriptural commentaries and liturgy. Although there is no clear consensus on the identity of the scrolls’ origin, the dominant theory is that they were written by the Essenes of Qumran, a group that sought to escape the “spiritual corruption” of the Jewish establishment in Jerusalem. This all-male group grew only through recruitment, and they lived a communal lifestyle in the harsh climate of the Judean desert. Bryson mentioned some alternative views, however, such as the possibility that some of the scrolls were brought by
priests fleeing the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman military in 70 CE or the theory that the community belonged to the Sadducees, a largely upper-class sect that believed in absolute free will in contrast with the deterministic Essenes. Bryson concluded by drawing some parallels between the Judaism of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity, which would form at this time period. He found mention of a “son of God,” an idea previously thought to be entirely foreign to Judaism. There is also an obsession with the imminent arrival of the Messiah, possibly even two Messiahs. Though the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls were not themselves Christian, these documents give much insight into the cultural atmosphere in which Christianity emerged. The Judaism of the Second Temple period was very fluid, and there were many radically different sects and clashing ideologies within the religion. Through the accounts of prayers and customs, scholars have learned much about the development of modern Judaism. While the specifics of Jewish prayer services were very different at this time, there are ways that make evident how their existence parallels Jewish religious practices today. The lecture occurred in the forum of the Mandel Center for the Humanities and attracted a wide range of people. Many were older adults who were invited through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis (BOLLI). Avi Bernstein, the director of BOLLI, provided the introduction and closing remarks to the event. A significant portion of the attendees were Brandeis alumni. Only five current Brandeis students attended, mostly graduate students, despite the fact that the event was open and free to all students.
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September 13, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot
Waltham cultural groups receive increase in funding By Charlie Romanow Staff
In Waltham, eight cultural groups, including one at Brandeis, have recently received an increase in annual grant funds from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This came after the council received a $1.6 million budget increase from a vote by the legislature. The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that aims to improve quality of life and the local economy. It also aids nonprofits through grants, partnerships and services. The council appropriates millions of dollars to groups in all areas of Massachusetts. The eight groups are receiving $41,690 this year, which is approximately $5,000 more than the previous year. Massachusetts Senator Mike Barrett, who represents the communities of Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lincoln, Waltham and Weston as well as portions of Lexington and Sudbury, made the announcement. “The grants ensure that the cultural resources unique to my district and other cultural work across the state continue to thrive and enrich people’s lives. The new state funding for the arts, humanities and sciences will have a meaningful impact,” Barrett said according to a Boston.com article. MusicUnitesUs (MUUS) at Brandeis is a recipient and will use
the grant for the world music program that combines concerts by international visiting artists and music instruction for Waltham students. The group is led by Judith Eissenberg, professor of the Practice of Music at Brandeis. The Community Outreach Group, Inc. is receiving $3,500 to provide pro bono services to improve public green spaces in underserved communities. Gore Place Society, Inc. is receiving $6,200 to preserve and promote the more than 200-year-old Gore Place. Jazz Composers Alliance, Inc. is receiving funds of $3,500 to put on a concert series as well as to support local jazz groups and improve educational outreach. Musicians of the Old Post Road, Inc. are receiving $3,200 to stimulate and educate live period instrument chamber music. The National Center for Jewish Film, Inc. will receive $5,500 to promote and maintain pieces of film that are significant to the Jewish community. The Robert Treat Paine Estate is receiving $3,500 to preserve the aforementioned estate. The Waltham Cultural Council is receiving the largest grant of nearly $14,000. According to Eissenberg (MUS), the grant given to MUUS is intended to support the educational outreach component of the program. Participating schools, including Waltham, Somerville and Newton schools, can come to Brandeis or be visited by
photo by max shay/the hoot
Brandeis to hear a program from visiting artists. “Our visiting artists come from diverse local traditions around the world: China, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, a number of groups with members from different countries in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and so on,” she said. When the artists visit Brandeis,
Student experiences research first-hand
By Andrew Elmers Special to the Hoot
There is something to be said about the opportunities open to Brandeis students to work with world-renowned professors and researchers in professional settings. Mehraj Awal ’14 knows exactly what these opportunities are, having worked in the PetskoRinge lab on campus since Jan. 2011 researching Alzheimer’s disease, which currently has no cure. It is in this setting that he has learned much more than the classroom can offer him and gained invaluable experience working with professors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate and undergraduate students coming from a wide variety of backgrounds. He says that the most rewarding aspect of working in this lab is “receiving the level of respect and mentorship that I have” from colleagues that have greater experience than himself, and the experience has been “quite eyeopening.” Awal, a biochemistry major, focuses his work in the lab on the structures of proteins involved with Alzheimer’s. He and his colleagues are looking for ways in which proteins from Alzheimer’s cases differ from proteins of a normal case, and want to determine whether or not these differences are what cause the disease. With a potential knowledge of the protein structures that cause Alzheimer’s, Awal hopes to find ways to revert the protein structures to work properly by finding small molecules that cause these initial changes. He states that the number of Alzheimer’s cases has gone up as life expectancy has risen over the recent years, since “about 90 percent of this disease is late-onset.” And while an increase among any disease is dire news, it makes Awal’s work all the more important. Finding drugs that can slow down the progression of the most common form of dementia, stop its development or even prevent it in the first place will have a tremendous effect on a multitude of patients who
they spend between three and five days here before performing a public concert on Saturday evening. The grant is given to support artists’ fees and provide support for educational outreach. “We feel particularly strongly about serving the Waltham community,” Eissenberg said. “With arts, and in
Undergrads enjoy new course offerings By Rachel Hirschhaut Editor
structure The Petsko-Ringe lab determines structures of proteins, such as the one above.
are dealing with this debilitating illness by greatly increasing their quality of life. When asked about the possibility of other conclusions than those he is looking for being derived from his research, Awal states that not much more is expected beyond discovering the protein structures of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the proteins under research in the Petsko-Ringe lab are also of relevance to Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other degenerative disorders. More research into the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s will hopefully help bring new insights into these diseases. While the work Awal has been doing in the lab may help people across the globe, he has also benefitted personally from the experience. Awal has been introduced to a field of science he had never heard of before coming onto campus: structural biology. He credits his mentor Vincent Mecozzi, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab, with guiding him through his almost three years of research and teaching him how to work in a professional lab setting.
“[My] experience in this lab, working with undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs and faculty, will be invaluable as I apply to graduate programs,” he said. His work in the lab has prepared him to design his own projects in the future and attempt other projects on his own. Being present in the lab has shown him new techniques in the field of structural biology as they are developed, an advantage over just taking a course in the subject. Awal, who is also the co-president of the South Asian Student Association and vice-president of the Archery Club at Brandeis, admits that his ideas for a future career have been expanded since he started working at the lab. His original plan was to enter medical school, but he has since fallen in love with research after his experience in the Petsko-Ringe lab. He can imagine himself working in a research facility after college “and loving it all the same, if not more.” College is about much more than just showing up to class and graduating in four years, and Mehraj Awal exemplifies that.
this case, music, as the lens, students deepen their understanding and appreciation of cultures around the world, first-hand. The beauty, virtuosity, depth of tradition and personal narratives of these artists allow for engagement that is not possible through a textbook, a classroom or even a recorded performance.”
This semester, as shopping period continues, Brandeis undergraduate students have the option to enroll in 32 completely new courses. The courses span 21 departments in the arts, humanities, social sciences, lab sciences and foreign languages, and are cross-listed in several majors and minors. Many of the courses take an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to exploring a common topic. Business majors have new opportunities to think critically about business from a social and cultural perspective through the new electives: “Money, Markets and Morals in American Culture” offered by the Department of American Studies and “Business, Culture and Society” in the Department of Anthropology. The latter course is about learning to understand the customs and values of other cultures and applying them to the global business environment, an important skill in a globalizing world. A popular new course is “Making Mirth: Building Psychological Resilience Through the Power of Play,” a collaboration between the theater and psychology departments. The goal of the class is to improve physical fitness, combat stress and build resilience in a healthy way, through the playing of games, dance, storytelling and improvisation. It is cross-listed as a Psychology elective and a Creative Arts or Physical Education option. Rocky Reichman ’13, a psychology major, created the class with the help of Professor Susan Dibble, who teaches in the theater department. He has done other work to help people build resilience through storytelling, including Watch Me Bounce, a website where people can submit their personal stories to help strengthen others. The class, capped at 18 students, filled beyond capacity within the first days of April registration. Students
have welcomed it as a much-needed means of relaxing and relieving stress. “I’ve never taken a class like this before. We learn primarily through dance and improvisational role-play. Every class is a great way to deal with the earlier stresses of the day,” Adam Ossip ’15 said. Other classes give students the chance to delve into academic fields previously not offered at Brandeis. Korean is now an option for the undergraduate foreign language requirement. Because of the work of the Brandeis Korean Culture and Language Initiative (BCKLI), which was founded last year, students can now take “Beginning Korean.” This can open the door for more study abroad or work opportunities in Asia. Many of these courses are listed as hidden gems by Brandeis Academic Services, because they offer seminarstyle, discussion-based learning and close interactions with faculty who have earned a 4.0 or better in course evaluation ratings. The fine arts class “Framing the Image: Debates in the History of Photography” is a special one-time offering, but most of the classes will be offered again in years to come.
photo from internet source
6 The Brandeis Hoot
September 13, 2013
Arctic Monkey’s new album departs from the typical By Eli Kaminsky
Special to The Hoot
When asked why she only published one novel, Harper Lee, author of the widely successful 1960s American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” replied that she had said what she wanted to say and would not say it again. Nearly half a century later, English indie-rock band Arctic Monkeys released their debut album, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not,” to similar critical acclaim
as Lee. The music world celebrated the group as the “second-coming of The Beatles,” though unlike Lee, Arctic Monkeys continued to produce record after record. In an attempt to reach that same legendary status as the fab-four, however, the modern incarnation began to stray further from that very sound that brought them so much initial attention.On Sept. 6, Arctic Monkeys dropped “AM,” their follow up to 2011’s lukewarm “Suck It and See,” which seems to pick up right where the previous record left
off. At this point, Arctic Monkeys have almost totally abandoned the garage-rock sound from their first album for one that resembles the lovechild of Queens of the Stone Age and a post-“Brothers” era Black Keys. “AM” kicks off with the grueling, bluesy riff, “Do I Wanna Know?” the record’s second single. At first, the riff enthralls with its raw force, though several minutes without change becomes redundant. Seconds after “Do I Wanna Know?” closes, the first single off “AM,” “R U Mine?” screeches in,
photo from internet source
arctic monkeys The band released their new album September 6.
with a faster yet almost identical riff as the album opener. But any momentum that “Do I Wanna Know?” may have initiated with its catchy guitar-work stops short due to the sloppy structure and overall poor composition of “R U Mine?” The album only picks up on the fourth track, the Black Keys- and Black Sabbath-influenced “Arabella,” about a fantastically complex loveinterest. Frontman Alex Turner describes her in eccentric detail as “a modern lover,” “made of outer space,” with “a 70s haircut” and “interstellar gator-skin boots.” “Arabella” stands out as the strongest track on the album and is followed by the almost equally dominant “I Want It All,” which could easily fit in on Queens of the Stone Age’s “Rated R” or “Lullabies To Paralyze.” “AM” does in fact feature Queens’ frontman, Josh Homme, on “Knee Socks” and “One For The Road.” This is not Arctic Monkeys’ first encounter with the desert-rockers though, as Turner was featured on their most recent album, “…Like Clockwork” and Homme produced the band’s 2009 release, “Humbug.” The next interesting moment appears on the seventh song, “Mad Sounds,” which strongly resembles a 1960s California surf-rock tune and builds up quietly with some Creedence Clearwater Revival-like organs that appear all across the record. Like many of the aforementioned songs, “Mad Sounds” is nicely written, but could not even be identified as an Arctic Monkeys song if it weren’t for Turner’s Paul McCartneyesque vocals. This trend continues into the next song, “Fireside,” which sounds like a sequel to “Mad Sounds,”
and continues throughout the rest of the album, which includes two of the album’s best tracks, “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” and “Snap Out of It.” “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” epitomizes the album’s extremely sexual lyrics in one line. Turner is clearly preoccupied with both chasing women and reassuring himself, almost self-consciously, that he can retain control of his relationships for their duration. “Snap Out of It,” which is about trying to rekindle a struggling relationship, drives like a classic piano-driven rock and roll song, and makes the album more enjoyable before the album comes to a reflective and slow close. “I Wanna Be Yours,” the final track, sums up the record perfectly. While most of the songs depict neurotic characters either obsessed with the pursuit of sexual release or anxious about losing their current sexual interest, “I Wanna Be Yours” discards any superficial relationship by simply admitting that above all the difficulties and distractions, nothing can top simply finding yourself with that one special person. Both lyrically and musically, Arctic Monkeys present sounds familiar to the weathered music fan. While “AM” maintains a solid rock and roll vibe from start to finish, highlighted by several upbeat tracks and raunchy, female-obsessed lyricism, the record doesn’t quite feel like the typical Arctic Monkeys’ release. While the musicianship and much of the songwriting is quite strong, “AM” will leave many longtime Arctic Monkeys fans yearning to hear some fast-paced feedbackheavy guitars that harken back to the band’s earlier material.
Visiting author Jones explains reasons for writing By Dana Trismen Editor
Edward Jones writes because he is compelled to. This year, Brandeis first-years read Jones’ book because they were also obliged to. But perhaps, the shared experience of reading the same book, especially a book concerned with a heavy topic like race relations, has given the class of 2017 knowledge even before they officially begin their Brandeis careers. While Jones was on campus to lead a question and answer with firstyears on Aug. 28, this week The Hoot discussed with the author the reason behind why he writes, and what advice he has for all students, not just for first-years. “There are two sorts of writers, those who write because they are compelled to and those who want fame and fortune,” Jones said, who has no patience for the latter. “You get a job to pay rent and food bills, and write when you have the time.” Jones’ 2003 novel “The Known World” was the book chosen this year for the New Student Forum, a program that brings famous authors to campus to converse with first years. “I was quite surprised [when I heard my book was selected] because the book has been out for several years, and I felt very privileged,” said Jones. Set in the antebellum south, the novel examines the problems associated with owning slaves. Dealing with a large cast of characters over
a long span of time, the story is an epic tale of an area in the south coming face to face with the problem of racism. The tale received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Jones felt his work was well received at Brandeis. “We had a question and answer that lasted a bit over an hour,” he said. “You sort of have a lot of concern when people ask questions, you can tell if they’ve actually read the book. But every single person had read the book and I got very intelligent questions.” Jones also did a book signing for over an hour after the event, to indicate his gratitude toward the university. “Brandeis has a choice, they could have chose thousands of novels and they chose mine, the very least I can do is sign every students book,” said Jones. Jones, who was born in 1951, has penned three novels. But the author did not even know he wanted to write when he entered college. As a student at the College of the Holy Cross, he enrolled in all mathematics courses during his first semester. “I was very shy, I sat in the back of the classroom and the calculus teacher was horrible,” said Jones. He remembers thinking he would barely pass the course. Musing on his love of reading, Jones decided to pursue an English major. “I think for anyone that’s contemplating writing, I would take as many English courses as possible,” Jones said. Jones went on to be educated at the University of Virginia. He now teach-
es at George Washington University and resides in Washington, D.C. For those Brandeis students who wish to become authors themselves, Jones’ advice is simple. “The best advice is to just continue with it,” he said. “It is in the blood, so just keep going and going, what keeps you going, you are compelled to it and you can’t help yourself, the most important thing is the writing.” As Jones enters what he calls a “more leisurely fall” he made one last nod at Brandeis. “I had a good time by the way,” he said. edward p. jones photos from internet source
September 13, 2013
ARTS, ETC. 7
The Brandeis Hoot
Perkins ’13 performs both on and off campus By Victoria Aronson Editor
Landing a lead role in the upcoming web series “Why Colored Men Don’t Cry,” Shaquan Perkins ’13, a talented theater major, commences his final year at Brandeis University with a taste of the future successes to come. Originally from the Bronx, NY, Perkins has delved into the performing arts on campus, choreographing dance routines, starring in productions and playing an instrumental role as a member of both Adagio and Kaos Kids. Perkins starred in the 2012 production of BET’s “Quickies,” a role that he describes as surreal. “It was very interesting to put on this whole other character, who was so much older than me. It was just hearing my own voice talk about topics of love and moving through things and having all this wisdom I wish I had,” he said. Last semester, Perkins pushed the boundaries even further, starring in the dramatic portrayal of “The Color Museum.” Tackling serious issues such as stereotypes and racism, Perkins commented, “I’ve never been pushed so emotionally for a role.” Embodying the character Miss Roj, Perkins reflected on the role. “This character was just full of evilness and hurt and all these things and stereotypes, it was like I was speaking for a generation. It was very powerful, but it was very draining,” he said. Perkins’ talents, however, are not just limited to theater. In 2011, he landed a prestigious internship with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He expressed the
impact of the internship on his individual growth. “I thought I knew what dance was, until I took classes,” he said. He seized the opportunity to take a modern dance class with one of the directors of the company. “It was the best hour and a half of my life. I found out what sore meant.” Still pursuing his love for performance arts, Perkins is a skilled choreographer as well. Rejecting the notion of finding the perfect song, he claimed, “The song finds you. You have this vision, and then you start moving.” Although at times the process can be arduous and challenging, “You want to create something that’s going to create a story, and the moves just flow seamlessly,” he said. Listening to Perkins describe the intricate task of blending old, recycled movements with the creation of new moves allows his passion for choreography to become clear. “The song finds me. I get obsessed, and I close my eyes, and it’s like people are moving inside my head,” he said. As a member of Kaos Kids, Perkins described his love for hip hop, however he also described his admiration for the strength and flexibility of ballet and modern dance movement. “I fell in love when I took ballet and modern dance,” he said. “I felt like my body just moved so much better.” Perkins acknowledged the trepidations associated with pursuing the performing arts but urged interested students to “take every class you can, and don’t be afraid to audition and ask for help.” Having filmed the first episode of “Why Colored Men Don’t Cry,” Perkins is an embodiment of the potential for success. He is currently cre-
a kaos kid Saquan Perkins poses in the mirror.
ating a Web series titled “Life After College but Not Really,” which traces the paths and struggles of two former Brandeis students endeavoring to adjust to life post graduation while still inexplicably drawn to campus. According to Perkins, the series will likely be released at the beginning of
photo courtesy saquan perkins
November. Similar to the fictional characters of his upcoming Web series, Perkins is approaching the end of his Brandeis career and plans to attend graduate school in California. When asked to envision his future dream role, Perkins said he would like
to be in an “X-Men” film: “I just want to be a badass character with superhero powers and blow some stuff up.” Looking toward the future, Perkins said, “There’s a lot of rejection in the world, but as long as you have confidence in yourself, people will support you, and you’ll be fine.”
The Underachievers shine on new rap album By Jess Linde Staff
In 2011, Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood experienced a musical renaissance. Underground, independent hip-hop groups consisting of young and extremely talented artists released excellent debut mixtapes online, and suddenly, East Coast hip-hop returned to the popular lexicon. That isn’t to say that rappers were not recognized by their geographic origins
before this. But for me, there wasn’t much in the way of modern hip-hop that was specifically West Coast until Kendrick Lamar’s opus, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City,” or specifically East Coast before Flatbush native Joey Bada$$’s brilliant “1999” tape.“1999,” the “D.R.U.G.S.” mixtape by the Flatbush Zombies, Nyck Caution’s “The Pursuit” and my personal favorite, The Underachievers’ debut “Indigoism,” shirk today’s party-hard, club obsessions in favor of atmospheric,
the underachievers The duo released their new collection called ‘Lords of Flatbush.’
nineties-style beats and introspective lyricism. This year has seen the sophomore releases of Joey Bada$$ (July’s great “Summer Knights”), Flatbush Zombies (the upcoming “BetterOffDead”) and The Underachievers (“Lords of Flatbush”). Though a significantly shorter collection—“Lords” features only eight songs, while “Indigoism,” has 17—with “Lords,” The Underachievers cement themselves as some of the most gifted MCs of the current rap generation.
Beginning with the psychedelic, retro-synth driven “Leaving Scraps,” The Underachievers’ rappers Issa Dash and AK immediately make their intentions known—to keep smoking pot and to keep defying the establishment. “Flexin,” the next song, continues their grand entrance and features great chemistry between the two rappers as they brag about their fame and skills and shout out to the late Capital STEEZ, who passed away last year. “Cold Crush” is a slight change in
photo from internet source
pace, as it has a more social focus, but it ups the lyricism. A boast track about their beloved New York City, “Cold Crush” is also a manifesto for The Underachiever’s subversive philosophy. In this way, both “Cold Crush” and the following “Still Shining” recall the lyrical themes of “Indigoism,” including resisting institutional authority (the group’s recently released “The Proclamation” music video features Dash and AK flipping the bird to the Federal Reserve building) and promoting communal solidarity. Both songs are defiant, and lyrically heavy without club hooks or cheesy shouts in the background. Both are outstanding. With the punk-rock feel of “Lords,” and anti-authority undercurrent now in the forefront, the duo calls out aesthetic-obsessed fans and rappers in “Fellow Fans,” before once again proclaiming their individual strength powered by peace and illegal substances in the beautiful “Melody of the Free,” which also features some good life advice from Issa Dash. The final two songs, “Midnight Augusto” and “NASA,” are both very similar in that they call out “fake” people who just want fame and do not care about real music or social issues. “NASA,” which is produced by the Flatbush Zombies’ Eric Arc Elliott, hammers home this theme in particular.The Underachievers are the real deal; They’ve never faked what they care about or any other aspects of their personal philosophies, and they show this through their artistic expression. With “Lords,” they have done just that, and in spades. The mixtape is available for free on DatPiff.com.
8 The Brandeis Hoot
September 13, 2013
‘Tick, Tick … Boom!’ encourages students to question By Vinh Nguyen Staff
Most Brandeis students would be lying if they said they’ve never doubted themselves at any point during their academic journey. Questions and doubt naturally arise in the process of realizing our purposes on this campus, both during and long after college. Similarly, these themes of self-doubt and daring to live authentically were explored this past weekend in the production of the rock musical, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” Performed in Spingold’s Laurie Theater, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” is the senior project of Jackie Theoharis ’14. Presented by the Brandeis Theater Arts Department, including a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI), “Tick, Tick … Boom!” was originally written by Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Larson, perhaps better known for his Tony Award winning musical “Rent.” “Tick, Tick … Boom!” is Larson’s autobiographical story of his own struggles trying to make a name for himself in the world of theater during the 1980s and 1990s in New York City. As such, the plot and monologues— even the namesake of the main narrator—is borrowed from Larson’s own personal life. “Tick, Tick … Boom!” tells the story of “one man’s melting anxiety.” Specifically, the show follows the first-person narrative of Jon (played by professional Boston-based actor, Jared Walsh). Living in SoHo, Jon is frustrated and disillusioned by his life as a starving artist composing musical theater. With his 30th birthday approaching, Jon experiences an early midlife crisis as he begins to question his career and direction in life. Meanwhile, his relationships with both his girlfriend Susan (Jackie Theoharis ’14) and best friend Michael (Ben Oehlkers ’12) are tested as he tussles between his career and reality. Jon tries to figure out what he wants in life while confronting looming fears that hinder him from reaching his goals. From this, the show can be described as part coming-of-age and part midlife crisis story. For Theoharis ’14, the choice to produce “Tick, Tick … Boom!” as her senior project was highly personal. “I really connected with the universal themes that every actor thinks of: Why am I doing this?” Theoharis, an education and theater arts double
a faulty romance Jon ( Jared Walsh) and Susan ( Jackie Theoharis) sing about her mesmerizing ‘Green, Green Dress.’
major, said. “Rejection after rejection is extremely tough in show business, I knew the show would inspire others, and I knew that this is something I needed to do as my final hurrah at Brandeis,” Theoharis said. Theoharis, who played the role of Susan, gave a truly conceiving and lovely performance. Playing the girlfriend who is growing wary of the little-felt success of both her own career and her boyfriend Jon’s, Theoharis brought a touching vulnerability to the role. Although her singing was done well, Theoharis truly shined in her subtle and seasoned acting skills. “Tick, Tick … Boom!” can also be told as a story of conflict and pressure. This was evident in the way Theoharis beautifully portrayed Susan’s conflict between leaving or staying with Jon, against the pressure of finding success and stability in her career. Walsh was also noteworthy in the way he was able to highlight the con-
flict and anxiety experienced by Jon as he approaches his 30th birthday in the show. In addition to believable acting, the overall production of the story was high quality. The set was kept simple and often the movement on stage revolved around Jon’s piano. The bare
sing your heart out Jackie Theoharis (Susan), Jared Walsh ( Jon), and Ben Oehlkers (Michael) star in ‘Tick, Tick ... Boom!’
set helped move each scene forward and did not distract from the musical’s monologues. The musical numbers themselves were fun and whimsical. Of particular note was the song, “Come to Your Senses,” which was performed by Theoharis and was one
photos courtesy jackie theoharis
of the most poignant pieces of the production. Indeed, the musical only utilizes a small cast and simple set, but all three actors solidly carried the show with an effective realization of their characters and universal themes presented, with which anyone can empathize.
September 13, 2013
ARTS, ETC. 9
The Brandeis Hoot
WSRC exhibit explores intimacy and activism From WSRC, from page 1
Mitchell Siporin. Additionally, she attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, studied in Salzburg, Austria with Oskar Kokoschka, and received an MFA from Columbia University where she studied with Meyer Schapiro. She has since had a long exhibition career and notable commitment to activism. Co-founding the peace group Artists for Survival in 1982, Hodes helped utilize the power of art in working toward a nuclear weapons freeze. In addition to the works in “Family Matters,” the WSRC features a supplementary exhibition of artwork and archival material from her time with this organization. Hodes’ exhibition, consisting of paintings, drawings and prints, uses portraits as its primary art form. Traditionally, portraiture focuses on a person or multiple persons as its clear and defined subject. While most
paintings, drawings and prints Hodes’ exhibit has been on display since June.
people are accustomed to the historical role of portraiture in art as honorific and very clear representations of subjects, the medium has diversified heavily in the past one hundred years. This has created a level of freedom in expression that is present in “Family Matters.” In several of Hodes’ pieces, the portrait itself creates a powerful experi-
family matters The exhibit depicts generations of women in different mediums.
ence of connection and familial closeness. In portraits of Hodes’ mother, her grandmother and other relatives, this permeates through the work and captures aspects of the intimacy between the subject and the artist. One piece that demonstrates the power of this closeness is “Mother in Her Orange Robe,” 1989. An oil-on-canvas work, it depicts Hodes’ mother in the private setting of her own home, wearing clothing that one would only be seen in by a relative. The vibrant warmth of the robe’s color, contrasted against the cool blue room, heightens the warmth of the woman herself who balances carefully with a wizened and arthritic hand, but presents herself sturdily to the artist and the viewer. With a look of peace and trust on her face, she expresses a deep connection that is both recognizable and moving. In contrast, some portraits explore elements of separation—between subject and viewer, between background and foreground and in other dimensions—often heightened by the theme of aging. These particular works con-
photos by mariah beck/the hoot
vey the inherent separation that aging forges between a person’s or family’s past and present. Yet the exhibit presents a common theme of connecting to the past and the legacy and lingering permanence of one’s predecessors. This past Monday, the artist returned to the WSRC to participate in a panel discussion on “Expressive Portraiture.” Examining both Hodes’ works and the works of other artists, the panelists discussed methods and themes in portraiture as well as the art form’s place in contemporary society. The discussion opened with professor emerita Dr. Pam Allara’s remarks on the changing role of portraiture and its rebirth as a once “old and dismissed” genre, characterizing Hodes as “part of a new tradition.” She later focused on the dichotomy that exists between intimacy and otherness within portraiture, and how “Family Matters” contains such intimacy that “daughter, mother, and grandmother begin to merge,” while at times also presenting an otherness that alluded to Hodes’ mentor Kokoschka, cit-
ing his haunting “Portrait of Adolf Loos.” Dr. Holloway also focused on the idea of blurred identity, arguing that “all art is a self-portrait”; to paint someone else is to paint one’s own alter ego. Her talk included the theme of portraiture as effacement; the family or couple portrait pre-1900, in its formal and reserved nature, stripped subjects of their unique personalities. The contemporary self-portrait allows the artist to distort and even erase the self, often as a statement of activism. Hodes’ talk focused substantially on her experiences and influences as an artist as well as their connections to “Family Matters.” Of this exhibition, she gave insight into the “gestalt” idea of the relationship between subject and space and how it influenced her technique of characterizing a portrait subject through use of obscured background images. This is visible especially in “Three Generations” and in “Grandmother’s World”. She, like Dr. Holloway, also focused on the alter ego, which she described through insight into the encroaching and possessive shadow in her drawing “Metamorphosis.” The WSRC’s Kniznick Gallery, housing this exhibition, is one of the only galleries in the Northeast that houses the work of female artists exclusively. Founded in 2002 as a partner with the Feminist Art Project, a national initiative housed at Rutgers University, it aims to promote dialogue on important issues and address the ever-changing challenges relating to women and gender. The exhibition will continue through Sept. 25 with an additional event, “Artist’s Slide Talk: Art & Activism” on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.
Fall in love with ‘Limerence’ by Magee ’15 By Nate Shaffer
Special to The Hoot
“[Limerence] is the scientific word for the chemical state of your body when you’re falling in love. Ever since I heard that word, I wanted to write a song about it, and name an album after it,” said Hailey Magee ’15. This summer, she did just that. Released on Aug. 24, “Limerence” is Hailey’s second EP, a seven-song endeavor written and recorded during the past eight months. Thematically, it’s all about limerence—about that very interesting and artistically fruitful space between falling in love and hitting the ground (or in this album, the bedroom). Admittedly, I initially felt a bit girly pumping this through the stereo in my dorm room—a stark contrast from “Yeezus,” which I had been blasting prior to streaming the EP from her bandcamp. But after a minute of listening, I stopped feeling insecure about my masculinity, and let Magee’s smooth vocals and engaging lyrics take me to New York City as I traveled through the rest of this EP’s intimate, personal stories of whisky, sex on couches, letting go and falling asleep gazing at the light of a skyline. Having seen Hailey perform on campus before, I wasn’t expecting a Taylor Swift cover CD from her, but nonetheless, I was surprised at how full this EP felt. She fit a wide range of both emotions and lyrics into this EP’s modest length. It is brimming with memorable melodies, vivid lyrics and satisfyingly woven songs. It isn’t just a couple of desperate, poorly recorded, college demos; it’s a declaration of a confident and skilled singersongwriter. Magee’s canvas for this EP is a simple, traditional singer-songwriter style fabric of acoustic guitar and vocals, with just a little bit of multitracking.
Her understated guitar work and occasionally eyebrow-raising chord changes reveal an experienced musician. She is more sophisticated and nuanced than a “four-chord guitarist,” but she certainly doesn’t bash you over the head with it. As competent as the guitarwork is, “Limerence” most prominently features Magee’s voice. Her singing is irresistibly easy to listen to: always clean, gentle and full of personality. The album has the sound of live-recorded vocals; none of its character is lost through the recording. Despite how good she sounds, at times it feels like she’s still trying to find her own vocal style—or more aptly, she chose to take on the vocal aesthetic of a different pop subgenre. When she does this (namely on tracks “Heartprint” and “Never Sleeps Alone”) she loses a bit of her voice’s unique and alluring personality. It’s a bit unclear exactly what she’s going for; the changes in style are unexpected and even jarring. Yet even in those songs, her rocksolid lyrics keep the album from dragging. Her hooks and imagery are excellent, and for the most part, she doesn’t sacrifice content for catchiness, though many moments are unforgivably catchy. Sometimes, she meanders from the lyrical tightness she set us up to expect with the first song, “& Company.” Some of her choruses stray toward vagueness, but she tends to wrap them up with a memorable line that clears up the preceding lyrics. Despite how good the lyrics are, don’t get confused: This is definitely “pop” music. But its classification as such should not detract from its value. It’s always easy to listen and relate to, and her aesthetic clearly follows in the confessional ’70s folk-pop of the James Taylor and Carole King tradition. “Armistice,” “& Company” and “Limerence” do stick out as her own take
hailey magee’ 15 The album ‘Limerence’ explores love and sexuality.
on the “singer/songwriter” genre. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but they really feel like they’re songs crafted by her, for her, with her own style. They sound true to the natural character of her voice, and they’re solid, memorable songs. All the songs on her EP bring you to a time and place and, more importantly, a feeling, but these offer a bit more—and stay with you for a little longer. Despite this EP’s pop sound, Magee never quite bends to give you the cliché Top 40 genre chorus I may have been secretly dreading. The album isn’t necessarily separate from that hedonistic type of song, but she doesn’t
take as far. It’s unclear whether it’s a testament to her songwriting and penchant for skipping the predictability of four-chord pop. Above all, Magee has earnestly spilled herself into this EP. While you probably won’t stand up and dance, it’s hard not to smile and nod along to the catchy tunes and engaging storytelling. Despite its dynamic emotional range, it never expands into the realms of soul-crushing despair or mind-bending ecstasy. This is hardly a complaint: At all times, it’s easy to listen to and never drags. The EP stays in that easy-to-accept middle ground, and that’s what thematically it’s all
photo from internet source
about: the middle ground, the uncertainty of false starts accompanied by cautious optimism. Each song has a slightly different stylistic influence, but they’re all about the struggles of figuring yourself out and, as part of that, finding out who you are in the context of others. Overall, I was satisfied with this EP. There’s enough pop flair to keep the casual Top 40 listener engaged but also enough substance to warrant a thorough examination and a cheap $4 download. What it lacks in complexity or extravagance is more than made up for by the palpable sincerity on each track.
10 The Brandeis Hoot
September 13, 2013
Changes needed in urgent communications
“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”
Editor-in-Chief Emily Stott Lassor Feasley Managing Editor Victoria Aronson Managing Editor Dana Trismen Managing Editor Morgan Dashko Copy Editor Theresa Gaffney Copy Editor Suzanna Yu Copy Editor Nate Rosenbloom Photography Editor Jun Zhao Graphics Editor Katie Chin Online Editor Rachel Hirschhaut Deputy News Editor
Volume 10 • Issue 14 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma
Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman
Shota Adamia, Emily Belowich, Dani Chasin, Ben Fine, Evan Goldstein, Jaye Han, Maya Himelfarb, Brittany Joyce, Eli Kaminsky, Rebecca Leaf, Nathan Murphy Needle, Vinh Nguyen, Aliya Nealy, Alexandra Patch, Max Randhahn, Zoe Richman, Charlie Romanow, Emily Scharf, Alec Siegel, Naomi Soman, Diane Somlo, Sindhura Sonnathi, Jennifer Spencer, Matthew Tagan, Alison Thvedt, Coco Tirambulo, Yi Wang, Shreyas Warrier, Pete Wein, Linjie Xu
Mission As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.
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he administration prides itself for its ability to quickly and effectively communicate with faculty and students. Students are frequently reminded of the many channels through which administration promotes its message. These channels include snail mail, email, text alerts, and various blogs across the internet. One of the most commonly used methods of issuing administrative directives and public service announcements is email. While we have always had a large volume of emails from the university, in the past several weeks, the Brandeis student body has been bombarded with a series of alerts of questionable utility. There is undoubtedly a time and place for community wide mass communications. For example, inclement weather, schedule changes, and major administrative changes, and student health concerns can justifiably be broadcast to students. But some of the correspon-
dences students have been subject to are reiterations of common sense. These statements create the impression of a patronizing administration which is unmindful of the differing value of certain issues. Further, when mass communications are so frequently evoked for matters of limited importance, they are less likely to be taken seriously and read, in the event that their contents are of genuine concern to the student body. For example, some students were understandably concerned when Jamele Adams sent out an email warning against the potentially fatal effects of the drug Molly. The discourse contained no information which was news to a reasonably informed student and left many recipients wondering who its intended audience was. The vague email did not contain enough practical information for students. Another email alerted the student body to an incident in which a girl had been hit by an empty beverage container
as she walked down a Waltham street. A common reaction to this email was laughter, that so trivial an event would be framed in so authoritative a memo. If these communications are issued so frivolously, students may be less likely to give them attention when attention it is truly warranted. We suggest that the administration set a much higher standard of relevance and importance in its future correspondence with students. We further suggest that the university diversify its modes of communication. For example, more text alerts might more effectively convey messages of immediate relevance. Also, emails should be more concise to ensure that their message is well taken and distinguished from other mailings we receive. This will ensure that no time is wasted parsing irrelevant messages and that in the event of a true emergency, Brandeis will be able to effectively communicate.
September 13, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot 11
Edalati leads Judges against BSU with two goals as Savuto nails third shutout By Dani Chasin Staff
After recently making the Top 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for the first time in the regular season, the Brandeis women’s soccer team swept Bridgewater State with a 3-0 win on Tuesday night at home. The Judges, ranked No. 10 in the NSCAA and No. 1 in all of New England, brought their record to 4-0 with their third straight win on home turf. Two players who shined for the Judges against the Bears were junior forward Sapir Edalati ’15 and junior goalkeeper Michelle Savuto ’15. Coming off her strong performance against Lasell College where she scored two goals including the game winner in overtime, Edalati was named the UAA Women’s Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career. In Tuesday’s game, she scored another pair of goals to lead the Judges in the second half, within a 10-minute span. Savuto played a key role for her team, achieving a careerhigh nine saves for the night. “We had great team chemistry,” Edalati said of her team’s performance against the Bears. When asked how her two goals were lined up for her she said, “I got great passes from my teammates, and it was really just a
photos by karen seymour/archon
goal The women’s soccer team plays Bridgewater State University on Sept. 10.
combination of teamwork and determination to win.” While the Judges outshot the Bears 20-11 for the game, the Bears actually outshot the Judges with shots on goal by 9-7 and put Savuto under tremendous pressure, especially in the first half. The Brandeis goalkeeper had to make six saves, including a diving save off a free kick in the ninth minute and another close call in minute 29 when she came off her line near the 18-yard box and the ball got deflected by a BSU player, forcing Sa-
vuto to block it out of bounds. The first half finished with an even score of 0-0, but the Judges finally connected quickly in the second half at the 47-minute mark. A free kick by midfielder Mary Shimko ’14 off a foul drawn on the Bears sent the ball flying to the top of the goalie box where an unmarked Edalati gained possession and ripped it to the back of the net. Edalati’s next goal transfer came nearly 10 minutes later when a long service by forward Dara Spital ’15
found her feet and she sent it lofted into the back of the net, despite it deflecting off the BSU goalkeeper’s hands. The junior’s second score of the game marks Edalati’s fifth goal of the season and the fourteenth goal of her career. The third goal that secured the game for the Judges came in minute 67 when forward Melissa Darling ’16 bent the ball from the right sideline into the left side of the net. Darling’s goal signified her first of the season. While Savuto was forced to make
three more saves in the second half, she saw relatively less action than the first half where she made six. The shutout was her third of the season. Though the game was a clear victory for Brandeis, the home team had to battle in the second half after being unable to take control early on in the first half. “We had to pick it up and come up with a win in the second half. We’re number one in New England, so we didn’t want to lose that title,” said Edalati.
photos by karen seymour/archon
Men’s soccer remains undefeated
By Chantal Sochaczevski Special to The Hoot
On Tuesday afternoon, the men’s soccer team played the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Engineers. Few fans came out to support the team, as the game started shortly after the rain stopped. The 11 starting players, however, exuded confidence as they stood on the field for the National Anthem. The Judges started with the ball, and it was clear they had control from the start. They were able to dominate the field, as the Engineers did not put heavy pressure on them. While there were no goals in the first 10 minutes of play, there were saves from the goalies on both sides. Brandeis goalie Joe Graffy ’15 helped his team by being vocal. Throughout the entire game, he called out instructions to his teammates such as “watch your back” and “turn.” After the game, Coach Mike Coven mentioned that Graffy played a great game and made some “very good saves.” Approximately 20 minutes into the first half of the game, a red card was given because of a handball inside the six-yard line. An Engineers player hit the ball with his hands, blocking it from entering the net. This im-
mediately angered the WPI coaches. Their’ reactions were not surprising considering the red card authorized Brandeis a penalty kick and granted them the advantage of an extra player on the field for the rest of the game. Following the red card, Sam Ocel ’13 took the penalty kick and scored the first goal of the game. With 20 minutes and 24 seconds left in the game, WPI saw a failed opportunity to score a goal from a penalty kick because of a red card given to the Judges. The Engineers’ Chris Ciampa took a shot, but Graffy saved the goal, catching the ball on the ground and laying on his side. Although the Brandeis Judges played well for the majority of the the game, Evan Jastremski ’17, received a yellow card in the last 15 minutes of the first half. He committed a bad slide tackle. Brien Hard ’17 of WPI, received a penalty kick, but missed his chance to score. The first half ended with the Judges ahead of the Engineers by two goals. The second half was less eventful than the first. There were no cards given and only one goal scored with 4 minutes and 22 seconds left in the game by the Judges’ Matt Peabody ’13. With a score of 3-0 in the final
few minutes, it was definitely not the “nail-biting” game. The Judges displayed excellent teamwork. During the first half, there were numerous give-and-go plays, ultimately leading to the Judges’ second goal in the first half. Seventeen minutes and 53 seconds were left on the clock when theJudges took a corner kick. Two members of his team headed the ball consecutively, and Conor Lanahan ’16 then put the ball in the net. Coach Coven had a negative outlook on the game. “We did not play well at all. Obviously, you’re always happy when you win, but it was a very poor performance,” he said. “A lot of the things that we had specifically been working on in practice, the boys just sort of forgot or didn’t adhere to.” He thinks that the team can do better than they did on Tuesday. “We are a better team than them. We had an extra man, and we still gave them opportunities to possibly win the game,” he said. Coven admitted that the team still has much to work on. They cannot play like they did at this game against the UAA teams and Tufts. Coven concluded, “We have to improve as a team, or we’ll end up with a very average record.”
12 The Brandeis Hoot
September 13, 2013
The Young Grasshopper’s Guide
Breaking out of the Brandeis bubble
By Lassor Feasley Editor
I didn’t think I had it in me, I didn’t think it was even possible, but I did it. I escaped. And now I am free, never to return, never to look back. I look to the sky and I smile to the world. Morning has come and the sun rises in its infinite glory. At last, I have been delivered. I have found the promised land. I have been relieved of the scourge of campus housing. It wasn’t easy. It took patience, honor, discipline, moderation and, most of all, faith. Every step was a process, an ordeal. But I didn’t do it alone. In fact, I couldn’t have done it without a crack team of my closest confidants and savviest allies. Together we schemed and collaborated to orchestrate our great escape. Was it worth it? Is air worth breathing? Is water worth drinking? Allow me to enumerate my grievances with Brandeis housing. Freshmen are all too familiar with the cinderblock labyrinths which compose Massel and North quads. And unless you are for-
tunate enough to land a Ridgewood, your options as you advance to the upper classes are hardly more appealing. But the Soviet Bloc aesthetic is the least of my problems. More pressing is the culture that prevails in dormitory housing. As you might imagine, living in a concrete box of exactly the same dimensions as a thousand of your peers can foster a sense of insignificance and conformity. In two weeks of living off campus, I’ve realized that many of my past habits were motivated more from a desire to fit in than from my true personal preferences. I do not enjoy drinking or loud parties. I prefer patient moderation to impulsive decadence. But patience and moderation are difficult impulses to exercise when surrounded by a culture in which youthful whims are cultivated over discipline and self-respect. Bad habits are celebrated, poor tastes are embraced and wholesome values are trumped by devotion to a faddish and unsustainable lifestyles. A large part of the problem is the venues for social interaction to which students are limited. Because one can hardly entertain company in a bedroom which makes a compact car look spacious, the campus resident is confined to riotous basements when he or she seeks to meet new people in a casual, unstructured setting. While some enjoy congregating in these gesticulating masses of cheap cologne, alcohol and sweat, I prefer making eye contact and communicating with my friends in a long forgotten, archaic
photo from internet source
ritual which is commonly known as forming a relationship. Back when I lived in East, I remember the party crawl which would start every week in whispers of rumored happenings around campus and culminate in a broken up Rosie or Ridgewood party and lots of disappointment. It’s fun the first time, but the routine quickly loses its luster. Of course, no one absolutely had to attend these events, but I often felt obligated to go out, knowing that my
other option was to go it alone in a ghostly, abandoned dormitory. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m spending hundreds of dollars less on food and housing than I would pay on campus. In fact, even if I do not sublet this summer, I will be paying approximately the same for a full year of rent as two semesters on campus, despite the fact that my room is more than four times the size of a typical dorm. I’m also much closer to upper campus than Ziv, so
convenience is hardly an issue. I used to be cramped, but now I have space. I used to be lost, but I have found my way. A place where I have the independence to be alone when I need to be and the space to entertain when I want to. I wake up in the morning and step out onto my porch. I glance over the paper and eat breakfast. I breathe the fresh air and welcome the new day. This is how things should be. This is living offcampus.
First impressions from a first-year By Michael Wang Special to the Hoot
I have to say I didn’t really come to college with any concrete idea of what it ought to be. I’d overheard vague descriptions of getting drugs, venereal diseases, one hour of sleep a day and live period instrument chamber music, but I never really went out of my way to inquire, and I can’t say I ever gave much thought to what exactly I was plopping myself into for the next four years. Almost three weeks later, I still can’t say I really understand what I’m doing here—though I do feel pretty good. At the start of those weeks, however, I found myself thanking the Orientation Leaders kind enough to retrieve my stuff from my car and deposit it in my dorm. I’d just come onto campus with my family a little more than 30 minutes away from where I’ve lived since birth. No one knew me, and I certainly didn’t know them either; I was one of the 800-something first-years of the class of 2017 coming to settle the mighty halls of North and Massell quads and encroach upon the territory of a bizarre strain of semiadult that physically resembles us but no longer calls itself “teenager” (you may be one of them). With this in mind, I knocked on the door of where I planned to sleep for the next year. Shortly afterward, my new roommate opened the door and became the first acquaintance
photo from internet source
I’d have the fortune to make here at Brandeis. We agreed to have a symbiotic relationship in which I’d help him with his English, and he’d help me with my Chinese. I was also rather pleased by college orientation. Originally, I thought it’d be a standard two-hour ceremony to welcome us in before booting us off
to class, like in high school. I certainly neither anticipated such an elaborate, week-long event featuring nightly festivities or professional comedy shows, nor did I know of the existence of such a thing as a “mud party.” I have to admit that, though I was a bit unnerved by the sex presentation, I can’t deny that it made for some quality
conversation. Since that first week, I’ve bumped into a lot of weird things—things I never imagined witnessing myself. Maybe I’ve just mastered the art of college self-introduction (“My name is A. What is your name? I come from B. Where are you from, C? I’d like to study D.”), but there are still a few
things that seem to stand out particularly well. I’ve come to realize that though I’m essentially saying hello to everyone I see, I can no longer judge how old anyone is, since everyone here has (presumably) gone through puberty See IMPRESSIONS, page 14
September 13, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot
Can Obama make college affordable? By Jennifer Spencer Staff
College prices are absurdly high. Financial strain goes almost hand in hand with education, as only a very small percentage of people are unburdened by the current and continuously rising costs of college. This is nothing new, albeit cumbersome, to students who are trying to get a degree and build way for a successful future. It seems, however, that Washington, D.C., is finally making foreseeable progress in high quality, affordable learning. President Obama recently spoke to students at the University of Buffalo about a proposed plan to lower college costs. His plan includes changing the college rating system, creating competition between schools on outcomes such as affordability and success and improving programs to help students manage debt when they graduate. For the 2012-2013 academic year, Brandeis tuition cost $43,708 and since then, has increased approximately 4 percent. Like students at colleges across the country, many of us are concerned about loans, debt and financial aid. If Obama’s plan comes to action by the proposed 2015 timeline, this will be a huge benefit to our community. The first goal of the plan is to change the ranking system. U.S. News posts the infamous ranking system based on selectivity with which most people are familiar. This would remain intact, but in addition to this, a federally-backed ranking system based on value would be instituted. Such a ranking system would prompt schools not only to be more affordable, but to have the highestquality education system possible. As Obama explained, sometimes selectivity of a school goes hand in hand with price. This ranking system, how-
ever, would focus on criteria related to overall value. This lends to competition between schools, which the plan would help enable. In order to better compete on the rankings, schools would have to focus on the following criteria: How easy is it to pay off debt? How well do graduates do in the workforce? With such criteria, schools are held accountable for students’ concerns. Schools will be rewarded with more taxpayer money if they provide high quality and affordable education. Thus, innovation will also be rewarded. Obama discussed some methods that have already been implemented in different schools. For instance, schools and students can save money with methods such as online classes. There are also community colleges available that work with universities to satisfy graduation requirements so that students can finish earlier and save money. The emphasis is not on losing any quality in education, simply lowering costs. As for helping students manage debt, Obama’s plan seeks to create a campaign making more college graduates aware of the “Pay as you Earn” plan already in place. This plan is designed to decrease the financial burden for college grads, only requiring 10 percent of salary to go toward college debt. He also plans to expand eligibility to more graduates. Some are concerned with the amount Obama plans to tackle versus what will actually occur. Critics also stress that linking government to college rankings is not a good move. Such a ranking system would also be very complex to maintain and design. While I agree that it is hard to change the rankings, I think it would be invaluable to give more credit to schools that have both affordability and high quality of education. If the federal government provides more
photo from an online source
aid to schools that strive to create the highest value for students, I believe that this can only lead to positive change. The argument that linking college rankings to the federal government is not a good choice is another interesting point. I can understand why people would feel this way. However, I see the price of college as a nationwide crisis. Unless drastic federal changes are made, it is hard to imagine monumental change in the system. As much as it is nice to imagine schools themselves initiating change,
the majority of schools are willing to keep the prices as they are. People pay because they feel they have to; they feel that there’s no alternative. It’s the feeling of being trapped— you want to go to a top school and feel it’s important to your overall goals and success, but cost looms over your mind. Because college is essential to landing a good job, students are pressured to take out enormous loans or to ask their families to pay large bills to attend top schools. In an ideal world, working hard in high school and in extracurriculars
would allow one to go on to college without having to deal with the burden of finances. It is a difficult issue that has much to be addressed. I can only hope that Obama is taking initiative in designing an innovative plan. The U.S. Department of Education will play a crucial role in putting this plan into action. If universities comply, big changes could be made by 2015. Students should also take initiative in looking at all the possible financing options that may be made available to them individually, should the proposal be passed.
Does the activities fair format need reform?
photo from internet source
By Robin Briendel Special to the Hoot
It’s true: Whether you’re a first-year or a transfer student, starting college is overwhelming for anyone. Making friends, picking classes, finding your way around the campus—it’s a lot! So why does something that’s supposed to assist students in this transition,
the activities fair, add to the already heightened stress level of these incoming students? In concept, the activities fair is a great idea—an illustration of what this campus has to offer and how students can get involved. In practice, it’s a crowded ballroom (or in previous years, lawn) jam-packed with people screaming at you to come to their table, take their flyer or sign up for their
listserv. Now, I’m not going to lie, I’m a major fan of the free stuff–laundry bags, water bottles and of course, the infamous WBRS T-shirts. But as far as actual content goes, the activities fair does very little for me. Obviously, Brandeis can’t control the weather, but this year’s activities fair was hot, sweaty and overcrowded. Nothing says welcome to college like a smelly, claustrophobic ballroom
where you can’t even hear yourself think. For those of you who missed it, you spared yourself a massive headache and getting drenched in sweat. Outside, the activities fair is already a zoo, with everyone on campus in the same place at the same time, but inside it’s bound to get hot and sweaty— and fast. The heat this year was just one element of the uncomfortable situation that is the activities fair, and accompanying the heat issue was the fact that there was literally nowhere to move or breathe in the room. The activities fair did not only pose problems for the first-years and transfers, but also returning club members and upperclassmen, too. I can say for myself at least, walking around flyering and manning tables at this year’s activities fair was a miserable experience. Aside from the heat, it was very clear to me that few attendees of the fair actually cared to listen to what I had to say or read what I was giving them. I’m sure if one were to have measured the amount of paper that was thrown out and recycled on the day of the activities fair and compared it with an average day at Brandeis, they would see that the amount of paper tripled, at least. I’m all for welcoming first-years and meeting new people, but the current format of the activities fair seems to me to be inef-
ficient for all parties involved. So how can we solve these problems? Maybe, if there were separate fairs or events for each category of club/activity like religious organizations, academic groups, service groups, sports, etc., this event could be a lot less sweaty and a great deal more manageable. I’m no activities fair expert, but this certainly would have made my entry in the activities scene a lot less overwhelming. Furthermore, it would give returning members of clubs the opportunity to check out other groups on campus whom they would have missed had they been forced to man a booth or distribute flyers throughout the fair, as is current common practice. So, first-years (and transfers), now that you’ve gotten all your free stuff, seriously remove yourselves from the listservs about which you actually couldn’t care less. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Nothing is worse than spending an entire day going through emails (if you’re like me and write your email address down for everything, this happens). As we move onto the next activities fair, I hope the mess that was this year’s fair becomes a thing of the past. Speaking as someone who flyered and manned a table, I can say that I would definitely appreciate it.
The Brandeis Hoot
September 13, 2013
Are elite salaries a necessary evil of elite universities? By Naomi Soman Staff
In light of President Obama’s new plan to recommit to higher education by ranking universities according to graduation rate, tuition and student debt, is it hypocritical for President Frederick Lawrence to ask the government to lower the cost for education while simultaneously accepting a $600,000 salary? Lawrence recently claimed that a college education creates numerous opportunities for America, but Obama’s rating system may not be fair for a school with a mission statement such as Brandeis’. Though we perform well in all criteria, Brandeis has a strong focus on social justice and public service, which may not lead to high-paying professions but do provide important services to the community. The media often claims that the cost of tuition has soared, but the truth is, according to College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, the price has only risen moderately when taking inflation, scholarships and grants into account. Colleges have shifted money around, making the wealthier pay more and lower-income students pay less; just the idea that the president is making so much money, however, sends the message that he is not working in the team effort, that he does not understand the students’ financial woes. That’s like a CEO who makes millions but outsources his company to Asia where the employees make $1 a day. University presidents cannot compete at all with football coaches or CEOs of comparably sized for-profit
photo from internet source
businesses whose salaries can soar into the multi-millions. How much, though, does Lawrence actually do? The question to put forth when evaluating a cost is not the actual sum of money but rather the value of the good or service. If a pencil costs $10, it would be a ridiculous waste of money; but if a nice meal at a restaurant cost the same, it would be a great deal, not only for the quantity of the product,
but also for the quality provided. So, the question is, are we getting our money’s worth, paying $600,000 to have Lawrence here at Brandeis? The president’s job is not an average 40-hour work week, but rather a 24/7 role, answering calls in the middle of the night and traveling to meetings, conferences and events on evenings and weekends. He supervises administration and oversees the general sta-
tus of the university, not only to answer to the board of trustees, but also to promote new goals and initiatives. The president is the face of the university and the one executing the school’s mission statement, deciding to promote athletics, different programs, allocate money to environmental and sustainability concerns, expand research facilities, hire faculty, execute student services and push
campus initiatives. Beside all of these duties, Lawrence also has to find some way to pay for all of this through fundraising. Private universities do not receive the same state subsidies that public schools do, so he must meet with businesses, lawmakers and other leaders in order See RANKING, page 14
Finding a home at Brandeis
photo from internet source
IMPRESSIONS, from page 12
and is no longer physically distinguishable from one another. I’ll admit that I made the same mistake in high school here and there, but recently, I’ve found myself asking graduate students whether they’d just started college like me. But the upperclassmen have proven themselves to be extremely understanding and accommodating. It is a little funny reminding juniors that they’re in their twenties, though. The first two weeks here have been something new. I’m still getting used to things, trying new stuff and running into surprises every day. It’s not what was going on in my head—considering, again, how there was nothing in my head—but I can’t say I’m dissatisfied with what I signed up for
just a handful of months ago either. I think I like it here. The place is neat, the people are nice, the classes are good, the food is edible and I’m brushing up against more curiosities than I can count. As for the housing, my roommate and I have locked ourselves out of our room more than once, and my room is slightly smaller than a few I’ve visited, but otherwise it’s a reasonably clean, habitable residence for me to lie down in sometimes. And though I don’t particularly like arriving late to a class and having to sit on the steps to hear the professor or having to walk across the school and up a bunch of hills to get somewhere, I once heard an OL say that I’ll grow to like that, too. It’s only been two weeks, but I think I’ll enjoy my time here. Brandeis, you have left a good impression on me (so far).
photo from internet source
September 13, 2013
The Brandeis Hoot
The Lawrence factor: is he worth it? RANKING, from page 12
not only to balance a stable budget, but also to make an impact on the school. Lawrence must also maintain Brandeis’ prestigious reputation in order to push for more money. Lawrence attended Williams College for his bachelor’s degree followed by a law degree at Yale University. He then worked as a clerk and an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, followed by a teaching career at Boston University’s School of Law as well as a position as dean. He was also a professor and dean at George Washington University, leading the school’s strongest five classes through the law school history, leading five effective years of fundrais-
ing through economic recession while expanding financial aid, hiring new faculty and expanding facilities. In order to hold onto Lawrence—a scholar, published writer and attorney—they needed to offer him a high salary. By providing a lower salary, Brandeis might save a few hundred thousand dollars but simultaneously lose a million dollars in fundraising along with a successful leader who knows how to lead a school’s facilities, programs, reputation, faculty, academics, athletics, finances and more. Lawrence may cost a lot of money, but he’s worth it in the long run because his efficient administrative skills actually save Brandeis money overall and help keep this school running effectively and successfully. photos from internet source
16 The Brandeis Hoot
this week in photos
September 13, 2013
photos by calvin wang and morgan dasko/the hoot
pan-asian airlines Free food provided by culture groups on campus was available in the SCC on Thursday