VOL 7, NO. 2
JANUARY 29, 2010
B R A N D E I S U N I V E R S I T Y ' S C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R
Aronin impeachment trial awaiting UJ verdict BY NATHAN KOSKELLA Editor
Student Union Secretary Diana Aronin ’11 attempted to stave off her possible impeachment Sunday evening, defending herself before the Union Judiciary in a case that has pitted two Union organs against each other. Aronin argued she deserves to remain in office because the proposal she was supposed to have called for a vote was already Constitutionally compromised and because she believed she was following the Constitution in listening to advice from the Union president. The Senate impeached Aronin on Dec. 6 for allegedly violating “the duties set forth to her in the Constitution” when she purposefully failed to put a proposed and Senateendorsed creation of a midyear class senator position up for a vote of the student body. Aronin, as the respondent, had attempted to have the case dismissed on technicalities including a dispute over Senate meeting procedure, but the UJ opted to save the decision for the trial. The Senate’s case argues that Aronin should be removed from office for allegedly failing to follow through on her Constitutional obligations. Aronin’s case disputes that, arguing the process was already compromised because then-senator Jon Freed ‘10 who co-proposed the amendment, was no longer an undergraduate by the time the proposal was eligible for a vote, meaning he was no longer a Union consitituent. Furthermore, Aronin’s case as-
Case to be decided one judge down BY NATHAN KOSKELLA Editor
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
JUDGMENT DAY: Deena Glucksman ’11 argues against the impeachment of Union Secretary Diana Aronon ’11 in front of the Union Judiciary Sunday.
serted the proposal was not announced at the “next regularly scheduled Senate meeting” as required by the Constitution because the Senate held a meeting over the Spring 2009 semester’s finals period–something it has never done before. While the claimant Senate presented no witnesses, Deena Glucksman ’11, Aronin’s counsel, called Union Vice President Amanda Hecker ’10 to speak. In her role as president of the Senate, Hecker told the court it was “not generally” the case that Senate meetings
were held during exams, seeming to discount the Constitution’s regularity requirement. Fanning countered that argument saying that “no other business [from that meeting] had fallen under question,” and later pressed her to describe the status of Daniel Acheampong ’11, who was sworn in as Union Treasurer at the same meeting. Hecker admitted that, “Yes, the [other] business was all valid.” Aronin went before the court to speak in See IMPEACHMENT, p. 3
In an unexpected twist, the impeachment trial of Student Union Secretary Diana Aronin ’11 will be decided by four Union Judiciary justices—not five—after the resignation of former Associate Justice Leeyat B. Slyper ’11, who is currently on medical leave, according to an e-mail to The Hoot from Chief Justice Judah Marans ’11. Despite the absence of a member, the UJ will still require a majority of three votes to decide whether or not to convict, Marans wrote, noting that the justices “are not aware of any tie-breaking procedures.” The Union Constitution only requires the UJ to have “a quorum of four justices” for official court business. In the trial In re Diana Aronin, Associate Justices Neda T. Eid ‘11, Matthew Kriegsman ’11 and Justin Pierre-Louis ’10 joined Marans in hearing oral arguments and thus fit the bill. “The Court is continuing to operate smoothly, productively, and successfully with four members,” Marans wrote. “Our deliberations have been of an excellent quality.”
Stephen Kay new Police now stationed at South Street to prevent injuries Presidential Search Committee chair BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
The Presidential Search Committee will be delayed in choosing a search firm, which it was supposed to have done by the end of January, due to a change in Committee leadership. Meyer Koplow ’72 announced earlier this week he would step down as chair of the Presidential Search Committee after a member of the Brandeis faculty nominated him to become the next president of the university. Chair of the Board of Trustees Malcolm Sherman wrote in a campus-wide e-mail that Board of Trustees member Stephen Kay would be taking over as head of the committee. Kay wrote in an e-mail message to The Hoot that because of this change “I’d like to take a few days to familiarize myself with the finalists” before deciding on the firm, despite the fact that, as he wrote in the next sentence, “I have actively participated in search committee meetings.” The committee will convene shortly to select the search firm causing “no significant delay in our schedule.” “It’s a seamless transition, and my objective is to move this process along,” he wrote.
PHOTO BY PHIL SMALL--The Hoot PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
SOUTH STREET: Students wait to cross South Street on to campus, where Waltham police, along with campus security, patrol for safety reasons.
BY LEAH FINKLEMAN Staff
Following a traffic incident last semester involving a student on a bike at the South Street crosswalk near the Foster Mods and Gosman Athletic Center, Brandeis Public Safety joined with the Waltham Police Department and began a campaign to protect pedestrians.
Fear and loathing at the UJ IMPRESSIONS, page 10
The crosswalk, which has been the site of several accidents over the past few years, will now be watched by Waltham police officers who will both ticket speeding cars and remind students to push the stop-light button before crossng. “We’re educating people to make sure they’re safe,” Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said. After witnessing the incident, Mods
Brandeis’ Snow Men SCOOPS, page 20
resident Alexandra Pizzi ’10 e-mailed Callahan about her concerns for the safety of the community which uses the crosswalk to get to Gosman and the Mods. “I worry because my friends cross the street and they barely look,” Pizzi said. “Cars aren’t just going to stop, you have to be careful. It’s very dangerous if you aren’t paying attention.” See CROSSWALK p. 2
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The Hoot Report: State of the Union Poll: Should Union Secretary Diana Aronin be removed from office? Visit http://thebrandeishoot.com to vote.
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January 29, 2010
Midyears and upperclassmen share Village residence quad
PHOTO BY FIizz Ahmed/The Hoot
MIDYEARS: Class of 2013 socializes in their residence hall lounge.
BY JON OSTROWSKY Staff
The midyear class of 2013 moved into the Village Residence Quad earlier this month, making it the first time ever first-years are living in direct proximity to upperclassmen. Up until last year, the university housed midyears in dorms in the traditionally first-year North and Massell Quads. The university would choose one building a year to renovate during fall semester and to house Midyears in the spring, according to Senior Director of Community Living Jeremy Leiferman. Because the class of 2013 is approximately 100 students larger than previous firstyear classes–part of an effort by the university to increase revenue–this year North and Massell Quads were entirely filled during fall semester, leaving no room for the midyears to house with their classmates.
Instead, the majority of midyears class of 2013 live in the Village, which last semester housed students preparing to study abroad in the spring, with most midyears living in House C and a smaller group living in the adjacent House B building. That’s right next door to the upperclassmen living in the Village House A, who include transfer students and juniors who have returned from abroad with a few seniors. “We wanted to choose housing for both groups that would meet their needs,” Leiferman said. Since Brandeis’ first midyear class enrolled in 2004, Leiferman believes there has been a lot of improvement in their transition to college. “The university has gotten better at preparing them to come in. So I think we’ve learned a lot about what we can provide them before they even get here in January,” he said.
Mods crosswalk gains police attention following pedestrian accident CROSSWALK (from p. 1)
Because South Street is a municipal street and owned by the city of Waltham, not the university, it will be watched by Waltham police officers, despite being on the Brandeis campus. The officers will patrol the area, either in police cruisers, to enable ticketing or on foot, to better aid pedestrians. Pizzi said she hopes the recent changes will lead to safer conditions for the Brandeis and Waltham communities.
She also hopes to see possible permanent changes like a speed bump implemented to protect pedestrians. Times at which officers are stationed at the crosswalk vary based on weather and events, but are generally at peak rush hour in the evening. “It’s human nature to speed,” he said. “People get behind the wheel and they don’t realize they’re speeding and then they’re up to 40, 50 miles-per-hour,” he said.
Lieferman explained that unlike the students who enrolled in the fall, many midyears spent last semester studying abroad or participating in other educational programs. He said that their experiences helped them become more independent and comfortable living with older students. “They’re coming in with a completely different set of experiences that have them well prepared for college,” Leiferman said, adding, “The upper-year students that are living in the Village have been very welcoming to the midyears.” The midyear students participated in a smaller, but similar orientation program to the one the rest of the class of 2013 experienced in August. One of the main goals of this process was to allow the midyears to become more comfortable and sociable with each other before meeting the rest of the student body. “Right now, we are focused on building a community within the midyear group,”
Leiferman said. In addition, Leiferman said, he hopes to see more interaction and communication between all members of the class of 2013. “We have our little group [of friends] and we really don’t think about the fact that we’re not with the other freshman. Most of the time when you tell someone you’re a midyear, they get really excited,” midyear Emma McAfee-Hahn ’13 said. “We’re going to be dispersed among everyone else and we only get four months to live together.” So far, the upperclassmen don’t have any complaints. “It’s different. We [upperclassmen] can show them around and show them what college is all about,” Ezra Bernstein ’11 said. Next year’s housing assignments for the incoming midyears will be very similar to 2010, with the exception that sophomores, rather than juniors and seniors, will be living near them in Village House A.
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January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
UJ verdict expected Sunday IMPEACHMENT (from p. 1)
her own defense. Her response to Glucksman on why she believed putting the midyear proposal to a vote was that she had “nothing in the way of an argument for the amendment,” which the Constitution also requires. Freed, who is now a graduate, had submitted one but Aronin believed that a sponsor needed to still be an undergraduate at the university. With another argument, Aronin vouched for her continuance in office by saying that “[Union President] Andy Hogan [‘11] gives me orders and I have to listen to them.” Aronin recounted how she had gone to Hogan after Freed’s e-mails and late sponsor’s argument, the president had told her they should include the proposal in the unrelated but upcoming Constitutional Review process this spring. “I felt that if I had gone against—if I had not done what Andy [Hogan] told me to do and put it to a vote, I would be violating the Constitution,” Aronin said. Hogan was not present at the trial. Fanning fought back by pointing out that it is “not explicitly stated [in the Constitution] that Freed could not submit an argument in favor.” He argued that once it was proposed, even a sponsor (he hypothesized “Barack Obama”) could submit one, as the founding Union document only says someone must be willing to write “in favor.” The Constitution also makes no mention of the secretary being a direct subordinate to the president. “It is nowhere explicitly stated,” Fanning said, noting correctly that the positions are “independently elected.” UJ Chief Justice Judah Marans ’11, who
declined to be interviewed for this article, later questioned both parties on whether they thought their claims were “fair.” Saying that “morality is hugely related to the law,” he asked whether it was right that the Constitution does not specifically say when a “regular” Senate meeting can take place (the oral arguments went so far as to suggest that it could happen, technically, in the summer if a quorum could be gathered). Marans also asked Aronin’s team whether it was right to deprive the midyears of another term without a possible chance at representation, even if the Constitution would, again technically, allow it. The justices also had both parties answer whether they believed the letter and “spirit” of the law always, in any case, must agree. “Sometimes” sums up the answers of both counsels, knowing that the coin could hurt them both with either answer. Aronin’s only comment was that she was satisfied with the trial’s direction. “I think the trial went very well, and I’m confident the justices will make the right choice.” But she also expressed disappointment with the turn of events, saying she did not think “the case was properly researched before I was impeached.” Attendance at the event was still extremely low, despite the abandoned attempt of the Senate and its chief counsel, Ryan Fanning ’11, to have the justices invoke a section of the Constitution allowing for closure of a trial if “the presence of the public [at the trial would]…have a negative impact on the hearing.” The UJ has no more than five academic days to announce their decision, but that time does not run out until Monday morning. The decision is expected late over the weekend.
Prominent sociologist Hilary Levey speaks about competition in children
PHOTO BY Paula Hoekstra/The Hoot
PLAYING TO WIN: Sociologist Hilary Levey speaks Thursday about raising children in a competitive culture.
BY LEAH FINKELMAN Staff
Sociologist Hilary Levey spoke at Brandeis yesterday about her recent studies in adolescent competition as part of the Sociology Spring 2010 Colloquium Series. The session was entitled “Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture,” and focused on research over 16 months regarding why children have become so competitive, and why the competitiveness is beginning so young. Levey’s research began with societal influences that encouraged competition, which she defines as activities organized by adults with a selection process and rewards such as trophies. With the rise of college applications and admissions, parents feel the need to “groom their children,” or pad their children’s résumés with as many activities as possible, especially activities in which they can be the best. Levey focused on three case studies: academic (chess), artistic (dance) and athletic (soccer). She chose two groups of each, one in an urban area and one in a suburban area to get a larger range of people and be able to verify the validity of the responses, all middle to upper-middle class, and all in the Northeast. She conducted interviews with more than 150 parents, children, teachers and coaches. Most parents view these competitive activities as ways for their children to become acquainted with what it takes to survive in the real world. They can internalize the importance of winning while learning to bounce back from a loss and perform in a stressful situation. “I think it’s important for him to understand that…this is important for the rest of his life,” one father said in an interview with Levey. The second half of Levey’s presentation focused on girls in the three activities, and the social constructs of gender surround-
ing them. Levey described three different “gender scripts,” or stereotypes. The first was feminine girls, the graceful girls who were more likely to be dancers. Second was the aggressive girls, the tomboys who preferred soccer or chess. Last was the “pink girls,” the girls who were both aggressive and girly, wearing princess shirts with rhinestones and bows in their hair, but who still “kicked the boys butts,” according to one mother Levey interviewed. Levey also discussed her theory that although parents do not articulate gender differences, their children pick up on them, and have strong ideas about gender and gendered activities, such as “tomboys” versus “girly girls.” Many children have also been raised to believe that boys and girls handle winning differently. “Girls are more mature and nicer when they win,” one girl said, after losing two chess matches to a boy. Parents are paying upwards of five figures every year for these coaches and teachers to turn their children into the most successful young adults possible, but at the same time, Levey pointed out, no one is teaching these trainers how to coach 8-year-olds. She stressed the importance of remembering that the children she studied are just that– children. Most of her research subjects are younger than fifth grade and have been competing for years due to the pressures of their parents. “He doesn’t understand competition by its dictionary definition,” said one parent, “but he knows the feeling of it.” Levey received her BA in Sociology from Harvard in 2002, her Master’s in Philosphy from University of Cambridge in 2003, her Master’s in Sociology from Princeton University in 2005, and PhD in Sociology from Princeton University in 2009. The majority of her research includes childhood and family, culture, gender, and qualitative methods. Other work has examined child beautify pageants, the role of children in ethnographic research and the rise of sports injuries.
The Brandeis Hoot
Panel discusses future of conflict in Afghanistan
January 29, 2010
Brandeis Briefs Biswas participates in ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ Jeetayu Biswas ’13 won $10,000 on the hit TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” after participating in an episode in October of last year in New York. Although the episode featuring Biswas aired this past Wednesday, his experience with the show began with an audition tape last summer. “I applied over the summer, [but] I never thought I’d actually get it,” Biswas said. After he was selected for the show, Biswas went down to New York where the show was filmed with the support of his parents and two best friends. “It really hit me after the show that I was like wow, I was actually on TV,” he said. “By the time I got to the seat I was incredibly nervous.” Biswas said he was chosen for the show because producers were impressed by his audition video, which explained what he would do if he won $1,000,000. In his audition tape, Biswas said he would use the money to pay for his education and medical school and his younger sister’s education. “It was a nice 15 minutes of fame, but I don’t really think I changed too much because of it,” Biswas said. “I’m [still] the same moderately quiet guy.” -By Jon Ostrowsky, Staff
HerCampus launches Brandeis site
PHOTO BY Lien Phung/The Hoot
AFGHANISTAN: German Deputy Consul for New England Claudia Schuett discussed the fight for democracy in Afghanistan Thursday.
BY NATHAN KOSKELLA
Schuett said. As a representative of Germany, she also stressed the difference between the The American conflict in Afghanistan war in Afghanistan and past wars of received special attention Thursday at a occupation, namely Vietnam or Iraq: panel presentation delivered in the In“Since the tainted name of the [Soviet] ternational Lounge at the Usdan Student ‘Democratic Republic,’ ‘Democracy’ as Center. a term is not very popular in AfghaniSponsored by the Center for German stan,” she said, “but if you ask them if and European Studies, the panelists inthey would like a say in their taxes, if cluded both German Deputy Consul they would like to be able to remove for New England Claudia Schuett and their leaders without bloodshed, of Asbed Kotchikian, a lecturer in Bentley course they say ‘yes.’” University’s Global Studies office. AsaPasoon claimed that Afghanistan was dullah Pasoon IBS ’10 is ‘the good war”—to a Fulbright scholar from him and the rest of ‘Democracy’ as a term is not Kabul University and the Afghan people. acted as respondent and very popular in Afghani- “Both sides are personal panelist as the stan, but if you ask them upset with the rethree gave presentations would they like a say...of sults, but…before on past, present and fu9/11, Afghanistan course they say ‘yes.’ ture Afghanistan. was a place of fear,” The center’s director, he said. “It was alProf. Sabine von Mering - Claudia Schuett most not a place for (GRALL), introduced the living,”he said. event as especially relWhile challenges evant. She noted, “NATO face the West and the government—and [and other] governments are meeting people—of Afghanistan, Pasoon advonow in London” to discuss Afghanistan, cated continuing help. “The construcreferencing the London Conference on tion of roads,” he said, “health care, acAfghanistan’s future. cess to education: people are enjoying In his preview on the history of the their civil liberties again.” diverse Afghan state, Kotchikian decried Schuett’s presentation included Gerwhat he called “imported leadership” in many’s effort towards peace in the trouthe country, and said “the challenge is bled state, and showcased Germany’s not de-Talibanization of Afghanistan, contribution to a “reintegration fund” but about creating, not importing, a to “help anti-government fighters…bestate.” come reintegrated into Afghan life.” All three presenters lamented the Pasoon added, though, that to keep current state of Afghanistan, especially the progress he listed, “military might” moving the message to one where leaders was still necessary. But he also agreed recognize that “you have to win a peace, that “we need reconciliation: to rehabilinot the war,” as Schuett said. tate the moderate Taliban.” The diplomat attested that positive Schuett and von Mering invited guests change was possible, however that the to attend the German Conference at HarWest must figure out “how you can revard Feb. 19 to 20 for a local continuance sponsibly hand over…defense and secuof discussion on the topic of Afghanistan. rity to the Afghan people themselves,” Editor
HerCampus.com, an online magazine written by college women for college women launched its’ Brandeis chapter on January 26th, with Abigail Katznelson ‘11 as founder editor-in chief of the online magazine. The magazine will serve as a place for female students to write and read about everyday news and intersest stories in the “way that you would talk to your girlfriends,” Katznelson said. Currently Katznelson has a staff of ten and is growing quickly. New stories are available daily from other her campus schools and Brandeis’ appear on Tuesdays. The online magazine’s content is separated college-by-college and is updated on a daily basis. With sections concentrating on Style, Health, Love, DormLife, Career, and World, there are hundreds of articles to choose from. Her Campus was founded by Harvard undergraduates Stephanie Kaplan ’10, Windsor Hanger ’10 and Annie Wang ’11 in September 2009. There are currently eighteen college branches and the goal is to eventually expand to more than 1,000 colleges and universities. Though the Brandeis chapter was born only last week, Katznelson hopes to bring more attention to the University because “Brandeis isn’t really universally known and it’s always in the shadow of other schools so as much attention as we can bring it is great.” “We need her campus to tell [the brandeis female community] about things happening in fashion and news and health in the world because Brandeis is a bubble and students get really wrapped up in that bubble to the point where their completely disconnected from the world and so we need someone to tell us what’s going on out there,” she said. Overall Katznelson hopes to make clear through the stories written for the magazine and the publicity, that she is beginning, that Her Campus is not a “super feminist place,” but rather a place where women can share different perspectives on their world and how it affects them. By Morgand Russino, Special to The Hoot
Quiznos delivers The university’s on-site Quiznos dining location now delivers its subs, salads and other snacks around campus. The sub shop delivers lunch Monday through Thursday between 12 and 2 p.m. and students and staff alike can call and place their orders by phone. The delivery service will go to residence halls as well as academic buildings and offices. The food can be paid for similar to at The Stein, either with cash upon delivery or, with WhoCash by reading one’s ID card numbers to the Quiznos employee at the other end of the line. Director of Dining Services Mike Newark wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot that the delivery is the newest among “more options to meet demanding and tight schedules for students and university staff.” “Every year over break the dining services management team works at bringing more services and new options to the Brandeis community. This seemed like a great idea especially during the winter season when folks may not want to leave [offices],” Newmark wrote. This is the second addition to Brandeis dining over break, along with the opening of the Upstairs Cafe, located in Gluck lobby. The idea for delivery was entirely the idea of Dining Services–something unique as student involvement with dining is very common. While “the Quiznos delivery was not a specific new initiative” with the Student Union, Newmark wrote in his e-mail that “Dining Services has a very good working relationship with [the Student Union and] many new and exciting initiatives such as the Upstairs Cafe have been developed through our collaborative efforts.” Those interested in having Quiznos delivered can call 781-736-2394. By Nathan Koskella, Editor
January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
NYTimes Jerusalem bureau chief to speak on campus Tuesday BY DESTINY D. AQUINO Editor
New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner will speak at Brandeis Tuesday about the challenges he faced reporting from Israel in an event entitled “Covering the Middle East in 2010: A report from the field.” The event will be held in the International Lounge of the Usdan Student Center. Brandeis will be the first stop on Bron n e r’s sp e a k ing tour, which will continue to Vassar College, UC Santa Barbara and the American Jewish University. “You have to be aware of the anger that lies in the region and navigate your way through it safely and with a good story in hand,” Bronner said in an interview with The Hoot. Some of the differences Bronner identified between being a reporter in Israel and in any other place in the world are the dangers and the attention you face in Israel. “There’s a lot of pressure [in Israel], there’s no other place quite like it, quite
so powerful. Its not just the Jewish Americans who care, Israel is considered the birthplace for four billion people and three major religions, There’s absolutely no way to make everyone happy because everyone has a different view and they’re hoping you choose to pick theirs,” he said. “The way to address this is by first not being a fool when you are talking to political radic a l s , look at w h a t h a p pened t o Daniel Pearl, y o u have to - Ethan Bronner t h i n k about how far y ou r’re going to follow a story before it becomes dangerous but you also can’t have a strong ideology because then you’re going out [ to cover a story] and you’re constantly trying to prove what you believe, it better to approach it with a ‘what’s going to happen?’ mindset ‘ How is humanity going to fix itself today?’ and let that lead you to your writing.” Another monumental change in reporting from the Middle East is the technology, Bronner said. “In the 1980’s, when I was here, there was no pressure to report so fast. With
You have to be aware of the anger that lies in the region and navigate your way through it sagely and with a good story in hand.
the Internet, people are expecting news all the time, especially from Israel. Also, when you get it wrong or someone thinks you get it wrong there’s e-mail. There was none of that back then so the response to a piece is extremely different,” he said. “The technology of the violence has grown immensely. Youused to be able to drive into Gaza or cross the Lebanese border and take a cab back, there was no fear of suicide bombers and that fear makes a lot of things impossible.” Currently Bronner feels that the Palestinian conflict is still the most important issue facing Israel. “Israel needs to define itself, its borders, its relationships and its identity as a Jewish democracy. Yes, there’s the Iran nuclear problem but even the Defense Minister of Israel recently said that Palestine is the most important, more than all the rest, ” he said. Soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Bronner wrote an article that he feels made a huge international impact and that he is most proud of. He wrote about the American government withdrawing Full Bright scholarships to Gaza because Israel was not allowing Palestinian students to leave the area. The next day, the Attorney General at the time, Condoleezza Rice, changed the policy after reading his article. Bronner also had some advice for current students, particularly for aspiring journalists or writers, “In order to be the best, you have to read the best. Read it because its important to know what’s going on, but read it to understand why it’s the best, why it’s so compelling to the rest of the world. Instead of just noticing it made the front page figure out why,” he said. “You all should consider going abroad after gradua-
tion. Go somewhere far far away and teach English or volunteer. Experience learning in a new place–learn the culture and the people–you would be surprised how much happiness that can give you.” Bronner’s trip to Brandeis is being sponsored by the Schusterman Center for Israeli studies and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting. Director of the Schusterman Center for Israeli Studies Ilan Troen said he decided to bring Bronner to campus because of how attentive the Brandeis community is toward Israeli issues. “I have many contacts here in the states and in Israel from whom I learned that [Bronner] makes several trips a year to the States where he takes up speaking engagements before various groups, including on college campuses. Given the interest in Israel-related topics as well as the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, I thought this would be a wonderful partnership between us as hosts to a distinguished and prize-winning reporter,” Troen said. Troen said he chose Bronner in part because of his prestigious employer. “We have had other important journalists and will continue to invite them. There is, though, something particular and valuable that a New York Times correspondent in Israel brings,” he said. “That is a measure of authority and objectivity as well as the likelihood that the Jerusalem post is an important way station on a significant career.” Bronner has previously worked as a Middle East correspondent for The Boston Globe and Rueters as well as having held editorial positions at The New York Times.
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Established 2005 "To acquire wisdom, one must observe." Ariel Wittenberg Editor in Chief Alex Schneider Managing Editor Destiny D. Aquino News Editor Nathan Koskella Deputy News Editor Bret Matthew Impressions Editor Chrissy Callahan Features Editor Hannah Vickers Sports Editor Jodi Elkin Layout Editor Max Shay Photography Editor Leon Markovitz Advertising Editor Vanessa Kerr Business Editor Savannah Pearlman Copy Editor Leah Lefkowitz Layout Editor Sean Fabery Arts Etc. Editor Kayla Dos Santos Arts Etc. Editor Senior Editors Sri Kuehnlenz, Kathleen Fischmann Alison Channon, Danielle Gewurz
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CORRECTIONS Due to a reporting error, an article entitled “Academic cuts imminent pending faculty review” omitted details relating to academic cuts. PhD programs, along with Masters’ and majors are at risk of being phased out, and a committee similar to CARS but larger than CARS will be responsible for determining what will be phased out. We regret the error.
POLL OF THE WEEK
January 29, 2010
Programs need committee representation
early every college and university in America is facing a long road of tough choices at the moment. Hell: everyone around the world is coming up against hard decisions. With the recession still strangling the economy, it comes as no surprise that Brandeis is stepping up the debate over what programs are necessary, and which can be cast aside. Last week’s most recent news from the Board of Trustees that the school has run out of options means Brandeis is facing some of the hardest decisions in our history: Cutting out academic programs. As the announcement was made, a committee was formed comprised of 21 faculty members to make recommendations to the Board, on which programs can be eliminated. Nothing
will make this easy: The task before this group, concluding which programs are at the peak of excellence and should remain and which could be erased, is daunting. Needless to say we do not envy these members. Obviously, when there are 21 people on this committee, some programs and departments are not going to be represented. Still, it seems strange that the committee lacks representation from the same three departments that came under siege last semester when the Curriculum for Academic Restructuring Committee threatened to make them history. The committee contains no members associated with the Afro and African American Studies (AAAS), Classics or American Studies Departments, while three members of the English department are holding
seats. While Dean Adam Jaffe claims that no one professor is on the committee for the benefit of their own department, but rather for the benefit ofthe school as a whole, it is fair to say that at the end of the day, people will always put themselves first. If someone suggests disposing of the English Department, for example, there are at least three professors there ready to defend their right to exist. Should anyone choose to target American Studies, Classics or AAAS, however, there is no one there to can come to their defense. We don’t mean to jump the gun, or subject ourselves to conspiracy theories, but the administration is sending the message they still have yet to hear last spring’s outcry.
Crosswalk safety: Bridge the gap
raffic safety is not a joke. For this reason, The Hoot applauds the Waltham Police Department for its recent increase in surveillance of the crosswalk on South Street. The trouble is that traffic surveillance is not the answer to speeding or students crossing streets negligently. In the case of South Street, the City of Waltham ought to reduce the speed limit significantly, install speed bumps and narrow the width of the street. The reason? South Street is a long, winding road where drivers have a proclivity toward speeding: At the same time, the entire area is heavily populated, as is the case around any college campus.
These two facts create a dangerous situation. Reducing the speed limit to 15 miles per hour, installing regular speed bumps that instill caution in drivers and narrowing the street such that drivers perceive that speeding would be dangerous would all be options to make the street more safe. While these steps seem drastic, they have been proven to slow traffic, and slower traffic around a school zone is a reasonable goal. Now, The Hoot urges our own Department of Public Safety to take a second look at other critical intersections. Take, for instance, the crosswalk between the Rabb steps and the rest of campus. At times, public safety
officers will direct traffic at that intersection, but when they do not, drivers often pass through that area at high speeds without regard for pedestrians. Similarly, the crosswalk between the Shapiro Campus Center and the residences on lower campus can be a spot of confusion. Here again, changes must be implemented to see that traffic flow does not endanger students. Brandeis should install speed bumps and increase the number of stop signs on the loop road. Every crosswalk should be marked by a large ‘caution’ sign, indicating that drivers should use caution. These steps, among others, will help slow down traffic and increase crosswalk safety.
January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot 7
Responding to President Obama's State of the Union Borde-nough
We live in a spineless era: Obama fails to connect means and ends BY CHRIS BORDELON Columnist
President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Wednesday did not connect means and ends. The speech pointed to a few obvious “big and difficult challenges: ”a sluggish economy generating high unemployment, an inefficient health care system that leaves some uninsured, and a gaping annual budget deficit. Solving these problems will likely cause Americans a lot of fear and pain. American leaders will need tremendous willpower to implement needed solutions, and may lose their jobs for their efforts. Wednesday's address suggests that Obama lacks the backbone to do this. After devoting much attention during his first year in office to what he then regarded as his “most urgent task, ”that of “shoring up the same [large] banks that helped cause this crisis,” Obama now proposes to charge them “a modest fee.” But he was party to the agreement that allowed those banks to pay their executives large bonuses, and he does not propose to touch bank executives' bonuses themselves. Now, he'd like to hand $30 billion to “community banks” to encourage them to “give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat.” Given what large banks did with their government bailout money, one wonders why small ones would make better stewards of public dollars. Extra money on the bankers' books will not make poor credit risks into good ones, and only a fraction of this proposed little-bank bailout will actually reach credit-needy small businesses. Similarly, proposed tax credits and incentives for investment in small businesses will probably not rebound to the benefit of workers as much as to small businessmen, who will capture as much of this government largess for themselves as they can. New work generated by these proposals is likely to be of the least desirable sort – the kind that pays low wages and no benefits – because such jobs tend to be the sort produced by America's small businesses in our time. That might not be a problem if Obama actually were the Republican that he often sounds like, or if he did not explicitly make “jobs...our number one focus in 2010.” But his proposals don't go nearly as far as they could to put people to work. After alluding to investments in infrastructure such as interstate highways and highlighting a single railroad construction project in Tampa, Florida, funded by last year's stimulus bill, Obama said that he will focus on creating “clean-energy jobs.” There will never be as many of those to go around as there would be if the focus were on more labor-intensive but still necessary projects such as highway repair. Well-placed suppliers of high-tech, cleanenergy products will get most of the cash and employ few new workers. And the clean-energy production and distribution facilities that these public investments produce will be held privately. They will be assets paid for by many for the revenuegenerating benefit of a few. Despite his supposed focus on jobs,
Obama's health care plan figured prominently in his Wednesday speech. The president simply renewed his demand to enact his proposals. He may get his wish. But the public does not understand the true nature of his plans. In effect, he proposes to force the private insurance system to take over the cost of insuring many people who would otherwise be insured by Medicaid. This will save the government some money, just as the president claims. But he hasn't explained why regulating insurers and compelling them to cover more people wouldn't drive up costs for those already insured or prompt companies supporting employee health plans to end them. Cutting the federal budget deficit would be the most painful decision of all. That's why Obama isn't making it. As he emphasized, his massive spending has been accompanied by crowd-pleasing, Republican-esque tax cuts. His vaunted promise to “freeze government spending for three years” was easy to make because it won't happen for another year. Until then, Obama can pay for the programs described above and break no promises. Next year, we may learn that the economy didn't grow as planned, so another year of enormous deficits will be in order. Obama didn't promise to freeze all spending. As he put it, “spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will not be affected.” Unfortunately, real budgets don't work that way. A dollar spent on these programs counts the same as one spent on bailing out bankers or buying paper clips. Cutting entitlement programs is wrong– that's why they're entitlement programs. Budget balancing should mean bigger cuts in discretionary funding than Obama will propose, because entitlement programs are part of the budget and must be accounted for. Moreover, nobody entitled the military to 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. Nobody has set in stone that vast sums must be spent on homeland security. And nobody is making America conduct two foreign wars. Fearful of threats that look insubstantial next to dangers that our country has faced in the past, we put more and more of our future in hoc each year. Obama has continued the massive aggregate overspending that appeared under George W. Bush; foreign adventures are only the most objectionable component of this waste. Obama's plans for this year seem to include another massive budget deficit. Obama, as Bush did, understands that whatever a burgeoning debt portends for the future, it will make him look good here and now. Sadly, Americans know that too, but they do not undertake efforts to improve upon politics that put such weak-willed, self-centered leaders into office. The products of a country's democratic process say a lot about that country, and as we make our way through yet another term in office of a president who is more an image than a man, our democracy has spoken volumes about us. It seems to say that we are living in a spineless era.
Book of Matthew
Those who watched BY BRET MATTHEW Editor
President Obama gave his State of the Union address Wednesday night. If you didn’t know that, you might as well stop reading and go back to the rock under which you’ve been living. I hope it didn’t lose too much value in the housing collapse. Not that you would know about that either. Much has been made of the specific policy proposals and overall message of the address. Much more will continue to be made as the professional pundits get down to the business of dissecting the president’s every word. I won’t try to add much in that regard. I’m an unprofessional pundit—unlike the guys on television, I don’t get paid for this crap and in no way do I believe I should. I admit, as I sat on my threadbare Ziv couch in front of our giant television, I couldn’t help but think about all the other people who were watching. And I don’t mean my suitemates (although they were quite entertained by Vice-President Biden’s facial expressions and Senator McCain’s struggles to stay awake past what was clearly his bedtime). I was thinking about people who weren’t in the room, who weren’t anywhere near me at the time. Obama mentioned some of these people in his speech: There were the business owners in Phoenix who were able to triple their staff thanks to stimulus-fueled demand. There was the Philadelphia manufacturer who was able to add two extra shifts to his roster. There was the single mother of two who did not lose her teaching job at the local school. They watched. And then there were the people Obama did not mention: There was the Detroit autoworker who had nowhere to turn after being laid off from his old factory job. There was the uninsured cancer patient who could not afford his treatment. There was the family that found itself
forced to move out of its home because of its failure to pay the mortgage on time. They watched. But unlike the professional pundits, whose comfortable salaries allow them the luxury of waxing poetic about the speech’s deeper political implications, these people watched because their well-being is on the line. By now, they know better than to trust Congress, which spends its time in a perpetual, filibuster-induced deadlock. They see little help coming from the Supreme Court, which is more concerned with originalist readings of the Constitution than the needs of the people. The only hope they have left lies with the man they saw on the television screen—the once obscure young politician from Illinois whose eloquent speeches charmed millions into supporting his unlikely candidacy. The man who once told them that in America there is nothing false about hope. They did not watch him to see his response to Scott Brown’s election, or to see his plan for more bipartisanship in government, or even to hear his eloquent turns of phrases. They watched because they, their friends and their families needed to know that things would get better. They needed to know that this fresh, mostly untested politician, who they entrusted with the most powerful position in the world, had a plan to save this country from its numerous problems. And they needed to know that it would work. I wonder what they thought when the speech was over. Because in the end, the only thing that matters is how the government’s decisions affect them. Ordinary people, not pundits or politicians, are the building blocks of this country and the only thing that can hold it up in the most difficult times. So, as I sat in my suite’s common room listening to the president give another one of his eloquent speeches, I hoped for one thing: That his famous eloquence would translate into actual results for the Americans who need them. Nothing else matters.
The Brandeis Hoot
January 29, 2010
Chavez, Venezuela and the future of socialist government BY LEON WIEN Editor
The president of Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, has played his cards well for the past 11 years. He knows that Venezuelans tend to forget history quite fast, and even faster once the government does a “revolutionary project” here and there. The devaluation of the Bolívar (Venezuela’s currency) on Jan. 8 – which will be remembered in Venezuela’s history as the “Red Friday”– caused the Venezuelan population to lose half of its well-earned savings, and they will now have to deal with a mounting inflation (the highest in Latin America). The “strong bolívar” ended up being the “weak bolívar," making the devaluation just another lie and failure from Chávez's socalled revolutionary government. Then, while the citizen was still trying to figure out his financial life, another surprise came. Four days after the devaluation, the country was to be divided into zones: Each one would have no electricity for four hours, every two days. So if you had a store and the electricity cut was during the day on that zone, then you would have four hours less of business; and if you had a school you would teach four hours less. When would the measure begin? Tomorrow, just five days after you lost your money. No time to plan ahead of time, sorry. Can you imagine this? Oh, and don't forget to add to your visual image the picture of hundreds of Venezuelans in line in front of the electronic stores in order to get electronic appliances at the old price, before it gets adjusted… sounds like Cuba to me. But the economic measure will be helpful for the government in two ways Chávez said: It will reduce the spending and consumption (imports), and it will allow the government to squeeze more bolívares from the petrodollar revenues and continue the irresponsible spending– meanwhile,the country is literally under candle light. This irresponsible investments and spending decision will be executed near the electoral date, with the hope of erasing the chaos that is about to set in from the Venezuelan mind. I say irrespon-
sible spending, because this government only spends on populist projects, which in the majority tend to be filled with corruption and finish as failures–if they are finished. If they were finished, of course, the government revenue would be well spent and there would be no electricity outages, which are the consequence of lack of maintenance and investment. To be specific, the current energy outages investment in the Guri dam, one of the largest in the world, supplying around 70 percent of the energy in Venezuela. This dam has never been in such a critical state as it is today. It sounds logical then that the government will take the necessary difficult measures the farther they can from the electoral date, and then make a party and pretend everything is perfect when the date draws close, right? Not so easy: These measures are really a risky play for Chávez. Lack of money + inflation + energy outages = explosive 2010 equation. Nevertheless, we must not forget the factor of the naivete of millions of Venezuelans, who still believe the lies of this incredible demagogue; and the projects and propaganda near the electoral
Hoot Comic Strip Matt Kupfer / Sleazy Castle
date to create the show of “socialism of the 21st century” will only reinforce this factor. Less than one month has passed since the measure to forcefully reduce energy spending was taken. It is important to note that the government first tried to shut down every shopping mall, restaurant, bar, etc in Caracas by 9 p.m. Obviously, this measure was not liked by the public and was removed almost immediately, and then it was substituted by the “4x2” by plan. Well...not really, this measure did not last more than two days either! Chávez then said that he understood the Venezuelan people, and that was why he was firing the minister who had the idea of the “4x2.” He was saved in the short-term by cutting some heads. But what does this mean for Chávez and his supposed revolution? The government is no longer feeling all-powerful and popular, they are losing the pulse on the country, and they are beginning to see distrust within their own. True, this is not the first time the government promises to do something only to back off soon after; but it is the first time it will have future consequences. Fear of the people is preventing Chávez
from playing his cards “rationally.” If energy consumption is not reduced, then Chávez will not lose popularity in the short-term. But it is very possible that this will create a huge energy shortage in the coming months, and that will change the entire game. Whichever option the government decides to take, it seems like there will be more cons than pros. The universe has left the “socialism of the 21st century” in check. Chávez can go tell someone else that the devaluation of the currency is to motivate the domestic industry and exports, because it was only last year that he was speaking proudly about how the strong bolívar was not affected by the crisis because this was a strong revolution, a strong economy…who’s talking now? So, there are two options for this year: 1) Maybe I am wrong; they say that in Venezuela all the economists have gone bankrupt because it is a sui generis case. That is, no matter what socialism, shortages, rain or storm, the people always seem to find new ways to take advantage of the situation and carry on. People will make jokes about the inefficiency of the government and the
problems affecting the country and pretend the situation is not so desperate. So who knows? Maybe even after 11 years of a corrupt and inefficient government, Chávez will still be able to blame all his troubles on imperialism and capitalism, and blame the energy shortages on El Niño… many will still believe, many will still not care and others will prefer to laugh. 2) Maybe, just maybe, something may actually happen this year, like the coup d'etat Newsweek predicted at the end of last year. Students are protesting at all the baseball championship series matches being played right now "1 2 3, Chávez you struck out" referring to the insecurity, inflation and energy shortages. Shouts are not the only thing happening, peaceful protest and manifestations all over the country are taking place by the student movement as well. And the prime minister (who is also the minister of defense), together with his wife (environment minister), and the president of the bank of Venezuela have quit their jobs... are they trying to save their necks before the ship sinks? Only time will tell.
January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
The Self Shelf
Obama's ‘failures’ A sensible view of government BY ALEX SELF Columnist
You may not have noticed, but on Monday, the Senate shot down a proposed federal budget deficit committee. The committee had been championed by President Obama and a few even-minded Senators. One might be tempted to label the largely unreported vote as simply another defeat for an increasingly unpopular president. However, upon closer inspection, one has to ponder why the senate would take such action. The president lent his support to this committee whose duty would’ve been to try to trim the ever-increasing federal budget. Apparently the Senate shot it down because it feared the commission might cut Medicare or Social Security. What's amusing is some of the same senators who voted against this bill had argued so vociferously against the budget deficits incurred by the new president. I guess that even prudence has its correct political timing. Nonetheless, this incident, in addition to others that have added up throughout the year, have led me to conclude President Obama is getting a pretty bad rap. People are bashing the president for doing nothing, doing too much, even for being bashed too much. These complaints and criticisms have risen to a level of hysteria usually reserved for propaganda campaigns–I recently read an article blaming the situation in Haiti on Obama. Many of President Obama’s supposed shortcomings are either over-exaggerated or can be blamed somewhat if not entirely on Congress. In fact, Congress has been the single most inhibiting factor for this country in the past year. Let’s take a look at President Obama’s failures as the media has reported them. First and foremost is the massive health care bill which is now hanging onto legislative life more precariously than Harry Reid. In truth, this error is probably the most damning for Obama. He threw all of his political weight behind the bill. Unfortunately, during this time, he sent a lot of mixed signals that simply confused the media and general population alike. However, it was the squabbling of Congress and the Democrats’ failure to utilize its 60-vote supermajority that spelled doom for the bill. We have to remember that until a week ago, the health care bill was progressing decently. Only now that the Democrats have lost their supermajority do we call this bill a failure. It seems ridiculous that even with a supermajority and a friendly president, the Democratic party leadership couldn’t get a passing bill together. Scott Brown was the inevitable child of a newly energized Republican party (united in opposition against the bill) and a fragmented,
dispirited Democratic party. The blame for this one most certainly goes more to Congress' its inability to utilize a supermajority. The second major “failure” of the year for the president was the economy. Here, however, one has to take notice of the myriad economists who are begging for a new stimulus. Apparently, the fault with the stimulus bill was not a lack of good usage but instead a lack of funds. Perhaps President Obama should’ve pushed for a more substantive stimulus bill. However, anyone who remembers the Congressional battle over the bill will not hesitate to point out why he did not. Getting Congress to pass a stimulus bill was like getting Mark McGwire to admit to steroid use—long, miserable, and ultimately unsatisfying. Unfortunately, the economy’s stagnation, unfairly or not, will be the president’s cross to bear until the Great Recession draws to a close. Finally, having dealt with social and economic perspectives, we have the military avenue. Interestingly enough, I don’t hear many critiques of President Obama on this front. He sent reinforcements to Afghanistan and ramped up a controversial war. Despite this momentous act, this has been overshadowed by the larger albatrosses mentioned previously. I guess you could call that a victory of sorts for the beleaguered president. I have neither the time nor the patience to deal with the other myriad issues of the President’s first year. I honestly have no idea what he plans to do with Guantanamo, nor if he has any intention to encourage punitive measures against the banks. But for all of the people who have pronounce him politically dead, President Obama had a decent year in office. He may have been somewhat culpable for the health care bill’s failure but certainly to a lesser degree than Congress. The future of health care remains to be seen as the current system is unsustainable (something the pundits routinely forget to mention). In terms of the economy, the president really did as much as he could in such a hostile political climate. If the augers are correct and the economy is actually starting to turn around, perhaps he’ll one day see the fruits of his political labors. And as for military, well I’ve yet to see many people attack his decisions and thus see no basis to do so. Finally, the budget deficit commission is exemplary of the political backwardness with which President Obama has to contend with. Honestly, it seems like the guy just can’t win. I’m not saying his year was exemplary by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it’s a little premature to talk about his presidency as a failure.
BY RICK ALTERBAUM Special to The Hoot
In response to inflation and the economic ills of the time, Ronald Reagan declared, in his first inaugural address, that “government is the problem...not the solution.” Twenty-eight years later, many people considered the election of Barack Obama a repudiation of this core tenet of modern conservative dogma. Unfortunately, a year into his presidency, with much of the public still viewing the expansion of government in deeply negative terms, Obama failed to prove Reagan's 1981 statement false. Personally, I find this phenomenon troubling because Reagan’s message, which has been continually repeated by a conservative echo chamber, has distorted the public view of the purpose and fundamental nature of government as an institution. While we may live in a center-right-country, the Democrats should continue to work to reverse this trend instead of accepting it as the truth. I reject the logic behind the stigmatization of government. There is a common misconception that government is incompatible with core values that are embedded within our national character and ethos, including individualism and freedom of choice. An oftenheard conservative talking point is that we essentially do not need government intruding on our liberty and that regulations and
other manifestations of authority are barriers to us being able to do what we want in life. This may be the case in a society under totalitarian rule, but our government, though imperfect, is inherently well-intentioned as the product of checks and balances and democratically elected officials. Simply acknowledging this basic constitutional framework, why should we fear the laws and policies that our leaders produce? Today, liberalism, in its modern political context, is a muchmaligned term. Indeed, the simple rationalist approach, of identifying and solving problems, is countered by panic and hysteria. Listening to the Republicans and members of the Tea Party movement, it would seem as if the phrase, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” is a sinister one. This sentiment is based on no solid precedent or foundation. What resulted from the oh-sodreaded New Deal and Great Society, those supposedly grotesque excesses of liberalism? Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, among other pieces of legislation that helped combat poverty, preserve the environment, provide housing and education, and create a social safety net for anyone who fell into it. The reason past efforts to cut the size of government have failed—even Reagan himself was by and large unsuccessful—is because people are so dependent on
government, the laws it enforces and the programs it implements. Acknowledging this, we should not fear current efforts at healthcare reform, cap-and-trade and financial regulation, among other initiatives, because they expand government. Instead, we should objectively analyze these proposals based on their strengths and weaknesses. In the case of health care for instance, some on the far right would rather preserve the status quo of 50 million uninsured and rapidly escalating costs rather than have any growth in the size and scope of government because of the Manichean view that this institution is essentially evil. I have enough faith to know that no democratic administration composed of rational voteseeking elected officials would purposely produce policies that fit this warped conception of reality. I don’t advocate for a huge radical takeover of the private sector by the public sector, or anything even remotely bordering on that. In fact, I’m not even backing any policy change here. What I do want is to replace the misguided fear and apprehension towards government with a more mature, nuanced view. This anxiety that plagues our current discourse is unnecessary and uncalled for. Let’s forget the Reagan Revolution and usher in the Sensible Revolution.
Apple launches iPad: Expect issues BY GORDY STILLMAN Special to The Hoot
After much speculation and rumors, Apple Inc has finally unveiled a tablet device. I say device because it’s less than a computer, but more than Amazon's Kindle. Under the expected rush of people to buy it I urge all Brandeis students to not rush to use their college discount and buy one right away. Remember the iPhone? Within a few months the four-gig was gone and replaced by a newer, cheaper eight-gig. The same will happen here. Not to mention that first iterations are
one thing, beta versions. Apple tends to use the first edition of a product as a beta to determine what to change, look at the original iPod–only with the second edition does it begin to look like a current model, and barely even that. If you are truly a magpie and simply must buy Apple’s newest shiny offering then go ahead, just remember that in six to ten months your version will be replaced by something with better performance, less glitches and technical issues and perhaps most importantly for a college student,
a cheaper price. The best thing Apple has done so far with their newest product is developing hype. Apple has until this week done a great job of regularly keeping rumors fueling the fire so that by announcementmorning it was all the buzz on tech blogs before even being announced. In typical Apple fashion, you can buy external accessories that make it into a netbook of sorts, but it is still much more expensive for less power compared to many Windows based netbooks.
The Brandeis Hoot
January 29, 2010
Fear and Loathing at the UJ BY ADAM HUGHES Staff
Editor's Note: The following piece is factually embellished and contains multiple incidents that did not actually occur. “Hurry up, Bret,” I said. I was getting impatient. “Hold your horses,” he replied, carefully studying the shot glass in his hand. “I've got work to do later, and I can't go overboard.” “F*ck you and your f*cking limits.” I had already gotten a head start on the day's festivities, and this came out a bit louder and angrier than I had intended it to. Nevertheless, it seemed to press the right button. Bret smiled, nodded his head, and gave up trying to measure out his share of whiskey. He picked up the handle of Jack and poured it liberally into the half-filled Coke bottle before him. “Okay, I'm ready.” “Hold on,” I said, as Bret got up to head for the door. He turned to see me filling the shot glasses. “One for the road.” * * * Of the many facets of our Student Union government, none strike me as more ridiculous than the Union Judiciary. This isn't because of its members; I know them to be good, friendly people, and you couldn't find anyone who would take his job more seriously and with greater passion than Chief Justice Judah Marans. However, the mere fact that small disagreements in our tiny, closeknit community can get so out of hand that we need a formal trial procedure of several hours to settle them strikes me as an inherent flaw in our system. Can't we just sit people down and talk things out like mature adults? It's been my experience that the biggest effect of any Judiciary trial, be it about Union elections or Bill Ayers, is to make all those involved look like pompous fools. The most recent trial, involving the removal of Union Secretary Diana Aronin from office, is no exception. On one side, the Union Senate now looks petty and vindictive for pursuing their complaint to such a great degree. On the other, Diana has to face a great deal of embarrassment and finger pointing for what amounted to a very minor mistake. You don't have to take my word for it; just read the comments on the Web site of the, ahem, other Brandeis newspaper to see this all played out. Meanwhile, the crux of the entire debate, midyear representation in the Senate, has proven to be a complete non-issue. The Union can't even get someone to sign up to represent the quad the midyears live in. It was clear that this trial was going to be a theater of the absurd. So my friend Bret and I decided to approach it the only way we possibly could. * * * “So, the rules are simple,” I said as we walked to the courtroom in Lemberg. “Anytime that anyone, be they counsels, witnesses, or justices, says something you disagree with, you have to take a drink.” “This could be a long day,” Bret responded. “Imagine listening to it sober.” We entered the room as Ryan Fanning, representing the Union Senate, was making his opening statement. His argument appeared to be nice and constitutional, focusing on Article XII, Section 5, which
requires a vote on an amendment referendum within fifteen days of its submission. It's pretty dry stuff, but I guess I was with him so far. At some point, however, he mentioned something about potentially important consequences of Diana's failure to act. This gave me the foothold I needed, and I took my first swig of the trial. Diana's defense was centered on several points. I wasn't sure how I felt about the idea that the finals period isn't part of the actual semester, thereby invalidating the proposed amendment, but I figured it wasn't worth getting worked up about. B u t when couns e l Deen a
Glucksman insisted that the real responsibility was on Union President Andy Hogan's head for advising Diana not to put the amendment to a vote yet, I had to shake my head. “Come on, let's take some personal responsibility here,” I thought. Andy's a good friend of mine, so I silently toasted him as I took another drink. * * * The trial dragged on, and Bret and I got more and more tipsy. “This is just crazy,” I whispered to him as the two counsels started debating
some o b scure point. “Yeah,” he remarked. “It's almost as bad as the trial you were in.” “Oh please. That was completely different.” “Really?” Bret looked at me with obvious skepticism. “Yeah, that was actually important.” “Sorry Adam, but rules are rules,” he announced before taking a big sip from his bottle. I stifled a laugh. Of course he was right, and I must have been more drunk than I thought to try to protest that. I decided that disagreeing with yourself called for a two sip penalty, and I raised my bottle to my lips. * * * I was not involved in Union politics at all until the end of my first year. I had a vague understanding of what was go-
ing on, but I mostly considered the whole thing a self-important put-on. That changed at the end of the spring 2008 semester, when Noam Shuster, a friend of mine, ran a write-in campaign for the Senator-at-Large position. My friend and I decided to help her campaign by urging people to vote for her on our blog. This seems harmless enough, but in our posts, we said some really nasty things about the incumbent senators, Andrew Brooks and Justin Sulsky. Suddenly, hundreds of people were reading what we were writing, and the rhetoric among each candidate's supporters was getting angry and a c c us ato ry. Somehow, the election b e came a battle-
have Noam didate because of the l i -
ground f o r d e e p seated campus divisions over the IsraeliPa l e s t i n i a n conflict and the proper role that support for Israel played on campus and in the Student Union. After Noam won, Andrew sued then-Union Secretary Nelson Rutrick, saying that he should disqualified as a can-
ILLUSTRATION by Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot
belous statements that came from her campaign, some of those being the statements that I had written. Nelson asked me to be one of his counsels at the trial, and I ended up being called as a witness as well. The Union Judiciary decided for us unanimously, and Noam took her seat. I still think it was right to support my candidate and my friend, and I know we never actually libeled anyone. But one thing I know for certain is that it was completely wrong of me to use such harsh language against people I had never met and to turn something as minor as a Senate election into a campuswide controversy. I have apologized to Andrew and Justin before in person, but never yet in a public forum like the one I used to attack them.
Andrew and Justin, I'm sorry that I called you both “backwards reactionaries.” I'm sorry that I called you “horrible” campus representatives. Andrew, I'm sorry that I said you don't have “any respect for the democratic process.” I was younger then, and I like to think I know better now. I'm very grateful that I got the chance to work with you both on the Senate the next year and mend fences, and I wish you both all the best in your postBrandeis lives. To the entire Brandeis community, I'm sorry that I acted like petty disagreements on Union issues were more important that the personal respect that everyone on this campus is owed. Leaving this university for a year taught me how much I appreciate it, and I feel that this entire experience has given me a much better perspective on how to pick and fight my battles in the future. * * * “Guys, can you please leave the room if you want to talk like that?” Oops. Bret and I had gotten too loud while discussing the trial, and Judah Marans had to scold us again. I would feel bad about this later, but at the time, such higher brain functions were completely beyond my capabilities. I stumbled out a quick apology, and Bret started laughing. Judah was irritated. “Come on you guys, this isn't some kind of joke. We're talking about really important stuff right now.” I couldn't stand it any longer. I jumped out of my chair, shouting, “Important stuff? Sorry, Judah, but rules are rules.” I drained the contents of my bottle and threw it at the trashcan, missing by a good three feet. “Thanks for the show, everyone,” I called as I walked out of the room, with Bret following behind and the entire room staring after us like we were crazy. We ran laughing all the way back to Bret's Ziv suite, then listened to the Rolling Stones until we sobered up. Then I went back to my room, wrote all this down, sent it to The Hoot for publication, and collapsed into bed. * * * “Open up right now!” I awoke early the next morning to someone pounding outside my room, each knock sending a wave of pain through my head. “Coming,” I called as I struggled to find my bearings. I opened the door, and Hoot editor Ariel Wittenberg came into the room. “Adam, are you insane?” “Wha...?” “We can't publish what you wrote.” “Why not?” Shifting gears, she asked, “Are you serious? Were you really drinking at the UJ trial?” “No comment,” I responded. “Did you really get thrown out?” “Well, not exactly. I may have stretched the truth about one or two things. There's a point to it all though.” “This isn't journalism. This is crap. You're not freaking Hunter S. Thompson.” “I know,” I admitted. “Listen. If you're going to write for The Hoot, you have to take it at least a little seriously.” “Sorry Ariel, but rules are rules,” I replied, as I reached for the bottle of Jack on my desk.
January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot 11
‘Cheers, mate!’: Where nobody knows your name BY KAYLA DOS SANTOS Editor
When I returned from my semester abroad in London, some of my friends were disappointed that I didn’t turn into a British person, or, at the very least, have a swanky accent. But—though it may seem counter-intuitive—if anything my stay in London made me more of an American. Faced with cultural differences, especially in the form of social interactions, I found myself comparing what I witnessed abroad to what I practiced at home. In doing so, I learned more about the society in which I grew up. Before going abroad, I was never very conscious of my identity as an American. While I identified myself as a United States citizen, I never had to put into words what that meant. In London, all that changed. Living in a flat (yes, I do say flat) with six British students, I quickly became the “American girl.” They were intensely curious about everything that they considered American and peppered me with questions that varied from what I thought of Obama, to why obesity is such a problem,
to even why students at our college parties always drink beer in red plastic cups, all of which shed light on how the United States is perceived by our allies. It was a strange image of Americans being perpetrated overseas. The first culture clash was the most obvious one. We spoke with different accents, and used different slang terms. I learned from my flat-mates to say “cheers,” a phrase that suits seemingly every occasion, and they pointed out whenever I said “awesome”—an apparently uniquely American term. Yet, the most significant difference I came across didn’t have to do with slang terms or accents, but rather with how we conduct ourselves in social interactions. In Britain, you don’t just approach a stranger and introduce yourself; they’ll think you’re a loon. In Britain, there has to be a genuine reason for conversing. This inability to reach out to others goes to extremes. One local I talked to described how her Irish fiancé was fed-up with Britons for what he perceived to be their coldness. So, one day, while riding the subway, he saw an old couple
running to the door, trying to make the train before it left the station. No one attempted to assist them. When it became increasingly clear that they were not going to make it, the fiancé sprung up out of his seat, ran to stick a hand out the door to stop it from closing, and, unfortunately, ended up smacking the woman’s face and knocking her back from the door. No one on the train said anything. Can you imagine what would have happened if something similar occurred on the Boston subway? My friend went further to explain she believes Britons have
ILLUSTRATION BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot
trouble reaching out to others, even when it comes to offering simple assistance because their darkest nightmare is being embarrassed. And so they will do anything to avoid it. But thankfully for me, when you do get past that barrier, you’ll never find friends more loyal or true. In the States, we don’t require a reason to make friends or act
Chabon no ‘amateur’ BY SEAN FABERY Editor
ILLUSTRATION BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot
Drowning in ‘The Deep End’ BY SRI KUEHNLENZ Editor
It’s hard to tell what inspired ABC’s decision to produce and air the new legal drama, “The Deep End,” which premiered Thursday night. Perhaps the corporate execs figured that, with their success with “Grey’s Anatomy,” focusing on another profession would be just as profitable. Whatever the reason for green-lighting this project, I doubt it’s because they found the pilot to be compelling. Set within a big law firm in Los Angeles, the show focuses on a group of four first-year associates, fresh from some of the best law schools in the world. Within this quartet, you have all the makings of any good TV drama aimed at the 18-to-49-year-old demographic. There is Dylan Hewitt, a charming idealist out to ensure that justice is served, played by the equally fresh-faced actor Matt Long. His office-mate is Liam Priory (Ben Lawson), who, though not quite as naïve-looking as Dylan, has a weakness for women. The two female associates are Addy Fisher (Tina Majorino), a weak-chinned pushover, and Beth
friendly, but that has a downside as well and can result in empty friendships founded on very little. Americans and Britons have different, clashing ways of communicating and forming friendships, but who’s to say which approach is better? Maybe by recognizing different approaches, we can know ourselves and our society better, and identify the areas where we need to grow and change.
Branford (Leah Pipes), who is essentially everything Addy is not. In the pilot episode, these four young associates are faced with the problems typical of one’s first job: an overbearing boss, a lack of respect from superiors and a crisis of values. While the show attempts to reach its audience by presenting them with easy-to-relate-to dilemmas, it fails to convince viewers that it has anything special to offer, other than a confirmation that their trials and tribulations are universal. If this show has any chance of surviving, it lies in the drama within the inner circle of senior partners. The so-called “Prince of Darkness” and managing partner of the firm is Cliff Huddle, played by Billy Zane (who co-starred in “Titanic” as the leading lady’s equally malicious fiancé). Despite his ruthlessness and seemingly merciless adultery, among other character flaws, Cliff is surprisingly likeable. It’s not that his problems aren’t relatable either; in the first episode, he engages in a power struggle with a returning managing partner to maintain his position
as top dog at the firm. It’s here that the show may be able to strike a balance between relating to the audience and giving it the juicy, uncommon drama for which it turns to television. Cliff ’s wife and fellow senior partner, Susan Oppenheim (Nicole Ari Parker), is essentially a female version of her husband, with an added dash of compassion. She too is greatly more interesting than the bland first-year associates. After all, why would she marry the “Prince of Darkness?” However, one thing the pilot was lacking was any substantial and interesting legal cases. Even the cases that were featured were dull by the standards of primetime television. “Grey’s Anatomy” has more to do with medicine than “The Deep End” has to do with law, which, these days, isn’t saying much. While there is a certain amount of exposition that has to occupy any pilot episode, “The Deep End” fails to give viewers any reason to believe that it will go on to bigger and better (and more exciting) things in the next episode. Needless to say, there is no hung jury here—I will not be watching.
As someone who is neither a husband nor a father (I hope), it may seem puzzling that I would choose to read Michael Chabon’s “Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures of a Husband, Father, and Son,” a collection of 39 essays that, as the title implies, focuses primarily on marriage and children. I’m simply not in that demographic yet. Well, there is at least one great reason for picking up this book, and his name is Michael Chabon. Best known for acclaimed novels like “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” and “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union,” he is, to put it simply, a great writer, perhaps one of the best prose stylists writing today. What sealed the deal for me personally, though, was the moment in which I first cracked open the book and came across a lovely passage that declared, “we have plenty of children to go around… and as with Doritos, we can always make more.” It was love at first glance. In complete seriousness, though, Chabon manages to submerse you in his writing, aided in part by the way he delicately balances the serious along with the comedic. On one hand, he speaks at length about the nature of the male purse, also known as the “murse.” The “murse” is a difficult beast, as it must afford plenty of room for various items without veering too much into traditional purse territory. A few essays before he launches into this analysis of the murse, however, he discusses at length the great remorse he felt for letting down his former father-in-law, a stoic but
kind man with whom he formed a strong father-son bond until his first marriage crumbled. Chabon writes in such a way that you come to feel like you know him personally or, at the very least, have been allowed into his confidence. Instead of reading like a series of unrelated essays, they come together to form a kind of unique, focused memoir, illuminating all the disparate elements of his life bit by bit—from
PHOTO FROM Internet Source
his childhood to his raising of four children of his own. But, unlike your typical memoir, he doesn’t succumb to the urge to engage in self-aggrandizement, choosing to be painfully honest about many aspects of his life even when it isn’t completely flattering. Additionally, the essay format allows him to move from one interesting, transformative anecdote to another, cutting the fat that can plague genuine autobiographical writing. The topic he perhaps approach See MANHOOD, p. 14
12 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
January 29, 2010
Of fists and fist pumps BY ALISON CHANNON Editor
MTV’s “Jersey Shore” has come and gone, and it was undoubtedly a goldmine. Before the season was even halfway over, the cast members were making appearances with Jay Leno, getting paid upwards of $5,000 to make club and bar appearances and receiving condemnation from commercial sponsors and government officials alike. They even graced the pages of tabloids and filmed promo spots with Michael Cera, the king of skinny white boys everywhere. But I’m not really concerned with how much bank these young people will make in 2010, or how many reality spin-offs they’ll be offered. The drinking, smoking, tanning and high-decibel house music will catch up with them soon enough. And when it does, they can all make a go of it on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” No, I’m concerned with the violence regularly depicted on the show. Those of us who didn’t travel overseas or cloister ourselves in a mountain resort this winter break are likely familiar with the now infamous punch Nicole, aka Snooki, received at a cheesy bar over some cheesy shots in episode four. Much to everyone’s horror, a “grown man” hit the tiniest girl with the biggest hair I’ve ever seen, square in the jaw. It was not pretty. Before the episode aired, the punch clip circulated on the internet and a repeated GIF of it was even made. People were angry, offended, horrified, etc. and the outpour of sentiment caused MTV to pull the clip from the air.
BY CHRISSY CALLAHAN Editor
In the film “Extraordinary Measures,” an ill eight-year-old, Megan Crowley (Meredith Droeger), has one request for a medicine that could very well save her life—it needs to be pink. But the medicine can’t be just any pink; it has to be dark pink because, as she maturely assesses, light pink is for babies. Like many other girls her age, Megan has an affinity for the color pink and squishy stuffed animal penguins. But Megan really isn’t all that similar to other girls her age. In fact, in many ways, she’s anything but normal. She functions with the help of a motorized wheelchair, needs nearconstant medical attention and considers her wheelchair races to be the best part of physical education class. Like her six-year-old brother Patrick, Megan has Pompe disease, a neuromuscular disorder known for its enzyme deficiency and resemblance to muscular dystrophy. Due to respiratory issues, many patients like Megan and Patrick use breathing tubes and suffer from symptoms simi-
Instead, the screen went black for the infamous punch and at the end of the episode, MTV posted a public service announcement of sorts about violence against women and offered a link to a domestic violence website. That everyone was disgusted by this drunk’s behavior is right. Attacking someone over something as stupid as cheap booze is despicable. Violence should be deplored in all contexts. But on “Jersey Shore,” not so much. The housemates were not content to turn over the perpetrator to law enforcement—they wanted to beat him up in retribution. Somehow answering male-on-female violence with male-on-male violence would avenge Snooki’s bruised and swollen face and set right the assumptions made about men and women that the puncher’s actions disrupted. Maybe this works for the cast of “Jersey Shore,” but we’re still left with the problem of the social acceptability of certain forms of violence. Unlike it’s other reality shows, like “The Real World,” where if a cast member gets into fisticuffs, they are given the boot, “Jersey Shore,” for some reason does not have the same standards. Case in point: in the very next episode, Jenni aka J-Woww starts her own fight when a female club patron calls Snooki fat. Snooki, the victim of a bar brawl just the night before, tells the camera that she wanted in on this fight, and later, when she and J-Woww are in the confessional together, they retell the story of the fight with laughs and smiles. Clearly, for these two women, fighting itself is not a problem. Pending certain
JERSEY BOYS: The cast of “Jersey Shore” displays a questionable attitude towards violence.
contingencies, fighting is actually fun and funny. The difference for these two young women is clear—two women can fight each other but a man cannot fight a woman. They’re half right. It is wrong for a man to hit a woman, and given the pervasive problem of domestic and sexual violence against women, any hostile act by a man against a woman takes on added meaning. That acknowledged, it’s also wrong for any human being to hit another human being, regardless of the demographic characteristics of the parties involved. No one was hurt in the fights between J-Woww and the namecallers in the bar or Snooki and the young (and very misguided) women Mike aka The Situation
ILLUSTRATION BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot
brought home, but in the final fight of the season, Ronnie managed to do some serious damage. In this incident, the cast was being taunted as they were walking home from a club. The jeering proved too much for Ronnie, and for the second time in the series, he threw a punch. And this time, he knocked out his opponent— cold. Shortly thereafter, he was apprehended by the police and was rightly thrown in jail for the evening. And yet, no one seemed terribly upset by Ronnie’s actions, least of all Ronnie himself. Upon his release, he told the cameras that he did not regret his violence. He only regretted being caught. And The Situation, with his characteristic smirk, told the camera,
“that’s what you get for talking shit.” This attitude is not acceptable. Much has been written on the culture of male violence wherein young men are raised to believe that violence makes and maintains the man and “Jersey Shore” offers us a concrete example of the damage this belief causes. If MTV is so concerned with being socially responsible, as they attempted to be in the case of the Snooki punch, they should put an announcement at the end of every episode decrying bar fights, boardwalk fights and balcony fights. Violence doesn’t suddenly become acceptable because it’s between members of the same sex or individuals with similar muscle mass.
chronicles John Crowley’s (Brendan Fraser) quest to find a lasting treatment or cure for Pompe disease. The real story took place in Cambridge, Mass., over a decade ago, and resulted in the creation of Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, a company eventually bought up by Cambridge’s PHOTO FROM Internet Source Genzyme MEDICAL MIRACLE WORKERS: Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford partner up to save the lives of young Corporation. children in “Extraordinary Measures.” The scenes lar to those of muscular degenera- a simply depressing story. In fact, between John and Aileen Crowley tion. Megan’s innocent request that her (Keri Russell) and several doctors In spite of her medical ailments, medicine be pink sets the tone for reveal that the life expectancy of Megan is still a normal child, the film’s narrative—one which, Pompe patients is between eight or as normal as a patient with instead of the sometimes clichéd and nine years. Eight-year-old Pompe disease can be. She’s witty, feel-bad dramas, delivers a bal- Megan and six-year-old Patrick precocious and loving, and pro- ance of heart-tugging emotion are approaching those ages, and vides great comedic relief in what with crisp comedic timing. are at risk of becoming just anmight otherwise be perceived as The film, based on a true story, other statistic by succumbing to
an early death. Determined to save his children’s lives, John Crowley makes contact with top researcher Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) to see if he can manufacture a cure. In the process, John Crowley ends up leaving his established job to help garner financial backing for Stonehill’s quest for a cure. This is, by all accounts, certainly a risk because if the project fails, John will be left with no job, no money and no prospect of paying his sick children’s medical bills. Considering this, Russell’s Aileen asks her husband if he’s crazy. After all, it’s an impossible dream and addresses the perennial question: Just how far would you go to save your family? But John seems crazy enough to take the risk. Unlike some other medical miracle movies that, like a bitter pill, leave a bad taste in your mouth, this movie delivers extraordinary messages in a lighter, less preachy voice. The characters are easy to relate to, and rather than persisting as faceless statistics, those who have the fairly unknown Pompe disease prove that their lives aren’t all doom and gloom.
Film ‘Measures’ extraordinary
See MEASURES, p. 14
12 Diverse City
Things that go BMOP in the night Orchestra presents night of modern classics
BY ADAM HUGHES Staff
If you attended a performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra last fall, chances are pretty good that you heard one or more of Beethoven’s symphonies. The BSO, widely recognized as one of the world’s most elite orchestras, presented a complete set of these vaunted works throughout October and November and has several additional performances scattered throughout their concert season. My hometown orchestra, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, dedicated this, their 116th season, to the theme “Beethoven and Beyond.” Their concerts are centered around a complete series of the nine symphonies. No one can rationally deny the importance of the Beethoven symphonies to the development of music, and their status as the most performed selections from the art music repertoire is well deserved from any aesthetic or historical standpoint you wish to take. However, when you consider that two separate ensembles known for embracing contemporary compositions are still wedded to such a tired theme and you realize how endemic this stagnation is among orchestras, you begin to realize that there is a very real problem in the world of music. Directors of the greatest orchestras in the world have long since decided that the price of aggressively pursuing contemporary
PHOTO COURTESY OF Liz Linder/BMOP
BMOP: Putting a twist on the standard orchestral performance, the BMOP presented a “Band in Boston” themed night.
works is far too great to risk alienating casual supporters, and modern art music is left suffocating for want of attention as a result. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project stands defiantly in the face of this current. Founded in 1996 with the intent of performing only works from 1900 and beyond, the BMOP has quickly become one of the most highly regarded ensembles of its type. It boasts of having produced more than 70 world premieres, injecting lifeblood into an otherwise dangerously tired medium. I was very excited to be invited by my aunt, a member of BMOP’s Board of Trustees, along with several friends, to attend
their January 22nd performance, and, having very limited experience with modern art music, I was expecting a novel, possibly even revelatory, experience. The concert’s theme was “Band in Boston,” and, indeed, the performing group was a concert band rather than a full orchestra. They opened with one of the more famous recent works for wind ensemble, Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphonies of Wind Instruments” from 1920. Stravinsky, far and away the best known composer on the program, intended the title to refer not to the classical form of the symphony but instead to the word’s more general definition as
ported by selling arms to Iran illegally. Indeed, the song “I Think Ur a Contra” references the Clash song “Complete Control.” But the reference feels facile, because Vampire Weekend’s cultivated preppy aesthetic is so apolitical; the opening song’s reference to horchata, used for its rhyme scheme, is the kind of posturing awareness of “indigenous people” that involves listening to “world music” without actually differentiating local people and issues. In essence, there’s a lot of flat-out appropriation without the kind of political or musical consideration that the Talking Heads, the Clash or even Paul Simon employed, and the album feels lacking for it. That said, there is the band’s newly discovered tendency towards epic choruses and letting the music breathe, a positive development indeed. Ezra Koenig’s vocals have become more varied, moving in and out of different ranges and mostly abandoning the stilted speak-singing pauses that made their debut sound so twee in places. The first half of the album is not especially compelling, though it is catchy and different-enough sounding to hold interest. It’s the latter half, though, where Vampire Weekend begins to shine,
assimilating a wide variety of ideas, even though some are less successful than others; let’s just say that Kanye, Lil’ Wayne and Koenig would all be better served by avoiding Auto-tune. But “Cousins” and “Giving Up the Gun” provide a one-two punch of rhythmic joy, blending percussion, electronics and fairly straightforward melodic components far more effectively than their debut. It’s also here that Koenig’s lyricism shines: using oddly seductive turns of phrase, he manages to rein in his GREready vocabulary tendencies to produce evocative, twisty lines that meander in and out of the melody. Where the Clash’s influence really shows is the reggae-tinged centerpiece of the album, “Diplomat’s Son,” which revolves around a well-deployed MIA sample. The penultimate track calls to mind the sparse but leading percussion of “Straight to Hell,” periodically dropping the sample and melody for brief interludes. Koenig has never sounded quite so compelling or honest as when he croons, “All I want to do is use you.” That song is followed by “I Think Ur a Contra,” a good track
a gathering of sounds. Perhaps it wasn’t the best piece to use as a concert opener, as the music is very thick and not particularly rousing. On the other hand, it serves as great introduction to the possibilities of the wind ensemble, giving featured spots to every woodwind instrument. Stravinsky was famous for imagining new sonic frontiers for wind instruments (note the infamous bassoon solo that opens “Le Sacre du Printemps”), and “Symphonies of Wind Instruments” weaves together passages through rapidly shifting tempos in a snake-like fashion I had never heard before. The band did a great job main-
taining a coherent flow through this highly complex piece. The second piece, “Privacy,” was a one movement piano concerto by Harold Meltzer that premiered in 2008. Meltzer himself was at the performance to give a pre-concert talk that I unfortunately missed. Perhaps hearing it would have helped me to make sense of the piece; as it is, it sounded like an utter mess to me. The “soloist” barely soloed at all; rather, she just banged out repetitive series of chords that served as nothing more than musical wallpaper for the transient musical phrases of the band, which never developed into anything cohesive. Meltzer’s program notes describe the piece as “essentially an anti-concerto,” and he is correct insofar as “Privacy” contained none of the elements that make the concerto form so appealing. The first half of the concert ended with “The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart,” a 1953 work by Percy Grainger. The piece is structured around the composer’s love of European folk music, a characteristic that becomes uncomfortable when it is seen in its proper light as an element of Grainger’s belief in the racial supremacy of European heritage. The piece is good but undistinguished; the themes betray competence but little inspiration. Overall, I was feeling a little disappointed as the intermission began. While the ensem See ORCHESTRA, p. 14
An album of ‘Contra’-dictions BY DANIELLE GEWURZ Editor
The problem that’s plagued Vampire Weekend as a band has been that, while audiences might enjoy music that can be played while yachting, that won’t change the resentment and distrust towards those select few that dare to be part of a yacht club. And though I have no idea if any of the members of Vampire Weekend actually are members of any such club, that doesn’t change the fact that all their output is so deliberately marinated in privilege and Brahmin, blue-blood affectations that it is hard to engage with the music itself. The band’s latest, “Contra,” does avoid a sophomore slump, reprising and reinterpreting the themes in their eponymous debut while exploring new territory. And there’s no doubt the album is an enjoyable listen, full of those delightfully quirky pop and Afrobeat touches that earned their first album equal measures of scorn and praise. But while “Contra” is less pretentious, it’s also, in many ways, more problematic. The album is positioned as a reference to the Clash’s “Sandinista!”, alluding to the Nicaraguan contras who the Reagan administration sup-
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VAMPIRE WEEKEND: The band’s latest shows improvement but lacks the depth of its influences.
that nonetheless perfectly embodies the problems involved in the approach to “Contra.” Koenig’s a big hardcore fan, and it’s a shame that more of the Clash/hardcore activist sensibility infuses this closing song. Koenig uses being a Contra as a metaphor for a dissolving relationship, but there’s a lack of depth or acknowledgement
to the political aspect of the metaphor. It’s the same reason why the African influences in this album pale to those in “Graceland,” and four intelligent Columbia grads should be able to better engage in the meanings and implications of their influ See CONTRA, p. 14
14 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
January 29., 2010
Chabon writes essays on ‘Manhood’ MANHOOD (from p. 11)
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MEASURING UP: Harrison Ford plays a doctor who helps a distraught father in “Extraordinary Measures.”
MEASURES (from p. 12)
Harrison Ford’s rough-around-theedges Dr. Robert Stonehill—Bob for short—provides a nice counterpart to Fraser’s businessman persona, John Crowley. All at once they seem to be complete opposites—John, the money crunching businessman who will do anything to save his family, and Bob, the disheveled bachelor who likes to roll with the punches and call his own shots. But like the saying goes, opposites attract, and the seemingly imperfect partnership turns out to be just what each man needs. The trailer for “Extraordinary Measures” packs the emotional punch that many movies of its genre include: the uplifting music, the adorable yet physically afflicted children, the determined parents. Yet what’s refreshing and unique about “Extraordinary Measures” is its ability to mix sharp comedic timing with tender emotional moments. Stonehill’s habit of listening to loud
music in the lab—a practice that irks his fellow researchers—helps juxtapose humor with serious scientific work, and Megan’s innocent, yet beyond-her-years questioning of the researcher allows the viewer to see the young girl beyond her disease. It is also interesting to see the portrayal of the effect of Pompe disease on the Crowley’s family dynamics and household economics, and its ability to transform the way John views his ultimate dream. The forces of business versus science, science versus sheer humanity and objectivity versus familial loyalty also come together to reinforce the impossible nature of the Crowley family’s quest. Yet, as is true throughout the film, the sharp comedic timing of several of the characters breaks the emotional silence and show that life doesn’t always have to be viewed so seriously. In this case, life imitates art, and, even in tragedy, there is hope, and most certainly humor.
es most vividly is childhood—the simple acts of exploration, the inventiveness of Lego architecture, the bonds built around comic books and obscure television shows. Perhaps what’s most striking, however, is the way in which he applies his own notions of childhood to the reality of his children’s childhood, which he views comparatively with great disappointment. Certainly this feeling stems in part from nostalgia; most of us, after all, believe our childhood to be better than it was. He does make some compelling, concrete points for his argument, however. There’s the familiar one that stresses the way in which children are no longer allowed to roam their neighborhoods freely, lest a child abductor gets his hands on one of them. More interestingly, however, he argues that childhood has been commercialized, with books like “Captain Underpants” marketing the kind of potty humor that was once the exclusive domain of children. Perhaps one of the most striking things about the book as a whole is that Chabon doesn’t try to put fatherhood on a pedestal. He doesn’t think himself special for being a father—in fact, he bemoans an incident in which a stranger declares him to be a “good father” simply for taking his children to the supermarket with him. He feels that the bar for being a good father has been set too low by society, which has much higher standards for mothers. This view springs partly from Chabon’s own observation of his parents. His father was kind of the classic American dad— supportive in some respects but ultimately emotionally aloof. He praises his mother, meanwhile, for her ability to raise her family largely on her own, and he credits her
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for making him into the man he is today. To Chabon, manhood is something that he’s still trying to grow into. Even as he’s approaching his late forties, he still feels like he’s posturing when he does anything involving power tools. He still doesn’t feel comfortable in his masculinity around others—take the “murse” episode, for instance. But, though Chabon may think himself an amateur when it comes to fulfilling what society dictates to be the traditional characteristics of masculinity, he is certainly no amateur when it comes to writing beautifully.
BMOP’s ‘Band in Boston’ night promotes modern classics ORCHESTRA (from p. 13)
ble’s technical ability was obvious, the music was simply not affecting me as much as I had hoped. With an intimidating 20 minute piece staring me in the face as the concert resumed, I began to wonder if this modernist approach to music was right for me, or if it was of significant artistic worth at all. However, my worries soon proved to be completely unfounded. Wayne Peterson’s exPHOTO COURTESY OF Liz Linder/BMOP tensive resume includes LEADING THE WAY: Art Director Gil Rose heads BMOP, bringing the a Pulitzer Prize and a best in modern art music. teaching stint at Brandeis University, and he continues to compose ity into majestic beauty and power, staying new music despite being over 80 years old. relentlessly modern while remaining uni“And the Winds Shall Blow” consists of a versally appealing. single, lengthy movement written for the The visiting PRISM Quartet managed unusual combination of wind ensemble to navigate the complex interplay among and saxophone quartet. themselves and against the band while I can also safely say that it is one of the playing with intense emotion over the enmost monumentally awe-inspiring works tire range of their instruments. The piece I’ve ever seen performed live. Arnold ended with a majestic crescendo, a false Schoenberg’s music is the clearest inspi- ending that was followed by a searingly agration for his work, and like Schoenberg, gressive saxophone cadenza leading to an Peterson can turn dissonance and atonal- even grander climax, and I was finally able
to resume breathing. But not for long. Joseph Schwantner’s “Recoil” was every bit as successful as the piece which preceded it. Schwanter’s composition used an expanded percussion section and an amplified piano to create the most rhythmically active work I’ve heard, and the BMOP’s percussionists met the challenge of both grounding and propelling the highly dramatic music. The intensity of the main themes was unexpectedly and effectively countered by a haunting middle section that featured atmospheric humming by the instrumentalists rising out of a minimal percussion background, similar to the finale of the “Neptune” movement from Gustav Holst’s “Planets.” Having premiered just six years ago, “Recoil” proves that there is still creativity and talent to be found in the art music scene, and it is truly a shame that many orchestras are doing so little to seek it out. Ultimately, while the concert wasn’t perfect, the high points were high enough that I eagerly await the next Boston Modern Orchestra Project event, to be held on March 6 in the beautiful Jordan Hall, less than a mile from where the Crystal Shuttle stops in Boston. The BMOP introduced me not only to the pieces that were performed, but to an entire world of contemporary art music, a world that I am eager to start exploring.
Vampire sucks Clash dry CONTRA (from p. 13)
ences. Without any trace of that consideration, it feels more like they’re engaging in wholesale appropriation. “Contra” is a fun album, well-constructed and worth a few spins, and a band with this much talent needs to find something to say, because they already have the skills to say it
January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot 15
Outer space on the upper campus BY ROBIN LICHTENSTEIN Staff
Day in and day out, students and professors alike take on the Rabb steps. Most, however, are unaware that beneath those steps lies the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Lab. Under the direction of Professor James Lackner (PSYCH) and Professor Paul DiZio (PSYCH) the lab was built in 1982 to study how people adapt to foreign environments like zero gravity. Since then, it has achieved somewhat mythical status on the Brandeis campus as the “NASA lab beneath the steps.” Upon entering the Rabb graduate building, a quick trip down the stairs will bring a visitor to the door of the lab. If you don’t have the code to get in, the doorbell is your next best bet. There is a certain submarine-like feel to the space – a converted basement littered with bits of electronics, a few imposing machines and a small galley-kitchen with a TV and well-used refrigerator. About 25 people staff the lab, ranging from full-time employees to undergraduate volunteers. Together, they are carrying out about eight different projects for, among other clients, the government, army and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center based in Boston. Until about two years ago, the lab was funded by the National Aeronotics and Space Administration (NASA) and dedicated most of its time to carrying out projects for the administration. However, NASA cut funding to external programs in 2007, so today the lab has other groups seeking its resources. “[There were] a lot of ideas we didn’t get to try out, and we’re tying them now,” DiZio said. With a $2.3 million budget independent from the university’s, the lab has been able to flourish despite the financial crisis at Brandeis. In fact, there is a waiting list to use some of the equipment, Lackner said. The specialized equipment draws a lot of attention to the lab, and the lab is wellknown internationally, despite its relative anonymity on the Brandeis campus. One of the more imposing pieces of equipment is the rotating room that inhabits its own corner of the basement. Requiring a staff of five to run, it looks a bit like a flying saucer, windowless with metal paneling on the outside. The inside is carpeted in tan commercial carpeting, and is full of tables, chairs, computers and a robotic arm. “When we first opened the [rotating room] there was a fear that we were creating anti-gravity and that people would float away,” DiZio said. He explained that the room actually creates artificial gravity based on centrifugal force generated by the spinning motion, a force that pulls a person into the wall of the room. It is the only functioning room of its kind in the world. “The physics in the room is just different from a normal environment,” DiZio said. He explained one of the more routine experiments carried out in the room: A person is strapped down to a chair with a tabletop in front of them. On that table is a finger-sized target, and the subject is asked to keep reaching for that target with his or her finger. However, because the room is spinning, the initial reaches are off the mark, as the subject’s arm is forced off course because of the rotating motion. “It’s a rather profound thing,” DiZio said, “You can’t just reach out and get it.” The subject will get to the target eventually (at which point they change the direc-
PHOTOS BY Max Shay/The Hoot
tion that the room is spinning in), but the tries leading up to that point are what matter to Lackner and DiZio. DiZio said this is because they are looking to address the following question: “How does the reach work in the first place?” Sitting in a spinning room can perhaps be fun for adrenaline junkies, but for NASA, the work the lab has done has played an important part in helping astronauts adjust to space, DiZio said. The International Space Station generates gravity by spinning, the same way the rotating room in Ashton Graybiel does. The way an astronaut would reach for a button in the space station can be replicated and studied in the rotating room and help NASA to better prepare astronauts for their time in space. The room also helps researchers study motion sickness, something that affects both astronauts and regular people. “If you spin people, there [are] going to be some nasty side effects,” DiZio said. But the room is helping them understand what’s behind motion sickness, and experimentation in the room has revealed that people can eventually adapt to faster rotation speeds than was previously thought possible. Motion sickness figures prominently in another imposing piece of equipment, the Multi-Axis Tilt Device, nicknamed “the Hulk.” The machine, designed by the members of the lab, spins a subject on three axes, 360 degrees any way you can think of. The subject is strapped in, spun around while blindfolded, then asked which way is “up.” A barf bag and kill switch are included with every ride. Subjects are often Brandeis students, Lackner explained. Simon Zahn ’12 has been working in the lab since spring 2009, after taking a tour of the lab in his University Seminar (USEM) with Lackner. “When I saw the type of experiments they worked on in the Graybiel lab, I was amazed, so I asked Dr. Lackner about possibly working in his lab,” Zahn said. Zahn described a project he’s working on is a continuation of the reach and touch work done in the rotating room: “The initial research was on precision touch, and what I’m doing is trying to extrapolate that result out to other parts of the body, such as the elbow, the forehead, the hip, etcetera.” This research is preformed in another room off of the main corridor is a black platform designed to study reach as it re-
SECRET LAB: (ABOVE) Ian Schleifer operates the Multi-Axis Tilt Device (MAT), nicknamed the Hulk, in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Lab. (RIGHT) Janna Kaplan participates in a study in the “Rotating Room.” Located under Rabb, the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Lab is home to various psychology experiments that deal with spatial orientation. The lab, run by psychology professors Pal DiZio and and James Lackner, was funded by the National Aeronotics and Space Administration until 2007, when NASA cut the labs funding. Currently the lab has a $2.3 million budget independent from the university’s, and still contributes to space exploration with findings about how gravety effects reach.
lates to the entire body. The room can be completely blacked out to create another level of disorientation in the motion experiments. Howard Simpson, a research engineer at the lab, is the day-to-day overseer of this particular stage of the research. He explained that a subject is put on the platform with special markers on the body in strategic places so special cameras can track movement. Simpson said his team is looking at how people know where they are and how they are oriented to the space around them. They hope the research will eventually benefit people with diabetes who are losing sensation in their feet or people with balance disorders, by giving them other tools to maintain their balance. Ultimately though, Simpson hopes his research will provide insight into control of robots. He explained that he is working towards making it possible for a person to, “identify an external robotic arm as if it were your own.” “If you’ve seen Spider-man 2 with Dr. Octavius, [it’s] the same idea,” he said, referring to the half man, half robot character in the Spiderman comic books whose bottom half is attached to an octopus-like robotic structure he can control with his brain as if it were part of his body. Additional robotics work is being done in Ashton-Graybiel, including integrating robotics with virtual reality. The head mounted display, a heavy piece of equip-
ment that sits on a subject’s head like virtual reality games at arcades, creates a three-dimensional virtual reality, putting the wearer inside a mini cooper. The wearer can look towards any point in the room and the picture will behave as if you are turning around inside the car, complete with different people waiving at you from all sides. The subject is also wearing a black cap with dozens of thin wires coming out of it which are hooked up to a computer that allows the researchers to study how brainwaves work in virtual reality. The ultimate goal of this project is like something out of “Lost in Space.” The same way Will Robinson is able to control the Robot virtually, Simpson is working to create a system where a person wearing the headset can virtually control a robot by reaching and reacting to controls in the virtual reality. If someone wants a chance to try out the virtual reality helmet, or go for a spin in the rotating room, they just need to call the lab to volunteer, Lackner said. Zahn said he is thoroughly enjoying his time at the Ashton-Graybiel Lab, and he particularly enjoys its mythical status. “Among some of my friends who are current juniors or seniors, or even some of my friends who graduated last year, it had a major ‘urban legend’ status,” he said. “ Most people were amazed that I had ever been in the lab, let alone worked there. Quite a few of them have begged me to take them into the lab before they graduate.”
The Brandeis Hoot
Alumni share Brandeis experience through new video challenge
January 29, 2010
By Ariel Wittenberg, Editor In an effort to keep alumni connected to the university and to solicit donations, the university’s Department of Development and Alumni Relations has instituted a Brandeis “Alumni Video Challenge.” Inspired by entrepreneur and producer Daniel Adler ’85 and Emmy Award winning film and TV producer Stanley Brookes ’79, the video challenge asks alumni to “tell
their Brandeis story.” Interested parties can vote on videos in two ways—watching the videos, and donating to Brandeis in honor of one of the videos. Though a deadline has not yet been set, there will be three winners to the challenge—the video with the most votes, the video with the most donations and the
favorite video of Adler and Brookes. The winners will not get a prize, however they will have bragging rights. This is not the first time the Department of Development and Alumni Relations has used new-media to keep alumni connected—last spring the department started sponsoring online faculty lectures, and it also has a visual tour of the new Shapiro
THAT OLD SILENT FILM
Science Center posted on its Web site— however, it is, perhaps, the most creative attempt. Without further ado, here’s a synopsis of the videos so far (in no particular order). (If you like what you read, don’t forget to go online to http://www.give2gether.com/ projects/Brandeis-videochallenge/ and vote for your favorite.)
“That old silent film,” submitted by Arnon Schorr ’05 features a Charlie-Chapline-esque silent romance that takes place around the Brandeis campus. The plot is as follows: Boy meets girl (in Sherman), boy works out (in The Village Gym) to get the girl, and subsequently falls off of treadmill, to be rescued by another girl. Boy goes back to Sherman, sees the original girl holding hands with someone else and is broken hearted. Moping on a bench, he sees the girl from the gym run by, and they live happily ever after.
BRANDEIS ANTHEM “Brandeis Anthem,” submitted by Judy Tellerman ‘69, features an audio slideshow with a soundtrack that delineates the university’s history. “In 1948 emerged an ancient state, and in that vital year, Brandeis did appear,” the video begins. The tune is a mix of klezmer and marching band music, and after listening to the corny chorus one cannot help but smile. The chorus goes: “In the wisdom that we seek, in a truth that we protect, the courage of the struggle the passion of the quest, Brandeis was and is our love on this mountain once we grew, so with blessings and with love, to your mission we are true.”
BRANDEIS SONG Written to the tune of Adam Sandler’s “Hannukah Song,” the “Brandeis Song” by Debbi Finkelstein ’04 is similarly witty. Using Brandeis’ illustrious alums like Angela Davis and Abbi Hoffman to “show you that the ‘Deis can be badass,” the song attempts to raise the number of applications to the university because “Brandeis isn’t really popular right now.” Other jokes in the song include that the Tuesday in “Tuesday’s with Morrie” was really a Brandeis Monday.
A DV E R T I S E M E N T
January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
TOP 10 REASONS OUR MOM PICKED BRANDEIS OVER HARVARD Submitted by Robyn Hartman ’94, this video features Hartman’s three children (all decked out in Brandeis paraphernalia) reading a list of what makes the ‘Deis better than the ‘Bridge. The list is cute (she’s allergic to Ivy, its football team has been undefeated since 1959), but the kids are cuter.
CHUM’S By Aysu Uygur ’07, this one-minutelong clip features Uygur in a bathrobe discussing the various perks (get it?) of Chum’s.
HELLO JEHUDA, HELLO SHULA Based on the song “hello muddah, hello faddah (a letter from camp),” this song opens with President Reinharz’s retirement (hello Jehuda, Hello Shula, we hear you’ll no longer be our ruler). The video was submitted by Gayle Gordon ’08 who, it is very likely, was an American studies major as her video mentions both Professor Steven Whitfield (AMST) and Professor Jerry Cohen (AMST). The video ends with a plug for the Department of Development, with Gordon and friends singing “thinking of Brandeis, my spirits lift, and that’s why every year I make my alumni gift.”
TOP FIVE MEMORIES Submitted by Jordan Rothman ’09, the most recent grad to make a creative contribution, this video is an extraordinarily genuine list of Rothman’s Brandeis experiences. But really, the list, which includes 3 a.m. fire alarms and the sing-along Messiah, could belong to any past or present Brandeis student, which only makes it all the more endearing.
18 The Brandeis Hoot
January 29, 2010
GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME: Coach Carol Simon gives the women’s team a pep talk during one of the timeouts.
Women’s basketball splits the weekend
BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
The Brandeis women’s basketball team opened up home University Athletic Association play this past weekend. The Judges bested the Rochester University Yellowjackets on Friday night 5548, but fell 73-65 to the Emory University Eagles on Sunday afternoon. With the split Brandeis moved to 9-6 on the season and 2-3 in conference play. The Judges got on the board first when guard Jessica Chapin ’10 nailed a three-pointer just 20 seconds into the game. Within the first three minutes of play Brandeis held a 9-2 lead over their guests. Rochester responded quickly, though, and tied things up at 11 apiece with 13:20 remaining in the first half. For the rest of the half things went back and forth as both sides fought to gain an advantage. Neither Brandeis nor Rochester could get a decisive lead, resulting in a total of five ties in the course of ten minutes. With less than two minutes left before the break guard Lauren Rashford ’10 put up a threepointer to give the Judges a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. “Having Lauren back has been fantastic for the team,” Coach Carol Simon told The Hoot. “She is a benefit to our running game and she is giving us more punch to our perimeter scoring.” In the opening minutes of the second half the Yellowjackets challenged their hosts, reducing
the Judges lead to just a single point. Each time Brandeis answered back to maintain control, including guard Morgan Kendrew ’12 who put up five points in less than three minutes. Thanks to the consistent scoring, the Judges finished up the game seven points ahead of their opponents. “We followed our defensive game plan with only a few break downs,” Coach Simon said. “On offense our scoring was well spread out and we did a good job on the offensive boards.” Four Brandeis starters ended up with double digits in the game with Chapin and Kendrew putting up 11 points each. Amber Strodthoff ’11 had 10 points as well as a game and career high 13 rebounds for her third doubledouble of the season. Forward Kasey Gieschen ’10 also put up 10 points. Guard Diana Cincotta ’11 had seven points as well as a game-high five assists. This was the first time this season the Yellowjackets were held to less than 50 points. The Judges went on to face Emory on Sunday afternoon and once again got on the board first with a jumper by Gieschen 15 seconds into play. Brandeis held the lead for the entire first half, remaining at least six points ahead of the Eagles from the 14-minute mark onward. Brandeis led 35-24 going into the break. Kendrew put up 12 of the Judges 35 points in the half, including going four-for-four from the line. The second half opened up with
the Judges continuing their offensive push, keeping a double-digit lead for most of the first nine minutes. With 10:45 left to play, the Eagles knocked the Judges lead down to seven points and kept fighting from that point on. Emory cranked up their offensive effort and went on an 18-0 run in just over three and a half minutes to come back from an eight point deficit to gain a ten point lead with 0:59 left to play. While Brandeis was able to grab four from the line, thanks to Strodthoff, and guard Carmela Breslin ’10 threw up a threepointer with seven seconds on the clock, the Judges were unable to come back. Coach Simon told The Hoot that there were “too many defensive breakdowns in the second half, especially the last 5:30 minutes.” Despite the disappointing loss, Brandeis still had a number of impressive performances on the day. Kendrew came up big with a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Rashford contributed a season-high 15 points off the bench. Kendrew, who averaged 15 points and six and a half boards per game was named on of the UAA Outstanding Athletes according to their website. The women will continue their UAA home stand this weekend when they will face Case Western Reserve University on Friday night at 6 p.m. and Carnegie Mellon University at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Case Western is 11-5 overall on the season, and 2-3 in conference
play while Carnegie Mellon is 8-8 overall and 1-4 against UAA squads. The Judges are tied for fourth place in the UAA rankings with Case Western.
“This will be a very tough weekend,” Coach Simon explained. “Both Case and Carnegie are very strong teams. We have our work cut out for us.”
PHOTOS BY Andrew Rauner/The Hoot
TAKE IT TO THE HOLE: Jessica Chapin ‘10 drives the ball to the net.
January 29, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
Men’s basketball defeats Rochester BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
The men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to five games with a win Friday night over the University of Rochester Yellowjackets before falling on Sunday to the Emory University Eagles. The Judges moved to 12-3 on the season and 3-2 in University Athletic Association play. The Yellowjackets got the first basket of the game but Brandeis answered back when guard Kenny Small ’10 tied the game at two each thirty seconds later. The two teams continued to trade baskets back and forth for the early part of the game. The Judges took the lead with just under 14 minutes remaining in the half off a layup by forward Terrell Hollins ’10 and held onto it into the break, heading into the locker room with a 38-32 edge. Rochester came into the second half ready to move ahead of their hosts and went on an 8-3 run in the first three minutes of play to give them a 41-40 lead. Brandeis responded quickly and regained a 42-41 advantage just ten seconds later thanks to guard Tyrone Hughes ’12 making two from the line. Those shots sparked an 8-2 run by the Judges, who would remain ahead for the rest of the game to eventually capture a 70-63 victory. Brandeis had only ten turnovers the night, while forcing 17 from their opponent. Guard Vytas Kriskus ’12 had another big game, leading the Judges with nine points in each half for a total of 18 in 25 minutes off the bench. Kriskus was one of four players to reach double digits. Hollins tacked on 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Hughes contributed 13 points and four assists while Small had 12 points on the night. The game on Sunday against Emory was significantly different for the Judges. It was easy to see
from the start that these were two extremely evenly matched teams. The seven ties that ensued over the course of the game certainly reinforced this. The Eagles were able to get some momentum going by the end of the first half, going into the break with a 36-30 lead over the Judges. Brandeis came back from the break ready to get down to business and went on a 25-7 run in the first ten minutes of the half to gain a 55-45 lead over their visiting UAA rival. From that point on, Emory stepped up in a big way to take back control of the game. A layup with 9:23 left on the clock sparked the Eagles to a 14-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 59-58 lead with just under four minutes remaining to play. “We played very well on Sunday versus Emory,” Coach Brian Meehan said. “Unfortunately our shooting went cold over the last six to seven minutes and it cost us the game. If we didn’t execute or they had done something which stopped us from getting good shots then we would have some concerns but it was simply us not being able to score the ball.” The Judges were able to tie things up again with 3:40 left at 60 apiece, but were stunned by a 17-4 Eagles run for a final score of Emory 77, Brandeis 64. While they were disappointed by the loss, the Judges had three players reach double-digits. Hollins put up his second straight double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, in addition to a game-high six assists. Guard Andre Roberson ’10 also put up 15 points and tied his career-best eight rebounds. Small had ten points. Despite the high scoring, Brandeis only made one three-pointer, going 1-for-17 from range. Hollins was named a UAA Outstanding Athlete of the Week based off his impressive performances this past weekend. This was the third time in his career
he has had this honor but told The Hoot, “it still feels good.” “It makes people recognize what you have accomplished from the past week in an extremely tough league,” Hollins explained, adding that he sees the UAA as the toughest in Division III. Although he was proud of how he played this weekend, Hollins pointed out that he would “rather play horrible in a win than great in a loss, that’s just how I am.” The Judges are gearing up for another difficult weekend as they continue their UAA play by hosting Case Western Reserve on Friday night at 8 p.m. and Carnegie Mellon on Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. “We expect another tough weekend versus Case and Carnegie and we need to be ready to play well to get back on track,” Coach Meehan explained. “I am sure they will be well prepared for us and we need to continue to play well on the defensive end of the floor and in our pressure defense to help us get some easy baskets.” Despite the fact Brandeis has tended to excel against these competitors, Hollins knows to take nothing for granted. “In this league you cannot take teams lightly and have to prepare the same against everyone because on any given night you can get knocked off,” Hollins said. “These two teams have more size than us so we will have to use our athleticism to our advantage.” Mental and physical preparation is key for the team to get geared up for the games, but they rely on more than just that to play to their fullest. “I would like to take a minute and thank everyone who came out and supported both teams this weekend because the fans are what make us go,” Hollins told The Hoot. “Hopefully we can get the same types of crowds this weekend as well. As we push forward through this season we have to continue to improve if we are going to accomplish are teams ultimate goal.”
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
PHOTO BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot
GO BIG OR GO HOME: Forward Terrell Hollins ‘10 .
Women’s fencing claims Northeast Conference title, excel against Wellesley BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
The Brandeis women’s fencing team had a dominating performance last Saturday at the Northeast Fencing Conference Meet at Boston College when they finished 6-0 to take the Conference crown for the second year in a row. “I’m very happy with how the season [is going],” captain Alex Turner ’11 told The Hoot. “We lost six seniors last year, so a lot of the freshmen and sophomores have stepped up their game and really contributed to the team. Last year we won our conference and I’m ecstatic that we were able to do it again.” The women went undefeated in sabre and epee and the foil team finished 4-2. The day ended with
Brandeis taking down Dartmouth 19-8, besting Boston College 1710, squeezing by Brown 14-13, beating Vassar 16-11, and subjugated Smith 20-7 and Tufts 21-6. Epeeist Emma Larkin ’11 contributed in a big way to the Judges success, especially with a huge win against Brown to break their 13-13 tie. Larkin dropped only one match the entire day. Larkin was named the female UAA Outstanding Athlete of the Week for her performances. Foil Vikki Nunley ’13 also stepped up to aid in the victory with a 14-4 day. Turner pointed to Zoe Messinger ’13 as another player making “huge contributions” to the team. “I feel that we’ve made a huge improvement at this past meet,” Turner explained. “At the Brandeis Invitational the team did not do so well.”
While the Judges came close to taking down some very tough teams in their home meet, they struggled. Turner saw this past weekend as “a total turn around.” “Going 6-0 was amazing,” Turner told The Hoot. “Our team had a lot of energy and team spirit that I think played a part in our victories.” The men finished 2-3 starting out the day by beating Tufts 15-12 and Dartmouth 19-8. They were unable to build off their strong start, though, and fell to Boston College 16-11 and Brown 19-8. Their final loss was a close one, just falling to Vassar 14-13. The Brandeis women faced off against Wellesley on the road Wednesday night and took them down 18-9. Last year the Judges hosted the meeting and also saw success. The Judges fell to Wellesley 6-3
in epee, the only event in which they did not beat their hosts. Brandeis went 7-2 in foil thanks to undefeated performances from Nunley and Julia Mouk ’10. Nunley had a team-best 3-0 while Mouk went 2-0. The Judges went 8-1 in sabre, winning the first eight bouts. Anna Hanley ’11 and Turner each went 2-0 while Messinger went 2-1. The women moved up to 13-5 on the season with their victory against Wellesley. Both squads will be in action again this weekend when they host the Brandeis/MIT Invitational, also called the Eric Sollee Invitational. The bouts will start at 9 a.m. and the teams are hoping for a good Brandeis turnout to show support. “The meet this weekend is always a big one,” Turner explained. “We get to fence a lot of big name
schools such as UPenn, Air Force and NYU. It’s always nice for a program like Brandeis to win against these schools.” Turner said she believes the team spirit they have been fostering will help bring them success against such tough schools. While the captain is hoping for a “repeat of last weekend,” she said she would be thrilled as long as the team keeps up the hard work. Once the Judges finish up at home they will head down to Duke for their invitational on the first weekend in February. “Its a highlight of our season because we get to fence some of the best people in the country,” Turner told The Hoot. “An added bonus this year is that we are flying instead of taking a 16-hour bus ride. So it will be much less stressful of a trip.”
20 The Brandeis Hoot
January 29, 2010
The Snow Men
By Ariel Wittenberg, Editor
It rained all day long on Monday. It rained all day long and the wind blew hard—breaking umbrellas and soaking shivering students as it pushed bloated raindrops sideways. Walkways became streams, doorways of buildings became safe havens and the shoes of anyone not wearing rain boots became soggy. On the whole, the weather was miserable. But for Dennis Finn, it was a welcome sight. “Boy, was I happy to see this rain,” he says. Finn is Supervisor of Grounds and Vehicles Services in Brandeis’ Facilities Department, which, in the winter, translates to being head of snow removal. And because Monday’s inclement weather washed away the snow, it essentially did the work for Finn and the seven other men whose job it is to clear the university’s streets and sidewalks during the winter months. Driving around the Brandeis campus Monday in one of the university’s four drop spreaders (known to laymen as sanding trucks), Finn explains that, as a snow man, he has favored types of precipitation. Rain is always the best, so long as it doesn’t freeze, then dry snow (the colder outside, the better), then heavy wet snow and the worst is heavy wet snow followed by freezing rain. Finn graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and wanted to go into landscaping. “But, if you’re going to work with green in New England, you’ve got to do snow removal,” he explains. “There’s not much else to do in the winter.” The university has four snowplows, and six other vehicles to which a plow can be attached. The largest of these vehicles are two dump trucks with Gross Vehicle Weights of 34,000 pounds each. The trucks each contain a double hydraulic plow hooked on the front to push the snow, and a bucket on the back to pile it up in parking lots. The “loader” can plow through almost anything, unless the snow is too wet and falls too fast. If it does, there is what Finn describes as “a battle between the weight of the machine and the weight of the snow.”
“At that point, you just have to back up and hit it again and again and hope the motion helps move the mound,” Finn says, pounding one fist against the other to signify the epic collision. Finn talks about plowing snow with a vigor he calls “Tonka toy syndrome.” An average sized man with glasses and a baseball hat on, his face brightens and flushes as he talks about his plows. He motions with his hands, and his voice quickens, and when he explains that if you can’t keep up with the snow, the danger is “losing the lot,” (or being unable to plow) you know that it is a devastating fate to be avoided at all costs. And it is. Parking lots are plowed in a similar pattern to which skating rinks are zambonied. The plow cuts the lot in half, and then circles around, slowly chipping away at the banks until it is clear. This can be severely complicated and lead to the loss of the lot if it is full of cars, which happens often at a university where overnight parking is routine. Lost lots take time to be recovered. If a lot, such as T lot, which usually takes an hour to plow, is lost, it could take up to three hours to get it back. When you work against the clock like Finn and his team, three hours is a lot of time, which is why they are on call 24 hours a day for the entire winter. If it begins to snow after work hours, Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan calls Finn and tells him to come in. Depending on the size of the storm, F i n n’s team
comes in too. “You know that natural response in you when there’s a blizzard and you just want to curl up in bed and stay there like a bear in hibernation?” Finn asks, “Well, we get that feeling too, but instead we’re up here in the middle of it all, pushing the snow around like crazy.” The work can be quite overwhelming. While Finn and his team are only responsible for clearing the main campus—a private contractor is paid to clear Charles River, The Mods and Gossman—“we still can’t catch every snowflake as it falls to the ground,” he says. “We are responsible for a large area in snow removal, and the fact that these people get it done is a testament to their dedication, skill, and hard work,” Finn says. “This goes way beyond anything that I personally do.” Unfortunately, the Brandeis campus isn’t exactly plow-accessible either, and driving around campus, you can see why. There are the narrow walkways between Ridgewood and Ziv Quads, by the Admissions buildings and the narrow sidewalk on the loop road between the Castle and East, all of which require the attention of two smaller plows. Then there are the countless steps in Charles River, in Massell Quad, in front of the Village, in front of East, by the Cas- tle and leading to the gym
that need to be hand shoveled. And don’t even mention East Hill, where two years ago a snowplow slipped during a storm and damaged the guardrail. Thankfully, the $300,000 facilities sets aside annually for snow removal is budgeted with repairs in mind. “There’s always repairs, something always needs to be fixed,” Finn says. “My biggest nightmare is having to change a tire on that loader, or having a machine go down during a storm. If a machine goes down and the snow’s still flying, there’s no estimation of how much that will delay us from going home.” And delays do happen. There have been times in the past 10 years Finn has been at Brandeis when he and his crew have had to work at plowing for more than 24 straight hours—something that, thankfully, hasn’t happened yet this year. “That’s why some people call this work blood money,” Finn says. “This is miserable work, because when you’re outside for that long, your clothes are soaked through and the longer you’re working the slower you go. But it’s a job, and like I tell the guys, that’s more than some people have these days.” Finn and his crew do get paid overtime for their work but, he says, “no one likes it.” Despite the trials and tribulations of his work, Finn says there’s a reason he keeps coming back every year to do it. “Some people say there’s nothing as beautiful as a snow covered field, and that’s pretty, but you just can’t imagine the joy and satisfaction you get out of taking that field and making it into something people use—making it clean,” he says. “Even though we all hate it to an extent, there’s a little kid in all of us that just loves being out there, man versus wild, fighting the storm.”
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
THE SNOW MEN: Supervisor of Grounds and Vehicles Dennis Finn (third from left) poses with his crew who are on call 24-hours a day during the winter to remove snow, wherever it falls on campus. (From left to right): Tony Bonica, Roberto Guerrero, Dennis Finn, Carmine Martorilli,Jose Santana, Mike Greene, Ricardo Rivera, Mike Bellan. Not pictured is Juan Ortega.