Volume 11 Number 5
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper • Waltham, Mass.
February 14, 2014
FA dept. underfunded, endures poor facilities Students protest Reinharz’s executive compensation By Jess Linde Editor
photo by matt brondoli/the hoot
By Dana Trismen Editor
The building lies two miles away from campus. Its windows are boarded shut. The staircase is on the outside, so to go upstairs students must step outside into the blistering cold. The floor has a thick layer of dust on it, and mousetraps lie under the
stairs. The kitchen is so dirty that it looks abandoned and unused. Brandeis rents this dilapidated building for the fine arts students. While there is another building for fine arts on campus (GoldmanSchwartz), many senior students move to this building on Prospect Street (the Prospect Art Studio) for upper-level classes and space to
work. The building also houses the Post-Baccalaureate students and their projects. This building highlights a major and consistent problem within Brandeis, a problem that concerns fine arts majors and all patrons of the arts. See FINE ARTS, page 8
A group of about 15 students gathered outside the Bernstein-Marcus Administration Center this Thursday, in protest of Brandeis’ policy of executive compensation. The controversial policy, recently widely revealed in The Boston Globe, has drawn criticism for being the basis of the continued payment of former Brandeis president Jehuda Reinharz, who received $4.9 million of deferred compensation this January, a sum including $811,000 for untaken sabbaticals. Reinharz also receives $287,500 (which drops to $180,000 this July) per year in salary for his work as part-time president emeritus of Brandeis, though Reinharz is rarely on campus. An alumni-generated petition against the policy garnered over 1,600 signatures last fall, but Thursday’s protest was the first example of on-campus resistance. The protest was organized by four Brandeis undergraduate students. “It is completely ridiculous to give so much money to someone who is barely here after [the university] voted to raise tuition by [a proposed] four percent,” Aaren Weiner ’16, one of the event’s organizers, told The Hoot in an interview. “There’s no reason that money shouldn’t go to something like financial aid.”
The idea of a protest was first discussed by Weiner and fellow sophomore Elaine Mancini several weeks ago. “We met up and wanted to come up with a way to really show [the administration] that we, the students, are not OK with this,” said Mancini in an interview. “So a protest was always the main idea because it’s the most straightforward.” Weiner and Mancini planned the protest with fellow students Guy Mika ’17 and Joy Brenner-Letich ’16, and all four served as hosts on a Facebook event created on Feb. 5. Once the time of the protest arrived, the students braved fierce snowfall and wind speeds for several hours to make their voices heard, carrying signs and chanting loudly. “Brandeis fully supports students’ right to protest,” wrote Brandeis Senior Vice-President for Communications Ellen de Graffenreid in an email to The Hoot. “Brandeis University encourages debate, discussion and frank exchange of conflicting views.” De Graffenreid also reiterated the university’s current commitment to full transparency about the compensation policy with the board of trustees and “equity at the university and public confidence as factors to be considered” when the university sets compensation rates. This March, the Board Chair is expected to make his See PROTEST, page 11
Staff offered buyouts to decrease $6.5m deficit By Emily Belowich Editor
An email sent out to the Brandeis University staff on Jan. 27 announced that the school is offering “voluntary early retirement buyout packages” to 150 staff members who are 60 years or older with 10 or more years of service at Brandeis by Apr. 1, 2014. This plan, which is entirely optional, would require those who decide to opt in to leave the school by May 30, 2014. The buyouts, which are addressing a projected $6.5 billion deficit, are solely for the staff and not for the faculty, according to Ellen de Graffenreid, senior vice president for communications. “Maintaining our student to faculty ratio is critical to the success of the university. However, Brandeis does welcome inquiries about retirement from faculty members on an individual basis. As with the staff program, this decision is entirely voluntary and up to the individual,” de Graffenreid
Inside this issue:
said. The university aims to align the school’s organizational structures and business practices with the best institutions within the higher education community and to facilitate more consistent workloads. The voluntary program is aimed to design generous incentives to qualifying employees who may wish to retire and help the university make progress in reducing overall compensation costs. “The primary advantage is flexibility—administrative staffing needs change over time, and where people choose to leave their positions, it may provide some ability for managers to look at how best to structure their organizations to serve the university better,” de Graffenreid said. In the email sent to the staff, signed by Provost Steven Goldstein ’78 and Chief Operating Officer Steven Manos, those who accept the buyout will receive a year’s severance at their regular base pay, in addition to a $15,000 See BUYOUTS, page 5
News: Sillerman prize supports philanthropy Arts, Etc.: Lego Movie fun for all Opinion: Administration hides problems Sports: Men’s fencing undefeated at Duke Editorial: Student protests: a long tradition
Page 3 Page 9 Page 12 Page 16 Page 10
photo by emily stott/the hoot
protest Students organized a protest outside President Lawrence’s office on Thursday afternoon, to argue against the high compensation given to President Emeritus Jehuda Reinharz.
Crosswalk safety to improve
By Dana Trismen Editor
Ellen de Graffenreid, senior vice president for communications, assures the community that Brandeis has commenced multi-faceted efforts to improve safety conditions surrounding the crosswalk on South Street. In the wake of a car accident
Protestant concerns halted the establishment of a Hindu altar in Harlan Chapel.
News: Page 3
that sent three student pedestrians to the hospital last week, de Graffenreid assures that Brandeis is cooperating with the city of Waltham to make some major changes. “We are really concerned about this,” de Graffenreid said in an interview with The Hoot on Tuesday. “Everyone needs to be responsible for their own safety, but we realize
there are other factors that are out of people’s control.” De Graffenreid reported that as South Street is regulated by the city of Waltham, ongoing safety efforts are always a collaborative effort. The Waltham police have already responded by implementing a constant See CROSSWALK, page 2
Respect Female scientists should be respected for their work, rather than their gender.
Opinion: Page 13
2 The Brandeis Hoot
February 14, 2014
Univ. to improve crosswalk safety, collaborating with Waltham
crosswalk safety People crossing South Street encounter multiple concerns that could impact their safety. Above, a car drives past the crosswalk before the student has finished crossing the street. Brandeis will be communicating with Waltham to develop a better safety plan.
CROSSWALK, from page 1
cruiser presence around the crosswalk, and police officers have pulled over many drivers who are speeding or not respecting crosswalk rules. “Waltham has been great about having police officers out there regulating people’s speed; I think it is very positive,” said de Graffenreid, who reported that she sees drivers cruise too quickly down South Street on a daily basis. As for the crosswalk itself, “Any physical alterations that we would have made to the crosswalk have to be approved by the city,” said de Graffenreid. She reported that Ed Callahan, director of public safety, has met with the Waltham Traffic Commissioner to discuss concerns. The problem of South Street safety is tri-fold. First, there are the physical factors on South Street, namely its hilly nature and the presence of other crosswalks and traffic. Second, there is driver behavior, including speeding and not stopping for students. “[It’s also about] what drivers do when they see the lights at the cross-
walk. Apparently some people think it’s a yellow light, and they speed up,” said de Graffenreid. The third factor is pedestrian behavior, such as students not pressing the yellow button, darting into traffic or wearing headphones and not remaining aware of the environment around them. “We have to work on all of them,” de Graffenreid said of these multiple problems. Brandeis is considering implementing a passive system, where students would not need to press a button to light up the crosswalk; instead, it would be motion-sensitive. The university may also use LED reflectors in the roadway to improve the lighting at the dim crosswalk. De Graffenreid is aware of the issue surrounding motion sensors, as she understands it would prove problematic for the orthodox population at Brandeis. If implemented, Brandeis orthodox students on Shabbat would have to use the bridge leading to Gosman to cross South Street instead of the crosswalk. De Graffenreid reported that many of these proposed changes have technical challenges that need to be overcome.
“We are driving to try and get those changes made as quickly as we possibly can. We just got to keep reminding everyone, drivers and pedestrians, just to be really careful.” She also stated that “President Law-
rence is personally involved in this issue,” as she reported Lawrence walks to campus every day, using this problematic crosswalk, from his residence above the Watch Factory in Waltham. As these changes are considered,
photo by matt brondoli/the hoot
de Graffenreid also reported that all students involved in the accident last week were released from the hospital. She was unable to give names or more information due to privacy constraints.
photo by matt brondoli/the hoot
Pre-Health advising staff turnover frustrates students By Jess Linde Editor
Monday, Feb. 10 welcomed the arrival of Brandeis’ new, full-time Assistant Director of Pre-Health Advising Abby Voss, a new addition made soon after Surella Seelig left her position as a pre-health advisor. Prehealth students were made aware of the changes via a Feb. 6 email from Pre-Health Advising Director Misty Huacuja-LaPointe. Voss, a native of Michigan, has worked in the health departments of Grand Valley State’s College of Health Professions and most recently at Florida’s Palmer College of Chiropractic. According to Huajuca-LaPointe, Voss will “work with both pre-health undergraduates at Brandeis and will manage the Brandeis Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program.” Voss’ addition to the advisory staff
is designed to provide more support for pre-health students. “Academic Services now has two full-time staff members who help students clarify their goals and pursue diverse opportunities in the health professions,” said Dean of Academic Services Lisa Boes in an email to The Hoot. The announcement is not the first of its kind. In mid-June 2013, the department lost long-time and wellliked Pre-Health Advising Director Judith Hudson, a decision students criticized as cause for a disruption in efficiency within the department. The recent staff turnover has resulted in the loss of significant prehealth employees and have disrupted some students’ plans for applying to medical programs. “I appreciate the freshness of the new and different perspectives they hold on medical school admissions,” wrote Christina Marcelus ’14 in an email to The Hoot.
“However, the shift in staff was very sudden and did not allow for the smoothest transition.” Marcelus continued, “Because of the high volume of requests, it may take up to a month to see anyone simply to check in or ask questions.” Not all students experienced the same frustrations, though. “Any deviation from [department] fluidity is without question going to cause some hiccups along the way,” Ariana Boltax ’14 wrote in an email. “But it’s necessary to understand that transitions take time,” she wrote. Until Voss is fully oriented at Brandeis, she will not be available for appointments, said HuajucaLaPointe’s email, though Voss is expected to be available in the final days of February and then for the rest of the semester. “We are now also offering drop-in appointments daily from 1:30-2:30 p.m. to allow us to meet
with more students,” Boes continued in her email. Before Voss is available and dropins are officially available, students will have to change their schedules to meet the sudden staff turnover and other changes to the program. At the moment, it is impossible to know how the newly shrunken department will handle the large number of pre-
health students, but students have some ideas. “I think Brandeis should make an effort to hire more pre-health staff due to the high volume of students that must be accommodated,” wrote Marcelus. “I believe this will alleviate the burden on pre-health staff and reduce the frustration of students who are already stressed out.”
photo from internet source
February 14, 2014
The Brandeis Hoot
Controversy over Hindu prayer space in Harlan Chapel lends to an uncertain future By Tannya Jajal
Special to the Hoot
Last week, on Thursday, Feb. 6, a ceremony was to be held in the Harlan Chapel to celebrate the opening of a Hindu prayer space at Brandeis. It was organized as an attempt to advocate interfaith understanding and to provide Hindu students with the convenient provision of a prayer space. The ceremony, titled “Murthi Sthapana” was instead replaced by an educational discussion of Faith and Space due to an issue that occurred. The ceremony and the placement of the Hindu altar has therefore been postponed to a later, unknown time. Brandeis currently has chapels that only serve the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish communities on campus, as well as a prayer space for the Muslim community. Considering the university’s diversity, however, assigning space for other religions such as Hinduism has become important to students. Several members of the staff and student body have exerted efforts to find or create a Hindu prayer space. Students looked forward to the opening ceremony that was scheduled for last Thursday, after an extended period of waiting. The opening ceremony would have led to the installation of Hindu deities in the Protestant chapel. The Hindu community at Brandeis aimed to make use of these deities for weekly prayers. They even agreed that when the deities were not in use, they would be stored in the back room, out of sight of the visiting Protestant community. On Feb. 3, however, involved members of the Hindu community were
prayer Harlan Chapel was expected to be the location of the ceremony and establishment of a Hindu altar, although it has been postponed due to concerns from the Protestant community.
notified that certain members from the Protestant community faith uncomfortable with sharing the space, as doing so would go against a major tenant Christian doctrine. The chaplains held a meeting with involved members three days before the ceremony, where they decided that the ceremony would instead be changed to a discussion of Faith and Space to get a variety of perspectives on the concept of shared religious space.
Despite the disappointing delay in integrating a Hindu prayer space, students felt that the discussion held last Thursday was productive and educational. Approximately 20 people showed their support and shared their thoughts on the issue. Students, chaplains, faculty members and prominent administrators, such as Andrew Flagel, appeared at the discussion. The session made it explicit that having a Hindu prayer space in the Protestant chapel would be prob-
lematic, yet members of different communities agreed that having a Hindu prayer space is both necessary and convenient for Brandeis’ Hindu community. The Hindu community, as of now, remains unsure as to what the solution to this situation might be. Sharada Sanduga ’14, an actively involved student in the matter, remains hopeful for the current situation. “As of now, it seems as though a separate Hindu prayer space would be ideal
photos by katie chin/the hoot
for everyone, but we wish to keep the spirit of interfaith strong and hope that everyone is open to education,” she said.
Sillerman Prize offers support for philanthropic college students By Shayna Korol Staff
The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management promotes philanthropy on campus “that advances social justice through research, education, practice and leadership development.” It sponsors Generous U, a nationwide contest that encourages philanthropic college organizations by having student groups compete for the $10,000 Sillerman Prize and the title of Generous U. Robert Sillerman ’69 and Laura Sillerman endowed the Sillerman Center in 2008. Since the Center is based in a university, it was natural that the work it did would directly benefit and instill philanthropic values in students. Generous U was inspired by Heller’s involvement in community service and other campus competitions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Robotics Contest. Andrew Hahn and Claudia Jacobs ’70, director and associate director of the Sillerman Center, respectively, claim that the nature of student philanthropy has changed during their time at the Center. Many colleges and universities that did not teach philanthropy courses now do, similar to the ones that Sillerman sponsors for Brandeis undergraduates and Heller students. At the outset of the Sillerman Center’s existence, campus philanthropy was unusual for university students. There were not an abundance of courses at other schools where students learned about philan-
thropy by giving money to local nonprofit organizations (NPOs), so Hahn and Jacobs largely had to work without a template. Hahn and Jacobs sponsored a conference at the Heller School, to which 20 universities sent faculty and students to discuss their philanthropy courses. The classes belonged to a variety of departments, including political science, English and sociology. “Professors came together to share their syllabi and discuss how their courses were managed,” Jacobs said. “Doris Buffett, Warren Buffett’s sister, was our keynote speaker.” Since then, many more schools have added philanthropy courses to their curriculums. Doris Buffett’s Foundation has since become the Learning by Giving Foundation, which has supported nearly 30 colleges and universities around the United States by awarding $10,000 grants to schools that successfully apply for students to allocate funds to NPOs after attending a course that teaches philanthropy. The undergraduate philanthropy course at Brandeis has such a grant. The entries to the Generous U contest are reviewed by a group of judges across the nation, (who are philanthropists themselves), previous winners of the competition, businessmen and women and people who work in higher education. Each submission is reviewed by at least three judges who score each entry. Those scores are added up, and the entries with the highest scores win, are runners-ups or receive honorable mentions. “Applicants are entitled to an aggregate review by judges which we compile, so no one loses; all the projects tend
photo from internet source
fieldwork Students on the Environmental Field Semester analyze a topographical map.
to be worthy,” said Jacobs. The aim of the competition is to encourage the expansion of existing philanthropy programs on campuses across the nation. Brandeis University was “the pilot site” of Generous U in its first year. The first winning team was composed of Brandeis undergraduate and graduate students. The second year of the contest also featured Brandeis applicants, but Brandeis students have not entered the competition in the past two years despite efforts on the
part of the Sillerman Center to spread the word about the competition to students on campus. “It would be so awesome to have Brandeis applicants again,” added Jacobs. “Our school stands on the pillar of social justice and making an impact in equity and access to opportunity are important values at Heller as well as the University as a whole. So, Brandeis students, apply by March 3!” Applications are composed of a written essay and three-minute video. For students interested in but un-
familiar with philanthropy, Jacobs advises taking the philanthropy course titled “Social Justice Philanthropy (SOC)” offered in the fall. The course is taught at the graduate level in the spring and is now ongoing at Heller and is open to graduate students and Brandeis employees. The Social Justice Philanthropy course distributes $40,000 donated by the Sillermans to NPOs. Students interested in philanthropic efforts on campus can contact the Sillerman Center for more information.
The Brandeis Hoot
February 14, 2014
Tennessee moves toward free community colleges By Charlie Romanow Staff
In Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s State of the State address last week, he proposed that the Volunteer State offer free tuition to state residents at community colleges and technology centers. The program would be called the Tennessee Promise. If implemented, Tennessee would be the first state with such a system in place for its 80,000 community college students. Governor Haslam proposes to move $300 million of the $410 million in the state’s lottery fund into an endowment to cover tuition and fees for those who recently obtained their high school diploma or passed the high school equivalency exams. As with most bureaucratic decisions, there would be certain caveats that limit potential students’ eligibility for the program. Only those students in Tennessee who have recently graduated or received an equivalency degree would be eligible to take advantage of the waiver for tuition and fees. Applicants would first have to apply for all federal funds and Pell Grants and the state would supplement whatever cost remains for the students. Additional limitations would be that students must be attending courses full-time, defined as at least 12 credit hours. They must also maintain a 2.0 grade point average and complete eight hours of community service per semester. Students would be able to take part in the program for no more than five consecutive semesters. Only those state residents who are eligible for financial aid would be able to receive the tuition waivers. Senior Vice President of the Amer-
photo from internet source
free tuition The Governor of Tennessee addressed Nashville’s general assembly on the proposal to make community college affordable to all students.
ican Council on Education Terry W. Hartle said, “This is the best idea to boost participation in higher education in a generation,” according to The New York Times. Experts believe that the use of a 12-credit minimum will limit the number of students willing to take part in the program as many students have to work a part-time or full-time job as well as find appropriate childcare services in order to attend the minimum number of credit hours. Tennessee’s 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology’s tuition and fees cost approximately $3,800 per year versus the national average of $3300. Tuition and fees at two-year schools in the United
States have risen by 38.5 percent between 2002 and 2011 according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. In addition to transferring the necessary money from the lottery fund, state scholarships to students at fouryear state schools will be reduced. The state has a program of Hope Scholarships that are given to eligible college students. Governor Haslam plans to reduce these scholarships from $4,000 to $3,000 per year for first-years and sophomores but raise them to $5,000 per year for juniors and seniors. The state sets benchmarks for Hope Scholarship recipients based on standardized test scores and high school grade point average. The Hope Scholarships
Visiting professor explores haunting Jewish photography By Tzlil Levy
Special to the Hoot
On Monday, Feb. 10, David Shneer, a professor at the University of Colorado, gave a distinctive insight into perceptions of the Holocaust through photos. The event titled “Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust,” was named after Shneer’s book published in 2011. Students, adults and people from the Waltham area attended the event, discussing photos taken and published in different newspapers and magazines during World War II. Shneer centered his research on social history, visual culture and the history and memory of Holocaust. During his research, he found that many of the photographers were Jews from Soviet Russia. He examined the images taken during the Holocaust in order to analyze and develop additional views of what occurred and was not publicized. Shneer introduced the presentation by telling stories about the Jewish photographers and their photographs. In Russia in the 1800s, photographers had permission to live in St. Petersburg, the capital. Thus, many Jewish men aspired to go into photography. It was a different form of apprenticeship and more interesting than becoming a shoemaker or a tailor. Photography was also more entrepreneurial and gave an individual a better chance of succeeding in providing for a family. Most of all, photography was a new type of technology that just required self-teaching. It was also a new way
to express art. Many Jewish families moved to the capital under tsaristruled Russia. Introducing different photographers, Shneer mentioned Moisei Nappelbaum (1867-1958), a famous Jewish photographer who would take photos of the tsar and his family in Soviet Russia. However, when the Revolution occurred, the Bolsheviks took over, and Nappelbaum switched jobs. Nappelbaum then started photographing the new elite—Vladimir Lenin. The most famous photo of Lenin was taken by Nappelbaum and is still shown today. This phenomenon was just the beginning for Shneer’s research on Jewish photographers. Shneer came across another wellknown photographer, Yevgney Khaldei (1917-1997), who was part of the Soviet military. His photograph “Soviet Military Photo Corp. at the Reichstag” of May of 1945 showcases the German Parliament in Berlin. According to Shneer, several versions of the image were taken, as people traded off between photographing and posing for the shot. Shneer was interested in the number of Jewish people in the group of men, which he found out was the majority of the individuals among the group. Khaldei also photographed the declaration of war, bombings that went off throughout the war and moments of liberation. As an active photographer, Khaldei’s collection of images embodies World War II’s moments of disaster, despair and despondency. Like Khaldei, Emmanuel Euzerikhm, a second-generation photographer, also took a shot of the Soviet Union’s declaration of war in June of 1941. Euzerikhm was known for tak-
ing photos from odd angles, meant to represent the presence of large crowds. These photos represented unity still present among the people despite government censorship and heinous hate crimes committed against Jews. The strong discrimination and detest for Jews can be seen through the vivid images. These visual icons certainly bring a new perspective to wartime behavior. As Shneer said, “Survival is the minority story, but images are reminisces.” These photos taken by Jewish photographs certainly depict the story of Soviet Union and the German occupation during the Holocaust. They do not focus on the usual empty landscapes, burial pits, camps and trains. Instead, they focus on Jewish life throughout the war and represent how life evolved and changed over time. Many of these photos were published in different newspapers and articles, including Yiddish and Jewish papers overseas. However, the national newspapers had their own monopoly regarding which photos would be published. The propaganda campaigns during the Holocaust were very strong. Thus, Shneer’s revelation of these images allows viewers to understand more of Jewish life during the Holocaust, mainly focusing on Soviet Russia. Shneer introduced the presentation with an image of the gates at Auschwitz, taken by Vladimir Yudin, and ended with the famous photograph of the survivors at Buchenwald on Apr. 16, 1945. He captured the audience and kept a sturdy and firm voice while presenting. The images that he showed and that he mentions in his book are in exhibition across the country.
will be funded through the $110 million remaining in the lottery fund. The Governor’s idea for increased access to community colleges is a part of his Drive for 55 Initiative which aims to have at least 55 percent of the state’s residents have a college degree or advanced certificate by 2025. Only 32 percent of adult Tennesseans currently meet this qualification. Haslam expects that in 2025, 55 percent of Tennesseans will need a college degree or certificate beyond high school to obtain a job. In declaring his goal, The Tennessean reported that Governor Haslam said, “We are committed to making a clear statement to families that education beyond high school is a priority
in the state of Tennessee.” The Tennessee Promise is expected to cost $34 million per year, although critics believe that the actual cost may be greater as many residents will want to take advantage of the opportunity. Implementation of the plan will require approval by the state legislature, whose members have responded favorably to the idea. Inside Higher Ed reported that Kay McClenney, director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, said that the state should be cautious about spending the public money. McClenney believes that the state may be “subsidizing large numbers of people who don’t need the support.” California had a policy of free tuition at the state’s community colleges prior to fall of 1984 but had to rescind due to financial issues. Tuition is still minimal at $46 per unit but metastasizes after adding for costs of books, supplies, fees and housing. The City University of New York had a similar idea when the colleges were first formed but had to charge standard tuition as enrollment and costs increased. Oregon is conducting a study to test the viability of free community college tuition, and the Mississippi state legislature is implementing a similar policy to Tennessee’s. Governor Haslam’s State of the State address included other techniques to increase the state’s higher education system including increasing funding dedicated to encouraging adults who have not finished college to go back to school, building a new facility at two community colleges, expanding a remedial math course from Chattanooga State University across the state and expanding a course advisory program from Austin Peay State University to colleges across the state.
February 14, 2014
The Brandeis Hoot
‘DEIS Impact recognizes the Roma conflict and human rights By Rachel Dobkin Staff
Discrimination: It is a trend that has pervaded almost every country’s history since the dawn of time. When a group that is different arises and challenges the societal norm, those who meet the societal standard discriminate against the new minority, often feeling afraid of or intimidated by this anomaly. Among discriminated minorities, some well-known groups are blacks, Jews and homosexuals. The Roma (otherwise known as its equivalent politically incorrect term “Gypsies”) have been discriminated against all across Europe for centuries, to the point where they lack basic human rights. The penultimate ’DEIS Impact 2014 event, “Recognizing the Roma Conflict—An Exploration of Human Rights,” examined this critical issue on Feb. 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. and, at its height, filled about half of Luria Hall in Hassenfeld Conference Center. The event was comprised of three segments: a panel-led discussion about the history and current status of the Roma people, the screening of a film depicting their current status in Sofia, Bulgaria and a Skype interview with the director of the film, who could not be at the program. The panel was comprised of four experts on Roma discrimination: Margareta Matache (a post-doc fellow at Harvard interested in health and human rights), Camilla Ida (a Ph.D. student at Copenhagen University and Anthropology research fellow at Harvard), Ana Bracic (a post-doc student at Stanford) and Brandeis’ Damiana Andonova ’15, an undergraduate interested in social justice and obstet-
rics, who organized the event. The evening started with a lengthy and informative introduction to the historical background of the Roma, and the panel spelled out just who the Roma are, since they are not a widely known group. The Roma immigrated to Europe from India in the 11th and 12th centuries. The derogatory name that they are more popularly known by, “Gypsies,” originated from the belief that their dark skin meant that the Roma were Egyptians. The Roma are the biggest, poorest and least educated minority in Europe, and of the 10 to 12 million Roma in Europe, 60-70 percent live in poverty. Most Roma live in Central and Eastern Europe where they have lived for a long time and are separate from other Europeans. This contrasts with a smaller number of Roma living in Western Europe, where they are more integrated into the community in a more developed society. The Roma were enslaved until the 18th century. However, they were left homeless and were forced to squat on land illegally. This transformed into a ghetto style of living on government land without law enforcement. While some of the Roma were able to integrate into society, live among civilians, become educated and obtain jobs, most Roma in the past and present struggle to find employment and basic schooling. The film, “Welcome Nowhere,” a telling documentary about Roma in Bulgaria, investigates the extent of this issue in Sofia, Bulgaria. To build a supermarket, Sofia’s mayor ordered 151 people out of a lot they had been occupying for over half a century. They were not allowed to take anything with them, and their homes were destroyed before their eyes. They were then relocated to a “temporary”
Univ. offers plan to reduce deficit BUYOUT, from page 1
of “transition allowance.” David Bunis, senior vice president and chief legal officer, said the school does not have a target savings for this program. When asked about the university’s endowment, Bunis said it is near its all-time record high level. “We are very fortunate to have the support of alumni and friends. At the same time, we are trying to update our administrative practices in ways that make sense and are consistent with our mission and our values,” Bunis said. Professor Gordon Fellman (SOC), who was quoted in last week’s Boston Globe article, told The Hoot that he has a few concerns about the plan. “Some of my colleagues wonder if they don’t take the plan then they will get fired,” Fellman said. “Jobs out there right now are scarce, so this seems like kind of a gamble. ” In an email to The Hoot, Bunis wrote, “No one is being asked to step down.” Over the last three months, the school has been criticized for the continuous compensation of former Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz for his part-time work since leaving
three years ago. Reinharz was paid a total of $4.1 million of deferred compensation on Jan. 2, in addition to the $600,000 reported on by The Globe in November. An additional $811,000 was paid to Reinharz for his untaken sabbatical time during his 17 years as president. De Graffenreid said that these payments were not a factor in the decision to offer this program. “The funds paid to Dr. Reinharz as part of his contract have been set aside over many years and have no influence on the current or future operating budget of the university,” de Graffenreid said. As the school looks to balance the budget in the long term, de Graffenreid said that there are many other efforts in progress to cut down costs to serve the university better. Some of these changes include implementing an electronic procurement system to save money on items purchased every day and looking at ways to upgrade buildings to make them more energy efficient and meet sustainability goals. “We are generally trying to be as efficient as possible with our resources so that we can provide a great education for Brandeis students,” de Graffenreid said.
photo from internet source
new home that comprised of 21 old boxcars with canvas for a roof, one water source for 38 families and no plumbing—this occurred as recently as 2001. Thanks to a husband and wife team of pastors who provide some food, basic necessities and transportation for the Roma, they survive in this filthy excuse for a home in a severely impoverished state. The children of this “village” scarcely attend school because of their lack of supplies and shoes, and many are constantly ill. The main cause of this hellish living situation is anti-Roma discrimination. Children generally do not attend school past middle school (if they get that far), and the vast majority remain illiterate. School attendance is inconsistent and unenforced, and the school programming itself is very illequipped. The children have no other prospects, so they get married and try to find work—an impossible feat when illiterate. Far more significant than illiteracy, however, is the stigma that exists against the Roma. When Bulgarians were asked what their opinions were on Roma, condemning answers like
roma face discrimination
“Good for nothing,” “They have different genes than normal people,” “They live in filth” and “They are always looking to steal, lie or cheat” accumulated dizzyingly. All of the answers were negative, proving that in the society in which Roma live, people are extremely close-minded, convinced that the Roma are almost disease-like. Bulgarians are upset because Roma do not pay utilities or tax for their subhuman living conditions and feel that they receive preferential treatment from the government while ironically living like dogs. This film emphasized several issues: that the Bulgarian government is not committed to helping the Roma, the hostile discrimination (especially in the health field and employment) that hinder Romani advancement and how Bulgaria does not know how to integrate or accept the Roma people. “Welcome Nowhere,” directed by Kate Ryan, has won numerous awards and was debuted at Brandeis. An especially memorable aspect of the program was when Andonova, who studied in Bulgaria, shared ex-
periences where she witnessed hostile discrimination against Bulgarian Roma. She highlighted discrimination in the medical field, where Roma hardly ever receive even basic medical treatment. Shockingly, she spoke of instances when doctors yelled at Roma females in labor for being in pain, ridiculed her for holding Roma babies instead of Bulgarian babies. She even saw Bulgarian foster parents complain that they “did not feel” like buying shoes for their Roma foster children and that their orphanages would not take them back. The information presented during the event enlightened the Brandeis community and the film informed viewers bluntly of anti-Roma discrimination while being easy to watch and understand. The event incited an interest in anti-Roma discrimination and may have prompted in the audience a desire for further research and involvement in this crucial issue. The event was cosponsored by the Health, Science, Society and Policy and the Peace, Conflict and Coexistence programs.
photo from internet source
6 The Brandeis Hoot
February 14, 2014
Hooked on Tap delivers strong performance I caught up with Lori Shapiro ’17, a combining these combinations with arm movements and spins, you create first-year who danced spectacularly. a tap performance. I had no idea that The smile on her face while she was the dancers at Brandeis could be so dancing matched her words: “Tap dancing makes me feel excited and skilled to do all this. The women in the show put in a happy.” Last Sunday, the SCC was clattering Rehearsals started in September. away with a room full of tap dancers, monumental amount of work, and it with a performance by Hooked on paid off. By the looks on their faces, Many dancers were in several dances, Tap. The show was about an hour long it was obvious how proud they were so participating in this show was a and was absolutely splendid. Being a to be tap dancing and showing off for huge time commitment. A full semester of work that rolled over into tap dancer myself, I was inspired to their friends and other students. get back into tap dancing after watching the show. Tap dancing may look like just a bunch of people hitting their tap shoes on the ground matched with various dance moves. Tap dancing, however, is one of the most difficult dancing practices to perfect. Many people assume that it is the shoes that make the this type of dancing interesting, but the complicated movements of the foot is what truly makes this type of performance so special. It takes years to figure out how to control the shoes so that they make the sounds the audience hears. Many performers can never quite get it. There are basic steps that a tap dancer builds upon, and with the combination of these basic foot movements, you have a tap combination, and by hooked on tap Rehearsals for the show began last September. By Joanna Murphy Special to the Hoot
second semester is a lot to ask. The dancers pulled it off, however, and the result was an amazing show filled with tap. My favorite performances were “Dance with Me Tonight” and “Here We Go Again.” I loved the music and the routines showed off the dancers’ skill and technique. Many of them show years of experience, which surprised me.
According to Shapiro, she thought the tap show went really well and that people enjoyed it immensely. The show illustrated the amount of talent students have. If you missed the show, there will be more tap to come. The tap dancers will be performing in a piece during the Adagio show in April, which is a show filled with various types of dancing including many lyrical dances, hip hop and tap.
photo courtesy hooked on tap/facebook
Broken Bells breaks free with ‘After the Disco’ By Clayre Benzadon
vibes that the band tries to induce in know better now,” and the “heart of all the songs. Despite the calmness of the my pain” also refers to the heartbreak music, however, the lyrics of the songs that he suffers through after realizing are surprisingly melancholy. Words that the love could “all be over now” such as “prison,” “lonely,” ”hurting,” in the lyrics of “Leave it Alone.” How“smoke,” “bombs,” “falling” and “fad- ever, the repetition of the same theme ing” are all included in just the one in this album may seem too cliche and song “Medicine.” certainly reveals the band’s desperaThese songs also contain a lot of tion to incorporate their depressing Broken Bells, the American indie rock band composed of artist-produc- phrases that represent the loss of love. feelings into their songs. In the proer Brian Burton (also known as Dan- In the song “A Perfect World,” the cess, unfortunately, they seemed to ger Mouse) and James Mercer, came words allude to the fact that there is be trying too hard to express these out with their new album “After the no love. The singer says, “I thought sad emotions and ended up sounding Disco” on Feb. 4. Even though many love would always find a way/But I overdramatic. fans seemed disappointed by the band’s new songs because they lack energy or any sort of dance groove to them, Broken Bells claims to feel a sense of liberation with their new album. The theme of outer space inspired their new songs, being especially vivid in the music video “Holding On for Life,” which replicates a “Star Wars” kind of environment. This song sounds as though it has a lot of influence from the Bee Gees’ famous hit “Stayin’ Alive,” as it contains a sort of disco-drum track (as the title “After the Disco” suggests) and includes a falsetto voice in the background. The video also seems to embody the motif of letting go, as a lot of the songs have a sort of loose feeling to them, especially as the scenes start becoming slow-motion images of movement to symbolize the passage of time and a party scene with glow-in-the-dark lights, drinks and actions that emphasize this almost hypnotic kind of feel to the music. Their songs contain an influence of slick synth-pop, post-punk and laidback style, and their song “Lazy after the disco Broken Bells’s sophomore effort doesn’t impress. Its similarities to the Wonderland” already hints at the chill band’s debut album are disappointing and do not succeed to excite Broken Bell fans. Special to the Hoot
The music, however, sounds too formulaic and pop-like to be considered anything “new.” There is no creative experimentation nor is there any maturation of the songs, and it seems as though the band threw the album together on a sort of whim, not trying to accomplish anything major. The band depends too much on influences from music of the ’70s, some ’80s synth-pop and Lynchian rock. They use too many song progressions from bands such as The Shins (which makes sense, since James Mercer is
the lead singer and guitarist of this band) and Muse, all of which confirms that they are not going anywhere with their music but rather staying static in the musical sense. This album contains more or less the same rhythms and harmonies as the first album, as the band focused too much on the lyrics of the songs than the actual instrumental aspect of the music, leaving their audience feeling let down and wondering if it was even worth it for Broken Bells to have made a new album in the first place.
photos from internet source
the not-so-dynamic duo Brian Burton (aka “Danger Mouse”) and James Mercer try
but fail to bring genuine sadness to their music.
February 14, 2014
ARTS, ETC. 7
The Brandeis Hoot
Stage management workshop offers professional advice By Michelle Kim Editor
Most of us aren’t stage managers. Some of us have never even attended a theater production. However, almost everyone is going to end up working in the professional world. It’s frightening, but inevitable. Leslie Chiu, director of production in the Department of Theater Arts, held a seminar called “Stage Management: The Art of Taking Care of Everything,” which is part of a series at Brandeis. Unsurprisingly, all students in attendance were theater arts students and involved in stage management. Although Chiu gave a presentation, the seminar was casual. Chiu is an extremely personable yet professional woman who has many stage management credits. She has worked on both small- and large-scale projects, including the Blue Man Group Boston and the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and therefore has had more than enough experiences to share. Chiu began her presentation with an introduction to stage management, which is a job in which one coordinates theater productions. Stage managers do exactly what their name implies: manage. If the people were to be ranked based on organizational skills, stage managers would easily top the list. They do most, if not all, of the behind-the-scenes work. They’re the ones who make the phone calls, send the emails, create the lists, evaluate the team, inspire their coworkers and even ease tension. Although most of the people already had an understanding of what the job of a stage manager entails,
behind the scenes Stage management is a demanding job. Managers generally coordinate much of the show rehearsals and meetings.
there was new information presented at the seminar. Most of Chiu’s points were applicable to real life. Chiu put significant emphasis on communication. “Communication is important because in the absence of information, people fill in the gaps, usually with erroneous assumptions,” she said, “Being on top of things instills confidence in not only you, but also the people you work with.” She went on to approach a prevalent issue in the professional workplace: diffusing conflict and drama. Stage managers have another job unknown to the general public. Working
with such dynamic people has many positives, but many of them are also large personalities. As with any collaborative project, there are differences in opinions. “A lot of the time, we just want someone to listen to our problems and validate them,” she said. “Learning when to separate [people] and when to let things play out is important. Fair doesn’t mean everyone is happy. You need to know what’s best for the show, that moment and the people involved.” Her approach to working with people likely made a deep impression with the audience.
Chiu would ask attendees to tell stories about their own experiences, and she proceeded to share tales of her previous stage management work. Regarding managing a group, Chiu said, “Being a manager isn’t about controlling a situation or people. It’s about inspiring confidence and being calm so that things run smoothly.” She stressed balancing, sticking up for oneself and learning to submit to instructions. Everything she said was applicable to almost every situation. Her lecture shared three critical pieces of information. First, whether it be
photo from internet source
relationships, work or school, communication is key. Things left unsaid will eventually build up and lead to more serious problems. Second, precision and organization are everyone’s best allies. Finally, it’s important to maintain a sense of neutrality. Focus on resolutions by separating yourself from personalities, and choose a fair decision based on the needs of the show. Even a student who is not a stage manager can still benefit from Chiu’s leadership seminar. Students should be encouraged to attend similar lectures or conferences.
Netflix debuts quality documentary on Mitt Romney fact that he is “next in line” as the Republican nominee and will be pulled back into the political sphere after admitting that he has become tired from the whole process. Once again, the viewer is led to sympathize with the candidate who admits his downfall in the public eye and acknowledges that the polls are clear that he is not the favorite. His wife and sons, two of whom actively work on the campaign and often appear in front of the camera, are much less gracious in defeat. Yet the narrative shifts as the documentary turns to focus on the 2012 presidential election. Backed with confidence from a successful primary season, Romney and his team look to really make moves. With extensive footage of the lead-ups and reviews of both debates, Mitt appears robotic,
playing to the image created by the new media. At one point while walking down a hallway toward a debate with his wife, they walk stride-instride, yet don’t hold each other’s hand. With the camera focused on their arms awkwardly dangling next to each other, it’s assumed that they will grasp each other’s hand since they have been married for over 40 years. Perhaps its due to their religion, Mormonism, that he neglected to show any sort of affection towards his wife while on camera, instead choosing to be chivalrous towards her as if he were her boss. Callbacks to the political issues and discussions from the campaign are frequent, and it is interesting to be reminded of now somewhat trivial talking points and then see his cam-
Netflix has transformed the way media has been released with production of original series like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Their latest “Netflix exclusive” tackles a different medium—documentaries. Following the campaign of Mitt Romney through both the 2008 Republican primaries and his 2012 Presidential run, “Mitt” provides a comprehensive review of a politician and his family dealing with the stress of the media, debates and simply trying to get his point across. It starts off at a very interesting place, an Arby’s, on the day Romney
announced his candidacy for president in 2008. A relatively unknown candidate to the other patrons at the restaurant and the hotel staff that the filmmaker interviewed, Mitt Romney becomes more humanized and draws pity. If you were completely unaware that Romney has over $200 million in assets, he would certainly take the place of David versus John McCain’s Goliath. During the first act of the documentary, the footage of Romney in cheap hotel rooms and campaign buses shows discussions with both his campaign team and his family on how to market his image, make his points and sway people to vote for him instead of McCain. With his family disappointed that their patriarch was not successful, Romney becomes dismayed by the
flashback Romney unsuccessfully ran for
netflix Romney’s life during the 2008 primaries and his 2012 presidential run is documented in “Mitt,”
By Andrew Elmers Editor
president in 2012.
an original Netflix documentary.
photos from internet source
paign’s immediate reaction, such as the infamous fallacy he said during the second presidential debate about the president not claiming that Benghazi was a terrorist attack in the Rose Garden the day after the incident. Instead of trying to defend their father’s words, the Romney sons immediately try to determine who briefed him on that. The honesty came across as sincere, yet his wife, at this point in the film, did not seem as informed. Making the same talking points as you would expect from a suburban housewife, Ann Romney questioned why people can’t see how Obama is hurting business, completely forgetting that the Democrat has helped the country on other issues. The documentary is incredibly forthright with the Romneys’ life during the campaign and creates a new perspective on the political process. With the seamless transition between poll numbers in Ohio and arguing about the food court at a LaGuardia terminal, a different light is cast on a campaign. You can feel the stress on the candidate as he tries so desperately to get someone’s vote. The complete sadness from the campaign staff as Romney thanks them for their service and admits their defeat makes you realize that people put their whole lives into this operation and end up usually with nothing to show for it. As for Netflix, it has created yet another high-quality product for their library as they try to revolutionize television and film across the world.
The Brandeis Hoot
February 14, 2014
Fine arts department faces many obstacles FINE ARTS, from page 1
“I think although we still offer one of the best undergraduate and PostBaccalaureate programs in art in the country, our facilities have fallen behind many of the liberal arts schools with comparable art programs,” said Tory Fair, associate professor of sculpture. Students speak even more passionately about the issue. “That rental building on Prospect Street … It looks like a place someone would cook meth. When I first saw it, I thought it was an abandoned building, not the building I would be having classes in,” said Vikki Nunley ’14, a fine arts major. “Facilities all but forgets about us … it smells like poison when you walk in … I don’t think the floor has ever been cleaned. Ever. There is a fine layer of white dust on it.”Nunley also stated that many of the art students worry about their art being ruined, due to the state of the building and its overcrowded nature. “It is nice to have our own space for sure,” said Marissa Lazar ’14, a fine arts major and an Undergraduate Departmental Representative for the program. “But some issues people run into are transportation and also feeling separate from the rest of the FA department.” Fair agrees that physically separating the senior arts students from the first-years and sophomores leads to a divide within the department. “Beginning students and intermediate students have much less interaction with the advanced students, and we see this as a disadvantage. We are working very hard to bring all the art students on campus,” said Fair. But perhaps the largest issue for students who take classes and work at the Prospect St. studio is its significant distance away from campus. “Here’s how much Brandeis does not care about our safety or our department: There was no Bran Van service to the Prospect St. studios for the first three weeks of class. So the only way to get to class was to either walk or hope someone has a car and could drive. Most of us walked,” Nunley said. “But the worst part was trying to get to the studio outside of class. We have upwards of 15 hours of homework over the course of a week … you can’t do it in your dorm room. Do you know how many arguments I had with Brandeis dispatch to get picked up and dropped off at that studio at night?” Nunley stated that she and fellow students do not feel safe waiting for a Bran Van outside on Prospect St. “Standing out there, in my winter coat and sweatpants, cars driving by would shout lewd things to me,” Nunley said. “One time, a guy stopped,
rolled down his window and called out to me, trying to get me into his car. I freaked out. All this I endured, just to get to the studio to do my homework. And Brandeis really just does not seem to care.” In addition to the numerous problems surrounding the rented Prospect St. building, the Department of Fine Arts faces other challenges. While the department has a materials budget and attempts to provide supplies for all students in varying disciplines from sculpture to painting, Fine Arts majors still must spend money out of their own pocket. “If you are a fine arts major, you are expected to invest in certain materials beyond what we supply for advanced work. Materials are expensive and it is always a balancing act to make our budgets go as far as they can,” Fair said. Nunley estimates that she and other fine arts majors pursuing a thesis spend upwards of $300 a semester on materials. She compares it to asking a chemistry major to buy his or her own chemicals for lab. “I knew a classmate who wanted to be an art major but had to drop it because it was too expensive. I don’t know any other major that continually spends as much money out of pocket as the art majors do,” she said. “Classes provide canvas and certain mediums, but paint and paint brushes are bought by the students. Paints can be very expensive,” said Lazar, but she also acknowledged, “At the same time, textbooks can be expensive too.” Fair states that while she does not know how the fine arts department’s budget compares to other departments, the varying nature of its majors place a large demand on the department’s funds. “I do know that we have a lot of needs because of the material and spatial demands in mak-
photos by dana trismen/the hoot
cramped Vikki Nunley poses in front of her cubicle at the Prospect Art Studio. The studio is overcrowded
and Nunley often feels that students do not have enough room to properly store their art.
ing art—whether it be a painting, a photograph, a sculpture or a video, all disciplines take resources,” she said. Nunley thinks the department receives comparably less money. “Art is always the first thing to be scaled back or cut down because it’s not viewed as academic or taken seriously by anyone not in the department,” she said this week. Despite these obstacles, students in the fine arts department routinely praise their professors. “I personally love all of the FA professors I have had. They all care about their students and are very passionate about what they do,” said Lazar. The fine arts department boasts a talented faculty who are famous in the art world, from Graham Campbell to Sean Downey. Despite this, all of the
professors in the department (except for one professor who is cross-linked with Israeli studies) have been denied the official title of “professor.” All are listed as “Artist-in-Residence,” “Lecturer” or “Associate Professor.” “The FA professors and staff members are wonderful, really. I know Joe Wardwell pushes really hard for more money and for moving out of the Prospect Street senior studios,” said Nunley. “They’re actually all really stellar, successful artists outside of being professors—most people don’t know how great the faculty is.” As the spring semester marches forward, the fine arts department is determined to make a bigger splash on campus. “We are working as hard as we can to bring better facilities to the arts.
We are hopeful that the new strategic plan will prioritize our ambitions in the fine arts to highlight and celebrate the success of our program,” Fair said. “We are working to increase the size and visibility of our gallery that is now housed in the theater.” Lazar has been trying to make an impact with Undergraduate Departmental Representative events. “As a UDR I am trying to make the FA department have more of a presence on campus … We have planned events such as movie nights and a Student Arts and Crafts Fair.” Nunley has high hopes that Brandeis will find another, cleaner studio closer to campus and someday revive the art department. “We are anxious to reach our full potential!” said Fair.
on tour On a walkthrough of the Prospect Art Studio, one can spot many factors that indicate the building’s unsanitary nature. Top, mouse traps lie underneath the stairwell, as the studio has a mouse problem. The sink is under a layer of paint and grime. Bottom, the studio floor is strewn with trash, art materials and dust. Vikki Nunley ‘14 unlocks the upstairs door to the studio, as the staircase is outside.
February 14, 2014
ARTS, ETC. 9
The Brandeis Hoot
Sex, drugs, and classical music By Christa Caggiano special to the Hoot
Sex, drugs and classical music are three terms not often used together. Yet Amazon emblazons all three across their promo for their new video pilot, “Mozart in the Jungle,” making for a surprisingly stellar show. “Mozart in the Jungle” hinges the on the New York classical music scene, arguably the highest echelon of classical music. It is a world that requires a ridiculous amount of practice. High school students vying for a spot at one of the top conservatories, such as Juilliard or the New England School of Music, typically spend four to five hours a day perfecting relatively minute details of a piece. Sometimes, students will take a gap year before conservatory in order to devote themselves to 24/7 practice. The truly great musicians spend thousands of hours a year in a practice room and start from an extremely young age. Once they emerge from conservatory, musicians face a harsh reality. There is a finite number of instrumentalists who can be in an orchestra and an even more finite number of orchestras we, as a culture, support. So musicians forge on, continuing to practice while freelancing, waiting for a more permanent gig. On its veneer, classical music is not sexy. “Mozart in the Jungle” steps in to change this conception, digging to classical music’s core. Originally a memoir by the oboist Blair Tindall, it chronicles the dysfunction experienced in an esoterically passionate
subculture. Tindall’s version of this dysfunction perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with classical music today. She is faced with abusive teachers, sexism, hopelessly declining career perspectives and an unanticipated amount of drunken sex. Somehow, this makes for addictively good television. The show opens with a scene of Joshua Bell—the famous violinist who is somewhat undeservingly renowned for his looks as much as his talent—playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. It is splendid and magnificent, everything that classical music is supposed to be. Nevertheless, the great moments come after the final cadence. There is tense dialogue between Bell and the conductor. Classical music is nothing if not catty. Another layer of tension is added when the aging conductor of the New York Philharmonic is replaced with a rather attractive, young Spaniard. This brilliantly reflects the current tide of the classical music: desperate attempts to be relevant and fresh. Still, the New York Philharmonic’s audience, themselves mostly senior citizens, clap on, unaware of any unrest. The gritty parts begin after Hailey, the show’s main character based off Tindall, rushes to a job playing in the pit orchestra of some kitschy Greek musical. She looks quietly discontented, as she should. Women similar to Hailey spend years of their lives training for jobs they will never get, leaving them unfulfilled and frustrated. It is refreshing to see the classical music world portrayed for what it really is. It is especially heartening to see Hailey
(Lola Kirke) act realistically. Television has glamorized surgery, murder and high school; it is nice to see something real. “Mozart in the Jungle” arrives at the sex and drugs with the introduction of Cynthia, the second cellist of the New York Philharmonic. She is probably the sexiest cellist in existence, real or fictional. A dead ringer for Sofia Vergara, she wears a dress with a slit up to her thigh and flamboyantly red lipstick. Cynthia humorously relates tales of sex with musicians—disappointedly quick sex with a violinist, lewd sex on a timpani with a percussionist and an “improvisatory” three-
way with a jazz pianist. There is allusion to Cynthia’s sexual relationship with the conductor, an occurrence that is more frequent than one may care to imagine in the classical music world. After Cynthia leaves, Hailey goes home to participate in what is perhaps the best party scene I have ever seen on screen. It is a party full of musicians, which is bound to get nerdy. There are bongs attached to metronomes and Bizet DJs on a victrola. My personal favorite part of this scene is a drinking game turned instrument showdown. Without exaggeration, this game consists of tak-
ing shots and then playing classical music on your instrument of choice. In this case, a sassy flutist challenges Hailey, who is a supreme oboist. I particularly respect that all the actors are relatively well-trained on the instruments they play. As an oboist myself, I believe that Hailey really plays the oboe, lending a degree of authenticity and forethought to a show that could otherwise be a disaster. The realness of this show coupled with the sheer nerdiness of it makes it a surprisingly watchable show. I believe it could be relevant to a wide range of audiences, musical or otherwise, and I would highly recommend it.
oboist Hailey, played by Lola Kirke, successfully manages to establish herself as a realistically struggling
photo from internet source
musician in New York City.
‘The Lego Movie’ satisfies people of all ages By Lisa Petie Staff
“The Lego Movie” is an animated comedy featuring the voices of wellknown actors such as Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman and Will Ferrell. Disney fans out there may have seen the preview for this movie while trekking out in the snow to see “Frozen,” this year’s biggest animated hit. Seeing this preview before such an amazing film may have given you low expectations for “The Lego Movie.” You should withhold your judgment, however, until you see this animated wonder. Disney heavyweight “Frozen” has exploded on the Internet, creating memes, fan art and gifs galore. The movie’s most noteworthy song, “Let it Go,” has gripped the nation and spread throughout the world, recreated in a YouTube video where Idina Menzel sings the song in 25 different languages. On Rotten Tomatoes, “Frozen” got the impressive score of 89 percent, but “The Lego Movie” is beating it by quite a bit, with a stunning 95 percent fresh rating. “The Lego Movie” follows the story of a loveably awkward, ordinary construction worker named Emmet (Charles Pratt) as he earns the title of “Special” and embarks on a quest to save the world from being perma-
nently frozen by the evil President Business (Will Ferrell). The movie starts off with a bang as Emmet is first introduced in his small apartment, where he reads instruction manuals to learn how to live a happy life. Laughter comes from all parts of the audience as children laugh at his ridiculous outfit changes and adults chuckle at his lonely, single workingperson lifestyle, reminiscent of a male
version of a cat lady. Scenes of an intricate Lego World are beautifully shot with thoughtfully created computer animation as we watch Emmet travel to work. We watch the adorable Lego man as he travels through his city to the catchy song “Everything is Awesome.” Cynics out there may claim that they hate this song, but you can’t help smiling at the mindless energy, and I guarantee
it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the week. These scenes of routine life, work and commute cast Emmet as a regular Joe, however, we soon find out that Emmet may not be as ordinary as he seems. As the work day continues, we see him float awkwardly on the outskirts of the perfectly oiled machine of Lego life. We feel for him as he struggles to fit in with his
photo from internet source
third wheeling WyldStyle and Batman cuddle while Emmet looks on sadly and awkwardly.
peers, desperately wanting to make human connections. Emmet emerges as a loveable underdog whose actions constantly have the audience saying, “Aww.” The action of the movie quickly comes into play as Emmet is dazzled by a female Lego character, to the laughter of adults brought back to the memory of their first crush and kids saying, “Ew, that’s gross.” While he gapes at WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks), he trips and falls down a hole to find the “Piece of Resistance,” the only thing that could save the Lego people from imminent disaster. Emmet is then arrested, escapes, meets his spiritual guru Vitruvius and embarks on a quest to save the entire Lego world. Along the way, he meets characters such as Batman, Gandalf, Dumbledore and the NBA All-stars, who are all “Master Builders” able to create anything out of Legos that they could possibly want. Emmet struggles because of his lack of imagination and inability to create anything. However, as the movie progresses we learn that his ordinariness makes him the perfect hero. This movie satisfies all of the wants and needs of the audience, no matter what age. Children are amused by the physical comedy and fast-paced adventure; teens enjoy the plot of unrequited love from Emmet toward WyldStyle—who is dating a rather annoying Batman—and adults sympathize with the father-son story behind the Lego world.
10 The Brandeis Hoot
“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”
Editors-in-Chief Emily Stott Dana Trismen Andrew Elmers Opinion Editor Dani Chasin Sports Editor Theresa Gaffney Arts, Etc. Editor Mia Edelstein Copy Editor Julie Landy Copy Editor Jesse Zeng Photography Editor Jun Zhao Graphics Editor Katie Chin Online Editor Michelle Kim Deputy Arts Editor Jess Linde Deputy News Editor Emily Belowich Deputy News Editor Nate Rosenbloom Senior Editor
Volume 11 • Issue 5 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma
Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman
Shota Adamia, Zachary Bellis, Dor Cohen, Rachel Dobkin, Debra Edelman, Mia Edelstein, Roy Fan, Iona Feldman, Ben Fine, Evan Goldstein, Jaye Han, Maya Himelfarb, Eli Kaminsky, Josh Kelly, Shayna Korol, Joe Lanoie, Jess Linde, Vinh Nguyen, Alexandra Patch, Charlie Romanow, Sasha Ruiz, Emily Scharf, Eliana Sinoff, Naomi Soman, Diane Somlo, Sindhura Sonnathi, Jennifer Spencer, Alison Thvedt, Shreyas Warrier, Linjie Xu
Mission As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.
SUBMISSION POLICIES The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to letters@ thebrandeishoot.com along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.
connect phone • (781) 330-0051 e-mail • email@example.com online • thebrandeishoot.com twitter • twitter.com/thebrandeishoot facebook • facebook.com/thebrandeishoot
Advertising in The Brandeis Hoot helps spread your message to our readers across the Brandeis campus, in the Waltham community and beyond through our website. All campus organizations receive a 25 percent discount off our regular prices. We also design basic ads for campus organizations free of charge. To reserve your space in the paper, contact us by phone at (781) 330-0051 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. GIVE A HOOT, JOIN THE HOOT!
Writers, editors, photographers and graphic artists wanted to join The Brandeis Hoot, your weekly community newspaper. To learn more, send us an e-mail at email@example.com, or visit our website http://thebrandeishoot.com/join. unsolicited submissions
We welcome unsolicited submissions from members of the community sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit submissions to 800 words. All submissions are subjected to editing.
February 14, 2014
Protest valiant effort, but requires better organization
s touted by every tour guide on campus, Brandeis is known as a university that fights for social justice, a school that is inspired by greats such as Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and Anita Hill, people who dedicate their lives to making lasting changes. Brandeis’ history is interwoven with the struggle for civil rights, and we are proud of the protests, takeovers and media movements in the past that have truly voiced student opinions and changed the university for the better. In 1969, Brandeis students staged a takeover of Ford Hall (which is now the Shapiro Campus Center). Over 70 students sat holed up behind its walls, making buttons and pins that labeled Brandeis as “Malcolm X University.” These students brought up negotiations that would improve the circumstances of minorities on campus. Most of their demands came to fruition, as the university heeded these student voices. Given this vibrant history, the protest staged on Thursday against excessive executive compensation just continues a trend. It argues, as alumni have before us have, that a school should be first and foremost a place for students.
Angered by the pay scale given to former Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz, the protesters chanted calls to action such as, “Fair pay today!” and “Freeze tuition!” “What is education? A right. What isn’t education? A privilege,” others chanted. “It is completely ridiculous to give so much money to someone who is barely here after [the university] voted to raise tuition by [a proposed] four percent,” said Aaren Weiner ’16, one of the organizers of the protest. While the event was the first protest in recent memory, and for a worthy cause, it was poorly executed. Due to uncontrollable situations, such as the weather and the imminence of vacation, many students who may have attended were not present. While the Facebook event garnered 80 people who said they were attending, the actual turnout was only around 15 people. The protest was scheduled to be held from 12 to 2 p.m., but since Brandeis called a snow-day at 1:30 p.m., students ended the protest early, as many administration members had left the building to head home and may not have witnessed the protest.
The protest was held in front of the administration building, but the vast majority of administration offices do not look into that courtyard. Therefore, the message of the protesters may also have been missed, or at least been less bothersome to administrators, as most administration members would not even see it as they sat at their desks. The Hoot applauds these students for their efforts and their desire to voice what many in the student body are thinking. Last semester, an alumnigenerated petition against the executive compensation policy garnered over 1,600 signatures, signifying that this is a topic many on this campus are concerned about. These protesters are continuing what alumni have done before them, fighting for social justice and the opinions of the student body. The protesters state that they will continue this movement after the February break. The Hoot believes and hopes that in the future, if the protests were organized better and had more student involvement, these students could truly make a difference.
February 14, 2014
The Brandeis Hoot 11
Low turnout for compensation protest PROTEST, from page 1
first report to Brandeis faculty on executive compensation. The report will be “part of the University’s continuing efforts to ensure that executive compensation is fair, competitive, appropriate and consistent with the best interests of Brandeis University,” wrote de Graffenreid. The compensation, however, still
remains unjustified in the eyes of many students. “It doesn’t make sense that Reinharz and President Lawrence are receiving so much money while making it harder for the the rest of us to stay at Brandeis,” Weiner said. “I just don’t see how the school can justify the payment with social justice,” Mancini agreed. The two also said that this week’s protest was just the beginning and that more actions will happen after the February break.
photos by emily stott/the hoot
Snowstorms cover campus
photos by marian siljeholm/the hoot
12 The Brandeis Hoot
February 14, 2014
Administration hides problems behind curtain By Andrew Elmers Editor
When I walked to the bathroom one recent morning to take a shower, I was greeted with something new. I had been told that it would be here eventually, but was not expecting it so soon. As it came across my field of vision, it woke me out of my morning fog and alerted me to its presence, which is quite impressive since it was simply a plain, white shower curtain. After repeated instances of a Peeping Tom lurking through the halls of East, peering at women in the showers and managing to escape both identification and prosecution, the appropriate departments have taken action to remedy the problem. The departments of Public Safety, Community Living and Facilities agreed to make some changes, which included installing new shower curtains in all of the shower stalls. The perceived usefulness from these shower curtains is that they will cover the stall better since they are much larger than the previous models. While the other solution now in place—having the bathroom doors locked at certain times and requiring a room key to be able to unlock the door—is more tedious than just dealing with a larger shower curtain, it makes perfect sense in order to quell these perverted acts. There would never have been a reason to keep bathroom doors locked before this started happening last semester. Yet the change in shower curtains seems a bit odd when compared to the addition
photo by janet jun zhao/the hoot
of locks. I admit that larger shower curtains will be more suitable for covering the entrance to the stalls so that no one can simply peer through a gap in order to get a view, though the question arises as to why exactly the original curtains were not large
enough to cover the stalls. I am not asking this as a Monday morning quarterback, claiming that these incidents could have been prevented if only the shower curtains were large enough. Rather, these small shower curtains had caused problems unrelated with voyeurism since
the first week of the fall semester, and only under the guise of a somewhat related event is the mistake admitted and the proper solution acknowledged. East Quad was renovated over the summer. There is new furniture in the rooms, new carpet in the halls and the bathrooms
were updated recently as well. The too-small shower curtains were a part of this process. After the first time I took a shower, I noticed this problem and saw that these curtains were not particularly useful. My greatest fear, See CURTAINS, page 15
Heading home; trouble with international travel By Roy Fan Staff
About a month ago, I was sitting in a seat impatiently—the same seat I had been sitting in for the 14 hours preceding that moment. That doesn’t sound great, does it? I was, in fact, sitting on a plane, watching it descend sluggishly over Vermont on the video screen as we approached JFK Airport in New York, only to hear the captain come over the PA system announcing that because of the runway closures at JFK, my flight was being diverted to Toronto. I could almost hear everyone on the plane groan and grumble at the prospect of our flight falling even further behind schedule. Let me give you a bit more context here—I’m an international student. I was born abroad and lived in several different countries, and my family now lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is between Thailand and Singapore. I love Malaysia for several reasons, and I have always enjoyed going back there, but the fact that I go to college on the East Coast of the United States means only one thing: extremely long and grueling journeys home. The distance between Boston and Kuala Lumpur is a staggering 9269 miles, and the hoops I have to jump through to get home loom over my mind every time I pack my bags and get ready to head to the airport. Since there are no direct flights be-
photo by janet jun zhao/the hoot
tween Kuala Lumpur and Boston, I have to take multiple flights with connecting points usually in New York and Dubai. On this particular trip, I was coming back to the East Coast after spending two weeks at home with my family. I started with a seven-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai, only to find upon arriv-
al in Dubai that my connecting flight to New York had been delayed about three and a half hours because of all the snow that had been accumulating at JFK due to a snowstorm that hit during the first few days of 2014. And now I bring you back to that moment I described in the first paragraph: The captain told us, after
about 13 hours of flying that we were diverting to Toronto. Once we landed, we waited about two and a half hours until JFK’s runways opened and the plane refueled, without being allowed to leave the plane at all. Once we landed in New York, and after waiting an hour and a half for the plane to taxi to the gate, I got off
the plane at about 5:00 p.m.—eight hours late. Now, I’ve recounted this story to many of my friends since I’ve been back, and every single time I’ve told this story to someone, he or she almost always says, “That’s horrible!” I’m used to this response by now, See TRAVEL, page 15
February 14, 2014
The Brandeis Hoot
Why can’t female scientists be judged on quality? By Christa Caggiano Special to the Hoot
I have breasts and hips and all the other trappings of being a biological female, and I am a scientist. We are extraordinarily lucky at Brandeis for this not to be much of a shock. I only know women who are lauded for being “female scientists.” There are plenty of female biology and chemistry majors, and although there are slightly fewer female physics majors, there certainly is not an underrepresentation of women in the sciences here at Brandeis. Nevertheless, I feel like the term “female scientist” has become somewhat of a misnomer these days, both at Brandeis and at universities across the country. During two summers, I worked at the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics. It is a massive institution, supporting about 500 scientists and engineers and countless more students. I have nothing but praise for this lab, which dreams of accomplishing clean, renewable energy through direct drive laser fusion. Yet my time spent there forever changed my perspective on women in science. I remember being politely told on my first day at the lab to never to wear a dress, even if I covered my legs and wore closed-toed shoes as required by standard laboratory dress code. I was confused. When I asked why this was, she simply shrugged and said women did not dress too formally. I realized what she meant when I looked around the room: I worked in the optical materials laboratory, the only division of the entire lab with an equal proportion of women. My female scientific peers were dressed identically to the men, wearing jeans and plain, loose fitting tee-shirts. Accepting her logic, I dutifully wore jeans the next day. But I still felt like I attracted stares walking through the halls. I own shoes in various shades of pink and I wear
photo by janet jun zhao/the hoot
sweaters with hearts on them. Besides my clothes, I felt more stereotypically feminine than my peers. I enjoy baking and painting my nails, and I do not try to hide my body in baggy garments. Not only did I feel like my clothing choice and personality caused me to stick out, but I also felt that they influenced the way my peers treated me. My floral patterned sneakers and self-admitted love for lavender pushed me to being classified as a “less devoted scientist,” despite being as capable as
any other student in experimental physics. Several of my friends at the lab were surprised when I suggested that I wanted to major in physics. It just didn’t seem like something I would be interested in, at least according to them. I was stunned to discover that people would make assumptions about my intentions in science, without knowing anything about my scientific ability. To combat this, I first decided to tone down my clothes. From the deep recesses of my closet, I
found my baggy math team shirts and paired them with androgynous pants. I felt more comfortable walking down the halls of the lab, but I felt less comfortable with myself. I was terrified of saying or doing anything that would cause people to take me less seriously. I desperately wanted to be legitimate, to finally become that female scientist I had idolized since elementary school. And then one day, I realized how ridiculous this was. I was always told never to
change for a man. I hadn’t realized that I shouldn’t change for science, either. Molding myself into what I thought the ideal physicist should be didn’t make me happy. I was painfully selfaware, losing all confidence in a job that I had rightfully earned out of a pool of 70 applicants. I shed the oversized tees, triumphantly reclaimed my cast-off cardigans and felt much better because of it. Humans are too complex to be put in a strict gender binary. I am a female, and I enjoy being a female. But that does not mean that I am only a female. I am a person. I like things that are feminine, but I also like things that are masculine. Classifying any one person as specifically one gender and then judging them on that classification is, frankly, a massive waste of time. Systematic discrimination, no matter how minor, is inefficient. Anyone who perpetuates it is destroying the opportunity for scientific breakthroughs, setting science back years. Fostering diversity in research environments is a brighter path, and nurturing more female and minority researchers will lead to a stronger scientific future. If you want to wear a fuzzy pink unicorn sweater and smell like cotton candy while simultaneously doing string theory research, go for it. If you want to wear a tee-shirt and jeans and work on high energy plasma physics, forge on. People who want to participate in science should be judged on the quality of their work, not how they dress, look or act. Being a female scientist should mean that I am female and that I am a scientist. It should never mean that I am a subset of scientists as a whole, an anomaly who requires a classification to distinguish myself from other, more correct, versions. In fact, I would prefer women in science to no longer be referred to as “female scientists.” We are scientists— without any modifier.
Social justice; change more than a click away By Joe Lanoie Staff
While working on campus, I dealt with a customer who ordered some food that was eligible for meals and some food that was not. His total exceeded the value of a meal, and I had to inform him of the meal’s inability to cover some items. Complaining, he sarcastically said, “This is good for social justice, isn’t it?” When I left work, I passed the famed Louis Brandeis statue. It was covered in advertisements for a club’s activity. On Facebook, I saw numerous complaints about dining and former President Jehuda Reinharz’s salary, and both called for social justice. I was immediately confused: Social justice was used last year to justify divesting from fossil fuels. Social justice was invoked by a student for dining, and that is the only arena where Brandeis students changed the community. Social justice seems to be the outcry for all problems Brandeis faces, but it does not go any further than complaint.
Outside of dining, there has been little change to our campus. Brandeis wants to be a progressive “city on a hill,” but no one wants to build it. The apathy held by most students do not support the artificially inflated value of social justice, since complaints do not lead to action. If Brandeis wishes to remain a “social justice”-minded institution, two things must happen: The university must define what exactly social justice is, and students must step up to the bar and act to enact this ideal. Social justice, to quote a professor friend of mine, means “whatever you want it to mean.” It is a personification of subjective and individual thinking. That is the only way possible for social justice to be supporting all causes at once. One person’s social justice is another’s pet peeve. Social justice, as well as the rise of technology, allows one to be an “activist” without being active for the cause. On Facebook and Twitter, links to Change.org and White House petitions are shared, where one can digitially sign up to support a cause.
According to literature at ’DEIS Impact’s keynote address, this is social justice—to sign a Change.org peition. Think about it. A one-time click saves the world. A one-time click can make one a lifetime activist. Sharing a link makes one a better person. Now, there are organizations where the Internet does assist in feeding the poor and providing shelter for those without resources. I do not talk about these organizations. I believe websites such as Free Rice or Click to Give are actually bettering the world for people. Instead, I refer to the mindset behind the clicker, how and why one can be a lifetime activist by a single click. I call this mindset “inactive activism,” since one can just click it and not picket. This “inactive activism” is abundant on this campus. There are many clubs that do not meet at all. I was part of an activist club on campus that has done nothing this academic year. The club’s president focused on the world outside of campus, and did not have enough time nor commitment to actually
run the club. When meetings were eventually scheduled, there were only a few people there and those events featured free food. For many students, it is just easier to say that they are socially minded since they occasionally attend a meeting instead of actually having the love of doing things that better the world, the alleged definition of social justice and activism on this campus. You can’t be an activist if you aren’t active and if you do not care about the cause for which you fight. If you are, the term activist has lost its meaning, and this is an example of “inactive activism.” There is not a lot of passion for “active activism” on this campus, unless Sodexo is the opponent in the fight. Dining is the only area I can see that promoted “active activism” and passion in the students. As with other causes at Brandeis, students constantly complained. Yet students followed through on these complaints and were able to witness the fruits of their labor. The Senate Dining Committee is more transparent than other similar groups, and it accomplishes more things.
Sodexo has changed from the beginning of the year. If one percent of the passion and attention dining got this year was applied to a local food kitchen, I would not be writing this. But since student “inactive activists” do not put their ideals into action, why do we even consider ourselves a social justice community in the first place? If we want to consider ourselves a social justice school, despite the individualistic mindset behind that phrase, we need to step up and off this campus. We need to volunteer and not just click links and sign digital petitions to end world hunger or redistribute Jehuda Reinharz’s income. We need to not sit by passively. We need to take up a cause and be active in it. Stop complaining and start explaining. If we actually give teeth to the phrase “social justice” by defining it and then acting on it, we can make Brandeis a worldrenowned place, instead of being known as the school with the castle, where “Friends” was first conceived, or as that school where a turkey flew into a student’s dorm window.
The Brandeis Hoot
February 14, 2014
Liberal arts education provides breadth of knowledge By Nabi Menai
Special to the Hoot
When making your class schedule, one of the most prominent challenges you will often face is trying to find room to fit everything in. There are numerous classes that you want to take but unfortunately don’t have the time to squeeze it into your schedule. This is true of every major, ranging from the sciences to the humanities. The time you get as an undergraduate is fleeting. This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dabble in just about anything, every-
thing that interests, inspires, challenges and pleases you. If you strive to make the most out of a liberal arts curriculum, upon your time of graduation you may hold one or two official majors but you will be wellversed in a plethora of other disciplines as well. One of the main allures of having a diverse curriculum is that it allows for breadth. Instead of filling your week with classes that would all fall under the same academic umbrella, you can broaden your scope and experiment with new subjects you have never tried before. If you happen to
enroll in a class that seems foreign at first, it may wind up sparking your interest to pursue more classes in the same field by the end of the semester. If you are an intended chemistry major and find that you have a penchant for history based on a class you took, it will invariably separate you from the sea of other chemistry majors. It is always refreshing to have just walked out of the realm of Ancient Greece before delving into the captivating world of evolutionary biology. The content you learn may be entirely different from class to class, but it is knowledge none-
josh radnor in the film “liberal arts”
By Eliana Sinoff Staff
Dear Eliana, Word was sent down recently that school will be closed tomorrow because of the snow. Obviously, you won’t be able to respond to my question before time runs out on the all precious snow day, but I’m sure there will be more cancellations, and I could use your advice for then. Should I bother waking up at my normally scheduled time? I have to get out of bed by 8 in order to make my morning classes, and I feel like I should treat a day off like any other in order to stay within my routine. Plus, there’s still work that needs to get done in time, so I should at least try to get things done. Or should I sleep in as much as I want and spend the whole day watching movies? Snow days should be revered and cherished, and I don’t want to feel any regrets by the end of it. -Don’t Snow What To Do
theless. It is knowledge that heightens your perspective and thinking; as the old adage goes by Sir Francis Bacon: Knowledge is power. One of the greatest advantages to exploring the liberal arts is that it fosters creativity. Knowledge and creativity go hand in hand in shaping one’s personality. Whether it is art or music, the opportunity to create is interminable. Even as an undergraduate, it is never too late to pick up a paintbrush or a guitar. It is never too late to master Tchaikovsky or Chopin. If you fail to seize the opportunity, though, time will
photo from internet source
slip away and it will become increasingly difficult to extrapolate all the talent you have. The ability to read music fluently is a great asset, just as is the ability to sketch picturesque landscapes with ease. Aside from the engaging world of academia there is plenty more to be explored, in all aspects of life. There are countless practical benefits to making the most of a liberal arts education as well. The analysis required for subjects such as history and philosophy can help you in whatever you choose to do in life. Similarly, being scientifically literate is vital to understanding the world around you and making sense of the underlying intricacies of the natural world. There is a broader lesson to be learned with each fact and detail through the way it applies to the world. This is true of a myriad of subjects, ranging from the humanities to the sciences. If the motives of historical figures are solely committed to memory without drawing parallels to the modern world, then the essence of history is lost. If past scientific revelations are not likened to those of today, then the progress humans have made eludes us. These are crucial aspects of education which culminate in giving a more profound understanding of the world. Without them, the deeper questions that face us are harder to grasp. Brandeis boasts a perfect mix between research and the liberal arts. There aren’t many more avenues of learning beyond this. A successful education is one that is integrative and leads to original and imaginative productivity. To make the most of four years, the key is to explore all the areas possible. Once interest and passion have been sparked, they can only evolve. For the most part, it is a myth that the liberal arts leads to unemployment. The world is teeming with opportunities—you just have to seize as many of them as you can.
Words to live by on a snowy day tice some self control every once in a while. Before you get something just think to yourself, “Do I really need a bagel from Einstein’s right after I have just eaten lunch?” Second, if you want to know how many points you have left, there is a nifty website that will give you that information. If you go to the Brandeis website, under University Services, just go to the section about your campus card, and look for a link on the right side of the page that allows you to view your meal plan profile. Then log in with your Unet ID and password and voila! You now have a page that will tell you how many points you have and if you do some Googling, you can even find a calendar that will tell you how many points you should have each week if you want to stay on track to still have enough points by the end of the Dear Eliana, semester. If after this you still have I’m on the 10-meal and points problems, you might want to consider combo plan, and I had used up all of changing meal plans for next semesmy points last semester before Hal- ter. loween. I tried to use them sparingly, -Eliana but milkshakes at the C-store called me like a siren’s song. The problem I had was that I couldn’t find out exactly how many points I had left on my card. How do you suggest I ration out my points better so that I don’t end up starving over finals because I only have 10 meals a week? -Going Hungry Dear Don’t Snow What To Do, A snow day is a rare and wonderful thing, and you are right that full advantage should be taken of this gift. I would suggest splitting the time between catching up on work and slacking off. Sleep in, but don’t sleep in until three in the afternoon, sleep in until 10 or 10:30. That way, you can get up in a relaxed fashion, but still have time to accomplish some academic stuff. Just be aware of your day and try to find a balance. For example, watch a movie with your friends, then complete a chapter of required reading. Sled down the hill next to the library, then write a page of an essay. This way the day won’t feel like it was a waste, or that it lacked in fun. -Eliana
Dear Going Hungry, My first tip for you is that you pracphoto from internet source photo from internet source
Dear Eliana, I was sort of dating this girl during the fall, and she gave me her Netflix password to log on to her account and watch whatever, whenever. Problem is that over the break, I didn’t talk to her at all, and I think she’s mad at me. But I have been using her Netflix account frequently, since she hasn’t reset the password and am planning on doing so this semester, even if I don’t talk to her. Do you think I should at least say something to her? What about still using her account? Should I bring that up, or just ride the account while it lasts? Is it OK to borrow someone’s account if they probably wouldn’t want me to? - Netflix Is My Girlfriend Now Dear Netflix Is My Girlfriend Now, Even though Netflix is slightly vital to a college student’s survival, it is not super cool of you to use someone’s Netflix account without her knowing. Especially if she is mad at you and probably doesn’t want you to use it. If you are going to keep using it, I would at least let her know so she can change the password if she so wishes. Tell her that you still have access. Another thing about your situation is that, from what you wrote, you have bigger problems than a Netflix account. You may want to figure out where you stand with this girl in your relationship. It usually helps to talk to a person to establish the status of your relationship or things can get
uncomfortable. Maybe get your own Netflix account, or ask a friend who is comfortable with letting you use their account instead. -Eliana
photo from internet source
Dear Readers, If you can’t already tell, this is an advice column, and I’m here to help you with any questions that you might have! If you want more exciting questions, send them in, and I will do my best to answer them. Whether it’s relationships, social problems or just life in general—send them here. I can’t wait to start hearing about everyone’s problems (How often do you hear people say that? Oh yeah: never). Send questions to ElianasAdvice@gmail. com. Thanks! -Eliana
February 14, 2014
The Brandeis Hoot
Can the Univ admit to their mistakes?
CURTAINS, from page 12
and this could simply be a result of paranoia, was that someone would inadvertently glance through the gap and see me in my birthday suit. I wasn’t scared of being seen, but I feared that
the other person would have to be witness to me in all my natural beauty. It would just create an awkward situation, and no one would leave happy from that. Happenchance glances were not the main downside to these shower curtains; the flooding of
mulate over the weekend while the facilities staff was off, creating an abhorrent environment that needed to be fixed. I had relayed this problem to my CA early last semester, and other people have noticed and complained about it as well, yet nothing was done. The fact that these curtains had just been bought over the summer probably prohibited the purchase of new, larger shower curtains within the year. Only when a matter of public safety provoked an investigation into ways to prevent further Peeping Tom incidents was it acceptable to admit to the mistake in purchasing shower curtains that didn’t fit the shower stall. This sort of practice is not just exemplary of bathroom decor, however; the administration has far too often not provided solutions to problems immediately and does not recognize its initial mistakes, whether it involves community living or something that runs all the way to the board of trustees. The accident on South Street last week after numerous calls to improve the visibility of the area and to try to impede the speed of drivers comes to mind. That was not the first time car had struck a photo from internet source student trying to cross the street the bathroom floor after every to the Mods or Gosman, and shower was the main offender. it won’t be the last. Yet there is While East bathrooms do not a stunning lack of responsibilhave great drainage, a shower ity within the administration to curtain that cannot be closed actively try to find a better solucompletely certainly does not tion, instead of choosing to simhelp alleviate the problem. Pud- ply remind the community of the dles of sitting water would accu- proper habits of looking both
ways before crossing the street. President Emeritus Reinharz’s enormous salary for working not even part-time hours after retirement brings up an even more stark example. The university had the gall, after the figures were reported, to defend the compensation by claiming that it was a competitive wage for other retired presidents at comparable universities and left it at that. The community was outraged, and still is after senior staff members were offered a buyout to retire— a buyout that was peanuts when measured against Reinharz’s salary, and staff who contribute more to a student’s education compared to Reinharz’s involvement. Does the administration have no shame? Is there no one inside those meetings that takes the populist stand? Sure, there needs to be a rule of law when it comes to university procedures, and not every wish can be granted, but there needs to be some sort of response to the thoughts of the community at large. The desire remains within the administration to appear completely in control and never let someone beneath it be proven right. Mistakes are rarely admitted, with every new policy or program hailed as a step in the right direction. The Brandeis community would much rather be shown the respect we deserve and have a truly honest dialogue with those in charge, and not just have the solutions to embarrassing mistakes be swept under the rug, or should I say curtain?
Cherish your travels before it’s too late TRAVEL, from page 12
and as tiring as the journeys are, I’ve never personally described them as “horrible.” After all, by now I know what it takes to survive these journeys and, believe it or not, I’ve actually had worse travel experiences. (I was once a full two days late getting to my destination.) However, the more I compare my long and tedious journeys home to the four-hour drive to New York or New Jersey that my friends undertake, the more I realize how numb I’ve become to the whole experience of traveling. Sometimes I start to remember how excited I was as a little boy to be sitting at the gate waiting to board the plane, fascinated about all these other huge planes at the airport. I used to always relish those travels as a kid, both the journey and destination, regardless of whether I had ever been there before. Watching the young families board the same plane as me, I remember I was once that young boy—the little ball of energy that could barely contain his excitement about the new and unknown experiences that today’s voyage would bring. To say the least, traveling is markedly different for me now. I’ve been on so many planes, on so many flights and in so many airports in my life that I’ve whittled the whole journey down to a set of routines. From the seat that I choose to which security line I use, I have created a sort of checklist set of habits that allow me to
photo from internet source
maximize comfort and minimize annoyances and disruptions during my long travels. Although these routines have made my journeys less troublesome and more efficient, I’ve come to realize that I’ve lost much of that sense of adventure I had as a young boy. Maybe it’s just me getting older and more mature, but I’ve managed to reduce exhilarating forays into the new and unknown down to a block of time that I set aside to go through the motions of returning home. It wasn’t always like this, and de-
spite how dull traveling has become for me, I will always be thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to embark on these journeys and the incredible experiences I’ve had. These experiences have allowed me to learn from a wide variety of other cultures and their people. They have equipped me with the ability to adapt to new environments. They have greatly and positively shaped me and how I see the world and, most importantly, they have allowed me to learn a great deal about myself in ways that I wouldn’t
have been able to otherwise. But now whenever I hear someone talking about how excited they are about going abroad, I feel envious of their joy and enthusiasm about being able to experience travel—something new to them that has unfortunately become so commonplace to me. Enjoy your travels and adventures before it becomes tedious. If you decide to go abroad, whether to study or just for a holiday, make the most out of your time and money, and do things you wouldn’t normally do.
There’s a lot to see and do out there in this world, and a lot to learn. Go out there, and immerse yourself in those experiences while you can, because, just like anything else that’s repetitive, traveling eventually gets old, and if you do it enough it will stop feeling like an adventure. The thing I learned most about myself through all this traveling is that I’m someone who actually prefers predictability, routine and a stable life. Will the same be true for you? Well, I guess it’s time for you to go find out.
February 14, 2014
The Brandeis Hoot 11
Fencing teams triumph at Duke and Beanpot Tournament
photos by halley saul
By Charlie Romanow Staff
The men’s fencing team has lost only two matches in their last two tournaments, and this success continued this past Saturday in Durham, North Carolina, at the Duke Invitational as they went 5-0. This performance was highlighted by a defeat of the 10th-ranked Duke University Blue Devils. Brandeis began strong against the host school, leading 10-1 in epee and foil. Julian Cardillo ’14, Noah Berman ’15 and Ethan Levy ’14 were 8-1 in the foil against Duke. The Blue Devils made a push for a comeback, winning the first four saber bouts to be 12-9. Adam Mandel ’15 went 5-2 to bring the team within one win of clinching victory, and Jess Ochs-Willard ’15 brought home the victory for Brandeis. The final score was 15-12.
Prior to the tournament, Duke was 15-5 after defeating third-ranked Notre Dame University and ninthranked Stanford University last weekend. This is Brandeis’ first defeat of Duke since 2006 and the Blue Devils’ only loss of the tournament. Team captain Cardillo said, “There was so much energy in the room because it was a Duke home meet. They got loud, and we were all cheering on our end as well. It was really intense.” The Judges also beat Johns Hopkins University 18-9, the University of North Carolina 17-10, the Air Force Academy 17-10 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 16-11. Cardillo and Ari Feingersch ’16 each won their three bouts against MIT. Brandeis’ coach Bill Shipman said, “We started off well against Hopkins, and our momentum built through the UNC meet, who we had not beaten recently. We took a big early
lead against Duke. Clearly they would come back, but we held them off in saber for the win.” Though there were many successful fencers for Brandeis, the team was led by Cardillo, who was 15-0 in foil. Mandel won all six bouts against UNC and Air Force. After going 11-1 in their last two meets, the women’s team had a tough outing in the Tar Heel State, losing three of five matches. The competition started on a low note for them as they lost to eighth-ranked Temple University 23-4. They rebounded with a 15-12 defeat over Air Force. Sonya Glickman ’16 won three bouts in epee, giving the squad the 6-3 lead necessary to carry the team to victory. The team continued with a 14-13 win against MIT. The foil squad led the way at 8-1 against MIT, with three wins apiece by foilists Caroline Mattos ’16 and Vikki Nunley ’14. They
could not defeat the home state teams though, losing to UNC 17-10 and Duke 18-9. Mattos won three bouts against each opponent, finishing 13-2 for the day. Both the men’s and women’s team’s finished 2-1 in this week’s Beanpot Tournament. Harvard University’s team’s won each group while Brandeis’ finished in second ahead of Boston College and MIT. The men easily defeated MIT and BC 18-9. They swept the Eagles in all weapons. Harvard defeated the Judges sixthranked Harvard 17-10. The epee squad defeated the Crimson 5-4, with two wins apiece by Tom Hearne ’16 and Justin Kwon ’16. Brandeis lost to Harvard 7-2 in foil and 6-3 in saber. Hearne, Kwon and Berman each had six victories in the Beanpot. Despite losing to Harvard, Brandeis came much closer than the other teams. The Crimson defeated BC 26-1 and
MIT 20-7. The women’s team defeated BC and MIT as well but only by a close margin at 14-13. Mattos won all three of her matches against the Eagles to be 15-4. Against BC the foil squad triumphed, winning 7-2. The Judges lost to Harvard 22-5. Glickman was the sole Brandeisian with multiple wins against the third-ranked team in the country. The Crimsons’ foil squad was 26-1. Both Harvard teams have won the Beanpot Tournament each year since its inception. The Brandeis teams continue their winning streak against BC and MIT. At the conclusion of the dual-meet part of the season, the men are 21-7 and the women are 22-10. The teams will head to Mount Holyoke College for the New England Collegiate Championships and Princeton the following day for the US Squad Competition.
photos by matt brondoli/the hoot