VOL 7, NO. 13
SEPTEMBER 17, 2010
B R A N D E I S U N I V E R S I T Y ' S C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R
WA LT H A M , M A
University contracts with board members’ companies BY ARIEL WITTENBERG
Every week, The Hoot will publish an article related to the financial organization of the university as part of our series Financial Exposure. Each article will be based on copies of the university’s tax exemption forms optained by The Hoot.
Brandeis has conducted business with two companies whose owners are closely related to the university’s board of trustees, something not prohibited by its conflict of interest policy, according to a copy of the university’s tax exemption forms for Fiscal Year 2009 obtained by The Hoot. Last year, the university paid more than $10 million to Aramark, the university’s dining services provider. Aramark’s co-
Faculty panel dissects Kagan SCOTUS confirmation
owner, Joseph Neubauer, is married to Jeanette Lerman, who is on the Brandeis board. The university also has invested more than $7.4 million to the investment firm Highfields Capital LTD, which was co-founded by vice chairman of the board Jonathon Jacobson. According to the board’s bylaws, “a trustee may be a party to, or may be financially or otherwise interested in, a matter affecting the university ... provided that such interest shall have been disclosed and approved” by the Per-
sonnel Compensation and Ethics Committee, which oversees the disclosure forms. According to the tax exemption form, trustees have “an obligation to act in the best interest of the university and must not permit outside financial or personal interests to interfere with that obligation.” The disclosure forms are also overseen by university general counsel Judith Sizer. Article VII of the board’s bylaws requires trustees to recuse themselves from matters in which they
have a conflict, stating that the conflicted trustee can not vote on the matter, nor should they “use his or her personal influence in any manner with respect to such matter.” Though they recuse themselves, Jacobson sits on the board’s committee on investment, which makes decisions directly related to his company. Lerman sits on the Students and Enrollment committee of the board, which deals with dining services, along See CONFLICT OF INTEREST, p. 5
No fire sprinklers in some dorms
PHOTO BY Alan Tran/The Hoot
ROUND TABLE: Professor Anita Hill (Heller) discusses the different reasons people opposed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan during her confirmation hearing.
BY LEAH FINKELMAN Staff
A Brandeis roundtable discussion Thursday about the confirmation hearings of Judge Elena Kagan focused on the historical significance of her appointment to the Supreme Court and the media coverage that followed. Students, faculty and community members heard presentations from future president Fred Lawrence, and Professors Eileen McNamara (JOUR), Anita Hill (Heller) and James Mandrell (WGS), who each spoke through the lens of their respective fields. Mandrell, Women’s and Gender Studies program chair, introduced the event to a full audience, speaking about a similar Brandeis event last year during the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings, expressing his delighted surprise that another woman had been nominated so
soon. After Mandrell’s introduction, Lawrence, in his first time at Brandeis as a politics expert, rather than the future president, summarized the nomination and confirmation processes for Supreme Court justices, including how they have changed in the past century. To Kagan’s opponents who claim she is unqualified because she has never been a judge, Lawrence simply pointed out that she would not be the first—Justices Louis Brandeis and William Rehnquist weren’t either. Those opponents “meant that her views were outside where they wanted her to be,” he said. “Every time one [justice] changes, the conversation changes,” Lawrence said, implying that Kagan’s appointment would not change the relationships and dynamics of the SuSee KAGAN, p. 4
THIS FML does Kol Nidre WEEK: News page 3
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
ON PATROL: A Brandeis police car patrolls campus by the Spingold Theatre.
BY JON OSTROWSKY Editor
Schwartz Castle and four buildings in the Charles River Residence Quad do not have partial or full sprinkler systems installed, according to The Department of Public Safety’s annual report issued Thursday in compliance with federal laws. As part of a yearly report on crime and public safety, the Annual Fire Safety Report must be published, in addition to a fire log and a process for searching for missing persons under new regulations from the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). The annual report also in-
cludes crime statistics from the past three calendar years and is required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, according to a statement from the Department of Public Safety. “Brandeis University is committed to assisting all members of the Brandeis community in learning about measures enacted for campus safety and security, and in assisting community members in providing for their own safety and security,” the report said. The only fire listed in the report that caused significant damage was a fire from a lamp last October inside Reitman Hall in North Residence Quad.
Where I’m from Arts Etc., page 11
The fire left property damages of $2,500. The seven other fires in the report from the last three years each caused less than $30 in property damage. The report also included a crime log from the past three years. There was one “forcible sexual assault,” in 2009, but no cases of murder or manslaughter. “The vast majority of our students, faculty, staff and visitors do not experience crime at Brandeis University. However, despite our best efforts, crimes sometimes occur,” the report said. Under missing persons procedures outlined in the report, See FIRE SAFETY, p. 4
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Graduate student injured in science lab chemical explosion BY JON OSTROWSKY Editor
A university PhD student suffered injuries to his face after a chemical explosion in a laboratory inside the Edison-Lecks building. He was then transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston last Thursday, a Waltham fire department lieutenant said. University Senior Vice President of Communications and External Affairs Andrew Gully declined to name the student. The Waltham Fire Department responded to a “report of an explosion in a laboratory resulting in injury” and a state Hazmat team also arrived on scene to evaluate the safety of the building. After the team determined negative readings on the gas meters, the case was turned over to the university, Lt. Mike Murphy of the Waltham Fire Department said in a phone interview. The two chemicals involved in the explosion were tetrahydrofuran, a liquid solvent, and calciumhydride, a powder, Murphy said. He added the cause of the explosion was still being investigated. Murphy said that the Hazmat team is brought in during incidents like this one to ensure the safety of others in the lab as well as fire department personnel before they enter the building. The student was “purifying a solvent at low temperature in pressure” and because of a seal in the glass instrument, “pure oxygen” entered, Benjy Copper ’11, a lab student familiar with the in-
cident, said in an interview with The Hoot. “There was no way to prevent it because it was an equipment failure,” Cooper said. “It could have been a lot worse than it was.” The explosion took place in the lab of Professor Christine Thomas (CHEM) and because of the safety precautions in place that day and emphasized during all lab experiments, the injuries were minimized, Cooper said. Thomas did not respond to requests for comment Thursday afternoon. “A Chemistry Department inquiry determined that the explosion was caused by an equipment failure,” Gully wrote in a statement. “During a purification process, extremely explosive condensed liquid oxygen came in contact with a solvent because of a leaky seal on a glass flask, triggering the reaction.” Murphy explained that the fire department checked the availability of medical flight transportation but determined that ground transportation to Mass. General would be sufficient. The incident was classified as a “box assignment,” according to Murphy, which means that additional companies and ladder trucks had to arrive at the scene. Both Waltham Fire Department Chief Richard Cardillo and Deputy Chief Roger Hebert arrived on the scene as well. Gully said that lab students are being told more information about the cause of the explosion so that “they are aware of what happened, and why, and so they can take extra safety precautions.”
September 17, 2010
Univ concerned about crosswalk safety
PHOTO BY Ingrid Schulte/The Hoot
JAYWALKING: A Brandeis student waits for the light at the South Street crosswalk. Every year the university’s departments of public safety and community living are concerned about student safety at the crosswalk due to speeding traffic.
BY JON OSTROWSKY Editor
The university is once again warning students about the danger of crossing South Street at the cross walk by the Gosman Athletic Center, Ed Callahan, Director of Public Safety, and Mike
Vella, Community Development Coordinator for the Charles River Apartments and the Mods. “Each year we try to focus on crosswalk safety,” Callahan said in a phone interview with The Hoot. Callahan said that in “that crosswalk’s history, we’ve had two to three accidents in the last six
years.” He noted that this academic year, there have been no accidents of students being struck by cars while in the crosswalk. The Squire Bridge overpass connects the campus to the Gosman Athletic Center, but for students who live in the Mods, the crosswalk offers a more direct route. On each side of the street, there is a yellow sign with a symbol of a person crossing the street and two yellow lights. The lights only become activated and begin to flash when students press the button. Callahan said that the crosswalk and lights were installed by the city of Waltham at the request of the university in order to give students more convenient access to the Mods. Callahan sent a statement to the entire Brandeis community on Sept. 7 reminding them that “these [yellow] lights are designed to alert oncoming traffic that pedestrians will be crossing.” “I wish they had one of those things where it was a walk signal, instead of flashing lights,” Olga Raptis ’11 said, noting that a senior was recently involved in a traffic incident while riding his bicycle down South Street. According to a written statement from Vella on Sept. 8, “recently students have been injured, or involved in accidents while crossing South Street.” “I feel that some students get impatient,” Vella said. “Don’t just press it and bolt across the street.” Callahan agreed and said that students need to be more aware that they are crossing a busy street. “That’s the message that we’re trying to get across,” Callahan said. “People are not invincible.” See CROSSWALK, p. 5
Lawrence to chant conservative Kol Nidre services BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
Frederick Lawrence won’t be starting his new job until January, but he is already raising the bar for Brandeis presidents. The newly appointed next president of Brandeis will lead the university’s conservative Kol Nidre service on the Brandeis campus this evening, something no president of the university has done before. Lawrence will lead the long, melodious service which begins Yom Kippur and which will be held at the Spingold Theater. Lawrence approached Brandeis Rabbi Elyse Winnick last month about participating in High Holiday services. telling her he was up for anything. “I’m a layman, I’m not trained,” Lawrence said, “but it is a very powerful experience leading that particular service. The room is usually filled, and it’s filled with people in the midst of very serious thoughts of their own. You, as the leader,
get to help them through that.” After first leading the service as a student at Williams College, Lawrence presided over Kol Nidre at synagogues in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. Lawrence also has a singing background. As a member of the New York Choral Society, he performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. That was during his stint as an assistant U.S. attorney. Us u a l l y, student members take turns presiding over High Holiday
services, “sharing the wealth, honor and responsibility,” Winnick said. Lawrence did not want to “put any students out” of their leadership roles, “but the student who led Kol Nidre last year graduated in May,” the rabbi said. “The timing was meant to be.” W i n nick said that while previous presidents have participated at student-led services– current President Jehuda Reinharz has often said Kiddush at services on parents’ weekend–none has taken on such a major role as leading
It is a very powerful experience leading that particular service. The room is usually filled, and it’s filled with people in the midst of very serious thoughts of their own. You, as the leader, get to help them through that. - Frederick Lawrence
Kol Nidre. “We are grateful that [Lawrence] has the ability to share this gift with the community,” she said. Lawrence is attending services for all denominations over the course of the High Holidays. Along with his wife, Kathy, and their son, Noah, Lawrence attended Brandeis’ conservative service for the first day of Rosh Hashanah and orthodox service on the second day. After the Kol Nidre service, which will be conservative, the Lawrences will attend a reform service Saturday. “We really want to engage with the community and spend time with as many student groups as possible in this transition time,” Lawrence said, adding that on Sept. 5 he and his family attended Catholic Mass with Brandeis’s Father Walter Cuenin. Lawrence said he does not subscribe to one particular denomination of Judaism. When he was growing up, his family belonged to a Reform congregation. In Washington, where Lawrence led the George Wash-
ington University Law School, his family belongs to an orthodox congregation. When Lawrence was a professor at Boston University Law School, he and his family attended services at both Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Newton and Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline. Lawrence said his family would most likely join Kehillath Israel when they move back to the Bay State. “We are fairly comfortable in all congregations,” Lawrence said, adding that his family is Kosher at home, with separate sets of dishes, and will not eat non-Kosher meat. “We exist in a fairly typical gray area of observance.” Lawrence doesn’t know whether his leading the service will start a new Brandeis tradition, but he hopes it will be a sweet start to the new year. “Each year is different, each year is special in its own way,” he said. “The fact that this is the first year at Brandeis makes it particularly special.”
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
Alternative rock band OK Go to headline fall concert BY EMMA CHAD-FRIEDMAN Special to The Hoot
This year’s Fall Concert will headline the alternative rock band OK Go, Student Events announced this week. The Postelles will open the Oct. 2 concert. Because the annual event is scheduled to come earlier this year than in past years, Student Events did not have enough time to survey the Brandeis student body before choosing a band, director of concert and student events Elissa Folickman ’11 said. Instead, the committee used previous years’ surveys to determine which genres of music are popular among the Brandeis student body. Student Events also used iTunes top ten lists to see what music students listen to. The members of the committee compiled a list of their favorite bands from each genre. Folickman said a popular trend in last year’s surveys was a desire to hear more hip-hop, which led the committee to add hip-hop artist B.O.B. to the list. “We really wanted B.O.B., but he’s in California,” Folickman said. Student Events also considered 3OH!3 and La Rue among 25 others that they included on their list. Once Student Events created a list of options, they sent it to
Pretty Polly Production to negotiate contracts with the artists. After factoring in budget restraints, the production eventually settled on OK Go. Because Student Events must set aside most of the budget for production costs, the committee found its options somewhat limited. “What we do is try to come up with suggestions we think the students would like within the budget we can afford. A lot of artists are expensive. I wasn’t aware of how expensive artists were until I joined,” concert coordinator Michelle Miller ’11 said. Student Events would not specify how much money they are paying the band or for the production. Aside from monetary concerns, the committee tried to find artists that would appeal to a majority of Brandeis students. “A lot of the time we go with indie rock … I also definitely wanted something with mainstream appeal,” Folickman said. “I thought that [OK Go] was exciting and a little bit different from what we had done in the past.” The tight time constraint also helped determine which artist would come to the Fall Concert. “We can’t have much leeway if we get only one or two days to choose from,” Miller said. “OK Go is about to start their world tour. We’re lucky to get them when we did,” Miller said.
PHOTO COURTESY interntet source/The Hoot
The band became a YouTube hit with its 2006 treadmill choreographed video, “Here It Goes Again.” Although the band seemed to reach its peak in 2007 when it won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video
University adopts need-sensitive admissions recommendation BY NATHAN KOSKELLA Editor
The university has approved recommendations for “needsensitive” admissions that will directly consider the financial need of some applicants and be considered as one factor in the decision to accept or reject them, according to an e-mail from Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy confirming the proposal. Under the new rules, admissions will continue to admit students on a need-blind basis until, by estimating how much aid the already admitted students will require, the university is forced to consider an applicant’s financial need. Currently, Admissions ranks applicants overall in terms of desirability. Under the new system, the most desirable students will be accepted need-blind, but students at the end of the list will have their financial needs considered as part of their application. “Students will have 100 per-
cent of their financial need met when they come to Brandeis, something that we have been unable to do to date,” Eddy said of the new system, “and make a Brandeis education available to many more deserving young people.” That determination is the goal of the change, which according to the proposal is to allow the money saved, from not accepting some students with need, to go to accepted students and meet their university-demonstrated need. The original advice came from a faculty committee on the admissions and aid process, reported in The Hoot Sept. 3. “We’re advocating remaining need-blind, and estimating [the total cost],” Professor Steven Burg (POL), the committee’s chair, “and admitting as many as we can need-blind.” The changes will allow Brandeis to focus more on meeting the needs of the students who are accepted and the new regime is distinct from truly need-aware, like Brandeis and many schools are for inter-
national citizens. “Need-aware means if you need financial aid, you’re rejected,” Burg said. With sensitivity to need, Brandeis aims to balance its financial obligations with being able to still pursue the brightest students, regardless of need. “This is a pre-emptive argument: do not go to needaware,” Burg said. “We [the committee] are making sure the university is not going to.” The Student Union leadership, by way of the executive board, issued a press release condemning the changes. “While we appreciate that the University finds its self in a difficult financial situation, we cannot abide by a policy which would find savings by denying qualified candidates financial aid or by granting someone admission to this institution based on anything other than academic merit and a desire to contribute to the community as whole,” the statement said. “This recommendation represents a substantial blow to the University’s bedrock values of social justice and equality.”
and the YouTube award for Most Creative Video, OK Go will soon release its newest album, “Of the Colour of the Sky,” which will include the track, “Shooting the Moon” from the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack, Jan. 12. Although OK Go has been
successful, Miller acknowledges that the style cannot appeal to everyone. “We know we can’t cater to everyone’s needs, but we know that we’ll make a lot of people happy and surprise a lot of people,” Miller said.
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September 17, 2010
Panel discusses Kagan’s appointment and media KAGAN (from p. 1)
preme Court any more than a different Justice. The biggest problem with Kagan’s nomination, Lawrence said, was the loss of “an extraordinary opportunity for public education” for American citizens. Rather than focus on issues and the Supreme Court’s role in society, the process has become a political theater, which McNamara, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, attributed to the media’s preoccupation with Kagan’s sexual orientation. The media are the public educators, and by focusing on Kagan’s sexual orientation, “softball and frumpy haircuts,” rather than her qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice, they have failed, McNamara said. Anita Hill, a Heller School professor of social policy, law and women’s studies, spoke about the attempts by Kagan’s opposition to “bloody her nose.” The first, she said, was Kagan’s prevention of military recruitment at Harvard Law School while she was the dean. Kagan’s actions were called unpatriotic and extreme, but she claimed justification because “don’t ask, don’t tell violated Harvard’s anti-discrimination policies. The event was then used to cast light
on where she stood on the issue of gay rights, which later fed into the media and public frenzy about her sexual orientation. Other excuses from Kagan’s opponents included her politicization of medical science in the Clinton administration, Hill said, when she was painted as radically pro-choice. Her judicial activism was called into question when she was accused of admiring former Justice Thurgood Marshall. Kagan was a clerk for Marshall early in her career, and he was considered an activist judge who protected the underdog. Opponents worry about that influence on her decisions as a justice, but, Hill asked, is that such a bad thing? The panelists also speculated on the impact of having a third woman Justice, concluding that the exact impact of a third woman was hard to know, but that the change from no women 30 years ago was a giant leap. However, they pointed out that women are still extremely underrepresented in other areas of the federal government, especially the Senate, at 17 percent, a statistic that Mandrell called “frightening.” Candidates for the Supreme Court should “reflect not only the law, but also the beauty and breadth of the country,” Hill concluded.
New fire log and regulations outlined in public safety report FIRE SAFETY (from p. 1)
University Police must notify the Dean of Student Life’s office when a student is confirmed as missing by the police supervisor. For students living on campus, the Dean’s office must then contact the Community Development Coordinator on duty who would then contact neighbors and friends who live near the missing student. After 24 hours, the student’s emergency contact, if submitted to the registrar would then be contacted. If the student, older than 18, does not have an emergency contact, the Dean’s office will be responsible for notifications from that point on. For missing students younger than 18, parents or legal guardians must be contacted. For inter-
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national students or students living off- campus, the procedures differ, according to the report. In its outline of the Brandeis Emergency Notification System (BENS), the report explains that the university will use e-mails, phone calls and text messages to notify students in the event of an emergency. A siren warning system is also in place. The university will test the BENS system and organize evacuation drills at least once per year as it did in April last semester. The four evacuation sites on campus are the Coffman Grad Commons Room in the Charles River Apartments, main gym inside the Gosman Athletics Center the main stage in Spingold Theatre and Levin Ballroom inside the Usdan Student Center.
PHOTOS BY Alan Tran/The Hoot
ROUND TABLE: (Below) From left to right, Professor Eileen McNamara (AMST), future university President Frederick Lawrence, Professor Anita HIll (Heller) and Professor James Mandrell (WGS) discuss the historical and political implications of the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. (Right) Hill dissected the reasons behind opponants of Kagan’s confirmation. (Above) McNamara describes the mainstream media’s obsession with Elena Kagan’s personal life.
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
Univ expresses crosswalk concerns CROSSWALK (from p. 2)
The original purpose of the Squire Bridge was to provide a safe way for students to walk to Gosman, he said. Because of a Waltham police officer stationed on South Street during the summer, Callahan said that Waltham police were able to issue between citations every week. He added that it is very troubling to see cars speeding down the busy road, especially because the university and Stanley Elementary School are located so close. “I definitely have seen Waltham police clocking people a lot more for speeding,” Vela said. “The safe actions that you initiate may prevent an accident from occurring,” Callahan wrote in his statement.
Peretz letter to be sent despite apology BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
PHOTO BY Ingrid Schulte/The Hoot
HUT HUT HIKE: The case pictured above mysteriously appeared on a staircase between the first and second floors of the Shapiro Campus Center yesterday. The plaque reads “Brandeis football trophies and awards,” and the case is empty. Brandeis did have a football team from 1948 until 1959 when the board of trustees voted to prohibit contact sports at the university. The football team has since become a joke on campus, with T-shirts sold in the bookstore boasting of the university’s football team being “undefeated since 1959.”
Members of the Brandeis community this week signed a petition protesting a column Brandeis Alumna Marty Peretz ’59 published in a New Republic blog Sept. 4. The organizers of the petition still intend to send the signed letter to the magazine’s offices, despite Peretz’ Sept. 13 apology on a New Republic blog. Peretz, who is editor-in-chief of the magazine wrote his column about why he is opposed to the construction of the Muslim community on the now famous Plot51 in New York City. He concluded his column writing, “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.” Sahar Massachi ’11 and Adam Hughes ’11 took offense to Peretz’ column and drafted an open letter from the Brandies community to Peretz. “Your recent remarks are appalling, and do not reflect the values of the broader Brandeis community,” the letter reads. “For better or worse, your actions reflect on us. Brandeis University stands for love, not hate. Brandeis stands for respecting the truth. Brandeis stands for recognizing the humanity in others. We value
our Muslim community members here; they are part of our broad family.” Massachi said in an interview with The Hoot that Peretz committed two transgressions in his column; “the value judgement of Muslim life and his idea that freedom of worship does not apply to all Americans.” While Peretz’ apology early this week retracted his statement regarding the first amendment, the Brandies alumn maintained “the other sentence ... ‘Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims’ ... is a statement of fact, not value,” citing various wars in the Middle East. Because of this, Massachi said he and Hughes will still send the letter to Peretz. “It was a bigoted statement,” Massachi said. “I’m not saying he’s a bigoted person, I don’t want to define his soul, but what he said is deeply offensive to me as a human being.” Brandeis student Union President Daniel Acheampong ’11 wrote in a press release that the union “believe[s] this incident, rather than being a wholly negative experience, can be used as a jumping off point for a discussion of multiculturalism and prejudice.” Massachi said it is the Brandeis community’s responsibility to “speak the uncomfortable truth” to its members who act inapporpriately. “Peretz is a member of the community, he’s one of us,” Massachi said. “The whole point of the letter is to say ‘dear community member, we feel like you are family, and as your family we disagree with what you did.’”
Univ board of trustees has financial conflicts of interest CONFLICT OF INTEREST (from p. 1)
with the Budget and Finance and Physical Facilities committees, Brandeis Senior Vice President of Communications Andrew Gully wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot. Neither Lerman nor Jacobson received any form of compensation from Brandeis directly resulting from these transactions or otherwise. Gully wrote that the university has had a contract with Aramark since 1998, while Lerman joined the board in 1995. However, he noted that the tax exemption forms attest that the university renewed its contract with Aramark in FY2009 as part of “a competitive bid process and the normal procurement process.” The university’s investment with Highfields Capital was “entered into at arms length in the
ordinary course of business,” according to the tax exemption form. Gully would not disclose how long the university has been invested in Highfields Investment, writing “as a matter of practice, the university does not share information regarding its investments.” According to the tax exemption form, the university’s investment in Highfields Capital predates Jacobson’s 2006 appointment to the board of trustees. Gully said the $7.4 million noted on the form indicates the amount of money the university has invested with Highfields since the beginning of their business relationship. He would not comment as to whether any portion of that figure was invested after Jacobson was appointed to the board.
The Brandeis Hoot
Emergency response system to be tested Tuesday On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the university will conduct several tests of emergency response procedures. The safety tests will occur in cooperation with the Waltham Police and Fire Departments, the Brandeis Public Safety Department, the Administration staff and the Office of Communications. The tests will include evacuations of several buildings and testing of sirens, the telephone public address system and text message systems. At 11 a.m., sirens will start sounding around campus and will last for three minutes, and students will receive text and voice messages on Brandeis phones and cell phones. All-clear signals will sound between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m.
Flu shots to be distributed to high-risk students
September 17, 2010
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The Health Center will begin offering flu shots to highrisk candidates* on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Students getting shots should wear clothing with no sleeves or sleeves that can easily be rolled up. Students should also read the vaccine information sheet online in advance (http://www. immunize.org/vis/2flu.pdf). General population flu shots will likely be available in October. * High-risk candidates include those with diabetes, asthma or cardiac conditions, or are otherwise immunosuppressed as previously documented in their Brandeis health record.
Search for Rose Art Museum director underway A recently formed search committee is now looking for the next Director of The Rose Art Museum. Until then, Roy Dawes will continue to serve as Director of Museum Operations. Recently, The Rose has hired Dabney Hailey as Director of Academic Programming and Kristen Parker as Collections Manager and Registrar. The formation of the search committee comes as The Rose is preparing for two new fall exhibitions, “Waterways” and “Regarding Painting” that will open in early October. The committee currently includes Scott Edmiston, Director, Office of the Arts (committee chair), Dan Feldman, Vice President for Planning and Capital Projects, Susan Lichtman, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, John Lisman, Professor of Biology, Robin Miller, Professor of Russian Literature and Chair of GRALL, Steven Reiner, Chair, Rose Board of Overseers and member of the Brandeis Board of Trustees, and Jonathan Unglaub, Associate Professor of Fine Arts. A Brandeis student and a museum professional will soon be invited to join the committee. The Student Union Executive Board recognizes Roy Dawes for his active and innovative work to maintain the Rose. They look forward to the collaboration between administration and student body to select and a new director.
Eddy’s responsibilities to be shared until replacement found Senior Vice President Jean Eddy will leave Brandeis at the end of the month to work at the Rhode Island School of Design, and the search for her replacement is in progress. Until a replacement is found, Keenyn McFarlane, Vice President for Enrollment, and Rick Sawyer, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life, will oversee the Division of Students and Enrollment.
by Leah Finkelman, Staff
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September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot 7
PHOTOS BY Max Shay/The Hoot
8 The Brandeis Hoot
Established 2005 "To acquire wisdom, one must observe." Ariel Wittenberg Editor in Chief Nathan Koskella News Editor Jon Ostrowsky News Editor Bret Matthew Impressions Editor Kara Karter Sports Editor Kayla Dos Santos Arts, Etc. Editor Jodi Elkin Layout Editor Leah Lefkowitz Layout Editor Max Shay Photography Editor Vanessa Kerr Business Editor Savannah Pearlman Copy Editor Yael Katzwer Deputy Copy Editor Associate Editors Alex Schneider, Destiny D. Aquino
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SUBMISSION POLICIES The Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the general community. Preference is given to current or former community members. The Hoot reserves the right to edit any submissions for libel, grammar, punctuation, spelling and clarity. The Hoot is under no obligation to print any of the pieces submitted. Letters in print will also appear on-line at www.thehoot.net. The deadline for submitting letters is Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. All letters must be submitted electronically at www. thehoot.net. All letters must be from a valid e-mail address and include contact information for the author. Letters of length greater than 500 words may not be accepted. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board. The Hoot is a community student newspaper of Brandeis University. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.
September 17, 2010
‘Let the sun shine in’
t is no secret that Brandeis students care about transparency. Deeply invested in the well-being and continued success of our university, the student body has repeatedly called upon the administration to be transparent about its policy and decision-making processes. The need for our passionate and vocal concerns has been reaffirmed by our administrators’ decisions time and time again. Campus-wide reaction to The Rose Art controversy resulted in “town hall” meetings between students and administrators, and objections to the university’s opaque handling of the financial downturn were met with the addition of students to executive committees. Despite these past constructive measures, in light of recent discoveries we are once more compelled to remind our administrators that true transparency is a consistent practice rather than an occasional ideal. In response to The Hoot’s re-
quests for an account of the clear connections between university trustees and certain companies with which the university does business, the administration served us vague assurances that there had been no violation of the board of trustee’s conflict of interest policy in these cases. Both the contract renewal with Aramark and investment in Highfields Capital were passed off as normal orders of business. No details were released regarding the particulars of the alleged “competitive bid process” in which the company of Trustee Jeanette Lerman’s husband participated, and Senior Vice President of Communications Andrew Gully was likewise reticent about how much the university has invested with Highfields Capital since its owner Jonathon Jacobson was appointed to the board of trustees. Apparently, it is up to the trustees to decide whether or not their participation on committees posing potential conflicts of interest to them is appropriate. We are
not insinuating that the board has entered the university into these business relationships for the personal gain of individual trustees, but the purpose of transparency in an organization is not simply to give it a tool with which to defend itself from possible suspicions. We will not accuse university administrators of having something to hide merely because they have not practiced full disclosure with the student body, nor are we asking to cynically dissect every single decision that our administrators make. Rather, we ask the university to remember the true value of transparency and why the student body demanded it in the first place. A commitment to transparency on part of the administration is a display of trust. It is a positive confirmation of the mutual responsibility that all members of the Brandeis community have to maintain the integrity of our institution. As Justice Louis Brandeis, our university’s namesake said, “sunlight is the best dissinfectant.”
Letter to the Editor
Hoot Classifieds First post is free! thebrandeishoot.com /classifieds
I am writing today to comment about the article “Handy to have around” that was printed on Sept. 3. Earlier that week, my dad mentioned to me that he was going to be featured in an article for the school newspaper about all of the work that he and his department do for Brandeis. I was really happy for him, as he has worked for Brandeis University for 24 years and it was great that the school paper thought it was equally important to write about the people that do a lot for the school, faculty and their students. With this all said, after reading your article, I was appalled and quite disappointed of how my father and his department were portrayed. The article made a mockery of him, some of his other unnamed colleagues and the Trade Person Helper department as a whole. If you wanted to print an article about layoffs, demotions, or any other aspect of facilities at Brandeis, then that is what your article should have been about. It seemed clear to me that this was really what you were trying to get across in the article when Mark Collins was mentioned and workers compensation due to injuries to facilities workers. The title of the article and what it was about was not related.
“Handy to have around” should have been about how hard facilities works year-round when students are on and off campus, when faculty requests items at the last minute, and how they are employed by Brandeis to fix anything from a flooded toilet to an electrical issue in a dorm. This was not the way that he or his team were portrayed when you made it seem like my father wants all of the easy jobs like a flooded toilet as was mentioned in the article. In response to the recent layoff situation and Mark Collins not commenting, my father was laid off, but in their union, they can be bumped down to a different position due to seniority; which is why he is now in TPH instead of HVAC and thankfully not searching for another job like so many people have to unfortunately endure. My father, as well as I, thought that the article was going to be in a positive light, showcasing how the TPH and other facilities departments work very hard to keep Brandeis running and in great condition. This however, was not the case. Sincerely, Korrinn Nauss
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot 9
Undergrads pen book on a ‘Sparkling Tomorrow’ BY DEBBY BRODSKY Special to The Hoot
Two Brandeis students have published a new book, “Blueprints for a Sparkling Tomorrow: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream,” that argues for the creation of a “futuropolis” to solve society’s many flaws. The decision to write together formed when Oren Nimni ’11 and Nathan Robinson ’11 discovered they shared “precisely the same vision of human affairs” while taking a politics course at the university, the pair wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot. “Rejecting both our professors and our classmates, we realized that we were the last remaining sane citizens in a nation built upon sovereign madness,” Nimni and Robinson wrote. “Blueprints for a Sparkling Tomorrow,” available for purchase on Amazon.com is “about the human condition and its prospects,” the two wrote. Not only does the book analyze the problems of today’s society, it projects the authors’ images of a “Futuropolis” or “a Sparkling Tomorrow.” The second portion of the book’s title, “Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream,”
references Barack Obama’s use of this phrase. “We wished to expose Mr. Obama as the academic charlatan he has become,” they wrote, referencing “The Audacity of Hope” as “a work filled with demi-truths, libelations, and birds of rhetorical paradise.” While Nimni and Robinson originally targeted their book towards a general audience, they later found that “some sections do require a level of graduate study in the areas under discussion.” However, should the general reader decide to pursue “a rudimentary understanding of botanical psychology and narco-feminism,” their’s is the book for you. Although “Blueprints for a Sparkling Tomorrow” addresses societal flaws much like “thousands of others published annually under that plasticcoated umbrella, it is distinguishable [from other books because the authors] subscribe to the Anarcho-Physicist notion of a human disease, pervasive and universal,” Nimni and Robinson wrote. Nimni and Robinson say that they were inspired to write by the “universal misery that encircles us.” They “aim to probe at the most damaging limbs of civilization, to sever them and
replace them with shimmering lemonade-utopias.” Both Nimni and Robinson consider themselves to be perpetual authors, and while “Blueprints for a Sparkling Tomorrow” was written between the months of April and September, the book has been “gestating since birth.” Additionally, the entire writing process was a team effort. With the exception of one footnote titled “The Nimni Corollary,” and “a single chapter written as a Platonic dialogue between [the authors], no parts of the book are distinguishable as a single man’s voice,” they wrote. And the book will not be their last. Nimni and Robinson plan to write a series, from which two more volumes are expected. The upcoming books are to be titled “Dimensions of Communitopia: An Exercise in Sane Living” and “The Human Disease: Its Diagnosis and Its Cure.” “Blueprints for a Sparkling Tomorrow” is available on Amazon.com and locally at Boston’s Brattle Book Shop.
NEW AUTHORS: Seniors Nimni and Robinson published their first book via CreateSpace, Amazon’s self-publishing service. PHOTO FROM Internet Source
Alumnus depicts Brandeis beginnings BY KAYLA DOS SANTOS Editor
Leading social psychologist Elliot Aronson, winner of multiple awards from the American Psychological Association, attended Brandeis during its beginnings in the 1950s. In a section in his memoir “Not by Chance Alone” he illustrates how the new university deeply impacted his life and paints a picture of a very different place from the Brandeis that students know today. Before Aronson decided to attend Brandeis University, which was, at the time, a three-yearold college, he was already connected to the school through his older brother. Jason Aronson was Brandeis’ first Student Union president and naturally encouraged his brother to attend here. In a phone interview, Elliot Aronson described his perception of the university at the time. “I loved the idea of Brandeis. In 1950, the admissions policies— especially at elite private colleges, were very anti-semitic ...
PHOTO FROM Internet Source
the goal of Brandeis was that it would be a place that wouldn’t discriminate against anybody.” Although Aronson was considering other colleges, in the end, he didn’t think he had a
choice. C o m ing from a lowincome f am i ly, Brandeis’ offer of a full-year scholarship was too tempting to turn down. “It was a good school that was going to be a great school ... but I didn’t know that. I was 18 and stupid ... the main reason I went there was
the scholarship.” During his second year, however, Brandeis did not offer him any financial aid. Aronson describes in his book how he received the news in a darkly
comic part of his memoir: “The first [letter] came in late June and congratulated me on my sterling grades during my freshman year. The second arrived a week later, informing me that, due to a shortage of funds, the university could no longer offer me financial aid.” He spent the first semester of his sophomore year essentially homeless, sleeping in friends’ dorms and cars, moving from place-to-place and unable to eat on-campus because he didn’t have a meal contract. Yet Aronson grew to love Brandeis and so he fought to continue to stay here. He explained during the interview, “For the first time in my life I fell in love with learning. I hated high school and didn’t think I was a good student ... by the time I finished freshman year you couldn’t pry me away from Brandeis ... I was a mussel clinging to a rock” During the time Aronson attended Brandeis there had not been a senior class yet and there were only approximately 500 students. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. Aronson
joked that it complicated dating on campus, “People paired up pretty quickly; it was not easy to date more than one person on campus at a time. Everyone knew each other, [Brandeis] had a small-town nature.” Another thing that complicated matters was that in the 1950s girls lived in dormitories where boys were not allowed. While the social atmosphere of the campus was different, so was the campus’ physical geography. There were only a few buildings, one of them being a cozy cottage where the Psychology Department held classes. Contributing to the small-town feel, Brandeis also had a grape arbor and a wishing well. Since Aronson graduated from Brandeis, he has returned to the campus several times. While he understands that the campus had to grow and expand in order to accommodate the more than 3,000 undergraduates, he has not liked most of the buildings that have been added to the campus since he graduated. See ARONSON, p. 12
10 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
September 17, 2010
Studying effectively: Achieving A’s inside school and inside your body BY GABBY KATZ Special to The Hoot
With almost a month of school under our belts, the work is beginning to pile up, papers are due, and tests and quizzes are creeping up on us and knocking at our doors. The problem is that with all our breaks and vacations, most of our minds are off laying in the sun on the Great Lawn and our bodies are longing for our beds (or the brisket we had this past weekend)—hardly the mindset for hard-core studying. So, how do we get ourselves back into the full swing of things while maintaining our physical health? Luckily, I have some answers for you. We all know the cliché study tips; study in a quiet place, sleep on your textbook, use flash cards, explain concepts to others, try to take caffeine intravenously. Then why don’t we all have 4.0’s? Apparently, the Louie test guru has been hiding some hidden study secrets from us. First, it is always important to change the area in which you are studying, Dartmouth college research shows that studying the same material in at least two different places can increase your
retention of the material and enhance your performance during crunch time. Second, studying is like a workout for your brain—it’s hungry and needs breaks! By studying no later than 45-60 minutes after a meal, your brain can work more at its maximum potential by having nutrients to run on. If you do need a snack, foods that contain omega three fatty acids can help improve communication between brain cells and are found in C-Store foods like flax seeds, black raspberries, tuna, walnuts, eggs, kangaroo meat and cheese. These foods are all healthier for your body than energy drinks and candy and can boost your brain power without sending you into a sugar crash later. In terms of taking breaks, never study for more than 45 minutes without getting up and doing a lap around wherever you are studying while thinking about your weekend plans or something not related to your study materials. Most people retain more by studying for short bursts of time; this break ensures your brain is internalizing the materials while re-energizing your body for the next study
hour. In terms of long-term rest, the worst thing you could do is sleep fewer hours than the number your body needs. Getting a set number of hours of sleep is silly as every body is different, so whatever you know makes you well-rested normally is the amount you should be sleeping at least two consecutive days before your exam. Your brain is set, you have
the material down cold, you’re ready for any question thrown your way, but you feel like a hippopotamus for just sitting and studying for a week straight. Was there something you could have done to make your body have felt better too? Alas there was! Below are some illustrations of in-library exercises you can do during study breaks that burn calories, tone muscles and make
Rose Arts Barbeque
you feel even more like a lean, mean, studying machine. You are now the Rocky of the test arena and ready to mentally and physically kick any test’s butt. Go get ’em Tiger! Tune in next week for more health tips and, as always, please send me an e-mail me at gkatz10@ brandeis.edu with any healthrelated questions you may have.
GRAPHIC BY Gabby Katz /The Hoot
Photo spread by Max Shay
School of Creative Arts hosted a BBQ where new students could check-out Brandeis’ Arts offerings.
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
Not just a pretty face CW’s Nikita has strong female lead, troubling portrayal of beauty BY KAYLA DOS SANTOS Editor
The CW’s new serial spy drama “Nikita” features talented actors playing strong female characters, but in the end the show reveals and is an example of what is problematic with society’s portrayal of beauty in media. “Nikita” focuses on a shady covert government agency operating under the vague moniker “Division.” The agency trains juvenile delinquents to commit assassinations under the pretense of protecting the United States’ interests. Maggie Q’s character Nikita, an assassin gone rogue and out for revenge against the Division, kicks butt during the first few minutes of her time on-screen. In a clever fight scene, she breaks her target’s neck with ease and takes out a nearby bodyguard with the perfectly aimed throw of a dagger. Nikita is strong and not afraid of using her fists to achieve her goals. She does all of this while wearing a tiny red bikini. Maggie Q’s beautiful and the show capitalizes on her looks. The camera spends a lot of time scanning her body. Later on in the pilot episode, for no reason whatsoever, Nikita walks around her hideout wearing a flimsy robe and black underwear. The network has advertised the show with the tagline “Looks do kill” and this theme of beauty entwined with violence is something that is hammered into the viewers’ heads ad nauseum. On one hand it’s empowering to watch a strong and beautiful woman physically out-perform her male rivals, on the other hand the emphasis on Maggie Q’s looks is almost exploitative.
The theme of beauty and violence can’t be ignored because it is so integral to the show’s premise. The Division purposefully recruits young men and women as assassins because they are beautiful. They transform them by teaching them to walk, talk, apply make-up and kill people. District agent Amanda (Melinda Clarke) promises a new recruit that she will help her “embrace your beauty.” Then she gives the recruit a makeover. Beauty is treated as a tool for assassins because it allows potential targets to underestimate their would-be killers and because it distracts. In the opening fight scene, for example, Nikita was able to get close to her target because the target viewed her as simply a sex object. Yet Nikita is not just a pretty face, she’s smart too. During the pilot she evades capture, gathers intel and sabotages an attempted assassination of a foreign diplomat. What’s most impressive is that all of these actions are part of Nikita’s scheme to take down the agency that trained and ultimately betrayed her. Maggie Q does a good job at maintaining a veneer of icy intelligence that lends credibility to the show’s premise. One of the most entertaining aspects of the show is that the viewer is presented with the challenge of attempting to guess Nikita’s next move and what her ultimate endgame is. For the most part Nikita is a step ahead of the CIA operatives and the viewers. The last few seconds of the episode are such a surprise for the viewers that they fundamentally change the show and provide incentive to keep watching. While the show clearly displays that Nikita is a smart, forceful woman, the Division
and the show are perpetuating society’s obsession with beauty. The Division treats beauty as a strength because of society’s assumption that it indicates vulnerability, but ultimately what the show reveals is that beauty equals strength. This is not in itself a bad thing, but it is a theme that has already been to oprevalent on television with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Alias,” “The Sarah Connor C h r o n i c l e s” and (most recently) “Covert Affairs.” A n o t h e r show about a sexy dangerous woman doesn’t seem PHOTO FROM Internet Source so empowerKILLING LOOKS: The CW emphasizes Maggie Q’s looks in the new serial spy drama ing anymore. ‘Nikita’ and in many of their promotional materials. It’s time for other types of women to have thrilling. It smartly switches opposite Mandy Moore in a their time onscreen. between the actions of a disil- drippy teen romance and for his Of course, the network’s focus lusioned and bitter Nikita to ongoing role on ER, seems outon Maggie Q’s beauty could just the training of the new recruit of-place in this world of espiobe a tactic to hook viewers to the Alex played by Lyndsy Fonseca. nage. show and could be something Fonseca’s performance is fun to “Nikita” is definitely worth that could be treated more subtly watch because she brings a bit- watching and as more episodes as there are more episodes. ing edge to her character. The are shown maybe the network Despite quibbles regarding only false note in casting is will de-emphasize the show’s the show’s portrayal of women, Shane West as a Division han- preoccupation with beauty. the show is interesting, fun and dler. West, known for his role
You ask me where I’m from BY CANDICE BAUTISTA Special to The Hoot
You ask me where I’m from. Most of the time the correct answer will be somewhere between New York and New York City. You ask me from which part, and I’ll respond “Queens, although I went to school in Manhattan” as if that small distinction will paint a picture of skylines and lunchboxes from Whole Foods in your mind instead of a semisuburb named something as generic as “Fresh Meadows.” You then tell me you’re from somewhere else in New York or from Newton or San Diego or somewhere else and we makemental associations with farms or apples or beaches that we hope will somehow make sense of the person in front of us. You ask me where I’m from. This is done with a heavy Chinese accent and I try to gauge what exactly you want my answer to be. I say New York. You
note my minimal accent and ask when I moved to the States. I laugh nervously as I respond that hopefully I don’t have an accent at all since I don’t know any language but English because I was born here. You laugh and smile weakly. I offer that my parents came from the Philippines, as if the Filipino blood that flows through me somehow came from the same blood that flows through you. For a second I wish I were from where you’re from. You could talk about the excessively long plane ride and I
with North. You respond that you are also from North or that you’re from Massell. We determine that we live in the same place or we don’t. I say I’m in the building with the laundry machines. You say you’re in the co-ed building. We talk about turkeys or ponds or even meal plans, each sentence a road we’ve walked down a million GRAPHIC BY Savannah Pearlman/The Hoot times before but could complain about how hard never bothered to learn anything it is to figure out the temperature about. You ask me where I’m from. I with this ridiculous American try to answer with the words that system. You ask me where I’m from. At say who I am the most. With so this point, I choose to respond many one-time conversations in
the past three weeks, my identity has been completely dissected into a bunch of random facts about me. I am a freshman. I am from the East Coast. I am Filipino but kind of not really. Someone once told me that freshman year is all about figuring out who I am at college and being that person to the extreme. But isn’t who I am in college just a displaced version of who I am in high school? Every time you ask me where I’m from, we get closer to learning more about each other but somehow further away. Next time you ask me where I’m from, stick around for a little more conversation. Tell me your favorite hiding spots as a kid, why you like the rain or even what you originally thought the Freshman Fifteen was. I’ll make sure every word counts and that you won’t be another list of facts bound to places you’re from. I’ll see you for who you are, just another person trying to make a friend.
12 ARTS, ETC.
The Brandeis Hoot
September 17, 2010
New iPods ... iWant BY GORDY STILLMAN Staff
September has meant one thing to the rabid fans of Apple’s tech gizmos: new iPods. During the past couple years I’ve made sure to check out new technologies in the MP3 world and to keep track of new MP3 gadgets. These last few years have been a bit of a drag, in fact, current versions of the original iPod are physically inferior to older versions. The nanos have had minor changes and shuffles have changed shape. While these have had the added feature or two, they have consistently lacked enough to convince me to upgrade from my older iPod to one of the newer ones; but this year is different. This September has finally signaled a fundamental change in Apple’s lineup. The iPod Touch, certainly Apple’s flagship edition since its creation in 2007, has undergone some of the coolest changes of all. Not only is it smaller, but it now has cameras—notice the plural. The new iPods have TWO cameras. One is on the back and can re-
cord video in high definition and the other is on the front for Facetime video calls. You can now Skype with a device that fits in your pocket and that doesn’t require an AT&T contract like the iPhone. The iPod nano has now been reinvented into a smaller iPod touch. Apple has removed the video camera and microphone, and reduced screen size, but in exchange it offers greater portability. Think of it as an iPod shuffle with a touch screen and the ability to actually choose what you listen to. The iPod shuffle has returned to its second shape. It’s not a plastic u.s.b. stick or a tiny aluminum stick. It’s an aluminum square with controls on the front and a clip on the back. Apple, it seems, has learned that their customers don’t want to have to use controls on their headphones to switch songs or raise or lower volume, they want buttons or a touch screen on the device itself. This is an achievement. Apple has listened to critics rather than just ignoring them like they did with the iPhone 4 antenna fiasco in which the current iPhone,
when held in certain ways, loses reception. Apple has also release the tenth edition of their famous iTunes software. It’s still the iTunes we know and love but with a slightly shinier interface and a social networking aspect called Ping. Apple has taken some great steps forward with their newest generation of iPods. The touch could very well kill non-iPhone cell phones with its video-calling feature (that only requires wifi, which we get free from the school). The nano brings touch technology to us all at a lower price but at the cost of features that were steps forward a year ago, while the shuffle also takes a step back—back in the right direction.
Aronson reminisces about 1950s Brandeis ARONSON (from p. 9)
Cautioning that his opinion is highly biased, Aronson said, “The only buildings that have gone up since my time at Brandeis that I liked were the chapels ... Some buildings are atrocious, but I understand that the university had to grow.” The chapels were erected early on in Brandeis’ history by the architect Max Abramovitz. Although Brandeis was a new university, it attracted professors who are now notable figures in American history. Aronson was taught psychology by Abraham Maslow, one of the creators of
humanist psychology. Maslow was one of Aronson’s mentors, he stated that “[Maslow] was soft in the sense that he was more like a guru. He would sit and make pronouncements ... what Maslow gave us was a positive way of thinking about human potential.” The site of Aronson’s political, sexual and academic awakening, Brandeis has deeply impacted the direction of his life. Although the Brandeis Aronson describes, in a sense, no longer exists, it is important to realize Brandeis’ continual role in helping shape the lives of the students who attend the university.
Arts Recommends Not everyone has the time to pick up the latest books or see the latest films. Our editors make some recommendations that you can pick up at the nearest library.
Book Pick: “Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman Hoffman’s tale about two sisters Gillian and Sarah Owens is a magical read. Sarah is the sensible elder sister, a single mother coping with the loss of her husband and struggling to raise her two teenage daughters. Gillian is a beautiful heart-breaker, a wild-child who finds herself in a horrible predicament with a dead body in her car. Despite their differences, the sisters are bound by the fact that they grew up in a magical household with witches as guardians. The sisters are richly imagined and when you reach the last page of the novel it’s almost as if you’re departing the company of good friends. “Practical Magic” is delicious to read because Hoffman is skilled at blending a tale of family drama with the supernatural. -KDS
Movie Pick: “Marie Antoinette”
PHOTOS FROM Internet Source
Conventional biopics, with their sedate wombto-tomb narratives, tend towards the intellectually stifling, but director Sofia Coppola bucks the trend with her “Marie Antoinette,” an exploration of the life of the doomed French queen. While some mistake the film’s absence of a standard plot for an absence of content, it is a near perfect example of cinematic portraiture at its best, successfully juxtaposing the stuffy court at Versailles with Marie’s own tumultuous relations with the people around her all in an effort to make this historical pariah somehow relatable. Coppola’s Antoinette would easily be as much at home in the familiar land of Converse as in the alien rococo settings she inhabits. The various idiosyncrasies with which Coppola imbues her film—Louis XV has something of a Southern drawl and post-punk is the queen’s music of choice—somehow meld together to create something beautiful and wholly singular.—SF
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot 13
Book of Matthew
My letter to Marty Peretz Pets: property or
BY BRET MATTHEW Editor
Dear Mr. Peretz, This is one of two letters sent to you from Brandeis—the other being a petition signed by five hundred students. The petition calls for you to apologize for remarks you made about Muslims in your Sept. 4 blog post on The Spine. My name is on that petition as well, but I thought, given that you have already issued an apology of sorts, that I would send you some of my own thoughts on the matter. First of all, Nicholas Kristof was correct in calling you out for your most egregious statement in that post. “But, frankly,” you wrote, “Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines the brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.” Kristof focused on that first and last sentence, and it was he, I presume, who prompted you to write an apology. In it, you wrote that upon further reflection your last sentence—regarding First Amendment rights—“genuinely embarrasses” you. “I wrote that, but I do not believe that,” you wrote in your post. I have to ask, Mr. Peretz, what does that even mean? Were you caught up in such a fit of passion while writing that you wrote without thinking? Or do you typically write words that you do not believe? If you are going to admit that you are wrong about something, just admit it. Tell us how you learned from your mistakes; teach us something. But don’t pretend that you never meant to write a sentence that appears prominently in your published work. I expect that sort of cheap ploy from dishonest politicians. Not the editor-in-chief of The New Republic. Not from a Brandeis graduate. And then there’s your other statement—which, to my amazement, you don’t even apologize for in a post titled “An Apology.” You
call your assertion that “Muslim life is cheap” a “statement of fact,” as if you can make general assertions about the ways in which the world’s 1.57 billion Muslims view their own lives, based on the actions of a tiny percentage of their number. This is a foolish—and dangerous—way of thinking. Look at it from another point of view: Christians kill each other all the time. Detroit and New Orleans, for example, were ranked alongside Baghdad and Karachi in CNN’s list of the ten most dangerous cities in the world. The former two cities are predominantly Christian and have a high murder rate, yet no one is threatening American Christians with the loss of their First Amendment rights if they fail to condemn these killings. No one is accusing Christian life of being “cheap.” I could go on providing more specific examples, but I believe Kristof—who has seen much more of the world than I have— says it better in his blog when he responds to your apology. (By the way, he doesn’t buy the “Muslim life is cheap” argument either). I’ve read a lot of your work in the past few days, Mr. Peretz, and I must say that you have quite a history of singling out Muslims, often unfairly. In your Sept. 2 blog post on The Spine, you argue that there is no Muslim demand for an Islamic cultural center at ground zero, and cite a poll done by the Arabic-language online daily Elaph to prove it. You also talk about the project’s financial difficulties. Both of these are fair points that merit discussion, but instead of doing that, you spend the second half of your post focusing on the name of the proposed center: “Cordoba.” You quote a long passage that also originates in Elaph, and was reposted on Answering Islam, an evangelical Christian website that purports to create an online “Christian-Muslim dialogue.” The author of the passage claims that the choice of the name “Cordoba” was “not an innocent one,” but actually “indicated a longing for the resumption of Islamic futuhat (conquests) throughout the world.” He then argues that Muslims show no remorse for the death and enslavement that occurred during the conquest of
Cordoba—the area in Spain held under Islamic rule from the 8th through the 11th century. The author—and by extension, you—ignores the truth of Cordoba’s history. The city itself was one of the most scientifically advanced places in the world under Islamic rule, and home to the world’s largest library: The Great Mosque of Cordoba. Here, Muslim scholars translated hundreds of thousands of ancient Greek documents. Most importantly, Jews and Christians who lived in Cordoba were allowed to practice their religions freely—something that could not be said for most other cities in Europe at the time. Perhaps you ought to do a little more fact checking before writing posts in the future. Frankly, Mr. Peretz, when I first became aware of your blogging I immediately thought that President Reinharz and the Brandeis Alumni Association should have retracted the Alumni Achievement Award you received last year, and removed you from the various Notable Alumni lists that appear on the school website. I don’t believe I was the only one of my peers to feel this way, either. Of course, this will never happen. Through speaking with Senior Vice President for Communications and External Affairs Andrew Gully, I learned that even though the Administration has been following the story, it has no plans to take any action. You are one of Brandeis’s favorite sons in the world of journalism, and many are proud to say that a former editor-in-chief of the Justice went on to cover national news. Your service on the Board of Trustees doesn’t hurt your image either. So, instead of asking the impossible of the Administration, I will ask something of you, Mr. Peretz: Get out of the office and start asking questions. You have been sitting in your armchair generalizing the feelings of an entire people for too long. Ask Imam Rauf why he is building an Islamic Cultural Center in New York. Ask moderate Muslims why they feel uncomfortable condemning their more radical brethren. Better yet, come back to Waltham and pay a visit to your alma mater. I imagine that there are many students— Muslims and non-Muslims—who would be only too happy to sit down with you and have a discussion. You might even learn a bit about the discomfort moderate Jews feel about criticizing Israel. Your views aside, Mr. Peretz, you are still one of the great veterans of the journalism world. In this modern day, when too many Internet journalists and bloggers prefer to inflame rather than inform, it would be nice to know that you still find value in seeking the truth. Impressions Editor's note: A copy of this column was mailed to Marty Peretz at The New Republic.
part of the family
GRAPHIC BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot
BY GORDY STILLMAN Staff
My family has had what might be called a brush with death these last few months. Back in May, I noticed an odd growth on my cat’s shoulder. It grew fast and I forced a trip to the vet. Amanda (the cat) had cancer and we had it removed a week later. I spent 3 full days taking care of her, and it was hell, to say the least. Every day though she got better, returned more to the cat I knew from before college and over breaks. I thought we were in the clear, as did the vets; we were wrong. As I got ready to return to school I noticed something else odd in the same spot. My brother took care of stuff this time. Initially, it seemed like a minor infection, but as time passed the situation became less confident. Some would say that pets are property, and they have some validity in saying this. We buy pets, but we don’t buy family members. Family members hopefully live long lives; pets die comparably quickly. Euthanasia is illegal, we put pets “to sleep” to prevent excessive pain. I have no doubt that some form of fate placed Amanda with my family. When we went to the Animal Humane Society we looked at all the cats, first the healthy and then the sick when we didn’t bond with any of the healthy ones. Instantly my brother and Amanda bonded. The best way I could describe it would be like when Harry gets his wand (Sorcerer’s Stone.) He chose her, and she chose him. If not for this cat running straight to my brother, jumping on his lap, and purring almost immediately we may not have ever got her, and she would have died that very month. Pets, while purchased as property, can very easily evolve into members of the family. I got my first dog (Dasher) at the end of 3rd grade, one week before my parents announced their separation and plans for divorce. For my brother and I Dasher was our constant, for a while no matter which parent we were with Dasher was right there by our side. In May of 2006 Dasher got cancer. It was inoperable and in June we put her down. As I went through high school my bonds with both Amanda and my newer dog (Raine) grew deeper as I began to appreciate the fact that my time with them was finite. I was going to college and even then they would eventually die, most likely sooner than the rest of my family. It seems society has a mixed message when it comes to pets: Buy them, bond with them, then put them out of their misery if something really bad happens. Minor stuff gets fixed but when it comes to something major like cancer, you are supposed to end the pain and be done with it. Pets are part of the family. Most Americans buy pets for the bonding element. Sure, we pay the breeder or humane society for them, but that’s more for the labor and prenatal care, not to mention the many early vaccines that keep pets alive until they develop their own immune systems. Money may change hands, but that doesn’t demote a pet to mere property. This piece is dedicated to: Dasher D. Stillman (4/23/20006/14/2006) Amanda M. Stillman (May 2000- Present) Raine D. Stillman (5/29/2006-Present)
Pets, while purchased as property, can very easily evolve into members of the family
The Brandeis Hoot
September 17, 2010
Pakistan: A modern day Atlantis? BY SIDRA SAIYED Special to The Hoot
Pakistan, July and August 2010: A sudden, unprecedented wave of torrential rain bursts across the country. Whole villages and towns are swept away by the sheer immensity of the floods. Billions of dollars worth of economic property is destroyed. Seventeen million acres of Pakistan’s most fertile land are laid to waste. One fifth of the country’s total land mass is underwater. 21 million people are rendered injured and homeless. A whole population is suddenly vulnerable to a plethora of diseases. The death toll is rising. I left Pakistan three months ago in order to start a new life here at Brandeis. I still remember the cloudless expanse of sky, the glaring sun burning so fiercely it would burn your skin, the suffocating humidity that would make it difficult to breathe on those endless days of summer. I remember summer holidays and jumping into pools, wiping the sweat off my brow and flicking the air conditioner on in one well-practiced motion. I remember collective prayers throughout the country for a respite from the unforgiving, unwavering, unfaltering heat. I remember the celebration that spread throughout the country every year when the first drops of
PHOTO COURTESY Internet source/The Hoot
monsoon rain were felt, like a cool balm over heated cheeks. Whole congregations offered prayers of thanks that the rains had finally arrived, saving the crops, providing relief from the heat. But you know what they say: When it rains, it pours. This year, even when the rains had slaked the country’s thirst and sated the arid agricultural fields, they did not stop. The downpour lasted for weeks, with an estimated 10 inches of rain in the first 24 hours with no end in sight. The devastation spread like wildfire. In a matter of days, millions of people were displaced,
thousands dead, an entire population in peril. The media picked up this thread immediately; suddenly images of whole villages and towns submerged underwater like modern day Atlantis’ flashed across television screens across the globe; pictures of separated families, hungry children with tears in their eyes looked imploringly back through the pages of international newspapers. Flood relief efforts started immediately; countries all over the world donated to help a wounded Pakistan stagger to its feet. But as different organizations joined hands with the Pakistani govern-
ment to start rehabilitation and reconstruction, the immensity of the disaster struck the hearts of everyone. Not only would immediate assistance be required for the masses of the population which was almost overnight, devastated and without a home, but in the long run, an already crippled Pakistan would have to deal with economic damage worth $17 billion. It is early days yet. Only a few weeks have passed since this devastation hit Pakistan and already donor fatigue is setting in. Yet the problem is far from solved, the country is far from healed. Pre-
conceived notions of Pakistan as a terrorist state, with an incompetent, corrupt bureaucracy with no accountability means that people are reluctant to donate as generously as they could. However, it should be remembered that this country has been ravaged beyond belief; it has experienced devastation that totals the combination of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. As BBC’s Adam Mynott very accurately puts it, “It is a catastrophe…and that’s no overstatement.”
Join the movement BY MATT GABRENYA Special to The Hoot
To be alive in the year 2010 is to carry an enormous burden. We have been born, due to no fault of our own, into a historical moment plagued by the external effects of two centuries of industrial development. The actions we take in this decade may well determine the fate of our species and the planet we inhabit for the rest of history. Climate change is certainly among the greatest dangers to humanity at present, due not only to the immediacy of the threat, but also to the scope of its impact, particularly among the most vulnerable people in the world. According to a study by high-level US Military personnel, climate change will "exacerbate the problems" of "food, water, shelter and stability," particularly in the most unstable and poorest regions of the world. Global stability will erode as "food production declines, diseases increase, clean water becomes increasingly scarce, and populations migrate in search of resources." The study notes that "climate change also has the potential to create natural and humanitarian disasters on a scale far beyond those we see today." Even the rich countries of the global north "may experi-
ence increases in immigrants and refugees as drought increases and food production declines" in the global south. And when the world was hoping for a plan to mitigate the worst of climate change at the Copenhagen conference last year, our own government fervently rejected any binding science-based agreement. Instead it offered a minuscule emissions reduction of 3% below 1990 levels by 2020, even less than the targets of the Kyoto Protocol (which of course we have not ratified). An emissions reduction target based on the goals of 350 ppm of CO2 and less than 2°C temperature increase, what is necessary to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, would require the US to reduce emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 (3). Our government is driving the world full speed into the worst possible results of climate change: global instability, mass migration, increased likelihood and severity of natural disasters, decreased food production and increasing desertification in the global south. Of course, we should remember that it is not some alien entity driving the world to devastation, it is us. You and I fund our government to carry out its destructive policies, and we support those policies with our apathy and passivity.
GRAPHIC BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot
Thankfully, we in Massachusetts are in a unique position of influence. We are among the most progressive states in the country, particularly on the issue of climate change. Based on recent polling, 80% of Massachusetts residents recognize that the earth is warming due to human activity and that there will be very or somewhat serious consequences for the world. 75% of Massachusetts residents believes that the government should limit greenhouse gases from corporations right now, and 85% support giving tax breaks to corporations to
produce clean renewable energy. And that’s where you come in. For the past year I have been working with a statewide coalition of student, religious, and environmental groups to push for 100% clean electricity in Massachusetts by 2020. This coalition is called The Leadership Campaign, and we recognize that our state is in a unique position to affect US policy on emissions reductions. By working at the state-level and demanding the science-based solution of 350 ppm of CO2 and less than 2°C temperature increase, we will lead other states and the
federal government to do the same. The Leadership Campaign is already having reverberations across the country, as the Energy Action Coalition, the primary coalition of the climate movement in the US, recently adopted our goal of 100% clean electricity by 2020. We need to build a powerful mass-based movement for a just and stable future, today. The actions of people like you and I will determine the fate of millions across the world. Visit theLeadershipCampaign. org for more information.
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
The Self shelf
The value of voting: Voicing your opinion BY ALEX SELF Editor
Is Eating Animals the right thing to do? BY MORGAN GROSS Special to The Hoot
I have always considered myself to be a “green” human being. I have sorted through trashcans to retrieve recyclables and cut plastic water bottles out of my life. I have continuously harped on my family to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, to shop local and organic and to carpool whenever possible—all of this eventually driving my mother to drink (organic apple juice, of course). I have been very content up on my eco-friendly cloud, floating on the fumes of knowledge and self-satisfaction. That is, until two Mondays ago when I experienced a rude awakening. I perused a book kiosk in South Station, hoping pick up some light reading for my six-hour journey home to Philadelphia. Scanning the shelf, a bright green volume caught my eye. Upon further examination, I saw that the cover bore the name of an author who has changed my life before: Jonathan Safran Foer—the same guy who brought us such award winning books as Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His newest book is entitled Eating Animals and is a work of nonfiction, a memoir inspired by Foer’s recent expedition into fatherhood and the decision that he has been faced with of how to raise his child gastronomically. In this novel, Foer—who has vacillated between kashrut, vegetarianism, veganism, and meat eating throughout his adult life— tells the oft-overlooked story of the livestock and meat production industry. Frequently, those who advocate for animals focus on humane slaughter practices (making sure the death of animals is quick and painless). Foer takes the stance that the lens of
the media should zoom out from the deaths of these animals and should refocus onto the horrific conditions that these same animals often suffer in life. Foer illuminates the factory farm in all of its terrifying glory; huge windowless sheds “45 feet wide by 490 feet long, each holding in the neighborhood of 33,000 birds.” “The typical cage for egg-laying hens allows each sixty seven square inches of floor space” not quite the size of a piece of printer paper. “Such cages are stacked between three and nine tiers high.” Foer goes into disturbing detail on the filth and illness that fills and overflows from these wretched factory farms, but I’ll spare you the graphics. If all of the sentimental animal stuff doesn’t sway you, then consider environmental implications, or possibly more importantly, the implications on human health that the meat production business poses. Every year, factory farmers pump between 17.8 million (as reported by the industry) and 24.6 million (as calculated by the Union of Concerned Scientists) pounds of antibiotics into livestock (in contrast to the three million pounds used to treat humans). These antibiotics are administered not to heal, but to cut the costs of treating sick animals and keep investments (read: profits) safe. This preemptive use of antibiotics doesn’t only negatively affect the livestock’s health; it also poses a serious threat to those who consume said livestock, reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics used when administered to humans. “As far back as the late 1960’s, scientists have warned against the nontheraputic use of antibiotics in farmed-animal feed… Still, the factory farm industry has effectively opposed a ban in the United States.” It’s
almost enough to make you lose your appetite. As disturbing as all of these statistics are, the thing that truly troubles me is the fact that while we openly discuss such “green” issues while consistently letting this problem fly under the radar. As we discuss the environment over burgers from the grill in Sherman, we are contributing to one of the largest suppliers of greenhouse gasses in the world— the EPA states that “livestock produce[s] 80 million metric tons of methane annually, accounting for about 28 percent of global methane emissions from humanrelated activities.” As we contemplate sustainability over Asian Chicken Wraps, we are consuming animals who are so genetically modified and mutated that they are physiologically incapable of breeding without artificial insemination—that doesn’t sound very sustainable to me. Although the scene seems dark, Foer does point out a light on the horizon. Over the past few years, there has been a resurgence of family farms. Places like those that your great-grandpa might have visited to pick out Shabbat or Thanksgiving dinner. Places that treat animals with respect; that give them room to graze and ensure them a quick and painless slaughter. Places that treat animals not like human beings, but certainly like living beings and definitely not like dirt. Although these farms are few and far between—making up less than three percent of the meat business overall—they still provide a glimmer of hope in the eyes of the selective omnivore. While I still haven’t fully processed whether or not “eating animals” is for me, it is unquestionably something that deserves a second thought and a place on the docket of dinner table conversation.
Earlier in the year, I asked my friend George why he never voted. George told me that he knew nothing about the political situation in our country and that his vote would be no better than flipping a coin. Intrigued by this answer, I asked him what he would do if he were forced to vote. George stated that he would either simply flip a coin or vote for his grandmother. At the time, I thought of this as a waste but I later realized that even a vote like this is important. It all starts with the idea of the purpose of a vote. There is a popular misconception that the only valuable vote one could cast is a vote for one of the two major parties. For example, during the 2000 election, people who voted for Ralph Nader were derided by many pundits for “wasting” their vote. And yet you cannot really waste a vote. As long as you are participating in the political system and making your views known, your vote is valuable. Even if your vote is uninformed or even sarcastic, you are contributing to the political system insofar as your basic intentions are made known. If a million people vote for grandma, politicians will know that they are not getting through to the people. But why bother going to the polls and voting for grandma when you could just sit in bed and watch X-Files reruns? What is the difference between not voting and voting for grandma? I would argue that politicians do not get quite the same message when you do not vote. They believe you simply do not care enough to do so and they write off your problems as beyond their concern. Basically, if you do not pay a visit to the polls, the government has little incentive to give your needs any consideration. The strongest example of this problem in action is the extent to which college students’ needs are ignored by the government. College student loans, for example, are the only loans given out which are absolutely required to be repaid. Students can find themselves with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, even if they drop out of college midway through; this debt hangs over their heads for years. Advocates for college students have struggled unsuccessfully to organize substantive relief for this situation and I would argue that one of the main reasons for this is that college students do not vote in overwhelming numbers. The case in point is the opposite of the college student
in the electoral system: grandma. Senior citizens have their every whim catered to by campaigns because they vote in overwhelming numbers. The concern showered upon the senior population far outweighs the paltry dribble that has been leaked upon our own. Medicare and social security have been the crux of myriad campaigns while such subjects as subsidies for college education are often relegated to a back burner. I would posit that there is a clear correlation between the lack of attention we get and our lack of participation in the political system. Staying home instead of voting means tacitly giving your consent to the status quo and thus you have an obligation to yourself to get out and vote. Going back to George for a second, even his flipping a coin would show up in the statistics for people aged 18-24 as a vote. When politicians see that more of the college population is voting, they will take notice and pay more attention to our problems (of which we have many). Specifically, if they see that we have the initiative to go to the polls and vote, even if only sarcastically, they will not write us off as quickly as they do. As long as they see we are voting, they will give our concerns much more merit and will try to win us over. In the status quo, my generation is an afterthought. Even in 2008, very little actual rhetoric was directed our way and as far as I can see, the results have matched the lack of rhetoric. Even more fundamentally, however, I am going to reiterate the old argument about civic obligation. In the end, I would argue that, as a citizen of the United States, you should participate in the electoral system. Voting is like jury duty or taxes or any other civic institution in this country – without it, the United States could not function. Now it is true that the system could run without your vote but it will not run as effectively. The purpose of a democracy is to represent the voice of the people and when you fail to vote, you are depriving the people of a voice. Regardless of my views on the political system as a whole, I believe voting is the most basic and most effective tool in influencing the government. And in a democracy, it is arguably the most significant action one can take. So TiVo the X-files, get out of bed, and get down to the polling both this November – for grandma, for America, and for you.
The Brandeis Hoot
September 3, 2010
US-Iran: Legitimate grievences on both sides of the debate BY RICK ALTERBAUM Columnist
The Iran-U.S. relationship is a tumultuous one that is riddled with legitimate grievances from both sides. However, it is now up to Iran to end its confrontational behavior and restore its credibility with the West. What is the initial source of the hostility and tension between the Iranians and us? The downward spiral that led to where we are now arguably began in 1953. In that year, democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, who ardently opposed foreign intervention in Iran, nationalized the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. In response to this action and the fear that Mosaddegh had Communist sympathies, the British colluded with the U.S. and the C.I.A. in overthrowing the leader in what was known as Operation Ajax. Subsequently, the U.S. and the British helped reinstate Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi as the leader of Iran. Over the next 26 years, Pahlavi proved to be a loyal ally of the West, an ardent AntiCommunist, and, in the words of President Jimmy Carter, an “island of stability” in an otherwise turbulent region. However, nearly every sector of Iranian society, from traditional Shia Muslims to the bazaar merchants to political opposition of every stripe grew increasingly alienated from the Shah’s regime due to its oppressiveness, rigged elections, secular nature, modernization policies in the form of the White Revolution, and closeness to the West. As the Iranian’s anger grew toward Pahlavi, it also grew toward the U.S., who sup-
ported and propped up the autocrat. The hostility toward the Shah culminated in the 1979 Revolution and the over-one-year-long student takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. This event, in turn, led to a rapid deterioration of U.S.-Iran relations and the decision by the U.S. to impose highly restrictive financial and trade sanctions on the Persians. Soon after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ascended to power, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein— whose secular, nationalist, Sunni Baathism conflicted with Iran’s fundamentalist Shiism—invaded Iran under the pretext of a border dispute. During what would be the 8-year Iran-Iraq War, the U.S. and Sunni states like Saudi Arabia provided Saddam with military and financial assistance, further heightening tensions with Iran. At the same time, Iran did little to improve bilateral relations, with its poor human rights record and Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1988. Additionally, it exported the revolution to Southern Lebanon in the form of Hezbollah, a Shia terrorist group that killed over 200 U.S. marines in 1983, took dozens of Westerners hostage, and continually antagonized Israel, a trustedU.S. ally in the region. And, Iran formed an alliance with Syria, a country that the U.S. had similar grievances toward. The 1997 election of reformist President Mohammad Khatami opened the door to cooperation and “a dialogue amongst civilizations.” Iran and the U.S. had a common foe in the form of the Deobandi, Wahhabist Taliban in Afghanistan. Also, despite conservative opposition, Khatami offered
in 2003 to normalize relations, support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, cooperate on Iran’s nuclear program, and cease supporting Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza in exchange for an end to U.S. sanctions. Unfortunately, George W. Bush rejected Khatami’s offer, preferring a policy of regime change, and labeled Iran a member of the “axis of evil.” Additionally, disillusionment with Khatami in part led to the election of populist hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose posture cemented the hostility between his country and America. However, President Obama has now offered to reengage in constructive dialogue without preconditions with Iran for over a year, and has acknowledged the mistakes in past U.S. policy. So far, the Islamic regime has failed to respond in kind, and has only become more provocative, especially in regards to its brutal repression of the Green Movement, its lack of cooperation with IAEA inspectors, and its general desire to enrich uranium and achieve a nuclear weapons capability. It is now up to Iran to, in Obama’s words, open up its clenched fist. The regime should not let its antiWestern, Shiite ideology, as well as its infatuation with martyrdom and the reappearance of the 12th Imam, or Mahdi, cloud its reasoning. And, if it refuses, the U.S. or Israel will use force against its nuclear facilities to prevent a potential second Holocaust, a Sunni-Shia nuclear arms race, and the formation of a nuclear umbrella for Hezbollah and Hamas. The choice is clear. Hopefully, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad will side with peace over confrontation.
First test in the new year: Thoughts on Park51 BY BRIAN REEVES Special to The Hoot
Sitting in Spingold Theater these past couple of days, I commemorated yet another year of observing Rosh Hashanah as a student at Brandeis. However, it was not only the birth date of the world that my fellow doveners and I were contemplating, but also the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks that coincide this year with our extended weekend. In the past, I would take this occasion to remember how our country did not break in the face of a malicious act by an enemy who doubted our resolve. Instead, I am deeply perturbed by the fact that September 11, 2010 has been plagued by an undercurrent of intolerance that jeopardizes the very foundations upon which our nation was able to thrive. I am speaking, of course, about the Islamophobia pervading the discourse surrounding the proposed building of the Park51 Islamic Community Center two blocks from Ground Zero in New
York. If “justice and liberty” are what we pursue, and if “out of many, one” is truly our credo, then why are American Muslims being condemned and Islam demonized for the acts of a small group of extremists on the other side of the world? If paying tribute to the victims of 9/11 should be the deciding factor in whether or not to build the Community Center, then how is proving that the Osama bin Ladens of the world are right about our “crusade against Islam” executing justice? When a reverend in Florida announced he was going to burn Qur’ans in protest of Park51, suddenly people expressed fits of indignation. I was not impressed. To them, I inquire, “What did you expect in a society whose complacency to intolerance emboldened bigots to attempt to hijack certain Americans’ religious freedoms in the name of so-called ‘honoring our fallen heroes?’” Additionally, the Islalophobia parasite that the Park51 controversy exposed irks me in another
realm. As the campus presi- hibiting Palestinian leaders and dent of J Street U, a movement consequently Israeli politicians that promotes strong American from taking bold steps in the purengagement in resolving the Is- suit of peace. raeli-Palestinian Conflict, I am Whether or not Qur’ans will be particularly concerned with how burnt or the Park51 Community anti-Muslim sentiment in our Center will be constructed in the country will near future, undermine is incumI am deeply perturbed by the itbent A m e r i c a’s upon credibility fact that Sept. 11, 2010 has been B r a n d e i s as the con- plagued by an undercurrent of students to flict’s chief take a stand m e d i a t o r. intolerance that jeopardizes the against this How will very foundations upon which ant i - Mu s we be able lim trend. our nation was able to thrive to earnestly To this end, c h a mp i o n J Street U coexistence and other between clubs on Jews and campus and Arabs in the around the Middle East if we leave xenopho- country will be collecting sigbia to fester in our own backyard? natures for a letter affirming our Already we have witnessed public support for religious freedom for outcry in the Arab world over our all Americans, especially conlack of objectivity in the nego- sidering many of us come from tiations. Deepening the fissure Jewish extraction, whose people between America and Muslims are all too familiar with the yoke abroad will only precipitate more of religious persecution. Knowmistrust of the peace process, in- ing Brandeis’ culture of defend-
ing civil rights, it is my hope that these well-signed letters will rouse obdurate politicians and heads of religious organizations to finally speak out against Islamophobia and banish its rhetoric to the margins of political discourse. As I finished my silent prayer during Musaf and skipped to the “Reflections” section in English, my eye fell upon a peculiar paragraph that appertained all too well to the topic in question. “‘Love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord’ (Leviticus 19:18). There is a Hassidic interpretation of the last words of this verse: ‘I am the Lord.’…He who loves brings God and the world together” (Mahzor, The Rabbinical Assembly). As we begin the year 5771, it is clear that we are being faced with our first test over how to respond to a new strain of racism in our midst. Shall we remain apathetic as this intolerance menaces to tear the moral fabric of our society apart, or shall we make a genuine effort to confront it, and begin to mend the rifts between our brethren that keep our world divided?
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
Robbing the cradle DATING DOWN: Celebrity Ashton Kutcher, 32, is married to fellow star Demi Moore, 47.
BY SOPHIE REISE Columnist
In high school, I dated a lot of older guys. I started with guys a few years ahead of me, moved to college guys, and by senior year, I was 18 dating a 24 year old. How many girls do you know who are hooking up with or dating older guys? In high school and college alike, it’s relatively expected that sophomore girls and senior guys will be together (that seems to be the average spread), but what about freshmen and seniors, or girls entering college whose boyfriends have already graduated? And of course, we cannot ignore the flip, with the older girl and the younger guy. In college, what is an appropriate age difference? I’d like to say we’re all adults and we’re in college, but in reality, I’m not sure that’s true- and I speak from experience of sorts. The real question is: what 24 year old guy wants to be dating an 18 year old? Why can’t he get girls his own age? And yeah, as the 18 year old, it’s super cool to be dating an older guy, but in retrospect, when I think about it, if my senior guy friends were dating a girl who was still in high school, I’d think it was a little off, and most of them are only just turning 21! Freshman year, one guy in my dorm dated a junior, while another dated a sophomore. They seemed so cool, and it was definitely a social push for them that they were with those girls. Two years is not a big difference, usually. However, sex can come into the mix in mysterious ways. The truth is that the majority of students, boys and girls alike, begin college as virgins. Knowing that fact, the mix of freshmen with older students in sexual situations becomes an interesting one. How many of us have been hooking up with someone who wanted to go a little farther than we were planning on? Imagine being in that situation, with someone who is older, more mature, and more experienced, and being pressured into having sex for the first time. The older partner may not even know that the younger one is a virgin, but that doesn’t make it ok. Honestly, most people I know, myself included, would certainly consider in retrospect waiting longer to lose their virginity. Some have regrets about the circumstances, person, or timing, others just know that if they’d waited, it could have been better, no matter how much they cared about the person, or how ideal it seemed at the time. Personally, I definitely thought that my boyfriend and I were seriously in love, and going to be together forever. We were everyone’s idea of the perfect couple. Sex changed everything. We lost our virginities to each other, and for the three or four months that we made attempts at sex, until the ultimate end of our relationship, it never got better, and rather than bringing us closer, created a strain we would never recover from. Years later, it is a joke between us that we were clearly not meant to be, since the sex was so bad, but I secretly wonder if things would have been different if maybe I’d been older (I was 16, he was 18), or he’d had previous experience. As a senior girl, I don’t know that I could personally ever go much younger. My last boyfriend was a year younger than me, although he was in my year here, and occasionally, even that created a few problems. I hear there are some hot freshmen this year, but often when I look at them, instead of seeing men, I see boys. Of course, it is to each his own, but I’m not sure necessarily what any significantly (emotionally) older person sees in a younger one, since that maturity can always create conflict.
18 The Brandeis Hoot
September 17, 2010
PHOTOS BY Anthony Losquadro/The Hoot
QUICK START: The men’s soccer team has won its first six games.
Men’s soccer cruises, remains undefeated BY KARA KARTER Editor
Could this be a record breaking season for the Brandeis men’s soccer team? Early indications say yes. The Judges have won six straight to open this year’s campaign, scoring 30 times and giving up only one goal during that span. Even before their most recent victory, the 2010 Judges, at 5-0, were off to their best start since the 1985 squad, which rattled off 14 straight wins to open the season. Their five consecutive wins marked the team’s longest winning streak in 10 years. If it is looking to distinguish itself from the 1985 team, the 2010 squad may have done so with its
BY JON OSTROWSKY Editor
Learning to play competitive sports is the best preparation I ever could have imagined for college. Far more than SAT scores or AP classes, there is simply no substitute for the practicality of lessons learned from a youth in sports. Other extracurricular activities may very well teach students the same lessons, but I believe there are few others that can compare with the necessity of learning to overcome failure on our own. Growing up, I played tennis and baseball competitively, but it does not matter the sport that one plays. Any will do the trick. While it is difficult to see at the time, sports provide a constant in
most recent victory, a 13-0 drubbing of Newbury College (1-3) on a cold, rainy Gordon Field Thursday. The 13 goal output set a new single-game scoring record for the Judges, who had previously scored 10 or more goals only twice – once in 1977 and once in 1986, a 12-0 win over Mass. Maritime. Brandeis had outshot Newbury 32-1 by halftime and posted a decisive 52-2 shot advantage for the game. Steve Keuchkarian ’11 opened the scoring in the contest’s 10th minute, delivering off a cross from Joe Eisenbies ’13. It took just under twenty minutes for the Judges to double their lead, but Ben Applefield ’14 did so at 28:11, tapping in a chip shot
from Eisenbies. Matt Peabody ’13, Eisenbies and Stephen Kostel ’11 added markers to give Brandeis a 5-0 lead at halftime. The floodgates opened even more in the second, as Noah Bass ’12, Nick George ’14, Alexander Farr ’12, and Gil Jacobs ’14 made offensive contributions of their own – whether by head or by foot, off a strike or a turnover. Both George and Farr registered hat tricks – each the first of his career. Farr’s was of the natural variety; the junior forward tallied three consecutive goals in a span of four minutes and 13 seconds. It was the sixth fastest hat trick in NCAA Division III history and fastest in the Brandeis record books, besting Ben Premo’s ’08 previous Brandeis best of 7:35.
George tallied personal goals number two and three – and team numbers eleven and twelve – during the 80th minute, before Jacobs concluded the scoring with his first career goal at 85:38. It proved a very different conclusion to a week that started off with a 1-0 victory over Clark (3-3) on Saturday. Keuchkarian’s 12th minute strike, taken from inside the box, marked the only goal of the game. Taylor Bracken ’11 only needed to make one save, but it was a big one, as he foiled a Clark chance with just 1:37 remaining on the clock. The following day, the Judges scored four first-half goals on their way to a 6-0 win against Colby-Sawyer (2-3). Prior to Thursday, the six goal differential
was Brandeis’ largest of the season. Eisenbies, Farr, Bass, George, Kyle Feather ’14 and Luke Teece ’12 scored for Brandeis, with Matt Lynch ’11 and Blake Minchoff ’13 teaming for the shutout in net. The Judges allowed their first goal of the year against WPI (33) on Tuesday. The goal against, scored by WPI’s Sean Calvert ’14 in the 80th minute, came with Brandeis up 3-0. Courtesy of Lee Russo ’13, the Judges jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:25 in; they have yet to trail at any point this season. Brandeis looks to continue to assert its offensive prowess and defensive fortitude–and gain its seventh win of the season– Wednesday at MIT (5-2). Game time is 4 p.m.
Athletic teachings your life that can always be there. Going off to college marks a major change in an adolescent’s life, but the dependency of being able to spend a few hours each day doing what you truly love is a rarity most teenagers and college students don’t experience. There is a huge difference between what you like doing and what you love doing. Loving a sport or activity means that there is nothing else you would rather be doing in your free time. Juggling the various demands of college life can be stressful. Students want to do well in their classes, participate in extracurricular activities, enjoy their social life and must also deal with family issues. Yet in all of this, sports provide an enjoyable way to forget
about the other issues in our lives. For a few hours each afternoon, nothing else matters but hitting the ball over the net or kicking it down the field. Amid the chaos of college, sports provide the perfect balance. And just as sports provide a healthy stress reliever, they also teach kids how to cope with pressure. Competing in the final minutes of a game teaches us the importance of enjoying pressure. We must learn to enjoy the process of competing, not just the end result. The same can be true in school. In order to succeed, the ultimate motivation cannot just be to obtain high grades but also simply to enjoy learning. The value of a work-ethic cannot be overstated. Many times
students get discouraged in class when they do not achieve as well as they think they should. Yet rather than looking at the real cause of their failure, they make excuses. Sports teach us that when we fail, it is our fault. It is our problem to solve. Sure, coaches and friends can help us, but ultimately we have to make ourselves better. It is our responsibility to work hard and improve our games. In sports, just like college, and life, we must learn to enjoy the tough journeys and the struggle of working hard for a long-term goal. The ability to take instruction as advice, rather than personal criticism teaches us to focus on how to make ourselves and our team better.
Lastly, sports have taught me to focus on what I can control. In tennis, for example, you can always control your fitness, your focus, and your serve. These aspects of the sport are a constant. In a tennis match there are many things you cannot control. You cannot control how hard your opponent hits the ball or his style of play. Keeping the focus on the positives, on what I can change during a match, allows me to feel confident. When you lose that way, you know you still did the best with what you could control. Whatever challenges college life may bring, athletes have a unique advantage. The largest reward from athletics is what we take for granted. We have learned lessons that no class can teach us.
September 17, 2010
The Brandeis Hoot
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
POWER KICK: Tiffany Pacheco ’11 and Sofia Vallone ’11 help the Judges kick off their season with wins.
BY KARA KARTER Editor
The wins continue to build for the Brandeis women’s soccer team. Since their season opening loss to Babson, the Judges have gone 4-0-1, winning all three of their contests played this week. The Judges defeated Springfield and Bridgewater State in low scoring matches (3-1 and 2-1, respectively) before trouncing Roger Williams to the tone of a 6-0 win Thursday. Six games in, the squad appears to have found its mark. “The team has been playing well-winning the 50/50 and [maintaining] good possession,” Head Coach Denise Dallamora
PHOTO BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot
Women’s soccer wins three straight
told The Hoot in an e-mail. It continued Saturday as Brandeis hosted Springfield in the team’s first non-Invitational home game of the season. Just 5:49 in, Ali Maresca ’12 put Brandeis on the board. The Junior defender headed in a corner kick from Tiffany Pacheco ’11 for her second tally of the young campaign. Less than ten minutes later, Brandeis added another. Fran Shin ’12 drilled a free kick into the box and Mimi Theodore ’12 headed it home. It was Theodore’s first goal of the season and the 14th of her career. Springfield (2-3-0) got one back early in the second, as Erica Donnelly ’11 converted off a corner less than four minutes in. However, the Judges managed not only
to hold but to build upon the lead as Sofia Vallone ’11 scored her third goal of the season in the 65th minute. Vallone’s goal proved the final marker a game in which Brandeis outshot its opponent by a 19-12 margin. Three days later, the Judges showed their ability to win on the road, defeating Bridgewater State 2-1. Out route to outshooting Bridgewater State 30-11, Brandeis put up 16 shots in the first half, including a breakaway score by Ellie Einhorn ’11 in the 34th minute. Theodore fed Einhorn with a nice pass, and Einhorn converted for her first goal of the season. Pacheco tallied Brandeis’ second scoring at 54:48, delivering “a beautiful goal” from 25-yards out
to give the Judges a lead they refused to relinquish. Bridgewater (1-2) cut the lead in half with inside eight minutes to play, but was ultimately unable to push across the equalizer. Francine Kofinas ’13-playing her first 90-minute-effort of the season, made seven saves in net. “Leah [Sax ’14] and Francine have been splitting time, but today Francine played all 90 minutes- That does not mean it will stay that way- It is who is working harder and playing well,” explained Dallamora. The Judges returned home to battle Roger Williams Thursday. It was a battle that was decided early, as the Judges jumped out to a quick lead on route to a 6-0 shutout. Theodore scored two goals
WINNER: Rachel Rosman ’11 and Faith Broderick ’13 team up to lead the Judges to victory in their season opener.
BY KARA KARTER Editor
They watched as their soccer, cross country, and volleyball counterparts began competition earlier this season. Now, finally, it’s tennis’ time. The men’s squad traveled to Vermont over the weekend to play in the Middlebury Invitational. At this year’s tournament, the Judges sent five players to final flight play.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
in the game’s first eleven minutes, Madeline Stein ’14 registered her first career marker just before halftime, and Pacheco, Alanna Torre ’12, and Vallone scored after intermission. Theodore wasn’t the only Brandeis player to get on the scoresheet more than once. In addition to her goal, Pacheco added three assists. Vallone registered a goal and an assist. “Sofia [Vallone] is a finesse player - and Tiff [Pacheco] has a rocket- They complement each other,” elaborated Dallamora. They certainly did on Thursday. The Judges (4-1-1) have a week off before gunning for their fourth straight win; they next play September 23 against Gordon College (5-0).
PHOTOS BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot
Tennis teams start seasons On the singles side, Steven Milo ’13 defeated opponents from Vassar, Middlebury and Skidmore on route to the ‘C’ flight finals. There, Milo dropped a tough one, 6-2, 6-1 to another Middlebury player, Branter Jones ’14. In doubles competition, Ezra Bernstein ’11 and Fred Rozenshteyn ’13 bypassed adversaries from Trinity and Middlebury and advanced to the final round of
their ‘B’ draw before falling 8-3. After defeating a duo from Bates, and two from Middlebury, the tandem of Nick White ’11 and Simon Miller ’11 found itself in the ‘A’ doubles flight final. Unfortunately for the Judges, Ithaca College’s Josh Rifkin ’11 and Jimmy Newton ’12 defeated the Brandeis veterans by an 8-6 margin. Miller also reached semifinals
play in singles competition. The women kicked off their season Wednesday, hosting Wheaton College (2-1). Wins from Rachel Rosman ’11 and Faith Broderick ’13 at first and second singles, respectively, helped Brandeis defeat Wheaton in a 6-3 final. Mackenzie Gallegos ’11, Nina Levine ’12, Sarah Richman ’12, and a pair of rookies making their Brandeis debuts–Alexa Katz ’14, and Roberta
Bergstein ’14–also won their singles matches. The pairing of Levine and Katz earned the Judges another point for its 9-8 victory in doubles play. It will be an active weekend for tennis players of both genders. The men are taking their game to Providence’s Brown Invitational while the women’s team travels to Wellesley for the ITA regionals, set to begin on Friday.
20 The Brandeis Hoot
September 17, 2010
Fischer’s Midnight Ride By Ariel Wittenberg, Editor
PHOTO BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot
Brandeis history buffs and movie-goers alike can rejoice this week with news that Professor David Hackett Fischer’s (HIST) book, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” has been optioned for a movie by the American Film Company. Fischer said his agent was approached by the American Film Company in the spring about turning his book into a movie and that he was “struck by the seriousness” of the company’s being historically accurate. The American Film Company is a new company, founded by Ameritrade’s Joe Ricketts and is dedicated to making historically accurate films about America that can be released in theaters to a diverse audience. The company’s first film, Conspirator, about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, premiered this year at the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews. “It’s very ambitious,” Fischer said of the company, noting that ‘Conspirator’ was directed by Robert Redford and stars many A-
list hollywood actors. “It’s also very impressive.” A screenplay has already been written from Fischer’s book, which tells the tale of the midnight rider who warned the colonists of the arrival of British troops on the eve of the American Revolution. The movie has tentatively been titled “Midnight Ride.” “A screenplay for a historical movie has to go beyond the historical record in the construction of dialogue,” Fischer said. “But if it goes beyond it, it doesn’t have to exagerate it. In that regard [‘Midnight Ride’s’] screenplay is very carefully done.” Fischer will critique the screenplay, written by writers who worked on the screenplay for the 2003 film Intolerable Cruelty. Though the two movies will be very different, Fischer said he is pleased with the results so far. “[The screenwriters] have a gift for dialogue, but what really pleases me is that they have treated the history with respect and close attention, and I am
delighted to see that,” He added. Fischer’s book, as well as the movie, deals not only with Paul Revere, but with the 60 to 80 other riders who traveled from town to town that night. “Many people only remember Paul Revere or William Dawes as the riders, but this wasn’t one solitary event or act as we have been taught by Henry Longfellow’s poem,” Fischer explained. “Paul Revere was organizing a major effort, but many of the other riders do make an appearance in the screenplay.” ‘Midnight Ride’ is currently only in development, and Fischer said he could not guess when or if the movie would appear on the silver screen. Currently, the American Film Company has a survey on its website for the movie asking its visitors whether they would see the movie. Students can vote for or against the film at: http://www.theamericanfilmcompany.com/films/ detail/midnight-ride/ “It should be said that making a major film, and
PHOTO COURTESY internet source/The Hoot
THE MOVIE IS COMING: Professor David Hackett Fischer’s book, ‘Paul Revere’s Ride’, has been optioned for a movie. The movie’s tentative title is ‘Midnight Ride.’
in particular, making a major history film, is very hard to to, it has to work in many ways at once,” Fisch-
er said. “It can go wrong in many ways, but the early signs are encouraging.”