Issuu on Google+

VOL 5, NO. 15

JANUARY 23, 2009

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

THEHOOT.NET

Merit money no longer applies to study abroad BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor

Students were informed in an email announcement from the Division of Students and Enrollment last Friday that they would “not receive any form of merit aid… while on study abroad” despite the fact that students on certain merit scholarships were guaranteed the use of their scholarships for study abroad upon admittance to the university.

Students who are Justice Brandeis Scholars, Presidential Scholars or recipients of the Dean’s Award were guaranteed that their scholarships “may be used for approved study abroad programs” in their acceptance letters. Student Union President Jason Gray ’10 said that he has spent the past week talking to “senior administrators” and urging them See ABROAD p. 13

Budget balancing strategy changed BY ALISON CHANNON Editor

President Reinharz promised the faculty that he would avoid making permanent changes wherever possible at two separate faculty meetings; however, the latest proposal by administrators to increase revenue and reduce expenditures focuses on a restructuring of the academic program rather than trimming the already existing structure. The new proposal, which includes reducing the faculty by 10% and increasing the student population by 12%, was made in light of the current financial crisis. In an effort to meet the challenges posed by this fiscal year’s shortfall and the projected shortfalls for fiscal year 2010 and be-

yond, the university has already made university seminars optional for first-year students, reduced the number of foreign language sections taught, and halved the number doctoral student enrollment for the next two academic years. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer PeterFrench and Vice President for Budget and Planning Frances Drolette gave two presentations on the university budget this week to the faculty. Students were not allowed to attend. Neither responded to requests for comment concerning the university budget. Even so, at the faculty meeting, Reinharz promised to maintain 11 important principles of the university including dedication to See BUDGET p. 13

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

PROTEST: Sahar Massachi ‘11 advocates transparency within the universityin a student protest outside Olin-Sang auditorium. The protest was sparked when Massachi and fellow sophomores Alex Melman and Daniel Craine were refused entry to a closed faculty meeting.

Students protest closed faculty meeting BY ALISON CHANNON Editor

Students gathered to protest a closed faculty meeting Thursday afternoon after Class of 2011 Senators Alex Melman, Sahar Massachi ’11 and Danny Cairns MA ’09 were denied entry to the meeting by Assistant Provost of Graduate Student Affairs, Alwina Bennett. The administration and faculty gathered in a closed faculty meeting to discuss proposed changes designed to reduce expenditures

Students hit Mall to see 44

See INAUGURATION p. 12

INSIDE:

of Public Safety Ed Callahan arrived with two fellow officers. After a talk with Callahan, Cairns, Melman, and Massachi then convened on Rabb steps with a number of their friends, whom they called after their interaction with Public Safety. Liza Behrendt ’11 explained that she joined Cairns, Melman, and Massachi because “transparency is not valued enough on this See PROTEST p. 12

Special VP elections not held BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor

BY JASON WONG Staff

“O-ba-ma. O-ba-ma” Whether in Washington D.C., the Shapiro Campus Center, or simply a dorm room, Brandeis students chanted the same cheer over and over again during the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. According to Paul Balik ‘10, who is the CA of the Community Engaged Learning hall on Gordon 2, the trip was planned spontaneously only three days before the inauguration. “It was certainly an experience and something I’ll always remember,” he said. While Balik and his hall did not have tickets to the inauguration, they were able to join the two million Americans who gathered on the Washington Mall to watch the ceremony on one of the many jumbotrons. Staying at one of his resident’s

and increase revenue in light of the university’s current and projected budget shortfalls. Cairns said that he decided to attempt to access the meeting despite being told that it was closed to students. He explained that Melman stood at the door and was told by Bennett that he could not come in. Bennett then asked Melman if she needed “to call somebody,” Cairns said. After waiting outside for a short period, Cairns said that Director

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

INAUGURATION: Community Advisor Paul Balik ‘10 traveled to Washington D.C. with his hall to see the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The students rented a Branvan to make the trip to Washington.

FIRE SAFETY MLK JR.

The Student Union will not be holding special elections to replace former Union Vice President Adam Hughes ’11. Hughes resigned as Vice President at Sunday’s Union Senate meeting for “personal reasons” and has withdrawn from the University for the rest of the semester. Originally Student Union Secretary Tia Chatterjee originally announced that there would be special elections to fill the position, after revisiting the Union constitution, the announcement was later rescinded as a misinterpretation of the Union Constitution, which explicitly says there should be “no mid-term elections of…the vice-president.” Hughes initially won the Vice Presidency this fall in what would now be considered an unconstitutional special election after then Vice President Michael Kerns ’09 resigned from the post. In response to the idea that he took office illegally Hughes said

PG 6

SNOW

PG 8

ALEX & ME

PG 9 PG 12

“it’s not worth dwelling on.” Hughes’ vice-presidential Senate duties will now be taken over by Executive Senator Andrew Brooks ’09, who ran against Hughes for the Vice Presidency this fall. Hughes said he is happy to see his former foe take his place saying he believes Brooks will “do a good job and focus on the important problems facing the university.” Student Union President Jason Gray said that he is not worried about Brooks’ ability to lead the senate, saying that “Brooks and Hughes worked closely together last semester and are friends now.” Gray did say that Hughes’ absence will put stress on the rest of the Union’s Executive Board to take up more responsibility, however, he believes the Board is up to the task. “The show will go on successfully,” he said. “We have enough strong people on the Student Union to take care of everything without a problem. THIS WEEKEND

PG 16

COMICS

PG 16


2

The Hoot

January 23, 2009

ED ITORIAL Letter to the Editor Established 2005 "To acquire wisdom, one must observe." Alison Channon Editor in Chief

Ariel Wittenberg News Editor Bret Matthew Impressions Editor Chrissy Callahan Features Editor Kayla Dos Santos Backpage Editor Alex Schneider Layout Editor

Max Shay Photography Editor Leon Markovitz Business Editor Vanessa Kerr Business Editor Danielle Gewurz Copy Editor Max Price Diverse City Editor

Senior Editors Jordan Rothman, Zachary Aronow

FOUNDED By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman

Keeping your word in a tough world

A

cademic integrity is essential to the mission of any community of learning. But integrity is important for more than just scholarly journals and USEM essays. Integrity, trust, and mutual respect constitute the foundation upon which we build all relationships, whether professional or personal. Our university compromised its integrity, undermined our trust, and treated us with disrespect when it violated its word last Friday, when the Division of Students and Enrollment informed students via e-mail that students could not receive merit scholarships while studying abroad, even after that money was guaranteed some students upon admission. Certainly rescinding merit scholarships during a study abroad semester would save money for a university experiencing deep financial pain. As the university explores options to reduce expenditures and increase revenue to combat its budget shortfall, it is no surprise that this measure surfaced as an option. That it was approved and not shot down immediately is despicable. It would be appropriate to introduce this measure next year, for the incoming class of 2013, but to change the rules, barely a year before most sophomores would go abroad, is unfair. Moreover, students considering studying abroad have already sat down with their families to discuss how they will finance their study abroad plans. Now, with an entirely new reality before them, those students and families must sit down again, with a Feb. 15 deadline for entering the separate study abroad housing lottery looming ahead. University President Jehuda Reinharz promised to maintain the principles of the university even as he and other administrators explore ways to reduce expenditures and increase revenue. We believe in “truth, even unto its innermost parts.” Part of truth is integrity, and part of our university’s mission is to create the next generation of intelligent, honest, socially conscious, and responsible leaders. Forget the signs around campus with quotes from Louis Brandeis. The administration should lead by example.

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.

Jordan Rothman, I read your column often, and have to say there are few issues on which I agree with you. [Last] week was no exception, [(“Do yourself a favor, don’t donate,” Jan. 16)] however, I was astonished at your apparent change of heart. I seem to recall a piece written by you entitled “I did Teach for America and you should too!” only a few months ago. I guess you’re allowed to change your mind on certain things, but I was wondering if this specific change includes all of your views. What’s funny is that your objectivist views (I caught The Fountainhead reference) seemed to form (“Social justice is stupid”) BEFORE you took your Teach for America internship....kind of hypocritical, no? Maybe you saw it as purely a selfish gain, not helping those in need, but instead building up your resume. Do you now believe that TFA volunteers should compete with real teachers for jobs and good pay? I’ve lost track of time here, but you also wrote an article “The decline of civilization” where you argue that civilization is in decline because bathrooms are messy. Do you now think that there should be someone standing in every bathroom handing out fivers to anyone who cleans up after themselves? Or should nobody care about the cleanliness in public areas? Have you abandoned that ideology? I also remember a few of your articles detailing your aspirations for “serving your country” in the armed forces. I assume you will be paid, but there are plenty of other jobs where you don’t have to risk your life and you can make much more money. I guess that already occurred to you, as stated in your article right after the election where you say you don’t want to go to Iraq. I think this is the definition of cowardice. For someone with your fervor for military service, and who defends the current administration despite the countless lies and mistakes, you should want to die for oil anywhere they tell you to. Or maybe I am mistaken, are you planning to use your military service (not actually actively serving) to further your career? You’d make a mighty fine

politician. The most obvious problem with your free market solution to something like blood donation is the same problem that comes with every free market program...greed. By giving monetary awards to those who donate blood, you may see an increase in blood donation, but what kind of quality blood would be received? I’m sure you know about the rigorous barrage of questions you are asked about your lifestyle before you give blood, how many people would lie for that 20. “Have you ever taken money or drugs in exchange for sex?” “Have you had sexual contact with a man since 1977 even once” Have you visited any foreign countries in the past 5 years?” “Have you had a tattoo in the past year?” These are the few that have stuck in my mind. There were problems with contaminated blood banks and hemophilia medicine supplies in the past, and they led to innocent people contracting HIV. Sure, they test everyone’s blood for diseases, but no test is 100% accurate. I know that the test for HIV 5 years ago gave a 5% false negative. People who donate blood for purely altruistic reasons, will not, despite what you may think about people donating and volunteering to make themselves feel good, give blood if they think they may harm the recipient of their blood. I give blood as often as I can, and let me tell you it is no hassle to me. Personally I would give blood anywhere, but I respect your choice to not do so. I would like to tell you about the donor center in Boston however. It is a double red facility only, but they have THE comfiest recliners, heated blankets, the usual arsenal of cookies, juice and water, and as a bonus, a personal TV with a headset and pay per view. If you can bear the pinch at the beginning (the double red needle is smaller than the normal blood donation needle) I encourage you to check it out if you have an hour and a half on a weekend. Every employee is nice and treats you well. And if you don’t have 90 minutes, you can give platelets and be in and out in about 30 minutes. You can donate platelets every two weeks. Did somebody pawn the golden rule without my know-

ing? I’ll agree with you that civilization is in decline, but I think it’s your form of reasoning that is contributing to it. I think that we are doomed unless we stop caring about money and start caring for those in need, and I don’t believe that putting a value on every service makes it more available to the entire population. (I know that no amount of argument will convince you of this, I just had to say it, but you should look at water privatization in Bolivia as a good example.) I give blood because I support the program. I am a part of the bone marrow registry and I would jump at the chance for some doctor to drill holes in my pelvis. I clean up after myself in public places. I leave tips for waiters. I buy local produce. I recycle (I’m not even going to start on the numerous instances of ignorance in that article). I help my fellow humans every time I can in any way I can because, if I were that farmer, waiter, or patient waiting on the generosity of others (and who does not have $1000 lying around for some bone marrow?) I would want a stranger to do the same for me. I’m going to quote Thomas Paine here and say “My country is the world and my religion is to do good.” I’ll repeat that I respect your choice to do whatever you want, I hope this wasn’t an attack on your character, and I am not judging you, but let me tell you, if you were lying on a hospital bed and you needed my kidney, I would give it to you free of charge, because ( I know you hate Gandhi, but) I will be the change that I want to see. P.S. Since you seem to like writing controversial pieces, may I suggest that you write that article you almost wrote (and instead wrote about the supreme court) about the moral and economic arguments against gay marriage, I would love to hear why you think that two people in love cannot buy insurance together or visit each other on their deathbeds. P.P.S I do not intend on having a drawn out discussion with you, If you want to reply, I will read it, but I have studying to do and sex to have. ---Dan Graham ’10

WWW.THEHOOT.NET CORRECTION: In “University to cut Ph.D enrollment,” (Jan. 16, 2009), the article incorrectly stated that there were approximately 80 first-year doctoral students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the 2008-2009 academic year. There were 85 first-year doctoral students during the 20072008 academic year. There are currently 104 first-year doctoral students in the GSAS.


January 23, 2009

The Hoot

3

IMP RES S IONS The Point

Returning home to a different Brandeis? The future will be different BY DANIEL ORTNER Special to The Hoot

ILLUSTRATION BY Alex Doucette/The Hoot

BY EMMA NEEDLEMAN Columnist

Maybe other people are bored with the Obama Fever that’s gripped the nation, but I’m not. My parents aren’t either—they’re taking advantage of this historic event to stock up on everything with our new president’s image on it, including a five-pack of “Yes, We Did!” stickers and several commemorative mugs. They seem to believe all this schwag will be worth money someday, and, honestly, I’m inclined to believe it will. I still feel a surge of delight and pride when I see the young, handsome, non-torture-condoning First Family out and about. And for real fans, Tuesday was our ultimate day. The inauguration! How could you not love it? The drama! The crowd shots! The John Williams score! Like lots of Brandeisians, I spent the hours between 11 and 1 in the Campus Center, crowded around the TV. After some initial bonerkilling courtesy of Reverend Rick Warren (we get it, Jesus is the reason for election season and you have a small, pointed goatee), the good stuff started. Reactions were mixed on Obama’s speech and it’s true that it wasn’t The Gettysburg Address or even his tear-dredging performance at the DNC. But it was good and, more importantly, it was worlds away from the Bush rhetoric of the past eight years. Did you ever think you’d see a president reach out to “nonbelievers”? Did you think you’d see him eschew greed for social responsibility? Although nothing was better than the weak applause that followed his thankyou to Bush: it was the sound of two million people saying,

“Oh, right. That guy. Didn’t really want to think about him, but okay.” There was drama, of course. Ted Kennedy had a seizure. More attention was paid, as usual, to Michelle Obama’s hotness/ preference for yellow to her poise and accomplishments. Obama went to give GWB a high-five, but then pulled away his hand at the last minute and said, “Too slow.” But for me, the most entertaining part of the afternoon was seeing Dick Cheney in a wheelchair. I’m not saying that to be cruel— no one deserves to be hurt or sick—but I am saying that his transfor mation into Dr. Strangelove is now complete. I’m not the first one to point that out (The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg blogged about it, notably) but that is because it’s so painfully apparent. Dick Cheney is being wheeled to a Doomsday machine where he will spend all eternity with a black-gloved hand trembling above its lever. This was his dream all along. How could we not see that? In all seriousness, today was, if nothing else, a somewhat surreal reminder that nothing stays the same forever. Things change— even if it isn’t Obama-style change, it still happens. At noon on that day, the U.S. ceased to be George Bush’s America forever. It was before the speeches, before the swearing-in. It was just the natural, legal functioning of the Constitution; on that day, at that time, things changed. Even if we don’t know what’s coming next, we can take comfort in the fact that it will be different. Even milk, when it spoils, becomes something else.

Dick Cheney is being wheeled to a Doomsday machine where he will spend all eternity with a black-gloved hand trembling above its lever.

As I am writing, the London skyline looms over my head. In the few short weeks that I have been abroad, I have already had incredible cultural experiences that will impact my perception and understanding of the world. I have had a real English breakfast with a home stay family, gone pubcrawling and cruised the Thames at night. Yet, my excitement has significantly been hampered by the fact that due an illogical and possibly illegal change in study abroad policy others will not be able to have similarly transformative abroad experiences. The administration—without prior announcement or any overt process of discovery or discussion—surreptitiously announced in an e-mail broad and sweeping changes to Study Abroad at Brandeis. This coupled with the staggering proposed academic changes first reported on by the Justice this week ("Long-term academic changes proposed," January 20 issue) make it clear that Yehuda Reinharz was lying when he stated that he would do everything he could prevent the economic downturn from affecting students. It is also clear that Brandeis will be a completely different place once this transformation is completed and not necessarily one I would have chosen to attend. Yet, most of the more dramatic changes are tentative and redemptive change is still possible. The one policy change that stuck out most dramatically was the retraction of merit-based scholarships for studies abroad a change that might actually cost the university money and will give fewer students opportunities. I am the recipient of a Dean’s scholarship, which is for around $8,000 per semester. It is clear to me that were I affected by this change, I would have had to instead pay that amount out of pocket or take out loans; I would have seriously reconsidered my decision to go abroad. Others with the Justice Brandeis scholarship currently receive full tuition coverage, and thus if they wanted to study abroad would have to go from paying no tuition to paying full Brandeis tuition for the term. It is clear that the difference of tens of thousands of dollars would mean that many would choose to remain in Waltham. And the counter-intuitive nature of these changes is shocking. The University should be doing whatever it can, in fact, to encourage students to go abroad. The University makes a pretty profit when a student is abroad. We pay tuition directly to Brandeis, an amount, which is almost universally more expensive than the tuition for the schools, or programs we go to, and Brandeis keeps the difference. To give an example, the tuition at Queen Mary College,

where I am studying, is around $6,500 with the current exchange rate—and it is on the more expensive end of the spectrum. There is also a couple hundred dollar holding fee which is used for who knows what. We also are not costing the university anything in terms of utilization of resources even while they cull and utilize our extra tuition. Thus, study abroad is already a racket, and a pretty sleazy one at that. Students shill thousands or possibly tens of thousands of dollars for the lovely “convenience” of having Brandeis take care of my program bills for me—I could hire a professional accountant for that much! The extra attempt to eek out even more profit is deplorable. The current system is justified only in the sense that we are literally paying our Brandeis tuition directly to Brandeis for the semester no more and no less. By getting rid of merit scholarship aid, the University is essentially saying that they will charge you a pretty hefty premium for the privilege of being your middleman in the abroad process. Moreover, it is likely that this decision is outright illegal. The scholarship letters that merit recipients received explicitly stated that “these awards may be used for approved study abroad programs.” These letters are signed by the dean of admissions and therefore could be viewed as a binding promissory note upon matriculation. Moreover, the letter then explicitly states the conditions for automatic renewal, which are purely based on academic standards. This letter gives no room for ambiguity. By accepting the

invitation to come to Brandeis, you have entered into a contract with the University, whereby this money is by right yours unless you fail to meet explicitly stated standards. Admittedly, the legal process does not tend to favor students at private universities. Yet, there have been cases where universities have been forced to follow stated procedures and policies. Promises made by the university must be “substantially observed” and cannot be merely discarded on a whim. Moreover, this change could step into the realm of “bait and switch” as many students may have made their decision to go to Brandeis rather than another school based on their explicit and justified understanding that they would be able to apply their scholarship to abroad programs. I know that the very reasonable study abroad policies were a big factor in my decision to come to Brandeis, and I may have chosen otherwise had this scholarship not been applicable. This may be especially applicable at Brandeis as we often take away students from other top schools in the Boston area through our competitive offering of scholarships and aid. It is disgusting that Brandeis has chosen to so clearly violate its contractual obligation with students and to so illogically deny students such a vital nutritive experience. As I watch the enveloping and potentially destructive changes occurring at Brandeis, I am happy that I am an ocean apart and yet fear that the Brandeis I return to will not be the same one that I left but a shadow of itself.


4

January 23, 2009

IMPRESSIONS

The Hoot

Venezuela: Latin America's Iran

Book of Matthew

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of healthcare, part 2 BY BRET MATTHEW Editor

BY LEON MARKOVITZ Editor

Have you noticed that all the failed revolutions of the 20th century have shared the common foe, the United States of America? Why would a revolution that promises freedom and happiness want to be enemies with a nation that sets an example of governance and freedom? I believe that the failed revolutions share this common enemy because they need a scapegoat to blame their incompetence, corruption and uttermost failure. The goal of a communist revolution is to radically change people’s individualistic behavior, to work for the common good and to stop depending on the capitalist market. So why blame America’s embargo for the failure of the Cuban Revolution? The embargo is the real revolution. What an irony, what hypocrisy. The same is occurring in Venezuela today. President Chavez has been able to finance his nonsense revolution thanks to the record oil prices of the past ten years. These petro-dollars have allowed his regime to portray the image of a healthy and triumphant revolution. However, money cannot buy good management, and when problems arise, Chavez tends to blame the problems on –you guessed it- the United States of America, the biggest customer of Venezuela. What an irony, what hypocrisy. The best word to define this socalled revolution is, "deception." There is no revolution in Venezuela ladies and gentleman, wake up. In fact, as thousands of local industries have gone bankrupt with the government’s economic policies, Venezuela has become more dependent on imports in the years of Chavez. At the same time, while the country sinks in crime and corruption, the “revolutionaries” (who believe that being rich is bad) are in the prime of their lives, building new mansions and buying luxury cars and yachts. What an irony, what hypocrisy. A famous phrase goes “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and that has created the alliance between Venezuela and Iran. The commercial relations have increased in the last years between the two countries, and there is even a direct flight between Caracas and Tehran. A couple weeks ago, a shipment was being held in Turkey because it contained lab equipment capable of producing explosives. What a wonderful trade is developing between the two countries (Venezuela supports

the FARC and Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas). The past ten years have been great for Chavez to be the bad boy on the block, but with the falling price-per-barrel things will get rough. And what is worse, Chavez does not have Bush anymore to blame for the problems of the revolution, he has a Democratic African-American that promises change, even with Iran. So, what can Chavez’s regime do, or who can it blame for the financial crisis affecting the country (that is not dependent on the capitalist market, remember)? Well, timing could not have been better. A few days after the war in Gaza began, the government decided to expel the Israeli Ambassador, and cut all ties with Israel. But that was not enough to show support for Hamas. The Palestinian flag was raised inside and outside the National Assembly, where the senators wore shamaghs (Arab scarf) and chanted: Free Palestine! Demonstrations were also organized against Israel where flags were burned, and objects were thrown at the embassy. And finally, Chavez personally said that the State of Israel was a killer government committing genocide, and that it represented the killing hand of America. Chavez has become a hero in Gaza and in Lebanon, and a Kuwaiti MP even called for the Arab League to be moved to Venezuela because he proved to be more Arab than some Arabs. In the past, Venezuela has called Colombia “the Israel of Latin America” for the continuing battle it keeps against the guerrilla…If that is the case, it seems clear today that Venezuela represents the Iran of Latin America. And actually, the Foreign Ministry of Israel reacted to these events by noting that every country must decide if it is on the side fighting terrorism or the side supporting it. It is in the interest of Chavez’s regime that Obama maintains the same policy as the Bush administration towards Venezuela, as it would allow it to keep blaming the government’s failures on the United States and “the interference of the C.I.A. on foreign issues.” In fact, Chavez has already said that Obama already seems like “more of the same” and that Venezuela will keep fighting the imperialism whether the president is black or white. But just in case Obama adopts a more flexible policy towards Venezuela, Chavez has already set in motion the events to blame the state of Israel for the world’s problems.

In Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World, the government of the World State, in an effort to keep order, distributes a drug known as soma to the general public. A pacifying, hallucinogenic drug, soma is popular among citizens and is taken regularly as a means to combat unhappiness or—with a high enough dose—to send the user into a hallucinogenic state known as a “soma-holiday.” Huxley’s soma is, of course, fictional. But its description always reminds me of very real antidepressants, such as Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil. Like soma, antidepressants were originally developed in order to help people live happier lives. They are popular drugs: readily prescribed by doctors, heavily advertised, and taken by 11 percent of American women and 5 percent of American men. But unlike soma, antidepressants are not perfect drugs. Quite the contrary. While citizens in Brave New World can take their daily ration of soma without any harmful side effects, real people who take antidepressants take a serious risk with every pill. Before I argue against the usage of antidepressants, I would first like to say a few words about depression. This, however, is not an easy thing to do. Depression is a mysterious condition, one that has plagued humans throughout our existence, yet one that we still barely understand. As far as scientists and doctors can tell, depression can be caused by any number of factors, including physiological reasons (such as a neurochemical or hormonal imbalance), or the result of a traumatic experience (such as post-traumatic stress disorder). The symptoms of depression, on the other hand, are slightly clearer because they are easier to observe. Those who suffer from depression tend to experience bouts of misery, despair, exhaustion, feelings of guilt, anxiety, lack of interest in activities once enjoyed, difficulty sleeping, lack of confidence, difficulty thinking clearly, withdrawal from social situations, and even physical aches and pains. If this list sounds like a generic list of symptoms from a medical website, that is because A) it is, and B) due to the varying nature of depression, everyone who experiences it feels symptoms with different degrees of severity. In short, depression is difficult

and complex. There is no way around that. But do the available drugs live up to the task? The most common types of antidepressants on the market today are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The job of these drugs, as their title suggests, is to delay the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter: a chemical used to relay signals between a neuron and another cell, and helps to control mood. “Reuptake” refers to the process by which serotonin is either destroyed by an enzyme or taken back by its cell after being released. By delaying re upt a ke, SSRIs temporarily maintain serotonin levels and, in theory, control mood. There is a problem with this theory, however. It is based on shaky scientific data. While people who suffer from depression do tend to have lower levels of serotonin, recent studies have shown that these lower levels are simply another symptom of depression, rather than its cause. This means that most modern antidepressants act not as a cure for depression, but as a pharmaceutical “band-aid,” which merely covers up its effects. While there is nothing wrong with relieving symptoms, many people who take antidepressants find that the harmful side effects of the drugs outweigh the benefits of relief. Some of these people, out of frustration, abruptly cease taking the drugs, and subsequently suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms, which in many cases end up being worse

Depression is a mysterious condition

than their original depression symptoms. There are, of course, those who can take these drugs and feel some improvement, but a question still remains: what are the consequences of artificially adjusting the chemical composition of our delicate brains over a period of time? This question has not yet been answered, and is not likely to be for some time because, quite frankly, the profit-driven pharmaceutical companies who manufacture antidepressants have shown little interests in carrying out longterm tests and exposing results that may end up harming their profit margins. Luckily, there are other ways to combat depression that bypass the pharmaceutical industry altogether. Therapy can help many people release pent-up emotions that may have been causing them stress. But even simpler solutions are diet changes and increased exercise, both of which are proven to improve a person’s mental state. And let's face it, in our overweight, unhealthy society, better food and more exercise couldn’t hurt. In short readers, I will leave you with a warning. Depression is indeed a serious affliction, and I'm sure that all of you, particularly here on a college campus, know somebody who has suffered from its effects. But while some will say that a serious affliction demands serious treatment, and therefore requires the use of drugs, I believe that the risk is too great. Depression is too complicated to simply throw a cure-all, miracle drug at. It requires individual attention and, above all, patience. Although I do not pretend to be a medical expert (or even a med-student), I do believe it is fair for me to advocate a little caution.

The Hoot accepts submissions to the Impressions section on any topic of consequence to any member of the campus community. Our mission is to give every community member a voice. The views expressed in the Impressions section do not necessarily reflect the views of The Hoot's editorial board.


January 23, 2009

IMPRESSIONS

Hiatt Career Corner

If you are looking for an employment path with significant responsibility early in your career, access to the latest technologies, variety and enormous potential for growth, consider a career in government service. The United States Government is one of the most innovative and exciting employers today for U.S. citizens who want to make a global difference through their work. Government agencies and departments have opportunities available now and are ramping up for increased hiring in all areas. They are actively seeking the brightest, most diverse workforce possible to lead the country’s domestic and overseas initiatives and services into the decades ahead. Who better to fill those roles than Brandeis students? Some Brandeisians are already building their federal careers. Many students are familiar with the State Department’s Foreign Service branch and its activities overseas. Alysha Bedig’s ’09 interests took her to Cairo, Egypt, last summer – supported by Hiatt’s WOW Internship funding – where she played an integral role in the daily operations of the American embassy through State’s Internship Abroad program. Michael Shoretz ’09, another WOW recipient, spent his summer in the heart of federal politics as an aide in the Washington, D.C. office of Congressman Eliot Engel, gaining experience in the lawmaking process as well as an inside view of issue-based legislative action, in this case, health care. Consider all that government work has to offer. In addition to diplomats and congressional figures, the federal government also hires analysts, archivists, computer scientists, economists, language specialists, law enforcement personnel, mathematicians, project managers, scientists, security personnel, and writers, to name only a few. Federal positions are not just for government or political science majors. Students with academic and experiential back-

5

One Tall Voice

Want to work for the government? Start building your career now! BY JOSEPHINE JANE PAVESNE Special to The Hoot

The Hoot

grounds in a wide range of majors and fields are encouraged to apply. There are ample opportunities for advancement, collaboration, and often travel in these diverse areas of employment. The government’s website – www.USA.gov – provides agency and department structure, job postings, internships, and employment requirements. Start at the main page to view information on the breadth of federal work. “History, Arts, and Culture,” for example, links to federal museums and libraries and “Science and Technology” connects to scientific and technical agency websites such as the Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, National Institute of Health, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. The “Jobs and Education” section contains a wealth of career information, including USAJobs job and internship listings (all listings plus the link to StudentJobs.gov). Invaluable additional resources can be found at The Partnership for Public Service website for students: http://www.makingthedifference.org/index.shtml. At http://www.makingthedifference. org/federalinternships/directory you will find a searchable database of federal internships. Check the Hiatt NACELink calendar soon for information on a series of lunch-time chats with government agency representatives coming in February! Despite their disparate specializations, U.S. government employees are united by their call to serve – a commitment to providing the nation and its citizens, no matter where they are in the world, the best of their talents and skills. If you have a call to serve, are eager to tackle critical world issues, desire entry level work with substantive responsibilities, seek rapid advancement, appreciate a work environment that values diversity, and are intrigued by contributing to the shape of the global future, consider the federal government. Expand your horizons, start your search today!

You should take a W-E-A-K-end BY JORDAN ROTHMAN Editor

I think less of weakness. Whether it is physical, or manifests itself in other ways, I hate this characteristic. Normally, you may believe this to be an absurd opinion, motivated by intolerance and bigotry. I shall try, through the course of this article, to explain why I have these sentiments and how they are justified by conditions in our current society. Thank goodness, by the narrowest of margins, the Brandeis student body voted last year to use our rollover funds to purchase a new weight room. Our old facilities represented a true “sweat shop,” a place the likes of which should only be found in the movie “Rocky.” And let us not forget that he lost in the first film! Now we have a brand new facility, with machines that can strengthen nearly every part of one’s body. I hope that Brandeis students will go to the gym more to benefit from this improvement, but looking around campus, I won’t hold my breath. Brandeis, as well as our country at large, is full of people who are too slothful and lazy to regularly exercise. Maybe this is why our nation has one of the largest onsets of obesity in the world and has numerous deaths related to this ailment. Now I am more libertarian than many of you may think, and often believe that individuals may only be irked by “otherregarding” activity. But weakness and obesity affects everyone in a variety of ways. For one, being weak or fat puts you more at risk for health ailments. This has an effect on the general population, as everyone’s health insurance premiums must go up to support these sloths. Furthermore, because of the socialist healthcare infrastructure that has been created through such programs as Medicaid and Medicare, my tax dollars may even go to pay for the unhealthy lifestyle many Americans pursue. Perhaps if we didn’t have these programs, the government and myself could be less nosy about other people’s business, and this constitutes a reason against universal healthcare as well. Furthermore, all

American men ages 18-25 are subject to the Selective Service Act and may be drafted in a time of war. These people should definitely keep themselves physically agile so that they may be called upon in our nation’s time of need to defend the country. I should also explicitly say that I look down upon fat people, as I perceive being overweight as a sign of weakness. For most of us, a good diet and regular exercise is enough to keep our bodies in shape and healthy. Some individuals seem unable to contain themselves, however, and splurge on unhealthy foods; over-eating is their weakness. This is absurd! I bet that there is a bigger health risk to being fat then there is to smoking, but people in our society seem willing to tolerate being overweight. In addition, the lifestyle of overweight individuals is likely to be conveyed to their children and kids are therefore unwillingly subject to unhealthy eating. I should note that if you are overweight due to genetic or other reasons, I do not think less of you. In addition, if one is overweight and exercises regularly, they should be commended (and studies show that they can then avoid many health risks associated with being overweight). Seriously, fat people give our country a bad name and for many there is no excuse for being overweight. One of my friends said he felt like there was no point in going to the gym for he was a Jewish man and therefore unable to bulk up. That’s ridiculous! Have you ever heard of the Maccabees, the IDF, or JDL? And Jewish individuals should try to break the stereotype of us being weak and feeble. Many people also tell me that they are

too busy and that this prevents them from working out. This is outrageous as everyone can make time to spend at least three times a week when they can work on their fitness. I don’t even have to recount how busy I was during my college career, but even at its worst, I was still going to the gym four-five times a week for around two hours at a time. Now I don’t consider myself strong, but at least I make a concerted effort at building my own fitness. Each year I witness the Physical Fitness Exemption Test down at Gosman and am stunned by the number of people who fail. Although I am exempted from Phys. Ed. because of my three years on the Varsity Track and Field Team, I took the test once after practice in my sophomore year. Despite being pretty exhausted from my workout, I still passed the test with a ninetyeight percent, twenty-eight points higher than the seventy needed to pass. Each time I go to the weight room, I see the same group of people, as only a small but committed segment of the Brandeis population uses the facility. Its fun to get to know these individuals, but I wish more students made the hike down to the gym. And seriously, working out is pretty enjoyable; almost everyone knows each other and the music is usually pretty good. I won’t even touch why I look down upon other kinds of weakness, as this subject is too touchy for even me to write about. I just hope that people will use the new weight room as their inactivity can be “other-regarding” indeed. And hell, if you ever need a spot while down there, just tap me on the shoulder; I’d love to be of assistance.

Have an opinion on the new weight room? Do you think "W-E-A-K-end" is the worst pun to ever grace the pages of this paper? Or are you just a generally angry person? Write for The Hoot Impressions by E-mailing bmatthew@brandeis.edu


6

January 23, 2009

The Hoot

FEATURES

When tragedy turns into awareness Brandeis student uses family foundation to inform students about fire safety

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

LIFE LESSONS: After the death of her brother, Marti Dembowitz '10 was determined to advocate for fire safety.

BY CHRISSY CALLAHAN Editor

Like any older brother, Seth Dembowitz used to rag on his younger sister Marti Dembowitz ’10 about her wardrobe. If Marti, or her little sister Abbe, 15, wore something he deemed too revealing or tight, his disapproving looks were sure to let them know. Like many older brothers, Seth Dembowitz would slip any one of his four younger siblings a $20 bill on their way out for the night just in case they got in a jam. Like any older brother would be, Seth Dembowitz is terribly missed by the family that meant so much to him. “Family was incredibly important to him and the people around him were important, and protecting them was a top, top priority so now it’s ours,” Marti said. Jan. 29 will mark the one year anniversary of Seth’s untimely passing in a fire. The next day will mark the anniversary of the creation of the 243 Foundation, the Dembowitz family’s organization for the promotion of fire safety awareness. It was around 2 a.m. nearly one year ago when a four-alarm fire started in the common area of Seth’s Hoboken, N.J. apartment. As they later told Marti’s family, Seth’s roommates recall him waking up, hearing the fire and yelling to his room-

mates to get out. One of Seth’s roommates climbed out his own window and down the fire escape to safety. Seth, whose bedroom window had bars on it, wasn’t able to make it. “Ironically the fire department was a block away,” Marti said, emotion filling her voice. Seth’s former roommate, Brian Crimmins, just happened to be the firefighter on call at the time. In panning the room, Crimmins’ eyes stopped on Seth’s keys. He figured he’d just give them to his old friend later, Marti recalled. He ended up handing them to Seth’s family instead. Marti got the phone call Tuesday. “It’s never something you expect to hear ever, and it’s never something I wish anybody would have to hear,” she said. An autopsy showed that Seth died from carbon monoxide and smoke inhalation. The next day, determined to prevent this type of pain from hitting another family, Marti and her three siblings founded the 243 Foundation in Seth’s memory and honor. Named after Seth’s fraternity “bond number,” the 243 Foundation promotes fire safety awareness. Seth, a graduate of Rutgers University in his native New Jersey, was president of his school’s chapter of Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity and the 243rd member to be inducted into the chapter. For this he was assigned the “bond number” 243.

Seth used this number for everything, through the Justice last semester, Marti so using this number as the namesake for came across an article about fire safety hazthe 243 Foundation was automatic for ards on campus and instantly “knew I had Seth’s siblings: “Initially it was like a way to do something about it.” to respond and now it’s a way to help and During fire drills in November, an init’s a way that we can really honor him,” creased number of students were found to Marti said. have violated such fire safety regulations. Some of the foundation’s long-term After reading about this, Marti approached goals include fire safety awareness and Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan to see scholarships for members of fraterni- what she could do about the issue. ties, sororities and members of a Jewish Director of Student Development and youth group Seth was involved in. Since Conduct Erika Lamarre met Marti last semost fraternity houses nationwide lack mester after Marti’s meeting with Callahan fire safety apparatus, the 243 Foundation and has worked closely with Marti ever also hopes to equip all chapters of Seth’s since, planning ways to further raise fire fraternity with the appropriate devices. safety awareness at Brandeis. Since it was an older building, the bat“I’m blown away and so pleased to work tery-operated smoke detectors in Seth’s with Marti. I value her perspective and I apartment complex weren’t electrically value her willingness to engage with the connected to the fire department, and as community on this issue… Her perspecsuch, were only able to notify residents of tive is invaluable and I think totally differthe building and not those outside who ent from most students’ perspective of fire might have been able to help. safety,” Lamarre said. “As a peer I think that Carbon monoxide also poses an invis- her voice is the one that should be heard ible but serious danger that often goes above all others about this issue.” undetected in older buildings. Newer Lamarre, who on average receives bebuildings are required to have carbon tween 15 and 20 reports of fire safety violamonoxide detectors, Marti said, and tions a semester, said she found the widesome manufacturers even make smoke spread practice at Brandeis shocking when detectors with carbon monoxide detec- she first started working here. During the tors built in that can be plugged into the nearly three years she’s worked at Brandeis, Lamarre said, the numbers have remained wall. Unplugging a smoke detector to use it steady but high. This past winter break, Lamarre received as an outlet or covering a smoke detector to smoke in your room might seem approximately 15 reports of fire safety vioharmless in the short-term. But it’s what lations discovered during routine room you forget to do afterwards --uncover it checks. Students found with covered smoke deor plug it back in --that causes a problem: “It’s that one night that something can tectors go through the university’s conduct system and the likely outcome for such stuhappen,” Marti said. Currently members of the 243 Foun- dents is a recently imposed $150 fine, Ladation are writing bylaws and working marre said. Students facing fines surely get a bit uptowards getting accredited as a full nonprofit organization. In the future, they set. Maybe there’s even been a bit of resenthope to find a sponsor such as Lowes ment within the community as of late. But or Home Depot to help supply enough that just might be missing the whole point, smoke detectors to equip Seth’s building. Lamarre said. Last March, thanks to one of Seth’s best “I think that the conversation should be friends who worked for the New Jersey about the rights of students to be safe and Nets basketball team, Seth was named as about changing perspective. And I think one of their “Hometown some focus in the past Heroes,” and a portion of has been about the inthe proceeds from group spections and the fines ticket sales at that night’s and it’s really not about game was donated to the that. It needs to be about 243 Foundation. “It was the safety aspect of this,” very big for the organizashe said. tion but also a very big Though she underthing for us [his family],” stands students' anger, Marti said. Marti shares Lamarre’s Though the calendar sentiments: “I’m a broke is just shy of the one year college student just like anniversary of Seth’s passeveryone and I wouldn’t ing and the pain is unnecessarily want to be derstandably still present, taught a lesson through Marti and her siblings have a fine, but I think it’s used the 243 Foundation effective to say this is as an outlet for their grief. something that you The smile in her eyes when should value and this is COURTESY OF Marti Dembowitz remembering Seth’s oversomething that the uniprotection may still turn Photo of Seth Dembowitz versity values on your into a cracked voice when behalf.” recounting the details of As little kids, Marti his passing, but an interminable strength explained, students view fire safety with and a desire to continue her older brother’s excitement, associating it with a fun visit legacy lie ever-present underneath. from the fireman or a lively game of stop, While still working to raise awareness drop and roll. But as children grow up within the greater society, Marti soon real- into young adults, they often forget about ized she had an opportunity to do the same the importance of fire safety. And as colin her school community. As per Brandeis’ lege students living in dorms, many forget Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, stu- that smoke detectors are installed for their dents are prohibited from covering smoke See FIRE SAFETY p. 7 detectors in residence halls. Flipping


January 16, 2009

F E AT U R E S

The Hoot

7

Students visit Washington, experience inauguration

PHOTO BY Annie Chiorazzi

BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor

The t-shirts being sold at the Obama Inaugural Celebration concert on the Washington D.C. mall summed up our reasons for being there. The shirts read things like: “historic moment,” “first black President,” “my future

starts now,” and “back in the house that we [i.e. African American slaves] built.” The images on them ranged from simple presidential seals, to Obama’s face superimposed on the Declaration of Independence, to magazine covers of the president-elect and his now celebrity family. We wanted to be there for all of it. So on Saturday morning, I, and five

fellow-Brandeisians hoped on a bus to New York City, and then one to Washington D.C. so that we could see the celebrity, watch the Democrats retake the supreme office of the land, and witness a black man being sworn into the White House. We kicked off our four-day weekend in the nation’s capitol by going to the Obama Inaugural Celebration concert on the national mall. Arriving at the mall four hours before the concert started at 2 p.m. allowed us ample time to survey our fellow attendees. Over 300,000 people were there with us—some climbing on trees or port-apotties to get a view of the entertainment. They represented all races, and all ages, but most surprising was the number of 30-somethings with their elementary school children. Next to us were two women, one Hispanic and one black, with five children. The children, ages ranging from about five to ten, —though excited about seeing Beyonce Knowles sing America the Beautiful—were extraordinarily aware of the history that they were witnessing. They knew Vice President Elect Joe Biden when he walked down the stairs of the Lincoln Monument, and every time President-Elect Obama’s face flickered on one of the many jumbo-trons broadcasting the concert to the crowed, they cheered, and attempted to whistle with their fingers. Behind us, a toddler sat on her father’s shoulders with a wash-off tattoo of Obama’s face on each cheek.

The concert’s organizers had clearly anticipated the crowd’s extreme youth. The concert was kicked off by Elmo and “the Number One” leading a cheer of “we are one”—the concert’s theme. Even though Elmo’s act might be hard to top, the performances got better and better from there. A 90-year old Pete Seger led the crowd— which expanded from the steps of the Lincoln Monument past the Washington Monument—in a call and response of “This Land is Your Land;” and Garth Brooks led us in what must have broken a Guinness record for the most people to perform the “Shout” dance at a time. Some might say that such a star-studded celebration of the Presidency is unnecessary, superfluous or even gaudy. But being on the mall surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people was worth braving the cold and the hassle. The children who surrounded us were having their first political experience—one that will mold them as citizens for the rest of their lives. And when Barack Obama is sworn in as the first African American President on Tuesday, he will be standing on steps laid down by African American slaves. Watching Obama speak at the Lincoln Monument—a place that history has designated for Americans to unite for causes against injustice—the day before Martin Luther King day put it all in perspective. Obama, as the first Black President, has become a celebrity. But, as John Mellencamp sang to us from that monument, “Ain’t that America?”

Student driven by determination to prevent future tradgedies FIRE SAFETY (from p. 6)

safety and protection, not to cramp their style or prevent them from smoking. But with middle of the night fire drills a staple of the dorm experience, it’s no wonder why students' views of fire safety often turn from vigilance to vexation. As a first-year student at Brandeis, someone burnt popcorn at 4 a.m. in Marti’s Cable hall, setting off the fire alarm and forcing the entire building to be evacuated. Standing outside shoeless in the freezing February air, wearing only pajamas and clueless as to what was going on, residents were, needless to say, uncomfortable. “It was miserable and that’s frustrating, but colleges are well equipped for a reason,” Marti said. “We not only take [fire safety precaution] for granted but we see it as an inconvenience, it stops us from making popcorn, it stops us from smoking…but what that does is it says safety is not a concern,” she said. “You can smoke; that’s fine. You can make popcorn; that’s fine, but you can also do it in a way that is safe.” Lamarre plans to expand fire safety awareness on

campus this semester with Marti's help. Plans are in the works for more programs around these issues and some smaller intimate events with Marti as a featured speaker. Marti also hopes to speak to community advisors and orientation leaders who will then be able to relay the message to their residents. Fostering fire safety habits at an early age will help students realize the gravity of such situations when they move out of the confines of Brandeis, Marti said: “Ultimately your life is in your own hands and you can do very short, very small things to ensure that it can stay that way. And one of those things is to ensure that wherever you’re living is equipped [with smoke detectors].” Fresh out of college and filled with many other concerns, many students might not think to ask their new landlords about smoke detectors in their apartments. One year ago, Marti said she wouldn't have either: “I don’t know what I would [have done] when I graduated. I don’t think that would’ve been the first question I asked - it will be now.” GRAPHIC BY Alex Schneider/The Hoot


12

January 23, 2009

The Hoot

N E W S A day in the life of a parrot BY KAYLA DOS SANTOS Editor

On Wednesday, scientist Irene Pepperberg spoke about the rewards and trials of a thirty-year relationship with her subject Alex, an African Grey Parrot famous for its communicative abilities. As part of the Office of Communication’s “Meet the Author” series, Dr. Pepperberg discussed her recently published memoir “Alex and Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence—and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process.” One of her motivations for writing the book was to illustrate the story behind her cognitive and communicative research on birds. Pepperberg said, “Science isn’t just sitting in your lab. There is literal blood, sweat and tears.” Pepperberg’s lecture detailed the difficulty of finding funding for her research on parrots’ speaking abilities and the struggle to assert the credibility of that research. In the 1970s, Pepperberg began her work with Alex. During that time, people questioned the validity of animal language studies. When Pepperberg submitted her proposal for a grant to finance her study, it was met with extreme skepticism and a refusal. “They basically asked me what was I smoking?” Pepperberg said. Eventually, someone on the panel was

sympathetic to her research and the project was given funding for one year. Alex learned two dozen English labels for shapes and colors, and a paper was written and published. When Ronald Reagan was elected and the budget for basic sciences was cut, she again faced financial hardship. Students at Purdue University, where Pepperberg was a Research Associate, volunteered their services to help train Alex. Since there was no longer a grant, Pepperberg lost her salary, and when her husband was not given tenure at Purdue, they decided to move. It would not be the last time: Pepperberg repeatedly faced lack of funding and disinterest. Around this time Alex learned the concept of “same and different,” a concept that no non-human had ever been proven to know before, Pepperberg explained. Yet, Alex did not handle the constant moves well. Pepperberg said, “Alex was doing amazing things [but we] lurched from place to place. It was disruptive.” In 2002 Alex and Pepperberg came to Brandeis, where Pepperberg took her current job as Adjunct Associate Professor. During the event, Pepperberg shared a few of her memories of Alex’s personality, his sense of humor. Alex would sometimes behave poorly during training sessions, throwing things

PHOTO BY Jodi Elkin/The Hoot

ALEX AND ME: Adjunct associat Irene Pepperberg speaks about her relationship with Alex the parrot.

onto the floor or giving all wrong answers. Pepperberg said that she would then give Alex a “time out” and begin to leave the room, which is when Alex would call out the correct answer. She stated that one of her most shocking discoveries was that Alex understood the concept of “none.” Pepperberg had arranged sets of 3, 4 and 6 objects, and tried to get Alex to pick the correct set. Instead, Alex repeated “5” over and over again. At first, Pepperberg was frustrated, but then she asked Alex, “What color?” and Alex responded with “none” revealing that he understood an abstract concept.

Alex’s death in 2007 at the age of 31 was met with media attention and many condolences. Pepperberg said she was surprised by the enormity of the response. She received over 3,000 emails and boxes of letters. One woman, who had made a monthly donation to help fund the running of the lab, wrote a letter explaining how Alex’s story provided her the will to live and stop contemplating suicide. Pepperberg hypothesized why Alex was an inspiration to people, “He gave people a sense of oneness with nature and realize the uniqueness of the beings around them.” Currently, Pepperberg is training two more parrots, Griffin and Arthur.

Students brave cold, see Obama Students protest for transparency INAUGURATION (from p. 1)

houses, and braving freezing tempatures that left one resident, Sarah Gilson’12 with a case of hypothermia, Balik said that though the trip was “exhausting” it was also “a lot of fun.” Balik’s hall was not the only group of Brandeisians to brave the cold to watch the ceremonies on the mall. “People burst into the National Anthem and America the Beautiful” said Hannah Lust ’10 who was also in D.C. during the inauguration. “The people were very excited” said Lust. “It was very joyous. I was very happy to be there even though it was so cold.” Lust explained that she did not fully grasp the fact that she was actually at the ceremony until the jumbo screen panned across the National Mall in an overhead view. It made her realize she was just one in a few million people experiencing the inauguration in person. “It was a really cool feeling” said Lust. Unfortunately, the inauguration ceremony was not kind to everyone including Danielle Gershon ’10. Gershon had been fortunate to have a purple ticket from her Senator, which allowed her close-in priority seating, but was closed out of the ceremonies due to capacity limits. “I had been standing in a crowd for six hours with no movement” said Gershon. “There were no lines, just crowds of people so I couldn’t tell where to go. When I finally broke through the crowd, they had

closed the gate and it was too late for me to get in.” Students who remained on campus for the inauguration still felt emotional. “Someone to my left was crying” said Alex Pizzi ’10 who watched the inauguration in Shapiro Campus Center. Pizzi had come from her Organic Chemistry class with Professor Pontrello who let his students out early to watch the inauguration, and was impressed that the Shapiro Campus Center and Shapiro Atrium were so packed for the viewing. Also in Shapiro Campus Center during the inauguration was president of the Brandeis Democrats, Jason Paul ’09, who spoke to the Hoot about future plans for the club. For this semester, the Democrats will focus on recruiting for new leadership, continuing to educate its members on issues, and bringing the College Democrats of Massachusetts to Brandeis. “We want to get you informed and phased-in and do it in a social atmosphere” said Paul. “There is a tendency to fall back this semester but that’s not productive.” The Democrats also want to continue doing community service around Waltham as they had in the spring of 2008. The Brandeis Democrats did not celebrate the inauguration together as a group because Paul believed that the ceremony was more for “personally celebrating.” He believed students should be celebrating as an American and not need to be in a democratic group. The Brandeis Republicans refused to comment on the inauguration or future plans as a club.

We want to get you informed and phased-in and do it in a social atmosphere. There is a tendency to fall back this semester but that’s not productive. -Jason Paul ‘09

PROTEST (from p. 1)

campus…we can’t speak out about what we want if we don’t know what’s going on.” “I don’t think we have to be key decision makers but we should be informed,” she added. Cairns agreed. “We’re not pressing to be treated like faculty,” he said. “We’re pressing to be treated with respect.” Approaching 4 p.m., Melman returned to Rabb steps with fliers reading “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” “Students need to be a part of this decision,” and “Transparency, transparency, transparency now!” The gathered students then entered Olin-Sang and began taping the fliers to the walls of the building. After phone calls to friends and e-mail messages sent to listservs, more students began to arrive. While students waited for the meeting’s end, they gathered to consider possible actions to take when professors began their exit en masse. After considering possible chants, Behrendt told the crowd to forgo loud actions in order to present a respectful image. As professors began to exit, members of the demonstration, with signs taped to their bodies, approached each professor to engage them in discussion about the content of the meeting and students’ right to be involved. They then asked faculty to stay to speak with students after the faculty meeting ended. Only Prof. Jerry Cohen (AMST) and Prof. Sabine von Mering (GER) remained to talk with students after the meeting ended. As he exited, Prof. Thomas Doherty (AMST) commented that the faculty meeting was “congenial.” “[University President Jehuda Reinharz] gave a gracious if bracing opening statement,” he said. Reinharz made it clear, Doherty explained, “that we’re all in this together.” Other faculty agreed. “There’s a positive sense of working together,” Prof. Jim Mandrell (WMGS) said.

Prof. Michael Willrich (HIST) remarked, “it feels like the beginning of a discussion rather than an end – and I hope it is.” In response to the signs and students outside of Olin-Sang, Doherty said, “students are absolutely entitled to know…I obviously think students should be an integral part of this process.” Other professors supported students’ desire to be a part of the discussion. When Prof. Daniel Kryder (POL) exited the meeting, he gave students a thumbs up sign to students and said “right on.” Later he told The Hoot, “I think [the student presence] is great. We’re all seeking transparency.” “I’m delighted to see students here,” Mandrell added. “I certainly understand it,” Provost Marty Krauss said of the student desire to be privy to the faculty meeting. “Everyone is well aware that we need to talk to students,” Krauss said. When asked if she felt an e-mail explaining the reasons for closing the faculty meeting to students would have been appropriate, she responded, “we probably should have reached out more.” Krauss explained that the administration and faculty felt it important that faculty be able to speak freely without students present. Making the meeting private was “not an effort to exclude,” she said. Von Mering expressed similar thoughts. While “there was nothing secret about this meeting,” she said, “we have to be cautious... These are deliberations that are out of the stomach…we wouldn’t have such open dialogue if we knew other people were listening.” In a brief conversation with Reinharz after the meeting, Behrendt discussed the principles of the university. “He assured us that social justice would still be a priority,” she said. Melman also spoke with Reinharz, who, he said, mentioned a possible student forum next week.


January 23, 2009

NEWS

Students upset by study abroad changes STUDY ABROAD (from p. 1)

to revisit the current merit aid study abroad policy. At the very least, Gray hopes that current merit scholars could be “grandfathered” into being able to use their scholarships to study abroad. “In this case it is very clear that recipients of merit based awards were recruited and came to campus because they were told in writing that these could be used to study abroad,” Gray said. Director of Student Financial Services Peter Giumette said that while the administration is “reevaluating” the use of merit scholarships toward study abroad, students are allowed to apply for need-based aide for the semester that they will be out of the country. Gray, however, believes that there is “often a significant gap between what the university says a family can afford and what they can actually afford.” “[Guimette]’s argument is not based in reality,” he said. Guimette said that rescinding meritbased scholarships was seen as the best way to solve a $800,000 shortfall within the Department of Academic and Financial Services. Also underconsideration as solutions was limiting approved study abroad programs based on cost and increasing the minimum grade point average (GPA) required of students studying abroad. Guimette said that while the minimum GPA was raised from a 2.7 to a 3.0, the department decided against limiting approved programs because “the most expensive programs are always the most popular.” Gray said that he was upset that no student organization was consulted before the decision was made to disallow the use of merit scholarships to study abroad. The use of merit scholarships toward study abroad is just one of many complaints students have about Friday’s e-mail. The e-mail also announced that students studying abroad next spring will have to enter a separate, stand alone room selection process to live in the Village in the fall. Fall housing in the Village will be limited to students planning to study abroad in the spring. The Village will transform into housing for midyears for the spring 2010 semester. Gray said that he is also working to ensure that students who choose to go abroad

by the Feb. 15 deadline will not be kicked out of housing if they later decide they are unable to study abroad. Gray said he thought it likely that, at the very least, students who study abroad in the fall will be able to have a place to live on campus this spring. Students are also outraged that those studying abroad will be forced to live in the Village—the most expensive housing option. Dean of Residence Life Jeremy Leiferman said that reducing the rates for Village housing next fall have been discussed, however it is the Board of Trustees, and not Residence Life that has the final say about whether these changes can occur. Unfortunately for students who will live in the Village this fall, the Board of Trustees does not meet until after room selection takes place, meaning that students will have no way of knowing how much their housing will cost before signing up to study abroad. “Students are going into this blind,” Leiferman said. Leiferman would not comment about whether or not it is likely that the Trustees would lower the price for housing in the Village, however Gray said that while he believes the rates should be lowered, he is not pursuing it because it is a futile cause. The movement of students studying abroad into the Village is just the latest in a string of moves by the university in an effort to cut costs. Leiferman denied that moving midyears into the Village would allow the university to accept more students into the 2013 class, which would increase revenue. Instead he said that currently the university is housing 120 freshman in lofted triples and that increasing that number next year would strain first-your housing facilities. “Next year’s freshman class is projected to be a little bigger than this year, but not significantly so,” he said. Leiferman insisted that the fact that students living in lofted triples pay less for housing than those living in doubles did not come into effect when deciding to decrease the amount of lofted triples next year. “It does result in a potential increase in revenue, but that was not taken under consideration in the decision making process,” he said. “It just turns out that this is a win, win situation.”

Be sure to check out The Brandeis Watch for Brandeis news analysis at www.thehoot.net

The Hoot 13

Administration’s budget changes shift university focus BUDGET (from p. 1)

a “superb undergraduate college,” the university’s character as a research university, and social justice, among others. The Hoot received a copy of the document from Class of 2011 Senator Alex Melman who received a copy of the document from Reinharz. “When we first started looking at consequences of external forces,” Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe explained, “we looked at what could be called belt-tightening.” “Once we finished tightening the belt for [fiscal year] 2010, we started looking for carefully at [fiscal year] 2011,” Jaffe said. “Three more months have gone by and things have gotten worse,” he said. Further, “we have every reason to expect [the] Madoff [ponzi scheme] to reduce gifts.” Prof. William Flesch, chair of the faculty senate, added via e-mail, “it’ll take a long time to recover from the current crisis. The short term damage has long term consequences.” Flesch added that the faculty will guard the “academic and intellectual mission of Brandeis.” As such, the strategy for meeting the budgetary challenges has shifted. Jaffe explained, “we need to have a more comprehensive realignment of revenues and expenses.” Part of that plan includes the introduction what has been termed ‘meta-majors’ and the addition of a summer term. “We would define 10 or 12 broad areas – something like life sciences or politics, law, and public affairs,” Jaffe said. Each student would then have a disciplinary concentration within their broad interdisciplinary meta-major. “Our hope is that this would improve education,” Jaffe said. “We want to tap into students’ interest in interdisciplinary [studies] and multiple majors.”

Also, Jaffe believed fewer meta-majors would allow the Hiatt Career Center to better “integrate the curriculum with what you do after Brandeis.” Restructuring the academic program would allow the university to “have a curriculum that could be mounted with fewer faculty but in such a way that is still intellectually rigorous and robust,” Jaffe said. Second, the proposed curriculum changes would “create an attractive and distinctive model of the undergraduate education that we would hope would allow us to increase the number of students who want to come to Brandeis.” “Part of what we’re trying to accomplish is to be out ahead and to be distinctive,” Jaffe said. Increasing the attractiveness of the university is key in increasing the size of the student body without lowering academic standards of acceptance, he explained. Introducing a summer term would allow the university to mitigate the space issues a larger student body would present. While no logistical details are final, “part of the idea [of a summer term] is to offer innovative and exciting things that are hard to do [during a regular semester].” The proposed curriculum changes were discussed in a private meeting with the faculty and administration. Prof. Steven Burg (POL) characterized the meeting as a “vigorous faculty discussion of some ideas for change designed to…improve what we do as educators” while also becoming more efficient. “No direct action was taken today,” he said. The faculty did vote to create a steering committee, which would have the power to create sub-committees, Burg said. Additionally, there was “explicit discussion and great support among the faculty that students should be involved in this process,” he added.

The Brandeis Brief Pro-Israel Rally Students came together in support of Israel at the Pro Peace Rally--Solidarity with Southern Israel on Sunday in the Shapiro Campus Center in reaction to the latest Israeli-Palestinian crisis. The event was sponsored by the Brandeis Zionist Alliance in an effort to raise awareness about the effects of the violence in Israel. At the event, Phil Braunstein ‘12 told the crowd of his experiences in Israel during the 2006 war with Lebannon. Braunstien said that while he had originally been planing on staying in the town of Nahariyah--only four miles from the Israeli-Lebanese boarder--he had to stay in Jerusalem instead. “I remember for the Friday night dinner they had a TV tuned into a news station for the entire dinner,” he said. “the atmosphere was tense, obviously. The host pulled me aside and said to me ‘this is not how we normally do Friday night dinners, but this is a scary time for all of us.” Jessica Kent ‘09 spoke of her experiences traveling in Israel over winter

break and described the anxiety and fear that plagued the Israelis she met. Kent emphasized the effects that war and violence has on humanity. Saghi Sofizon ‘11 emphasized to the crowd the complexity of the issue. Although Sofizon himself is Israeli, he urged the crowd to acknowledge that casualties have occured on both sides of the conflict. Peace, he said, is the only answer to the conflict that will satisfy both sides. Students who attended the rally said they attended because they are passionate about Israel and wanted their voices to be heard. “The media is portraying Israel in a negative way, and i think it is really important to get together and talk about what is really going on in the Middle East. Everyone has been negatively affected by this conflict and it is important to show both sides,” Michelle Hack ‘12 said.

By Sarah Gilson


14

January 23, 2009

The Hoot

SPO RTS

Brandeis stuns ninth ranked Amherst on the road, 73-58 BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

It is easy to write off the Brandeis Judges men’s squad after their early season struggles, especially when the Judges hit the road on a Tuesday night to take on the team that ended their season last year, Amherst College. However, as noted by The Spinners – there’s always a chance a tiny spark remains, and sparks burst into flames. On Tuesday night, Amherst encountered an inferno as the Judges rallied behind Steve DeLuca’s ’08 second double-double of the season in the 73-58 upset. The win at Amherst follows Brandeis’s 65-35 demolition of NYU back on January 17. The Judges converted 13-20 three point attempts in that game including Kevin Olson’s ’09 touch of perfection – five three point shots attempted, 15 points scored. Kenny Small ’10 had 13 points, and rookie Vytas Kryskus ’12 had 10 in the blowout. “We took a lot of shots this week in practice,” Andre Roberson ’10 said after the NYU game. “We knew they were going to sag into the paint [and] take away our presence in the post because Terrell (Hollins ’10)... DeLuca is starting to go to the post more. You know they was going to sag so we just kick out, see who is` there, and knock down shots.” Amherst started off as a tight affair, knotted up at 44 with 10:20 in the

game but Brandeis responded with a 9-0 run over the next four minutes, capped off with a traditional three point play by forward Christian Yemga ’11. Amherst’s dreams of a come back were thwarted for good after DeLuca converted back to back three point attempts and followed up with a lay-up to give the Judges their largest lead of the night at the time. Giving a strong performance at the free throw line, Brandeis converted 21 of 25 shot attempts in the second half including going 9 for 10 from the line over the final two minutes. DeLuca finished with game highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds on 8-16 shooting. Kevin Olson ’09 finished with 11 points on the back of three three-pointers. Brandeis was helped further with some very fine bench play as Kenny Small ’10 and Napoleon Lherisson ’11 combined for 19 points on 6-11 shooting as well as going 6-7 from the free throw line. Brian Baskaukas set the pace for the Lord Jeffs, finishing with 14 points and seven rebounds. Steven Wheeler put in 10 points on 3-11 shooting. With their third straight win, Brandeis is now 9-5 overall, 2-1 in conference play. The Judges look to improve on that as they continue their road trip, racking up the frequent flyer miles as they hop through Cleveland tonight to take on Case Western Reserve University and then to Atlanta to try to clip the Emory University Eagles.

Complaining about jersey faux pas

BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

In life, we encounter a number of unwritten codes for life and guidance in general situations, and nowhere is it more prevalent than in the clothes we wear for special events. For instance, white socks with dark shoes are a big no-no. Winged collar tuxedos belong in 1987, as does anything day glo, neon or skin tight and then of course, never go to a rock concert wearing the shirt of the band you’re seeing. I say this because as a sports fan, especially with hockey, there are quite a number of unwritten codes of etiquette governing the choices you make regarding your replica jersey, whether in terms of customizing or just wearing to a random event. 1. Never customize a jersey with your name! This is the cardinal rule. Nothing screams

“tool” like walking around with a jersey customized with your name. You don’t play for the team, you never will, and therefore, no one gives a flying pig about your last name. You just wasted over $100, and infinitely worse, the time I spent trying to figure out who you were supposedly emulating that was playing. 2. Never customize the jersey to put an athlete on another team, or for that matter ,another sport Unless the player was traded or suddenly became a two-sport athlete, there is really no point for this other than acting some desperate fantasy. Whether it’s having a number 23 LeBron James Cleveland Browns jersey or a Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Penguins replica, it just doesn’t work and its just plain sad to see a LeBron James Knicks jersey. Maybe not so in two years ,but now – oh yeah. 3. Sports and politics don’t mix.

I was very surprised when I found someone had customized number 12 Washington Capitals jersey to say “Palin” as in “Sarah Palin, 2012.” NO! There is only number 12 to play for Washington, that is Peter Bondra. And for that matter, the only name that should be on the back of a number eight Capitals jersey is “Ovechkin.” I don’t care if it even is in support of a democrat, the answer is no. How would Boston react if someone wore a number 12 Patriots jersey that was customized to name some politician to send a message? The only message that needs to be sent at a game is “go (insert team here)!” You want to start a political rally, go somewhere else. 4. Pick a jersey and stick with it – don’t mix and match. Lately what has become a trend is taking two different jerseys put putting them together in some sort of horror concocted out of a Mary Shelley novel. Pick a team

Swimmers Swamp Clark

BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

The Brandeis swim team honored their senior class Wednesday night with a clean sweep over hosts Clark University with the men claiming a 133-104 win and the women taking the event 129-114. Robert Morse ’09 was among the multiple winners on the men’s side. Morse took the 200 and the 500 yard freestyle with season-best performances of 1:48.46 and 4:57.69 respectively. Classmate Michael Rubin ’09 finished third in both events. James Liu ’10 continued his excellent season with victories in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle sprint and combined with Morse, Justin

Wellins ’10 and Joshua Allgaier ’12 seized the 400 yard medley relay at the close of the match. Also enjoying a great night was Marc Eder ’12, who won the 200 yard individual medley and breaststroke, and Aaron Bennett ’11, who showed versatility with his victories in the 1000 yard freestyle and the 200 yard butterfly. Eder and Bennett also teamed up along with Wellins and David Frei ’12 to take the 400 yard free relay to start the evening. The women’s events saw the hydro dynamo, Angela Chui ’12 continue her blazing rookie year, taking first place in the 100, 200 and 500 yard free style. Julia Derk

’12 took the 50 yard freestyle and the 200 yard backstroke while Hollis Viray ’10 posted wins in the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard breaststroke. Siobhan Lyons ’10 took the 200 yard butterfly and joined up with Derk, Rachel Nadas ’09 and Leah Lipka ’09 to win the meetopening 400-yard medley relay. Fellow classmate Alix Lifka-Reselman finished third in the 3 meter diving event. The men’s squad is now 4-4 on the season, and the women are now 5-3 on the year. Their next stop is Trinity College (Conn.) for January 24 matinee to wrap up their dual matches until the championship meets come February.

and go for it, don’t have someone professionally mess up two perfectly good jerseys to make one awful one. Please note the one exception to this is Brady Quinn’s sister who is married to AJ Hawk and thus wore a jersey in college that was a combination of her brother (#10 for Notre Dame) and then fiancée (#47 for Ohio State). 5. Wearing a jersey for a team that isn’t even there. I myself am a frequent violator of this rule. Not as egregious as the others, but it’s still kind of odd to go to a game wearing the jersey of a team that isn’t even playing. International events may be considered an exception. These are my examples that I have learned mostly through gleaming blogs like Puck Daddy and DC Sports Bog. If any of you have other suggestions or for that matter, your own photographic evidence of such faux paux, send ‘em in the Brandeis Hoot.

Anat Ben Nun wins UAA Athlete of the Week BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

Anat Ben Nun ’09 earned UAA Athlete of the Week honors in track and field after provisionally qualifying for the NCAA’s in the triple jump. Ben Nun hopped, skipped, and jumped to a first place distance of 11.66 meters (38 feet, 3¼ inches) at the Bowdoin College invitational. Her jump was 3.5 inches short of automatic qualification. It was her first event in more than a year after having to sit out her junior year due to injury. Anat is a two-time All-American in the triple jump, finishing third in the nation as a rookie and improved to second place the next year.


January 23, 2009

SPORTS

Brandeis women drop second home game to NYU BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

All good things must come to an end, and every team manages to find the one opponent they just cannot properly corral. None of this was of any comfort to Coach Carol Simon; who could only watch as the formerly seventh ranked Judges were upset at home to formerly 13th ranked NYU 4961. Lauren Orlando’s ’09 second three pointer gave Brandeis the 14-10 lead nearly 11 minutes in the half. NYU, however, quickly launched a 9-1 run over the next five minutes to build up a four point lead. Brandeis responded with Morgan Kendrew ’12 converting a three point play followed by a three pointer by Carmela Breslin ’10. The joy was short lived as the Violets stole the momentum away with back-to-back three pointers from Jen Hum-Traverso, giving NYU a 25-22 lead with 1:49 left in the first half. In the second half, the Judges rallied to within three points of the lead, but a combination of turnovers, missed opportunities and three pointers from Sarah McDevitt and Emily Foshag proved too much to overcome, and Brandeis walked away the lesser. Orlando had the best performance for Brandeis in the losing effort, leading the scoring with 15 points on 6-10 shooting, including

converting 3 of 4 three pointers. Cassidy Dadaos ’09 followed up with 9 points and a team-leading 7 rebounds. The remaining starters, Jessica Chapin ’10, Dianna Cincotta ’11, and Lauren Rashford ’10 combined for 8 points on 3-21 shooting, an anemic 14 percent. Chapin in particular missed 10 shots, including all 5 of her three point attempts. Morgan Kendrew had five points off the bench in the first half but received very little time in the second half. The Judges were also out-rebounded 40-34 and limited to only seven free throw attempts. Jessica McEntee continued her mastery over Brandeis, finishing three assists short of a triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists. The twelve rebounds tied Megan Fox for the game high. Emily Foshag had the shooting touch Brandeis lacked, converting all five of her field goal attempts for 15 points, and Jen HumTraverso rounded out the double digit scoring with 10 points on the day. With the defeat, Brandeis is now 1-2 in UAA play and has dropped six spots to number 13 according to the latest d3hoops.com top 25 poll. The Judges now begin the road portion of their conference schedule, first heading down to Cleveland to take on Case Western Reserve University tonight at 6:00 pm and then crossing the Mason-Dixon to clip Emory University on January 25.

The Hoot 15

The Deis Board TEAM

LATEST SCORES

NEXT GAME

Men’s Basketball

January 17 v. New York University W 65-35

January 23 at Case Western Reserve 8:00 pm

January 20 at Amherst W 73-58

January 25 at Emory University 12:00 pm

January 17 v. New York University L 49-61

January 23 at Case Western Reserve 6:00 pm

Women’s Basketball

January 25 at Emory University 2:00 pm Swimming

January 21 at Clark Men W 133-104 Women W 129-114

January 24 at Trinity College (Conn.) 1:00 pm

Track and Field

January 17 at Bowdoin Invitational MTrack 3rd of 3 teams WTrack 2nd of 2 teams

January 23-24 vs. Terrier Classic @ Boston, Mass. TBA January 24 v. Reggie Poyau Memorial Invitational @ Gosman 12:00 p.m.

Fencing

January 24 vs. Northeast Conference Meet @ Brown, Providence, R.I. 9 a.m. (vs. Brown, BC, Dartmouth, Tufts, Vassar) January 28 WFencing vs. Wellesley 7 p.m.


16

January 23, 2009

The Hoot

W ee k end F U N Spotlight on Boston

Beantown Beauty Gala:

Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra:

Friday, Jan. 23, 8 p.m. 185 West Newton St, Boston

Put on your best duds and have fun at this fundraising event! Local models will put on a fashion show at the beautiful Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center in order to raise money for standup2cancer.org. Artist Lexcano will also perform. $20 for General Photo courtesy of event website. www.bostonnightclubnews.com Admission.

Saturday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m. 200 Stuart St., Boston Do you hail to the gods of rock? If yes, then this event is for you. At the Stuart Street Playhouse, 19 musicians will blow your mind as they play music by rock legends like Queen, The Who, and the Beatles. www.anatro.com

What's going on at Brandeis?

Photo courtesy of event website.

Ponytail and Jeffery Davis: Proscenium: Sunday, Jan. 25, 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, 9 to 11:30 p.m. Cholmondeley's

Photo courtesy of Spin Magazine

Slosberg Recital Hall

Got nothing in your wallet except lint? That's okay, the Punk, Rock and Roll club is hosting a free concert! The frenetic energy of Ponytail will get your blood pumping and Davis's witty lyrics will get your brain thinking.

Photo courtesy of group website.

Volunteer Silent Auction:

In a musical mood? Check out Proscenium's 2nd annual semester show! This a cappella group brings new energy to musical theater songs. Be there when the curtain rises.

Women's Rugby Social:

Sunday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m. Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Saturday, Jan. 24, 10 p.m. Mod 9

Now's your chance to bid for your own personal chaffeur. Or, do you like Thai food? Place a bid on a cooking lesson. There will be a raffle and refreshments.

Photo courtesy of group website.

Insert Comic Here

Interested in playing Rugby? Meet the players in the best way possible, at a party. Or go to a practice on Tuesday or Thursday in the Gosman Fieldhouse. By Anthony Scibelli

COMIC Strips Sleazy

By Matt Kupfer

Floppsie

laughingwarlock

By Ian Price

By Grace Alloy-Relihan


The Brandeis Hoot - 1-23-09