VOL 6, NO. 8
OCTOBER 16, 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
At The Rose, it’s business as usual Mass. Attorney General
investigates Rose Art sale
BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
BY ARIEL WITTENBERG
Two museum preparateurs folded a giant plastic tarp while another swept sawdust from the floor of the Lois Foster Gallery of the Rose Art Museum, as soft country music played from a radio in the corner, its twang bouncing off the high ceiling of the room. They had just finished constructing a temporary wall in the center of the gallery to divide the room into four sections for the museum’s exhibition of its permanent collection, which will open Oct. 28 and last throughout the school year. While this week has been one that is full of speculation about how the attorney general’s investigation into the university and the denial of the university’s motion to suppress a lawsuit concerning the Rose Art Museum could affect the museum’s operation, at the museum itself, this week has been business as usual. “We’re certainly following the suit very closely,” Director of Museum Operations Roy Dawes said, “but this motion and the legal stuff doesn’t affect our operations, See EXHIBIT, p. 4
A Suffolk Probate Court judge gave the state approval Tuesday to conduct a civil investigation into Brandeis University’s deliberations over potentially closing the Rose Art Museum and selling some of its artwork The application for Civil Investigative Demand (CID) stated
Library and Technology Services (LTS) is exploring the option of outsourcing core university services, which could decrease its operating budget, while allowing LTS to continue supplying necessary services to the Brandeis community. There are 31 core service elements to LTS, 18 of which are being considered for outsourcing. If all 18 are outsourced approximately 50 jobs would leave the Brandeis campus, decreasing the university’s roughly $1.8 million LTS operating cost. LTS currently outsources several of its services such as the administrative database that runs SAGE (called People Soft), CTV, the process of selecting and ordering new books for the library, and all wiring done on campus. LTS has already implemented some reductions that were approved by an advisory committee and University President Jehuda Reinharz for Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10). These reductions included a 16 percent reduction in staff, or 19 positions, and a
IN THIS ISSUE:
See CID, p. 2
Judge denies motion to dismiss BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
MOUNTING MASTERPIECES: A Rose Art preparateur hangs a painting in anticipation of the museum’s exhibit, which will open Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.
LTS considers further outsourcing BY DESTINY D. AQUINO
the investigation “is necessary in order to investigate the potential misapplication of charitable assets donated for the benefit of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University,” and was submitted to the court by Johanna Soris, assistant attorney general of the nonprofit organizations and public charities division of the attorney
14 percent reduction in operating expenditures, approximately $1 million. No student positions were cut. For FY11, LTS will be working on a “zero budget system,” meaning that the advisory committee would have to approve all expenditures before they are made as a money-saving measure. “Our plan is to go to committees and show them our plan, see what they say so if we say ‘Well what do you think about outsourcing the help desk’ and the community goes, ‘What are you crazy,’ then we go OK, not possible, no outsourcing that,” said Perry Hanson, Vice President and Vice Provost for Library and Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. LTS does expect to spend an additional $4.5 million in FY10 for a network upgrade that will run all wiring and campus technology on the most current technology. LTS participates in national studies with over 100 other schools regarding library and technology on campus. They compare the universities procedures, budgets, and overall systems.
A Suffolk Probate Court judge Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Brandeis University from selling any art from the Rose Art Museum donated by three plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the university yesterday after denying the university’s motion to dismiss the suit. Though the injunction is applicable to works of art donated by Jonathan Lee, Meryl Rose, and Lois Foster, or the estates they represent, only the Lee estate has donated artwork, mean-
ing the injunction prohibits the university from selling 500 of the 7,813 works of art in the museum. Associate Justice Jeremy Stahlin also denied the university’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the plaintiffs had standing to sue the university as individual donors, but not in the public interest, and that he would have to deliberate whether the plaintiffs and all members of the Board of Overseers of the museum would have standing as members of the board. The plaintiffs filed suit against See MOTION, p. 4
Rose Art catalogue release celebrates museum history amid uncertain future BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
Brandeis University recently released a catalogue of its permanent collection entitled “The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis” to honor the museum’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2011. The book was produced as a celebration of the Rose’s history and the museum’s now unknown future, which currently lies in the hands of the university’s provost, board of trustees and the Suffolk Probate Court. The idea for a book about the Rose originally came to Anne Tannebaum in 2007 as a member of the Museum’s Board of Overseers who had been working at publishing company Abrams Books since graduating from Brandeis in1966. “I just thought how beneficial it would be to the museum if we had a catalogue published on the collection,” Tannebaum said. The university was “keen on the idea,” and a contract was signed in 2008, she said. The book was paid for, in part, through donations, and former
Previewing the new Rose exhibit. Diverse City, page 8
Director of the Rose Art Museum Michael Rush helped author the book, which was finished in 2009. The book, which is divided into six chapters by artistic styles, highlights 196 of the 7,183 works in the museum. Then, on Jan. 26 President Jehuda Reinharz made an announcement that the university’s Board of Trustees had authorized the close of the Rose Art Museum and the sale of its artwork in order to alleviate what would be the university’s $23 million budget gap by 2014. Though Reinharz has since announced that the museum will stay open and that the Board is only considering the sale of artwork, his initial announcement worried Rush. “The book was mostly written by then,” Rush said. “It was done and at the printers, but our biggest fears were that it would go down the drain after that announcement.” The book was published, despite the international media firestorm that followed Reinharz’s initial announcement, and in an effort
Making a difference in facilities Features , page 12
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
to reassure the university and the art world of Brandeis’ commitment to the arts, university Provost Marty Krauss created a Committee for the Future of the Rose Art Museum in March that was to discuss how to better integrate the museum into the university’s academic mission. The Committee issued its report on Sept. 22, showing what Krauss
See ROSE BOOK, p. 4
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2 The Hoot
October 16, 2009
N E W S
Admissions center garners positive reaction BY SEAN FABERY Staff
The new Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center opened to students last week just in time for Monday’s Fall Open House, making it the latest in a series of changes to the Brandeis landscape. The new building, designed by Charles Rose Architects, boasts a sleeker, more modern look than its predecessor. The structure features 20,000 square feet and two floors, doubling the space of the original building. In addition to a welcome station, the building has a state-of-the-art 100-seat presentation room and a new financial services satellite office. Construction on the new center, located in the same spot as the original admissions building, began in August 2008. Construction cost a total of $14 million, which was paid through a donation by the Shapiro family. During construction, interim admissions offices were located in the Bernstein-Marcus Administrative Building. The admissions center officially opened its doors to students on Oct. 6. Most notably, it hosted activities for Monday’s Open House, which attracted hundreds of prospective students. Students working in admissions were pleased by the new center. “The new building is beautiful,” said Jamie Fleishman ’11, a former tour guide and current blogger for the admissions web site. “It
BY LEAH FINKELMAN Staff
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
ADMISSIONS: The Shapiro Admissions Center opened this week just in time to welcome prospective students to campus for Monday’s open house.
definitely adds a lot to the visitor experience for the prospective students and parents who come.” Fleishman’s favorite aspect of the new building is a studentmade video in which Brandeis students discuss their academic programs and the various activities in which they are involved. This video plays on a loop throughout screens in the admissions center, alternating with a slideshow presenting pictures of students on-campus. “I make comments telling [new students] ‘Oh, I know we’re
just moving in,’ but they still seem to like the building a lot, telling me how nice and comfortable it is. It’s definitely gotten a good reception,” Rachel Markman ’10, a senior interviewer with admissions said.“It’s really light and airy. The layout in general is really open. There’s a lot of places to sit,” Markman said. “In the interim building, we couldn’t see where students were sitting in the front office. With this building, you can always find people, which also makes them feel more comfortable about coming up and asking
Academic Restructuring Committee] proposals, GSAS has reduced PhD admissions by 50 percent for 2009-10 and 201011. That brings a substantial savings (in stipends paid to the students); it essentially covers the cost of fifth-year funding, which was announced four years ago and went into effect for the first time this fall,” Freeze wrote in an e-mail message to The Hoot. The Heller School saw a 19 percent increase in applicants after a downward trend of applications the previous three years. Heller Dean Lisa Lynch attributes this to the decline in the labor market and the pursuit of higher education for additional career options. There are currently 140 doctoral candidates at Heller, and 359 Master’s students. Doctoral candidates receive a stipend of $17,500 for three years, and select students may receive more funding from government or private grants. Tuition from Master’s students is expected to bring in $6.8 million in FY10, which is a third of its operating costs. Last year Heller contributed $2.4 million to the university. Lynch explained in an e-mail to The Hoot her concerns for the future, saying, “Headwinds we face in the upcoming year include the state of the economy, financial aid, and the decision by
the Ford foundation to eliminate funding for the International Ford Fellows program that provided significant financial assistance to many Heller students in the past.”
questions.” The general student body has responded positively to the new building. “It looks a lot better than the old building,” said Liz Crane ’11, a resident in the nearby Village residences, adding, “It’s more modern and less prison-like.” Not everything at admissions has changed, however, as Fleishman is quick to point out. “I really think it’s important to stress that [admissions] will still have its famous cookies available to prospective students,” he said.
Grad schools help budget, bring in revenue BY DESTINY D. AQUINO Editor
Admissions to all Brandeis Graduate Schools has risen in 2009-2010, leading to a positive net revenue for the university. Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) was the first year the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) was able to contribute positively to the fiscal landscape of Brandeis, making the combined revenue for the university from the graduate schools in FY09 $6.6 million. The increased admission has not reduced the quality of students admitted and the average GRE and GPA scores of accepted students actually rose significantly this year, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Gregory Freeze said. Freeze credited last year’s larger application pool to the exceptional work of their admissions and curriculum departments in both creating new programs and marketing them “in imaginative and vigorous ways.” At GSAS, applications were exceptionally high this fall with a six and 36 percent increase in applications to the doctoral and masters certificate programs respectively. This allowed GSAS to become more selective and to admit more tuition-paying students, which generated their $300,000 contribution to the university. “As part of the [Curriculum and
Israeli Deputy PM talks about Mid-East conflict
This weekend marks Heller’s 50th anniversary, and several events are being sponsored all over campus to celebrate. Over the summer, Heller received the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism training grant for $1.2 million over three years which will finance the doctoral program, and another $900,000 in sponsored research. The International Business School admitted 50 new students this year, 25 of whom are Brandeis seniors who will join the Masters in International Economics and Finance program. “While we of course can’t assume that the crisis is entirely behind us, we are pleased by the size of our incoming class and the consequences this has for our revenues in FY10. We also continue to be pleased with the level of financial support from our evergrowing base of donors,” Dean Bruce Magid of the International Business School told The Hoot in an e-mail. Most IBS students receive some form of financial aid; however, only a small amount comes from the university endowment. The Rabb School of Continuing Studies only offers Master’s pro-
At a glance THE ISSUE: All of the university’s graduate schools have increased admissions for FY 2010. WHAT IT MEANS: This saves the university $6.6 million in this years budget. THE BIGGER PICTURE: The university is facing a budget gap of at least $26 million over the next four years, which this newfound revenue helps to close. grams. With a small staff of 10, it is able to contribute the most monetarily to university of any of the graduate programs. Last year it contributed $4.5 million dollars to the university. Rabb has six programs; five are offered entirely online and four are offered on campus as well. Many of Rabb’s students are supported by their employers, which allows financial aid to be kept to a minimum. Admissions are rolling at Rabb so it is difficult to nail down a specific percentage of admissions and application increase, but it has seen a small rise in both. Dean Michaele Whelan of Rabb said, “this gives a greater depth to the school’s ability to reach out to appropriate professional students.”
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor spoke to Brandeis students, faculty and community members Thursday evening in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall. Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz introduced Meridor, describing the presentation as a “high level scholarly discussion” concerning the Middle East, and said Brandeis in particular is a place that “welcomes and promotes that kind of discussion.” Meridor discussed several issues facing his country on the global spectrum, including the nuclear threat of Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The threat of a nuclear Iran has been covered significantly in the news recently, especially in relation to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threats to wipe Israel off the map. Meridor, however, refused to put Israel at the forefront of the situation. He pointed out that a nuclear Iran could mean a violation of the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT is an agreement between 189 countries to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, including only five countries that currently posses nuclear weapons. Iran is included in the NPT. Meridor described Iran as a threat because unlike the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China, Iran is a fundamentally religious country and sees itself as having a “direct line to God.” Meridor also explained now is the time to put international pressure on Iran in order stop the production of nuclear weapons, not simply for Israel’s sake, but for the overall sake of the Middle East and the world. After concluding his talk on Iran, Meridor transitioned into another universally recognized political issue within Israel: the conflict between Israel and Palestine. “Israel has changed extremely, both internally and in the public arena,” Meridor said. Although the situation between Israel and Palestine isn’t ideal, Meridor said it has improved drastically since the ‘90’s. Instead of being scared every time they stepped foot outside their own homes, Israelis can now walk in the streets and feel safe. Roadblocks between Israeli and Palestinians communities have been removed, and the Palestinian community in Israel is growing and improving rapidly. When summarizing, Meridor said very simply that Israel will not give up, even though the changes in the Middle East are “problematic” for his country. “For 61 years, it always seems as if the odds are insurmountable… [but] I don’t think there is a more impressive story in our time,” Meridor said.
October 16, 2009
The Hoot 3
Wise says racism is everyone’s responsibility Attorney in ‘Between Barack and a Hard Place’ speech general to
investigate Rose Art
CID (from p. 1)
WISE ADDRESS: Author Tim Wise spoke Tuesday night about the importance of combating racism, even in an Obama era.
BY JON OSTROWSKY Staff
Tim Wise, a prominent antiracism scholar and author, spoke about racism in the context of Obama’s presidency during a lecture on campus Tuesday night. Wise, who recently published his book, “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama,” spoke to a full crowd in the Faculty Club, at an event sponsored by the Louis Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice. Explaining the disadvantages racial minorities face in the economy, healthcare system and job market, Wise explained that all of society’s underlying racist assumptions are still present in our nation today. Th election of Barack Obama as president does not mark an end to racism or even demonstrate
significant progress in promoting equal rights of minorities, Wise said. “We must take responsibilities for the legacies we inherit,” he said. Wise said the problem of racism is “one for which we must take responsibility not because we are guilty but because we are here.” Wise, maintaining a sense of humor throughout his talk, began the evening by admitting that in a similar event held at Bentley College recently, the student body strongly opposed his speech. This week, however, the Brandeis crowd often applauded his comments, and many members of the audience thanked Wise for taking the time to talk at Brandeis. The average white family possesses 11 times the net worth of
an African-American family and eight times the net worth of a Latino family, Wise said. Wise explained that many white people do not realize why they are so successful while many minorities are live in poverty. “The wealth of the white middle class and above was largely built on state intervention,” he said. Commenting on Obama’s presidency, Wise said it does not represent progress in the fight against racism. Referring to the racial prejudice in our country, Wise said “none of that was undone because of the election of Barack Obama.” He explained that one individual does not represent a trend or attitude of an entire nation. People would not admit that nations such as Pakistan and India no longer had to deal with sexism
PHOTO BY Robbie Hammer/The Hoot
just because their head of state was a woman, he explained. Wise believes that Obama has had to make sure he did not mention race when discussing issues such as universal health care, and current events such as the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, for even when he did not, he was accused by many of using the “race card.” Speaking on a smaller scale, Wise insisted that even at Brandeis, a university founded on the concept of social justice, we need to ensure that all members of the institution agree on a common mission of true equality for all. “If we’re going to create equity at Brandeis, understand that one of the biggest problems is the unwillingness of good people to realize that we are deeply implicated in this thing,” Wise said.
Eco-reps to certify sustainable ‘green rooms’ BY NATHAN KOSKELLA Special to The Hoot
The Brandeis Sustainability Initiative will now grant students the opportunity to live in certified “green rooms” in recognition of environmentally responsible goals and practices. The program keeps with the university’s stated mission of efficiency and reducing its collective eco-footprint by 2050. “We have launched this program, to be done with the eco-reps, in partnership with [Students for Environmental Action],” Campus Sustainabiliy Coordinator Janna CohenRosenthal ’03 said. “This year, we wanted to do so many things at once, [so] we came up with a pledge…you can certify green buildings, organic food, so why not?”
Students can be awarded the certification sticker by combating environmental waste in a number of ways, including using lowenergy light bulbs or electronics, recycling, or composting waste before trashing, and doing laundry with cold water and a simple drying rack. Volunteering with certain clubs or taking an environmental studies class will also bring a student closer to the green medal. Students for Environmental Action (SEA), whose membership counts toward this activist component, is the largest environmental group on campus, and has been increasingly involved in greening the university. “In SEA, we will be mainly working on promoting this new initiative. We plan to set up a mock dorm room in the [Shapiro
Campus Center] atrium stacked full of ‘Green’ features. We will also be providing other campuswide promotion so that this great idea can be picked up by students across the campus,” SEA President Matt Schmidt ’11 wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot. The list of the many possible ways to contribute is provided in a checklist at Brandeis sustainability’s green room web site. By checking off 10 green activities, students can sign up for an inspection by their residence hall or quad eco-rep, who will offer certification stickers. “Eco-reps aren’t going to audit or anything,” Cohen-Rosenthal said, “but we want to make sure, since it’s for [the environment]. Things students are already doing or are going to do can count. We want the program to be simple…
pick 10 things of 20, and you get a sticker and maybe a prize,” she added, referring to the special incentives certain quads are offering for the number of green rooms. The eco-reps will tally the amount of environmentally green certificates and hand out prizes, including free pizza or an “eco-friendly ice cream party,” according to a Department of Community Living e-mail sent to the student body. The expenses are incurred in the name of a greater benefit, Schmidt explained. “This program will make students think about their day-today living decisions and how they affect the sustainability of this campus. We hope that through positive recognition, this program will create greener dorm rooms across campus.”
generals office. The investigation is supported by Chapter 12 section 8H of Massachusetts state law, which states “the attorney general, whether he believes that charitable funds have not been or are not being applied to charitable purposes or that breaches of trust have been or are being committed in the administration of a public charity, may conduct an investigation upon application to and with the approval of a judge of the trial court.” The CID marks a more aggressive change in the attorney general’s policy toward Brandeis University and the Rose Art Museum. In April, three months after the university announced its decision to sell artwork from the museum, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office Emily LaGrassa told The Hoot that the attorney general would only become involved with the university after it made the decision to sell a specific piece of artwork. At that time, the Attorney General would review the potential sale and ensure that it did not violate any restrictions put on the donated art at the time it was given. Both Brandeis and the plaintiffs of a lawsuit filed against the university in order to prevent the closure of the museum and the sale of its artwork consented to the request for the CID. The CID does not prevent the university from selling art from the Rose Art Museum, but does require the university to give the attorney general 30 days notice before selling artwork. The CID has been served to University President Jehuda Reinharz and consists of a long list of documents to be provided to Soris and her staff within 30 days. If the university does not comply with this demand, it could face a charge of up to $5,000. Documents requested by the attorney general’s office include everything related to the museum and its artwork, from minutes from the Jan. 26 Board of Trustees meeting in which the Board voted to authorize the sale of artwork from the museum, to documents pertaining to the university’s financial need to sell artwork from the Rose Art Museum to the university’s “master plan for use of the proceeds from the sale of collection objects.” Also according to Section 8H, the documents provided to theattorney general in the investigation will not be disclosed to any other person other than “the authorized agent...of the attorney general.” The CID also requires that Brandeis provide the entire documents, and electronic copies of the documents if possible. The attorney general’s office declined to give further comment on the CID.
4 The Hoot
October 16, 2009
Museum book celebrates Rose history and paintings ROSE BOOK (from p. 1)
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
Rose prepares to showcase permanent collection while legal battle continues EXHIBIT (from p. 1)
and it doesn’t affect the exhibit.” Dawes stood on the upper floor of The Rose gallery, looking into the Foster gallery, overseeing his preparateur team, surrounded by paintings leaning up against blank walls and waiting for the paintings to be hung. He was waiting to hang the paintings--including a Warhol and a Chagall, among others -until next week, when Adelina Jedrzejczak, co-curator of the exhibit would arrive from London and help finalize the list of art to be shown. The exhibit, which opens on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m, will be divided into six sections, similar to the six chapters of the recently released The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis, a catalogue of the museum’s permanent collection. Though it is proceeding with its exhibit, the museum has not been
unchanged by the legal battle that looms over the future of its collection this summer. As Dawes walked down the stairs to the lower floor of the Rose Gallery where the museum will showcase its vast photography collection, he looked at the wall. “We were thinking of making this a timeline of the history of the museum and the collection so people knew where all this great art came from,” he said, “but then we’d have to get into the whole controversy, so I don’t know about that.” This exhibit is the first time that all three galleries of the museum will be used to exhibit only pieces from the permanent collection -in part because the university has ordered it to do so, but also because “this collection doesn’t get shown enough.” “There’s a lot of curiosity about what we have here,” Dawes said.
In addition, while the museum typically has three exhibits per year, the exhibition of the permanent collection will last through May, though Dawes said he will rotate the artwork in the exhibit so as to encourage “multiple visits.” The staff has also been severely cut (Dawes himself only began running the museum this summer, after former Director Michael Rush’s contract ran up in June and was not renewed), and the museum now survives on two full time staff members, and one part time staff member, along with up to 20 students who work both in the museum office and as guides once a week. Dawes also has hired a preparateur staff of four to help set up the exhibit. “It’s been challenging to get everything and everyone up and running again,” Dawes said. “But we’re just putting together an exhibit like we always do.”
Judge denies dismissal, issues injunction General’s office that it would investigate the university’s decithe university on July 27 in order sion to sell art, the plaintiffs reto prevent the university from vised their motion. closing the museum and selling Tensions were high in Court its art as a means of alleviating its Room 1 before the hearing and budget shortfall. during a 30 minute recess. “There are personal rights the Of the 13 people who attended plaintiffs have that may or may the hearing, not including attornot be successful, but they do neys, all have standbut two ing,” Stahlin sat besaid. hind the Stahlin plainagreed with t i f f ’s the defense, lawyer. which arAt the gued the motion plaintiffs hearing, had no right Brandeis to file a suit counin the pub- Tom Reilly, Brandeis Counsel sel Tom lic interest, Reilly as that is accused under the t h e jurisdiction of the Attorney Gen- plaintiffs of suing because “they eral’s office. just don’t like the way [the muThe plaintiffs had originally seum] is being run.” filed a motion for a preliminary Reilly urged Stahlin to consider injunction preventing the sale the Rose as “just another academof the entire collection of the ic department” within the univermuseum, but following an an- sity that answers to the Provost. nouncement by the Attorney “If this were the philosophy MOTION (from p. 1)
If this were the philosophy department instead of an art museum and they wanted to run it independently, you would have to dismiss the case.
department instead of an art museum and they wanted to run it independently, you would have to dismiss the case,” Reilly said. Counsel for the plaintiffs Terry Dangel countered that argument, saying “this is not just another department. This is a museum.” Reilly also told the court that “those items [given by the plaintiffs] are just not going to be sold.” “Other items, when that day comes, we’ll make sure to tell [the attorney general’s office],” he said. Stahlin set a trial date for June 29 at 11 a.m.. Between now and the trial date, each legal team will move into the “discovery” part of the legal process in which both sides are required to disclose documents pertinent to the suit, regardless of whether the documents help or hurt their case. Reilly indicated yesterday that he would want to limit the scope of discovery to documents pertaining only to gifts given by the three plaintiffs, and Stahlin set a scope of discovery hearing for Dec. 2 at 3 p.m.
calls “a compelling new vision for how The Rose could be greater if it collaborated with the academic aspects of the university.” The report recommends that academic departments collaborate with the museum when it is planning its shows in order to produce exhibits that are relevant to current coursework. In the book “The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis,” descriptions of paintings show that the museum does have a history of collaboration with the university. Many of the artists whose paintings are included in the book showed their work at the museum multiple times, and some artists have cultivated relationships with other aspects of the university. Helen Frankenthaler, for example, was awarded an honorary degree by the university. The report also suggests that at least one of the museum’s three galleries show from the museum’s permanent collection at all times, and recommends that the university hire a full time curator and director for the museum. The report avoided the issue of whether the university should sell pieces of artwork from the museum in order to offset the university’s current financial crisis, saying that decision lies solely with the Board of Trustees. “This is just a recommendation committee. It does not have the authority to make any of this happen,” Krauss said. The Board has yet to make a decision about the sale of artwork because the threat of sale prompted three of the museum’s Board of Overseers to sue the university in late July. A hearing for two motions in the case—one filed by the university to dismiss, and the other filed by the plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction—was held on Tuesday in Suffolk Probate Court. At the motion, Associate Justice
Jeremy Stahlin denied the motion to dismiss and ordered a preliminary injunction that prevents the university from selling up to 500 of the 7,183 works of art in the museum. Also at the hearing, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced the opening of a civil investigation into the university’s decision to sell art from the museum, and announced the university would be required to give the Attorney General’s office 30 days notice before it sells any work of art from the museum. Stahlin’s decision and the Attorney General’s announcement very well may be part of the discussion at the university Board of Trustee’s Oct. 28 meeting, in which they could discuss the sale of artwork from the museum. Krauss also said the Board would discuss which of the recommendations for the Committee for the Future of the Rose to implement at that meeting. On that same day, The Rose Art Museum will open an exhibit from its permanent collection, and hold a party for the official release of the book. Director of Museum Operations Roy Dawes said the set up of the exhibition is directly related to the book—the galleries will be divided in the same categories as the chapters of the book to “follow the catalogue.” “The exhibit is meant to be a celebration of the catalogue that is in turn a celebration of the collection,” Dawes said. Betsy Pfau, a member of the museum’s Board of Overseers and the Committee for the Future of The Rose Art Museum, said she hopes that the book will serve as “a reminder of how great the collection is, for better or for worse.” “We just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope that the book will serve as a rallying cry,” she said, “not a death knell.”
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The Hoot 5
October 16, 2009
E D I TO R I A L Established 2005 "To acquire wisdom, one must observe."
Alison Channon Editor in Chief Ariel Wittenberg News Editor Destiny D. Aquino Deputy News Editor Bret Matthew Impressions Editor Chrissy Callahan Features Editor Hannah Vickers Sports Editor Alex Schneider Layout Editor Max Shay Photography Editor Leon Markovitz Advertising Editor Vanessa Kerr Business Editor Danielle Gewurz Copy Editor Leah Lefkowitz Backpage Editor Samantha Shokin Diverse City Editor Senior Editors Sri Kuehnlenz, Kathleen Fischmann
n honor of the release of a book chronicling The Rose Art Museum’s history and collection, the museum will unveil an exhibit of its permanent collection on Oct. 28. In the midst of intense controversy, in which even the Massachusetts attorney general has become involved, the director of the Rose is reminding us all what the uproar was actually about when President Jehuda Reinharz announced in January that the Board of Trustees had approved the closing of the museum and the sale of the art.
Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman
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.
Hoping it’s not time for curtain call
The vault doors have been thrown open and the work for which the museum is famous will find itself in its rightful place on the walls of the Rose’s galleries. Modern art enthusiasts can only rejoice at the news that such important work will again be on display. And students on the Brandeis campus will only benefit from the opportunity to view these previously hidden canonical works of contemporary art. That said, it is not time for museum defenders to breathe a sigh of relief. This exhibit should not be mistaken for a university pledge
to return to a pre-Jan. 26 Rose Art Museum. Indeed, just two weeks after “The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis” catalogue was released, the university found itself in Suffolk Probate Court petitioning for the dismissal of a suit calling for an injunction to prevent the sale of the museum’s artwork. Clearly, the university has not abandoned the idea of selling a portion of the collection. The Rose book is intended to commemorate the museum’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2011. Let’s hope this forthcoming exhibition does not represent a final bow.
Investing in the future
his academic year has seen an increase in the number of graduate students on the Brandeis campus, even after Ph.D admissions in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences were cut in half for this year. Increasing enrollment in Master’s programs in the university’s graduate programs was part of a plan intended to raise the number of tuition paying graduate students and make a slight dent in our budget shortfall. Cutting Ph.D admissions was intended to reduce costs by halving the number of stipends paid to students. Certainly, the success of efforts to enroll more tuition paying gradu-
ate students is heartening. Not only does it prove that the university can successfully follow through with a plan to increase revenue, it also demonstrates that not all cost saving or revenue generating changes are disastrous. Master’s students are great and they no doubt contribute to the academic rigor and reputation of Brandeis, but they must not replace Ph.D students. A research university depends on the presence of a robust community of doctoral candidates. Doctoral candidates are vital for professors and undergraduate students alike. They work in laboratories, lead discussion sections and rec-
itations, as well as offer a link between undergraduate students and faculty. And above all, their research reinvigorates the life of the mind at Brandeis. The university should maintain its effort to recruit tuition-paying Master’s students as a way to fortify our tuition base, but we will lose if we only think of graduate students as cash cows. As we build up our Master’s student enrollment, we should return our Ph.D student enrollment to its prebudget shortfall levels as soon as fiscally possible. Though they may not offer an immediate return, doctoral candidates represent a sound longterm investment.
Letter to the Editor
Applauding an oft-ignored viewpoint I very much enjoyed [“Finding my religion: A Spiritual and Intellectual Journey” (Oct. 9, 2009) by Daniel Ortner]. Too often I find the residents of Massachusetts are unwilling to accept opposing ideas. This is a very interesting idea when Massachusetts considers itself to be a very open and accepting. To truly be an open people we most be open to more than just change and radical or conservative ideas but also to allow ourselves exposure to ideas that may seem in opposition to our own thoughts. Tyler Hull Ph.D. candidate
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6 The Hoot
October 16, 2009
SPORTS Brandeis major leaguer has jersey number retired BY JON OSTROWSKY Staff
As professional baseball player Nelson Figueroa ’98 addressed the Brandeis baseball family from a podium in the Napoli Room in the Gosman Athletic Center Saturday, it was the kind of moment every baseball player in that room could only dream of. Figueroa, standing beside his retired number “2” jersey, explained to a crowd of current players, alumni, and parents how much Brandeis meant to him as a student, and how much it still means to him today. “I’m just thrilled today. These aren’t things that you think about as a kid. It just goes beyond words of how appreciative I am,” Figueroa said. “For someone who is going to see that jersey number being retired and ask why and get the story, it kind of feels like you’ll forever live on at Brandeis and hopefully inspire some future dreamers,” he added. Figueroa, originally drafted by the New York Mets in 1995, was the first Brandeis graduate to ever
play in the Major Leagues when he pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000. Figueroa recently returned to the Mets organization last year, and continues to be grateful for the success he has had. At a small Division III school like Brandeis, it is quite rare for an athlete to play at the professional level. Figueroa hopes that his success will inspire others. “It’s pretty cool,” said Joe Galli ’13, a player on the baseball team. “He was successful and he accomplished his dreams.” Head coach Pete Varney, who taught Figueroa many important lessons, ranging from how to talk to the media to how to stay motivated, expressed pride at his former player’s accomplishments. “We’re trying to cultivate the attitude of the Brandeis family,” Varney said of the jersey retirement. “We’re all in this together. Hopefully if you’ve been a part of this, you’ll be a part of it for a long time.” That sense of family began for Figueroa as an undergraduate. “All of a sudden I was away from my family so Brandeis became
PHOTO from internet source
ON THE MOUND: Mets pitcher Nelson Figueroa ‘98 came back to Brandeis last weekend for a jersey number retiring ceremony.
my family,” Figueroa said. Indeed, he was mentored by coaches and professors alike. After taking classes with Professor Jacob Cohen (AMST), Figueroa chose to major in American Studies and has found it helpful from because he constantly deals with people, he explained.
Cohen stressed the importance of academics to Figueroa. Figueroa recalls that Cohen once told him that a “coach’s baseball card is worth 55 cents, and the degree up on the wall is worth a lot more.” “The people that know Brandeis know the caliber of academ-
ics that lie within these walls,” Figueroa said. But more than academics, Figueroa learned about determination and passion at Brandeis. “Hustle was free, coach taught, and desire was something that couldn’t be bought,” Figueroa said.
For the love of hockey BY SARAH BLOOMBERG Staff
I have a very one-track mind when it comes to sports, which means I tend to focus on one sport at a time. Luckily for me my two favorite sports, baseball and hockey, have very little overlap. One of the few times is October, but now that my team is out of the playoffs, I am going to leave the baseball in Los Angeles (no offense Red Sox fans, I just want to see Torii Hunter win the World Series) and give hockey the proper time it deserves. Unlike baseball, I have a more general enjoyment of hockey. Maybe it is because I heard as much at home about college hockey as the NHL, or probably because there is only so much you can watch of a team playing the trap like the Minnesota Wild. Do not get me wrong; I love the Wild and would love to see the entire team lifting the Stanley Cup (which is without a doubt the coolest tradition in all of sports), but there are so many amazing players around the NHL that if you focus solely on one team you are going to miss out on so much more. Despite that warning, for this week I am going to do just that: focus on the Bruins. The Bruins are coming off an amazing season; they were the best in the Eastern Conference in regular season play and got to the conference semifinals of the playoffs. Over the summer there was a lot of drama about Phil Kessel, who is now gone and will be playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs as soon as his shoulder is better. The Bruins started the season with some big goals. Many people
were, and most probably still are, picking them to go to the playoffs, and I am sure that all hockey fans in Boston are hoping that they will be more successful than last season. They are returning a lot of players and have a young team, who I am sure wants to prove that they are as good as they were last year. Unfortunately, they have not come off with a strong start. In their first five games they are 3-2 and are third in the Northeast Division. I usually do not get too worried about the beginning of the season, and I think this is not a case to panic. The first few games have been blowouts, both in favor of the Bruins and opponents, but they have been getting better. Unfortunately the losses are becoming harder to handle. The team barely eked out a win against the Islanders in a shootout, and then came back from two goals behind the Colorado Avalanche on Monday only to give up two more goals. They did not have enough time to come back a second time and lost 4-3. Although this five-game opening homestand did not go as well as they originally hoped, the team is looking forward to going on the road. Coach Claude Julien is hoping that not playing in front of the home crowd will make the players stop worrying and play as well as they are able. The people of Boston are finally attending games: attendance has so far been the highest since the 1995-1996 seasons, and everyone wants to see a team perform and win games. Hopefully, whatever problems the players are having will pass and the Bruins will turn their season around soon.
N O S U ET E M ? IA D E F O M L N A A I F A OC E S M E O K I C L E B . K O O FACEB
October 16, 2009
The Hoot 7
Men’s soccer beats Colby-Sawyer, falls to Rochester and Babson BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
After their come from behind win against Colby-Sawyer last Thursday to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season, the men’s soccer team dropped their game at home against Rochester on Saturday 2-1 and their match up against Babson on Tuesday 3-2. With the two losses the team drops to 4-6-1 for the season. The Judges had an exciting come from behind win against the Colby-Sawyer Chargers last Thursday thanks to a late goal from forward Alexander Farr ’12. After a few missed opportunities for both teams in the first half, the Chargers got on the board in the 23rd minute when Justin Varney ’10 launched the ball past the Brandeis goalkeeper, Matt Lynch ’11. Their joy was short lived, however, as the Judges struck back less than 15 seconds later. Midfielder Corey Bradley ’10 got the equalizer with an assist from forward Luke Teece ’12. Before the half, the Judges took a 2-1 lead. Bradley fed the ball to Eric Root ’13 who took it up the far side and shot it past the Chargers keeper. This was the first collegiate goal for Root. The hosts weren’t about to go down without a fight, however, and tied the game halfway through the second off a header by Jon Mack ’13. What followed was a tense and hard fought 10 minutes by the Judges and their determination paid off. In the 81st minute, less than two minutes after Farr was brought into the game as a sub for Teece, Brandeis pulled ahead. Rookie forward Sam Ocel fed a perfect ball to Farr, who headed it into the net for the game-winning goal. With the loss, Colby-Sawyer dropped to 1-10 on the season. Unfortunately for the Judges, their three game winning streak was snapped when they hosted Rochester on Saturday in UAA play. The Judges struck first, with Farr getting his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 24th
minute off an assist by forward Matt Peabody ’13. The two teams played relatively evenly in the rest of the first half, but neither was able to get a goal on the board. Rochester found the equalizer in the 70th minute off an assist by Phil Proud ’10, who fed the ball to classmate JJ Dennstedt. Dennstedt blasted a shot past Lynch to tie the game. From that point on, the balance of the game shifted and Rochester outshot the Judges 10-4 in the half. Brandeis almost pulled back ahead in the 74th minute when Teece found himself alone with the ball, but he just missed the angle and his shot went wide of the goal. The game-winning goal for Rochester came in the 82nd minute when forward Scott Cady ’10 headed the ball past Lynch off a free kick by Proud. The Judges were unable to come back and fell to their UAA competitors 3-2. Rochester moved up to 8-0-2 on the season and 2-0-0 in UAA play. The Judges faced off in non-conference play on Tuesday against the Babson Beavers, but thanks to a hat trick by rookie forward Eric Anderson, Brandeis suffered their second straight defeat. For the second game in a row the Judges got the first goal. Farr got an unassisted shot past the diving Babson keeper in the seventh minute. Babson came back in the 23rd minute when Anderson got his first goal of the game off a cross from Billy Nickerson ’12 from the right side of the box. The Beavers struck again just over two minutes later when Anderson recovered his own rebound and got the ball to the back of the net. The Beavers started the second half up 2-1, but the game was tied up in the 48th minute when a defensive miscommunication by the hosting team led to an own goal. The Judges couldn’t pull ahead, though, and in the 61st minute Anderson completed his hat trick with a header from 15 yards out for the game-winner.
PHOTOS BY Max Shay/The Hoot
ABOVE: Brandeis Midfielder Sam Ocel ‘13 (No. 13, left) beats a Worcester Polytechnic Institute defender during Brandeis’ season opener.
RIGHT: Matt Peabody, Brandeis ‘13 (No. 22, left), kicks the ball upfield during Brandeis’ loss against WPI, during their season opener.
The rookie leads the Beavers with 11 goals on the season. Despite the disappointing loss, both teams were pretty evenly matched, with Brandeis making 16 shots and Babson 17. Lynch put up seven saves for the Judges while Peter Crowley ’12 had five stops for the Beavers. Babson moves up to 9-4-1 on the season and is currently ranked ninth in New England by the NSCAA. The Judges next play in Pittsburgh in UAA play against Carnegie Mellon on Friday before heading down to Atlanta, GA to face Emory on Sunday. Carnegie Mellon is 11-1 on the season and 2-0 in conference play while Emory is 8-3 on the year and 0-2 in the UAA.
Men’s and women’s cross country have strong showings at Open New England Champs BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
Both Brandeis cross country teams performed well at the Open New England Championships at Franklin Park in Boston over the weekend. The men finished 11th overall, third amongst Division III schools, while the women were 20th overall and sixth in Division III. This was the best showing for the men since 1998 when they also took 11th place. Co-captain Paul Norton ’11 was one of the top finishers, coming in sixth overall out of 320 runners and second among Division
III runners. With a time of 24:46 on the 8K course, he was just 24 seconds behind first place and 5 seconds out of third. Norton’s finish was the top individual performance by a Brandeis runner since at least 1995. In honor of his great performance on the course and his leading his team to a strong finish, Norton was named one of the UAA Athletes of the Week. This is the second time he has received this honor this season. Chris Brown ’12 finished 43rd overall and 12th of the Division III runners with a time of 25:39. Marc Boutin ’12 came in just four seconds behind his classmate to give the Judges three top 50 fin-
ishers. Boutin was 15th among Division III runners. The final two Brandeis competitors, Devon Holgate ’11 and Dan Anastos ’11 came in 113th and 133rd respectively with times of 26:19 and 26:27. They were 37th and 44th among Division III runners. With the showing over the weekend the men are now ranked third among Division III schools in the region and 24th nationally. Norton also holds the second best time in the UAA so far this year, just eight seconds behind the first place runner from Emory. The women were paced by Grayce Selig ’11, who ran the 5K
course in 18:47, and finished 46th overall and 11th among Division III runners. Selig was mentioned by the UAA as one of the Outstanding Athletes this week thanks to her help leading the Judges to the 20th place finish. Beth Pisarik ’10 was the next finisher for the Judges, coming in 65th overall and 23rd in the Division III with a time of 19:03. Classmate Ally Connolly was 117th overall and 42nd among Division III runners with a time of 19:38 while Hannah Lindholm ’11 was just eight seconds behind her for a 128th place overall and 45th in the Division. Molly Shan-
ley ’12 ran a 20:31 for a 194th place finish overall and 74th among Division III runners. The women are currently ranked sixth in the region among Division III squads but dropped 12 places in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll to 29th among Division III teams nationwide. Both the men and women will be heading up to Albany this weekend to participate in the University of Albany Invitational Saturday. After that, they will enjoy a twoweek break in the action before the UAA Championships on Halloween in Cleveland.
12 The Hoot
October 16, 2009
Facilitating positive energy on the job BY CHRISSY CALLAHAN Editor
It’s a cool, Monday morning; 11:15 a.m., Columbus Day. Most Brandeis employees have the day off. Those who have been here have been at work a mere two hours and 15 minutes. Not facilities worker Mike Flood, though. Flood has been at work in the Usdan Student Center since 5 a.m. He was also here this weekend, filling in for a sick coworker. While most college students moan and groan about having to wake up for early morning classes, Flood is here bright and early, and with 10 times many students’ enthusiasm. Flood, 5 feet 8 inches tall and wearing a baseball cap, walks briskly with the cheerful air of someone very content to be where he is. He ends many of his sentences with the word “right?” and an upward interrogative intonation, as if inviting your involvement in the story he’s excitedly telling. Your input is welcome, after all, because teamwork is what Flood is all about. While sitting in the upper level of Levin ballroom, Flood occasionally sneaks a peak out the window to the beautiful sunny fall day we’re having. In between thoughts, he diligently peeks at his walkie-talkie whenever he hears a page ring in. This Saturday, Flood says, will mark his 15th year – to the exact day – of working as a custodian for Brandeis’ Office of Facilities Services; 15 years of his life he’s enjoyed soaking in the energy of a college campus. “Brandeis has been a very positive experience for me,” he says. “I came here when I was almost 50 years old. It’s been a good, secure job.” There’s a certain cyclical nature to Flood’s yearly existence; a groove he’s got down to a science. “One thing I really enjoy about working in a school is that you have a beginning and an end each year, and I think that’s a nice way to measure [time and milestones],” he says. “When you’re out in the public life, it’s just one year rolls into another, you know?” Hardly the case for Flood, for whom each day of work at Brandeis brings excitement and joy, and who, during his 15 years at Brandeis, has made a difference in the lives of countless students, staff and faculty, whether they know it or not. He has a certain attention to detail, asking about the lives of all the students and staff members he encounters, making an effort to learn both their names and their stories. He calls them over and tells them to enjoy their day, always looking on the bright side. When it’s raining out, Flood emphasizes the sunny day that preceded the gloom, and when it’s sunny out, he makes sure to get outside and enjoy it. Before Brandeis, Flood worked at Pine Manor College in Brookline, Mass. for nearly seven years. Prior to that, he worked at a veteran’s clinic in Boston. Like most things he talks about, Flood speaks fondly of his previous places of employment. A Boston native, Flood grew up in Dorchester, the youngest of four children. His two older brothers have since passed away, but Flood is still very close with his older sister, whom he calls every Monday. He now lives in Framingham with his wife of two years, Jane Flood. It was less than a year after he started work at Brandeis that Flood was to meet the future love of his life. It was a summer day in 1995, and Flood was in the Usdan Boulevard, where Jane works. He still speaks of her with the admiring expression of a man falling in love. Finding his wife isn’t the only blessing Flood has found at Brandeis. He’s also culti-
vated friendships with colleagues and those he encounters throughout the day. As one of approximately 30 custodians working the early shift, Flood starts work each morning at 5 a.m., arriving at his assigned building, Usdan, and keeps going until the end of his shift at 1:30 p.m. A typical day for Flood, who used to work as a custodian in the Fine Arts Department, starts with unlocking Usdan and doing a run through to make sure everything’s in place. Throughout the morning, he cleans and restocks the restrooms, vacuums the floors and takes out the trash in various offices. At 10 a.m. each day, Flood takes a 10-minute break to refuel with a warm cup of tea. A former coffee fiend, he’s since given it up for the healthier choice of tea. Staying healthy is one thing that gives Flood, 64 years old, so much energy. “I feel very blessed that I have my health. That’s something I never take for granted,” he says. “I consider it a gift and I try to work to maintain it.” He does so by eating healthy foods and getting exercise daily. Flood works out at the Brandeis gym three days a week after work for an hour and 20 minutes. “The older I get the healthier I get,” he laughs, then corrects himself. “No, I become more health conscious. And I think [eating right and exercising] does give you good energy.” Flood also happily soaks in the energy of those around him. He can often be found on the balcony outside of Usdan’s Alumni Lounge, peering out at the bustling life below. Or if it’s between 10 and 10:30 a.m., you’re most likely to spot Flood down at his favorite spot on campus – the new track – where he does laps during his lunch break. Flood and his colleagues use the track daily – weather permitting – and he enjoys the location so much because of its view: “I love walking there because you can see the whole [campus].” With the picturesque background of the sprawling Brandeis campus to take in, and the occasional student sport practices around him, Flood is in his element. “It’s good energy,” he says. With Flood, it all seems to come back to what seems to be one of his favorite words – energy. There’s energy of the physical sense – that which Flood draws from his workouts – and then there’s that obvious sense of human spirit he exudes. You could say it’s this enthusiasm for life that seems to have taken Flood so far. “I enjoy being here; that’s good energy. You can’t do a job if you don’t enjoy it,” he says. “I don’t care, you can’t just come to any job [and be unhappy]…You spend one third of your life on the job. You’ve got to find something you enjoy doing.” As he speaks fondly of his colleagues, especially those he works closely with in Usdan, you can tell Flood certainly does enjoy his job. “It’s a good group. You know, we kind of complement each other,” he says. “Sometimes you can get in a situation where there can be conflict with coworkers, but up here it doesn’t exist. There’s no ego problem.” This working dynamic helps Flood to juggle many tasks on a daily basis. Stationed in Usdan, a building where many events – from dances and parties to career fairs and conferences – take place on a frequent basis, Flood and his colleagues are responsible for ensuring the rooms are set up and cleaned up. Some days when there are back-to-back events, there needs to be a quick turnaround. But Flood and his colleagues have it down to a system.
Making A Difference PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
“We’ve been doing it for a number of years, so you kind of have a feel for what you have to do,” he says. It’s this “can do” attitude that earns Flood the respect of so many around him. Chaplaincy Department Administrator Ellen Afienko has known Flood since her department moved into the Levin Ballroom side of Usdan nearly five years ago. For Afienko, who has worked at Brandeis nearly 31 years, working in the same building as Flood has been a pleasure. “Every morning, I bump into him and he welcomes me to the building with a cheery hello and he starts my day off very nicely,” she says. During her morning ritual of getting the mail, Afienko often runs into Flood, who always offers to help her carry heavy packages; an act that doesn’t go unappreciated. “He is a gentleman as well as a philospher [and] a positive person,” she says. Afienko says she enjoys speaking with Flood because of his bright spirit and his careful consideration of the world going on around him. “I have a feeling as though the world would be at a loss without him here,” Afienko says. “And I say that because I look at him as our resident ray of sunshine because really no matter what is going on...Mike will say ‘It’s all good, Ellie, it’s all good.’” “I do get a lot of positive feedback from different people, and that gives you motivation to keep doing what you’re doing,” he says. Outside of Brandeis, Flood likes to keep busy and enjoys exercising, reading and cooking. “I love to cook,” he says. “It’s good thera-
py and it’s so easy. You know, you take your time [and] read the directions…I made [meatball stew] yesterday. You know how long this took to make?” Flood goes on to explain how simple the meatball stew – with a four minute preparation time –was to make. In all aspects of his life, he seems to emphasize the positive; the possibility of accomplishment. Flood takes pleasure in the small things in life, like getting a compliment from his sister – a former chef – when he cooks a good meal, or in admiring a beech tree down near Gosman he used to love–“Trees, they’re pretty magical.” If things go according to plan, Flood will retire in 18 months with his wife, and he’ll have a lot more time to enjoy these small things in life. But rather than look ahead, Flood prefers to live in the moment. “I don’t like making plans,” he says. “Because, what’s the expression, ‘Life is what happens when you’re making plans?’” But when asked what he’s looking forward to doing when he’s retired, Flood manages to come up with a few things he’d like to do. For starters, he wants to go to Washington D.C. to visit museums like the Smithsonian. After that, he’s looking forward to relaxing, spending time with his wife, keeping up with his workouts and spending some more time in the kitchen cooking. So you can bet he certainly won’t be sitting around idle. But then again, getting the chance to be a bit lazy after all these years of hard work will be a bit nice. “I’m looking forward to a weekday, a work day, when it’s snowing out and I can just look out the window and go back to bed,” he laughs. “That’ll be a good thing.”
The Hoot 13
October 16, 2009
That’s not the way the world works: Barack Obama can’t always get an ‘A’ BY CHRIS BORDELON Columnist
'Tis the season for papers and, at Brandeis, 'tis also the season for complaining about grades. This school introduced me to the notion that when an instructor puts a grade other than “A” on a student's work, he has not actually assigned a grade. Instead, the instructor has knocked a chip off the student's shoulder and challenged him or her to engage in an argument about the grade. Last year, when I started out as a teaching assistant, I participated unquestioningly in this culture of complaint, taking time to explain to each concerned student why the grade I assigned was the appropriate one. Indeed, given that most people who didn't get an “A” complained, the burden of explaining grades made it seem reasonable to stop issuing grades lower than an “A.” But I soldiered on. This year, though, I see things differently. It's no longer clear to me that everyone who wants an explanation of his grade is entitled to one. If (or, rather, when) students complain that they didn't get the “A” that they invariably insist that they deserved, I'll tell them: “That's the way the world works.” And I won't be lying. Just ask President Barack Obama. When he paid a visit to representatives of the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen, Denmark earlier this month, he had a strong case to make for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Chicago was no shoo-in, of course; its bid was contested by Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. Rio won the games, and all the commerce, construction, and hoopla that come with them. But whether Chicago should have prevailed or not, Rio, of all the possible venues, should not have. The IOC chose Rio because it most resembled the 2008 host city, Beijing, in terms of how it would deal with the all-important issue of preparing the necessary facilities and infrastructure for the games. The IOC liked how Chinese authorities were able to plow hundreds of thousands of people's homes and businesses out of the way to build new facilities without creating much of a public relations fuss. Displaced people had no enforceable legal rights on which to base a challenge to the authorities' actions. As a result, no matter how many lives had to be upended to build the needed stadiums and roads, the preparations did not reflect badly on the IOC. None of the countries bidding for 2016 offered quite the same kind of opportunity to run roughshod over the locals as China did. But Rio offered the next best thing: vast slums occupied by people whose legal rights to their land are often unclear. The IOC rewarded Brazil's willingness to do some low-key, unceremonious slum
clearance, thereby handing Rio an undeserved victory. Chicago has big poor sections, too, of course, but for the most part they aren't occupied by squatters. And, in the U.S, that means that the people targeted for eviction have rights to stand on, rights that allow them to make a fuss. They can challenge eviction efforts, resort to the courts, and can demand compensation. In the end, the fatal flaw in Chicago's Olympic bid was not in the materials that Chicago and U.S officials submitted to the IOC, but in the takings clause of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and its Illinois equivalent. Of course, President Obama also learned that not getting what one arguably should have gotten can sometimes redound to one's
Obama has not yet been president for a year. His rhetoric on arms control and climate change, which the Nobel Committee credited with creating a “new climate in international politics,” has not yet been followed up with action. Obama has not yet translated his talk about international climate cooperation into meaningful changes in U.S. policy. And he has not yet begun to make the case for a new climate policy to the U.S. public, which has good reasons to be skeptical of changes that could hamstring the U.S. economy and that may not be reciprocated by America's most important competitors. Obama's talk of a “world free from nuclear arms” captivated the Nobel Committee, but it does not change the fact that t h e
b e n efit. The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided that Obama deserved to win its prestigious Peace Prize. It did so because, as it explained in a press release on Oct. 9, the president has made “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” He “has...captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.” I don't have the Nobel Committee's 108 years of prize-awarding experience. But it doesn't take an expert to understand that the winner of the Peace Prize ought to be someone who is instrumental in bringing about peace. One can think of a number of scenarios in which Obama's actions could make him worthy of winning such a prize in the future. But those scenarios haven't happened yet. It would be surprising if they had.
U.S. owns the world's most powerful arsenal of these weapons. It remains to be seen whether Obama's rhetoric amounts to more than window dressing for a policy of pushing around Iran and North Korea. Obama probably hasn't had time yet to make big, prize-winning changes in arms and climate policy. But there's no way to be sure that he will. Most significantly, Obama hasn't ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For all the talk of withdrawal from Iraq, it's going pretty slowly. There are still 120,000 U.S. troops there. And in Afghanistan, the U.S. is increasing its troop presence, as Obama sends his generals to Capitol Hill to make demands that legislators cannot or will not refuse. American troops might even wind up in Pakistan to make sure that a friendly
government stays in charge--an option that, as the administration knows well, will be easier to choose once the troop presence in Afghanistan is sufficiently expanded. Obama's decisions in these matters have not been the stuff of which Peace Prizes are made. Ironically, the Nobel Committee has undercut those keen on ending the ongoing wars by placing its imprimatur on Obama's policies. Who can argue that Obama is doing too little to end these American interventions now that the president has been declared the world's greatest peacemaker? In effect, the Nobel Committee covered Obama's political left flank on Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to ensure that the U.S. will continue to occupy these countries. For karma's sake, perhaps, Obama must have decided to give something undeserved to make up for what he undeservedly received. That seems like the best explanation for the Sept. 30 decision to shift more control over the Internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. With this agreement, ICANN, as this body is better known, takes a long step in the direction of replacing the government as the body that coordinates and administers the Internet. The government has, in effect, given up its power to override ICANN's decisions or to replace ICANN if it fails to perform well. This authority had value, but the U.S. got nothing for giving it away. The government is not the most responsive institution in the world, but ICANN is even less so. No one forced the administration to make concessions to ICANN. From the standpoint of the American public, it's not at all clear that placing control over the Internet in ICANN's hands is a better option than keeping some authority over it under the auspices of the Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department is ultimately beholden to American voters; ICANN claims to act on behalf of its “stakeholders,” a mysterious grouping that in practice includes mainly wellplaced businesses and individuals who have the money and influence to make their voices heard by ICANN's bureaucrats. But if, like Rio de Janeiro and President Obama, ICANN did nothing to deserve what it got, it certainly didn't object to receiving it. Just as nobody at Brandeis ever seems to argue that they got an “A” that they didn't deserve, nobody turns down benefits that accrue to them for no reasons or for bad ones. In an ideal world, the freebies given to Rio and Obama and ICANN would invite the argument that something went wrong in the giving. But that, unfortunately, is not the way the world works.
14 The Hoot
The Self Shelf
Staring down the barrel of a gun
October 16, 2009
A few thoughts on Brandeis ‘progressive’ Zionists: J Street BY LEON MARKOVITZ Editor
ILLUSTRATION BY Bret Matthew/The Hoot
BY ALEX SELF Columnist
A convicted felon with a history of mental instability walks into a gun show. He goes up to an assault weapons vendor, and buys two automatics, one semi-automatic, and a couple of handguns. Do you really want to hear what happens next? If not, then you’re like the many Americans who want the gun show loophole closed once and for all. The gun show loophole, interestingly enough, is not actually centered around gun shows. Instead, it is the fact that a private seller can sell guns to anyone without a background check. More often than not, these exchanges happen at gun shows. Thus, anyone can buy a gun from anyone with no regulation whatsoever due to this loophole. Failure to have background checks performed before the transference of a highly lethal weapon is like striking matches over a barrel of gunpowder, but it has nevertheless been supported by a spirited minority. In determining the solution to this problem, one must take into account which resolution would be most beneficial to society. The best way to ensure the safety of society while protecting the right of the common people to defend themselves is to require that all gun vendors perform background checks before any weapon transaction can take place. There are those who are gunning for fewer background checks because they see them as a violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. This argument, no matter how necessary a restriction of gun rights is, will always come into play with a proposed restriction. If a bullet was developed that would seek out human flesh when fired, somebody would argue that it should be sold without restriction because of the Second Amendment. The first fallacy of this defense is that those who claim that the Constitution is a bulletproof document are inherently wrong because the purpose of the Constitution was not to cap change
or muzzle dissent. There’s a reason that every amendment in the Constitution is called an amendment; it is a change, a proviso triggered by a problem Americans face. Thinking of the Constitution as an infallible document that cannot be changed in any way is fallacious--just ask any woman or African-American about the justice of the initial Constitution. Thus, there is no need for this amendment to be taken as absolute law which cannot be tweaked in any way whatsoever. Compounding this inherent gap in logic is the fact that requiring background checks is only a logical restriction rather than completely shooting down the amendment. Some may consider this restriction unreasonable, but I would like to think that preventing firearms which can take scores of lives in seconds from falling into the hands of felons and those deemed unstable provides its own argument. There are some who say that even if this is a reasonable restriction, the fact that it in any way restricts the Second Amendment undermines the right and will trigger a slippery slope with a disarmed populace at the bottom. However, these arguers forget that restrictions of other amendments are already accepted in society. For example, one cannot falsely shout "fire" in a crowded theater and defend it as a protected right of free speech. Rights extend only so far as they don’t harm other people. I don’t hear anyone questioning this restriction of free speech, and yet similar arguments are made against requiring background checks. Also, it’s not as if requiring background checks is a new idea. They’ve been required for decades by official gun vendors and also for interstate gun sales. This is not a new or even generally rejected idea. There is no largescale political movement to ban background checks, and for good reason. Finally, the opposition to the idea of having all transactions require a background check rather
than just those at gun shops is not only mind-boggling, but unfair. Official gun vendors are restricted while anyone who brings their product to a gun show is not. It is unfair to require gun shop owners to perform background checks which cost them valuable time (and therefore revenue) while these private sellers are free to sell to whomever. Therefore, with this solution, everyone wins. The gun shop owners get a fair deal. Society becomes safer as a whole. Ninety nine percent of people will be able to sleep easier knowing that this faction of society is prevented from acquiring deadly weapons. The only people who could be argued to lose out in this affair are felons and individuals deemed mentally unstable. However, I would argue that this helps felons and the mentally unstable more than it hurts them. For felons, the lack of a firearm will most likely mean more time spent outside of prison, as even the presence of a gun is like a powder keg waiting to tear apart their new lives. As for the mentally unstable, the lack of a weapon will prevent them from becoming their own worst enemy. Unless action is taken in the near future, stories of tragedies committed by felons or mentally unstable consumers will only multiply. Ironically, the longer the gun rights lobbyists are successful in fighting the closing of this loophole, the more ammo the opposing argument attains. There are many who say that even the closing of this loophole is no silver bullet and will not prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. I am completely in agreement with them. However, this is a step in the right direction and it will do so by extending a policy that has been lauded by a majority--it’s too beneficial a reform to not give it a shot. The debate for and against these measures will undoubtedly rage on but even as these words are written, weapons are falling into the wrong hands. It’s time to act lest society find itself at gunpoint any longer.
J Street is a recently formed lobby that wants to "change the direction of American policy in the Middle East," with their motto being "pro-peace, pro-Israel." Alan Solomont, one of the founders of J Street, believes that the United States government has only "…heard the voices of neocons, and right-of-center Jewish leaders and Christian evangelicals, and the mainstream views of the American Jewish community have not been heard." This organization believes that no dialogue and constructive activism have been tried before, but rather that the past lobbying activity has been focused on keeping the conflict going…because who does not love war? So this new group has decided to give dialogue, and “critical analysis of governmental policies” another chance. All we are saying is give peace a chance… Forget about the past experiences and forget about the facts. J Street is the real t r u t h , the peaceseeking lovers. It does not matter that Israel is constantly b e i n g provoked, threatened and hurt by its neighbors. It does not matter that Iran screams aloud for its destruction while s e e k i n g WMDs… dialogue will convince them to stop, really. Dialogue will bring peace with Hamas, even though their constitution is based on The Protocols of Zion, and that they refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. We should not defend ourselves either, which is why we called for an immediate cease-fire from Day 1 of operation cast lead. After all, we know better than the Israelis who have to send their children to war; we know better than those who worry about Hamas and Hezbollah every day; we know better than the democratically elected and highly popular Israeli government. Stop it! “J Street U was not created at Brandeis in order to sling facts and figures back and forth between groups of different opinions,” wrote Jeremy Konar of the Justice. Oh, but you do not understand. You are being a sarcastic neocon. You have to think like a “progressive” man. We understand the situation better than those that live in Israel. We are here with the solution. The past is the past, and we are bringing our new “progressive” ideas to finally bring peace… although it will be hard with the entire Israeli lobby trying to keep the war going and keep killing Palestinians. We are so in touch with Israel, but especially with Israel’s neighbors. In fact, we have such an appeal that according to the Federal Election Commission fillings, we have received tens of thousands of dollars “from dozens of Arab and Muslim Americans, as well as from several individuals connected to organizations doing Palestinian and Iranian issues advocacy.” This may raise some eyebrows among you neocons, especially because few—if any—other pro-Israel organizations, like AIPAC, receive funds from them, not even the similarly progressive group of APN. Well, that is only because we are honest about being pro-peace… and pro-Israel, right. Do not be jealous. Ok, so it might be too early to be so tough on J Street, but their list of advisors and donors is raising suspicion. In fact, the 18-month-old organization has been criticized by the Israeli government, which argued that the group “may impair Israel’s interest.” Several pro-Israel groups are also accusing it of breeding division from the inside. It is wonderful to promote dialogue and negotiation, a policy that Israel has always tried to advance. But there are also priorities and interests that must be kept to protect Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state. It is good be idealistic, but one cannot live in the world of books and philosophy, instead of in reality. It is perfectly understandable to disagree with Israeli politics, but certain issues cannot be discussed nor negotiated. Furthermore, negotiations require reciprocity…Israel is still waiting.
orget about the past experiences and forget about the facts.
October 16, 2009
The Hoot 15
Book of Matthew
Overheard in the Nobel Committee room BY BRET MATTHEW Editor
With all the commotion surrounding the decision to award President Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize, I can only imagine how that decision was made… At a meeting of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway: The portrait of Alfred Nobel occupied a prominent position high on the wall of the Norwegian Nobel Committee room. Not that the committee members paid it much attention, of course. Tasked with debating the various merits of candidates for one of the world’s most prestigious awards, they had found that hopelessly staring into the eyes of its namesake—though calming—did little to help the decision process. Despite being all but ignored by his followers, Nobel’s fixed, oil paint stare gazed out upon the room. One might say that he was watching over the committee members, as if ensuring that they treat his name—and his prize—with proper care. If one were to look at the painting from a certain angle, one might also say that Nobel’s face looked a bit confused. Thorbjørn Jagland, the committee chairman, sat in a straight-backed armchair directly below the painting. He wore a confused expression as well, although this was apparent from all viewing angles. He seemed to be pondering something, his mind searching for the right words. “Barack Obama, you said?” Sissel Rønbeck, one of the committee members, nodded. “Yes. I think it should be Barack Obama.” Jagland’s look of confusion did not subside. He surveyed the room and saw all the other committee members nodding their heads in agreement. “Why?” he asked. “His nomination was almost a formality. It happened days after the election. He’s only had nine months to work. What could he possibly have done in that time?” “Have you been following American television news, Thorbjørn?” asked IngerMarie Ytterhorn. “Yes, I have.” “I can tell.” She barely hid her smirk. “Those Americans are like attack dogs when you put them in front of a camera. Foxes, even. No wonder you don’t know what good the man has done. They won’t tell you.” She reached into her handbag and pulled out what appeared to be an old newspaper clipping. “But in reality, there’s a lot to be told, for those who care to read about it. For example, only a few days after taking office he banned torture. Banned it entirely, after all the controversy and debate that had surrounded the issue for so many
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY Max Shay/The Hoot
YO, OBAMA: Kanye West lets Barack Obama finish his speech in editor Bret Matthew’s imagination.
years. And then he ordered the closure of that awful prison in Guantánamo Bay. Good first steps, no?” “Certainly,” said Jagland. “But as you said, they are first steps. What about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? American troops still lead the occupation of both countries. How can we declare a man a great peacemaker while he wages two wars?” Ytterhorn smiled. “You might have a point. But you forget that Mr. Obama did not start those wars. Mr. Bush did. Obama has long been a critic of war, especially the unjustified war in Iraq. In fact, if I am not mistaken, I believe he is working to draw down troop levels in Iraq as we speak. So yes, Thorbjørn, he may technically be a war leader, but he is moving in the right direction.” “I don’t know if the ‘right direction’ is good enough,” said Jagland. “Oh, but he’s done more,” said Kaci Kullman Five. “Just last month he ended the Eastern European missile shield program, which served no purpose other than to needlessly provoke Russia. Instead, he plans to build a smaller system that will actually protect people against real threats from Iran, not imagined ones. I think Obama is a pragmatic man who actually cares about keeping the world free of war.” Jagland did not respond this time. He looked from one committee member to the next, as if replaying their arguments in his mind one by one. Then Agot Valle, who had remained si-
lent throughout the meeting, stood up. All eyes turned to her. “Friends,” she said. “If we are to continue debating we must remember one important, simple fact. Mr. Obama is not Mr. Bush. It is an obvious fact, yes. But it is also the crux of this decision.” She began to pace around the room, circling the table where the others sat. “I wonder, how many of you expected Mr. Obama to be elected? After eight years of Bush, how many of you thought that the Americans would simply choose another one of their cowboys to lead the world to ruin? And yet, they did not. They chose not the man who pledged to dominate the world, but the one who promised to work with it; not the man who sought to invade his neighbors, but the one who wished to speak with them.” She reached her own seat and stopped pacing. “The people who truly deserve this prize are the Americans who decided that they were tired of having saber-rattling princes at the helm. But since we cannot give all of them the award…” She let her words hang in the air. Jagland, who had been listening intently, looked pensive. “Hmmm…” At the Executive Residence of the White House, Washington, D.C.: The shrill ring of the telephone awoke President Obama with a start. “It can’t still be 3 a.m.,” he muttered to himself. He looked up at the clock and saw
a six and two zeros slowly swim into focus. He sat up and picked up the phone. “Hello?” The aide on the other end sounded like he was out of breath. “Mr. President!” he shouted. “You’ve just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!” “Very funny.” “This isn’t a joke, Mr. President. The call just came in from Oslo.” “Wait…Are you sure?” “Yes, Mr. President.” Obama sat for a moment with his mouth slightly ajar. “I…I don’t know what to say.” “Well sir, the press is likely going to be here soon. You may want to prepare a few remarks. Oh, by the way, there’s someone on the line who would like to speak with you. Should I put him on?” “Go ahead.” There was a click, and the aide’s voice was immediately replaced by the sound of thousands of screaming people. Amid the commotion, Obama could hear a voice shouting to be heard. “Yo, President Obama,” the voice said. “I know you’re busy runnin’ the country, and Ima let you finish, but Al Gore had one of the best Nobel Peace Prize wins of all time. ONE OF THE BEST WINS OF ALL TIME!” Obama hung up the phone. There was no point in replying. It was going to be a long day anyway, and he didn’t need to give the press any more bait.
Would you like to win a Nobel Peace Prize? Then write for Hoot Impressions! (No guarantees)
October 16, 2009
W E E K E N D Spotlight on Boston
Glass Flowers Wonderland
Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Circus 'Over The Top'
Open until Wednesday, October 28 Harvard Museum of Natural History Go visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History and see this wonderful exhibit for free on either Wednesday or Sunday. Inside you will find over 3,000 glass flowers of over 830 different species, made by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka approximately 100 years ago.
Friday, October 16, 7:00 p.m./ Saturday 17, 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. / Sunday 18, 2:30 p.m. For some escapism and childhood fun, go see the new Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily Circus. You will be able to see all the old classics, like elephants and tigers, and some new classics like motorcyles and speed riders!
What's going on at Brandeis?
Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt
Saturday, October 17, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Chums
Friday, October 16, 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m./ Saturday 17, 8 p.m./ Sunday 18 at 2 p.m. Shapiro Campus Center, Shaprio Theater
Punk Rock and Roll Club is bringing the band, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt this Saturday to Chums. Be prepred to dance the night away! For more information visit http://www.myspace.com/theterrorpigeondancerevolt
For only three dollars for all the performances this weekend, come see a modern re-making of The Danaids by Aeschylus.
Free Screening of Filmed By Yitzhak
Sunday, October 18, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sachar International Center
The Patchwork Garden - Ground Breaking Event
Sunday, October 18, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Deroy, behind Massel Quad Join the ground breaking ceremony for the new Brandeis garden. You can help build a fence for the winter crops or plant raspberry bushes. If your not in the mood to garden, you can still come by to buy hot chocolate and shirts decorated with the garden logo.
The Consulate General of Israel to New England is presenting the premier of Filmed By Yitzhak. The documentary shows movies filmed by Israeli prime ministerRabin during the 1960s and 1970s. Seating is first come, first serve, starting an hour before the show. Photos from internet source
Hoot Comic Strips laughingwarlock
By Ian Price
Can you draw and write comics? Want to see your work in print? E-mail email@example.com
Sleazy Humor is Dead
By Xander Bernstein
By Matt Kupfer
By Matt Kupfer