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VOL 5, NO. 22

MARCH 20, 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


Increase in student population could flood Waltham low-income housing market BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor

When university administrators decided to help close the budget gap by increasing the undergraduate population by 400 students by the fall of 2014, the Faculty Senate’s Curriculum and Academic Restructuring Steering Committee (CARS) developed the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS) to lessen the overcrowding that could be caused by additional students.

Yet while JBS, which is up for consideration by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, was created with campus facilities in mind, The Hoot’s calculations of JBS and Waltham housing statistics suggest that JBS would not negate the impact that 400 additional students would have on Waltham’s low-income housing market. In fact, even with JBS, increasing the student population by 400 would lead to a 73.9 percent

increase in undergraduates living off campus during the academic year, assuming that all Brandeis beds are filled and that no students are living abroad apart from JBS. Such an increase would either cause Waltham rental prices to rise considerably, or would drive low-income families out of the city and away from their work. This potential increase in students off campus stems from the See HOUSING, p. 3

Students honor fallen soldiers at peace vigil BY KAYLA DOS SANTOS Editor

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

OFF CAMPUS: Tony Rios ‘11 outside of an off campus house he is considering renting with two friends next year. As the Brandeis student population increases, more students will be forced to live off campus, driving up rental prices for lowincome families.

Gray calls for more student involvment in univ. decisions BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor

Student Union President Jason Gray ‘10 urged the university administration to include students in university decisions pertaining to the budget crisis at his State of the Union Tuesday night. “A deliberative, inclusive process leads to better decisions,” he said. “When sacrifices are necessary, it is of utmost importance to have full community involvement in the process.” Gray cited the study abroad merit aid decision and the initial authorization of the closing of the Rose Art Museum as examples where the administration had not used an inclusive process to make decisions.He also said that he believed formation of the Rose Committee—which will provide recommendations to the administration for how to better incorporate the Rose into the academic mission of the university—marks a step in the right direction. Gray did say, however, that the administration’s original blunder in announcing the authorization of the closing of the Rose sparked controversy within the Brandeis community, and that in order to regain the community’s trust, the administration needs to “engage the arts.”


“I challenge the university administration…to find tangible ways to invest in the long-term future of the arts at Brandeis,” he said. “I call for a series of meetings between administrators and members of our artistic community to discuss ways to ensure that Brandeis remains a fertile ground for artistic creativity even amidst the financial situation.” Gray also said that the financial situation should not discourage community members’ faith in the university. “This is a challenge that we will overcome. Our history mandates nothing less, and our student body will accept nothing less,” he said. “Our financial picture may be gloomy, but our future could not be any brighter.” At the state of the union Gray also announced that he will not be running for re-election as President. Sign-ups for all Union positions up for elections went up following the speech. While potential candidates have until Wednesday to sign up outside of the union office, thus far only union Director of Community Advocacy Andy Hogan ’11 has signed up to run for President. For photos of the State of the Union go to

Students gathered outside of Pearlman Lounge to remember and honor those who have died in the Iraq War on Thursday in order to mark the 6th anniversary of the war. Before the vigil, which was hosted by Democracy For America, group members lined campus walkways with approximately 400 American flags, each flag repre-

senting the deaths of ten American soldiers. During the vigil, attendees stood in a circle to sing songs, gave personal statements and read poems. DFA member Lev Hirschhorn ’11 commented on the atmosphere of the peace vigil and how it contrasted with the previous year’s gathering. “Last year we were angry, we walked through campus…we expressed our anger. Here now one year lat-

er, [this is] a very peaceful event.” For the previous anniversary, over 100 students came together to protest the war in Iraq and, during the event, the names of the soldiers who died were read aloud. Paraska Tolan ’11, who primarily organized this year’s event, said “[last year was] more political, more about sending a message to the Bush administration…with a See IRAQ, p. 4

Symposium provides perspectives on value of the Rose Art Museum BY MAX PRICE Editor

“We object.” This repeated, emphatic declaration of opposition came not from one of the noteworthy panelists, faculty, or students at the Rose symposium on Monday night, but from the Rose family itself. The statement, issued after an address by Museum Director Michael Rush, demanded that the university cease its plans to close t h e museum and sell its art. In a night of poignant insight into the meaning, purpose and value of art, this stood out as a moment of clear-cut defiance against an administration that would sell valued works from the museum’s contemporary collection to overcome its recent financial losses. The symposium, entitled “Preserving Trust: Art and the Art Museum amidst Financial Crisis”

Baseball rookies pull off a win Sports, page 6

brought together notable literary and cultural figures from the surrounding area as well as Brandeis faculty and students. Taking place in the Lois Foster Wing of the Rose, the discussion of the role of art in trying times stood against the backdrop of the vibrant, colorful Hans Hoffman exhibit. Each panelist tackled the dilemma of the Rose from a different vantage point. Former Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to

the Library of Congress, Robert Pinsky, quoted a poem by Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale,” to illustrate the importance of transmitting art through the generations. Not surprisingly, the poet who has worked toward the greater democratization of his art used a line from Keats to explain the process of culture as a unifying

Company sings relationship woes Diverse City, page 8

force across social classes. He also sought to remind the audience of Brandeis’ history and mission as a nonsectarian university providing equal opportunity for all at a time when other curators of culture (including prestigious universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton) limited the admittance of Jews. Renowned literary critic Stephen Greenblatt offered reflections on the necessity of art in times of distress from his standpoint as a Harvard professor and member of the Harvard Task Force on the Arts. This committee has insisted that the arts are central to the university’s academic mission. “The boundary, bright line between art making, collecting and exhibiting on the one hand and education on the other,” he explained, “has given way to a much more vital interaction between the two.” As the first such committee in 50 years, its findings revealed the stunning absence of contemporary art in the school’s See ROSE SYMPOSIUM, p. 11

AUDIO @ THEHOOT.NET Off The Beaten Path: Unique frozen yogurt at Berryline in Cambridge The Hoot Report: AIG and printing new money

2 The Hoot

March 20, 2009


Water bottle reduction a priority again after five month lull

Rosenbauer speaks about using soccer for female empowerment BY JAKE YARMUS Staff


Brandeis Brief By Ariel Wittenberg

The sale of bottled water in the Usdan Café and Boulevard will be stopped, according to Students for Environmental Action (SEA) President Matt Schmidt ’11, as part of the campus-wide initiative to reduce the university’s dependence on bottled water, which began last spring. This announcement comes after a five month long lull in bottled-water related activity, as campus administrators have become more focused on the financial crisis and the Rose. The initiative to reduce the university’s dependence on bottled water began at the end of last spring when a committee was formed to come up with recommendations for the Brandeis administration as to how to reduce Brandeis’ “climate change impact,” said Janna Cohen-Rosenthal ’03, Brandeis’ Sustainability Coordinator. The Bottled Water Committee was a mix of students, staff, faculty and administrators, led by Jean Eddy, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment. The committee had been working hand in hand with SEA and Cohen-Rosenthal, and decided that focusing on water bottles was a good way to reduce the university’s climate change impact. “Waltham water is safe and healthy to drink,” Cohen-Rosenthal explained. “[Bottled water] is a luxury commodity, but we view it as a necessity.” The initiative to reduce the university’s bottled water dependence was jump started this fall when every member of the student body had the opportunity to pick up a free water bottle, and most water fountains were outfitted with gooseneck spouts to make filling the bottles easier and to help students transition. Aramark has added more water stations throughout the dining halls, more signage, and is currently working on a “water mural” in Usdan in accordance with the committee’s recommendation to Mike Newmark, Director of Dining Services, explained in an e-mail to the Hoot. The Student Union had created a survey in the fall to make sure

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

students were in favor of the water bottle idea and SEA helped to promote the survey. They did so successfully, as the survey garnered a 40 percent response rate, a huge turnout for Brandeis. Eighty percent of those respondents were in favor of reducing bottled water on campus. The water bottle initiative is just a “small part of a bigger strategy for the university,” said CohenRosenthal. Cohen-Rosenthal took advantage of the gap in the water bottle initiative to concentrate on another part of the strategy, and embarked on an educational campaign. She, along with several student “eco-reps,” put up fliers around campus and in dorms encouraging people to recycle as part of the “recyclemania” program, a competition between schools to see who has the highest recycling rate. Brandeis has one of the lowest recycling rates; we currently have an 11 percent recycling rate as of February, up from 8 percent in January. Tufts, for example, tends to hover around a 30 percent recycling rate. To encourage recycling, Aramark has agreed to provide free ice cream on Earth

Rose Statement The Rose Family, for whom the Rose Art Museum is named, publicly criticized the university on Monday, calling the selling of any artwork from the museum a “plundering” of the collection.

Day if students can raise their recycling rate to 16% by the end of this month. Bottled water will still be available on campus in the POD Store and other locations where visitors can purchase water or where tap water is not as easily accessible. It will only be removed in places were there are many choices and students can easily fill up a water bottle, like in Usdan. “It is not about drinking more water or a nutritional thing,” explained Cohen-Rosenthal. It is about reducing the waste that comes from the water bottles when tap water is readily available. Reducing our dependence on bottled water will also reduce costs. “It costs 8 times more to throw something away than to recycle it,” and reducing bottled water consumption will also reduce the costs incurred to transport it to Brandeis, explained Cohen-Rosenthal. Several schools have already eliminated or reduced bottled water on their campuses, like Washington University in St. Louis, said Schmidt. Schmidt has faith in Brandeis’ ability to catch up, “I do feel like [the administration] is stepping up to the plate.”

After a week watching her host brother and his friends play soccer every afternoon while in Equador last spring, Brooke Rosenbauer ‘09 finally asked to play. Ignoring his laughs, Rosenbauer started to juggle the ball with her friend Sarah. Her brother was in shock. “He said, ‘I thought girls only played with dolls,’” she explained at her presentation for the Jane’s Travel Grant, “From the street to the field: soccer and youth empowerment in Ecuador.” “We challenged him to game. We won three straight.” This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given Rosenbauer’s history with soccer. Recruited to play varsity at Brandeis, she eventually dropped out her sophomore year to pursue work with Grassroot Soccer. Grassroot Soccer is an Non Governmental Organization that uses soccer to facilitate HIV prevention programs in Africa. Currently, Rosenbauer is the director of a national initiative called Lose the Shoes, which encourages barefoot soccer tournaments at colleges and high schools throughout the country in an effort to raise awareness about Grassroot Soccer. Realizing that she wanted to return to the country for winter break of this year, Rosenbauer looked to return with a Jane’s Travel Grant. While looking for a program with which to apply, she stumbled upon A GANAR. A GANAR did much the same work as Grassroot Soccer, helping to educate Ecuadorian youth through internship programs, classes, and, of course, soccer. This experience provided Rosenbauer the perfect opportunity to conduct research on her thesis regarding the gender implications of soccer-based HIV prevention programs in South Africa. Using A GANAR as a case-study, she spent her three weeks abroad to tour as many of A GANAR’s rural pilot programs as possible. Rosenbauer explained that the experience only cemented her feelings about the importance of soccer. “Soccer is a language that the kids can understand, so when you

start to talk about the core values that A GANAR stresses – teamwork, communication, focus on results, etc. – they are able to internalize those concepts and then translate them into the workplace and their personal lives.” Rosenbauer also saw a change in the gender dynamic. Though some girls didn’t want to participate at first, times are changing. With more female interest, more leagues are starting up, and more girls are participating in pickup games. A GANAR has helped by encouraging girls and boys to play soccer together, something Rosenbauer supports. “You can’t empower girls in a vacuum,” she said, adding that in order for girls to be empowered by playing the game, they must play with and against boys. However, as important a role as soccer plays, Rosenbauer strayed from claiming that this was the primary purpose. “A GANAR isn’t really about soccer - soccer is more of a stepping stone to achieve their ultimate goal which is to have the opportunity to get a great technical education that will give them an edge in the fiercely competitive job market,” she said. “I asked a number of the students, if they could change one thing about their lives, what would it be? Without hesitation, every single one said better access to education. They didn’t want more money, more stuff, a car...just better access to education, better healthcare for their families, and a less corrupt government.” Her presentation, which was full of pictures, stories and movies, caught the attention of Lisa Fitzgerald ’10. Fitzgerald, who had recently returned from the same study abroad program as Rosenbauer, enjoyed the presentation. “I thought it was really thoughtful and compelling,” Fitzgerald said. “Just one thing wrong - it made me really miss Ecuador!” Rosenbauer expressed similar sentiments, and said that she enjoyed her time abroad so much that she planned to spend her summer working in A GANAR’s DC office for the summer. She will be presenting her work again at 2 p.m. for the Learning Symposium in the International Lounge in Usdan on Thursday the 26th of March.

Deis Bikes

Cell Phone Service

The Student Union sponsered Deis Bikes rental program will kick off on Monday. Beginning Monday, Students will be able to rent bikes parked outside of the Shapiro Campus Center using their campus meal card. Students will be able to keep the bikes until midnight of the day they rented them. There will be a late fee for every day the bike is not returned.

Cell phone service is now available in lower Usdan - a notorious cellphone service dead zone. The new service is the result of the installation of a signal amplifier that was installed in the dinning room over February break..


March 20, 2009

The Hoot 3

Waltham rent rates could rise if student population increases pus live in other areas like Cambridge or Boston. Even so, any increase in student popuBrandeis administration’s decision to increase the undergraduate population by lation living off campus and in Waltham 400 undergraduates by the fall of 2014 would hit particularly hard given that without increasing the number of on-cam- about half of the city’s total population’s annual earnings place them in the low to pus beds. JBS, if approved by the Board of Trust- moderate income brackets, according to ees on Wednesday, would require students the June 2007 Waltham Community Develto participate in academic programs away opment Plan (CDP), with renters making from campus and away from Waltham for up 54 percent of Waltham dwellers. Federal housing guidelines mandate that at least one semester of their college experience, and therefore has been hailed by the housing is considered affordable for a given administration as the solution to any over- family only if the rent or ownership cost is crowding adding 400 students could cause. roughly 30 percent or less of the family’s However, Dean of Arts and Sciences gross income. In order for rentals to be affordable for Adam Jaffe, who chairs the CARS committee responsible for JBS’ development, told Waltham families in the low-income brackThe Hoot that JBS would only take 150 et, they must cost less than $819 per month. In contrast, the Brandeis’ “Guide to Off students out of Waltham per semester— leaving the remaining 250 students to find Campus Housing”—produced by the Department of Residence Life—cites typical housing off campus. These 250 students would join the 338 monthly rates for students looking to live students who already would live off campus in a one bedroom apartment in Waltham as if all Brandeis beds were filled, and if the $850-$1,200 per month—far above the afuniversity were at its maximum capacity of fordable housing rate for half of Waltham’s 122 lofted triples, and if no students extra residents. While the Waltham Housing Authority students were studying abroad. Currently, Jaffe estimated 300 to 350 stu- provides 700 affordable housing units, currently, there are more dents study abroad than 5,500 Waltham per year, a number which he does not his competition leads to residents on the Authority’s expect to increase a rise in housing prices Housing waitlist who have to with the student population outside of that not only forces Waltham’s look toward privatestudents participat- low-income residents out of ly owned housing for shelter, according to ing in JBS. The number of stu- the city, but potentially out of the CDP. Under Federal Secdents living off cam- work as well. tion 8, the Housing pus could increase Authority can proeven more, however, vide 450 rent-subsiif students continue dy vouchers to assist to opt for off campus housing instead of housing on campus, leaving Brandeis beds tenants. The 2007 CDP reported a waitlist of 934 single persons and 2,346 families. empty. Due to Brandeis’ location in Waltham, Vice President for Campus Operations Mark Collins told The Hoot that Residence Waltham’s low-income residents looking Life currently has roughly 300 vacant beds, for privately owned affordable rentals dilargely concentrated in the Charles River rectly compete with Brandeis students for housing. and Foster Mods dorms. Brandeis is located adjacent to a region of Collins acknowledged that the vacant beds could be due to students not wanting Waltham called the South Side—a densely to live in older buildings. He said, “frankly, populated region of the city which, accordwe have a whole lot of work to do down ing to the 2000 census, “is home to over 50 there.” There is no short term plan for ren- percent of the city’s total population and ovating the dorms in the hopes of making the majority of the city’s lower income immigrant families.” them more attractive to students. In fact, 27 percent of South Side houseWith no renovations scheduled for the near future, Collins predicted that Charles holds earn less than $25,000 per year. Therefore, when Brandeis students seek River and Foster Mods would become less desirable housing options and that there off-campus housing close to the university, would be an increase in students living off they are directly competing with these lowcampus; however, he was quick to caution income families. In 2007, 10 percent of Brandeis students that, while there are no statistics for how many students living off campus live in lived off campus and in Waltham, accordWaltham, some students who live off cam- ing to the CDP, which already posed a

HOUSING (from p. 1)


problem for the low-income community when “undergraduate students with multiple roommates outbid working families for apartments.” Director of the Waltham Alliance to Create Housing (WATCH) Steve Laferrier told The Hoot that “Brandeis students tend to rent the older, more affordable units in neighborhoods that also fit the needs of lower income residents.” This competition leads to a rise in housing prices that would not only force Waltham’s low-income residents out of the city, but potentially out of work as well. According to the CDP, 57 percent of Waltham’s residents work outside of the city, with a majority of them working in Boston. Because Waltham’s rental prices are considerably lower than those of the surrounding Boston suburbs, if Waltham’s low-income residents are forced to leave the city,

it is unlikely they will be able to find affordable housing in surrounding towns. Additionally, an increase in housing prices would negatively effect the Waltham economy, according to the CDP. “The high cost of housing may affect the region’s ability to attract workers; force out low-and moderate-income residents;cut discretionary spending and thus affect local business;and contribute to wage pressures and inflation,” the CDP reads. While Laferrier said such changes would be unfortunate, he said that if Brandeis increases its student population, given the economy, there would not be much WATCH could do to help tenants in need of housing. “If the demand for apartments increases and the supply doesn’t, then either prices will go up and families will have to pay, or they will have to leave,” he said. “It’s just simple economics.”

Globe Washington Bureau Chief details Senator Ted Kennedy’s life BY ALEX SCHNEIDER Editor

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

Peter S. Canellos, Washington Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe and editor of “Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy,” spoke before an audience of 25 on Wednesday about the life and legacy of Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). The event, which was sponsored by club Gen Ed Now, the Schuster Institute, and the History Department, featured a review of Kennedy’s life by Canellos as well as a question and answer session. Canellos, who pens the column, “A National Perspective,” for the Globe, described how news of Senator Ken-

nedy’s brain cancer became a calling for the Globe to explore the Kennedy legacy in print. “As the news [of Senator Kennedy’s cancer] fanned out around the country, people across the country turned to the Boston Globe,” Canellos said. “They had not been paying attention to the arc of his career.” Canellos told the Kennedy story with ease, beginning with the Senator’s early grief dealing with deaths in his family, all of which culminated in the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and later, candidate for President, Robert Kennedy. Canellos also identified milestones in Senator Kennedy’s career,

such as his army service and time in boarding school, as events that shaped the “engaging” and “empathetic” Massachusetts Senator of today. While Kennedy has, as Canellos admitted, made mistakes, such as his scandalous involvement in the Chappaquiddick incident in which he failed to report a car crash that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, to Canellos, Kennedy’s achievements, from his “unique accomplishments” in the 1980s in the area of Civil Rights to his “very substantial record” in the area of healthcare make his “record more significant than that of many presidents.”

4 The Hoot


March 20, 2009

Former child soldier speaks out for those who can’t DFA holds peace vigil for Iraq war 6th anniversary BY ROBIN LICHTENSTEIN Staff

When Grace Akallo was 15 years-old she was handed a gun, taught how to assemble and clean it, but never how to fire. She was told that when she was hungry, she would figure out how to use the weapon. This crash-course in the brutality of war came after Akallo was kidnapped from her school in Uganda in 1996 and forced to be a child soldier for the Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Akallo, who spoke on Wednesday in the Heller School, did not spend much time talking about herself. Though she hinted at the brutality she witnessed, she used her platform to explain the plight of former child soldiers and delved a bit into Ugandan politics. She discussed how to help the children overcome the stigma, integrate back into society, and live as normal a life as possible. Akallo recalled feeling “worthless” when she finally managed to escape from her captors during a battle. Akallo had to make her way back from Sudan to her home in Uganda. After her initial capture, 100 of the 130 girls were released, but Akallo and 29 other remained in captivity. The LRA forced 14 of those girls, including Akallo, on march to Sudan that lasted four days and four nights. Akallo thought, “Sudan was the grave for me.” Just last week, the second to last of the girls was released, 13 years after her capture in 1996. One girl remains, Miriam, whom Akallo called her “best friend.” The bond between the girls that were captured, forged in the Dormitories of the all-girls St. Mary’s College in Aboke town, Uganda, played a significant part in the group’s survival. They were, “kept together by the love we had for each other and the rebels took advantage of that. [They told us that] if one ran away, the others would be killed.” Today, Akallo is at Clark College in Worcester, Mass. after having graduating

from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., which she transferred to from Uganda Christian University. Akallo, who is now married and is mother to a 16 month old baby, attributes her success to her education. She recounted how school helped children build up self-esteem and put them in an environment that changed them. “You need to go to school to be recognized as something in Ugandan society, ” said Akallo, “school gives them a purpose.” She added that school provided a “different kind of counseling” that “goes along with love.” Akallo began her speaking career after Amnesty International invited her to speak in New York City. She accepted the invitation knowing that someday, PHOTO BY Max Shay /The Hoot “one of these people would help.” She had CHILD SOLDIER: Grace Akallo spoke on Wednesday at the Heller school about her experiences as a child soldier in Uganda in 1996. not even told her parents the full extent of her story, but took the H.R. 3028), which seeks to encourage govopportunity to “be the voice of my friends ernments to “disarm, demobilize, and rehabilitate child soldiers from government who could not talk.” Sophia DeVito ’11 discovered Akallo at forces and government-supported milithe New England Amnesty International tias,” according to Amnesty International’s Regional Conference and was able to con- website. The act seeks to support those children tact Akallo directly. Brandeis’ Amnesty International club co-sponsored the event who come out of these militias and armies with the Gender Working Group from the with no support system. Akallo wants these children to have “something to hope for in Heller School. Amnesty International and Akallo are the future.” She asked, “ Who is going to both working to aid the passage of the bring up the next generation if we don’t foChild Soldier Prevention Act (S. 1175 & cus on this buried generation?”

Student talks Rose on Boston area T.V. BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor

Student Union Director of Communication’s Jamie Ansorge’s ’09 appearance on WGBH’s Greater Boston to discuss the future of the Rose Art Museum has sparked anger among Brandeis students who see his appearance as a public relations stunt by the university. Ansorge was a guest on Greater Boston with Joyce Perkit, a Rose family member just one day after the Rose family formally objected to any effort by the university to change the Rose Art Museum’s role on campus. Ansorge’s appeared on the show after host Emily Rooney contacted Rasky Baerlein, the university’s contracted public relations firm, asking to host a member of the school’s administration on the show, according to the company’s founder Joe Baerlein. Baerlein said that he told Rooney that members of the administration wanted to respect the newly formed Rose Committee—which is charged with academically integrating the museum into the university—and thought that appearing on the program would be forcing their opinions on the committee. Baerlein then contacted university Provost Marty Krauss asking for recommendations for which student would be good to appear on the program. Krauss originally suggested Student

Union President Jason Gray ’10, who was Sferlazzo continued to say that by not apbusy writing his state of the Union Address, pearing on the show and answering quesand therefore picked Ansorge for the pro- tions about the future of the Rose, the gram. administration makes it impossible for Ansorge, who met with members of the students to formulate informed opinions public relations firm before going on the about what will happen to the museum. program, Baerlein, said that he however, said thought having a student that tried to pressuch ent a middle claims are unlike Jamie go on the show of the ground founded, sayv i e w p o i n t , would be enlightening for the view- ing “you can’t saying “I ers. No one put a gun to Jamie’s head have it both don’t think I ways.” was just the and told him what to think, we just “Many peouniversity’s gave him the opportunity to let the ple have critipawn. I said cized the adstudents’ voices be heard. some things ministration in defense of for not letting the Rose that - Joe Baerlein the students they might have a voice on not have the Rose issue,” liked.” he said. “We Baerlein thought having told The Hoot that Ansorge did a “good a student like Jamie go on the show would job.” be enlightening for the viewers. No one Julia Sferlazzo ’09, a Fine Arts major, said put a gun to Jamie’s head and told him what that she was upset by Ansorge’s appearance to think, we just gave him the opportunity not for his “middle of the road answers” but to let the students’ voices be heard.” because “it just seems like a PR stunt from Sferlazzo, however, is not convinced. the administration.” “If [Ansorge] went on the show to repreSferlazzo said that “by having a student sent student voice, then why didn’t he have appear on the show rather than a member the opportunity to talk to students beforeof the administration, you don’t let the in- hand?” she said. “he didn’t talk to students, terviewer ask any hard hitting questions. instead, they had him talk to PR people.” Students can’t learn the facts.”

IRAQ (from p. 1)

new administration who seems to want to end the war, the vigil is less about ending the war and more about commemorating those who have died… [but] it’s also a reminder that there’s still war out there in the Middle East.” Muslim Chaplain Imam Tlal Eid began the event by explaining the importance of why the chaplaincy has a peace vigil every Friday. He said, “you are the future…we want you to carry the voice of peace with you.” To the small group of attendees, he said, “one word from you can teach generations.” Throughout the vigil, both the chaplain and Tolan emphasized the need to keep in mind that other areas in the Middle East are war-torn. “We need to bring the issue of peace to troubling areas outside of the U.S.,” said Eid. While members of the Brandeis community walked by the gathering, Amanda Hoffman ’11, with guitar in hand, led the group in singing the Beatle’s “Let It Be.” Afterwards, Hoffman described the mood that the song encouraged, “‘Let it Be’ said it all, peace and harmony…in singing it as a group, we created this presence on campus, it united everyone.” In contrast, later Hoffman and Alex Melman ’11 performed a duet, Bob Dylan’s “Master of War.” Melman said, “[The song] gets everything out there, the despicability of the war machine…The heartfelt poems are important, but it’s important to remember that there are people at fault in this war game.” Near the end of the vigil, Rivka Maizlish ’10 posed the question: How can we as a society act on our obligation to make peace without repeating the mistakes of the past administration? After citing the works of a Harvard professor and political scientist Samuel Huntington, Maizlish stressed the point, “We must use our power for good, but with humility.”



Watch Jamie Ansorge on Greater Boston for yourself at: external/ansorge

March 20, 2009

The Hoot 5


Fulfilling our communal responsibility 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 Jodi Elkin 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


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 The deadline for submitting letters is Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. All letters must be submitted electronically at www. 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.

CORRECTION The photo of the painting from “Bernstein Festival of the Arts sneak preview” (Mar. 13, 2009) was not properly identified as “Rashad” by Ariella Silverstein-Tapp. The painting was featured at last year’s festival.

In an effort to increase tuition revenue, the university has developed a plan to increase the student body by 400 students by the fall of 2014. To lessen the strain additional students might place on campus resources, the university has developed the Justice Brandeis Semester, which would require that students spend one semester away from campus. Per the present plan, JBS would remove 150 of the additional 400 students in the fall and spring semesters. While JBS will lighten the load placed on campus proper, the increase in student population could potentially hit Waltham in its most vulnerable spot – low-income housing. As it stands, nearly 500 students are either forced to live off campus or choose to do so rather than live in Charles River Apartments or the Foster Mods. These off-

campus students directly compete with Waltham’s low-income population for housing. And according the 2007 Waltham Community Development Plan, the city is unable to meet the housing needs of its low-income population. While the city is able to provide rent vouchers for those whom they cannot accommodate in Housing Authority dwellings, those residents are often passed over for students who are competing for housing in the same areas. In other words, families who live in Waltham, raise their children in Waltham, and make their lives in Waltham are in danger of being passed over for those whose presence in the city is transient. Moreover, the displacement of this population will have dire effects on Waltham’s economic viability. On the whole, it is evident that our uni-

versity has failed to consider the economic impact of additional students on the Waltham housing market. More students competing for housing will raise rents for both locals and students – a scenario which hurts us and our neighbors. Clearly, the addition of 400 students without the addition of 400 dorm beds is impractical. There is simply a lack of housing in the immediate vicinity of campus to accommodate additional off-campus students. And it would be detrimental to our community to have students live further and further away from 415 South Street. But beyond what is practical, this university has a moral obligation to Waltham not to have upper middle class 18-year-olds displace low-income residents. We should enrich this community with our presence, not drain it.

No more fixer-uppers This January, the new Ridgewood dorms opened after over a year of construction. Lucky study abroad returnees and Charles River transplants became the first group of Brandeis students to experience palatial campus living at its best. There’s no doubt that Ridgewood is the dwelling du jour for Brandeis students. Unfortunately, fewer than 200 students in any given year will have the opportunity to appreciate the university’s new construction. The majority of the upper class population will find themselves living in buildings that are approaching their expiration dates. Though finances are tight, housing must be made a priority. The new business major

and the Justice Brandeis Semester will fail to recruit more intelligent and interesting applicants if these academic opportunities are not matched with better living conditions. When it comes to college admissions, it can be a meal or bedroom that tips the scales. There is a reason why admissions tours never make a loop around the Charles River apartments. And there is a reason why those tours preview Scheffres rather than East. Furthermore, many of the older buildings on this campus lack acceptable furniture, appliances, or bathroom facilities, not to mention most of them are inaccessible to people with disabilities. Housing has a profound impact on the


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sense of campus community and on students’ quality of life. That 300 beds lay empty in Charles River Apartments and the Foster Mods this semester clearly illustrates that for many, quality trumps proximity. There is no doubt that communal life is diminished when more and more students forego campus housing for apartments more distant. To protect both the Brandeis and Waltham communities, we must commit ourselves to providing adequate housing for the majority of undergraduate students even in this economic climate. This university simply cannot sustain its status as a residential undergraduate college if our housing looks more Soviet than suburban.

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6 The Hoot

March 20, 2009


After great season, Women end at Elite Eight Judges during that run with three buckets each and a total of six players helped push up the score while forcing Muhlenberg to commit three turnovers and miss 10 straight shots. With 4:32 left in the half, the Mules picked up a bit of momentum and, down 36-16, came back to score the last eight points before the break, narrowing the gap to twelve points. Both teams came out in the second half determined to win. The Judges never gave up their lead, but Muhlenberg has been a dangerous team in the past. In one game against Ursinus College they came back from a 12-point deficit, scoring an impressive eight in the last minute of play. Brandeis was able to hold them off, however, even when the Mules went on a 10-3 with 9:12 left and closed to within seven points. The Judges battled back again with the help PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot of Diana Cincotta ’11 and WBBALL: Brandeis’ Morgan Kendrew ‘12 (No. 31, left) looks on while head Chapin who, with a lay-up coach Carol Simon speaks with the team during a time out. and three-pointer respectively, got the lead back BY HANNAH VICKERS up to 12. Despite the fight put up by the Staff Mules, Brandeis held on to finish with an The Brandeis women’s basketball team 82-70 victory. The Judges had a balanced attack against finished out their remarkable season this past Saturday in Amherst. In addition to Muhlenberg where all five of the startreaching 20 wins for the fifth season in six ers scored in double figures. Chapin led years, the Judges also made it farther in the Brandeis with 17 points after going 5-ofNCAA Division III tournament than they 12 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line. ever have before. In Sweet Sixteen play in Dadaos followed with 10 points in the first Amherst last Friday, Brandeis came out half and 14 overall in addition to seven on top of the Muhlenberg College Mules rebounds, the most of the team. Lauren with an 82-70 victory. They advanced to Orlando ’09 added 13 points to the score play the Amherst College Lord Jeffs in the while Cincotta had 12 as well as a teamElite Eight the following evening, but were high three assists. Morgan Kendrew ’12 unable to keep their momentum going and rounded out the group with 11 points, nine of which came in the second half. “We’re fell to their hosts 68-54. The game against Muhlenberg Friday battle tested,” Chapin told reporters afstarted off slow, with the teams trading ter their win. When the team was asked baskets for the first few minutes. The game whether they would prefer to play New changing run started at 15:32 and, over the York University or Amherst College in the next eight minutes, Brandeis scored twenty Elite Eight, Coach Simon dodged the quespoints to make it 29-10. Coach Carol Si- tion. She responded, “I’m really looking mon said her team found a “groove [and] forward to playing the purple team.” The Judges held Muhlenberg to just a confidence” that helped them. Cassidy Dadaos ’09 and Jessica Chapin ’10 led the 38.3% from the field while shooting 50.9%

themselves. This disparity, coupled with their rebounding advantage of 41-30, allowed Brandeis to move past their opponent fairly easily. The Mules coach Ron Rohn admitted it was a tough game. He thought emotions got the better of everyone and that they were, “trying so hard [they] weren’t playing as well.” They were led by Kelly McKeon ’09 who had a very impressive performance by leading all players with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. She fought hard to bring Muhlenberg back in the second half, where she scored 21 of her points. Alexandra Chill ’12, the second-ranked three-point shooter, had 15 points in the game but hit only 2-of-7 three pointers when she averages 3.2 per game. “I wasn’t as open as I usually am,” she said after the game. Despite their impressive showing against Muhlenberg the night before, Brandeis couldn’t repeat their success when it came to Amherst Saturday night. The host team made it through to the Elite Eight after defeating New York University Friday night 74-51. After two hard fought halves against Amherst, the Judges fell 68-54, ending their NCAA run as the Lord Jeffs went on to their first Final Four. Amherst lived up to their ranking of second in the nation in scoring defense, though the Judges did score nearly six more than the 48.4 average the Lord Jeffs allowed. Interestingly, they are also one of the youngest teams Brandeis faced this year, with three sophomores and two freshmen making up their starting five. Coach G.P. Gromacki doesn’t think their youth affects them, adding, “Our team is mentally tough… nothing fazes them.” That certainly seemed to hold true in a game where the Judges couldn’t catch much of a break and Chapin was held to only nine points, five below her season average. Brandeis held only one lead of the game, and that was the first basket of the matchup by Dadaos. After that Amherst did not trail again, putting up a three-pointer on their next possession and never looking back. Dadaos kept Brandeis in the game in the first half, scoring half of the Judges’ 22 points. Fellow senior Orlando also contributed six points, but unfortunately that was not enough. With 11:44 left in the first the Judges trailed just 15-12, but back-to-back three-pointers by the Lord Jeffs brought the score up to 21-12. After trading a few more baskets, a buzzer-beating lay-up by Orlando closed the gap to nine once again, as the Judges went into the break down 31-22. Chapin was held scoreless in the first half, a

rarity to say the least. “They put great pressure on me the whole game,” the co-captain said in the pressroom later. The Judges came out of the break with everything they had and scored six of the first nine points, including Chapin’s first basket of the game. With 15 minutes left to play Amherst held only a six-point lead of 3428. Just when Brandeis’ momentum was really going, the Lord Jeffs called a timeout to regroup and responded with a 13-2 run, bringing their lead to 47-30 with 10:02 remaining. The Judges made numerous attempts to fight back into the game, but the closest they got was 11 points away. Despite some very impressive performances by Brandeis players, they could not compete with the Amherst squad who had two players score over 20 points. Shannon Finucane ’12 scored a game-high 22 points, and while she only went 5-of-15 from the field she was 10-of-10 from the line and had five assists. Jaci Daigneault ’11 contributed 21 points and six boards. Coach Simon was impressed with the team as a whole, especially Finucane. “She’s smart, the brain of the team… [and] really poised for a freshman.” Finucane attributed her ability to play at such a high level the whole game to being so young, saying that, “coming from high school when you don’t always have a full squad” gets you used to that level of play. The final score of 68-54 meant the end of their playoff run for the Judges, but it meant a lot more for some players. Lauren Goyette, Cassidy Dadaos, Amanda Wells, and Lauren Orlando, the seniors of the squad, found it hard to come to terms with the end. “[There is a] feeling of surreal-ness… we dedicate our lives to this,” Dadaos said. “But we couldn’t have asked for a better way to end.” In the game Dadaos, a co-captain on the team this year, had her second career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, hitting 5-of-9 from the field in the first half alone. Orlando had a teamhigh 14 points, eight of which came in the second half, and hit 6-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from the line. Wells had four points on the night as well as one rebound. The four finished their Brandeis basketball careers with 79 wins in addition to reaching the NCAA tournament all four seasons, the first senior class to do so in a decade. “We’re truly an NCAA program,” Orlando said proudly. While they were certainly reflecting on their careers at Brandeis, they were also looking towards the future. Wells added that, “there will be expectations every year from now on.”

Rookies pull Judges to victory 9-5 BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

Baseball is a game of numbers. Number of hits, number of errors, number of outs, walks, balls in play etcetera, etcetera. I say this because the Brandeis baseball team survived a numbers game against Bridgewater State Mar. 18. The numbers worked out like this: four errors nearly cost the game for Brandeis, and five runs in the last inning secured the 9-5 victory. Entering the last inning 5-4, the Judges managed to apply the pressure on Bridgewater State closer Jeff Poupolo, starting with a leadoff walk to Zach Wooley ’11. Wooley then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from John O’Brion ’10 but was nearly stranded after Poupolo struck out

James Likis ’10 to come one out away from securing the win. Tony Deschler ’11 however changed everything with an RBI single up the following a walk to Sean O’Hare ’12 to knot the score at five. After Poupolo nailed Nick Gallagher ’09 to load the bases, rookie third baseman Jon Chu ’12 came through, turning the first pitch he saw into a bases clearing double. Chu quickly scored on Drake Livada’s ’10 RBI single before Mike Alfego’s ’09 foul out ended the scoring run for the Judges. Aside from a one out walk, Bridgewater State went down without a struggle to James Collins ’09 who earned with win with 2.2 scoreless innings pitched. The Judges got on the board first thanks to O’Hare’s first collegiate home run, depositing the 1-2 offering into left field giving

Brandeis the 3-0 lead. A pair of throwing errors helped Bridgewater State cut the deficit to one after four innings but an RBI single from O’Brion gave Brandeis the 4-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. The inning proved to be one Livada would love to forget, with runners on first second and the lead already cut to one, Livada first muffed the play and then compounded it with a throwing error that helped Bridgewater tie the score at 4-4. A fielder’s choice from Brian Medairos put Bridgewater State up by one and would stay that way until the ninth inning charge. Tony Deshler had the best day at the plate for Brandeis, going 3-5 with one RBI and boosting his average to a leading .404. Livada had the only other multi-hit day at the plate, connecting two times

in five appearances. The story of the game though was the performances from the rookies as Jon Chu and Sean O’Hare combined for six RBI’s. Bridgewater State had three players with multi-hit performances as centerfielder J.T. Mooney, designated hitter David Dole and second baseman Seob Yoon each had two hits. Yoon also had two RBI in the game. Both starting pitchers, Pat Nicholson ’11 for Brandeis and Jeff Sarahs of BSC pitched to a no decision. Nicholson went six and a third, surrendering nine hits, five runs, two earned and four strikeouts. Alex Tynan ’12 faced one batter and then was quickly yanked for Collins who allowed only one walk and one run. Sarahs pitched seven innings for BSC, allowing four runs on six hits, all earned and also racked

up four strike outs. Dave Matthews held Brandeis scoreless in the eighth before handing the ball over to Poupolo who was saddled with the loss. With the win, Collins is now 1-2 on the season and improves his ERA to 7.50. Poupolo’s record falls to 0-2. Brandeis now improves to 5-7 while BSC falls to 5-5. The Judges head off to Rhode Island College this afternoon and then return for an eight game home stand starting with a double header against Rochester Institute of Technology Saturday at 12 and 2 pm. A one day respite is followed by a four game stretch from Mar. 23-26. Brandeis faces Salem State, Wheaton (Mass.) and Wentworth all at three and then Salve Regina at 3:30.


March 20, 2009

Softball sweeps Wellesley double header BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

Three may have been the magic number according to school house rock and the third time is the charm. But for Brandeis Judges softball, four proved to be the charmed figure as Brandeis rung up four runs twice in their double header against Wellesley; taking the first game 4-2 and swept the Blue away 4-0. Errors put the Judges in the hole early in game one after Wellesley second baseman Sinta Cebrian reached on an error from shortstop Brittany Grimm ’12. The damage was felt two batters later when Elora Daniele marked her first ever collegiate at-bat with a 2-run homer to center field. Brandeis quickly responded in the top of the third, with Melissa Cagar ’11 reaching on a one out single and then stole second and third. Cagar was nearly left stranded but a miscue from Wellesley shortstop Daniele on Grimm’s grounder helped Brandeis cut the lead down to 2-1. The top of the fifth saw the flood gates for Brandeis. After Grimm’s single loaded the bases with one out, Erin Ross ’10

knocked across the winning runs with her two run single to left field. Danielle Lavallee’s ’11 ground out to second brought home Grimm for the insurance tally and Brandeis finished game one the 4-2 victors. Brittany Grimm went 2-4, batting from the three spot while Erin Ross fulfilled the clean up duties, following Grimm with a 1-3 plate performance with two runs batted in. Lara Hirschler ’12, Marianne Specker ’12 and Carly Schmand ’11 all had a hit in game one. Emily Vaillette ’10 earned her first win of the season, scattering five hits over a complete seven innings and racked up six strikeouts along with no walks. No runs were charged to Vaillette. Wellesley hurler Megan Wood picked up the loss, matching Vaillette’s seven innings, surrendering 4 runs – three earned on seven hits. Wood also struck out three Judges. Game two proved to be a pitcher’s duel as Caroline Miller ’12 matched Wellesley pitcher Barbarajean Grundlock holding the other scoreless through five innings. The deadlock ended at the top of the sixth as Chelsea Korp’s ’10 bases loaded single


Overall: 5-7 | Conference: 3-5

’Deis Board

RESULTS Friday, March 13, 2009 vs. Case Western Reserve @ Altamonte Springs, Fla. W 6-2 vs. Washington (Mo.) @ Altamonte Springs, Fla. L 6-1 Saturday, March 14, 2009 vs. Rochester (N.Y.) @ Altamonte Springs, Fla. L 17-2 (5 innings) Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at Wellesley W 4-2 and 4-0 UPCOMING Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at Lasell College, 5:00 PM Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at Clark, MA 3pm and 5pm

Men’s Swimming and Diving Overall 4-5 in Dual Matches - Individual records vary UPCOMING Wednesday thru Sunday, March 18 - 22, 2009 v. NCAA Championships @ St. Paul, Minn.

Men’s Tennis

Overall: 5-5 | Conference: 0-1

RESULTS Saturday, March 14, 2009 v. New York U. @ Middlebury, Vt. L 6-3 at Middlebury L 9-0 Sunday, March 15, 2009 v. Connecticut College @ Middlebury, Vt. L 6-3 UPCOMING Saturday, March 21, 2009 v. Bates 10:00 AM

brought home pinch runner Megan DeNubila ’12. Brandeis added another run on a fielder’s choice. The top of the seventh saw Brandeis place runners on second and third with one out when Lavallee and Marianne Specker ’12 each brought in a run to establish the 4-0 lead. Miller secured the shut out getting the Blue to go out quietly at the bottom of the inning. Samantha Gajewski ’12 went 2-4 for Brandeis while Marianna Specker was a perfect 3-3 at bat with one RBI. Alison Davis and Amanda Tai were the only batters to scratch out hits against Miller. Miller went a complete 7 innings giving up no runs, one walk, two hits and picked up a pair of strikeouts. Grundlock also threw a complete game, giving up four runs on eight hits, three earned chalked up five Brandeis strikeouts. Miller is now 3-1 on the season while Grundlock fell to 0-2. Judges softball improves to 5-7 and will look to build on their double header sweep starting with a Mar. 24 double header Lasell. Brandeis then plays another road double header on the 25th this time at Clark. Both sets are 3 pm and 5 pm games.


Overall: 5-7 | Conference: 2-4

RESULTS Saturday, March 14, 2009 vs. Rochester (N.Y.) @ Sanford, FL L 9-8 vs. Emory @ Sanford, FL L 12-0 (7 innings) Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at Bridgewater St. W 9-5 UPCOMING Friday, March 20, 2009 at Rhode Island College, 3:00 PM Also upcoming:

Mar 23 v Salem St., Mar 24 v Wheaton, MA, Mar 25 v Wentworth, Mar 26 v Salve Regina

Women’s Tennis Overall: 7-3 | Conference: 1-0

RESULTS Saturday, March 14, 2009 at Middlebury L 9-0 v. New York U. @ Middlebury, VT W 7-2 UPCOMING Saturday, March 21, 2009 v. Bates 4:00 PM

Women’s Basketball Overall: 20-8 | Conference: 7-7

RESULTS Friday, March 13, 2009 v. Muhlenberg @ Amherst W 82-70 Saturday, March 14, 2009 at Amherst, L 68-54


Overall ranking: tied for 15th - Individual records vary -

UPCOMING Thursday thru Saturday, March 19- 21, 2009 v. NCAA Championships @ State College, Pa. (Penn State) TBA

The Hoot 7

Brandeis sends three to nationals BY ZACHARY ARONOW Editor

This weekend Brandeis fencing will send three fencers to Penn State as they take on the best of the best in collegiate fencing. Making his fourth straight trip to the NCAA’s is captain Will Friedman ’09. Friedman is the first Brandeis fencer since Terence Gargiulo ’90 to make the NCAA’s in all four years of his eligibility. Friedman earned the eighth seed into the finals after finishing eighth at the NCAA regionals, going 4-2 in the first round and 2-2 in the second before going 5-6 in the finals. This season Friedman went 46-30 against varsity opponents and earned All-American honors last year after finishing seventh in last year’s championship. “From an individual perspective I think my season has been fair,” Friedman said. “I think that I’ve made some improvements from last year in terms of mental and physical techniques but I also feel like I had some, a little bit of recession in different areas as well. My personal performance has been somewhat up and down and it was not as strong as I would like it to be overall.” Joining Friedman in the men’s fencing championship is second year fencer Adam Austin ’11. Austin makes his first trip to the NCAA’s after finishing fifth in the regionals, the highest placing of the Judges’ fencers this season. After barely making the final round by one touch, Austin proceeded to go 7-4, knocking off three opponents from Columbia and one each from Vassar, Brown and Columbia. Also included in his run was a win over the regional saber champion from Harvard. This season Austin finished 43-34 against varsity competition. “He’s grown a lot from last year,” Anna Hanley ’11 said about Austin. “I knew that he got nervous on this trip a lot and froze and didn’t know what to do, but this year he was able to gain his composure and think hard and practice harder, work a little bit harder and he won a bout against Jeff Speer. That’s amazing. Jeff Speer won the NCAA’s last year.” Anna Hanley rounds out the NCAA trio. Hanley, a transfer from Sacred Heart University gained entry to her first NCAA Championship through the auspices of an at-large bid. Hanley finished 13th in the regionals, missing out on the final round but her strong regular season proved enough to gain entry. Among her accomplishments, Hanley finished with an astounding 77-25 against varsity opponents including 29-0 against Northeast Fencing Conference opponents. Her record was number one on Brandeis in wins and winning percentage. “I was very surprised, I had no idea how it happened,” Hanley said about receiving the news. “I was confused for a couple of hours and then I realized that I got an atlarge bid and being very excited.” “I’m very happy for them.” Friedman said about Austin and Hanley. “I think they both worked very hard this year. They’re definitely two of the hardest workers on the entire team and Adam fenced his heart out at regionals and I’m happy that he earned a qualifying spot and I think that Anna, despite Anna letting her nerves show a bit at regionals, certainly deserves to be going to nationals. I think that she can have some great success.” As of this printing, with the men’s rounds opening up, Brandeis is currently tied for 15th with Friedman currently in 17th place in the men’s foil but only two bout victories from entering the top ten. Austin finished his first day of NCAA competition 19th in the saber. All-American status is awarded to the top 12 fencers.

12 The Hoot

March 20, 2009


When health care becomes health education BY CHRISSY CALLAHAN Editor

In a drawer in her office, Kathleen Maloney keeps a file of thank you notes she’s received from students and their parents over the past 11 years. Aside from these physical reminders of the countless patients she’s helped during her time as director of Brandeis’ Health Center, Maloney also holds onto more than a few special memories of the old-fashioned type. These are the more cherished mental ones - those of the students who come back to visit years after graduating just to thank her, the parents who call to discuss their problems, and the colleagues who trust her advice. It’s the combination of the memories Maloney holds in her hand and those she holds in her mind that form a constant reminder of what she came here to do - help people - and how she has accomplished just that during her 30 years as an adult nurse practitioner. You could even say knowing she’s helped these students gets Maloney through her nearly hour long commute from western Massachusetts every morning. But Maloney is used to long journeys. After all, she didn’t complete her undergraduate degree until she was 42 years old. And it was only after years of working full and part time in her field while going to school that she finished her degree. Maloney came to Brandeis in August of 1998 after 29 years with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. What was originally intended as a six-month stay to set up the Brandeis health center turned into a nearly 11 year career. After a few months at Brandeis, Maloney developed an interest in college health, resigned from her BIDMC position and stayed on as director of Brandeis’ health center. But this nurse practitioner's journey is coming to an end. And when she retires in May, Maloney will be three months shy of her 40th anniversary with BIDMC. During this period and her time at BIDMC, Maloney has drawn upon her past experience to enrich the lives of many a student and colleague, and has sought to combine patient care with education to inform and to make students and their families feel secure. “I’ve had a lot of great opportunities to learn a lot and [to] take care of really quite a wide range of people from a lot of socioeconomic backgrounds [and] to educate people about their illness,” she says. “It’s just been very, very rewarding.” So why did she enter the health profession in the first place? Trying to avoid the clichéd “Because I wanted to help people” response, Maloney instead gives a generic answer and lets others speak for her. “When you ask young folks what they want to do, when they say they want to be a nurse… it’s always that they want to help people,” she says. “And I think that is the reason people go into health care.” Yet despite her attempts at modesty, the smile on Maloney’s face in describing the experience of helping others gives it all away, revealing this as the reason she, too, entered the field. Maybe Maloney’s motivation emerged after her sister was diagnosed as a Diabetic at the age of 4. Perhaps it stemmed from the time she spent babysitting. Or maybe it was just pure passion for helping others. Whatever it was, it seems it was there all along. “I always said that I wanted to be a nurse from a very, very young age,” she says. Working at BIDMC, one of the premier teaching hospitals in the United States, certainly afforded Maloney with endless op-

portunities including the chance to work with physicians and nurses from some of the best programs in the country. “I’ve been very, very fortunate. I’ve had a wonderful career,” she says. But for a woman who’s been working since she was 12 years old, the time seems about right to retire. First came babysitting, and then after her 16th birthday, Maloney worked in retail until she graduated from high school. After high school, Maloney attended a licensed practical nurse program to increase her earning potential. In September of 1969, she moved to Boston to start work in a staff nurse position at BIDMC, simply called Beth Israel back then. Because of her experience at BIDMC, Maloney now serves as more than just a nurse at Brandeis; she is also an educator. She has worked to provide healthcare and information to the entire Brandeis community in and out of the confines of the health center and, true to the goals of an educational institution such as Brandeis, Maloney realizes the importance of sharing knowledge with students. She chairs the Student Health Advisory Committee and has worked to empower transgender students, because of her commitment to LGBT issues. Working so closely to patients and their families over the years has helped Maloney get to know them as human beings and not just patients. Although her patients at Brandeis generally live away from their family, Maloney has worked to forge similar connections here as those she formed at BI. Dawn Skop, Brandeis health center’s alcohol and drug counselor, has worked with Maloney for seven years and says Maloney uses her greatest strength - her character to earn students’ trust. “She works to have a personal relationship with students when they are in the role of patient or coming in to work on a project,” she says. “She’s fair, she’s very ethical, [and] she really, really cares about the students.” To many students living away at college, a health center is merely a substitute for their primary doctor back at home. It’s a reason to complain because of its large insurance fees and is usually seen as anything but “homey.” But Maloney has worked to change this at Brandeis. Perhaps that’s most evident in the way members of the Brandeis community respond to Maloney when they run into her. On a normal walk around campus, Maloney will run into at least several people she knows. “She knows everybody,” Skop explained. Or maybe it becomes clear when Brandeis alumni stop by the health center just to say “hi” and update their former caregiver on their health situation. Maloney has also worked to help Brandeis parents make dropping off their children a less nerve-wracking experience. When university employees tell parents to call them if they need anything, it’s understandably easy not to take this at face value. After all, for someone who interacts with thousands of parents and students in an average year, it’d be easy for parents to doubt Maloney’s sincerity when she utters these words upon a first encounter during orientation in the parents’ tent. But when Maloney tells parents this, they believe her. Last year, one such parent took Maloney up on this offer and called her. After talking to this parent, Maloney felt “honored that she not only held on to my card but [that] she felt I was sincere when I said, ‘give me a call if you need my help.’

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

CENTER OF EDUCATION : Education has always been at the forefront of Brandeis health center director Kathleen Maloney. Before coming to Brandeis, Maloney worked for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one of the premier teacing hospitals in the United States. At Brandeis, Maloney has worked to both care for and educate the community.

Making those kinds of connections [is] very important to me.” Education, too, has always been close to Maloney’s heart; this is why she worked both part time and full time while earning several of her degrees. After working on a medical/surgical floor of BI, she moved on to the Medical Intensive Care Unit and began taking evening courses at Boston State College at the time. While working for BI’s outpatient department, Maloney was invited to a party for the departing director. After an introduction to and subsequent meeting with the director of nursing at Northeastern, Maloney was soon accepted into the school’s registered nurse/associate's degree program. She attended school while working and did the same part time while pursuing her nurse practitioner’s degree at Boston University and full time for her bachelor of science in nursing at Emmanuel College. For a woman who never took the SATs or other such exams to get into school, this was quite a feat, and one that took a fairly long time. Though it took her a while to get to her current post, that’s always been just fine for Maloney because, in the end, she did get there. “I certainly have no regrets,” she says. “I was still able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish, but now it’s time [to retire].” The health center is outsourced, meaning Maloney works at Brandeis but still works for BI. As director, Maloney manages a staff of 15 and doesn’t deal with patient care as much as when she worked in Boston, but she occasionally checks in on students or writes prescriptions. Maloney certainly deals with a healthier

patient population at Brandeis, but that was often not the case when working at BI at the onset of the AIDS epidemic, where she saw just how much it affected youth. “I took care of a lot of young people there who lost the battle very, very early on. Some people I would literally meet and a week later they wouldn’t be with us any longer,” she recalls. This experience and many more heavily influenced the way Maloney performs her job these days. For instance, one day 25 years ago while Maloney was working at BI, a man with severe heart disease walked in the door. Lacking a high school education, the man was hardly informed on the condition of his illness and the subsequent symptoms. So Maloney sat with the man for hours, teaching him about the signs and effects of his symptoms. Thereafter, each time he was admitted to the hospital, this man resisted any change in medication as proposed by the head of cardiology. Maloney recalls his habitual reply with a smile: “Not without talking to the nurse,” she recalls. In the end this man, like so many patients, died, but not without affecting Maloney’s attitude towards teaching in the future. Without somebody taking the time to teach and care for him, this man’s doctors said he wouldn’t have survived as long as he did. Because of this, Maloney now emphasizes the important role teaching plays in the practice of nursing; something nursing students learn fast, she says. “The challenge really, when you’re taking care of people is establishing a trusting reSee MALONEY, p. 13

The Hoot 13

March 20, 2009


Will Obama and Gates repudiate the Bush doctrine? BY CHRIS BORDELON Columnist

President Barack Obama’s campaign message of “change” took on a new meaning last week on PBS’s Tavis Smiley. Or perhaps, if former Alabama Governor George Wallace got it right while campaigning for the presidency in 1968, Obama’s message took on a new value. Back then, as a third party candidate, Wallace invoked a memorable monetary metaphor when he told supporters that there was “not a dime’s worth of difference” between the Republican and Democratic parties. If Obama’s (and George Bush’s) Secretary of Defense Robert Gates meant what he said to Smiley on March 11 about the preemptive use of force in international relations, the new administration’s take on Bush’s dangerous and unlawful position on this issue amounts to small change, indeed. Smiley asked Gates whether there now exists “a need for a real, rigorous debate... about this so-called Bush doctrine – in other words, this notion of if we think you’re going to hit us, if we think you have something, we hit you first. If we find out you didn’t, we say, ‘oops, our mistake.’ ” Smiley’s question referred to the Bush administration’s stated policy of using preemptive force in America’s foreign relations, first enunciated in 2002 before the start of the Iraq war in a document called the “National Security Strategy of the United States.” That strategy paper proclaimed that the US would take “action” (a word that, in the context of the document, clearly refers to the use of force) “against... emerging threats before they are fully formed.” “Terrorists” and “rogue states” were said to have given rise to a “new world” in which “the only path to peace and security [was] the path of action.” In the context of the paper, “action” and all derivatives of the verb “to act” clearly refer to the use of armed force. The policy declared that the US would use force “against... emerging threats before they are fully formed,” and “would not hesitate to act alone.” Not confining itself to a “reactive posture,” the US would “exercise [its] right of self-defense,” as the administration understood it, “by acting preemptively.” The Bush administration was aware that its new strategy was at variance with international law, but downplayed the law’s significance. The strategy paper asserted (erroneously) that a consensus existed that “international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack” before using force in self-defense “against forces that present an imminent danger of attack.” Acknowledging that the Bush doctrine contemplates more than the responses to “imminent danger[s]” that the strategy paper claimed that international law permits, the paper added that “[w]e must adapt the concept of imminent threat to... today’s adversaries.” At the start of the Iraq War in 2003, part of America’s stated justification for war in international law was that it had the right to use preemptive force to forestall an Iraqi attack. So, what did Gates tell Smiley when Smiley asked whether it was “time to rethink the Bush doctrine? “If you are going to contemplate preempting an attack you had better be very, very confident of the intelligence.” Obama, suggested Gates, would be “very, very cautious about launching that kind of conflict.” The test for preemptive force, Gates concluded, “first of all will be are we going to be attacked here at home... and then the quality of the intelligence.” If you’re looking for the part where Gates says that the Bush doctrine has gone the way of the dodo, having been rendered ex-

tinct by war-weary, fed-up voters who had America’s foreign relations in mind when they demanded “change” in November, you won’t find it. Instead, Gates used the language you’ve just read. To paraphrase Gates: the US will continue to threaten the world with a stated policy that the US will employ preemptive force, but you can trust Barack – he'll be really, really cautious about it. Or, to put it another way, what was the Bush doctrine is now the Obama doctrine. What are the implications of this? For starters, US policy will remain at odds with international law. Under the United Nations Charter, a treaty to which the US and almost all nations of the world have acceded, UN member states must “refrain in their international relations from the use of force against the territorial integrity of another state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.” The first two purposes that the UN listed in its Charter are “to maintain international peace and security” and to “take... appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.” Exceptions to the Charter’s prohibition of the use of force exist only for UN Security Council enforcement actions and the right of self-defense. As to the latter, the Charter states: “[n]othing in the...Charter...impair[s] the inherent right of...selfdefense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.” Interpreting this clause, some authorities hold that a state has no right to use force in selfdefense until an armed attack actually occurs. Others say that the Charter allows for “anticipatory self-defense,” so that force may be used if an armed attack is “imminent,” in other words, clearly about to occur. The Bush administration’s strategy paper went beyond either concept, arguing that the US must unilaterally “adapt” the meaning of “imminent” to use force “against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.” In Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s yet-undiscovered arsenal of weapons of mass destruction served as the threat permitting the preemptive use of force under this “adapted” notion of imminence. Usually, when countries transgress the Charter’s use-of-force, their leaders stretch evidence to claim that their actions in fact fit within the rubric of arguably permissible self-defense, or argue that necessity forced them to break the rules. Only the Bush administration, and now, perhaps, its successor in office, has seriously argued that the Charter permits preemptive force. Not even the Bush administration endeavored to explain how the country’s preemptive force policy squared with customary international law rules, which exist separately from the Charter, requiring force used in self-defense to be necessary and proportionate to an attack. Preemptive force is used so early that there’s no way of knowing if it’s necessary or proportionate. It’s instructive to think of self-defense in the context of criminal violence: imagine if a defendant charged with assault or murder who pleaded self-defense needed only to show that he thought that his victim had a weapon and that he might, at some point, threaten the defendant with it? The notion of the US government playing fast and loose with rules designed “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind” is bad enough in itself. Drafting their document even before the full extent of the terrible human and economic costs of World War II could be known, the Charter’s drafters

PHOTO from Internet Source

were clear in their determination “to ensure...that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest.” The preemptive force policy has done its part to suggest that America is a lawbreaker, a country to be scorned rather than trusted because it considers itself above these important rules. Unfortunately, the Bush/Obama doctrine does something far worse than make the US look rotten. How a treaty like the UN Charter is interpreted depends in large part upon the practice of states that are party to the treaty. When big states flout the rules but then refer back to them to attempt strained justifications or to apologize, they affirm that the rules they’re flouting still apply. Less powerful countries, where wars tend to begin, don’t have the resources for their leaders to feel that they can break these rules with impunity. Those leaders know that rule-breaking can provide the legal basis for foreign intervention, which is generally the last thing they want. The law has salutary effects even on big countries that no one doubts will sometimes break it. Law leads them to try (at

least if they’re not operating under the Bush/Obama doctrine) to confine their actions, where possible, to ones that can be justified or explained in a way that will give rise to the least international opprobrium. These rules haven’t ended war, but they’ve certainly placed constraints on it. Loosening the rules loosens these constraints. The Bush/Obama doctrine interprets the UN Charter’s self-defense rule more loosely than ever. It beats a path into the wilds of war, setting a precedent that dilutes the standards by which international law and global opinion judge uses of force. Peace isn’t always just, but war costs so much that anyone thinking of starting one ought to be very circumspect about it. Living memory, sadly, doesn’t live forever. The Bush doctrine suggested that America’s recent war was a distant sideshow requiring only a little extra borrowing to pay for it and has led Americans to forget why rules limiting war exist. Obama promised change, but if he and Gates don’t repudiate the Bush doctrine, they’ll wind up leaving Americans with a large bill payable in lives and money on some dark day in the future.

Maloney to retire after decade of service MALONEY (from p. 12)

lationship so that the patient knows that what you’re doing is in their best interest,” she says. Some students want to know what you’re doing when you administer a tuberculosis test; others prefer you to stick the needle in and just get it over with. Learning to gauge a patient’s level of knowledge is at times very challenging but, Maloney says, “being able to do that and do that well, it’s a real skill.” It’s a skill she’s perfected while working on a college campus. “Kathleen values teaching students about how to use health care services constructively and developing this important skill for their future,” Skop says. Although she has a lot to teach students, Maloney, a perpetual learner, has learned plenty from them, and she says working on a college campus keeps her young. “I love the energy on the campus, I love working with the students, I love meeting with the students,” she says. “I think the older you get, you stay young by being around people that are young.” Not enough that she’s turned into a tech guru, though. “I still don’t understand some of this facebook stuff and blogs,” she says, and then chuckles. It’s this warm, welcoming quality that has won Maloney the respect of so many students and staff members over the years, as Skop’s admiration for her exhibits. “She is one of the kindest, fairest and [most] compassionate supervisors I have ever worked with,” Skop says. “I think she rocks and I will really miss her [when she retires].” Life from here on promises time in the garden, movies in the middle of the day, and cherished time with a soon-to-be-born grandchild and her three grown children. Though she’ll be leaving her day job, Maloney is sure to have a lot of people to care about in the years to come.

14 The Hoot


Book of Matthew

Unconventional, unwise BY BRET MATTHEW Editor

“Conventional wisdom.” Now there’s a term you’ve probably heard before. According to Merriam-Webster, it’s defined as “the generally accepted belief, opinion, judgment, or prediction about a particular matter.” But that’s a boring definition. Personally, I liken conventional wisdom to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is made up of two common elements—carbon, the chemical basis of all life forms, and oxygen, a requirement for the life processes of all aerobic organisms. While these two elements are harmless on their own, together they form a deadly compound that has a tendency to suffocate people when their lungs mistake it for oxygen. Similarly, conventional wisdom is made up of two simple concepts—conventional, defined as “based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed,” and wisdom, defined as “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning.” They are also relatively harmless on their own, but when combined, they form a new concept that suffocates intelligent discourse when our brains mistake it for solid logical reasoning. There is only one difference between conventional wisdom and carbon monoxide that I can think of (apart from the obvious “state of matter” thing). Most of us are fully aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide, installing fancy carbon monoxide detectors in our homes to ensure that the colorless, odorless gas does not threaten our families. But at the same time, most of us have not attempted to protect our homes from the dangers of conventional wisdom. It’s not a surprising difference. After all, it’s easy to leave the TV on and keep watching the nicelooking reporter whose reporting starts to get a little too “analytical.” Or to keep reading the beautifully written magazine article whose author could have done a little less assuming and a little more reporting. Or to keep surfing the Internet, where juicy rumors are little more than a click away. That’s the poorly kept secret to conventional wisdom. It’s easy. It doesn’t take much in the way of intelligence to perpetuate conventional wisdom, only a small degree of acceptance. This is the worst thing in the world for our too often over-cluttered minds, which claw for mental shortcuts to help them grasp complicated issues, and it’s the reason why bits of conventional wisdom

have been floating around since humans first learned how to exchange information. Let’s take a look at some examples. What’s that? The economy is on your mind? Well, you and everyone else, friend. But there are some great pieces of conventional wisdom that have to do with the economy. Like “business is efficient.” It’s funny how people can still say that with a straight face while banks are collapsing all around them. Or how about the slightly more pointed, “liberals are socialists who want to raise taxes and ruin our economy.” That one combines a misinterpretation of tax policy (higher taxes for the wealthy didn’t stop the boom of the 1990’s) with a misunderstanding of socialism (it’s not really about taxes... anyway, in Soviet Russia taxes raise YOU!) Being the political junkie that I am, I’ve always appreciated this one: “America is a center-right nation.” Given the results of the last election, it’s just laughably ironic. But there was a time when it was endlessly repeated. Of course, this isn’t to say that conventional wisdom is only a present-day problem. There are plenty of examples that go way back, most notably the idea that “the Earth is flat,” or that “the sun revolves around the Earth.” Yes, it’s ridiculous to us now, but at the time, a lot of people thought that the Earth was the center of everything. And that we could fall off of it. Actually, if I’m going to talk about old conventional wisdom, I guess one of the oldest would be the concept of god(s). But in order to avoid having a small inquisition come after me, I won’t go there. The point is, conventional wisdom is a cop out. It’s a simple, easy to understand, often factually inaccurate explanation for concepts that we don’t want to take the time to actually understand in full. I’m not trying to sound holier-than-thou—we all fall victim to it at some point. Sometimes it’s easier to take someone at their word than to actually do research. But just because something is easy does not mean that it is a smart move. If you want to learn something, you should learn it. Get the facts behind it. Read as many opinions as possible, both positive and negative. Be prepared to constantly refine your own opinion on that particular subject. True, this is much harder work than repeating some talking point you heard from one of your friends. But some things are worth hard work. You wouldn’t let your house fill up with carbon monoxide, would you?

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.

March 20, 2009

Shopping for Truth

Stringent requirements beg us to bend them BY CHRISSY CALLAHAN Editor

I often think I really am a product of eight years of Catholic school. For those eight years, I was told what to wear and how to wear it. I was one of those Catholic girls in the uniform skirt, the uniform pants, the high heels and knee highs. And no, it wasn’t the cute version that Britney Spears portrayed in her “Baby One More Time” video. During middle school I wore that plaid, pleated skirt and vest, and I wore it with some semblance of acceptance. I’ve always been a girly girl, so wearing the skirt wasn’t that big a deal. But the length of the skirt certainly was. And so was the height of the heels. I’m not kidding when I say our teachers would literally walk around with a ruler and measure our high heels and skirts to make sure they were the “proper” height and length. Sure, we could wear a skirt and we could wear high heels, but they had to be worn a certain way; in other words, there was only a semblance of freedom. But then high school arrived, and with it came those ugly unisex uniform pants. I swear they made them so that nobody would notice we had figures. Before my sister’s class, the girls were allowed to wear skirts and dress shirts that they bought themselves, but that were “proper” looking. Well, the nuns determined they weren’t so proper when they wore them so short. And so, in came the unisex pants. They came in three colors, creating the illusion of choice. But they all shared the same level of ugliness. Let me just state for the record that I HATED that uniform. I couldn’t wait to be a senior in my last few weeks of school when I could wear my “own” clothes. Besides those weeks, the only time I had for that was the weekends and “tag days” when students paid money to wear non-uniform clothes. Come on, paying to wear your own clothes? How cheesy can you get? You have to pay to buy the clothes, isn’t that enough? I’ve always had a mixed opinion about the tradition of uniforms. On the one hand, uniforms teach students to look beyond the physical; they encourage us to accept everyone for who they are. They show us that everyone is the same. If we’re not all competing to wear designer clothes and judging each other when somebody can’t afford them, the world is supposed to be

a better place. But here’s where the flowery prose and idealism comes to an end. Everyone isn’t the same. Everyone is unique and some of us like to wear more pink in the span of a week than some people will wear in a lifetime. This is why every time I’m told I have to wear something, I get annoyed. In my opinion, dress codes where the rules are a bit less strict are better. And with the recent debates going around about university requirements and the future of academics at Brandeis, I’ve started to reminisce about my uniform-wearing days. Unifor ms, like university requirements, give students a way out, allowing them to forfeit s ometimes difficult decisions. Who hasn’t had the experience of st anding in front of their drawers and agonizing over what to wear? Furthermore, who hasn’t been frustrated trying to figure out how to fulfill their university requirements? To me, the word “uniform” symbolizes a lack of choice; a mistaken assumption that one size fits all. Well, sorry, but unisex pants actually don’t look good on everyone, and neither do requirements. The point of Brandeis’ and many other school’s general requirements is to develope a liberal arts education. And this kind of education is extremely valuable. It’s one of the many reasons why so many students, including myself, chose to attend Brandeis. Having a broad background in many subjects enriches the intellect and one’s prospects in the job market. But what about those instances where we meet a requirement or a uniform that just doesn’t fit right? What if science is your extra large, baggy sweatshirt that you desperately roll up, trying to make it look less geeky? What if writing is your pair of unisex pants that you try to fit into, but no matter how hard you try, they just end up looking stupid? Brandeis is currently undergoing major changes, as we all know. Perhaps thinking about what we hated about our high school experiences will teach us a thing or two about what we can change so that we can love our college experiences. For instance, if three years of required high school science wasn’t

enough time for me to make up my mind, I don’t think one semester of science is going to turn me into Albert Einstein. If you’re like me, you dread fulfilling two or more of your general requirements. For me, it’s science and quantitative reasoning. You could also throw creative arts in there, but that’s the lesser of the three fashion faux pas in this case. There are, admittedly, many classes available for students who don’t fit into the one size fits all category. These are the classes every student knows and takes grudgingly. They most often don’t get anything out of them except for a notation on their transcript. But then there are the students who learn to love a subject because they were forced to take it. These are positive instances, but not the norm. But then there are some classes like biology that are deemed “writing intensive” because they incorporate writing into the subject. Tailoring university requirements to the area students are interested in seems to me the perfect way to encourage students to step outside of the box. Maybe if students who hate writing learn to love it by writing about biology or chemistry, they’ll be better for it. Or maybe students who dread taking foreign languages will fall in love with them in a film class. In my case, I’m a writer, a communicator. I’m many things, but scientist is not one of them. Maybe I would like science more if it were intimately related to my field of interest – journalism. Maybe I’d still hate it. Who knows? But I’d be more willing to approach it from an angle I’m interested in. And I have a feeling that a lot of other people would feel the same way. Having such stringent rules just begs for students to bend the rules. Now while this is more difficult when a college diploma is riding on a certain class, it doesn’t mean that the requirements are swallowed happily. You see, I was too afraid to bend the rules back then. So I wore that stupid uniform grudgingly every single long day of the week. I looked like an idiot, too. Abandoning a requirement is not what is called for here, it’s tailoring it more to students’ passions. It’s recognizing that not every scientist likes to write, not every writer can handle a test tube. Rather than making everyone take a science or a language class, maybe we should incorporate a piece of every person into the distribution requirements. This is what, after all, makes life interesting – our diversity. And when students fear requirements, the learning goal is null and void already. It’s a paradox because with more choice comes more difficulty, but with less choice comes more frustration. Is there really a way around it? Maybe. It seems like a less stringent dress code is what’s in order here. After all, if there’s one thing Catholic school taught me, it’s that nobody wants to be caught wearing those unisex pants.

March 20, 2009

The Pope and stopping HIV


One Tall Voice

Symbol hijacking: Give us back our symbols! BY JORDAN ROTHMAN Editor

PHOTO from Internet Source


So St. Patrick never drove the snakes out of Ireland. In fact, there probably never were snakes to begin with. And it is unlikely that he ever used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity to the heathens, which is actually quite sad because I have trouble explaining it to myself any other way. But these facts certainly do not lessen the quality of his grand accomplishments, which include serving as a very important first step in making Ireland the only completely Catholic country in Europe for a long while, and basically stomping out the Druids and other fringe Celtic religions that are only seen now at Burning Man. He was also particularly skilled at converting wealthy noble women, and while he fervently writes about refusing gifts from them, he convinced many to found nunneries, which brings to mind the old proverb, “The Irish can sink anything.” Much of his life is unknown, but he has been venerated since the eighth century and is the patron saint of Ireland and of Boston. Many of you probably don’t remember how you spent last Tuesday, but it could be nice to know exactly why you started downing Guinness as soon as your 10:00 a.m. class let out. All in all, this Patrick was a pretty cool guy who represented the Catholics, and those who dislike snakes, well. Unfortunately, once again the same cannot be said for Pope Benedict, in light of his recent condom-condemning comments on a trip to Africa. It was his first papal visit to Africa and he must have been worried about famine, war, disease and assassination, so maybe nerves caused him to stick his foot in his mouth. Whatever the reason, it is certainly not okay to publically say that HIV/AIDS is “a tragedy… that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem.” Factually, everyone knows that at least part of this statement is wrong. Any (non-abstinence only) high school health class can tell you that the use of condoms is proven to protect against the transmission of HIV. Obviously, the Catholic Church does not support the sort of sex that would require any type of birth control.

Sex between a married man and woman in order to create a baby is the only kind of sex that exists for the Pope, but that is not the case for the rest of the world. Numerous studies have shown that abstinence-based sex education does not lead to lower rates of sex, and definitely not of pregnancy. It is dangerous and irresponsible for the Pope to make statements that encourage a continent facing a tragic epidemic to forgo such a simple form of aid as the condom in favor of a failed method. Christianity is growing rapidly in Africa, with many more Africans than ever before turning to the Catholic Church for advice on how to live their lives. Yet, as in any other country, religion does not prevent people from engaging in sexual intercourse. It is nice to preach abstinence as a panacea to Africa’s disease problems, but it is foolishly idealistic. It would be fine for the Church to preach their message and then allow the UN and Red Cross to disseminate actual information about human sexuality along with protection, but a line is crossed when the Pope says that such efforts actually serve as a form of vituperation. Unless he is working off of the very silly idea that access to condoms encourages lots of sex, of the unprotected kind as well, there really is no base for such a statement. Everyone understands that condoms cannot overcome the epidemic; they are not a cure. But they are an effective means of containment. It is disturbing to see the Pope follow a longstanding tradition of the Vatican: to ignore blatant scientific evidence in favor of outdated dogma, even while people are suffering. I am strongly in favor of practicing safe sex on every and any occasion. It is often said that condoms are easier to change than diapers or antiretroviral medications to which a fatal, mutating disease has stopped responding. If the Pope refuses to acknowledge the potential benefits of endorsing condom use under extraordinary circumstances, then he should not issue inaccurate statements to people who will actually listen to him. The Catholic Church has been responsible for a great many deaths over the centuries. They do not need the words of one man making them responsible for millions more.

The Hoot 15

Today I would like to pick up an article I began a few years ago but never had the courage to finish. At the time it seemed like this topic was too controversial, but here I will present this subject in a more courteous and toned-down fashion. It seems like certain groups in our society have hijacked images and words to call their own. Certain communities have hogged these icons for themselves and I would like to comment on the unjustness of this action. The first group that I want to discuss is the gay community. I will present this segment in a farcical manner, both because I don’t take the issue too seriously and because it is funny in nature. Let me come right out and state the obvious: the gay community has stolen the rainbow! Yes, by making this the symbol of their movement, gays have taken this icon all for themselves. Now people (as some communities do in South America) can’t display the rainbow lest they possibly be associated with the gay cause. In addition, phrases that have previously used the word “rainbow” have a certain connotation now that this icon has been claimed by the gay community. The phrases “rainbow package” and the “rainbow room” now have weird undertones due to the attachments the word “rainbow” has with the gay community (or perhaps this is just me in which case, I guess the previous point is moot). In addition, the gay community has hijacked certain words as well. I called an idea that someone had the other day “queer,” and was severely scolded. I suggest that that individual look up the word in a dictionary because I was assuredly using the proper definition of the term. In addition, the word “gay” has also been hogged by these in-

dividuals. Now people cannot use this most versatile of adjectives, and the Flintstone’s theme song just doesn’t sound proper anymore. I want these words back. I want to utilize these phrases without fear of repercussion. I think it unfair that one community can hog these words and symbols, as it adds connotations and assumptions to their use by other individuals. The other more serious subtopic that I would like to discuss involves symbols attached to the Confederate States of America. This is where I think I may run into some controversy, but, seriously, I don’t see why. I am a southern historian, and love analyzing the history of the South. I would like to have a small Confederate flag on my desk, so that I may display my interest in southern history. Is this so bad? Is it my fault that some crazy skinheads or southern rednecks took the symbol for their own horrific purposes? I simply believe that someone can cherish heritage, not hatred, that one can use this symbol if it is abundantly clear that it is not intended to cause any pain or harm. Along the same line of reasoning, I also think it is unfortunate that people who are identified with bad causes are also seen as evil themselves. General Erwin Rommel, for instance, was a fantastic commander that showed civility and courtesy to those whom he fought. Although he served the Third Reich, he was known to have disobeyed Hitler’s inhumane orders and showed other signs of morality as well. In fact, although Hitler ordered him to instantly kill Jewish POWs, Rommel refused to obey this unjust order. He was also involved with the plot to kill Hitler, featured in the hit Tom Cruise movie "Valkerie." Yet, it is taboo to admire this individual, to deem him worthy of praise for his

admirable qualities. This is a true fallacy, for an individual typically should not have his image irrevocably tarnished simply because he was associated with a certain cause. This fact is also true with General Robert E. Lee. This man was a true American, and one of the greatest generals our nation has ever known. Yet I often receive criticism by relating that this individual is one of my personal heroes. Sure he fought for the Confederacy and by extension the institution of slavery. But that does not mean that I cannot admire him for his charisma and civility. Especially with this latter example, I would like to remember that he did some good things for our country, and could even be considered a role model for some. It is unfair that such a small segment of his illustrious life should blemish his place in history. Overall, it is unjust that certain symbols have been hijacked by various groups to promote their messages of hate and bigotry. And by withering in fear at the sight of these icons, we are letting the bigots win by acknowledging their ability to instill terror and frustration. In addition, it is foolish that various words in the English language must be reconsidered due to the gay community, and it is unfair that they should have a monopoly on the rainbow. Finally, figures have been connected to various evil causes and this may have unfairly marred their images. We should judge them for characteristics other than these associations, as these bad affiliations constituted only a small part of their lives. I just hope that people don’t accept on face the superficial significance of a symbol or person. Rationally think it out, and I hope you will see the folly of this course of action.

a king or a duke or a pontiff. Gay marriage is a perfect example. If tomorrow a ballot initiative were held to either legalize marriages between two men and two women or to constitutionally ban them, the latter would almost definitely be chosen. This is because the majority of people of America at the present have no respect for the rights of the queer community. That’s stupid. American people are known for being stupid around the world. Now, whether we are actually any dumber than say, Chile is debatable. The point is we aren’t as smart as we could be. We prove this when we talk about how much we hate double-talking politicians and then vote down anyone who gives straight answers. We prove it still when we, despite our sovereign role, are unable to identify even the most basic policies, arguments, countries, and other elements of our domestic and foreign policy. We do all of this because we are too lazy, apathetic, confused, or disheartened by our government to pay attention. In other words, we’re stupid. And so when I see every side

of every debate appealing to the idea of “let’s do what the American people think,” I can’t help but think, why? Would it be so bad for us to consider instead what the right thing to do is? We don’t (or aren’t supposed to) go to the CEOs, the lobbyists, the philanthropists, or anyone else to see what they think. All these people are too obviously self-interested to decide on the welfare of others. The majority is just a larger group of them. The idea (seemingly based on capitalism) that all these people can act in a totally self-interested way and still cause a world of liberty and equality and justice and happiness is naïve and improbable. Remember Winston Churchill’s observation: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Democracy isn’t perfect. America is not suffering from a run of bad politicians; we are suffering from a run of bad voters, with politicians who enacted their bad wants. We have become so lazy in our thinking that we have limited our political discourse to one question: what do the opinion polls say?

Everlasting allegiance to my tyrant BY ALEX NORRIS Special to The Hoot

The Massachusetts Legislature, no matter how many signatures petitioners have gotten, has constantly rejected a ballot initiative for gay marriage. I share the view of many that in doing this, the legislature is significantly impeding democracy. And that’s great. The Republican Party has been similarly obstructionist in their blocking of the wide variety of bailout measures coming from the President’s desk. And this, while annoying, is also great. Both of these things are great because they show that our political system is somewhat resistant to tyranny. I consider those who consider democracy to be the shining beacon of human civilization to be not quite cynical enough. They are cynical enough to be suspicious of any one person or group of persons having all the power. There are so many ways to abuse such power; who could be trusted with it? The ardent supporters of democracy lack the requisite imagination to consider the majority. But the common man or woman is just as capable of oppression as


The Hoot

March 20, 2009

W E E K E N D Spotlight on Boston

The Odditorium:

Movin' Out:

Friday, Mar. 20, 8 to 10:30 p.m. 820 Mass. Ave., Cambridge Feel like a night of unusual entertainment? Check out this evening of sideshow performances. Snake charmers, conjurers, burlesque dancers, and much more. Odd, fun, and sure to make your night. $15

Friday to Sunday, Mar. 20-22 106 Boylston St., Boston With songs by Billy Joel and choreography by Twyla Tharp, this musical can't be missed. Movin' Out is a Vietnam era rock ballet, in the style of Mamma Mia, dealing with the classic themes of love and

Photo courtesy of Sias Schalkwyk.

Unless otherwise noted, photos are from Google.

What's going on at Brandeis?

Rather Be Giraffes:

SunDeis Film Festival: Saturday, Mar. 21, All Day

Photo courtesy of Jannes Glas.

Watch a few of your friends' short films in the Shapiro Campus Center, then catch the screening of "Captain Abu Raed" and chat with producer David Pritchard of The Simpsons fame, and end the day with the festival's award Photo courtesy of phunphoto. ceremony!

Skin Fashion Show:

Slosberg Concert Hall

The Brandeis Asian American Association hosts a fashion show with Asian designs. Sit back, relax, and watch the catwalk. Photo courtesy of event website.

Comic Strips Sleazy

Remember those easy days of paper bag lunches, reciting abc's, and recess? Join a cappella group RBG in going back to kindergarten. They will sing new songs at their first semester show. $5 at the door.

Nettle Concert: Saturday, Mar. 21, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 21, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Usdan Student Center

Photo courtesy of Lola Gerncola.

Saturday, Mar. 21, 8:30 to 10 p.m. Golding Auditorium

By Matt Kupfer

Experience a mixture of genres, instruments, and musicians from diverse locations like Morroco, Scotland, and U.S. Before the performance there will be a lecture at the Rose Museum.

Want to see your comic here?


By Ian Price

The Brandeis Hoot - 3-20-09  
The Brandeis Hoot - 3-20-09  

The Brandeis Hoot - 3-20-09