VOL 6, NO. 5
SEPTEMBER 25, 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
Reinharz announces intention to resign University president will stay on through June 2011 or until successor is found BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
REINHARZ RESIGNS: President Reinharz spoke at a stamp commemoration yesterday just hours before announcing his pending resignation to the unviersity’s Board of Trustees. Reinharz later announced his decision to resign by June 30, 2011 in a campus wide e-mail sent Thursday at midnight.
University President Jehuda Reinharz announced his intention to resign at an emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees yesterday evening. At the request of the Board of Trustees, Reinharz will remain as president of the university for the duration of the 2009-2010 academic year. Reinharz has also agreed to stay president through June 30, 2011, or until the Board finds a replacement, a press release by the university said. The announcement of his intended resignation comes one year after Reinharz extended his contract with the university for another five years. Reinharz’s current contract expires in 2014. At the Board’s request, Reinharz has agreed to stay with the university as a President Emeritus until 2014. Reinharz became president of the university in 1994, and has worked at the university since becoming a professor in 1982. Reinharz’s term as president is the second longest in the university’s history, second only to the
university’s founding president Abram Sachar, who served for 20 years. In a letter to the Brandeis community, Reinharz explained, “I have reached the conclusion that now is the right time for me to focus on the next chapter of my career.” In an interview with The Hoot, Reinharz denied that last spring’s Rose Art Museum controversy had any relation to his resignation. “The situation with the Rose is obviously not pleasant,” he said. “But it had no impact on this decision.” In the interview Reinharz revealed that the Board of Trustees had rehired Rasky Baerlein to handle media relations in light of his resignation. Reinharz called the firm’s employment “necessary” because the university is currently without a Vice President of Communications. The Boston-based public relations firm was originally hired by the university last spring to help handle a media firestorm that resulted after Reinharz announced the Board of Trustee’s authorization to sell artwork from the mu-
seum. The Hoot was given advanced access to information pertaining to Reinharz’s resignation on the condition that the newspaper not release the information until midnight of Thursday night and that it only contact specific people who were already apprised of the decision. Those people were: Chair of the Board of Trustees Malcolm Sherman, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Jack Connors, Faculty Senate Chair Professor Sabine Von Merring (GER), Professor Eric Hill (THA), Professor David Hackett Fischer (HIST), and former Student Union president Jason Gray ’10. The rest of the Brandeis community was informed of Reinharz’s intended resignation in a campus-wide e-mail sent at midnight of Thursday night. Sherman, who chairs the university’s Board of Trustees, told The Hoot that he began discussions about Reinharz’s resignation with the president three and a half weeks ago, and that Reinharz’s original letter of resignation to Sherman is dated Aug. 31. Sherman said the Trustees are See RESIGNATION, p. 2
Univ. adopts USPS dedicates stamp to Louis D. Brandeis plan for carbon neutrality BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
BY SEAN FABERY Special to The Hoot
The university unveiled its new climate action plan to ultimately achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 last week as part of its declared commitment to reducing Brandeis’ greenhouse gas emissions in both the short and long term. The new plan emphasizes both energy efficiency and changes in student behavior through education. It makes numerous proposals for the future with the ultimate goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. “We want to emphasize that this is a working document,” said University Sustainability Coordinator Janna CohenRosenthal ’03, noting that many of the proposals are still in the early stages. The plan emphasizes continuing the energy conservation and efficiency programs that were enacted in the last two years, including switching to more efficient lighting, replacing and improving ventilation systems, and setting restrictions on building temperatures. In total, these actions See ENVIRONMENT, p. 3
IN THIS ISSUE:
The Boston Post Master General unveiled the new Justice Louis D. Brandeis commemorative stamp to almost 200 people at a ceremony held yesterday afternoon in front of the statue of the university’s namesake. Present at the ceremony were Justice Brandeis’ three grandchildren Alice Brandeis Popkin, Walter Brandeis Raushenbush and Frank Brandeis Gilbert. Gilbert spoke at the ceremony of his fond memories of spending summers with “grandfather” in Chatham, Mass. on Cape Cod. “Grandfather had a special glass porch where he reviewed all of his court documents in the summer,” Gilbert said, adding that Justice Brandeis received a plethora of documents in packages via the Postal Service. “His mail was different from others.” Gilbert, who has himself been involved with the university since its founding in 1948, said he believed his grandfather would be proud of the university with his name today. “It would have meant a great deal to him to see how the university allows students to grow, to see the high quality of faculty, and to see what active citizens those at Brandeis are,” he said. “Grandfather had a faith in the
Keeping calm about the swine flu Impressions, page 6
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
STAMP: (Left to right) President Jehuda Reinharz, Alice Brandeis Popkin, Walter Brandeis Raushenbush and Frank Brandeis Gilbert unveil the Post Office’s newest stamp.
future that is carried on by the university named for him.” Also at the ceremony was the Boston Postmaster James J. Holland, who spoke about how the Justice Brandeis stamp came to be. “Each year the post office receives thousands of letters requesting stamps be made,” he said. “Only those with widespread in-
Attempt Vegan Indian cuisine Diverse City, page 9
terest become stamps.” “A stamp is a unique reminder of the amazing contribution an individual made to society,” he added. University President Jehuda Reinharz spoke about the legacy of Justice Brandeis and the “sobering responsibility” the uniSee STAMP, p. 2
AUDIO @ THEHOOT.NET Off The Beaten Path: Exploring the unbeaten recipes in a student’s kitchen. Third Wavelength: Women in leadership positions in academia.
2 The Hoot
September 25, 2009
N E W S
Rose committee recommends museum stay open BY ARIEL WITTENBERG Editor
University Provost Marty Krauss released a report from the Future of the Rose Committee on Tuesday recommending that the Rose Art Museum remain open and “take steps to reintegrate” the museum into the university. The report avoided the issue of whether or not the university should sell pieces of artwork from the museum in order to aid in the university’s current financial crisis, the threat of which prompted three of the museum’s Board of Overseers to sue the university in late July. “We do not know whether the university will sell artwork for general budget relief,” the report reads. The report continued to underscore the fact that recommendations pertaining to the sale of art are not a part of the committee’s charge, and the power to decide the fate of the artwork lies solely in the hands of the university Board of Trustees. “The main goal of the report is to provide a blueprint for making the Rose a stronger institution that can play a more integral role in the broader academic life of the university,” Chair of the Future of the Rose Committee Professor Jerry Samet (PHIL) wrote in an e-mail message to The Hoot. The committee’s report recommended that the Rose become more integrated into the university by exhibiting student art, having more open communication with the university’s art history department, and by having more exhibits from the museum’s permanent collection. “A lot of people are dying to see our permanent collection,” Krauss said. “They will be blown away by what we have hidden in that museum, but they have never seen because we’ve never shown it to them.” The Museum will open an exhibit of its permanent collection on Oct. 28. The committee’s report urged Krauss to add more staff members to the Rose, including the position of Director and Curator. Krauss came under fire from members of the Rose’s Board of Overseers in April when she announced an interim
RESIGNATON (from p. 1)
“saddened” by Reinharz’s decision, and that “there was no pressure at all from us for him to resign.” He added that the conditions of Reinharz’ resignation leave ample time for the Board to find the next President, but that the Board “does not have anyone in mind” for who will be the next president of the university. Sherman did not have any specific details as to how the search for a new president would be conducted, however he did say he envisions the appointment of a search committee which would include faculty, students, and administrators. He added there is a possibility the university will hire a consultant to aid in the search. Von Merring said she was informed of Reinharz’s decision yesterday morning, however that it was “not a surprise” as the president “had indicated this could happen in conversations over the last few weeks.” Gray, who worked closely with Reinharz during his own term as president of the Student Union last year, said, “the more I worked with President Reinharz the more I came to respect him.” Fischer, who has been a professor at Brandeis under all but one of its presidents, learned about Reinharz’s decision only yesterday, but said he was surprised and saddened by the President’s announcement. “He gave a new sense of purpose to the university that no other president has,” he said of Reinharz, who began his term as president in 1994. “He essentially coined the term ‘social justice’ in its relation to this university.” Connors and Hill did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
state of the museum, which did not include the staff positions of Director and Curator. The report also calls for a “reconstitution” of the museum’s board of overseers. Krauss denied in an interview that this “reconstitution” was in any way related to the fact that three members of the museum’s Board of
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
Operators have filed a lawsuit against the university in an attempt to stop any potential sale of artwork. The Board will review the committee’s report at their regularly scheduled meeting next week.
Activist works to defend lepers’ ‘human dignity’ BY ALEX SELF Staff
Social activist Padma Venkataraman and daughter of former Indian president Ramaswamy Venkataraman promoted Rising Star Outreach, a program founded in order to help those afflicted with leprosy, in a talk at the Heller School Monday evening. She spoke at length about the many problems lepers have because of the side effects of leprosy and how she and Rising Star Outreach are trying to solve them. Vekatraman spoke about how the main problem with lepers is stigma - that society has cast them out and that they are not worthy of a normal life. “They are quarantined by society and frustrated with their isolation,” Padma said. Oftentimes, those afflicted with the disease consider begging in the streets their only way to attain sustenance. Some members of the audience were moved to tears when Padma talked about the lengths which many of these people had to go in order to maintain themselves, including one woman who would put her hands in a fire before begging, hoping to attain more money.
There are also physical challenges that come with the disease such as numbness ulcers, and impaired eyesight and hearing, which is caused by the drugs that treat the disease. These symptoms create emotional and physical scarring that contributes to patients’ feelings of exile. Vekatraman also spoke at length about how she and Rising Star Outreach were fighting to solve these problems by providing state of the art care for those who are sick with leprosy and moral support to those afflicted. Vektraman said her organization seeks to “give [lepers] back their human dignity” by lending a helping hand and providing basic amenities to lepers, who due to the stigma associated with their disease in many cultures, often live in squalor. The lepers were branded as pariahs and lacked the money for basic amenities such as running water and toiletries. Rising Star Outreach helps them attain better living conditions, which contributes to their overall wellbeing. Padma then sent out a call for volunteers to help the organization. “We have a long way to go,” she remarked about the situation. She talked about how every volunteer can make a direct difference in a patient’s life and that even the barest hint of human compassion is like the drought of life.
Padma spoke about how women’s leadership training was included in this program and how women were going to schools and running their own businesses. In spite of all these successes, Padma stated that there were still a lot of problems in these peoples’ lives. Many of them spent long stays in the hospital, thus prematurely ending their businesses, and leprosy is still a very deadly disease. There are still leper colonies, in spite of the fact that Rising Star Outreach has lobbied to stop their inception. These colonies stigmatize these people and basically quarantine them from society for life. The organization is trying to help people in colonies but is also trying to make sure that no more colonies are created in the future. Padma finished her presentation by mentioning the organization’s motto-“Leprosy work is not merely medical relief-It is transforming the frustration in life into the joy of dedication, personal ambition into selfless service.” Padma’s presentation was met with a stirring round of approving applause as her last exhortation that “everyone of you can have a direct impact in a person’s life” reverberated through the crowd.
USPS stamp dedicated in Louis Brandeis’ honor
STAMP (from p. 1)
versity has to live up to its namesake. “Anyone who doubts that a single man can have an impact on a single culture only needs to look at Brandeis to see that it is possible,” he said. Usdan Postal worker William Bowen, also known as “the singing postman,” closed the ceremony with a performance of “I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,” written by Frank Ahlert and Joe Young. The Louis D. Brandeis stamp, which was sold at the commemoration, is part of a series of four commemorative stamps honoring United States Supreme Court Justices. The other stamps feature Felix Frankfurter, William J. Brennan Jr. and Joseph Story. The Brandeis stamp can only be bought in a set along with the stamps of the three other Justices.
September 25, 2009
The Hoot 3
Univ. aims for carbon neutrality by 2050 ENVIRONMENT (from p. 1)
have cut Brandeis’ greenhouse gas emissions by ten percent since 2005; if continued, the plan estimates that emissions will be further reduced by another ten percent by 2015. Educating students about what they can do to reduce Brandeis’ carbon footprint is also a top priority. The Eco-Reps program, which began last year, will continue, but it will now focus more on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A new “Green Room Certification” program will be introduced this semester, allowing students to gain green certification for their dorm room. Further outreach events and contests will also be held to encourage student activism. If behavioral change indeed occurs as a result, the plan postulates that a further five percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions could occur by 2015; however, this change is solely dependent on student actions. President of Students for Environmental Action (SEA) Matt Schmidt ’11 said he has faith that students will be receptive to the report and will curb their actions accordingly. “Students at Brandeis are generally receptive to sustainability, and I believe they will be excited by the scope and goals of this plan,” he said. The plan also examines the feasibility of generating renewable energy on-campus. The university is actively considering installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in the near future as part of a power purchasing agreement in which a third party would own the PVs, with Brandeis renting the energy produced. The university may also use a grant it
Reducing Carbon Emissions
GRAPHIC BY Alex Schneider/The Hoot
received to study wind speeds on campus, though it would first need clearance from reluctant officials in Waltham to construct a meteorological tower. In the long-term, the plan considers cogeneration, in which the extraneous heat produced by electricity generation is reused; this would result in high initial capital costs, but would eliminate some fuel costs. At the moment, however, the university intends to focus solely on the present energy efficiency policies in place. The university also plans to invest in renewable energy credits (RECs), in which the university would pay for renewable energy that would be used elsewhere. In essence, the university would be supporting renewable energy off-site, a popular alternative for schools seeking to make an environmental impact. Brandeis used RECs for
15 percent of its energy usage in fiscal year 2008, but there are tentative plans to begin using them again in 2016. The plan also proposes various changes in on-campus transportation, as transportrelated emissions account for over 17 percent of the campus’ carbon footprint. The DeisBikes and ZipCar programs begun last year are part of the university’s effort to mitigate this situation, with both proving initially successful. The plan raises the possibility of increasing parking fees and restricting parking to juniors and seniors as part of an effort to encourage students to commute or use public transit. Cohen-Rosenthal stressed that, if students who commute used public transit or carpooled one day per school week, the university would be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15% fur-
ther by 2015. Brandeis commissioned the plan as part of its commitment to the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which the university signed in 2007. This climate action plan satisfies the Climate Commitment’s stipulation that each university draft an “institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral.” This plan, however, is just one step in a process that will take over 40 years—as Cohen-Rosenthal said, “it’s something that we’ll be working on for years.” “[Over 40] years is plenty of time to arrive at this goal if we commit to taking the action necessary,” said Schmidt ’11. “As a leading academic institution and a bastion of progressive leadership, it would be a shame if we cannot make the hard decisions and achieve this goal.”
Hollender says companies need to be responsible, go green BY JON OSTROWSKY Special to The Hoot
The Co-Founder of an environmentally conscious corporation spoke about sustainable business yesterday afternoon in a lecture at the Shapiro Theater. Jeffrey Hollender, Co-Founder and Chief Inspired Protagonist of Seventh Generation, addressed issues of how to run an environmentally supportive business in an event sponsored by Brandies Net Impact. Speaking to an audience of all ages, from undergraduate students to the elderly, Hollender represented Seventh Generation, a company that creates household and personal care products, including laundry products, household cleaners, and baby products. “[I] didn’t come here to talk about Seventh Generation,” Hollender said. Instead, he addressed the larger scale issues of environmentally responsible business, saying that companies simply need to change their mindsets and goals in order to change the environment that we live in. “The incremental nature of how change
happens in our political system” is crucial to understanding how climate change can occur in the future, said Hollender. Hollender, a supporter of President Obama and former President Clinton, explained that there are many more problems besides global warming. Too much focus on the short term allows us to lose sight of our long term goals regarding climate change, according to Hollender. “The challenge of rising above the incremental nature of the way change takes place in Washington is one that I am focusing an increasing amount of intention on.” “The reason that Obama got elected was because he was able to unite people together under a common mission,” said Hollender.
Hollender said that a similar strategy can be applied to environmental change in the twenty-first century. “We need to have a shared common misson that brings people together…that people recognize is more important than the very simple issue that they are focused on.” He stressed the importance of “conscious capitalism” and explained that it actually costs less to make products healthier. Hollender’s company is an example of what he spoke about. He has often turned down large tax deductions in order to fulfill the mission of his company. Hollender insisted that there was a large difference between products that were
“We have the resources... we have more than enough potential to make the kind of changes we want to make in the world if we can come together” - Jeffrey Hollender
Give a Hoot! Read The Hoot! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
“good,” and those that were simply “less bad.” Corporations must make a conscious effort to improve their sustainability initiatives. “We have the resources…we have more than enough potential to make the kind of changes we want to make in the world if we can come together,” said Hollender. Hollender has had a successful business career, where he recently stepped down as CEO of Seventh Generation in order serve on the Board of Directors of several environmentally sustainable corporations, including Greenpeace USA and Healthy Child Healthy World. According to the company’s website, the name Seventh Generation comes from The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy, which states the importance of the future. “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations,” said the Great Law. The Campus Sustainability Initiative will host an event called Green Game Plan for Brandeis University on Wednesday September 30 at 5 p.m. in the New Science Center.
Join The Hoot!
4 The Hoot
September 25, 2009
E D I TO R I A L Established 2005 "To acquire wisdom, one must observe." Alison Channon Editor in Chief Ariel Wittenberg News Editor Bret Matthew Impressions Editor Chrissy Callahan Features Editor Hannah Vickers Sports Editor Alex Schneider Layout Editor Jodi Elkin Layout Editor Max Shay Photography Editor Leon Markovitz Advertising Editor Vanessa Kerr Business Editor Danielle Gewurz Copy Editor Leah Lefkowitz Backpage Editor Samantha Shokin Diverse City Editor Senior Editors Sri Kuehnlenz, Kathleen Fischmann
Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman
t 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the news editor of The Brandeis Hoot and the editor-in-chief of the Justice, were called into a meeting with a university official who informed them of University President Jehuda Reinharz’s decision to resign. They were informed that Reinharz would make his resignation official at midnight and that any information shared with the news organizations was contingent upon our confidentiality. News of his resignation was not to be shared until he officially announced his resignation at midnight. Following the news editor’s meeting with the university official, the editorial board was informed of this information and of its sensitive nature. The board was told that no mention of Reinharz’s resignation was to be made to anyone outside of the editorial board. Unfortunately, a member of the editorial board violated this code of confidentiality by
SUBMISSION POLICIES The Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the general community. Preference is given to current or former community members. The Hoot reserves the right to edit any submissions for libel, grammar, punctuation, spelling and clarity. The Hoot is under no obligation to print any of the pieces submitted. Letters in print will also appear on-line at www.thehoot.net. The deadline for submitting letters is Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. All letters must be submitted electronically at www. thehoot.net. All letters must be from a valid e-mail address and include contact information for the author. Letters of length greater than 500 words may not be accepted. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board. The Hoot is a community student newspaper of Brandeis University. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.
CORRECTION An article published on Sept. 18 stated that “When JBS is officially implemented in summer 2012, students will be required to take one semester away from the Brandeis campus.” In reality, in 2012 students will be encouraged, not required, to take one semester away from campus.
An apology from the editor
informing a Brandeis student not on campus of the news via text message. This student then informed members of the blog innermostparts.org ,who posted that “rumors” were swirling about Reinharz’s possible resignation at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday night. Upon learning of the leak, the implicated editor was questioned. He admitted his indiscretion and was asked to resign. The Hoot is deeply sorry for this lapse of integrity. As a news organization, we are dedicated to truth, not rumors. We pride ourselves on being an organization whom readers can trust for accuracy and whom sources, the administration included, can trust for our professionalism and discretion. This week, a member of our board failed to meet our standards. And while he has been disciplined, ultimately, as a leader, I recognize that responsibility for our content and our behavior is mine and mine
alone. Our integrity is all we have at the end of the day and when we fail, we must acknowledge it, apologize for it, and do our utmost to prevent its reoccurrence. As such, the entire editorial board deeply apologizes to the administration for our lack of discretion and to the student body who was prematurely handed rumor instead of fact. I know that our apology cannot undo the damage that rumor has wrought but I hope that our community, and those who act as sources in particular, will recognize our sincere desire to earn back their trust through our continuing dedication to insightful, meaningful news coverage and commentary. With deep apologies, Alison Channon Editor-in-chief
Lessons from a presidency
mbattled university president Jehuda Reinharz issued his resignation yesterday at midnight, agreeing to stay on until June 2011 or until a replacement is found. Reinharz’s resignation comes as yet another unforeseen suprise in a what has been a long, tumultuous year for Brandeis. Through academic restructuring and financial woes, President Reinharz remained a central figure, the recognizable representative of a mostly faceless administration. For undergraduates, the image of Reinharz speaking to the new freshman class on Opening Sunday is a memorable one. We have to recognize Reinharz’s years of service to this university. There’s no denying that under Reinharz, the university raised a substantial amount of money that has been absolutely essential for modern-
izing this campus, offering scholarships, and increasing both the profile of this university as well as quality of life for students. Reinharz has also helped oversee the university’s move towards sustainability. The growth and change in this university during Reinharz’s tenure is remarkable. However, as the Rose Art Museum ordeal has dragged on and Reinharz has faced calls for resignation, the opportunity for Reinharz to move on is one that is perhaps the best for both him and the campus. In the wake of major restructuring, donor lawsuits, and student protests, new leadership has the opportunity to make a substantial change in students’ lives. In searching for a replacement, we hope that the university looks for a leader responsive to the concerns of the student body, willing to be transparent about exec-
utive decisions, and eager to move Brandeis forward without compromising the university’s central mission. Most importantly, we hope that the next president takes the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made in past years. Unlike “Voices of Palestine,” we hope that a new president is more cautious about removing exhibits from campus. We hope that the Rose Art Museum’s future is finally settled. We hope the university responds to donor concerns, and not just in court. We hope that the campus continues to host a wide variety of speakers with diverse viewpoints. Finally, we thank President Reinharz for all he has done for the university. There’s no doubt that the next president has a great deal to do, and a substantial body of work to live up to.
Check out The Brandeis Hoot’s newest audio show The Third Wavelength.
The Hoot 5
September 25, 2009
A republic, if you can understand it
ILLUSTRATION BY Andrea Fishman/The Hoot
BY BRET MATTHEW Editor
About a month ago, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs tried a little experiment. It charged Strategic Vision, an internationally recognized research firm, with administering a citizenship test to 1,000 Oklahoma public high school students in order to determine their levels of proficiency in civics. The students were given the same test that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services administers to immigrants who wish to become citizens. The test consists of ten questions—chosen at random from the USCIS question bank—and candidates must answer at least six correctly in order to pass. It’s not a particularly difficult test, even
to those who are new to the country. In fact, the USCIS recently gave an updated version of the test to 6,000 immigrant applicants and found that 92 percent passed on the first try. Obviously, the OCPA and Strategic Visions expected the students— most of whom having spent their entire lives in the United States—to be able to, at the very least, match that percentage. But this was not the case. An astonished post on the OCPA website reported the student’s scores: “[Y]ou the reader can judge whether a 92 percent passing rate is a reasonable expectation for Oklahoma's high school students. Unfortunately, Oklahoma high school students scored alarmingly low on the test, passing at a rate of only 2.8 percent. That is not a misprint.” You know you’re reporting bad news
when you have to assure your reader that what they are reading is true, no matter how unbelievable it is. Seriously, 2.8 percent? That’s it? Let me reiterate what I said before: it’s not a particularly difficult test. Questions include such no-brainers as, “Who was the first president of the United States?” (11 percent said George Washington), “How many justices are on the Supreme Court?” (ten percent said nine), “Who is in charge of the executive branch?” (29 percent said the president), and “What ocean is on the east coast of the United States?” (61 percent said the Atlantic— hey, more than half !) If there were any greater indicators that American students lack civics knowledge, I have not seen them. But this needs to be more than just a shocking statistic; it needs to be a call to action. How can we allow our schools to train a generation of students to be woefully ignorant of the basic tenants of the society that they will someday come to own? We can’t. Any democracy, from the national level down to the local level, depends on informed participants. And before we can tackle any other major problems that threaten our nation—the economic downturn; the healthcare crisis; our two wars—we need to ensure that the process by which such important decisions will be made remains sound. But this will not be the case if our supposed “active citizens” don’t know the first thing about their own country. We must ask ourselves, then, how we will solve this problem. I would suggest using a system that is already in place—state assessment tests. To my knowledge, every state has its own standardized test that is used to evaluate
student abilities. In Massachusetts, for example, students take the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test every year from third grade through eighth grade, and again in tenth grade. Tenth graders must pass both the Mathematics and English sections of the test in order to be eligible for their high school diplomas when they graduate two years later. Would it be unreasonable to add a civics section to tests like these and require students to pass them? I don’t think so. Insisting that high school graduates— who have either already reached voting age or soon will—understand their role in government makes just as much sense as insisting that they know their multiplication tables or their parts of speech. Plus, adding a civics section to standardized tests would have a top-down effect on schools, because it would encouraging them to include more civics-based classes. After all, nothing scares a school system more than the possibility of lower test scores. The result could be the beginning of a badly needed restructuring of high school curriculum. Think back to your high school years for a moment. What were your graduation requirements? If I remember correctly, my school didn’t have separate civics classes, and only mandated that students take three years of history classes (if that). It wasn’t enough. I see no reason why students shouldn’t be taking at least one history/ civics class every year. I think schools would be more willing to implement such a change if their students suddenly found themselves facing a test on the subject. I don’t want to sound like some NoSee STUDENTS NEED CIVICS, p. 7
Saving money on missle defense in Eastern Europe BY CHRIS BORDELON Columnist
When the White House publicly informed the Czech and Polish governments on Sept. 17 that the United States no longer planned to deploy a missile-defense system in those countries that had been approved during George W. Bush's presidency, much was lost in translation. Although President Obama insisted last Thursday that America's “clear and consistent focus” had been and would remain on “Iran's ballistic missile program,” many listeners regarded the missile defenses as a matter of US-Russian relations. Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stressed that the US would proceed with a more technologically promising missile-defense program, one that was better tailored to countering Iran's presumed short- and medium-range missile capabilities without threatening the efficacy of Russia's long-range weapons. But much of the media and many unsympathetic politicians presented the policy change as a “withdrawal,” “backtrack,” or
“reversal” rather than a substitution. Obama lent some credence to these claims by repeatedly insisting that the replacement program would be more “costeffective.” Cheers from the Russian government, and dismay expressed by Polish, Czech, and Lithuanian officials who feared being left in what Polish president Lech Kacyznski called a “gray area” between US defense commitments and allegedly resurgent Russian ambitions, together suggested that the American demarche spoke to different people in different ways. Even at home, commentators disagreed about the basic meaning of the move. Some applauded the end of a wasteful Bush-era program; others joined in the praise but added concerns that Obama's substitute program would prove no better. Still others agreed with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor that the administration's decision served simply “to abandon an important foreign policy commitment to two of our key allies.” Unfortunately, when American leaders adjust our military
commitments, they don't speak English. Defense policies would be much easier to translate and comprehend if they did. But they can't help but articulate US defense policy in the language of power, a language notorious for its tendency to be translated differently wherever different languages are spoken. Americans aren't unique in their inability to overcome this language barrier in international relations, but America's enormous power means that our leaders speak this difficult language very loudly. Because America can't speak at a whisper in defense matters, it has no choice but to make statements like those of last Thursday that reach many ears and will be translated in many ways. Eastern Europeans heard the only message that the Obama administration could reasonably have expected its announcement to convey to them: that there will be less of an American defense presence in Eastern Europe than before. Never mind their countries' NATO and European Union membership, say Polish, Czech, and Lithuanian officials: the real issue is Rus-
sian imperialism, and the only way to keep the Russian bear at bay is to slather themselves with the world's most effective bear repellent, US defense commitments. Obama's decision necessarily washed some of that protection away. But Obama cannot be faulted for evincing a hue and cry from Eastern Europe. Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Eastern Europe needs to learn to live with the same alliance guarantees as everyone else. Obama's move is lesson number one. Obama's plan should reduce waste. In a sense, Press Secretary Gibbs was right when he argued that Russian concerns that the canceled plan was directed at them “were [and are] unfounded.” He could have made the same point about Iranian concerns. Bush's missile defense system was too small to counter Russian strategic weapons, but large enough to offend Russia. While America claimed that its defenses were aimed at Iran, Russia pointed out that the range of Iran's missiles does not extend beyond Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. Since an Ira-
nian attack on these countries seemed unlikely, the siting of the US system appeared better geared to Russian provocation than European protection. The real purpose of Bush's system may well have been to stimulate US defense spending. By 2007, with Bush's presidency winding down and the defense industry windfalls in Iraq and Afghanistan thus placed at risk of ending in the near future, industry lobbyists sought longterm spending commitments. What better way to ensure this than to reopen the missile-defense shaft of the veritable gold mine that was the Cold War? While the specifics are unclear, Obama's substitute defense system seems set to be smaller and, with any luck, cheaper than Bush's. Its design may be better able to support the US claim that it is aimed at protecting European countries from Iran. The media also seemed especially willing to credit Gibbs' and Russian envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Dmitry Rogozin's statements that the US move was not part of a USSee EASTERN EUROPE, p. 7
6 The Hoot
September 25, 2009
Panic Room Brandeis will stay on Red Alert list BY DANIEL ORTNER Staff
ILLUSTRATION BY Andrea Fishman/The Hoot
BY ALEX SELF Staff
It was the beginning of this year when the news first broke. Reports of a mystery virus killing hundreds in Mexico and spreading popped up on every channel. This is when the word “pandemic” appeared and suddenly the world was taken by storm. A flu mutation had developed which killed over five percent of those afflicted and it was spreading fast. The only line missing was “Lock up your children!” We had an international panic attack on the horizon. Shortly after these initial reports of Armageddon, less heralded news articles started declaring this cynical scenario to be false. Evidently, someone had miscalculated, and this new virus killed fewer people than the seasonal flu. However, by this time, the genie was already out of the bottle. The flu was called swine flu because it came from pigs. This immediately led to a body blow to the pork industry, in spite of the fact that eating cooked pork couldn’t possibly transmit the disease. Egypt even went so far as to slaughter every pig in the country to prevent the breakout of swine flu (unfortunately, their novel plan failed as H1N1 has appeared in Egypt). Eventually, swine flu became known as H1N1 because the stigma it attached to pigs was suffocating the pork industry. Everywhere, masks were selling off the shelves and price gougers gorged themselves on the wave of conformist hypochondriacs who were desperate to “protect” themselves. Meanwhile, noble media conduits kept the public abreast of the story by constantly reporting new deaths associated with the disease, and new locations where it was suspected to be. Naturally, the report of the overall lethality of the disease was a little later in the program. Luckily, rather than lose its head along with everyone else, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began to quietly prepare. They issued guidelines on how to prevent getting the flu which included washing one’s hands frequently, getting enough sleep, and covering one’s mouth if one has the disease. If these guidelines seem familiar, it’s because they are. The advice was almost exactly the same as the advice given to people for the seasonal flu. Thus, the idea that this new and more exotic form of the flu is any more contagious than the actual flu is a fallacy. The problem with the mass hysteria concerning swine flu is not that it may result in increased protection but that it leads to even more mass hysteria. People are panicking everywhere, from parents who want their kids to wear face masks to institutions which are basically quarantining those even suspected of having the virus. The real losers in this process are those with H1N1. Not only do they have to face the flu but they have to face the wrath of society. Through no fault of their own, they have come down with what is little more than a different strain of the flu and for this they are treated like pariahs. Our own university has vaguely alluded to actually sending people afflicted with the disease off campus. However, there are many problems with such an absolutist policy. First of all, it is very hard to tell the difference between the normal flu and swine flu. Their symptoms are basically the same and it takes a lab test to confirm the presence of the newer virus. Thus, as flu season rears up, we could end up with hundreds of students being basically shunted off campus because they’re sick when they’re not necessarily sick with swine flu. Secondly, there is no reason to take this approach. Another policy in place is that students whose roommates are sick with the flu can be sent to other rooms around campus until their roommates are well while their roommates rest and recover. This makes much more sense than encouraging students to go home. Also, one might wonder in the case of classes whether some kind of video broadcast of the lecture could be arranged for the student as another student’s notes are not an adequate substitute for a class. This would also make sure that those who considered missing classes more lethal than the flu would not have to hide their sickness in order to still attend. This might cut down on the virulence of the flu itself. Finally, a general announcement of some sort is needed. The panic over this disease has gone too far. Swine flu is just as dangerous as the regular flu and the stigma that is associated with it is completely unearned. Vaccines have already been developed for it and they should be available for everyone by mid-October (my heart goes out to the suppliers). Should we completely ignore the disease? Of course not, but there is no need to treat it in any way differently than we treat regular flu. In other words, educate people about it, teach them preventative methods, and accommodate those who have the disease in the best way possible. One would imagine that this would already be the case but it seems like it’ll only happen when @#$% fly.
One would think that with a title like Office of Student Rights and Advocacy, this newly reconstituted Student Union organization would be concerning itself with righting the many abuses of student rights and trust that I wrote about extensively a few weeks ago. Indeed, I naively wrote that the increased visibility of this organization was a promising sign that students would be asserting their rights on campus to a greater degree. So, imagine my shock when OSRA director Lev Hirschorn '11 approached me in Usdan last week and informed me that one of the first actions taken by the committee this year was to write an e-mail to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education arguing that Brandeis should be removed from FIRE’s Red Alert list because of our excellent record of protecting student speech rights! I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that a subsidiary of the Student Union—the same organization that several years ago passed a vitriolic resolution condemning students for publishing an offensive satirical advertisement and urging the administration to consider disciplinary sanctions— a subsidiary that is tasked with defending student rights would instead become an apologist for administrative policy. Over my years at Brandeis I have become a jaded cynic with regard to Union decisions. I know that the Student Union is traditionally more concerned with public relations and looking good than getting substantive change. Still—in part because Hirschorn’s actions confirmed to me that when activists from “outsider” websites such as innermostparts.org get elected into power they are quick to abrogate the principles that propelled them into power—this action stood out as particularly inane and disappointing. Student Union President Andy Hogan '11 and OSRA director Lev Hirschorn among others argued in their e-mails to FIRE that the referendum passing of the Student Bill of Rights and the success of students in bringing controversial activist Bill Ayers
to campus are indicators that all is well at Brandeis, that the administration is clearly supporting students’ rights, and that FIRE should take Brandies off its “worst of the worst” list. There are several major problems and inconsistencies with this train of logic. The first is that FIRE put Brandeis on its Red Alert list because of a specific and yet to be resolved case. Indeed, FIRE has a very visible article with a specific web link featured in a recent ad run in both the Justice and The Hoot, saying exactly what Brandeis must to do to get off the Red Alert list. These actions directly concern the case of Donald Hindley. While I have written much about the Hindley case, the lack of resolution continues. Harassment is still on Hindley’s official record, and the substantive dispute between the Faculty Senate and the administration was at best glossed over. Indeed, the lack of faculty involvement in the leadup to the initial announcement to close the Rose Art Museum clearly showed that a proper balance between faculty and the administration had yet to be struck. Yet, despite these underlying problems, all the Brandeis Administration has to do to get Brandeis off the Red Alert list is acknowledge that Hindley’s due process rights were abused and remove the letter that declared him guilty of making "inappropriate, racial, and discriminatory" statements in class. It really is as simple as that. Yet, getting Brandeis off FIRE’s Red Alert list is just a beginning to mending the Administration’s dismal record regarding academic freedom and individual rights at Brandeis. If it is taken off the Red Alert list, Brandeis would still likely be coded as Red under FIRE’s rating system. This is because merely addressing the Hindley case does not change the fact that the Administration’s harassment policies ban a great deal of expression that would be protected speech on any public campus. Moreover, the administration considers itself a sole decision maker without the need to respect the rights of anyone else involved. The “Student Bill of Rights” is actually a great example of this.
The Union was able to make a big show by passing this bill of rights, but the administration of course views it as non-binding and will still side with the less protective language of Rights and Responsibilities in a dispute. For instance, the Student Bill of Rights stated that students had the right to see all evidence against them before a trial, while the Rights and Responsibilities only promised students the right to see evidence during a trial. A magnet put out by the Union promoting the Bill of Rights was changed in favor of the administration’s language. This student declaration is thus ultimately without force or authority. A Student Bill of Rights that does not actually expand or protect rights is not evidence of an improvement in the protection of students’ rights or a substantive change worth bragging about. The Student Bill of Rights is still NOT a part of the Rights and Responsibilities. When it becomes part of it, then maybe the Union will have ground to brag, but not before that day. Likewise, students were able to get Bill Ayers to campus, but this was only after the administration attempted to impose an outrageous security fee and to censor speech in that fashion. We are too quick to forget the removal of Palestinian artwork several years ago, or the embarrassment the administration brought to Brandeis over its response to Jimmy Carter’s visit. Has anything actually changed in those few years? Has the administration ever admitted it acted wrongly in any of these instances? Has a statement protecting the rights of students and faculty ever been clearly articulated by the administration? Substantially, it comes down to this question: Have any measures been put in place that could prevent the administration from charging another student or professor with “harassment” based on heresay evidence or from violating clearly stated due process rights? What we have today is at best a truce, a ceasefire, and certainly not something worth bragging about. Rights protected out of convenience and without force cannot truly be declared rights at all.
Think students need to learn Civics? Like drawing pictures of pigs? Want to photograph recyclables?
Come write, shoot or draw for Impressions! email email@example.com
September 25, 2009
Finally, a ten-year plan for Massachusetts
Recycle, reduce. reuse: Putting paper and plastic where they belong
BY AMY GOLDSMITH Special to The Hoot
Although I have no idea where I’ll be in ten years, it comforts me to know that Massachusetts might—at least in terms of its energy use. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts may soon be on a very deliberate 10 year path, thanks in part to the work of Massachusetts Powershift (MAPS), a student led organization of Massachusetts college environmental groups. MAPS was founded by students in 2007, and is most recently responsible for drafting a state resolution stating that 100 percent clean electricity in Massachusetts is possible by 2019, which was passed by the state legislature in April 2009. The passing of the state resolution is a milestone success because it legitimates the scientific claim that Massachusetts can be fully powered by wind and solar energy; however, as it is not yet a law, it holds no state accountability. This summer, to channel the power of this resolution into action, 20 college activists from all over the country joined together to bike across Massachusetts and go door-to-door to spread
the word on the dire need for climate action and alternative energy. For two months they biked through 43 towns, staying in churches and with kind individuals, and knocked on 70,000 doors- talking to over 35,000 people. In addition to canvassing and gathering petition signatures, Climate Summer activists led numerous sustainability workshops, using the Awakening the Dreamer curriculum developed by the Pachamama Alliance. This workshop forges connections between social justice, environmental sustainability and spiritual fulfillment to make climate change more tangible and personal. Massachusetts Climate Summer teams in Western Mass., Cambridge, the North Shore, and on the Cape received local press coverage in over twenty publications, including an article this month in the national YES! Magazine. Continuing with this form of grassroots campaigning, MAPS has organized a unique statewide campaign this fall gearing up for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. Starting with the International Day of Climate Action on Oc-
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
tober 24th, college students and residents from over 350 towns in Massachusetts will gather in Boston to show their support for energy reform and clean electricity. Local environmental groups and college clubs will then continue to promote climate action awareness throughout November and into December, with additional events to gain the attention of the state government. As future young professionals, this may be the most stable 10 year plan we can ever be a part of. At Brandeis, Students for Environmental Action has signed on to promote this campaign in order to help Massachusetts lead the way in energy reform. Effectively, as Massachusetts residents, we have unprecedented power to call for change because we are the only state to have passed a clean electricity resolution, and are one of few states with proven scientific potential to gain full power from alternative sources. Students for Environmental Action meets in the SCC Multipurpose Room at 9 p.m. every Wednesday. For more information on the MAPS campaign please visit www.masspowershift.org.
The Hoot 7
Eastern European policy MISSILE DEFENSE (from p. 5)
additional scary offensive weapons in its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad on the Polish border seemed to belie their claim. But the US announcement carries a lot on the negative side of its ledger, too. First, the lack of evidence of Iranian intentions to hurl missiles at Bulgars suggests that Obama's missile shield may be no more useful than Bush's. Some American commentators also complained that Obama obtained no Russian agreement to cooperate to end Iran's nuclear weapons program. Whether Russia will join with the US on this matter - or whether it secretly already has - is unclear. President Dmitry Medvedev hinted obliquely on Wednesday that Russia's policy of refusing to support economic sanctions against Iran might change, but Russia and its arms and nuclear firms enjoy relatively close ties to Iran. It's hard to know whether Obama's announcement bought a change in Russia's Iran policy, an oblique statement of Russian intentions that Obama can use to threaten Tehran, or nothing of the kind. In any event, a spokeswoman for the Chinese government reminded the world yesterday that Obama mustn't forget to buy China's support for Iran sanctions, either. Did Obama get anything else from Russia in exchange for the bag of goodies that has included his announcement, the opportunity it provided the Russian government to do a victory dance, the Russia-friendly tone struck by new NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen one day after the US move, and America's seeming acquiescence in Russia's growing interests (including arms sales) in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela? American media failed to link these events. But they might add up to an exchange of US concessions for greater Russian cooperation in Afghanistan, for
which war America's military brass has recently and repeatedly gone begging at Congress's doorstep for more men and money. Rasmussen broached the topic of cooperation, calling for “further Russian engagement... to get Afghanistan on its own feet.” Rasmussen really sought Russian help in keeping the US on its feet. Economic weakness and massive domestic spending in response to it may be motivating Obama to make US commitments abroad more “cost-effective.” He rightly eliminated Bush's European missile defense, which was an ugly cross between a white elephant and a cash cow for the arms industry. But he was wrong to substitute his own similarly pointless (if more “cost-effective”) defense shield, and very wrong if he hoped to swap concessions for Russian support in extending America's Afghan involvement. As a waste of money, the missile shield pales in comparison with the Afghan adventure. Obama should stop pretending, as Bush did, that the Afghan intervention is really about “establishing democracy,” “nationbuilding,” and other charitable Boy Scout work. By dropping this mask, Obama can achieve US security aims—the only important ones in the economic backwater of Afghanistan— more cheaply than indefinitely occupying Afghanistan and propping up its wisp of a government. When, in recent weeks, Obama sent General Stanley McChrystal and Admiral Mike Mullen to Capitol Hill, they sought a bigger war effort. But unless the Defense Department learns to translate “bigger” to “shorter” and “less expensive,” then even Russian assistance-- which may not be forthcoming-- may be unable to prevent Obama's Afghan escalation from helping to translate to a one-term presidency.
Students need a Civic education
A REPUBLIC (from p. 5)
Child-Left-Behind toting proponent of standardized testing, because by no means do I see them as the solution to all of our education problems. But in this case, they offer two advantages. They lay down strict guidelines for schools to adhere to, and they are comprehensive. With average civics knowledge across the country about on par with that of those unfortunate Oklahoma high school students, an approach that begins with these kinds of tests could help immensely. They’ll need to. I cannot stress enough how unsustainable our lack of knowledge is. According to legend, when Benjamin Franklin walked out of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia upon the sign-
ing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, a woman on the street asked him what kind of government the delegates had formed. He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.” We know that Franklin and his colleagues feared tyranny above all else. They crafted a Constitution that would limit government power by giving people an active role and allowing them to keep a watchful eye on their leaders. But I wonder if they ever foresaw an America in which the people stopped being watchdogs; in which they stopped knowing and stopped caring about the system they were meant to uphold. I wonder what they would say now about our chances of keeping our republic.
12 The Hoot
September 25, 2009
H1N1 absences lead to creative teaching methods
GRAPHIC BY Andrew Ramirez/The Hoot
BY CHRISSY CALLAHAN Editor
Dealing with the occasional sick student’s absence from class is no new phenomenon for many college professors, so much so we often don’t even give it a second thought. Fall arrives, bringing with it a plethora of itchy throats and runny noses, and soon sick students are fleeing the classroom like leaves falling off trees. And this fall is no different. Only it is. This fall, in addition to the common cold and the seasonal flu, we’re facing the new H1N1 pandemic and the possibility that unprecedented numbers of sick students will be leaving the classroom for the safe confines of quarantine. So far, most of the discussion about the H1N1 virus has centered on addressing students’ physical ailments when and if the flu pandemic hits Brandeis. We’re well accustomed to dealing with sickness on the health end of things – large boxes of masks in residence halls and the outthe-door line of people clamoring for flu shots at the health center are evidence of that. But what happens to the academic aspect of students’ lives while they’re in quarantine? And have we really considered how sickness affects educational progression? This new flu strain is posing new medical as well as pedagogical problems, causing professors to debate the best way to deal with the reality of fewer students in class and more at home or in quarantine. Brandeis’ default solution to this problem is LATTE, Brandeis’ online learning environment. Using LATTE, students can
have online chats similar to instant messaging, thereby including them in discussions from afar. But some Brandeis professors are putting their collegiate critical thinking skills to good use, digging deeper to discover new ways to include sick students – quarantined due to H1N1 – in classroom conversations. Jumping on the technological bandwagon, several professors are turning to methods like online video conferencing to maintain a certain degree of face-to-face contact with sick students. Professor Mark Auslander (ANTH) is one such forward-thinking professor. An avid Twitter user, Auslander’s extracurricular and curricular interests make him the perfect candidate for such innovation. “I’ve [been] interested in the use of social media in teaching for a long time,” he says. Even so, Auslander only recently started thinking seriously about its potential use in the context of H1N1-related absences. It was the beginning of the school year and one of Auslander’s students emailed him to say she wasn’t feeling well. Since Brandeis rules prohibit students who’ve had a fever over 100 degrees in the last 24 hours from coming on campus, this student was concerned she’d miss out on the interactive nature of her seminar while she was out sick. “[The fact] that she might miss out, that just seemed a shame,” Auslander said. It was this situation that really got the wheels turning for Auslander: “Immediately I thought, ‘Well maybe we should all be thinking about [ways to include sick students in classroom discussions].’”
An anthropology professor, Auslander has always been interested in the idea of quarantine. Historically, he says, quarantine has been used to stigmatize and discriminate against certain groups of people. Because of this sensitive history, Auslander is approaching the current H1N1 threat with caution. “Nobody on the Brandeis campus would ever [stigmatize quarantined students] consciously,” he says. “But unconsciously we want to make sure that students who have to be off campus for five to 10 days still feel like they’re fully parts of the community.” The simplest option to keep sick students up to date with lectures, Auslander says, is to stream the contents of a class online. It’s certainly the easiest option, he says, but one that also comes with a few necessary precautions. First, in order to preserve privacy, professors would need to post class contents to a password-protected website such as Brandeis’ secure network wormhole. Second, professors need to consider copyright rules when posting certain content online. “The advantage of [streaming class contents online] is that [the student] can at least watch what’s happening in the class,” Auslander says. “But then the question is ‘How do they participate back?’” One answer? Via video conferencing. Students with Macintosh computers can use iChat, a form of two-way video conferencing similar to instant messaging. Other computers equipped with web cameras can use Skype video conferencing. While a useful option, joining class-
room discussions via video chatting can sometimes seem like a daunting task for the student being videoed in. This is due to communication problems – students have difficulty getting the attention of a classroom engrossed in conversation – and problems of insecurity – sick students might not feel they’re looking their physical best. Auslander’s Cross-Cultural Art and Aesthetics class discovered this last week when they experimented in class with iChat. The class chatted for 10 minutes with Auslander’s former student, Bryce Peake ’08, who is now at the University of Oregon. Peake participated in the test run from his out-of-state office. Peake, who graduated from Brandeis’ Cultural Studies master’s program last year, was one of Auslander’s advisees. While at Brandeis, Peake studied, among other things, technology and new media. He also did an internship in techno-pedagogy and participatory media at Brandeis. As an anthropologist, Peake regularly uses iChat and skype to communicate with friends and family while he’s outside of the country. But he says the experience he derived from this experiment was very different from his normal use of iChat. In a typical iChat, Peake says, the two participants are most likely alone in their respective offices or rooms. In other words, there’s not much to distract the participants or make them feel isolated. In a classroom, however, students benefit from personal interaction and discussion. And joining in on this conversation can See NEW MEDIA, p. 13
September 25, 2009
F E AT U R E S
The Hoot 13
New media to help quarantine ill students NEW MEDIA (from p. 12)
sometimes feel like butting in on a private conversation. “It’s kind of complicated. Because on one hand it’s a really isolating experience because you personally are just sitting in a room [alone],” he says. “I was the only one [in my office], and there was this whole other world on the screen that somehow I was a part of.” Having your voice amplified by speakers in the classroom, attached to the computer, can feel a bit weird, Peake says: “It’s kind of a strange experience because you’re the only one who’s a floating head on a computer screen and you’ve got this weird dominance in the room.” In spite of its drawbacks, though, Peake says video conferencing is still a better option than the more impersonal LATTE option. In any case, Auslander says the help of professors and fellow students will be essential to making these new methods a success. In some instances, he says professors should even consider electing a student liaison in the classroom to monitor the quarantined students on the computer, letting the professor know when they have a comment to make. Because of this extra factor, Auslander says this method won’t work at every school: “I don’t think this would work at every school, but at Brandeis where the students are just always amazing about helping each other out, I think it might work.” Just like these distance learning alternatives wouldn’t work at every school, Auslander says it’s important to realize that the best option for one class at any given school won’t be the best option for the next class. The ideal solution hinges on several factors: the size of the class and how many students are out at any given time, the personality of the student in quarantine, and the faculty member’s grasp on the technology involved. Professor Tim Hickey (COSI) has also experimented with novel teaching methods in his classes and has even developed collaborative software with his graduate students. “I have been interested in computermediated communication for several years,” he wrote in an email to The Hoot. In his Introduction to 3-D Animation – a class of around 100 students – Hickey has experimented with screen recordings of class lectures to accommodate students who might have missed a lecture or two.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
VIDEO KILLED THE LECTURER: Anthropology professor Mark Auslander experimented with iChat video conferencing as part of his efforts to use new media to include students too ill to come to class.
He edits the lecture into smaller pieces and plans on posting them to a Web site in the near future. While this option poses potential technical problems due to large video files, Hickey is confident it will work. Hickey’s class has also experimented with the LATTE chat function, but he found it doesn’t work as well for students not in class. Because of this, like Auslander, he’s interested in exploring iChat or skype for classes with smaller numbers of students. In the future, Hickey would like to try out a software program called Dimdim in class. Using this software – free for groups of 20 or less – up to 20 people can share a desktop, allowing them to simultaneously
view PowerPoint presentations, pdfs and shared web browsers. “The idea would be to use this tool to present a lecture on the projection screen and to have up to 20 absent students watch the lecture from their homes or dorms or hotels,” Hickey explained. Hickey is also interested in using new wiki-like technology currently being developed, such as that of Brandeis professor Richard Alterman (COSI) and graduate student Johann Larusson. There are surely a lot of possibilities for professors to consider. But just because this type of distance learning has positive aspects, Auslander says, that doesn’t mean we should become too dependent on it.
“There’s always the danger with distance learning that we become too passive and we’re not learning together,” he says. “Real learning takes place when people are engaged in a voyage of [mutual] self discovery…We have to engage in a creative discovery together. So sometimes the technology can help; sometimes it can stand in the way.” Nonetheless, both Auslander and Peake think experimentation is worth the while. Experimentation with iChat and skype could lead to improved technology in the future, Peake says. “I think it’s a good way to start thinking about [distance learning],” he says. “There are a lot of drawbacks to it, of course, but the only way that we’re going to get to the point where we have software that can actually do a good job at facilitating this distance learning is by doing things with iChat and skype and figuring out where the limitations are and where these things excel at and then expanding on them.” After all, this isn’t just a temporary fix to deal with our latest fear – H1N1. Rather, Auslander and other professors are also looking into the long-term possibilities of using such technology. Including Brandeis students who are studying abroad in the occasional on-campus discussion is just one of many possibilities. “So it’s not only an H1N1 question, it’s [related to] a lot of our global learning as well,” he says. Peake agrees, saying people should be open to the use of new media as a form of classroom communication. “On top of using [video conferencing] to communicate with students who have been quarantined for the H1N1, it’s also a good way to think about bringing communities that you don’t have immediate access to into the classroom,” he says. “It’s a good way to break down the barrier between the academy and the community.” Auslander says he and Hickey will probably hold a workshop in early October to discuss the various forms of interactive technology at a distance. These alternatives to in class learning are completely optional, Auslander says, and should only be used if the student is up to it: “For those who are really sick and just need to be getting better, they shouldn’t be bothered with having to connect into class, of course. But for those who feel well enough…and they’re really invested in the conversation, I think it would be great if we could include them in some way.”
14 The Hoot
September 25, 2009
Men’s soccer defeats MIT 2-1, notches first win of the season BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
The Judges took out down the MIT Engineers 2-1 on Wednesday night and finally cracked into the win column. Before the game MIT had outscored their opponents 24-9 on the season. When Brandeis faced the same opponent last year they were defeated 5-0, so for Coach Coven this victory was exactly what his team needed. “It showed us we can play with good teams,” he told The Hoot. “We just need to concentrate on what we’ve done in practice.” Brandeis opened up the scoring in the 28th minute off a free kick by Corey Bradley ’10. Rookie Sam Ocel then sent the ball across the goal to classmate Matt Peabody who put it in the net for his first collegiate goal. This was the only goal of the first half. The Engineers tied things up in the 58th minutes off a penalty kick by Christian Therkelsen, one of the players Assistant Coach Gabe Margolis told the Judges to keep an eye on in his scouting report. Therkelsen took two corner kicks that were deflected out by the Judges, but unfortunately third time was a charm: the ball found it’s mark and MIT’s Ben Lewis ’13 was there to send the ball past Brandeis netminder Matt Lynch ’11 for his first collegiate goal. MIT didn’t hold on for long, though. The game-winning goal for the Judges came just ten minutes later courtesy of Alexander Farr ’12. Luke Teece ’12 got the ball off a corner kick by classmate Noah Bass and went for the shot and Farr deflected it with a header past Rankin for the goal. Despite an offensive push by the Engineers in the final twenty minutes of the game, Lynch was able to hold onto the lead for the Judges and help them bring home their first win of the season. While the Judges got one goal in the first half, they weren’t playing the cleanest game. When they came out for the second, however, something seemed to click; they started moving better and playing more like a team. Coach Coven chalked this up to simply getting more time playing togeth-
er. Injuries have prevented his preferred starters from working together for long, so the more time they have on the field the more efficiently they work as one. “They’re more like a well oiled machine,” Coach Coven said. “They work together well.” Despite the rocky start to the season, according to Assistant Coach Margolis, the guys on the team never gave up. “It’s a real credit to them,” he told The Hoot. “They were in a hole but there was never talk of not being good enough… They still have to work and they know that, but they’re attitude has been great.” Both Coach Coven and Assistant Coach Margolis were very happy to see the two goals of the game come from multiple scorers. In the past, it was much more a oneman show. Thanks to “two good recruiting years,” though, this has changed. “85 percent of our goals were by [Ben] Premo ’09,” Coach Coven said. “Now we need your players with the ability to score, and we’ve got them.” The Judges have a few days to recuperate physically and mentally before taking on one of their favorite rivals: Wheaton College. Not only is Coach Coven good friends with the head coach at Wheaton, Dr. Michael Guiliano, but Coach Margolis also went to Wheaton, and he would love to have a win against his alma mater. “There are local players on both teams,” Coach Coven added. “They’re used to each other, some of them used to play together, so that adds something as well.” The familiarity between the teams is something Coach Coven hopes will benefit Brandeis. Wheaton has “a unique formation” but given the circumstances he believes the Judges can pull through against what he describes as, “possibly the best team we face all year.” Student Events will be hosting a tailgate party on Saturday at 6 PM to support the men’s soccer team. They will be supplying free hamburgers, hotdogs, popcorn, and s’mores as well as a chance to tie-dye a shirt. Both coaches encourage students to come out to the game and enjoy the rivalry.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot
PHOTO BY Phil Small/The Hoot
Women’s soccer continues success at home, ties on the road BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
The women’s soccer team tied the Roger Williams University Hawks 0-0 after two overtimes last Thursday night, but defeated the Clark University Cougars 5-1 on Sunday at home. With the two games their overall record improves to 4-1-2 with an undefeated home record of 4-0 and an away record of 0-1-2. The win against Clark put Brandeis Coach Denise Dallamora just three wins shy of the 250-career win mark. She would become only the 15th coach in Division III women’s soccer history to accomplish this feat, and only the second from New England. The shutout against the Hawks was the 18th in her career for goalkeeper and cocaptain Hillary Rosenzweig ’10. With that accomplishment she has moved into a tie for second place on the university’s alltime shutout list. She is one shutout away from tying Justine McBride ’92 for most in school history and two away from holding that record on her own. Both teams had numerous chances to get on the board, but were unable to do so thanks to some great defensive action and, in some cases, unlucky breaks. Co-captain Melissa Gorenkoff had a great shot in the 11th minute of the game, hammering the ball from outside the box towards the goal, but Roger Williams’ rookie goalkeeper,
Kristen Darling, managed to punch the ball over the next to block the shot. The Judges had a number of other opportunities to get on the board, including a shot by Tiffany Pacheco ’11 that Darling was barely able to get a hand on and one in the second half by Mimi Theodore ’12 whose shot went just wide of the goal. The Hawks also had a few chances to break the scoreless tie, but none of their efforts succeeded. Their best opportunity came in the 63rd minute when forward Katie Fusaro ’12 forced Rosenzweig to come after the ball, but after dodging the Brandeis keeper, Fusaro’s shot went wide. The Hawks outshot the Judges in the first overtime 3-2, but the Judges regained control in the second overtime and outshot their counterparts 4-1. During the course of the entire game, Brandeis had 22 shots, six of which were on target courtesy of three from Pacheco and three from Gorenkoff. Roger Williams had 20 shots with six on target from four different players. Both Rosenzweig and Darling had six saves in the game. The Judges went on to host the Cougars Sunday and defeated them 5-1. Brandeis controlled the play with 25 shots, 13 of which were on target, compared to only 10 shots attempted by Clark and seven on target resulting in one goal. The win against Clark was huge,” said co-captain Rosenzweig. “After loosing in
overtime to them last year it really boosted our confidence to beat them in such a dominating fashion.” Mimi Theodore had her first of three goals in the game in the 27th minute. Gorenkoff got the ball to Pacheco, who split the defenders and passed the ball to Theodore. Theodore then shot the ball over the head of Clark’s goalkeeper Joanna Clark ’10. This was the only goal of the first half as the Judges were unable to capitalize on their 12-4 shooting advantage. The eventual game-winning goal came in the 60th minute of play. Ali Theodore ’12 and Pacheco made their way up the field using the “give and go” technique. This strategy involves one player passing the ball to another, and the initial passer breaks to get open for the return pass. This enabled Pacheco to get up the field and score her fourth goal on the season with the assist from Ali Theodore. The Cougars finally broke onto the board shortly after that. In the 62nd minute Clark was awarded a penalty kick after Brandeis was called on a hand-ball in the box. Clark’s Laura Hedden ’11 got the shot past Rosenzweig to get her team on the board, but this would be the only goal Clark would manage against the Judges. In the final 11 minutes of the game, Brandeis put up an additional three goals. A corner kick by Pacheco was turned into a goal thanks to a well-directed header by Al-
anna Torre ’12. The second goal came off a long ball by Gorenkoff that Mimi Theodore shot right past the Cougar keeper. The final goal of the game happened with less than four minutes remaining. Again, Mimi Theodore and Gorenkoff teamed up to get the goal with Mimi heading in the ball off a cross by Gorenkoff. The Judges faced Gordon College away on Thursday afternoon, but the score was not available before publication. When asked about the game, Rosenzweig was optimistic about their chances despite their current record on the road. “We are going to go into the Gordon game the same we go into all the others, looking to play our game,” she said. “As long as we stick to that game plan I know we can come out successful.” In addition to the win again Clark, the women’s team received even more good news this week: Pacheco was named one of the University Athletic Assocation Athletes of the Week. Pacheco had three goals and three assists on the week for a total of nine points while the Judges went 2-0-1. She remains second in scoring in the UAA with 13 points and tied for most assists with five. “Tiff had a great week.,” Rosenzweig told The Hoot. “She’s a hard worker and deserves tall he accolades she receives.” The Judges will face Wellesley at home next Wednesday Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.
September 25, 2009
The Hoot 15
Women’s volleyball splits week, beating Endicott but falling to Tufts BY HANNAH VICKERS Editor
The Brandeis women’s volleyball team triumphed over the Endicott Gulls last Thursday night, but was unable to keep the momentum going and lost to the Tufts Jumbos on Tuesday. This was the second loss in ten days to the Jumbos who are now 7-1 on the season and on a seven game winning streak. The Judges record goes to 8-4. The Judges took out Endicott 3-1 with set scores of 25-17, 2225, 27-25, 25-17. Brandeis took the first set with relative ease thanks to three kills a piece from outside hitter Paige Blasco ’11 and middle blocker Becca Fischer ’13. The Judges faltered after the first though, dropping the second set 22-25 when the Gulls got on a streak of six straight aces. Brandeis came back fighting in the third set, however, and managed to regain their lead. With the set knotted at 25 each, the Judges claimed the next two points to lead to their 27-25 set victory. The first point out of the tie came courtesy of a kill by outside hitter Bridget McAllister ’10 after which a key block by middle blocker Nicole Smith ’11 and McAllister gave the set to Brandeis. The Judges went on to win the fourth set 25-17 and take the game. With the loss the Gulls fell to 5-3 on the season. The Judges were led in their effort by co-captain Piera Carfagno ’10 who put up 10 kills and nine digs on the night. Paige Blasco was also a major contributor with eight kills and 17 digs while sister and co-captain Abby Blasco ’11 put in 35 assists and 10 digs along with a the highest percentage of .429. Despite having already faced Tufts once this year, Brandeis was unable to come away from their second meeting with a victory. While the Judges picked up the
PHOTO BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot
SPIKE: Brandeis’ Becca Fischer ‘13 (No. 9, far right) goes for a spike against Tufts University’s Caitlin Updike ‘11 (No. 8, center) and Lexi Nicholas ‘12 (No. 3, left). Brandeis would go on to lose the match 3-1.
first set 25-12, the dropped the next three sets 25-22, 25-22, 2521 to suffer defeat at the hands of the Jumbos for the second time in ten days. As Coach Michelle Kim pointed out, however, Tufts is ranked as one of the best teams in the region. The first and only set the Judges were able to claim was due in part to 11 errors by Tufts, which Brandeis was able to exploit. Three aces from defensive specialist Lauren Polinsky ’10 as well as six kills from Paige Blasco also helped gain victory in the first set.
The second set was much closer and also had fewer mistakes. The Judges and Jumbos were tied at 18 each, but Tufts went on a run of 7-4 to take the set. Brandeis kept things tight in the next set, battling back from an 8-3 deficit to take a 15-12 lead but were unable to fend of Tufts. The Jumbos went on a run, grabbing six of the next seven points to take a narrow 18-16 lead, but the Judges responded by winning the next three points and regained a 20-19 lead off a great return by libero Anna Homitsky ’13. The
momentum for Brandeis petered out at that point, and Tufts was able to regain the lead and take the set by taking six out of the final eight points. The fourth set saw a return of errors for both sides, with the two teams having 10 combined. These service errors prevented either team from building a strong offensive attack but Tufts capitalized on errors made by Brandeis later in the match to finish off the set and take the match. Smith had nine kills and one error in 15 attempts as well as three blocks to
put up a .533 percentage. Paige Blasco was also a critical player with the match-high 17 kills as well as sister Abby who had her seventh double-double of the season with 27 assists and 19 digs. Attempts made by The Hoot for comments were not returned. Brandeis will spend Friday and Saturday in Amherst to play in the Amherst Classic where they will face the hosting team Friday at 7 p.m., Middlebury at 11 a.m. Saturday, and Westfield State at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Rethinking the American League Central Division
BY SARAH BLOOMBERG Staff
So last week I wrote about Phil Kessel possible leaving Boston, and now he is a Toronto Maple Leaf for the next five years. So I am going to see if I can do this again and write an article one week and see some results the next. But this time it will be about America’s favorite pastime - baseball. So I am assuming that the majority of people on the Brandeis campus care about one of three teams: the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets. Fortunately for the Red Sox and Yankees, it is pretty clear they will be in the playoffs, and for the Mets it is clear that their season ends when the regular season ends. So I am going to focus on the one division that I truly care about and can easily be called the worst division in the Major Leaguesthe American League Central Division, specifically how the Minnesota Twins have come back from being under .500 for most of the season to being two and a half games behind the Detroit Tigers for the division championship. I am a Twins fan so I have been following the horrible season for months. I do not know how many people look at the actual win percentage, but if the Tigers were in any other division in the American League they
would be in third. And only in the Central Division in the National League would they be in second but nowhere near playoff contention. And for the Twins- this team has been struggling around .500 for the entire season and has just lost Justin Morneau, one of their best offensive players. So how is it that they are finally in play off contention, and who is up in Baseball Heaven that decided the best way to end the season is with a four- game series in Detroit?That is all the background information of my dislike for Detroit teams. My dad is a huge Detroit fan, which has made me always cheer against Detroit teams since it is always more fun to have people cheering for two different teams. If I were in the country last year I would have cheered for whoever was playing the Lions in every single game and enjoyed every loss. The Twins have generally been pretty successful in the regular season, but they tend to crash and burn in the first round. The Tigers have had mediocre and horrible seasons (remember when they almost broke the record for most losses in a season? They did not break the record because they beat the Twins) and have had one very successful season where they went to the World Series where they were promptly swept by the Cardinals.
These are two teams that have not had a ton of success, which is why my dad and I argue so much about them. My dad and I, and now my little sister as well, need to prove that our team is not as mediocre as the other team. Ever since the middle of August I have told my dad that the Twins would make a run, and I do not think many people outside of Minnesota would call how they are playing a run, but this is pretty good considering other. Now back to the real story - how did the Twins get into this position? One- the team has been able to step up without their major slugger Justin Morneau. He is out for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his lower back, but the Twins have gone 9-1 without him. So what could have been problem that could have ended the season for the entire team has turned out to not be a problem. Two - I think the team is pulling through for Joe Mauer. Mauer is in the middle of a career season; he is hitting .372 with 28 home runs and 89 RBIs. There is talk everywhere that he should be AL MVP, and I personally think that making the playoffs, even if they crash and burn, will seal the deal. Three - this is the last season at the Metrodome. Even though the majority of fans
are excited for outdoor baseball, there are still a lot of good memories for everyone from the dome. I for one would like the Twins to be able to make something of their last season and be able to leave with some momentum for the new Target Field. And four - the Twins are bringing back the Piranha mentality. Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox manager, first coined the term in August 2006 when the Twins began beating teams with the small ball. His realized that the Twins would not come out and over power you. They would keep getting base hit after base hit and eventually win the game. Now today’s Twins are not playing that style game, but they still have the same idea. Only instead of hit after hit, they are truly taking it one game at a time. So what will happen in the next week? I would love for the Twins to be able to pull through, but unfortunately I do not think that we will know anything for sure until the end of the season. So much can happen in those four games at Comerica Park. The Tigers have a solid home record, and the Twins have a not so solid road record, but I am optimistic and think that anything could happen. Whatever does happen, good luck to the American Central Division Champs getting past the first round of the playoffs.
W E E K E N D Spotlight on Boston New England Dessert Showcase
Free Friday Films
Saturday, Sept. 26, 11:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. Marriott Boston Long Wharf
Friday, Sept. 25, 3:00 p.m. Mugar Omni Theater at the Museum of Science If you are itching to leave campus but don't want to spend money, go to the Boston Museum of Science to see free showings of the films Deep Sea, Mystic India, and Antartctica. Pick up tickets at the Museum box office the day of the show.
Anthem is hosting a showcase of over 100 desserts from all over New England to sample. If that isn't enough, there will also be exhibits and performances.
What's going on at Brandeis?
KSA Chuseok Event
Honey Pot Orchards Trip
Friday, Sept. 25, 5:00 p.m. to 10:00p.m. Ridgewood A South Campus Common
Saturday, Sept. 26, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Meet in Theater Lot Student Activities is organizing a fun trip to Honey Pot Orchards for a traditional New England apple picking event. Sign up in the Department of Student Activities on the second floor of the Shapiro Campus center.
Join the Korean Student Asociation this Friday for a feast of Korean food to celebrate Chuseok, a three day celebration of the harvest.
Hispanic Heritage Month Opening Party
Field trip to MassMOCA
Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 p.m.to2 a.m. Sherman Function Hall.
Saturday, Sept. 26, 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m Theater Lot The ECS, COML, and FA UDRs are organizing an exciting trip to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a unique artistic environment. If you are interested rsvp to the link on the Brandeis calender.
To celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month come to Sherman function hall to hear DJ Case and CJ Nesty. Unless otherwise noted, photos are from Google images.
Hoot Comic Strips laughingwarlock
By Ian Price
Can you draw and write comics? Want to see your work in print? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Humor is Dead
By Xander Bernstein
By Matt Kupfer