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THE TUFTS DAILY
tuesday, november 5, 2013
VOLUME LXVI, NUMBER 40
Where You Read It First Est. 1980
Students address bystander intervention by
Kathleen Schmidt Contributing Writer
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) this past Saturday launched Step UP!, a program meant to promote pro-social and bystander intervention behavior among student athletes, at the Fan the Fire event held in Cousens Gym. Step UP! educates students about intervening in the case of incidents such as sexual assault, hazing, dangerous alcohol consumption and misconduct at athletic events, according to Lauren Creath, a student athlete and representative for the program at Tufts. “Step UP! is an overall message of being there for your teammates and your friends,” Creath, a senior, said. Assistant Director of Athletics Branwen King-Smith believes that the program will teach students how to be aware and intercede when there is a problem. “The goal of the group is to teach each other how to step in and help somebody and stay
safe at the same time,” KingSmith said. “People are often knowledgeable about these issue areas, but there’s a void in knowing how to help someone at risk.” Creath explained that students and faculty at the University of Arizona originally developed the idea for the Step UP! program. Director of Clinical Sport Psychology at the University of Arizona Scott Goldman visited Tufts last year to help implement the program on campus. Fan the Fire then joined forces with Step UP! to start spreading the word about the program, according to student athlete and senior Jo Clair. At Saturday’s event, students had the opportunity to sign boards promising to step up. The boards will be placed around campus to continue raising awareness about the program. Students at the event were also invited to take part in a short video by explaining how they planned to step up in the future, Clair said. A similar see STEPUP, page 2
Ethan Chan for the Tufts Daily
The Step UP! program, which aims to encourage bystander intervention, made its debut at a Fan the Fire event.
TMT opens 10th season with victories by
Daily Editorial Board
Tufts Mock Trial (TMT) started their 10th anniversary season strong last weekend, faring well at both the Columbia University Big Apple Invitational Tournament and the Happy Valley Invitational at Pennsylvania State University. TMT went 5-2-1 at Columbia, earning themselves a fifth place finish, and went 3-4-1 at Penn State. The results bode well for TMT’s season, according to TMT Co-President Brian Pilchik. “After last weekend we’re looking really good,” TMT Co-President Nicholas Teleky, a junior, said. “It’s looking like
we’ll be one of the more prepared schools going into regionals. Our talent is greater than in past semesters, especially with all of our new freshmen.” TMT took on ten new members this semester, according to TMT Director of Internal Affairs Ben Kurland. “We don’t expect to win every tournament because our freshmen are new,” Kurland, a junior, said. “There were two freshmen on the team that got fifth place.” Many of the new members have no prior mock trial experience but were selected for their potential, Pilchik explained. see TMT, page 2
Kyra Sturgill / The Tufts Daily
Graduate student Simon Howard spoke first at yesterday’s 44th annual Black Solidarity Day, presented by PanAfrican Alliance (PAA), which took place yesterday on the Mayer Campus Center lower patio.
Tufts community explores racial injustice with Black Solidarity Day by Josh
Daily Editorial Board
The Pan-African Alliance (PAA) celebrated the 44th annual Black Solidarity Day with a series of student lectures and presentations, as well as spoken-word and musical performances, on the Mayer Campus Center lower patio yesterday afternoon. Black Solidarity Day is designed to encourage students to reflect on their culture and the “historical mosaic of blackness.” This year’s theme was “Combating AntiBlackness: What Does It Mean to be in Solidarity?” During their presentations, many students addressed the means for racial minorities to overcome adversity within a white supremacist society.
Simon Howard, the first student speaker of the event, emphasized that the term “white supremacy” should not be associated strictly with racist hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, as it often is. He said that this term refers more broadly to the commonplace systems of structural racism, which favor white members of society at the expense of blacks and other racial minorities. “We are all victims of global white supremacy — a world [which] is fundamentally saturated with anti-blackness,” Howard, a fourth-year student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, said. Howard said he had decided to devote his life to challenging white supremacy using a strategy centered on love and understanding.
“The most revolutionary act is love,” he said. “When we make love a collective action, we combat anti-blackness.” He ended his speech with a Bob Marley quote. “‘One love, one heart, one destiny,’” he said. Cameron Flowers, a sophomore, recited several original poems, with titles such as “Brain Drain” and “(Chain)ge,” which he had written for his “Race in America” class. Jessica Wilson called the audience’s attention to a number of race-profiled black murder victims from recent years. She evidenced such violence as a strong indicator of the racism that endures in present-day society. “Each of these people had a see SOLIDARITY, page 2
Jackson Jills plaque marks 50 years of harmonizing by
A plaque commemorating the Jackson Jill’s 50th anniversary was recently installed on the steps leading up the President’s Lawn to Ballou Hall. The project celebrates the Jills as the oldest all-female a cappella group on campus, according to Jills alumna Tina Surh (LA ’93). The circular memorial, located a short distance away from the similar Beelzebub plaque, bears the Jackson Jills’ logo, along with the words “50 Years United In Song.” Jills President Emma Wise, a senior, explained that Jills
Inside this issue
alumnae, gathered for their 50th reunion last semester, decided that a plaque was an effective way to represent the group’s place in Tufts culture, reinforce a shared identity and encourage participation from alumnae and current members. “It was a really cool opportunity to bring alums together even more, continue the spirit of the reunion and keep them engaged,” Wise said. Jills alumni coordinator Lucy Aziz, a junior, said that current Jills members, besides contributing money, enlisted the help of Jills alumnae in order to finance the project. Five decades of alumnae helped fund the plaque.
Aziz admitted that the medallion puts some pressure on the Jills to make sure the group continues into the future. “Now that we have physical representation of our 50 years of alums, it’s on us to keep that going,” she said. “It’s a deserved pressure.” The Jackson Jills were founded in 1963, before Jackson College had integrated with Tufts University. The group has won numerous Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards and has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine. Most recently, the group appeared on CBS Boston and FOX 25 see PLAQUE, page 2
Professor of Biology George Ellmore takes his passion for botany beyond the classroom.
‘Kill Your Darlings’ offers a powerful look at the Beat Generation.
see FEATURES, page 3
see ARTS, page 5
News Features Arts & Living Editorial | Op-Ed
1 3 5 8
Op-Ed Comics Classifieds Sports
9 12 15 Back
The Tufts Daily
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Students, faculty discuss means of combating anti-blackness SOLIDARITY
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life before them but were robbed of that chance,” Wilson, a senior, said. “Many would say [these racial killings] are echoes of a time that used to be, but I would argue that they are evidence of racial injustice today.” Wilson urged the community to work together to tackle these issues, asserting that this would increase the likelihood of success. She promised to fight on behalf of these murder victims so that other racial minorities would not suffer the same fate. “I open my eyes to their lives,” Wilson said. “In honoring them, I promise to devote my life to the battle against inequity and injustice.” Senior Zoe Munoz then spoke as a representative of the Latino community. She addressed the long history of oppression and racism toward people of Hispanic heritage in the United States.
“Our American experience has been riddled with xenophobia, racism, nativism and language suppression,” Munoz said. Munoz said this problem was especially severe for dark-skinned Latinos and Afro-Hispanics, as opposed to Latinos of European descent. She said this was quite evident within her home city of Los Angeles, and she urged the Tufts community to act against these problems as they would toward anti-blackness. Jasmine Lee, a member of the Asian American Alliance, addressed the difficulties that Asian Americans have faced in becoming integrated in American society. She said that combating all forms of racial marginalization, including anti-blackness, would be necessary to have any one of them be resolved. “We are not alone and it is impossible to do this alone,” Lee, a senior, said. “The existence of anti-blackness impacts the lithe existence of anyone. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still
work to be done.” Renee Vallejo spoke of her struggles with discrimination as a biracial lesbian. She said that individuals should not have to compromise their own identities in order to become accepted by their peers. “Never apologize for who you are,” Vallejo, a sophomore, said. “Being biracial and gay are not antithetical to one another.” In addition to these speeches, the event included two a cappella performances by S-Factor and Essence. The event concluded with a keynote address by Associate Professor of English Greg Thomas. He addressed a variety of race-related issues, including various interpretations of the terms “PanAfricanism” and “African-American.” He also discussed how to ensure black selfdetermination and the importance of staying true to one’s black identity. “Let us not talk today as if we have to hide our blackness in the closet in the
age of white supremacy,” he said. “Be unabashedly black in private and public.” Thomas urged students to challenge his messages if they so chose. “Question everyone, including me,” he said. “If you don’t question me, we can’t be friends.” Several other members of the Tufts community acknowledged the importance and potential impact of Black Solidarity Day. “It’s an annual event which reminds our campus about the importance of the African-American community and the Tufts community at large,” University President Anthony Monaco said. “Where this group has been and where it’s going is important. I’m here to help support it.” Wilson said she was happy to attend the event and see the crowds. “To me, it feels pretty amazing to see so many leaders on campus together in one place in solidarity,” Wilson said.
Tufts Mock Trial adds 10 new members to team TMT
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According to him, many of them are talented actors and speakers. “Some of the teams that we hit might be fully veteran,” Pilchik, a senior, said. “The fact that Tufts is doing so well with our mixed teams really shows the strength of our new membership.” According to Pilchik, TMT’s returning members saw success as well. TMT took home Outstanding Witness Awards from both invitationals. Junior Ayal Pierce received the award at Columbia and Kurland received the award at Penn State. “It’s really cool to be able to receive two different awards at two different places,” Kurland said. “It really speaks to the depth of our program that we can go to two different places and still do that well.” TMT’s victories are reason to be excited, Kurland said. The team is doing unprecedentedly well. “Columbia is the hardest invitational we go to in the fall semester, so finishing fifth this early in the season is amazing,” Kurland said. Although Tufts did not place at Penn State, Kurland, who co-captained the Penn State team, is proud of the team’s performance. “We did really well,” Kurland said. “The score might not represent how well we did [but] when we won, we won by a lot. When we lost, we lost by a little.” This year, the team hopes to focus their efforts on familiarizing themselves with the case, which covers an amusement park robbery, so that they can be competitive when the more important spring season comes around, Kurland explained. “The point of the fall season is to train everyone and to share knowledge and talent,” Pilhick said. “The goal of this season is to learn how this case works and how mock trial works so that come spring we have a strong team.”
Courtesy Brian Pilchik
Beginning their 10th anniversary season, Tufts Mock Trial found success at the Columbia University Big Apple Invitational Tournament and the Happy Valley Invitational at Pennsylvania State University. Tufts was one of four schools to send two teams to nationals last year, according to Teleky. They hope to send two teams again. “Tufts has made it to nationals for the last four years now, we anticipate going back,” Pilchik said. “If the beginning of our season is
Coordinators hope Step UP! will spread throughout university STEPUP
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video explaining Step UP!’s mission was posted on the Fan the Fire Facebook page on Oct. 30. All students who pledged to help their fellow students by intervening were entered into a raffle to win an iPod mini and received red Step UP! shirts, Clair said. Training for Step UP! takes about one hour and focuses on five key steps involved in helping a peer in a dangerous situation, according to Clair. These steps include noticing an event is happening, investigating and asking questions, taking responsibility, learning how to help and taking action while being a leader. The training session, held by KingSmith and members of the Department of Health Education, includes interactive lessons and a PowerPoint presentation, Clair said. “[Step UP! is] a simple program that makes people more aware of their sur-
roundings and more aware of helping others in situations that college kids face regularly,” she said. Clair noted that the SAAC, which includes two student athletes from each varsity team at Tufts, will receive the training first. Step UP! leaders will then focus on educating team captains, who in turn will encourage the rest of their teams to start the program. From there, Creath and Clair hope that Step UP! will spread to the Greek community and the rest of the student body. “The goal is to have it university-wide, but for right now we’re using student athletes and specifically Fan the Fire as a launching platform for the greater community at Tufts,” Clair said. King-Smith stressed the importance of involving the whole Tufts community and using Step UP! to encourage cooperation and collaboration. “We want it to be school-wide,” King-Smith said. “It’s not all about athletics. It’s really about bringing the community together.”
any indication, we should be able to do it.” TMT’s competitiveness is particularly impressive considering that the team is completely student-run, Pilchik added. “While other teams have professional attorneys coach them, ours is a program of people figuring it out ourselves,” Pilchik said.
This year marks TMT’s 10th anniversary. “Ten years later without a faculty advisor, without a coach, we’re nationally ranked and placing in competitions and doing things [on the same level as] schools that have been around a lot longer,” Pilchik said.
New plaque represents Jills’ place in Tufts culture PLAQUE
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News after creating a popular music video called “Closin’ with Koji” in tribute to the Red Sox. The Jills are deeply embedded in the history and identity of Tufts, Wise said. “The plaque says to me that this is a group ... that has so many traditions and is so rooted in the Tufts culture that it is now a physical part of the Tufts campus,” she said. Tufts’ Associate Director of Development Kosta Alexis, who was involved in the installation of the plaque, agreed that the Jills are a part of Tufts’ identity. “For me, it’s a group that speaks to what Tufts is,” Alexis said. “It’s something that we’re happy to help celebrate. [ The Jills] are such great representatives of Tufts. We want them to know that we appreciate all that they do.” Surh, who was deeply involved in creating the memorial, spoke about
the Jills’ sisterhood. “[The plaque] is much more about the community of the Jills,” she said. “It is an extremely special connection that we share. It was all enabled by Tufts and being here together. This is an opportunity to celebrate that.” According to Alexis, who coordinated with Surh to contact past group members, the fact that many alumnae contributed to creating the plaque demonstrates the importance of the a cappella group to its members. “Everyone is invested in the project,” Alexis said. “Everyone is happy to see it. It just speaks to the group and how important it is, and how much community [they] have created.” Surh said she was happy to once again contribute to the Jills. “It is a unique, special experience to have the opportunity to participate in the Jills,” she said. “As an alumna, it has meant a lot to me ... to see that traditions that we started when I was a Jill are still a part of the experience today.”
Spotlight: Professor George Ellmore by
While the taste of a flower bud may not be what you are thinking of while walking around Tufts’ campus, there are many more edible options than one would expect, according to Associate Professor of Biology George Ellmore. For the past five years, Ellmore has led students and community members around Tufts for seasonal culinary tours, exposing the bounty of edible plant life hidden in plain sight throughout campus. An expert botanist, Ellmore has been a member of the Tufts Department of Biology since 1980 after receiving his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley that same year. Ellmore noted, though, that his interest in foraging for food was not a popular one among students a decade ago. “It used to be, 10 or 15 years ago, that if I brought a tropical fruit or seaweed into class maybe five or 10 students would taste it out of 100. Now 90 will taste it out of 100,” he said. Ellmore links this change in attitude to an increased interest in the study of food security among Tufts students, particularly those enrolled in his popular springtime course “Plants and Humanity.” “Students are much more adventurous than before,” he said. “There is much more interest in food and in the springtime people wanted to go outside, so the idea came forth about five years ago to have campus tours that involved foraging.” These campus tours have now expanded into the fall semester and, for the first time this year, in the summer — an event documented by a short video created by Tufts Multimedia Producer Steffan Hacker. In the video, titled “Edible Campus,” Ellmore takes viewers along on one of his campus tours. In an approximately 40 square foot area behind the Fletcher School, Ellmore identifies and tastes seven different species of plants. These range from Daucus, commonly known as Queen Anne’s Lace, to Stellaria, also known as chickweed. Daucus is the ancient ancestor of the modern day carrot and Stellaria, which was found growing in the shade of a wild apple tree, is described as “a very delicious green, a combination of alfalfa sprouts and baby spinach.” By the end of the video Ellmore is eagerly sautéing a handful of Day Lily buds over a camping stove. As rich as the plant life of the Boston area may be, it should come as no surprise that Ellmore’s interest in plants takes him much further afield than Medford. “One of the advantages of being a faculty member of Tufts is that while
Courtesy Adam Nagy
George Ellmore has a passion for plants that takes him all over the globe to teach and conduct research. you might stay here, you have tremendous travel opportunities,” he said. “So yes, here we are at Tufts, but I do work in Hawaii, the Bahamas, recently
Vietnam. Tufts encourages us to do work abroad.” see PLANTS, page 4
Spotlight: Professor Daniel Dennett by
“I’m mediocre in a lot of things,” Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy Daniel Dennett said. “I’m mediocre in playing the piano and doing pottery. My profession — it’s the one thing I’m really not mediocre at.” Dennett, who is also co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, was first a visiting assistant professor during the Tufts Summer Session in 1968. Soon after, his first book, “Content and Consciousness,” was published in 1969. By now, he’s authored at least 16 others in addition to over 400 scholarly articles about the mind. Dennett is drawn to philosophy — the scientific view of the mind — because of humanity’s natural tendency to question how the mind works. Dennett’s work, though honest in its venture, has been described as controversial.
“I was once denounced as a secretly paid CIA agent — that was pretty scary,” he said. Far from it, Dennett obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Harvard in 1963, and soon after obtained his doctor of philosophy from Oxford University in 1965. Despite his background in philosophy, he enjoys spending time in labs with other scientists. He claims that the assumptions that most make about the mind are false. According to Dennett, the mind seems intuitive to most people because we think we know how our own mind works, and we therefore assume we are experts; he maintains, however, that we really aren’t. He told the Daily that when he reads about an overconfident assertion, even if it’s from a credible figure like Harvard Professor Emeritus W.V. Quine, who taught Dennett, he
immediately tries to come up with ways to support the contrary viewpoint. This, he points out, is not such a bad thing. “Inquiry depends on controversy — we need people who want to show that they’re right and you’re wrong,” Dennett said. This debate is a two way street, as Dennett’s work is highly contested in the field. “It’s important to encounter people who think my ideas are dangerous,” Dennett said. “That is when I know I’m hitting a nerve.” He tries to instill this way of thinking in his students, too. When he teaches, he doesn’t want his students to believe him, but rather believe his facts. “I tell my students that I want them to make me argue for whatever they don’t like,” he said. “Just agreeing with see PHILOSOPHY, page 4
Petar Todorov | Lab Notes
all is upon us. Tree leaves are turning from a lush green to a vibrant palette of yellow, orange and red. The temperature is dropping with each subsequent week. The days have already been shrinking, and legislators have set our clocks back an hour. It now gets dark at 4:33 p.m. Before the end of the semester, we’ll lose 19 more minutes of that daylight. So, how did Daylight Savings Time (DST) come to be? Moreover, what is the story of time, and how have humans come to manage it? First of all, it may come as a shock that “time” as we know it has not been around for more than 200 years. I am not suggesting that pre-19th century civilizations were beholden to a different set of physical laws. They simply defined their days according to sunrise and sunset. The first clocks came about even before the dawn of the Common Era. These primitive sundials indicated what point of the day it was with some accuracy, while carefully calibrated devices like hourglasses and water clocks could act as timers and make their measurement without any external light sources. Mechanical clocks were pioneered by Arab scientists around the 11th century. By the end of the middle ages, these timekeeping devices had spread to Europe, becoming commonplace in the towers of cathedrals and civic buildings. Their accuracy had become reasonable for everyday life, but they were not synchronized. There was no need to keep the same clock settings two towns over if one could not travel or communicate that far easily. As a result, most clocks were arbitrarily calibrated. This all changed in the 18th century. Britain had become a worldwide seafaring empire. Its captains needed a way to discern where in the world they were. Distance from the equator could be determined easily by the angle of the sun to the horizon. Distance around the world, however, was trickier. The British solved this problem as follows: First, they set a universal time at Greenwich. A newly developed clock, which barely skipped ahead or fell behind, allowed captains to carry that time with them wherever they sailed. Navigators could tell the local time anywhere on the globe by viewing the sky. These time differences could then be used to compute the location of a ship around the 360 degrees of the Earth as a difference between the two values. As such, sailors were the first to adopt the notion of a “universal time” and a “local time,” but the notion was strictly for the purpose of navigation. The first widespread synchronization on land was spearheaded by the advent of the railroads. For the first time, a landbased service required the use of a standard schedule in order to operate efficiently. Rail also divvied up most of our nation into its four time zones 40 years before Congress got around to it. Time as we know it was born. The idyllic idea behind DST is that it shifts the activities people do into the hours when the sun is out, thus helping save money and allowing more time for activities. So, what is my problem with DST? Research refutes its utility. To begin, the promised energy savings are all insignificant. In addition, half of our nation does not like the change. Our circadian clocks do not adjust for weeks afterward. The productivity of workers and students drops. The practice is a public health issue: Heart attacks rise in the days following the setback in March when an hour’s worth of sleep is wrested from us. In short, we have become the masters of mismanaging time. This archaic ritual is more trouble than it’s worth.
Petar Todorov is a senior who is majoring in chemistry. He can be reached at Petar.Todorov@tufts.edu.
The Tufts Daily
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Ellmore takes research across globe PLANTS
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Since 1999, Ellmore has taught “Flowers of the Alps” for students studying at Tufts’ satellite campus, the European Center in Talloires, France. This class provides Jumbos with the opportunity to go out and experience what they are studying first hand. “Every week we would trek into the French Alps and discover new plants, flowers and trees,” junior Abbie Cohen said. “We would learn their names in French, English, Latin, alongside the plant’s genus and family.” According to Cohen, exams were unorthodox, and Ellmore made full use of the opportunity to explore the surrounding environment of Talloires. “The class would go out onto a new area of the mountains and Professor Ellmore would grab a flower or point to a plant which we then had to fully identify on a flashcard,” she said. “By the end of the course I learned over 100 different species of plants.” Ellmore described his excitement for the richness of this summer opportunity. “The Talloires campus is blessed with an eruption of wild flower color just when the students are there. Our summer semester in Talloires has flowers everywhere, and even non-botanists are always saying, ‘What are these flowers,’” he said. “You can actually see meadows with more color than green, more yellows and oranges and blues than green. What’s fun is hearing about the French people asking the Tufts students two or three weeks into the course about the flowers.” In addition to teaching a course in Talloires, Ellmore also leads 14 students on a ten day Tropical Field Ecology trip in March at the Hummingbird Cay Field Station in the Bahamas. This trip is composed of both biology and geology students and allows them to work on various research projects. Ellmore was invited to the other side of the globe two years ago to help professors in Hanoi,Vietnam adopt different educational techniques. After this program was deemed a success, he was able to return to Vietnam with something more. “A year later, I was able to get some funding through Tufts to bring two students to Vietnam to work on a couple of research projects,” he said. “One was a project involving dragon fruits that required a 30 hour train ride into South Vietnam.” Ellmore received support from the Tufts International Research Program to create his next project to help southern Vietnamese farmers. “We set up certain experiments there to see if we could increase the efficiency of dragon fruit production by having small farmers use less electricity; they used electricity to light up entire fields at
night,” he said. “Flowering can be altered by the interruption of light, so I tried to explain the Phytochrome system to farmers and we set up a field that would decrease their electric bills by 80 percent.” Dragon fruit is a cactus-like plant, therefore this research is especially salient given increasing problems with water, desertification and increased temperatures due to climate change. Another of Ellmore’s projects has involved the development of the Vietnamese tea market in order to bring benefits to the country. “The borderlands between China ... is where the best tea, the most intense tea, in the world is made. And that tea is now worth thousands, certainly hundreds, of dollars per pound, but who knows anything about Vietnamese tea? Nobody,” Ellmore said. “In one place in Vietnam they grow their tea in the forest from trees, so I’ve talked the Vietnamese into sending us into these areas, and I’m developing chemical measures of quality in these rare Vietnamese teas to bring them into the same market that the Chinese have been benefiting from.” Ellmore’s influence has affected life back on campus, too, through one of the orientation programs most coveted for incoming freshmen, Tufts Wilderness Orientation ( TWO). He said that for 20 years, he shared his passion for plants by serving as the TWO program’s advisor, a role he handed over to the Office for Campus Life (OCL) in 2011. Ellmore played an important role in making TWO what it is today. “Our goal was to work up student interest in nature and the outdoors as a way to introduce them to Tufts in a non-threatening, nonsocial status type of environment and to demonstrate to the administration that this could be done in a responsible and safe fashion,” he said. “So we worked over the years to make this program as organized and safe as possible and then finally we handed it over to the OCL.” In light of the fact that his interest in plants has taken him around the globe from Medford and Somerville to Talloires to Vietnam, Ellmore explained that this interest stems from his early childhood in rural Germany and France. “When you’re raised in areas ... such as France, people pride themselves on having vegetable gardens. The French agricultural system is non-centralized, everybody has a garden,” he said. “Growing up as a child and seeing all these little vegetables growing and someone pulls them up out of the ground and feeds it to you, you develop a fondness towards the idea that there is food all around. Then moving to California, a massively agricultural state, I was always surrounded by people interested in agricultural and plant biology.”
Melody Ko / Tufts University
Professor Daniel Dennett believes that complex theories and thoughts about philosophy can and should be broken down and accessible for all audiences, a practice that has gathered much criticism in the field.
Dennett claims criticism is a two-way street PHILOSOPHY
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my conclusions is a recipe for a low grade.” He wants his students to participate actively in his classes, and to really fight for their opinions no matter which side. He discusses this idea in his latest publication “Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking,” where he covers ways in which students can better use their intuition to think reliably about hard questions. Dennett said he ultimately wants to heighten a sense of anxiety in his audience about what they’re reading. “It is easy to be seduced by bad arguments,” he said. “I hope to seduce them with good arguments.” The reason why Dennett has been able to make such a name in his field may be his explanation for how it is best to teach philosophy. “I don’t think that there is any topic in philosophy that can’t be made accessible to educated people,” he explained. There are two ways to teach philosophy, according to Dennett: one is creating turgid explanations that only the elite few can understand so that the field is almost like an “inventory of a shoe store” and impossible to understand. The other is making complex discussions accessible.
He explained that in order to reach a wide range of readers, he always tries to make sure he understands the topics he is discussing as best he can before putting his ideas out there. “I want to understand it well enough to explain it to others. If I can’t explain it, then I don’t understand it,” Dennett said. “If you really want to test whether a professor knows what he or she is talking about, ask this question: ‘Can you give me a very simple explanation of that?’ If they can’t answer it, they don’t know it.” He pointed out that he has had to pay a price for this type of thinking, and this is where his critics step in. His critics claim that he is a “populariser.” Dennett pointed out that there are some professors who want it to be hard work to understand philosophy, while his only intent is to make it available to the average student. He said that, as such, his target audience is usually university students. “My official target is undergraduates. That way if I overexplain my concepts, my colleagues and rivals will not be insulted,” he said. Dennett maintains that he still has the framework of arguments that he wants, but not in the same
detail that most philosophers use. He is hopeful that his ideological critics who think he is wrong on principle can entertain the idea that there are other perspectives out there. “I’m your friend,” Dennett would say to his critics. “I’m not attacking morality or methods of the humanities. But we have to put them on new foundations. Don’t depend on riddled, outof-date, obsolete traditions that some people hold. Replace fragile traditions with more supple and defensible foundations.” Dennett supports exploring new ideas in practice, too. He co-founded the Curricular Software Studio at Tufts. One of the projects, for instance, was a software package to help students taking introductory statistics to have an experimental learning experience. When he is not teaching, Dennett farms. He has been a farmer for the past 43 years. This year, however, he is selling his farm in Maine, since it has come to be more hard work than fun. He pointed out enthusiastically, though, that he is having the time of his life at Tufts. “What could be better than hanging around with smart people?”
Arts & Living
Comedy ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ showcases freshmen talent by Josh
Going to the opera is always an event, but never quite like in Ken Ludwig’s “Lend Me a Tenor” (1986), Pen, Paint and Pretzel’s (3Ps) first-year show. “Lend Me a Tenor” is a story of much ado about what ultimately amounts to nothing, but the distance between the beginning and the end is not so much the basis of the show as is the journey from point A to point (again) A. This tale of mistaken identities, passion and egos within the realm of opera could be just like any other drama, if not for Max (freshman Peter Secrest) and his desire to impress his maybe-notso-soon-to-be father-in-law, Saunders (freshman Yuval Ben-Hayun). “I think it’s different in the scheme of this season because the two major [productions] — the Torn Ticket major, which is ‘Secret Garden,’ and the 3Ps major, which is ‘Eurydice,’ — are both more on the dramatic side,” director Alex Kaufman, a senior who is also the executive new media editor of the Daily, said. “In the context of these two shows, I think this gives the community a much-needed laugh and break from the drama.” Every member of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company is nervous when Tito Merelli (freshman Daniel Camilletti), the famed operatic tenor, fails to arrive for his big performance. However, his eventual arrival does lit-
‘Prism’ fails to show musical maturity by Veronica
Drew Robertson for the Tufts Daily
Freshmen Peter Secrest and Yuval Ben-Hayun play chaotic duo Max and Saunders in ‘Lend Me a Tenor.’ tle to calm the frenetic feeling of the play. After a rather unfortunate series of events, Tito becomes incapacitated, and Max and Saunders have to team up to prevent utter catastrophe. Yet
instead of solving the problem, they cause a plethora of other crises. The chaos created by these two characters see TENOR, page 6
Daily Editorial Board
If there is one thing that Katy Perry is known for, it’s certainly not delicacy. Her latest release, “Prism,”
Prism Katy Perry Capitol Records
Courtesy Clay Enos / Sony Pictures Classics
is a colossal disappointment that can only be seen as a blemish in Perry’s career and otherwise stellar discography. Skyrocketing to stardom with her 2008 single “I Kissed a Girl,” Perry branded herself as the peppy bad-girl with whimsical fashion sensibilities and an affection for the ’80s. Coming off of a failed career in the Christian music world, Perry jettisoned innocence for raunchy hooks and verses dripping with double entendre and innuendo — a tactic that worked spectacularly for the singer. Her debut “One of the Boys” (2008) was a strong, smart pop album that generated hit after hit, including “Waking Up in Vegas” and — arguably the best pop song of 2008 — “Hot & Cold.” At their core, these songs were simple and easy to love. After her initial foray into cookie-cutter pop music, however, Perry began to transform into a more serious artist. In 2010, Perry released “Teenage Dream” — a clear progression from “One of the Boys” and a refreshing display of growth and experimentation. Perry gave us a series of infectious and — for the see PRISM, page 6
The relationship between Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is one of the focal points of ‘Kill Your Darlings.’
‘Kill Your Darlings’ shines with captivating performances by
Kumar Ramanathan Daily Staff Writer
The lives of the Beat Generation have been visited time and time again — not least by the Beats themselves — but “Kill Your Darlings” sets itself apart as a lively look at the Beats’ collegiate days and the violence and romance that defined
Kill Your Darlings Directed by John Krokidas Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston their earlier years together. Propelled by captivating performances, director John Krokidas’ first feature captures the depth and darkness of these characters, but unfortunately falls prey to the very conventionality that the Beats fought so fervently against.
The main figures of the Beat movement — Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster) — take center stage, along with the lesser-known Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). Viewers see the young men as students and troublemakers at Columbia University in the early 1940s, itching to push boundaries and eager to explore drugs, violence and sexuality long before rock ‘n’ roll made it cool. The focal point of the film is the killing of Kammerer by Carr in 1944 — an event that irrevocably altered the Beats’ lives and their art. The story behind the murder is primarily one of forbidden romance in an era when homosexuality was brutally and forcefully closeted. There is a classic but compelling love triangle at play — Carr is enigmatic and alluring, leading Ginsberg through see DARLINGS, page 6
Megan Clark | Where’s the Craic?
‘The Crying Game’
he Crying Game” (1992) tells the story of Fergus, an IRA operative, whose life is thrown off course after he kidnaps and subsequently befriends a British soldier. The film was fairly radical for the time period in its portrayal of sexuality and gender, also delving into themes of racism and colonialism. I am of two minds about “The Crying Game.” While writer and director Neil Jordan earnestly attempts to explore these somewhat taboo subjects, he is not always successful. “The Crying Game” asks its audience to question traditional ideas about gender, but ultimately deals with these themes on a superficial level. Nonetheless, the film’s complexity — even when not fully developed — calls for further analysis. “The Crying Game” opens at a carnival just outside Belfast. Female IRA operative Jude romances Jody, the British soldier, in order to facilitate his capture by Fergus and the rest of their comrades. The group hopes to use Jody as a bargaining chip to achieve the release of another IRA member. Neil Jordan’s writing and direction shine in the unlikely friendship between Fergus and Jody, played by Stephen Rea and Forest Whitaker, respectively. Jody quickly transitions from viewing Fergus as a captor to viewing him as an ally. When he first speaks to Fergus, he says, “You’re gonna have to [kill me], aren’t you?” Yet by the end of his captivity, Jody seems to separate Fergus from the rest of the IRA members, asking him for a favor in case “they kill” him. Specifically, Jody wants Fergus to contact his girlfriend in England. When the IRA’s demands are not met, Fergus must kill Jody. His hesitancy allows Jody to run away, only to be hit and killed by an army tank that is presumably there to rescue him. Thus, neither the audience nor Fergus himself can know whether he would have actually shot Jody or not. Through Jody and Fergus’ friendship, the film explores issues of race. Jody, a British national born in Antigua, is hated by the Irish people he encounters both for being British and for being black. He says that Ireland is “the one place in the world where” people will call someone a racial slur to his face, as opposed to behind his back. This introduces the idea of underlying versus explicit racism. However, this is not further developed and is largely absent for the rest of the film. After Jody’s death, Fergus moves to England and locates Jody’s girlfriend, Dil. Despite his initialintentions,Ferguseventuallyfallsinlovewith her, and they begin a relationship. Fergus’ view of Dil is shattered when he discovers that she is transgender. This is the film’s analytical meat and — to its credit — it confronts sexuality and gender identity head on during a time where there was very little mainstream transgender representation. Nonetheless, its exploration of this theme is still somewhat limited. Fergus continues to care for and potentially even love Dil, but he does not allow Dil to express her love toward him and never truly sees her the same way again. Dil’s revelation shocks Fergus, and the film expects the audience to be shocked as well. Queer theorist Judith Halberstam has argued that the assumption that the audience will react similarly to Fergus reinforces rather than subverts gender and sexual norms. While Dil is a dynamic character, she is always “the other.” The film does succeed in subtly examining gender through naming. Jude, Jody and Dil all have gender ambiguous names, and each behave counter to gender stereotypes. Jude takes on a traditionally masculine role as a paramilitary, and Jody and Dil challenge heteronormative ideals through their relationship. Despite its attempts at subversion, when viewed today — in an era where these issues are seeing more public discourse and at least a little more progress — “The Crying Game” provides a relatively conservative viewpoint. Next week’s film: “Breakfast on Pluto.” Megan Clark is a senior who is majoring in English and history. She can be reached at Megan.Clark@tufts.edu.
The Tufts Daily
Arts & Living
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
‘Lend Me a Tenor’ to debut tonight TENOR
continued from page 5
builds to the point that it seems as if all the lies they have told are about to come crashing down on them. Besides Kaufman and sophomore Rose Iorillo, the show’s stage manager, the cast and crew of “Lend Me a Tenor” is composed entirely of freshmen. Freshman Rachel Canowitz, who plays Julia, called the experience of working with peers intense, yet organic and collaborative. Fellow cast member Ana Baustin, who plays Tito’s fiery wife, Maria, agreed. She explained that even though working with peers can at times feel odd or different, her involvement in “Lend Me A Tenor” has been rewarding and productive. Although “Lend Me a Tenor” is unabashedly a farce, there are many elements of considerable substance. For example, Maggie (freshman Blair Nodelman), Max’s sort-of fiancé, struggles to reconcile her love for Max with her desire to be more “free.” At the same time, Max is slowly learning to be more than what the people in his life want him to be. Character development aside, parts
of this staging of “Lend Me a Tenor” will likely be reminiscent of Warner Bros.’ “Looney Tunes” (1930-1969) as the actors run in and out of the Balch Arena Theater’s many entrances, parade around in various stages of dress and un-dress and consume an alarmingly large amount of what is clearly wax fruit. This ever-changing, dynamic energy is always present, with one moment calm and the next quickly spiraling out of control. Crescendo and diminuendo are not exactly the fortes of this play — as a result there is hardly a dull moment. The audience is guaranteed a good laugh from “Lend Me a Tenor,” whether from its dramatic divas, confident Casanovas or its ability to keep finding new troubles for its characters. While the show ends at a point very similar to how it began, somehow this conclusion feels fitting, as if everything is as it should be. “I have had fun with it in every way,” Kaufman said. “And so should the audience.” “Lend Me a Tenor” will play tonight in Balch Arena Theater, with shows at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are free, with a suggested donation of $5 at the door.
Drew Robertson for the Tufts Daily
Cast members of ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ rehearse in preparation for their final performance.
‘Darlings’ offers meditative character study on famous writers DARLINGS
continued from page 5
a world of steamy parties and enlisting him in building a new literary movement. Meanwhile, Kammerer plays a lover from Carr’s past who haunts the duo and their Beat friends, guarding and exploiting secrets that only he and Carr know. Although Kerouac and Burroughs are portrayed brilliantly by Huston and Foster, “Kill Your Darlings” is primarily the Allen Ginsberg show. It is not so much an origin story in that it is entirely unconcerned with the man that Ginsberg would become. Instead, the film is enamored with analyzing how his dark and painful experience would ultimately serve as an inspiration for his creativity. That emotional core is carried entirely and spectacularly by Radcliffe and DeHaan, who bring a depth of emotion to the characters that is frequently missed in the reverent or condescending caricatures of most adaptations. Krokidas displays an impressive devotion to showing the humanity of all of his characters — something that is typically lost in biographical films. Unlike Walter Salles’ 2012 adaption of Kerouac’s 1957 novel “On the Road,” “Kill Your Darlings” does not readily accept its protagonists’ claims to creative genius. Kammerer, situated outside the inner circle of the Beats, acts as a vessel to constantly question the intellectual hubris of the early movement. Nor does the film shy away from exploring the deep
Courtesy Jessica Miglio / Sony Pictures Classics
Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg brings a level of emotion to his role that is not often seen in biographical films. seediness of the Beats’ lives. Burroughs’ drug-induced revelations are always constrained by the crisp suit his old-money background affords him; Carr’s exuberance and allure barely mask his willingness to exploit society’s homophobia for his own benefit; Kerouac’s talk of romanticism and liberation is starkly contrasted with the constant abuse he levels at his girlfriend (Elizabeth Olsen). Unfortunately, where Krokidas fal-
ters is in the tone and pacing of the film. The story naturally requires tonal shifts — scenes of youthful exuberance peppered with light-hearted, sexual jokes are replaced by those depicting deeply troubled family lives and murder — but the film struggles to keep up with them. When not propelled forward by the performances, the exquisite set design and cinematography of the film feel a little hollow — like a
‘Prism’ underwhelms with stale sounds, outdated lyrics PRISM
continued from page 5
José Goulão via Flickr Creative Commons
Once a pop music powerhouse, Katy Perry has drifted into irrelevancy with her new album, ‘Prism.’
first time — meaningful singles. She displayed her genius on “Teenage Dream” by combining flippant feminine tracks with powerhouse anthems about liberation and self-confidence. Songs like “Teenage Dream,” “Last Friday Night ( T.G.I.F)” and “Firework” were proof of Perry’s musical prowess. With her history of past pop successes, it is shocking that Perry managed to make an album so outdated and musically stagnant as “Prism.” It has been three years since the singer’s last release — since then, it is clear that Perry has avoided risky material and failed to create any new sounds. At a time when pop divas like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé have been dominating the charts, Perry is stuck in her former success, desperately trying to hold on to the music that made her so relevant in 2010. And it’s not just these pop queens who are making Perry look bad. Other up-and-coming artists are eager to take Perry’s place and threaten her fame. Young singers like Lorde and Miley Cyrus put Perry’s youthful persona to shame. Compared to Cyrus’ “Bangerz” and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine,” both released earlier this fall, “Prism” seems even more substandard and second-rate. It’s not only that “Prism” is shamelessly
photograph struggling desperately to become an offbeat painting. Every now and then, the film does manage to balance both the propulsive carelessness of these characters’ lives and the hypocrisy and anxiety hidden behind them. But the best parts of the film are those that step outside of the Beat narrative entirely to examine the harsh realities that inspired the group’s literary philosophies — scenes of Ginsberg’s mentally ill mother, of Carr’s depression, of Kammerer’s long-repressed sexual orientation. It is in these moments that Krokidas excels, dwelling quietly on the repressive social structures that drove these men to poetic genius and coldblooded murder. Ultimately, “Kill Your Darlings” is a story of young men who — try as they might — cannot escape their own personal and social demons. Many scenes will leave viewers wishing that Krokidas could have harnessed some of the Beats’ resistance to convention in his own art, but he succeeds where he needs to the most: at exposing the underside of the Beats’ early insurgence. Krokidas takes on the taboos of homosexuality, mental illness and forbidden love, coupling them with the frustration and struggle of youth. The protagonists are left to rebel in their own private ways, leading to both great and devastating results. “Kill Your Darlings” shines as a powerful, meditative character study of these famous enigmas, wrapped up in a dark romance.
repetitive and boring; it’s also that there are more talented artists who have already done everything that Perry is trying to do now -except they’ve done it better. The main single off of the album, “Roar,” is another “Firework”style anthem, with Perry presumably trying to discourage bullying and spew support for the underdog. However, both the message and the music are stale and contrived, with senseless lyrics covered up by an uninspired (though somewhat catchy) chorus of “oh, oh, oh, ohhs.” And the rest of the tracks on “Prism” are just as tired and trite. Songs like “This is How We Do” and “Walking on Air” could have been hits three years ago, but now they’re monotonous and excessive. The saddest thing for Perry is that she seems to lack all self-awareness — she clearly has no idea how old she sounds. This becomes painfully evident on tracks like “Dark Horse,” which features Jessie J. This track tries to incorporate dub-step bass drops and haunting lyrics — tropes that have already overwhelmed the pop scene and are now mainly included in songs for ironic purposes. Unfortunately, it looks like the golden age of Katy Perry is slowly coming to a close, with “Prism” being the final nail in the coffin. Perry has relegated herself to the annals of great pop music, now relevant only to those who are out of touch with the current music scene.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Tufts Daily
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Editorial | Op-Ed
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Giving due attention to bystander effect
Since the infamous murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964, the bystander effect has been a recognized psychological phenomenon that occurs when one or more individuals do not intervene in a dangerous or emergency situation. Awareness projects (“If you see something, say something”) have historically been effective in helping to prevent crime on a city-wide level. However, the bystander effect isn’t always limited to cities: Emergency situations often go unreported on college campuses as well. Fortunately, Tufts’ Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is actively working to address the problem of the bystander effect on campus by bringing the University of Arizona’s Step UP! program to Tufts. It is commendable that this group of student athletes is bringing this issue to light, especially after the incident last year at a volleyball game that resulted in the benching of 27 Tufts athletes for harassment.
Harassment by athletes and spectators during sporting games is only one of the situations in which the bystander effect can occur on campus. Step UP! also hopes to address the issue with regards to hazing (sports initiation, Greek life or otherwise), drinking culture, eating disorders, sexual assault and discrimination. The program provides instructions on how to identify instances where the bystander effect happens and most importantly, how to step in and prevent unfortunate outcomes in these situations. The importance of this program cannot be overstated. Not only does it seek to address an issue that affects our campus (even with the new medical amnesty alcohol policy, some students still do not report friends who have over-imbibed to dangerous levels), but it also reframes issues outside of the normal perpetrator-victim dynamic, reminding third-party Jumbos of a need to be responsible and advocate for every member of
the Tufts community. The fact that this initiative is peerto-peer and provides instruction for student leaders on campus, such as athletes and members of Greek life, is highly relevant — it shows that students are taking the initiative to tackle problems that the administration has not been able to completely resolve. SAAC’s involvement is pivotal, as these student athletes provide a bridge not only between student leaders and their peers, but also between the student body and the funds and resources of the Tufts administration. The bystander effect happens everywhere, and Tufts is no exception. The Step UP! program is a positive development in addressing this issue by empowering students to respond to dangerous situations and to take personal responsibility for the safety of their peers — something that, unfortunately, hasn’t always happened at Tufts.
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Off the Hill | University of Texas at Austin
The case for casting your vote by Assistant Layout Editor
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The Daily Texan
Voting is a tremendous privilege. Throughout history people have fought incredibly hard to gain the right to cast a ballot. Through constitutional amendments most people on this campus have been granted this right. Unfortunately, a majority of students do not take advantage of it. The right to vote is just as important as a person’s right to free speech or right to own property. It is truly confounding to me when people shrug off their right as if fulfilling their civic duty were an optional lab report. Every person has an opinion and every person has a voice that absolutely must be heard in order for a truly by-the-people-for-the-people government to be a reality. Currently, the U.S. Congress has an abysmal approval rating of just five percent, according to an Associated Press survey. With so many people dissatisfied with the state of politics on a national scale, it is important that we focus on local elections, which
The Tufts Daily is a nonprofit, independent newspaper, published Monday through Friday during the academic year, and distributed free to the Tufts community. EDITORIAL POLICY Editorials represent the position of The Tufts Daily. Individual editors are not necessarily responsible for, or in agreement with, the policies and editorials of The Tufts Daily. The content of letters, advertisements, signed columns, cartoons and graphics does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Tufts Daily editorial board.
are upon us. While not as high profile or glamorous as nationwide elected officials, local candidates’ work significantly impacts daily life, maybe more so than Congress. By engaging with local government, citizens can see their concerns or hopes addressed. But as it stands, young voters aren’t making their voices heard. In the 2010 midterms, only 24 percent of eligible 18-29 year olds voted. While this year, like 2010, is not a presidential election year (or even a midterm year), there are still candidates and organizations that work hard for students and citizens alike. To simply walk past the FAC [Flawn Academic Center] or other polling place without voting is not only insulting to those candidates and organizations, but to the battles fought over the fourteenth, fifteenth, nineteenth, twenty fourth and twenty sixth amendments. Every eligible voter on this campus should be registered. Organizations like Hook the Vote and UT Votes do incredible work on this campus to educate and prepare students to vote. This includes
voter registration. While registration does not mean that a person must vote, the Campus Vote Project said that in 2008, of all students registered, 87 percent actually voted. If you want to get engaged in the voting process you must register to vote. Next: Educate yourself. A ballot can feel like a quiz, but it shouldn’t. UT Votes’ Public Relations officer Zach Foust and Hook the Vote’s Director Arjun Mocheria both iterated to me that educating students is a cornerstone piece for them. By briefly engaging with either of these organizations, students should feel prepared at the polls, and excited to cast a ballot. They will have the opportunity to actively fulfill the vision of the constitution and those who worked tirelessly to grant so many groups the right to vote. Voting is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. So if you are registered, be sure to get to the polls on Nov. 5. And if not, don’t worry. We have some key elections coming up, so get registered and start getting informed.
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The Tufts Daily
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Off the Hill | University of Houston
Eloise Libre | Frankly Candid
Baseball for laypeople
Harry Potter fans use love for series to help muggles by
The Daily Cougar
Don’t let the name fool you. The Harry Potter Alliance isn’t a fan club. Of course, it’s founded and staffed by a lot of dedicated fans, but the Harry Potter Alliance isn’t about passive appreciation. The Harry Potter Alliance engages in something much more dynamic and exciting: fandom activism. Fandom activism isn’t a new phenomenon. Fan mobilization has roots that go decades back to the famous 1969 letter-writing campaign to save Star Trek. University of Southern California Annenberg professor Henry Jenkins argues in his essay “Cultural acupuncture: Fan activism and the Harry Potter Alliance” that as fan groups evolved and “defined an issue, identified decisionmakers, developed tactics and educated and mobilized supporters,” they laid down the infrastructure to engage in activism and “take meaningful action.” Recent strains of fan activism jump out of the text and into the real world of civic engagement and political discourse. The rallying cry of the Harry Potter
Alliance is “the weapon we have is love.” The HPA pulls on central themes in the “Harry Potter” series in order to organize and promote social justice campaigns. The Harry Potter Alliance got its start campaigning to raise awareness about genocide in Darfur, tying in anti-bigotry messages from the “Harry Potter” series. The 2011 “Deathly Hallows” campaign identified seven real-world “horcruxes” ranging from economic inequality to bullying. Harry Potter parallels, such as “houseelf” slavery and anti-“Mudblood” prejudice, interpret these issues within the context of fiction. Civic engagement often squares off against pop culture. Fandom activism is a novel approach in that it works with pop culture rather than dismissing it. Pop culture narratives can have tremendous emotional value to an audience. Fandom activism taps into that emotional connection in order to find real-world solutions. In the abstract, a lot of social issues can look too broad and intimidating to tackle. Aligning social problems with pop culture narratives offers a familiar lens to view issues through and fosters a diverse and enthusiastic
member base. The Harry Potter Alliance has gained enormous traction and branched out from “Harry Potter” into other fandoms. In anticipation of the upcoming “Catching Fire” movie, the HPA is forming campaigns to tackle economic inequality using the district framework of “The Hunger Games.” Harry Potter Alliance chapters worldwide are making a difference in their home communities through donation drives, awareness panels and hundreds of other campaigns that take on social justice issues at the local level. The Houston Potter Alliance was founded this year at UH to deal with Houston-specific problems, including economic inequality in the city and homelessness. J.K. Rowling herself once worked with Amnesty International. When asked about the Harry Potter Alliance’s campaign work concerning Darfur in a 2007 interview with Time magazine, Rowling replied: “What did my books preach against throughout? Bigotry, violence, struggles for power, no matter what. All of these things are happening in Darfur. So they really couldn’t have chosen a better cause.”
Off the Hill | University of California Berkeley
Why getting a new cellphone is a bad idea by Sherdil
The Daily Californian
If somebody offered to sell you something that cost $350 for just 12 easy payments of $90, would you take him up on that offer? Unless you make a habit of dumping money into a giant hole in the ground and lighting it on fire, you probably wouldn’t. But a lot of students across campus — across the country — are doing just this. Time to put things in perspective: We complain about how expensive textbooks are, but we will happily spend almost $2,000 on an iPhone over two years. The upfront cost of a phone might be small, after all, but your cellphone company makes that up by charging usage rates over the two years of the contract. You know, that $120 bill you get each month? It’s kind of like going on one date and suddenly waking up
the next day married in Vegas. So what’s a UC Berkeley student (or any student, for that matter) to do? Simple: break the cycle. You actually have a lot more power as a consumer than you think. There are tons of resources around campus that can make you less reliant on that cellphone bill. Use a lot of data? Try using AirBears instead. It’s fast and reliable, and it can save you the pain of having to pay for all that 4G your phone gulped up last month as if it were some kind of data-guzzling alcoholic. Plus, it’s school-wide, meaning it minimizes the times you have to turn that pesky 4G on. Most people have less than 2GB of data on their phone they can use up — using Wi-Fi can stop you from bumping into that number. Many people keep their 4G on instead of going to Wi-Fi because it’s more convenient, but that’s a decision that will literally cost you.
And if you need a new phone? Buy one prepaid (without a contract), and save a lot of money in the long run. Prepaid plans such as T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Metro PCS generally charge you more for the phone up front but save you money in the long run by charging you less per month. You may pay $100 more for the phone, but you’ll save $20 per month. Do the math over two years, and you’ll be smiling like a fool. A rich fool. Plus, you’ll actually own the phone you bought, instead of paying it off. And perhaps the biggest thing we at the Clog have learned: sometimes you don’t need a new phone at all. The one you have now works, right? Buy a new phone now and a better model will probably come out next week. Besides, you’re at Berkeley. You won’t have the time to stop and think about that old phone in your pocket anyway, now will you?
n a world where sports fanatics are royalty, I am a mere plebian. I grew up in a Connecticut suburb where diehard baseball fans were roughly split 50/50: Yankees/Red Sox. I sided with the Red Sox because their supporters were generally less annoying. Choosing a college in Boston confirmed my Red Sox allegiance. I attend the occasional game, enjoy a nice sports bar and follow the Sox on Twitter. By no means would I call myself an extreme fan, but I certainly tell people that I cheer for Boston sports. This attitude, which probably comprises more Tufts students than are willing to admit, is the best way of supporting a team. We don’t care so much about the score (unless we win, of course), but we appreciate the team spirit that rubs off on the city. I feel this way about the Red Sox. I am not ashamed to confess that it wasn’t until this year that I learned what ALCS stands for, but every time I walk into Fenway, it feels a little like home. To me, following professional sports seems like less of an athletic competition than a social experience. Supporting “your” team and tracking their every move — both on the field and off — is a culture. For the diehard fans that fully immerse themselves in that culture, I cannot say I think it’s worth it — I could never put so much emotion into something I have no control over. But for those of us who dwell on the outskirts of that culture, we reap the benefits of team mentality, town pride and kicking back with friends to watch a game or two when we feel like it. I read somewhere (it might have been on a Snapple cap) that, in professional baseball, the ball is only actually in play for a total of five minutes over the entire span of each game. So I would say it is legitimate to admit that, during the World Series, I paid more attention to the fun beards than to the actual plays, watching what I did of the games. That said, the beards still got me, the lay Sox fan, going. I felt the spirit and pride radiating from the team and affecting everyone in the Greater Boston Area. I think it is this spirit that’s the important part — way more so than obsessing over controversial plays and emotional game intricacies. It’s all about the crowd mentality. Laypeople can get wrapped up in anything, as long as the general culture displays a propensity to get excited. Take Halloween, for example. Not everyone loves dressing up. But when it becomes clear that everyone is doing it, even the less-motivated folks become costume enthusiasts. Maybe it’s more town pride than team pride, but as I watched Game 6 (“watched” may be too strong a word considering I devoted more attention to the paper I was writing simultaneously), I could not help but think that I could see myself one day raising kids in Boston and taking them to Sox games every year. Having just enough team pride to enjoy “Sweet Caroline” and wear your cap around Boston is the perfect amount of “fan” for me. Being a subtle, wholesome supporter without the stress of sports politics is all I need. Sports fans will always exist on a range of diehard to apathetic. I would put myself and the rest of the plebian population on the low end of that spectrum, but we are not posers. We are just your Average Joes who don’t necessarily love sports. We are good at getting wrapped up in the hype, and we love to feel the pride that comes along with our city winning the World Series.
Eloise Libre is a senior who is majoring in history. She can be reached at Eloise.Libre@ tufts.edu.
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Aaron Leibowitz | The Fan
The wrong debate
Matt Schreiber for the Tufts Daily
First-year quarterback Alex Snyder got the start for Tufts at Colby on Saturday, but the Jumbos’ offense was ineffective against the Mules, compiling just 244 yards of offense in the 37-0 loss.
Mules score 34 in first half, trounce Jumbos by
Daily Editorial Board
There was no bright side this time. Throughout the season, there have been signs of progress from Tufts foot-
FOOTBALL (0-7 Overall, 0-7 NESCAC) at Waterville, Maine, Saturday NESCAC Quarterfinals Tufts Colby
0 0 14 20
ball. The Jumbos came within one stop of beating Bates. They could practically taste victory against Bowdoin. At Williams, they fell behind early before making a valiant comeback. Last week, they forced six Amherst turnovers and the score was tied at halftime. But at Colby on Saturday, Tufts never appeared to have a shot. The Jumbos trailed 34-0 at halftime. They lost 37-0. Their losing streak hit 30. “We didn’t show up,” head coach Jay Civetti said. “The first half was the worst half of football we’ve played in a while.” Heading into the game, the Jumbos expected to be without their starting quarterback, freshman Alex Snyder, due to an undisclosed medical reason. Sophomore Drew Burnett was tabbed to start. Then, a few hours before game time, Snyder, the coaches and medical staff decided he could play. But Snyder was unable to crack the Colby defense in his third career start. His seven drives resulted in
four punts, a turnover on downs, a missed field goal and an interception. In the second half, Burnett and freshman Liam O’Neil split the quarterback duties. Meanwhile, Tufts’ defense struggled mightily. Sophomore quarterback Justin Ciero ran the option offense to perfection, leaving Tufts flat-footed and out of position as the Mules found huge open spaces. After punting on its first possession, Colby rattled off five consecutive touchdown drives of 65, 72, 71, 80 and 70 yards, respectively, to close out the first half. For the Jumbos, the ugly result boiled down to a lack of execution. “They ran exactly what we practiced,” junior tri-captain linebacker Tommy Meade said. “We knew the quarterback was good, and we knew we had to contain him. It wasn’t in the preparation, it was in the way that we went out.” All afternoon, the Mules moved the ball at will. Ciero finished 20 of 27 passing for 218 yards and three touchdowns, and he picked up 138 yards on the ground, earning him NESCAC Offensive Football Player of the Week honors. Freshman Carl Lipani also eclipsed 100 yards rushing, while junior Luke Duncklee caught 12 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, Colby out-gained Tufts 531 yards to 244. “We came out flat,” Meade said. “We didn’t do what we practiced all week. We certainly didn’t play the type of football we’re trying to build. It’s
Tufts hopeful for Nationals berth MEN’S XC
continued from back
“It was definitely an advantage to have already checked out this course a few weeks ago,” Guarnaccia said. “We’re lucky enough to be one of the few NESCAC teams that race this course, so we were able to pick our spots and check out the terrain weeks before the race.” As for future Jumbo performances at the NESCAC meet, Nichols has high hopes for success.
“We’re a young team, and we think we have great potential and promise,” Nichols said. “We have some great seniors who will be leading us next year, so we think we’ll be successful if we keep positive.” The postseason continues for the Jumbos with the ECAC meet next weekend, followed by the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Championship, where they hope to clinch another berth to the NCAA Division III National Championship meet.
very frustrating.” With under a minute left in the first half, Duncklee streaked down the middle of the field and caught a 70-yard touchdown pass. There was not a Tufts defender within five yards of him. The extra point made it 34-0 and effectively put the game out of reach. “Everything,” Civetti said, when asked what upset him most. “I was disappointed in everything.” For a team that has taken steps forward this season, Saturday felt like a big step back. “There is an ownership [of ] what has been built here thus far that needs to be solidified and redefined,” Civetti said. Snyder completed 11 of 23 passes for 105 yards and threw one pick before being removed from the game. Sophomore Vincent Falk snared his first career interception in the fourth quarter. Freshman running back Chance Brady and sophomore defensive lineman Pat Williams were sidelined with injuries. The Jumbos now have one game remaining, next weekend at home against 6-1 Middlebury. They have no choice but to regroup and try to fix the problems that haunted them in Waterville, Maine. “As bad as it was, it’s behind us; we need to forget about it,” Meade said. “Every single guy is gonna be all-in this week, flying around in practice, same enthusiasm that we [had] the first week. That’s one of the constants that’s been with this football team.”
“Runners 8-14 will run at ECACs. They want to win the entire meet to showcase our strong depth to the rest of the region,” Guarnaccia said. “After that, our varsity guys will race at Regionals and go for the win, but our main goal is to make it back to Nationals.” Guarnaccia expressed optimism about Nationals. “I think we can beat Williams and Middlebury this time around,” he said.
ately, anyone who’s anyone has been weighing in on the debate over the Washington Redskins’ name. Wise columnists have addressed such questions as: Is the name racist? Is ‘redskin’ a slur? Are Native Americans offended by it? What if one carefully selected Native American leader says he is not offended by it? Then can we definitively declare that, ‘It’s okay, everyone, they aren’t offended; we don’t need to change the name?’ Things to consider. Except not really. Here’s my take: Of course the name is offensive. Of course it’s harmful. Last year, I addressed that point in this space, and I’d be happy to discuss it further another time. (The crux was that, regardless of whether ‘redskin’ is a slur, Native American mascots dehumanize and stereotype an oppressed group of people.) But we are not asking the right questions. To ask merely whether the name is racist is to oversimplify an issue that exists within a much larger social framework. The debate needs to shift away from racist versus not racist, offensive versus inoffensive, and be placed in its appropriate historical and present-day context. Before even beginning a discussion about the Washington Redskins, two things should be abundantly clear. One is that Native Americans were victims of genocide here at the hands of white Europeans. The mere fact that Native Americans still exist in this country is something of a miracle. The other, which is less publicized but just as significant today, is that Native Americans are still oppressed. Many live on reservations that lack proper infrastructure and are exposed to radioactive and toxic waste. Unemployment and alcoholism are rampant among Native populations. Out of all U.S. ethnic groups, Native Americans have the highest rates of suicide, child mortality and teen pregnancy. They also have the lowest life expectancy. Native Americans remain outsiders in their own home, and so far they have not wielded the power necessary to change that. Without first acknowledging this fact, an argument about mascots misses the point. Redskins owner Dan Snyder, along with countless other Native American mascot apologists, likes to claim that the names, images and rituals associated with his team are intended to honor Native American heritage. He claims they are signs of respect. But these “signs of respect” are not only misguided; they are also worthless. If you want to show respect for Native Americans — if you truly value their legacy and continued presence in the United States — then start by advocating for them. Demand their human rights. Open your pocketbook — especially if it’s as deep as Snyder’s — and lobby for equal treatment. Tell policymakers that Native Americans are human beings, not mascots. A jarring analogy here may be helpful. Imagine a German soccer team using a Jewish figure as its mascot — say, for instance, the “Berlin Rabbis,” or the “Munich Hasids.” Here, as in the case of the Redskins, people who were victims of genocide are used as mascots in the country where that genocide occurred. Like Native Americans in the United States, Jews in Germany are still trying to find their footing. (Although, unlike ‘rabbi’ or ‘Hasid,’ ‘redskin’ is a slur.) I don’t mean to suggest that a discussion about Native American mascots has no merit. Symbolically, it’s a step in the right direction. Momentum is currently working against D.C.’s football team, and that’s a good thing. But let’s not forget what we’re really talking about here. While we grapple over a name, Native Americans are fighting to survive. Maybe, once we move past the mascot thing, we can start talking about survival.
Aaron Leibowitz is a senior who is majoring in American studies. He can be reached at Aaron.Leibowitz@tufts.edu.
INSIDE Football 15
Women’s Cross Country
Tufts finishes third, improves upon NESCAC Championship finish from last year by
Daily Editorial Board
The women’s cross country team placed third out of 11 teams at the NESCAC Championship in Waterford, Conn. at the Harkness State Park meet on Saturday, improving on last year’s fourth place finish at the meet. Because of the strong talent at the top of the conference, a NESCAC title was a difficult task from the start. Middlebury and Williams have been dominant teams all season, winning four meets and three meets, respectively, prior to the NESCAC Championship. The Jumbos, however, were able to carry out their goal from the beginning of the fall without winning the conference outright. Coming into the season, the team’s goal was to place third or better in the NESCAC, which they accomplished. “We did what we had to do, we accomplished our goal minimally,” senior tricaptain Lauren Creath said. “But we didn’t race as well as we could have. There are things than can be improved upon, but for the most part we did what we had to do.” Tufts finished with a score of 90 points, falling short of second place Williams College’s 51 points and beating fourth place Bates College’s 138 points. Middlebury won the meet with 29 points and captured the NESCAC title for the fourth time in the last six seasons, but for the first time since 2010. The Panther’s victory ended the Ephs’ quest of winning the conference for the third consecutive year. All five of the Middlebury runners whose times contributed to the team score finished in the top 10 overall, demonstrating the team’s dominance at the meet. “It’s clear that Middlebury is pretty unbeatable,” Creath said. Senior tri-captain Abby Barker crossed the finish line first for the Jumbos, placing third with a time of 21:44, only 24 seconds behind the first place finisher, senior Kaleigh Kenny of Williams. Barker’s performance earns her a spot on the AllNESCAC First Team, given to the top seven
finishers, for the first time in her career. Sophomores Olivia Beltrani and Audrey Gould finished next for Tufts, running times of 22:09 and 22:23, and placing 13th and 20th, respectively. Beltrani’s performance earns her All-NESCAC Second Team honors. “I didn’t run quite as well as I wanted to,” Gould said. “I wish I’d put myself more in the race from the beginning because it’s harder to come from behind than to start up front and just go with that lead pack.” Creath and senior Laura Peterson rounded out the scoring for the Jumbos. Creath placed 22nd with a time of 22:26, and Peterson placed 31st with a time of 22:49. “My race in particular was different because we got out slower, and I’m used to getting out harder and trying to hang on at the end,” Creath said. “I tried to go out a little more conservatively and pick it up at the end, so I was able to hang onto packs and pass people at the end. For a new race strategy, I think it went well.” The team’s strong 55-second 1-5 spread is consistent with what the team has been doing all season, and is one of the main reasons why they have been successful. Senior Molly Mirhashem and junior Meg Gillis also ran for the Jumbos at the meet, although only the top five runners are factored into the meet’s scoring. Mirhashem placed 34th with a time of 23:00, and Gillis placed 39th with a time of 23:07. Next weekend, the team’s top seven will get some rest as the eighth through 14th runners will compete in the ECAC Championship in Bristol, R.I. Then the top seven will be back in action after their weekend off with the NCAA Regional Championship in Gorham, Maine on Nov. 16. Here, the Jumbos will have a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championship. “I think at Regionals we want to close the gap between us and Williams, because I think we can beat them if we have a good day,” Gould said. “And after last year, we want to go to Nationals because
Annie Levine for the Tufts Daily
Tufts women’s cross country took a third-place finish at the NESCAC Championship at Harkness State Park in Waterford, Conn. on Saturday, trailing only Middlebury and Williams. we know we’re good enough, and we’ve put in the work so I think we can pull it off this year.” “Our main goal [at the NCAA Regional Championship] is to finish in the top four,” Creath added. “MIT and Williams
are ranked ahead of us, but they are beatable. It would be a challenge, but we could potentially do it. It’s up for grabs based on who has a better day. The end goal is qualifying [for the NCAA Championship meet].”
Men’s Cross Country
Jumbos run to third-place finish at NESCAC Championship by
The men’s cross country team traveled back to Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Conn. for the 2013 NESCAC Championship meet, but
were unable to defend last year’s conference title. In 2012, one of the closest races in NESCAC history (31 points separated the top five schools), Tufts prevailed as NESCAC champions by three points over Middlebury with a low 66 points.
Annie Levine for the Tufts Daily
The men’s cross country team took home third place at Harkness Memorial State Park in the NESCAC Championship on Saturday.
However, defending their title this year would prove more difficult, as No. 23 Tufts faced off against No. 4 Middlebury and No. 6 Williams in what is arguably the strongest Div. III conference in the nation. The Jumbos took third place with a solid 103 points, behind the Ephs, who won the meet with 51 points, and the Panthers, who had 62 points. Williams placed their top five runners in the top 18, while Middlebury’s placed in the top 27 and Tufts’ in the top 30. Once again, the Jumbos relied heavily on tight pack running, as they posted a 36-second 1-5 split in the competition. Senior Andrew Shapero took top honors for the Jumbos with his eighth place finish in 25:05.7, just missing the All-NESCAC First Team. Freshman Tim Nichols, the third freshman in the conference to cross the finish line, also garnered Second Team All-NESCAC honors by placing 14th in 25:20.4. Sophomore Nick Guarnaccia and senior captain Ben Wallis finished third and fourth for the Jumbos, crossing the line together in 25th (25:36.4) and 26th place (25:37.0), respectively. Freshman Luke O’Connor was not too far behind, as he rounded out the scoring for the Jumbos by placing 30th overall in 25:41.1. “We were ranked fifth going into the race,” Nichols said. “We all had the mindset to do the best we could to compete against Williams and Middlebury, who were ranked higher than us.”
“We definitely think we had a solid performance, and we knew Williams and Middlebury were two strong teams that would be tough to beat,” Guarnaccia added. “We lost a few seniors who helped us win this meet last year, so we’re happy with our thirdplace finish.” Nichols also emphasized the role that progressive running played in the team’s strategy at the meet. “I think all of us had the same mindset that we wanted to run progressive races,” Nichols said. “We wanted to stay relaxed and get out well, but be progressive throughout and pass people. Personally, I went out in the middle of the pack and tried to pick off as many people as I could throughout the race by hitting consistent splits.” Nichols’ strong finish shows the promise of Tufts’ younger runners, who will continue to contribute and make progress throughout the rest of the season. “Tim [Nichols] definitely had the best performance on the day,” Guarnaccia said. “He finished ahead of the guys he usually runs with, and he made the All-NESCAC team with his 14th-place finish, which was the highest finish ever by a Tufts freshman at the meet.” The Jumbos’ knowledge of the course served them well at the meet. They were recently at the course for the Conn. College Cross Country Invitational, where the varsity harriers ran a workout. see MEN’S XC, page 15