THE TUFTS DAILY
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VOLUME LXVII, NUMBER 23
Daily Editorial Board
University President Anthony Monaco in a Feb. 12 announcement stated that the university will adapt three recommendations from the Tufts Divestment Working Group. The Board of Trustees, during their Feb. 8 meeting, agreed to adapt the recommendations, which include refraining from divestment at this time, creating a separate Sustainability Fund — which would allow donors to ensure that that their contributions are not invested in fossil fuels — and pursuing other courses of action to expand climate change awareness. Monaco established the Divestment Working Group last April in response to a written proposal that members of the student-run organization, Tufts Divest for Our Future, had presented to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees in February 2013, according to Tufts Divest member Devyn Powell, a senior. Executive Vice President Patricia Campbell, who served on the working group, said that each member was chosen to create an accurate representation of students, faculty, Trustees and the administration. The 11 members included were Trustees Laurie Gabriel (J ‘76), Bill O’Reilly (A ‘77; A13P) and Andrew Safran (A ‘76; F ‘77); Advisory Committee on Endowment Responsibility (ACER) student representative Andrew Peng, a senior; Tufts Divest student representatives junior Lila Kohrman-Glaser, sophomore Ben Weilerstein and Powell; and faculty members Kelly Sims Gallagher, R. Bruce Hitchner and Ann Rappaport, in addition to Campbell. Hitchner said that all entities serving on the group approached the three charter points with different perspectives and levels of understanding, but that their collaboration was necessary. “I thought engagement [of] students, faculty and members of the Board of Trustees and administration was a good mix for this purpose, and an essential mix,” he said. “It’s important that all those perspectives be continually taken into account when it
Tuesday, february 25, 2014
University will not divest from fossil fuels ‘at this time’
comes to important decisions within the university.” Katie Walsh (F ’13), who was initially chosen to serve on the working group before she graduated last spring, said that she feels the members of the group represent only a minority of the community. The composition reflected an imbalance in the decision-making process and disregard of the recommendations made from Tufts Divest, she said. “Everyone was cherry-picked by the university,” Walsh said. “From the get-go, the formation was decided. We had other recommendations, other professors, other knowledgeable staff — folks with a lot of expertise and background in business. We recommended different Trustee members. From the initiation of the working group, it was very much a university-driven and university-decided process.” Weilerstein, who took Walsh’s place on the group when she graduated, said that he also felt from the onset that the group was created without the intention of seriously considering student voices on the issue of divestment. “The way that they set up the working group [and] the questions that they asked going into it were meant to basically cut off the option of divestment, were meant to show why divestment wasn’t a good option or wasn’t a good idea, instead of looking for ways that we could make it work,” he said. Campbell said that all members were actively heard and respected during the working group’s seven meetings. “I would say it was a very open dialogue,” she said. “I think it was clear from the start that the students did have a particular point of view and were advocating from the point of view of divestment. Everyone was able to participate fully.” Gabriel, the chair of the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee, agreed, and said the working group took on a serious tone. “I think that everybody on the committee came into the conversation recognizing that global climate change is a serious issue and that if we could do something
Arianna Huffington to speak at Murrow Forum Editor-in-chief and President of the Huffington Post Media Group Arianna Huffington will address the Tufts community at the ninth annual Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues in Journalism, according to Director of the Communications and Media Studies (CMS) Program Julie Dobrow. “We always try to get an A-list journalist to come for our Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues in Journalism and it seemed to us that while we have had a lot of television journalists who have come, we have had far fewer print journalists,” Dobrow said. “Of course now that online news is such an incredibly important part of the whole complexion of news, we could think of few people who have had more of an impact on online news than Arianna Huffington.” Online platforms, like the Huffington Post, have sped up the news cycle, which Dobrow said she is interested to hear more about from Huffington. “I’m hoping she will talk with us about her perceptions about what online news has meant for all of the competition in print broadcasting and other online sources,” Dobrow said. “Does online news continue to democratize news for us? Does it mean we increasingly can read about or tune into only the news that which we basically already agree?” Dobrow emphasized that both Murrow and Huffington have participated in revolutionary changes to news media. “One of the things that characterized Murrow was that he did a lot of really cutting edge things in his day,” she said. “When news went from radio to television, he was right there making that transition, he was very important in that. [Murrow] was amazing about contextualabout it, we were all in favor of doing that — provided that it made sense for the university,” she said. Campbell said that employees of the school’s Investment Office put together a model representing the effects that divestment would have on the university. The working group then discussed the risks, ben-
Zhuangchen JJ Zhou / The Tufts Daily
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Huffington will speak at the Murrow Forum in April. izing news and I think that is something that potentially the Huffington Post does as well. ... I wanted to have Ariana Huffington come here because just like Edward R. Murrow, she in her own way has really been a trailblazer in the way that news has been presented to us. According to her bio on the Huffington Post website, Huffington won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2012 and was named to Forbes Most Powerful Women list in 2013. This year’s forum will be held at 12 p.m. on April 16 in the Cohen Auditorium. — by Justin Rheingold
efits and feasibility of that model. Hitchner explained that the model was put together to look at and understand how the endowment is managed, and revealed the complexity of the divestment concept. “Rather than to simply say if [divestment] is good or bad, we could actually put together a model of what divestment would look like,” he said. “Initially, my view was that this might be best done by an outside firm. But the resources for doing that were not available, and so it was done in house by the Investment Office. It’s probably fair to say that it’s hard to have gotten a totally objective perspective on that, but there was undoubtedly some risk no matter what you did with divestment.” According to Monaco’s announcement, the model revealed that even the most conservative divestment approach would affect 60 percent of the university’s investment strategies and result in a $75 million loss to the endowment. Weilerstein said that he was frustrated that so much time and weight was given to the model conducted by the Investment Office, instead of seeking out third-party consultants and considering alternative routes. “Their energy was very focused on proving how we couldn’t do it, not [on] finding how we could do it,” he said. According toWeilerstein, alumnus Michael Kramer (A ‘88) of Natural Investments, LLC was consulted by the working group and offered alternatives that were not taken. “They spent so much time with this model,” Weilerstein said. “And yet [Kramer] identified managers that we can begin to switch to and [he] identified alternatives that we have. We know we can’t divest all of
Boston-area students stood with pro-divestment signs outside a Jan. 24 meeting between Tufts Divest For Our Future and the Board of Trustees at the Tufts School of Dental Medicine campus.
Inside this issue
Where You Read It First Est. 1980
see DIVEST, page 2
Students, professors discuss prevalence of protests on campus.
From episode one, ‘House of Cards’ season two keeps its audience on the edge of its seats.
see FEATURES, page 3
see ARTS, page 5
News Features Arts & Living Editorial | Op-Ed
1 3 5 8
Op-Ed Comics Classifieds Sports
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The Tufts Daily
Tufts Divest not giving up hopes on campaign
Courtesy Dan Jubelirer
Tufts Board of Trustees at their Feb. 8 meeting accepted a recommendation from the Tufts Divestment Working Group to refrain from divestment from fossil fuels at this time.
continued from page 1
the endowment now. We know that doesn’t make sense. It’s not an easy process, and we never thought it would be.” Campbell said that Kramer was given plenty of time to offer suggestions to the group. “We spent a lengthy time with him, discussing the assessment that had been made about the potential impact ... on our endowment if we were to divest,” she said. “We asked him to give us information about other opportunities to invest in ways that would not include fossil fuels.” Gabriel said that the group never heard back from Kramer after asking him to identify more fossil-free managers to fill the percentage of Tufts’ portfolio that would be left should divestment occur. Managers, she said, are the investment companies that manage the co-mingled fund — the portion of the endowment that includes fossil fuel investments — in which Tufts is one of many investors. “We undertook a study to say, ‘If we were going to go ahead and replace all of the managers we would need to terminate in the fund because they either do or could use fossil fuels in their investing, could we replace them with fossil fuel free managers from the list that exists today?’” Gabriel said. “We used a published source to identify managers who self-identified as sustainable, fossil fuel free. We could not identify enough managers.” Kramer disputed this notion, however, and suggested that the school’s analysis had multiple problems. “I sent a really extensive email questioning the methodology [and] just asked a whole lot of questions ... they never responded to any of that,” Kramer said. “I believed we were going to be engaging in a process ... I totally disagreed with their methodology, so maybe they were just hoping I would give them names of managers, but that’s one of many issues in how you can analyze a whole portfolio ... We had one phone call, and I am still willing to help demonstrate the efficacy of fossil fuel managers if there is interest, but it sounds like there is no interest.” Weilerstein said that the details of the investment office’s model were not released to any other third-party consulting sources and that the move to declare divestment as impossible was hasty. Walsh added that the lack of access the community has to the details of the report is problematic. While it is privately held information meant to protect the university’s fiduciary interests, it makes it difficult to know the extent to which all aspects of divestment were considered, she said. Climate scientists have advised that in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, we cannot burn anywhere near all of the fossil fuels that are currently in underground reserves, Walsh said. “The value of the fossil fuel companies, [of which] ... 60 percent [of Tufts investment strategies] is based on now, doesn’t reflect the true cost,” she said. “It makes the assumption that you’re fully valuing all the fossil fuels of what hasn’t come out yet of the reserves.” However, Gabriel said that, on average, less than two percent of the school’s endowment is invested in fossil fuel companies. These findings were based on a snapshot of the co-mingled funds that cannot be tracked regularly, but would not fluctuate wildly,
according to Campbell. “The effect of us divesting is clearly very minimal,” Gabriel said. “But because at a different point in time we could have a very different exposure, and because we can’t control what happens within the co-mingled fund, the impact on the fund is enormous.” According to Hitchner, members of the working group felt that fiduciary risks to Tufts would be too great. “Energy stock performs well, historically,” Hitchner said. “There were people who clearly thought there was a strong interest in saying, ‘We don’t want to threaten the endowment for a particular issue that is much bigger than us.’” Campbell said that if the market changes to a point where divestment might benefit the university’s investment, the Investment Office would take up the issue again on a touch-point basis. However, she said that a reevaluation would only occur if market indicators changed. “We don’t intend to do an extensive remodeling on a frequent basis,” Campbell said. “It was a tremendous amount of work and, unless things change enough to indicate that would be fruitful, we wouldn’t put that effort in.” Efforts will instead be directed toward the other two recommendations made by the working group: the establishment of a Sustainability Fund and a focus on alternative ways the university might mitigate the impact of climate change, includ-
ing emission reductions and research, Campbell said. “There are things that are truly positive actions the university is taking to operate in a way that’s really responsible,” Campbell said. “I think that the university will ... encourage its community to be supportive of actions that can mitigate climate change, by reducing emissions [and] research[ing] ways to do that.” Campbell also said that the newly formed Campus Sustainability Council will begin to release a regular progress report, and that projects are underway to create cogeneration at the Medford campus’ central heating plant and to install a solar plant on the Grafton campus. Tufts alumni Andrew Hastings-Black (A ‘08), who has functioned as the alumni organizer on divestment, said that such actions are not sufficient and that larger scale action is necessary. “I really think that a lot of those are small potatoes,” he said. “They say, ‘Oh, it’s only two percent on the endowment,’ but that’s a lot more money than will be invested at the Grafton solar plant and the amount of energy generated at the Grafton solar plant will only offset a small amount of Tufts university’s carbon emissions. I would be more interested in Tufts committing to 100 percent renewable energy — very ambitious goals that are equal in magnitude to the problem of climate change.” Many members of the working group view the Sustainability Fund as an alternative for divestment. “I think it’s a great first step,” Powell said. “It’s not anywhere near enough. We support it conditionally, recognizing that [it’s] not going to make a big enough difference if Tufts is really serious about combating this crisis of climate change.” Hastings-Black said that in the comments he has collected from alumni, the general reaction to the decision was one of disappointment in that the university failed to align its actions with the values of active citizenship and global leadership that are a major part of the Tufts culture. “For a lot of alumni, it’s so disheartening to see the Board take such a narrow position on this issue and not practice its values in a big way,” Hastings-Black said. “This is such a huge opportunity for Tufts to show why those values are important to the university and what positive effect you can have on your community by embodying those values.” Hitchner said that through his position in the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), he has had access to reports that state that the interests of insti-
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
tutions go beyond just their fiduciary interests and that institutions like Tufts may not benefit from making decisions on a purely economic basis. “I mean, after all, the university invests time in programs inside the institution [that] don’t make money,” he said. “In other words, if we are mission-driven, that mission should permeate all aspects of the university ... For those people who are strongly committed to that, [it is a] challenge for a fiduciary role strictly to make the endowment perform ethically. They’re not there yet.” Despite the university’s decision not to divest, Powell said that Tufts Divest will not give up on the possibility of future divestment. “We’re not acting on this out of a desire to be destructive,” she said. “We’ve been trying for at least a year to ‘act nicely,’ and we’ve been working with them, and we’ve been talking to them, and it’s becoming increasingly clear to us as an organization that the Tufts administration is simply not willing to engage with us on an honest and necessary level about this incredibly urgent issue.” Campbell said that the administration would not be surprised if the members of Tufts Divest continue their campaign on campus, but that she hopes that the organization acknowledges the university’s efforts to work with them. “We think they’re very passionate about this,” she said. “I think we’d be surprised if they don’t treat the process we had with respect, because we think it was a very open and engaging process for everybody.” Gabriel said that, despite the divergent views on the outcome, she thought the process was an excellent one that gave everyone the opportunity to be heard. “I think the university did a great job in involving the students who clearly came into this with a point of view [and] involving them directly in the conversations, in the discussions,” she said. “I’m very aware that other institutions did not take that step and sort of went behind closed doors.” Hastings-Black, however, said that supporters of Tufts Divest are operating at many levels and will not back down. “We’ve worked hard to build a large coalition of students, faculty and alumni, and that coalition has great energy and determination for Tufts to be a leader on climate change,” Hastings-Black said. “I imagine that this decision will inspire the members of that group to redouble their efforts to persuade the Board and other faculty members, alumni and students that this issue is something worth fighting for and perhaps to expand into other climate change issues that Tufts as a community can address.”
Caroline Geiling / The Tufts Daily
The Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University hosted a panel discussion to mark the 40th anniversary of the Boston busing crisis. Panelists (left to right) included Horace Small and Donna Bivens, the executive director and project director at Union of Minority Neighborhoods, and the center’s founding director and Professor of History Peniel Joseph.
Rebecca Hutchinson | What’s Poppin’
Long live boy bands
Nick Pfosi / The Tufts Daily
Student groups have protested a variety of issues on and off campus, including fighting for a change in minimum wage at the Minimum Wage Rally in Davis Square, in Medford, Mass.
Tufts maintains protest culture, some see room to expand by
Daily Editorial Board
When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the Snyder President’s Lecture Series last fall, a number of Tufts students mobilized in protest against Scalia’s politics and the university’s decision to host him. Although this event sparked some dialogue about race and gender politics, with roughly 20 students involved, it remained relatively small, calling into question the activeness of the protest culture at Tufts. In comparison to the outrage that erupted at Brown University during a lecture by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly — where over 100 students heckled Kelly off the stage, according to an Oct. 30, 2013 Associated Press article — Tufts remains much more tame. The “protest culture” scene, which consists of occasional rallies on the Tisch Library steps or posters in the campus center, is not as active as it purports to be, according Professor of Sociology Paul Joseph. “[Protest at Tufts] is less than at some schools such as [UC] Berkeley, which has a longstanding protest tradition,” Joseph, who has taught the course “Sociology of War and Peace” for over 20 years, said. “There’s a very impressive record at Tufts. [We’re] toward the top, but not at the very top.” Joseph also noted that the frequency and intensity of protests at Tufts is issue and time dependent. Historically, students at Tufts and across the country were involved in protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s and nuclear weapons testing in the 1980s. According to Joseph, topics of protests have continued to evolve over time. “Over the time I’ve worked here, there have been several important instances of Tufts protests about our investment portfolio,” Joseph said. “South Africa, HydroQuic ... climate change right now — on those issues, Tufts has a strong record of protest. There have been a lot of successes, as well.” Joseph explained that, about 30 years ago, Tufts returned a monetary gift from Imelda Marcos, the wife of then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, after students protested against it. According to a May 2, 1983 Harvard Crimson article, Marcos planned to donate $1 million towards Tufts endowment. “There was student protest about taking money from [this] repressive regime in the Philippines,” Joseph said. “The gift was blocked. It was returned.” Divestment continues to be a popular movement on the Hill. Tufts Divest has urged the administration
to remove fossil fuel companies from Tufts’ investment. A group that turned heads nationally last spring after several members interrupted an information session for prospective students, Tufts Divest is still working toward its campaign goals, despite a recent “no” from the Board of Trustees. Evan Bell, a junior who is heavily involved in Tufts Divest, explained that this response from the administration does not mean the end for the divestment movement. “We are definitely hoping to escalate our campaign in some way,” he said. “We haven’t decided to do anything crazy yet, but ... we are hoping to convene a big town hall-type meeting [to] address this problem of how we can get the student voice more active.” In the past, Tufts Divest has held rallies outside of Tisch Library and led marches from the Mayer Campus Center to Ballou Hall. Devyn Powell, a senior who is also a Tufts Divest member, explained that when student activists turn to radical protest, it is often because they have no other choice. The interruption of the information session was one example — after several weeks of the administration ignoring Divest’s requests for a promised meeting with the Board of Trustees, Divest members determined that they needed to take more action, according to Powell. “The reason why you do actions that are ‘disruptive’ or ‘pushing the envelope’ is because ... we tried asking nicely and they ignored us,” Powell said. “We had to work with what leverage we had.” “It was actually very successful,” Bell said. “It’s unfortunate that it alienated a lot of people, even within the group, but ... it made people talk. It made people have to think about what was going on.” “Change doesn’t happen just because it’s a good idea,” he continued. “Students have to actually mobilize and fight and develop campaigns and escalate. A lot of groups on campus are still just realizing this and starting to feel it, and certainly Tufts Divest is. It’s a learning process, and we’re all sort of trying to get it right.” Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a student group that aims to promote the Palestinian narrative on campus, erected an eight-foot tall, 30-foot wide mock checkpoint wall during the annual Israeli Apartheid Week. Munir Atalla, a junior and SJP member, explained that the purpose of the checkpoint was both to highlight the difficulties that Palestinians face with the Israeli occupation and to force Americans
to realize their complicity with this system. “We had a very mixed reaction,” Atalla said. “Though I think that’s how it is with most protests. A lot of people will say things like, ‘This was an incredible wake-up call,’... and then, of course, we have people who disagree [and] say, ‘This doesn’t have a place on a college campus.’” Atalla also said he thinks that the United States as a whole doesn’t have a protestbased culture, especially in comparison to other places such as London, where huge numbers of students protested rising university tuition fees in 2011. Atalla, however, is optimistic. “I think that things are changing,” he said. “The Occupy movement was something that really changed the atmosphere of campus protests. It showed that even in this era of corporatization, students are willing to resist and are willing to put their bodies on the line.” Other groups, however, are less pleased with the general state of student activism. Julia Malleck, a sophomore and the Urgent Action Coordinator for Tufts Amnesty International (Amnesty), expressed her irritation at student apathy towards protest and activism on campus. “I’ve been very frustrated in the past with the student population not caring very much,” she said. “They don’t seem very engaged or concerned with these issues.” Last semester, Amnesty organized a protest outside of Tisch Library, calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. Members wore orange jumpsuits and black hoods, and asked passersby to sign a petition that would be sent to President Obama. Stina Stannik, the sophomore External Liaison for Amnesty, noted that it was often difficult to convince students to stop. “I think there’s something where people don’t want to acknowledge you,” she said. “People are very afraid of that kind of thing — they don’t want to be interrupted. If they’re involved with the group, they might come, but random passersby probably won’t. “[People] aren’t willing to spare the time,” Malleck said. “You would think Tufts would be more politically active, but it’s not.” Regardless of who is listening, however, students from different organizations are continuing to speak out for causes they deem important. “It’s all about organizing [events] so that they come at the right moment,” Atalla said. “There’s a balance between being pragmatic about it and trying to represent your ideology as fairly and as purely as possible.”
o a lot of music lovers, the first concert they see is a big deal. It apparently makes a huge statement about their music taste and speaks to their level of cultural awareness. If they’re lucky, they see a group that was not only very in when they saw it, but will be so famous that when they tell their children what the first band they ever saw live was, they will have to be impressed. Personally, I don’t buy into putting such high value on the first concert somebody sees. A concert is a concert. The first one you see says nothing more about you than the second one you see. I have come to believe this because the first concert I ever saw was the Jonas Brothers in 2009, and I refuse to allow anybody to read into that. In eighth grade, I would have been proud to tell anybody that I was seeing the Jonas Brothers for my first concert. I was an unashamed fan. I had t-shirts, I knew the words to every song and I celebrated their birthdays. I was the most typical teenybopper there was, but I wasn’t alone. Of course, there were plenty of girls who were not the Jonas Brother fan type (they missed out on all the fun, but also are probably a lot less embarrassed about their middle school years). But, there were also plenty of girls who were just as obsessed as I was. There was a pseudocult of awkward preteen girls screaming the lyrics to “Burnin’ Up” and arguing about who gets Nick when we all eventually meet the band. Nobody should be surprised by the hype surrounding the Jo Bros. Boy bands are to pop culture today as poodle skirts and the hand jive were to pop culture in the 50’s (side note: all my 50’s pop culture information comes from “Grease” and therefore might not be entirely accurate). In the early 2000’s, we had the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. I want to say that these bands were cultural icons, but that might upset some music snobs, so I’ll just say that they were a very, very big deal. You naturally could only be loyal to one. I was a dedicated Backstreet Boys supporter, and I knew the dance to “Bye Bye Bye” — not knowing that dance was pretty much admitting that you lived under a rock. The Backstreet Boys were great. They could sing and dance in perfect synchronization and they all rocked some pretty unique facial hair. Their songs were super catchy and had wonderfully cheesy lyrics. And while I’m not trying to claim they’re a group of musical geniuses or that their sound is incredibly unique (especially with N’Sync lurking around), they were extremely likeable. And a group of likable, fairly talented and kind of attractive young men who could do things in unison is enough to make teenyboppers go ballistic. The Jonas Brothers followed this same pattern, and got the same success. The most recent development in the history of boy bands is One Direction. One Direction has all the attributes of the Backstreet Boys and the Jonas Brothers, and they have the added asset of being British, so their success should really come as no surprise. I’m proud to say I have grown up enough that I am not a hyperventilating, obsessive One Direction fan. That’s not to say I’m not a fan at all; I’m just a more casual, distant one. After all, you can never fully outgrow a love for boy bands.
Rebecca Hutchinson is a freshman majoring in international relations. She can be reached at Rebecca.Hutchinson@tufts.edu
The Tufts Daily
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Arts & Living
Season two of ‘House of Cards’ triumphs, surprises audiences by Jamie
Daily Editorial Board
As the first episode of the “House of Cards” second season ends, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) looks directly
House of Cards Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Gerald McRaney, Kate Mara
Airs on Netflix into camera and says, “Did you think I’d forgotten you? Perhaps you hoped I had ... Welcome back.” If the hype surrounding this season’s release is any indication, audiences certainly have not forgotten about Frank. The second iteration of this political thriller is a leap forward — albeit with some boring moments — as the show explores power hungry characters willing to do the unthinkable to expand their clout in Washington, D.C. The second season starts where the first left off: Frank and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) jogging silently through an unnamed Washington, D.C., park. The Underwoods maintain a breakneck pace, only stopping momentarily to reflect on
Maryland GovPics via Flickr Creative Commons
Kevin Spacey-led ‘House of Cards’ challenges audiences by introducing complex sub-plots and compelling romantic dynamics. where they are. Frank is about to be sworn in as the Vice President and, while the first season made the process almost look easy, that is remarkable. Thanks to Chief of Staff Douglas Stamper (Michael Kelly), reporter-turned-lover-turned-reporteragain Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), the late Representative Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) and others, Frank has fought his way up the Washington food chain. Season two follows Frank as he uses
his power to reap even more power. He tracks down super PAC funds contributed by a cabal of shady Chinese businessmen. He sabotages investigations into Peter Russo’s death. And he avoids a government shutdown with the precise application of parliamentary procedure. To say the least, the Machiavellian wheeling and dealing required to keep all of these see CARDS, page 6
Tinariwen weaves American influences into Malian sound by
Daily Staff Writer
Tinariwen’s new album, titled “Emmaar,” begins with a spacey guitar playing a twanging defiant note. Then
Emmaar Tinariwen ANTI Records
lot in common, Henthorn said. She said she aimed to explore their shared experiences with deaths that prematurely tore them apart from their beloved. In another vignette, called “An untouched salad,” Theseus (sophomore Elliot Cobb) and Persephone (sophomore Michele Herzog) — god and goddess of the underworld — go on a painfully uncomfortable date. While not everyone may be familiar with the myth of Persephone — and Tufts students have certainly not visited the underworld — the scene won’t be all Greek to audience members. “[Persephone] comes in late and is very frazzled and tries to be all sexy, but is not actually sexy,” Herzog said. In fact, anyone who has shared an awkward romantic encounter can easily relate to the humor behind the heroine’s plight. In this regard, “Katabasis” offers a valuable message, according to director Tori Otten, a sophomore. “Death is a ripple effect, it affects the people who die, and the people who they leave behind,” she said. Themes about hope also factor
come lyrics growled in English instead of Tuareg, and instrumentation that would be at home in any American rock band. Tinariwen’s sound has evolved from its Malian roots, thanks to the band’s relocation from the Sahara Desert to another — the Mojave. But that evolution has not come just because of a shift in scenery. Rather, Tinariwen has not only developed with a changing landscape but has also matured in its own right. It is impossible to discuss “Emmaar” as an album without first understanding recent events in Mali which have taken place since the release of the group’s previous album, “Tassili” (2011), a vibrant record filled with a sense of the wide open spaces of the Sahara. In the last few years, the country which Tinariwen calls home has been subject to various destabilizing uprisings that almost entirely overthrew the reigning government. The dissident movement, originally comprising Tuareg separatists, ousted the Malian president in a coup. Fighting between separatists, Islamists, governmental and regional forces in the northern portions of the country led to French intervention and a ceasefire. The French military has now, for the most part, left the country, but a ceasefire brokered between the government of Mali and Tuareg groups has fallen apart, resulting in a sporadic clashes and bloodshed. After international success with “Tassili,” which ended up winning a Grammy (among other accolades), the tables then turned on Tinariwen. Islamic
see KATABASIS, page 6
see TINARIWEN, page 6
Caroline Geiling / Tufts Daily
Persephone and Theseus share a bizarre evening in the underworld in one vignette.
Student work on display tonight in Balch Arena by
Daily Editorial Board
Tufts students bring to life a peer’s work tonight. One of two minor productions produced by Pen, Paint and Pencils (3Ps) this semester, “Katabasis” is sophomore Kellyn Henthorn’s original work. Five short scenes compose Henthorn’s play, each of which tells a different story about death, loss or the nature of life. However, the audience should not expect anything too somber or morose. The vignettes are quirky and fantastical, Henthron said. “Katabasis,” which loosely means “to go into the underworld,” offers poignant comedy intended to defy preconceived notions that the title’s meaning could otherwise connote. “The one that I wrote first ... takes place in purgatory, and it’s a group therapy session between Jay Gatsby, Jack Dawson of ‘Titanic’ (1997), Satine from ‘Moulin Rouge!’ (2001) and Padme Amidala from ‘Star Wars,’ so you can tell it was very early in the morning when I wrote this,” Henthorn said. All jokes aside, the characters have a
Ryan Buell | The Beat
Album sales in the Internet age
his past Thursday afternoon, ScHoolboy Q’s highly anticipated album “Oxymoron” was leaked to the Internet a full five days before its scheduled release. Soon after, the deluxe version of the album was officially distributed to everyone who had pre-ordered it. It was a brilliant marketing move by the artist and his label, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). By releasing the album early to select individuals, they rewarded the loyal fans who had already committed to buying it. This strategy is symbolic of the problem facing the music industry: the explosion of file sharing in recent years. As the Internet continues to thwart attempts at stemming music piracy, the industry is increasingly facing a reality in which album sales no longer drive profits. For years, the record industry operated with profitable sales margins. In retrospect, these profits were unsustainable, but those who reaped the benefits were naturally opposed to giving up their cash cow. This has left the music industry clinging fruitlessly to the past. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices, the relentless government pursuit of file sharing services, the anti-piracy legislation — these are all products of an industry refusing to adapt itself to a changing market. The proof is in the album sales. Nearly 800 million albums were sold in the year 2000; by 2009, that number had dropped below 400 million. Streaming services, however, have alleviated some of this decline in recent years — but though fans are listening in a legal way that makes some money for the artist, the yield is fairly insignificant. With labels ignoring the writing on the wall, it has forced artists to come up with their own ways to handle the decline of album sales and make money. Notably, the loss of income in album sales has placed increased importance on concerts and tour merchandise. Concerts have greater earnings potential, in large part because there are fewer mouths to feed: Much of the profit goes to the artists, rather than their labels. The same goes for merchandise. The explosion of free mixtape releases is a response to the preeminence of touring. The more ears an artist can reach, the more people are likely to attend a concert. By sacrificing album sales, artists can substantially increase their audience, thus increasing profits on concerts. This is the model that was pioneered by Lil Wayne, who used free releases to establish a vast and loyal fan base that helped him stay massively profitable. However, a different approach is emerging, one that is embodied in ScHoolboy Q’s response to his album leak. The apparent logic is to create a reason for fans to purchase the album. ScHoolboy rewarded people who pre-ordered the album with the deluxe version, while the album leak was merely the standard version. It was an appeal to loyalty, a way of acknowledging that his true fans bought the album when they easily could have downloaded it for free. Indeed, this is an approach that the entire TDE label seems to be taking. When Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” (2012) leaked a week early, he dropped a promotional song in which he announced, “Even when my album leak [sic], fans still buy it for proof.” It’s a novel approach within the music industry. If people no longer need to purchase an album to hear it, artists need to make them feel obligated to buy it anyway. If the artist rewards us with good music, we should reward them with some of our hard-earned money. File sharing and album leaks aren’t going away, but neither are album purchases. As fans, we have a certain duty to support our favorite artists, whether it be by attending concerts or paying for the album even when we don’t have to. Ryan Buell is a sophomore who is majoring in psychology. He can be reached at Ryan. Buell@tufts.edu.
The Tufts Daily
Arts & Living
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
‘House of Cards’ middle episodes lack action that shines in rest of season CARDS
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balls in the air, while still advancing his own interests, keeps Frank quite busy. Additional romantic interludes fill much of the rest of the season’s time, including one between Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) and newly appointed Majority Whip Jacqueline Sharp (Molly Parker). Yet the season’s main plot focuses on Frank separating the feeble, easily manipulated President Walker (Michael Gill) from his friend and mentor, ultra-wealthy businessman Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney). Unfortunately, that plot forms much of the season’s weaker middle episodes. The first season thrived in its plot diversity. Unlike this season, the initial 13 episodes never had Frank involved in one bump in the road for more than a few episodes. As he idiosyncratically broke the fourth wall, Frank easily placed each obstacle within the context of the last. In season two, much of Underwood’s problems are embattled in his tug-of-war with Tusk over President Walker. While all of Frank’s complex machinations come into focus by the final two episodes, much of why Frank cares so much about $25 million dollars being re-routed to Republican super PACs seems fuzzy and unimport-
ant. This is particularly prevalent in the context of modern elections, in which one presidential candidate can spend nearly $1 billion to get elected. Perhaps a result of Netflix’s all-at-once content delivery, it’s easy to tune out much of the intricate set-ups of some episodes and tune back in for their inevitable results. As such, the better episodes of the second season are at the front and back. Episodes one and four (“Chapter 14” and “Chapter 17”) are standouts, as are 11, 12 and 13 (“Chapter 24”, “Chapter 25” and “Chapter 26”). Of particular note is episode four, in which the promise of Claire’s depth, hinted at in episode four of the first season, is finally fulfilled. Wright displays some of the best acting of the season here, skillfully exploring her character’s painful history in the most public manner possible. She puts forward a provocative thesis: the past can exist both as pain and as drive. Claire may be a victim, but she can — and does — transform her victimization into motivation. Credit belongs to the writers, who included so-called ripped from the headlines issues without the haphazardness that other shows have attempted, but don’t always succeed in executing. What makes the popularity of “House of Cards” so interesting is how it differs from other wildly popular political thrillers. Comparisons between “The West
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Robin Wright, who plays the stoic Claire Underwood, showcases some of the best acting in ‘House of Cards.’ Wing” (1999-2006) and “House of Cards” are abound, but the essential difference is this: the former involves good people exercising power for the right reasons and the right ends, while the latter is about morally ambivalent, or even morally bankrupt, people exercising power for their own reasons and their own ends.
In the current political climate, with a gridlocked and ineffectual government, it is not particularly surprising that audiences want a protagonist who can wield power effectively to accomplish anything at all. Even President Obama himself remarked, when asked about the first season, “I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient ... It’s true.
It’s like, Kevin Spacey, man, this guy’s getting a lot of stuff done.” Has Frank Underwood’s rise reflected a new, post-idealist America? Who knows and, as Frank would probably say, who cares? All that matters in Frank Underwood’s America is who has power, who doesn’t and who is in the way. All of that and, of course, a good rack of ribs.
Students’ collaboration examines love, death with humor KATABASIS
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prominently into the meaning of the play. Even if a storybook ending is not possible, “Katabasis” highlights that there is always a chance that anything — even death — can get better. Henthorn and Otten expressed a great deal of pride and excitement about “Katabasis,” both as a work of theater and a product of collaboration between Tufts students. “It almost doesn’t feel like something I wrote, which is exactly what I want it to feel like,” Henthorn said. Working with limited funding and resources, the cast and crew have nevertheless created a work they could be proud of. They said they hope the audience leaves “Katabasis”
performances with a greater appreciation for the creative potential of student theater at Tufts. Henthorn’s work, tweaked through multiple on-campus workshops and brought to life by a dedicated team of Jumbos, is the brainchild of Tufts students’ artistic collaboration. “I hope [people] take away, first of all, that student theatre can be good and it can be fun,” Otten said. Those who wish to see “Katabasis” must act quickly. The show will be performed only twice, at 7 p.m and then 9 p.m. this evening in Balch Arena Theatre, with each show estimated to last just under one hour. “Katabasis” is not a ticketed event, so audience members need only report to the theater on time to see this new student work.
Experimentation and collaboration has been an integral part of Tinariwen’s success as a band.
Tinariwen creates new kind of desert rock with latest release TINARIWEN
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militant group Ansar Dine imposed strict interpretations of Sharia law in the portions of Mali they controlled, outlawing the band’s music and placing the musicians themselves in danger. They were forced to flee the country. The exodus led to Tinariwen’s eventual relocation to the United States, where the influence of American music was able to further creep into the band’s sound. Tinariwen had previously experienced foreign music: its previous albums have gained the band international recognition, exposing it to musicians like Carlos Santana, Thom Yorke and Bono. Despite this, Tinariwen remains true to its Saharan roots in “Emmaar,” albeit with a darker twist. The songs tend to be of a slower and more melodic nature than in previous works, and, even if you don’t speak Tuareg, you can almost feel the political energy with which the album is charged. This gives “Emmaar” a much more personal edge than Tinariwen’s previous records. This energy is clearly felt in the second track, “Chaghaybou.” The guitar and percussion-driven music of the Sahara has often been
touted to be a precursor to American blues. This shines through in this song. Despite the rest of the tune carrying an extremely different vibe, the guitar plays a riff that would be at home with one of the blues guitar legends. Tinariwen’s work has often been labeled “desert rock” or “desert blues,” and for good reason. The music gives the vague impression of the Saharan winds blowing at your side, the hot burning sun shining down on your face and the seemingly endless expanse of sands. “Timadrit in Sahara” is one such song in which the band calls back to its native Sahara, and much like the unforgettable “Kashmir” (1975) by Led Zeppelin, one can’t help but be swept to another faraway place, if only through the music and the hypnotically chanted lyrics. “Emmaar” is not a perfect album, and there are some points where it slips into a bit of a lull, but l, it represents a step up from the already established repertoire that gained Tinariwen international fame. If “Tassili” was worth a Grammy, then this album should be an obvious favorite for futher awards, “Emmaar” is well worth a listen or two, if only just to escape a frigid winter climate for the sands of a much warmer place.
Caroline Geiling / The Tufts Daily
Sophomore Michele Herzog plays Persephone at her most awkward, as the character tries and fails to be alluring.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
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Editorial | Op-ED
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Huffington contrasts with Murrow’s vision The Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington is set to speak at Tufts for the ninth annual Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues in Journalism in April. While this year’s speaker is sure to bring an excited crowd, Huffington is a surprising selection. Though she is among the most powerful individuals in media — and has been a columnist, panelist, commentator, author and CEO — Huffington has never actually been a journalist. Murrow left a legacy of objective and fearless reporting. Despite Huffington’s undeniable success in online media, there is something to be said about the decision to have her represent Murrow’s legacy. While many are aware of Huffington’s modern success, few know of her many political roles in public life. Huffington, who used to be married to former Republican Representative from California Michael Huffington, was a conservative commentator in the mid-1990s and aligned with the right until the end of the last decade. Huffington then abandoned conventional party lines after she said she realized that, “the primary division
is between people who are aware of what I call ‘the two nations’ (rich and poor), and those who are not.” Huffington now boasts a host of accomplishments. These make for the basis of an interesting talk, no doubt — just not one suited for the likes of esteemed journalists such as Christiane Amanpour and Brian Williams, the Murrow forum speakers of the last two years. Huffington is a cult hero among American progressives and a popular media icon, worthy even of spot-on spoofing on Saturday Night Live. She is a powerful businesswoman, keen influencer and leader in politically-slanted media. But The Huffington Post, which admittedly a few Tufts Daily staff members contribute to, is not the model of the unbiased, hard news journalism that defines Murrow and his forum at Tufts. While entertaining and full of myriad opinions, ideas and articulations of the modern American landscape, The Huffington Post is first and foremost a blog, and often a news aggregator. Though it does feature some original news reports, these do not compare
with the caliber of serious journalism previous Murrow forum hosts have created. Huffington’s work, while inspiring and indicative of tremendous intellectual and business prowess, was not created in the vein of the body of work for which the Murrow forum was founded. We’d be remiss to not call into question what this says about the state of news, and what we consider journalism in America. Now more than ever, the lines are blurred between The Huffington Post model of journalism and the establishment journalism Murrow helped create. Yet Huffington herself remains outside the realm of a journalist in either definition. As a Communication and Media Studies department guest speaker, Huffington would be an excellent selection. But for a forum designed to feature prominent journalists, Huffington is not entirely appropriate. She is certainly an acceptable choice based on her impressive achievements, but her place as a journalist in the new age of news would be one Murrow would unlikely recognize.
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Off the Hill | University of Minnesota
Comcast merger hurts college students by
The Minnesota Daily
Comcast recently announced that it will acquire competitor Time Warner Cable in a deal that will increase its share of the Internet service market to 38 percent. Several anti-trust and open Internet advocates, such as Sen. Al Franken, (D-MN), lambasted the merger because it could harm competition and lead to higher Internet prices. While I agree with Franken and other digital advocates, I also wanted to consider college students, who grew up with the Internet and will be the merger’s biggest losers. For example, the Internet moviestreaming website Netflix is incredibly popular with the younger generation. A recent study from market research firm Harris Interactive shows that 43 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 36 subscribe to Netflix’s monthly services. These rates are much lower for middle-aged and older Americans. This is significant because Comcast owns one of Netflix’s largest rivals, Hulu. As the result of buffering speed complaints, Netflix initiated a program called
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Open Connect, which allows Internet service providers to connect to Netflixdedicated servers, which would lower congestion. Unfortunately, Comcast does not participate in this program. The principle of net neutrality doesn’t allow ISPs to discriminately speed up or slow down specific websites. Comcast is not guilty of this direct violation of the law, but it exploited a loophole in the law, bypassing the consequences of ignoring the requests of major website competitors. In this case, Comcast has the incentive to keep Netflix slow on its servers so that they can maintain Hulu. Moreover, Comcast has the capacity to punish those that decide to do business with its competitor by placing their shows and channels in obscure channel areas. In 2012, for example, the Federal Communications Commission forced Comcast to move Bloomberg Television, a business news channel, to its general news section slot after discrimination complaints. For the third time, the FCC is attempting to reform the rules to make it more challenging for ISPs, such as Comcast, to discriminate against competitors. Previously,
federal judges struck down FCC rules. Assuming that the FCC will fail, which is likely given its track record, this merger will have a negative impact on young Americans. Considering that Comcast will own 38 percent of the ISP market, the company will gain more damaging power in the market. If college students want to watch an educational documentary for class, or spend their free time watching their favorite reruns on a service for which they pay, Comcast could hamper their experience. Moreover, the issue delves into a deeper, philosophical concern regarding the open access of the Internet. Most people, especially young Americans, view the Internet almost as a utility, a service that they pay for on a monthly basis in exchange for consistent access. Do we need to fear municipal utility providers because they do not act to improve services after customer complaints? This merger threatens net neutrality, and unless the FCC successfully acts to protect our online rights, college students’ expectations of the Internet will bear the brunt of this corporatism.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Op-Ed
The Tufts Daily
Why we can’t take no for an answer
Ben Weilerstein and Devyn Powell
“This is the year to take action on climate change. There are no more excuses,” Jim Yong Kim, current President of the World Bank, proclaimed at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. “We can divest [from carbon-intensive assets],” he continued, saying that investing in the fossil fuel industry betrays investors’ “responsibility to future pension holders who will be affected by decisions made today.” Less than three weeks later, Tufts University’s Board of Trustees voted not to divest from fossil fuels, citing, “significant anticipated negative impact on Tufts’ endowment.” As part of President Monaco’s Tufts Divestment Working Group, it quickly became clear to us that the group had not convened to have an “open discussion” about the possibility of divestment from fossil fuels, as President Monaco claimed. Instead, it existed to generate financial models supporting the administration’s expectation that it was financially impossible. In one of our committee meetings, Patricia Campbell, the executive vice president of our university, said that divestment could indeed be feasible — but it was clear to us that the administration wasn’t willing to consider the changes to Tufts’ investment strategy that it would entail. The working group identified fossil-fuel free money managers that were willing to help Tufts
take the first steps toward a more ethicallyinvested endowment. In his Davos address, President Kim said, “Corporate leaders should not wait to act until market signals are right and national investment policies are in place,” challenging administrators’ claims that Tufts should wait for the carbon bubble to burst before taking action. Meanwhile, many corporate and institutional leaders are already taking leadership. Mayors of cities including Seattle, Wash., Madison , Wisc., and our own Somerville are pursuing divestment. Norwegian financial services firm Storebrand, which controls more than $60 billion in assets, has announced its intention to pull its investments out of coal and tar sands companies to ensure “long-term stable returns” because they know that those stocks will be “financially worthless” in the future. In January, the CEO of Google joined sixteen other managers of charitable foundations in divesting their assets from the fossil fuel industry. The list goes on. Our administration and trustees have not joined these other institutions because they are afraid, not because they are unintelligent or misinformed. Perhaps some of our trustees are afraid to consider that the profits they gained from their investments in fossil fuel companies have accumulated at the cost of a stable climate and human lives. We have heard both President Monaco and trustee Laurie Gabriel admit that divestment is the moral choice, but they are afraid to challenge
Justin McCallum/ Tufts Daily Archives
one of the largest, most powerful industries in the history of the world. They are afraid to take leadership. We, like so many of our fellow students, chose Tufts because we believed it was a place that valued ambitious leadership, bold innovation and active global citizenship. These are the values that Tufts promotes to us throughout its admissions process, in the classroom, and ultimately in the paths we take after graduation. We are expected to lead, make moral choices and improve our society. But the recent announcement that Tufts will not divest showed that our administration is failing to live up to its own values. In his letter to the Tufts community, President Monaco wrote, “We are committed to meeting ambitious sustainability goals for Tufts’ operations,” and cited new projects in building energy metering and cogeneration. These are important steps, but compared to the scale and urgency of combating climate change, Tufts’ “sustainability goals” are not in any way “ambitious.” We have seen this lack of ambition from our institution many times before. It took forty years for Tufts to create an Africana studies department. It took more than a decade to divest from apartheid South Africa. We don’t have a decade now. We do not have the luxury to be anything short of ambitious. Not when too many communities are already fighting for their lives, for clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and food to eat. Not when the fossil fuel industry imperils our generation’s ability to live, work and raise children in a stable and just world. The student body showed its support for divestment last semester in a referendum. We know that we, the student body, have the moral clarity and ambition that our administration has failed to show. Tufts will not change unless we fight for that change. So we ask that as this campaign moves forward, you stand with us to make Tufts a place that we can be proud of, for the sake of our future. Ben Weilerstein is a sophomore majoring in ACS-certified chemistry. He can be contacted at Benjamin.Weilerstein@tufts. edu. Devyn Powell is a senior majoring in international relations. She can be contacted at Devyn.Powell@tufts.edu
Why you should teach a freshman seminar by
The Tufts Experimental College website states that teaching a freshman seminar allows students “to refine their organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills.” I agree with every word of that statement. But it doesn’t begin to describe the academic and personal gains freshman seminar teachers reap from the experience. Teaching a freshman seminar is a unique opportunity to be an educator, mentor and friend to incoming freshmen while expanding your own views of a topic about which you are passionate. There are two forms of freshman seminars: Explorations and Perspectives. Perspectives classes are built around teaching media while Explorations classes do not have any restrictions on topics. Any current sophomore or junior can teach one of these classes with a partner. Throughout the semester freshman seminar teachers teach a weekly class to a small group of freshman and also receive support and training from ExCollege faculty to better prepare for the experience. Teaching a freshman seminar is an amazing opportunity for students to learn and grow both academically and personally. The ExCollege weekly newsletter poses the question: what will you teach your students? Answering that is one of the greatest parts of teaching a freshman seminar because it’s completely up to you. Last year’s classes were about everything from futurism to music revivals, hip-hop to the business of Hollywood, and female comedians to medical T.V dramas. Each topic represents two students who took their own passion and
turned it into an amazing opportunity for freshman to learn something new, adjust to college academics and find a group of students who all share a common interest. But the learning experience isn’t just for the freshmen. I taught Superheroes in Movies and Media, a topic I had taken a class on already, and for which my years of watching superhero movies had more than adequately prepared me. No matter how much knowledge I had coming in, though, my students’ ideas and comments constantly expanded my opinions on the material. Both Explorations and Perspectives are discussion-based classes. No matter what you come into the class thinking about, your students will undoubtedly think of something that you had never considered. It keeps you on your toes — constantly rethinking your own opinions as you weigh their arguments. I walked out of each class feeling enlightened by the knowledge that I had gained from my students. Being a peer teacher also allows you to take all the knowledge you’ve learned about surviving at Tufts and pass it on to a new generation of Jumbos. Peer teachers are one of the first people freshmen meet, and your relationship grows as you watch your students navigate through the challenges and joys of freshman year. You’ve spent years learning the in-andouts of Tufts, from trick-turning to the best study spots. My co-teacher Jehan Madhani said, “You can help your students through the pitfalls that come with being a freshman, and hopefully make a friend in the process.” This is your opportunity to share
the lessons you’ve learned and the mistakes you’ve made, helping ease the transition for your students. For someone like me who is planning on teaching after college, this opportunity is particularly valuable. The ExCollege’s goal is to have interactive classes that keep students invested in the material. They accomplish this by encouraging students to try a variety of classroom activities, from debates and student presentations to writing scripts and making movies. I was able to try out all of these options in my classroom, learning what activities fit which topics and how to organize each type of activity. This information will be invaluable when I set out to teach again. I get a lot of different looks when I tell people that I’ve taught a college class, a class for which both my students and I got college credit. Some people are impressed, some confused and others can’t imagine how it’s possible. One thing is for sure: I have yet to meet a non-Tufts students who has said, “Me too.” I encourage all students to take advantage of the incredibly unique opportunity to teach a freshman seminar. You never know how much you can learn, how proud you can be or how much of a difference you can make until you step into your classroom on the first day. Rebecca Czaja (LA ’15) is a Junior majoring in environmental studies. She is a current Experimental College student executive board member. She can be reached at Rebecca.Czaja@tufts.edu
Adam Kaminski | The Cool Column
A week of (un) health Unlike I usually do, I planned to prepare for this column. I planned to make an outline more than a day in advance, start writing a few days later and regret not editing thoroughly enough before even submitting anything. The concept was simple: I’d live healthily for a week and report my findings. Of course, such an endeavor failed. When “living healthily” entails maintaining an acceptable hygienic condition, not eating your weight in chocolate kisses (Valentine’s Day was brutal. I love you too, mom), going to sleep before 2:30 am and motivating yourself to walk to the gym, let alone workout, it’s certainly a herculean task. So now, without anything to “report” other than the confirmation that chocolate kisses are indeed comparable to real kisses, I’m just as unprepared to write this column as I always am. But maybe not. Although my week of health was an utter failure, I did learn a few valuable tidbits. They’re not valuable enough to be considered “lessons” or “pieces of advice,” but they’re good anyway. “Tidbit” serves them well. 1. I’m gross, and there will never be a convenient time for me to shower. Ever. I think I’m destined to smell like I’ve just P90X-ed throughout the entire school week, when taking a shower is admittedly not a priority. To counteract this inertia, I’ve taken up a new shaming technique — sniffing my clothes and inspecting myself in the mirror. It works sometimes. If only I could ever deserve to smell this bad. 2. There is no such thing as a Girl Scout who can’t sell me cookies. Similarly, I presume, there is no such thing as an old, grimy and purulent man who can’t sell me Girl Scout cookies. Thanks-A-Lot girls for a caramel delightful time - unlike your Thin Mints, I’m fat as ever. 3. Never try new things. Ever. When you try a new thing, there’s always some potential that it’ll stick, become habit, and ruin your life. For example, I’m a newbie in the realm of on-campus eateries and have only just begun to leave the safety of my dining halls and my unlimited meal plan. I’ve started ordering food, finding alternative foods and utilizing an array of food sources. Consequentially, I’m “utilizing” an array of food. Interested in a midnight snack of Frosted Flakes from the Commons, anyone? I just raised my own hand. 4. I only sort of want to sleep. I’ll complain to you, like I complain to most, that I don’t sleep enough. What’s not entirely true about what this suggests is that I’m totally unhappy not sleeping enough. Really, I’m just exhausted, and not disgruntled. If I can be productive in the wee hours of the morning, I’m definitely going to pounce on that opportunity. Now you can judge — was my week an insurmountable failure, or did what I learn while tripping down the stairs accredit the fall? Actually, no, that’s a lousy question. Considering I posited, “never trying new things,” I don’t think this is where I want to steer my conclusion. Instead, an observation is due: I had planned to prepare for this column, and those plans fell through. But in the process of my failure, I found a new topic and a new plan. Where my plans fled, my organization remained. Why is it necessary to delineate heroic victories over insomnia and hedonism when you could offer entertaining “tidbits?” Organization is important not because it always succeeds, but because it always prevails — at least in the case of a particular college student who lacks self-surveillance. When my plans crumble once more (because I know they will crumble once more), maybe their durable structure will provide another topic and another outline. If not, I guess I’ll just continue to drown my sorrows in that midnight cup of Frosted Flakes. Adam Kaminski is a freshman who has not yet declared a major. He can be reached at Adam.Kaminski@tufts.edu.
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The Tufts Daily
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Married to the Sea
SUDOKU Level: Winning a ‘Ellen DeGeneres will dance at the Oscars’ side bet.
Late Night at the Daily
Chelsea: “It was really painful. My butt stings.” Want more late-night laughs? Follow us on Twitter at @LateNiteAtDaily
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Wanted
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The men’s track and field team had another strong weekend, coming in second at the Div. III New England Championships.
Tufts finishes behind MIT, first among NESCAC teams MEN’S TRACK
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as the favorite to win it all. This past weekend, Beutler did not run the 400 but rather the 200, notching the third of three individual victories for Tufts. His time of 22.42, while well off his personal best, was enough nonetheless, as he crossed the line just one-tenth of a second before MIT senior tri-captain Tyler Clark-Singer. Taking over for Beutler in the 400 was sophomore Francis Goins, who took fifth with his time of 50.34. Senior tri-captain Jamie Norton carried the distance squad on Saturday as the fourthfastest miler in the country, recording a time of 4:13.15 for a second-place finish. Fellow
senior Andrew Shapero also finished second in the 5,000, barely staving off a late kick from Colby junior Jeff Hale. Although not technically an individual victory, the 4x400 relay team of Black, Goins, Beutler and sophomore Alex Kasemir won its event with a time of 3:21.64, which ranks 10th in the country. The 4x800 relay team ran its way to a third-place finish, coming in less than two seconds behind NESCAC rivals Bowdoin and Williams. Off the track, Swett and fellow sophomore Brian Williamson took third and fourth in the shot put. Both throwers recorded personal bests and threw above their seeds, and Williamson, who threw a distance of 53’ 5
1/2” to surpass his previous best by almost two feet, broke into the top-20 in the nation. “Too many guys had great days to pick just one MVP,” Swett said. “With that said, [Brian] Williamson showed up big in the shot put.” With Open New Englands looming, Tufts appears to be in prime position for a deep postseason foray. “We performed great across the board,” senior Max Levitin said. “Our energy carried a lot of guys to great performances and will certainly continue to carry us through the rest of indoor into [the] outdoor [season].” The Jumbos will compete next at Open New-Englands, alternatively known as the All-New England Championships, on Friday and Saturday at Boston University.
Individuals shine, set six school records MEN’S SWIMMING continued from back
won the competition’s one-meter dive for the third time in his career with a personal best in the event. The senior tri-captain’s final score of 578.15 set a pool, school, NESCAC and conference championship meet record, helping him earn Diver of the Meet honors. Rohrer was tremendous in his first conference meet, coming in third with a score of 528.90 in the one-meter and winning the three-meter with a score of 533.70, just edging Schmidt’s score of 524.25. Diving coach Brad Snodgrass was duly impressed with his two divers, who are hoping to qualify for NCAA championships this weekend at the Zone Regional Meet at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “It was a thrill to see both Johann and Matt perform so well this past weekend,” Snodgrass said. “They have both worked very hard this year and I had hoped they’d do well, but they have both exceeded my expectations. I can’t say enough about Johann’s
career and Matt was new to threemeter this year, so for him to win the event with dives he just learned in the past few months is phenomenal. [His] future is very bright.” Tufts established new school records on the swimming side as well. Freshman William Metcalfe swam a 1:51.63 in the preliminaries for the 200 individual medley, shattering the five-year old school record by nearly three and a half seconds. He went on to top himself in the final with a time of 1:51.53, which was good enough for third place and a qualification for nationals. Sophomore Michael Winget broke the school’s 50 backstroke record with a time of 23.52 in the preliminaries. Metcalfe and Winget were outstanding again on Saturday, breaking one more school record apiece. The former set another school record in the 100 yard butterfly and made a national B cut with his time of 49.49. In the 100 backstroke preliminaries, Winget toppled his own record that he set last year as a freshman,
improving his time from 50.63 to 50.49. For good measure, he set his third school record of the weekend on Sunday by eclipsing his mark in the 200 backstroke. Metcalfe finished his excellent weekend with another national B cut time on Sunday in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:51.21, enough for fourth in the event. The team as a whole dominated the event, as Metcalfe was one of five Jumbos in the top 16, and one of four to post a National B cut time in the event. Sophomore Anthony Debenedetto scored his cut time in the preliminaries of the event with a time of 1:51.26 before finishing fifth with a time of1:51.42. Freshman Gus Simms was the other top-10 finisher for Tufts, as he placed eighth with a time of 1:53.25. Similar to Debenedetto, Simms had his best time in the preliminaries, where he swam a 1:52.41. While the season is over for most of the Jumbos, several will be competing in the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis over spring break.
re college football players students or employees? The question has dogged the NCAA, universities and students for years. Tensions have recently come to a head, concomitant with mounting concerns over safety and athlete mental health issues that were brought to light most recently by the 2011 suicide of former University of Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Corey, and the school’s subsequent cover-up of the alleged rape that preceded Corey’s suicide. Fed up — presumably on behalf of thousands of players — with not reaping any of the windfall from this cash cow, now-former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter co-founded the Collegiate Athletes Players Association. On Feb. 18, Colter testified before the National Labor Relations Board as part of his bid to unionize, saying that Northwestern decidedly placed athletics before academics, which forced him to abandon the pre-med track. He asserted that the school footed his $75,000-per-year scholarship so that he might perform a particular service, one that has amassed a net figure of nearly $90 million over the past decade. But CAPA claims it does not seek to negotiate wages; rather, as articulated by David Berri, expert witness and Professor of Economics at Southern Utah University, because college football has burgeoned well beyond the scope of typical extracurricular activities, it seeks compensation in the form of protection from injury, from fending for oneself after one has rendered due service to the school and ineluctably forsaken education. Still, there remains one seemingly insurmountable obstacle: the law prohibits students pursuing a degree from organizing. CAPA is the first case of its kind regarding athletes, so the players face a grueling, uphill battle to overturn precedent. (Graduate students at NYU, in light of a favorable decision handed down by the NLRB, voted to unionize in December.) Expectedly, skepticism abounds in legal circles as few anticipate that the NLRB will rule in favor of the athletes; even Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald testified against his current and former players. Then, about a month ago, the NFL Players Association voiced its support for Colter and the legions of fellow players trying to reform the system. Though brother organizations of the NBA and the MLB declined to comment, this could be a watershed in the midst of a protracted war, despite the legal hindrances. If, like the players assert, it becomes clear that the objective — stated (certainly not) or otherwise — of big-time college football is to churn out professional-caliber players while making gobs of money in the process, the NCAA may have to accede to its players’ demands in order to avert a crisis among its alumni. The NFLPA holds tremendous sway in its own realm, and it could easily pressure the NCAA into providing adequately for its athletes; should it not, the NCAA could emerge only with a pyrrhic victory, both in terms of public relations and standing with players — its lifeblood. No one is clamoring for a pay-for-play system. Thus, it is reasonable that the players, girded with harrowing data on their predecessors’ ailments and penury, fight to insure their present and future. Universities furnish for all their students a whole host of services, which makes the NCAA’s reluctance to do so seem asinine by comparison, especially considering the palpable nature of injuries. The NCAA knows the solution — or temporary fix, depending on the school of thought — to this problem, and it can stop it dead in its tracks with a few unremarkable gestures. It’s not like it doesn’t have the means. Sam is a junior who is majoring in religion. He can be reached at Samuel_l.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men’s swimming and diving
Jumbos finish fourth at NESCAC championships by
Daily Editorial Board
The men’s swimming and diving team performed exceptionally at the NESCAC conference championships this weekend, finishing fourth overall and setting six school records in the process. The meet, hosted by Bowdoin, lasted three days, from Feb. 21 through Feb. 23, and was won by Williams for the 12th consecutive year. Tufts totaled 1,147 points, finishing behind Williams, Amherst and Connecticut College. “It was an amazing meet for all of the boys, and we had some fantastic swims,” senior tri-captain Johann Schmidt
said. “Being a captain has made it fun to watch the other boys improve throughout the season from practices and dualmeets, and to see swimmers [achieve] season and lifetime bests is fantastic.” The Jumbos got off to a great start on the first day of competition, reaching the finals in seven events and setting three school records. That performance set the tone for the rest of the weekend, which was highlighted by strong performances from Tufts divers, Schmidt and freshman Matt Rohrer. Competing in the final NESCAC championship meet of his stellar career, Schmidt see MEN’S SWIMMING, page 15
Men’s Track and Field
Jumbos are runnerups at Div. III Championships by Sam
Daily Editorial Board
Heading into the Div. III New England Championships last weekend, Tufts had already accumulated one first-place and two second-place finishes against tough competition in a season packed with personal bests and school records. After being edged out by a mere two points by Bowdoin at the same meet a year ago, the Jumbos, ranked eighth in the nation prior to the meet, sought to avenge that loss and emerge with a victory. MIT was the heavy favorite as the defending champion of the meet. Once again, the Jumbos unfortunately had to settle for second, as the Engineers continued their dominant season and capitalized on their home-field advantage to finish with a resounding 38-point win. But with three individual wins and a host of impressive performances, being the runnerup to MIT — something that happed previously at the Feb. 1 Tufts Stampede Invite — suddenly seemed far more palatable. “We’re incredibly pleased with the performances that we’ve put down this year so far, and everyone in the region knows that Tufts track and field is a force both on the track and the field,” sophomore thrower Atticus Swett said. “Not only that, but people know we have a presence on the national level.” The meet was split into two days, with the heptathlon kicking things off on Friday. Senior Andrew Osborne and sophomore Alex Karys placed fifth and sixth, respectively, out of a field of 12. Karys won the shot put with a throw of 42’ 3 3/4”, while Osborne won both the long jump and the 60-meter dash. MIT sophomore Adrian Samsel did not win a single component event, but proved to be the most consistent competitor and came away with the overall victory. As has been the case the entire season, middle distance stole the show, as sophomores Veer Bhalla and Mitchell Black, along with senior Graham Beutler, each recorded a victory. Bhalla broke the school record previously held by Black in the 600, besting sophomore Kevin Desmond by nearly one and a half seconds. “I’m feeling super confident after that 600, and I’m hoping to book my ticket in the 800 this weekend,” Bhalla said. Black recorded his second individual victory of the season in the 800, crossing the line just two-tenths of a second before Bowdoin sophomore Jacob Ellis to claim victory with a time of 1:53.99. Black’s official personal best time of 1:49.58 in the 800, recorded at the Tufts Stampede Invite, remains atop the national leaderboard. Barring any record-setting performances from other runners between now and mid-March, he should go into Nationals see MEN’S TRACK, page 15
Caroline Geiling / The Tufts Daily
The men’s swimming and diving team finished off their season with a strong performance, setting six school records on the way to a fourth place finish at the conference championships.
Five takeaways from Sochi by
Daily Editorial Board
What will you say in four years when someone asks you, “Remember the Winter Olympics in Sochi?” Maybe you’ll say you missed it because you didn’t have cable. Maybe all you’ll remember is how you had a field day making fun of Russia. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen. In the interest of our readers taking away actual, sports-related memories from the Sochi games, the Daily gives you five takeaways from the past two weeks.
1. Russia ruled That’s what you get for teasing Russia. The hosts won the overall medal count (33) and the gold medal count (13) to become the first host nation since Norway in 1952 to sweep both the overall and gold counts. Russia had more medals than any other country in figure skating, short-track speed skating, skeleton and bobsled. Russia also led the world in athletes competing (232) and ultimately ranked fifth in “athletes per medal,” a statistic that USA Today went to the trouble of calculating. While Russia had 7.0 athletes per medal, the Netherlands had a remarkable 1.7 athletes per medal. More on that interesting tidbit shortly. One of the biggest surprises was Adelina Sotnikova, who became Russia’s first gold medalist in women’s Olympic figure skating. Russia won three figure skating golds and five figure skating medals in total. 2. The U.S. was ... meh Second place isn’t bad — but the Americans’ performance was a bit disappointing. The U.S. finished five medals behind Russia with 28, nine fewer than the U.S. won in Vancouver four years ago. Twelve of those 28 were bronze, more than any other nation, but only nine were gold. Perhaps most notable for the U.S. were the shortcomings of some of its biggest names. Speedskater Shani Davis and snowboarder Shaun White left emptyhanded. Lindsey Vonn did not defend her 2010 gold in downhill skiing due to injury. The women’s hockey team blew a two-goal lead against Canada and lost the gold medal game in overtime. The men’s hockey team lost its semifinal game to Canada before getting crushed, 5-0, by Finland in the game for bronze. Still, the U.S. had some memorable moments. At age 36, Bode Miller took bronze in super-G to become the oldest alpine skier ever to win a medal. On the other end of the spectrum, 18-year old Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest alpine skier ever to win slalom gold. Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White were the lone Americans to take multiple medals. And Jason Brown, brother of Tufts
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won his 13th career Winter Olympics medal, surpassing countryman Bjorn Daehlie for most medals all time. junior Jordan Brown, earned bronze in the team-skating event and turned heads on the figure skating scene. 3. Dutch speedskaters dominated It was mentioned before that the Netherlands earned one medal for every 1.7 athletes at the Games. That had everything to do with the success of the Dutch speedskating squad, which won 23 medals — eight gold, seven silver and eight bronze. All other countries combined for 13 speedskating medals. Another hat-tip to USA Today for some statistics to put this in perspective: The Dutch speedskating team alone would have placed sixth in the overall medal count. And while Canada earned 25 medals with 180 athletes, the Netherlands earned 24 with just 41 athletes. Why is the Netherlands so good at skating fast? “We grew up with [speed skating],” Dutch speedskater Michel Mulder told reporters. “Every little kid in the Netherlands does it.” 4. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won Bjoerndalen, a Norwegian biathlete, became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time by winning his 13th career medal. His record-breaking medal was gold, earned in the biathalon mixed relay. Bjoerndalen surpassed fellow countryman Bjorn Daehlie, who won 12 medals in cross-country skiing. Among the first to congratulate Bjoerndalen after he broke the record:
King Harald V of Norway. “He knows exactly what we have problems with, in the shooting, on the skiing, and he was really happy with my shooting today,” Bjoerndalen said afterward. “Yeah, he was impressed.’’ Bjoerndalen still has a long way to go to catch the most decorated Olympian ever: Michael Phelps. The U.S. swimmer has 22 summer medals, 18 of which are gold. 5. The U.S. can’t curl America had fairly high hopes for its curling teams in Sochi. At the very least, many expected them to do better than they did in 2010, when both the men and women finished last. But 2014 only brought more disappointment. The men won just two of their nine matches while the women won one of nine. There were some embarrassing moments. Most notably, the U.S. women lost their last match to South Korea, 11-2. Curling has gained a cult following — at least for two weeks every four years — among some Americans, including 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, an honorary U.S. curling captain in Sochi and Vancouver. But unlike the best teams in the world — such as Canada, whose men and women both earned curling gold in Sochi — the U.S. squad is comprised of amateurs who balance curling with their full-time jobs. Critics have called for the U.S. to change its selection process to funnel top talent into one elite team. The debate will rage on leading up to the 2018 Games in South Korea.