The Yale Herald Volume LVI, Number 8 New Haven, Conn. Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
From the staff I am a chronic start-er. Which is to say, I’m someone who constantly starts things only to leave them unfinished. My Google Drive is filled with numerous documents that contain the opening sentences to short stories I will never finish, movies that will never be made. Some things that I’ve started (but will most likely never finish) just this week: the second season of Battlestar Galactica, two books, the creation of a magazine composed solely of temporary tattoos. Am I the only Yalie with this problem? Other universities have plenty of startups, but it seems that Yale might be dragging behind. Stanford has Snapchat and Insta, Harvard has Facebook. What’s coming out of Yale’s entrepreneurial scene? In this week’s cover story, Lara Sokoloff, TC ’16, examines how the University and the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute are attempting to foster start-up culture in the Elm City, taking a look at several up-and-coming Yale organizations. Elsewhere in the issue, Leland Whitehouse, SM ’14, explores the New Haven club scene in light of a growing police presence. In the Culture section, Alessandra Roubini, JE ’16, looks into the lack of spaces in which Yale’s alternative student bands can perform. And, in a very special, election-themed edition of the Opinion section, Gareth Imparato, SM ’15, and Fish Stark, JE ’17, explain why you should vote for Toni Harp and Justin Elicker, respectively. Read it, love it, and then go get crazy (but not too crazy) for Halloweekend and the first week of November. (That can be something to celebrate, right?) I, for one, hope that by the time you’re reading this, I will have debuted my Beinecke Library costume—if I ever finish making it, that is. XOXO, Andrew Wagner Opinion Editor
The Yale Herald
Volume LVI, Number 8 New Haven, Conn. Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
EDITORIAL STAFF: Editor-in-chief: Maude Tisch Managing Editors: Micah Rodman, Olivia Rosenthal Senior Editors: Sophie Grais, Eli Mandel, Emily Rappaport, Emma Schindler, John Stillman Culture Editors: Austin Bryniarski, Katy Osborn Features Editors: Kohler Bruno, Alisha Jarwala, Lara Sokoloff Opinion Editor: Andrew Wagner Reviews Editor: Kevin Su Voices Editor: Jake Orbison Design Editors: Madeline Butler, Julia Kittle-Kamp, Christine Mi, Zachary Schiller Photo Editor: Rebecca Wolenski BUSINESS STAFF: Publishers: Shreya Ghei, Joe Giammittorio Director of Advertising: Steve Jozkowski Director of Development: Thomas Marano Director of Finance: Aleesha Melwani Executive Director of Business: Stephanie Kan Senior Business Adviser: Evan Walker-Wells ONLINE STAFF: Online Editor: Colin Groundwater Bullblog Editor-in-chief: Micah Rodman, Jack Schlossberg Bullblog Associate Editors: Kohler Bruno, Austin Bryniarski, Navy Encinias, Lara Sokoloff, Jessica Sykes The Yale Herald is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, incorporated student publication registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office. If you wish to subscribe to the Herald, please send a check payable to The Yale Herald to the address below. Receive the Herald for one semester for 40 dollars, or for the 2013-2014 academic year for 65 dollars. Please address correspondence to The Yale Herald P.O. Box 201653 Yale Station New Haven, CT 06520-1653 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.yaleherald.com The Yale Herald is published by Yale College students, and Yale University is not responsible for its contents. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of The Yale Herald, Inc. or Yale University. Copyright 2011, The Yale Herald, Inc. Have a nice day. Cover by Christine Mi YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
IN THIS ISSUE
COVER 12 Stanford: Instagram. Harvard:
Facebook. Yale: ??? Lara Sokoloff, TC ‘16, delves into Yale’s attempt to help create a vibrant entrepreneurial community within the University and New Haven, in hopes of producing the next name-brand tech startup.
Marc DeWitt, ES ‘15, and Ezra Ritchin, ES ’15, sit down with rapper and philanthropist Immortal Technique to discuss everything from prison reform to the patriarchy of language. Oliver Preston, JE ’16, wades into the river of his memory and the New Jersey swimming hole of his youth. OPINION: Gareth Imparato, SM ‘15, makes the case for you to vote for Toni Harp, while Fish Stark, JE ‘17, explains why Justin Elicker is the right choice.
Leland Whitehouse, SM ‘14, hits the New Haven club and bar scene and reports on the new police presence in the wake of a recent spree of shootings.
Isabelle Taft, SM ‘17, checks out a new community greenhouse being built in the Elm City neighborhood of Newhallville.
Yi-Ling Liu, SM ‘17, takes a look at New Haven’s efforts to combat youth violence.
Alessandra Roubini, JE ‘16, looks at independent Yale bands’ struggles to find practice and performance venues around campus. Also: profiles of the students behind the music.
Elliah Heifetz, TC ’15, on Arcade Fire’s—or rather, The Reflektors’—new album. Also: Carrie, The Fifth Estate, Sky Ferreira, and our weekly staff list. The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY The Herald’s week in review: what rocked, what sucked, and who took the lead in IM Go Fish.
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
Mutual unproductivity Before fall break, we all had our goals of how much we could accomplish in the days free. We charted the amount of reading we would catch up on, planned how far ahead we would get in our problem sets, and even considered starting that essay a whole week early. But, before we knew it, the break was over and all we had done was binge watch “Orange is the New Black” for five days straight. While “unproductivity” is, in itself, an objectively bad thing, it is the “mutual” part that makes this phenomenon credit-worthy. There is nothing quite like the bond that is formed between two people exchanging war-stories of how little they got done—it’s frankly thrilling. Hearing classmates say that they, too, regret doing nothing makes me feel just the slightest bit less alone. It’s like AA for TypeAs. There is the old saying that misery loves company. The same rule applies with unproductivity.
Selfies with celebrities Yalies have a fetish for “selfies” with famous people. Yes, a downright fetish for snapping pics arm-extended and duck-faced with whichever celebrity happens to be visiting campus. Whenever acclaimed visitors come to Yale, the first thing that enters our collective mind is often, “Will Herman Cain be down to be in my Instagram #SelfieSunday?” Formal photo-ops are so passé nowadays, so we fight and claw for a hot moment to get a camera-phone quality picture. Having a “selfie” changes the entire dynamic of a given picture. It makes the interaction seem casual, like Hillary Clinton is just another betch that I sometimes Snapchat. But Hillary Clinton (or Stephen Colbert, or Jake and Amir, or even Ted effing Conover for that matter) deserve more than a picture taken at an arms length. Our obsession has reached such a low that we not only upload photos of our own “selfies,” but we also post photos of students as they take their own photos. That’s not Meta—it’s just lame. The time has come to flip those cameras around and start acting rational again. We aren’t middle schoolers on MySpace anymore. —Larry Millstein
D: Wrought iron gates Don’t get me wrong—the wrought iron gates sprinkled around campuses are pieces of art. Have you ever stopped to look at the gate outside the Trumbull Master’s House? With its oxidized metal and ornamental flourishes, it’s pretty fucking dope. But there is an issue that these gates present: they’re heavy. And hard to open. And, at this time of year, pretty cold. I often find myself having to wedge my entire body to leverage enough strength to just pass through (the same applies to the doors in Commons). It’s the worst to hear people behind me snickering as I pull with BOTH of my chicken arms—so, no, I am not going to hold this gate open for them now. They can struggle with the masterpiece themselves.
BOOM/BUST INCOMING: T-shirts for The Game How do you make something at once a) clever, b) attractive, and c) something that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear in any situation you happen to find yourself? Now that we have the Higgs Boson figured out, I’m pretty sure this is one of the greatest challenges of the season—if not our time. The Game is coming up and clubs are clamoring to sell you their hilar t-shirt (or flask) because they want to look d) all of the above. Unfortunately it seems that most of them involve poopy, which makes me think I can just stick to some mash-up of strapping-Yale-lad-Campus-Customs Y sweater and call it a day/darty.
OUTGOING: Looking good while studying That extra attention that I pay to my appearance before I go study is slowing decreasing to zero. Colder temperatures mean that my walk from point A to point Library will have to include layers that put the aesthetic balance of my ideal outfit out of whack. Say goodbye to your thoughtful hairdo because all you have time for now is a messy topknot what with three paper proposals that were due yesterday. After fall break is when the real studying begins, and that unfortunate posture for prime reading comprehension is surfacing. You’re not being graded on how hot you look in the library,, so pack a pair of slippers in your backpack for when you decide to get a coffee at Thain Fam Caf. . — Austin Bryniarski YH Staff
TOP FIVE 5 4 3 2 1
Things to do at finance recruiting sessions
Wear a Goldman shirt to the JP Morgan meeting. Can you even imagine? Bring a date. Great food at those things. Bring a duffel bag to put that great food in. Haha. Try to get a selfie with Lloyd Blankfein. LinkedIn prof pic!
TYNG CUP STANDINGS! 1. Jonathan Edwards 2. Davenport 3. Trumbull 4. Ezra Stiles 5. Pierson 6. Berkeley 7. Saybrook 8. Timothy Dwight 9. Branford 10. Morse 11. Silliman 12. Calhoun
329 296 247.5 240.5 220 207.5 199 188 184.5 172 124 56
INDEX 75.03 In dollars, the average amount Americans spend on decorations, costumes, and candy for Halloween.
3 Number of states (Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts apparently) where the night designated for Trickor-treating is called “Beggars’ Night”
In dollars, the price of an 8x10 collector photo of Bobby “BORIS” Pickett, the singer of the Halloween classic, “The Monster Mash”
In dollars, the fine for using or selling Silly String on Halloween in Hollywood, Calif.
The year in which famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson performed in Woolsey Hall on Halloween— five years before the Yale Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1968.
Number of days of the year that you’re allowed to dress in costume because it’s Halloween. “Halloweek” is not a thing.
Ask for help on your econ p-set. —Kohler Bruno YH Staff
Sources: a) National Retail Federation, b) halloweenhistory.org, c) themonstermash.com, d) businessinsider.com, e) yaledailynews.com, f) Yale Herald — Navy Encinias YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
SITTING DOWN WITH IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE by Marc DeWitt and Ezra Ritchinttps:// Immortal Technique is a rapper and activist. Born in Peru and raised in Harlem, Immortal Technique has released three studio albums. He has also done extensive charitable work visiting prisons, working with immigrant rights organizations, and most recently, he has partnered with Omeid International to found an orphanage in Kabul, Afganistan with the profits of his third album, The 3rd World. The Herald sat down with Immortal technique this week to discuss the activist ends to his music. Log on to yaleherald.com for an extended version of this interview! YH: Does your music have a goal? I know you’re very politically active: is there one destination point or goal, in a political sense? IT: Obviously, you could say awareness, but I think it’s more than that. I’d like to see people be inspired by the music enough to make a change in their lives. I’ve definitely had the opportunity to experience that firsthand. I’ve seen people that come up to me and they’ve been like, “I was hooked on heroin, and I heard your songs and I wanted to change my life.” I’ve gotten people that come up to me after “Dance With the Devil” and be like, “I was the victim of violation when I was younger. I walked around thinking it was my fault; I walked around blaming myself. When I heard you speak, I realized this wasn’t my cross to bear.” If I can show people and destroy the mythology of America and the mythology of the “civilized” versus the “savage” world—I think, when someone enslaves someone else, the person that they enslaved, he’s not savage. He’s an innocent victim. The person who lied to him and took him from his home and burned his village and raped the women there— he’s the savage. When a man rapes a woman, that’s not her shame, that’s his shame. She’s not a savage, not an animal. You’re the animal. You’re the savage. YH: You place a lot of importance in crossing cultural boundaries in your rap and social work, such as the project to build an orphanage in Afghanistan. I know part of that consciousness came from returning to Peru, where you were born, when you were seven years old, and seeing that other dimension of poverty was really powerful for you. IT: Right. I saw a glimpse of it when I was very, very young, before I left. But it was probably too much to process; I was just too young to understand the ramifications of what I was seeing. But coming back being seven years old, and then 10 years old, and then 13—I tried to go back every two or three years, but we just didn’t have the money to do it every year, so we would go back every two or three years, save up and go visit. And it would be shocking for me to see people who lived that far behind the poverty line. In America we are used to seeing homeless people, but it’s different to see homeless children. It’s one thing to someone prostituting themself who is an adult, but when you see a child prostituting themself it is shocking to the soul and it makes you realize that these living standards that people are subjected to are inhumane and their poverty itself is inhumane.
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
YH: You’ve said you’re trying to cut back on saying the word “faggot.” Are you at all concerned with alienating people with patriarchal language like the word “bitch” or metaphors of rape and war? IT: Patriarchy is not something that you’re going to find a safe haven from in just about any music or any concert hall. Go find the softest rapper you want. My man, go to a fucking Lady Gaga show at a big festival and what’s going to happen? You’re going to be searched, and you’re going to be divided between men and women based on what bathrooms you can go to. They’re not going to honor someone who is a man dressed like a woman going into the women’s bathroom, because they’re going to say, “No, you’re a man dressed like a woman.” So already there’s bias against transgendered people. You know, we had a song called “Black Vikings” where we talk about “raped them, caged them.” The whole context of the record, though, isn’t about gratuitous rape and violence, it’s about making people stop and realize: how do you think empires are built? How do you think conquest comes to people? Do you think it comes to them through nice conversion? Through the idea that everyone is going to get along? I think that, at some point, we have to realize that, if we’re going to address patriarchy as a whole, then we have to go back through the annals of history: King Solomon, who had 700 wives and 500 concubines, that’s addressed. Then, we address the biological difference between a man and a woman. A woman has to actually have something inserted into her. That’s one thing, now we’re talking about the actuality of the difference between men and women, the physical difference, the responsibility that men have to protect women versus the responsibility that women have to protect themselves and not feel like they’re just a damsel in distress in every situation. And I think, more than that, it comes to a crux within the interpretation of what civilization is. Where do we view ourselves as evolving human beings? At what point do we say, this is the next stage of evolution? To control your emotions, to not feel threatened by other people’s lifestyles. If someone doesn’t believe what I believe in dude, I don’t care. That has nothing to do with me. I grew up having a crush on little girls, somebody else grew up having a crush on little boys. As long as that’s not brought to my front doorstep and no one’s telling me, “Unless you kiss a man, you’re a bigot.” I’m like, “Yo dude, please stop it.” Because what does that mean? I’m going to go to a gay parade and tell a dude, “Hey, unless you make out with or marry a woman, you don’t have a real marriage.” It’s the same thing. So I’m not trying to tell people how to live their lives as long as someone’s not telling me how to live mine. YH: You speak a lot about the problems in our public schools, one such problem being an education from the viewpoint of the winners of history. How do you think that can begin to be resolved?
IT: If it were easy, I would bottle it and sell it. It’s not easy; it’s not a simple process; it’s something that takes a lot of time, and I remind people that you have to go back to the very beginning. You want to understand slavery, understand that it doesn’t begin with America. The caliphate had slavery, Rome had slavery, and ancient Greece had slavery. It’s funny because you’ll find these same contradictions in every aspect of movies. For example, that ridiculous movie 300 when the guy’s like, “They all want us as slaves.” As if the Greeks didn’t have slaves. He also feminizes the Athenians calling them, “The Athenian boy lovers,” as if you motherfuckers in Sparta weren’t rolling around naked in a gymnasium with each other. C’mon, dude. At what point are we just going to have an honest conversation about the real history of humanity? And at that point, then we’re going back to the Hammurabi Code in the Age of Mesopotamia to discuss slavery. When it comes to the right of conquest, talk about Philip II of Macedon, Alexander the Great’s father: when he conquered the Scythians, he asked for 20,000 women of a breeding age. C’mon dude, this is how the world was built. If anything, it goes back to the previous question we had: what do I intend to achieve with my music? I can’t force anybody to change their mind, I can’t force people to be more open-minded or progressive, but what I can do is tell them that the world they believe in is a lie and show them why it’s a lie. And if that’s the case, then they’re forced to confront those facts on their own. They don’t have to believe me. The difference between science and religion is that you don’t have to believe in science for it to be true. The other thing, you have to have faith in people. At some point, I think we all have to come to terms with the fact that human beings are ruled by their emotions to a certain degree. And when we get away from that, and when we start being more human to one another, is when we show the best of ourselves, when we’re willing to sacrifice for someone. But, unfortunately, talking monkeys—which is what we are—are pretty selfish creatures. But when there’s some sort of cataclysm or catastrophe, it seems like it’s the only time we ever really come together and we start to realize we have more in common than we do apart. It’s like, when we’re freezing and we need each other’s body heat, then I don’t give a fuck where you from my dude. YH: So the only way for us to come together is through our own selfishness? IT: Through our own selfishness and through our own catastrophe. And I think if I present catastrophe for fans to be able to digest and take personally, it forces them to come together. Take “Dance With the Devil”—it’s a catastrophe, a horrible example of what catastrophe is in a relationship where a person is actually doing that to himself. We’re going to see a big catastrophe on stage and we’ll hope that it brings people together.
—This interview was condensed by the author
PRIVATE PROPERTY by Oliver Preston
wo hundred fifty million years ago, you could have taken a wrong turn off the New Jersey Turnpike and ended up in Morocco. The continents have since split, and a crack now runs up the eastern seaboard where tectonic forces stretched the crust too thin. The crack, known as the Ramapo Fault, runs parallel to the Appalachian Mountains, cutting up through the northern half of New Jersey and terminating just west of the Palisades. In Hopewell Valley, New Jersey, near the middle of the fault line, the crack hugs the base of Sourland Mountain—a foothill of the Appalachians. Here it acts as a trough. Cold spring water trickles down from Sourland’s rocky heights, collects in the crack and runs eastward. The resulting stream is known locally as “Beden’s Brook.” The name is old, its origin unclear. The best explanation anyone’s come up with is that a man called Beden lighted upon the stream one day and named the clear waters after himself. The brook is a minor one. Its 14-mile run is just a small tributary of the Millstone River, which empties into of the Raritan. The area is heavily wooded, and the brook flows concealed beneath the shade of tall, stately tulip poplars and bitter smelling black walnut trees. Shallow and wide, the water seems to sit right on top of the earth. In only one spot—near the middle of its course—does it deepen. Here the land takes a sudden dip, and the fault opens up into a bowl. The stream splits in two as it passes beneath a stone bridge; twin waterfalls spill over black rocks. The water collects into a deep, oblong pool. Here the current slows to a crawl, almost to a complete stop. A shoal of pebbles slumps on one side of the water, changing shape when the brook swells in heavy rain. A pile of sticks and debris sits near the center of the pool. The banks are steep and wooded. They loom over the shoal, casting it in shadow—if you stand in the water you feel walled in. A gravel drive crosses over the bridge and heads upwards into a high meadow. My family’s farm lies just up the hill, and we’ve claimed this portion of Beden’s Brook as our own. We call it the Swimming Hole. MY FAMILY CAME TO HOPEWELL, NEW JERSEY WHEN I was six. My father’s books were finally selling, and my parents found themselves in a position to move. They found an old Christmas tree farm for sale—the owner had died—and spent their savings on it. When we moved in, they uprooted all the Christmas trees to improve the view.
In New Jersey summers, everything thickens: the air clings to your skin, the steady drone of cicadas settles like a fog. On hot afternoons, the swimming hole provided relief. Descending to the shoal was like entering a cool, dug-out cellar—as you stepped over the roots on the slope, the heat sloughed off you, and the world fell silent. In July, the hottest month, my parents, my two older sisters, my two dogs and I walked down the hill to the water almost every afternoon. My dogs, a Newfoundland and a Jack Russell, marked their territory and barreled into the water. We waded in after them. The water was bracing and almost sweet. My father particularly liked how cold it was. On nights when he couldn’t sleep, he walked down to the water alone and bathed in the dark. We liked to think that the place was a secret. Slowly, unwillingly, we awoke to its unwieldy history. Every now and then, an Algonquin arrowhead turned up on the shoal. A postman once told us that George Washington’s men drank from the brook just days before crossing the Delaware and skewering the drunken Hessians with bayonets. In fourth grade, I had to read a book written in the 1950s by a local author—the narrator, a boy about my age, ran away to a secret swimming spot whenever he wanted to be alone. He would jump in the air and let himself fall into the water, yelling “Timber!” as he plummeted. Sometimes, as we crossed the bridge, we looked down over the water to find strangers splashing around. The trespassers were always local, and they were often stubborn—once or twice my father called the police when a group refused to leave. It became a persistent problem. I remember the jogger. My father and I were walking along the top of the bank when we spotted a man in a pink windbreaker making his way through the woods in front of us. My father started after him and told me to follow. Right before we caught up to him, the man stopped beneath a tree. He seemed not to have noticed us, and we watched as he looked up, pulled a roll of toilet paper from his pocket and sent it sailing through the air. As it fell back down to earth, unfurling, it caught in the branches and hung like a dead snake. My father charged after the man and caught him by his collar and yelled words I hadn’t heard him yell before, but the man just gave a puzzled look. He told us that he was just part a running club, the Hopewell Harriers, and that he was marking a new route for other joggers. My father yelled some more. The man wrenched himself free and sprinted off. After that, my father plastered the surrounding trees with yel-
low signs that read “POSTED: PRIVATE PROPERTY. NO TRESPASSING.” From then on, we swam with the bright rectangles hanging over us. Eels inhabited the brook. They lived private lives, spending most of their time in burrows beneath the stick pile. But on summer afternoons, when sunlight broke through the trees and scattered across the water, you would see the dark, fleshy bodies slip out from the sticks and glide into the shallows to bask. Their long torsos, slick with mucus and nearly black, looked worm-like. I once tried to catch one. Crouching, I slid my arms into the cold water and waded slowly into a sunny patch, where a group was resting. Most of the eels scurried, but one lingered, and I cornered it. It calmly recoiled as I approached, its tail wavering. Before shooting between my legs and disappearing back into its burrow, the eel looked up, and I didn’t see anything its prehistoric eyes—black, flat, empty. MY SISTERS AND I NO LONGER LIVE AT HOME. BOTH OF our dogs are dead now. The eels are gone too—after living in the same spot for 80 years, they swam all the way out to the Sargasso Sea, where they mated, laid millions of eggs and died. Now the swimming hole is populated by five goldfish, which appeared last year. My father worries that they are becoming an invasive species. I only went down to the swimming hole once last summer. My father wanted a swim and asked me to keep him company. As we crossed the bridge, my father stopped, looked down and grunted—two women were crouching on the shoal. A toddler stood in front of them, sweeping a net through the water. We made our way down the bank. My father greeted them. After a brief and jovial exchange (they were from around here, the two women had come to the swimming hole often when they were small), he left them alone. He took off his shirt and waded out into the pool, stopping once the water reached his knees. After standing in silence for a minute or so, he seemed to wake from a sleep—inhaling deeply, he stretched his arms over his head and leaned in towards the water. He toppled like a tree trunk. His body pitched slowly forward, teetering first, then tipping, then plummeting as he surrendered himself to the pull of gravity. For a moment, I let myself believe that his body would freeze right there, that he would hang suspended just above the surface for the rest of his life. But no, the splash—and the running water swallowed him whole. —graphic by Maude Tisch YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
OPINION VOTE HARP
by Gareth Imparato YH Staff
by Fish Stark
Until a few months ago, I knew very little about New Haven politics. I talked about politics often, but I was content to remain uninvolved, my personal convictions uncomplicated by the realities of engaging with candidates and elections. Thanks to a few friends, that has changed quickly. Since the beginning of the year I have done low-level volunteer work for two campaigns, and in that short period I have met a more diverse cross section of the New Haven population than I had in my first two years studying at Yale. I have walked with local youth and grad students, union members and community organizers. I have become energized by the clear passion of those around me—I feel as though I am now a part of something bigger than myself. There is a movement happening in New Haven, a coalition of the left in a Democratic city that is well-organized and committed to politics. I cannot urge you too strongly to vote for the candidate of that movement: Toni Harp. I know as well as anyone that it is easy to treat New Haven as an airport terminal in which most Yale undergraduates have an abnormally long layover. Voting is too often treated as a bi-yearly extracurricular activity that one can skip if an essay is due. When people do engage with politics, there is regularly a sense of noblesse oblige. When I first began volunteering, I did not believe that it would be as meaningful and informative as it was. After working for candidates that are a part of Harp’s coalition I feel as though I have a much clearer understanding of what New Haven’s larger population is like, and what their interests are. For this reason, I believe that a vote for State Senator Harp is a movement away from this pervasive culture of political dilettantism. Harp has been in New Haven for decades, and in that time she has earned the trust of community leaders. She is the candidate that New Haven’s grass roots coalition has rallied around. That means a lot. New Haven residents are finally getting excited after decades of mismanagement and economic instability. If we as Yale students want to be a full part of New Haven, then we should listen closely to its citizens.
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
While volunteering I have heard Harp’s story from a wide variety of supporters. An important leader in New Haven and Hartford for almost two decades, State Senator Harp is the best candidate. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the HUSKY health program in Connecticut, which provides health care for the unemployed. Harp has shown similar health care leadership in her work by making sure that the Affordable Care Act will smoothly go into effect in Connecticut. She has been an advocate of community policing since her days as an Alderwoman, and she has brought money to youth programs. Although she and Elicker have somewhat overlapping agendas, Harp has the proven track record and strong ties to alders required to make her policies a reality. New Haven has the possibility to be a great city. Its economy has shifted almost entirely away from its industrial roots, and it now has the possibility to use its infrastructure and Yale’s intellectual capital to thrive. It cannot do that without the coalition that has built up around Harp. It needs strong, tested leadership in order to do so, however. Just as importantly, it needs political consensus and grass roots support. Toni Harp is the candidate who can best shepherd New Haven into the future. I have spoken to middle-aged union workers, Latino high school students, and former Yale undergraduates who have made New Haven their permanent home. From everyone, the message is the same. The end of the de Stefano era has created a palpable air of excitement in the city, as its citizens realize that there is finally an opportunity to elect a mayor who is deeply representative of their identity. Yale students have the ability to engage in this race. We can show that regardless of our future plans we acknowledge that New Haven is a real place in which we live. Toni Harp is undoubtedly the coalition candidate. The only question is whether we are brave enough to join the movement.
—graphics by Jin Ai Yap YH Staff
Justin Elicker arrived at President Salovey���s block party without any fanfare or entourage—just accompanied by a student volunteer sporting an “I Like Elicker” sticker on his lapel. When I brought my friend, an undecided voter, to meet him, he didn’t launch into a canned stump speech like most politicians. He asked about her thoughts and concerns for New Haven, listened attentively as she spoke, and launched into an animated discussion of the issues he’d tackle as mayor. No script. No buzzwords. No pandering. After their conversation, walking over to the fried dough stand, I asked my friend what she thought about their conversation. “He’s not like any politician I’ve met,” she told me. “He really cares about this city, doesn’t he?” New Haven is at a historic juncture. For the first time in decades, the city’s most powerful institutions—Yale and City Hall—will have new leadership. With a new school superintendent, a renewed focus on community policing, and very serious fiscal challenges that the next administration must overcome, there’s no doubt that the way New Haven works may fundamentally change during our time at Yale—in fact, it’s likely that the policies of the next few years will shape New Haven for several decades. Next Tuesday, we’re not just choosing a mayor, we’re choosing the architect of New Haven’s future. We need to make sure that the future works for all of New Haven’s citizens, so we must choose a leader who is going to represent the whole city, who is going to be responsible and accountable not to a chosen few but to every single resident of New Haven. A stronger New Haven doesn’t need a mayor who is eager to sit down at the bargaining table with powerful interests—it needs a mayor who rolls up his sleeves and collaborates with the community. Justin Elicker embodies that vision. From the moment he launched his campaign, he rejected lobbyist and PAC money and capped his donations at $370 to show that the only special interest group he would represent is the residents of New Haven. His cell phone number is printed on his campaign literature, he’s a staple at neighborhood meetings across the city, and he speaks to reporters himself— not through paid handlers. His hands-on, evidence-based approach to policy shows that he’s willing to speak openly and honestly about issues with his constituents—and his propos-
als contain not just innovative solutions, but realistic plans for implementation once he’s elected. And he has laid all of those out as part of the expansive 75 Days, 75 Solutions policy series on his web site. As well, as a progressive Democrat, it inspires me that he can work with folks across the political spectrum and gain their support, without compromising his bedrock liberal principles. Experience has become a major issue in this election—specifically, how much a mayor needs in order to be an effective leader. Neither John DeStefano nor Ben DiLieto, two long-term mayors of New Haven, held elected office before serving as the city’s executive. Experience is important—but instead of just counting the number of years each candidate has been in office, we must look at how they’ve spent that time. Justin’s tenure in office has been marked by a commitment to open, honest, and smart government. He has worked with his constituents in Cedar Hill—the poorest, previously overlooked neighborhood in his ward—to fight against bad landlords that were taking advantage of residents. He has worked with residents from outside his ward who came to him concerned about illegal dirt bikes in their neighborhood, and subsequently led the police crackdown on this dangerous activity. He helped resurrect and lead a dormant nonprofit in his ward, Friends of East Rock Park, that hired over 20 New Haven public school teens to work in the park during the summers and strengthened neighborhood relations by hosting over one hundred park workdays and events. He also spends time volunteering in his community. On the Board of Alders, he’s been an advocate for safety, sound fiscal policy, and transparency. And his campaign for mayor has been truly grass roots, as he has assembled a strong coalition of citizens around the city—yes, including labor union members (Laborers Local 455 endorses Justin)—who want the next mayor to put their needs before those of powerful political players. I’m convinced that New Haven’s best days are yet to come, but this city isn’t going to realize its potential through old-style machine politics. New Haven needs sound ideas from a leader with a record of working with the community and putting regular people before politics. Justin Elicker is the clear choice for New Haven’s future.
great organ music at yale daniel zaretsky Music of Buxtehude and Bruhns
wednesday, november 6 8 pm Marquand Chapel 409 Prospect St., New Haven free; no tickets required yale.edu/ism Presented by Yale Institute of Sacred Music Celebrating 40 Years at Yale
Poems for a Sunday Afternoon Witold Lutoslawski: Trois poĂ¨mes dâ€™Henri Michaux Tawnie Olson: Les Voyelles (world premiere) and more
sunday, nov. 10 / 4 pm / trinity lutheran church, 292 orange (at wall)
Yale Camerata marguerite l. brooks conductor and
Members of Yale Concert Band thomas c. duffy music director
Free; no tickets required. www.yale.edu/ism Presented by Yale Institute of Sacred Music celebrating 40 Years at Yale.
Barring entry As violence rises in the Elm City club and bar scene, New Haven steps up its police presence downtown by Leland Whitehouse YH Staff
t midnight on Sat., Oct. 26, the bartender at the Black Bear Saloon grabbed a mic and announced that there were three-dollar shots of Fireball whiskey until the song that was playing, “Royals,” by Lorde, ended. Heads perked up all over Black Bear, a standard-fare tavern at the corner of Temple and Crown that turns into a nightclub on weekends, and each group of partiers sent a representative to the bar to take advantage of the deal. At this point, there were still five days until Halloween, but most of the crowd was already decked out in full holiday gear. Dudes with plucked eyebrows wearing colorful Afros jockeyed for position at the bar next to a girl in camouflage pants with plastic dog tags. Later on that night, I relocated to a bar a block up Temple Street, the Russian Lady, where it was full-blown Halloween—a trio wearing face paint ordered vodka redbulls and eyed a group of nurses, somebody was
police officers sitting on their Harleys, and police officers standing next to the bouncers. They chatted quietly with one another, watching the in-and-out flow on Temple and Crown streets, and seemed to be doing their best to avoid interaction with anybody not in a uniform.
team into the club Exhibit X on Center Street and collared eight underage drinkers. Around the same time, in the courtyard outside Club Pulse (north of George between College and Chapel Streets), two men were shot in their backs. Soon after, another shot was fired in the same area and officers chased the gun-
“We’re still not letting people under 21 in, still playing good music. The cops haven’t grabbed anybody out of here.” —Bartender, The Russian Lady There has long been a strong New Haven police presence in the downtown club district, but since mid-September they’ve seriously upped their presence. The heavy-duty law enforcement came in response to a decision by the Chief of Police, Dean Esserman, in an
man down in a nearby parking garage. In response, New Haven’s finest flooded into the downtown club district. You can still feel this presence today, with the most immediately noticeable changes focused on combating underage drinking. Al-
“The cops have been harrassing me mercilessly because the mayor told them to.” —Jason Cutler, owner of Club Pulse dressed as grapes, and I peed next to a guy in a cloak wearing stilts. But nobody was wearing phony badges or blue uniforms. The cops were all real, and outside they were everywhere. There were police officers leaning on telephone poles,
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
given point throughout the night, several officers walk through the bar, keeping an eye out for patrons who look too young to be drinking, and check their IDs. After having my ID scrutinized by the bouncer at Black Bear, I was asked to look into a video camera in the foyer before walking into the club proper. It wasn’t
attempt to crack down on what had become an inordinate amount of illegal activity in the area, in the eyes of the City and police. On the morning of Sun., Sept. 15, downtown police found themselves with their hands full. At 12:30 a.m., an officer led a police
though ID-checking raids have always been part and parcel of the police’s relationship with downtown clubs, the bartenders and bouncers that I spoke with noted that routine walkthroughs are now a reliable set piece on every weekend night. In the following weeks, at any
exactly airport security level precautions, but I certainly would have been sweating had I not been of age. Club employees said they haven’t noticed a marked change in attendance as a result of the arrival of a heightened police presence. A clean-cut bartender from the Russian Lady claimed that things hadn’t changed a bit. “We’re not doing anything different,” he said. “[We’re] still not letting people under 21 in, still playing good music. The cops haven’t grabbed anybody out of here, and they’re friends with the bouncers. They say hi, walk through, check a couple IDs... People don’t mind at all.” The bouncer at the Lazy Lizard, a bar on Crown Street near Temple, said the same: “They’re just doing their jobs. As long as you’re not breaking the rules, they don’t bug you.” However, the thick-necked guy working the video camera foyer at Black Bear was a
little more dubious about how receptive clubgoers are to having their ID’s checked. “After a while, people get sick of being harassed,” commented the bouncer, whose name, along with the names of the other club employees I spoke with for this article, I chose not to print in order to avoid jeopardizing their employment. Some folks aren’t as keen on the extraheavy police presence. Jason Cutler, the owner of Club Pulse feels like his bar has been made the victim of undue attention from the cops and City government. While the courtyard behind Pulse has been something of a hub for violence of late, Cutler feels that its unfair for him to suffer because of what happens outside the walls of his club. “What happens on the street, I cannot control,” Cutler said in a hotblooded response to questions about safety from a New Haven Independent reporter, recorded on video that was posted to YouTube. Things have not gotten easier for Cutler
by the mayor. He recently sued the city for harassment. “The cops have been harassing me mercilessly because the mayor told them to,” he told the New Haven Independent on Thurs., Oct. 5, 2013. “He’s trying to shut me down, and he’s made it very clear.” A group of regulars, mostly from Southern Connecticut State
ymous commenter, posting under the name “trustme,” wrote, in response to an article about the Sept. 15 shooting outside Pulse, “I love hip hop, but I will never go with my friends to a hip hop club, and will not think about taking my girlfriend to downtown neither. Most of these gunshot victims are far
“After a while, people get sick of being harassed.” —Bouncer, Black Bear Saloon University, recently used Twitter to promote a Thursday night Pulse event as a “Fuck the Police” party, hoping to give the place a boost after a stretch of lean weeks. Cutler said he had nothing to do with the party. The outcry in response to this heightened scrutiny has stretched beyond the club own-
from innocent, they flash gang signs and gun gestures... inside these hip hop clubs throughout the night and the bouncers allow it, which they perfectly know what it means.” Another commenter, posting under the name “DrFeelgood,” wrote, “They should not allow these ridiculous clubs downtown or even allow
“Most of these gunshot victims are far from innocent.” —Anonymous comment, New Haven Independent website and Club Pulse, the site of the double shooting on Sept. 15. A Connecticut State Liquor Commission policy, renewed this year, allows local police forces to identify problem bars and recommend the suspension of their licenses to the commission. Cutler feels unjustly targeted by this policy, by the New Haven police, and
restaurant and bar on Temple near Crown, recently decided to stop hosting after-hours hip-hop shows, opting instead for a calmer late-night scene. A bartender and hostess at Kudeta told me that the change was likely to give Kudeta a new vibe, making the bar’s feel “less about the drinking and the
ers and regulars, and onto the Internet. A lively and sometimes loud discussion of club violence has emerged in the comments sections of a number of New Haven Independent and New Haven Register articles. Many of the commenters blame rap music for making the live music scene violent. One anon-
hip-hop nights…they are ALWAYS a problem. Just look at Bar [the pizza restaurant, which doubles as a nightclub on Crown Street], do they promote any hip-hop nights? Nope..and they do not have any violence.” In line with this sort of concern, for both safety and legal reasons, Kudeta, the
partying. It’ll be classier. More about the food. I think it’ll honestly impact us in a positive way.” In a city infamous for its divisions—black and white, rich and poor, town and gown—the downtown club scene has emerged as a rare example of overlap. Local rappers from rough neighborhoods play shows attended by white guys from Westchester, dubiously-legal college kids smoke cigarettes on the street next to cops, and people from a constellation of backgrounds drink vodka shots and see if they can’t get lucky. At its best, it’s a laughing, dancing, booze-loosened cross-section of a city whose residents sometimes fail to get along. At its worst, it’s shots fired, punches thrown, partiers tazed—yet another reminder that New Haven is still a long way from beating its demons once and for all. —graphic by Devon Geyelin YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
A bold venture Lara Sokoloff, TC ‘16, traces the expansion of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and explores the University’s unique entrepreneurial environment.
he old Winchester Repeating Arms factory sits just a block away from the Yale Divinity Quadrangle. Nestled in a new, modern industrial park, the recently refurbished space is the result of a concerted effort by the city of New Haven, the state of Connecticut, and Yale to create an industrial hub as vibrant as that of the factory’s heyday. Known as Science Park, the 80-acre industrial complex hosts to over 23 companies, including Higher One, an entrepreneurial venture that spun out of Yale in 2000. Higher One, which manages financial services for colleges and universities, moved into a 150,000 square-foot remodeled space in 2012 in Science Park. Higher One founders Sean Glass, TD ’02, Miles Lasater, SY ’01, and Mark Volchek, SY ’00, first developed the idea while they were undergrads at Yale. Post-graduation, they opted to build their business here in New Haven, and have since expanded their reach to over 1600 colleges and universities across the United States. In the early stages of devising their business platform, the University climate was drastically different. There was no established form of support for entrepreneurial students; the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) had yet to be established. YEI, which Lasater helped found, was created seven years ago to satisfy the need for an institutional resource of entrepreneurs at Yale. Higher One has become Yale’s poster child for entrepreneurship, a clear example of undergraduates’ success in developing a publicly traded business anchored in New Haven. In his inaugural address, President Peter Salovey expressed that this model will be a key focus of the University going forward. “We will do more to nurture student entrepreneurs from every school and department and encourage them to contribute to the local idea economy,” he announced. “After graduation, they can remain in New Haven and play active roles as civic, arts, and business leaders.”
Just seven years after the founding of YEI, the seeds for an entrepreneurial community have begun to take root. But to compete with other top universities that are now associated with some of the largest tech ventures of the past decade—Harvard: Facebook, Stanford: Snapchat and Instagram—Yale has had to take active role to build up its entrepreneurial culture. It’s not that Yale alums have not had entrepreneurial successes. Frederick W. Smith, JE ’65, would go on to create FedEx. Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann, YC ’03, was premed and majored in political science before going down the tech path. But unlike the legends of Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest and FedEx were not created on Yale’s campus by enrolled students; consequently, the University generally plays no role in the narratives of the ventures’ foundings. Yale is a unique breed: it is firmly grounded in its liberal arts foundation, and it is located in a small city rather than a bustling metropolis or a tech hub. To address these unique circumstances, Yale created YEI. IN 2007, YEI WAS LAUNCHED IN RESPonse to the needs of students with entrepreneurial ambition to provide training on how to build and execute ideas, according to Alena Gribskov, DC ’09, current program director of YEI. Before it would become a year-round institute synonymous with innovation, the program was initially launched as a summer program. The YEI summer fellowship, which will enter its eighth summer in 2014, offers students financing, space, and mentorship in a 10-week program in New Haven. This past summer, a YEI fellow, David Luan, TC ’13, entered the fellowship with Dextro, co-founder of Dextro, a company he co-founded before the summer started. Dextro creates robots that are able to interact with their surrounding environments. Luan said he and his co-founders, who continue to work out of the YEI offices on Whitney Avenue, knew the product was valuable from the beginning; when they first tested out their idea, they received positive feedback from various
robotics blogs. However, they had little experience translating their technical prowess into marketable business. “The fellowship really pushed us to answer a lot of the questions on the business side,” Luan said. “We were used to pitching for a technical audience, and we can’t expect that all the time. But for other fellows, the summer helps allows for the development of novel ideas into fully fleshed-out products. When Lab Candy founder Olivia Pavco-Giaccia, JE ’16, posted a picture of herself on her blog wearing bedazzled lab goggles, her email inbox flooded with responses from young girls, begging to know where she got them. At that moment, she said, she understood there was a market for lab equipment that would encourage young girls to pursue their interest in the sciences. Upon arriving at Yale, she sought out YEI to help her develop this idea. Pavco-Giaccia entered the summer fellowship in June 2013 planning to create colored lab coats and bedazzled goggles for high school girls. Through the program, she had the opportunity to meet with young girls, their parents, and science educators, and her product quickly began to change shape. Lab Candy now consists of a combo pack that features a pair of decorated goggles, a colorful lab coat, and a storybook. Girls in grades K-3 can read about their favorite Lab Candy characters’ science adventures, and then recreate these experiments using a recipe card found in the back of the book. Since the first summer fellowship, YEI has expanded into a year-round program. Last year, YEI established a year-round incubator, the Venture Creation Program (VCP), to increase the number of ventures coming out of YEI. Different from the summer opportunity, which works to further develop entrepreneurial ventures, VCP takes in ideas while still in an early stage of development. In its first year, VCP advised 30 nascent ventures, and they expect the numbers to increase this year, said Simran Dua, who runs the VC advisers program. However, Dua said,last year each of the groups in the program lacked sufficient guidance. To fill this void, YEI organized a team of VC advisers,
School of Management students who serve as informal contacts for the entrepreneurs and ideally track the teams’ progress. Beyond helping to select students who already have ideas and to engage other curious undergrads, YEI hosts speakers multiple times a week. And in addition to these talks, its employees, like lead venture mentor Wes Bray, CC ’74, and Gribskov, hold open office hours to encourage students to explore their ventures within YEI’s nurturing environment. The offices are currently located at 55 Whitney Avenue, past Timothy Dwight College, making each journey to YEI a small trek. Seemingly aware of this, YEI has just acquired office space at the center of campus on the corner of York and Elm, less than a block from over half of the residential colleges. Its soon to be more central location is a concrete manifestation of its attempt to extend access to its programming. YEI has planted its roots. SINCE ITS INCEPTION, YEI HAS PLAYED a role in developing Yale’s entrepreneurial community. Zach Rotholz, MC ’11, whose senior thesis project creating cardboard furniture has turned into the local New Haven furniture store Chairigami, remembers the lack of entrepreneurial spirit among the student body just six years ago. “When I was a freshman, there was [no culture],” he said. Rotholz, whose store is currently located next door to the YEI offices on Whitney Avenue, was a Yale undergraduate when YEI was first founded, and attributes much of the community’s growth to YEI’s programs. Other organizations also noticed the dearth of programs to help develop growth of entrepreneurial interest on campus. Thirteen years ago, six years before YEI was founded, Yale Entrepreneurial Society (YES) was created by the founders of Higher One. Still around today, YES aims to expose students to the more general atmosphere surrounding entrepreneurship, even if a participant doesn’t necessarily yet have a business venture in mind. “[YES] focuses on education through exposure, rather than education through starting your own The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
business,” said YES president Peter Cohen, CC ’14. However, unlike YEI, the organization is not affiliated with the University. While YEI and YES are both committed to developing ideas and creating an entrepreneurial culture on campus, the Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Design (CEID, pronounced “seed,”) was founded as a resource
the end of the day, but all the while, they’re interviewing at all these different places. They aren’t willing to take the risk.” Carr estimated that there were fewer than 10 entrepreneurs in his class of 250. As Carr postulates about the hesitancy to fully enter the world of innovation, both Loeb and Cohen, entrepreneurial leaders on
Again in the YEI Summer Program, Sean Mackay, SOM ’14, who founded Isoplexis with Kara Brower, YC ’13, has partnered with Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Rong Fan, to market a technology Fan has developed. Fan’s product digitizes cell analysis, allowing doctors to better understand their patients’ reactions to drugs and
“We will do more to nurture student entrepreneurs from every school and department and encourage them to contribute to the idea of local economy.” —Peter Salovey, president, Yale University to help students tangibly realize their ideas. The space buzzes with inspired young engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs, but also with the hum of the latest technology: 3D and laser printers, as well as other tools to manipulate raw materials to build prototypes. Previously the dark, run-down engineering library, the open, well-lit space on the first floor of the Becton Center looks out onto Prospect Street; a massive glass window creates a transparent barrier between this area and the outside world, which in itself encourages student curiosity, allowing them to peek in and imagine. Brian Loeb, SY ’14, a mechanical engineering major who spent last summer founding and developing IntaBeta, a website that allows communities with common interests to gather and rank links, said the space has helped him to translate concepts of theoretical engineering from his studies onto the real world. To understand the freezer in the CEID, for example, Loeb had to use his understanding of theoretical thermodynamics. “Learning the hands-on skills comes from the [CEID],” Loeb said. “I think the space has the potential to be pretty empowering.” While the glass, shiny surfaces, and hightech machinery behind it may pique the interest of students hustling up to Science Hill, some feel that the entrepreneurial community on campus is still not fully visible. Pavco-Giaccia admitted that there is an entrepreneurial community on campus, but only “if you know where to look.” Pavco-Giaccia, who came to Yale with an idea in hand but no impulse to develop it, said that, without first seeing a flier for YEI office hours, she wouldn’t have pursued her idea. “I don’t think it’s as present as it could be,” she said, in reference to Yale’s entrepreneurial community. “I think it’s up and coming, and it’s up to those of us in the community to support it. In the business school, which has the potential to be the site of much entrepreneurial activity, an entrepreneurial community has yet to fully blossom. The underlying interest is certainly there—one of eight YEI summer fellow teams was composed of exclusively School of Management students, and a second was a collaboration between a School of Management student and a Yale undergrad. Although there is interest, Neil Carr, SOM ’14, who has had some experience working with YEI—though not as an official YEI summer fellow—said that the culture has yet to fully reach SOM. “I feel like there’s a real culture that values entrepreneurship,” Carr said. “There are a lot of people who talk about entrepreneurship and love the idea of it, but at
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
campus, are themselves planning to work in banking after graduating this spring. Loeb and Cohen each thought banking was the best place to start their careers, but both clarified that they maintain hopes to return to entrepreneurship in the long run, possibly at a venture capitalist firm, which invest money in companies in early stages of development. However, Dua, head of the VC advisers program, disagrees with the notion that students are still tentative about fully committing to working as career entrepreneurs. “I’ve seen a lot of people that are willing to take risks, that are willing to step out of their comfort zones in one way or another,” she said. She recognized that this cultural shift has yet to fully manifest itself as exemplified by a lack of Yale businesses. But she is hopeful that this will soon change. “People are hungry for it, so I think it’s about getting more resources, more synergies across the [University].”
to offer a more individualized drug directive based on the patients’ specific cell makeup. Mackay said he is fairly certain he will continue to build up his company in New Haven after graduating from SOM. “There’s a lot of lab space, he said. “We’d be closer to our cofounder, Rong, and there are a lot of great people involved in the Bioscience space. It’s a really well-developed area for that.” New Haven is so able to support a vibrant bioscience community because it has the talent. Over 80 percent of the University’s research focuses on the biosciences, according to Jon Soderstrom, managing director of the University’s Office of Cooperative Research (OCR). Founded in 1982, the OCR helps the University, its faculty, and students patent and commercialize discoveries made at Yale. However, Yale aims to expand the strategy beyond the biotech field, where it thrives, to include more disciplines across the Univer-
creates comprehensive surveys to evaluate public school performance, have fled New Haven for communities better known for dense populations of computer engineers—in Panorama Education’s case, Boston. Part of the reason for this lies in Yale’s computer science department, which focuses on theoretical computer science, preparing its graduates to write their own code rather than run a tech start-up. A historically small program, it has not been able to churn out the critical number of programmers necessary to jumpstart a tech-based economy. “We need to do better,” Soderstrom said. “We need to support and build up the faculty, we have to bring in the talent.” But he is optimistic that this all of this is changing, citing the young, talented professors that the computer science department have attracted in recent years. Students currently attempting to start businesses in the tech arena have had difficulty finding the necessary resources here in New Haven. Carr came to the SOM with a background in event design, looking to launch a website that could analyze design preferences of clients; he remarked that his company, Wedlum, has struggled to get off the ground, citing a lack of tech and design talent. He ultimately outsourced to the University of Illinois, where he found his company’s co-founders. He admitted that his venture is currently on hold, and its future is uncertain. “Talent acquisition is very, very hard in New Haven, especially for any tech based product,” Carr said. “If there aren’t jobs here, you aren’t going to have talent, but the jobs aren’t going to move here as long as there’s not talent. So it’s a cycle. Someone has to be willing to stay.” To help address the lack of local tech talent, YEI launched its first ever tech boot
“We’re not going to have to complain that we’re not Boston or New York, we’re not going to have to complain about the lack of businesses, we’re not goin gto have to apologize for what isn’t here. When that happens, all bets are off.” —Jon Soderstrom, managing director, Office of Cooperative Research TO HELP FACILITATE THESE “SYNERgies,” the University through YEI has begun pushing for cross-campus collaborations, merging the sciences and SOM. YEI has recently launched a new program that matches leading biomedical and mechanical engineers as well as scientists in the Yale School of Medicine with students in the School of Management, in the hope that business school students can help scientists develop businesses from their scientific discoveries. The University has created this model to mirror the success they have witnessed occurring more organically in the past. Yale has proven to be successful in cultivating biotech start-ups, launching over 30 since 2003. Moreover, many of these companies have remained in the Elm City, capitalizing on the talent, funding, space, and research resources Yale offers to biotech start-ups. And this in itself is a model that Yale is looking to further.
sity. “We demonstrated that we could create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that could support primarily biotech companies,” Soderstrom said. “In the biotech space, we’ve done fairly well, but the issue has always been, can we do more, more to diversify the economy. There are lots of other exciting areas.” VENTURES IN THE BIOSCIENCES MIGHT not immediately come to mind when you hear the word “start-up; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat might be more readily associated. Each of these Internet-based start-ups requires talented computer programmers. But Yale is struggling to produce the creative individuals with the programming abilities to make a serious contribution to this list of tech giants. While Lasater of Higher One said they have been able to attract good programmers in New Haven, even if there are less of them, companies like Panorama Education, which
camp this past summer, which trained Yale students to code in a non-competitive environment. Similarly, Hack Yale was started to teach students practical computer coding outside of the theoretical courses offered by the computer science department. This grassroots approach offers student-run lectures in web development, introductory programming, and design. But a lack of tech talent is not the only obstacle to starting a tech business in New Haven. New Haven does not offer the same caliber of venture capital firms as those found in New York, Boston, or San Francisco. “New Haven is not really an industry center that can build business partnerships. There’s not a lot in the city,” said Yulia Khvan, SOM ’14, who has partnered with a Yale School of Medicine professor to market a zinc-based antacid, known as TummyZen. The drug helps to relieve long-term acid reflux pain and is the brainchild of John Giebel,
—graphic by Zachary Schiller YH Staff vice chair of surgery and professor of gastrointestinal surgery and cellular and molecular physiology at Yale School of Medicine. At first, the founders of TummyZen were not convinced that New Haven could support their growing business. “We were pleasantly surprised,” said Khvan. The company is entirely funded by New Haven and Connecticut based investors, which Khvan acknowledged, is rare. But although TummyZen has been lucky, Khvan is skeptical that New Haven is ready to support a bustling entrepreneurial community. “There is a high concentration of investors in Connecticut,” he said. “We’re hoping to tap into those resources—but the mechanism of allocating those resources across different start-ups is not in place.” THE UNIVERSITY IS NOT ALONE IN TRYing to revolutionize New Haven’s economy. Although Yale certainly provides much of the talent and funding for the budding entrepreneurial community, the city has launched some of its own initiatives. A year ago, Derek Koch, Founder and CEO of Independent Software, a start-up that helps other entrepreneurs launch their business, was approached by the State of Connecticut’s “Innovation Ecosystem” program to build a start-up incubator in New Haven. In response, Koch led a team to create The Grid, a virtual organization that connects entrepreneurs in New Haven, much in the same way that YEI helps Yale students form connections within the University. The Grove, located on the corner of Chapel and State Streets, serves a similar purpose to CEID—a physical collaborative space for entrepreneurial-inclined individuals to share and develop ideas. New Haven also hosts a yearly Start-Up Weekend, which, this year, will take place November 15-18. The 52-hour long pseudoentrepreneurial retreat is designed to identify problems and seek solutions for attending New Haveners without previous venture ideas. Although seemingly abstract, the weekend has led to some success—SugaTrack, the winner of the 2011 Start-Up Weekend, syncs Diabetic teens’ glucose meters with an app on their phone, allowing them and their parents to track their sugar levels; the company recently incorporated. Soderstrom, who has worked for Yale for over 15 years, says he sees the efforts of
the city as entirely compatible with those of the University. “I see everything coming together,” he said. “We’re not going to have to complain that we’re not Boston or New York, we’re not going to have to complain about the lack of businesses, we’re not going to have to apologize for what isn’t here. When that happens, all bets are off.” BUT BOSTON IS MORE THAN A TECH HUB; it is America’s college town, hosting more than 50 colleges and universities, including the entrepreneurial center that is Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Similarly, Stanford University, which boasts one of the most dynamic undergraduate communities of entrepreneurs in the world, is located only 15 minutes from Silicon Valley, the historical center of the Internet revolution and home to the some of the largest and most successful venture capital firms. What these towns have that New Haven has yet to refine is an underlying entrepreneurial culture that permeates beyond just one isolated institute or student-run group. For MIT, much of the school’s entrepreneurial spirit hearkens back to the school’s motto, “Mens et Manus,” which translates mind and hand. The Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, MIT’s equivalent to YEI, works with around two to three thousand students each school year, as estimated by Kyle Judah, the center’s program director. Similarly to YEI, the Trust Center runs a summer intensive program known as the Guild Accelerator. “We consider ourselves an accelerator, and not an incubator, because in an incubator, you can coast along until you’re old,” he said. “If they’re just seeing this slow, linear growth, we want to force our students to acknowledge that something wasn’t right, and feel comfortable going back to the drawing board.” To facilitate this open learning environment, the Trust Center forces all mentors to sign a written agreement that they will not invest in any student ventures until after the student has graduated. “It remains that safe space for students to experiment and fail and learn without the pressure of venture capitalists or investors peering over their shoulders,” Judah added. Meanwhile, at Stanford, the entrepreneurial opportunities are so vast that they cannot be conglomerated into one organization like a YEI or the deeply rooted and vastly expanisve Martin Trust Center, which was founded in
1990. Rather, the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network (SEN) facilitates communication among the 30 entrepreneurial organizations, eight to 10 of which are entirely student run. “It’s not one program, but many different programs,” explained Anais Saint-Jude, special products designer for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and also involved in SEN. “Entrepreneurship is just everywhere, you can’t get away from it. It’s like a garden. New things just keep popping up.” But part of what sets these universities apart from Yale is that they are nestled in two of the nation’s major hubs of entrepreneurship. “It’s an embarrassment of riches,” Saint-Jude said of the Silicon Valley community. “It’s the air that we breathe.” She said that the school has also begun to incorporate the San Francisco venture capital community into its immediate network of resources, expanding the already abundant resources offered to students. And up in Boston, MIT students have the resources of Boston entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at their fingertips. “Boston makes it easy for our students to go find the right kind of mentors,” Judah said. Most of the major capital firms in the country have offices in Boston, Judah added, facilitating relationships with possible investors. But none of this should come as news to anyone with some knowledge of the U.S. News and World Report College Guide. Boston and Silicon Valley will forever be resources that benefit students at those universities. And the truth is that Yale is not moving anytime soon. Richard Florida, founder and editor-at-large of Atlantic Cities, and one of the leading scholars on demographic trends relating to technological innovation, calls Yale an “anchor institution” for New Haven. “Yale is tied to its community,” Florida said. “And it can have real effects on its local community, not only by creating an ecosystem, but by the way it purchases goods and services locally and interacts with the local community.” In his research, Florida has found that college towns tend to cultivate entrepreneurial centers and create unique environments that facilitates the growth of businesses. “If positioned right within their communities, universities can really serve as catalysts for them [to grow],” he said. Take Boulder, CO, buried in the Rocky Mountains at the center of the country. Certain-
ly not an industrial center like San Francisco or Boston, Boulder has emerged as a hub for tech start-ups over the past five years. “It’s about this ecosystem,” Florida said. “Universities have to create this ecosystem, this environment that’s attractive. If done properly, you can leverage the investment the university makes to help move the respective city forward.” BACK AT YALE’S OFFICE OF COOPERATIVE Research, Soderstrom said students are looking for the resources like those offered in Boston and San Francisco but facilitated by the University. He said students want more graduate and undergraduate courses in entrepreneurship, and that he has been working with Ted Snyder, newly appointed SOM Dean, to begin devising a curriculum in the tenets of entrepreneurship. “It’s one of the transformative moments that we are starting to think like this,” Soderstrom said. But at its heart, Yale is a liberal arts institution. It prides itself on providing its students with a rich and balanced education that is in no way pre-professional. However, a liberal arts education does not necessarily have to be at odds with an entrepreneurial mindset. After hearing undergraduates’ present their ventures to the Yale Corporation to show them the products of the University’s new programs, former board member Len Baker CC ’64, Managing Director of Sutter Hill Ventures in Silicon Valley, told Soderstrom that the proposals of Yale students were markedly different than those of other college students that he had observed. He noted that students at Yale had identified major problems that required solutions rather than offering solutions to problems that maybe didn’t even exist. “That’s what grows out of a Yale education, an appreciation for what the problems are, and seeking solutions to those problems,” Soderstrom said. “These are big problems, and a liberal arts education is a great place to start.” This liberal arts approach to entrepreneurship could be Yale’s niche offering, differentiating it from Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. And hopefully YEI and other future resources will play to Yale’s unique inherent strengths as the program continues to grow. If Yale pulls it off, it could change the face of entrepreneurship as we know it.
—Graphic by Madeline Butler YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
Taking root Could a community greenhouse in Newhallville strengthen neighborhood ties? by Isabelle Taft
or over a year, Elm City officials, nonprofit workers, private donors, and local residents have worked to create a community greenhouse in Newhallville. I visited the Ivy Street Community Garden, about two miles from Old Campus, on a chilly morning in late October. Trainees from the city’s Construction Workforce Initiative (CWI) were preparing to lay the foundation, 15 feet wide and 30 feet long, and to set up the greenhouse’s lowmaintenance passive heating system. From ground to roof, the greenhouse will stand 10 feet tall and house rain barrels and elevated garden beds Velma George is a neighborhood specialist for the Livable City Initiative (LCI)—a city agency that works to improve neighborhoods through housing and public works projects—and the woman credited for spearheading the greenhouse project. “It’s totally, totally exciting,” George said, watching the construction work from the sidewalk. “And definitely a symbol for what’s possible in Newhallville.” George and other community organizers began the greenhouse project last October, after they returned home from a national conference held in Orlando by NeighborWorks America, an organization that works
to increase affordable housing across the country. Conference participants received a small grant of $2,000 and a charge to meaningfully improve their community. George said the team wanted to do a project in Newhallville to complement the work of Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing blighted New Haven communities. In Newhallville, NHS has undertaken home renovations, homeowner education workshops for first-time homebuyers, and foreclosure mitigation programs. George sees the greenhouse as something Newhallville homeowners can be proud of. According to Jim Paley, NHS executive director, Newhallville has been hit hard by crime, declining home prices, and landlords who fail to properly screen tenants and maintain properties. “You put all this together and you get a neighborhood that has caused many residents to feel uncomfortable and many to say they’re worried about the future,” Paley said. In May, a Yale professor was beaten and mugged at a Newhallville lot where architecture students were building a house for a final project. After Yale determined it could not guarantee students’ safety in the neighborhood, the university pulled out and NHS finished building the home.
One tangible symbol of the trouble in Newhallville is the large number of empty lots scattered throughout the neighborhood. These lots were a consequence of the city’s decision to demolish decrepit properties in the 1990s. But residents have managed to remake these indicators of decline into havens of renewal by turning some of them into community gardens. George said her team settled on the idea of a greenhouse because “Newhallville is more or less the gardening capital of New Haven.” Of the several gardens in Newhallville, they chose the Ivy Street plot for its ample space, dedicated team of gardeners, and proximity to the Lincoln-Bassett school. Levon Quattlebaum, an 80-year-old New Hallville resident, has been tending a plot on Bassett Street for the past 20 years, producing carrots, peppers, collard greens, peas, and squash. Quattlebaum said he’ll keep gardening as long as his health holds out—and as long as the city keeps renewing the five-year New Haven Land Trust lease on the property. “As long as the city rents it to New Haven Land Trust, I’m in business,” Quattlebaum said. “But they could sell it.” Catherine Bradshaw, interim executive director of the New Haven Land Trust (NHLT), explained that community gardens
are generally created when groups approach the NHLT for assistance in setting up a garden. The NHLT finds space for gardens in churchyards, backyards, or empty lots that it leases from the city. Every five years, the city may have the chance to sell a garden plot to developers, forcing community gardeners out. Bradshaw said the tension between community gardeners and developers reflects different ideas about how to best renew neighborhoods. Developers say infusing communities with new housing to attract stable tenants can permanently undo years of destruction, while proponents of community green spaces argue that turning vacant lots into gardens and mini-parks can revive a neighborhood from within. “There’s always a little bit of a risk of losing the property,” Bradshaw said. Bradshaw estimated that 18 gardens had been lost when developers bought lots from the city. But generally, Paley said, the city has been supportive of community gardens. Erik Johnson, executive director of the LCI, said the city’s investment in the greenhouse represents its commitment. “I think that hopefully the model that we established in Newhallville will bear fruit and that there will be other communities who are asking us to make similar investments through the public-private partnership that was established in Newhallville,” Johnson said. Through the LCI, New Haven provided $11,000 to purchase the greenhouse kit. Other donations for the project came from the Walsh Construction Company and United Way. George said Solar Youth, an environmental education-based program for New Haven kids, and the Lincoln-Bassett School were involved in the planning process and are eager to introduce students to the greenhouse. However, currently most Newhallville gardeners are senior citizens. Bubba Elder, one of about eight regular gardeners at the Ivy Street Community Garden, has lived in Newhallville his entire life. He’s now excited about the chance to share his gardening experiences with the next generation. “I feel the greenhouse is good for the community, especially the young kids coming up,” Elder said. “They can learn to grow things for their families, exactly how we do for ourselves.” —graphic by Jin Ai Yap YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
Funding a future A new grant allows the Elm City to strengthen and support youth violence prevention programs by Yi-Ling Liu
n 2011, 34 homicides tore through New Haven, five times the national average per 10,000 city residents, and more than half of these cases involved Elm City residents below the age of 26. In response, the New Haven Board of Aldermen’s youth committee, led by Sarah Eidelson, JE ’12, spearheaded a Comprehensive Youth Agenda, designed to steer the City’s adolescents away from violence by funding organizations that supported youth development. As a result of their efforts, on Wed., Oct. 16, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano announced that the city had won a $750,000 grant from the State of Connecticut to promote programs aimed at preventing youth violence. City officials have argued that addressing youth development is an especially effective means of combating urban crime because it helps to prevent violence before it happens. “By reaching out to youth earlier, we can tackle the very roots of violence,” Eidelson told the Herald in an interview. The initiative promotes job and internship opportunities as its primary tools of crime prevention. “Many people in New Haven are unable to get financial support from their family, and as a result, they turn to crime,” Eidelson said. “They need to be given opportunities to break from this cycle of unemployment and violence.” For instance, as a result of this legislation, the New Haven Family Alliance, one of the 22 community outreach organizations that have received the new funding, will be able to double the size of its “Project Success” program. Project Success, designed to address the needs of low-income inner city teenagers who have had some contact with the law enforcement, trains teens and places them in internships with stipends, as a way of addressing some of these social problems that—as Eidelson argues—create a cycle of criminal behavior.
Beyond the approach of these programs, fostering a culture of peer mentorship and leadership is another crucial goal of the youth violence prevention initiative. “You often hear from young people that they lack models and supportive figures in their life,” Eidelson said. Her committee plans to solve this problem by funding programs that provide access to mentorship. Solar Youth, another beneficiary of the state grant, is one example. Founded by Yale School of Forestry graduate Joanne Sciulli, FES ’96, FRD ‘96, Solar Youth works to create a culture of peer mentorship by giving interns the skills necessary to be environmental educators through programs including hikes in East Rock Park,
canoe floats on the Mill River and classes on ecological issues in New Haven. L.E.A.P., an organization founded in 1992 by New Haven social workers and community activists, has also recognized New Haven’s students as a source of mentors and role models for other students. As a result of the state funding, L.E.A.P, which stands for Leadership Education Athletic Partnerships, will enlarge its Young Empowered Scholars (YES!) program, an afterschool initiative aimed at empowering sixth through eighth graders with the tools to prevent violence. “The funding was particularly important because we needed to be able to service more youth in the age range from 13-15,”
said Lucy Diaz, L.E.A.P’s Director of Development. “They are particularly vulnerable—too old to be a part of the traditional model for children, and too young to have a job,” she said. “Not to mention, they’re often left home alone after school, and too much downtime could lead to negative behavior. Having an after-school program gives them the opportunity for academic and social enrichment.” Through YES!, young people work afterschool with a detailed curriculum and are able to take advantage of the variety of different resources in New Haven. For example, L.E.A.P has arranged for their participants to take part in a research project with the Yale School of Medicine. Medical school students are in the process of designing an app geared toward helping educate this age group about making healthy decisions. “The kids love it. Of course, they get to hang out with the iPads, but they’re also learning about health, wellness, nutrition, understanding the consequences of their actions, learning what do to when they are confronted with a cigarette etc,” Diaz explained. This collaboration with the Yale School of Medicine is only one of the many examples of how the Yale community can contribute to efforts to combat youth violence. “It’s really important that students are invested in New Haven’s well-being,” Diaz said. Like Scuilli, who founded Solar Youth just after leaving Yale, and Alderwoman Eidelson, who first became involved in youth mentorship in her freshman year as an undergraduate through the early education fellowship, Yale students have ample opportunities to continue to find innovative ways to bridge the gap between town and gown. —graphic by Julia Kittle-Kamp YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
Room for music
Yale bands lack space to showcase their talents
here are a couple good venues, but for the most part student bands have to fend for themselves,” remarked Tommy Bazarian, TC ’15, a member of the student folk band The Teaspoons. The band—like most of its peers—has taken advantage of every available opportunity to play, ranging from opening at Spring Fling to the Yale Farm’s biannual pig roast, and still finds performance space lacking. At Yale, a university famed for its prowess in the musical arts, one might expect the undergraduate culture to be inundated with student bands. The Yale School of Music is extremely competitive to get into, and is even more so now than ever, after billionaire Stephen Adams, DC ’59, made a $100 million donation to make tuition free for all of its students. Despite the strength of Yale’s music school and the a cappella system, however, undergraduate life seems to be lacking in non-college sponsored musical activities. Much of this problem stems from the fact that the school lacks any sort of performance or even practice space for students seeking to make music on their own time. For whichever reason—institutionally run independent music program, or a lack of student interest—the result leaves Yale undergraduates with an undeniable lack of independently made undergraduate music. There are nonetheless a few spaces available to Yale students seeking to perform their own music. The Saybrook Underbrook
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
provides an intimate setting for small shows featuring Yale student bands as well as various local New Haven groups. Located in the basement of Saybrook, the theater was founded by Oliver Hill, BR ’12, who created the band Plume Giant with Eliza Bagg, SM ’12, and Nolan Green, ES ‘12. The band has been extremely successful, and recently returned from a national tour with Kishi Bashi—the pseudonym of K Ishibashi, a violinist known for touring with Of Montreal and Regina Spektor. The Underbrook has had success with small events, but doesn’t have the space for larger shows or present the right atmosphere for rowdier genres. Dominic Coles, CC ’16, who was part of the New York-based band Ghost Pal, said that the Underbrook just wasn’t the right space for their “paranoid, psychedelic soul” music. Another regular venue for past performances has been WYBC Yale Radio, which offers bimonthly concerts in the dark, yet wellloved basement of the “Radio House” at 216 Dwight Street. WYBC and the space has been unofficially affiliated with the station for the past three years, in which time, the space has hosted concerts with various Yale bands as well as New Haven and New York-based acts. Max Weinreich, BC ’16, who organizes the 216 Dwight shows with Herald Online Editor Colin Groundwater, ES ’15, said that the basement venue represents a particular community at Yale that he loves and wants to expand. “In order to have a community
like that, you need to have some sort of scene to organize it around, and to have that kind of scene you need to have good music. You need to be able to go watch your friends perform in ways that you never expected them to,” Weinreich said. Despite these goals, however, he admitted that it could be at times difficult to produce the kind of concerts he wants. “[216 Dwight] is so far away from campus that it can be hard to pull a crowd.” These venues constitute the majority of space for bands not directly affiliated with the University. There are limited college-hosted events that give independent student bands a chance to play—for example, opportunities like the Yale Symphony Orchestra (YSO) Halloween pre-show, and Battle of the Bands during Bulldog Days (the winners of which receive the spots on the Spring Fling stage) are few and far between. Bazarian shared that many concerts are held in more impromptu spaces, such as house shows, and basement parties. He added that the absence of practice space for unaffiliated bands makes creating and maintaining new groups especially difficult. The lack of space also poses an issue for bands that play less traditional genres, for which basement parties are less suitable. Coles, who was also part of a new classical ensemble that popped up last year called Black is the Color, recalled having particular issues with finding both venues and funding. “It was really difficult to find a space that was
adequate for what we were doing with the amount of funding we got from Yale,” he said. “We got $300 of funding for three concerts, which barely covered the PA system and all the electronic equipment we needed just for our first concert in the Calhoun dining hall. That was a free space, but at a lot of venues at Yale you have to pay a fee or put a deposit down and pay for the piano and all the other equipment in the space.” The undergraduate music scene is mostly dominated by singing groups and college-run ensembles such as the YSO and the Yale Concert Band. These groups provide great opportunities for students who play certain kinds of music, but the unfortunate byproduct of this focus is the lack of the necessary funding for other independent endeavors. Dominic’s band experienced the difficulties resulting from this imbalance: “We didn’t have enough money, so we ended up having to go out of pocket for a lot of concerts. This year, we have had a lot fewer concerts just because we were losing too much money just trying to perform.” These issues are familiar ones to students who have been navigating the alternative music scene at Yale, but many are seeing improvement in the past couple years. “Right now we mostly have to make it happen for ourselves, but it’s getting better,” Bazarian said. “The culture is emerging, but space just hasn’t caught up.” —Alessandra Roubini YH Staff —graphic by Maude Tisch YH Staff
Making the bands On a campus where bands scramble for space, the Herald’s putting them on the page. Meet the music makers! Orkestar BAM
The idea to form a Balkan band was conceived by Anna Rose Gable, PC ‘13, and Maclovia Quintana, MC ’11, FES ‘14, as they drove and sang together from Sante Fe, New Mexico, to New Haven in the summer of 2012. Other friends gradually signed on to join the group, showing up to rehearsals with fellow musicians and their instruments in tow. “It was like, ‘Let’s start a band! Everyone gets to bring one friend!’” said Quintana. The now nine-member group, Orkestar BAM, plays folk music from throughout the Balkan Peninsula, with instruments ranging from accordion to saxophone, flute to doumbek, tapan to tambourine. “Once we’ve learned a song, we can start doing silly things with it,” Gable said, noting that the fiddlers have been know to break into Irish tunes or reggae beats. Performances have a similar vibe, especially when it comes to costumes. “Our first gig was formal drag, so Eric wore my only fancy evening dress and a headscarf and all the girls wore button-down shirts and bowties,” said fiddler Justine Cefalu, TD ’15. “We don’t want to seem like we take ourselves super seriously.” Percussionist Nathalie Levine, CC ’14, recalled having to scale the wall outside GPSCY in a borrowed tuxedo in order to sneak into her own concert: “Maclovia caught me on the other side, but I had banged-up knees for a while,” Levine said. —Justine Appel
Neither a third-wave fem punk outfit nor the name of the worst stripper at the Catwalk, Pussy Tundra is the experimental-rock brainchild of some of Yale’s own upperclassmen. Pussy Tundra is composed of Alison Greenberg, BC ’14, and Gracie Jansen, DC ’15, on vocals; Matt Spillane, MC ’15, on guitar; Adam Klein, DC ’15, on the kicks; and—when the stars align and the gods smile—Sam Frampton, DC ’15, as the group’s bassist/spirit guide. The members came together last year from “similar scenes”—Jansen introduced Greenberg to Spillane, who she knew through the “sorority/fraternity scene”—and soon came up with the name Pussy Tundra, a “jokey placeholder” that stuck, said Jansen. Of late, the band has little discernible Internet presence, and only one fabled show on record, which, as Greenberg tells it, “Went down in history as the most punk rock night of our lives.” But even with no recorded songs, whispers tell of Pussy Tundra’s personal genre of bootygroove-ska-punk that get heads banging and bottles shattered. For proof of their talent, the band claims that they “had practiced like three times” before the April night they rocked New Haven—and they’ve been sitting on folk legends of the show ever since. But fear not, devotees, and curious folk: the band says that they’ll play again. Of course, they’d be super-psyched if the Pussy Posse contingent could make some noise. “We want our fans to rally—to gear up for war,” Greenberg shared. It’s time to turn those whispers into chants, my friends: Pussy Tundra’s out for blood. —Vincent Mitchell
The Rain Brigade Jake Backer, MC ’14, kicked himself back into one of Bass Café’s leather chairs. “I hate this question,” Backer said. Across the table, Sam Gelernter, SM ’14, nodded emphatically: “It’s the worst one.” Then, Backer started to explain: “I’d say we are…” Here, he paused, eyes bouncing back and forth between Gelernter and Caitlin Pequignot, ES ’14, another band member. said, “…Indie blues pop. How do you feel about that?” Pequignot shrugged, matte black headphones bobbing on her shoulders: “Sounds a little garage band-y.” Gelernter “I’d rather go alternative blues pop,” Gerlentler said. “Whatever,” said Backer. Regardless of its classification, The Rain Brigade, comprised of Backer (bass, vocals), Gelernter (guitar, vocals), Pequignot (violin, vocals), and Ethan Schneider, ES ’14, (drums), has played together since Backer formed the band freshman year. First named “Black Marias,” the group became “The Rain Brigade,” after realizing that a pretty famous Canadian screamo band had their original name, at which point they decided to change the name to avoid any potential legal issues—“not that we were planning to get famous—god forbid—but then we’d get sued for the name,” the band shared. This spring, they will release their first album, tentatively titled Milk Beer. “We just finished a song about a girl who is in outer space, and is writing future emails to her boyfriend who is on earth. That one’s not done yet,” laughed Backer. “We also wrote one about the Morse common room. So really, there’s no message.” —Charlotte Weiner
Pineapple Rock “As far as the name goes—the name is awful,” said Joshua Feinzig, CC ’16, of his band Pineapple Rock, one of four bands who headlined the YSO Halloween pre-show this year. “It’s a Ulysses reference,” he explained, “but it sort of sounds like SpongeBob to me.” While temporary, the band’s secretly sophisticated name mirrors its members’ diverse musical backgrounds. Jeff Zhang, MC ‘16—by far the best musician of the bunch according to his fellow band members—is a “ridiculous virtuoso of a pianist,” classically trained but able to play “basically anything,” according to Feinzig. Other band members, David Whipple, PC ’16, a guitarist who emulates the Black Keys’ neo-classic rock feel; Matias Anaya, SM ’15, is a musically adventurous drummer who’s always writing and working next project; and Feinzig is a mandolin/bassist who’s passionate about funk. The group came together after meeting in a freshman seminar called “Music and Human Evolution” last year. “None of us were friends in the class or anything,” they admitted, but they’ve been working on figuring out their collective sound ever since. “We’re jam-infused and sometimes jazz-infused,” Josh said. “We mostly just play around.” —Sarah Holder
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
REVIEWS Arcade Fire, reincarnated by Elliah Heifetz YH Staff
ince their arrival about a decade ago, Arcade Fire have presented, honed, and perfected their innovative brand of orchestral indie-rock. With their third record, 2010’s The Suburbs, it looked like they had reached the top. Still on an indie label, the band won the Grammy award for Album of the Year (the single most mainstream form of recognition for their music possible), along with top ten spots on nearly every end-of-decade music list. In the process, though, Arcade Fire had also shot themselves in the foot: they had inadvertently taken the idea of their band—the nostalgic, post-teenaged, triumphant on-stage army “Arcade Fire”—to its highest reachable mark. Another record by that particular Arcade Fire would have to meet cripplingly high expectations. This anxiety, this fear that they had hit the limits of their homegrown sound, has been evident since the first signs of their latest album, Reflektor. For their very first show with Reflektor material, the band performed under the name Les Identiks; the artwork for their first single listed the now sort-of-permanent name The Reflektors; Stephen Colbert even announced the band under that name on his show. Arcade Fire have been trying to shake their old brand since day one: they’re The Reflektors now, or so they seem to be saying. This is not the first time a band has done this. The Beatles became Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the face of overwhelming fame. Joy Division became New Order after a tragic death in the band. David Bowie became Ziggy Stardust to tell the story he needed to tell. Now, it is Arcade Fire’s turn: Arcade Fire didn’t make a fourth record. Instead, The Reflektors made a first. With Reflektor, Arcade Fire have shown their roots, replanted, and grown very successfully into a grand and iridescent new sound. At its core, The Reflektors’ sonic palate is deliciously groovy, deeply spacious, and mammoth in scale. The move to work with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy worked in the most satisfying of ways: Murphy gives the band a wink and a swagger, and finds a way to balance the epic scope of Arcade Fire with his own late-night dance urges. This is clear on most of the tracks on Reflektor, the best of which are not only some of the most rewarding releases of the year, but also high watermarks in the band’s career. The double-album’s first disc is a meditation on identity and consciousness in an alienating age—a heavy-handed conceit kept fresh by some of the band’s sharpest and punchiest tunes to date. “We Exist” is a seething, psychedelic disco cut, a mirror-stage meditation on coming to terms with one’s sense of self that blends Talking Heads bass hypnotism with the reserved sense of melody prevalent on The Suburbs.
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
“Here Comes the Night Time” is similarly open and rhythmic, rising and falling around anthemic, horn-laden climaxes. And “Normal Person,” a standout, is halfself-parody, half-social commentary, wholly hard rock grandeur; the band disarms with a hilariously amateurish intro, and charges through with the ensuing wash of distorted guitar horsepower. Similarly, the second disc deals with connection between people, centering on a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth in a vigorously earnest way. “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)” pours a stadium-folk chorus through a dreamy, synth-heavy filter. Its thrilling counterpart, “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus),” is maybe the most LCD Soundsystem-sounding song of the bunch and pulsates with a real electricity. And the shimmering, cavernous, and insistently catchy “Afterlife,” the album’s penultimate song, is one of the most arresting instances in pop music this year; Butler, at the song’s forefront, cowers at the thought of death, anxious to find a way to communicate. Of course, Arcade Fire’s transformation does not always work perfectly. Throughout Reflektor, the band stretches itself in divergent directions, but sometimes fails to follow them to their most fulfilling ends: the reinvented sound attempts to capture the influence of Haitian music and post-colonialism, to address communication and consciousness in the information age, to retell a Greek myth, and to make people dance, all at the same time. Fortunately, the inconsistency ultimately seems like a minor and inevitable consequence of the band’s transformation into yet another complex and truly great rock presence. For instance, Reflektor is full of songs that surpass the five-minute mark, and for many, this works brilliantly; for others, it’s overlong, like the kooky end of “Supersymmetry.” Some melodies drone intensely and actively; the vocals in “Porno,” though, are a bit grating and half-hearted. And whereas the very meta “Normal Person” throws back to a past era of guitar rock with vitality, the framing device in “You Already Know” falls flat lyrically. And it so it goes: Caribbean rhythms don’t always work, songs can’t always go on forever, not every historical allusion can be transformed into a smart lyric (“Joan of Arc” is pretty borderline with this). Whoever The Reflektors are, they just aren’t as reliably superb as Arcade Fire is. But much of their debut release is about as flawless as majestic pop rock music can get. The band, under whatever name they take next, will hopefully narrow things down a bit on the next record. For now, though, they’ve given us plenty to listen to, dance to, cry to, and smile about in the meantime.
Film: Carrie Carrie, originally a Stephen King novel, tells the story of a teenage girl who, plagued by bullies and tormented by her unstable and fanatically religious mother, unleashes telekinetic wrath on a gymnasium full of high-schoolers on prom night. The new film version, starring Chloe Moretz and directed by Kimberly Peirce is a remake of a 1976 film starring Sissy Spacek. In this remake, Carrie is no longer a horror story; it manages to be full of blood, without ever really getting scary. It is, instead, a poignant portrait of an adolescent girl who doesn’t yet understand how to wield her own power. As Margaret White, the brutal and puritanical mother who nearly stabs her daughter at birth and who scratches her own wrists until they bleed, the wonderful Julianne Moore provides the only moments of real horror in the film. Her character offers brief, bloody moments that are intimate and disturbing in a way that the spectacular gore of Carrie’s revenge is not. Even though she isn’t nearly as terrifying as her mother, Moretz’s Carrie remains a compelling character. In contrast to Spacek’s Carrie, who is a pale, ungainly creature broken by her mother’s abuse, Moretz’s Carrie is a wellcoiffed, articulate, charming young woman. She seems like a girl who might be normal if she could just get away from her mother. On prom night, when Moretz’s Carrie unleashes her wrath on the gymnasium, she does so with cool deliberation instead of Spacek’s primal rage. This Carrie is consciously trying to figure out how to use her powers. The wrath that she unleashes on the gym is not the cosmic revenge of a horror film, but instead is a part of a coming-of-age story of a fragile adolescent girl who is beginning to discover just how far her own power goes. —Meredith Redick
Music: Sky Ferreira Under any circumstance, it’s rare to find a debut album as assured as Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time. But given the seemingly endless limbo Ferreira’s career has endured, it is almost unbelievable how well hers turned out. At 15, Ferreira signed to Capitol Records, who quickly gave up on her after her first two singles flopped. Last year, she released her strong but scattershot EP Ghost, but her full-length effort faced numerous release date pushbacks. And that was before she and her boyfriend Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV were arrested on drug possession charges. On Night Time, My Time, Ferreira breaks through these obstacles as though they weren’t even there. This is mostly thanks to main producer Ariel Rechtshaid, who dresses the dark lyrical themes in sparkling flourishes. “Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay),” for example, sports a stadium-sized hook but centers on abandonment. Similarly, “I Blame Myself,” the album’s lightest and most overtly pop moment, finds Ferreira breaking the fourth wall and admitting, “I blame myself for my reputation.” Elsewhere, Ferreira displays range; more off-kilter selections like “Omanko” and “Kristine” swap pop hooks for distortion and repetition. Nonetheless, a lo-fi fuzz permeates the album and helps unite the songs. The album’s first 11 songs are competent enough, but it’s the closing title track that elevates Night Time, My Time to another level. It begins as murkily, with Ferreira digging down to her lowest register. “Will I slow down or go faster and faster?” she asks. In the final minute, sound begins to pour in from all directions, creating a nightmarish drone. All the while, Ferreira repeats “go faster and faster,” charging into the night. It’s a thrilling moment to hear; the sound of an artist triumphing over obstacles and finally getting her time. —Will Adams YH Staff
Film: The Fifth Estate Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate attempts and fails to be a thrilling, fast-paced investigative film examining high-stakes information leaks. Julian Assange and the ongoing WikiLeaks saga is dramatic enough to be movie material and engaging enough to raise complicated moral and intellectual issues about secrecy in the 21st century, but Condon’s direction ultimately fails to engage the viewer. The film begins with Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruiting computer whiz Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Bruhl) to help run WikiLeaks, a watchdog website exposing organizational secrets. From the beginning, Condon tries too hard to emulate The Social Network, using every possible tactic to remind us that developing the tech world is just so cool. As Assange and Domscheit-Berg gain global prominence and notoriety, the film jumps dizzyingly from city to city and party to party, with newspaper headlines and streams of code flashing across the screen. If you’ve seen The Social Network, you can also predict where the relationship between socially inept genius and enamored sidekick is headed from the first 10 minutes. The moral issues surrounding the leaking of U.S. diplomatic cables that eventually divide Assange and Domscheit-Berg could be engrossing, but the relationship’s formulaic predictability makes it hard to care, particularly when Domscheit-Berg resorts to tirades about Assange insulting him on Twitter. If Condon had been willing to leave The Social Network tropes behind, this film could have been successful. Some of the film’s most engaging scenes feature Peter Capaldi as the editor of The Guardian and Laura Linney as a State Department official, both of whom grapple with the changing nature of their jobs as WikiLeaks develops. And overall, Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Assange is the strongest part of the film. He toes the line perfectly between morally bankrupt outcast and passionate freedom fighter, and by the end, gives the viewer a better idea of WikiLeaks’ ambiguous ethics than Condon can with the film’s clichéd relationships and plot. —Alisha Jarwala YH Staff
Here’s what we’ve been up to
What we’re consuming: Our youth; Chobani and Adderall. #amphetaminesonthebottom What we’re discussing: My Snapchats. You don’t know me if you don’t know gahsicles. What we’re following: Anyone wearing a suit. Best case: you end up at an I-banking event; worst case: you end up at an I-banking event. Also, @carrotfacts tweets and @yalecheer on Instagram. ;) What we’re doing about the fruit flies breeding inside our three-day old jack-olantern: Febreze or hairspray, whichever is closer. —Christine Mi YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)
148 York Street New Haven, CT 06511 203-776-8644 www.zaroka.com Catering for all occasions
Fine Indian Cuisine “Amid elegance, a variety of Indian dishes” - New York Times “A treat for the senses” - Hartford Courant Lunch Mon - Sat: 11:30 am - 3:00 pm Sun: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm Dinner Sun - Thu: 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm Fri - Sat: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm Every Day Lunch Buffet Sunday special brunch with North and South Indian food
Communications consultant, prison reform advocate board member, Women’s Prison Association and author of
Orange is the New Black
Co-sponsored by the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at the Yale Law School and the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project
4 at 4:30 PM Monday, November Davenport Common Room
A Davenport Master’s Tea
BULLBLOG BLACKLIST Can’t pregame this.
It’s gonna get so much colder.
We’re not quitters.
That we’re already wearing winter coats
Getting party invites from Yale admins
Should we have thought about study abroad?
When you watch one episode of something and then you just have to watch the whole season
Missed deadlines of things we weren’t even considering Pumpkin froyo
This seems like the setup for a Pineapple Express sequel.
Having to email your dealer
“How was your fall break?” Getting honked at
You don’t fucking care.
Not in a sexy way, in a pedestrian/bike safety way.
It’s hard enough to come up with this bullshit. Having to provide commentary is just excessive.
The Yale Herald (Nov. 1, 2013)