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DAILY 03.09.11

DAILY 03.09.11

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The Stanford senior talks aboutworking with James Franco
Card opens spring practice,graduates prepare for draft
Candidates,slates earnballot spots
Last Friday,after several delays,the Office of Judicial Affairs (OJA)closed a survey to gauge student at-titudes towards the Honor Code aspart of a review initiated by ViceProvost of Student Affairs GregBoardman.The review is the first tobe conducted in 13 years.The comprehensive survey,which has been open to studentsfor more than a month,asks stu-dents to evaluate their own under-standing of the Honor Code andthe Judicial Affairs process as wellas the effectiveness of the HonorCode system at Stanford.OJA sent the online survey toapproximately 2,400 undergradsand 4,000 graduate students,waitedfor a 40-percent response rate be-fore closing,wrote Jamie Pontius-Hogan,assistant dean of studentlife,in an e-mail to The Daily.Finalcounts report a 24- and 26-percentresponse rate from undergrads andgraduate students,respectively.“A 100-percent response ratewould be satisfying but also unreal-istic,”Pontius-Hogan said.“It is dif-ficult to get students to respond to asurvey,but I do not think we facedany difficulties that others seekinginformation this way have notfaced.”In order to assess the students’understanding of the Honor Code,the survey listed various scenariossuch as “working on an assignmentwith others when the instructorasked for individual work”and“witnessing a case of cheating andnot reporting it.”The survey askedstudents to label these scenarios as“not cheating,”“trivial cheating,“moderate cheating”or “seriouscheating.”In terms of the Judicial Affairsprocess,the survey also asked stu-dents to evaluate what they consid-ered to be sufficient evidence fordetermining whether or not a stu-dent violated the Honor Code,of-fering the options of “preponder-
Breakthrough study links gene regions to heart disease
School of Medicine researchers havelinked 13 new gene regions to the risk of heartdisease in an unprecedented collaborativestudy that examined the genomes of morethan 80,000 individuals.The results were pub-lished in this week’s issue of Nature Genetics.The study analyzed the genomes of 22,000people with a history of heart disease and60,000 healthy individuals.This investigation,which drew data from 14 previous studies,isalmost 10 times larger than the next-largestwhole-genome study to date.Stanford researchers identified 23 gene re-gions that predispose individuals to heart dis-ease.They subsequently examined these re-gions in 25,000 afflicted and 25,000 healthy pa-tients.“These chips generate 500,000 data points,but we only took 23 to the next level,”saidThemistocles Assimes,assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine.Of these 23 gene regions,only 13 passedstatistical tests for validation.The study replicated and confirmed evi-dence from previous investigations in ameta-analysis,doubling the number of iden-tified gene regions related to heart disease.The results are essential in understandingheart disease because,unlike other major ill-nesses,it is a product of multiple gene inter-actions.
Social dues can nolonger pay for alcohol
Social dues collected by Rowhouses can’t be spent on alcoholanymore,according to a Residen-tial Education (ResEd) policy thatgoes into effect spring quarter.Thechange comes as ResEd increasesits oversight of Row finances andrevises some unpopular policiesput in place fall quarter.The policies are part of a largerpush by ResEd that is attempting“to bring the Row program closerin line with the rest of the Universi-ty”and increase equity betweenhouses,ResEd Assistant DirectorZac Sargeant wrote in a Feb.15 e-mail sent to the Row managers list.“The only thing that we havebeen unable to accomplish yet,along this social dues policy transi-tion,was to create a standardiza-tion of social funds for non-alco-holic purposes to be collected onthe University bill instead of inhouse,he said.
A new social policy
Row residents are required topay social dues,part of which istraditionally used to buy alcohol.However,this practice could be inconflict with a Stanford policy thatbans the use of funds held by theUniversity for the purchase of al-cohol.According to some financialmanagers (FMs),the most evidentloophole to this change would beto collect unofficial social dues.However,this practice might notwork if too few residents con-tributed.“We’re allowed to collect vol-untary dues from our residentsthat we can go buy alcohol with,we just can’t do it through the Uni-versity,”said one FM,who askedto remain anonymous.“I can see why the Universitywould want to do it,but I think it’sabsolutely a terrible decisionwhen it comes to the social life of the Row,he added.Other financial managers saidthey understood the rationalebehind the new policy,but werenonetheless unenthusiasticabout it.“If you’ve got sophomores liv-ing in the house and you chargethem social dues that you’re going
Features/3 Opinions/4 Sports/8 Classifieds/9
Recycle Me
Mostly Cloudy 
Partly Sunny 
 WEDNESDAY Volume 239
March 9, 2011Issue 27
 An Independent Publication
 The Stanford Daily
Stanford athletes had access to‘easy’ course list
ASSU Elections CommissionerStephen Trusheim ‘13 released the results of the petitioning process,which closed lastFriday at 4 p.m.,in an e-mail to currentASSU officials,candidates and special feesgroup officers on Tuesday afternoon.All ex-ecutive slates,senior and sophomore classpresident slates and Undergraduate Senatecandidates received enough verified signa-tures to appear on April’s ballot.Of the 15 groups required to petition foran increase in special fees funding,11 gath-ered enough verified signatures to appearon the ballot.The Stanford Journal of Inter-national Relations,the Progressive,theHarmonics and STAMP did not receiveenough signatures.The final ASSU ballot will feature threeexecutive slates,two senior class presidentslates,five sophomore class president slates,39 Senate candidates and 52 special feesgroups.Forty-one groups were not requiredto petition after receiving approval for theirrequested budgets and increases from theSenate and GSC.The ballot has not been officially final-ized by the Elections Commission and willnot be final until the Voter Guide is released21 days before the election begins.Two of the Executive slates“Cruz &Macgregor-Dennis for Exec”and “Tenzin-Vasquez”qualified for public financingafter receiving a minimum of 100 signaturesapiece from the undergraduate and gradu-ate student populations.The third slate,“Hertz-Coggeshall Family for Excellence,which is backed by the Stanford Chaparral,made the ballot with paper signatures butwill not receive public financing.The last item on the ballot is an advisoryreferendum entitled “Measure AAdvi-sory Question on ROTC,which will askvoters if they support the return of ROTCto Stanford’s campus.Both the Senate andGSC approved the measure earlier thisquarter.The referendum is non-binding;itspurpose is to advise the Faculty Senate’s adhoc committee tasked with investigatingROTC’s return.However,the referendum may not ap-pear on the ballot,pending the result of aConstitutional Council case initiated byAlok Vaid-Menon ‘13,president of Stan-ford Students for Queer Liberation(SSQL).Vaid-Menon contends that the ref-erendum violates the ASSU’s anti-discrim-ination statutes.SSQL has been among themost vocal opponents of ROTC’s return onthe grounds that the program violates therights of transgender students,as they arenot allowed to serve openly in the military.
 Final ASSUballot set to feature 3 executive slates
A drama class in “BeginningImprovising”and another in “So-cial Dances of North America III”were among dozens of classes on aclosely guarded quarterly list dis-tributed only to Stanford athletesto help them choose classes.Stanford officials said the listwas designed to accommodate ath-letes’ demanding schedules anddisputed that the list was made upof easy courses.Officials discontin-ued the list last week after studentreporters working for CaliforniaWatch began asking about it.The list,which has existed atleast since 2001,was widely regard-ed by athletes as an easy class list.More than a quarter of the courseson the list did not fulfill universitygeneral education requirements.“It’s definitely not going to be ahard class if it’s coming off thatlist,said Karissa Cook,a sopho-more women’s volleyball player,who consulted the list to pick class-es in her first quarter at Stanford.The classes on the list were “al-ways chock-full of athletes andvery easy A’s,”added Kira Maker,awomen’s soccer player,who usedthe list her freshman year.Titled “courses of interest,”thelist was distributed by the AthleticAcademic Resource Center.Ad-visers in other departments at theUniversity said they were unawaresuch a list existed.Stanford has long mandatedequal scholastic footing among allundergraduates,including athletes.Many of its student athletes,in fact,
Brain Food
KORVANG/The Stanford Daily
Students gathered at various campus eateries for the 13th annualMidnight Breakfast on Monday night. Above, a student enjoysbagels and other assorted snacks before hitting the books.
SSQL protests Harvard’s recognition of ROTC
Courtesy of Sophi Newman
Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) gathered in White Plaza onFriday to rally against Harvard’s reintroduction of Navy ROTC on its campus.SSQL has been one of the most vocal opponents to ROTC’s potential return.
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 ANASTASIAYEE/The Stanford Daily
Please see
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Judicial Affairs surveys studentson University Honor Code
Wednesday,March 9,2011
 The Stanford Daily
Continued from front page
“Courses ofinterest”seen as easy,time-accomm
have distinguished themselves in theclassroom,notably football stars An-drew Luck,who has a 3.5 GPA,andOwen Marecic,who plans to gradu-ate this year with a degree in humanbiology.The university’s hard-lineapproach has rankled some coachesover the years who have watched tal-ented recruits go elsewhere becausethey didn’t measure up to Stanford’sacademic standards.But some faculty and students saythe list may have offered an academ-ic advantage for the athletes who re-quested itespecially since thegeneral population was unaware itwas even available.The Athletic Aca-demic Resource Center didn’t adver-tise the list or post it on its website.But athletes have been known to askfor it.Athletes said they heard aboutthe list by word of mouth or simplypicked up the document at the re-source center.“There’s a perception that theclasses are easier,”said Carly Villare-al,captain of the Stanford women’screw team.“Some of the classes aresubstantially easier.”Austin Lee,director of academicservices at the Athletic AcademicResource Center,disagreed.“An objective evaluation of thecourses included on the list revealsseveral courses that most studentswould consider to be academicallyrigorous,Lee said.He did not iden-tify specific classes.Lee said the center’s four adviserscompiled the list to help student ath-letes find introductory classes that fitinto constrained time schedules andfulfill general education require-ments.Afternoon team practicesmean that athletes have to chooseclasses that start in the morning andearly afternoontypically classesthat begin from 9 a.m.to 1:15 p.m.The list mostly contained classes dur-ing those hours.Before officials discontinued thelist,Julie Lythcott-Haims,dean of freshmen and undergraduate advis-ing,said with other scheduling re-sources available to all students,per-haps the list was “unnecessary.”Gerald Gurney,president of theNational Association of AcademicAdvisers for Athletics,was unawareof the situation at Stanford,and wasunwilling to speculate on the matter.His association,a collection of col-lege academic advisers throughoutthe nation,focuses on promoting theintegrity of athlete advising.“The ethical duty of academic ad-visers working with student athletesis to assist them in achieving theirpersonal academic goals and to helpthem not take the path of easiest re-sistance for the purpose of maintain-ing eligibility,he said.“The course list in itself isn’t a vio-lation,but promoting courses be-cause they’re easy isn’t,ethically,something that academic advisersshould do,he said.The 40 classes on the winter quar-ter list included “Intro to Statistics”and “Elementary Economics.Thelist also included 14 classes that didn’tmeet general education require-ments,including the “Beginning Im-provising,and “Social Dances”courses in addition to “Public Speak-ing,”one of the only evening classeson the list.Nearly 200 courses in 16 academ-ic departments and programs offeredduring the 9 a.m.to 1:15 p.m.timeslots were left off the list,a review of online course catalogs showed.Sociology professor CeciliaRidgeway was surprised to learn thather class titled “Interpersonal Rela-tionswas included on the winterquarter list.Ridgeway said she hadheard about the document in yearspast and talked to the athletics de-partment about removing her classfrom the list.She said departmentstaff told her at the time that the listdid not exist.Like many professors whosecourses are on the list,Ridgeway saidher class is academically challenging,noting that she had given failinggrades to student athletesto thedispleasure of the athletics depart-ment.Other professors were uncon-cerned that a class they taught madeit onto the list.Some,in fact,said theybelieved student athletes should betreated differently than the typicalstudent.“(Stanford) accommodates ath-letes in the manner that they accom-modate students with disabilities,”said Donald Barr,who teaches acourse titled “Social Class,Race,Eth-nicity,Health,”which was highlight-ed by resource center advisers.Some faculty members said theydidn’t believe the list harmed anyoneand may have helped fill theirclassrooms.Art history lecturer Thomas Beis-cher,a former Stanford rower,saidhe welcomed the boost in enrollmentbrought by the inclusion of his classon the list.While the list has an intended au-dience of student athletes,Lythcott-Haims said any Stanford studentcould have obtained a copy of thedocument,which was available onlyin hard copy from the offices of theAthletic Academic Resource Centerin the basement of the ArrillagaCenter for Sports and Recreation.But Miriam Marks,a Stanfordsenior and Daily columnist who wastold about the list,said the list is es-sentially only for the athlete commu-nity.“The biggest drawback is that it isspecifically made available to ath-letes,”Marks said.“If it was pub-lished to the entire student body,that’s a different thing.If I were towalk in and ask for the list,theywould ask me why I needed it,sinceI’m not an athlete.”Some academic advisers outsidethe resource center found out aboutthe list when they were shown a copyof it by student reporters.They saidthere was no comparable list for stu-dents who are not athletes.“I don’t have a go-to list for easierclasses,said Melissa Stevenson,oneof the school’s eight academic direc-tors located at student residences.As far as I know,there’s no decidedanswer to which classes are easierand how to take an easier quarter.”Lythcott-Haims said the schoolhas made accommodations for stu-dent athletes because they “have themost constrained schedules of anyStanford students.”“The list originated before theuniversity’s transition to an (sic)searchable on-line bulletin when stu-dents had no practical,efficientmeans to navigate the printed bul-letin,”Lee wrote in an e-mail re-sponse to student reporters.But for at least the last sevenyears,the university has providedother ways for students to find class-es,including Axessan online in-terface that enables students to sortand choose classes by time.Until spring 2009,Stanford alsoprinted and widely distributed the“time schedule,which listed all thequarter’s offerings by time.Stanford students now also canuse the online options of CourseR-ank and Explore Courses to help sortclasses based on time offered andgeneral education requirements.Lee and Lythcott-Haims said thelist was meant to serve as the begin-ning of an advising conversation.“We’re not handing it out and dis-tributing it all around,said Lythcott-Haims.But student athletes said they typ-ically just picked up a copy of the listand left.In some cases,no advisingconversation ever took place.“Literally,when you walk into theAARC,right next to the door,it’sright there,said Ryan Sudeck,a jun-ior on the men’s crew team.“I never used it before this year,”he continued.“I was trying to get myrequirements done.But this quarterit was like,‘Oh,I need an easy class toboost my GPA.’ “Susan Simoni Burk,the formerassistant athletic director for studentservices who oversaw the AthleticAcademic Resource Center’s advis-ing efforts from 1995 to 2009,said anystudent,athlete or not,could pick upthe list.But she also noted that stu-dents who were not athletes rarelyhad reason to visit the offices.“They were put on a table,andusually they were gone within thefirst day,she said.
California Watch is a project of the in-dependent,nonprofit Center for Inves-tigative Reporting.This story was re- ported by Stanford University inves-tigative reporting students Ryan Mac, Amy Julia Harris,Elizabeth Titus,Devin Banerjee,Ellen Huet,JoshuaHicks,Cassandra Feliciano,Daniel Bohm,Jamie Hansen,Julia James,Paul Jones,Valentina Nesci,DeanSchaffer,Kareem Yasin,KathleenChaykowski,and Thomas Corrigan.The class was under the direction of California Watch Editorial Director Mark Katches.
rmed only with lawtextbooks,six Stanfordlaw students and facul-ty advisor and seniorresearch scholar ErikJensen landed in Kabul,Afghanistan on Feb.6 on a mis-sion that would last six days.The group made up Stanford’sAfghanistan Legal EducationProject (ALEP),a student-led lawschool project funded by the U.S.State Department that createstextbooks on Afghanistan’s legalsystem specifically for the instruc-tion of Afghani students.Working with the AmericanUniversity of Afghanistan(AUAF),the project is creating anew generation of lawyers toshape Afghanistan’s future.Since it was founded in 2007 byStanford law alums AlexanderBenard J.D.‘08 and Eli SugarmanJ.D.‘09,the project has publishedfour textbooks.These include anintroductory text to the laws of Afghanistan and textbooks oncommercial,criminal and interna-tional law.Students are currentlywriting a textbook on constitu-tional law.“The whole project is indige-nously oriented,”Jensen said.“Thetextbooks are written in responseto needs and demands of Afghanstudents,and we try to contextual-ize our work as much as we can tothe politics,economics and socialorder in Afghanistan.”The purpose of the recent trip toKabul was to explore the futureand progress of the project.Stu-dents attended classes that are cur-rently taught using ALEP text-books,got feedback from Afghanistudents and professors and inter-acted with administrators at theAUAF to see where the project isheaded.“Sitting in on the classes andmeeting with the students was forus a priority,because that’s thebest way we can get feedback onour books and make the projectbetter,”said Daniel Lewis LAW ‘12and ALEP co-executive director.After meeting with the presi-dent of AUAF,the group agreedthat the ultimate goal for the proj-ect is to build a complete lawschool curriculum.“The time frame is uncertain,but we’re expanding really quick-ly,Lewis said.In addition to rolling out thenew textbook,ALEP plans to in-troduce new classes in the fall onIslamic law and the informal jus-tice system in Afghanistan,taughtby a collaborating Afghan profes-sor and an affiliated postdoctoralfellow.Workshops on practicalskills such as negotiation and writ-ing are also on the horizon,as wellas translations of the books intoDari and Pashto.The group met other notableAfghan and American officials,including the dean at the KabulUniversity School of Law,univer-sity professors from the most pop-ulated provinces and AmbassadorHans Klemm,coordinating direc-tor of rule of law and law enforce-ment at the Embassy of the Unit-ed States in Kabul.“All the high officials we metwith were extraordinarily sup-portive of the project,Jensensaid.“We’d gone over there expect-ing it wouldn’t really be easy get-ting our books out there [pastAUAF],or that there would besome hostility,”Lewis said.“Butthat really wasn’t the case.Thefeedback was that they were ex-cited to have another resourcethat was new and updated.”Other universities are not theonly other audiences attracted tothe project’s textbooks,which areavailable publicly,and for free,on-line.“Over the past year or so,peo-ple have been downloading them[the books] and using them,someof which we know about and someof which we don’t,”said RoseEhler LAW ‘12,another ALEPco-executive director.The U.S.military has also usedthe textbooks to familiarize offi-cers with Afghani law.Accordingto Jensen,retired Gen.StanleyMcChrystal was “very familiar”with the textbooks.The Afghan Ministry of Jus-tice,leading judges and legal aca-demics have also expressed inter-est in the project,according toLewis.“It was fascinating to be [inKabul] as Stanford law studentstalking to these really importantpeople in Afghanistan...in aknowledgeable way,”Lewis said.But strengthening the AUAFlaw school and spreading legal ed-ucation are only the beginning of ALEP’s goals.“The development of the ruleof law is historical process.It takestime;there are fits and starts,”Jen-son said.“The problem is when you areat Afghanistan’s level of develop-ment,it will go through years andyears of fits and starts...and associety goes through theseepisodes,it will need a new cadreof leaders to lead to positiveepisodes,he added.ALEP seeks to contribute tothe formation of these futureleaders,not only in the legal pro-fession but also in the country as awhole.By using analytical meth-ods to teach students criticalthinking,they hope to bridge thegap between American style legaleducation and the Afghan reality.“They [the Afghan students]will see opportunities that we can’t
tanford is known for a lot of things:first-rate academics,famous faculty,astaggeringly low admit rate andovercoming the greatestodds in football historyin 2007 by defeating USC.Butit turns out that in the broaderAmerican university system,education may not be one of the principal accolades.Indeed,Derek Zoolan-der may have been on tosomething when he advo-cated for a “Center ForKids Who Can’t ReadGood.”Sociology of education pro-fessors Richard Arum and JosipaRoska recently made national newswith a report that asserts,more or less,that college students appear to be learningsquat.Using a sample size of 2,300 under-graduates from 24 schools across the country,thelarge-scale study found that “45 percent of studentsshow no significant improvement in the key meas-ures of critical thinking,complex reasoning andwriting by the end of their sophomore years.Thispercent only marginally improved to 36 percentafter four years.In addition,the researchers found that of those2,300 undergraduates,“half did not take a singlecourse requiring 20 pages of writing during theirprior semester,and one third did not take a singlecourse requiring even 40 pages of reading perweek,a deficiency that may have contributed tothe lack of intellectual growth among the collegiatepopulation.Blame was placed not only on the institutionsand their lack of academic rigor,but on the studentsthemselves,citing an increase of social engagementsas one of the culprits for decreased test scores.“Clearly,this is very bad news for university ed-ucation,said Catherine Heaney,associate profes-sor in the Department of Medicine and the StanfordPrevention Research Center.“What may happen to a lot of students [duringtheir first year of college] is that they don’t realizethey need to adjust the way they learn and study,”Heaney said.“They are being asked to process in-formation and material in a myriad of differentways,a far departure from the learning and thinkingthey did while still in high school.”Stephen Dobyns,this year’sMohr Visiting Poet,is no stranger tothe classroom and spoke vehe-mently about the decline in crit-ical thinking due to class size.“I have been teachingfor almost 50 years and haveseen this ability to write and tothink really get worse andworse,he said.“In orderto successfully teachwriting and composi-tion,the class sizeshould be about 10students,not 35.”Dobyns elabo-rated,“Particularly inthe subjects of English,writing and compositionand even critical thinking,[students] are being failed at the high school level;instead of being flunked,they’re simply moved,andonce they enter a college environment,they sink.They lack the knowledge and study skills necessaryto be academically competitive.”Though from markedly different fields,Heaneyand Dobyns agree that,at least on Stanford’s cam-pus,academia is alive and wellgood news forStanford students,considering the $50,000 tuition.“I really don’t think [stagnation in critical think-ing and reasoning] is present at Stanford at all,”Heaney said.“I’ve seen so much growth in studentsthat I’ve gotten to know,particularly in terms of their abilities to gather relevant information and in-tegrate it in critical and appropriate ways.”Dobyns agrees,citing a measurable difference inthe quality of writing from Stanford students ascompared to other institutions where he has taught,like Syracuse University and Sarah Lawrence Col-lege.“I’m struck here by the writing that I’ve seen,”hesaid.“There isn’t the roughness,the simplicity of syntax and diction or the grammatical mistakes that
 The Stanford Daily
Wednesday,March 9,2011
Student-led Afghanistan Legal Education Projectpublishes law books for Afghani universities andsees books’impact in Kabul first-hand
$50,000 B
How much are college students really learning?
Courtesy of Daniel Lewis
Stanford law students in the Afghanistan Legal Education Project (ALEP)meet with Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi during their six-day trip to Kabul.
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ERICKOFMAN/The Stanford Daily

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