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vol. cxxii, no. 110
tuesday, november 27, 2012
number of sc.b. degrees double since ’03
By AlexA Pugh
Senior Staff Writer
Despite fewer total jobs, R.I. unemployment rate drops
U. partners with KIPP to prepare students for college
Drechsler ’15 says the gov’t should invest in education
38 / 29
41 / 26
The percentage of undergraduates receiving bachelor of science degrees has nearly doubled from 2003 to 2012 as the number of humanities and social sciences concentrators has continued to decline over the past ten years. The percent of Sc.B. degrees spiked to 31 percent in 2012 compared to 17 percent in 2003. This uptick reflects a gradual increase over the past ten years — while students completed an average of 280 Sc.B. degrees per year between 2003 and 2007, the average climbed to 406 students over the past five years. “If you’re in a discipline that has a Sc.B. and (Bachelor of Arts degree option),students will often choose the Sc.B. because they think it looks better,” said Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron. The shift accompanies a “creeping desire of people to enhance their credentials,” she said.
increase in life and physical sciences The cumulative shift may be attributable to an increasing number of concentrators in the hard sciences overall, Bergeron said. An average of 17.4 percent of the total undergraduate population concentrated in the life sciences between 2003 and 2007, compared to 19.2 percent over the last five years. Averaged over the same periods, the percent of physical science concentrators went from 11.8 percent to 14.6 percent, while the average percent of humanities concentrators declined from 25.2 to 23.2 percent. “The world is much more interconnected through science and technology than it used to be,” which could draw more students to concentrate in the sciences, said Larry Larson, dean of the School of engineering. Though what draws students to concentrate in the humanities versus the sciences is a “very complicated issue,” he said. Specific concentrations have also tended to / / Degrees page 2
Percentage of declared concentrators
20 10 0
Brisa Bodell / Herald
r.I. senators contemplate roles in 113th Congress
By mAthiAs heller
Senior Staff Writer
After rhode Island Democrats pulled off a strong showing in this year’s elections — all three incumbent U.S. congressional delegates up for reelection defeated their republican opponents — the state’s two senators are weighing their priorities for the next session in Congress. After garnering 65 percent of the vote, Sen. Sheldon whitehouse, D-r.I., is entering his second term. And while Sen. Jack reed, D-r.I., currently the longest-serving member of the state’s congressional delegation, was not on november’s ballot, the Democratic Party’s net gain of three seats in the U.S. Senate means he will have greater seniority when the new Senate convenes in January.
city & state
President obama’s reelection and the Democrats’ expanded majority in the Senate has led analysts to speculate about reed’s and whitehouse’s political futures. Political commentators have floated the names of both senators as potential new members of obama’s second-term cabinet. reed has been discussed as a possible replacement to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta or to former Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus, and whitehouse has been mentioned as a possible successor to Attorney General eric holder, according to the wall Street Journal and the washington Post. Both senators have publicly denied interest in any Cabinet post. whitehouse told The herald he remains focused on fulfilling his pledge to work for the voters of rhode Island and is not / / senators page 3
Professors prepare online courses for summer launch
By COrinne sejOurne
emily GilBert / Herald
sen. sheldon Whitehouse, D-r.i., who won reelection earlier this month, said he is not interested in joining Obama’s second-term cabinet.
mcKibben urges divest coal campaign to stay strong
By jAsmine fuller
tom sullivan / Herald
Bill mcKibben P’16 described the state of climate change monday night, discussing the urgent need to actively combat global warming.
writer and professor Bill McKibben P’16 presented strong arguments for pressuring the University to divest from major coal companies during the 15th stop of his “Do the Math” tour Monday night. Professors, students and community members filled Salomon 001 as McKibben highlighted the realities of climate change and urged his audience to take action to combat it. “we’re past the light bulb-changing moment,” he said. “As of tonight, we’re going after the fossil fuel industry.” The earth’s temperature has already risen by one degree Celsius, which has caused half of the Arctic polar ice caps to melt, McKibben said, adding that a maximum two-degree
increase remains before a climatological disaster. “If one degree melts the Arctic, we really shouldn’t be finding out what two degrees does,” he said. Climate change affects everyone, McKibben said, especially those who have no control over it. In last month’s hurricane Sandy, “more people died … in haiti than in new York,” he said — though “there’s nothing people in haiti can do to solve this problem.” Impoverished haitians have no fossil fuel emissions to reduce, and they have no say in the financial support University endowments provide for the fossil fuel industry, he said. Fossil fuel companies currently have the resources to burn five times the amount of fossil fuels that scientists say should not be exceeded in order to stay below a two-degree Celsius increase, McKibben said. “The numbers show that / / Divest page 5
three professors are each creating one distinctive class to be offered this summer as part of the University’s debut on the free-online learning site, Coursera, this summer. the professors — Susan Alcock, professor of archaeology and classics, Arnold weinstein, professor of comparative literature, and Philip Klein, professor of computer science — will adapt their courses to fit the Coursera platform while maintaining the elements that define a Brown course. weinstein is adapting his signature course entitled “the Fiction of relationship,” which focuses on exploring different forms of relationships through a variety of literary works. to fit the online format, weinstein said he plans to break his lectures into eight- to 12-minute “minibytes” as Coursera suggests. he will film each given lecture to completion while indicating break points as he speaks, adding that separating a lecture based on a single novel into discrete parts will be inherently challenging. the online course site will likely incorporate discussion videos with 10 to 15 students and a teaching assistant to facilitate conversation, weinstein said. he intends to hold Coursera students to the same standards as he would in the classroom, he said, assigning papers as he usually would. Grading and validity of evaluations continues to be a challenge, he said, adding that he is considering using peer assessment as part of the grading. the / / Coursera page 5
2 campus news
TODAY 4P .m. Physics Art Show Barus and Holley 8P .m. The American Presidency in 2013 Salomon 101 10 P .m. Jazz Jam Faunce Underground NOV. 27 TOmORROW 6P .m. Alcohol: It’s a Drug, Too Smith-Buananno, Room 101 NOV. 28
the Brown DAILY herALD tUeSDAY, noveMBer 27, 2012
/ / Degrees page 1
attract more students in recent years. Graduates of the engineering program, which has experienced a jump in concentrators in recent years, have had great success in the job market despite a struggling economy, Larson said. The poor economy is also a likely cause for recent high enrollment in the economics department, said roberto Serrano, chair of the economics department, though he added that explaining these trends can be difficult. The economics concentration has been the most popular for past three years, despite an overall decline in the number of social science concentrators over the past decade. “There’s a lot of students that come to economics that rightly perceive they’ll be able to work and be able to use a good chunk of their economics education in the business that they work for,” Serrano said. “A good economics student will be someone who has the capability to solve problems … and that’s a very valuable set of skills.” Students’ growing interest in the financial sector has also contributed to the increase in the number of concentrators, he said. “There’s no question that in the financial sector there have been very lucrative jobs, so from the point of view of our students, it’s a good job opportunity for them,” he said. “I would very much hope that more students in economics became more interested in the economic science itself, in understanding exactly what are the economic problems of the world.” The increased number of economics concentrators has put a strain on the department’s resources, Serrano said. The department has recently instituted caps on several upper-level classes and urged the University to hire more professors in order to combat a rising student-professor ratio. while new math requirements recently introduced to the program are expected to decrease the number of concentrators, Serrano said he expects the concentration to remain popular. “This is not just at Brown, but a national trend,” he said. “More students want to come to economics to get a better understanding of what’s going on in the world.” A declining number of humanities concentrators is also the trend nationwide, sources said. “I feel like there’s a lot of handwringing about this (trend),” Bergeron said. “Brown is a great place to study humanities and arts, and there’s a long history of excellence in the humanities.” on the opposite end, increasing the number of students majoring in the hard sciences in the U.S. has been an
SHARPE REFECTORY VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL
interest for some educators and leaders in business and government, said richard Morrill ’61, president of the teagle Foundation and former president of the University of richmond. “America doesn’t graduate as many students in SteM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — than many other industrial countries around the world, and that has been a source of concern” for some who want the U.S. to remain competitive in scientific advancement, he said. Decline in humanities and social sciences The history department has seen a comparatively substantial decline in its average number of concentrators over the last ten years, going from 166 in 2003 to 72 in 2012. A sharp drop in the number of concentrators in 2008 could be a result of the increase in the number of classes required by the department, nancy Jacobs, former director of undergraduate studies in the Department of history, told The herald in 2010. “we live in a very presentist world,” said Kenneth Sacks, chair of the history department. “People now are in charge of their own history.” The popularity of social media and resources like wikipedia has influenced how people approach the study of history, he said. The department is currently undergoing a self-evaluation to investigate these trends and understand how it can attract more concentrators. “we’d like to do anything we can to make history more appealing,” Sacks said. enrollment in non-language classes within the classics department have also faced a significant decline over the last decade, said Joseph Pucci, associate professor of classics and comparative literature. outreach classes, courses specifically targeted to nonconcentrators, have been impacted the most. enrollment in the traditionally popular CLAS0900: “Greek Mythology” has decreased by half since the 1990s, he said. Still, Pucci said that the number of classics concentrators remains “extremely healthy.” Brown has by far the largest number of classics concentrators of any Ivy League school and has been a historically strong and renowned program, he said. The number of classics concentrators has only varied slightly over the last 10 years, with the lowest being 22 in 2006 and the highest 34 last year. The department’s outreach program, which has sought to attract high school students studying classics to Brown since the mid-90s, has also kept concentration numbers robust, he said. Pucci said the overall decline in humanities enrollment and concentra-
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tion numbers may reflect conscious decisions on the part of the University. when the University decided to grow the faculty by 25 percent as part of ruth Simmons’ Plan for Academic enrichment in 2002, the majority of hires were not humanists, and there has been an effort to get more students interested in the sciences, he said. The University is currently working to strengthen the humanities and facilitate faculty collaboration through the humanities Initiative, Bergeron said. harvard has also formed an Arts and humanities Curriculum Committee that is currently looking to institute a new interdisciplinary humanities concentration. Interdisciplinary education has always been a hallmark of a Brown education, Bergeron said. Preparing for life after Brown Morrill said the liberals arts background he built at Brown as a history concentrator prepared him for a career as a college president that has demanded skill in many fields. “I’ve had to learn everything about budgets and finance and accounting leadership and labor law and construction, and it’s not ever been difficult to do those things because at Brown I fell in love with learning,” he said. Despite changes in overall concentration trends at Brown, Larson said that students still continue to take a wide breadth of courses across divisions. “we have a lot of students in science who come here because they’re really interested in merging their interests in humanistic study with their studies in science,” Bergeron said. A study conducted in 2008 found that science concentrators often take two or more non-required classes in the humanities. Jason Buckley ’15, who is proposing bioethics as an independent concentration and plans to receive a bachelors of science in neuroscience, has always favored the sciences, but he said he thinks considering the arts as the opposite of the sciences is a mistake. having a background in the humanities can help those in the sciences to better communicate their ideas, he said. Bergeron said that though students may be drawn to concentrations they regard as more practical, employers — even ones like Goldman Sachs — are often attracted to candidates who have strengths that are typically developed by studying the humanities. A particular course may also influence a student’s choice in concentration. ezra Licthman ’15 said he became interested in the neuroscience concentration after taking neUro 0010: “Introduction to neuroscience” during fall semester of his freshman year. “nothing really drew me away from doing a humanities concentration — it just never seemed like something I could pull off,” he said, adding that the sciences have always been more innately interesting to him, and the material has come slightly easier. But the opportunity to take classes in the humanities was one of the reasons he wanted to go to a liberal arts school, he said. “The powers of mind that are developed through liberal education are tremendously practical, but you do have to go through a translation process to make the connection with specific pro/ / Degrees page 4
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campus news 3
obama’s reelection will weaken the “atmosphere of fear” created by rightwing tea Party supporters who silenced more “rational” republicans inclined to work with the president. “The more reasonable voices in the republican Party are now going to find a little more courage,” whitehouse said. reed’s office could not be reached for comment, but the senator has publicly denied interest in becoming either CIA director or secretary of defense. reed told wPro this month that the president had not called him about either position and that he had made clear that he is uninterested in joining the cabinet. But the senators’ public denials do not necessarily mean they would turn down an offer, said wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science and public policy. “It’s rare when people turn down the president when they’re asked to serve,” she said. “I think anybody in the Senate would be interested in a cabinet role.” Schiller added that though both are in contention, neither reed nor whitehouse are likely the frontrunners for the defense secretary or attorney general positions. Political maneuvering considerations may be a decisive factor for obama as he reshuffles his cabinet. Sen. John Kerry P’02, D-Mass., has also been mentioned as a possible defense secretary, but in picking Kerry, obama would leave a vacancy in one of Massachusetts’ U.S. Senate seats. Some Democrats fear that former senator Scott Brown, who lost his bid for reelection to Sen. elizabeth warren, D-Mass., could be a strong contender in a special election to fill Kerry’s seat and subsequently narrow the Democrats’ newly expanded majority. “It’s a safer choice to take either reed or whitehouse out of rhode Island than it would be to take Kerry out of Massachusetts,” Schiller said, adding that Democrats would be better positioned to win a special election to keep a Senate seat in rhode Island than they would be in Massachusetts, where Brown remains a viable threat. victor Profughi, professor emeritus of political science at rhode Island College, said reed and whitehouse are both likely more interested in remaining in the Senate because they would have a greater impact on policy than they would in four-year cabinet posts. But Profughi added that if a Senate seat did open up in rhode Island, many candidates would consider jumping into a special election. Profughi predicted that rhode Island General treasurer Gina raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel taveras, both of whom are thought to be likely candidates for the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, would consider running if a Senate seat became vacant. Profughi said Gov. Lincoln Chafee’75 P’14, who served as a republican in the U.S. Senate from 2000-07 before losing reelection to whitehouse, could also join the race to return to Congress. “Chafee’s almost certainly going to have a difficult time running for reelection as governor,” Profughi said, noting it is hard to predict whether Chafee would run for the Senate as an Independent or as a Democrat. Chafee, an Independent who served as a national co-chair of obama’s reelection campaign and spoke at the Democratic national Convention, has publicly criticized his former party for becoming too conservative. Schiller also said taveras and raimondo would likely contest the Democratic nomination. “there would be a domino effect so other positions would open up,” she said. But she said she expects Chafee has no interest in returning to the Senate. “Special elections tend to catch everybody by surprise, and unexpected things happen,” said tony Affigne, a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of race and ethnicity in America at Brown and a professor of political science at Providence College. But Affigne noted that despite this uncertainty, Democrats would have a clear advantage in retaining their control over both Senate seats, given the Democrats’ strong showing in the 2012 elections. Affigne said both reed and whitehouse have strong incentives for remaining in the Senate — whitehouse stands to benefit from his reelection by gaining more seniority, and reed is in line to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee if the current chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, D-r.I., retires. reed, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at west Point, n.Y., and a retired U.S. Army officer, has focused on defense policy issues since entering the Senate in 1997. “For west Point graduates who are combat veterans, there’s probably no position in the world other than president that would be more attractive than Armed Services Committee chairman,” Affigne said.
By DOrA Chu
/ / senators page 1
interested in becoming U.S. Attorney General. “It would be hard not to at least consider it, but I’m virtually certain the answer would be no,” whitehouse said, adding that if offered the job, he would weigh the offer only as a courtesy to the president. whitehouse pledged to spend his next term in office fighting against republicans’ proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security, saying he believes many rhode Islanders feel like they have not received “a fair deal” from washington in recent years. “I’m excited about being able to rebalance the economy so middleclass families feel like they’re getting a fair shot,” whitehouse said. he cited investments in infrastructure, leveling the playing field for U.S. manufacturers against “unfair” competition from Chinese companies and fostering small business innovation as key ways to spur economic growth in rhode Island and the country as a whole. A former rhode Island state attorney general and U.S. federal prosecutor, whitehouse has emerged in the last few years as a key Democratic figure on the Senate Judiciary Committee, using his legal background to advocate for obama’s Supreme Court appointees Sonia Sotomayor and elena Kagan during their confirmation processes. whitehouse also serves on the Budget Committee, environment and Public works Committee, the Select Committee on Aging, the Committee on the Judiciary, the health, education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Select Committee on Intelligence. with Democrats lacking the 60 votes required to enact cloture and shut down republican threats to filibuster legislation, the 55-member majority caucus will need at least five republican votes to advance most bills. whitehouse, who has witnessed the partisan paralysis in the Senate in recent years, said he is confident Democrats will be able to reach across the aisle in the new Senate next year. “There’s plenty of room where the other side is prepared to be reasonable,” whitehouse said, adding that he has managed to work on a bipartisan basis in the past. he cited his work with Sen. John McCain, r-Ariz., on campaign finance reform as evidence that compromise is possible. whitehouse predicted that
u. partners up with charter school network
The University will partner with the Knowledge is Power Program, a network of charter schools, following a $2.5 million donation from Bruce and Martha Karsh P’14 that will aid KIPP alums at Brown through increased academic and financial support. The partnership will focus not only on preparing underserved students for college, but also on providing the resources necessary to complete college. “Brown and KIPP will develop programs, projects and activities that will address college-persistent challenges for scholarship students,” said Bill Layton, executive director of Brown’s office of Corporate and Foundation relations. After KIPP contacted former president ruth Simmons about a possible partnership, Layton said he researched KIPP’s compatibility with Brown. “we wanted to use the KIPP partnership and the support from the Karshes to support, leverage and expand upon existing really good programs that Brown has for scholarship students already,” he said. The Karshes have donated a total of $10 million in support of KIPP and its alums: $2.5 million to Brown, $2.5 million to Penn and $5 million to Duke University. Brown is the 18th university to partner with KIPP, which comprises 125 open-enrollment public charter schools across the country. with the $2.5 million donation, Brown’s endowment now includes a KIPP Scholarship Fund. The donation will support a main financial aid fund and three smaller funds to support KIPP students who want to conduct research projects, pay for emergency trips and laptop repairs and finance KIPP students who want to experience Brown through a pre-college summer program at the University, respectively. The gifts are intended to help further KIPP’s mission of increasing college completion rates by focusing on five factors: academic readiness, character strengths like optimism and self-control, finding the right match between the student and college, integrating social life and academics and college affordability, said Steve Mancini, KIPP’s director of public affairs. Some of these resources include application fee waivers, mentorship programs and research support. President Christina Paxson’s support played a key role in the formation of the KIPP partnership. “She’s been emphasizing financial aid as a top priority for everyone to work on across Brown. … She said right away when she started at Brown that cost should not be a barrier for those students who come to Brown,” Layton said. “we’re grateful to her leadership, her vision and her commitment to helping kids regardless of their background,” Mancini said, adding that her devotion to Brown’s “diverse and academically excellent” student body made the partnership possible. The partnership helps identify students from KIPP schools who have the potential to succeed in Brown’s environment but does not promise admission to Brown for KIPP alums. “It helps recruit and expand the channel of possible scholarship students,” Layton said. “The academic standards that KIPP holds, I wouldn’t have been able to find that at any other school in my area,” said Danielle Phan ’16, who attended KIPP heartwood Academy, a KIPP middle school in San Jose, Calif. her first visit to Brown was through a “KIPP trip,” she said, adding that she is still in contact with her KIPP adviser, a valuable resource for questions she has regarding college or internships. “It changed my outcome and the opportunities I was given,” Phan said, adding that KIPP is “a place where being smart was cool.”
state unemployment rate drops for sixth month in a row
By AlexAnDer Blum
4 city & state
ployed residents was going down, it would be worrisome.” But the fact that there have been “well over 8,000 employed rhode Island residents in two months” is a very encouraging statistic, she said. though the job loss statistics are “not what we want to see,” hart said, it is “not a total doom-and-gloom situation.” of the 2,500 rhode Island-based jobs lost during in october, 1,500 of them were from the accommodation and food services sector. hart said the drop was expected after more workers than usual were hired in May and they “stayed on longer.” richard Luchette, communications director for rep. David Cicilline ’83, D-r.I., said the lower unemployment rate “is encouraging, but it doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods,” adding that Cicilline’s recent reelection demonstrates voters’ desire for continued economic improvement. ever since the 2008 national economic recession, rhode Island has been burdened by more formidable economic challenges than those faced by other states, Luchette said. rhode Island was formerly a hub of manufacturing, he said, but many of those jobs have been outsourced to foreign countries like China.
the Brown DAILY herALD tUeSDAY, noveMBer 27, 2012
Comparing unemployment rates
though the nation’s unemployment rate rose slightly last month, the ocean State’s unemployment rate dropped slightly for the sixth consecutive month, falling from 10.5 to 10.4 percent, according to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But despite this progress, rhode Island still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, and the number of rhode Island-based jobs fell by 2,500 during the same time period. over half of these lost jobs were from seasonal industries that had held onto workers for longer than expected, said Laura hart, communications manager for the rhode Island Department of Labor and training. She also said it is important to note the method by which rhode Island’s unemployment rate is calculated, which represents the number of unemployed residents compared to the entire labor force of both employed and unemployed residents. Because rhode Island’s unemployment rate is decreasing as the total labor force increases, “we’re going down for the right reasons,” hart said. If the “number of rhode Island-based jobs and number of em-
Unemployment rates (percentages)
Brisa Bodell / Herald
rhode island’s unemployment rate has remained higher than the national average, though both have experienced steady decreases over the past year.
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fessional opportunities,” Morrill said. Through 25 years at Brown and two decades of advising, Pucci said he has found the relationship between a student’s concentration and their employability to be “virtually meaningless,” with the exception of certain pre-professionally oriented programs like pre-med and engineering. Declining enrollment in the humanities is not necessarily bad, Pucci said. “humanists do want our courses peopled, of course, but the business of the humanities is I think better suited to smaller classes,” he said. Still, faculty agreed that a significant decline in student interest in the
humanities would be a serious concern. “It is possible that now more students, perhaps because of their own thinking, perhaps influenced by their parents, think humanities are a waste of time,” Serrano said. “If that’s the case, that’s a sad development for humanity,” he said. There is a trend in society at large that tends to fund the sciences much more than the humanities, Serrano said, and the government will always fund more grants to the hard sciences. Continuing a discussion on how to best balance priorities is paramount, Bergeron said. “That’s education,” she said. “Finding new ways to talk about what is important in the liberal arts.”
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the Brown DAILY herALD tUeSDAY, noveMBer 27, 2012
report explores climate change
By CAleB miller
city & state 5
Controversy surrounds homeless shelter expansion
By sOPhie YAn
the rhode Island Climate Change Commission, created by the Climate risk reduction Act of 2010, issued its first progress report to the state house of representatives nov. 13. the report is the first of what will be annual updates made by the Commission, headed by Sen. Joshua Miller, D-Cranston, and rep. Christopher Blazejewski, D-Providence. the account detailed rhode Island’s current measures to combat climate change and identified vulnerabilities in the state’s defenses. Blazejewski described the report’s mission as two-pronged — protecting the state from the effects of current climate change and stopping future climate change, he said. the report comprised components from each of the Commission’s subcommittees — Key Infrastructure
and the Built environment, natural resources and habitat and human health and welfare. the commission’s piece did not, however, suggest specific measures to reach its aims. “As a preliminary report, it is much more concerned with explaining the structure of the commission and summarizing the concerns of the different subcommittees,” Miller said. “It hasn’t gone as far as making specific proposals yet.” the report comes in the wake of hurricane Sandy, which Miller said incited a public call for legislative action. “there’s a lot of reaction from concern of climate change,” he said. “If there’s going to be a legislative component to what people think, that legislation must be proposed in a timely manner.” though this was just an initial report, Blazejewski said the commission plans to make specific proposals in the near future, possibly as early as
the end of this legislative year. “It sets up a structure for the community and the experts to chime in on priorities going forward,” Miller said, elaborating on the report’s ability to spawn future measures. he added that combating steps need not be legislative. In the past, rhode Island’s environmentally-conscious nature has made it a leading state in the race to halt further climate change. Past legislation has tackled subjects including renewable energy requirements and permeable parking surfaces, Miller said. Because of this, both congressmen said that they believe measures will be quickly accepted and implemented when the house begins to examine specific policies stemming from the report. “rhode Islanders are attuned to the need to protect our resources,” Blazejewski said. “I anticipate the recommendations will be well-received.”
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course should “translate pretty well” since weinstein’s lectures are generally not question-based, said Celeste Cahn ’15, who took weinstein’s course CoLt 0810o: “Civilization and its Discontents.” But she added that the discussion sections were her favorite part of the course and that she would be disinclined to take an online version that lacked this “person-to-person contact.” Klein’s course, “Coding the Matrix: Linear Algebra through Computer Science Applications,” will focus on the more hands-on aspects of computer science. he said he hopes to make learning “more real” in the context of computer science applications and to enable students to see how this more precise modality can be useful. the Coursera version of this course will be based on the material Klein has taught for about five years. It will adopt a “mastery-based approach,” Klein said, adding that
five- to eight-minute video chunks will be complemented by small quiz examples that enable students to test their understanding. this mastery of skills along the way is critical in such a course, Klein said, noting that computer science is a very cumulative subject. he said he is looking forward to receiving feedback from his online students, as he will be able to “better grasp the student perspective.” there will be a heavy emphasis on the applications of the work, said Anson rosenthal ’15, who is working with Klein to develop the course. rosenthal, who said he would be very interested in the online version of this course, said, “If they’re done intelligently, online courses can be really helpful.” he added that he is confident Klein’s enthusiasm in the classroom will carry through online. “Archaeology’s Dirty Little Secrets” is the third Coursera course the University will offer, and it will generally capitalize on people’s “innate curiosity about archaeology,”
said Alcock, who will teach the class. this course will also take the form of short film modules, several of which will be presented each week. In addition to these more lecturefocused clips, Alcock said she hopes to incorporate case studies with University faculty members and clips of real digging taking place this semester on the Quiet Green. She added that she will be using a course she is teaching next semester to help guide her creation of the online course. the material objects and archaeological sites will translate pretty readily to Coursera, said Andrew Dufton GS, who is working with Alcock and will serve as a tA for the course next semester. he added that he is looking forward to exploring “different digital technologies and how we can use them in teaching and in archaeology.” “this is a course that really could speak globally,” Alcock said, adding that she hopes to encourage students to think about the past and recognize archaeology’s presence everywhere.
harrington hall in Cranston is home to the largest men’s homeless shelter in rhode Island, a state that saw its rates of foreclosure grow dramatically during the recent recession. A swirl of legislative and social controversy arose in october, when Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 made the executive decision to leave the shelter in its current location and to pay for building renovations. For the past year, overcrowding and strained facilities have prompted discussions about a potential move. originally opened as a temporary shelter, harrington hall was never meant to be a permanent fixture in the community. But as times grew hard through the economic downturn and more people spiraled into homelessness, the hall was never closed, said Leonard Chen ’13, community fellow at housing opportunities for People everywhere, a Swearer Center for Public Service program that runs a range of services for the homeless community. There is a general consensus that something needs to be done — either the shelter must be relocated, or the hall needs to be fixed up. Some town residents who have long opposed the shelter’s move are pleased with Chafee’s decision, but others would still like to see the shelter moved far away from the town’s center. Suzanne Arena, a community advocate and activist, as well as mother to children who go to school in the area, said she and other community members are concerned about the potential threat posed by the five to ten registered sex offenders housed by harrington hall. “My goal has always been to have sex offenders not in the same shelter as the homeless people,” Arena said. Sex offenders had been sighted at the local library, she said, a source of concern for the safety of the area. “The shelter should be relocated, but not to a highly trafficked area.”
But Chen said he disagrees. hoPe first got involved with the harrington hall situation this year and advocates a move to the Gloria McDonald Building, a former women’s prison in Cranston that was recently emptied, he said. “The argument’s going to exist everywhere — people are going to say ‘not in my backyard’,” he said, regarding concerns about sex offenders. “There are a lot more unsupervised registered sex offenders living in Cranston, who outnumber (those) living in the shelter. If we have this new facility and run programs with services for these sex offenders, we can know what they’re doing, monitor their activity, which is a lot safer than the current situation.” Despite their differences, Chen and Arena both deplore the governor’s recent decision, calling it a band-aid solution. A representative for the governor could not be reached for comment. renovations are going to cost the state much more than relocation would, Chen said, describing the choice to keep harrington hall as “maintaining a broken system.” There are currently no emergency response, detox or medical services at the overcrowded shelter and cold weather is rapidly approaching, he said. “The number of people who need services is fast outgrowing the resources we have,” he added. “If you are going to have a homeless shelter, you need to provide some kind of programs,” Arena said, referring to the lack of rehabilitation or detox treatments at the current facility. “we have to be able to live together,” she added. hoPe is currently canvassing around the Cranston region to seek resident opinions on a potential move to the Gloria McDonald building to spread information on the issue and to form a petition, Chen said. “Most of the people living in Cranston don’t know the full facts,” Chen added.
/ / Divest page 1
the fossil fuel industry has become a rogue force,” he added. McKibben also targeted the University’s claims of sustainability, saying, “If you’re going to green the campus, there is no logical reason you would not green the portfolio at exactly the same time.” The new student group Brown Divest Coal — which emerged this summer along with several other coaldivestment student groups across the nation — invited McKibben to campus. “we want Brown to be a leader in coal divestment,” said Sonya Gurwitt ’16, a member of the group. Divest Coal coordinator rebecca rast ’13.5 said she is disappointed that the University has yet to act upon these recommendations, especially following Unity College of Main’s nov. 12 pledge to divest from coal, oil and gas companies. Coal divestment is “about health, it’s about mitigating climate change, and it’s about making (people) aware the power of coal in our communities,” she said. A harvard representative told the harvard Crimson earlier this week
that it would not consider divestment. The University may be reluctant to divest from coal because energy companies can be a major endowment source for universities, said Dawn King, visiting assistant professor in the Center for environmental Studies, though she predicted that the coal industry will likely no longer be viable within the next 20 years. But King cautioned that “divesting from coalfired power plants is just a teeny-tiny baby step to addressing global warming” — an issue with which America will be grappling for the next half century, she said. McKibben said the battle to convince the University to divest will not be an easy feat. “It’s going to be a very hard fight,” he said. “we’re going to be asking people to do things that are hard for them to do, and we’re going to be putting them on the spot.” Still, McKibben emphasized that the fight for coal divestment is possible. Ultimately, students are asking the University to “put its money where its mouth is,” McKibben said. “when they say ‘no,’ you’re going to have to steel yourselves to say ‘yes.’”
Fly by night | Adam Kopp
a & b | MJ esquivel
Israel divestment is hypocritical
two weeks ago, the Brown Advisory Committee on Corporate responsibility in Investment Policies, or ACCrIP, petitioned President Christina Paxson for a sustained dialogue regarding the University’s continued investment in corporations that do business with Israel. This petition, a product of years of discussion between ACCrIP and Brown Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), calls out major corporations including Caterpillar, Boeing and, in past iterations, General electric, Motorola and others. The call for divestment, according to SJP, is motivated by these companies’ alleged violations of human rights in the Israeli-occupied territories. however, both ACCrIP and SJP appear to be conspicuously silent on divestment from other nations that have committed similar known human rights violations. Potential divestment from companies that do business with the state of Israel, a politically charged issue in itself that lacks a consensus on campus and nationwide, should not be considered until we have reached a conclusion on divesting from companies that do business with oppressive governments. Last week’s article (“Committee seeks campus discussion on divestment,” nov. 19) noted that hampshire College became the first American institution of higher education to divest in 2009. however, an open letter written by hampshire President ralph hexter and Board of trustees Chair Sigmund roos clarified that the college had chosen to divest from the “problematic mutual fund” not because of its ties to Israel, but because it violated the investment committee’s “socially responsible investment policies.” The letter reads, “no other college or university should use hampshire as a precedent for divesting from Israel, since hampshire has refused to divest from Israel.” hampshire’s decision to divest does not and should not represent the first stone cast to a nationwide trend of universities considering divestment. Brown, in recent years, has only divested from three major causes: tobacco, Sudan and heI hotels and resorts, all for labor violations. Divestment has proven effective in the past, notably in South Africa during the apartheid — nelson Mandela himself referred to the University of California at Berkeley’s $3 billion divestment as a catalyst for its abolition. however, anger at the state of Israel alone is misdirected. In response to a 2009 divestment petition by hampshire students, harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz argued that the campaign, in ignoring hampshire’s involvement with companies that work with other oppressive regimes, “has absolutely nothing to do with human rights,” saying that it was instead “motivated purely by hatred for the Jewish state.” This issue is not new — in 2002, following renewed violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, many student groups advocated the same type of divestment. Then-harvard President Larry Summers at the time said, “Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent.” That same year, new York times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, “Criticizing Israel is not antiSemitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction — out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle east — is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.” neither Friedman nor we are suggesting that those who seek divestment from Israel harbor anti-Semitic beliefs. Investment in companies that do business with Israel should be debated in a forum that incorporates those supporting both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The act of divestment should be the result of further reflection, and the single-minded focus on this particular conflict is intensely hypocritical and should be reconsidered. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Daniel Jeon and Annika Lichtenbaum, and its members, Georgia Angell, Sam Choi and Rachel Occhiogrosso. Send comments to email@example.com.
the Brown DAILY herALD tUeSDAY, noveMBer 27, 2012
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“We’d like to do anything we can to make history more appealing.”
— Kenneth sacks, chair of the history department See degrees on page 1.
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the Brown DAILY herALD tUeSDAY, noveMBer 27, 2012
The real unsavory alliance
cies that have affected immigrants and indigenous peoples worldwide. Indeed, borders are extremely effective — effective in dehumanizing people, rhetorically, imaginatively and physically. They are effective at massacring populations and justifying these massacres, effective at enforcing terror in the name of national security and effective at keeping out of the nation-state the very people whose exploited labor sustains it. Borders are an instrument of control used by societies that value some human lives more developed between Israel, the United States and Latin American dictatorships. The network consisted of arms trade, exchange of military technologies and teams of Israeli advisers sent to assist Latin American dictators. General efrain rios Montt, a notorious Guatemalan despot, stated in an ABC news interview that the coup through which he came to power would not have been possible without the aid of Israeli advisers. Under the human rights policy of President Jimmy Carter, a deep military relationonce more with Israeli technology: the wall between the United States and Mexico, built by the Israeli company elbit. Interestingly, elbit is the same company that constructed the west Bank separation barrier. Inside the United States, the immigrants encounter Israeli oppression a third time, in the form of Israeli weapons used by Immigration and Customs enforcement deportation forces. Thus the real unsavory alliance is the military relationship between Israel, the United States and Latin American dictatorships. This alliance has destroyed countless lives, enabled war and genocide and displaced millions. It unleashes unimaginable terror on entire populations, controlling movement, bodies and ultimately life itself for immigrants and indigenous peoples. Yet unlike two student groups tabling on the Main Green, this alliance is largely invisible. Therefore, we’d like to say thank you to Ingber. Thank you for reminding us why it is that we work together and for demonstrating the power that this alliance gives us. Thank you for bringing us closer together and allowing us the opportunity to re-articulate the beliefs that joined us in the first place. we hope to provide you with many, many more unsavory collaborations in the months and years to come.
By Brown immigrants rights coalition and Brown students for justice in palestine
Last month, Zach Ingber ’15 criticized the collaboration between two student groups on campus over an Immigration week “fence” installation (“An unsavory alliance,” oct. 31). Ingber argued that the alliance between Brown Immigrant rights Coalition and Brown Students for Justice in Palestine was detrimental to the legitimacy of both groups, asserting that the only thing that the wall between the United States-Mexico border and the west Bank separation barrier have in common is their extreme effectiveness. Ingber, a self-proclaimed believer in borders and international law, conveniently ignored the fact that Israel is the only country that has never declared its borders and that the separation barrier — which expropriates Palestinian land, steals water resources and separates families — is considered illegal under international law. Similarly, he propagates a historically incorrect view of borders as part of civilization. Finally, it is clear that Ingber did not so much as make eye contact with any BIrC or BSJP members, as his portrayal of the collaboration is deeply prejudiced and almost willfully misinformed. But the intention of this article is not to refute Ingber’s many erroneous points — most of those rebuttals are self-evident. rather, we would like to challenge and expose the worldview that serves as a basis for his argument and for many oppressive poli-
the real unsavory alliance is the military relationship between israel, the united states and latin american dictatorships.
than others. In these societies, existence itself can be considered a crime, if one possesses the wrong skin color or religious affiliation. It is the shared belief of BIrC and BSJP in a different society — a society in which no life is more important than another — that unites us. to be sure, the ideals we share are unsavory for those who wish to keep the world as it is. Ingber is right in fearing our alliance, for it represents a fundamental challenge to the carefully segregated universe he inhabits. Threatened by the possibilities of a different vision of society, he seeks to dismiss us as naive. But we are far from naive. At the heart of our alliance lies the understanding that we are tied together not merely by abstract ideology, but by very material connections. In the 1970s and ’80s, a network of oppression ship emerged with Israel stepping in as an alternative supplier of arms to Latin American dictators. The United States provided old weapons and capital Israel needed in order to develop its own arms industry, and Israel in turn served as a liaison. This gave the United States plausible deniability regarding its ties to the dictatorships. Israel supplied Guatemala with urban counterinsurgency technology that allowed the government to wipe out activists and organizers. They also helped design “model villages” to which populations were forced to migrate, often through massacres and genocide. The United States and Israel supported civil wars in Central America that resulted in massive displacements, forcing millions of people to seek refuge in the United States itself. As they migrate north, they are met
Brown students for Justice in Palestine and Brown immigrant rights Coalition believe strongly that no human life is more valuable than another. they can be reached at email@example.com and BrownimmigrantrightsCoalition @gmail.com.
Think of the children!
when new Jersey Gov. Chris Christie teamed up with President obama to manage the crisis wrought by Superstorm Sandy on new Jersey’s shoreline, it was heralded as a prime example of bipartisanship. Indeed, it seems “bipartisanship” has become the buzzword of the day, associated with a pragmatic and commendable approach to political issues. It is unfortunate, then, that one glaring example of bipartisanship policies stands as a stain on the record of political parties both nationally and locally: the marginalization of education. According to the new York times’ analysis of obama’s plans for fiscal year 2013, education represents a paltry 1.5 percent of his total budget. It was therefore ironic that the Brown Democrats in their recent article (“why we’re voting Democratic this election day,” oct. 31) identified education first and foremost in their argument for supporting obama. This is, of course, not a partisan issue — the republicans’ track record is no better on education. while the importance of education is not lost on Brown students, the relative lack of focus on education at a national level represents a far more disturbing oversight inherent in our political structure. Both political parties have an intrinsic generational bias that has marginalized the youngest
— and most vulnerable — of our society. Contrast education spending with entitlement programs to the elderly. Social Security alone consumes nearly a quarter of the federal budget. Medicare accounts for another 15 percent. This case study, however, represents a larger trend in the public distribution of funds. A 2011 study by the Urban Institute found that public spending per child — both state and federal — was $11,300 per year, while spending per senior was more than double that at $24,800. This includes
of the most solid voting blocks at the core of both parties’ election prospects, whereas the youth are effectively disenfranchised — albeit for obvious reasons. It is for this reason that Social Security has become the effective “third rail” of politics, practically untouchable for both parties despite being fiscally unsustainable. As money set aside for Social Security proves increasingly insufficient to cover the expectations of the elderly, debts and payroll taxes will rise exponentially. In effect, Social Security is an intergenerational transfer of money from
Both political parties have an intrinsic generational bias that has marginalized the youngest — and most vulnerable — of our society.
much more than just education — it is a universal truth across domestic and social policy that spending on the elderly far outstrips spending on children. This imbalance is even more disturbing given the financial position of these two generations. As census data shows, poverty among children is growing at a dramatic pace. while 9 percent of the elderly fall below the poverty line, 22 percent of children — 15.75 million — are currently living in poverty. The political determinants of this generational bias are obvious. The elderly are one
tomorrow’s youth to today’s elderly. But this is about much more than just a numbers game and is not simply the youth versus the elderly. These startling facts are part of a larger ideological focus that spans across political boundaries. Unfortunately, neither party has paid much attention to the increasingly alarming poverty rate among children, nor has political or social capital been devoted towards their plight. In a democratic society that values individual opportunity, the marginalization of the interest of the youth is extremely disheartening in a fundamental way. The youth
are the most defenseless generation of our society, born into a social and economic class structure that is entirely beyond their individual control. There are also pragmatic economic reasons to support a greater investment in our children, since the opportunities for growth and development increase as these children mature with better resources and human capital. The term “investment” conjures up images of dollar bills, but the necessity of focusing on the youth extends much further. we need to invest in our youth not only financially but also psychologically. we need to invest our time and energy in the youth by encouraging them to make choices that will help them build wealth and find future success. Being born into poverty-stricken environments makes children far more likely to make decisions that compromise future financial success — dropping out of high school, sidestepping contraception or de-emphasizing education. There has been a great deal of talk recently about the decline in social mobility and the lack of opportunities for tomorrow’s America. to fix this problem, we need to espouse the importance of education, teach America’s youth the importance of hard work and back up these lessons with the financial and social opportunities they need to best utilize their potential. alex drechsler ’15 hopes contemporary politics can have a real discussion about the poverty facing america’s youth. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
daily herald sports tuesday
tUeSDAY, noveMBer 27, 2012
bruno slips to PC on ice, recovers against Crusaders
urday en route to taking the Cup. head Coach Brendan whittet ’94 attributed the loss to a lack of effort and mental toughness. “It was not Brown hockey. It’s not what we represent,” he said. “we were weak mentally, lost a lot of battles, and we took absolutely hideous penalties.” Those penalties proved especially costly for Bruno in the second period. The Bears were hanging tight with the Friars, trailing 1-0 late into the second, when a fight broke out involving most of the players from each team. After a couple of minutes, the referees managed to sort out the mayhem, sending a total of six players to the penalty box. The ruling took a major toll on the Bears with starting defensemen Dennis robertson ’14 and Matt wahl ’14 each serving ten-minute penalties. The Friars capitalized on the depleted Bruno defense with two power-play goals in three minutes to take control of the game after two periods. The game went from bad to ugly for the Bears in the final stanza. Four different Friars scored goals in the period, the last of which came with two minutes remaining, capping the touchdownsized victory. The loss is the worst in whittet’s tenure as coach. “It was a debacle from the drop of the puck,” whittet said. “You don’t forget the way you played. You’ve got to come back within 24 hours against a really, really high-end team and not let history repeat itself.” The Bears did just that, shaking it off and bouncing back to beat holy Cross (7-3-1) Sunday in a comeback victory to salvage a weekend split. The Crusaders went into the first intermission with a two-goal advantage despite Bruno’s control of the game for most of the first period. holy Cross managed their two goals on just six shots, while the Bears fired off 15 shots without scoring. The intermission concluded a four-period stretch in which the Bears were outscored 9-0, but they showed resilience in the second period. “At times, it gets a little frustrating when you can clearly see we are controlling the play,” said forward Matt harlow ’15. “It was tough to get down 2-0 at the beginning, but we kept working and kept working, and just showed great character by all the guys in the room to be able to come back and get a ‘w.’” Forward Garnet hathaway ’14 ended the scoring drought with his first goal of the season four minutes into the second period. A tremendous backhanded pass by ryan Jacobson ’15 set hathaway up with an open shot from just outside the crease. Forward Matt Lorito ’15, the Bears’ leading scorer, then contributed his seventh goal of the season to tie the game going into the final period. A relentless Bruno offense would not be denied in the third, as Mark naclerio ’16 notched his first career goal with seven minutes remaining in the game. once again, the score came as a result of good passing. wahl pushed the puck up the left wall to harlow, who centered the puck to naclerio for the decisive blow. “It felt amazing,” naclerio said. “harlow made a great pass to me, and I just shot it as hard as I could. It was fortunate enough to go in.” Following the Crusaders’ two early goals, the Bruno defense tightened up against the holy Cross attacking units. The Bears dominated in shots, more than doubling the Crusaders’ shot attempts in each of the three periods. whittet said the comeback gave Bruno some much-needed confidence before they travel to new haven next Saturday for a bout against conference foe Yale. “now we’re in a positive frame moving into the week,” whittet said. “This win is a great win, it’s a team effort, but what it should do is set us up to have a great week of practice to play a very good hockey team in their barn on Saturday night.”
JonatHan Bateman / Herald
Despite winning the trophy last year, Brown dropped the mayor’s Cup saturday when they fell to PC.
By CAleB miller
SPortS Staff Writer
In back-to-back home games last weekend, the men’s hockey team suffered a 7-0 loss to Providence College Saturday
but survived to rebound for a 3-2 win over holy Cross Sunday. The Bears (3-4-2) took the ice Saturday afternoon looking to capture the coveted Mayor’s Cup against Providence College (6-5-1). The game was
the 27th annual battle for the trophy, and Bruno was hoping to repeat last year’s victory, which came on the Friar’s home ice. But Providence returned the favor by dismantling the Bears at home Sat-
Kuakumensah ’16 scores twin double-doubles as rookie starter
By BrunO ZuCCOlO
SPortS Staff Writer
Athlete Of the WeeK
Cedric Kuakumensah ’16, who hails from worcester, Mass., is one of the newest additions to the men’s basketball team. In a squad that finds itself in the midst of reconstruction — with a brand new coach and a fresh starting lineup — Kuakumensah has managed to find his place with solid performances at the start of the season. In the past week, he notched double-doubles against Bryant University and St. Francis University. he scored a career-high 14 points against Bryant, rewarding head Coach Mike Martin’s ’04 decision to place the first-year in the starting lineup. For this impressive start to his college career, Kuakumensah has been named Athlete of the week. Herald: What’s been your impression of brown in these first couple months? Kuakumensah: Brown has been a great place for me. I just fit in perfectly
with the team. outside of basketball, I just felt that Brown has welcomed me with open arms. It’s just been a really fun experience. How does playing in college compare to high school? everything’s a step faster. early in the season, I was just a step behind, a second behind, and I need to adjust to the speed. When did you start playing basketball? I started playing basketball in fourth grade. I was kind of tall, so one of my teachers thought that I should play basketball. At first, I was very uncoordinated — I was tripping over my own feet. But as time went by, I started to get better. do you have any idols, either athletes or otherwise? Athletes — my idol, I would have to say, is Kobe Bryant. he’s just an amazing athlete. And non-athlete — probably
my mother. do you have a favorite professional team? The Lakers. It’s kind of weird, because I’m from the Boston area, where everyone loves the Celtics, and I’m just that one guy that loves the Lakers. What did you think of your performance in these past two games, where you had back-to-back double-doubles? I feel that having a double-double sounds good and all, but I feel that I didn’t play as well as I could have. There were just some things that I slacked on defensively, some open layups, shots that I missed offensively. to me it was just showing myself that, “Yeah, you can get a double-double, but you can’t be satisfied with that.” How have your performances been compared to your expectations? Personal expectations: my performances have been pretty bad. And considering the fact that we had the
Courtesy of CedriC KuaKumensaH
Kuakumensah ’16 registered a double-double in each of his last two games. double-doubles and we lost the two games, it didn’t mean much to me. I think the expectations are set high for me, and I’ll reach them eventually. What are some of your goals and dreams going forward? This season, a goal of mine is definitely to win the Ivy League championship, and I think that’s a goal we’re going to have all four years here. I just want to win as much as possible.
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