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vol. cxxii, no. 111
wednesday, november 28, 2012
students abroad in unstable nations receive U. support
By aLison siLver
Senior Staff Writer
UCS collaborates with Rhode Island colleges
R.I. to adopt unique state health care plan Page 8
Students scrawl away during National Novel Writing Month
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Following a spate of violence in the Gaza strip and other regions across Israel, Brown students confirmed last week that their study abroad programs would continue normal operations provided the violence did not escalate further. Last wednesday, Israel and the Palestinian militant group hamas agreed to a cease-fire, stemming the violence for the present. The University’s monitoring of the situation due to the region’s instability follows a string of decisions to evacuate students from various study abroad locations in the last few years. Since 2011, students have been evacuated from programs in egypt and tunisia due to political turmoil across the Middle east and from programs in Japan after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. “every situation is different,” said Kendall Brostuen, director of the office
of International Programs, who emphasized the need to obtain the most accurate and updated information possible when considering potentially threatening situations. But whether students are studying through Brown-affiliated programs or with programs offered through other universities, “for all of us, the most important thing is the safety and security of the students,” he said. evacuation protocol As with any kind of travel, there are inherent risks to consider when studying abroad, Brostuen said. Brown has established protocols in each of its programs abroad for addressing emergencies, and the office of International Programs remains in continuous contact with staff on site and on campus to ensure student safety. when vetting alternative programs not offered through Brown, one of the most important considerations is the existence of emergency ac/ / abroad page 5
emIly gIlBert / herald
brunonians pleased with bear bucks switch bUCC
By Maggie Livingstone
Despite recent violence in israel, the two students studying abroad there have remained in the country as the university monitors the situation.
The implementation of the Bear Bucks system has been deemed successful by the University, said Scott Thacher, director of information technology for campus life and student services. Bear Bucks, a debit card-like system, replaced the declining balance system in February. Bear Bucks are used for laundry and are also accepted at campus eateries, the University bookstore and cafe and printing stations. while Campus Life and Student Services and the Undergraduate Council of Students are still addressing concerns over the Bear Bucks system, Thacher cited reliability, functionality, student access and an expanded use of the swipe system be-
yond laundry as key advantages over the now defunct declining balance swipe system. eight ValuePort III Machines, the vending hub where students can load their ID cards with Bear Bucks, have been installed in various locations throughout campus. This is a significant increase from the three Card-Value Center machines that were previously available under the declining balance system. “I put enough money on the card for each laundry swipe, and the (ValuePort III) machines are pretty convenient,” said Michael riechmann ’15. But some students said they still feel more machines could be installed. “There’s a limited number of machines on campus,” said Lucy Duan ’16. “It’s annoying having to pay in cash.”
Thacher said administrators were aware that the location of the Bear Bucks machines has been an issue for some students. he said the machines are “pretty expensive,” so before ordering more, Computing and Information Services will try redistributing them. Thacher said a benefit of the new system is the ability to track the daily traffic at each machine. CIS will monitor each machine’s use and reposition machines as needed, a procedure that was not possible with the old CVC machines. Another major difference between declining balance and Bear Bucks is the reliability that comes with the new system, Thacher said. none of the ValuePort III machines have required repairs yet, a significant improvement to the mechanical failures the CVC machines
constantly experienced, he said. “Before we were constantly having the CVC machines go offline,” Thacher said. “They used old-fashioned mechanical readers.” The dependability of the ValuePort III machines has greatly improved student experience and made it easier for students to do laundry. “Last year I always paid with quarters because my vending stripe didn’t work for some reason,” said Jacob Laser ’15. “now refilling the card is so easy.” The upgraded technology also allows students to track their balance history for the previous 30 days online through Banner. Because Bear Bucks are managed electronically, if students lose their cards, the money in their Bear Bucks account does not disappear, un/ / bucks page 2 like with the
reviews strategic plans
By saM Heft-LutHy
rIC starts sustainability buzz with beehives
By eLizabetH koH
Senior Staff Writer
Brown bears may be fond of honey, but this year another rhode Island campus is starting to reap the benefits of bees. This summer, rhode Island College installed two beehives on campus as part of its sustainability program, making it the first institution of higher education in the state to do so. The initiative, which is concluding its first semester, aims to raise awareness among the student body and educate the public about beekeeping’s role in promoting sustainability. Though in its beginning stages, the project is geared toward growing the tight-knit community of beekeepers in Providence and the state.
Courtesy of rhode Island College
rhode island College’s new beekeeping initiative aims to promote sustainability and grow the Providence beekeeping community.
Sweet beginnings Beekeeping is a tradition that dates back to prehistoric times, when humans would gather honey from wild
bee colonies for food, often destroying the hive in the process. today’s system is much less destructive. Bees populate artificial hives, from which honey can be extracted without destroying the bees’ home, allowing them to continue producing honey in the same cells. Modern beekeeping is a worldwide endeavor, with hives in rural and urban communities alike. even academic communities have adopted beehives, including the University of California at Davis, Arizona State University and a handful of institutions in the northeast. But beekeeping is challenging, with the bee population down by 30 percent in the past 20 to 25 years, according to rIC Sustainability Coordinator James Murphy. Proponents of enterprises like urban beekeeping — and rIC’s new beekeeping initiative — hope to raise understanding of that trend and reverse its progress. a sticky situation / / bees page 2 the idea
Discussing the possibility of the University and its peer institutions developing online education programs, richard Bungiro, lecturer in biology, likened the process to taking a leap into a swimming pool. “we’re all worried about how cold the water is, and we’re wondering who’s going to jump in first,” Bungiro said. “MIt jumped in the pool a while ago,” said Professor emeritus of Chemistry James Baird. “Stanford, harvard … we’d better jump in fast.” Chairpersons of four strategic planning committees created to guide President Christina Paxson’s long-term goals for the University presented new committee updates in areas including online education, educational innovation and faculty expansion during the Brown University Community Council meeting tuesday. Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron gave a report from the educational Innovation Committee, discussing the committee’s work identifying and supporting innovative programs within the University. Bergeron said the University is in talks with the Swearer Center for Public Service to create programs to better integrate public service with academics. “we began taking up some of their ideas for larger initiative and engaged scholarship at Brown,” she said. Though details were sparse, Bergeron also spoke about the committee’s investigation of international education, developing / / online page 4 the Program
2 campus news
TODAY 8P .m. Speeddating and Friendfinding Hillel 10 P .m. Jazz Jam The Underground 7:45 P .m. Brown Unheard Open Mic Night The Underground NOV. 28 TOmORROW 5:30 P .m. Peer-to-Peer Internship Fair Campus Center NOV. 29
the Brown DAILy herALD weDneSDAy, noVeMBer 28, 2012
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for the rIC beehives first came to life far from home, said Carolyn FluehrLobban, professor emeritus of anthropology at rIC. Fluehr-Lobban, a current beekeeper and secretary of the rhode Island Beekeepers Association, said she was first inspired by beehives she saw on the UC Davis campus when she visited her daughter, who lives in Sacramento. “It was just so cool to see the bees out there in that campus environment,” she said. “you’d see bees on all these flowering trees.” After visiting other beekeeping universities, Fluehr-Lobban said she began to research institutions with beehives on campus, of which there were “only a handful.” It was then that she thought of bringing hives to rIC’s campus. “we have 150 acres on campus,” she said. “There’s a lot of green space, so I thought this would really work out.” Fluehr-Lobban brought the idea to rIC President nancy Carriuolo, who Fluehr-Lobban said was enthusiastic about the idea and encouraged her to proceed. with a donation of beehives from current and former rIBA presidents Jeff McGuire and everett Zurlinden, plans were made to install the hives near a newly restored cottage on campus. But the location, near a student parking area, raised safety concerns despite bees’ relatively defensive nature, Fluehr-Lobban said. “The danger is almost nothing” so long as the bees are not provoked, Fluehr-Lobban said. But “the risk was not understood,” and hives were relocated to the east side of campus. now located near rIC’s school of social work, the beehives seem topi-
cally relevant, though more distant. Despite the relocation, the new home for the hives is still accessible, though “there’s not a lot of foot traffic around them,” Murphy said. “we go to the bees, not the other way around.” Waxing up Despite much of the anxiety that surrounds bees, beekeeping is a peaceful enterprise, Murphy said. “I’ve never been stung,” said Murphy, who is learning to take care of the bees for the first time. “They’re very docile creatures when you go in and do what you have to do.” Murphy is learning to care for the bees under the guidance of rIC alums and rIBA members Scott and emily Langlais, who live nearby and are beekeepers themselves. now in their fourth year of beekeeping, the Langlais couple run a tumblr dedicated to the hobby to update friends and family “without bombarding them with mass emails,” Scott Langlais wrote in an email to The herald. The blog, which can be found at provbees.tumblr.com, features tips and information about beekeeping drawn from the couple’s own experience. Though bees often follow a predictable pattern, beekeeping is a rewarding experience, Langlais wrote. “As predictable as the bees’ behavior may be, you can never fully control everything else that impacts the colony,” he wrote. “They really keep you on your toes, but that contributes to the fun of learning.” The school currently houses two Langstroth hives — a type of hive that consists of boxes with removable frames — secluded behind a metal fence. The fence itself sports a cartoony sign of a beehive with the words “CAUtIon: Beehives / Do not enter hive Area” illustrated in cheerful Comic Sans font. The two
SHARPE REFECTORY VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL
hives each have about 10,000 to 15,000 bees, each with one queen bee, named Queens “Latifah” and “Bee-atrice” respectively. Since the hives’ installation, the beekeepers have hosted workshops about beekeeping and occasional field trips for an elementary school located on the rIC campus. Few students have ventured behind the fence so far — especially as temperatures have dropped and the bees have retreated to the relative warmth of the hive. Buzz to the future The spring, Murphy said, heralds more involvement with the beehives on campus to promote sustainability. A community garden now sits near the hives to benefit from the bees’ pollination, and the college has plans to use the honey from the hives — about 25 to 50 pounds — in the dining center next year. Murphy said the college also is considering using the beeswax in its arts programs, though that remains open to consideration. “I don’t think we’re going to get into selling the product as we are using it and learning from it,” Murphy said. The overarching goal, though, is public education. “The bees are still relatively new,” Murphy said. “we’re in the process of putting together educational programming for them.” Murphy said the college is planning lectures in late February and March to teach more students about beekeeping, and the rIBA will hold “Bee Schools” — public workshops to educate community members about urban beekeeping — to promote awareness as well. But the future, Murphy said, remains open for rIC’s new buzzing neighbors. “everything’s on the table,” he said.
Mild Buffalo Wings, BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Sundried Tomato Calzone, Sweet Potato Fries, BBQ Navy Beans Shaved Steak Sandwich with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions, Falafel, Steak Fries, M&M Cookies
Pumpkin Ravioli with Cream Sauce, Grilled Boneless Pork Chop with Applesauce, Red Flannel Hash Grilled Chicken Cilantro, Mexican Cornbread Casserole, Herb Rice, Stewed Tomatoes, Caesar Salad
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declining balance system. An additional perk of the Bear Bucks system is the availability of help for students who are adjusting to the transition. Students can now call the Bear Bucks help line if they are having issues with their account. UCS is also working to address concerns about the new system. In UCS’s annual fall poll, a number of questions focused on student opinion of Bear Bucks. The Admissions and Student Service Committee is the UCS group primarily responsible for improving the system. Though the results of the poll have not yet been released, UCS is aiming to identify the flaws of the system and collaborate with administrators to guarantee a better student experience,
Abigail Braiman ’15, chair of the ASS Committee, wrote in an email to The herald. “we’ve addressed complaints about the Pembroke printing machine not working, printing station release issues, laundry vending issues, locations of ValuePort machines and the new Bear Bucks support system infrastructure,” Braiman wrote. The most recent initiative the ASS committee completed was implementing the LaundryView system, a wireless program designed to notify users when laundry machines are in use, Braiman wrote. Switching to the Bear Bucks system prompted the installation of approximately 300 energy-efficient washers and dryers throughout campus over the summer. tangible benefits from
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Claire Peracchio, President rebecca Ballhaus, Vice President Danielle Marshak, treasurer Siena DeLisser, Secretary The Brown Daily herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement and once during orientation by The Brown Daily herald, Inc. Single copy free for each member of the community. PoStMASter please send corrections to P.o. Box 2538, Providence, rI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, r.I. Subscription prices: $280 one year daily, $140 one semester daily. Copyright 2012 by The Brown Daily herald, Inc. All rights reserved.
these updated machines can be seen on the LaundryView website, which shows how much water has been saved because of the new machines. As of yesterday, 330,915 gallons of water had been saved since the beginning of the semester. CIS’s most recent initiative was installing Bear Bucks swipe access onto 31 snack machines located around campus. Beverage vending machines will be the next to transition to Bear Bucks access, and Thacher said he hopes this initiative will be completed over winter recess. Bear Bucks accounts will transition to a portal system similar to Banner that will encompass a mobile component, so students can track their accounts on their cellular devices. Faculty and staff members will also have access to this portal and be able to create a Bear Bucks account, Thacher said. “we really want to reach out to faculty and staff because right now they don’t have access to Banner so it’s hard for them to have an account,” he said.
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the Brown DAILy herALD weDneSDAy, noVeMBer 28, 2012
campus news 3
hIgher ed ne ws r ounduP
By maddIe Ber g senIor staff wrIter
Massachusetts lowers tuition rates for undocumented immigrants
undocumented immigrants living in massachusetts with work permits are now eligible for the lower tuition rates at state colleges and universities already extended to state residents, according to the new york times. massachusetts became the 12th state to adapt such a policy, which rhode Island has already implemented. massachusetts gov. deval Patrick’s decision to enact the policy marks a step in the state’s efforts toward more open immigration reform. the move comes in the aftermath of President obama’s announcement in June of a policy that would stop the deportation of young immigrants brought to or kept in the united states illegally. according to the times, state officials believe the policy will significantly increase college enrollment levels of illegal immigrants. at the university of massachusetts at amherst, the out-of-state rate is over twice the in-state rate. opponents of the policy have argued that the government should focus on making college more affordable for legal residents.
dave deCkey / herald
uCs seeks to increase its ties with student governments at local colleges. uCs has joined with other colleges previously to take joint stances against student loan increases and legislation proposing students pay a tax.
UCs collaborates with local colleges
By katHerine CusuMano
Senior Staff Writer
u.s. Court of appeals strikes down affirmative action ban
the u.s. Court of appeals for the sixth Circuit decided nov. 15 that the michigan ban on affirmative action, approved by voters in 2006, is unconstitutional, the new york times reported. the federal appeals court ruled that the ban violated the Constitution’s equal protection laws, and the decision was not made on the basis of racial discrimination. the court’s ruling does not state that state colleges and universities must adopt race-based affirmative action policies, but makes it easier to persuade colleges to adopt them, according to Cnn. the ruling, considered a victory for minority students, may not go into effect immediately as some residents are still defending the ban, including michigan attorney general Bill schuette. schuette intends to appeal the decision to the u.s. supreme Court, Cnn reported.
The Undergraduate Council of Students is working to strengthen relationships between Brown’s student government and similar bodies at nearby institutions through increased collaboration. UCS has previously signed on in support of joint initiatives with other universities, but UCS’ current outreach efforts are intended to forge stronger ties between students, said UCS President Anthony white ’13. UCS members met last month with the rhode Island School of Design Student Alliance to discuss further efforts to work together on issues concerning both schools. Brown and rISD students have teamed up since 2002 to participate in the Solar Decathlon, a U.S. Department of energy-sponsored event that challenges college teams to create solar-powered homes. But it has been difficult to convince Brown students outside of the engineering department that they have a role to play in the competition, said rISD Student Alliance President Alexander Dale, adding that UCS seemed interested in raising the decathlon’s profile at both schools. “Both schools bring so much to the table,” Dale said. For that reason, he has also discussed UCS and the Student Alliance jointly hosting an event for students. one proposed event was a lawn party on Benefit Street, Student Activities Chair Alexander Kaplan ’14 wrote in an email to The herald. Dale said Crossroads, an event last year that brought Brown and rISD students together for music and improv performances, was not conducive to conversation and forming relationships. Club sports have also been a point of discussion. Some rISD students play on club teams at Brown, though this is not officially allowed, Dale said. UCS and the Student Alliance are both looking into the rationale behind this rule and aim to open up discussion on it. UCS will also continue to develop its relationship with Providence College and the University of rhode Island, white said. Justin Gomes, Providence College’s
Student Congress president, said his predecessor received an email from white urging student governments to co-sign a letter in opposition to proposed federal legislation to increase student loans interest rates. UrI also supported the statement. The letter stressed to Congress that loans were an essential issue for students in rhode Island. Students in Florida and California also voiced their opinions, so the response “enhanced the chorus of voices” in opposition, white said. The council also has a history of reaching out to other Providence schools in consultation with University administrators. In 2009, UCS and nearby student governments came together to discuss proposed city legislation to levy a $150 tax per semester on Providence students and to tax large non-profit institutions like colleges and universities at a rate of 25 percent of what they would pay if they were not tax-exempt. Then-mayor David Cicilline ’83 invited student leaders to his home to discuss the tax as an “enhanced contribution to the city’s fiscal condition,” said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations. Diane Mokoro ’11, UCS vice president-elect at the time, said the rising executive board of UCS reached out to
rISD, Johnson and wales and Providence College to discuss the implications of the tax. Ultimately, the student governments decided they “didn’t feel that (they) should make statements against what (their) university was doing,” Mokoro said. “It’s an issue that’s stretched beyond what our actual role is,” she said. UCS worked with the University to gauge student perspectives and identify students who could testify about how they have given back to the community. The University decided the legislation would be counterproductive and act as a “barrier to accessibility to college education,” Quinn said. The eight schools that comprise the consortium of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of rhode Island took the same stance on the issue, said Dan egan, AICUrI president. “Students can reap the benefits of all eight campuses,” egan said. he added that he has considered the potential for a student-led group with representatives from each of the AICUrI institutions. neither piece of legislation was passed, demonstrating the “tremendous value” of combining diverse perspectives through collaboration, Quinn added.
Harvard Dining services restricts, restores access to Hillel
earlier this month, harvard university dining services enforced a new restriction disallowing non-Jewish students from eating at the kosher dining hall, the harvard Crimson reported. huds restored dining hall access to these students a week later. the denied access was intended to offset an operating budget deficit, as preparing kosher meals at harvard hillel cost twice as much as preparing meals in the regular dining halls, harvard hillel executive director rabbi Jonah steinberg told the Crimson. the change upset many students, provoking protests. members of hillel feared the decision would be misunderstood and viewed as exclusive, the Crimson reported. the restriction also posed problems for muslim students keeping halal, who would often eat at hillel. the university rescinded the policy, but released a statement urging students to use the dining hall for its intended purpose as an eatery for students keeping kosher.
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in Liberal Medical education and promoting diversity. Bergeron said that the committee will be presenting its full ideas at a later time. “we think that by the end of the semester we will have a cluster of very good ideas that we can put forward,” she said. “our plan was to bring forward a series of things that we can add on to what Brown does very well.” University Librarian and Chair of the Committee on online teaching and Learning harriette hemmasi spoke about the committee’s exploration of new ideas related to expanding the University’s presence in the world of internetbased education. “This could be a very lazy committee,” hemmasi said. “If we just turn on the tV or radio every day we could be bombarded with new information about online teaching and online learning.” The committee is trying to ask and answer unsolved questions about online education and what it means in a changing digital environment, hemmasi said. “(we’re) looking at the connection between Brown’s open curriculum, what Brown thinks of as distinguishing itself and the principles of open education,” hemmasi said. “what’s our responsibility to educate people locally as well as globally, and do we actually have a responsibility in the larger realm?” In response to Baird’s concerns that a large-scale online teaching environment makes it difficult for instructors to keep track of their students’ progress, Bergeron said many of the online platforms allow professors to interact with their students in meaningful ways through collaborative discussion forums. She shared the story of a Princeton instructor who taught her first online class. The teacher started with Baird’s same worries, Bergeron said, but those fears were quickly erased. “Peering into those discussion groups, she got a better sense of what students were thinking about these concepts than she was getting from her Princeton undergraduates,” she said. The council discussed the possibility of flipping the traditional lecture-homework paradigm using online videos as well as opening up courses to Providence community members who then would also be able to meet regularly with faculty due to their close proximity to Brown. “All of us are in the wild west together,” hemmasi said. “At the same time we’re riding around on our horses, we’re trying to get the cattle going in the same direction. That’s what makes it so exciting — we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to help shape it.” russell Carey, executive vice president for planning and policy and chair of the committee charged with reimagining the Brown campus and community, spoke about the University’s work trying to reconcile the physical separation between College hill and Jewelry District campuses and “looking into how those two areas can be as seamless as possible.” Carey said the University has purchased parking spots on olive and Benevolent Streets. The University will also turn 250 Jewelry District spaces “essentially into a Brown parking lot,” he said. Dean of the Faculty Kevin McLaughlin P’12 presented the work of the Committee on Faculty recruitment, Career Development and retention. “what kind of community is the Brown faculty going to be?” he said. “one of the things that is often said at Brown and about Brown by the faculty is that there is something that makes Brown special. That specialness is what we need to get a better description of and a better understanding of.” McLaughlin spoke about attempting to increase diversity among faculty as well as the possibility of offering nonmonetary incentives such as a tuition benefit for faculty members who have children enrolled at Brown or at other universities. “we did see a significant variance between Brown and its peers” in tuition benefits, McLaughlin said. “with the exception of harvard, which offers nothing, the benefit is significantly lesser at Brown than it is at its peers.” Several current students expressed disappointment that the faculty committee does not have any undergraduate representatives, in contrast to the other strategic planning committees. “There are a ton of students who I feel would be so interested in voicing their concerns,” said BUCC member Marisabel Agosto ’13. Undergraduate Council of Students President Anthony white ’13 said after the meeting that though he was “content” with the work of the strategic planning committees, he shared Agosto’s concerns. “More could be done, especially with the faculty committee,” white said. “I think it’s going to produce some substantial and valuable changes … but I think it could be better.”
By saraH PereLMan
the Brown DAILy herALD weDneSDAy, noVeMBer 28, 2012
r.I. to ‘move forward’ with affordable Care act
Lieutenant Governor elizabeth roberts addressed the concern that the Affordable Care Act allows the federal government to strong-arm states in a lecture tuesday afternoon, emphasizing that the law encourages states to adopt unique, innovative strategies for their health care systems. roberts spoke to a packed room tuesday at the office of Continuing education. “The primary goal of obamacare is the expansion of access to health insurance,” roberts told an audience consisting largely of students and faculty members at the Alpert Medical School. The form of this expansion will vary greatly from state to state since the government is “pushing states to innovate,” she said, and a federal system will only be imposed on states that elect not to create a system of their own. Several initiatives in rhode Island are currently looking at how to adapt their system, roberts said. “we can look at change and have the federal government pay the bill.” Small states like rhode Island often have difficulty finding the resources to research avenues of medical reform, she said. But government grants under obama have enabled the women and Infants hospital and the University of rhode Island to embark on multi-million dollar projects examining ways to improve specific aspects of health care policy, she said. roberts stressed the importance of exploring new ways to improve health care while reducing costs, showing a graph depicting the rise of U.S. health care costs. “The status quo is not sustainable,” she said. “we need to make sure we can move forward.” the federal government has charged each state with creating a user-friendly online marketplace for insurance where individuals whose health care is subsidized by the government and those who pay in full will be able to compare health care costs, she said. States that choose not to create their own marketplace can enroll in the federal exchange, she said. Insurance companies will no longer be permitted to refuse coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, roberts said. Medicaid will be expanded to include citizens under a certain income bracket, which will be 100 percent federally funded for the first three years. Though these changes will benefit some people, she said, for most of the audience members “nothing about this law changes your world.” She expressed hope that states will be less opposed to the new health care plan when they realize how much money they will receive from the federal government. She hopes innovations will encourage more research about population health — examining ways to prevent health problems by looking at factors such as clean air and healthy food that could prevent disease. roberts addressed what has been considered the most controversial aspect of obamacare, the individual mandate, saying that the mandate is necessary to improve the entire system. “The more people that are in the pool (of health-insured citizens), the better we can evaluate the system,” roberts said. “Then we can look at reforming the system in a cost-effective way.” roberts said the road forward may present challenges but added that the state is embracing the act. “we have decided to move forward here in rhode Island,” she said.
the Brown DAILy herALD weDneSDAy, noVeMBer 28, 2012
campus news 5
sors came to France to give a week of lectures he was scheduled to offer before the program was moved. once the students settled into toulouse, Forman said the program’s facilitators “really tried to stay with some of the themes that we were supposed to be learning in tunisia.” while Forman needed to change some of her original plans, such as studying French instead of Arabic upon getting to toulouse, she said she is still getting a valuable study abroad experience. France has a large tunisian population, which has allowed her to get a different perspective on tunisian life and immigration, she said. “It’s made me incredibly grateful for the open curriculum that has gotten me to this point,” Forman said, adding that Brown teaches “this sense of flexibility and that it’s okay to take lessons from one experience and use them for another.” In an effort to make up for the program’s unexpected change of locations, the oIP is providing travel grants to support an independent research project that the Brown students will carry out in Morocco after they finish their time in toulouse. “we were able to come up with a creative solution for students to engage in some way with north Africa,” Brostuen said. egypt evacuation The last two years have yielded what seems to be a high number of natural disasters and displays of political unrest that have affected students abroad. At the end of January 2011, two Brown students were evacuated from Alexandria, egypt where they had been studying abroad through a Brown-approved alternate program offered by Middlebury College. The evacuations followed the continued protests surrounding the administration of then-President hosni Mubarak. Because Middlebury made the decision to evacuate the students near the beginning of the semester, Brown gave the two students the option of returning to campus for the remainder of the spring term. “That’s how we were able to make the best of a difficult situation,” Brostuen said. For the students, though, returning to campus after being evacuated was not ultimately the most feasible option. After a lot of thought, Amanda Labora ’13 ended up deciding to take a leave of absence upon returning from egypt. “I think that those around me, including myself, underestimated the emotional impact of that experience,” she said. “we did witness a lot of violence, and it was kind of a shocking thing to go through ... and I don’t think I was even ready to process the experience at the time I came back,” she added. Labora said she appreciated how much Brostuen and her professors and deans supported her throughout the process of getting home safely. Looking back, though, she said she wishes someone had followed up on how she was handling her experience personally. “At the time, I honestly didn’t realize the impact that it had had on me,” she said. while the office of residential Life found an available dorm room and professors opened up spots in their courses for her, Labora said it was “ultimately my choice to take a leave because I found it too difficult in the circumstance.” “I had these questions and nobody really knew the answer because this kind of thing hadn’t happened before,” she said. Losing control over the situation and having her expectations suddenly change was “disconcerting,” she added. “It’s really easy to assume that because everything turned out well, it was going to turn out well, and that wasn’t necessarily the case,” she said. After deciding not to return to Brown right away, Labora worked at an emergency room in Providence last April and is now continuing her courses on campus with plans to graduate this May.
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tion protocol, Brostuen said. recent technological advancements have enabled stronger and more constant communication of essential information, Brostuen said, noting that 10 years ago, it was not “as easy to get (your) hands on information very quickly about what’s happening around the world.” he said a downside of such an instantaneous stream of information, made available through a variety of news services, is that “there’s also a tendency to sensationalize.” The oIP primarily relies on sources such as the International SoS and the overseas Security Advisory Council for accurate, unbiased information, he said. Following the initial outbreak of violence in egypt, internet and cellphone communications were shut down, but program directors in the U.S. were able to maintain limited contact with the program in egypt through landline usage, The herald reported at the time. Amanda Labora ’13, one of the students evacuated from Alexandria, said she also received a call at the airport from Brostuen to check in and to let her know the logistics of returning to complete the semester at Brown if she chose to do so. And when evacuating tunisia in September, Sarah Forman ’13, a former herald senior staff writer, said she was able to text with a dean on call at Brown to help facilitate the transition to France where program participants were relocated. In areas that could potentially face a threat, the oIP depends especially on first-hand accounts of what is happening on the ground from on-site staff and personnel at the Brown-approved programs, Brostuen said. Both abroad and on campus, University officials and third-party officials are always monitoring the situation, he added. when unexpected instability arises that might result in evacuating students, the oIP relies on state department bulletins and follows “the lead of those who are closest to things on the ground,” Brostuen said. israel tensions The University most recently faced the potential need to evacuate students from Israel in light of increased unrest in the region earlier this month. But the two Brown students studying in tel Aviv and haifa are currently continuing with their programs. Though people are “very shaken” by the violence and political unrest across the country, Chelsea Feuchs ’14 said she feels safe and that daily university life has gone on fairly normally. recent airstrikes have not been targeted at haifa. “one of the things about coming to a region that experiences threat as frequently as Israel does is that their government and their universities are really, really well-equipped to handle student security as well as general national security,” she said. Feuchs decided to study abroad at University of haifa because she wants to work as a “Jewish professional, possibly as a rabbi” in the future, she said. “Israel was the place, and the only place, to do that.” Some aspects of daily life are much affected by the country’s turmoil, she said. Because local Israelis have been called to the reserves — Israel’s army is made up of civilians — Feuchs said it has been difficult “to have some of your best friends on campus one day and potentially in danger the next.” haifa, where Feuchs is directly enrolled, has made it clear there is no need to evacuate at present. Feuchs said haifa has emphasized its commitment to international students
spending a semester in their program and that “they will follow through on that promise.” haifa is also taking necessary precautions and security measures and constantly monitoring the situation, she said. haifa and other host universities have been communicating regularly with Israeli security authorities, who act according to advisements from the Israel Defense Forces, Brostuen previously told The herald. Feuchs said she contacted the oIP when the potential to evacuate arose and communication between Brown and haifa has exceeded what she has seen herself. “There’s reason to stay aware and reason to stay concerned, but not reason to completely alter your life,” Feuchs said. Students at Ben Gurion University were recently evacuated from Beersheba, she said. The majority of information comes from the University of haifa, she said, but haifa is in ongoing contact with the oIP. If Brown determined it was no longer safe to stay in the country, she said she would listen to their recommendation. She said her experience studying in Israel has allowed her to “understand the Israeli mindset and way of life more than I ever expected” since “conflict and threat and war is unfortunately a pretty frequent part of life in Israel.” Seeing how people cope with the unrest and continue to carry on their everyday lives has given her an immersive experience, she said, adding that “I don’t feel that the conflict or the threat has detracted at all from that.” A new york University program in tel Aviv has been suspended and students were evacuated to London Sunday, according to a nov. 20 Insidehighered article. Participating students were given the option of finishing the semester at nyU or one of several centers in London, Prague or Florence, according to the article. while the students were determined not to be in “proximate or imminent danger,” nyU “wanted to avoid a situation” where students would face challenges getting home later in the semester, wrote John Beckman, a nyU spokesman, in an email to Insidehighered. tunisia to toulouse A demonstration at the U.S. embassy in tunisia earlier this fall resulted in the evacuation of two Brown students who were taking part in an approved alternative program offered by the School for International training. After subsequent violence from the protests prompted the state department to place tunisia on the travel warning list, the program was moved to toulouse, France, where the students are now finishing out the remainder of the semester. Forman said the original goal was to return to tunisia after two weeks, but “early in october, the program decided it that it was still too risky to go back.” Forman said she was never in direct danger since the violence was not in the university’s immediate surroundings. Several students in the program left some of their belongings in tunisia because they initially were told that their move to toulouse was only temporary. Despite this and other minor inconveniences, Forman said the transition was relaxed and normal. “Brown was ridiculously supportive and really, really helpful,” she said. The director of the program in tunisia also accompanied the students to toulouse and will remain there for the duration of the program, and one of the profes-
Join the Club | simon henriques
Cashew apples | will ruehle
Class notes | Philip trammell
The real cost of walmart
where’s the only place where one can easily purchase a dress shirt, a basketball and a tomato? The neighborhood walmart, of course. The world’s largest corporation and retailer has expanded at a rapid clip since its first store opened in Arkansas. The company, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, has come to exemplify the distinctly American corporate ethos, yet it is arguably one of the most un-American things that exists today. By its mere existence, walmart is a prime example of the dangers of unbridled growth. Consumers may benefit, but don’t let walmart’s slogan of “everyday low prices” mislead you. There’s a much higher price to pay for frequenting this corporation. After all, why support local businesses and pay more for a slightly higherquality good when we can just go to walmart? why bother about the plight of the walmart workers? If these workers find the conditions so difficult, can’t they just leave their jobs and let others who are more willing fill in for them? In the end, walmart’s just a store, right? These arguments fuel the walmart machine. The perennial top dog of the Fortune 500, walmart reaps profits of approximately $50 million each day and would rank among the world’s 25 largest economies if it were a country. These statistics are the result of Americans’ begrudging acceptance of walmart as necessary to maintain their standards of living. The obvious reason why people shop at walmart is to obtain everything they need in one place at low prices. But local businesses aren’t the only ones hurt by the perpetuation of this cycle. employees are made to work unreasonable hours without overtime pay, especially during days like Black Friday. workers’ health benefits are nearly useless, and their market-driven wages make it impossible for them to support themselves or their families. As a result, many workers who depend on their jobs at walmart for sustenance and cannot quit are forced to go on government welfare programs. The winning words Project estimates that with a dollar increase in wages for walmart workers, millions of tax dollars could be saved. If left unchecked, walmart will continue to stem local business growth and eventually stamp out the unique characteristics of the places where it sets up shop. recent failed nationwide strikes against walmart indicate that nothing short of a massive consumer exodus from walmart or government intervention will have any impact on its unchecked growth and dominance. It actually isn’t an extreme thought to conceive of walmart as a monopoly, similar to Standard oil in the early 20th century. we find no legitimate reason as to why one family can amass the same wealth as the bottom 41.5 percent of U.S. families combined. each heir of the walton fortune would need to spend more than $350 million a year for the next 40 years to exhaust the family’s $89.5 billion net worth. every member of society has an inalienable right to opportunity and life. But walmart doesn’t actually do society a service. It does society a convenience, and it’s time that we learned that convenience sometimes comes at a cost. hopefully walmart can learn from Jim Sinegal, the chief executive officer of Costco, who takes prides in the retailer’s policy of paying an average hourly wage of $17 and the fact that it boasts one of the lowest rates of employee turnover for a retail store. Sinegal doesn’t even claim that Costco’s treatment of employees is motivated by “altruistic” reasons. rather, he said it is simply “good business.” walmart, by wielding such outsized power, would do society more than enough good by reaching out to the less fortunate and paying their workers a decent wage.
the Brown DAILy herALD weDneSDAy, noVeMBer 28, 2012
editorial Cartoon b y j acq u e l i n e f e i l e r
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the Brown DAILy herALD weDneSDAy, noVeMBer 28, 2012
terventionist state. David ricardo is not interested in free trade because of “comparative advantage.” That is a side-note to his real reason — the need for capitalist economies to expand into new markets, or in other words, the capitalist need for colonialism and imperialism. Joseph Schumpeter, most famous for the principle of creative destruction, argues that capitalism is doomed to fail and will be replaced by socialism. of course, having only one theoretical method is not always a problem. There is only one main method used in the natuguessed randomly. And yet, even after their utter failure to even hint at the 2008 financial crisis, the fundamental theories of economics as they are taught today remain unquestioned. nor are legitimate alternatives being considered. And this is not because none exist. to name just a few major schools, there are the Marxists, the Austrian school and the neo-Keynesians. while these are not perfect, they have also not been “disproven” as some economics textbooks would have you believe. They all have answers to the classic critiques, — the neoclassical “Chicago school,” which elaborated most of the major theories used in economics courses today. But the use of economics as a justification is much deeper than that. It justifies not only some of the nation’s current policies, but capitalism itself. This is as true for the neoclassicals as for the Keynesians who preceded them. Capitalism can afford to be criticized as racist, sexist, conducive to social stratification, fundamentally undemocratic, environmentally destructive and whatever else the other social sciences can throw at it. Members of the ruling class can always say they can change, and that the problems we are facing do not come from the capitalist system but from somewhere else. So long as they monopolize the study of the economic process it is very difficult for us to even begin to determine if and how characteristics inherent to capitalism create these problems. I am trying to study a theory that does this, Marxist economics, and I can tell you that it is almost impossible to get more than a cursory glance at how it works in any class at Brown. The need to make it difficult to blame capitalism for its inherent problems is why economics textbooks often seem more like propaganda for corporations and the wealthy than an account of reality. It is why the study of economics has been monopolized. luke lattanzi-silveus ’14 is independently concentrating in Political economy in order to truly study economics and can be contacted at email@example.com.
The monopolization of economics
economics as it is taught today makes for a very odd social science. In political science, international relations and sociology one studies many different schools of thought. economics is unique among the social sciences in that it has only one theoretical framework, only one way of understanding how the economy works. what this means is that there is no room for debate, no room for critical thought and no room for alternate ways of understanding economics. There is only a single set of theories, and these are presented as intuitive “facts.” This particular set of theories is known as “neoclassical Keynesian Synthesis.” But the economics department simply calls it “economics,” the only possible way of thinking about the economy. you are expected to learn the ideas and apply them, not question them or learn about alternatives. This lack of openness for debate is one of the reasons that economics departments do not teach the history of economics at academic institutions like Brown. A history of economics would force them to actually mention that there are alternative theories such as Marx’s theory of economics and tell students what the economists they keep citing actually thought. Adam Smith uses the expression “invisible hand” only twice in “The wealth of nations” and actually advocates a highly in-
how is it that this very unreliable set of theories is taught at all, let alone uncontested?
ral sciences — the scientific method — and there is nothing wrong with that. The scientific method works. It has been shown time and time again to be correct and have a near perfect predictive ability. But the track record of economics is much less sterling. In fact, economists are notoriously unreliable in their predictions. A 20-year study conducted by Philip tetlock showed that economists are little better at predicting future outcomes than anyone else. In fact, when given three possible choices for the future — increased growth, recession or growth continuing at the same rate — economists actually did worse than if they had just
and I would argue many of them explain the recent crisis a lot better than the economics department. how is it that this very unreliable set of theories is taught at all, let alone uncontested? The answer lies in the usefulness of economics to the ruling class. In the 1970s, with the rise of corporate power, the capitalist class found itself able to push through an agenda of neoliberal reform. It destroyed unions and workers’ power, cut taxes, reduced spending on welfare programs and lifted restrictions on capital flight. In order to justify this, it promoted a set of ideas that claimed that what members were doing was good for everyone
rape happens here, too
The dean was sympathetic but never even suggested the idea of calling the police. She was told that she had two options. First, she could request a disciplinary hearing on the grounds of “sexual misconduct.” There would be witnesses, faculty advisers and hours of face-to-face time in a room with her rapist. to make matters worse, the dean informed her that her rapist would at most get suspended for three semesters, meaning she would still be on campus when he returned. her other option was to pursue a no-contact order. This does not function like a reI am telling her story because for survivors, anonymity is the only refuge. If you are going to feel isolated, you might as well not trap yourself in a panopticon at the same time. I am intimately familiar with this reaction: I am also a survivor of sexual assault. This story should send a shockwave through the University. Brown administrators need to see the damage they are inflicting on their students with their current policies on sexual assault. During the whole process, contacting law enforcement was never offered to her by administrators, nor was she rape? how many more survivors will it take? The fraternities are a place to start this conversation. nearly two years ago, I wrote a column about the dangers of sexual assault here at Brown, particularly in the frats on wriston Quad. I received a huge response, mostly positive from the majority of the Brown community and overwhelmingly negative from the Greek male community. I was even told in an email from one fraternity member that I “do not know of anyone sexually assaulted at a Brown Greek house because we make sure it doesn’t happen here.” well, the woman I am writing about was raped in a frat. And I know a lot of other women who have had issues there as well. while I am in no way suggesting that fraternities are the only place where sexual assault is a concern, they are symbols of the sexism that exists on college campuses nationwide. Fraternities are just the tip of the iceberg, though. we need to confront the attitudes surrounding sexual assault from all angles. The idea that there are “gray areas” in the definition of rape and that “violent rape” (i.e. rep. todd Akin’s “legitimate rape”) should be treated any more or less severely than any other kind sex without consent, needs to be eradicated. The lid needs to be blown off of this horrible system of terror and repression. we can begin by making changes here on campus that will better protect the survivors of sexual assault and make sure a just solution is found. Chris norris-leBlanc ’13 is from rhode Island. he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
nearly a month ago, former Amherst student Angie epifano published her horrifying account of being raped in The Amherst Student and the subsequent mistreatment she suffered at the hands of college administrators. If you haven’t read it yet, you owe it to her to do so. her revelations came in the wake of an Amherst fraternity printing t-shirts for its annual pig roast depicting a battered woman in her underwear roasting over a fire on a spit. Amherst, a supposed bastion of progressive thought, was unmasked, and its ugly core of misogyny was exposed. I am writing this column to tell you that what happened to Angie, from her rape to her experiences with an ignorant and unsympathetic counseling system, has happened here at Brown, another supposed haven for progressivism. A Brown student was raped. But she doesn’t like to use the word rape because she doesn’t want to be dubbed hysterical or weak or a liar — like Angie was. So, she has resorted to the euphemism “he had sex with me without my consent.” She immediately took the steps that Brown health Services recommends. She reported her rape a day after it happened to Brown’s Psychological Services, which then sent her to a dean in the office of Student Life.
Brown administrators need to see the damage they are inflicting on their students with their current policies on sexual assault.
straining order, and though it stipulates that neither student is allowed to contact the other, they could still see each other anywhere on campus or in the city. eventually, she broke down. Just seeing her rapist triggered full-blown episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder. And while she was forced to take a medical leave, her rapist remained here as if nothing had happened. while he enjoyed his freedom, she had to listen to a psychiatrist who told her that at her age, she should want to have sex anyway. She also had to sit at home, unable yet to return to Brown while her rapist walked through the Van wickle Gates. given anything resembling a viable option to confront her rapist within the framework here at Brown. At Amherst, when epifano’s story was published, President Biddy Martin called for an open meeting to discuss policies on sexual misconduct. within a week, the college’s policies had been overhauled. This same response is desperately needed here at Brown. President Paxson, this is your chance to make your first mark on our community. It is time to confront this issue on a systematic level as well. even if we change things here at Brown, which we must, how many times will this scenario have to replicate itself before we change the way we think about
By JuLie yue
weDneSDAy, noVeMBer 28, 2012
students turn will to words during national writing month
Beatnik poets in the 1950s, “Doctor who”-inspired time travel and journeys into forgotten memories — in these worlds some Brown students spent this past month as they wrote stories for national novel writing Month. Affectionately known as nanowriMo — pronounce it as you like — these students are trying to hit the 50,000-word mark by Friday, amidst midterms, research, social lives and much-needed sleep. Participants started writing at 12 a.m. nov. 1 and are expected to reach the 50,000 word count before 11:59 p.m. nov. 30. one can either write a complete novel in 50,000 words, or write the first 50,000 words of a longer piece of fiction. Aimee Lucido ’13 participated in the event last year and worked on a science fiction piece that she had started earlier as a summer project. “I started writing around July 1,” she said, “500 words a day until november, so 500 times 120,” she paused briefly over the figures, “which is 60,000 words before november.” Lucido, a literary arts and computer science concentrator described how she has dabbled in cave writing and electronic writing, though she said she likes to keep her two concentrations separate. She found the inspiration for her novel, which is about time travel, in an episode of the long-running British television series “Doctor who.” Science fiction has its own particular difficulties such as maintaining its internal logic and timeline and moving beyond mere plot points to “(make) the prose,” she said. to finish her story, she set herself a personal goal of 35,000 words for the month of november, slightly below the official word count. She also took advantage of the fiction class she was taking at Brown to work on her novel. But she said it was a time-consuming endeavor. “I had to do it every day. I would finish my work for the day, and before going to sleep, I’d write.” rigina Louise Gallagher ’15.5, a literary arts and biophysics concentrator, is currently taking a semester off, working on a genetics research project at an institution near her home in Long Island. Gallagher began working on her piece before november, having started it during her senior year of high school. “I got 50 pages into it,” she said earlier this month, “and because of school and everything, it didn’t really work.” She expected to get more time to work on it during her gap semester, but soon realized the challenge of writing a novel while working full time. “Some days I have to really push myself,” she said. “Some days I can only write 200 (words).” Gallagher refers to her work as primarily literary fiction, but with historical elements as the novel takes place in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. She said she took inspiration from writers and artists like Flannery o’Connor and Bob Dylan and is experimenting with writing that is more internal and stream-ofconsciousness style. She explored the use of voice while writing, asking herself how best to form sentences and use words in an organic way, she said. She said the nanowriMo website has been incredibly motivational. “I always update my word count,” she said, “and I feel so empowered.” nanowriMo also sends motivational letters called “nanoMail” from writers and organizes meet-ups for its participants. Gallagher said she hopes to attend such a meet-up one day, “even if it’s just a bunch of dorky old people,” because it would be helpful to know other participants pursuing the project along with her. emily wu ’16 is playing more by the official rules. on nov. 1, she had just started her novel with a word count of only 1,000 words. She had participated in the event as a freshman and sophomore in high school, and lately, she said she felt upset about how little she was writing, and decided to “throw (her)self at it.” Despite the practice she had from before, she said she is still slow, and it takes her about three hours to write the 1,666 words a day that is required. “I thought that I would be taking my free time out and writing instead of spending time with my friends,” wu said. “But I spend the same amount of time studying and hanging out with my friends, and writing comes out of my sleep. It’s terrible, but that’s the way it is.” As motivation, she used to keep a word count on her door, she said, “but I keep getting behind so now it’s a word deficit!” her story is about a man named Jason who asks a stranger called Sam for a favor, and must then go through the stranger’s memories when Sam disappears. It “started off as science fiction, but it’s becoming something else,” she said. “I think it’s going to start becoming trippy, a bit psychological, and there might be some horror elements.” national novel writing Month was founded by freelance writer Chris Baty in July 1999 as a small group of 21 people in the San Francisco Bay area. According to the nanowriMo website, they came together to write because they wanted to “make noise” — and because they thought it would
Courtesy of aImee luCIdo
brown students, including aimee Lucido ’13, pictured above, participated in nanowriMo, aiming to write 50,000-word stories by the month’s end. be easier to get dates as novelists. they began an annual tradition that has been going strong for 13 years. with some help from blogs and major media outlets like the Los Angeles times and national Public radio, the number of participants has multiplied to more than 200,000 since nanowriMo’s inception, and the once-local project has gone international. the month of the event also moved from July to november “to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather,” according to the website. the 50,000-word length requirement makes the end product a small novel, as works under 40,000 words are generally categorized as novellas. the work can be any genre of fiction, ranging from epic poems to fanfiction. Since this event is not a competition and the winner’s prize is self-fulfillment — and a downloadable certificate — these rules are more like guidelines. the three participants agreed the month was less about winning the downloadable certificate and more about the process of writing itself and the ability to end with a product to call their own. “I wanted to do something that I didn’t think I could do,” wu said. “It’s challenging to express what I would feel,” Gallagher said.“If someone gave you $50,000 and you could touch it ... each of these (bills) is mine. that’s how I’m going to feel. I’m going to look at the 50,000 words and feel these are my words.”
Physics inspires art and dance at third annual show
faculty members and guests admired the assorted art while snacking on hors d’oeuvres. “we have a lot of students who are artists but also love physics. I wanted to make sure they felt recognized,” said Jim Valles, physics department chair, who came up with the idea for the event three years ago. “The response has been surprising — especially the number of people doing things, not just in the physics department,” Valles added. Many of the entries were inspired by physics or came from physics students and professors, though this was not a requirement for submissions. “Just physics would be too restrictive,” Valles said. one of the entries that drew the most attention was a sculpture by visual arts concentrator Fahmina Ahmed ’13 called “Sqrt r^2 – x^2 – y^2.” The sculpture comprised two square hanging wooden planes suspended by ropes. The ropes were strategically dyed black so when viewers stepped back, they saw a sphere. “It is a sculpture based on the equation of a sphere. … I wrote a code to figure out where to paint each string to ‘draw’ a sphere in space,” Ahmed wrote in a description of her piece. Another entry that garnered attention was a sculpture by Gerald Diebold, professor of chemistry, irreverently entitled “Chemical Bird Thing.” The sculpture comprised red neon lights inside a clear plastic tube shaped like an abstract bird. “I think it’s quite spectacular. we’ve never had anything like it,” said Jane Martin, a staff member of the physics department who has been in charge of the event for the past three years, of Diebold’s piece. A couple of the entries took a playful view of the serious subject matter of physics. Savvas Koushiappas, assistant professor of physics, submitted a sequence of three photographs in which a student studies Feynman diagrams, falls asleep with her head in the book and wakes up with the diagrams imprinted on her face in ink. Koushiappas said he took the pictures when he was a student. “It was just fun to do. It’s more funny if you understand what Feynman diagrams are,” he said. Meanwhile, Deelan oller, a physics graduate student, submitted photographs of famous physicists wearing brightly colored and patterned face paint. “I was going to do one last year with physicists’ heads on bikini bodies,” oller said, smiling. After the attendees had 45 minutes to amble around and admire the art, the dance troupe Fusion took the floor to perform. nathan weinberger ’13, a physics concentrator, danced in both pieces. In the first piece, he elegantly twisted and turned with nicole Parma ’14 to the sway of a soft, relaxing soundtrack. In the second piece, he and Parma joined four additional dancers in a faster, more upbeat medley. “Both physics and dance involve a certain creativity,” weinberger said of his divergent passions. “This event is great because we can see the art side of fellow physicists. Science is not just about using logic. you also have to use the right side of your brain and creativity,” said Jim Liu GS, who is studying physics. “It’s really cool that physics professors and students have this artistic side to them,” said erica Kahn ’14. on the way out, attendees were encouraged to take a colorful wooden doorstop painted by todd French, a janitor who cleans the building. Students selected from triangular wooden doorstops painted with rainbows, stripes, dots, peace signs and Boston Celtics logos. “Life is like a box of doorstops. you never know what you’re gonna get,” French wrote in a sign on his “Doorstop Art 2012” exhibit.
“sqrt r^2- x^2-y^2” is a sculpture by fahmina ahmed ’13 that is based on the equation of a sphere.
By Maxine JoseLow
emIly gIlBert / herald
Science and art merged yesterday in a flurry of photography, sculpture and dance at the physics department’s third annual Art Show. “This was the best Art Show we’ve had so far,” said Sara tortora, physics department manager. More people
attended the event this year because it was held in the “bigger, brighter space” of the Barus and holley lobby, instead of in the faculty lounge on the building’s seventh floor, tortora said. The lobby was abuzz with chatter as undergraduates, grad students,
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