At Convocation, an appeal to common humanity Grant to fund math institute

By ana aLvarez Senior Staff Writer By nicoLe Boucher Senior Staff Writer

Daily Herald
the Brown
vol. cxlv, no. 62 | Thursday, September 2, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891
In his keynote address to the members of the Class of 2014, Professor of Africana Studies Barr ymore Bogues urged students to consider all people foremost as fellow human beings. Braving the unusually hot September weather, incoming firstyears joined graduate and medical students to process through the Van Wickle Gates after a long day of shopping classes. Upperclassmen also sat on the Main Green’s shady patches to listen to Bogues and President Ruth Simmons welcome the new class. A leading intellectual in Africana histor y and political theor y, Bogues focused on the notion of “the human” and warned students against classifying people as the continued on page 4

Brown received a $15.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation on Aug. 4 to fund a mathematics institute that will focus on the connection between mathematics and computational research. The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics is the first of its kind funded by the National Science Foundation in New England, according to the press release announcing the award.  It will bring top-level researchers to Providence and will make Brown one of the most esteemed math research hubs in the country, Senior Vice President of Research Clyde Briant wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. “The role of the institute is to create the right environment — from the scientific vision and the setting of priorities to the infrastructure and computational tools — which supports the vital research projects of its participating scholars as well as the training and mentoring of the next generation of mathematicians,” wrote Professor of Mathematics Jill Pipher, who will lead the institute, in an e-mail to The Herald. A variety of programs will be established to achieve these goals. continued on page 3

Stephanie London / Herald

Freshmen were welcomed on the first day of classes following their walk through the Van Wickle Gates.

Bru-‘no’: U. tells Cicilline not to use logo
By BradLey siLverman Staff Writer

Congressional candidate Mayor David Cicilline ’83 has come under fire for using Brown’s logo in a fundraising appeal for Rhode Island’s 1st District race. Anthony Gemma, one of Cicilline’s rivals for the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy, has accused Cicilline of knowingly and illegally using the University’s corporate logo in a fundraising appeal. The mailer — sent to alums — shows a picture of Cicilline above

the Brown logo. The text reads, “Can you believe there’s only one Brown alum” — Dan Maffei ’90, D-N.Y. — “in the entire U.S. Congress? Let’s change that.” On the mailer, the Cicilline campaign logo

does not appear with his customary red and blue letters on a white background, instead using white words on a red background — Brown colors. Gemma first brought attention to the mailer in an Aug. 23 press release, denouncing what he called

Cicilline’s “cheap and deceitful campaign tactic” and charging that the mayor had endangered Brown’s tax-exempt status by implying that the University had endorsed him. Federal law prohibits Brown, as an educational institution, from participating in political campaigns. “Anybody in politics knows that you do not put 501(c)(3)s in jeopardy by putting their resources at risk,” said Dan Mercer, Gemma’s campaign manager. In a statement, the University wrote, “Brown University does not continued on page 6

Provost’s office down one deputy
By Ben noBLe Staff Writer


Metcalf renovations move profs to wayland Square
By Lindor Qunaj Senior Staff Writer

Courtesy of Arturo Godoy

Professor of Anthropology Stephen Houston and a team excavated a Maya king’s tomb this summer, finding the king’s remains and those of human sacrifices. see page 2.

Professors in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences moved into a temporary home at 229 Waterman St. over the summer. The relocation to Wayland Square was caused by the longterm construction taking place in the Metcalf Lab, scheduled to be fully renovated by fall 2011. James Morgan, a professor in the department who has been involved in building plans for the Metcalf Lab since 1995, said the renovation was much needed. The building was “in the worst condition on campus,” he said. The new Metcalf Lab will have an

updated and wheelchair-accessible auditorium, a new roof and energyefficient windows, The Herald reported in July. As for the temporary building in Wayland Square, Morgan said it was “quite nice and clean.”The problems that plagued the old Metcalf space are not an issue in the new site, he said: “Things work; we don’t have flooding and paint isn’t peeling.” Nick Varone ’12, who has worked in Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences William Warren’s Virtual Environment Navigation lab since his freshman year, also had good things to say about the lab space on Waterman Street. “It’s a lot more modern, and everything is continued on page 3

Deputy Provost Vincent Tompkins ’84 left the University July 1 to lead a private school in New York City. He had served as deputy provost since 2005. A search to find his replacement began over the summer, Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 told The Herald. “He is a huge loss for us,” Kertzer said. “He just had a terrific ability to have very high standards for Brown, yet be able to deal with people in a way that made them feel good and comfortable.” Tompkins will serve as headmaster of Saint Ann’s School, a private school in Brooklyn offering prekindergarten through twelfth grade. The school is known for its academics and unique approach to grading — students receive teacher-written reports instead of grades. “Students here derive their motivation from things that have a deeper meaning than getting a good grade,” Tompkins told the Wall Street Journal in May. “What St. Ann’s is doing is working powerfully, and I am going to figure out a way to sustain that and hopefully even make it better.” In a statement on its website, the school announced, “Vince has demonstrated throughout his cacontinued on page 2


News.....1–4 Metro......5–6 Sports.....7–9 Editorial....10 Opinion.....11 Today........12

News, 3
Powering LiL rhody A graduate school class project led to statewide climate legislation

Metro, 5
higher education The New England School of Alternative Horticultural Studies opens this month

Opinions, 11
Power of evaLuations Yue Wang ‘12 questions the democracy present in college classrooms

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Come see us tonight at the activities fair in the OMAC from 7–10 p.m.

195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island


Prof. unearths Maya king’s ‘sinister’ tomb in Guatemala
By sarah juLian Staff Writer

to two and two children around the ages of four to five. Their remains were found in vessels that appeared to have been lit on fire, charring the bodies of the children as a sacrifice for the recently deceased king. According to Scherer, this type of sacrifice for funeral purposes was only found in the case of kings or other very highstatus individuals. “A lot of misery went into the construction of the tomb,” Houston said. This find has provided researchers with important information about Maya civilization. Because of the tropical climate, wood carvings almost never survive to be examined by archaeologists. This discovery, however, included wooden artifacts that were preserved within the stone-and-mudsealed tomb. Although many of the samples were well-preserved by the tomb environment, Houston said that it appeared as if the king had been laid to rest on



Hear Prof. Houston talk about his team’s discovery
watch the video at

In what he termed a “colossally important find,” Professor of Anthropology Stephen Houston and his team of experts discovered the tomb of an ancient Maya king this summer. Located in Guatemala, the tomb enclosed the remains of the dead ruler, along with extraordinarily well-preserved examples of Maya pottery, paints and sculpture, as well as “cremated, butchered babies” and “human body parts in ceramic vessels,” according to Houston. “For us, it was a sinister kind of discovery,” Houston said. Within the tomb and in surrounding “caches,” the team found vessels containing the remains of children. Andrew Scherer, an assistant professor of anthropology who analyzed the human remains, said there were four children around the ages of one

a scaffold which subsequently collapsed, smashing many of the objects. Some items were in such fragile condition that the team called in a conservator, an expert skilled in preservation of ancient artifacts. Houston said he wanted to be careful that the team didn’t engage in an “organized pillage,” much like the looters of the ’60s and ’70s who stripped bare many ancient ruins. The tomb also included pots that Houston called “museum quality” and that he expects will be on display in museums in Guatemala. He called the art “phenomenal.” “Everything was a royal commission, so it is the highest quality of the time,” he said. The king was dressed as a dancer — the body had “clappers” made of dog or cat teeth on the arms and legs which would have let out “quite a racket,” Houston said. Previously, these had been depicted in sculpture, but never seen.

They found examples of a trade pigment that was considered a precious substance because it sparkles in the sun. Houston said all the accumulated treasure was “like a tyrant going to the grave with heaps of Swiss gold.” The archaeologists also found an example of what Houston called “primordial bling.” The king’s teeth had jade and pyrite inlays so that when the king smiled, “you would see flashes of color and brilliance.” As Houston explained, learning about the city of El Zotz where the tomb was found would be like studying Poland — a state on the margins of major historical players. Learning about these “shock zones” helps to clarify the history of the area around them, he said. Morgan Ritter-Armour ’11 spent July of this summer in Guatemala documenting the artifacts found in the tomb. Some artifacts need to be sketched because all the details aren’t

visible in photographs, Ritter-Armour wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. After learning “technical drawing techniques and some of the archeological techniques for drawing,” she said, she worked with Rhode Island School of Design graduate Kallista Angeloff, drawing ceramic pottery pieces and figurines. These drawings will be retained as the artifacts are studied further. But many of the artifacts only leave more questions. For Scherer, the infant remains lead to questions such as, “Why the young age? What does this tell us?” Houston said that upon opening the tomb he was “most exhilarated” but also “dismayed” because of the time and budget necessary. Scherer said the team cannot yet be sure about the significance of each discovery, but that “in light of the preservation and very controlled excavation … we will be looking at this deposit for years to come.”

Former deputy provost now head of St. Ann’s in n.Y.
continued from page 1 reer as a teacher and administrator how well he understands that the rich and complex interplay between outstanding faculty and students is the backbone of any great educational institution.” Kertzer said he is leading a small, informal committee to find a replacement for Tompkins. Associate Provost Nancy Dunbar is helping coordinate the search, he said. The University listed the job in the Chronicle of Higher Education on June 8, with applications due July 15. “We’ve already received a number of attractive applicants, and we’re getting toward the final stages of the search,” Kertzer said. The deputy provost reports to the provost and works closely with senior administrators to coordinate meetings with deans and department chairs, Kertzer said. The job also entails overseeing the Office of Continuing Education, the Office of Institutional Research and the Office of the Registrar. “Vince is a terrific person,” Kertzer said. “It’ll be hard for anybody to follow in his footsteps.”

Simmons presents budget, stats to faculty
By ashLey aydin Senior Staff Writer


President Ruth Simmons touched on the University’s budget and provided statistics for the class of 2014 at a special faculty meeting held Wednesday. Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 and the chair of the faculty also presented reports. The final budget for this year is not as tight as last year’s budget, Simmons said, adding that she will report more fully on the budget later this fall. “The state of the University is excellent,” Simmons said. She said that all distinguised universities are pushing for ward and that all committees should think together about improvements. Simmons also spoke optimistically about the University’s fundraising efforts. The Brown Annual Fund, the University’s general fundraising campaign, increased by 3 percent over the last fiscal year, she said. The results placed Brown third among Ivy League schools. The Parents Annual Fund is at $7.1 million, and the University is closing in on its $1.6 billion goal

for the Campaign for Academic Enrichment, which ends Dec. 31, Simmons said. The campaign reached $1.54 billion at the end of the fiscal year ending June 30, surpassing the original $1.4 billion goal. Simmons also shared statistics for the class of 2014. Twenty percent were valedictorians, Simmons said, adding that 93 percent were in the top 10 percent of their class. For ty-six percent are receiving financial aid, which puts Brown “closer to the profile of our peers,” Simmons said. Fourteen percent of the freshmen are first-generation college students, while 61 percent are from public secondary schools. Ker tzer also presented his report to the faculty. A search is currently under way for a dean of engineering for the School of Engineering, which was approved by the Corporation in May, he said. Kertzer said there are efforts to form a faculty committee to discuss the needs for engineering and other outlying sciences. There are also efforts to find additional space for the physical sciences, Kertzer said. The provost mentioned that, for

the last several years, there has been work to develop a school of public health rather than keep it as its own department. The school would “transform a single department of community health to four different academic departments,” Kertzer said. He also announced that a highly anticipated report on graduate programs will be out later this month. This will “affect the discussions of the Corporation,” Brown’s highest governing body, which will meet next in October, he said. Cynthia Garcia Coll, professor of education and the new chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, proposed a report from the FEC that included the finalization of a faculty forum focused on issues concerning tenure and tenure review. Garcia Coll said the forum will meet ever y month and deal with one motion and amendment at a time. Garcia Coll said that there will be a change to voting in the monthly faculty meetings, which will involve faculty members voting with clickers. The first faculty forum meeting will be held Sept. 21, she said..

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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, once during orientation and once in July 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. offices are located at 195 Angell St., Providence, r.I. e-mail world wide web: Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2010 by The Brown Daily herald, Inc. All rights reserved.





“Rhode Island is like a scale model of a state.”
— J. Timmons Roberts, Center of Environmental Studies director

new math institute to begin with federal money
continued from page 1 Starting in 2011, the institute will begin two of its main programs — its “hot topics” conference in the summer and its semester-long research projects in the fall. The semester-long projects will select mathematicians with different levels of expertise to “come in and work on themes pertinent to the semester,” said Jan Hesthaven, professor of applied mathematics and associate director of the institute. Workshops and lectures will supplement these research opportunities throughout the semester. The institute will bring together senior researchers, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, enabling the advanced participants to act as advisors and mentors to the grad students during their stay, Pipher wrote. The fall 2011 semester will focus on “Kinetic Theory: Analysis and Computation,” and the spring 2012 projects will focus on “Complex and Arithmetic Dynamics,” according to the institute’s website. Several of the institute’s initiatives will focus on “the connection-building and training of future scientists,” Pipher wrote. Beginning in summer of 2012, the institute will host undergraduate research programs. An advisory board has also been formed to assess ways to improve elementary and secondary education in mathematics across the country, Pipher wrote. The research produced will likely have ver y practical applications as well. Representatives from Google, IBM and Microsoft will ser ve on another advisor y board, giving them the ability to help with programs that direct research towards fields such as health care, finance and national security, according to the press release. It is expected that all of the programs will be fully functional in three years, with the 2010-11 academic year serving as a “ramp up year,” Pipher wrote. Planning the institute has been several years in the making. A team of five faculty members began working on a proposal in June 2008, with help from related departments such as applied mathematics and computer science. “We believe that we had a compelling proposal with a timely theme, namely the interaction of mathematics and the computer,” Pipher wrote. With the availability of Brown’s supercomputer for these projects, Briant wrote, the National Science Foundation could feel “confident that we had that necessary computational power.”

Max Monn / Herald

Metcalf construction — slated to be finished in 2011 — led to the relocation of several labs to Wayland Square.

Metcalf Lab leaked, lacked parking
continued from page 1 carpeted,” he said. “It’s a little bit of a maze and takes some getting used to, but it definitely serves its purpose.” According to Morgan, another of the advantages the new site has over Metcalf is space for parking, a “perennial problem” for his lab. Because his lab primarily researches language acquisition in infants, he must recruit families — many of which come by car — from the local community to come in for the studies. On campus, parking for these participants was limited to part of the parking lot behind Minden Hall, but at the temporary site, there is a parking lot right next to the building. Morgan said his research frequently requires participants to return to the lab more than once, which was made difficult by the limited parking space. “As far as parking goes, this is paradise,” Morgan said of the new Wayland Square location. But one concern that both Morgan and Varone addressed was the new site’s distance from the main campus. Though it wasn’t a major concern for Varone, who had a car to use for the commute, he mentioned that “during the semester, (the distance) will be a lot more of a problem for students.” The virtual environment lab has added an incentive to lure in participants, who are mostly Brown students — it is increasing the hourly compensation for the studies by $5. Varone said the moving process itself was not too much of an issue for the professors and students involved. With the help of a moving company, the relocation, which “could’ve been very troublesome and problematic,” was “only somewhat stressful,” he said. Morgan especially praised Lori Rolf, the manager of his lab. “She’s always done an outstanding job. She took charge of the move and was completely fantastic,” he said. While Morgan said he was happy to have an opportunity to get to know the neighborhood around Wayland Square a little better, he still said that he is “looking forward to moving back to Metcalf and being back on campus.” He said the move back will likely take place early in 2012. “And hopefully the parking situation will be fixed one way or another,” he added.

Grad students’ climate change suggestions inspire legislation
By mark raymond Senior Staff Writer

This summer, a University research project was transformed into legislation aiming to address the effects of climate change in Rhode Island. The new law was supported by Rep. David Segal, D-Providence and East Providence, in the state House of Representatives and Sen. Joshua Miller, D-Cranston, in the state Senate. The piece of legislation — which was passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly in June and became law — adopted three of the 26 recommendations made by students in the fall 2009 seminar, ENVS 2010: “Special Topics in Environmental Studies: Urban Adaptation to Climate Change,” taught by J. Timmons Roberts, director of the Center for Environmental Studies and professor of sociology and environmental studies. Under the new law, the state will establish a commission this fall to determine how climate change will affect Rhode Island and what can be done to mitigate those effects. The law also calls for climate provisions in municipal planning, as well as an emergency response system for natural disasters. One student who was particularly involved in the project was Sara Mersha GS. She pointed out that though not every recommendation

made it into the bill, the creation of a commission was a good start. “We thought there should be an institutional body in the state to take this issue seriously,” Mersha said. “It is our hope that the commission acts as an incubator for future pieces of legislation.” Roberts said the combination of the hard work his students put into the project and the University’s connections within the community was key in making this legislation a reality. “There is an amazing connection between the Center for Environmental Studies and state agencies in Rhode Island,” Roberts said. “It was clear when I arrived last fall that there were decades of good will built up by students and faculty and Rhode Islanders.” Clean Water Action was one of the community groups that worked with the students to turn their report into a bill to present before the General Assembly. “We’re always open to working with students on projects like these,” said the group’s Rhode Island Director Sheila Dormody. “We’ve worked with the Center for Environmental Studies in the past and we appreciate all the work they do around this issue.” Roberts pointed out that such a project was uniquely placed to succeed in Rhode Island, due in part to the state’s small size and the

accessibility of community groups and legislators. “Rhode Island is like a scale model of a state,” Roberts said. “We just had to convince a handful of people that we needed a commission on climate change, and we were able to make it happen.” He also stated that although one group of students started the project, future students working with the Center for Environmental Studies will be involved in the state’s efforts to deal with climate change. “This is a great example of problem-based learning,” Roberts said. “I could see this being integrated into student projects for the next five to 10 years.” Mersha said that although previous ef forts to combat climate change often focused on reducing emissions, this new approach to dealing with the effects of increased temperatures is just beginning to take form in the state. “Rhode Island has thought about climate change from the perspective about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the idea of how we’re going to be affected by it is new to many people,” Mersha said. Dormody said that the recent flooding in Rhode Island was just a sign of what is to come in the future. “We’re already seeing the effects of climate change here in

Rhode Island, and we know we’re going to see even more extreme weather,” Dormody said. “I see the

commission as an important building block to build the political will to address this growing problem.”


continued from page 1 He concluded his address by posing challenging questions that incoming students should consider during their studies at Brown and urging them to “think about people not as ‘others,’ but as ‘another’ — therefore, as humans.” In her welcoming speech, Simmons urged students to embrace “the wonderful blurring of boundaries unusually present at Brown.” This blurring, she said, will help sharpen students’ insights during their academic careers. Simmons also promised the first-years that Brown is continuing to improve resources for them “even in these troubling times.” Garret Johnson ’14 said afterward that he appreciated being addressed by a figure as prominent as Bogues. “Coming from a public high school,” Johnson said, “it is nice to have someone ver y distinguished welcome you.” James Blun ’14 valued Bogues’ message, he said. “He reminded us to focus on the people and the interactions we have when it’s easy to get caught up in studies,” Blun said.



“It is nice to have someone very distinguished welcome you.” — Garret Johnson ’14

Simmons urges first-years to embrace ‘blurring of boundaries’

“other.” This flawed perspective, he said, could lead students to forget that “we are all humans after all.” He recounted his recent visit to Cape Town, South Africa, during which he had watched a news clip on labor strikes occurring in the city. In the clip, Bogues said, he saw a black female demonstrator yell to a policeman, “Tell the minister we are human too.” Bogues also described a photography exhibition he had viewed that showed pictures of inhabitants of a “dump of technology” in Ghana, where trash heaps are filled with discarded electronics. Both the exhibit and the demonstrator’s cr y, he said, reflected human response to being treated as disposable objects. Bogues, an expert in Caribbean political theor y, read a quote from a recent article that questioned Haiti’s claim to exist as a countr y. This article — which, according to Bogues, represents Haitians as the “other” — wrongfully assumes that “they don’t have the capacity to live as human beings.”

Stephanie London / Herald

President Ruth Simmons welcomed freshmen at the 247th Convocation ceremony.

The brown daily Herald

“This is the first time we’ve heard of this.”
— Annemarie beardsworth, department of Health spokeswoman
THuRSdAY, SEPTEMbER 2, 2010 | PAGE 5

Local marijuana-growing class to start this month
By reBecca BaLLhaus Senior Staff Writer

Caprio, Chafee ’75 vie for 1st in gov. race
By cLaire Peracchio Senior Staff Writer

When medical marijuana became legal in Rhode Island in June 2007, Luis Hernandez figured it would only be a matter of time until a school teaching proper growing techniques sprang up. As he watched years go by, nobody took action, and he decided to take matters into his own hands. His school, the New England School of Alternative Horticultural Studies, will conduct its first class Sept. 25 in Barrington. “There’s a right way to do it, and there’s a wrong way to do it,” Hernandez said of the process. “Here’s how you do it safely without electrocuting yourself, without burning the house down — and if you really want to get good results.” Hernandez has studied the process for over seven years in California, where medical marijuana has been legal since 1996. He spent those years “going back and forth (between) working with legal caregivers and loaning and trading. That’s something I have a personal interest in,” he said. The school, he said, is the perfect way to blend his passion and his skills. Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law currently allows caregivers to have up to 12 plants in their possession, or 2.5 ounces of “usable” marijuana. Medical marijuana is regulated on a stateby-state basis, and Hernandez said Rhode Island has some of the most stringent laws. “I’ve been into the subject matter for quite a number of years now, but obviously there’s the question of legality. … There are a lot of folks like myself who (learned) a lot from books before you could do anything live,” said Hernandez. And even now that medical marijuana has been legalized in Rhode Island, he added, “I can see how easy it would be to fall into a situation where you would be breaking the law.” He cited cloning — a process in which exact replicas of an ideal plant are created — as an example. “A lot of times, clones don’t come out 100 percent,” he explained. “Maybe all five of them will root, and maybe they’ll all die.” Generally, he said, growers should make twice as many clones as they need — but if they don’t take into account their legal limit, they can run into trouble. “A clone may not be rooted and, for you, not really be a plant, but if the law comes in, he won’t be able to tell the difference,” he said. Another challenge for Hernandez has been the legality of teaching someone who may not have a caregiver’s license from the state. A caregiver is anyone over 18 who is willing to help a patient for whom a doctor has recommended medical marijuana, he said. “We

are working with lawyers to make sure we don’t break the law — after all, one of the classes is how to stay within the law.” It is this legal awareness, as well as the physical process of growing, that Hernandez is aiming to teach in the two-day classes his school will offer. Rhode Island’s law does not mention the legality of medical marijuana schools one way or another. For this reason, State Senator David Bates, R-Barrington and Bristol, though he had not heard of Hernandez’s school, said, “I would tread ver y, ver y carefully with it.” So far, Hernandez said, there has been a “huge amount” of interest — more than 50 percent of the tickets for his first class, which he will teach, have already been sold, and he is working on putting together a schedule for the next few months, for a variety of locations. As for the curriculum, Hernandez chose not to visit similar schools located on the west coast. “The last thing I want to do is go to some other school and be looked at as someone who went somewhere and learned something and basically regurgitated it all over again,” he said. Depending on how smoothly the class runs, he plans to change the curriculum. “It depends on the student body — who’s going to show up? We may be able to breeze through a lot of things and we may not. We may even find that we don’t get through all the material in one weekend,” he said. Hernandez envisions a school not just where people can learn how to properly grow marijuana, but also where he can educate the community about the idea of medical marijuana — “where city officials who will eventually be cast with the job of making laws for the community can come to be a little more informed about what they should be addressing in policy.” Ultimately, he said, “I want the school to be a place where people can come and learn in an unbiased” environment. Hernandez said he understands the argument that there are people who will abuse the drug’s medical aspect in order to get marijuana. But there are “really debilitated folks who need this,” he said. The “true question,” he said, is whether it is “worth it to keep it out of the hands of those who are going to do it recreationally but take it away from people who need it.” “This is the first time we’ve heard of this,” said Annemarie Beardsworth, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health. “From the Health Department’s point of view, our one concern is that accurate information is presented, not only about what the law permits in terms of growing (marijuana) but about the rules and regulations for caregivers and patients.”

Democrat Frank Caprio has taken a slight lead against his top opponent, independent candidate Lincoln Chafee ’75, in the latest poll in the Rhode Island race for governor. The poll comes nearly a month after state Attorney General Patrick Lynch’s July 15 decision to exit the contest for the Democratic nomination, a move that made Caprio — the current state treasurer — the Democrats’ de facto nominee and allowed him to pivot to campaigning against Chafee, a former Republican U.S. senator and ex-mayor of Warwick. Released Aug. 19, the new Rasmussen Reports poll shows Caprio either six or seven points ahead of Chafee, depending on whether the Republican candidate is John Robitaille or Victor Moffitt, which will be decided by the Sept. 14 primary. With Robitaille as the G.O.P. contender, the poll shows Caprio picking up 38 percent of the vote to Chafee’s 32 percent. This leaves Robitaille trailing at 20 percent, with 2 percent favoring some other candidate and 8 percent undecided. If Moffitt is the Republican on the

ballot, Caprio leads 40 percent to Chafee’s 33 percent. Moffitt garners 17 percent, while 2 percent favor some other candidate and 7 percent are unsure. The survey of 750 likely voters also finds Caprio favored among both Republicans and Democrats and Chafee slightly ahead with unaffiliated voters. According to the poll, Chafee is viewed “favorably” by 54 percent of voters and “unfavorably” by 40 percent, while 66 percent are favorable of Caprio and 20 percent unfavorable. The August Rasmussen poll is the most recent in a close race that has seen Caprio steadily chip away at Chafee’s early advantage. An Aug. 6 Brown survey found Caprio and Chafee in a statistical tie and more than 30 percent of voters undecided. The previous Rasmussen poll, released in late July, found Chafee leading Caprio by either three or seven points, depending on the Republican in the race. The Chafee campaign has contended a push-poll by Caprio supporters could have influenced the new survey’s results, according to an Aug. 21 Providence Journal article. The telephone effort purportedly involved callers asking voters questions intended to impress a

Julien Ouellet / Herald; Rasmussen Reports

democrat Frank Caprio leads the race for Rhode Island governor in a recent Rasmussen Reports poll.

negative view of Chafee, including queries comparing Caprio’s budget-trimming credentials to Chafee’s proposed sales tax incontinued on page 6

Letters, please!


U.: Cicilline’s use of Brown logo ‘inappropriate’ Caprio ahead in gov. race
continued from page 1 allow the use of its name, seal or other insignia to appear on any stationery or other material used or intended for political purposes. ... This rule applies to all faculty, staff, students, alumni and other interested par ties. Any use of the University’s name or marks without the University’s express permission is strictly prohibited.” Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations, said the University told the Cicilline campaign to cease and desist use of the Brown logo, calling it “completely inappropriate.” University Hall is not currently considering taking any further steps on the matter, she said. In a statement, the Cicilline campaign expressed regret over the letter: “In a recent mailing to alumni, the Brown University logo was used in error. Brown University, as a not-for-profit organization, cannot make endorsements. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.” The campaign also apologized to the University. Richard Luchette, communications director for the Cicilline campaign, said use of the logo was “a mistake,” but denied that the campaign had broken federal campaign law. Eric Hyers, Cicilline’s campaign manager, said he approved the mailer before it went out, but no attorney vetted it. “Should I have looked better, for longer? Perhaps,” he said, but “They knew what they were doing, and they didn’t think they would get caught,” he said. The Gemma campaign has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, Mercer said, though the Commission has not yet responded. The complaint alleges both that Cicilline’s “clear and prominent” use of Brown’s logo “unequivocally constitutes the improper acceptance of an illegal corporate contribution by the Cicilline Committee” and that it “misleadingly implies to the public an improper corporate endorsement of David Cicilline by Brown University.” Mercer said this incident constitutes part of a larger pattern of dishonest behavior by the mayor and criticized Cicilline’s practice of asking supporters to let him move previously donated money between different campaign accounts. State Rep. David Segal, D-Providence, another Democratic candidate, recently accused Cicilline of taking credit for a jobs initiative that as mayor he had originally refused to implement. Segal, then a city councilman, filed a lawsuit that compelled the city to carr y out the program. A poll conducted in late July by the Taubman Center for Public Policy found Cicilline ahead in the Democratic primary with 32 percent. Former State Democratic Party Chairman Bill Lynch was in second place with 15 percent, with Gemma in third at 11 percent and Segal at 5 percent. continued from page 5 crease. The Caprio campaign declined to comment on the allegations to The Herald. Caprio spokesman Nick Hemond said the campaign is “encouraged” by the poll results and attributed the candidate’s gains to the resonance of his message of “putting the wind at the backs of small businesses.” The new numbers are likely an imperfect indicator of the race’s outcome this far in advance of the November election, according to Associate Professor of Political Science Wendy Schiller. “I think at this point, it’s still really unstable,” Schiller said. “Once the candidates start spending money on television after Labor Day, then I think the polls get more accurate.” Last week, both Chafee and Caprio unveiled advertisements touting themes that each has emphasized in the race, with Chafee aligning himself with Rhode Island’s “tradition of independence” and Caprio stressing his commitment to helping the state’s small businesses. Neither advertisement mentions the opposing candidates. “There’s no question that Lincoln Chafee had to start spending on advertising now,” Schiller said, citing Chafee’s need to maintain his visibility in the race in light of the poll’s results, regardless of the survey’s reliability. The recent polls represent the normal fluctuations in voter opinion during an election cycle, according to Chafee campaign manager J.R. Pagliarini. “We are totally unfazed by the numbers,” he said. “Often, you’re going to have a little slip, and it’s best to have a little slip in August, of course, than it is in late October.” For the Robitaille campaign, the poll results highlight the importance of continuing to build name recognition, according to spokesman Michael Napolitano. Robitaille, the endorsed GOP candidate, was a communications adviser to current Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri ’65, who is not running due to term limit. Carcieri’s first bid for governor shows a November surprise in the Republicans’ favor should not be discounted, Napolitano said. “This isn’t the first time this has happened with Republicans running for governor,” he said, citing Carcieri’s experience overcoming a large late-summer polling deficit to defeat Democrat Myrth York in 2002. “We feel strongly that when we get our candidate and our message out, we’ll be able to move numbers in the polls,” Napolitano said.

M etro



brown told Mayor david Cicilline ’83 that he was not allowed to use the university’s logo in his campaign materials.

denied that the mailing violated the law. Hyers also said the campaign sent a follow-up letter to those who had received the original mailer, clarifying that Brown cannot offer political endorsements. The Cicilline campaign obtained its list of Brown alumni through its own original research, Hyers said, not from the University. A Gemma supporter who is a Brown alum first made the Gemma

campaign aware of the mailer’s existence, according to Mercer, who also said that the supporter had initially thought Brown had endorsed Cicilline’s congressional bid. Since then, Mercer said, other Brown alums have contacted the campaign saying they had received the Cicilline mailer, and he dismissed the notion that it could have been an innocent mistake by the Cicilline campaign.

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w orLD & nAtIon
At one Florida dorm, student pets welcome
By ken kaye Sun Sentinel



earl prompts warnings along n.C. coast
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — While Hurricane Earl intensified back to Category 4 power, Tropical Storm Gaston emerged in the Eastern Atlantic on Wednesday afternoon. Under the initial forecast, subject to large errors, Gaston is expected to aim generally west toward the Lesser Antilles and strengthen into a hurricane within the next five days. At 5 p.m. EDT, Gaston, the seventh named storm of the season, was 895 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, moving west at 15 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph. Earl, meanwhile, continued churning toward North Carolina on a course that would brush the Outer Banks late on Thursday or early on Friday. Although it is forecast to weaken to a Category 3 system with sustained winds of 115 mph at that point, it still would be a dangerous storm. Watches and warnings have been posted for much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coastlines. At 5 p.m., Earl was about 630 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., moving northwest at 17 mph with sustained winds of 135 mph. It was about 450 miles due east of West Palm Beach, Fla. Tourists on a North Carolina vacation destination island were preparing to board ferries and head for the mainland. After departing the mid-Atlantic, Earl is forecast to turn northeast, parallel the U.S. coastline on a path that could endanger Cape Cod. Along the way, it is expected to steadily weaken, yet remain a hurricane as it passes within 250 miles of New York City. Considering the system’s tropical force winds extend 200 miles from its core, much of the Northeast shoreline likely will feel rough weather, forecasters said. Earl is forecast to remain well clear of Florida’s coastline as it churns north. It is producing large swells, strong rip currents and

earl update
According to an announcement on its website Thursday morning, brown is monitoring the hurricane and will provide updates “in the unlikely event of an urgent emergency.”
breezy conditions along the state’s coastline. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Fiona has strengthened but still is not expected to grow into a hurricane. At 5 p.m., it was in the Atlantic about 140 miles north of Anquilla in the Leeward Islands, racing northwest at 20 mph with sustained winds of 60 mph. It is forecast to turn north and aim generally toward Bermuda. It also was expected to deflate to a depression by the time it arrives in the vicinity of the small island nation.

By Luis zaragoza tHe orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jasmine Parham’s new college roommate is a dear friend from back home. The roomie responds to “Leo” and never goes to class, but can perform some neat tricks. Leonora, a frisky border collie, and her owner, Parham, are among the first residents of the first petfriendly dorm at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. About 20 students and their pets — dogs, cats and a few caged gerbils and rats — are taking up residence at Nemec Hall, an established dorm, as the fall semester begins this week. Stetson is not the first college to have a pet-friendly dorm, but it’s among the relatively few schools — perhaps a dozen or so across the country — that have formal policies and accommodations. Stetson officials say the dorms could become a recruitment tool that helps set the school apart, just as big schools such as the University of Central Florida entice students with football stadiums, basketball arenas and trendy eateries. The idea behind the dorm is to give students — freshmen, in particular — a familiar presence as they make the sometimes stressful transition from home to campus. “What better way to do that than to have a family friend there to greet you when you get out of class?” said Justin Williams, the university’s director of housing and residential life. Having a pet along for the college journey makes a dorm “a home away from home,” he said. Parham, a freshman from Palm Coast, Fla., agrees. “I love having my best friend here with me,” Parham said. Eckerd College, a private school in St. Petersburg, Fla., has had pet-friendly dorms for years. So has Stephens College, a private school in Missouri that was the previous home of current Stetson President Wendy Libby. Libby brought the pet-friendlydorm concept with her to Stetson a year ago. Stetson staff members visited Eckerd and Stephens to get ideas on how to set up similar living arrangements. Although small, independent

colleges such as Stetson dominate the list of pet-friendly schools, powerhouses Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology allow certain small pets in some campus dorms. Many schools, especially public ones, may shy from pet-friendly dorms because of liability worries connected to animal attacks or building maintenance, Stetson officials said. Students sign an agreement that sets out terms. Obedience training is required for dogs. Aggressive or noisy animals can be sent home. In establishing policy at Stetson, the welfare of the animal was a priority. So inspections will be held to make sure students are caring for their pets properly. Students pay a $400-a-year surcharge to get a pet-friendly dorm room, with $200 of that refundable if the room is kept in shape. Part of the fee goes toward pet-related costs, such as establishment of a fenced dog walk near Nemec Hall. The rooms designated for pets are singles instead of standard doubleoccupancy rooms to avoid having cats and dogs as roomies. Not all animals are allowed. Dogs 30 pounds and less are OK, as are cats and caged rodents such as rats, gerbils and hamsters. Small fish and turtles that can reside comfortably in small water tanks are fine, too. Because of potential odor issues, birds, most reptiles and rabbits are not on the approved list. Depending on how things go this year, however, the list may be expanded and the dogweight limitation could be relaxed. It’s too soon to tell whether Stetson’s pet-friendly-dorm experiment will expand. Nemec Hall can accommodate up to 34 students with pets. Two additional rooms for resident staff also are pet-friendly. Arthur DeFilippo, a residentiallife coordinator on staff who lives in Nemec Hall with his wife, came to work at Stetson in part because of the pet-friendly living accommodations. There was no way the couple was going to give up Elphie, their pet puggle — a canine mix of pug and beagle. “For a lot of people, pets are like members of the family,” DeFilippo said. “It’s about quality of life.”

health law may affect student policies
By juLie aPPLeBy KaiSer HealtH neWS

WASHINGTON — Colleges and universities say that some rules in the new health law could keep them from offering low-cost, limited-benefit student insurance policies, and they’re seeking federal authority to continue offering them. Their request drew fire from critics, however, who say that student health plans should be held to the same standards that other insurance is. Among other things, the colleges want clarification that they won’t have to offer the policies to non-students. Without a number of changes, it may be impossible to continue to offer student health plans, says a letter that the American Council on Education sent Aug. 12 to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, signed by 12 other trade associations that represent colleges. Additionally, the colleges say that some provisions of the law don’t apply to their policies, including those that require insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their revenue on medical care and that bar them from setting annual coverage caps. Many of the provisions at issue don’t go into effect until 2014, but the colleges say they need clarity soon because they’re negotiating long-term contracts with insurers now. HHS spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said Sebelius had received the letter and “looks forward to sending a response.” Santillo added that the health care law allows many young adults to stay on parents’ policies until age 26. The request comes amid continued scrutiny of student health plans, including an ongoing investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who said in April that some of the plans left students “at risk while providing massive profits for insurance companies.”

More than half of colleges nationwide offer student insurance plans, according to a March 2008 study by the Government Accountability Office. While 80 percent of college students were insured, often through their parents’ coverage, only 7 percent bought their own policies or purchased school-based plans, according to the GAO. Starting in 2014, the new health law bars annual caps such as those in student health plans. Starting this year, insurers must offer at least $750,000 in coverage per year, although insurers or employers can apply for waivers from that restriction. Colleges say their plans don’t fall under the annual cap requirement because they’re considered “limited duration” policies, meaning they expire after a certain number of months, generally the school year. They also say that such limited duration policies don’t have to meet rules that require insurers to spend an average of at least 80 percent of revenue on direct medical care, rather than administrative costs or profits, or issue rebates to policyholders. Law professor Bryan Liang disagrees. “That sounds like wishful thinking on their part,” said Liang, a critic of student health plans who’s the executive director of the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western School of Law in San Diego. Even if the plans are considered limited duration policies, he said, such policies are regulated by states, which can set similar spending rules. Many student plans would flunk the spending test. A recent report by Massachusetts state officials, for example, found that spending on medical care among the 13 insurers that offer student plans in the state ranged from 46 percent to 89 percent, with the average at 69 percent. Requiring them to meet even some of the new rules could drive up premiums, colleges say. Premiums could

increase, for example, if regulators determine that student health plans are considered “individual” policies rather than group plans, which often get a better rate, said Steven Bloom, the assistant director of federal relations at the American Council on Education. Additionally, the colleges fear that they’d be required to offer the plans to anyone who applied for one, even if the applicant wasn’t a student, Bloom said. Liang, the law professor, doubts that colleges would be forced to offer insurance to anyone who walked into a campus health center. “That’s like saying I, as a non-IBM employee, could go to IBM and say, ‘You need to give me insurance,’ ” said Liang, who sent a letter Aug. 17 to Sebelius in response to the education council’s request. He doesn’t think that school plans should be offered any special protection in the regulations that are being developed to implement the health care law. The school-based policies “financially benefit the school and their insurance company partners over the student ... are poor in coverage and may violate consumer protection law and public policy,” his letter says. In another letter sent to Sebelius last week, a grass-roots group made up of college health directors, doctors and others involved with student insurance say that the secretary should require poor-quality plans to improve their benefits. Jim Mitchell, a spokesman for the Lookout Mountain Group, said that its members agreed with some of the education council’s requests, including its concern that colleges not be required to offer coverage to non-students. The group disagrees, however, with the council’s position that student health plans are exempt from some rules that go into effect this year, including the restriction on annual limits.

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hardly a waste
Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation recently came under fire from a watchdog group for their support of an earmark that would fund research at Brown. The attack came from Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to “eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government.” The group criticized an earmark, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin, that will give Brown $1.2 million to conduct research on energy science and technology. In its “Pork Alert” on the House of Representatives’ version of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, the group also claimed that Brown’s endowment should be sufficient to fund research projects. We believe these criticisms are misguided. The claim that research funding constitutes pork would be true if the project only benefitted local interests. However, unlike other instances of politicians looking simply to bring home the bacon, this research has the potential to provide solutions to the most pressing global environmental issues. The project targeted in the group’s report seeks to find novel methods of carbon sequestration, the process by which carbon dioxide is captured from the atmosphere and stored in a reservoir to lessen the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. Peter Weber, dean of the Graduate School and principal investigator on the group of projects funded by the earmark, told the editorial page board that Brown scientists are currently studying ways to capture industrial emissions from coal or other power plants. Considering the well-documented risks associated with emissions-induced global warming, this project and others like it could have a profound impact on the entire planet. Indeed, scientists have begun to link the increasing frequency of extreme weather events to climate change, according to a recent New York Times article. The only thing being wasted is time, as our country generally appears to be dragging its feet in addressing the serious threats posed by Earth’s warming temperature. In addition to research on carbon sequestration, the funding will also support a number of investigations, all related to energy science, Weber told the board. Researchers are trying to create more efficient fuel cells and develop other methods for capturing carbon dioxide using bacteria. All of these projects aim to lessen the environmental damage caused by the world’s heavy use of fossil fuels. We’re disappointed to hear these research projects dismissed as a waste of government funding. Moreover, the size of Brown’s endowment is unrelated to the amount of research funding the University has at its disposal. Income from the endowment is spent in accordance with the wishes of donors, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Beppie Huidekoper wrote in an e-mail to the board. While things like faculty salaries and financial aid are supported by the endowment, funding for graduate students and lab necessities often has to come from other sources. In fact, Brown regularly receives grants from government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Together these institutions will spend almost $40 billion in 2011 to fund research in science and medicine at universities, nonprofits and private companies across the country. Without government backing, many universities, Brown included, would find it far more difficult to support the kind of projects that might lead to lasting global change. We don’t blame Citizens Against Government Waste for being concerned about government spending, but we do think it should reconsider its definition of waste.

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THuRSdAY, SEPTEMbER 2, 2010 | PAGE 11

Questionable democracy in the classroom
institutions like Brown, to find a healthy balance between research and teaching. While student evaluations might help make college life easier, especially during the hustle and bustle of the shopping period, to be able to evaluate professors’ teaching performance is a disproportionately huge power granted to students that is unnecessarily complicating the dynamic between teachers and students and negatively influencing the quality of higher education. smaller number of group assignments, even if working with other people is an essential skill to be developed in that course. And though the more formal and official evaluation takes place only at the end of the semester and is purposely timed to avoid more direct interference with professors’ teaching plans in the middle of the semester, it doesn’t stop the rapid “democratization” of the classroom. I personally witnessed two such “democratic” incidents last year, and quent sections almost devolved into a guessing game about what questions may pop up in the final when time could have been spent on covering lecture material that is less likely to be included in the exam, but is part of a curriculum meticulously designed by the professor. Grateful as we were that those sessions turned out to be helpful in the final exam, it is deplorable that the TA was pressured to let students set the academic goals for the class — and it is deplorable that given that power to set the goals, the students clearly abused that power and didn’t use it to serve their own best interests. One teacher’s opinion on student evaluations published in the New York Times was both curt and yet to the point: “Sorry kids… Education is not business. You are not my customer... You do not get to ‘have it your way.’” In the final analysis, students’ evaluating professors opens a back door for the former to design and tailor their own education. But could students, yet to be educated, correctly choose the way they are going to be taught? One fears that this unreasonable and radical autonomy that is granted to students would eventually result in the erosion of academic discipline, and therefore endanger the quality of education. The bittersweet meaning of autonomy is indeed that students, not the professors, must suffer the consequences of the misuse and abuse of student evaluations.

opinions coluMnist
The beginning of a new semester is always marked by the frenzied course shopping season that lasts for a couple of weeks. Each shopper usually asks herself: Does this class conflict with my overall schedule? Does it really interest me? And increasingly, whether we like the way the professor, or sometimes the teaching assistant, teaches the course shapes our decision. Student evaluations of professors and TAs have thus become an important tool to help students decide which class in which to enroll. By the end of each semester, it is always a routine for Brown students to fill out different evaluation forms, one run by each academic department and one by the Dean of the College. However, when she goes around shopping for courses, a Brown student is more likely to turn to the Critical Review, which is published by Brown undergraduate students. In one outside and perhaps slightly more irreverent source,, students give red peppers to those professors they consider hot! Despite the careful design and lengthy seriousness of “official” evaluations, the underground sources still appeal to students more. Clarity of lectures, relevance of readings and assignments and the fairness of exams are often included in evaluations and ratings. In addition, it is reasonable to argue that professors are becoming more accessible to undergraduate students because the awareness that they are being rated could compel them, especially those professors at major research

To be able to evaluate professors’ teaching performance is a disproportionately huge power granted to students that is unnecessarily complicating the dynamic between teachers and students and negatively influencing the quality of higher education.
The other side of the story could tell you why. Since student evaluations have become an increasingly important part of assessment of the performance of professors, they would be more or less pressured to avoid too many negative student reviews. They have to pay attention to student feedbacks and take measures to improve their ratings. Professors may now have to come up with more diverse methods to cater to students’ habits of study than are allowed by the academic and pedagogical disciplines with which they were trained and have observed for most of their lives. If most students expressed aversion to group work in the evaluation, for example, the professor would probably assign a both, I believe, eventually diminished the effectiveness of both teaching and learning in the classroom. In one lecture, the professor held a vote to decide whether we were going to have a midterm. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t have one for that course. Yet our triumphant feeling soon turned into regret when we prepared for the final exam, because we then realized that midterms are perfect tools to refresh our memories and provide early correction to mistakes. The second incident involved a TA who was similarly responsive to students’ demands: After a daunting midterm, almost every student in my section expressed wishes that the section be more test-oriented. Subse-

Yue Wang ’12 is a political science and German studies concentrator from Shanghai. She can be contacted at

high or low, youth turnout could offer valuable insights
opinions coluMnist
When the votes are counted after November’s midterm elections, don’t expect to hear much about how voters under the age of 30 influenced the results. Despite a presidential election that saw large numbers of young people take to the polls, politicos aren’t wondering if all of these voters will return in 2010 — it’s a foregone conclusion that turnout will be significantly lower. The only question is by how much. It’s no secret that fewer of our peers vote than people our parents’ or grandparents’ age. In the 2006 midterm, 25.5 percent of 18- to 29-year-old citizens voted. The turnout rate for citizens 30 years old and above was 53.7 percent. These statistics should disappoint any young person hoping for political action on the issues that matter most to us, no matter one’s party affiliation or ideology. Problems that overwhelmingly affect younger people, like the skyrocketing cost of college, are unlikely to be seriously addressed by politicians if they don’t feel that the youth vote could make or break their future campaigns. Advocates for youth engagement will point to encouraging signs, like the three percent increase in 18- to 29-year-old turnout between the 2002 and 2006 elections, as evidence that politicians should clamor for the youth vote leading up to November. But since the 2008 election, we haven’t given candidates much reason to court our votes. The 2009 gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey brought out 18- to 29-year-old voters at rates of only 17 and 19 percent, respectively. A mere 15 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. Young people still represent an electoral gold mine waiting to be fully tapped. As of 2006, 18- to 29-year-olds represented 21 percent of the voting-eligible population. Youth voting advocates Thomas Goldstein and Thomas Bates wrote in an Aug. 16 Seattle Times op-ed that Millennials (defined as those born after 1980) will constitute onethird of all eligible voters by 2015. encourage greater participation. Yet even among states with election day registration, youth turnout varies widely. CIRCLE is quick to point out that “turnout … cannot be solely explained by state election laws.” Certainly no matter how aggressively states try to increase turnout, candidates also need to persuade younger voters to cast a ballot. But courting older voters is a more efficient use of campaign resources than chasing less reliable youth votes. Mail campaigns are difficult, if not impossible, to direct at young people. We are also hard to contact by telephone, with many of For people studying the youth vote, Nov. 2 will still provide plenty of reasons to pay close attention. With a large proportion of Senate and House races likely to come down to the wire, campaigns that successfully get out the youth vote — or, more accurately, keep the youth turnout from taking a postObama swan dive — could swing the decision in their favor. The results could help answer some important questions about campaigning for our demographic. Can campaigns get younger voters excited without a candidate that seems to break the mold of a typical elected official, like Barack Obama in 2008? Will even competitive races featuring such candidates — for example, the Kentucky Senate race pitting 47-year-old Republican (with a prominent libertarian streak) Rand Paul against 41-year-old Jack Conway, or the Florida Senate battle featuring newly-Independent Charlie Crist, 39-year-old Hispanic Marco Rubio, and 43-year-old African-American Kendrick Meek — bring young people to the polls? Will the inclusion of Proposition 19 — which would legalize marijuana — on the California ballot boost the youth vote in ways the candidates for Senate and governor can’t? I hope that young people defy the expectations and turn out in droves this November. Short of that, we can at least hope the results yield valuable information for future campaigns looking to strike electoral gold.

Young people still represent an electoral gold mine waiting to be fully tapped.

But if it were easy to harness young people’s voting potential, I wouldn’t be writing this column. Why don’t we vote? Perhaps voter registration laws depress turnout. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) finds that “election day registration seems to have the strongest and most widespread impact” on increasing youth turnout, yet only nine states offered it in 2008. CIRCLE also argues that expanding absentee voting and lengthening voting hours at polling places would

us only using cell phones. The Internet offers all sorts of new opportunities for candidates to reach us, but the science of online campaigning remains limited. Traditional campaign tools, like lists built through years of door-to-door canvassing and phone-banking, provide more reliable information on who is likely to vote and which candidates he or she favors. It’s no surprise that a candidate would rather court a voter with a long history of voting for the party than someone who may have only voted once, if at all — the effort is more likely to be rewarded.

Dan Davidson ’11.5 is a political science concentrator from Atlanta, GA. He can be reached at

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Maya tomb unearthed

to day

to M o r r o w

Caprio leads in race for governor

thursday, sePtemBer 2, 2010


92 / 68

79 / 67

t h e n e w s i n i M aG e s

c a l e n da r
today, sePtemBer 2 12:00 P .m. — Africana Studies Open House, Churchill House 4:00 P — Timelines and Resources .m. for Seniors: Organize your Job Search in 30 Minutes, Career development Center tomorrow, sePtemBer 3 3:00 P — Open House and Forum: .m. Service and Community - Finding both at brown, Swearer Center 3:00 P .m. — Slavic Studies Open House, Marston Hall

Bat & gaz | Sofia Ortiz

sharPe refectory Lunch — Chicken Pot Pie, Zucchini and Parmesan Sandwich, Vegan Tofu Pups, Rice Krispie Treats dinner — Spice Rubbed Pork Chops, Cheese Tomato Strata, Oven browned Potatoes, Frosted brownies verney-wooLLey dining haLL

cabernet voltaire | Abe Pressman
Lunch — bLT Sandwich, Rosemary Portobello Sub Sandwich, butterscotch Cookies dinner — Chicken Tikka, Vegetable Stuffed Peppers, basmati Rice Pilaf, Jelly Cake Roll

dot comic | Eshan Mitra and brendan Hainline

the adventures of team vag | Wendy Kwartin

dr. Bear | Mat becker

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