Daily Herald

the Brown
vol. cxlv, no. 114 | Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891

QuIET gREEN Qu E ST IO NS

Confidence in ability to finance education stable
By LeOnardO mOaurO Staff Writer

The level of confidence students have in their families’ ability to finance their Brown education remained stable over the last two semesters, according to the Herald’s fall poll.

The heraLd pOLL
About 64 percent of respondents to the poll felt “very confident” or “somewhat confident” in their families’ ability to meet the costs of tuition. The percentage is down from approximately 69 percent last semester, but up from 60 percent in the fall of 2009. Students also registered levels of concern that were lower than a year ago. While in the fall of 2009, about 28 percent of students were “some-

what worried,” and 10 percent were “very worried,” about 33 percent of applicants were either somewhat or very worried this semester. Director of Financial Aid James Tilton said about 43 percent of undergraduates currently receive need-based scholarships, and about 57 percent obtain assistance from the Office of Financial Aid. Qualification for financial aid at Brown depends largely on individual family circumstances, Tilton said. “We treat each of the students individually,” he said. Families with less than $60,000 in income and $100,000 in assets “are expected to pay zero towards parent contribution,” Tilton said. If family assets have a value greater than $100,000, the University expects contribution only from the continued on page 2

Rachel Kaplan / Herald

Mysterious sidewalk chalkings around campus are asking passersby, “Where are you going?”

Yale reviews Paper cuts: U. continues efforts to become paperless harassment policies
By Fei Cai Senior Staff Writer By Sarah FOrman Staff Writer

After a fraternity initiation event at Yale last month sparked public protest from women’s groups on campus and across New England, the university has created a new task force to review sexual misconduct policies.

In the age of electronic banking, e-mails and e-books, the University has turned to greener ways of dispersing information. In March, the bursar’s office stopped printing student account statements and made them available online only, and also started the electronic bill payment system,

through which families can pay the University online. Assistant Vice President of Financial and Administrative Services Elizabeth Gentry told The Herald in February that she estimated a $40,000 to $50,000 per year saving on printing, paper-use and mailing. Student Financial Services Director Wynette Richardson estimated a decrease of paper usage by 6,000 to 8,500 statements per month, The

Herald reported. The bursar’s office also made the University’s Installment Payment Plan available online in May, Gentry said. She added that the loan management system will also become available on the Internet in the spring so students and parents can view their loan statements and make payments online. Richardson said this will reduce paper usage by 2,500 to 4,000 state-

ments. While the bursar’s office has not made a formal assessment of students’ reactions to the onlineonly statements, Richardson said the general reaction has been positive because they allow for quick transactions. The change has been most beneficial to international students, continued on page 2

hiGher ed
Pledges to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity were seen chanting, “No means yes, yes means anal,” the Yale Daily News first reported Oct. 14. “The verses treat sexual violence as a joke,” wrote the Yale Women’s Center in an Oct. 15 statement calling for a change in Yale’s sexual culture. Within the next two weeks, Yale College Dean Mary Miller had asked the fraternity’s national board to put the Yale chapter on probation. The task force was created soon after, and its male and female faculty members from several departments plan to look for ways to increase sexual harassment education and prevention, according to a Nov. 12 article in the Yale Daily News. The fraternity incident follows continued on page 4

w. icer goalies shine in Bruno’s weekend games
By SudarShan Sriraman Contributing Writer

The women’s hockey team (2-3-1, 1-2-1 ECAC) extended its unbeaten home streak this season to three games, after a 1-1 draw against Union (1-10-1, 0-5-1) and a hardearned 1-0 win against a strong Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute

SpOrTS
(4-7-2, 3-3-0) team. Both games were low-scoring and fiercely contested, but the Brown players held their nerve to register their first points on the ECAC table this season. Brown 1, union 1 With a goal scored by both

sides within the first 25 minutes of the Union game, fans may have expected a high-scoring game, but 1-1 remained the final score even after the over time period. The Dutchwomen came out hard despite coming into the game on a seven-game losing streak. Forward Stefanie Thomson scored the first goal on a power play less than five minutes into the game. Br uno replied early in the second period with a fine effort by for ward Kelly Grif fin ’13.5, with assists from for ward Katelyn Landr y ’12 and defenseman Paige Pyett ’12. Neither team was able to convert any further continued on page 5

Jesse Morgan / Herald

Women’s hockey extended its streak of unbeaten games at home in its games this weekend.

inside

News.....1–3 Higher Ed.....4 Sports.....5–6 Editorial....10 Opinion.....11 Today........12

Love endures
Fellowship rewarding Brown commitment will be offered again
CampuS newS, 3

First loss
Albany rebounds to fell women’s basketball squad
SpOrTS, 6 195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island

TMI
Does Facebook’s new application breach privacy?
OpiniOnS, 11 herald@browndailyherald.com

www.browndailyherald.com

PAgE 2

as fin. aid budget grows, most express confidence with finances
continued from page 1 assets, he added. In the 2007-08 academic year, only 12 percent of students were given a full ride, Tilton said. This year, 37 percent received a full scholarship, Tilton said. The picture changes somewhat for transfers, international students and resumed undergraduate education students. For these applicants, Brown is need-aware, Tilton said, meaning students must indicate on their applications if they intend to apply for financial aid. But if the students are admitted to the University, “we meet 100 percent of their financial needs,” he added. Tilton said that many parents register their apprehension about their ability to pay for tuition with the Office of Financial Aid. “Students are relating what their families are feeling,” such as “concern about longevity of jobs and about the economy,” he added. Recently, the Office of Financial Aid’s response has focused on counseling students and their families, even those that do not get need-based aid, about “specific options regarding a combination of resources to pay for college,” Tilton said. The budget for financial aid increased from $33.9 million 10 years ago to $81.5 million today, he said. A financial aid initiative, which was put in place at the beginning of the 2008-09 academic year, has deeply impacted many students, Tilton said. The plan boosted the University’s financial aid budget and reduced or eliminated student loans for recipients of financial aid. “Brown is committed to paying attention to limit the amount students have to borrow and work while in school,” Tilton said. But this treatment is attached to several conditions, Tilton said. Each student is expected to “bring back money” from some kind of summer employment, he said, as well as work a job during the school year. Students who do not meet either of these conditions might have to borrow the amount of money they other wise would have earned in these ways, he added. Before the initiative, many undergraduates had student loans in their financial aid packages, Tilton said. This was a problem, he added, because sometimes the borrowed sum “maxed out” the amount of federal loans available to each student, forcing many to supplement their aid package with more expensive private sector lines of credit. The federal government imposes limits on the amount of loans it awards students. According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the limits are $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores and $7,500 for juniors and seniors. One of the effects of the new initiative is that student loans only rarely exceed the federal limit, Tilton said. Currently, 62 percent of students on financial aid do not require loans, up from only 6 percent in the

C amPUS n ewS

THE BROWN DAILy HERALD

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010

how confident or worried are you about your or your family’s ability to finance your Brown education?
Strongly con dent Somewhat con dent 29.4% Somewhat worried 9.9% Strongly worried 23.9% 34.9%

1.9% - Don’t know / No answer

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35
gili Kliger / Herald

2007-08 academic year, he added, predicting that number would continue to increase. Lisa Goddard ’14 said the University is “very available” with respect to financial aid. “I have a twin that goes here and we didn’t get financial aid, so we were concerned about that,” she said. But Brown told her family to call the Office of Financial Aid and talk about their situation, which her parents appreciated very much, she added. “Brown’s financial aid package is really appropriate for the range of money my parents make,” said Felipe Umana ’11. “The reforms really helped me out. After freshman

year I didn’t have to take out any loans,” he added. But Umana said that the aid he received during his study abroad semester was not enough to pay for his living expenses, which imposed a financial burden on his family. Umana said that if he could change anything about the financial aid system, he would increase the amount of aid the students get. Lorenzo Moretti ’14 , an international student from Udine, Italy, said he receives no financial aid from Brown, but does from a scholarship granted by his United World College School. But “Brown doesn’t take into consideration the fact that I can’t

take loans out in Italy,” Moretti added. An objective for the University “should be to become need-blind for international students and to examine the international students’ situation in their home country,” Moretti said. The Herald poll was conducted Nov. 1–2 and has a 3.0 percent margin of error with 95 percent confidence. A total of 915 students completed the poll, which The Herald distributed as a written questionnaire in the University Mail Room in J. Walter Wilson and the Stephen Robert ‘62 Campus Center during the day and the Sciences Library at night.

Thanks for reading!
sudoku

efforts save the planet — and U. money
continued from page 1 Gentry said. “Before, it would take forever to get the paper statements to them, but now they can just go online, see their statements and make the payment.” The Office of the Registrar has also significantly reduced paper usage since the implementation of Banner in 2007, University Registrar Robert Fitzgerald wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. Fitzgerald added that to reduce paper usage, the office created online transcript requests, eliminated the printing of the three-year course bulletin and decreased the number of annual Course Announcement Bulletins printed. The registrar’s office will also launch an online tool next month for course proposals, “moving it to a more transparent and streamlined process,” he wrote. He added that other areas are also being considered in the effort to make Brown greener. Some ideas include electronic official transcripts and online grade changes for faculty, but Fitzgerald emphasized the significant amount of technical work that Computing and Information Services must do before these changes can come about. Gentry also hinted at other papersaving initiatives around campus, such as a possible textbook rental system in the bookstore. The bookstore also considered the use of ebooks, but the idea was not widely accepted because students dislike electronic readings, Gentry said. Graphics Services has also been using special inks and recycled paper to be greener, Gentry added.

editorial phone: 401.351.3372 | Business phone: 401.351.3260
George Miller, President Claire Kiely, Vice President Katie Koh, Treasurer Chaz Kelsh, Secretary

Daily Herald
the Brown

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 herald@browndailyherald.com. World Wide Web: http://www.browndailyherald.com. Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2010 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010

U.’s largest award will be funded for another year
By amy Chen Staff Writer

C amPUS n ewS
ent, Dunleavy said. The deadline for the 2011 Zucconi Fellowship is in March. This ensures that a recipient truly and completely embodies Brown in its many respects, Perez said. The funds for the fellowship first originated from the Office of the President, Dunleavy said. An anonymous donor recently contributed to the fund and Brown hopes to eventually endow the fellowship. “It’s planted the seed for everything I do. It’s started everything,” Perez said. “It changed my life. My dream had been to go to Haiti for six years. There was no way I could have gone on my own.” In Haiti, Perez studied a tuberculosis prevention program and helped to design youth public health and education programs. “The award changed my perspective on medicine. I wanted an anthropological perspective. I wanted to see what people were interested in, what they wanted,” Perez said. The experience helped Perez realize that he wanted to work with governments to change medical practices around the world, he said. Ever y three or four months, Perez returns to Haiti, where he continues to be actively involved in its health programs. Past Zucconi fellows include Daniel Sterba ’08.5, who received the 2009 fellowship and studied green house construction in Germany, Dunleavy said. Currently Rebecca Mer ’10 is studying the efficacy and sustainability of arts programs in British prisons. “The variety of projects speaks to the creativity and breadth of our student body,” Dunleavy said.

THE BROWN DAILy HERALD

PAgE 3

“you have to prove that you are involved with Brown for life.” — Wilfredo Perez MD’13, Zucconi Fellowship winner

T H E v IE W FRO M T H E F LOT I L L A

The David J. Zucconi ’55 Fellowship will once again offer the largest internal University award of $25,000 and an opportunity for one student to conduct independent research projects abroad in 2011. In past years, the award has funded research in countries such as Peru, Haiti, England and Germany. For budgetar y reasons, it was uncertain whether the fellowship would be offered in 2011, according to the Dean of the College’s website. The fellowship was created to honor Zucconi’s five decades of commitment and suppor t for Brown after he passed away in 2003. The award, quintessentially representing Brown, reflects the love and passion he held for his alma mater, said Wilfredo Perez ’08 MD’13, who conducted research in Haiti after receiving the 2008 fellowship. “The fellowship is meant to honor a student who has been ver y involved in Brown community, someone who has established a strong relationship,” said Linda Dunleavy, chair of the Zucconi Fellowship and associate dean of the College for fellowships. “You have to prove that you are involved with Brown for life,” Perez said. Zucconi fellows are expected to return to Brown and give a lecture or offer a seminar or colloquium. Between 17 and 30 students apply for the fellowship each year, and a diverse group of faculty members and administrators are involved in selecting the recipi-

Katie green / Herald

Fiachra O Luain, an Irish, American and Palestinian citizen, spoke Monday night in an event sponsored by Brown Students for Justice in Palestine about his experiences on the flotilla in the gaza Strip in May.

higher ed
The Brown Daily Herald
continued from page 1 another allegation of sexual assault at Yale last year, when a senior athlete was reprimanded for creating a “Preseason Scouting Report” ranking the attractiveness of 53 first-year women, the Yale Daily News reported on Sept. 3, 2009. Almost three years ago, another Yale fraternity sparked controversy after pledges photographed themselves holding signs reading “We Love Yale Sluts” in front of the Women’s Center as part of an initiation scavenger hunt, the Yale Daily News reported Jan. 22, 2008. universities dropping graduate programs The University of Iowa may cut up to 12 graduate programs this year, the Associated Press reported on Nov. 10, making it one of many universities to drop graduate programs in order to increase efficiencies. Iowa already eliminated six graduate programs in October, and it may cut as many as six more, according to the article. Some of the programs overlapped or failed to attract enough students. The State University of New York at Albany announced in October that it was ending its programs in French, Italian, Russian and classics, affecting undergraduates through doctoral students, Inside Higher Ed reported on Oct. 4. According to the article, the cuts were part of an effort to balance the university’s very strained budget. Christian university in Tenn. won’t recognize gay group Belmont University, a Christian school in Tennessee, has refused to recognize a support group for gay and lesbian students, WTVF-TV reported on Nov. 10. “B. Bridge Builders will strive to foster the discussion and examination of the Christian faith and LGBTrelated issues, both as an intersection and a divide, through respectful means and diverse cultural, social and faith-based perspectives,” the group wrote on its Facebook page. Instead of approving the group, the university has created a semimonthly group to discuss queer issues, Belmont representatives wrote in a statement.

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010 | PAgE 4

tenn. university refuses to recognize gay student support group

Courtesy of the yale Daily News

Posing in front of the yale Women’s Center, a fraternity pledge class held signs proclaiming “We love yale sluts.”

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Sportswednesday
The Brown Daily Herald
continued from page 1 opportunities into goals, as both team exhibited strong defensive play. Goaltender Aubree Moore ’14, recorded 32 saves against a threatening Union offense, which held a definitive edge in shots on goal, 33 to 17, and dominated possession through most of the game. Brown 1, rpi 0 The game against RPI was an altogether more difficult affair, with Brown tenaciously holding off a lightning-fast Engineers’ offense. Through much of the game, the Engineers outshot, outmaneuvered and outpassed Brown, only to be repeatedly thwarted by goaltender Katie Jamieson ’13. Jamieson had an exceptional game, recording 37 saves to shut out a rampant RPI offense. “Katie was absolutely unbelievable,” said co-captain Erica Kromm ’11. Brown’s offense struggled to find space to maneuver in the Engineers’ zone, and most scoring opportunities came by way of longrange slap shots. RPI dominated possession, playing several minutes entirely in their offensive zone and keeping the pressure on the Brown defense. But despite the relentless pressure, Jamieson turned in a nearflawless performance, defending against scorching slap shots, late deflections, breakaways and pointblank shots with equal aplomb. The game remained scoreless until Jessica Hoyle ’14 intercepted a pass with three minutes left in the game to find herself one-on-one against RPI goaltender Sonja van der Bliek. A series of clever dekes gave Hoyle the opportunity to calmly tap the puck past van der Bliek’s desperate lunge to give Brown the lead. RPI pulled their goalie in a desperate attempt for an equalizing goal, but Brown’s defense held their ground to pull out a hard-fought victory. “This is a huge boost to our confidence,” Kromm said. “We haven’t beaten RPI in a long, long time. We were definitely hoping for a win against Union, but this kinda makes up for it.” Kromm admitted that despite a strong performance this weekend, there were areas the team wants to improve before the tough games ahead. “We are working on starting hard,” she said. “We really need to be generating more offensive opportunities … in the first period. At the moment, we are only really picking it up in the third period, which is really late.” Brown’s defensive tenacity will encourage them as they look forward to a tough encounter against Clarkson University on Friday, in the fourth game of a six-game homestand. With confidence surging after a fine performance this week, they will seek to further extend their unbeaten home run.

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010 | PAgE 5

w. hockey remains undefeated at home heading into weekend play

Jesse Morgan / Herald

No. 21 Jessica Hoyle ’14 scored the lone goal in the team’s win against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

more sports online browndailyherald.com/sports

S PortS w edneSdaY
w. BaSkeTBaLL
By madeLeine wenSTrup Spor tS Staff Writer

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THE BROWN DAILy HERALD

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010

“We never found that offensive flow, and we couldn’t settle down.” — Lindsay Nickel ’13

women’s squad falls in season opener against U. of albany
Co-captains Aileen Daniels ’12 and Hannah Passafuime ’12 led the women’s basketball team (0-1) in a strong first half on Friday night, but the University at Albany (1-0) came back and defeated Bruno in the season opener for both teams. “We were so ready,” said forward Lindsay Nickel ’13. “We were really excited for this game.” The squad’s first half reflected that excitement. The Bears got on the board early, taking a 6-2 lead in the first two minutes. A threepointer by guard Lauren Clarke ’14 in the middle of the first half kept the Great Danes at a distance, making the score 10-5. But Albany crept back in the next ten minutes and took a 29-27 lead in the final minute that held until halftime. Daniels and Passafuime had eight points apiece in the first half and, as a team, the Bears shot 40 percent (12-30) from the field. But the Bears never regained the lead. They stayed consistently close behind, but couldn’t pull ahead due to a poor 22 shot percentage (8-37) from the field. “We basically couldn’t make shots — shots that we normally would make,” Nickel said. “We never found that offensive flow, and we couldn’t settle down.” Newcomer Sophie Beutel ’14 brought a nine-point deficit down to six in the middle of the second half with a three-point play, draining a jump shot and making her free throw. Another four points by Passafuime made the score 46-44 and brought the Bears back into striking distance with six minutes remaining. Responding to the challenge, the Great Danes went on a scoring streak and ended the game with a ten-point advantage, 64-54. Daniels ended the game with 15 points and 7 rebounds, while fellow captain Passafiume totaled 14 points. Beutel started off her collegiate career strong and led the team on defense with 13 rebounds. Guard Ebone Henr y led Albany with 23 points on 50 percent shooting (8-16). The Bears are on the road again this week, taking on Central Connecticut State in a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday.

Jesse Morgan / Herald

Aileen Daniels ’12 scored 15 of Bruno’s 54 points in the squad’s loss to Albany.

CrOSS COunTry

runners fail to qualify for nCaa championship
By JameS BLum SportS Staff Writer

The other BDH blogdailyherald.com

It was neither the best of times nor the worst of times for the men’s and women’s cross country squads last Saturday. On one hand, the men’s and women’s teams posted strong finishes of eighth and seventh, respectively, at the NCAA Northeast Regionals held in Madison, Conn. But none of the runners qualified for the NCAA Championship meet later this month. “It wasn’t our best day overall,” said Head Women’s Cross Country Coach Jill Miller. “We kind of came in with some high expectations for ourselves and didn’t fulfill those.” The women were led by Margaret Connelly ’14 , who finished the 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 41 seconds, which earned her an overall finish of 18th place, just two slots shy of qualifying for the championship. Lauren Pischel ’11 finished next for Brown in 21:20, with Heidi Caldwell ’14 close behind, crossing the line in 21:23. The final two women to score for Brown were Elaine Kuckertz ’13 and Kesley Ramsey ’11, who finished in 21:33 and 21:40, respectively. “I think, overall, we had a good season, definitely learned a lot,” Miller said. She added that the team faced a chaotic year, but came away with valuable lessons, including the importance of carrying momentum through the postseason. Matt Duffy ’12 was once again the top runner for the Brown men, finishing the 10k race in 30:38. He placed 22nd overall and missed qualifying for the Championship meet by fewer

than 15 spots . “Individually, I think it was more a type of a race I wish I had been running all along,” Duffy said. “We didn’t have our complete A-game, but it was a huge improvement from (Heptagonals) and its good to end on an up-note.” Also contributing to the men’s eighth place finish were Michael Stumpf ’13 who ran 31:15 to finish 43rd overall, and Christian Escareno ’11 who finished in 31:21 and placed 51st. “I was very pleased with how they responded from the disappointment at Hep,” said Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Tim Springfield. “It’s not always easy to bounce back.” Brian Schilder ’11 and Dan Lowry ’12 were the final two men to score for Brown, posting times of 31:27 and 31:39, respectively. According to Springfield, the men competed hard and ran tactically well overall. “I was real happy with how they hung together throughout the whole season and had the best race of the year at regionals,” Springfield said. Following the NCAA Regional Championships, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association recognized athletes earning All-Region awards. Brown was represented by Connelly and Duffy, both of whom have been strong contributors throughout the season. With the 2010 cross country season in the books, the distance runners must now turn their focus towards the approaching indoor track season. This period should be characterized by more rest than the runners have recently had , as they look ahead to enjoying a strong indoor season.

world & nation
The Brown Daily Herald
By JOnaThan S. Landay MCClatChy neWSpaperS

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010 | PAgE 7

U.S., Kazakhstan complete secret transfer of nuclear materials
elaborate on the threat, citing classified intelligence. Aktau, however, sits directly across the Caspian Sea from Russia’s Northern Caucasus region, where al-Qaida-linked Islamic separatists are engaged in insurgencies in the republics of Dagestan and Chechnya. Iran, which Western officials accuse of pursuing a clandestine nuclear-weapons program, also has a Caspian Sea coast. Tehran denies that it is seeking nuclear arms. Nazarbayev and President Barak Obama reaffirmed a goal of completing the transfer operation this year when they met in Washington in April during an international conference that Obama called as part of an initiative to secure the world’s vulnerable stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium by 2013, U.S. officials said. The U.S. and Kazakhstan went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the safety and security of the operation. Engineers designed and built huge cranes, massive storage casks, special railcars and the new storage facility behind fences, gun towers and other security layers. Special handling facilities had to be constructed at BN-350 and at the railhead where the casks were unloaded onto trucks for the drive to the storage site. Interior Ministry guards and armored personnel carriers protected the convoys. Train tracks and roads had to be upgraded to bear the weight of the 110-ton casks, command centers and communications networks were set up and Kazakh Interior Ministr y troops under went five weeks of training at the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, which designs safeguards for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Other U.S. nuclear laboratories, including facilities in Idaho, Tennessee and South Carolina, and the Vienna-based IAEA contributed expertise and experts, U.S. officials said. A dry run was held last November in minus-40-degree temperatures, and the lessons learned were incorporated into the final procedures. “We had to examine the hydraulic fluid in the cranes and other machinery to make sure it would withstand the low temperatures,” the second knowledgeable U.S. official said. “We took every precaution we possibly could.” For instance, the massive storage casks, built in Ukraine and Russia, each have two bolted-on seals and a third seal welded on, and they were secured inside the railcars with a special locking mechanism, the U.S. official said. “Even if the guards could not protect the convoys and terrorists were able to get to the casks, it would have taken hours to get to the material,” the official said. The IAEA has licensed the new facility for 50 years, taking pressure off Kazakhstan to decide the materials’ final disposition. It could reap commercial benefits from the highly enriched uranium, which can be “blended down” into commercial reactor fuel, U.S. officials said. Before the Kazakhstan operation, the National Nuclear Security Administration, an arm of the Department of Energy, helped relocate more than 2.75 tons of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium and plutonium, most of it of Soviet and U.S. origin, to secure sites around the world. Until Kazakhstan, the largest transfer operation returned nearly 1,000 pounds of highly enriched uranium — enough for 18 bombs — to Russia from Poland, a project that was completed in September.

Working under extraordinary secrecy, the U.S. and Kazakh governments in the past year have moved nuclear material that could have been used to make more than 770 bombs from a location feared vulnerable to terrorist attack to a new high-security facility. In the largest such operation ever mounted, U.S. and Kazakh officials transferred 11 tons of highly enriched uranium and 3 tons of plutonium some 1,890 miles by rail and road across the Central Asian country. The transfer culminated a project spanning three American presidencies that was intended to prevent the material from falling into the wrong hands. The last of 12 shipments arrived Monday at the new state-of-the-art storage facility in remote northeastern Kazakhstan, near the border with Russia and China. The 13-day journey began at the mothballed BN350 fast-breeder reactor in the Caspian Sea port of Aktau. McClatchy Newspapers agreed to withhold the precise location of the storage site for security reasons. “The most immediate and extreme threat (to international security) is a terrorist acquiring nuclear material,” said Thomas D’Agostino, the head of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, the overseer of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. “This takes one of those pieces, a big chunk, off the table.” The sparsely populated region where the storage facility is also is home to the defunct Semipalatinsk Test Site, a 7,000-square-mile expanse of steppe where the Soviet Union conducted more than 460 nuclear test explosions from 1949 to 1990 while Kazakhstan was a Soviet republic. “The project is a very significant technical achievement,” D’Agostino said in an interview Nov. 8 that McClatchy Newspapers agreed to embargo until the operation was completed. “This isn’t stuff you just put on a truck and drive across a country.” The United States spent $219 million on the project. Britain kicked in $4 million and Kazakhstan also contributed some funding, U.S. officials said. “The cost is very, very small compared to the cost of the wrong people getting their hands” on the material, said a U.S. official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the project publicly. Former President Bill Clinton began the project in 1996, when the U.S. helped Kazakhstan inventory the spent nuclear fuel that had accumulated at BN-350, which started producing plutonium for Soviet nuclear weapons in 1972. The reactor also provided power to Aktau. The year before the project commenced, Kazakhstan had returned 1,410 nuclear warheads to Moscow that it inherited when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. U.S. experts helped shut down BN-350 in 1999 and build a storage

facility there until a more secure site could be found for nearly 3,000 assemblies that contained more than 140 tons of spent fuel. The spent fuel included the 14 tons of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, the largest stock of such materials outside the world’s nuclear-armed countries. “We needed to ensure their physical security until we could decide where it could be stored,” said a second U.S. official, who requested anonymity because of the project’s sensitivity. “There were no moni-

toring systems, only some physical security, but it did not meet IAEA standards,” a reference to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Under former President George W. Bush, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s government agreed to build the new storage facility at the opposite end of the country from Aktau because “they were nervous over the threat of nuclear sabotage” at BN-350, the second U.S. official continued. The U.S. officials declined to

world & nation
The Brown Daily Herald
By LeS BLumenThaL MCClatChy neWSpaperS

Scientists look at whether climate change is causing bigger waves
It’s one of the most treacherous stretches of water in the world, where 1 million cubic feet of water a second collides with 20- or 30-foot ocean swells over a four-mile stretch of shifting sand. A small band of pilots braves often-treacherous conditions to guide ships across the Columbia River Bar. The pilots who work the “Graveyard of the Pacific” have a deep respect for the relentless forces they face daily as they ride out to tankers, bulk carriers, car carriers, and cargo and passenger ships standing offshore. They commute in 72-foot self-righting boats that can roll over 360 degrees as winter gales and sometimes hurricane-force storms blast out of the North Pacific. The pilots also confirm what marine scientists have just started talking about: Ocean waves are becoming bigger and more powerful, and climate change could be the cause. “We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years now,” said Capt. Dan Jordan, who served in the merchant marine for 30 years before becoming a Columbia River Bar pilot. “Mother Nature has an easy way of telling us who is in charge.” Using buoy data and models based on wind patterns, scientists say that the waves off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and along the Atlantic seaboard from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Cape Hatteras, N.C., are steadily increasing in size. And, at least in the Northwest, the larger waves are considered more of a threat to coastal communities and beaches than the rise in sea level accompanying global warming. Similar increases in wave height have been noticed in the North Atlantic off England. Unclear is whether the number and height of “rogue” waves beyond the continental shelf have increased. The existence of such freak waves, which can reach 100 feet or more in height and can swamp a large ship in seconds, wasn’t proved until 2004, when European satellites equipped with radar detected 10 of them during a three-week period. According to some estimates, two merchant ships a month disappear without a trace, thought to be victims of rogue waves. “Obviously, this is an issue we are interested in,” said Trevor Maynard of Lloyd’s of London’s emerging risk team, which tracks global climate change developments. “We are seeing climate change fingerprints on a lot of events.” Since the mid-1970s, buoy data show the height of the biggest waves off the Northwest coast has

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010 | PAgE 8

Brian Harrison / Tacoma News Tribune

Waves crash on the shore at Cape Disappointment in Washington. Sailors and scientists are finding that waves are becoming bigger and stronger.

increased an average of about 4 inches a year, or about 10 feet total, according to Peter Ruggiero, an assistant geosciences professor at Oregon State University and the lead author of a study published recently in the journal Coastal Engineering. Ruggiero and his colleagues also estimated how high a 100-year wave might be. These would be the largest waves expected to come along every 100 years. The estimate has increased 40 percent since the 1970s, from 33 feet to 46 feet. Some cal-

culations estimate a 100-year wave might be 55 feet high, taller than a five-story building. “We are assuming the trends will increase in the future,” Ruggiero said. The future already may be here, however. Jordan, the Columbia River pilot, said a 44-foot wave was recorded off the river in October. In a major spring storm in 2007, a 54-foot wave was recorded. “After that the buoy quit recording,” Jordan said. On the East Coast, a yet-to-bepublished study also has showed that average wave heights have been increasing, by a couple of centimeters or so a year. “The averages aren’t very exciting,” said Peter Adams, an assistant professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Geological Sciences who used wind data from

the past 20 to 30 years to develop a wave height model. “Given that there are 3 million waves a year, one wave every 10 seconds, it’s not so alarming.” Adams said he finds it startling that the height of the biggest waves has increased nearly a foot in 10 years. “In a lifetime, that can be profound,” he said. A scientific debate is raging over what’s causing the increase in wave size. Possible causes include changing storm tracks, higher winds and more intense winter storms — all signs of global climate change. “While these increases are most likely due to Earth’s changing climate, uncertainty exists as to whether they are the product of human-induced greenhouse warming or represent variations related to natural multi-decadal climate cycles,” Ruggiero’s study said.

Facebook announces new messaging service
By JeSSiCa Guynn loS angeleS tiMeS

In a bold challenge to its rivals, Facebook Inc. is launching a messaging service for its more than half a billion users, setting off a battle that could shape the future of communication on the Internet. Facebook Messages will meld the three major forms of communication — e-mail, instant messages and text messages — so that users can manage all their communications through a single inbox on their personal computer or mobile device. The common gateway will be an “(at)facebook.com” e-mail address. This kind of unified digital communication is the wave of the future, said Jeremiah Owyang, a social media analyst at Altimeter Group. If anyone has a legitimate shot at remaking Internet communication, and even eventually replacing e-mail, it’s Facebook, analysts say. It has a distinct advantage: It already knows who your friends are and most of them are already on its site. In the process, it would lay claim to one of

the Web’s largest e-mail services. By way of comparison, Microsoft Corp.’s Hotmail has 361 million global users followed by Yahoo Mail’s 273 million users, according to research firm ComScore Inc. Google Inc.’s Gmail has 193 million users, But big question marks remain. It’s unclear how popular the service will be, particularly with older users. And more traditional e-mail users will miss some functions such as subject lines, carbon copy and blind carbon copy that are not built into the Facebook service, which is designed to be simple and minimalist. Facebook seems to be betting on future generations. The first e-mail was sent in the early 1970s, and it looked a lot like e-mail today. And that’s the point of the new system, Facebook Inc. founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in unveiling the feature at a news conference in San Francisco. It’s time for e-mail to catch up with the way people interact, he said. “We don’t think a modern mescontinued on page 9

world & nation
The Brown Daily Herald
continued from page 8 saging system is going to be e-mail,” Zuckerberg said. E-mail is just too slow and clunky for young people who gravitate to real-time, informal communications such as online chat and text messaging, he said. Zuckerberg said he expected the communications revolution he is trying to incite to take time to catch on. “This is not an e-mail killer,” the 26-year-old chief executive said. “This is a messaging system that includes e-mail as one part of it. We don’t expect anyone to wake up tomorrow and say, ‘OK, I am going to shut down my Yahoo mail account or Gmail account and switch exclusively to Facebook.’” But, he said, “maybe we can help push the way people do messaging more toward this simple, real-time, immediate, personal experience.” The stakes are high: If Facebook succeeds, it will have won another key advantage in the bid for your time, attention and dollars. Yahoo, Google and Microsoft have been revamping their e-mail services to make them more about interacting with friends wherever they happen to be. Yet Google has struggled in its broader social-networking efforts. Its Google Buzz service built on users’ Gmail contacts prompted privacy complaints when Google automatically imported e-mail contacts into Buzz. It is working on adding a social layer to all of its products that it is expected to roll out soon. Yahoo, the most popular U.S. e-mail provider, has also tried to get more social by allowing users to broadcast their status on Facebook and Twitter. In offering an alternative to these services, Facebook is ramping up pressure on its rivals. More than 350 million of Facebook’s more than half a billion users now actively send and receive 4 billion messages every day on the site. Zuckerberg’s argument: People will begin to shift to an all-inone communications service like the one his company is offering. A sign of how important the project was to Facebook: Facebook’s director of engineering, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth,

Facebook launches messaging service to compete with e-mail
said 15 engineers worked on the project for 15 months. In an interview at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt shrugged off the new entrant in the e-mail melee and rising tensions with Facebook, saying Google is very pleased with the explosive growth of Gmail. “More competition is always good, because competition makes the market larger,” Schmidt said. But technology blogger Robert Scoble said the new Facebook service could threaten Gmail and other e-mail services because they would find it increasingly challenging to attract new users. “This just makes those other ser-

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010 | PAgE 9

vices look old and creaky,” Scoble said. Facebook’s current messaging system allows users to interact only with others on Facebook. The new service will let them communicate with any e-mail service. It will also have a “social inbox” that filters messages from people who are not part of a user’s social circle on Facebook. Facebook will also show ads in Messages. But the new service could set off privacy alarm bells: Every conversation will be kept for posterity, unless users delete them. Some also worry that becoming the dominant communications hub would hand too much power to Facebook.

Calif. court upholds law giving illegal immigrants in-state tuition
By maura dOLan and Larry GOrdOn loS angeleS tiMeS

Illegal immigrants who graduated from California high schools can continue to receive lower, in-state tuition at the state’s public universities and colleges, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday. The ruling is the first of its kind in the nation. California is one of 10 states that permit undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition, which can save them $23,000 a year at the University of California. “Throughout the countr y, the California court decision will have reverberations,” said Daniel Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges. He predicted that it would discourage challenges to similar policies in other states. Federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving college benefits based on residency and not provided to all citizens. A lawyer for the conser vative Pacific Legal Foundation, which sided with the challengers in the case, said the ruling failed to acknowledge “clear tension between federal law and the state’s special financial benefits for illegal immigrant students.” The case is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. “California is not in sync with the federal mandate against giving brownie points for being an illegal immigrant,” said Ralph Kasarda, an attorney with the foundation. But state of ficials insist that there is no conflict with federal law. Under California’s law, public colleges can offer in-state tuition to those who attended California high schools for at least three years. Some of those students are illegal immigrants. Others are U.S. citizens who attended high school in California but whose families may now live elsewhere, or those who moved out of the state to study or attended boarding schools in California. The Immigration Reform Law Institute, the Washington, D.C.-

based group that challenged California’s law, contends that more than 25,000 undocumented students attend the state’s public colleges and that lower tuition for illegal immigrants costs the state more than $200 million annually. The state’s colleges and universities say that more than 41,000 students, less than 1 percent of total enrollment, qualify for the lower tuition under California law but that many of those are U.S. citizens. At the 10-campus University of California, about 2,019 students paid the in-state tuition provided by the law, according to statistics for the 2008-09 school year. Only about 600 are believed to be undocumented, UC officials said. About 3,600 students in the California State University system qualified for in-state tuition under the law, which saves them about $11,000 a year. California’s community colleges enroll about 36,000 students who pay the lower fees as a result of the law, which saves them an average of about $4,400 a year. Cal State and community college officials said they did not know how many of those are illegal immigrants but that those students too deserve an education. “The higher the number of degree-holders living in our state, the more likely we are to meet future work force demands,” said statewide community colleges Vice Chancellor Terri Carbaugh. Undocumented students expressed relief at the ruling. Illegal immigrants are not entitled to government financial aid. Diego Sepulveda, 23, a fourthyear, undocumented student at the University of California, Los Angeles, said he would have been unable to pay the higher tuition. He commutes by bus from his family’s home in L.A.’s Huntington Park neighborhood to the campus on the west side of Los Angeles and depends on his factor y worker parents, part-time jobs and some private donations to help pay the bills. “I’m breaking a lot of the barriers my family never thought it was possible to do,” said Sepulveda,

who hopes to attend law school. University officials also were gratified. “Through their hard work and perseverance, these students have earned the opportunity to attend UC,” said UC President Mark G. Yudof. “Their accomplishments should not be disregarded or their futures jeopardized.” Christine Helwick, general counsel for the Cal State system, said most undocumented students entered the United States when they were young and attended schools here. “It would have been foolhardy to tell them they are no longer welcome when they get to higher education,” she said. A state appeals court had unanimously overturned the 2001 tuition law on the grounds that it conflicted with a federal prohibition against giving illegal immigrants benefits based on residency. Justice Ming Chin, one of the more conservative members of the California Supreme Court and the son of Chinese immigrant potato farmers, said in Monday’s ruling that state law was not based on residency and therefore did not conflict with the federal prohibition. “Ever y nonresident who meets (the law’s) requirements — whether a United States citizen, a lawful alien or an unlawful alien — is entitled to the nonresident tuition exemption,” Chin wrote. The case was brought on behalf of citizens who are paying the higher out-of-state tuition rates. The group contended that lower tuition could not be offered to illegal students and denied to some citizens. But Chin said the court was not making policy, simply interpreting the law on “a controversial subject.” “It cannot be the case that states may never give a benefit to unlawful aliens without giving the same benefit to all American citizens,” Chin wrote. Two similar laws have been challenged in Texas and Nebraska, where lawsuits are pending in the lower state courts. A federal lawsuit against a Kansas in-state tuition law, also filed by the citizens’ rights group, was dis-

missed on the grounds the group lacked legal authority, or standing, because it was not directly hurt by the law. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision. Kris Kobach, senior counsel of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, called Monday’s r uling “superficial” and accused the California court of “bending over backwards to defeat the intent of Congress.” He said that high national interest in the subject might win the U.S. Supreme Court’s attention. But Ethan Schulman, who represented the University of California in the case, called the ruling “solid” and noted that six of the seven justices on the state high court were appointed by Republican governors. The UC Regents this week will consider a proposal to raise undergraduate fees by 8 percent, or $822,

for next school year, to $11,124 annually. Last year, UC hiked its fees by 32 percent. Cal State trustees last week voted to increase tuition for all students 5 percent for the rest of this school year and an additional 10 percent for next year. Basic full-time undergraduate tuition next year will rise to $4,884. Sofia Campos, 20, co-chairwoman of a UCLA organization that helps fellow undocumented students, called the ruling “a victor y” but said she can barely get by even with in-state tuition. The fourth-year student, whose family is from Peru, said she had to drop out of school for a quarter to work and took low-cost community college courses at night so she would not fall behind. If the court had overturned the law, immigrant students “would have been pushed out of higher education,” the Eagle Rock, Calif., resident said.

editorial & Letters
The Brown Daily Herald
PAgE 10 | WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010

l e t t e r to t h e e d i to r

Column missed tenure reform facts
To the editor: As an obser ver to this year’s faculty meetings, I feel the need to comment on the Nov. 12 opinions column, “Kertzer’s Brown, Inc. legacy,” by Simon Liebling ’12. First, the column does not portray all facts accurately. Liebling fails to note that the tenure reforms were drawn up with faculty input — Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences Sheila Blumstein introduced the reforms at the Oct. 5 faculty meeting. In addition, the faculty did not prove that it “does not want” tenure reforms. Rather, it voted not to approve the reforms based on matters of process. (The reforms were presented as one document; faculty members sought to vote on individual articles.) In fact, the faculty voted not to bury the reforms but rather to send them back to the Faculty Executive Committee, which is currently working with the original drafters to restructure the document. Second, the column includes scant evidence. Liebling writes that the University has taken an “antagonistic tack” in dealing with faculty, but cites no specific instance of such a tack other than the broad discussion of tenure reform. Third, the column assumes that all faculty members have the same opposition regarding tenure. To assume that all faculty would uniformly “resist” tenure reform is a gross oversimplification of the diversity of the professors within our community, and ignores the fact that the votes during the faculty meeting were far from unanimous. Regardless of one’s stance regarding “Brown, Inc.”, it remains imperative that campus-wide dialogue be based on facts, not mere assumptions.

SAM ROSENFELD

e d i to r i a l
kara kaufman ’12 Nov. 15

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Letter of recommendation
It’s pretty much inevitable that we will all have to get letters of recommendation at some point during our time at Brown. Whether we’re applying for jobs, internships, grants, study abroad programs or graduate schools, the time will invariably come to confront this rite of passage. In a fantasy world, this process would be painless, and maybe our professors would even pull us aside after class, shower us with praise and offer to write us letters on their own time. (“You’ve been so eloquent in class lately, is there anything you’d like to be recommended for?”) But alas, that is not the way the world works, and our professors are busy people who do not spend their days thinking about all the excellence and promise we show in class. The process of requesting letters can be awkward for students — from deciding which professors to ask to ensuring that their letters actually get sent out on time. And it’s undoubtedly time-consuming for professors, who probably get more requests for letters then they can keep track of. Though letters of recommendation will likely always be a source of stress for all parties involved, we wanted to offer two suggestions to make things go a little smoother. First off, we’d like to see a University-wide standardized letter of recommendation request form, which students could use to provide professors with relevant background, resume and deadline information. This form could also give students a chance to suggest a few points to include in the letter, easing the burden on professors and the anxiety felt by students. Because professors may not always have time to ask students for examples of their strengths or accomplishments, the form could help students to outline some of their activities, achievements and strengths to mention in the letter. This form would not replace the practice of students asking professors in person to write recommendations. Indeed, an initial face-to-face discussion is essential to the process. But we hope that a standardized form will make students less shy about talking to professors about their letters, as well as help professors gather material for letters and organize all the requests and deadlines that accumulate. We’d also love to see the Career Development Center promote Interfolio, “the premiere online credential management service for universities” that replaced paper dossier accounts in 2009, according to the CDC website. Students can use Interfolio to store, save, send and manage letters of recommendation. Professors can e-mail or upload the letters to the site, and students can then keep track of their letters and send them from the site, which promises to process requests within one day. Though Interfolio is explained on the CDC website, it seems to us like many students have never heard of the service. While the service is free for professors, it costs students $19 for a one-year subscription and $39.90 for three years, according to Interfolio’s website. Though we think this price is pretty steep for what essentially amounts to an electronic paper storage service, the idea behind Interfolio has a lot of value. This tool would be incredibly useful for students who are taking time off after college and applying to grad school at a later time. Maybe one day letters of recommendation will cease to create anxiety for students and a burden for professors. Until then, these two small suggestions could help make things just a bit easier.

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Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.

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opinions
The Brown Daily Herald

WEDNESDAy, NOvEMBER 17, 2010 | PAgE 11

one campus, divided
SuSANNAH KROEBER
opinions coluMnist
After the recent election, you might think that I’m about to talk about politics. Nov. 2 was a great upheaval, a polarizing election, and we need something similar here at Brown. One of the greatest issues today is the fact that people on both ends of the political spectrum do not regularly engage in discourse. At Brown, we are often hindered from discourse by structural failings of the University. There is both an obvious cause and an obvious remedy to this problem. Microwaves. The lack of microwave ovens is the biggest hindrance to student discourse at the University. Think about it: When graduates talk about those great intellectual conversations they had in college, they often happen in places with food, not in dorm rooms or off-campus apartments. The most time-honored and traditional way to facilitate conversation is over meals. Early Christians and various Jewish sects recognized this. They threw out Jewish dietary laws because they believed it prevented people from coming together. At Brown, we only have space for 4,800 students to live on campus at the most, and there are 6,000 undergraduates. There is currently only one microwave located outside of a dining hall for students to use, and it is not in a very central location — the Gate (Oct. 14, “Behind the balance sheet: an inside look at BDS”). There are students living on and off campus who are off meal plan. At lunchtime, students off meal plan must either bring a cold lunch or go home to eat because there are not enough locations where they can heat their food. The conversations they might have had never even begin, because problem: it is both easy and cheap to fix. For all the students who want to bring hot lunches and dinners, install a dozen microwaves around campus. Bring the microwaves back to Faunce and put them at all of the eateries and food carts. The problem of access to dining halls is equally easy to solve. Instead of swiping into the Ratty or V-Dub at the entrance, swipe to enter or exit the food lines, and institute unlimited swipes for a period of an hour or an hour and a half after the first swipe. Students So, Brown Dining Services, live up to the promise of the University being an egalitarian institution. Will some students bend the rules and “steal” food for their friends? Absolutely. But many students are already doing that. They are taking five takeout boxes for their friends who aren’t on meal plan simply because there isn’t a place for them to heat up food they brought from home. Bending rules is a given, but that doesn’t mean we should punish students who choose to live off-campus by making it incredibly difficult for them to share a meal with friends. Providing a place for students who live off campus to heat their food and eat their lunch should be a priority for the University. Not only would it facilitate the intellectual conversations we are asked — and want — to have, but it would be an excellent use of the $600 fee that students are charged for living off campus. I bet that it wouldn’t take more than the fees from about 10 off-campus students to enact the changes I’ve suggested. Then, instead of friends wracking their brains to come up with a low-cost way of sharing a meal together, everyone at Brown would be free to use the facilities that are supposed to feed us and bring us together.

The conversations they might have had never even begin, because students on meal plan are segregated from those without meal credits.

students on meal plan are segregated from those without meal credits. And beyond microwaves, the fact that a student without meal credits cannot bring his food with him into a dining hall to eat with his friends is absurd. Those groups of students in heated conversation after fascinating seminars splinter because a few of those students can’t even enter the Sharpe Refectory or Verney-Woolley Dining Hall There are two great things about this

on meal plan will still be able to run through the line 10 times to hoard chicken fingers, and their off-meal-plan friends can join them inside. Dining halls at Brown aren’t supposed to be like the elitist eating clubs at Princeton. There’s no reason why a student who attends Brown can’t sit in the Ratty, even if he or she hasn’t paid $4,000 a year to eat there. That is why we are all at Brown and not at Princeton.

Susannah Kroeber ’11 has spent the past year off meal plan discovering the hidden microwaves of Brown University departments.

Checking into ‘Places’
By LuCIA SEDA
opinions coluMnist
Lately, the Social Network par excellence (a.k.a. Facebook) has been the epicenter of numerous changes that range from aesthetic modifications of profile pages to the introduction of new features for registered users. One of these is the “long awaited location feature, Facebook Places.” With this new application you can check into places like cities, restaurants, bars and libraries directly from your phone — it is understood that this applies to owners of iPhones, and most recently, Blackberries — and publish the information on your profile. Already, our Facebook statuses reflect all sorts of features from our daily lives: our states of mind (for college students, it tends to be one of perennial exhaustion), our academic frustrations (“I cannot take it anymore with (insert class here)!”) and our upcoming plans (“New York for the weekend!”). But with the new “Places” feature, you can now tell your omniscient Facebook friends where you are at all times. It’s kind of a personalized “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” cybernetic game for the newer, technologically savvy generation. More and more, Facebook is becoming a refined tool for disseminating information of the personal kind. Gone are the days when you sporadically logged in to see pictures of your friends and the two or three posts on your wall. The new face of Facebook allows you to comment on photos, posts and friendships, and now, the added feature of “Places” gives you the chance to become the spokesperson of your own location. The act of pinning yourself down on the map for the Facebook world to see prompts me to ask. What is the point in doing this? Is it because people feel the need to report to that ubiquitous Big Brother, who’s always scrolling down on your profile to see what you have been up to in the past few days? I’m not even sure how you are supposed to to inform the world of our whereabouts because we want those nameless “someones” to know. Checking into places like Starbucks or “The Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center at Faunce House” can invite company, but checking into fancier “Places” like restaurants on Wickenden or bars in downtown Providence aims at a different target — it is no accident that you “check in” to these places as you would “check in” at a hotel. Either way, the action is meant to excite the interest of the invisible “Other” — the sedulous Facebook stalker who’s looking at us from an undefined Panopticon and geographical latitude, but it also allows the respective “others” to track that friend’s activity and see how many times he or she has checked into that place before — or any other place, for that matter. It’s a personal record of your whereabouts that is eerily reminiscent of those years back in high school when we had to sign our names and destination (restroom, water fountain or school infirmar y) in a class list in order to get a hall pass from our teachers. One of my favorite ever yday moments at Brown is whenever I run into someone I know either on Thayer Street or elsewhere on campus. Sometimes a wave is enough to acknowledge the presence of the other; sometimes you walk over to the Rock carrel and whisper to your close friend: “I knew you’d be here!” Other times you see a familiar acquaintance studying at Au Bon Pain and despite the rush to get to class on time, you tap on the window closest to the booth and say, “I’m surprised to see you here!” I’d like to think that there is still a certain beauty in the uncertain, in the unexpected, in the unplanned sight of a friend. So until then, I won’t be making any public check-ins. At least not for the Facebook world to know.

The act of pinning yourself down on the map for the Facebook world to see prompts me to ask: what is the point in doing this?
react to this piece of information that randomly pops on your home page when you least expect it. Is the newsflash intended to “poke” (pun intended) at that tiny ounce of jealousy that’s hidden somewhere beneath your indifferent stalking (“I wish I were having dinner on Federal Hill too!”), or is it a tacit hint that gives you license to show up and join the club? Whatever the reasons, I’m nevertheless tempted to think that there is some part of us that, perhaps mechanically, feels the need is constantly aware of our moves, our new friendships and our histor y of wall-to-walls with a particular friend. I tend to be partially obsessive-compulsive with many aspects of my life, so maybe this Facebook privacy paranoia is simply another feature of my deliberate effort to preser ve my incognito status as much as I can. Yet I can’t help but question the significance of heralding in our presence in such an explicit manner. This feature momentarily places a given person on an exact

Lucia Seda ’12 is a comparative literature concentrator from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She can be contacted at Lucia_Seda@brown.edu.

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Cross country runners fail to qualify

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A call for more heated discussions

wedneSday, nOVemBer 17, 2010

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61 / 42

53 / 34
PAgE 12

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

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c a l e n da r
TOday 12 p .m. MCB graduate Program Seminar , Sydney Frank Hall Room 220 5p .m Tea and Feminism, Sarah Doyle Women’s Center 8p .m. Play go with the go Club, J. Walter Wilson Room 401 nOVemBer 17 TOmOrrOw 12 p .m. What do you think you are saying?, Sarah Doyle Women’s Center nOVemBer 18

6

1
coMics

BB & Z | Cole Pruitt, Andrew Seiden, and valerie Hsiung

Menu
Sharpe reFeCTOry Pepperoni, Spinach and Feta Calzone, Spanish Steak, Bruschetta Mozzarella, gingerbread Cookies Verney-wOOLLey dininG haLL LunCh Beef and Broccoli Szechwan, Bruschetta Mozarella, Edamame Beans with Tri-Color Peppers

The misadventures of Blockhead | Adam Petchers and Co.

dinner Sustainable Seafood Cavatelli, Roasted Red Potatoes with Herbs, Oven Roasted Tofu Triangles Pub House Battered Pollock, Macaroni and Cheese with Avocado and Tomato, grilled Asparagus

crossword
dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline

Classic excelsior | Kevin grubb

Classic hippomanic | Mat Becker