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Daily Herald

the Brown

vol. cxlvi, no. 3 Friday, January 28, 2011 Since 1891

Tumor research could lead Raffling Rooms Simmons


to treatment breakthrough attends
By Natalie Villacorta The study originated from the
Senior Staff Writer

Researchers at the Alpert Medical


hypothesis that a relationship ex-
ists between mutations in tumors
and the methylation patterns
Swiss
School made an important dis-
covery that may lead to changes
found in their genomes, Kelsey
said. Previous research had identi- conference
in the way brain tumors­are di- fied this connection in other types
agnosed and treated. Their find- of cancer, said Brock Christensen, By David Chung
ings, published in the Journal of a Brown postdoctoral research as- Senior Staff Writer
the National Cancer Institute last sociate in pathology and labora-
month, have generated a slew of tory medicine and the first author This week, for the fourth year in
questions — not only about brain on the paper. He said he — along a row, President Ruth Simmons is
tumors, but also cancer in general. with Kelsey and Ashley Smith joining global leaders from busi-
“This is a very big deal in brain GS — set out to discover if this ness, politics and other fields at
tumors,” said Professor of Com- relationship also existed in brain the annual meeting of the World
munity Health Karl Kelsey, one of tumors. There was an even greater Economic Forum in Davos, Swit-
the paper’s senior authors. basis for the relationship than ex- zerland. The event, which began
Brown researchers collaborated pected, Kelsey said.  Jan. 26 and ends Jan. 30, allows
with researchers from the Univer- Christensen said the mutation Simmons to develop relationships
sity of California at San Francisco in question exists in the IDH gene, with university presidents and so-
and several other universities. which codes for an enzyme in- cial entrepreneurs, as well as brain-
Kelsey and UCSF Professor John volved in glucose sensing, an as- storm initiatives that could bring
Wiencke — who have been friends pect of metabolic processing. The change to the academic scene, she
since high school — have teamed researchers found that tumors with Nicholas Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald wrote from Davos in an e-mail to
up repeatedly over the last 25 years The first pick in the housing lottery was raffled off to students at last night’s The Herald.
on various scientific projects. continued on page 2 Housing Fair. The forum’s theme this year is
“Shared Norms for the New Real-

Innovative students pitch inventions, win in 90 secs.


ity.”
Marisa Quinn, vice president for
public affairs and University rela-
By Jordan Hendricks in Providence. Theresa Raimondo ’11 won the to urban slums around the world. tions, said the event and its theme
Contributing Writer At the contest, sponsored $300 first prize for her business Raimondo entered the con- are applicable to the University’s
by the Rhode Island Business idea, a thermos that can heat or test as part of her ENGN 1930G: interest in being involved in current
Two undergraduates made ef- Plan Competition 2011, college cool beverages from 50 to 150 “Entrepreneurship I” class. She global issues. “It is essential to be a
ficient use of their time — im- students and business veterans degrees Fahrenheit within 90 sec- and her team of classmates were part of the conversation,” she said.
pressing judges and winning cash alike described business ideas to onds. Anshu Vaish ’12 received a assigned the general task of im- A number of university presi-
prizes in 90 seconds — Dec. 8 at a panel — as if making a pitch to $50 prize for his pitch about Wa- proving astronaut food with the dents from around the world attend
an elevator pitch contest held at a CEO who only has an elevator terWalla, an organization already help of mentors from the National the forum each year to participate
the Rhode Island Center for In- ride’s worth of time to evaluate in existence and run by under- in the Global University Leaders
novation and Entrepreneurship a proposal. graduates that brings clean water continued on page 4 Forum, first organized in 2006.
“The opportunity to meet with
this diverse group to develop ideas
Winter Wonderland
Art exhibition features and foster international academic
partnerships is very worthwhile,”
Simmons wrote. Quinn added that

diverse faculty artists the forum provides a rare venue for


university leaders to initiate and
develop partnerships.
By Anna lillkung perimental performance” by Butch Simmons attended a meeting
Contributing Writer Rovan and Lucky Leone, accord- Thursday morning hosted by Mas-
ing to a Brown press release. It has sachusetts Institute of Technology
Faculty Triennial 2010, a gallery now reopened after the break and faculty members, which focused
exhibition which includes the work will be open until Feb. 13. on MIT’s energy institute and
of 24 faculty members, is now on The exhibition features many approaches to energy issues. The
display in the David Winton Bell types of media, including digital discussion prompted her to think
Gallery. The show provides an op- videos, oil paintings and photo- about energy research at Brown,
portunity for viewers to experience graphs, providing an excellent she wrote.
insight into the work of different Simmons is also hosting two
arts & culture kinds of artists and the media they panels during her time in Davos.
choose to employ. But the variety The first, which has already taken
a mix of different art forms, as it also leads to incoherence within place, discussed of methods for
features faculty artists from the de- the exhibition. There seems to be supporting emerging artists, and
partments of Visual Art, Modern little communication between the she wrote she hopes to implement
Culture and Media and Theatre artists, resulting in a cacophony of in Providence some of the ideas that
Arts and Performance Studies. clashing voices. emerged from the discussion. The
The inclusion of literary arts and Upon first entering the exhi- second panel will discuss the emer-
multimedia and electronic experi- bition, three photographs taken gence and decline of languages.
ments culminates in a unique and by Postdoctoral Fellow in Music The event allows Simmons to
varied blend of artistic work. Betsey Biggs at an abandoned foster valuable connections with
The exhibition has been on amusement park are on display. non-profit leaders and social en-
display in the David Winton Bell In particular, one photograph of trepreneurs, she wrote. “Discus-
Hilary Rosenthal / Herald
Gallery at List Art Center since
A particularly snowy season in Providence left the Main Green covered in
the white stuff. Dec. 3 and started with an “ex- continued on page 5 continued on page 3
weather

Opening up Racist care Babbling


news....................1-5 t o d ay tomorrow
inside

Comics...................5
editorial..............6 Brown researcher gets Ethi- Alum explores unconscious Sarah Rosenthal ’11
Opinions...............7 opian teens to talk safe sex biases in healthcare on student writing
feature...................8 Campus News, 3 Feature, 8 Opinions, 7 28 / 21 34 / 18
2 Campus News The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 28, 2011

calendar Profs find mutation, methylation link


Today January 28 Tomorrow January 29
continued from page 1 mutation aspect of the analysis, Kelsey said.
6:00 P.M. 1:00 p.M. and Christensen handled the epi- The study also found that pa-
“Intimate Lighting,” Faculty Triennial 2010, this mutation also have an associ- genetic side. A technique called tients with brain tumors carrying
Modern Culture and Media 101 List Art Building ated DNA methylation pattern. the Illumina GoldenGate meth- the IDH mutation survive longer
DNA methylation — when a ylation array was used to measure than those without the mutation,
6:30 P.M. 5:30 p.m.
methyl group is covalently bonded the amount of methylation in the but Kelsey said no one knows
West House Open Dinner, Brown Running Club Group Run, to a cytosine base followed by a tumors. The analysis revealed a why. Despite this finding, phar-
West House Sciences Library guanine base — is an epigenetic close link between the IDH muta- maceutical companies are trying
alternation to DNA, which changes tion and enhanced occurrence of to develop a drug to inhibit meth-
gene expression. All the cells in methylation, Kelsey said. ylation, which is counterintuitive,
menu the human body contain the same
genetic material, but each cell also
The reason for this link is un-
known, though research is already
Christensen said. The reasoning is
that by preventing the methyla-
SHARPE REFECTORY VERNEy-WOOLLEY DINING HALL contains a methylation pattern. underway to fill in the missing tion — and therefore reversing the
LUNCH Methylated DNA is a signal of gaps. But the Brown research silencing of genes — the cell will
Chicken with Raisins and Olives, BLT Chicken Fingers, Sticky Rice, Baked gene silencing, Kelsey said. In team is going to focus on more return to its normal state, Kelsey
Sandwich, Vegan Chana Masala, Vegan Nuggets, Enchilada Bar, the case of the brain tumors, the general tumor-related questions. said. “But first you have to realize
Butterscotch Cookies, Clam Bisque Butterscotch Cookies methylated regions marked genes “We study tumors and we study that everybody dies of this dis-
involved in metabolic processes, people, and the answers to the ease,” he added. The difference in
DINNER
which might explain the abnormal questions that we have posed are survival is a matter of months or
Chicken Tikka, Arabian Spinach, Texas Style Beef Brisket, Mexican behavior of tumor cells. best tackled by biochemists and a few years, he said.
Basmati Rice Pilaf, Vegetable Stuffed Cornbread Casserole, BBQ Grilled Smith was in charge of the the pharmaceutical industry,” But Christensen and Kelsey said
Peppers Asparagus they are hopeful that their research

Daily Herald
the Brown will contribute to changes in the
Sudoku way cancer is treated, moving
away from the nonspecific and
www.browndailyherald.com toxic removal of tissue to more
195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. personalized medicine. The imme-
Ben Schreckinger, President Matthew Burrows, Treasurer diate impact of the research is that
Sydney Ember, Vice President Isha Gulati, Secretary people may now measure for IDH
The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the mutation clinically, Christensen
Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday said. “Just to tell people. Just to be
during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once dur- able to say you are maybe going to
ing Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for do a little bit better,” he said.
each member of the community.
POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. “While there are gaps in the
Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. basic biology, we now have targets
Subscription prices: $280 one year daily, $140 one semester daily. that clearly affect the character of
Copyright 2011 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved. the tumor,” Kelsey said. “That’s
editorial Business knowledge that’s really important
(401) 351-3372 (401) 351-3360 in terms of trying to figure out how
herald@browndailyherald.com gm@browndailyherald.com
to affect treatment.”

Crossword
The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 28, 2011 Campus News 3
Prof obtains better data on sex habits In Davos, Simmons
By EMILY ROSEN
Staff Writer
bers at Jimma University were
closely involved in the research,
versities and health providers to
improve public health. This re- networks, hosts panels
and Lindstrom said he frequently search project also studies other
Using innovative nonverbal inter- travels to Ethiopia to run work- aspects of Ethiopian life, including continued from page 1 thew Gutmann, vice president for
viewing methods to protect the shops and work directly with native issues of sanitation, living habits, international affairs. Prospective
privacy of participants, Associ- Ethiopians. pest control and infectious disease. sions with this group are especially students, alums, donors and Cor-
ate Professor of Sociology David The Jimma University’s health Lindstrom said there are many important to us in university life.” poration members are expected to
Lindstrom has developed a method communication program has re- simple ways to improve public Simmons also recently learned attend. Though recruitment is not
for obtaining more honest answers cently produced radio broadcasts health without spending large sums of a project offering mini-loans to the main reason behind Simmons’
from Ethiopian adolescents to of the policy briefs. Lindstrom said of money. Lindstrom said he hopes artists, and she wrote she is excited trip to Switzerland, she wrote she
questions about their reproduc- he hopes the radio broadcasts will his research collaborators and oth- by the prospect of implementing occasionally meets young, moti-
tive health. be an effective way to communicate ers will continue this kind of re- the idea. vated individuals at the forum who
Lindstrom said this nonverbal the survey results to the general search in the future and expand And she will be holding a Uni- already stand among global figures.
response method makes for more populace. it to other regions of the world. versity event alongside Ronald The University always welcomes
accurate responses because the He said his group’s goal is to “We’re there to make a long-term Margolin, vice president for inter- outstanding individuals, Quinn
Ethiopian adolescents his group establish a dialogue between uni- contribution and impact,” he said. national advancement, and Mat- said.
interviews are not required to ver-
balize answers to personal ques-
tions about their sexual activity
and reproductive health. This in-
novative method could be used to
conduct health surveys in other
places, as it is an easy, economical
way to conduct research, he said.
For over nine years, Lindstrom
and researchers from Brown, Em-
ory University and two Ethiopian
universities have been studying
topics including sexual behavior
among adolescents, access to con-
traceptives, awareness of HIV and
the various issues young people
face during the transition from
adolescence to adulthood, Lind-
strom said.
Due to the personal nature and
sensitivity of the questions asked
during the interviews, Lindstrom
said it was important to ensure
participant privacy. The research-
ers also needed to find a nonverbal
interview technique for people who
may not be literate or know how to
use computers, he added.
To protect participants’ ano-
nymity, Lindstrom’s group devel-
oped a method to conduct inter-
views using response cards. A card
is placed between the interviewer
and the participant so that the in-
terviewer cannot see the partici-
pant’s side of the card. The par-
ticipant’s side contains a grid with
possible answers to questions, such
as the words “yes” and “no.” Each
possible answer then has a small
hole punched in the card directly
below it. To answer a question,
the participant sticks a small rod
through the hole corresponding to
his or her answer. The interviewer
records the hole that was chosen by
the participant without knowing
which hole corresponds to which
answer. A master key is then used
to decode the survey answers.
Lindstrom’s group interviews
Ethiopians between the ages of 15
and 25. Each individual is followed
for five years and is periodically
interviewed during those years.
Researchers then compile and
analyze data from the interviews,
and publish policy briefs to sum-
marize the findings, Lindstrom
said. The policy briefs are short
memos that contain data and sta-
tistics from the survey as well as
policy recommendations to im-
prove health and well-being.
Lindstrom said these policy
briefs include suggestions to health
service providers for improving re-
productive health.
Another major component of
the project was collaboration with
Ethiopian universities, including
Jimma University. Faculty mem-
4 Campus News The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 28, 2011

Entrepreneurs
struggle with brevity
continued from page 1 audience, a small dose is really
useful,” Beckman said. “To be
Aeronautics and Space Adminis- able to distill an idea down into
tration. After research and inter- a minute’s length and sell the idea
views with astronauts, the team they’re working on is an essential
discovered that neither hot nor skill.”
cold beverages are available in Raimondo said that this chal-
space due to energy constraints. lenge of brevity was also one of
This inspired the team to design the more difficult aspects of the
a thermos using portable ther- competition.
moelectric technology. “It’s challenging to give enough
Raimondo said the group did information in 90 seconds that
not plan on actually marketing you convince someone that your
the product at the beginning of idea is useful and worthwhile,”
the semester, but the group’s win she said. “Getting people inter-
in the contest might change that. ested quickly is a useful skill to
“We would consider it now,” have.”
said Raimondo. “It’s gotten a lot WaterWalla, Vaish’s group, be-
more recognition than we ex- gan seven months ago and has
pected. We’re entering the Rhode raised $17,000. Vaish said group
Island Business Plan Competi- members felt an obligation to
tion. If everything goes well, it’s use their resources — especially
a definite possibility.” The group a Brown education — to give back
will use their prize money toward to others in the form of better
a prototype of the thermos as part health. The Hindi word “walla”
of this semester’s class. roughly translates to “provider
Jason Beckman ’11, co-pres- of.”
ident of the Brown Entrepre- After assessing the needs of
neurship Program, noted the different communities in India,
importance of being able to pitch WaterWalla sells technological
a complicated business idea in solutions to local vendors at no
a short amount of time. The profit.
program — which offers men- According to WaterWalla’s
toring and networking services website, diseases related to wa-
to students with an interest in ter toxicity cause 90 percent of
beginning their own business the deaths of children in Dharavi,
venture — offers its own annual the slum in Mumbai, India where
elevator pitch competition with a the project began.
cash reward of $1,000 to the best “If all else fails, if we save the
45-second pitch. life of just one child, it will all be
“In terms of captivating an worth it,” Vaish said.

Got something to say? Leave a comment online!


Visit www.browndailyherald.com to comment on opinion and editorial content.
The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 28, 2011 Campus News 5
Music, video featured comics
in profs’ art exhibit BB & Z | Cole Pruitt, Andrew Seiden, Valerie Hsiung and Dan Ricker

continued from page 1 participant steps into the room,


images of his or her body appear
a broken roller coaster called to on the wall in different colors and
mind a cold ghost town and was forms. The room simultaneously
chillingly fascinating. relaxes and awakens the curiosity
Biggs enhanced the viewing ex- of the viewer.
perience of her photos by includ- Professor of Art Wendy Ed-
ing audio tracks. One such track wards’ “Vase I” and “Vase II,”
repeatedly said, “Wat now” — the as well as Assistant Professor
words written on the ground in of Modern Culture and Media
one of the pictures — reinforcing Studies Mark Tribe’s “The New Cabernet Voltarie | Abe Pressman
the supernatural sensation in a Revolution,” were not particularly
haunting way. Biggs’ work was an striking. Edwards’ oil-on-board
intriguing and distinct addition to paintings were overly simplistic,
the show as a result. with weak color schemes and
Another interesting piece was vague definition. Tribe’s piece
Professor of English Forrest Gan- of art was a green screen paper,
der’s “A Border History: Rattle- which attempted to invite the
snakes and Light,” an audio poem spectator to create his or her own
accompanied by music and video projects, but at the end of the day
footage of the Chihuahuan Desert. appeared to be only a big green
The natural beauty and wildlife of piece of paper.
the U.S.-Mexico border provided Faculty Triennial 2010 will
a visual interpretation of Gander’s organize a second event Feb. 11 Dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline
poem. But the music was a strange with several live performances,
choice, with the Latin American according to a Brown press re-
beats disrupting the illusion of lease. The exhibition provides
being in the calm atmosphere of visitors with a unique opportunity
the desert. to learn how Brown professors
A highlight of the exhibition express themselves artistically.
was Associate Professor of Music But ultimately, the exhibit’s lack
Todd Winkler’s “Glint,” which in- of cohesion is overwhelming and
corporated audio, video and inter- detracts from the impact of the
active software. This work leads individual pieces.
the viewer into a black room with
a three-screen video installment
that makes the walls look like
water shining in the sun. As the
6 Editorial & Letter The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 28, 2011

Editorial Editorial Comic


by erik stay ton and
evan donahue
Mental health on campus
after Tucson
The tragic events that took place just a few weeks ago in Tucson, Ariz.
— where 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire on a crowd, killing
six and injuring 14 — raise questions about how colleges deal with
mental health issues. Records at Pima Community College show that
school officials were concerned about Loughner’s erratic and sometimes
menacing behavior. Indeed, Loughner was finally suspended this past
September and told he could only return if a mental health professional
cleared him to do so.
Looking back, it is easy to suggest that the college could have done
more to prevent Loughner’s actions. Pima administrators, for example,
were free to share their concerns with law enforcement, but chose not
to. Moving forward, however, we should avoid conflating a school’s
responsibility to provide mental health services to students with a duty
to prevent these horrific actions.
So far, documents released by the college reveal no breaches of
procedure or seriously flawed judgments by administrators. To the
contrary, safety experts told the Wall Street Journal that, by and large, the
school acted “diligently.” Administrators made their concerns known to
Loughner’s parents. And while the college did not approach police, the
Arizona Republic reported that “what may look like a psychotic spiral
in hindsight, likely would not have been enough to have (Loughner)
forced into psychiatric care, much less arrested.”
Putting the onus on colleges to outright prevent acts like Loughner’s
would likely require students to give up more of our liberties than we feel
comfortable with. Administrators are worried about liability. In a world
where we expect school officials to stop every single Jared Loughner
from acting, colleges would likely resort to mandatory leave and report
students’ troubles to law enforcement much more than they currently do.
Even Brown’s existing mandated medical leave policies have been
criticized by some students (“Psychological leave-takers miss U. contact,”
letter to the editor
Sept. 27). And if reporting troubled students to the authorities were to
become a standard response, it would undermine trust between the ACCRIP chair challenges Yale’s standard
for ethical investments
student body and administration. While preventative measures rooted
in restraint have their place, they should not become go-to solutions to
mental health problems.
Instead, the University should redouble its commitment to provid- To the Editor: two years by a committee made up of very thoughtful
ing students with psychological services that are both comprehensive faculty, student, staff and alumni members. Thus, I
and easily accessible. We should strive to be more attentive to our own Your recent article on the recommendation by the must qualify Professor Macey’s comment that Brown’s
mental health, as well as to that of our friends and classmates. Psycho- Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in decision “appears to be based on the existence of com-
logical Services offers many resources we can take advantage of. But we Investment Policies (ACCRIP) that the University plaints and allegations,” whereas a similar decision by
should not hesitate to seek out professional advice if we are concerned not reinvest in HEI Hotels and Resorts provides an Yale would have been based on “facts and evidence”
not just for ourselves, but for someone else. Belinda Johnson, director accurate account of the committee’s action. It also as unfortunate at best.
of psychological services, reminded us that staff are available “at any quotes Professor Jonathan Macey, chair of a similar We stand firmly by our recommendation and hope
time of the day or night” to offer support. committee at Yale, as having stated that, in contrast, the that the Brown Corporation will accept it at its next
Sadly, it is doubtful the events in Tucson will mark the last time a Yale committee had not found “sufficient evidence of meeting.
mentally ill college student turns to violence. While many voices in the violation of our ethical investment norms.” It is obvi-
media seem intent on finding one entity to blame — be it Loughner’s ous that the two universities have different standards Luiz Valente
parents, a culture of incivility or college administrators — the Tucson for what ethical investments are. ACCRIP chair and associate professor of
tragedy cannot be explained so simply. We hope that as the public dis- ACCRIP’s unanimous recommendation was based Portuguese and Brazilian studies
course regarding the shooting progresses, we hear less about who is at on long reflection and deliberations over a period of
fault, and more about what can be done to help prevent such horrors

quote of the day


in the future.

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments

“If all else fails, if we save the life of just one child,
to editorials@browndailyherald.com.

t h e b r ow n da i ly h e r a l d
Editors-in-Chief
Sydney Ember
Deputy Managing Editors
Brigitta Greene
Senior Editors
Dan Alexander
it will all be worth it. ”
Ben Schreckinger Anne Speyer Nicole Friedman — Anshu Vaish ’12, on his non-profit business, which brings clean water to urban slums
Julien Ouellet
editorial Business
Kristina Fazzalaro Arts & Culture Editor General Managers Office Manager

Correction
Luisa Robledo Arts & Culture Editor Matthew Burrows Shawn Reilly
Talia Kagan Features Editor Isha Gulati
Hannah Moser Features Editor
Directors
Rebecca Ballhaus City & State Editor
Aditi Bhadia Sales
Claire Peracchio City & State Editor
Alex Bell News Editor
Danielle Marshak Finance An article in Thursday’s Herald (“Fundraising campaign complete,” Jan. 27, 2011) incorrectly stated that the
Margot Grinberg Alumni Relations
Nicole Boucher News Editor
Lisa Berlin Special Projects Brown Annual Fund raised $573 million throughout the course of the Campaign for Academic Enrichment.
Tony Bakshi Sports Editor
Ashley McDonnell Sports Editor Managers This figure refers to the total amount of current-use funds raised during the campaign. The Annual Fund
Anita Mathews Editorial Page Editor Hao Tran National Sales raised $247.9 million during the campaign. The Herald regrets the error.
Tyler Rosenbaum Editorial Page Editor Alec Kacew University Department Sales
Hunter Fast Opinions Editor Siena deLisser University Student Group Sales
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Graphics & Photos Lauren Bosso Business Operations The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be
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The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 28, 2011 Opinions 7
The ROTC Question
unwillingness to rescind its status as an testing the United States military’s foreign year — not very good compensation for
By Chris academic credit-bearing entity. Howev- involvement. risking one’s life. Although officer positions
er, as we all know, the 1960s were a time Although this summary paints just a certainly pay more handsomely, they are
Norris-LeBlanc of significant student protest, especially small picture of the cultural milieu in the mostly available to students coming from
Opinions Columnist at schools like Brown. Starting as early as ’60s and ’70s, it helps us to reconstruct the military colleges like West Point.
1967, there was a “Brown Committee to socio-political climate at the time ROTC Given this comparison between the sit-
After 18 years, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was Abolish ROTC” taking action on campus. was expelled from our campus. So, where uation in the 1960s and that of the 2000s,
finally repealed by a Senate vote of 63 for To try and remove Brown’s expulsion do we stand now? I see no reason why ROTC would be any
and 33 against. This historic legislation of ROTC in 1972 from the context of the The United States military is current- more welcome on our campus than it was
marks the end of an almost two-decade United States military’s violence in Viet- ly involved in many foreign conflicts, the 50 years ago. If we look at the two student
period when gay and lesbian members of nam and at Kent State University is akin to most prominent of which are taking place groups at Brown organizing around this
the armed forces had to face a dishonor- taking any other action out of its historical in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, an esti- issue, Students for ROTC and The Brown
able discharge if they divulged their sexu- Coalition Against Special Privileges for
ality to their comrades, forcing them to live ROTC, our campus’s opinion on the issue
in secrecy while trying to perform a highly is fairly clear; the coalition has 173 petition
stressful and dangerous job. signatures (including students, faculty and
The magnitude of this decision has To once again allow ROTC on our campus would be to alums) and 10 student groups allied with
sent reverberations nationwide; however, I their position, while Students for ROTC
would like to talk about how it has reached completely ignore the social, political and historical only has a handful of members and virtu-
us here on College Hill. In light of the re- contexts of its original expulsion. ally no visible support.
peal, President Simmons has decided to In The Herald this week, Undergraduate
form a committee tasked with reevaluating Council of Students President Diane Mo-
the 1972 ban on all Reserve Officer Train- koro ’11 was quoted saying that in regards
ing Corps programs at Brown. to the committee members’ personal opin-
To once again allow ROTC on our cam- context. In order to truly achieve a coher- mated 99,000-108,000 civilians have been ions about ROTC, she wants “somebody
pus would be to completely ignore the so- ent analysis about the initial decision to re- killed as a result of U.S. occupation. A 2003 who’s relatively in the middle.” Although
cial, political and historical contexts of its move ROTC, we must look at the cultural survey of female veterans showed that 30 our instinct at Brown is to always attempt
original expulsion. My personal feelings position of the United States military be- percent were victims of sexual assault while to create a level debate, I think it is critical-
about the military aside, the repeal of the tween the years of 1967 and 1972. serving in various branches of the military; ly important that whoever gets chosen for
policy was a huge victory for human rights By the official end of the Vietnam War furthermore, a 2004 study of female veter- this committee is both invested in the issue
and has set an important precedent for fu- in 1975, an estimated one million members ans seeking help for post-traumatic stress and has opinions which reflect those of the
ture anti-discrimination laws; that being of the North Vietnamese Army and Viet disorder found that 71 percent had been larger student body.
said, discrimination against queer folks in Cong had died defending their country victims of sexual assault while in the ser- My suggestion: Tell Ruth we don’t want
the military will not necessarily die with from U.S. invasion. Women, although al- vice. Meanwhile, the National Guard has a committee, and all hail community ref-
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and ROTC divest- lowed in the military in the 1960s and ’70s, been called in on numerous occasions to erenda.
ment was an act informed by the sum of were not given the same job opportunities help suppress protests during G-8 and
many other crimes against humanity per- as men, regardless of their ability or tech- G-20 meetings held all over the United
petrated by the United States military. nical proficiency. On May 4, 1970, at Kent States. To add insult to injury, the starting Chris Norris-LeBlanc ’13 is from Rhode
Officially, the University instituted the State University, four students were killed pay for a member of the Air Force, Navy, Island. He can be contacted at
ban on ROTC as a result of the program’s and nine others were injured at a rally pro- Marines or Army is only 17,604 dollars per chris.norris.leblanc@gmail.com.

Has Brown got the write stuff?


large: writing. organized fashion. This seems simple, yet ing that actively impedes the reader’s abil-
Yes, writing. You can’t communicate the being capable of writing a paper isn’t the ity to understand what the author is trying
By Sarah Rosenthal importance of your scientific breakthrough same as being capable of writing a good pa- to communicate. On the one hand, we have
Guest Columnist without it; chances are, you can’t even get per. babbling incoherence — pieces that switch
the funding for your important scientific I’ve had the amazing privilege of seeing topics every other paragraph and are popu-
breakthrough unless you can convince a the work of my peers in a lot of contexts: as lated by fragments, non-sequiturs and truly
President Barack Obama’s recent State of benefactor, in writing, that it’s worthwhile. a Writing Fellow, a Herald Opinions editor, creative syntax. On the other hand, we have
the Union address invited many pressing Yet only 24 percent of twelfth-graders were a member of workshop classes in literary academic incoherence — long, verbose sen-
questions. Who would sit next to whom? found to be proficient in writing — just the arts, creative non-fiction and history and a tences strung together in hopes of obscur-
When would John Boehner cry, and how cohort that will soon be heading off to col- person to whom friends come with rough ing the fact that the author isn’t entirely
hard? And oh yeah, there was all that policy lege. drafts. I call it a privilege because students sure about what he or she is writing. Un-
stuff thrown in as well. Obama did an ad- “But not to Brown, surely!” you say. I have offered up their unvarnished work to fortunately, students at a school like Brown
mirable job of focusing on education — the certainly don’t mean to imply that only 24 another student’s judgment, which can be a sometimes learn the latter from their class
need for teachers to get the kind of respect percent of Brown students meet the nation- scary and painful thing to do, and I’ve be- readings and even their own professors.
they get in South Korea, the infeasibility of al proficiency standards for writing; that come a better reader and writer for it. A lot Good writing is hard to teach, but it can
getting by with just a high school degree in also be extremely rewarding for students to
a globalized world and, of course, the na- master, since it develops creativity, analyt-
tion’s slipping competitiveness in math and ical skills and individual style. And as our
science. generation enters the workforce, employers
No one can deny that last point. Ac- Even a school like Brown has a lot of embarrassingly are not going to be impressed by our ability
cording to the most recent Nation’s Report to write in txt-speak. Would a little empha-
Card, a Department of Education survey on bad writing going on. sis on writing in the nation’s schools be too
grade-level proficiency in various subjects, much to ask?
only 21 percent of twelfth-graders nation- Maybe we should focus solely on math
wide were proficient in science in 2009 — education in a globalized world; as Cady
26 percent were proficient in math. These Heron poetically put it in Mean Girls:
findings are troubling to anyone who cares would be an absurd figure. I’m sure that 99 of their work has been truly excellent. Some “Math is the same in every country.” May-
about America’s ability to compete in a percent of Brown students are capable of has needed work. And some has been pretty be it doesn’t matter, since soon enough we’ll
post-industrial knowledge economy, and writing a paper. After all, isn’t Brown’s sole atrocious. all be writing in Chinese anyway. But even
they should be. requirement a demonstrated proficiency in It would be vicious and unnecessary to then, the skills that we learn when we learn
But did you know there are subjects oth- writing? give quoted examples of some of the bad how to write — clarity, organization and
er than math and science? I’ve already held All true, but as someone who’s seen a lot writing I have encountered over the years, the recognition of an audience that must be
forth enough in this space on the impor- of student compositions, I have come to an not to mention a breach of trust. I also rec- persuaded — can stay with us throughout
tance of history — and literature and the unfortunate conclusion: Even a school like ognize that almost everything I read is a our lives.
arts are equally vital (not to mention for- Brown has a lot of embarrassingly bad writ- first draft and the final product is likely sig-
eign languages, which were oddly left out in ing going on. Good writing doesn’t neces- nificantly improved. But trust me when I
all that talk about global competition). But sarily have to be poetic or demonstrate the assure you that bad writing is out there. Former Herald Opinions editor Sarah
there is one skill that is at the root of suc- author’s impressive vocabulary, but it does I’m not talking about minor grammatical Rosenthal ’11 may have just
cess in many disciplines, and in the world at need to get a message across in a clear, well- errors here. I’m talking about a style of writ- out-snobbed herself.
8 Feature The Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 28, 2011

White III ’57 P’98 reveals racial bias in medicine and care
By Crystal vance guerra Yet innumerable articles, re- do not reflect the country’s racial Atlanta hotel during a medical position at his own alma mater,
Contributing Writer ports and personal stories reflect composition, according to a 2010 society luncheon, according to Brown, where he once studied
discrimination in today’s medical Association of American Medi- the Journal article. It was not until psychology.
Augustus White III ’57 P’98 is no education, patient treatment and cal Colleges report. For example, 1964 that higher education was White served on the Blue Rib-
stranger to breaking down racial workforce. blacks make up 12.4 percent of forced to desegregate, and not bon Committee, an external re-
barriers. Certain minority popula- the country, but only 6.3 percent until 1965 that segregated hos- view of minority education and
In 1961, White was one of only tions are 50 percent less likely of all physicians, according to the pitals were banned by law. student life at Brown. The com-
four black graduate students at than non-minorities to receive report. For Latinos, the imbalance Although racial segregation is mittee was formed after students
Stanford University. He went on pain medication after arm and is even greater — 15.8 percent no longer sanctioned by organiza- occupied the John Carter Brown
to become Stanford’s first black leg fractures, according to White. versus 5.5 percent. tion or law, disparities continue to Library, protesting the Univer-
medical school graduate, as well “There is no sign that said, Why the disparity? exist. Only 7.5 percent of medical sity’s failure to meet previous
as Yale’s first black resident sur- ‘Don’t give any black people any One reason may be the long school faculty are minorities, ac- demands for increased student
geon and the first black depart- medication if they come in with history of systematic racial dis- cording to a 2009 AAMC inves- and academic diversity.
ment head at Harvard’s medical a broken bone,’ ” White said, but crimination in the medical field. tigation. This committee published a
teaching school. “there are still examples of re- By the end of the 19th century, Faculty positions for people of report titled “The American Uni-
Born and raised in Mem- sidual bias.” two medical organizations had color are “very, very rare,” White versity and the Pluralist Ideal,” in
phis, Tenn. during the Jim Crow For White, much of his per- emerged, reflecting the country’s said. which several recommendations
era, White witnessed dramatic spective relates to “how people re- blatant racism: the exclusively White highlighted the impor- were made to address minority
changes in the nation’s attitudes act to me as an African-American white American Medical Associa- tance of mentorship in his own student concerns. These recom-
concerning race over the course male in certain settings.” Yet even tion and the predominantly black success. mendations resulted in the hiring
of his life. he was surprised by the “extent National Medical Association. After serving as an army sur- of the first full-time Latino dean
He recently published a book and prevalence of the disparities In 1910, a report commis- geon in Vietnam, White met Wil- and an increased effort to recruit
titled “Seeing Patients: Uncon- which affect so many people.” sioned by the AMA recommend- liam Montague Cobb, a physician minority faculty in each academic
scious Bias in Health Care.” The “Doctors who really thought ed closing seven of nine black at Howard University, who was department, according to a 1986
book highlights inequalities in they were not prejudiced … were medical schools, leaving even also head of the NMA for over article in The Herald.
the field of medicine that result shocked to find out that they had fewer options for black medical 10 years and chair of the board The University followed all but
from conscious and unconscious treated black people in a disparate students, according to a 2008 of trustees of the National As- one of the committee’s recom-
bias, he said. Part memoir, part manner,” White said, referencing Journal of the American Medi- sociation for the Advancement mendations: that students be re-
research, it is told through both the results of an implicit associa- cal Association article. of Colored People. quired to take at least one course
White’s personal story and the tion test. As late as 1961, during the “Cobb thought it was impor- that relates to a minority issue,
lens of medicine, he added. Several other studies confirm black freedom movement, the tant to help others, to give op- according to White.
“One of the lessons I’ve these disparities and reveal that AMA refused to defend eight portunity to more African-Amer- White said the University’s re-
learned from medicine,” White patient treatment is not the only black physicians who had been icans if you were in a position to sponse was, “sounds like a good
said, “is how common human- area still mired in racial biases. arrested for requesting service do that,” White said. idea, but remember — we have
ity is.” U.S. physician demographics in the whites-only section of an In 1986, White was in such a no required courses.”