vol. cxlvi, no.


Pension hearing draws crowd
By Morgan JohnSon Senior Staff Writer

the Brown

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Since 1891

Alum offers grads new ventures in Providence
By aShley aydin Staff Writer

Rhode Island public employees and union leaders packed the State House Wednesday for a joint finance committee hearing on Rhode Island’s chronically underfunded pension system.

city & state
The room quickly filled to capacity, forcing some members of the audience to view the televised hearing in an overflow room. The joint briefing, which was preceded by two informational caucuses on pensions and several meetings of the state’s pension advisory group, still served as an introduction for some members of the committee. Rep. Helio Melo, D-East Providence, said many lawmakers present were being informed of Rhode Island’s pension situation “for the first time.” The state has engaged in an ongoing effort to reform the pension system over the past decade, said Peter Marino, fiscal adviser to the state Senate. Along with other states, Rhode Island saw its unfunded pension liability increase during the recession, as the pension fund was hard-hit by market volatility. “There’s no silver bullet,” Marino said. continued on page 2

It’s usually a bad sign when a city finds itself in the company of Detroit and New Orleans — but not always. Providence joins its woebegone sisters in playing host to Venture for America, an entrepreneurship program founded by Andrew Yang ’96. The program, launched in July, is

city & state
Jeff Marquis

Real Estate — a psychedelic pop band hailing from New Jersey — will perform at the Fall Concert Sept. 24.

BCA names Fall Concert lineup
By Sahil luthra Senior Staff Writer

Starkey and Real Estate will headline this year’s fall concert, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24. Starkey — the stage name of Philadelphian P.J. Geissinger — is a DJ who mixes “grime, dubstep, hip hop and all things ‘street bass,’” according to his MySpace page. The music is “dark” but also “super energetic,” BCA Administrative Chair Sandy Ryza ’12 told The Herald. Real Estate hails from New Jersey and specializes in psychedelic pop, according to the band’s MySpace

page. The concert will come a few weeks before Real Estate releases its sophomore effort “Days” Oct. 18, following the release of its self-titled debut album that hit shelves in 2009. BCA had considered Starkey for past concerts and decided to secure him for this year after positive response to dubstep artist Stegosaurus, who performed at last year’s concert and was “the unacknowledged star of the show,” Ryza said. Though Real Estate came in seventh in a BCA poll conducted through BlogDailyHerald over the summer, the higher-ranked acts “turned out not to be available” for

the show, Ryza said. The concert is slated to take place on Lincoln Field and would move to the Rhode Island School of Design Auditorium in case of rain. Last year was the first time the concert was held outside, a move Ryza said was popular with students. An outdoor location also allows BCA to accommodate 1,800 students, as compared to a capacity of 500 students inside. Doors will open at 7 p.m. on the day of the concert. Announcements for obtaining tickets, which will be free, will be posted on the BCA’s website by Monday, Sept. 19.

Shanghai spices up the Blue Room
By louiSa ChaFee Contributing Writer

Emily Gilbert / Herald

Students line up for Shanghai Chinese food, a new Blue Room dinner option.

There’s something new at the Blue Room this semester — hot entrees from Shanghai restaurant now alternate with Kabob and Curry to serve the nightly dinner crowd. The Thayer Street Chinese restaurant has been serving Blue Room visitors for the past year with their Lotus brand of sushi and cold noodles. Starting this semester, the Blue Room also offers a line of Shanghai’s hot food options available for purchase with meal credits, points or cash. The idea of buying prepared foods from local restaurants came during the renovation of the Blue Room, said Jacques Larue, direc-

tor of retail dining. Because the eatery would be open at night for the first time, Larue said administrators wanted to provide a new entree option for students. They chose ethnic foods, because they were not previously available at late-night eateries. Since the Blue Room does not have the necessary equipment to create its own entrees, they decided to outsource to local restaurants. After a successful year of partnership with Kabob and Curry, Larue said the administration decided to team up with Shanghai in an effort to offer more variety. Ray Hugh, owner of Shanghai, said he was delighted to be chosen. continued on page 2

a nonprofit that seeks to create jobs in economically struggling cities, provide entrepreneurship experience to college graduates and help graduates join start-ups in locations around the country. “We want to provide a runway for people who have entrepreneurial aspirations and encourage them to fulfill those aspirations,” Yang said. Venture for America places entrepreneurs in what the organization calls “lower-cost cities” — Detroit, New Orleans and Providence. These cities represent the “new American frontier,” Yang said. “Each of these cities has a hub for thriving start-ups so that graduates can continue their growth and development,” he said. Doug Ulman ’99, president and CEO of Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation and a Venture for America advisory board member, said he was moved by Yang’s business model. “He’s focusing on cities that can use the type of influx of youth and excitement,” he said. “I think there are a lot of cities in this country that are not considered hotbeds of entrepreneurial activity. So, there’s so much opportunity for seasoned entrepreneurs to have a huge impact there.” Yang, who double concentrated in economics and political science, was inspired to start Venture for America when he met Charlie Kroll ’01, president and CEO of Andera, a financial services company. “I thought if we were to have more talented graduates starting businesses like Charlie, it would great,” Yang said. “That’s what the country needs — more entrepreneurs.” At Columbia Law School, he “saw a number of bright college grads that went down a particular path that didn’t really fulfill their needs as they hoped or anticipated.” continued on page 5



news....................2-3 CITY & sTaTe...........5 edITorIal..............6 opInIons................7


Party Foul
Political labels stifle meaningful debate
oPinions, 7 Post-, insiDe

t o d ay


suits up, gets brophylacted

77 / 47

65 / 46

2 Campus news
C alENdaR
TODAY 3 P.m. Community Tea, Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center 6 P.m. Killer Interviews, Salomon 001 7 P.m. Smoked Salomon Concert, Salomon 101 SEPTEmbER 15 TOmORROW 6 P.m. Folk Music Night, Brown Bookstore SEPTEmbER 16

the Brown Daily herald thursday, September 15, 2011

State examines under-funded pensions
continued from page 1 Rhode Island’s pension plan was 57.5 percent funded in 2009, making it one of the six worstfunded state plans in the nation, said House fiscal adviser Sharon Ferland. A decade earlier, the plan was 82 percent funded. The funding decline prompted a series of legislative changes starting in 2005. At that time, public employees, regardless of their age, could retire and receive a pension after 28 years of work. Pension reform legislation mandated a minimum retirement age of 59, extended by a year the amount of time public employees must work to be eligible for retirement and capped cost-of-living adjustments at 3 percent. Since 2010, the minimum retirement age in Rhode Island has been 62. Cost-of-living adjustments are still capped at 3 percent and are limited to the first $35,000 of a pension. Despite the recent changes, the state’s unfunded liability is currently estimated at $9.4 billion by the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council and continues to rise. Ferland said he attributes two-thirds of the blame for the increased unfunded liability to a recent change in the state’s assumptions for the pension system’s investment return, a comment that incited groans from the audience. Ferland also pointed to Rhode Island’s demographic composition as a drag on the state’s pension system. With an aging population and a stagnant workforce, contributions to the system perennially lag behind funding demands, she said. And efforts to overhaul the system ran into an obstacle this week when state public employees won a victory in court. The Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday that public employees have an implied contract when hired that includes benefit entitlements. But “it doesn’t mean they’re entitled to those benefits forever,” said Ken DeLorenzo, executive director for the union Rhode Island Council 94, at the hearing. In an interview with The Herald, DeLorenzo lamented policymakers’ failure to focus on increasing revenue and said the Bush tax cuts, in particular, favor the affluent over working people. “There’s got to be some way to make up this deficit without beating the tar out of state employees,” Sharon Wollschlager, a registered nurse and vice president of the local chapter of National Association of Government Employees, told The Herald. Wollschlager said she lost 10 percent of her promised pension in 2009 and fears losing more. Wollschlager said the lack of support for public employees in the private sector is likely to influence lawmakers, who are up for reelection in 2012. “They hate state employees,” she said. “They think we’re all slackers. They don’t want us to have something that they think they don’t have.” Wollschlager and DeLorenzo both advocated re-amortization, a strategy similar to mortgaging the state’s unfunded liability, though Wollschlager said a mechanism to offset the overall increased cost of re-amortization would be necessary. “I hate to say higher contributions, because we’re paying high contributions now,” she said. Wollschlager added that she worries changes to the pension system will cause public workers like herself to leave the state. “A lot of people are going to be leaving again. We can’t replace them. We’re running with the skeleton crew as it is.”

SHARPE REFECTORY Hot Turkey Sandwich with Gravy, Baked Vegan Nuggets, Milk and White Chocolate Chip Cookies DINNER Salt and Pepper Jerk Chicken, Creamy Parmesan Primavera, Maine Blueberry Pie Cajun Chicken Pasta, Vegan Paella, Green Beans with Mushrooms, Maine Blueberry Pie VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH BBQ Beef Sandwich, Vegetable Pasta Medley, Milk and White Chocolate Chip Cookies


Shanghai, Kabob and Curry to alternate for Blue Room dinners
continued from page 1 Shanghai is available at the Blue Room Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and Kabob and Curry is served Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, Larue said. Hugh said the partnership is a matter of trust between the restaurant and the University, which has a sizeable account with Shanghai and accounts for approximately 15 percent of the restaurant’s business. Hugh is “very conscientious about his product,” said Linda Whittaker, assistant manager of retail operations for the Blue Room and Campus Market. “What I serve on my own dining room table, I serve at Brown,” Hugh said, adding that he is dedicated to providing a variety of fresh, high-quality food with excellent service and integrity. He said the restaurant is not making money through its partnership with the Blue Room, but he is happy to provide for the Brown community. “It’s more of an honor than anything else,” Hugh said. Sanjiv Dhar, owner of Kabob and Curry, said selling his food at the Blue Room has had a detrimental effect on his business. Students are less willing to go to the restaurant when the Blue Room is more convenient, and restaurant traffic is down 15 percent compared with last year, Dhar said. But Dhar said he owes Brown a lot after it helped him grow his business. “It’s my way of giving back to the University,” he said. Kabob and Curry was notified about three to four weeks ago that they would be alternating with Shanghai at the Blue Room. “I’m fine with it,” Dhar said. “It’s the decision of the Brown dining room.” The Blue Room will also continue to feature entrees from the Sharpe Refectory kitchens, said Aaron Fitzsenry, culinary manager of retail dining. But this year, he said, they will pick and choose the most popular items instead of simply serving the Bistro option. “I don’t really like Indian food, so I’d always have to get cold sandwiches for dinner if I ate at the Blue Room,” said Jessica Claflin ’13. “I’m psyched that there’s more options now. Plus, I really like Chinese food.” “If the students are happy, we’re happy,” Fitzsenry said.


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the Brown Daily herald thursday, September 15, 2011

Campus news 3
At the time, the University was not planning to relocate the greenhouse, Maiorisi said. Had the University known earlier that it wanted to build a greenhouse on the roof of Hunter, it probably would not have submitted the grant proposal, he said. “I don’t think (the grant) was ever thought of as fixing the greenhouse for the long term,” Spies said, though “we’re probably moving it sooner than people expected,” he added. “There was always the thought that the greenhouse would move at some point,” Maiorisi said. Hunter’s renovation presented an opportunity to move it right next to its existing location. “Now would be the time to do it,” he said. The work for the mechanical upgrades to the existing greenhouse has been awarded to a contractor, and construction will take several months. But the work will be funded by the University, not the NSF grant. “It’s much more efficient and economical” to do it this way, Maiorisi said. If the upgrades had been made using NSF grant funding, they would have taken longer because “they need to approve almost everything we’re doing.” Bender said this adjustment will allow the University to demolish the current greenhouse as soon as the new one is completed. Administrators are hoping the NSF will allow them to spend the grant funds on the new greenhouse instead. Only one grant proposal could be submitted per institution to the NSF’s Academic Research Infrastructure program. An internal competition was run through Brown’s Office of the Vice President for Research, and Bender’s proposal won. “The intent of this program is to revitalize existing research facilities,” according to the program description. “It is not the intent of this program to fund new construction.” But the University may have some wiggle room. Replacement of an existing research facility may be considered in “exceptional circumstances,” according to the program’s website, as long as the existing facility cannot be repaired or renovated and will not be used for research after the replacement is built. A remaining hurdle will be condeal or no deal?

Renovated Hunter to feature rooftop greenhouse
By greg Jordan-detaMore Senior Staff Writer

Major changes are in the pipeline for the University greenhouse and Hunter Laboratory. A new greenhouse will be built on the roof of Hunter as part of the building’s renovation for use by engineering and environmental studies faculty. The current greenhouse, the Plant Environmental Center, located between Hunter and Arnold Laboratory, will then be demolished to make way for an extension of the Walk, which stretches from the Sidney Frank Hall for Life Sciences to Waterman Street. But the current greenhouse will receive mechanical upgrades before it is demolished to make it usable for research over the next two years. The greenhouse received a $651,372 grant from the National Science Foundation for the upgrades, but the grant stipulates that the structure cannot be torn down for three years after the renovations, so the University is paying for the upgrades itself and hoping to put the grant money toward the new greenhouse. “We’re moving forward with design this summer,” said Stephen Maiorisi, vice president for facilities management, of Hunter’s renovation. For the project, the University has again hired Toshiko Mori, the architect who renovated Pembroke Hall in 2008. Maiorisi hopes to have preliminary designs ready to present at the October Corporation meeting. The schedule calls for the final design to be ready by April, with construction beginning in June and concluding in the fall of 2013. The psychology faculty currently housed in Hunter will move to the renovated Metcalf Chemistry and Research Laboratory this October. In the short term, Hunter will be used as additional lab space for engineering. Eventually, it will house environmental studies — drawing some faculty away from their current offices in MacMillan Hall, Walter Hall and the BioMedical Center, thereby freeing up space in those buildings for others, Maiorisi said. “The expectation is that — at least for a period of time, until a larger space is either created from scratch or created by rearranging
renovating hunter

other things — that some engineering expansion will be accommodated,” said Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning. More detailed planning will occur over the next 12 to 24 months, particularly with the new provost and engineering dean, he said. Locating new engineering space on College Hill or in the Jewelry District are both possibilities, Maiorisi added. The outdoor gardens and carriage house of Brown’s Urban Environmental Laboratory, once slated for eviction in order to make room for a new building for the cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, will remain as they are — at least for now. Maiorisi said the project has a budget of $35 million, which the University hopes to finance through a combination of loans and fundraising. Once Hunter is renovated with a new greenhouse on its roof, the existing greenhouse will be demolished. The removal of the existing greenhouse will make way for an extension of the Walk, the pedestrian connection between the main and Pembroke campuses. This extension will go from Waterman Street through the greenhouse site and around Ashamu Dance Studio. Extending the Walk was the “primary motivation” for moving the greenhouse, Maiorisi said. But also, “the greenhouse is near the end of its useful life,” he said. Though the ground level is better for pedestrian access, the new rooftop location will receive more sunlight. The building will feature “all the bells and whistles” of a “fabulous research greenhouse facility,” said Fred Jackson, the greenhouse’s director. But one problem remains: The NSF grant for the greenhouse upgrades requires that the building remain standing for at least three years after the completion of the work. This timeline conflicts with the University’s plans to demolish the greenhouse in the fall of 2013. Professor of Biology Judith Bender, the grant’s principal investigator, said she heard informally in February 2010 that the grant had been awarded and received official notice in September of that year.
Changing plans Fashioning a ‘fabulous’ facility

vincing the NSF to transfer funding that was approved for one project to a different project. It is unclear whether or not the NSF will allow the switch, but initial conversations with the foundation have been positive, Maiorisi said. Regina White, associate vice president for research administration, wrote in a July email to The Herald that her discussions with the NSF are preliminary, and as of yet, she has nothing to report. She has not responded to calls and emails regarding the current status of the grant. Though the existing greenhouse is scheduled to be replaced in two years, the proposed interim upgrades would bring a “substantial benefit,” Maiorisi said. “The intention of the proposal, from our end, is to get the thing usable over the summer for the next couple of years,” Bender said. “The
Short-term fixes

University appreciates that we need to get the current facility fixed.” The mechanical upgrades will target the vent motors and vents, lighting, cooling system and electrical system, Bender said. Though the funding source is no longer the NSF, upgrades will proceed as originally planned to cover only the research areas, Maiorisi said. Bender said she was excited about the greenhouse when she came to Brown in 2007, but she soon discovered that the greenhouse’s inadequate cooling system makes it unusable in the summer. Bender said her plants “barely grow” in the greenhouse’s summer heat and are unable to produce seeds — a major obstacle to her genetic experiments. For summer research, she is stuck growing plants in a separate chamber. It will be “much better to start from scratch with a brand-spanking new facility,” she said.

the Brown Daily herald thursday, September 15, 2011

entrepreneurs seek out mentors. “You can certainly learn by doing, but it is tremendously helpful to have someone who has gone through it before to tell you what to expect.” Dingman stressed the importance of networks. “From what I’ve seen and read about and studied, building networks is the best way to build the thing you want,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you have the best credentials in the world. It’s easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, there’s someone else like him out there.’” Having a strong vision is one of the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur, Imm said. “It’s about patience and persistence, and keeping at your vision,” she said. “You have to be like the energizer bunny and just keep going and going and going.”

Alum’s start-up brings entrepreneurs to ‘lower-cost’ cities
continued from page 1 But starting your own company is by no means easy. Yang’s first venture — which he started at 25 — failed. It was difficult starting a company while also focusing on management and professional development, he said. “It’s hard to get into a start-up when you’re fresh out of school,” Ulman said. Giving young entrepreneurs a “two-year experience in the trenches” will inform their future business ventures. Venture For America can “help build the bridge between enterprising college grads who want to learn how to be entrepreneurs and startup businesses that need talent to continue to grow,” Yang said. Responsibilities of the fellowship include “developing materials, planning and executing placement initiatives, visiting and evaluating prospective start-up companies, interfacing with senior leadership at dozens of start-ups around the country and intensive relationship management,” according to the organization’s website. Venture for America is only hiring 50 fellows in its inaugural year. “I think that the skills that they can obtain are practical ones,” said Tina Imm ’97, General Manager of Time Inc’s lifestyle group and a member of Venture for America’s entrepreneur board. “In start-ups, you get your hands dirty in a variety of things. You’re the intern getting coffee, and you’re also the CEO making decisions.” Parker Brown ’12, a public policy concentrator, is interested in pursuing a fellowship after graduation. “You’re working for a start-up, and that can lead to anything,” he said. Brown said Venture for America’s leadership also sparked his interest. “I really admire the people who head the organization. They’ve done amazing things,” he said. Brown, who is applying to the program, said he is most interested in using entrepreneurship as a vehicle for innovation. “Finding more efficient and socially beneficial ways to do things
Benefits of the program

and finding new ways to contribute to society — it’s very personal when you start your venture. I think you’re really invested in what you’re doing,” he said. Tim Dingman, a fifth-year masters student in electrical engineering, said he first became interested in entrepreneurship while working on the planning committee for Better World by Design, a three-day design conference run by Brown and Rhode Island School of Design students. “It taught me the performance of distributive innovation,” he said. “Venture for America’s purpose is to funnel people into that network of distributive innovators.” The fellowship offers a number of benefits to its fellows. Salary includes $50,000 per year plus a bonus of up to $10,000 in the fellow’s first year, as well as medical benefits, a three-week paid vacation and the opportunity to build entrepreneurial experience. Once they have completed their fellowships, fellows can also enter a competition to win $100,000 in seed money for their own ventures. With courses like ENGN 0090: “Management of Industrial and Nonprofit Organizations” and an open curriculum, Brown’s academic offerings piqued the entrepreneurial interest of many of Venture for America’s board members. “I think that Brown in many ways is a fantastic environment for training entrepreneurs,” Yang said. “I may not have gone down this particular path if not for my time at Brown.” Ulman said Brown is not a university that people think of when start-ups come to mind, but students here are “so creative and innovative, and so many folks from Brown are interested in social change.” Brown attracts a special type of person, Imm said. “There’s so much talent there,” she said. “You want to be successful and succeed, but not in a cookie-cutter way.” All of Venture for America’s fellows will be well-positioned to start their own ventures once they have completed the program, Yang said. Yang recommended that young
equipped for the future entrepreneurship at Brown

ashley aydin / Herald

andy Yang ’96 started Venture for america to stimulate struggling economies.

Fraternity of Evil | Eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainline and Hector Ramirez

U. considers e-resources
continued from page 8 has declined substantially, from 25 percent of the budget four years ago to about 10 percent now. Loren Fulton ’12, a Herald editorial cartoonist, said he has noticed professors’ increased preference for digital sources in class. “It’s always great when the professor has readings on (Online Course Reserves Access),” he said. “It’s cheaper for us and easier.” Despite the benefits of digitization, there are limitations to having resources available only electronically, said Mimi Dwyer ’13. “I’d much rather read a book than read it online,” she said. Though she often ends up reading sources electronically due to the limited printing budget the University allocates each student, she said it is hard for her to absorb what she is reading when she is not reading print. Though libraries on campus are nowhere near being fully digitized, there is one place on campus where digital resources have completely won out — the new library at the Alpert Medical School. The library primarily features electronic resources. In other spots around campus, the change is evident as well. “If you look around the Rock, you’ll see a lot of seating areas that used to be stack areas,” Quist said. And at the Sciences Library, he said, many areas where there were reference books and journals are now used for study spaces, computing clusters and spaces for audio-visual equipment.

6 editorial & Letter
America’s struggling universities
Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing recession, Brown has instituted very tough budget cuts. President Ruth Simmons, the Corporation and leaders of our institution have time and again emphasized the importance of belt-tightening during this economic downturn. That said, amidst all of our serious and considerable fiscal issues, we must also be cognizant of a disturbing trend in higher education — an increasing gap between private and public institutions. The Delta Project, an organization that studies higher education costs, published a new report yesterday that features alarming statistics about the disproportionate and heavy toll public universities and community colleges have shouldered since the recession. Two-year community colleges, which hold the key to both greater education and job creation, experienced a 3.4 percent decrease in perpupil spending from 2008 to 2009, the largest drop in any sector of public education. The report also notes that “disparities between rich and poor institutions in overall spending have never been higher.” Further, private institutions have seen increased revenue from tuition, alumni donations and the like and have actually increased overall spending. While private universities have been able to use this additional funding to improve student aid, public institutions have had to use most of their extra money to make up for decreased state funding and higher employee health care costs. As our private university examines its financial woes, we should certainly be alarmed and troubled by the financial hardships at public universities around the country. We applaud President Obama’s pledge in his speech to a joint session of Congress last week to devote $5 billion to renovate and modernize buildings and infrastructure at community colleges. We know that this proposal is particularly ambitious given the federal government’s dangerous and reckless preoccupation with spending cuts. That said, $5 billion is just a small start and does not touch important areas such as tuition relief and academic spending. We also remember Obama’s pledge early in his presidency to devote $12 billion to community colleges, a number that was reduced to just $2 billion after the initial plan was abandoned. We hope Obama will hold firm to his pledge and that this is just the beginning of a serious financial commitment to our nation’s community colleges. As campus-wide debates wage on about Brown’s rightful place on the US News and World Report rankings, our infrastructural renovations and further budget cuts, it is important to keep these issues in perspective. As the report says, “Rich institutions are getting richer, and poor institutions are getting poorer.” Washington must pledge a serious commitment to our country’s public universities and community colleges and invest in American education, job creation and human capital. editorials are written by The herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.

the Brown Daily herald thursday, September 15, 2011


by sam rosenfeld

TFA partnership undermines real teaching
To the Editor: It is a sad, sad day when Brown trumpets an alliance with Teach for America. When public schools are most in need of dedicated teachers who are willing to make a lifetime commitment to educating our youth, Brown has decided that allying itself with an organization that demeans and humiliates the profession is, somehow, a positive thing. This has to do, of course, with the education department’s belief that policy is more important than practice. The difference, for those who may not know, is that policy has to do with laws, regulations and requirements that govern schools. Practice is actually about showing up every day and trying to educate young people. Teach for America promotes the notion that anyone can teach and doesn’t have to take it seriously. If you are a Brown student, you can spend two, or maybe three, years in a classroom, helping those poor, unfortunate students — and then leave. Get on with your real life (hopefully making policy?) and ignore the daily rigors and challenges of classroom teaching. As one who has spent 40 years in the teaching profession — 27 in public schools, 13 in teacher education — I can surely say that this is a misguided and corrupt notion of what actual classroom teaching is about. Improving the quality of teacher education — which Brown, for years, has been excellent at — is far more important than allying with the Band-Aid solution that Teach for America offers. Would we ever consider Doctors for America or Nurses for America? I think not. But, of course, everyone thinks they know what teaching is about — particularly professors, who profess and research, but seldom, I fear, actually teach. It is a complex and challenging art and science — one that requires energy, intelligence and commitment, if you really hope to make a difference in young people’s lives. It is not a two- or three-year excursion to expiate your suburban guilt. Let me put it more simply. Tell me a story about a teacher who made a difference in your life. My guess is you just thought of someone, probably a high school teacher, who took the time, had the compassion, the energy and the caring to notice you. Who listened. Who asked questions. Who genuinely cared about your future. I’m not saying those people don’t exist in Teach for America. But I will say that they are few and far between. Their statistics will tell you that 60 percent of their people stay in education. Not classrooms, education. How many of those 60 percent are recruiters for Teach for America? Or policy people? That has nothing to do with the daily grind of real teaching. I read with sadness about this “alliance” — and, more so, because it is trumpeted as a good thing. It is a huge step in the wrong direction. When policy supersedes practice, the students, the children, are the losers. Make a commitment to really teaching our youth. Become a teacher, not a tourist, and make a real commitment to changing lives and joining a profession. bil Johnson Former senior lecturer in the education department

Info session tonight, 7 p.m. @ 195 Angell St.!

t h e b r ow n da i ly h e r a l d
Editors-in-chiEf Sydney ember Ben Schreckinger editorial Kristina Fazzalaro rebecca Ballhaus Claire Peracchio talia Kagan amy rasmussen tony Bakshi alex Bell ethan McCoy ashley Mcdonnell Sam rubinroit anita Mathews tyler rosenbaum Sam Carter hunter Fast arts & Culture editor City & state editor City & state editor Features editor assistant Features editor news editor news editor sports editor sports editor assistant sports editor editorial page editor editorial page editor opinions editor opinions editor ManaGinG Editors Brigitta greene anne Speyer sEnior Editors dan alexander nicole Friedman Julien ouellet Business GEnEral ManaGErs Matthew Burrows isha gulati aditi Bhatia danielle Marshak Margot grinberg lisa Berlin officE ManaGEr Shawn reilly

QuoTE oF THE daY
“art thieves generally know nothing about art.”
— Tom Mashberg ’82, head of security at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum See art theft on page 8.

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A photo caption in Wednesday’s Herald (“Secondary leads defense, linebackers bring on the blitz,” Sept. 14) incorrectly stated the number of tackles made by Stephen Peyton ’12 in 2010. Peyton made 79 tackles, 41 of which were solo hits. The Herald regrets the error.
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the Brown Daily herald thursday, September 15, 2011

opinions 7
er students who are in the same position as you are, facing the same cultural barriers and the same challenges. But it is vital that students also step outside this artificial comfort zone and embrace the wide cultural diversity that Brown has to offer. This is easier at the undergraduate level than at the graduate level. The percentage of international undergraduate students is a stable 10 percent. The class of 2015 has 203 international students in a starting class of approximately 1,500. The admission figures shine some light on where these students are from — of the almost 2,700 students accepted into Brown, Chilooms large as a means of monoculture formation. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services recorded 185 international graduate students that started at Brown this fall, almost exactly one-third of the entire new graduate student body. Because the number of graduate seminars is more limited and groups are often small, it is more likely that the graduate’s social circle will be limited to a select group of classmates. And when over 50 percent of those classmates are from the same country, as is the case for some graduate programs in the physical sciences, it is easy to fall into a pattern of socialization along national lines. A from all over the world have the chance to meet each other in discussion. Scholars operate in an increasingly international field, with exchange programs, study abroad programs and joint degrees offering valuable additions to their personal, as well as professional, development. Brown’s cultural and national groups already strive to bridge the gap between students from different backgrounds, an initiative that merits emulation by students themselves. The Chinese mid-autumn festival on Monday was a celebration of the important Chinese holiday, but all students were invited to enjoy the mooncakes or try their hand at calligraphy. Equally, the many nationally and ethnically oriented groups at the activities fair in the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center were largely receptive to those who are not necessarily part of the target group. The German Club was actively recruiting among those who did not speak the language at all, saying they’re “simply a fun bunch of people” who combine academics with recreational activities. And isn’t that what all students are here for? We are in the privileged position to connect with and learn from people from incredibly diverse backgrounds, who bring fresh and different perspectives. It is important not to confine ourselves to what we already know. Brown is well-known for breaking barriers in the academic world, and it’s up to all of us to ensure that we do the same in our social worlds. Suzanne Enzerink GS is an american studies master’s student from the Netherlands.

Avoid multi-monoculturalism, embrace all backgrounds
opinions Columnist
Brown’s student body is a vibrant mix of nationalities. As an Ivy League school with plenty of media coverage — especially after a certain British actress became one of the many internationals on campus — Brown captures the imagination of thousands of high school students all over the world. But the potential this diverse community offers is abated by the phenomenon of on-campus “multi-monoculturalism,” as The Economist aptly described it. Students from other countries tend to stick together. While Brown’s student groups offer fruitful initiatives to bridge the gaps, the start of the academic year merits additional reflection on the value of cross-cultural interaction. Discussions about bilingual education in the United States have often been framed in terms of public vs. private — public being the dominant language in classrooms and private being those reserved for the home. International students face similar decisions when deciding whom to socialize with once classes are over. In class, they will be part of a mix of other international and American students, and will thus experience their subject of study through a variety of different lenses. But when classes are over, it can be tempting to seek out fellow countrymen to avoid uneasiness about language and other customs. Certainly, it is valuable and natural to connect with oth-

With 93 countries represented in the student body, limiting your social circle to one or two is selling yourself short.
na delivered the most prospective students (57), followed by India (34) and the United Kingdom (33). Even in this predominantly American environment, many internationals seek each other out. Whether it’s by joining their countries’ student groups or simply through socials, mini-communities of nationalities quickly start to form. But Brown’s housing policies largely nullify this initial grouping. Brown’s open undergraduate housing policies offer an environment conducive to cross-cultural exchange. The problem becomes more pressing at the graduate level, when off-campus living chemistry graduate student from China I met at the graduate social shares an apartment with three other Chinese students in the same program. “I don’t necessarily want to hang out with just them, but it just happened. We came here together,” he said. Through various initiatives, such as joining a sports team, he is trying to expand his social circle. And that’s the right thing to do. With 93 countries represented in the student body, limiting your social circle to one or two is selling yourself short. Academia is the foremost place where students and faculty

Who is left if no one is right?
opinions Columnist
Public confidence in American political institutions is abysmal, and it is no great insight to recognize that our national psyche is suffering an identity crisis. Many succumb to the temptation to characterize the root problem as all those greedy, good-fornothing politicians. While I do not want to downplay the problem of poor leadership, which is certainly a key ingredient in the present crisis, my central claim here is that the political vocabulary in this country is defective, and our simplistic discursive habits deserve the lion’s share of criticism. More precisely, my contention is that the terms “liberal” and “conservative” — along with their cousins “left-wing” and “right-wing” — stifle our political imagination and inhibit productive decision-making. Together, these allegedly opposed ideologies create the illusion of a singular axis on which any set of political opinions may be plotted. An uncritical acceptance of this idea blinds us to alternative, more useful vocabularies for debate. My deepest point is that slicing up the political opinion pie into rigid categories, as the liberal-conservative paradigm does, is always itself a political project. There is no neutral ground above politics to stand on so as to allow one to describe the various political divisions objectively. Therefore, any description of the political landscape must be understood as up for debate. The liberal-conservative paradigm is, by and large, not taken up for debate. We consistently fail to scrutinize its purpose and validity. We rely upon it as an objective map of political reality, rather than allowing opinions and their authors speak for themselves. It is time for us to become intentional about have opposite views. But what are those fundamental political questions? If we reflect for just a moment, it is quite obvious that no single, coherent political ideology can entail an opinion for all of the various issues listed above. What does gun control have to do with gay marriage, for example? The attempt to make either the Democratic or Republican platform conment rights, banking reform, campaign finance reform, economic globalization, corruption, the annual budget of the Department of Defense, our present cultural malaise, Internet security, judicial reform, drug policy reform, corporate media and the twoparty system itself. Our reliance on these false political categories also distracts us from historical contingencies and important logical relations that are relevant to particular debates but do not fit neatly into the one-dimensional model. Moreover, incongruous views are often lumped together such that important distinctions are frequently overlooked. Hence, Noam Chomsky is written off by Republicans not because they have read his books, but rather because he is labeled as more liberal than President Obama — the arch-leftist — so he must be absolutely whacko. We could tell a similar story about Ayn Rand in relation to George W. Bush. It seems like every other day I read a piece on this page decrying Brown’s lack of political diversity. These columns are most often written by individuals who self-identify as conservative and claim that their side is drowned out by liberal bigots. This is strong evidence that the liberal-conservative picture does little more than perpetuate a counterproductive us-versus-them mentality. Let us demand an even more robust ideal of diversity: From now on, we allow more than two sides in every debate!

The attempt to make either the democratic or Republican platform conform to anything like a cogent worldview or philosophy is simply an uninteresting exercise in mental gymnastics.

our political discursive practices and recognize that the left-versus-right picture oversimplifies, misleads and flies in the face of democratic principles. Growing up, I was basically taught to believe that our two-party system is the natural offspring of two opposed systems of political philosophy. We have the Republicans, who usually take stands on issues like gay marriage, education, abortion, drug regulation, gun laws, capital punishment, social welfare, laissez-faire economics and fiscal responsibility. And, as we should expect from the polar model, the Democrats typically take the other side on these issues. This symmetry, the story goes, is no accident. On the fundamental political questions, the two parties

form to anything like a cogent worldview or philosophy is simply an uninteresting exercise in mental gymnastics. One might avoid this problem by suggesting that liberal and conservative are not meant to pick out political philosophies per se, but rather something more akin to personalities or lifestyles. But if this is true, then we have an even greater impetus to dispose of these terms because there should be no place for ad hominem stereotypes in political debate. My most emphatic objection to this charade is that it enables our politicians to sweep under the rug those issues on which the two major parties are in tacit agreement: issues like the erosion of Fourth Amend-

Jared Moffat ’13 is a gadfly and can be reached at jared_moffat@brown.edu.

Daily Herald City & State
the Brown
thursday, September 15, 2011

IBM to deliver land management recommendations
By eliZaBeth Carr Senior Staff Writer

As one of 24 winners of IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge, Providence received a grant — in the form of the services a team of IBM experts valued at up to $400,000 — to redevelop the city’s land-use management system in March. As the deadline for IBM’s report to the mayor nears, the consultants are wrapping up their final recommendations. Included in preliminary recommendations is the suggestion to automate and centralize the data sets the city uses to track land use, according to Cathleen Finn, corporate citzenship and corporate affairs manager for IBM. Currently, information about a single property may be spread across the systems of several departments. “Right now, it’s very difficult for a prospective developer coming into the city,” she said. The team spent two weeks in August conducting interviews and analyzing data about challenges

facing the city before developing “recommendations that would be actionable for the city,” Finn said. IBM will deliver a final report to the city by the end of September. “We’ve heard of people in the city very eager for a final copy of the report so they can get to work and start implementing,” Finn said. “The preliminary ideas were well received by the mayor and his team,” said David Ortiz, spokesman for Mayor Angel Taveras. “It seemed like a really functional approach to helping the city become more efficient and responsive.” “It was obvious that their time in Providence had enabled them to gain a lot of insight into the workings of city government and the challenges we face, and we look forward to the full report,” he added. When the city submitted its application for the grant last winter, IBM thought the proposal showed “a good mix of both challenge and opportunity,” Finn said. The application indicated more than 40 in-

Greg Jordan-detamore / Herald

IBM is helping Providence more efficiently allocate land, such as the 20 acres freed up by moving I-195 (above).

terested stakeholders — including institutions of higher education, medical organizations, nonprofits and businesses, as well as city and state officials — that “represented

the vibrancy of Providence,” she said. “In this sense, Providence was ahead of many of the other cities who submitted applications.” The “level of partnership” abun-

dant in Providence made it clear that “work was already underway,” Finn said. “It was our hope that our efforts would really accelerate the progress.”

Mashberg ’82 plugs art theft book
By Sarah ManCone Staff Writer

R.I. activists prep for Obama reelection
By aMy Chen Staff Writer

President Obama swept into office in 2008 with significant support from college students, winning roughly 94 percent of the vote at Brown’s on-campus polling center and 63 percent across the state. But with slightly more than a year to go before the 2012 presidential vote, Providence area college students are in no rush to start campaigning for the president. Shawn Patterson ’12, president of the Brown College Democrats, said it is too soon to assess how student enthusiasm for Obama’s re-election bid compares to 2008, but the organization’s goal remains the same as that of three years ago. “We are involved to get the president re-elected. That hasn’t changed,” he said. Brown students have had a long history of involvement in election campaigns. They made up almost half of the staff in 2008 at Rhode Island offices, he said. Patterson said he thinks Obama has accomplished what he promised, but has failed to rally his base. “We got everything we wanted. Somehow he’s losing the fight,” Patterson said. “We are prepared for a tough election,” said Clo Ewing, director of constituency press for Obama for America, the president’s campaign organization. The campaign is not starting from scratch, she said. Two years after the 2008 election, the campaign had staff on the ground in Rhode Island to prepare for Obama’s re-election bid, and it has established fellowships in the summer and fall geared to-

ward recruiting students for the campaign. Obama for America is currently working to organize offices nationally and will have a “presence here in Rhode Island,” Stephanie DeSilva, executive director of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, wrote in an email to The Herald. Students are just as fired up about Obama’s re-election as they were in 2008, said Scott Andrews, the president of the URI College Democrats and a senior at URI. While the group has yet to start campaigning for 2012 candidates, they are teaming up with the university’s College Republicans to organize a student political boot camp that will be held at URI in November. The event provides instructions and trains students to be hired in the next campaign, Andrews said. Andrews said Obama was right in focusing on challenges students often face, like employment and rising costs of tuition. “Education is so critical. This president understands this,” said Andrews. Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science and public policy, stressed the importance for Obama of keeping all states in play. Though Rhode Island has been a reliably blue state, the campaign cannot take any state for granted, she said. Rhode Island Democrats will likely focus their resources on the re-election campaigns of the state’s congressional caucus. The re-elections of Democrats Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline will be crucial to maintaining the party’s dominance in the state, Schiller said.

Art theft is an impressive-looking crime in movies, involving blue prints, high-tech gadgets and an actor clad in black suspended from the ceiling. But according to “Stealing Rembrandts” — a new book by Anthony Amore and Tom Mashberg ’82 — art theft is far less dramatic in real life. Amore, head of security and chief investigator at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Mashberg, investigative reporter and former Sunday editor for the Boston Herald, discussed the story behind “Stealing Rembrandts” at the Brown Bookstore yesterday evening. Amore is currently investigating the 1990 theft of 13 pieces of artwork from the Gardner Museum. He began his part of the discussion by describing the theft, his ongoing

investigation and how it led to the creation of this book. The book focuses on thefts of pieces by Rembrandt, one of the artists whose work is most often stolen — Amore said he catalogued at least 81 thefts over the past 100 years in his research. He said he began researching all the museum and art thefts in recent years in an attempt to answer the question, “What’s the M.O. of the typical art thief?” Instead, he found “there is no such thing as a professional art thief.” The goal of their book, Amore said, is to show that art theft is, if anything, a fool’s errand — after the crime has been completed, Amore said, the thief will often discover he or she has stolen a “problem,” and not a piece of art. Thieves “usually cannot monetize” the work, he said, and even if

a thief manages to find a buyer, he or she will likely only receive about 10 percent of its actual value. Many stolen pieces end up hanging over somebody’s bar, Amore said. Mashberg showed a slideshow of stolen pieces and the people identified as the thieves. “Art thieves generally know nothing about art,” Mashberg said. When investigating these crimes, it is best to “focus on local crooks.” In the theft at the Gardner, many of the most valuable pieces were left behind, despite the fact that the thieves were in the museum for 81 minutes, Amore said. The pieces stolen from Gardner have yet to be recovered, which Amore said has been difficult. “Walking by those empty frames is like being a homicide detective and walking by the white body outline all the time,” Amore said.

Libraries explore digitization
By eMMa Wohl Senior Staff Writer

When a court order halted Google’s efforts to digitize every book in the world last March, a number of institutions and non-profit organizations stepped in to take on the project.

campus News
According to a survey of college librarians published by Inside Higher Ed in April, most would remove print sources from their libraries if a reliable digital alternative was available. But while Brown’s reliance on electronic resources has increased in recent years, librarians here say the University is not currently moving toward a paperless future. “To date, Brown has not chosen to systematically digitize (its) collections,” University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi wrote in an email to The Herald. “Rather, we do selective digitization of our collections to sup-


port specific teaching and research needs.” In the short term, digital resources are frequently more expensive than books, said Edwin Quist, associate University librarian for research and outreach services. But getting rid of print sources frees up space for other uses and saves on the upkeep costs in the long run, he said. Brown has considered joining digitization initiatives, including a consortium of over 50 institutions and libraries called the HathiTrust Digital Library, Quist said. HathiTrust works to preserve the “cultural record” through digitizing and distributing electronic titles, according to the organization’s website. The Authors’ Guild — an advocacy group protecting authors against illegal use of their texts — filed a lawsuit Monday charging HathiTrust with widespread copyright violations, according to an Inside Higher Ed article. Though Brown has not decided

whether to join HathiTrust, it has partnered with other institutions to share both print and digital resources, including many of those made available by the initiative. Borrow Direct, a consortium including the eight Ivy League schools and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provides each school access to the books in all of the schools’ library systems, Quist said. Though Borrow Direct currently deals almost exclusively with print sources, Quist said he thinks the initiative may include digital projects in the future. About 65 percent of the Library’s budget goes to digital sources — including journal subscriptions, e-books and databases — according to David Banush, associate University librarian for access services. Less than half that amount, about 24 percent, is spent on books. The budget share spent on print journals continued on page 5

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