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the Brown D aily H erald vol. cxxii, no. 12 Thursday, February 9, 2012 Since

the Brown

Daily

Herald

vol. cxxii, no. 12

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Since 1891

Job board sees surge in student submissions

By DAviD rosen

Staff Writer

Though recruiting season is far from over, the number of appli- cations submitted through the Center for Careers and Life After Brown Student Job and Internship Board has already surpassed last year’s total. The number of ap- plications submitted from Aug.

1 to Feb. 1 of this year represents

a 57 percent increase from last

year’s total, said Andrew Simmons, director of CareerLAB. The number of “unique” stu- dents applying — students who have submitted at least one ap- plication — is also up 19 percent, Simmons said. He did not have data for each individual class. “It probably means that stu- dents are more aware of the re- sources than they have been in the past,” he said. The surge could also be due to the rise in on-campus recruit- ing. Though he did not have ex- act numbers, Simmons said the number of recruiters visiting the University has increased. Many of the companies that formally recruit at Brown are in the finance, consulting and en- gineering fields. As The Herald

continued on page 2

and en- gineering fields. As The Herald continued on page 2 Courtesy of Alexa Stevens instability

Courtesy of Alexa Stevens

instability in Egypt prolongs study abroad program suspension.

Egypt still ‘too unstable’ for study abroad program

By ALison siLver

Senior Staff Writer

Students can now study abroad in the Middle East through a newly approved program at the Univer- sity of Jordan in Amman. The cre- ation of the program, coordinated through Middlebury College and launched in the fall, comes after a study abroad program in Alex- andria, Egypt was placed on hold following last year’s outbreak of civilian protests against the gov- ernment. Two Brown students were par-

ticipating through the approved program in Egypt — also coor- dinated through Middlebury — when they were evacuated from Alexandria last January. Middlebury decided to post- pone its Egypt program until further notice because “the situ- ation is still too unstable in Egypt right now,” said Michael Geisler, Middlebury’s vice president for language schools, schools abroad and graduate programs. Amanda Labora ’12.5 was

continued on page 3

R.I. budget proposal targets eateries

By sonA MkrttchiAn

Senior Staff Writer

A week after Gov. Lincoln Chafee

’75 P’14 released his budget pro- posal to the General Assembly, Rhode Island residents are ex-

city & state

pressing their distress over its proposed tax increases, which Chafee himself called “contro-

versial” during his annual State

of the State address to legislators

last week. The almost $76 million of tax hikes in the proposal include a four-cent increase to the state tax on cigarettes, as well as an ex-

pansion of the taxable base for the lodging tax, extending it to certain bed-and-breakfasts and

rental properties. The sales and use tax would expand to include services such as limousines and taxis, moving, storage and car washes. A new tax would also be applied to clothing and footwear purchases exceeding $175. The most controversial mea- sure in Chafee’s tax plan is the 2 percent increase to the meals and beverage tax, raising the total tax to 10 percent — a proposition that does not bode well for local restaurant owners. “They should roll (the tax rate) back to what it was 10 or 15 years ago,” said David McAllister, owner

of Meeting Street Cafe on the cor- ner of Meeting and Thayer streets. Measures like this are “making it more difficult for students to dine out.” McAllister added that while he does not believe the tax increase will drive customers away, his cus- tomers — the majority of whom are students — will definitely be affected by the increased cost. The tax increases represent Chafee’s attempt to rectify a $120 million budget deficit from last year, said Sen. Daniel DaPonte, D- East Providence and Pawtucket, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.

continued on page 5

NEwS iN bRiEF

Rattner ’74 settles with Quadrangle

The arbitration case between Steven Rattner ’74 P’10 P’13 P’15, former fellow for the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, and the private investment firm Quadrangle Group has ended in a settlement, the New York Times reported Tuesday. The case had been “amicably and conclusively resolved,” Quadrangle executives wrote in a Feb. 1 letter to investors. The letter did not specify if a monetary agreement was reached, the Times reported. Rattner, who co-founded Quadrangle, had filed claims for an unspecified amount of money he said the firm owed him when he left in 2009. Shortly after Rattner’s departure, the Securities and Exchange Commission and then-State Attorney General and current Governor Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation against Quadrangle, alleging Rattner participated in a ploy to generate kickbacks for the company from a state pension fund. After settling with the SEC in 2010, Quadrangle issued a statement calling Rattner’s conduct “inappropriate, wrong and unethical.” Rattner, a former Herald editor-in- chief, admitted no wrongdoing. At the end of 2010, he paid $10 million to settle with the SEC and attorney general’s office. He was temporarily banned from the securities industry and from appearing before a public pension fund. Last week’s Quadrangle letter thanked Rattner for“substantial contributions to the firm over the years.” Neither Rattner nor Quadrangle representatives returned requests for comment.

— sahil luthra

UCS proposes constitutional change

By MArgAret nickens

Senior Staff Writer

The Undergraduate Council of Stu- dents passed a proposal at its gen- eral body meeting Wednesday night recommending an amendment to

its constitution that would give the council the power to control its own funding. Under the current system, the Undergraduate Finance Board must approve the council’s budget. The proposal will now go

to a referendum on MyCourses and

the student body will have until this Sunday to vote either in favor or against the change. “We give you the power to fund, but you don’t really fund us that well,” said UCS-UFB liaison Daniel Pipkin ’14 to UFB. Pipkin said the amendment would help clarify the relation-

ship between the council and UFB, which was created in 1984 to help

oversee the distribution of funds to student groups. UFB later became a subsidiary of the council. The proposed change will help “eliminate this power struggle that seems to occur when UCS and UFB don’t agree on something or don’t get along,” Pipkin said. The coun- cil’s budget would need to be ap- proved by the general body as well

as by a member of the Student Ac-

tivities Office under the proposed change, he said. UCS President Ralanda Nelson ’12 said “contentions” between the council and UFB have previously affected the council’s funding, im- pacting the council’s effectiveness and discouraging the group from

continued on page 3

and discouraging the group from continued on page 3 Corrine Szczesny / Herald UCS President Ralanda

Corrine Szczesny / Herald

UCS President Ralanda Nelson ’12 spoke about amending the Council’s constitution.

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Campus news

the Brown Daily herald thursday, February 9, 2012

CALENDAR

TODAY

FEbRUARY 9

TOMORROW

FEbRUARY 10

12 P.M.

12 P.M.

 

Quaker Meditation,

 

Get Crafty,

Campus Center Memorial Lounge

The Underground

7 P.M.

6 P.M.

 

Mid-Year Activities Fair,

 

Folk Music Night,

Campus Center

brown bookstore

MENU

SHARPE REFECTORY

VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL

LUNCH

Pork Teriyaki, Grilled Ham and Swiss Sandwich, Vegan Tofu Ravioli, Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled Cajun Chicken, Vegan Oven- Roasted Tofu, Minestrone Soup, Oatmeal butterscotch Cookies

DINNER

Roast Turkey with Gravy, Cheese and Corn Strata, Chocolate Cherry Upside Down Cake

Lemon broiled Chicken, Fried Rice bowls, Cauliflower Au Gratin, Vegan Six bean Soup, Dijon Pasta Salad

SUDOkU

Au Gratin, Vegan Six bean Soup, Dijon Pasta Salad SUDOkU CROSSwORD New site showcases ‘best’ classes

CROSSwORD

Vegan Six bean Soup, Dijon Pasta Salad SUDOkU CROSSwORD New site showcases ‘best’ classes By neeLkirAn

New site showcases ‘best’ classes

By neeLkirAn YALAMArthY

Staff Writer

‘best’ classes By neeLkirAn YALAMArthY S taff W riter Courtesy of brown University The new best

Courtesy of brown University

The new best of brown site allows users to see other students’ favorite courses.

Loke ’13, the Critical Review’s ex- ecutive editor. Though based on a similar premise, the Critical Review does not feel “threatened” by Best of Brown, Loke said, since no other site compiles as much course data as it does. But Loke added that there is always room to be more relevant, noting that the return rate of Critical Review surveys has de-

clined in recent semesters, with only 35.8 percent of evaluations returned last spring. In the past, the percent of student evaluations returned was higher, at roughly 38 percent.

sites and does not want it to take over the course-shopping field. Students have also complained about having to use Facebook to submit their favorite courses on Best of Brown, which prevents multiple entries by the same user, Kagan said. He added that though many people said the website is “cool,” few said it influenced their course selections. Irene Rojas-Carroll ’15 said she used both Best of Brown and the Critical Review during shopping period. She learned about Best of Brown through Facebook and found the site to be helpful in find- ing course ideas. But she said she was not too influenced by the site, since only a few people have sub- mitted their top three courses. She added that the Critical Review was more useful in narrowing down courses to shop.

A new online course review tool,

whose number of users has climbed

to 600 in under two weeks, may

make future shopping periods a little less hectic. Best of Brown, a website created by Jonah Kagan ’13 and Liz Neu ’14, displays a list of the most popular courses at Brown that are submitted to the website. Students can submit their three favorite courses and, in return, view a list of the most recommended classes. Kagan, a computer science con- centrator, said they started Best of Brown to help his suitemate, Chris Fitzsimmons ’13, find the perfect fourth course. The site has now been visited 1,800-2,000 times, Kagan said. In addition to rank- ing courses, the website filters out courses not currently offered and ranks professors teaching the same course. Kagan said they may add a feature allowing students to update their top three choices. The site has received mixed student feedback, with the main

criticism being that the site’s rank- ings are biased, favoring large, in- troductory courses over smaller ones. CSCI 0150: “Introduction

to Object-Oriented Programming

and Computer Science” and CSCI 0310: “Introduction to Computer Systems” are currently the leading courses. Kagan said this bias was

interesting but added that he plans

to

add course enrollment numbers

Kagan said his site “fills a gap”

to

“normalize” the data.

in the Critical Review’s data, since

The Critical Review, another student-run course review, avoids bias by using a three-stage editing process that averages ratings from student evaluations, said Charis

Best of Brown rates courses relative to each other, rather than indepen- dently, as the Critical Review does. He said he intends for the site to supplement other course review

Student career choices stay consistent

continued from page 1

reported last fall, out of 90 re- cruiters at the annual job fair in September, only 24 were there to provide careers in the common good — even though 75 percent of students expressed interest in that area in a 2010 CareerLAB survey. But Simmons said CareerLAB was not worried by the dominat- ing presence of financial and con- sulting companies, adding that they are only part of a “small universe of companies that do this type of recruiting.” He said

other fields are equally accessible to students, but they might have to “use a multi-faceted approach” that is “less structured” than the on-campus recruiting process. Simmons said he did not ex- pect the increase in on-campus recruiting to affect where stu- dents apply. Though data is not yet available for the class of 2011, the distribution of students across career fields has been relatively constant over the past five years, he said. “The only thing you can tell about Brown students is that they

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are interested in a wide variety of fields,” Simmons said. Abigail Cain ’15 visited Ca- reerLAB for the first time before the start of this semester for ses- sions about interviewing and the internship search. “It’s nice to know that Brown has so many resources for you to use, such as a network of alums,” she said. Cain said she planned to bring her resume to a career advisor for a closer look. But some students use alternate pathways to get summer opportu- nities and explore life after Brown. By using the Fellowships@ Brown website, Maddie John- ston ’13 was able to receive a grant from the Watson Institute for International Studies for re- search last summer. This year, she said she is applying for an Under- graduate Teaching and Research Award. Though Johnston has never used CareerLAB, she said many of her friends have found it very useful. Still, it was no surprise to her that many students have not yet used its resources. “You have an hour,” she said. “Do you want to go to an intern- ship fair or hang out with your friends?”

the Brown Daily herald thursday, February 9, 2012

Campus news

3

U. approves study abroad in Jordan

continued from page 1

one of the two Brown students evacuated from Egypt last Janu- ary. Upon returning to Brown, Labora was in a “weird situation” because the study abroad program was over but second semester had already started. She decided to take a leave of absence because of her untimely return. Labora said her time in Egypt was not wholly positive or nega- tive. Her experience was “very humbling,” she said, because she realized how little control she had over the events that transpired. “There’s a dogma at Brown that it’s always better to be somewhere else, but real effective change, like the radical societal change that happened in Egypt, can’t come from the outside,” she said. Her advice to students study- ing abroad is to take every oppor- tunity and obstacle as it comes, rather than trying to impose one’s own expectations on a given situ- ation. Michael Dawkins ’12 also did not immediately return to Brown after the evacuation. “When I got back, it was ex- tremely difficult adjusting,” he said. “There was this sensation that anytime something could explode or go off, or everything could go into chaos.” He has not yet resumed studies at Brown and has been working in Louisiana for several months. “The transition was too dif- ficult and too abrupt, and we weren’t really given a lot of time to process,” he said. Geisler said Middlebury is monitoring the situation in Egypt daily, watching the news and re- ceiving country briefings from the U.S. State Department and Global Rescue, the provider that helped airlift students from Alexandria during their evacuation. Since last November, Egypt has been on the State Department’s travel alert list, a list that includes countries whose conditions pose significant short-term risks to the security of American citizens, according to the Department’s website. “Anytime you send students to a foreign country, there is a certain risk involved, no matter how much due diligence you do,” Geisler said. Four years ago, Mid- dlebury was considering imple- menting a program in Syria, but “we had information that made us hesitate,” he said.

Prior to the protests that sprang up across the Middle East last year, Middlebury had already been looking to add an extra site in Jordan because the Egypt program was so successful, Geisler said. “Everybody is looking at this with the understanding that the situation in Egypt is fluid,” said Kendall Brostuen, director of in- ternational programs and associ- ate dean of the College. Uprisings continue to occur across the Middle East, particular- ly in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and Libya, said Melani Cammett, director of Brown’s Middle East studies program and associate professor of political science. Even in countries like Jordan, which are not mentioned as much in the headlines, political unrest is still an issue, she said. Jordan is less of a concern at the moment, Cammett said, due to its different government dy- namics. Jordan has a monarchy in addition to multiple political par- ties, and its “monarchy has been very astute at managing politics,” she said. Protests are ongoing in Egypt, largely around the issue of the military’s current role in govern- ment. Cammett said the protests have been successful in terms of ousting former Egyptian Presi- dent Hosni Mubarak and hold- ing elections not rigged by the state. But many key features of the system have not yet changed, she said. Other universities are current- ly less restrictive in terms of cur- rent study abroad options. Boston University, for instance, currently offers programs in Lebanon and Syria. “We would like to go back,” Geisler said of Egypt. “But we have to be assured that it’s safe for the students, and right now we just don’t have enough informa- tion at this point.” Middlebury will decide within the next sev- eral weeks whether to reinstate its program in Egypt for fall 2012. Students who applied to study abroad in Egypt for fall 2011 were notified last May that Middlebury was not going to run its program in Alexandria. Applicants had been told ahead of time that they would be automatically accepted to the Jordan program if Egypt was not an option. The Jordan program, which took place for the first time last

semester, worked “extremely well,” Geisler said. “Academically, it’s very strong.” But the non-academic aspects of the program were not at all what students expected. “We totally lived in a brothel,” said Alexa Stevens, a junior at

Tufts University. “There was a se- cret passage from our dorm build- ing to a coffee shop next door where women would work,” she said. She described seeing women wearing long black body cover- ings and high heels and make-up. “We would wonder what’s going on,” she said. “They were most likely prostitutes.” “The cafe on the first floor of the dorm is in all likelihood

a front for prostitution,” Mid-

dlebury wrote in a letter to the parents of participating students mid-way through last semester. “Some of these prostitutes may well be living in the same building as our female students.” “We never felt unsafe per se, but there was a lot to be aware of in that part of town,” Stevens said. Jordan has a comprehensive

secret police force and stable secu- rity system, which helped ensure foreign students’ safety, she said. The building, which was pri- vately owned and not affiliated with the University of Jordan, was located in a red-light district, according to Ayane Ezaki ’13. It was an “uncomfortable place,” she said. It took two weeks before Mid- dlebury moved the students to a different building in the same red- light neighborhood. Ezaki said students were sexually harassed and that she personally had ex- perienced blatant solicitation. Be- fore they moved buildings, there was a robbery, an intrusion and

a dog-killing outside their dorm. “At no point did I feel that my safety was at risk,” Ezaki said. Despite unexpected complica-

tions related to their housing, Eza- ki and Stevens said they learned

a lot while studying in Jordan. Ezaki said her Arabic improved considerably, and the Jordanian

faculty was fantastic. But because

of the language requirements, she

said she had little choice in select- ing her courses. In hindsight, she said she was ultimately glad she did not study

in Alexandria especially given the

turmoil in the city last November. “I had a crazy experience,” she said, but “I’m glad I had it.”

Funding changes would allow UCS to ‘dream big’

continued from page 1

tackling more projects. “We don’t even dream big any- more, because we know we are not going to get funded for things,” she said. Pipkin said the council receives significantly less funding than do student governing bodies at Penn, Cornell and Dartmouth and has only received an average of 37 per- cent of requested funds over the past five years. In response, Raaj Parekh ’13, a UFB-at-large representative, said the student governments at these institutions have many more re-

sponsibilities than does UCS and noted that nearly all student groups at the University are underfunded. Last year, UFB was only able to meet two-thirds of the budget requests, UFB Vice Chair Michael Perchonok ’12 told The Herald. “The proposal that they are put- ting forth prioritizes UCS needs over the needs of every other stu- dent group because they’d be first in line, perpetually, to the student activity fee,” Parekh said. While Nelson contends UCS will not be irresponsible with the funds, Perchonok noted that UCS does not have the “intimate knowl- edge” of student groups afforded to UFB, who review the budget of over 200 groups around campus. “In essence, it will mean even less money for student groups that are already chronically underfund- ed,” Perchonok said. Perchonok said he thinks stu- dents deserve more time to con-

sider the proposed amendment, which would be the first UCS con- stitutional change since 2003. He said the change seemed sudden, though Nelson said in the meeting that she has unsuccessfully been attempting to begin a conversation with UFB for the past four months. Nelson also said in the meeting that she values student opinion on the issue, explaining that she de- cided to propose a constitutional amendment rather than a code change as the former requires stu- dent approval whereas the latter does not. “It is trying to make a statement about valuing the work that is done here,” Nelson said in the meeting. After a lengthy discussion on the topic, the proposal passed with only a few general body members voting against it. “Our projects reach the greatest number of students, but we can’t get our own funding for that,” UCS Communications Chair Sam Gil- man ’15 told The Herald. “We have to go use outside sources of funding for that which is both inefficient and, especially with the state of Brown’s finances, very difficult, to find discretionary funding for those projects.” At the meeting, the council also passed a statement encourag- ing the University to incorporate student input when deciding on tenure promotions and announced next week’s discussion with Marisa Quinn, vice president of public af- fairs and University relations, on the University’s contribution to the city of Providence.

the University’s contribution to the city of Providence. Join The Herald! Info sessions at 195 Angell

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4

Campus news

the Brown Daily herald thursday, February 9, 2012

New parking spaces added to Thayer St.

By coLBY richArDson

Contributing Writer

The block of Thayer Street be- tween George and Waterman streets has been permanently made one-way with parking spaces added to both sides of the street. This is the finishing touch on an overhaul of the block, which included repaving the road, re- pairing the sidewalks and planting trees along the sidewalks. These changes occurred in connection to the recent reno- vation of Metcalf Chemistry and Research Laboratory. Before the Metcalf renovation, this portion of Thayer was two- way. Northbound drivers some- times continued past Waterman onto a one-way portion of the street, posing a danger to driv- ers and pedestrians. The University worked to- gether with the city’s Department of Public Works to conduct “a thorough traffic analysis.” The study concluded that converting this portion of Thayer Street to one-way would increase safety by “eliminating the confusion that was occurring at the intersection,” wrote Michael McCormick, as- sistant vice president for plan- ning, design and construction, in an email to The Herald. This change also allowed the addition of much-needed parking spaces. The addition of the park-

of much-needed parking spaces. The addition of the park- Greg Jordan-Detamore / Herald The section of

Greg Jordan-Detamore / Herald

The section of Thayer Street outside the Sciences Library will remain one-way. Parking spaces were also added following the street’s repaving.

ing spaces serves Thayer Street merchants, and the change to a one-way street makes sense, said Allison Spooner, president of the College Hill Neighborhood As- sociation. She added that pe- destrians and drivers will not be inconvenienced by the change. Many Brown students agreed the transition was a wise decision. “It’s clearly a lot safer with a one-way street,” said Coco

Schoeller ’15. Ana Olson ’14 said the over- haul of the street is a welcome compliment to the Metcalf reno- vation. “The changes in space are lovely,” she said. But she expressed concerns about parked cars blocking driv- ers’ views of pedestrians. She added that a car barely missed her when she tried to cross the street earlier that day.

her when she tried to cross the street earlier that day. Courtesy of Gordon Morton Students
her when she tried to cross the street earlier that day. Courtesy of Gordon Morton Students

Courtesy of Gordon Morton

Students participated in a networking fair hosted by the School of Engineering.

Engineering students, alums connect at job fair

By hAnnAh ABeLow

Senior Staff Writer

The School of Engineering hosted its first networking and career fair Sunday. The event was organized in response to student complaints that “engineering didn’t do a very good job of helping them find jobs and internships,” said Christopher Bull, senior research engineer and senior lecturer in the School of Engineering, who helped organize the fair. “Normal career fairs held on campus for everyone have a lot of consulting and are geared towards (international relations), math or economics majors. The (computer science) department also has a lot of their own recruiting,” said Alice Leung ’13, an electrical en- gineering concentrator. “In the past, engineering hasn’t had a lot of engineering companies coming to recruit at Brown.” Leung said some engineering students have attended career fairs elsewhere or found jobs and in- ternships online. The School of Engineering’s move toward more aggressive on- campus recruitment for concen- trators comes two years after the school was formed. While Bull said there was no “direct line” be- tween the school’s creation and the decision to host the career fair, he added that the new Dean of the School of Engineering Lawrence Larson enthusiastically supported the idea. “It was the right time, and we had the right push,” Bull said. About 20 alums representing nearly 15 companies attended the event, for which about 150 students registered, said Karen Haberstroh, assistant professor of engineering. Companies and labs represented at the fair included Google, Microsoft, a California- based start-up called CouchSurf- ing and Draper Laboratory. DPR Construction, a company that has been actively recruiting on campus for some years, was also represented. The fair began with a discus- sion in the morning between pro-

fessors and alums regarding the University’s evolving engineer- ing program. The afternoon was devoted to interaction between students and alums. This included several panels, a speech about col- laborations between neuroscience and engineering and time dur- ing which students could move from table to table to network with alums from the represented companies, Bull said. “It was great hearing specific stories from alum(s) who have gone through very different paths in their careers,” said Ryan Sailor ’13. “It helps a lot because without guidance from alums, it’s difficult for us to really know what’s going to happen after school.” Sailor said the fair could have put more emphasis on mechanical and chemical engineering. “Most of the companies were for electrical and computer en- gineers, although the other fields might have been underrepresent- ed due to the job market,” he said. He also said he would like to see more companies represented in coming years and that, ideally, alums such as those employed by Draper Laboratory and Lin- coln Laboratory would come as recruiters from their companies rather than informally networking through alums. Melissa Loureiro ’07 GS ’08, who now works for Hamilton Sundstrand, attended the event because she “was looking for ways to give Brown students opportu- nities to find jobs and to connect back to Brown.” She said she hopes the event continues in the future and lauded the professors for or- ganizing the event. Professors also said they viewed the fair as a success. Haberstroh said she has high hopes the event will be held “for many years to come” and that the companies involved will be encouraged to recruit through outlets like the CareerLAB. CareerLAB helped to plan this event, she said. The fair’s organizers will re- convene this week to discuss ways to expand and improve the fair next year.

the Brown Daily herald thursday, February 9, 2012

Campus news

5

TWC appoints new assistant directors

By cAroL kiM

Contributing Writer

After an intensive search conducted by Mary Grace Almandrez, direc- tor of the Third World Center and assistant dean of the College and student committees, Shane Lloyd MPH ’11 and Joshua Segui have been selected to serve as assistant directors for the Third World Center starting this semester. Lloyd will serve as assistant director for first- and second-year programs and Segui for co-curricular activities. As assistant director for co-cur- ricular activities, Segui said his goal is to ensure that academic rigor is not restricted to the lecture hall but is also reflected in student events. Segui, whose academic back- ground is in critical race theory, queer theory and gender studies, said when he was a student he felt courses were focused on thinking at the expense of doing. “I never fully identified with be- ing an academic, and I felt that aca- demics are thinking about commu- nities but not doing anything to help these communities,” he said. Out of his desire to put his academic per- spective to the test, he interviewed various activists, including Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park, prior to starting at the TWC. But he added that theory is just as important as action, saying the Oc- cupiers he met “had the action, but they didn’t have the theory.” He said his goal is to bridge the classroom and the community. Almandrez, who began her ten- ure as the TWC director last fall, said Segui will “build the intel- lectual capacity of the center” by coordinating with various student programs.

the center” by coordinating with various student programs. Paige Gilley / Herald Shane Lloyd MPH’11 and

Paige Gilley / Herald Shane Lloyd MPH’11 and Joshua Segui hope to put learning into practice at the TwC.

Though they hold different posi- tions, Segui and Lloyd will co-super- vise first-year students and work to cultivate relationships with graduate students. They are also working on aligning existing seminars with the Third World Transition Program, so the classes can serve as forums to continue conversations students started in the pre-orientation pro- gram. During his time as a Brown graduate student, Lloyd said he wanted to foster relationships with the Minority Peer Counselors. He was attracted to the TWC because of its focus on student activism and the role he could play in the devel- opment of student leadership. Lloyd is very approachable and has developed solid relationships with the MPCs, said Hisa Hashi- saka ’14, an MPC who served on one of the student search commit- tees and has worked with Lloyd. He communicates regularly with them

and gives feedback on their weekly reports, Hashisaka said. Lloyd also handles the major aspects of programs for first- and second-year students of color, which include TWTP and the ALANA Mentoring Program, which con- nects students with graduate stu- dents, medical students, alumni and staff members of color. Lloyd was involved in the Uni- versity community prior to his ap- pointment as an assistant director. He worked as a Graduate Advising Fellow for the Office of Residential Life, served as vice president of the Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association and sat on the TWC Director Search Committee. Most recently, he served as interim program coordinator for the TWC. “What’s great about Shane is that he’s familiar with the TWC but is still new enough to bring a fresh perspective to the MPC program and to the TWC,” Almandrez said.

COMiCS

Dreadful Cosmology | Dario Mitchell

Almandrez said. COMiCS Dreadful Cosmology | Dario Mitchell Proposed tax increase worries business owners continued from
Almandrez said. COMiCS Dreadful Cosmology | Dario Mitchell Proposed tax increase worries business owners continued from

Proposed tax increase worries business owners

continued from page 1

“No one wants to deal with higher taxes,” Daponte said. But “when you have a $120 million hole to fill, there are only two ways to do it — cuts or additional revenue.” According to the Chafee ad- ministration, revenue from the tax increase will also be used to finance public education expen- ditures and greater state aid to cities and towns — a high-priority measure for the Chafee adminis- tration coming into 2012. “Some of our cities and towns are facing some significant finan- cial challenges and some of them have really begun to dig in and cut costs,” DaPonte said. “But there is still a lot of work that needs to be done … the solution is not just to throw money at them. We need real reform.” DaPonte added that the state itself is under financial strain. “We’re not in any position to just write a check to any community that is having problems,” he said. Gary Janczynski, owner of Ugly American, a restaurant on Ives Street, said he understands the state is experiencing financial difficulties but the current situ- ation is “unfortunate because it will affect tourism.” “Any time — especially in this economy — you raise the price of

anything, people notice, and it absolutely affects their choices,” Janczynski said. But not all local restaurateurs are concerned about the tax hike. Andrew Mitrelis, owner of mul- tiple restaurants on Thayer Street — including Andreas, Paragon and Viva, Better Burger Com- pany and Spats — said he does not think the tax increase will significantly affect the business community because it is not “ex- treme.” “Five dollars this way or that way doesn’t make that much of a difference,” Mitrelis said. “We’re not making the same money we used to make 10 years ago, but we have to keep working.” Chafee’s proposal represents a decrease in overall spending for the state, as the cumulative budget for the 2013 fiscal year stands at $7.9 billion — a notable decrease from last year, largely due to $40 million worth of cuts. Many of these cuts, such as the elimina- tion of dental services for adults on Medicare, are directed at the health and human services por- tion of the state budget. After deliberating, the General Assembly will vote on the propos- al, which Chafee formally intro- duced Feb. 1. Approved changes will be implemented before July 1, the official beginning of fiscal year 2013.

intro- duced Feb. 1. Approved changes will be implemented before July 1, the official beginning of
intro- duced Feb. 1. Approved changes will be implemented before July 1, the official beginning of
intro- duced Feb. 1. Approved changes will be implemented before July 1, the official beginning of

6

editorial

the Brown Daily herald thursday, February 9, 2012

EDiTORiAL

A luxury we can’t afford

Last Thursday, the state Board of Regents for Elementary and Sec- ondary Education voted to establish two Achievement First charter schools in Providence. Though the supporters of this proposal argue that Achievement First will bring academic success to a school district plagued with low expectations and substandard performance, we re- main skeptical. Achievement First schools present a substantial fiscal burden for the city and may also have a negative impact on the English Language Learner population of Providence, which makes up about 20 percent of the student population. For these reasons, we do not support the establishment of Achievement First schools in Providence. Providence is a diverse community and the ability of Achievement First to fulfill the city’s needs is questionable. The Achievement First Bushwick Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y. lacked a formal ELL pro-

gram and instead, possibly in violation of federal law, treated its English language learning students as special education students. In the other six Achievement First schools in New York City, English language learning students comprise only 1 to 2 percent of the student body, a dispropor- tionate number considering that they make up 14 percent of students in New York City. Though the student populations of Achievement First schools typically include “at least 10 percent from outside the African- American and Latino communities,” according to a Providence City Council Education Subcommittee report, we remain concerned that Providence’s Achievement First schools will leave English language learning students behind. Another point of concern is the financial impact of Achievement First schools on Providence, where public schools have been hit hard by the recession. A subcommittee of the Providence City Council issued

a report stating that the opening of Achievement First schools would

cost the system somewhere between $3.1 million and $8.7 million. They

projected that this would result in the closing of an elementary school and the need to reduce the number of teachers in an already struggling system. This consequence is a result of the recently instituted fair funding formula, which causes education money to “follow the student.” In other words, educating a student in Providence costs around $14,000, but when

a student transfers to an Achievement First school, the public school he or she came from is not $14,000 cheaper to run. The per-student cost of education has been calculated to be around $10,000 to $11,000. This

extra $3,000 or $4,000 is spent on certain resources for students on which schools will inevitably have to cut back. Considering the school closures and program cutbacks in the past few years, and the fact that Providence

is

on the brink of bankruptcy, establishing an Achievement First school

is

a luxury Providence cannot afford.

While the opponents and proponents of charter schools have debated the effectiveness of Achievement First’s curriculum and approach, certain details about how the system would affect Providence are less ambigu- ous. The financial burden of the schools, paired with Achievement First’s questionable ability to educate English language learning students, leads us to the same conclusion that many organizations, representatives, public officials and community members have voiced: The Board of Regents should have rejected Achievement First’s application.

editorials are written by The herald’s editorial page board. Send com- ments to editorials@browndailyherald.com.

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EDiTORiAL CARTOON by andrew antar

Managing editor EDiTORiAL CARTOON by andrew antar QUOTE OF THE DAY “we totally lived in a
Managing editor EDiTORiAL CARTOON by andrew antar QUOTE OF THE DAY “we totally lived in a
QUOTE OF THE DAY “we totally lived in a brothel.” — Alexa Stevens, Tufts University
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“we totally lived in a brothel.”
— Alexa Stevens, Tufts University student
see egypt on page 3.

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the Brown Daily herald thursday, February 9, 2012

opinions

7

Vote ‘yea’ to UCS-UFB role amendment

bY THE ExECUTiVE bOARD OF THE UNDERGRADUATE COUNCiL OF STUDENTS

For the past 27 years, the Undergraduate Council of Students and the Undergrad- uate Finance Board have collaborated to serve the Brown community by formally categorizing and funding student groups. While the two bodies have served the community admirably, we admit there is room for improvement. Compared to other student govern- ments that fund student activities under a similar mechanism — through a subsid- iary finance board — UCS is severely un- derfunded, especially when compared to its Ivy League peers. Penn and Cornell’s undergraduate assemblies both have bud- gets about 10 times larger than Brown’s. And Dartmouth’s assembly, one that represents a smaller student body than Brown’s, has a budget 21 times the size of UCS’s budget. Under the de facto structure, UCS requests a budget from UFB to fund its yearly operations. UFB’s budgetary power over UCS obscures the institutional rela- tionship between the two bodies. Discord between UCS and the finance board often hinders the council’s ability to adequately and efficiently fund projects that enhance student life, as interrelational strife can, at times, influence the funding decisions

handed down by UFB. As a result, Daniel Pipkin ’14, the UCS- UFB liaison, introduced an amendment to the UCS Constitution yesterday to for- mally delineate the relationship between UCS and UFB. UCS elected to propose this delineation of powers as a constitu- tional change, not a change in the Code of Operations, in the interest of student involvement, clarity and transparency.

rently stipulates that UCS “empowers” UFB as an ancillary body to fund stu- dent groups at Brown. The two additional clauses proposed by the council serve to further clarify the relationship between UCS and UFB. The first sentence in Ar- ticle V, as amended, would read, “The council shall fund its own operations and those of its subsidiary with money from the Student Activities Fund.” A new sen-

Under the de facto structure, UCS requests a budget from UFb to fund its yearly operations. UFb’s budgetary power over UCS obscures the institutional relationship between the two bodies. Discord between UCS and the finance board often hinders the council’s ability to adequately and efficiently fund projects that enhance student life.

Constitutional changes require the approval of Brown’s student body. UCS urges all students to approve this con- stitutional amendment in the online ref- erendum, which can be found on My- Courses. The passage of the referendum would ensure that Brown’s student gov- ernment could increase its ability to meet the needs of the student body in a timely manner and with adequate resources. Article V of the UCS Constitution cur-

tence at the end of Article V would read, “UCS reserves the right to review and amend the constitution of its subsidiary. As inherent in this right, supplementary regulations put forth by the subsidiary could thus be deemed a violation of its own constitution.” UCS guarantees that changes in the Code of Operations will ensure that there is no abuse of funding power. The chang- es to the Constitution have built in a set

of checks and balances, one of which re- quires the director of student activities to approve the UCS budget after it has been authorized by a 2/3 “yea” vote by the council. In the fall, UCS commissioned Pip- kin to investigate structural reforms to improve the transparency and service that Brown’s student government pro- vides to its community. Over the course of the first semester, Pipkin reviewed the governing documents of the two bodies and consulted with other student leaders across the country. During the 2011-12 school year, the council received a budget of $3,500, which was thoroughly insufficient to fund its operations. Currently, it must seek fund- ing from other sources, such as student groups and administrative departments, to pay for its projects and operations. With the inherent limitations of seeking outside funding from student groups and departments with their own agendas, this funding mechanism is predictably ineffi- cient and inadequate. Under this amend- ment, UCS would strengthen its charge to manage student groups and grant seed funding to emerging groups with ambi- tious community-focused agendas. UCS urges all students to vote “yea” in the referendum. It will be administered on MyCourses Feb. 9-13.

if you have any questions about the proposed changes, feel free to email us at ucs@brown.edu.

Playing it safe and the risks of student life

bY HELEN MCDONALD

opinions Columnist

How safe do you feel as you walk to your dorm room? Once the sun has set, do you walk around the campus alone or with a friend? When heading from the Olney-Mar- golies Athletic Center to the Main Green or from Keeney Quadrangle to Perkins Hall or Young Orchard, have you ever taken a stroll with some friendly safewalkers or hopped aboard a SafeRide? Because of statistics that inform us that Providence has been listed as among the cities with the highest property crime rates, ensuring the student body’s safe- ty is one of the University’s most urgent pri- orities. The University has established quite a few different means to guard the safety of its students, but do these measures really suf- fice? Are we safe enough? During my freshman year, I lived in Kee- ney and though I was always careful to pay attention to my surroundings, I never felt vulnerable or unprotected. Now as a soph- omore who lives quite some distance away from the Main Green in Machado House and who must trek occasionally from one end of the campus to the other, I realize that I have mastered the art of throwing glances over my shoulder and of walking in large groups. I have also become more aware of the number of reported Crime Alert statements issued by the University’s Department of Public Safety within the last year. Since March 6, 2011, nine

robberies, armed and unarmed, and assault cases have taken place on College Hill. This is in comparison to the annual 8,403 prop- erty crimes and 1,217 violent crimes that oc- curred in the city of Providence. Take a few seconds to assess your per- sonal investment in your safety. How many outdoor emergency phones are installed on the University campus? Do you know the number off the top of your head? If neces- sary, would you know where to look if you needed to direct yourself to one of the phones without delay? According to the DPS web- site, “there are approximately 134 outdoor

Self-Defense Course or Self-defense Aware- ness and Familiarization Exchange (S.A.F.E.) Program? I fear that the real danger lies in a lack of conscientiousness and awareness. In spite of the potentially dangerous situations in which I have found myself, I rarely take ad- vantage of friendly safewalkers’ company and have never programmed DPS services into my cell phone to ensure my own safety. Furthermore, although SafeRide vans circu- late around the campus on a timed schedule, many SafeRide vans travel without any pas- sengers between midnight and 1 a.m., a time

Since March 6, 2011, nine robberies, armed and unarmed, and assault cases have taken place on College Hill. This is in comparison to the annual 8,403 property crimes and 1,217 violent crimes that occurred in the city of Providence.

emergency phones located on or near the exterior of all residence halls and most uni- versity buildings. They are also located on the campus walkways, at the parking garage, and additionally there are 45 elevator phones in various campus buildings.” Have you in- stalled the Rave Guardian service, which al- lows DPS to respond to panic calls or precau- tionary timer calls, on your cell phone yet? Are you aware of programs such as the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Systems Basic

frame when many students are making their way out of the libraries and heading to their rooms. Streets north of Waterman and south of George are rarely well-lit, but few students carry around flashlights or other objects to make themselves and their path visible, while others can be seen fumbling in the dark for keys and ID cards. The prospect of being at- tacked or robbed hardly seems a reality to many Brunonians. Furthermore, as I examine DPS’ Crime

Alert statements, I realize that in the five re- ports that specified victims’ genders, eight victims were male-identified. This leads me to wonder if the gendering of safety has nega- tively impacted the nature of security at the University. Many of the self-defense work- shops and programs — like the aforemen- tioned R.A.D. Course or S.A.F.E. Program — are designed for female-identified students. And while female-identified students are of- ten encouraged to keep their eyes open for little signs of danger, male-identified students do not receive nearly as many warnings. In a discussion about the recent assaults and rob- beries on College Hill, one of my male class- mates admitted, “I really don’t know what I’d do if I someone suspicious approached me. I’ve never really had to think about it.” As students living away from home, it is our responsibility to look out for ourselves and for each other. It is, however, the respon- sibility of the University to keep us aware be- fore and after the safety of any or all students is jeopardized. Streets that lead to dorms and off-campus housing away from the Main Green can be better lit and more DPS pro- grams can be accessible to students regard- less of gender. DPS and student groups can work conjointly to facilitate more workshops and programs to bridge the gap between true security and student life. There is no need to live in fear at your home away from home. We cannot stop criminality, but we can put an end to needless vulnerability.

Helen McDonald ’14 is armed with a flashlight and can be reached at helen_mcdonald@brown.edu.

the Brown

Daily Herald

thursday, February 9, 2012

City & State

At celebration, state leaders discuss R.I. black history

By ALexA Pugh

Staff Writer

As legislators and local community leaders gathered at the State House for the third annual Joint Legisla- tive Black History Month Heri- tage Celebration, Corey Walker, associate professor and chair of the department of Africana Stud- ies, distilled the spirit of the night to a single question: “Is America possible?” The event, sponsored by the Rhode Island General Assembly and the Rhode Island Black and Latino Caucus, featured perfor- mances by the Rhode Island Gos- pel Chorale Society and remarks by Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14, state House and Senate leaders and Walker, who spoke about the im- portance of ensuring the American dream is accessible for people of all races. After a brief introduction by Rep. Anastasia Williams, D-Prov- idence, Chafee opened the event with a short speech. He traced the history of blacks in Rhode Island from the First Rhode Island Regi- ment of the Revolutionary War to the naming of President Ruth Sim- mons as the first black president of an Ivy League university in 2001. “We have to remember the his- tory because it empowers us to continue to fight, because black

history is American history,” said House Speaker Gordon Fox, D- Providence, in a speech at the event. Fox — the state’s first black and openly gay speaker — is one of seven legislators belonging to ra- cial minorities currently serving in the House and Senate. He cited disease, crime, poverty and lack of educational opportu- nities as issues more prevalent in non-white communities. “While much work has been done, there remains much work to do,” Fox said. “While we have our debates and our legitimate differences in point of view, we have worked between the legislative chambers and the executive branch and across party lines to bring about true progress for our state in recent years,” said Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Jamestown and Newport. “I am pleased that (the celebration) has become an annual tradition that both chambers observe to- gether.” Providence and Rhode Island are at the vanguard of recogniz- ing black history, Walker told The Herald. He stressed the importance of reexamining the past in his key- note address. “It was not and is not an option to continue with the myth of the American nation as a

option to continue with the myth of the American nation as a Alex Tin / Herald

Alex Tin / Herald

At the State House, Rhode island leaders paid tribute to black History Month with speeches and celebrations.

fully realized possibility,” he said. His speech urged the audience to consider black history as a way

to live out the founding ideals of the nation. “Yes,” he said. “America is pos-

sible when we look at it through the eyes of those who were deemed less than human.”

Legislation spotlights domestic abuse

By MAthiAs heLLer

Senior Staff Writer

Harvard junior Nicholas Alahverdian

is not your typical lobbyist. Lobbyists often have long-standing connec- tions with lawmakers and years of experience working in legislative corridors to advance their agendas. But beginning as a teenager, Alah- verdian, who is now 24, saw lobbying as a necessity. Alahverdian was born to abusive and alcoholic parents and ended up in the custody of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. But Alahverdian said DCYF, which provides services to children who came from troubled backgrounds, deprived him of medi- cal care and ignored his reports of abuse. Alahverdian resorted to politi- cal activism and became a legislative aide in the Rhode Island House of Representatives at the age of 15.

“I was always fascinated by the

political process and its ability to

be a net for Rhode Islanders to force social justice,” Alahverdian said.

A bill recently introduced in the

House last month by state Rep. Ro- berto DaSilva, D-East Providence and Pawtucket, would give children the ability to contact physicians, at- torneys and others who work for child welfare while in the care of DCYF. DaSilva’s bill also sets stan- dards for ensuring that children re- ceive “humane and dignified treat- ment” while in state custody. DaSilva said the bill is necessary to provide for “a better quality of life for chil- dren” in light of the abuse suffered

by Alahverdian. As a teenager arriving at the State House covered in bruises and cuts, Alahverdian said he notified lawmakers of the treatment he had received while in state custody. But neither the legislators nor DCYF re- sponded to his accusations of neg- ligence, instead transporting him around the state in a “night-to-night” placement program — a common practice at the time, Alahverdian said. Alahverdian found himself sleeping at different facilities in Providence, Cranston and Central Falls on a nightly basis. “DCYF did not take into consid- eration that I desired a stable home,” Alahverdian said. “But when I ap- praised lawmakers of what was going on in these households, I began to be looked at by some as a lobbyist.” In response, Alahverdian re- signed from his job as an aide at the State House and became a lobbyist.

He founded a group called Nexus- Government to champion reforms to Rhode Island’s child welfare services. But he said political authorities

did not react to his activism favor- ably. In 2002, DCYF placed him in Nebraska and then in Florida. During this time, Alahverdian said he was not allowed to contact the police, attorneys, courts or anyone else. Both out-of-state facilities were subsequently shut down for abuse and neglect. Alahverdian returned to Rhode Island when he aged out of the chil- dren’s welfare system at 18. He has since filed suit against state officials for knowingly allowing instances of

abuse to continue and for conspiring to prevent him from working with lawmakers to reform the system. DCYF did not return The Her- ald’s requests for comment. DaSilva’s bill would force courts to go through a step-by-step process to ensure children are kept in Rhode

Island facilities before resorting to out-of-state placement options. “The way they’ve been doing the place- ment of children outside the state,

I think, is fundamentally wrong,”

DaSilva said. The bill is currently under con- sideration by the House Judiciary Committee but has not moved to

a floor vote. “I have no idea why this bill hasn’t made it out of committee,” DaSilva said. “It doesn’t cost us a dime. In fact, it’ll save us money.” With more children kept at in- state facilities, millions of tax dol- lars will be saved from outsourcing services to contractors, and more Rhode Islanders will keep their jobs, DaSilva said. Alahverdian said a primary obstacle to the bill’s passage is the view of some union officials that the legislation portrays social service employees as “inept and incapable of meeting their responsibilities.” He said he feels DCYF employees are trying to do their jobs but are overburdened, which he hopes will no longer be the case if DaSilva’s bill clears the State House. Alahverdian said he hopes DCYF makes the changes necessary to “en-

sure the things that have happened to me won’t happen to anyone else.”

THiS wEEk iN THE bUDGET CRiSiS

bY ELizAbETH CARR CiTY & STATE EDiTOR

Taveras seeks state assistance in ongoing budget negotiations

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras announced last week that the city may be forced to file for bankruptcy unless the budget deficit — $22.5 million for this year and $30 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year — is closed by June. He called for large nonprofits like the University to increase their voluntary contributions to the city and for retirees to renegotiate their

benefits packages. That afternoon, Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 arranged a meeting between Taveras, President Ruth Simmons and Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76. The city’s negotiations with the University regarding its payments to the city allegedly

stalled at the end of last year when Taveras requested that the University increase its annual payments to the city by $4 million per year and rejected the University’s counter-offer of $2 million per year. A day after the press conference detailing the city’s budget crisis, Taveras enlisted the aid of Robert Flanders Jr. ’71, who served as state receiver for Central Falls last year when the city was facing bankruptcy, according to an article in the Providence Journal. Taveras hired the law firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder to advise the city after meeting with Flanders Friday. Taveras met with Chafee Monday to brief him on the city’s budget crisis. He said concessions from tax-exempt institutions and retirees would provide $15.1 million, but this would still leave a significant hole in the budget, the Journal reported. After hearing arguments from both sides yesterday, the state Supreme Court is slated to release a ruling today that would decide whether the city can force hundreds of retirees to move from the city’s blue Cross health insurance plan to Medicare, according to the Journal. Taveras has said the change could save the city $8 million. Taveras is slated to meet with retirees in March to discuss freezing cost-of-living pension adjustments for the next 10 years. He called recent 5 and 6 percent payment increases “unsustainable,” according to the New York Times.