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By clairE ScHlESSinGEr Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
U. clarifies Police monitoring ‘could happen’ without U. awareness writing requirements
By SHEfali lutHra NeWS editor
The class of 2015 will be required to comply with a more specific writing requirement, the University’s only general education provision for graduation. The updated requirement stipulates that students take one English, literary arts, comparative literature or WRIT-designated course within their first four semesters. Students must also either take another writing course or “demonstrate work on (their) writing by another means and … upload that work to (Advising Sidekick)” by their seventh semester, according to an email sent by Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron to the class of 2015 this morning. “These new terms do not represent any change to the requirement,” Bergeron wrote in an email to The Herald. “They represent, rather, a better way to carry out what the requirement has always implied.” The current language of the writing requirement leaves room for interpretation, asking students “to demonstrate that they have worked on their writing across the four years,” according to continued on page 4
It is possible that Brown students have been or are being targeted by unauthorized police monitoring efforts, though the University has not seen any evidence to suggest it, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn told The Herald. The issue of unauthorized student monitoring drew global attention last month, when the Associated Press reported that the New York Police Department has kept tabs on Muslim student groups at schools in or near New York. The list of schools includes Penn, Yale, Columbia and New York University. Brown was not mentioned in the report. Monitoring these groups included checking their websites and sending undercover agents
on group trips, during which they counted how often students prayed. The NYPD circulated weekly reports on the agents’ findings.
Klawunn noted that one of the key elements of the recent NYPD monitoring was that it was not conducted through universities or in conjunction with university or local police departments. “If we had a way to know what’s going on, we would be working to prevent it,” she said. But since the University is unaware of any police spying, there are no actions it can currently take. In the past, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigated incidents occurring on Brown’s campus, she said. Such events were unrelated to the issue of continued on page 3
Herald file photo
A campus antiwar group was monitored by the FBI in the 1960s.
Campaign celebrates body images Labor panel
By caitlin trujillo Staff Writer
Health Education kicked off Celebrate Every Body Week, a campaign to raise awareness about body issues and eating disorders at Brown while promoting positive body images, Monday. The initiative — which is occurring on college campuses throughout the country this week — includes events geared toward spreading body positivity on campus as part of a message of universal acceptance.
Brown’s body positivity celebration comes one week after the National Eating Disorders Association’s week of raising eating disorder awareness and includes more discussion of general body image issues, said Annie Buffington, University nutritionist and organizer of the initiative. Despite these efforts already in place, students continue to advocate paying more attention to eating disorders on campus. Brown has three major events
open to every body
lined up for its week of celebrating body image. The first is Operation Beautiful, in which participants leave notes of positive encouragement around campus. The second is a jeans drive for charity, and the third is a screening of “America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments,” a documentary on body image and eating disorders in the United States, to be followed by a conversation with Darryl Roberts, the film’s director. The timing of the events — which continued on page 2
discusses gender inequality
By jaSminE fullEr CoNtributiNg Writer
Only in Olneyville, vintage treasures and treats
By KatHErinE cuSumano Staff Writer
Katie Cusumano / Herald
Olneyville offers visitors quick tasty eats, family-owned shops and an art gallery.
Over the river and through the woods — at a lengthy three miles from campus, Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood might seem like a reach even for Brown students eager to explore. At first glance, the district might seem sketchy. Dilapidated houses line residential streets as you approach from Atwells Avenue. But the ardent explorer is certainly rewarded for taking a closer look. Olneyville is home to the Atlantic Furniture Company and the Big Top Flea Market, the Yellow Peril Gallery and wieners
from the legendary Olneyville N.Y. System, among other Latin American-inspired restaurants and bakeries. Nestled between Atwells Avenue and Route 6, the traditionally Hispanic neighborhood also houses a small park and playground. The neighborhood may have seen better times, but the people there are still eager to share their stories over a glass of coffee milk and a loaf of sweet bread. Small cafes and cheap restaurants abound, perfect for students in a rush and on a tight budget. Despite the misleading name, Olneyville N.Y. System wieners boast a preparation unique to Rhode Island — a “locally grown favorite,” according to owner Gregory Stevens. The most popucontinued on page 5
Wieners “all the way”
Female union workers gathered last night to discuss their accomplishments in Providence and question the presence of gender inequalities in today’s work force. Students and community members crowded into Salomon 202 for the panel, entitled “Stories of Working Women in Providence,” presented by the Student Labor Alliance and Sarah Doyle Women’s Center in celebration of Women’s History Month. Unlike most of the speakers planned for Women’s History Month, the panelists represented women who do not necessarily come from high-income backgrounds, said Rebecca Rast ’13.5, a member of Student Labor Alliance. Fellow member Beth Caldwell ’12 added that a key goal of the panel was to contest the stereotype that labor movements are mainly composed of older males. Panelists held mixed opinions on the subject of gender in the workforce. Though panelist Christine Ashley said she advocates for more women in positions of power because “women are kinder,” Penina Posner ’92, senior library specialist in the Rockefeller Library, said gender is not the problem with continued on page 5
news....................2-5 editorial............6 opinions.............7
Husted ’13: Is community stifled by individuality?
Science concentrators find it challenging to study abroad
Sci overseas Delegate
t o d ay
First-year runs for seat at Nat’l Convention
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2 Campus news
TODAY 12 P.m. Annual Hazardous Waste Training, Brown Office Building mARCH 7 TOmORROW 2:30 P.m. The Art and Practice of Screenwriting, McCormack Family Theater mARCH 8 By marina HErnanDEz CoNtributiNg Writer
the Brown Daily herald wednesday, March 7, 2012
Alums create disaster relief app
Two recent Brown graduates, Evan Donahue ’11 and Erik Stayton ’11, won first prize in the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Facebook Lifeline Application Challenge for their new emergency preparedness application. The app, called Lifeline, is set to be released to the public in late May. Lifeline is an interface designed to help facilitate disaster relief. It allows users to select emergency contacts from their Facebook friends and in the event of a disaster alert them of their status. This allows for phone lines and other modes of communication to be free for others who are searching for friends or loved ones. People can also use Lifeline to report a missing friend, and that friend’s emergency contacts can provide updates. The application allowed the duo to “make technology about culture,” Donahue said. Donahue and Stayton, roommates for three years while at Brown, came across the opportunity while browsing through government outreach programs in technological fields. HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nicole Lurie said the government is attempting to create new programs to encourage technological innovation. “We hope to utilize these competitions to engage more people in technology, which is becoming more and more important,” Lurie said. HHS designed the competition so entries would take advantage of Facebook’s existing social technology. But Donahue said that while the application “has a Facebook origin, it is not exclusive to Facebook,” and the pair hopes to “build something to maintain itself.” Donahue and Stayton were awarded $10,000 as winners of the HHS competition. They hope to use some of the prize money as startup funding to create a business model for Lifeline, Donahue said. Though he greatly enjoyed participating in the competition and creating a practical application, Donahue said he was disappointed that the government does not have “holistic engagement with technology programs” and offers no “plans or provisions post-competition.” The duo hopes to release an improved and better functioning version of Lifeline through the website Cinnamon Bird in late May, right before hurricane season, Donahue said. Interested users can register on the site to receive a notification when the app is ready for use.
Conversations in Africana Film, Churchill House
R.I. Medieval Circle Lecture, Annmary Brown Memorial
SHARPE REFECTORY Polynesian Chicken Wings, Stir Fried Rice, Vegan Stir Fry Vegetables with Tofu, Lemon Cookies VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwich with Sauce, Vegetable Strudel, Steak Fries
DINNER Sustainable Baked and Breaded Pollock, Dal Cali with Yogurt and Flat Bread, Cheese Quesadillas Spicy Herb Baked Chicken, Stir Fry - Thai Basil Pork or Tempeh, Macaroon Bars
Students create space to discuss body image
continued from page 1 occur one week after nationwide eating disorder discussions — was partly a practical necessity, Buffington said. Usually, Health Education plans the initiative for the same week as those discussions, but Roberts was unavailable last week for the postfilm discussion. Putting the project off for a week into March — which is also National Nutrition Month and Women’s History Month — allowed Buffington to seamlessly incorporate a nutrition dialogue, she said. But branding the week as promoting good health is also important. A bonus for Celebrate Every Body Week is in its name — it is a celebration focusing on positive relationships with food and bodies, and it aims to include everyone. Though the week addresses eating disorders, the inclusion of body image discussion ensures the initiative does not focus exclusively on such disorders, Buffington said. This is crucial because eating restrictions — like the prevalence of diets — have become normalized and expected, she said. Ellen Richardson ’14 worked on a group project related to eating disorders at Brown last semester for PHP 1680I: “Pathology to Power: Disability, Health and Community.” Richardson and her classmates surveyed about 75 students about previous
Getting eating in order
experiences with eating disorders, whether they thought disordered eating was a problem at Brown and what they knew about available oncampus resources. Richardson and her classmates found that most of the students with whom they spokedid know someone who struggled with disordered eating. But the majority of students were relatively ignorant about University services like nutritionist appointments, Richardson said. The group also drew up suggestions for where the University could improve its services. They looked at other Ivy League schools for inspiration — Dartmouth, for example, has peer counselors dedicated exclusively to eating disorders and an in-patient treatment center where students can check in for a few days, Richardson said. Health Services currently sees about 76 students regularly — every one to three weeks — for disordered eating, said Director of Health Services Edward Wheeler. But that number does not include students who seek help with Psychological Services, Wheeler said. Every year, about one to three students go on medical leave for an eating disorder, Buffington said. There is no body mass index number set for determining if a student should be put on medical leave, Wheeler said. But if a student’s health is so precarious that he or she needs to
be monitored multiple times a week, a medical leave may be necessary, Buffington said. Anna Jones ’12 and Sarah Marion ’12.5 said they believe flexible spaces are necessary on college campuses for discussing not only eating disorders but also the broader issue of food, exercise and body image. In fall 2010, Jones and Marion founded and now co-lead Eat, Play, Love, a student group that attempts to provide that space. Initially, Jones and Marion wanted to start a group that would operate specifically as an eating disorder support group. Jones — who worked at an eating disorder clinic the summer before founding Eat, Play, Love — said many people she talked to on campus either had personal experiences with disordered eating or knew someone who did. Students also displayed an interest in discussing eating disorders further and felt a need for that space, especially because many felt there was no clear place to seek official help specifically for eating disorders, Marion said. But the group’s founders realized that tailoring their mission specifically to eating disorders might exclude others who do not have such a disorder but still have body image concerns. The group was reworked to incorporate those issues, Jones said. The mission drift of Eat, Play, Love in its nascent stages reflects the double-edged sword of how to talk about eating disorders and body image. Celebrate Every Body Week’s message is more relatable than one focused only on eating disorders, and it can draw people in who would otherwise feel uncomfortable talking about body image, food and exercise, Marion said. Though discussion of eating disorders and the stigmas attached to them is appropriate for a college campus, Jones agreed that the week’s focus has the benefit of allowing a broader range of people to participate.
Eat, play, love
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the Brown Daily herald wednesday, March 7, 2012
Campus news 3
“It could have easily been us,” she added. The Brown association has extended support to students at other schools but has not made a public statement, Ansari said. “It’s been kind of a behind-the-scenes effort, I guess, on our part, just to show a bit of solidarity,” she said. David Coolidge ’01, associate University chaplain for the Muslim community, also condemned the monitoring. Given the backlash the NYPD has received, it is unlikely it would initiate any kind of surveillance at the University, he said. Ausaluth called the NYPD’s actions “unjustified.” “We don’t stand for anything extreme or anything that would sort of raise significant criminal sort of red flags,” he said. “We’re just trying to be open about our religion.” Klawunn said the University wants to be supportive of its Muslim community and has been in touch with Coolidge regularly. “We want to make sure our Muslim students feel supported,” she said.
a history of surveillance
Independent Police monitored Muslim student groups concentrators said Board Member Norin AnThough no evidence has sugcontinued from page 1 sari ’13. gested the reported spying extendto face fewer unauthorized student monitor- “It was a feeling of betrayal,” ed to Brown, there is a history ing or religious activity and were she said. “I know my heart went of law enforcement keeping tabs preceded by criminal activity of out to them, and I wondered, on Brown students, wrote David roadblocks some sort, she said. The FBI has ‘Were we on the list as well?’” Kertzer ’69, professor of anthroBy aDam aSHEr CoNtributiNg Writer
The Curricular Resource Center has streamlined its application process for independent concentrations, said Independent Concentrations Co-Coordinators Evan Schwartz ’13 and James Walsh ’13. The application has been changed from a 10-page concentration proposal to a combination of a four-page set of questions and a proposal for a capstone or thesis. Schwartz, who is pursuing an independent concentration in Community Development and Education, said this was done to make the process of proposing an independent concentration more straightforward and less intimidating. “I came here thinking I wanted to be an engineer,” Schwartz said. He said professors from several departments told him to concentrate in their respective fields before he eventually settled on an independent concentration. Associate Dean of the College for Research and Upperclass Studies Besenia Rodriguez said the University supports the change, as administrators are “looking for ways to make (picking a concentration) more meaningful.” Schwartz said the revised process is not necessarily designed to steer students toward independent concentrations. Instead, it is supposed to help students “hone and define their interests into something coherent,” which can in some cases lead to students pursuing traditional, existing concentrations. One disadvantage of pursuing an independent concentration is that students do not have the full support of a single department that students in existing programs experience, Schwartz and Walsh both said. But Schwartz said many students in existing programs complain of a lack of departmental support as well. Walsh, who is pursuing an independent concentration in Logic, said that for him it was “hard to think of disadvantages” and that independent concentrations offer “tremendous flexibility.” Were it not for his concentration, he said he never would have been exposed to many of his professors, especially those in computer science. Another potential advantage for independent concentrators is the prospect of finding research and employment opportunities that match up well with their fields of study, Schwartz and Walsh said. Walsh related a story of a professor hearing about his concentration, finding and contacting him directly to offer him a job as his research assistant, something he believes would not have been possible had he not been an independent concentrator. Schwartz and Walsh said they have encountered little to no opposition from University administrators regarding the change in application procedures. “If we want to make it better and can make a case for how and why, everyone’s behind it,” Schwartz said.
worked with the University and the Department of Public Safety on those investigations. “We had full knowledge,” Klawunn said. The Providence Police Department also works with DPS when investigating Brown students. If students suspected they were the subjects of any hacking or external monitoring, Klawunn said the University would work with Computing and Information Services to erect safeguards. But information about student groups and leaders is often available in less protected media, like newspapers, she said. “(Monitoring) probably could happen without us being able to be aware,” she said. David Sherry, chief information security officer, said students who transmit information over the Brown-Secure wireless network or through Brown email accounts do not need to be concerned about unauthorized monitoring. Information transmitted over Brown-Secure is encrypted, so police forces could not “snip the traffic,” he said. University email accounts are also “very secure,” he said, and any police force would be required to present a subpoena to access material sent through them. “We would never allow them access to our email system,” Sherry said. “That just wouldn’t happen.” In terms of online monitoring, the only action the police could take is monitoring websites like Facebook, Reddit and blogs, he said. In the wake of the AP’s story, the Brown Muslim Students Association sent a letter to Yale President Richard Levin, who released a statement Feb. 20 condemning the NYPD surveillance. The Brown group’s letter pledged their “full support” to both Yale and its Muslim Students Association and thanked Levin for his statement of support. The association does not believe it was monitored by the NYPD, said Board Member Farzanah Ausaluth ’14, citing both the University’s distance from New York and the incomplete state of the group’s website. Mak Hussain, the president of Penn’s Muslim Students Association, agreed that the University’s distance from New York makes Brown students a less likely target for NYPD surveillance. Though students should not be “paranoid,” he said, Muslim students may want to keep in mind the possibility of being monitored. “I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that this was bigger than just the schools listed,” he said. Members of the Brown association were returning from an Ivy Muslim conference at Yale when news of the monitoring broke,
‘it could have easily been us’
pology and former provost, in an email to The Herald. Kertzer headed the Campus Action Council — an antiwar group in the 1960s — while a student at Brown. Though group members suspected they were being monitored, they were never able to confirm those suspicions until years later, Kertzer wrote, when The Herald uncovered redacted FBI reports that detailed the council’s activity. The nature of the FBI’s monitoring was never made clear, Kertzer wrote, but it would likely have required little more than “someone showing up at our public activities (rallies, demonstrations, etc.) and monitoring The Herald, the Pembroke Record and the Providence Journal.” Though he noted that the anxious climate improved during the 1980s and 1990s, the aftermath of 9/11 “spawned” police activity similar to that of the 1960s, he wrote. “I would not be terribly surprised to find out about more recent government espionage of this kind, especially aimed at Islamic groups on campuses,” Kertzer wrote.
First-year to campaign in local communities
continued from page 3 Democrats. Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science and public policy, said the push for younger delegates at the convention is a continuation of Obama’s efforts to mobilize the youth vote. Mears said she believes Obama would fulfill his campaign promises in a second term. While delegates do not have a lot of responsibility, going to the DNC would allow Mears to interact with important party members, she said. Young people need to be involved in politics regardless of their political persuasion, she added. Now that Mears is on the ballot, she will start campaigning. Because most Brown students are registered in their home states, Mears will rely on votes from the Rhode Island community. “If I can knock on at least 500 doors, I’ll feel accomplished even if I don’t win,” she said. “This is really an individual effort,” Mears said. “I stood out at the market all by myself and have to pay (for my campaign) all by myself, but it’s an experience.”
4 Campus news
continued from page 1 the Dean of the College’s website. The parameters of the requirement were refined by the College Curriculum Council last fall. When it became clear that not all students in the class of 2013 had taken writing courses by the second semester of their junior year — which is “too late to get started on college-level writing” — the CCC felt the need to clarify the requirement, Bergeron wrote. Starting with the class of 2015, students who do not fulfill the requirement by filling out an online form in ASK, will receive a “check” on their internal transcript that will prohibit them from graduating. “The more practice students get in writing, the better,” wrote Professor of Philosophy Charles Larmore, who teaches a WRITdesignated course, in an email to The Herald. “The requirement could be strengthened by increasing the number of WRIT courses,” he wrote. WRIT courses are evaluated by the CCC on the basis of the “number of writing assignments that promote revision and that focus on writing itself as an activity in some way,” Bergeron wrote. Larmore stressed that “students will really only learn from paper-writing if they get plenty of feedback, that is, comments and criticisms about their writing” — a sentiment that Senior Lecturer in Education Luther Spoehr echoed. Spoehr said he thinks a class with the WRIT designation is a “guarantee that you will get individual attention.” Spoehr teaches other 20-person, WRIT-designated classes, including a first-year seminar. He said he would approximate that one in six incoming freshmen does not write at a level that one would expect for a first-year student at Brown. Spoehr said he was concerned students might assume that nonWRIT courses would not involve as much writing as WRIT classes. He said he thinks all classes should have a strong writing component, regardless of their department or categorization. For his non-WRIT class, students write six one- to two-page response papers, and Spoehr said he “can spot a lot of things about writing in one to two pages.” Professor of Physics Gang Xiao, who teaches PHYS 0560: “Experiments in Modern Physics,” a WRIT-designated course, said students write six lab reports in the course, each about 10 pages. The papers must mimic articles scientists submit to journals for publication. He said the first report is usually substandard, but as the semester progresses, so too does the quality of the reports. Xiao said he thinks writing is of paramount importance, even in science. Someone who is a good physicist cannot do his or her job well without the ability to write grants to get research money or to communicate intelligibly to peers, he said. “The payoff (from writing abilities) is just tremendous,” he said. In general, most students arrive at Brown able to write competently, but “a significant fraction do not,” Spoehr said. He added that students come to Brown after years of being praised for skillful writing in high school, but there is always room for improvement. Though Spoehr said he has been learning to write for 40 years, he joked he “(hopes) to get the hang of it some day.” continued from page 8
the Brown Daily herald wednesday, March 7, 2012
U. to strengthen writing requirement Science students analyze
ing time at Brown. After returning to campus this spring, he said he will need to take at least two, if not three, requirements every semester from now on. Computer science concentrator Jordan Place ’13 is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh because of its mix of science and non-science courses, he said. Since starting at Brown, he has taken two or three concentration requirements every semester. Like Caspar, he also mapped out a timeline for fulfilling the rest of his requirements. “I’m definitely locked into my next two semesters, but I’m okay with that,” he said. It was worth it to study abroad, Place said, especially because computer science courses at the University of Edinburgh are run differently — a “complete 180” — from those at Brown. “I think people tend to not go abroad because they’re a little bit scared about not finishing things,” he said. That was cause for hesitation for Cara Rosenbaum ’12, a psychology concentrator who is also pre-vet. “I was really nervous about it,” she said of being able to fulfill all of her prevet requirements, and “it was a very hard decision” to go abroad because of the inflexibility she would have after returning. She spent the fall of her junior year in Copenhagen, in a program with a core curriculum in psychology dealing with children’s needs that ended up being “a perfect fit.” As a varsity athlete on the equestrian team, Rosenbaum also weighed her commitment to her team when deciding to study abroad. After receiving a nomination to be a junior captain for the following year, she said the hardest part about being abroad was miss-
trade-offs of study abroad
ing her team and not being able to practice and compete for a whole season. “I do think I appreciate Brown more for being away,” she said. “I don’t regret going abroad. Not at all.” Place echoed this sentiment as well, saying that he would “a 100 percent encourage everyone” to study abroad. Science concentrators who decide to study abroad almost always choose semester-long programs rather than full-year ones. “We always encourage a student, wherever possible, to remain in a local setting as long as possible,” Brostuen said, though he recommends students consult their advisors about concentration requirements when deciding how long to study abroad. Short-term programs are “very valuable experiences” as well, he said, adding that they are often theme-focused and intensive in only one topic. Such opportunities usually take the form of field-study programs, such as Brown’s “fourplus-four” model for a short-term program that started last summer. Students in this program will engage with local students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for four weeks and then return with them to the U.S. for four more weeks to incorporate both perspectives on a given theme. “We always like to do something that puts a Brown twist” on studying abroad and goes beyond the traditional programs, Brostuen said. Students looking to study abroad for less than a full semester can participate in community service programs, take internships and conduct research in order to incorporate study abroad into their experience at Brown. “It’s not separate,” Brostuen said, but is instead a “transformative” part
the Brown Daily herald wednesday, March 7, 2012
Campus news 5
continued from page 1 labor inequality. “I think it’s about what’s happening in society and how people are becoming disconnected with themselves,” she said, adding that “shared experiences and not categorization” in a community context could provide a solution to labor disparities. The panel’s moderator, Brenda Carter, visiting instructor in American studies and Unite Here organizer, said men appear to remain at the forefront of the labor movement because, during the past few decades, union organization has been a matter of aggression and outspokenness rather than attainment of results. Posner said she developed her passion for worker’s rights while at Brown. “I had this urge to get into the working world,” she said. She added that women’s rights remain an issue even at Brown. “An inability to see the whole person still exists,” she said. Ashley, who came to the United States from Scotland at the age of 19 in 1959 to find work, cited contemporary society as an exacerbating factor for labor issues. “I don’t see the kindness in society that there once was,” she said. Mary Curtin, a paralegal for Rhode Island Legal Services, added that gender inequality remains problematic, providing the portrayal of women in present-day media as an example. Curtin said it was crucial to note that the gradual disappearance of the phrase “working class” has contributed to a decline in appreciation for workers. Carter added that the terms “labor” and “union” remain surreal for most Americans, since only 7 percent of private sector workers are actually union members. Despite the panelists’ discussion of the disconnect between laborers and society, Ashley said she was heartened by the impressive turnout. “To me, you guys are the answer to everything,” she said.
Wieners and modern art Union women discuss the future of labor entice in Olneyville
continued from page 1 lar dish, a wiener “all the way,” is topped with mustard, meat sauce with a “secret spice,” onion and celery salt. Another local tradition is coffee milk — cold milk sweetened with coffee syrup. Inside the restaurant, you are assaulted by the smell of hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries. A counter, packed with chatty customers, lines one wall. Above the grill on the far side, prices for each offering are listed — wieners come in at just under $2. Stevens works the cash register. A man comes in, demanding “25 all the way,” not an uncommon order — customers regularly ask for up to 40 or 50 wieners. “Wait till it gets busy!” Stevens jokes amid all the bustle. N.Y. System is open until 2 a.m., and its peak hours are late on Friday and Saturday nights. Patrons come from diverse backgrounds — locals, friends Stevens has amassed over the years and tourists. Some tourists drive up to two hours to experience these legendary wieners, Stevens said. Despite the “rough” neighborhood, Stevens said his business is as lively as ever. The greatest challenge, he said, was to keep the N.Y. System true to its history — the business has been in his family for 65 years. “Everything is good!” said the native Guatemalan owner of Guatepan Bakery. Located across the street from the massive flea market, the tiny shop sells sweet bread and pastries according to traditional Guatemalan recipes. But “business is not good,” he said. This seems to be a trend in Olneyville — the community is certainly suffering, as seen in its worn down buildings and empty sidewalks. But it is still possible to find a few gems amid the residential areas and abandoned structures. When you enter Cuban Revolution Restaurant and Bar, you are greeted by nine screens showing a silent documentary about Fidel Castro. The 1950s-style music exudes an aura of vintage Cuba, and an empty stage hints at the possibility of live music. The bar, which extends the full length of the restaurant, offers over 30 varieties of imported, domestic and draft beers. The menu, adorned with bold green, orange and yellow text and images of Castro, has an array of selections fit for meat lovers
latin american delights
and vegetarians alike. Fountain drinks come at a steep $3 but the food itself is both affordable and delicious. Food is not Olneyville’s only offering for college visitors. The Big Top Flea Market is located in a massive brick furniture warehouse on Manton Avenue. The majority of its vendors sell knockoff sunglasses, shoes and bags. With a bit of exploring, you can find some treasures. In a far corner of the flea market is a tiny stall selling beta fish and bamboo. And what might seem to be a pile of junk can actually contain vintage treats — mirrors, tiny tables or vases, the perfect additions to dorm decorations. There is an incense stall with flame-free, plugin diffusers, so Brown students do not have to fear the wrath of dorm checks. If you need a break from treasure-hunting, there is a snack bar complete with fresh fruit, coffee and empanadas, which according to Gil Lopez, a friend of the owner, are the most popular choice. Yellow Peril Gallery, which features modern and experimental art, is located within the Plant, an old mill complex turned into a community of artists, designers and academics. On an average day, the small gallery welcomes between six and 12 visitors, often wanderers from nearby Cuban Revolution. The last show opening hosted 100 people Feb. 3, and Curator Robert Stack and Director Van Souvannasane said the next show scheduled for March 15 might have up to 500 guests. The last exhibition at Yellow Peril, Todd Jones’ Stereo Balance, ended March 3. Next up is an exhibition on the Occupy movement, featuring multiple artists. It will be an innovative, dynamic and technology-oriented exhibit, Souvannasane said. The work showcases “artists exploring different mediums,” he said. In the summer, the scenic courtyard at the Plant comes alive, Stack said. He said they hope to use it in the future for outdoor exhibitions. Olneyville features an eclectic array of locally owned food, shops and art. It might be a long hike over, but the walk through downtown Providence and across Federal Hill is both charming and excellent exercise. Away from the monotony of College Hill, Olneyville provides a welcome change of pace.
Vintage treats and modern art
Dreadful Cosmology | Dario Mitchell
Fraternity of Evil | eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainline and Hector Ramirez
6 editorial & Letter
eDITORIAL Getting carded
We’ve all been there: rooting through old wallets, searching on our hands and knees under the bed, even — as in one unfortunate editorial board member’s case — buying unneeded assorted items from the East Side Mini Mart, just to get the right combination of quarters for laundry because the Card Value Center machines are broken yet again. For Ruth’s sake, there’s an Internet meme about how awful the CVC machines are. This all is by way of expressing how thrilled we are that Brown has decided to update its vending infrastructure and combine the infernal vending stripe with declining balance in a system called Bear Bucks. Even more promising is that the Undergraduate Council of Students is currently discussing a proposal that would allow Bear Bucks to be used at restaurants and stores on Thayer Street, The Herald reported last week. Yes, you read that correctly — money your parents think you’re spending on textbooks may soon be able to fuel your late-night Chipotle run. Joking aside, we approve wholeheartedly of the new Bear Bucks initiative. Not only is it convenient for students, but it will increase public safety by reducing the need for students to carry cash or credit cards. While students may not care about whether they hand a credit card or their Brown ID to the cashier at Antonio’s, the personal safety benefits of being able to carry only your Brown ID instead of cash or credit and debit cards are undeniable. Last week, we spoke out about the recent spike in College Hill crime and possible ways to circumvent it. The Bear Bucks on Thayer initiative, though obviously not a means of preventing crime, protects students from having their assets stolen. If students know they can stay out late and only bring their personal ID with them without being denied their midnight snack, they will be far less likely to carry other forms of money on their persons. Though hopefully incidents of mugging and assault will remain few and far between, student possessions would be safer under this plan regardless. We are concerned, however, that this new addition to the Bear Bucks plan could cause friction with MunchCard, last semester’s innovation that allows Brown students to load a card with money to get discounts at select Thayer Street restaurants. MunchCard director Benjamin Vishny ’14 told The Herald, “If (the University) had had a system where Bear Bucks had been accepted at the restaurants, we wouldn’t have started MunchCard.” Vishny has stated that he doesn’t think MunchCard or Bear Bucks will compete with the current Dining Services meal plans — but what about the competition between the two off-campus options? Both a potentially expanded Bear Bucks program and the existing MunchCard offer vast benefits to students and local businesses. Ideally, they will find a way to coexist, but as the plan stands now, it is also easy to see the two come into conflict. The idea of University money being usable at nearby restaurants is appealing, and the fact that it is a plan already in existence at other universities around the country is a testament to its practical viability. We support the plan in essence, but we urge UCS and the University to ensure that, as it goes forward, it works to create a Bear Bucks plan that is compatible with all the existing options. editorials are written by The herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Brown Daily herald wednesday, March 7, 2012
by s a m r o s e n f e l d
Le T TeR TO THe eDITOR
Column assumes resume-geared lifestyle
To the Editor: Cara Dorris ’15 brought up some interesting thoughts in her column (Cara Dorris ’15: “The double concentration paradox,” March 6), but I couldn’t agree less. Well, okay, I’m with her on one thing: I agree that people shouldn’t just do a bunch of stuff to have a full resume. The thing is, she’s advocating against that not because she’s against living your life to look good on paper, but because she knows that’s not the best way to do so. But — at the risk of sounding super lame — what ever happened to just doing what you enjoy? Her attitude reminds me of the whoring-yourself-outfor-college-apps culture (a la College Confidential): “Don’t have a laundry list of extracurriculars — have a few that you excel in!” Like her column, this is great advice for people who are resume whores. But for those of us who participate in activities for the experience, not the resume-bolstering advantages, this advice is irrelevant and yields results counter to a fairly common result of doing what you love, namely superficial involvement in a bunch of things, which is fine. When did exploring your interests become a bad thing? Since when have we had some obligation to be the best in everything we do? Dorris wrote, “The truth is we are all motivated and have many interests. We are all racing wildly toward some coveted internship or job at the end of the tunnel.” But that’s not true. Some of us are interested in exploring many interests without much of an underlying drive to be extremely successful — personally, I just want a job that’ll get me enough money to build a home comfortably. To those of us who don’t feel like we’re “racing wildly,” Dorris’ assertion that “the winner won’t be the one who has the fullest resume” is almost nonsensical. Winner?! What?! This is a contest?!?! In light of the fact that we’re not all living our lives for our resumes, I’d like to provide one constructive argument for double concentrating. Some of us, while interested in many things, lack the internal drive to explore our interests without the structure provided by concentration requirements. Declaring two concentrations allows us to build a Brown-approved solid foundation in two different areas, whether our goal is employability, straight up edification or some combination of the two. melanie Johnson ’13
An article in Monday’s Herald (“Office opens to support veterans, promote military careers,” March 5) incorrectly reported that the office has planned a meeting with the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. In fact, the upcoming meeting is with the Navy ROTC. The Herald regrets the error.
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“(I) didn’t really want to try learning engineering in another language.”
— Brady Caspar ’13 See abroad on page 8.
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the Brown Daily herald wednesday, March 7, 2012
Individualism at Brown
for implying that our foreign policy should look more like the “golden rule” — an ironic reaction from a party that touts its Christian morals. This is great. Paul is a hero for libertarians and young intellectuals everywhere — Bradley Silverman ’13 notwithstanding (“Ron Paul is not a libertarian,” Feb. 27). In fact, Paul’s economic policies are the only ones on the table that would reduce the deficit. So why is he not the Republican frontrunner? Well, for starters, he is unwilling to overseeing a contractor — with painstaking historical accuracy in a formerly decaying section of the city that’s recently been reclaimed by a small population of white guys in hand-painted T-shirts who are helping you put together a health care fund-raiser for MoveOn.org.” This paints a picture of Brown as filled with stereotypical hipsters, but more importantly it implies that Brown is filled with free-spirited counter-cultural students. I would personally love to be this douche, semble in large numbers. Brown appealed to me, and probably to many of you, because it seemed to bridge the gap between small liberal arts schools and research universities. Brown, however, seems just large enough that we never all gather for community events and just small enough that we lack the funding for programs that larger schools flaunt. Some people say that we lack a cohesive school-spirit. This may be why. It might be hard to build school spirit at a place that brings together a bunch of people whose most unifying trait is their individualism. However, communities are just as important for personal development. I encourage you all to go to sports games, see a play or just spend time on campus. It was discouraging to the see the number of people that left for the long weekend in February. The weather was pleasant here, and I expected Brown to flourish with life and spirit on such a short break. Instead, it looked like a ghost town. Building commonality among strangers begins by reevaluating our own identity. Individualism is a great ideal, but without the context of a community it is folly. Maybe it is time for us to ask what we can do for Brown and not what Brown can do for us. Kids here take themselves very seriously, for better or for worse. I wouldn’t have it any other way or go to any other school. But perhaps it is time that we take a collective chill pill and enjoy supporting our fellow students. Lucas Husted ’13 loves being a Brown douche and loves Ron Paul, too. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BY LuCAS HuSTeD
Brown is a place that markets itself on its individualism. This school has no core requirements and strives to accept people who forge their own paths through their academic and personal lives. This is great. It makes for a truly interesting atmosphere, where one feels surrounded by vastly different and incredibly entertaining people. When I applied, one of my friends — then a first-year — said that at Brown, there would be a good chance I would meet someone who is the best in the world at something, even if it’s hacky sack. This drew me to Brown and set it apart from other schools. Is there a possibility that individualism can be taken too far though? What are the limits of this culture, and does Brown suffer by existing as it does? Individualism in and of itself can be a virtue. We need more people in this world who think for themselves and stand up for what they believe in. Look at the Republican presidential race, for instance. There you have four candidates who stand up in front of millions of people and tell them exactly what they want to hear — for example, that radical Muslims attacked us on 9/11 because we stand for American exceptionalism. Ron Paul, on the other hand, elicits boos when he suggests that perhaps our previous affairs in the Middle East provoked the attacks. In one comical exchange, Paul was chastised
Brown however, seems just large enough that we never all gather for community events and just small enough that we lack the funding for programs that larger schools flaunt. Some people say that we lack a cohesive schoolspirit. This may be why.
compromise. His ideals make him a martyr for his cause, but his obsession with abolishing the Federal Reserve overshadows his reasonable policies. What’s off-putting about Paul is that he doesn’t understand that compromising in order to achieve greater societal goals is paramount to problem solving and negotiating. So, too, at Brown does our individualism have the potential to alienate. GQ once accused us of being the “douchiest school in America,” telling Brown students that 10 years after graduating, you will be “living with your family in an old house that you quit your job to refurbish yourself — by but the mention of us as number one on this list is rather troubling. It implies that our mentality of individualism and rejecting the status quo is somewhat of an anomaly and is antithetical to the views of many in our country. As future leaders we should be wary of assuming that unhampered individualism is always ideal. In fact it could make us bad at relating with others. Even relating to fellow Brown students can be an issue. Universities have many traditions that drive student life and culture. We have Spring Weekend and organ concerts. Brown rarely rallies behind a sporting event, and Spring Weekend is the only time that we as-
Bursting the Brown bubble
BY HeLen MCDOnALD
In response to Steven Chizen’s ’14 column (“RIPTA’s educational value,” Feb. 24), I commend the author for recognizing that “students first must leave College Hill to understand what’s beyond the bubble.” However, while I whole-heartedly agree that there is a larger and more diverse Providence community beyond the Hill, the article’s arguments for using the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to learn more about the city are quite problematic. Not only is the article potentially offensive to students at the University, who are characterized as naive and sheltered, but it also insults those who do not live on College Hill because it fails to consider their experiences and perspectives. Though the author intends to broaden our myopic worldview, ironically, he ends up enforcing harmful stereotypes of urban communities. Chizen explains that “ever since the bus tunnel was constructed in 1914, Brown and College Hill students have implicitly accepted residing in a sheltered bubble away from a larger, unprotected society.” I question Chizen’s ability to know that for almost a century students and residents in the area acknowledged the tunnel, but feared the “unprotected society” to which the tunnel would inevitably lead them. Furthermore, Chizen constructs his argument around the idea that people on College Hill do not know how to ride a bus. “For the overwhelming majority of Brown students who are not from Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is most likely a foreign concept,” the author stipulates, offering a forgiving but sweeping generalization about us Brunonians. Contrary to what Chizen thinks, the public transportation system is not a phenomenon specific to Providence. Many Brown students and College Hill residents have taken a city bus before, and “merely a detour that interrupts the walk from their dorms to the Main Green.” If there is in fact a problem with students not riding the bus, the issue is that not enough students find reason to take advantage of RIPTA. Some aspects of Chizen’s article may actually be offensive to Providence residents who live off of the Hill. “Riding the bus gives Brown students a unique crosssection of Providence’s myriad problems,” the author encourages. In this way, Chizen describes Providence in the worst way legs, a toothless mentally-disabled woman who sings loudly the entire ride and a young adult begging for money as he takes a swig from his flask” is rude. Providence is not just home to people who are proof of “an urban setting of poverty, homelessness, alcoholism and poor health care,” and even if it were, you should not regard its residents merely as archetypes of destitution. If you can characterize Providence residents this way, I wonder if you have ever really interacted with, let alone learned from, someone who takes the bus. If an urban wasteland is all you see when you step away from the Van Wickle Gates, I wonder if you have ever seen Water Fire, visited the capital building, skated at the Bank of America City Center or entered the Providence Children’s Museum. Providence has its fair share of troubles — especially financial troubles — but the city should be appreciated as more than just a reminder that poverty exists in the world. Let’s be honest — we are sheltered on College Hill. However, wandering through Providence and glancing at the world through imperial eyes is not the solution. Hop on the bus and really take a look around you, but treat the city and its citizens with respect. They are not here for your entertainment.
RIPTA is not a social experiment, and if you treat it as such, you are showing your privilege, not checking it.
for them, the most astonishing news about RIPTA is that, with a swipe of your Brown ID, you can take the bus anywhere in Rhode Island for free. If you actually pass the tunnel from time to time, you can see that many students are in on the “secret” and wait for the scheduled bus to arrive. More than a handful of our classmates have discovered that the tunnel is not
possible. He makes the “bus community” sound like a tourist attraction designed as a free supplement to the pricey Ivy League education. RIPTA is not a social experiment, and if you treat it as such, you are showing your privilege, not checking it. Moreover, describing the kinds of people you may encounter on the bus as “a Vietnam war veteran who’s missing his
Helen McDonald ’14 is a professional bus rider and can be reached at email@example.com if you need lessons.
Daily Herald Campus news
Science concentrators less likely to study abroad
By aliSon SilVEr SeNior Staff Writer
wednesday, March 7, 2012
First-year runs for convention delegate
By tonya rilEy Staff Writer
Over the past two years, only 9 percent of students studying abroad have been science concentrators, while 65 percent have concentrated in the humanities or social sciences, according to Kendall Brostuen, director of international programs and associate dean of the College. The Office of International Programs encourages all students to study abroad, regardless of their concentration, Brostuen said. The majority of students choose Europe as their destination, with Spain, France, Italy and the United Kingdom being the most popular locations. Two-thirds of students who have gone abroad in the past two years have been female — the same as the national average — and almost half identify as white. “I think maybe part of it is the fact that, if you look at humanities and social sciences, there are more women studying those fields,” said Brostuen. The disproportion between humanities or social science and science concentrators is a national trend, he said. “Not that there aren’t opportunities available for those students,” he added. Students in the sciences often think it is more difficult to get away from Brown because of the nature and number of concentration requirements, Brostuen said. Engineering is a common example of such a field, but Brown has “study abroad programs specifically designed for engineering students,” Brostuen said. These programs include a new option at the University of Canta-
Courtesy of Kendall Brostuen Science students and minorities are underrepresented in study abroad programs.
bria in Spain that allows engineering concentrators to study alongside local students in courses taught in English. After completing a full year or spring semester, students are eligible for a six- to eight-week summer engineering internship placement in Spain. The Brown Plus One Program at the University of Edinburgh and the Chinese University of Hong Kong also caters to science students, particularly engineers. The program allows students to study abroad during their junior year and earn credit toward a master’s degree to be completed in a fifth year of study following their graduation from Brown. The University also offers programs in Latin America, among others, that are more fieldbased and geared toward the biological sciences, Brostuen said. Brady Caspar ’13 spent last semester at the University of Edin-
burgh studying mechanical engineering. He chose the University of Edinburgh because its campus is dedicated to engineering, he said. At the same time, the School of Engineering is not a separate entity from the main campus, and he still felt integrated with non-engineering students. Being an engineering student abroad “definitely posed an extra challenge,” he said, adding he always knew he wanted to study abroad but he did not consider any nonEnglish-speaking programs, mainly because he “didn’t really want to try learning engineering in another language.” Before committing to studying abroad, he needed to ensure that he would be able to fulfill all of his remaining concentration requirements during his remaincontinued on page 4
Last week, Rebecca Mears ’15 collected more than the 150 signatures required to join the race to be a Rhode Island delegate to the Democratic National Convention, held the week of Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C. There are 16 candidates who completed the required pledge of support to the Democratic Party and collected the signatures necessary to run, said Stephanie DeSilva, executive director of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. The Democratic National Committee allocates 47 delegates to Rhode Island, 11 of whom are elected in the 1st Congressional District, where Mears is running. Mears’ opponents include Myrth York, a former Rhode Island state senator, and former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino, Jr. “These are people where everyone in Rhode Island knows their name, and I’m just this young girl out there,” said Mears, who met some of her fellow opponents while gathering signatures at East Side Market. Mears, who is involved with Brown Democrats and interns with U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, DR.I., was inspired to get more deeply involved in local politics at the Second Annual Rhode Island Student Political Boot Camp in November. Mears, a California native, opted to register to vote in Rhode Island after meeting local elected officials at the boot camp. At the boot camp, Edwin Pacheco, chair of the Rhode Island Demo-
cratic Party, encouraged attendees to consider running for delegate. Mears decided that running would allow her to participate in the election at a more involved level than in 2008, when she was a minor. The candidates will participate in a lottery March 7 to determine name placement on the ballots for the April 24 Rhode Island Presidential Preference Primary, DeSilva said. Since in the past, some voters have simply chosen the names that fall first on the list, the placement lottery could affect Mears’ shot, DeSilva said. Mears’ age may have prevented her from fully engaging in the last election cycle, but it could now work in her favor. The Democratic Party requires a certain number of delegates from different minority groups, DeSilva said, and Mears is one of only two candidates who fall in the “youth bracket” — ages 18-34. The goal for the delegation is three, DeSilva said. Mears is also one of eight female candidates running for the six spots designated for women. This means that if more than five of the elected delegates are men, the Rhode Island Democratic Party will give those positions to the top female candidates, DeSilva said. “The Democratic Party definitely focuses more on youth and on youth issues, so it’s important for that to be represented at the party’s biggest event of the year,” said Shawn Patterson ’12, president of the Brown continued on page 3
Faculty meeting focuses on new leadership and city issues
By alExanDra macfarlanE SeNior Staff Writer
President Ruth Simmons and faculty members expressed their gratitude at Tuesday’s faculty meeting to members of the search committees that selected Christina Paxson as the University’s 19th president. Faculty members heard reports about the state of negotiations with Providence and remarks from the recently hired ombudsperson Ruth Rosenberg. They also discussed the academic calendar and plans to implement executive masters programs. Chung-I Tan P’95 P’03, chair of the Campus Advisory Committee and professor of physics, said the committee ultimately chose Paxson for her “wonderful leadership qualities” and because she “understands the challenges facing Brown.” Paxson has yet to get to know Brown, he said, adding that it was nearly “impossible” to find a replacement for Simmons. Simmons said she was “thrilled with the orderly and fast process” of the search committees and congratulated Tan on his work on the committee. “You work hard, you play hard,” she told Tan. Simmons said Paxson was “tremendously excited and honored
to take this on,” adding that the most important goal in Paxson’s transition will be to immerse herself in the issues that will be most prevalent in coming years. Paxson was unable to attend the meeting, but she has been invited to department chair meetings in May. Regarding the ongoing negotiations between the University and the city, Simmons said the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, determined at its February meeting that the University “is not prepared to support anything without substantial value to Brown.” Simmons said she is continuing to meet with Mayor Angel Taveras and his staff and has also met with Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14. Simmons said the University is willing to pay the city for the services it provides. She presented a hypothetical in which, if the campus needed more plowing services, the University would be willing to pay the city for more street plows. Such payments could be made on a “rational basis,” she said. Simmons highlighted the University’s continued commitment to Providence schools, mentioning the work done by the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice.
The committee has given $280,000 to Providence schools since its inception, Simmons said. Hal Roth, professor of religious studies, asked Simmons if the University is publicizing its contributions to the city. Simmons emphasized the need to “broaden communications” in all forms. Rosenberg, University ombudsperson, spoke about her efforts to be a confidential, neutral and informal resource for faculty members to navigate the University. Rosenberg said she is open to all suggestions for improving life at Brown. Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 said the Dean of the College’s office is considering how to mitigate the consequences of not changing the academic calendar in the 2013-14 school year, when the September start date will conflict with Rosh Hashanah. Schlissel also reported a change in the conflict of interest rules in tandem with the changes to the rules of the National Institutes of Health, which require those who receive money from the NIH to report those earnings to the University. The University will now require all researchers to report any earnings greater than $5,000 from projects outside of the University.
These requirements apply to all projects that researchers deem directly related to their field of research. Schlissel also said there will be a vote to consider the University’s first Professional Executive Masters Program. This program will allow the University to “diversify sources of revenue” and “expand the influence of education reach,” he said. Schlissel added that the most important challenge will be to ensure the quality of the degrees, professors and students in the program. Dean of the Faculty Kevin McLaughlin P’12 reinforced the University’s commitment to diversity, in the wake of the impending Supreme Court case regarding affirmative action. The University and department chairs must more actively reach out to minority candidates for faculty positions, he said. McLaughlin also addressed the University’s retirement policy, outlining that for both full and associate professors, there are two options for retirement. In both cases, faculty members can either retire fully after a certain number of years of service, or they can phase out with a half salary for up to three years, he said. In his report to faculty mem-
bers, Peter Shank, professor of medical science and chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, announced the recipients of the Faculty Service Awards. Five awards were announced for excellence in service to the University. Shank gave awards to Ruth Colwill, associate professor of cognitive linguistic and psychological sciences, James Dreier, professor of philosophy, Lina Fruzzetti, professor of anthropology, William Patterson, senior research engineer, and Cynthia Garcia Coll, professor of pediatrics. Faculty members also heard reports from the Graduate Council, the Campus Planning Advisory Board, who discussed the changing status of library space, and the University Resources Council, who stressed the importance of conservative financial planning with the budget, since the University’s budget for next year will dip into its reserves. “The highest priority goes to continuing to support what you are doing,” Simmons said to faculty members. Memorial minutes were presented for Frank Stewart, professor emeritus of mathematics, and William Shipp, professor of molecular, cell biology and biochemistry.
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