returns to target rate for endowment payout
by brigitta greene Metro editor

Daily Herald
the Brown
vol. cxlv, no. 67 | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891
said. Last year’s payout rate, when measured as a percentage of the endowment’s three-year average, stood at the upper limit of this window, at 5.5 percent. But for fiscal year 2011 — the current year — the payout rate will be closer to 4.5 percent of this three-year average. Endowment returns are an important income source for the University’s budget, and administrators aim to draw at rates that allow for the fund’s continued growth. Last year’s exceptional 6.57 percent payout rate was a response to financial strain following the endowment’s significant decline in 2008 and 2009. Even with this decline, Huidekoper said, the endowment will have increased in value by an average of 5.9 percent between July 2001 and June 2011, excludJulien Ouellet / Herald

The University will draw from its endowment at a significantly lower rate this year, reducing payout by about 20 percent from the last fiscal year, said Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration. Last year’s payout rate — a combination of endowment returns and new gifts to the University — stood at over 6.5 percent of the endowment’s market value. Administrators project that this year’s rate will be closer to 5.1 percent. Payout is additionally measured as a percentage of the endowment’s average value over the previous three years. Administrators tr y to keep this rate between 4.5 and 5.5 percent, Huidekoper

7 psych sessions now free
by emily rosen Staff Writer

ing gifts. Brown’s payout rate is “ver y similar” to peer institutions, she said. The general goal across the board is to maintain an average rate of about 5 percent, though she added that there are “many dif ferent policies about how to get there.” Brown’s 20 percent decrease in payout for the current year follows

a 1 percent decrease in fiscal year 2010. In comparison, Dartmouth and Stanford reduced payout by between 10 and 15 percent last year, allowing them to make a less abrupt reduction for the current year, Huidekoper said. Most institutions — including Brown — also of fered a voluncontinued on page 2

Miller shower hit by ‘peeping tom’ in August
by alex bell Senior Staff Writer

An unidentified person looked over a shower curtain in Miller Hall’s first-floor bathroom Aug. 30 at approximately 8 a.m. No suspect was apprehended, according to Senior Associate Dean of Residential and Dining Services Richard Bova. Bova said he did not know the

gender or description of the peeping tom. He would not identify the student who was in the shower at the time. The student filed a police report and the incident is still under investigation by the Department of Public Safety, Bova said. He did not know of any subsequent peeping problems in Miller. The incident occurred in a bathroom which the floor’s residents

has designated as gender-neutral. The bathroom had originally been a men’s room. Bova said the residents of the first floor held a meeting after the incident to discuss mutual concerns. “I think it’s a good opportunity for people to think about being aware of who is in our community and continue to be vigilant,” Bova said. “When somebody looks like they’re not part of our community

but walking around there, we need to pay attention to that.” Bova encouraged students to notify the Department of Public Safety of suspicious people. If a student is implicated in the incident, Bova said, the University will evaluate its options carefully by speaking with the student, assessing the student’s threat level, and making appropriate referrals including, but not limited to, disciplinary action.

If a tree falls on the green, is it still Quiet?
75-year-old elm to be student art
by casey bleho Staff Writer

Courtesy of Richard Fishman

A fallen elm tree has been turned into wood that can be used for art projects, following its removal from the Quiet Green.

Over the summer, Brown lost one of the campus’s 86 elm trees, a 75-year-old located on the Quiet Green, to Dutch elm disease. In collaboration with the Department of Visual Arts, Facilities Management removed the affected tree in such a way that the wood could be used for student art projects, coordinated by Richard Fishman, professor of Visual Arts. Fishman began working with

Facilities in 2000 when a 100-yearold elm tree located outside the Watson Institute died from Dutch elm disease. With the help of Fishman and his students, the tree was turned into works of art and furniture now exhibited around campus. Various exhibitions, performances and creative projects by both Brown and Rhode Island School of Design students have since been conducted, including the Elm Tree Project, which attempts to “document, reflect upon and work to continue (the tree’s) legacy,” according to its website. Dutch elm disease is a condition spread from tree to tree through the root systems or by the European or North American bark beetle, explained Patrick Vetere, the Unicontinued on page 2

In order to increase its services to students, Psychological Services has hired a new psychotherapist, Laura Sobik ’00. The new hire allows students to have up to seven free sessions with a psychotherapist each year. Students were previously limited to five visits per year. The decision to hire a new psychotherapist came last December after a New England Association of Schools and Colleges report which noted that Brown’s Psych Services resources appeared to be lower than those of its peers. Director of Psych Services Belinda Johnson said she thinks the report was mainly referring to the limit of five free sessions with a psychotherapist per year for each student, which was in place at the time the report was released. “I’m delighted that we have been able to make this hire,” said Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn. She said hiring an additional psychotherapist was a high priority because of the recommendation by the NEASC committee to increase the number of appointments available to students on campus. Starting this academic year, students will be allowed seven free sessions with a psychotherapist before receiving a referral to a clinician off-campus for additional sessions. Appointments with a Psych Services psychiatrist for medication purposes do not count toward the seven session limit, Johnson said. Johnson also said she hopes the time students have to wait for appointments will decrease with Sobik joining the staff. But she pointed out that during most of the academic year, students only have to wait at most one week for a first appointment and that Psych Services will accommodate students who need immediate attention. Last spring, a committee including Johnson and three others conducted a national search for the new psychotherapist. Candidates were interviewed by the committee members and were also brought to campus to meet students and other staff members. “Everyone was very enthusiastic about Dr. Sobik,” Johnson said. Sobik received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Univercontinued on page 2


News.......1–2 Arts.........3-4 World..........5 Editorial......6 Opinion.......7 Today..........8

News, 2
cable access denied Students are left without conventional television access this summer

Arts, 3
danger at doyle The bond between a circus performer and her tigers becomes complicated

D & C, 6
diamonds and coal Diamonds to the “high” undecided vote, mStoner and Pauly D

Opinions, 7
‘corporate culture’ Simon Liebling ’12 questions the priorities Brown values most herald@browndailyherald.com


195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island


Dutch elm with cable axed, a long waitlist for tV converters disease dooms tree
by anne artley Staff Writer

C AMpUS n ewS
continued from page 1 The cable television system in residence halls was shut down over the summer, leaving many students on a long waitlist for boxes that let them continue using conventional TVs. Students can now watch TV using the Internet-based IPTV system, which lets them watch directly on a computer or on a regular television using a converter box. But the Office of Residential Life, which is renting the converter boxes to students, did not initially order enough boxes to meet student demand.


FRIDAy, SEPTEmBER 10, 2010

“This is our first time doing it. It’s a brand new adventure.”
— Richard Bova, Senior Associate Dean of Residential and Dining

versity’s grounds superintendent. According to Vetere, the disease enters through broken tree branches, and pathogens spread throughout the tree’s water vessels, killing the tree in approximately three weeks. The process undertaken by Facilities concerning tree removal is careful and complex, Vetere said. In May, when Facilities noticed flagging, or wilting leaves, a sample was sent for testing to verify Dutch elm disease. The infected area was then pruned to limit damage and injected with a fungicide, as were the trees surrounding it. It was only when this, too, failed that the tree had to be removed, he said. In accordance with a Providence ordinance which dictates that any tree over 20 inches in diameter requires a city permit to remove, the University then contacted the city for approval for the removal of the dead tree. “There are so many environmental benefits to trees. We have no reason to cut them down unless we really need to,” Vetere said. According to Stephen Maiorisi, vice president for Facilities Management, the University works closely with Providence through tree planting programs like the Sharpe Tree Fund, and also participates actively in a tree replacement program. With the University losing approximately 1 percent of plant material a year, Facilities plants about 450 trees a year on and around campus, he said.

Senior Associate Dean of Residential and Dining Services Richard Bova told The Herald last fall that other Ivy League schools who have an Internet-based system found the demand for cable boxes to be low. Bova said 185 boxes have been rented out and 75 people are on the waitlist. It costs $40 to rent a box for the year. Bova said he does not believe the University underestimated the demand. “You never know,” he said. “This is our first time doing it. It’s a brand-new adventure.”

Bova said that while the waitlist is long, not all students who reserved boxes in the spring picked them up. “We’ve been calling and e-mailing them for days,” he said. Bova described the old system as “antiquated,” and said IPTV holds twice as many channels. IPTV carries channels such as USA and Fox News which weren’t available on Brown’s cable system, as well as campus channels like Brown TV. Despite the long waitlist for converter boxes, some students said they did not notice the absence of

cable, and prefer to use IPTV. “I just brought my TV to watch movies and play video games,” said Juan Carranza ’12. “I had the TV last year, but I watched IPTV most of the time.” Sam Eilertsen ’12, the executive producer of BTV, said he thinks online television is the way of the future, and said he hopes more students will watch BTV since cable is no longer an option. “TV is moving in the direction of the Internet, and not just in college,” he said. “Cable broadcast has to compete with YouTube and Hulu.”

psych services hires new therapist
continued from page 1 sity of Colorado at Boulder, and before coming to Brown on Sept. 1, she was working at the James Madison University Counseling and Student Development Center. Sobik declined to be interviewed for this article because Psych Services prefers not to have new psychotherapists interviewed while they are settling in to their new positions and familiarizing themselves with the department, Johnson said. “It’s always nice to have a new staff member because a new person brings a new viewpoint and new energy to the staff,” Johnson said.

Julien Ouellet / Herald

Lower payout signals improvement
continued from page 1 tar y retirement program to staff in response to budget constraints. Over 50 percent of those eligible, 139 total, took the University’s early retirement packages last spring. “It was a better year than expected,” Huidekoper said. The Brown Annual Fund had good returns and financial aid expenses were lower than anticipated, she added. The University was able to cover the one-time cost of early retirement packages without dipping into reser ves. Looking ahead, administrators are “really hopeful that we don’t have to make more cuts,” Huidekoper said. “But we have to think about revenues. … It will be a question of how.” The budgeting process for the fiscal year beginning July 2011 will officially begin on Sept. 20. Faced with growing financial aid costs, administrators must find new revenue streams. The Campaign for Academic Enrichment, which has raised more than $1.5 billion since it launched in 2002, comes to an official close Dec. 31.


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Daily Herald
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The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for each member of the community. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Offices are located at 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. E-mail herald@browndailyherald.com. World Wide Web: http://www.browndailyherald.com. Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2010 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

Arts & Culture
The Brown Daily Herald
by rafael chaiken Contributing Writer

FRIDAy, SEPTEmBER 10, 2010 | PAGE 3

Dust & dirt as art in ‘Divisibility’ ‘Mi tigre, My Lover’:
Is wallpaper a mere decorative background or one of the fine arts? Providence artist Alison Owen takes up this question in “Divisibility,” a new show in the David Winton Bell Gallery . Using found objects arrayed in rectilinear geometries, Owen plays off the gallery’s architecture to create a delicately understated exhibition. Though “Divisiblity” is Owen’s first solo show in New England, it incorporates her by-now-trademark technique of responding to the gallery space in her art. First, Owen takes up the square motif of List Art Center’s lobby and uses it as an organizing principle for her wallpaper-style appliques, which are arranged in grids. “I tr y to draw attention to the underlying structure of spaces, and to the things that usually go unnoticed, like frames and pedestals,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. “(I) was interested in responding to the building on a purely aesthetic level — how can I take elements of (architect Philip Johnson’s) design and allow them to flavor the show?” Second, and less conventionally, Owen uses found objects from List as part of her art. She gathered dirt, dust, sand, tape and candy wrappers from the building and glued them to the wall patterns, giving the wallpaper shapes their color and texture. The ar tist wrote in the galler y notes that she attempts to make visible “the things that have become invisible due to their commonness: the dust we sweep up, the scraps we throw away, the materials we rely upon but rarely see. By paying attention to these artifacts, I interact with everyone who has built the room, remodeled it, cleaned it, or lived in it, and hold all of these past actions in a fragile balance with my own.” Upon entering the gallery, one is struck by the minimalist nature of “Divisibility.” Most walls remain white, and the floor-space is open save for a single display case. “I typically work in a sparse and minimal way,” Owen wrote to The Herald. “I suppose I had to hold myself back from commenting on ever y single grid found in the space (there are many) but my aesthetic preference is toward subtlety. I wanted there to be a balance between the emptiness and the pattern, to allow the room to have an active part in the conversation.” The logical place to star t browsing is the explanator y text and artist biography on the right side of the rear wall. A grid of thin white threads hovers a few millimeters in front of the paragraphs, casting a barely perceptible shadow. Below the text, the grid contains Owen’s wallpaper forms, an array of arcs and diamonds that brings to mind patterns found in traditional kitchens.
by alexys esparza Contributing Writer

love, obsession & tigers
“Mi Tigre, My Lover,” a collection of drawings by Naoe Suzuki currently on display at the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center Gallery, explores the complicated relationship between a circus performer and her tigers through the interplay of mineral pigment and graphite on white paper. Suzuki’s exhibit features multiple drawings of Mabel Stark, a famous circus performer from the early 1900s, interacting with her trained tigers. The drawings are mostly done with mineral pigment, a water-based medium from Suzuki’s native Japan. Her work is done on white paper, and Suzuki creates a significant amount of negative space by leaving portions of the paper blank. “I was always really careful about the space between the figures and I always wanted to have a lot of space,” Suzuki said. “It’s almost like (the figures) are floating in some way.” After reading Robert Hough’s “The Final Confession of Mabel Stark,” a fictional biography about Stark, Suzuki said she was “really taken” by Stark’s “story and her life.” “I did more of my own research, collected some photographs, and eventually, this became a series,” Suzuki said. In 1909, Mabel Stark left her nursing job to dance in the circus. After a short marriage, she re-joined the circus and a few years later started her renowned cat act with both tigers and lions. Despite the several maulings Stark experienced during her career, she had a deep and complicated relationship with her tigers. “Mi Tigre, My Lover” works to depict this strange relationship. “There’s a lot of mystery around the complex relationship between her and her tiger,” Suzuki said. “That’s what I was interested in.” The exhibit features both lighthearted depictions of Mabel Stark playing with the tigers, and images of more gruesome interactions that hint at the danger at hand. “There’s this sense of love and power there, at the same time,” Suzuki said. “The tigers are the ones kept in the cage, the obvious captives,” she said. “Mabel … is a captive too, but captive by her tigers.” “Her life was consumed pretty much by her love and obsession for tigers,” she added. Suzuki said that having both lighthearted and gruesome depictions side-by-side helps illuminate both the humanity of the tiger and the mortality of Mabel Stark. “There’s this allure between them, sometimes a game of play, but also danger,” she said. Though Suzuki’s work is usually narrative in nature, “It doesn’t always stay one story, one narrative,” she said. “I like a more open-ended kind of narrative.” Suzuki said she hopes that the viewers of her exhibit walk away with different impressions and opinions of the narrative. “I love the fact that it morphs. I hope it keeps morphing every time they look at it,” she said. “Mi Tigre, My Lover” is on display in the Sarah Doyle Center Gallery through Oct. 1. The opening reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 16 from 5–7 p.m.

Courtesy of maya Allison

“Divisibility,” a new exhibition by artist Alison Owen, reflects the architectural features of List Art Center in its composition.

Moving clockwise, the viewer passes by the entrance to the Bell Galler y’s larger exhibit space, cur rently home to “Pictures from the Hay: Celebrating the John Hay Librar y at 100.” Maya Allison, the Bell’s new curator, wrote to The Herald in an e-mail that the timing of the shows was not coincidental. “I proposed to have Alison

Owen come in and do a show that would in part respond to the ‘Pictures from the Hay’ — her work has a wonderful decorative quality that reminded me of medieval manuscript illumination,” she wrote. “In a way, I see this project as her way of ‘illuminating’ the exhibition space as one continued on page 4


A rtS &C ULtUre
continued from page 3 might ‘illuminate’ a manuscript with decoration around the text.” According to the curator, Owen used patterns from the archival tomes in the Hay exhibit as inspiration for her wall coverings. For her part, Owen wrote that she hopes visitors find resonance between the exhibits. The wallpaper patterns continue along the right wall, this time aligned with the door handles of the Hay exhibit’s entrance. The squares within which they are inset mirror the grid established by the lobby’s stone floor, though the thread boxes are actually about an inch wider. Owen placed the show’s most evocative piece, a partially disassembled frame, on the right wall as well. The bulk of the pine wood frame is covered in glass but empty of any art; its foam-board back sits further down the wall. Silhouettes of the frame’s cross braces can be seen on the board, suggesting the piece was faded in the sun. The disassembled frame evidently relates to the “divisibility” theme, “how we divide up life into portions of work, cleaning, creative expression, leisure, and so on,” according to Allison. The exhibit’s lone display case sits near List’s entrance, aligned with the door way to the inner lobby. Owen applied some of her dirt-covered wallpaper to a square of sheetrock, affixed a wooden molding, and bored 24 nails into the board, stringing white thread between them. She also used gold leaf for parts of her pattern, a seeming reference to a gold-painted, parchment scroll in the Hay exhibit. The juxtaposition of all Owen’s media in a delicate geometric configuration makes this piece the show’s most striking element. On the galler y’s left wall is an immense grid of light gray paint, one line of which continues around the entire room; a few punctuating dots are added to the grid here and there. Owen placed her most colorful wallpaper patterns surrounding the entryway to List’s lecture halls. Green and yellow pieces of tape are visible in the pattern of fourpointed stars; that the stars are


FRIDAy, SEPTEmBER 10, 2010

“We divide up life into portions.”
— maya Allison, David Winton Bell Gallery curator

wallpaper takes center stage in ‘illuminating’ List found art installation

Courtesy of maya Allison

Alison Owen includes colored tape, wood and debris from List for the wallpaper-like appliques in her exhibit.

clustered near the floor suggests a gravitational influence. Coming full circle, the visitor ends up on the far wall, onto which four more wallboard squares are attached. Each one exhibits a dif-

ferent pattern, yet none contain gold leaf or have the delicacy of the glass-encased piece. On one, for example, thread is stretched across 27 nails in patterns of three; the use of these particular numbers cannot be accidental. The “divisibility” theme running throughout Owen’s show is its most intellectually interesting element. According to the artist, the genesis of her work came in par t from a sentence she once read: “Dust is proof of the divisibility of matter.” Her use of dirt and dust (a byproduct of Brown coursework, no doubt) enables the show to work on two visual levels — the wallpaper patterns from afar and the individual grains up close. Her handmade patterns resemble mass-produced ones, blurring the distinction between decorative and fine arts that arguably came with

modernity. Owen’s dialogue with Philip Johnson’s modernist building is also effective, for the architect’s incessant use of squares and right angles almost cries out to be broken up. Yet Owen’s exhibition is perhaps too fragmented and understated. Despite the appliques, the galler y walls remain mostly blank and colorless, the floor is bare, and the show intentionally has an unfinished feel. Rushing through the lobby to class, it’s likely many students will not realize they’re in the midst of such meaningful artwork. The Bell Gallery is open to the public weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. An opening reception will be held Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. “Divisibility” and “Pictures from the Hay” both run through the end of October.

the other bdh blog daily herald dot com

world & nation
The Brown Daily Herald
by childs Walker the baltiMore Sun by luisa yanez MCClatChy neWSpaperS

FRIDAy, SEPTEmBER 10, 2010 | PAGE 5

Fla. pastor Zombies lumber into university curriculum cancels Quran burning
MIAMI — The pastor of a Florida church announced Thursday he is calling off his plans to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday — the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Rev. Terry Jones said at a press conference he is canceling the controversial event. The move came hours after President Barack Obama urged the pastor to cancel his plans. Jones said on CNN Thursday afternoon that instead of burning copies of the Quran on Saturday, he will fly to New York City to meet with Muslim leaders who had hoped to build a mosque near the site of Ground Zero. “If they were willing to move that we would consider that a sign from God,” Jones said. Jones worked out the meeting with the help of Imam Muhammad Musri of Islamic Society of Central Florida, who spoke in Gainesville, Fla., after Jones. “I want to thank him and his church for making the decision today and to bring to a peaceful end what would have been a spectacle,” said Musri, who said he will accompany Jones on his trip to New York. “The placement of a mosque near the Ground Zero location it has been a provocation for many people to be violent against mosques across the nation,” Musri said. Obama said in an inter view on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” that the pastor’s plan would help U.S. enemies, calling it a “a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaida.” “I just want him to understand this stunt he’s talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform,” Obama said. Arnold Blumberg plops the zombie head on a table at the front of the small theater. “I brought a friend,” says the University of Baltimore professor, clad in an unbuttoned black shirt adorned with red skulls. Blumberg is meeting his class for the first time and it seems appropriate that he greet them beside “old Worm Eye,” undead star of the 1979 Italian cult film “Zombi 2.” It was Worm Eye’s decaying visage that called to a young Blumberg from the shelf of a Randallstown video store in the 1980s. Without him, maybe Blumberg wouldn’t be here today, teaching a new generation about his favorite movie monster. Zombies are everywhere these days. Last year they hit the bestseller list in a bizarre mash-up with Jane Austen called “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” They have inspired math professors to devise statistical models for surviving a “zombie apocalypse.” This fall, they’ll star in the AMC TV series “The Walking Dead.” And now, they’re the subject of a new course, otherwise known as English 333, at the University of Baltimore. “Zombies are one of the most potent, direct reflections of what we’re thinking moment to moment in our culture,” Blumberg tells the class in explaining why they’re all here. Students will watch 16 classic zombie films (including “Zombi 2,” in which a zombie fights a shark), read zombie comics and, as an alternative to a final research paper, have the chance to write scripts or draw stor yboards for their ideal zombie flicks. Jonathan Shorr, chair of the university’s school of communications design, wanted a rotation of “interesting, off-the-wall” courses for a new minor in pop culture. But when Blumberg pitched him a course about the walking dead, he says, “I hit the side of my monitor a couple times thinking, ‘Do I have this right? Did he say zombies?’ “ The more he thought about it, however, the more intrigued Shorr became. Zombies have shown great resilience as a stor ytelling device and in this era of gloom and dread, their popularity is cresting. Maybe they would be a perfect hook to get students talking about

Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun

Arnold Blumberg teaches “Zombies in Popular media” at the University of Baltimore.

Thanks for reading!

sociology, literature and a bevy of other disciplines that can sound stuffy. “It’s a back door into a lot of subjects,” Shorr says. “They think they’re taking this wacko zombie course, and they are. But on the way, they learn how literature and mass media work, and how they come to reflect our times.” The university isn’t the first to jump in line with the lumbering undead. Columbia College in Chicago has offered Zombies in Popular Media for years, making several lists of the country’s most bizarre courses in the process. At Iowa’s Simpson College, students spent the spring semester collectively writing a book on “The History of the Great Zombie War.” Blumberg, curator of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum at Camden Yards, takes zombies seriously enough that he wrote a book about them. But he’s not above tonguein-cheek remarks about his decidedly nontraditional course. “This hopefully is as dr y and historical as we’ll get for the rest for the semester,” he says during a discourse on the misguided interpretation of West Indian rituals that allowed zombies into popular culture in the 1930s. “We’ll get the blood and guts flying up on the screen soon enough.” Among the official course objectives, he lists “get you ready for a zombie apocalypse.” “Well, not really,” Blumberg says. “But pay attention, and you’ll pick up a few tips along the way.” For you doomed souls who aren’t taking his class, here’s rule No. 1: If zombies have you cornered and you have to shoot, aim for the head. Blumberg starts class with a

deceptively complicated question: What is a zombie? “I know that lately, a lot of zombies have been created by viruses,” one student volunteers. “Is that a zombie?” “Absolutely!” Blumberg says merrily. One of his key beliefs is that we use zombies to reflect contemporar y dreads, such as our current fear of pandemics. He seems thrilled that a student has tapped this theme so quickly. “It’s a computer used to attack other computers,” says another. “Yes!” Blumberg says. He’ll be talking a lot about how zombies have invaded everyday language — so again, he’s excited that a stu-

dent has anticipated his message. “It’s pretty much anyone who doesn’t have free will,” the same student says. “That’s an excellent way to look at it,” Blumberg replies. Though he’s an all-inclusive zombie guy who makes fun of the geeks who’d fight you over rigid definitions, Blumberg does have a few prejudices. Frankenstein and other monsters constructed of human parts aren’t zombies, for one. And the hugely successful Marvel Comics series that turned favorite superheroes into zombies? Well, that really bothered him. “As I get older, I have my restrictions,” he says.

editorial & Letters
The Brown Daily Herald
PAGE 6 | FRIDAy, SEPTEmBER 10, 2010

letters, letters, letters, letters,

please! please! please! please!


d i a M o n d s a n d c oa l
Coal to UCS for planning to increase its visibility, once again. You should try tableslips — oh wait, you got rid of those. Cubic zirconium to UCS Vice President Ben Farber ’12 for telling us he’s “very excited for UCS this year.” So we guess somebody has heard of them. A farm-fresh diamond to the Ratty for overthrowing tray normativity. Diamond to Dean of Medicine Edward Wing for claiming that “fundraising is a science.” Might we suggest that The Herald would make a great lab rat? A sympathetic diamond to the “high” undecided vote in Providence. We have trouble deciding between Antonio’s and Nice Slice, too. A nice, tan diamond to Pauly D for coming home and making himself seen in Rhode Island. Maybe he could give some tips to UCS? Brassy diamonds to the anonymous Angell Street trumpeter who’s been entertaining our office with his or her tunes this week. We’re big fans of “Tequila” and the theme from Star Wars. Can we yell requests out the window? Coal to the proposed Block Island wind farm. We heard it blows. A jealous diamond to Brown and its new website, courtesy of the firm mStoner. We tried to redo our site after a trip across the street to Spats, but it just looked mDrunker.

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The Brown Daily Herald

FRIDAy, SEPTEmBER 10, 2010 | PAGE 7

what Brown can learn from prop 8
opinions coluMnist
As is commonly analogized, Brown is like a self-contained bubble, set apart from Providence and its people. This bubble does much to sequester students from the realities of the outside world. Though some lament the bubble’s tendency to insulate Brunonians from the pitfalls of urban living, little is said about the insulating effect from majority political points of view.   On no other topic is this seen more clearly than on the issue of gay marriage. Opponents of gay marriage, no matter how principled, are belittled and ostracized by students.  A search of the Herald website for the phase “gay marriage” reveals over 100 results, all slanted, not surprisingly, to the same pro-gay marriage conclusion. One, Sarah Rosenthal’s ’11 Nov. 13, 2008, column, “No on Yes on Prop 8,” attributes opposition to gay marriage to baseless hate. Another gem, Susannah Kroeber’s ’11 “Rejected 31 times over,” (Nov. 6, 2009) advocates that acceptance of gay marriage be forced upon the unwilling majority of Americans. This is precisely what was averted with the striking down of the California Marriage Protection Act by a federal court this past August. The people of California had spoken. By popular vote, they had elected to turn the wheels of democracy in favor of traditional marriage. Both sides of the debate had raised millions of dollars and presented their positions to the public. The voters weighed the evidence, made up their minds and voiced their opinions at the ballot box. This was democracy in action. The presumptive coup de grace to a debate that had pitted the people of California against their government had finally been dealt. Then, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, seemingly echoing Brown students, declared Cality” made public. These laws, like the California Marriage Protection Act, are in keeping  with government interests and have either gone unchallenged or been upheld by the courts. In the absence of a federal law or constitutional amendment concerning a given issue, the Tenth Amendment gives the states and their citizens the right to control that issue.  Walker’s belief that the definition of Had the referendum that enacted the California Marriage Protection Act been decided differently, the people’s decision would still deserve the government’s respect. Walker’s disregard for majority points of view and the flippant nature of his dismissal of the will of the people are echoed in Brown students’ treatment of the issue of gay marriage.  Despite Brown’s political leanings, we Ivy Leaguers, the leaders of tomorrow, should be wary of the government’s unresponsiveness to the demands of the people. Political stunts to protect minority “rights” leave the majority at once dispossessed of the right to control their government. All instances of judicial activism are but links in a chain wrapped around the windpipe of our democracy, separating the people from their power. As a community, we stand at a crossroads: to be like Judge Walker and remain in a single-minded political malaise, or to engage in dialogue with the broader America and accept the possible validity of viewpoints that run counter to our own. Though this may be difficult at first, it is necessary, as our liberal education requires a respect for all perspectives, even those that fall within the mainstream. In this new scholastic year, we must strive to burst the Brown bubble’s hold on our minds.

Walker failed to realize that gay marriage is wrong for California, not because of the Bible but because the people of California said so.

ifornia’s law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, citing a lack of legitimacy given its basis in “private moral(s).” Though this conclusion was lauded by Brunonians on Facebook and in conversation, the U.S. Constitution says nothing of marriage — gay or otherwise. And Walker’s argument against the law’s basis is intellectually dishonest given the fact that many prohibitions that pass constitutional muster are based in “private morals.” Laws ranging from prohibitions of obscenity and polygamy to the restriction of marriage to living adult humans are all instances of “private moral-

marriage is “beyond the constitutional reach of the voters” is not grounded in constitutional fact. Laws against gay marriage are neither egregious nor unconstitutional. Walker’s decision to strike down the law was not about constitutionality, but rather about his own urge to castigate the people of California for their “antiquated” morality.  Walker failed to realize that gay marriage is wrong for California, not because of the Bible but because the people of California said so. Love or hate gay marriage, voters had arrived at a conclusion that should have been respected and irrevocable.

terrence George ’13 is an agent of radical Middle America.

Brown, Inc.
opinions coluMnist
We return to campus to find the latest evidence of the Building Brown binge, the fresh paint and scaffolding like broken bottles shattered across the floor — evidence of an administrative addiction out of control. The $40 million Creative Arts Center shows off its new facade overlooking the $10 million sidewalk that crosses Olive Street to pass under the $95 million Life Sciences building. The OMAC parking lot has been cleared as it awaits a $47 million athletic center. Thayer Street squeezes around the $42 million gutting and refitting of Metcalf Lab. A similar renovation proceeds downtown at the new $45 million dollar home for Alpert Medical School. And then there’s our new $21 million campus center, open so soon only because the administration discovered last year that it had overcharged students for tuition by $2 million and decided to waste the serendipitous surplus on hastening construction. (At the very least the University could name the building for us unwitting student philanthropists, but the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center it remains.) Meanwhile, administrators shout over the construction noise to assure us that this is an age of austerity at Brown. “The pain” of recessionary retrenchment, our president writes, “must begin at the top.” But even though her post-Goldman Sachs income must feel downright proletarian, the truth is that University Hall has been immune, refusing to compromise any of its prized alliterative capital campaigns. Instead, student tuition is up five percent this year. Ninety employees have been fired over the last 18 months. It took a sustained campaign by workers and student allies in the face of the University’s budgetary brinksmanship just to preserve a living wage and health care for Dining Services staff last year. Library staff have not been so lucky. Unambiguously, the recession-era University budget has been balanced entirely on the backs of students and staff. This is the kind of behavior we would expect from a University tries to take from us more than it needs. Brown — again, an ostensibly nonprofit institution — sets its prices not as low as it can manage, but as high as it can get away with. It treats its employees not as well as it can sustain, but as poorly as it can without pissing us off to the point of protest. Stripping away the last pretenses to service and a non-profit mission, the truth is that our university is commercializing, replacing public interest with profit interest. The national phenomenon of university corporatization — the cause of the moment for professors around the country and the subriment of the humanities. But then there is the reduction of tenured professorships in favor of adjunct positions, inducing competition into the faculty at the price of academic freedom and faculty-student relationships. There is the spread of aggressive high-risk investment strategies, and there is the growing intimacy between universities and private industry, raising unavoidable ethical issues and conflicts-of-interest for research, investments and teaching that threaten our academic independence. At many universities, corporate culture has become so entrenched that resisting it would be an unwinnable battle. But we are lucky enough to be at Brown in the middle of the fight over the University’s commercial future. We have only just arrived at the juncture between service and profit, between community and callousness, between university-college and research institution, between our unique identity and Ivy League homogeneity — between Brown University and Brown, Inc. In Brown University we find the things that drew us all here — the quality of undergraduate teaching, the institutional respect for community members, the willingness, even in the Ivy League, to do things a little bit differently. In Brown, Inc. we find only a profit motive. Our university is worth fighting for. Brown, Inc. won’t even be ours to defend.

The truth is that our university is commercializing, replacing public interest with profit interest. The national phenomenon of university corporatization has at long last arrived at Brown.
profit-maximizing corporation on a cost-cutting spree, not from a non-profit educational institution operating in the public interest. It’s hard to imagine our Brown, proud and protective of the vitality of its civic community, casting its own into the unemployment pool and siphoning ever more cash from its students’ families, especially since the administration is so obviously aware of the extent of the recession’s impact on all of us. Worse still, last year’s tuition surplus and the administration’s ultimate concessions to Dining Services workers prove that the ject of countless books documenting the extent of the problem — has at long last arrived at Brown. President Simmons has ascended to her place among the most prominent of a new generation of university administrators who are looking ever more executive than academic. The consequences of corporatization are not limited to the University’s mistreatment of its students and staff in the quest for profit. There is, of course, the oft-bemoaned prioritization of research over teaching, and the correlated emphasis on science to the det-

Simon liebling ’12 is from new Jersey. He can be reached at simon.liebling@gmail.com.

The Brown Daily Herald


Is wallpaper a fine art?

to day

to M o r r o w

George ’13 on bursting the Brown bubble
73 / 54 74 / 56

friday, september 10, 2010


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

c a l e n da r
today, september 10 4:00 p — male Sexuality Workshop .m. Info Session, Wilson 192 8:00 p .m. — The Fall Arias Concert, Grand Recital Hall tomorroW, september 11 1:00 p .m. — Exhibition: “Pictures from the Hay: Celebrating the John Hay at 100,” List Art Building 2:00 p .m. — Artist mark Tribe’s happening/performance event, Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center

cabernet Voltaire | Abe Pressman

sharpe refectory lunch — Zucchini Frittata, Curried Tofu and Coconut Ginger Rice, Raspberry Swirl Cookies dinner — manicotti Piedmontese, Breaded Pollock, Pound Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream Verney-Woolley dining hall lunch — Chicken Fingers, Baked Vegan Nuggets, Baked Beans, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar dinner — Seafood Jambalaya, Grilled Chicken, Focaccia Fridays

bat & gaz | Sofia Ortiz

dot comic | Eshan mitra and Brendan Hainline

the adventures of team Vag | Wendy Kwartin

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