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Brown Campus News

Angus ’17.5 eyes Olympic dream
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 25, 2015
“On Feb. 7 — while most students were trudging to class through the yard-high snow — Katarina Angus ’17.5 was suiting up for the most important game of her field hockey career.
So far, that is.
A 4-0 loss to New Zealand — a game in which Angus played for 30 minutes — was not a great debut for Angus on the Canadian women’s field hockey team, but her appearance marked the realization of a lifelong dream, she said.
“It was a very cool experience. It was very intimidating — the game kind of happened, I don’t really remember a lot of it,” Angus said, laughing. “I think I was just making sure that I was marking my player. It was very fast, it was very high-paced — it was a really great way to start my career.”
Angus has been playing with affiliates of the Canadian national team since a young age. Before coming to Brown, she played on the under-16 and under-18 national squads. But while trying out for the under-21 junior national team, she was asked by Head Coach Ian Rutledge to practice with the senior squad. She jumped at the opportunity.
“It was really cool — a really great experience to play at a completely different level,” Angus said. “It was really nice to be exposed to what the next level of field hockey actually is and where you need to be to play at an international level.”
“It was tough; the training was hard,” she added. “But it was fun, and I’ve enjoyed it so far.”
Yet Angus faced a difficult decision when Rutledge asked if she wanted to take a semester off last spring to practice and go to tournaments with the national team.
“Brown is such an incredible place and so special, I didn’t ever even want to take a semester abroad because I didn’t want to miss time at Brown,” Angus said.
But she chose to join the team and has no regrets. “It was something I needed to do for my career and to be able to establish myself on the Canadian team,” she said.
Head Coach Jill Reeve was “delighted” that Angus was going to play with Canada during her spring semester. “It’s been a desire for her to play at the next level, and I think that this helps her reach her full potential.”
Now back on the field for Brown, Angus’ has seamlessly transitioned from the national level to the collegiate level. The third-year star already has two game-winning goals for Brown to go along with a team-high seven points, which already eclipses her season totals from last year.
“The big difference is the fitness level,” Angus said. “Everyone is so fit, and everything happens at a much faster speed (in national competition). … I feel like I can try to implement a quickness in our game.”
Though she mainly plays in the back for Canada, Reeve has shifted her slightly upfield this year for the Bears, which has led to the uptick in offensive production — success Angus attributes to her work earlier in the year.
Playing with Canada “has given me a good sense of what can be done in the positions I’m in,” Angus said.
Teammates appreciate having Angus back on the field.
“Having her power and strength a little further forward is great,” said co-captain Alexis Miller ’16. “When she injects into our attack from the back, she’s great at creating opportunities and corners, which really helps our team.”
It is not only on-the-field improvements that Angus has brought back to the States. She also came back “more mature,” Reeve said. After a troubling 6-1 loss to Providence College, Angus joined co-captains Anna Masini ’16 and Miller in reassuring the team and providing constructive criticism.
“There’s definitely been an increase in her knowledge of the game,” Miller said. “She’s definitely matured more as a player. She listens when she needs to and dishes commands as well.”
After the Bears’ somewhat disappointing conference campaign, Angus is hoping her national experience — combined with the wealth of young and veteran talent that Reeve has at her disposal — will make Brown a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
The team’s goals this season are “to keep winning and start competing in the Ivy League,” Angus said. “This year and next year will be really good chances to establish ourselves as a great team.”
“She’s one of our top players,” Reeve said. “It’s great that she’s a part of our group. Brown field hockey is meaningful to her, and she definitely appreciates that our team is special.”
For Canada, the next few years will be defined by its success in future tournaments: Having not qualified for the 2016 Olympics, the team’s focus will shift to qualifying for the 2020 games.
The Olympics “is definitely in reach,” Angus said. “We’re really looking toward qualifying for 2020, and there’s a lot of really cool tournaments, like the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup, in 2017 and 2018 and 2019 coming up. There’s a lot of opportunities for qualification, and that’s definitely something I’d love to be a part of.”
But for now, Angus is dedicating her fall semesters to Brown, which has established a goal of winning the Ivy League for the first time since it shared the crown with Princeton in 1999.
“I’m extremely excited to be back at Brown,” Angus said with an infectious smile.
The Ivy League might not feel the same way.”

Ratty renovations still on table
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 25, 2015
“While President Christina Paxson’s P’19 operational plan elaborates on a previously discussed intention to update the Sharpe Refectory, students should not expect construction to begin in the next year. 
The building was constructed in 1950, and the infrastructure has never been updated. The planned renovation would update the plumbing and HVAC systems, which would cost an estimated $30 million, said Barbara Chernow ’79, executive vice president of finance and administration.
The operational plan reads, “The Sharpe Refectory … no longer provides students with the dining options expected in a 21st century university. The facilities are badly outdated, and the space is not optimized to meet the needs of students to hold meetings, socialize and create community.”
Former Provost Vicki Colvin emerged as a major proponent of renovations to the Ratty during her year on the job.
“I’m a graduate of Brown from 1979, and I remember eating fondly at the Ratty, but it really hasn’t changed very much,” Chernow said.
Other features of the Ratty are also slotted for overhaul. The central hub of the dining room will be replaced by individual stations like the omelette bar, giving students a chance to enjoy meals prepared in front of them, Chernow said. The doors that face Patriot’s Court may also be opened to allow easier flow and more access to the space, she said.
The basement dining area that is currently the Ivy Room will be updated to accommodate student activities and late night events, and the rooms that are often locked on the main floor’s sides will see increased utilization, Chernow said. Retail options could also be added, she said.
The Ratty could also see the addition of a bakery, said Sazzy Gourley ’16, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students.
It is estimated that the project will cost around $50 million, including the $30 million structural renovation. This figure is in line with the costs of dining hall renovations on other campuses, Chernow said. Though fundraising has not officially begun, alums have already expressed enthusiasm for the idea, she said, adding that she expects a successful and exciting campaign.
While the price tag is large, students should not expect meal plan price to increase in the coming years as a result. In fact, the updates to the infrastructure could cause total operating costs to fall, though Chernow said that it is impossible to predict at this early stage of the process.
The current time frame for the execution of this project remains uncertain. “Renovations will happen to the Refectory; I do not know when,” said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of Residential Life and Dining Services.
Chernow said she expects the planning process to take a year before going to the Corporation for approval, adding that the construction process could take an additional 24 months. In order to accommodate student dining options, the construction will likely be done in phases, and expansions to other dining facilities will likely be made.
UCS is committed to having students be an active part of the process, Gourley said. “In terms of my role on UCS, I want to make sure that … students are able to give feedback,” he said. “It’s important for students to have the opportunity to contribute to the Ratty development process throughout the planning phases.””

Secondo ’16: Demagogue and populist
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 25, 2015
“We live in a hypersensitive age of anxiety and fear. Everywhere we turn, we are reminded of threats and problems that are gradually clawing away at our sense of security. Crippling inequality, racial injustice and rampant gun violence, along with sluggish Main Street growth, gridlocked government and a broken immigration system, are plastered on rotation by media platforms and disseminated by pundits and politicians alike. Add in destabilizing proxy wars and surging global terrorism, plus fluxing financial markets, and there you have it: Overture to the 21st Century Breakdown.
Our nation is rattled, and the common man is adrift in a sea of instability. And coincidentally during the early stages of our nation’s ritual exchange of command, the men and women seeking control of the helm exacerbate the brewing storm of uncertainty.
One would think that an election cycle during a time of great concern would encourage a candidate to appear as a pacifying, powerful figure who quells public fear, unites a divided people and inspires renewed faith in our nation. Instead, we are further plagued by certain candidates who have chosen to capitalize on the political climate by means unseen since the turn of the last century. William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long and Joseph McCartney share one acrimonious label: demagogue. Meanwhile, the likes of Eugene Debs and George Wallace, who were historically less incendiary, have been assigned the more palatable but equally charged label of populist. Despite subtle categorical nuances, two leading candidates who might not win the general election have certainly joined these two groups as representatives of 21st century American demagoguery and populism: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
What more is there to say about the most colorful, disruptive, entertaining sideshow-turned-disconcerting-frontrunner presidential candidate of the modern political age that has not been said already? Trump is the ideal demagogue; he panders on the passions and prejudices of a fearful, ignorant populace and uses his braggadocio and blustering talk in order to seize power. To a significant percentage of Americans, our lethargic nation is diseased by immigrants, career politicians and lost jobs to China and can only be saved by a “smart” and “really rich” racist, misogynistic plutocrat. He is everything the common man is not, but he is venerated as the purported embodiment of what success and power can be.
Trump indulges the emotional sentiments of angry white politics and masterfully weaves artistry with vulgarity to create an irresistible image of a cult leader. His real talk of reality plays to the warped views of an embittered populace willing to embrace xenophobia or decry our Muslim-Kenyan pretender president in order to assign blame for America’s fall from grace. Trump is not the breath of fresh air needed to shake the system of talking-head leaders and ineffective government, but a poisonous gas of intoxicating hyperbole and reality distortion that intentionally keeps a house divided for the sake of manipulative control.
On the other end of the spectrum, minus the extreme rancor and rhetoric, is the socialist Vermont senator out to upend crony capitalism and ignite a political revolution against the privileged and powerful. He has assumed the progressive (what does that even mean anymore?) mantle in the quest to assail corporate America and the 1 percent for their economic gains and strip them of control through wealth distribution and industry oversight. His dowdy frankness and rejection of polished politics have turned him into the crazy-uncle cult figure hailed by frustrated collegiate liberals, ex-hippies and the “marginalized” white middle class.
Sanders scapegoats financially successful people and institutions as criminals responsible for inequality, playing to the scorned public’s demands for retribution after years of being sold a hoax economic recovery. He is not a fringe candidate, but a voice that stirs classist prejudices and socioeconomic hostilities to reawaken the populist grassroots agenda against the nation’s political and economic establishment and the stereotyped people that represent them.
There is a fine line between a populist crusader and a crazed demagogue. Traditionally, the former is a recognized leader of a concrete reform movement who needs the support of followers to thrive and respects the rules of engagement. The latter is a one-man show who does not care or need the people who believe in him and is willing to operate outside the box to win.
Yet despite the different labels, Trump and Sanders follow the same modus operandi to achieve their goals. Both masquerade as uncorrupted advocates of the people by challenging the failed establishment and saying what their followers want to hear. Using their charisma and their followers’ blind trust, they deliver dangerous and divisive politics to scare their followers, whip up anger and then cast arbitrary blame onto fellow citizens because of their ethnicity, gender or monetary success and seek retribution from them and their protective institutions. Strip away the personas and ideologies, and exposed is a pair of political opportunists exploiting a frustrated nation for the ultimate prize in the land. Both are seeking a mandate, and hopefully the people of this country are aware enough to not give it to them.
Reid Secondo ’16 is a frustrated American who hopes to wake up from the 2016 election nightmare to a recharged and refocused nation under a cohesive government. Who says we can’t dream, right?”

Firn ’16: Ranking the NFL’s TV broadcast teams
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 25, 2015
“After many months of hibernation, America’s sport is finally back in action. Once again, air pressure takes a back seat to touchdowns. Once again, Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays are football days. Once again, Al Michaels and Jim Nantz are important people in my life.
Broadcasters are the voices and faces of TV programs starring men who grunt behind masks. The human brain is wired to connect images to sound, and these guys are the interpreters. They input the chaos on the field and spin it into a narrative that fans can easily digest alongside a beer. The good ones are expressive, insightful and informative. The bad ones are cliched, inane and rambling. The good ones strike a balance between entertaining and calling a football game. The bad ones just get in the way.
Like it or not, broadcast teams play a prominent role in the NFL fan experience. So while the analysts sit in the booth and rank the teams, I sit at my desk and rank the rankers. Below is a worst-to-first breakdown of the lead broadcast teams of the four major NFL TV networks.
4. Fox — Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
For Fox’s top duo, experience matters. This pair has been together longer than any other on this list, and it shows in their camaraderie. They are as steady as they come. You know exactly what you’re getting with Buck and Aikman.
Unfortunately, what you’re getting isn’t very exciting. Buck’s commentary is quick and reliable, but it’s also smug and monotone. Aikman’s analysis is focused and on-point, but it’s also superficial and redundant. These guys are rarely wrong and rarely offensive. No one sticks more to the script.
Stating the obvious only gets you so far. They won’t make you mute the TV, and they won’t try to steal the show, but they also won’t excite you or teach you anything new.
3. CBS — Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Together since 2004, this pair is the second-longest tenured of the bunch. The strength of the CBS broadcast starts with the golden voice of Nantz. Sure, sometimes it feels as if I’m watching golf rather than football, but Nantz has the smoothest delivery in the business. His commentary is cool and collected, but when fireworks fly, he knows how to get the people going.
Too often, though, Nantz’s even-keeled play-by-play is undermined by Simms’ erratic analysis. His rambling drivel and frequent verbal crutches are at best comical and at worst unbearable. His antics have even spawned a Twitter account devoted to tracking his most ridiculous quotes.
I want Jim Nantz to narrate my life. But if Simms is beside him saying things like “If you’re gonna blitz, you’re a blitzing team,” I don’t always want to hear him call a football game.
2. ESPN — Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden
Yes, Tirico can be a bit bland. Yes, Gruden can be a bit goofy. But no team is more entertaining. Tirico’s play-by-play provides the steady, unspectacular yin to Gruden’s off-the-wall yang. In a world full of Bucks and Aikmans, ESPN’s broadcast is refreshing and unique. Gruden’s ear-to-ear smile does sometimes venture into absurd caricature, but he consistently balances it with the sharp insight of a former NFL coach. This team accomplishes the tricky task of entertaining while also informing.
1. NBC — Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Simply put, this team is the gold standard. Al Michaels is the voice of the NFL. It’s hard to say anything bad about Michaels after 29 years in the booth. His play-by-play is unparalleled — crisp, original and packed with insight.
Cris Collinsworth is not the legend that his partner is. He always seems to deliver a few nonsensical head-scratchers per game, but he also adds more value with his football acumen than any other color commentator. Collinsworth picks up on intricacies that are only perceptible to a league veteran and breaks them down in relatable ways that casual fans can appreciate. If there’s a criticism of NBC’s duo, it’s that sometimes they gush over a certain player or story. But at the end of the day, it’s Michaels and Collinsworth I want calling the biggest games of the year.
Announcers are often easy targets for sulking fans. It’s hard not to ruffle a few feathers in a job that requires you to speak objectively to millions of partisans. It’s a lot easier to poke and prod the guy announcing your team’s loss than to admit that your team sucks.
Some broadcasters are good. Some are bad. Some are forgettable. Some are unforgettable for the wrong reasons. Here’s hoping that NBC secures the rights to all future Super Bowls.
Mike Firn ’16 does his textbook readings in Jim Nantz’s voice. Contact him at”

Diehl ’18: Picking an English Premier League team
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 25, 2015
“It’s September, the NFL — and fantasy football — season is underway, and it’s time for me to write an article about … the English Premier League?
That’s right, because if you haven’t noticed, the Premier League is the new thing to watch. It’s the sport for hipsters, if hipsters even like sports.
According to the league, they have a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion viewers. That means it’s time for you to get on it and pick a team. So help you God if you lose sports cred with your buddies by choosing a team too late, thereby labeling you a poser.
To make your choice easier, I’ll pair each EPL team with its NFL counterpart.
And with that, here are five options to jump start your EPL fandom.
1. Arsenal
Sports Hipster Category: Try-Hard
NFL Team Comparison: New York Giants
The Gunners are from the biggest city in England, have some of the league’s best resources and find a way to frustrate their fans almost every year. Sound like the Giants? They also have an ancient-looking manager who has seemed to be there since the dawn of time. I assume Tom Coughlin and Arsene Wenger are members of the same bridge club.
Arsenal is a very good side, but it hasn’t actually won the league since 2004. So you might think they’re a good side to root for without being a complete sell-out, but we see right through you. Kind of like wearing that Nirvana t-shirt.
2. Aston Villa
Sports Hipster Category: Sad
NFL Team Comparison: Washington Redskins
Aston Villa is an incredibly mediocre side that fails to satisfy its fans in the sizable city of Birmingham. Playing mildly mundane soccer at best and downright unwatchable at worst, they are the perfect counterpart to the Redskins.
If you like to listen to Iron and Wine in your UrbanEars headphones while staring gloomily into a mason jar full of cold brew, then consider flipping open your laptop and watching an Aston Villa game. It’s the missing piece.
3. Bournemouth
Sports Hipster Category: Trendy, but Not Too Trendy
NFL Team Comparison: Oakland Raiders
Have the Raiders been so bad over the past few years that a tiny part of you actually roots for them to win a game? I say yes. Newly promoted Bournemouth has me rooting because it’s the underdog in virtually every match, much like the Raiders.
Bournemouth is that indie band that had one song that got it mentioned on Pitchfork but faded into obscurity. Almost a win-win for hipsters — either they can gloat they knew the team before it blew up, or it remains a guilty pleasure as it toils in soccer darkness.
4. Chelsea
Sports Hipster Category: Sell-Out
NFL Team Comparison: New England Patriots
Either you’re a fan of Chelsea, or you absolutely hate Chelsea. There are no grey areas with the Blues, much like the Patriots. Both of their head coaches make me want to gag. Tom Brady and Diego Costa, Chelsea’s main striker, infuriate opponents and opposing fans enough to make them want to bash their heads against the wall. Excuse me while I put a Band-Aid on my forehead.
If you’re under the age of 30 and you like Chelsea, you’re a bloody sell-out. Never step foot in a local, fair-trade coffee shop ever again.
5. Crystal Palace
Sports Hipster Category: Urban Outfitters-Frequenter
NFL Team Comparison: Miami Dolphins
Over the past few years, Palace has been quietly on the rise. They haven’t gotten too much attention in the process, but with a big-name acquisition in Yohan Cabaye, it seems like London’s smallest Premier League team hopes to make another leap forward. The Dolphins are aiming for the same after scooping up Ndamukong Suh.
Yes, picking Crystal Palace as your team will immediately give you credibility on the surface. So will shopping at Urban Outfitters if you want to look trendy and hipster-y. But soon you will be asking yourself questions like, “Do I really identify with the working-class ethic Crystal Palace possess?” “Should I have stopped shopping at Urban after I graduated high school?” “Can’t I just go to H&M and buy the same clothes for half the price?”
Joe Diehl ’18 is looking for a surgeon to sew up his bloody forehead. Send a price quote to”

Brown Bites: Sept. 19–25, 2015
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 25, 2015
“Quote of the week: ““Those three words, ‘I need help,’ are some of the hardest words to say.” – Eliza Lanzillo ’16, president of Active Minds, in “ Alum launches mental health care website “
The Foreground , The Herald’s new photo essay blog, is designed to showcase stories from the Brown and Providence communities through the lens of The Herald’s photojournalists. To see the stories so far, visit . And if you have a story you’d like to bring to The Foreground, feel free to shoot an email to
Campus was shaken this week by  the results of the Association of American Universities’ survey on sexual assault  — one of the largest of its kind ever conducted. Female, male and TGQN — transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, questioning or non-listed — undergrads at Brown reported having experienced sexual assault since enrolling at rates higher than the national averages for each of those groups. For female students who have experienced sexual assault, the majority did not report the incidents to Brown, with 70.5 percent not believing the incident was serious enough to report and 47.9 percent believing nothing would be done. The study also revealed a lack of faith in Brown’s process for handling complaints, with only 25.6 percent of students believing that campus officials would fairly investigate the report.
Meal plans also made headlines this week, as The Herald calculated  which plans give students the most bang for their buck . The two most expensive plans, 20-meals-per-week and Flex 460, provide students with the cheapest cost-per-meal at $7.55 and $9.19, respectively. The worst value was the off-campus plan, which has students paying $21.60 per meal. The lengths students will go for unlimited Ratty ice cream sundaes never ceases to amaze.
A controversial 2001 study led by a Brown professor  is back in the spotlight again . Since its publication, Study 329 — a clinical trial on the effects of the antidepressant Paxil — and its lead author, Professor Emeritus Martin Keller, have been dogged by criticism that the study’s results were misreported and that the paper was ghostwritten. Now, a reanalysis of the study’s raw data published last week appears to strengthen those allegations. The reanalysis claims Paxil is ineffective for adolescent use and that the initial paper downplayed the drug’s potential to increase suicidal thoughts for teens.
Over the summer, the Department of Anthropology  sent people to 14 countries , including Brazil, England, India and China, while the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World sent about 30 students to 10 countries to work on 15 different field projects.
President Christina Paxson P’19 and Provost Richard Locke P’17  held a forum this week  to talk about the recently released “Operational Plan for Building Brown’s Excellence,” which aims to grow Brown in areas of integrative scholarship, educational leadership, academic excellence and campus development. At the forum, Paxson discussed increasing financial aid packages for lower- and middle-income students and international students and said she aims to “hit a level where we are effectively need-blind” for international students. Paxson explained that the plan “focuses on investing in the people who make up Brown — the faculty, the staff, the students,” and that Brown plans to spend more than $1 billion in those areas over the next 10 years. With $1 billion, we could probably buy 20 bags of Fritos at Little Jo’s.
Waterfire, your go-to romantic date night — it still counts as romantic if you’ve had four identical dates there, right? —  is in danger . Because the riverbed hasn’t been dredged since it was built in 1977, silt deposits have built up, causing the river to become shallower and shallower. The shallow waters make it hard for WaterFire boats to sail, threaten the river’s ecosystem, increase the city’s risk of flooding and prevent recreational boaters from docking in Providence. Yikes. Unfortunately, the city and state would need to allocate at least $5 million for a dredging project, so the issue might not be addressed very soon, and you might have to find another Friday night activity. Nothing kills the mood quite like silt deposits.
Students looking further ahead on their calendars than the impending start of midterm season can rejoice about the upcoming release of an  upgraded version of BrownConnect . Brown’s internship and networking site helped students reach out to more than 3,000 alums and provided a way for more than 200 students to find internships last summer. Some students found issues with the original version of BrownConnect, and the update will seek to increase the number of paid internships, STEM internships and full-time job opportunities available to students. There goes our excuses for not applying to anything.”

Judaic studies department faces shifting enrollment, few concentrators
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 25, 2015
“Enrollment in Judaic studies courses reached 199 students last year, compared with 160 students in the 2013-14 academic year and 280 students in the 2007-08 academic year., continuing a decade-long trend of fluctuation.
The department currently has three concentrators, said Adam Teller, associate professor of history and Judaic studies. In 2013 there was one, in 2014 there were two and in 2015 there were none, according to Focal Point.
“What we try to do is take students who are doing another concentration and have an interest in these matters and help them do a second concentration” in Judaic studies, Teller said. Most students who enroll in a Judaic studies course do not concentrate.
The Department of Judaic Studies is offering 11 courses this semester, some with miniscule enrollments. Only one student is enrolled in JUDS 0681: “Great Jewish Books;” JUDS 1701: “Jews and Revolutions in the 20th Century” has an enrollment of three.
The optimal class size is “somewhere in the range of 12,” said Michael Satlow, professor of Judaic studies. The overall decline in enrollment in Jewish studies at Brown — 7 percent since 2005 — corresponds with a downward trend observed at peer institutions across the country.
In a survey conducted this year by the Association for Jewish Studies, 30 percent of the 1,790 professors surveyed reported a perceived decline in enrollment, whereas only 21 percent reported a perceived increase.
Professor of Judaic Studies David Jacobson cited declining interest in the humanities as a possible reason for the current trend in Judaic studies.
Most attribute this to students’ deciding to “undertake a course of study that would lead more directly to success in a career that will provide them with economic security,” Jacobson wrote in an email to The Herald.
Satlow echoed this sentiment, saying the 2008 recession may have influenced students to take more career-focused classes. Most of the top-10 declared concentrations are “what you might call practical concentrations,” he said, adding that students may “think that this is going to be a path toward future employment.”
Teller identified a different reason for the decline in Judaic studies enrollment, citing a millennial desire to effect immediate change on global issues rather than study the history behind them first. Millennials “see the problems in the world around them as very, very important and to be dealt with now,” he said.
The Judaic studies department has developed new courses in an attempt to combat low enrollment. Out of the 24 courses offered by the department this year, six are new or have been redesigned, Teller said. Among the new courses for this year are “Jews and Revolutions in the 20th Century,” taught by Visiting Associate Professor of Judaic Studies Rachel Rojanski, and JUDS 0060: “The Bible and Moral Debate,” taught by Professor of Judaic Studies and Religioius Studies Saul Olyan.
The curriculum overhaul represents an effort to make the program more interdisciplinary, Satlow said. “To me, the draw of Judaic studies, intellectually, has always been its interdisciplinarity,” he said. A Judaic studies course “really approaches a problem from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and that can be intellectually freeing.”
Students enrolled in Judaic studies courses voiced positive feedback on the curriculum reform efforts.
“There are a lot of opinions on campus regarding pro-Israel and anti-Israel. I think it’s really important that we become informed from an academic perspective, and I think that is a practical skill, being able to discuss” prominent political issues, said Shira Buchsbaum ’19, a Herald contributing writer, who is taking JUDS 0050M: “Difficult Relations? Judaism and Christianity from the Middle Ages until the Present,” a first-year seminar taught by Teller.
Julia Rosenfeld ’19 said after “randomly” shopping a Judaic studies course that piqued her interest, she hopes to take more classes in the department.
Another reason for decline in enrollment could be a drop in students who identify as Jewish, since Jewish students may be inclined to take courses related to their religion, Jacobson wrote.
The percentage of students who indicate no religious preference on an annual survey distributed by the Higher Education Research Institute at University of California at Los Angeles increased about 12 percent from 2005 to 2015.
In response to the decline in religious identification, the Judaic studies department is making efforts to recruit more non-Jewish students.
But the department seeks to attract all students, regardless of religious identity, Teller said. “We’re aimed to anyone who’s interested,” he said.
One problem that the Judaic studies department faces when attempting to recruit students is a misperception that Judaic studies classes require a prior knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew, Teller said. In reality, almost none of the courses in the department require a background in Judaic studies, he said.
“We’re not an extension of religious school, of synagogue, of Hillel, or anything like that,” Olyan said. “My biggest concern is that some students out there do perceive us that way.””

Quick start by Friars downs lethargic field hockey
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 18, 2015
“After the women’s field hockey team went 2-1 in three previous one-goal games, a midweek trip to Providence College yielded an entirely different result — an extensive 6-1 defeat at the hands of Bruno’s crosstown rival was the worst loss of the season so far for the Bears.
“We were probably still in school,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “We were three goals behind before our team was ready to hit the first ball. We need to be ready to go right from the get-go.”
Bruno (2-3) started out of the gate slowly, with the Friars (1-6) pouncing on an uncleared penalty corner. Goalie Katie Hammaker ’19 was able to stop the initial shot but could not successfully clear the ball, and the sharper Providence team took advantage, slotting the ball into an empty net.
On the second corner of the game, Providence struck again with a well-orchestrated set play that resulted in a diving tip-in at the far post that left Bruno’s defense completely helpless.
Fifteen minutes in, controversy arose when the Friars scored their third goal of the game. A corner was saved by Hammaker before bouncing around in the box a few times, only to land on a Providence stick. The shot went off the crossbar and bounced down and out of the goal, but the referee on that half called it a goal. After conferring with his colleague on the other side, the goal call stood.
A lethargic opening 20 minutes was remedied after Alexis Miller ’16 scored straight off of one of the Bears’ two main corner plays, which had struggled to produce goals in the earlier stages of the season. Emily Arciero ’16 stopped the insert and used Katarina Angus ’17 as a decoy before sliding the ball to Miller, who forcefully struck the back board to cut the deficit to two.
The corner “was beautiful,” Reeve said. “Some of the corners we’re doing right now are great, and Alexis slamming it home was a great feeling for us.”
Brown’s defense kept the scoreline at 3-1 for the rest of the first half, but the offense was unable to make any progress, as Providence’s midfield effectively shut down passes from defense moving forward.
Reeve switched up the second half starters, inserting Katherine Kallergis ’18 and Brooke Bonfiglio ’17 in an effort to inject some energy into the game. The move worked for a couple of minutes, as the Bears were able to secure a penalty corner but were unable to convert it. Shortly after Brown’s spurt of momentum, Providence got a corner and after a few saves and deflections, the Friars were awarded a stroke when a shot hit a Brown foot right before the goal.
“This season, we’ve done some incredible things already in a little amount of time,” said captain Anna Masini ’16. “It took some time to gain some momentum and get a better shift, but we needed it to last longer. Our whole bench got in the game and it was nice to see them provide a spark for us.”
“We were trying to (respond well),” Reeve said. “We were drawing on some energy that we created for one another, but I don’t think it was enough against this team on this day.”
The ensuing penalty stroke was coolly converted, effectively ending any chance that the Bears had of coming back. Providence ended with 12 corners to Brown’s five and 22 shots to Bruno’s five, comprehensively dominating Brown from start to finish.
“We started off too slow,” Masini said. “It was our first midweek game, which shouldn’t have impacted us the way it did. We dug ourselves a hole against a Providence team that was 0-6 and excited to get some goals on. They were a good team, and we were trying to find our way back in the game but the outcome was not what we wanted.”
The Friars play in the Big East, a conference that features some of the best teams in college field hockey and are used to picking on Brown, typically outshooting and out-cornering it significantly. Last year, Providence mustered a whopping 32 shots, but were shutout by Shannon McSweeney ’15 en route to an impressive 2-0 win.
The loss was the worst that the Bears have suffered since a 6-1 loss to Dartmouth last September.
Playing in the middle of the week was definitely a factor in the loss, Reeve said.
“But it was our first opportunity to have that experience,” she added. “So we’re going to be able to learn from that and be more prepared next time, because there is a mental preparation that you have to do between what you do in school and what you do on the field.”
Bruno will look to rebound from the tough loss when it takes on Saint Joseph’s at home at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
“The younger players haven’t experienced a game like this one,” said Masini. The seniors “just wanted to tell them that this isn’t the game. We have a game against St. Joe’s, and we’re looking to show who we are. We just need to grow, build and learn.””

Paxson releases operational plan to steer Brown’s future
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 18, 2015
“President Christina Paxson P’19 offered a preview of the changes and initiatives that will shape the University’s next decade with the release of an operational plan Thursday.
The plan, “Operational Plan for Building Brown’s Excellence,” identifies four key areas that will guide Brown’s growth: integrative scholarship, educational leadership, academic excellence and campus development. A major undercurrent running through the plan is expansion, including that of the faculty, staff, buildings, programs and research.
Paxson released a long-term strategic plan , “Building on Distinction,” in September 2013. The 57-page operational plan translates the goals outlined in the 11-page strategic plan into concrete actions.
A capital campaign, set to launch in October, will finance the efforts. “The thrust of the plan … centers on the goals and key areas of emphasis that will require fundraising,” Paxson wrote in a community-wide email Thursday.
Paxson and Provost Richard Locke P’17 will solicit community feedback on the operational plan at a community forum Monday afternoon.
Attuned to the arts
The plan articulates a desire for Brown to “become the university of choice” for arts programs. One large investment will be in the Center for the Creative Arts, which will be located in the “heart of campus.” This 80,000-square-foot building will boast a design concept making it “unique in higher education,” with space for large ensemble dance, music and theater performances .
Other spaces like the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts will be subject to “renovations and enhancements.”
The University is also launching Global Arts Hubs, a series of partnerships with arts communities all over the world that will pilot in Berlin. These partnerships will allow students and faculty members to travel abroad and work with leading scholars and artists in partnerships that could turn into degree programs. Similarly, planning for new dual degree programs is underway at the Rhode Island School of Design and local arts institutions and conservatories. The plan does not detail how these offerings would differentiate from the existing five-year Brown/RISD Dual Degree program.
Watching Watson
The plan calls for the transformation of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs into a “top five school of its kind in the U.S.” This growth encompasses new faculty hires in Watson, the Political Theory Project and the Middle East Studies department, as well as funds allocated for postdoctoral and graduate fellowships in centers including the Watson Institute, the Center for Race and Ethnicity in America and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice.
To accommodate this growth, and the recent integration of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy into the Watson Institute, renovations have commenced on 59 Charlesfield Street. The plan also stresses the need for a permanent home for the CSREA, which is temporarily housed in Brown/RISD Hillel.
Scientific progress
The plan outlines significant growth across scientific disciplines, accompanied by increases in the numbers of faculty members, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.
A good deal of growth will occur in relation to the Data Sciences Initiative, which could “establish Brown as a leader” in the emerging field of data sciences. This growth will include a new research program, undergraduate and master’s programs, PhD training program and the availability of “data fluency” courses for all Brown students. The new programs demand   a “physical center” for the Data Sciences Initiative, which the plan proposes will lead to “success in garnering sponsored research awards and corporate support for data science work.”
To make the Brown Institute for Brain Science a “top-10 research program,” the operational plan prioritizes researching how the brain produces “complex behaviors that make us human” and treatments for brain injuries and disease. “Significant investment in faculty” is a necessary step to realize the BIBS expansion goal, with the operational plan calling for recruitment in the areas of molecular neuroscience, neural systems, computational neuroscience and neuroengineering.
With the anticipated increase in the size of the faculty comes an associated increase in space — the plan calls for BIBS laboratories to be built in the Jewelry District and in the new engineering building .
Expanding upon the recent creation of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, the University’s plan indicates an increase in faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate support and staff at the institute, requiring “both endowment and current-use funds.” The plan also nods toward an opportune moment following the transformation of the former Hunter Lab building into the building that houses IBES — it notes that both the institute and the building present a “significant naming opportunity.”
Turning to the School of Engineering, the plan prioritizes faculty growth, focusing on increasing the diversity of faculty members — both by decreasing the gender gap and increasing the number of faculty members who identify as underrepresented minorities.
Engineering graduate program sizes are expected to increase, and along with that comes an additional 80,000 square feet in the new engineering building and renovations to the Geology-Chemistry Research building.
Finally, investments will be concentrated in evidence-based health care, health data science, early determinants of health and global public health. Proposed initiatives stemming from these areas, in collaboration with the Alpert Medical School and other centers, include an Institute for Health Care Delivery, a Health Data Science Center, a Child Health Innovation Institute and a new master’s degree in Global Health.
Emphasis on education
The plan proposes to improve upon students’ educational experiences by “enhancing the undergraduate curriculum,” “catalyzing entrepreneurial innovation” and “supporting innovative doctoral education.”
“Brown will make a significant investment in undergirding the acquisition of core competencies by expanding institutional support of writing, reading, data analysis, problem solving and communication skills” primarily through the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. The Sheridan Center currently lacks a director after Kathy Takayama stepped down from the post this summer.
The Learning Commons will combine the enlarged responsibilities of the Sheridan Center, serving as an educational space in which students learn skills from peers. The Sheridan Center and all its components — the Writing Center, Science Center and Tutoring Services — will be located in a renovated part of the Sciences Library .
The University will continue to support digital education through flipped classrooms, blended courses and online courses, the plan states.
Investments in entrepreneurial innovation come in a few flavors — most importantly, the creation of a Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation. Though some peer institutions already have entrepreneurship centers, “the vision for the new center is unique within the constellation of entrepreneurship programs across the country.”
The launch of the center will entail several new hires, including an executive director. The center will need to be situated “on or close to campus.”
Last semester, graduate students — including those with the group Stand Up For Graduate Students — called for increased benefits including affordable housing, childcare, healthcare and dental insurance. Last spring, graduate students also protested against a perceived lack of support for sixth-year students. The plan responds to these concerns by noting that the University needs “to extend opportunities for sixth-year students … and enhance their summer stipends” as well as “offer competitive health insurance, dental care, enhanced childcare support and a funded parental leave policy.”
Supporting student life
On the financial aid front, the operational plan echoes the sentiments of the strategic plan, which primarily focused on increasing aid for low- and middle-income families.
The University does not currently have a need-blind admissions policy for international, transfer and Resumed Undergraduate applicants. Like the strategic plan, the operational plan makes no commitment to implementing universal need-blind admissions.
This fall, the University is set to release a Diversity Action Plan, which will state “the University’s commitment to address the underrepresentation and barriers to broad participation of U.S. minorities (African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American and Asian American) and women across academic disciplines.”
Paxson has previously pledged to double the portion of faculty members who identify as underrepresented minorities. The plan builds off this pledge by announcing a “‘cluster hire’ of underrepresented scholars working on related topics or themes.”
Following the move of several administrative offices to South Street Landing in the Jewelry District, several buildings on College Hill will need to be renovated to serve new needs.
Former Provost Vicki Colvin, who stepped down June 30 after just one year in the position, named renovating the Sharpe Refectory as a priority during her tenure. The plan echoes her call for updating the facility, noting that the Ratty “no longer provides students with the dining options expected in a 21st century university.”
Looking ahead, the plan remains malleable. “It is also important to note that this is both a working document and a living document,” the plan states. “It serves as a road map for the next decade — one that allows us to be flexible and responsive to new opportunities that, like the ones contained in our plan, hold exceptional promise for Brown.””

Blow decries racial inequality in America
by Brown Daily Herald
Sep 18, 2015
““Equality must be won by every generation because it will never be freely granted,” New York Times columnist Charles Blow told a sold-out crowd of students, faculty and community members Thursday in Salomon 101. Blow’s lecture, entitled “The New Civil Rights Movement,” addressed the implications of the Black Lives Matter movement and the race-related discussions it has inspired.
Tricia Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, provided the opening address. Blow’s visit to Brown was “well-timed,” as the “campus is engaged in discussions on race, gender, power and privilege,” Rose said.
Blow framed his discussion of the movement by relating detailed histories of the deaths of Emmett Till and Tamir Rice, both of which resulted in public outcry and drew attention to race relations in the United States. Blow also drew parallels between the Civil Rights Movement championed by Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Most of the young people now were not alive during Civil Rights — this is their Civil Rights Movement,” Blow said. He pointed out that this new movement may not be explicitly centered on religion, but is “nonetheless rooted in the morality of equality” and “often references awakening” rather than the dream of which King famously spoke.
Blow said while he himself is not a member of the Black Lives Matter movement, today is “a profound moment which we would gladly bear witness to.”
The Black Lives Matter movement “prioritizes blackness in a country that marginalizes it,” he said. “It forces America to confront its flaws rather than simply wishing them away. Black Lives Matter makes America uncomfortable because it refuses to lie to itself.”
People’s physical appearances should not “subtract from (their) humanity,” Blow said. “If we are all created equal, shouldn’t we be treated equally?” he asked. America “likes to hide its sins” and then wonder, “‘where does all this anger come from?’” he added.
Blow concluded his talk with a Zora Neale Hurston quote: “If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it,” walking off the stage to a standing ovation.
Following the lecture, there was a brief question-and-answer session, during which Blow urged attendees to educate themselves and those closest to them. “Remember history. Be active in your sphere of influence,” he said.
One audience member asked Blow whether it was possible to reverse the militarization of America’s police forces, and if so, how this feat would be accomplished. “None of us are innocent in this — it’s the system itself,” Blow said. “It’s about the entire system designed and engineered to exact blood.”
Another audience member asked Blow’s opinion on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, to which Blow responded that Trump is a “media creation.” As a journalist, Blow said he has borne witness to the way the media frames — and even manipulates — modern events.
The lecture attracted numerous fans of Blow’s op-ed pieces in the Times. “I’ve known about Charles Blow since he wrote about the Trayvon Martin decision,” said Justice Gaines ’16. “He’s always talked about police brutality and anti-blackness in a personal yet political way.”
“It was very powerful,” said Khalif Andre ’19, who attended Blow’s lecture after discussing Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow,” the assigned summer reading book for the class of 2019, during orientation. “I am dumbfounded and speechless,” Andre said.
The lecture was presented by the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy.”

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