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Importance
1
Klein ’20: The right way to fix baseball
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre are on a mission to reduce the time of games and to make baseball more “fun.” They have already eliminated the intentional walk for this upcoming season — to save an entire 35 seconds every 2.6 games — and have proposed a frankly ridiculous idea to start with a runner on second base in extra innings (James Shapiro ’19 has written his own thoughts on the matter).
What if baseball officials, instead of destroying a beloved, centuries-old game in one fell swoop, actually decided to improve upon the current game with minor changes that did not drastically affect rules and strategy? Impossible? Not in the slightest.
First of all, the replay system needs to be overhauled. Replays last season took an average of two minutes and 30 seconds. That’s longer than the standard two minute 25 second commercial break in between innings. The argument that society’s attention span is too short for baseball is overused and inaccurate, but asking a fan to wait two minutes and 30 seconds with nothing but the same replays to watch is asking far too much.
The system is too complicated and unwieldy. Replays are conducted in a review center in New York. The umpires stand around oblivious with headphones on while they wait for a ruling. But most calls in baseball can be determined on the first and second replay showing. There is no need to wait around for people watching a feed across the country. It would be far easier if baseball adopted a protocall similar to basketball, where umpires could watch the replay on the field and come to a decision much more quickly.
Secondly, baseball needs to enforce its pace-of-play rules. Schapiro disagrees, but only good can come from spending less time watching pitchers stand on the rubber scratching themselves. Baseball has been trying to protect pitchers from their arms for the past decade with no success. Fifty-six pitchers have undergone Tommy John surgery in the past three seasons. It’s time to take the training wheels off.
Manfred has proposed a pitch clock of 20 seconds, meaning that pitchers would have 20 seconds between each pitch. The average pitcher takes 22.6 seconds between each pitch. We already know that at least half of baseball pitchers have no problems with a rate almost that of the pitch clock, so, if people complain, they can be told with assurance that it is not so difficult.
After all, Rule 5.07c of the MLB Baseball rulebook states: “When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball.” Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.” How often do we see this rule enforced? Never. Baseball purists would send the sports world into chaos if there were ever a pitch clock of 12 seconds. A 20-second pitch clock does not seem so terrible in comparison. It still falls way short of MLB’s actual rule.      
A pitch clock of 20 seconds, more than anything else, would speed up those pitchers who take seemingly hours between each pitch. As a Cubs fan, it was pure agony at times to watch the laborious Dodgers bullpen stand on the mound for an entire six-game series. Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez spent 30.2 seconds between pitches during the regular season. In one playoff matchup against Cubs hitter David Ross, Baez spent 111 seconds between pitches after he and Ross both called timeout during the at-bat. That is not fun for anyone.
Batters should not be exempt from pace-of-play rules either. Ross had just as much to do with the 111 seconds of terrible boredom last postseason as Baez. MLB made a rule before the 2015 season that hitters could not step out of the batter’s box after taking a pitch. I believe that pace-of-play rules for hitters could be broached even further with the addition of the pitch clock. Hitters should be ready for a pitch within 12 seconds similar to rule 5.07c for pitchers. Gone are the days of David Ortiz stepping out of the box, tapping his cleats with his bat, unstrapping his batting gloves, spitting into his hands, re-strapping his gloves, tapping the plate with his bat and taking a couple of practice swings.
There is no need for baseball officials to start enacting random, ridiculous rules. A runner on second for every extra inning — where does it end? Why not decide games by a coin flip? Or a home run derby type of shootout? Baseball has been played for over 150 years. Drastic changes to fundamental rules are not necessary. If everyone is so concerned with the amount of time games are taking, then why not just shorten the time in between baseball, rather than baseball itself? If game seven of 2020 World Series goes into extra innings and a runner marches out to second at the top of the tenth inning, that is when we will know that baseball is truly doomed.
George Klein ’20 can be reached at george_klein@brown.edu. 
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre are on a mission to reduce the time of games and to make baseball more “fun.” They have already eliminated the intentional walk for this upcoming season — to save an entire 35 seconds every 2.6 games — and have proposed a frankly ridiculous idea to start with a runner on second base in extra innings (James Shapiro ’19 has written his own thoughts on the matter).
What if baseball officials, instead of destroying a beloved, centuries-old game in one fell swoop, actually decided to improve upon the current game with minor changes that did not drastically affect rules and strategy? Impossible? Not in the slightest.
First of all, the replay system needs to be overhauled. Replays last season took an average of two minutes and 30 seconds. That’s longer than the standard two minute 25 second commercial break in between innings. The argument that society’s attention span is too short for baseball is overused and inaccurate, but asking a fan to wait two minutes and 30 seconds with nothing but the same replays to watch is asking far too much.
The system is too complicated and unwieldy. Replays are conducted in a review center in New York. The umpires stand around oblivious with headphones on while they wait for a ruling. But most calls in baseball can be determined on the first and second replay showing. There is no need to wait around for people watching a feed across the country. It would be far easier if baseball adopted a protocall similar to basketball, where umpires could watch the replay on the field and come to a decision much more quickly.
Secondly, baseball needs to enforce its pace-of-play rules. Schapiro disagrees, but only good can come from spending less time watching pitchers stand on the rubber scratching themselves. Baseball has been trying to protect pitchers from their arms for the past decade with no success. Fifty-six pitchers have undergone Tommy John surgery in the past three seasons. It’s time to take the training wheels off.
Manfred has proposed a pitch clock of 20 seconds, meaning that pitchers would have 20 seconds between each pitch. The average pitcher takes 22.6 seconds between each pitch. We already know that at least half of baseball pitchers have no problems with a rate almost that of the pitch clock, so, if people complain, they can be told with assurance that it is not so difficult.
After all, Rule 5.07c of the MLB Baseball rulebook states: “When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball.” Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.” How often do we see this rule enforced? Never. Baseball purists would send the sports world into chaos if there were ever a pitch clock of 12 seconds. A 20-second pitch clock does not seem so terrible in comparison. It still falls way short of MLB’s actual rule.      
A pitch clock of 20 seconds, more than anything else, would speed up those pitchers who take seemingly hours between each pitch. As a Cubs fan, it was pure agony at times to watch the laborious Dodgers bullpen stand on the mound for an entire six-game series. Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez spent 30.2 seconds between pitches during the regular season. In one playoff matchup against Cubs hitter David Ross, Baez spent 111 seconds between pitches after he and Ross both called timeout during the at-bat. That is not fun for anyone.
Batters should not be exempt from pace-of-play rules either. Ross had just as much to do with the 111 seconds of terrible boredom last postseason as Baez. MLB made a rule before the 2015 season that hitters could not step out of the batter’s box after taking a pitch. I believe that pace-of-play rules for hitters could be broached even further with the addition of the pitch clock. Hitters should be ready for a pitch within 12 seconds similar to rule 5.07c for pitchers. Gone are the days of David Ortiz stepping out of the box, tapping his cleats with his bat, unstrapping his batting gloves, spitting into his hands, re-strapping his gloves, tapping the plate with his bat and taking a couple of practice swings.
There is no need for baseball officials to start enacting random, ridiculous rules. A runner on second for every extra inning — where does it end? Why not decide games by a coin flip? Or a home run derby type of shootout? Baseball has been played for over 150 years. Drastic changes to fundamental rules are not necessary. If everyone is so concerned with the amount of time games are taking, then why not just shorten the time in between baseball, rather than baseball itself? If game seven of 2020 World Series goes into extra innings and a runner marches out to second at the top of the tenth inning, that is when we will know that baseball is truly doomed.
George Klein ’20 can be reached at   george_klein@brown.edu. Please send responses to this opinion to letters@browndailyherald.com and other op-eds to opinions@browndailyherald.com.”

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Importance
1
Kumar ’17: Bleeding Kansas
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“On Mar. 3, Deep Rai, a Sikh American of Indian origin was shot in a Seattle suburb by a white man who told him to “go back to your own country.” Less than two weeks earlier, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, Indian immigrants educated in the United States, were shot at a bar in Kansas by another white man, Adam Purinton. Kuchibhotla died of his injuries. As a half Indian American with a father who immigrated to the United States from India in the early 1980s and has since obtained American citizenship, I felt chills flash down my spine upon learning of these violent episodes. The sense of security I feel for my Indian-American family and friends — immigrants or natural-born citizens — has been undoubtedly corroded.
Indian Americans perfectly fit the description of a model minority. On average, they are well educated and affluent; they are doctors and engineers and entrepreneurs. As a result, it seems to me that many Indian Americans have been lulled into believing that they are immune to the racial tensions that define so much of American politics and history. Protected in their spacious suburban homes, it is easy to forget that they, too, are categorized as the “other” by the most racially, ethnically and religiously intolerant Americans. The recent outbreak of shootings should serve as a jolting reminder that a model minority is still a minority, subject to many of the hardships faced by other disadvantaged groups.
This is not to say that all Indian Americans fail to integrate fully into society or are unwelcome in their communities — far from it. In fact, Kuchibhotla’s tragic story speaks to the multicultural reality that so many Indians who have recently arrived in the United States enjoy. According to the New York Times, Olathe, Kansas, the town in which Kuchibhotla worked, is “a hub of South Asian immigrants where 84 languages are spoken in the local school district.” Moreover, another patron of the bar where he and Madasani were relaxing offered to pay for their drinks after they were verbally attacked by Purinton. After three and a half decades in the South, including several years in small-town North Carolina, my own father would struggle to think of a single instance of discrimination against him.
The violence in Kansas and Seattle reveals that much work remains in the fight to stamp out intolerance, though. Lessons abound in the wake of these shootings (not the least of which is the need to address the gun violence epidemic plaguing the country). For Indian Americans in particular, there must be a concerted effort at solidarity with other minorities. Indeed, the members of the political group “Hindus for Trump” might look with suspicion at the Black Lives Matter movement or cling to Islamophobic prejudices rooted in India’s own religious conflicts. But it is hard to ignore the parallels between these shootings and white supremacist violence against African Americans, or the fact that they may have been motivated by the misguided belief that all people with brown skin are terrorists. Only by fighting to free African Americans, Muslims and other minorities from discrimination can Indian Americans ensure their own security in American society.
In addition, government officials and policymakers must reverse course on their strategy of exclusion. The latest executive order banning visitors and migrants from six Muslim-majority countries fuels the belief that only people of certain faiths, nationalities and ethnicities belong in the United States. This distorted vision of a country founded on “liberty and justice for all” will only make America less safe, especially for minorities like Indian Americans. The New York Times reported that “Mr. Purinton was arrested without incident … and invoked his constitutional rights.” Let us not forget the constitutional rights that Indian Americans enjoy, too, be they recent immigrants or natural-born citizens.
Work also remains for those Americans who embrace the diversity Indians offer. One of my Indian-American friends lamented on Facebook the remarkable lack of buzz surrounding the shootings, whether on social networks or in traditional media. It is not sufficient to support a multicultural society in theory without acting to defend it. For many Indian Americans, the past couple of weeks have been tinged with sadness, fear and even a sense of isolation in a country they call home. Reminding your Indian-American friends that you value their presence and will stand up for them, as basic as it may seem, could be a powerful gesture at this time.
During Presidents’ Day weekend, just days before the Kansas shooting, I visited my twin sister at Swarthmore College. On the day of my departure, I took the regional rail from Swarthmore into Philadelphia and was taken aback by a crowd of South Asian men and women waiting for the train. If I were to generalize, I would have guessed that many of them were immigrants working as engineers or information technology professionals in the city and making their home in the suburbs. I thought about the struggles they would experience and the successes they would celebrate in becoming a part of the American fabric. In light of recent events, that process may prove more difficult than I realized in the moment. Much room for optimism remains, though, as long as we refuse to grow complacent in the face of these shootings.
Nikhil Kumar ’17 can be reached at nikhil_kumar@brown.edu. Please send responses to this opinion to letters@browndailyherald.com and other op-eds to opinions@browndailyherald.com.”

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Importance
1
Okin ’19: What’s in an Oscar legacy?
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“Whether it was right for Casey Affleck — who has been charged with sexual assault on multiple occasions — to win the Oscar for best actor was initially obvious to me. Regardless of his performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” his criminal allegations should have penalized him from receiving the prestigious award. Yet in articulating my opinion to a friend the next day at lunch, I was caught off guard by her valid refute: “But when did the Academy Awards become a justice league?”
Immediately, I was reminded of my paradoxical childhood obsession with Roald Dahl. On one hand, my favorite author had created the wondrous chocolate factory, given a little girl coveted mind powers and allowed giants to be kind. On the other hand, he was a raging anti-Semite. Yet I cannot help but look fondly on my time in the world of Dahl’s books, where I had some of my first experiences of feeling totally transported through literature. In conjuring some of my favorite childhood memories, I do not immediately think about his hatred for Jews. In fact, I don’t think about Dahl at all; instead, I think of Charlie Bucket, Miss Honey and the Big Friendly Giant.
Just as Dahl’s stories remain distinct in my mind from his personal convictions, an actor’s performance can remain separate from his individual integrity. When we interact with a piece of literature or film, we are primarily interacting with that work’s world and the characters who inhabit it — not with the human being behind the art. Thus, if the Oscars explicitly seeks to recognize cinematic achievements, there is nothing wrong about assessing Affleck’s portrayal of his character as worthy of such an award.
From here on out, Casey Affleck will always be identified as an “Oscar-winning” actor — in articles, on social media and when casually referenced in conversations. This is what bothers me most. Perhaps the issue on hand is not even a question of whether this label should have been earned in the first place, but where the status of “alleged assaulter” will stand in the actor’s legacy. Because, whereas the former is an esteemed modifier that Affleck will have the privilege of sporting for the rest of his life — and afterwards — the latter will most likely be camouflaged by the blinds of large professional achievement.
When we permit professional or intellectual accomplishments to supplant one’s history of alleged crimes, the message conveyed is that these transgressions are insignificant relative to one’s talent. Look at the most powerful man in the country: if the president is someone accused of sexual assault in the double digits , there is no denying that we allow alleged assailants to rise up in society. But more so, maybe if more people had considered President Trump as a multiple-trangessor of sexual assault — at least as equally as they considered him a successful businessman — he would currently be enjoying fewer prestigious titles. More generally, this is how legacy functions: We choose certain primary labels to associate with people, and they stick. The others fade in time and are ultimately forgotten by the history books.
By determining one’s legacy overwhelmingly by their professional achievements, we perpetuate the idea that sexual assault — and other obstructions to human decency — is insignificant relative to one’s list of accomplishments. In encouraging the notion that one’s legacy is not tarnished as a consequence of assault, we fail to prevent future cases. In determining what goes down in history, we shape the present. Affleck shouldn’t be barricaded from winning the prestigious Academy Award, as the Oscars intend to solely consider theatrical ability, not moral character. Yet, members of society — who hold the power of determining how we remember people — should be able to recognize this: While awards shows may not consider morality, we can and should.
Among the career achievements, net-worth rankings and high IQs of powerful figures, we must include moral character in recalling their legacy. As students, our capacity to choose what issues to spotlight in our studies allows us the power of focusing our historical lens. In doing so, we can delve into the legacy of important figures with questionable backgrounds and spotlight the points of unease, instead of disguising it with the shield of professional success. This can involve writing the essay about a leader’s lesser-known relationships with his inferiors instead of describing the more obvious success of his lucrative empire. Or maybe it’s bringing the question of someone’s ethics to the seminar table before examining the triumph of their executive style. Only in altering how we expose the past can shape how society acts in the present and future.
Rebecca Okin ’19 can be reached atrebecca_okin@brown.edu.  Plea se send responses to this opinion to letters@browndailyherald.com and other op-eds to opinions@browndailyherald.com.”

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Importance
1
Villanova’s third-quarter run downs men’s lacrosse
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“Heading into its final non-conference game against Villanova Tuesday, the men’s lacrosse team looked to bounce back from consecutive losses and gain momentum before beginning Ivy League play Mar. 18. Despite keeping the game close throughout most of the contest, Bruno (1-3) could not recover after conceding seven goals in the third quarter and fell to the Wildcats 17-15.
“We were disappointed with the result against Rutgers,” said Jack Kniffin ’20, who currently ranks second on the team in scoring. “We wanted to come out strong against Villanova and pull out a win.”
Villanova (2-4) struck first. Despite the Bears winning the opening face-off, the Wildcats made the most out of a turnover by co-Captain and 2016 All-American Dylan Molloy ’17. Villanova took over possession and scored on its third shot on goal with 12:54 on the clock. The Wildcats then won the ensuing faceoff and again capitalized, with Kurtis Naslonski rifling a shot past Bruno’s first-year goalie, Phil Goss ’20, just 14 seconds later.
But the Bears fought back in the first period, with two goals apiece from attackmen Steve Hudak ’18 and Luke McCaleb ’20 and another from Michael Panepinto ’19. After this 5-1 run, Bruno took a three-goal lead heading into the end of the first. During the stretch, Molloy also dealt two assists.
In the second quarter, Villanova’s attack rallied. Despite Brown winning nine of nine faceoffs, the Wildcats responded with a 5-3 run of their own to tie the game at eight going into halftime. Villanova took 19 shots on goal to the Bears’ nine and only committed two turnovers to the Bears’ six.
“We came out pretty well,” Kniffin said. “If we can play the full 60 minutes like we did at the start and end of the game, we will put ourselves in a better position to win some games.”
Villanova’s offense continued to roll in the third period. The Bears opened up scoring in the second half after Molloy beat Nick Testa with an unassisted goal. But Villanova answered, tying the game at nine with 11:37 to go before going on a 6-2 run to bring the score to 15-11 heading into the final period.
The Bears struggled to come back from this momentum swing. Jack Curran increased the Wildcats’ lead to five with 12 minutes remaining, a deficit that proved insurmountable for Bruno. With 4:32 left, McCaleb cut into Villanova’s lead with his fifth goal of the game and then assisted midfielder Matt Graham ’17 a minute later for a score. As the clock wound down, the Bears could not overcome the two-goal deficit, as the Wildcats drained the clock with under a minute to go after winning the final faceoff.
“We hustled and competed throughout the whole game,” Hudak said, who notched his second career hat trick in the contest. “Our team is going to continue to work hard every day in practice and just focus on continuing to get better each day.”
Kniffin noted that the team has room for improvement of “fundamentals.”
“If we can eliminate unnecessary mistakes from our game, we will definitely be in a better position for success,” Kniffin said. “We have a solid break coming up with no games this weekend. We will definitely look at the film and identify weaknesses in our play.”
The Bears continue their season Saturday with their first conference game of the year against Harvard. Last year, Brown played the Crimson on two occasions — once in the regular season, an 11-8 victory, and then again in a 13-12 loss in the semi-final of the Ivy League Tournament.
“We are very excited for Ivy League play to begin,” Hudak said. “We are making strides in the right direction toward becoming the team we know we can be.””

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Importance
1
Mehta ’19 powers Bears to postseason Ivy League Tournament berth
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“With the season on the line, the women’s basketball team entered the final week of Ivy League play knowing it had to win both of its remaining contests to keep its postseason hopes alive.
The Bears responded to the challenge and beat both Columbia and Cornell by double digits.
Bruno was powered by Shayna Mehta ’19. The sophomore guard tallied a double-double in the win against the Lions, and then dropped 28 points in the following day’s game against the Big Red. Her performances helped send the Bears to the Ivy League Tournament this weekend in Philadelphia.
Mehta averaged the fourth-most points per game in the Ivy League during the regular season, notching 15 points per contest. She also swiped the second-most steals and dished out the fifth-most assists in the conference this year.
For her efforts, Mehta has been selected as The Herald’s athlete of the week.
The Herald: How did it feel to score 28 points in the final game of the regular season?
Mehta: It was cool to be able to do it then. During the game, I wasn’t even thinking about it. The crowd was so loud —   it was their senior night — I didn’t even know how many points I had because they didn’t have a scoreboard (that displayed individual points) or anything. But it was awesome to be able to come out for my team and get the W.
What’s the team’s attitude going into the tournament?
We’re all super pumped. We know we can beat Penn — it’s hard for a team to beat another team three times in a row. We lost to Penn last time by three … so we’re all so excited. Yesterday during practice, (Athletic Director) Jack Hayes came to our locker room and congratulated us.
Did you always know that basketball was your main sport?
Not always … I used to love soccer but I grew up in a sort of basketball family where my dad was a really big basketball fan and a really big (Golden State) Warriors fan. Just growing up with all that   … I think I just veered toward basketball.
Do you model your game after any WNBA or NBA players?
Steph (Curry). That’s why I like to wear his number. He’s an undersized guard. He came into the league very small, and I think people around the league have also said I was small and undersized. But I can shoot, and I think Steph can, too. I think we have similar games — that’s why I like to wear number 30.
Do you do the Steph warm-up before a game?
I have done it. We don’t do them at practice, but over the summer I would try to do the Steph warm-up.
Do you have any siblings?
I have a younger sister (Nina Mehta). She plays basketball and she’s actually going to come here when I’m a senior for basketball.
Do you have a favorite basketball memory?
I think it would be last year when I went 7-7 from three. During the game, I didn’t realize I hadn’t missed a shot, but then after the game everyone was like, ‘Oh my god you didn’t miss a shot.’ And it was a special game because the day after I was getting surgery on my meniscus. It was the first game my dad came to, … so it was fun to do that in front of my dad.
What are the expectations going into the weekend?
I don’t think we have expectations because any of these Ivy games could go any way. We’re just hoping (to) — and we think we can — beat Penn, and then whoever else wins the other (game). I don’t think we could go in with any expectations. We have to go in trying our hardest and knowing that if we put in our all, we easily can win.”

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Importance
1
Nonprofit ‘Choices’ emphasizes inclusivity, accessibility
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“The Choices Program, a nonprofit that develops school curricula with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, has emphasized increased community outreach and diversity in content in the wake of the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan .
Since 1988, Choices has worked with the Watson Institute to develop affordable lesson plans for teachers. Curricula prepared by Choices has been used in 8,000 schools across the country and 200 schools abroad, according to Choices Director Susan Graseck.
The lessons generally focus on international relations and public policy. A core group of 25 teaching fellows explains the programs to schoolteachers across the world. A central part of the curriculum is Options Role Play, which “helps students engage in different perspectives on a contentious issue — whether it’s an issue in the present, such as immigration, or the past, such as the slave trade in New England,” Graseck said. During these role plays, students take on roles of historical figures — both household names and those who are less known.
“Everybody in this field goes to the big cities” for their market, but Choices looks to connect more with “rural, spread out areas that may have (fewer) resources,” said Director of Professional Development Mimi Stephens.
Of families whose children are learning through the Choices curriculum, Choices estimates that 58 percent have a median annual income between $50,000 and $100,000 and 30 percent are between $25,000 and $50,000. Graseck said.   “But income is only one piece of the picture and we make an effort to be there in all kinds of communities,” Graseck said.
The Curriculum Developers for Choices were awarded a 2016 Excellence Award by Brown for their work in making Choices lessons more inclusive. A new rubric used to evaluate content ensures “a balance of elite and non-elite voices in our lessons” said Program Associate Mackenzie Abernethy, “because we want students to look at these historical events through new lenses of more marginalized groups.”
Units come in the form of published curricula, readings, lesson plans for teachers, online videos, podcasts and more. Topics range from the American Revolution and President Trump’s inaugural address to an upcoming unit on the History of Nigeria.
Each unit costs an average of $40, which is roughly half the price of the industry standard, according to Graseck.
“We’ve wanted this to be so affordable” that teachers could even buy it themselves if their “school(s) won’t buy it,” said Curriculum Development Director Andrew Blackadar.
Over the last four years, sales of Choices program material have “doubled,” as sales following the 9/11 attacks and leading up to the 2016 presidential election have spiked, Graseck said.
Going forward, Choices will continue to help give voices to underrepresented groups of all opinions across the globe using “a system we’ve created that so far, especially using the rubric, has had a real effect on the content that we produce,” said Assistant Director of Curriculum Development Susannah Bechtel.
“The process of working with DIAP didn’t necessarily change us — those are values that we’ve had for a long time,” Blackadar said. “But it helped us take time to think about and become more systematic about inclusivity.””

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Importance
1
University releases first DIAP progress report
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“The University released its first annual Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan report Thursday, discussing its progress on diversity and inclusion initiatives, Liza Cariaga-Lo, vice president for academic development, diversity and inclusion, announced in a community-wide email . Total spending for the DIAP for fiscal year 2018 amounts to $5.2 million, which comes in addition to a one-time $3.35 million investment.
“Areas of success include a sharp increase in the proportion of newly hired faculty from historically underrepresented groups and an increase in the diversity in the pool of applicants to our graduate programs,” wrote President Christina Paxson P’19 in a letter to members of the Brown community.
One of the DIAP’s goals is to double the number of faculty members and graduate students from HUGs by the 2022 academic year, representing an increase of at least 60 faculty members. In the 2015-16 academic year, the University hired 11 regular faculty members from HUGs, according to the report. Two of 12 scholars who arrived at Brown through the Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the 2015-16 academic year have accepted tenure-track positions as well. In addition, Brown won a $1.5 million Mellon Foundation grant which will support diverse postdocs who enter the tenure track. These 11 HUG faculty members comprised about a third of the total hired regular faculty members — those who are tenured, on a tenure track or in lecture positions.
But in the 2016-17 academic year, the net increase of HUGs faculty members was seven people, according to the Office of Institutional Research’s website . The percentage of HUGs faculty remained flat between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years at 9 percent. But the number of faculty from HUGs increased by 1 percent from the 2014-15 to 2015-16 academic year.
“Diversification of the staff workforce at all levels and across all job types remains a top priority” for the University, according to the report. This includes mentorship and support for staff members from HUGs and creating hiring guidelines and outreach efforts to recruit staff members from HUGs, especially for higher pay grade levels. The University also implemented its pilot professional development workshops for administrative fellows in January 2017.
The graduate school is far from the DIAP’s goal of doubling the number of students from HUGs by 2022, according to the report. The percentage of graduate students from HUGs has remained around 9 percent between 2012 and 2015, according to the report. In 2015, the proportion of medical students from HUGs dipped slightly, especially for African American males.
Early decision statistics for the class of 2021 were also highlighted in the report. For example, 13 percent of early admits are first-generation students, of whom 50 percent are from HUGs.
Members of the Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Board, which is charged with overseeing the implementation of the DIAP, wrote suggestions emphasizing the need for better data in a memo addressed to Paxson and Provost Richard Locke. The memo was signed by 14 members of the DIOB that include faculty members, staff members and students. Members of the DIOB will be reappointed on a yearly basis “given that the board cannot represent the full diversity of the University in any one year,” Paxson wrote.
Possible areas of improvement include expanding Counseling and Psychological Services resources and support for untenured faculty members and graduate students from HUGs. The authors also recommended conducting a survey on campus accessibility. “Disability is a major blind spot,” the authors wrote. They addressed the need for greater unity amongst departmental DIAPs and a more consistent definition of HUGs.
The Corporation committee on Diversity and Inclusion stressed the need for “broad participation in the creation of departmental DIAPs,” Paxson wrote.
Concerns that faculty members from HUGs within their respective departments bear the brunt of diversity and inclusion efforts have been raised during the creation of the DDIAPs . One way the University is attempting to increase community participation in diversity and inclusion efforts is through the undergraduate curriculum.
The DIAP aims to double the offerings of first-year and sophomore seminars centered around topics like “power, privilege, inequality and social justice.” According to the report’s findings, the University managed to increase the number of offered Diverse Perspectives in Liberal Learning seminars in both class years. In the 2015-16 academic year, 13 percent of first-year seminar courses bore a   DPLL designation while 29 percent of sophomore seminars were labeled DPLL. However, for the 2016-2017 academic year, 21 percent of FYS courses and 50 percent of sophomore seminars were listed as DPLL.
The University has hosted talks this year to help students “become more knowledgeable about social justice issues … (and) through the curriculum you can have a formal way (of doing that),” said Arely Diaz ’17. “I thought that the (inclusion) of curriculum was very important.”
The report also made mention of the opening of the First-Generation and Low-Income Student Center in September 2016 and the search for its director , which is currently underway.
The center, which is located on the fifth floor of the Sciences Library, contains “two to three offices … and (the students) also have to share that space with classes … or other students that come to study that might not identify as first-gen or low-income,” Diaz said. “While it is progress, it definitely is not enough. … If you start accepting more students that are first-gen, low-income, as (University administrators) claim they are doing, … that means needing more space and needing more resources.”
Diaz also noted that while the report mentioned supporting undocumented students, it made no mention of how that support would continue into the future. “That’s kind of worrying … that makes me think that there isn’t going to be any support.”
“The entire report is a way to hold the university accountable, … and, even though there are a few holes,” it’s still progress, she added.
“In year one, I think the University made significant but very early progress,” said Brain Clark, director of news and editorial development. Though “there’s a tremendous amount of work to be done in the years ahead.”
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that “two of the 12 scholars who arrived at Brown through the Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the 2015-16 academic year have accepted tenure positions as well.” In fact, they have accepted  tenure-track positions, not tenure positions. The Herald regrets the error. ”

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Importance
1
Flax ’17: Tell me it’s real
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
“Life as a Washington, D.C. sports fan is an exercise in disappointment. Of the cities with at least one team in each of the four major American sports leagues — the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA — Washington is the only one to not have any team reach the semifinals since 1998. In other words: No team I support has even come within a round of a championship since I was three.
But a recent turn of fortune has put three of the city’s four teams in title contention. After so many disappointments, I just want the same thing as R&B duo K-Ci & JoJo: Tell me it’s real.
The past failings of Washington teams are a poisonous melange of terrible teams and great teams that choked spectacularly. This tragedy is best encapsulated by the team I follow most closely: the Washington Nationals. The national pastime returned to the nation’s capital in 2005 after a 35-year absence when the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington. The team did not win more than half of its games in any of its first seven seasons, bottoming out as the worst team in baseball in both 2008 and 2009.
But those two putrid years yielded a pair of historic first-overall draft picks: Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. With those two players came success, as the Nationals were the best team in baseball in 2012. That October, they held a 6-0 lead in the decisive game of their first-round playoff series and were a strike away from advancing to the National League Championship Series before blowing a save to lose in the most painful way imaginable.
Since then, the Nats have won two more division titles but still have never won a playoff series.
The 2017 baseball season starts in under a month, and the Nationals are in a strong position to contend again. They won their division despite a down year from Harper last year before losing in the first round of the playoffs once again. But the team is primed to be even better this year than in 2016. Prized rookie Trea Turner will have a full season in the majors after taking the league by storm for the second half of last year. General Manager Mike Rizzo loaded his team up this offseason — sending away a trio of prized prospects for outfielder Adam Eaton — with an eye toward a title in the next two years before Harper and All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy reach free agency.
Washington’s hockey team, the Capitals, have a similar story. Behind three-time MVP Alex Ovechkin, the team has twice had the best record in hockey in the past two seasons only to bomb out of the playoffs early. Nearly 80 percent of the way through this season, they are once again hockey’s best team. The Caps made a splash at the trade deadline, acquiring the best player on the market in defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. With stars like Ovechkin, center Nicklas Backstrom and young goalie Braden Holtby under contract for the foreseeable future, their success seems sustainable.
The Washington Wizards disappointed in the usual way: performing awfully. They won under a third of their total games from 2008 to 2013 before returning to respectability in the past few years. With a new coach this season, their young stars have broken out to put them within reach of the franchise’s best record since the Carter administration. Point guard John Wall has continued his All-Star play, while sharpshooter Bradley Beal has finally stayed healthy and small forward Otto Porter Jr. has emerged as one of the top shooters in the sport. Each of those players is under team control for a while as well, though Porter can become a restricted free agent this offseason.
Any reasonable — or perhaps naive — reader would feel very optimistic about the future of D.C. sports after reading the above. These are three well-run organizations, with a strong balance of current stars and promising youngsters. But any Washington fan will tell you how often a similar story has played out in this city.
The Wizards were sure to have quick success when they chose Wall first overall in the 2010 draft, but it has taken seven years for the team to be taken seriously. A championship was imminent for the Capitals when they had hockey’s best record in 2010, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs. The Nationals were primed for a long reign after their first division title in 2012, but they have made the playoffs just twice since then, never once winning a series.
Of course it is irrational but, after being burned so many times, bracing for failure just makes more sense. After all this time, there’s only one thing I want to hear: that it’s finally real.
Andrew Flax ’17 can be reached at andrew_flax@brown.edu. Please send responses to this opinion to letters@browndailyherald.com and other op-eds to opinions@browndailyherald.com.”

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Importance
1
Todd Stern discusses future of climate, energy policy
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 09, 2017
““Don’t give up and don’t be resigned” in the fight against climate change, said Todd Stern, former U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change in his Distinguished Speakers Series lecture Wednesday.
The fight against climate change should not be viewed as a burden but as an opportunity, Stern said, who led the U.S. negotiations at the Paris Climate Accords. “There is no question that the transformation to low-carbon technology is not just one of the biggest challenges, but (also) one of the biggest economic opportunities in front of us right now,” Stern said. “No country in the world has a comparative advantage in this area that’s bigger than the United States, because it’s all about innovation, and we have an innovation infrastructure and culture that is second to none.”
“From the point of view of somebody committed to action on climate change, the results of the election were unwelcome,” Stern said. But he added that the rapidly decreasing price of clean energy will continue under the Trump administration. “Despite this speed bump with respect to the Trump administrations policies” the shift to clean energy will continue, he told The Herald.
Stern discussed the implications of climate change as a partisan issue in the United States. With the election of Trump, “it’s clear domestically that there’s going to be a pullback” of climate-related action, he said. Despite this, around “75 percent of Trump’s supports are strongly in support of clean energy development.”
Globally, the treatment of climate change — with some notable exceptions in India and Middle Eastern states dependent on oil — is very different. “Mostly, climate change politically around the world is a post-partisan issue,” Stern said. China, for example, “has become quite invested in the development of renewable energy and clean energy,” and “is going pretty much full tilt” in trying to fulfill its commitment under the Paris Agreement, he added.
Stern also spoke about his career negotiating climate accords, beginning with the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. There, negotiators drafted an unrealistically ambitious plan that required ratification from the U.S. Senate, he said, but this approval never came. Today, the United States is the only signatory to the protocol that has not ratified it.
During the Bush administration, the United States stepped back from climate change response leadership. But Stern noted that after the 2007 UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, global leaders widely desired to draft a new agreement. Under the Obama administration, the United States jumped “onto a moving train of negotiations” that produced the Paris Agreement, Stern added.
Going into the negotiations, Stern said he knew that “we could not repeat the (Kyoto Protocol) experience of the United States saying ‘yes’ and th en having it dead on arrival in the U.S. Senate.” He helped structure an agreement that did not have to be ratified by the Senate.
“This agreement is partly legally binding and partly not,” Stern said. For example, the targets for emissions reduction are not legally binding, but transparency and accountability requirements are.
The Paris Agreement “absolutely did not go far enough” because the targets it sets do not put the world on track to sufficiently stop rising temperatures. But “you can’t start unless you start,” he said.
Looking forward, Stern said that he is worried about the possible consequences of the French election on the European Union’s role in climate leadership. If France elects Marine Le Pen and leaves the EU, “it will be very challenging for the EU” to lead climate action, he added.
“In my experience in climate, there’s a lot of truth in” the notion that the United States is an “indispensable nation” in global leadership, Stern told The Herald. But while it seems that the Trump administration will shy away from leading the world in the fight against climate change, Stern said that the future of technology is unpredictable. Perh aps, in the near future, innovation will make it much easier to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, he added.”

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Importance
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Paul ’18.5 leads Bears at Ivy Heptagonal Championships
by Brown Daily Herald
Mar 04, 2017
“After a semester off from Brown to travel and volunteer, Carly Paul ’18.5 has returned to track and field with a vengeance.
Paul reintroduced herself to the Ivy League at the conference’s Heptagonal Championships in New York last weekend, at the end of the team’s indoor competition. Paul   posted two standout performances in the high jump and pentathlon, placing second and fourth, respectively. After earning a total of 3,618 points in the pentathlon Friday — which consists of the 60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and an 800-meter run   — Paul cleared a height of 5-08.00   the following day to take second place in the individual high jump event. Her scores contributed a total of 11 team points to Brown’s total — seven for the high jump and four for the pentathlon.
In 2016, she placed eighth in the heptathlon with a total of 4,712 points at the Ivy League Championship and earned runner-up in the javelin throw and third in the high jump at the Brown Springtime Open. She will return to competition Mar. 24-25 at the North Carolina State Raleigh Relays.
For her significant point contributions in the high jump and pentathlon at Heps last weekend, Paul is The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
Herald: What were your expectations going into Heps?
Paul: I actually just came back from a semester off from Brown — I took a semester off instead of going abroad just to travel and volunteer, and so I’ve only been training for a couple of months. My coach and I went into it with a very “what do we have to lose” mindset, and it ended up going really, really well.
How did your events feel? Did you think that you were on track to place so highly?
The pentathlon is a very different thing from other events because you just have to do all-around okay. I knew that throughout the day I had a really strong start in hurdles, and so that gave me a good rhythm for the whole day. I knew that if I did fairly well in all my events, I should end up on the podium in the pentathlon. (For the high jump), I knew my body would be tired the next day, but I went in ranked second, so I knew there was potential for me to get on the podium. But it was only my third time high-jumping this season. In high jump, there’s less room for error, whereas in the pentathlon, one thing can go okay and the other things can make up for it, so I knew that I could do enough in every event.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for a meet?
I used to be more of a superstitious person where I had a very big routine — I would always have the same dinner, have the same breakfast kind of thing, but I tore my ACL when I was a freshman. I had knee surgery and coming back from that I just decided to not make any superstitions, so I just kind of tried to make sure I eat well, make sure I get enough sleep. I don’t really have any silly routines anymore because I think that it can be a barrier, like an excuse.
You compete regularly in all of the pentathlon events. Do you have a favorite?
Hurdles and high jump are my favorite events. Hurdles is just fun, and high jump is kind of my baby — it’s always been my main event, so I have a very big love-hate relationship with it. I know it so well that it can be the most frustrating to me but it’s also, at the end of the day, my favorite. The 800 is my favorite and biggest challenge   — whenever I have success in the 800, it has a lot more gravity than other events because it’s definitely the one I’m learning the most. So whenever I have success in that or an improvement, it’s the most gratifying.
When did you initially get into the sport?
I started doing track in junior high because my mom high-jumped in high school, and because of that, my brother high-jumped in junior high, and because he did it I was like, “I’m going to do it, too!”
What’s your go-to meet day breakfast?
If I’m just doing a couple of events, like hurdles and high jump at a normal meet, I try to eat a really big hearty breakfast sandwich — like a bagel with eggs, spinach, sausage and cheese on it. If I’m doing a pentathlon, I basically just try to eat as much as I can possibly eat. So I’ll eat eggs, sausage and toast, and also some yogurt and granola, because you can eat during the pentathlon, but it’s hard. You just have to kind of force yourself to eat, so I try to eat a bunch beforehand.
Looking ahead, what are your aims for the upcoming meets?
As a team as a whole, we have the potential to do really, really well. I think by outdoor, people will have things sorted out more and I think (where) we’ll have a lot more potential is scoring higher as a team. Personally, I’d love to PR in all my events, that’s what you always say. I’d really love to PR in the heptathlon and I’m really looking forward to working on javelin again. Last year was my first season, so I was just trying to figure it out. Now, I think that I have some basics, (so) it will be fun to work on it more.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.”

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