|Brown Campus News|
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 20, 2015
“Let’s be honest, we all love to learn. Every Brunonian who sets foot through the Van Wickle Gates and commits to obtaining a degree carries a devoted passion for expanding intellectual capacity. I, too, walked through the Gates and took this pact last August. Learning is great, and the opportunity to learn even more is even better — right?
Last December, I discovered an opportunity to serve our school. The Graduate Student Council was fielding graduate-level nominees to serve on the January Term Task Force. I had worked on committees at my undergraduate alma mater, so I jumped at the opportunity. I also saw the chance to foster more academic acquisition and inquiry at an institution already held in high regard.
I serve on the January Term Task Force, but I am not speaking on behalf of its members. I am simply bringing an issue that I consider worthy of discussion before Brown community members.
So what is a January term? It is typically a condensed mini-semester lasting four weeks within the month of January. Courses offered in a January term usually are intensive, meet daily and carry credits equivalent to those from fall and spring courses.
At other Ivy League institutions, the January term can be found in different forms. Harvard offers its students “enrichment programming” for a 10-day period in the later part of January known as “Wintersession,” according to school’s website. Cornell offers a similarly named “Winter Session” that lasts three weeks in January.
Columbia does not offer a January term to undergraduates, but a “J-term” is available to students enrolled in Columbia Business School. Yale, Princeton and Penn currently do not offer January term opportunities to their students. Dartmouth’s unique academic calendar renders an additional term unnecessary.
Should Brunonians, therefore, consider the mixed adoption of a January term by fellow Ivies as a hint of caution? Is it a complex system, not easily navigable and not recognized as valuable across the board? Let’s not jump to conclusions.
Our College Hill neighbor, the Rhode Island School of Design, thinks otherwise. RISD offers a six-week “Wintersession” to students looking to explore fields outside their courses of study. A Brown “Wintersession” certainly would better synchronize both institutions’ academic calendars — currently mismatched and problematic — and potentially benefit students from both schools.
All departments at Brown would be affected by the implementation of a new academic term. The presence of additional students on campus during the month of January would require expanded on-campus services, including increased dining hall operations, maintenance staff duties, utility usage and so on. Such an uptick in demand for services would benefit students searching for additional employment opportunities — whether it is the undergraduate looking to pick up a few extra hours with Brown Dining Services or the ambitious graduate student or PhD candidate looking to teach a unique course.
The additional term would also expand research opportunities. It would provide added time for studies, potentially decrease the timeline to graduation, and, for those students who dislike the constant come-and-go nature of living on campus, provide a sense of permanence and mitigate the all-too-familiar feeling of being an interloper.
Brown could even take its January term classroom off campus and online. Online courses could offer Brunonians continued educational opportunities from the comfort of home. This could be a particularly attractive arrangement for students living far from Providence — whether elsewhere in the country or abroad.
And the best part of a January term? It’s optional! If you don’t want to take courses during the January term, you don’t have to. At many other institutions, students are not required to enroll in this extracurricular opportunity. Therefore, Brown students would not become overworked as a result of this change.
While the January Term Task Force, led by Provost Vicki Colvin, includes an appropriate selection of University administrators, faculty and other individuals, everyone should involve themselves in a larger discussion about the benefits — or risks — of a January term and how it could influence our lives. Every field has different needs and styles; for a successful implementation of a new academic term, no question should be left unanswered.
The conversation about introducing a January term is only just beginning, and this is the time to discuss all possibilities of what an implementation would look like. Identify your peers, instructors or administrators partaking in this larger discussion and share your thoughts with them. Share your thoughts with everyone, in class, at dinner or wherever you can.
Together, we can influence one of the largest institutional transitions to affect campus life since the adoption of the open curriculum. Brown will be our alma mater soon, but there will always be students — and ones who love to learn.
Ian Kenyon GS is a Master of Public Affairs candidate with the Taubman Center and a member of the January Term Task Force. Share your thoughts on potentially implementing a J-term with him at Ian_Kenyon@brown.edu.”
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 20, 2015
“On a snowy Tuesday afternoon, a drab conference room was lit up by the excitement and laughter of three 8-year-olds animatedly chatting. “Why am I the only boy here?” asked one in cartoonish exasperation. They talked cheerfully about gym class, art and bubbles, all while eyeing the conspicuous jumble of materials at the front of the table. The bubble wrap, packing peanuts, plastic easter eggs, coffee lids, apple juice bottles and cardboard tubes presented an intriguing mystery for the trio, one of whom asked, “Do we get to take this stuff home?”
An adult explained to the kids that they would not use the materials to create physical work but instead to explore sound. The workshop, an event at the Providence Children’s Film Festival, opened with a short presentation of the art of sound effects titled “Foley Art.” Kids banged, barked and squealed, creating their own sound effects to accompany short clips of silly silent films. The festival’s partnership with the museum is in its second year and is one of many organizational partnerships that make the film festival a multifaceted community event.
When the festival started six years ago, it lasted for three days. It has now expanded to span eight days, and attendance is growing every year, said Anisa Raoof, executive director of the festival.
The idea of the festival is to expose kids to movies beyond Disney classics and to teach them how to think more deeply about the films that they watch, Raoof said. “Kids consume so much media all the time. We want them to become critical viewers.”
The festival receives hundreds of submissions from around the world every year, Raoof said. Submissions are first reviewed by the director of programming and then screened for a panel of 40 jurors, who evaluate it using a number of criteria.
The panel includes both adults and children, Raoof said. While adults can evaluate a number of aspects such as cinematography and editing, kids help determine if a movie will sustain interest or feel relevant to its audience. In addition to reviewing submissions, a selection team travels to other children’s festivals to view other films.
The festival does not only screen films made exclusively for children. Films that are intended for adult audiences but appropriate for children are also shown. Some notable films from this year’s lineup include “Song of the Sea,” “Scrapwood War” and “On the Way to School.”
“Song of the Sea,” directed by Tomm Moore, was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated film this year — the festival’s screening was its Rhode Island premiere.
“Scrapwood War” focuses on a group of kids at a summer camp tasked with building the tallest possible wooden structure. The story follows two boys through a period of transition in their lives, as they move to different schools and face the possibility of a future without each other.
“On the Way to School” documents the journey that children in four different countries take to get to school every day, encountering conditions and obstacles far different from everyday routines in the United States.
“After we put this in the festival, someone connected us to The Walking School Bus,” an organization that escorts children in dangerous areas of Providence to school in the mornings, Raoof said.
Aside from this partnership and one with the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art, the festival collaborates with Providence Public Libraries. The films are primarily screened in four key locations: the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, The Wheeler School, the Avon Cinema and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum.
But by adding four public libraries to the list of locations, festival organizers aimed to reach out to the Providence community off of College Hill, Raoof said. She hoped this partnership would help libraries expand their film collections past traditional offerings to include more independent and international selections, she added.
Another recent addition to the festival is the Youth Filmmaker Showcase. Last year, for the first time, filmmakers under 18 from around the world submitted to the program. Submissions included one from a group of six-year-olds who did a stop-motion project with their toys and one from Italian students who worked on a film with their school.
The program is seeing success so far, Raoof said. Last year, the films were all shown at once, but this year, the immense volume of submissions were displayed in two separate showcases.
The festival strives to be educational and dynamic, often holding workshops related to the film’s material in order to help kids engage even more with the films. For example, after a screening of “Singing in the Rain,” a tap dancer was invited to teach the kids about the evolution of tap dance. Following a movie called “Maya the Bee,” a beekeeper came to teach kids about bee colonies, hives and honey collecting, Raoof said.
“We try to challenge the kids and help them see things that they might not otherwise,” Raoof explained.
The festival runs through Feb. 22.”
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 20, 2015
“As a difficult season winds down, the women’s hockey team has been eliminated from conference tournament contention and will play its final two games this weekend. Though there are no trophies on the line, Bruno (5-21-1, 2-17-1 ECAC) still has plenty to play for.
“Each weekend, it doesn’t matter what our record was before,” said Head Coach Amy Bourbeau. “We’re still looking to win the games.”
The Bears will wrap up the 2014-15 season this weekend, hosting Princeton and No. 5 Quinnipiac with a chance to end their season on a high note and escape last place in the conference.
The Tigers (14-11-2, 12-7-1) will arrive on College Hill Friday night with their sights set on a better seed for the upcoming ECAC tournament. The team’s 25 points currently place it sixth in the conference, and it has clinched a berth in the tournament that welcomes the ECAC’s top eight finishers.
But the Tigers trail fourth-place St. Lawrence by just two points, and a strong weekend could end with Princeton having home-ice advantage in the first round.
The Bears will have an opportunity to dash the Tigers’ hopes, though it will not be easy. Princeton’s roster is laden with stars: Goalie Kimberly Newell ranks fourth in the conference with a .931 save percentage, and forward Molly Contini is fourth in the league with 18 goals.
Bruno led 1-0 after one period in the teams’ Jan. 10 meeting, but the Tigers took over after that and claimed a 5-1 victory.
“We played two great periods and we kind of fell apart,” Bourbeau said.
If the Tigers were not enough of a challenge, Quinnipiac (23-6-3, 14-4-2) poses an even greater threat.
The Bobcats’ defense is all but impenetrable, allowing a stunning 1.08 goals per game. With Bruno’s lackluster offense averaging just 2.11 goals per game — ninth in the ECAC — the Brown forwards will likely have a tough time generating chances in the offensive zone.
Quinnipiac’s offense is an uninspiring seventh in the league, scoring 2.69 goals per game, but it provides more than enough support for its staunch defense.
Bruno was shut out by the Bobcats in January and was outshot 35-9. But the Bears only allowed three goals and were in a scoreless draw past the midway point of the game.
“We were in a really close game with them last time for a little bit until they opened it up at the end,” Bourbeau said.
This weekend’s games will mark the final career appearances for five seniors, including forwards Kaitlyn Keon ’15 and Sarah Robson ’15, who are tied for the team lead in points.
“There’s no question we’re going to miss those guys. It’s a talented class overall,” Bourbeau said, singling out Keon as having been “instrumental this year.”
While the seniors have contributed heavily to this year’s team — all five rank in the top eight on the team in points — the Bears have a bevy of young talent. Sam Donovan ’18 leads the team in goals with 11, and both goalies to see the ice this season are underclassmen: Monica Elvin ’17 and Julianne Landry ’18.
“You can’t ask for more than” Donovan’s output as a first-year, Bourbeau said, adding that the team has the youth to compensate for the loss of its talented seniors.
“They’re going to have to fill those shoes next year, and I feel like they’re prepared to do it,” she said.
Bourbeau said she hopes to see her seniors go out on a high note, adding, “They usually play their best hockey on senior weekend.”
The Bears will drop the puck with Princeton at 7 p.m. Friday.
-With additional reporting by Alex Wainger”
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 20, 2015
“Looking to reclaim the positive momentum it had several weeks ago, the women’s basketball team will face off against Columbia and Cornell on the road this weekend. The Bears (9-13, 3-5) have battled every Ivy League squad at least once this season, and this weekend’s games are the first in a series of conference rematches. The young squad has constantly refined its style of play throughout the season and has continued to improve with each game.
“The last couple weeks have shown how good our team really is,” said Ellise Sharpe ’16. “We started the season with too many close games that we seemed to let slip away. We have learned how to play an entire 40 minutes and how to come away with a victory.”
But other teams have undoubtedly improved as well. Despite earlier outcomes, Bruno must remain vigilant, as any team is capable of emerging victorious on any given night.
Last weekend, the Bears faced the conference’s top two teams and — though it was not readily apparent in the final scores — Bruno managed to hold its own against the Ivy League elites. The weekend featured the best shooting and rebounding performances for the team in all of its conference contests.
In order to be successful, the Bears must continue to generate effective offense and not allow its opponents to dictate the pace of the game as they head to New York. Columbia (7-15, 1-7) and Cornell (14-8, 5-3) present different styles of play, as Cornell sits in the upper echelons of the Ivy League while Columbia rests at the very bottom of the conference. In preparation for both contests, Sharpe said the squad has worked on transition defense and communication.
“We’ve really worked hard all week,” said Rebecca Musgrove ’17. “We’ve gone through our scout of both teams and watched plenty of film. I believe we are prepared for both teams and look forward to the matchups.”
First up for Bruno is Columbia. Since the squads’ last meeting three weeks ago, the Lions have finally been able to make some noise in the conference, though they remain in last place. Last weekend, Columbia came up short in an overtime matchup against Dartmouth but managed to claim its first Ivy win against Harvard. The Lions will look to continue this upward trend as they take on the Bears.
Last season, Bruno demolished the Lions the first time the teams battled but the rematch did not turn out well. The Bears will hope history doesn’t repeat itself this weekend, having defeated Columbia earlier this year.
The Bears’ work on the defensive end will be very useful when they take on an offense-driven Cornell squad. The Big Red currently sits just behind Princeton and Penn in the conference and has the Ivy League’s leading scorer in its arsenal. The last time Bruno saw Cornell, four Big Red players each contributed at least 10 points toward their team’s victory.
Bruno’s strengths lie in its offense and a full-court press that the squad has improved upon and successfully employed in its last few games. Also beneficial for the Bears is the potential return of Janie White ’18. The forward last saw action against Harvard Feb. 6, but she left the game after under a minute of play due to an injury. White led the Bears with nine rebounds in the earlier matchup against Cornell.
Bruno is currently tied with Harvard for fifth place in the Ancient Eight, and it hopes to sweep this weekend and continue to fight its way up the conference rankings.
“I know I speak for everyone when saying that we believe the preseason poll is wrong, and we plan to keep fighting our way back to .500,” Sharpe said. “The Ivy League needs to prepare for Brown because we are not eighth in the league.””
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 20, 2015
“A woman walking near the intersection of Waterman Street and Gano Street was assaulted Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m., according to a campus-wide email Thursday from the Department of Public Safety.
The victim broke free from her male assailant, whom the email described as approximately 5-foot-7 and 40 to 45 years old. The assailant then fled the scene on foot.
“What was odd to me about the event was that he didn’t try to take my purse or grab my stuff,” said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous due to privacy concerns. “He tried to grab me, and he said ‘you’re coming with me.’ He was trying to take me somewhere.”
When two individuals appeared across the street, the assailant let her go and ran away, she added.
She remained in the area until Providence Police officers arrived. “The Providence Police were responsive and showed up very soon after,” she said. A Brown detective also arrived at the scene to interview the victim about the incident.
A Providence Police investigation to identify the assailant is ongoing, according to the email. The victim has been in communication with officers via email.
“It does seem like they’re doing their best,” she said.
DPS could not be reached for comment by press time.”
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 20, 2015
“Rosanne Somerson P’11, a renowned studio furniture designer, became the 17th president of the Rhode Island School of Design Wednesday. For the past 13 months she served as interim president following the departure of her predecessor, John Maeda. Every member of the RISD Board of Trustees voted to elect Somerson after a unanimous recommendation by the 11-member presidential search committee, according to a Wednesday press release.
A 1976 RISD graduate, Somerson previously held multiple faculty and administrative positions, co-founding the furniture design department in 1995 and serving as provost from 2012 until she assumed the interim presidency.
“It was amazing. I felt extremely honored and excited,” Somerson said of being elected, adding that she feels supported by the unanimous decisions of both the board and the search committee. “I felt very welcomed and honored to be offered the position.”
Somerson’s appointment marks the end of an international search process that lasted 9 months and reviewed over 100 candidates. Somerson, who said she applied and interviewed for the position while serving as interim president, was not involved in the search process. “I was just keeping my focus on the work at RISD at the time,” she said.
“The search committee worked tirelessly to identify a new president with the vision, values and leadership style to match RISD’s standards for excellence,” wrote Michael Spalter, chair of RISD’s board of trustees, in a statement on the search committee’s website. Selecting Somerson, who has been an integral part of the community, made the decision “especially gratifying,” the statement reads.
The committee comprised faculty members, students, administrators, alums, parents and RISD Museum staff members, according to the committee’s website. Isaacson and Miller — a professional search firm — was also consulted, as were other groups.
Ryan Murphy, a senior at RISD, said students received periodic email updates on the search process but were not frequently engaged with the “day-to-day stuff.” Limited communication struck him as appropriate, considering that the interim president was also a candidate for the permanent position, he said.
Murphy said the decision was met with enthusiasm but not much surprise.
Tyler Mills, a junior at RISD, said the community perceived Somerson as a strong candidate. During the search, “deep down we were all like ‘okay Rosanne, just end up being president,’” he said.
Murphy and Mills both said Somerson is generally popular among students. “I think she’s done a wonderful job,” Mills said. “Overall, we all really do like her.”
Somerson said her time as interim president was predominantly focused on maintaining ongoing initiatives and continuing to implement the school’s strategic plan, which she helped craft during her tenure as provost. As president, Somerson said she will be able to pursue longer-term goals for the school.
Somerson cited implementing certain elements of the school’s campus master plan — the part of the strategic plan devoted to facilities improvements — and expanding RISD’s financial accessibility as two of her main objectives. She said she hopes to see “those who are qualified to be RISD students have access to a RISD education,” adding that “there will be quite a bit of effort around fundraising to ensure that that happens.”
As a former faculty member, Somerson said she is “always interested” in advancing new programs and supporting the faculty and research. “I really believe … that the world is more broadly starting to understand the value of art and design,” she said. “Part of what I plan to do is … to show that our model of education is more vital than ever.”
RISD community members generally support the decision to appoint a president who “rose through the ranks of the institution,” Murphy said, adding that Somerson is familiar with RISD and its values. But it is possible that “she won’t shake things up in the same way” as someone from another institution or professional background might.
Reflecting on her first experience with RISD — visiting the campus as a prospective student — Somerson said she was immediately struck by the quality of students’ artwork. “I was so impressed,” she said, adding, “If anybody had told me at that particular moment in time that I would someday be leading this institution, I would’ve been incredulous.””
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 20, 2015
“As the name suggests, Fusion Dance Company — Brown’s oldest student-run dance group — performs in a variety of styles, from modern to hip-hop. After watching the group’s Annual Spring Show, which features music ranging from the “Chicken Dance” to a ringtone to Timbaland, it becomes clear that Fusion can engage an audience with a wide range of choreography.
Founded in 1983, Fusion has put on a program of all student-choreographed and -performed pieces every year since. This year’s show expands beyond the group’s conventional contemporary and hip-hop combination. The program includes a South Asian-inspired collaboration with the Badmaash Dance Company and a rhythmic piece choreographed by alum Jamal Jackson ’00 set to a vocalized percussion track.
Lauren Behgam’s ’15 “Propinquity” begins the show with the alarming and propulsive electronica of Alt-J’s “Fitzpleasure.” Behgam’s mad-scientist approach to costuming and her jolting choreography complement the music’s frenetic sound. While the full-company performances, such as this one, sometimes have difficulty finding cohesive movement, they ultimately work off the strength of the choreography and emotion of individual performances.
The show, despite abrupt shifts in tone, features both entertaining and passionate performances. Griffin Hartmann’s ’15 political commentary in “Handprints,” part of the passionate category, stands out as one of the show’s most memorable moments. The performance grapples with disconnection and the images of Ferguson protestors, as dancers continuously reach out and struggle to grasp hands.
Rory MacFarlane’s ’15 “The City,” contains similar themes. The piece features four female performers, each taking their turn in the spotlight. At the end, only one of the four is left standing, the others thrown to the ground by the harshness of city life. An eerily slow recording of the optimistic “New York, New York” accompanies the piece. The contrast between visions of the city and its reality are stark and provocative.
Jacob Goldberg’s ’17 lighting design plays an integral role in all the performances. Goldberg is able to form aesthetic environments that support and shape moods to complement the dancers and choreography. A spare silhouette against a harsh red backdrop or a single spotlight can drastically change the audience’s experience of a piece.
The men of Fusion, despite their small numbers, stand out as performers. The powerful elegance of Jason Vu ’17 is featured heavily in the contemporary pieces, as are the crisp movements of Hartmann. And company manager MacFarlane’s hilarious turn in the penultimate “Senior Piece” alone is worth the $5 entrance fee.
Many of the women of Fusion also leave a lasting impression. Cara Mund ’16 at one point does an impressive number of fouettes, and Emma Russo’s ’15 hip-hop solo is a welcome shift from a series of dramatic contemporary pieces that, while individually strong, can occasionally meld into each other. Attayah Douglas ’17 also choreographs and dances in a thrilling and visceral jungle-inspired performance.
Fusion’s Annual Spring Show is an admirable display of original and collaborative student work. From its frenzied beginning to its uplifting final company number, the show explores diverse moods and styles. Most of all, the show is entertaining. Finding moments of humor between otherwise emotionally raw movement, Fusion’s performances should compel any appreciator of dance to attend.”
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 14, 2015
“For some students looking for love on Valentine’s Day, Tinder, the popular mobile dating app, seems an unlikely source.
“Most people think Tinder is just for hooking up,” said Mary Martha Wiggers ’18. “I usually use it as a joke,” sometimes sending strange messages to see how people will respond, she added.
“A lot of people just mess around with it but don’t actually use it,” said Sheena Raza Faisal ’18, adding that she rarely talks to people on the app.
Instagram accounts and Tumblrs such as “Bye Felipe,” “Tinder No Filter” and “Straight White Boys Texting,” which catalog bizarre, rude or hurtful messages received by female users, paint the app as a joke at best and a hotbed of misogyny at worst. In December, BuzzFeed published an article titled “ 27 Times Tinder Proved 2014 Was The Year Love Died .”
Despite the app’s negative reputation among some students and bloggers, other students have had more varied Tinder experiences — some have even found relationships.
Game, set, match
Andrea Chin ’15 said she downloaded Tinder while studying abroad in France and used it to practice her conversational skills. She deleted the app once she returned to the United States, but friends from Brown who told her of their good experiences with Tinder persuaded her to reactivate it.
Within the first day of reactivating the app, Chin matched with her current boyfriend, who is not a Brown student. The two have been dating for the past five months. Chin was the first person with whom her boyfriend, who had just downloaded the app, had ever matched.
Vivien Caetano ’15 had a similar experience: She had been on Tinder for “two weeks, max” before matching with the man she has been dating since August, she said.
Both Caetano and Chin said that the most common reaction when people find out how they met their boyfriends is surprise or disbelief.
“It’s usually sort of an incredulous ‘Wow, it actually worked,’” Chin said, adding that people often ask, “How did you get it to work for you?”
The reaction Caetano receives is “never really negative,” she said. She and her boyfriend, who is not a Brown student, are “very open about being on Tinder,” she said, and the conversation usually “moves on very fast.”
Even students who haven’t found relationships through Tinder reported that the app can be a confidence booster — seeing all the people who have indicated interest in you can be gratifying and fun.
“Tinder can be a social experience,” said Will Allen-DuPraw ’15. “I’ve definitely just sat and Tindered on the couch with my buddies before,” asking for friends’ opinions on whether to swipe right or left, he added.
Deepening the dating pool
Tinder has expanded many students’ dating pools beyond College Hill.
“A lot of people sort of find it refreshing to not be dating somebody at Brown because our community is so small,” Chin said.
Sam Hillestad ’15, a Herald opinions columnist, wrote a November column denouncing the now-defunct “Brown Hookups” Facebook page and portrayed Tinder as a better option. “You get stuck in the same circle of people, so something like Tinder helps you get out there and meet new people,” he told The Herald.
The app can also be useful when students are away from campus.
Allen-DuPraw said he began using Tinder as “a way to broaden my horizons” while at home in Washington, D.C., for the summer. He dated a woman he met through the app until returning to Brown in the fall.
While in Providence, Allen-DuPraw has met students through Tinder who attend nearby universities. His encounters with matches have included awkward dates, “one-night stands” and even a relationship with a Rhode Island School of Design student.
“I feel like Mitt Romney with binders full of women,” Allen-DuPraw said. “It’s kind of strange to be able to literally scroll through a catalog of women.”
But other students see the app as a diversion with little connection to real life.
It’s a game that can be just as addictive as Candy Crush or Trivia Crack — several students reported using the app at least weekly and as often as multiple times a day. According to data provided by Tinder for an Oct. 29 New York Times article, the average Tinder user logs into the app 11 times each day.
“It’s mostly been a game of swiping left and right. There’s not really an end goal in mind. It’s just something to do when you’re bored,” said Andre Vogel ’18.
The app is “an interesting social experiment” and a “people museum,” Allen-Dupraw said.
Despite some students’ success with the app, not everyone has a positive experience. Lucy Zhou ’17 said she initially enjoyed using Tinder and met up with several people after messaging through the app. But soon the appeal wore off. “After a while you realize that the connections are, in the end, kind of hollow and meaningless. … With Tinder there’s a ton of hits or misses. I’ve definitely had my share of fun, but I’ve definitely also had my share of misses.”
One big miss was a man who was “the classic example of someone with yellow fever,” Zhou said. While the man had seemed normal while chatting through the app, Zhou said that when they met in person, he expressed disappointment that she did not “have an Asian accent,” even though she had previously told him she was from the United States.
“As an Asian-American woman obviously I’ve experienced my share of microaggressions in my daily life, but it was definitely the first time I’ve felt so blatantly fetishized because of my race, and that was one of the experiences that definitely turned me off from Tinder.”
New tech, old school charm
Though several students said sexist and offensive comments and over-the-top pickup lines often associated with Tinder are not the norm, they noted that behavioral differences based on gender are very apparent on Tinder.
For male-female matches, men are usually expected to initiate conversation, students said. Many also said female users may be more selective, while men may swipe right on nearly everyone in the hopes of accruing as many matches as possible.
The data back up their perceptions: Men swipe right in 46 percent of cases, while women do so just 14 percent of the time, the New York Times reported.
While Tinder may have a reputation as a hookup app, most students interviewed said they do not use it in that way and consider it largely irrelevant to Brown’s hookup culture. When in-person meetings of Tinder matches do happen, they tend to take the form of dates rather than hookups, students said.
Tinder is strikingly traditional in some ways: People meeting their matches in person often go on the kind of dates that are otherwise rapidly dying out in the college hookup culture, students said.
Caetano said her Tinder dates usually involve very little physical contact and are more about getting to know each other, adding that her friends had similar experiences.
Tinder helped Caetano find a partner who is interested in a serious relationship, she said. As someone “who likes being paired up,” she had been “frustrated” with Brown students’ reluctance to commit to long-term relationships. Tinder enabled her to find someone like-minded.
It is what you make of it
Though there might be stigma surrounding Tinder, there is far less than with other online dating platforms, students said. Most reported they had never used any online dating platforms other than Tinder.
The app feels more natural than traditional online dating sites, Vogel said. “My theory is that Tinder bridges the gap between online dating and meeting people in real life. So in the same way that you meet somebody in real life — you look at them, size them up and say, ‘Okay I’m interested in them or not,’ and then you go talk to them — Tinder gives you that opportunity.”
Ultimately, users’ attitudes and intentions determine what they get out of the app, students said.
“Tinder’s just a platform that people can use to do whatever they want,” Hillestad said.
“There’s a way to Tinder where you’ll actually meet people, and there’s a way to Tinder where you’re just playing the game,” Caetano said. “People’s success or not with Tinder 100 percent depends on their attitude toward it.”
— With additional reporting by Grace Yoon
Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article attributed a quote to Andrew Vogel ’18 that should have been attributed to Will Allen-DuPraw ’15.”
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 14, 2015
“Falling in love with your work occasionally takes on a whole new meaning for academics.
Married professors are not a rarity, said Kevin McLaughlin P’12, dean of the faculty. “It happens a lot.”
“Sometimes I’m surprised and will learn couples are married in places such as holiday parties,” said McLaughlin, whose wife teaches at Boston College and who has spent 15 years commuting from Boston.
Married academics often face a “two-body problem”: Teaching positions at universities are not often a package deal, and multiple opportunities at the same institution can be scarce.
Moving schools and advancing in academia become complicated when there are two people looking for professorships, and these situations often require them to commute, move and make hard decisions. But many faculty members at Brown have learned to balance marriages with individual academic pursuits.
‘A pretty good deal’
Pamela Foa, senior fellow in gender studies, and Paul Guyer, professor of philosophy and humanities, were both young professors of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh when they “fell in love and married,” Foa said. The story began one fall weekend when they decided to carpool to New York, and all the leaves were turning. “He and I spent six hours arguing about why leaves change their colors in the fall. Neither of us would budge the whole ride,” she said.
Foa said though she does not remember what position she took in the debate, “neither of us has forgotten that ride.” Recently, they were in the car again on another beautiful fall weekend, and they learned that their theories both “have some basis,” while listening to a National Public Radio story.
“Marrying an academic is a pretty good deal,” Foa said, especially “if you want to have a family.” As a former federal prosecutor, Foa relied on her husband to pick up their daughter from daycare, due to her “much longer, incompatible hours.”
Guyer came to Brown in 2012, and after finishing up several cases in Philadelphia, Foa joined the Pembroke Center a year later.
Patricia Barbeito, professor of American literatures at the Rhode Island School of Design and Vangelis Calotychos, visiting associate professor of comparative literature at Brown, met while studying comparative literature in graduate school at Harvard. Barbeito and Calotychos both teach literature, but since their primary focuses do not overlap, they have never vied for the same position at a university. “People say that sometimes it’s better for your partner to be in some other field, but I love sharing this,” Barbeito said. “In some ways we have all the benefits without what can get strange and competitive.”
They have collaborated on projects in the past, such as translating a book from Greek to English together, she said. “It’s a blessing. It’s a benefit.”
Moving up and holding on
Balancing professional opportunities with those of one’s spouse is a significant challenge for many academics.
The University sometimes attempts to recruit a married couple, but often recruitment at the full professor level does not include any personal information until the candidate is already selected, McLaughlin said. He added that this issue was “one of the largest challenges of recruitment.”
Vacancies in both of the spouses’ departments are a rare occurrence, and it is “very hard to commute,” he said. Some candidates turn down positions at Brown because of spouses, and others leave the University altogether.
University Chaplain Janet Cooper Nelson and Stephen Nelson, associate professor of educational leadership at Bridgewater State University and a senior scholar in the Leadership Alliance at Brown, have been at the University for 25 years , longer than they have stayed at any other institution. Before coming to Brown, the couple had already made three moves together for professional reasons — decisions that often led to working at separate universities in the Northeast. “We were commuting weekends and summers. It’s a pretty crazy world that goes on all the time in universities for couples and families,” Cooper Nelson said.
Immediately prior to Cooper Nelson’s appointment at the University, both she and her husband were working in New York, he at Bard College and she at Vassar College. “We were happily ensconced in one house,” she said. Yet they decided the best professional decision was to move to Providence when the University offered her a job in 1990. “He would say he was the person who followed Janet to Brown,” she said, adding that it is wonderful to have a partner who supports her career choices.
“He’s the best valentine,” Cooper Nelson said. “Valentines have to stick together.”
Barbeito and Calotychos are teaching in the same city for the first time in their married careers. Calotychos has taught at Harvard, New York University and Columbia and commuted to work from Providence until the couple moved to New York City, at which point Barbeito had to take on the longer commute. The couple never ventured to Providence until Barbeito received a job offer from RISD in 1998.
“It has been challenging finding a job in the same place,” she said. Though they both currently teach in Providence, they commute from New York, where they live with their two children, who attend middle school there. “We spend most of the week up here, but take turns” going home, she added.
Work is where the heart is
For faculty members lucky enough to secure posts at the same institution, there are many benefits and few downsides.
“It’s a long journey to Brown,” said John Tyler P’12 P’16, professor of education, economics and public policy and associate dean of the graduate school. Tyler met his wife, Elizabeth Tobin-Tyler P’12 P’16, assistant professor of family medicine and health services, policy and practice, while working as a farmer and teaching at her father’s school. The couple came to Rhode Island in 1998 through a joint decision about what would be best for them, he said. They have three children, one of whom graduated from Brown in 2012. The second is a member of the Class of 2016, and the third is in high school.
Sometimes they guest lecture in each other’s classes, Tobin-Tyler said, adding that getting lunch on campus together is another nice perk of teaching in close quarters.
Working at the same institution, especially one with such an intellectual scholarly environment is “fodder for interesting discussions at the dinner table,” she said.
Luther and Kathryn Spoehr met in graduate school at Stanford University, where they began their “interdisciplinary romance,” said Luther Spoehr, senior lecturer in education and history. Kathryn Spoehr ’69, professor of cognitive, liguistic and psychological sciences and public policy, attended New Trier Township High School in Illinois before coming to Brown. Incidentally, one of Luther Spoehr’s high school teachers had lauded New Trier as better and more rigorous than his high school, and the lesson stuck. “Kathy was the first New Trier graduate I had ever met, and so I figured that I had better marry her,” he joked, adding that he decided to “undermine generalizations” and marry a woman who is smarter than he is.
Luther Spoehr taught history at the Lincoln School between 1977 and 1996, after two years at the University of Rhode Island. Almost 20 years after they had moved to Rhode Island, there was an opening in the Brown education department, and Luther Spoehr joined the faculty.
While the Spoehrs do not often overlap in strictly academic settings, they do serve together as the academic advisers and liaisons for the men’s basketball team.
Quoting Mark Twain, Luther Spoehr said his wife “knows all that can be known, and I know the rest.”
— With additional reporting by Emma Harris
A previous version of this article misstated that John Tyler P’12 P’16, professor of education, economics and public policy and associate dean of the graduate school, met his wife while working on her father’s farm. In fact, Tyler met his wife while working as a farmer and teaching at her father’s school. The Herald regrets the error.”
by Brown Daily HeraldFeb 13, 2015
“Sorority recruitment reached a new high this year , showing Greek life’s enduring presence on campus. A total of 207 female undergrads sought bids — a 48 percent increase from the 140 students who did so last year. A total of 135 students were ultimately offered bids from one of the three sororities on campus: Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Delta. According to Theta’s President Meredith Heckman ’16, the increase in new recruits might come from the sisters’ community involvement, as all three sororities are “extremely involved on campus.”
Meanwhile, the snow continued to make headlines this week with the collapse of the Pizzitola roof early Wednesday morning. Though no one was injured, the collapse marks the second time the Pizzitola has suffered snow-related failures. Roofing contractors worked for eight hours to remove the snow and prevent any possible water damage on the court floors, while cranes have been on site to remove snow from the roof. Andrew Commons also suffered a pipe burst from the cold weather, but luckily for pho eaters everywhere, the dining area has since been successfully repaired.
Students have also been facing accessibility issues as a result of the storms . While Facilities Management has extensive strategies in place for clearing the ice, the heavy snowfall makes plowing all the more difficult. Despite efforts to clear sidewalks, students told The Herald they were unable to get around campus because of the build-up of snow, with some unable to get to class even when the University is open — a much better reason to miss class than most of us usually have.
Plans to implement a survey about campus attitudes toward sexual assault are on the agenda for this April, as Brown acquired the use of a survey by paying the Association of American Universities, $87,500. Many researchers have critiqued aspects of the survey, citing its lack of transparency and potentially troubling effects on students. They argue the survey limits definitions of sexual assault and sexual harassment, inadequately addressing survivors’ experiences and ultimately breaking the second Belmont principle which seeks to protect participants from harm.
President Christina Paxson P’19 also announced plans to dig a little deeper into students’ pockets Sunday by announcing that the Corporation approved a 4.4 percent rise in tuition for the upcoming year, making the total cost of attending Brown a whopping $62,046 — a cost that students may lament does not even include textbooks. We also learned from last weekend’s Corporation meeting that Brown is looking at a projected $4.4 million deficit for fiscal year 2016. The Corporation also accepted $63 million in gifts — more than most students get during the holidays.”