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by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“Brown has recently started an initiative called “ Transformative Conversations. ” The program aims to “provide opportunities and spaces to engage respectfully and thoughtfully across our differences.” These conversations, however, will have a minimal effect on campus discourse at Brown, contradict the notion of an education and imply that Brown is not a place where freedom of speech and thought are respected in other venues.
The idea of providing a space for these conversations, which University Chaplain Janet Cooper Nelson describes as “a big wooden spoon in the pot of (Brown),” implies that there is a fundamental divergence in the ideas between Brown students and faculty members. This divergence at the University is essentially two-fold, though views are between left-wing and even more left-wing. Currently, at Brown and across the United States, there is a problem of intellectual homogeneity, with a near-consensus in thought among academics. Of all the campaign donations made by Ivy League faculty members in the 2012 presidential campaign, 96 percent went to President Obama’s re-election campaign. The problem runs much deeper at Brown, however, and is reflective of a fundamental problem occurring in the classroom.
What is the purpose of the classroom if there cannot be transformational conversations within its walls? The entire goal of seeking an education is to learn, gain exposure to the marketplace of ideas, become a better human and apply that in some way of your own choosing in a free society. The implication of entitling the venue for these conversations as a “safe space” for ideas to be challenged, presented and argued implies that this doesn’t exist elsewhere on campus. In essence, everywhere should be safe for rigorous debate.
Just to be clear, I am not opposed to the notion of having discussions with community involvement, seminars or any other forum of conversation. Part of the reason why Brown is such a great school is that we have phenomenal external guest speakers and seminars. In fact, I have had some of the most fascinating discussions in these type of forums. Yet the fact that the administration feels compelled to host a series of conversations it proclaims are transformational is an admission that the classroom may not be fulfilling its purpose.
Getting an education means examining different ideas, exploring the inner workings of your values and trying to uncover who you are, what you believe and what you ultimately stand for. While it is almost impossible to fulfill this ideal, the classroom is meant to at least achieve the first part of the definition — exploring and questioning your values. Therefore, if class is no longer a place where education serves as one’s entry into the marketplace of ideas, education ceases to serve its primary purpose. Even if this is not entirely true, the creation of these “transformative conversations” means the administration does not think the classes they provide are doing their job in full. In the Herald article, one administrator describes “Transformative Conversations” as a place where “people come from all kinds of backgrounds” and try to “truly understand another’s perspective and learn from that perspective.”
This is a startling admission.
The need to create a space where people can feel safe to “truly understand another’s perspective” means that this wasn’t happening previously. It implies that the administration feels students are incapable of having adult debates in many of the forums that exist on campus for conversation or that the “transformative conversations” require the administration’s definition of a “safe space.”
The creation of “transformative conversations” suggests that there isn’t a safe space where freedom of speech on issues is respected. This is a sentiment felt by many people considered outside of normal political thought at the University. For instance, on Wednesday, I attended a meeting of the Brown Spectator — a small group of individuals who actually proclaim in writing that they are right-wing. One first-year, after only a few weeks at Brown, articulated her frustration that in many arguments she was told to “check her privilege” because she did not share the majoritarian attitude. Though her comment may have conformed to the notion of privilege, to ignore someone’s argument with three words is unacceptable. We owe it to each other to address arguments directly and respectfully. We shouldn’t have to create “safe spaces” as a place where that type of discourse is the only one in existence.
This opportunity for more political discussion on campus should be an eternal quest of the University. Consequently, I believe that the program will be beneficial in some ways vis-a-vis the content that will be disseminated. The implications of the title “Transformative Conversations” and the comments by administrators in the Herald article, however, are scary. They subvert the notion of education, admit a lack of freedom of speech that may exist on campus and underscore the underlying problem of minimal ideological diversity that plagues elite institutions nationwide.
Hopefully, students’ incentives for entering the marketplace of ideas will not require the “transformative conversations” that the administration is selling. Perhaps ensuring that our classrooms and campus are a “safe space” would lead to the “transformative conversations” the administration hopes to create. The education we pay so much for should grant us the will to say what we think without the need for a defined “safe space” and allow us to feel welcome to do so anywhere.
Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me: email@example.com.”
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“Modern-day reinventions frequently come across as gimmicky in theater and film. Too often, they serve as better marketing than art — or, perhaps more dangerously, they can come from the monomaniacal will of a rogue director, so concerned with his or her creative impulses that the reinvention ends up a gutted version of the original work.
But in the rare circumstances that it does work — and Sock and Buskin’s rendition of “Sweeney Todd” is one of the few — it manages to introduce a dimension ignored in the first reading or an interpretation that becomes relevant only years after the work’s publication. “Sweeney Todd,” directed by Curt Columbus, artistic director at the Trinity Repertory Company, falls into both of these categories. It wittily and eerily recreates the gory melodrama, originally set in Victorian London, in a tale of greed and class division on a gritty, Occupy-Wall-Street-esque set.
With the wonderfully bizarre backdrop of a McDonald’s billboard covered in graffiti, the set is filled with pitched-up tents, cardboard signs and sleeping bags. Lizzy Callas ’15 directs the score with a punk tinge, using a live rock band instead of full orchestration. And the modern costume design establishes the connection between contemporary wealth inequality and the original Victorian setting.
It’s a story that should be familiar. A barber (played by Patrick Madden ’15) returns to London after years of exile, wrongfully sentenced by the corrupt Judge Turpin (Skylar Fox ’15). Arriving home under the name Sweeney Todd, he learns from Mrs. Lovett (Natalie McDonald ’15), his downstairs neighbor and a failing vendor of meat pies, that his wife committed suicide after Turpin raped her and took Todd’s daughter Johanna (Katherine Doherty ’16) as his ward. Planning his revenge on the Judge and his Beadle (Elias Spector-Zabusky ’15), who helped Turpin execute the deed, Todd restarts his barber business at the behest of Mrs. Lovett. But this quickly takes on a morbid twist: Todd murders his customers and delivers them to be baked into Mrs. Lovett’s pies. Dark, twisted humor ensues. A side-story, far less fun than the murder plot, involves Todd’s young sailor friend Anthony Hope (Jesse Weil ’15) falling in love and trying to rescue Johanna from the tyrannical and lascivious Turpin.
Madden does a fine job in the titular role. He has a strong voice and the occasional glimmer of well-practiced malice, but he lacks some of the true madness that the role normally requires. Madden plays Todd as a broken and melancholic man, not one driven to insanity. Frankly, Madden seems all too sane.
Part of this may be a conscious choice: In a recasting of the musical along modern political terms, Sweeney Todd becomes the everyman pushed to brutality by an unjust system, not the madman he traditionally has been. Columbus has transformed Sweeney Todd from a vengeful antihero into a counter-hegemonic revolutionary. It makes sense that Madden’s portrayal would follow suit.
The real glimpses of morbidity come from McDonald as Mrs. Lovett. She plays a far less conflicted role, and she fully embraces her character’s strange mixture of the macabre and the comic, the grotesque and the ribald. It’s a brilliant portrayal that captures a true, gleeful delight in all things illicit. A clever second-act stage adjustment, shifting the McDonald’s logo for that of Mrs. Lovett’s Meat Pies, furthers her whole-hearted affirmation of her world’s brutal social system, as well as raises some interesting, if heavy-handed, metaphors of corporate cannibalism.
Fox as Judge Turpin and Spector-Zabusky as his Beadle are two other standouts in a superb cast. In a musical about murder and cannibalism, Fox manages to make Turpin seem like the only one who is truly sinister. And Spector-Zabusky is perfectly unctuous in his role and despicably servile throughout his time onstage.
Stephen Sondheim premiered “Sweeney Todd” in 1979 in New York, just four years after the city hovered on the verge of bankruptcy and two years after the massive looting that accompanied a citywide blackout. He carried this spirit of grittiness and poverty to “Sweeney Todd,” which, while caught up in the gothic pageantry of 19th-century London, is ultimately about the cruel paradoxes of living on the margins of a vast and wealthy empire. In bringing the musical to the world of Occupy Wall Street, Columbus reinstates some of that original feeling.
“Sweeney Todd” runs Thursday through Sunday until Oct. 5 in Leeds Theater. Thursday through Saturday performances start at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m.”
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“Les Velda: BEER Party Candidate for President | Courthouse Center for the Arts | Oct. 4
If Providence’s mayoral elections have brought you down, a taste of BEER — Bio-Engineered Experimental Reindeer — might be just what you need. Comedian Les Vilda launched a satirical presidential campaign in the name of the BEER party in 2008. Though he was not elected by the American people, he continues to lampoon political incompetence with his one-man, game show-like debates and his vice presidential candidate, Doug the Monkey Puppet.
The Daily Show Writers Standup Tour | Columbus Theatre | Oct. 11
The brains behind The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will bring the show’s political banter to Providence as part of a nationwide tour. The lineup of writers and producers, including Emmy-nominated actor Travon Free, brings to the stage a comedic background alongside other television fixtures like The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman and Comedy Central. A question and answer session with performers will take place after the show.
Paul D’Angelo | Greenwich Odeum | Oct. 11
Paul D’Angelo built a successful career as a lawyer, but once he started moonlighting at comedy clubs, he gained even larger appeal. Since switching paths, he has placed in the national finals during the 1999 San Francisco International Comedy Competition and was dubbed “Boston’s Best Comedian” by Boston Magazine in 1994 and 1995. He will deliver his signature blend of observational humor and fast-paced improvisation as part of the Odeum Comedy Series.
Laughter is the Best Medicine | Weaver Memorial Library | Oct. 21
Though storyteller and comedian Carolyn Martino is first noticeable for the birthmark that covers nearly half her face, it’s her sharp wit and inspiring narratives that make her memorable. Hailed by the Providence Phoenix as “one of Rhode Island’s most influential artists,” Martino’s creativity and spunk has endeared her to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.”
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“Voices of Bengali, Amharic, Macedonian and Tagalog have gained new resonance on campus this week as the Brown Student Language Exchange kicked off this semester’s courses.
BSLE’s five student fellows will share each of these languages with groups of 16 students during weekly 80-minute sessions throughout the fall semester. This structure of low-commitment, infrequent meetings caters to students with busy schedules, said Emily Davis ’15, language sharing specialist at BSLE. “You don’t have to commit a lot but still get to learn.”
As a Uruguayan, SLE Founder and Executive Director Amelia Friedman ’14 said she saw the need to start the Student Language Exchange because she was frustrated with the lack of access to lesser-known Spanish dialects.
Since SLE ran its first pilot at Brown in 2011, the organization has expanded to other partner institutions, including Columbia, Brandeis University and Tufts University, according to Lizzie Pollock, assistant director for social entrepreneurship at the Swearer Center for Public Service.
The program exposes students to languages other than the Romance languages typically offered in higher education institutions, Pollock said. Some of the most widely spoken languages in the world are absent in college curriculums, leaving students ill-prepared to be “global citizens,” she added.
BSLE’s focus on the cultures of international students aims to celebrate the insights these perspectives can offer, Pollock said. Coming from an international school, Chiara Prodani ’14, who taught Albanian with BSLE in spring 2012, said she enjoyed getting to know people and cultures from all over the world. Because the University’s student population is primarily American, she aims to teach others about languages and cultures they were never aware of before, she said.
BSLE aims to “leverage the diversity on campus,” said SLE Director of Expansion Fiora MacPherson ’16, adding that her home country of Scotland remains underrepresented at the University.
Filip Simieski ’17, a BSLE fellow in Macedonian, said sharing his language with people who are unfamiliar with it allows him to view his own culture in a new light. One day last spring, when the sun was shining through a drizzle of rain, Simieski discovered that he and his friends from Croatia and India each describe this weather phenomenon with the same idiom: “The bear is getting married when it rains.”
Rather than focusing on linguistic mastery, BSLE helps students gain cultural awareness through access to a fellow who has been immersed in that culture, Pollock said.
“We’re not trying to compete with existing programs or fix the Brown curriculum,” Friedman said.
Prodani said that because programs start afresh every semester, there is little opportunity for students to progress to a more advanced stage in the language.
“I want to teach people some Macedonian, but it’s more important to learn about my culture and my country,” Simieski said. He added that rather than making the members of his course fluent in Macedonian, he aims to teach practicalities such as asking for directions and introducing themselves.
Katherine Hsu ’17, who took Dutch with BSLE, said she enjoyed the structure of the program’s short, weekly courses, adding that the aspects of culture incorporated into the lessons proved easier to retain than grammar rules. The program piqued her interest in Dutch culture and Germanic languages, and Hsu plans to travel to the Netherlands and study intensive German as a result of her experience.
Students have also continued with the languages they encountered at BSLE by enrolling in formal and online classes, MacPherson said.
Aside from sparking interest in new cultures, the SLE program emphasizes how students can continue to engage with the cultures they learn about after the semester ends, she said.”
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“The women’s volleyball team (4-7) will take a shot at their first Ivy League match-up Friday against Yale with the Pizzitola as the backdrop.
The Bulldogs come into this conference season game as the defending Ivy League champions. But this season, they have an overall losing record, going 4-5 in non-conference match-ups, while Yale has been undefeated on the road.
Maryl Vanden Bos ’15 said the team has been preparing for this week’s Ivy League opener by watching film. In addition to this preparation, several team members have played against or with Yale opponents in their high school years as part of the robust California volleyball community. “We know how they play,” Vanden Bos said.
“They commit very few errors” and excel because they “keep the ball in play,” Vanden Bos said.
A win for the Bears will just be a question of consistency.
The Bears came out of last weekend’s invitational with a split, going 1-2. They proved themselves as a state powerhouse, defeating the University of Rhode Island in a tight 3-1 win. Shannon Frost ’16 helped secure the victory with a double-double, completing 11 kills and 13 digs against the Rams.
Last weekend’s competition was not marked solely by wins and losses, but also with the end of a career. Stephanie Kellogg ’17 suffered her fourth concussion and was told by doctors that she could no longer play. But she said she will still be with her teammates in spirit at their upcoming games.”
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“Undergraduate enrollment in Hispanic studies courses has declined almost every year for the last decade, dropping from 1,024 students in the 2003-04 academic year to 682 students in the 2012-13 academic year, the most recent year for which official data is available, according to the Office of Institutional Research.
Enrollments in Hispanic studies saw the most severe drop in the 2009-10 school year, when enrollments declined to 819 from 934 the previous year.
Over the same 10-year period, most other language departments saw declines in course enrollments as well, though few as sharp as Hispanic studies. Only the East Asian studies and Portuguese and Brazilian studies departments had course enrollments rise from 2003-04 to 2012-13.
News of the decline in Hispanic studies course enrollments came as a surprise to some.
“Spanish is a very useful language, and I thought the number of students learning Spanish would be growing,” said Nikko Pasanen ’17, a student in HISP 0600: “Advanced Spanish II,” Brown’s most advanced Spanish language class.
Department administrators and professors said they generally knew about the drop, though they did not know the details.
“I was aware that there was a decline, but I hadn’t seen the numbers” going back the full decade, said Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Laura Bass, the department’s chair. Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies Julia Chang also said she was vaguely aware of the trend.
Several professor and administrators cited the recession of 2008-09 as one possible reason for the decline: The worsening economy pushed students to choose subjects they thought would increase their chances of landing a job.
“From 2008 on, there was a lot of pressure on students to choose practical courses,” said Deputy Dean of the College Chris Dennis. “Sometimes the pressure is more from the families than the kids.”
Dennis attributed part of the broader decline in humanities enrollments to increased interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Since many of these concentrations have up to 22 requirements, it is much harder to double concentrate, Dennis said.
Language classes also take up significant time, as many meet every day.
The University has added two new study abroad programs in Havana and at the University of Cantabria in Spain. Dennis said he sees the new programs as a way to combine the humanities and STEM fields.
“These new programs will allow students to take engineering classes while also learning the language,” Dennis said.
More students have taken language classes before coming to Brown, Bass said, which may explain declining enrollment in the introductory Spanish classes.
“More and more students are coming in with more language experience in Spanish,” she said, adding that the department nearly had to add a section of HISP 0500: “Advanced Spanish I.”
Fluctuations in Hispanic studies enrollment numbers in the past few years may have also been caused by faculty turnover and some faculty members going on leave, Dennis said. But several new faculty members have joined in the past year, allowing the department to offer a wider variety of courses, and the department’s leaders said they feel optimistic about its future.
Dennis and Bass said enrollment in the 2013-14 school year increased to over 730, though official numbers have not been finalized or released.
Recent changes that make the concentration more flexible in an effort to meet student interests may partially explain the higher number, Bass said.
“We are now seeing science concentrators come in and choosing to do Hispanic studies as a second concentration. They will take a neuroscience class to meet requirements but then take a Hispanic Studies class on the side as their fun class,” Chang said.”
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“It all seems so silly sometimes. In the simplest terms, football involves grown men in tight pants chasing a strangely shaped ball. That’s what I watch for nine hours every Sunday. That’s what Jay Cutler does for $18.5 million per year. That’s what produced the loudest human-generated sound in history. When you think about it, the lofty status of the NFL in our society seems pretty ridiculous.
But even if it makes no sense, the NFL’s spot in the cultural hierarchy is fairly entrenched. Football may be just a game, but the NFL is no longer just a league. Like it or not, the NFL has become a cultural platform, the reach of which extends well beyond the world of sports. At its best, it serves as a tool for positive community involvement. At its worst, well, pick up a newspaper.
It’s pretty tough to be an NFL fan right about now. The league has a lot on its plate, and each issue is worthy of its own discussion. But this is not a column about Ray Rice, Greg Hardy or Josh Gordon. Maybe it’s naive to expect model citizenship from a sport that rewards and encourages physical punishment of adversaries. But it’s not unreasonable to expect the figurehead of one of America’s most prominent and influential organizations to be forthright and consistent. It’s time for Roger Goodell to go.
Most critiques of Goodell have centered on his failure to uphold certain moral values in the mishandling of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal but mine won’t. As Charles Barkley put it, “just because I can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kid.” But at the very least, the league needs to send consistent messages about its tolerance of certain actions. Throughout his tenure, Goodell has publicly committed to bolstering safety protocols, yet quietly lobbied for an expanded schedule. He asserted that ignorance of the Saints’ bounty program did not absolve coach Sean Payton of blame, yet pled his own ignorance in defense of mishandling Rice’s discipline. Goodell’s hypocritical administration evidently cares far more about appearances than any guiding principles.
As was always inevitable, the chickens are finally coming home to roost. In the wake of Goodell’s twisted procedural justice in the Rice case, it has never been clearer that the commissioner is in over his head. Let’s look at the facts: First, the NFL took five months to levy an embarrassingly lenient punishment on Rice. In response to harsh criticism of the decision, the league hastily created a new domestic violence policy to demonstrate its commitment to the cause. Finally, when gruesome footage of the incident was released, Goodell hit rewind on the whole verdict and suspended Rice indefinitely. In defense, the commissioner issued a bumbling apology and admitted that he’d gotten it wrong. Does this sudden contrition fix anything? Are we okay with the NFL commissioner repeating mistakes and making up rules as he goes? Goodell’s history of inconsistency has dried up any reserve of trust he once held with the public. As Seahawks’ former wide receiver Sidney Rice (no relation) noted on Twitter, “You gain 0 yards on an (incomplete) pass.”
The Rice scandal seems to have exposed Goodell as overmatched and incompetent, but further examination paints a far more sinister picture of his administration. According to a recent ESPN “Outside the Lines” report, Goodell’s administration purposefully buried evidence it claimed to have never seen. For now, these allegations are unsubstantiated, but it’s pretty difficult to imagine that TMZ has more investigative clout than the most powerful man in sports. Whether the league suppressed the truth or simply didn’t want to uncover it, Goodell is guilty of manipulating public opinion to avoid a potentially damaging situation.
In response to public scrutiny, Goodell commissioned what he called an independent investigation into the league’s treatment of evidence in the Rice case. The probe will be led by Robert Mueller III, whose law firm recently helped negotiate a ten-figure deal between the NFL and DirecTV. Oh, and by the way, Ravens’ president Dick Cass spent 30 years working for the same firm. Come on, Roger, don’t insult us. It’s plain to see that these are the desperate actions of a man with something to hide. Is he so stubborn as to consider himself indestructible? Is he that drunk with power?
The NFL is a business, and ultimately, the job of the commissioner is to generate revenue. On this front, Roger Goodell is very good at his job — franchise values are soaring, teams are making record profits and the league has set its eyes on $25 billion in revenue by 2027. But beyond the bottom line, the commissioner’s job is also to represent the league and the values it espouses. A good commissioner should be transparent, accountable and decisive. Goodell, the man who made $44 million last year, has proven time and time again that he embodies none of these traits. The Rice debacle was far from Goodell’s first controversy in office, but it’s easily his most memorable. Is this the figurehead we want representing football? Is his legacy one that football fans are proud to be associated with?
As an NFL die-hard, I hope this scandal isn’t the beginning of the end of football’s reign atop the sports world. But Goodell’s gaffes have given me enough reason to fear. If Ray Rice is to be banished from football, so too should Goodell. If players are held to certain moral standards, so too should executives. For years, Goodell’s administration has been marked by hypocrisy and abuse of power. It’s time to hit the reset button.
Mike Firn ’16 is ready to take over as NFL commissioner. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“Rugby will be seeking revenge at its home opener Saturday, taking the pitch against a team that slipped away with a win over the Bears in one of their most hard-fought games of 2013. Dartmouth (1-0) has always been a formidable opponent, but this year Bruno (2-0) will be hoping to prove that it deserves to come out on top in the contest.
Last year’s 26-29 loss was a tough break for the Bears. “It was a pretty evenly contested game,” said Head Coach Kathleen Flores. “We tend to play the same style of hard-hitting, running rugby, as evidenced by the final score.”
Dartmouth went on to face Harvard in the Ivy Championships last year, while Brown settled for third place. Having already defeated the Crimson and with the ultimate goal of grabbing the Ivy title, the Bears’ next natural opponent is the Big Green.
Longtime rivals Dartmouth and Brown both host historically strong women’s rugby teams, though Bruno’s new varsity status will provide a newfound advantage. Because of its trimester system, Dartmouth has only played one game so far this season, crushing Princeton in its season opener. The Big Green showed off its athleticism, trouncing the Tigers 53-3. Standing out for Dartmouth was outside Center Audrey Perez ’17, who scored three tries in the game.
The Big Green, according to Flores, did not graduate any seniors, while Brown “lost 6 to 8 very experienced and committed athletes.” This does not seem to have slowed down the Bears so far this season, as younger members have stepped up and have not failed to impress.
Dartmouth also faces external pressure from campus events this week. As the team’s website notes, “The Big Green has its work cut out for it … as sorority rush takes a big bite out of players’ schedules during the lead up to next weekend’s important match against Brown.”
The Bears have been focusing on their “contact work and decision-making” in preparation for this game, Flores said. Brown and Dartmouth have been very similar in terms of their relative strength and competitiveness in the past, so playing a solid 80 minutes of good rugby will be key for Bruno.
The game is Brown’s home opener, so the team encourages high turnout and energy from the crowd. Hoping to extend their conference reign to a 3-0 record, the Bears will be looking for consistency and performance. Constant improvement is a priority.
“Every game we play is just as important as the last,” Flores said. “We are working hard not to have expectations as to the outcome as much as to our own development of our performance.””
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“Coal to Newport Councilor At-Large Jeanne Napolitano, who said, “I believe that people have a right to choose what they want for the future.” We tried to explain this to the recruiters at the Career Fair last week, but they used our own reasoning against us.
A diamond to Assistant Vice President of Planning, Design and Construction Mike McCormick who said of deeming buildings “historic”: “There needs to be other historic significance to them other than they’re just old in the neighborhood and kind of nice.” Let’s start applying this rule to tenure decisions, too.
Cubic zirconia to Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 who said of Brown’s U.S. News and World Report ranking, “I think the difference between 16 and 12 is not that important.” Students, take note: Logic about college rankings does not transfer to the dating scene.
A diamond to Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza, who said he went from not being accepted to any college to studying at Harvard Law School. He’s even more of a success story than Elle Woods.
Coal to the Rhode Island General Assembly, which “historically meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the afternoons through dinner,” according to Democratic candidate for secretary of state Nellie Gorbea. These working hours definitely explain the productivity level of the state government.
A diamond to the student who said of Brown Student Language Exchange, “You don’t have to commit a lot but still get to learn.” We tried to propose open relationships to our significant others with this reasoning, but they didn’t buy it.
Cubic zirconia to Professor of Computer Science Andy van Dam, who said of the goal to fundraise for the Department of Computer Science, “Now the question is what, when, how, who.” Sounds like you’ve made a lot of progress!
A good-luck diamond to the soon-to-be-named director of special collections and the John Hay Library. We hope you fare better than we did as kids when we gave ourselves that same title in order to justify the hundreds of dollars we spent on Beanie Babies and Polly Pockets.
Coal to Dean of the Faculty Kevin McLaughlin P’12 for saying, “We were trying to dispel the public perception that a sabbatical is sort of like a vacation.” Our professors’ Disney World selfies say otherwise.
by Brown Daily HeraldSep 27, 2014
“After student pressure last semester to diversify its staff, Counseling and Psychological Services has made several new targeted hires and will offer a support group for students of color, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn announced in an email Friday afternoon.
Klawunn also announced Unab Khan as the new medical director of Health Services.
Psychotherapist Jamall Pollock, who has “specific expertise in multicultural issues,” will join the CAPS staff Oct. 14, Klawunn wrote. Joshua Kane will begin Oct. 6 as a part-time psychiatrist.
Coordinator for Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy Bita Shooshani will move to assume a full-time psychotherapist position at CAPS in January.
Shooshani — a central figure in the University’s work to prevent and respond to sexual assault — will continue in her current position while a national search for a new coordinator takes place, and then will begin working at CAPS five days a week, Nelson said. Health Services will be in charge of the search, Klawunn wrote.
“We are very excited to have her and expand CAPS resources in our department for dealing with issues surrounding sexual assault,” Nelson said.
Shooshani and Health Services administrators could not be reached for immediate comment Friday.
Both Shooshani and Kane will work more hours than the people in those positions last year, Nelson said.
Nelson said Pollock’s new position is significant because of the money and resources allocated to CAPS by President Christina Paxson in response to students’ previous criticism of the lack of diversity within the CAPS staff.
Beginning Oct. 1, psychotherapist Allyson Brathwaite-Gardner will lead a new support group for students of color. “This group is in response to students’ request to increase outreach for students of color,” Nelson said.
CAPS will also be instituting a “cultural competency in-series” to improve the quality of services CAPS can provide to students of color, Nelson said.
The University is working to evaluate the “effectiveness of our comprehensive mental health services at Brown,” Klawunn wrote. A Mental Health Advisory Council is being formed to lead those efforts, comprising students, staff members and faculty members and chaired by Steven Rasmussen ’74 MMS’77 MD’77 P’13, medical director of Butler Hospital.
Both the extended staff hours and the increased diversity of CAPS staffers come in response to student feedback, Nelson said. Active Minds student leaders, some of whom led criticism last year, could not be reached for immediate comment.
Khan, who “specializes in health care for young adults,” will begin in his new role Oct. 1, Klawunn wrote.
Student and Employee Accessibility Services, Office of Student Veterans and Commissioning Programs and Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life also added staff members over the summer to increase “advising and advocacy” resources for all students, Klawunn wrote.
J. Allen Ward, senior associate dean for student life, will change roles and now focus on “leading a comprehensive effort to evaluate and assess student support,” Klawunn wrote. A national search for a dean of the Office of Student Life will come during the year after “some restructuring” based on the Task Force on Sexual Assault’s recommendations, she wrote.”
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