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Brown University

Brown Campus News

Importance
1
List alleging names of sexual assaulters appears in campus bathrooms
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 27, 2017
“000: Courtesy Photos / Herald Anyone can submit a name using Brown Survivors Speak’s anonymous Google Form. But users must also add a non-Brown email now, after the name of one student was removed from the list.
The names started appearing at the end of fall semester. Some lists had three names, others as many as 15 by the time they started cropping up in the middle of spring 2017. Students found them scrawled in black permanent marker in women’s bathroom stalls around campus.
An anonymous group, Brown Survivors Speak, claim that the people on the list committed sexual assault, and the group has made posts on its anonymous Facebook profile that suggest that the University has mishandled its role in sexual asssault on campus. In a March 9 Facebook post, the group explained that it aims to empower survivors and “end sexual violence on campus.”
“To the extent that students are making use of this anonymous form of protest because they don’t think the university is taking claims seriously … (that) is a concern,” said Stephen Brown, director of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union.
The list’s emergence follows the January departure of Title IX Program Officer Amanda Walsh and Jessica Katz, the University’s internal investigator. This has left the Title IX office headed by interim staff members from other University departments who are now charged with handling sexual misconduct cases brought to the office.
This is also not the first time a list of this kind has appeared on campus: In 1990, four Brown students created a similar “Rape List.” The ensuing discussion around the list pushed University administrators to address the issue of sexual assault on campus.
Activists on other Ivy League campuses have created similar lists, such as one at Columbia that surfaced following a complaint filed by 23 students with the Department of Education about the school’s mishandling of sexual assault cases.
Brown Survivors Speak adds to its list through an anonymous Google Form, where students submit a name and, thus, “out an aggressor” who had hurt them or someone that they knew. The group functions publicly through an anonymous Facebook profile named Marie Turner, which, in March, added over 400 Brown students as friends, most of whom are women. The Turner profile also includes a link to the public Facebook page for Brown Survivors Speak, but the page was deactivated in mid-March.
Brown Survivors Speak did not respond to multiple requests for comment through both the email address provided on the Google Form, messages to the Marie Turner page and via messages to a student thought to be associated with the group.
The name Brown Survivors Speak first appeared in 2014, when a list of five names was found on campus.
The University does not know the identity of the individuals responsible for the list, wrote Russell Carey, executive vice president of the University, in an email to the Herald.
The Department of Public Safety has responded to eleven reports of names posted in restrooms on campus, according to University administrators.
While the model of Brown Survivors Speak is similar to that of the 1990 rape list, some aspects have changed. In 1990, students themselves directly added to the list by writing on bathroom walls, but the Brown Survivors Speak list is posted only by the members of the organization itself, according to the organization’s Google Form. The 1990 list also mentioned support services for survivors of sexual assault around Providence. The current list does not.
Student and outside reactions
Brown Survivors Speak has come under scrutiny by some of those named on the list for the group’s inability to verify the legitimacy of names submitted through the form.
In March, a student’s name was “falsely submitted to the sexual assault outing form,” according to the March 9 post on the group’s Facebook page before the page was de-activated. The group apologized and wrote that the student’s name had been submitted by a “rape apologist,” or someone who defends rapists, and that the group had later “been made aware that (the student) could not have committed sexual violence on this campus.”
In an effort to prevent similar situations, Brown Survivors Speak wrote in the post that it had changed its “approach to ‘outing’ aggressors” by asking survivors to provide a non-Brown email with their submissions so that members of the group could “be in contact with them.” Brown Survivors Speak wrote that they felt this would “strongly discourage rape apologists from trying to discredit or falsely accuse people through the form.”
The student whose name Brown Survivor Speaks removed from the list still supports the group despite the controversy. “Survivor support is my utmost priority,” the student said in a message to The Herald. That student, and other students on the list, requested anonymity for fear of professional and personal repercussions.
Multiple sources, both those on the list and not, expressed concern to The Herald that the Brown Survivors Speak lists target people of color and people of low-income backgrounds who may not have the means to pursue defamation suits.
Students reacting to the list felt similarly. “It seems there is a great opportunity for prejudice,” said Maggie Shea ’19.
Shea also argued that students and University community members would not feel comfortable if a list with offenders of other types of very serious crimes appeared on bathroom walls.
“There’s something casual about it,” she said, arguing that the list may trivialize sexual assault.
Lists created through anonymous submission and posted anonymously raise questions about the legitimacy of information provided, Brown said. If students are “anonymously targeted without any real chance to defend themselves,” that jeopardizes principles of due process and could be defamatory, he said.
A student on the list could potentially claim defamation, but a legal suit would be difficult given that the leaders of Brown Survivors Speak act anonymously, Brown said. That was also the case in 1990: Even when men filed complaints about being placed on the rape list with the University, the anonymous nature of the contributors to the list made it difficult for administrators to act.
Holding the University accountable
Universities have a legal obligation to offer sound Title IX protections and procedures to their students, Brown said.
The anonymous Marie Turner profile has made statuses that suggest the organizers of Brown Survivors Speak take issue with the University’s treatment of campus sexual assault. On March 6, Marie Turner posted of series of statuses. “Brown University is an institution that financially benefits from continually allowing rapists on their campus,” one status read, adding: “If an aggressor is paying $70,000 to you, what incentive do you have to cut them off?” Another status read, “Brown University fosters communal silence around the idea of rape culture.”
Carey reaffirmed the University’s continuing support for the Title IX Office. The “University’s approach to addressing issues related to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence has been a significant and ongoing priority at Brown — both from the standpoint of education and prevention and in refining procedures for filing, investigating and resolving complaints in a prompt and equitable way,” Carey wrote to The Herald. The University encourages victims of sexual assault to use the Title IX process, reach out to a Sexual Harassment & Assault Resources & Education advocate or seek support from Counseling and Psychological Services, he wrote.
As for the creators of the list, damage to University property is a violation of the student code of conduct, but “beyond policy that relates to property, speculating about violations in the absence of the specific details of a specific instance is a hypothetical,” wrote Brian Clark, director of news and editorial development,   in an email to The Herald.
Named on the list
“I was shocked when I found out my name was on it,” said a student who was named on the list. The student said they did not know why their name had been included on the list. The list places a “moral stain” upon those on the list “even if (the accusation) is unsubstantiated,” the student said. “Legally you’re innocent until proven guilty, but, morally, you’re guilty until proven innocent.”
Another student named said the list lacks accountability from the anonymous members of Brown Survivors Speak.
Still, for some of those on the list, their naming has prompted self-reflection.
“I’ve spoken to some of the men on the list … (and) the first response I’ve gotten from several is a question of how they can improve and not knowing where to go” to learn more about consent, wrote another student named on the list in an email to the Herald. But he noted that attending consent workshops may pose a problem as a student named on the list “because our presence may inherently break the comfort of a safe space.”
Several students on the list said that since they were named, they have felt acquaintances and some friends avoid or distance themselves. One student on the list fears that the list will jeopardize their job prospects.
Three of the students on the list told The Herald that they had been contacted by University deans, who told them that they were on the list. But another student on the list said no University administrators had contacted them.
While it has no “policy, per se” about how it responds to the list, the University’s “practice in general is to offer support or resources to all students, whether on this particular topic or other issues,” Clark wrote in an e-mail to the Herald.
In 1990s, the list pushes change
In 1990, former University President Sheila Blumstein, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, acknowledged that the University needed to make changes to its sexual misconduct policies but said the rape list that appeared that year lacked integrity.
“I do not believe in any means to an end,” she said, according to a 2004 Herald article .
“If students wanted to make accusations, they should have done so officially to the institution. We were working on a new policy and were growing more sensitive to student needs without these unfair accusations,” she said in the article.
But students then and now would not write the names of their alleged sexual assailants on bathroom walls if they felt they had a more legitimate avenue to adjudicate campus assault, said Jenn David-Lang ’91 MAT ’97, one of the students who spearheaded the 1990 rape list and ensuing activism against the University. At the time, victims of sexual assault at the University felt they “were not taken seriously by the Brown disciplinary system,” she said, adding that the rape list was “a last resort effort” after several students had been let down by the Brown administration.
“It wasn’t just a list of men,” David-Lang said. “It was disseminating information. People have a strange idea that is was just a list of men, but it was a dialogue.”
Several changes were made to policy around sexual misconduct that year. After 1990, the University made sexual misconduct a punishable offense in the student conduct code for the first time and defined policies around disciplinary procedures. Additionally, administrators added a segment on sexual assault education to first-year training and appointed a point-person for women’s concerns on campus.
More recently, the University made sweeping changes to sexual assault policy following student activism in 2014 and 2015 . In 2015, the University created a Title IX office and appointed Walsh as program office . Within the new office, she created a new sexual assault policy and procedure, which more clearly defined punishable offenses and moved the handling of these cases from the jurisdiction of the Office of Student Conduct to the Title IX Office.
Feminists at Brown, various members of SAPE, the Title IX Office’s main email line and Liza Cariaga-Lo, vice president for academic development, diversity and inclusion, did not respond to requests for comment for this article.”

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Importance
1
Paxson initiates new climate change task force
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 27, 2017
“In response to recommendations   made by the Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies, President Christina Paxson P’19 announced plans to create a task force to address climate change and environmental concerns in University business and investment practices as well as increase the marketing of the Brown University Sustainable Investment Fund, according to a community-wide email sent Wednesday.
ACCRIP, which examines ethical and moral responsibility in the University investment policies, provided recommendations to Paxson in December 2016. The recommendations came in response to a presentation made by Fossil Free Brown in 2014 suggesting divestment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies .
The Task Force on Climate Change and Business and Investment Practices will make recommendations to Paxson after reviewing the University’s “commitment to environmental sustainability and addressing climate change” in its business and investment practices, according to the website of the Office of the President. The task force will be charged in Fall 2017 with producing an interim report by the end of the semester and final recommendations by March 2018 .
The task force will assess existing investments and procurement, as well as external vendors and contractors currently hired by the University based on their commitment to sustainability practices, according to the Office of the President’s website.
The task force will also assist existing committees, including ACCRIP, by making recommendations on the University’s proxy voting guidelines. Additionally it will support the Sustainability Strategic and Planning Advisory Committee, which is charged with meeting the University’s greenhouse gas emissions targets set in 2008, and determine the necessity of creating a standing committee that will continue the task force’s work “on an ongoing basis,” according to the website of the Office of the President.
The task force will be comprised of experts on the environment and climate change, staff members from the business, investment and administrative offices and student and alum representatives.
Two of the four faculty representatives will be experts in the environment and climate change, and a staff member from the Office of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Initiatives in the Department of Facilities Management will be also be appointed.
Other staff members will represent the business and investment offices, including one representative each from the Brown University Investment Office, the Controller’s Office and the Business and Financial Services department in the Division of Finance and Administration and the Office of Government and Community Relations.
Two undergraduate students, one graduate student and one alum will represent the student body.
In response to the second recommendation, Paxson said the Division of Advancement has already been discussing methods to increase marketing of the BUSIF, which is a sustainable endowment option that was created in January 2016 . Potential strategies include increasing the online visibility of BUSIF on the “Giving” pages of the Brunonia website as well as in existing communications channels such as email newsletters, especially to young alums, who are “one of the audiences for which this ‘gifts of any size’ option has appeal,” Paxson wrote in the community-wide email.”

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Importance
1
Ivy League works to assist students in face of threatening immigration policies
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 27, 2017
“As President Trump approaches his 100th day in office, still adamant on tightening immigration policy, undocumented students and students targeted by Trump’s immigration bans still face an uncertain future. However, Ivy League schools have taken action through public and private measures to support their undocumented students and international students from the six Muslim-majority countries listed in Trump’s second executive order.
In this year alone, universities in the Ivy League took legal action against both of Trump’s executive orders on immigration by filing amici curiae briefs in February and April, The Herald previously reported. As members of the Association of American Universities, Ivy League schools also signed a public letter protesting Trump’s actions that curtailed entry into the United States for individuals from six Muslim-majority countries, The Herald previously reported.
While these statements reiterate the valuable role of international students and scholars across the Ivies, each school has developed its own approach to providing holistic support to vulnerable student communities — from lobbying government officials to providing mental health resources.
Lobbying for the preservation of DACA
In response to growing concerns about the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program , several Ivy League universities have begun lobbying government officials to save the program.
For the first time in its history, Princeton began officially lobbying on the issue of the DACA program by advocating for the passage of the Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy Act, the Daily Princetonian reported March 2 . The BRIDGE Act “would allow people who are eligible for — or who already have — DACA to receive work authorization” and remain in the United States “for, at most, three years,” according to the website of the National Immigration Law Center .
Lobbyists from the AAU were present when the act was first introduced, the Daily Princetonian reported. Princeton has also “been involved in educating lawmakers about the importance of the Act (and) has submitted a statement of support” of the Act.
Princeton is not the only Ivy League school seeking the act’s passage. According to Cornell’s news page , Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of Cornell’s graduate school, met with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in an effort to secure his sponsorship of the act.
Meanwhile, Drew Gilpin Faust, president of Harvard, met “Harvard alumni in the Department of Homeland Security to discuss how changes to (DACA) could affect undocumented students,” reported the Harvard Crimson Dec. 12 . Faust also met with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Schumer to discuss “federal policies protecting undocumented students,” the Crimson reported in February. She also met with Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., who co-sponsored the BRIDGE Act alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. to discuss the act.
Steven Gerencser, assistant director of government relations at Brown, said securing the passage of the BRIDGE Act through lobbying has been a “priority for Brown.” He added that President Christina Paxson P’19 has met with Brown’s Congressional delegation to speak about this issue.
Providing legal representation and support
Ivy League schools, including Brown, have also allocated legal resources to undocumented students who may need them, as well as to international students from the six Muslim-majority countries listed in Trump’s most recent executive order on immigration.
In an email to The Herald, Marisa Quinn, chief of staff to Provost Richard Locke, wrote: “We believe it is important for students to trust and feel comfortable with the attorney of their choosing and have offered possible options of area attorneys for consideration. In some instances, the attorneys have provided services on a pro bono basis, while in others, the University has covered associated fees. We have also had alumni offer pro bono services and can also make those available to students for consideration.”
The University has “offered access to immigration and legal advising” and housing to affected students over breaks in addition to virtual learning opportunities for students stranded abroad, according to a University press release.
The Herald previously reported that the University covers one appointment with an attorney of a student’s choosing under its undocumented student initiative. As per this arrangement, students can usually meet with immigration lawyers twice to discuss applying for or renewing their DACA status, in addition to discussing family legal issues.
Some universities go so far as to guarantee legal representation to their students. In a column written in the Yale Daily News after the election, President of Yale Peter Salovey wrote that Yale was “committed to making sure that our students who face legal action as a result of any changes in the government’s stance on immigration enforcement have legal representation, and the University will provide resources to help those students.”
According to Yale’s Office of International Students and Scholars website , students in need of legal assistance are asked to email the office’s director.
Some universities have utilized their law school resources to provide legal representation for undocumented students. In an email to The Herald, Jason Corral, a staff attorney at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic, wrote that he provides “complete representation to immigrants within the Harvard Community and (is) paid by the University.”
Corral wrote that his main priority is to assist undocumented and DACA students at Harvard. “I do provide full representation to students that are interested in applying for and renewing their DACA status. Further, I am available on a limited basis to the families of undocumented and DACAmented students in so far as investigating forms of relief available to family members that may include the student. For the needs of family members living in other states I try to connect them with legal resources outside of Massachusetts such as other clinical programs and legal services agencies.”
Corral also wrote that he can work with Harvard faculty and staff but “continued availability in that regard may be subject to capacity if the demand becomes too great. It is assumed that faculty and staff are more likely to have the financial resources to obtain outside counsel if necessary.”
The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic, which is staffed by seven attorneys, also provides immigrant legal services to the greater Boston and Cambridge area on humanitarian-based cases including asylum cases. “HIRC does have clients that are in removal proceedings,” Corral wrote.
However, Corral, who is in charge of representing members of the Harvard community, wrote that he has “not had to represent anybody from the Harvard community in immigration court nor am I aware of anybody that is currently facing removal proceedings,” but he has “applications pending before (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for adjustment of status (green card) and asylum.”
The clinic has also partnered with the law firm WilmerHale, which “agreed to provide some pro bono services to assure that we meet the demands of the Harvard community.”
Cornell has also used legal clinics available through its law school to provide affected students with legal representation. Beth Lyon, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School and founder of Cornell’s Farmworker’s Legal Assistance Clinic, said that “because … we had people who did a range of different kinds of immigration work, we felt comfortable in offering our resources as direct representation to our students at Cornell.”
As per university policy, “our resources are available to provide counseling, brief advice and referral … to undocumented students and DACA students across the university” free of charge, she added. The university was able to cover the costs through a “specific fundraising appeal,” she said.
In an email to The Herald, Sarah Paoletti, a practice professor of   law and director of the Transnational Legal Clinic at Penn’s law school, wrote that the university “has not set up a legal assistance fund for our students” but that “in terms of legal aid to UPenn students, (the Transnational Legal Clinic with support from our Toll Public Interest Center) conducted three immigration information and referral clinics for members of the Penn community. Those were free clinics, where law students were on hand to provide basic information and responses to general questions and assist in screenings — and then we had members of (a private law firm) on hand for free immigration consults. For two of the three clinics, we also had a representative from” the university’s International Student and Scholar Services office, she said. In addition, during the third clinic, Paoletti found that some people had been calling one of the local legal services providers and that three or four of those cases will now receive pro-bono representation.    
Harvard, Columbia and Cornell also offered know-your-Rights presentations . Corral said he and HIRC staff members had hosted several know-your-rights presentations on campus and off campus, which “initially focused on rights surrounding international travel and took the form of town hall style forums.” They have also hosted general know-your-rights presentations on immigration law.
“We’ve had (Cornell) students and non-law faculty do know-your-rights presentations,” Lyon said. She added that undocumented students also created “sensitivity training sessions” for staff members.
“It trains people who deal a lot with the students about the issues that undocumented and DACA students face, what the threats are as far as the stressors are in their lives,” McKee added.
Other universities have partnered with external law firms to provide their students with legal support. According to Dartmouth’s Office of Visa and Immigration Services’ website, Dartmouth has enlisted the help of Curran & Berger LLP to “provide support and assistance to undocumented students on campus, including workshops/information sessions on DACA and DACA renewals (and) representation of individual students and their families (with discounted attorney fees).”
In a letter titled “Dear Colleagues: Executive Order on Immigration,” Debbie Prentice, dean of the faculty at Princeton, wrote that the university, which does not have a law school, had “shared with potentially affected students and scholars the information we are receiving from a law firm that follows these matters closely and has advised members of our community in the past.” The letter includes a link to Fragomen Worldwide Immigration Law Firm.
Ixchel Rosal, associate vice president for student life at Columbia, said “the university itself is not offering (legal) representation but the university has secured the pro bono services of a law firm in town. We can refer students to that law firm.”
Reluctance to become a sanctuary campus
While universities have made efforts to connect students with legal resources, no school in the Ivy League has explicitly agreed to call themselves a sanctuary campus.
In an email addressed to students at Penn, Amy Gutmann, president of Penn, wrote that the university “is and has always been a ‘sanctuary’ — a safe place for our students to live and to learn.”
However, Gutmann noticeably left out the word “campus,” which was intentional, wrote Paoletti in her email to The Herald. “Guttman also noted that the university stood by and valued its DACA students and international students and would continue to support the DACA program,” Paoletti wrote. “And, finally, (Guttman) noted the university would not cooperate with (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and would not facilitate any ICE enforcement action without a court order. So, in practical effect, Penn is a ‘sanctuary campus.’ We also happen to be in a city that is a sanctuary city, with very strong statements from our mayor,” Paoletti wrote.
Harvard declined to declare itself a sanctuary campus because administrators believed that the term “offers no concrete protections and may put undocumented students in greater danger,” according to the Crimson.
However, in an email to The Herald, Phil Torrey, a managing attorney at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinical Program, wrote about the sanctuary campus toolkit that he created for the Cosecha Movement, a nonviolent advocacy group working for undocumented immigrants. The toolkit addresses the concerns administrators frequently have about using the term “sanctuary campus.” Torrey wrote that “the kit provides legal foundation for many different strategies that campuses can pursue that are both legal and protective of their immigrant communities.” Torrey also wrote that he hopes the Harvard administration will change its perspective on the use of “sanctuary campus.”
“The administration is taking tactics that courts are questioning and tactics that rely on fear and intimidation. It’s important for communities to show that they will not stand for such tactics,” he wrote.
Student and community support
Columbia has also created support groups specifically for undocumented students through their Counseling and Psychological Services. Rosal said that after the election, “some of the undocumented and DACA students were feeling very stressed and feeling very isolated. We reached out to the Counseling and Psychological Services here on campus to see what support we could offer to these students.”
“The idea came up to create a support group specifically for DACA and undocumented students,” she added. Rosal declined to provide specific details about the group for confidentiality reasons.
Bita Shooshani, a licensed mental health counselor at Brown, said that Counseling and Psychological Services did not have a support group specifically for undocumented students at this time. She added that she worried that forming a group specifically for these students might be a “safety concern.”
However, Shooshani also said that it was critical for undocumented students at Brown to know that CAPS resources are available to them. “Services are totally accessible to them in terms of being concerned about any confidentiality questions that they might have.”
“Confidentiality is something that’s reviewed with students when they come in. … If they were to be affected by something that (causes them to need to speak to) …   someone immediately, we do offer triage services,” she added.
Shooshani also pointed out the work of Jorge Vargas, CAPS’s student care coordinator. “He identifies resources that would help students with …   (accessing) housing and legal support resources as well,” she said.
Students have also taken active roles in advocating for their peers. Student groups like the Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition played leading roles in informing administrators on how to better support undocumented and DACA students on campus, The Herald previously reported.
At Princeton, student activism played a large role in campus dialogue due to the work of Princeton Advocates for Justice, an intersectional student group advocating for human rights. PAJ is a “coalition of roughly 30 or so student groups (on campus),” said Nicholas Wu, president of PAJ.
After Trump issued his first travel ban, PAJ organized a Feb.17 event where over 300 people sent letters and made calls to members of Congress, Wu said.
Since that event, Wu said that the group has remained active by holding a fundraiser for the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund at Princeton and helping organize a protest demanding the university divest from private prisons and their “role in migrant detention.” The group also took an advocacy trip to Washington, D.C., he added.
“In the wake of what happened with the first travel bans and other steps that the Trump administration has taken, we felt that these broad affronts to basic human rights needed a broader coalition-based response, and that’s where the impetus (to form) this group really came from,” Wu said.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that Phil Torrey, a managing attorney at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinical Program, wrote in an email to The Herald that he hopes that Harvard administration will change its perspective on sanctuary campuses. In fact, Torrey wrote that he hopes the Trump administration will change its perspective on sanctuary campuses. The Herald regrets the error.  ”

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Importance
1
Undergraduate Finance Board clarifies perceived publication cuts
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 27, 2017
“In an April 25 meeting with leadership of at least eight publications, the Undergraduate Finance Board clarified its decision to not approve funding for student publications’ printing expenses for spring 2018.
Chair of UFB Jordan Ferguson ’17 said UFB will not cut spring 2018 printing budgets entirely, but UFB intentionally did not approve them in order to begin a conversation with publications about how to reduce their printing costs. Student publications were meant to interpret the complete rejection of funds for printing in spring 2018 as “pending,” rather than as a final decision, Ferguson said. Budget requests returned by UFB to student publications April 17 showed that no print funding was granted by UFB for the spring 2018 semester. The rejection of printing costs was followed by a UFB email that announced the April 25 meeting, in which UFB would   “discuss the future of funding printing costs for publications” with leaders from student publications, according to a copy of UFB’s email obtained by The Herald.
“Printing costs take up a significant portion of our allocation, and it isn’t a sustainable practice for the Student Activities Fund. You will see that your groups have received funding for fall printing costs but not for spring. The board would like to present some alternative and work with you all to find the best solution,” the email read.
Ferguson cited an overall tightening of UFB’s budget for the next academic year to an influx of new student groups demanding funding from UFB which were previously funded by the School of Engineering and the Swearer Center for Public Service.
“If we give everyone fall printing, everyone can operate as normal,” Ferguson said. “But now we can have a conversation, almost a full year in advance, detailing how we can go forward knowing that budget constraints are going to be tighter next year,” Ferguson said.
Editors from several publications expressed initial frustration over UFB’s lack of communication regarding the perceived denial of funding for printing publications, The Herald previously reported .   UFB declined to comment to The Herald until after the April 25 meeting.
Jane Argodale ’18, metro editor and an incoming co-managing editor for the College Hill Independent, said UFB’s email to publications following the perceived cuts “sent us into a state of panic because it wasn’t clear that we would get any of our print funding back at all,” Argodale told The Herald.
“I really wish (UFB) opened up this conversation before they’d sent out these budget proposals,” Argodale said. “It would have been a lot more comfortable for us to be having a conversation about reducing our costs if it didn’t just start with a zero.”
“The ways (student publication leaders) were put on hold and the ways we were strapped for any root of communication that felt productive for that full week meant there was no way for us to actually mobilize,” said Dolma Ombadykow ’17, co-managing editor of the Indy, at the meeting.
Jordan Stein ’17, editor-in-chief of the Brown Noser and of the Brown Jug, mentioned another miscommunication involving his UFB representative, which occurred before the budget requests were returned.
“The reason why we have any sort of reaction to the budgeting decision was because when we met with our UFB rep, he told us explicitly that it was UFB’s intention, as an organization, to move all print publications online within the next few years completely,” Stein said. “He said that definitively.”
But this “was a miscommunication,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson apologized for the lack of communication between UFB and publications, and “the miscommunication and misinformation that has been circulating for the past week,” he said. “UFB chose not to respond … in an effort to make sure that all of you all were hearing it from us first and … to make sure that it wasn’t a back-and-forth ‘he said, she said.’”
The response from alums to the perceived printing cuts was significant, Ferguson said. He mentioned an online petition that was created to restore funding to the Indy and other student publications. Over 400 people, some of whom are alums who work in the publishing or journalism industry, signed the petition. Though he received several emails from alums about the perceived printing cuts, Ferguson said he waited to respond until after he had met with publication leaders.
The pressure to tighten the spring budget began at the start of the spring 2017 semester when UFB learned that it would absorb a number of student groups previously funded by the School of Engineering and the Swearer Center beginning fall 2017, Ferguson said. The new financial commitment encompasses approximately 20 additional student groups “with very large budgets,” he said.
Associate Dean for Programs and Planning for the School of Engineering Jennifer Casasanto could not be reached by press time to confirm that the School of Engineering   will continue to fund all of its student groups for the 2017-18 academic year. But in an earlier interview, she said it had funded the groups during the 2016-17 academic year.
“Engineering has not cut any funding (for student groups) … but has tripled the amount of student funding in just the last three years,” she said .
Dean of the College Maud Mandel confirmed that, since September 2016, student groups from the Swearer Center have drawn funds from the Student Activities Office. The center has “formed a partnership” with SAO to transfer “existing balances associated with any (Swearer Center) student group” to the SAO, Mandel wrote in an email to The Herald. However, for the 2017-18 academic year, the Swearer Center will stop transferring funds to the SAO to fund those groups, she wrote.
“In September (2017), the Swearer Center Student Advisory Committee will be developing a policy and procedure for allocating funds it controls for student requests that fit the strategic direction of the center,” Mandel wrote.
UFB’s draws its budget from the student activities fee, which for the 2016-17 academic year was $274 per student — adding to a UFB budget of $2.1 million, Ferguson said. UFB’s budget funds not only student groups but also the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, LGTBQ Center and Brown Center for Students of Color, as well as others groups, he said.
All student groups that receive funding from UFB are categorized by the Undergraduate Council of Students as Category II or Category III student groups. Both categories receive a baseline funding of $200   from UFB, and Category III student groups “may request supplemental UFB funding,” according to the Undergraduate Council of Students’ website . Every academic year, UFB sets its budget to include a “rollover” of approximately $300,000 from the previous year’s budget, Ferguson said. This money adds to UFB’s budget for supplemental funding, which is where most money comes from for student publications.
Every fall, UFB can make a request to the University Resource Committee to increase the student activities fee, thereby increasing UFB’s budget for the next academic year, Ferguson said. This request is made before UFB determines the allocation of its budget that spring. In fall 2016, UFB believed it could successfully distribute funding for the 2016-17 academic year and maintain its usual $300,000 rollover for the 2017-18 academic year, Ferguson said. Because of this, it did not request an increase in the student activities fee for the 2017-18 academic year, which it would have needed to do in fall 2016, Ferguson said.
“In September, when we were approached by the URC, we declined to ask for an increase given the fact that, for the past two years, we had asked for an increase,” Ferguson said. He added that the URC often does not grant activity fee increases if UFB constantly asks for one, as that “doesn’t show any forethought.”
UFB is now in a position where it not only is unable to request additional funding for the 2017-18 academic year but also has to fund more groups for the year.
When UFB learned that it would have to fund newly categorized groups without additional funds, UFB had to decide whether it should let more people draw from the pre-set budget, or “leave groups out hanging to dry,” Ferguson said.
UFB examined its three largest financial commitments — transportation costs, performance groups and student publications — for possible reductions to its budget to compensate for the additional student groups requiring funding, Ferguson said.
To reduce transportation costs, UFB will attempt to partner with major transportation companies to set a fixed, discounted price for a bulk number of tickets, Ferguson said. To reduce performance group costs, UFB is asking groups to reuse costumes.
For publications, UFB allocated approximately $90,000 for the 2016-17 year solely for publication printing costs, a figure that has been increasing since 2014, Ferguson said.
UFB proposed three possible plans to reduce print budgets in 2017-18, Ferguson said.
Similar to how it plans to reduce transportation costs, UFB may house all the publications under a single printer in order to standardize a fixed, discounted price in return for bulk printing. Currently, publications employ a number of printers and are left autonomous to find their own printers, Ferguson said. Alternatively, publications might internally review the number of printed copies actually read in an attempt to reduce the overall number of copies. Third, UFB would pay for a publication to shift to a website if the publication wishes to go fully digital.
Ferguson also made clear that UFB would offer flexibility to publications who want to find ways to reduce their budgets.
“We’re willing to work with all of you to make sure everyone gets what they need and everyone gets what they want. We’re not trying to take anything away from anyone,” he said. “I want that to be very clear.”
The next step for student publications is to return to their executive boards and discuss possible means to reduce their printing expenses, Ferguson said.”

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Burgeoning alternative band, The Layovers, shakes College Hill
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 27, 2017
“Recognized as one of Brown’s most precocious musical groups, alternative student rock outfit The Layovers is   paradoxically bound by its members’ differences. Under its only recently shed moniker ‘Paxsonator,’ the band released two self-produced demos, “Someday” and “Think of Me,” in 2016, and anticipates the release of a proper EP this year.    
An amalgam of “energies”
The Layovers is made up of Alejandro “Gango” Subiotto Marqués ’19, a magnetic Belgian drummer concentrating in Development Studies, Juan “JJ” Bellassai ’19, a light-hearted Paraguayan bassist and the group’s resident pre-med, Arthur Back ’19, a Parisian guitarist and beam of sincerity pursuing political science and Cameron “Cam” McKie ’19, a British singer and guitarist studying Mechanical Engineering.
United by their commitment to music and performance, the band members are each unique in their own disparate musical interests.
“Each individual song has its own individual energy,” said Subiotto Marqués, explaining the band’s unique approach to songwriting. All of the band’s songs start as solitary efforts composed by a single member   — a songwriting methodology which lends an idiosyncratic flair to each of their tracks. “The songs end up sounding very different. So it’s hard to label ourselves,” Subiotto Marqués added.
Bellassai, an avowed fan of Green Day and Blink 182, brings a pop-punk influence, while Back tends towards melodies reminiscent of softer southern and country folk in the vein of Jack Johnson. Subiotto Marqués singularly offers more hip-hop and funk-influenced tracks. McKie’s writing echoes contemporary British indie artists like The 1975 and Mumford & Sons.
“I actually learned how to play guitar through Mumford & Sons,” McKie said. A devotee of the British Isles’ indie rock, McKie evokes this more understated brand of music with his contributions to the band’s oeuvre.
A Hard Day’s Night
The group lamented certain obstacles the Brown environment presents to recording music — specifically, the severe paucity of practice spaces.
“There’s a distinct lack of equipment here,” McKie said, noting the lack of access to rehearsal rooms with the necessary gear, which are mostly restricted to Music and Modern Culture & Media concentrators. “There’s like one room in TF Green to practice in,” he added. “That room is booked all day. While there are more bands being formed everyday, the availability of practice spaces isn’t increasing with that.”
“Logistics make things really complicated,” Back said.
But The Layovers also experience the effects of a more universal source of undergraduate angst, encountering difficulties in balancing thei r band-related and academic commitments: “As a band, you need to be practicing constantly and booking regular shows,” McKie said. “But everyone has time pressures in school, which puts a damper on everything. It’s especially hard when the four of us are in different concentrations and our schedules conflict.”
Back views writing music as a cathartic release from the stress inherent in Ivy League life: “I’ve always loved writing, and writing music is one of the only times I can write nowadays,” he said. “I try to distance myself from school when I write.”
The Euphonious “Bubble”
On campus, The Layovers have played at a number of popular venues and events, Back said, noting a couple acoustic sets played at the Hope College residential hall and The Underground.
“We’ve played at houses on-campus that aren’t technically campus buildings,” Back added, referencing house shows that include featured setlists at the Finlandia Co-Op. “Those have probably been our best shows. They get really rowdy but are still very intimate.”
But the band has yet to expand past the Van Wickle gates. “There’s not that strong of a connection between Brown and the Providence music scene,” McKie said. “We operate in totally different spheres,” Subiotto Marqués added.
McKie offered a shrewd explanation of the disconnect between the two scenes: Brown’s location on the East Side’s tall and daunting College Hill ­— a situation that precludes easy transportation of bands’ equipment. “It’s got to be the geographic hill. Even if bands have the necessary gear, you still need to get all your gear down and back, as well as all the people.”
“The people in the bands here are also just older,” Bellassai said. “College-aged kid bands are more prominent in big cities like Boston or New York. Providence just isn’t big enough.”
Future layovers
The travel-related layovers from which the group derives its name are tinged with tedium and stagnancy — words that do not describe the band itself. While The Layovers may be fairly established on the Brown music scene, the four artists, excited for the future, are always looking to improve their act. “Lately, we’re trying to develop more of a stage presence,” McKie said. “Anyone can be a band. But to actually physically be yourself and entertain people while doing it, that’ s the goal.””

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Janet Yellen, Gov. Raimondo to speak at women’s conference
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 27, 2017
“Women who have played a critical role in shaping Brown on and off campus will be celebrated early May. The 125 Years of Women at Brown Conference will bring around 700 alums back to campus May 5 and 6 for a series of lectures, panels and events.
Speakers include Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen ’67, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage ’86 P’20 and R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo.
The conference, led by the Women’s Leadership Council, will be an opportunity to celebrate the role of women at Brown over the last 125 years and for alums from all classes to connect with each other and share their experiences, according to the conference website.
The conference offerings will include panels led by Brown alums and faculty on subjects ranging from “Work and Life: How Working Women Manage Demands on Their Time in a 24/7 World” to “Celebrating Brown’s Female Athletes” to “The Value of Gender Diversity in STEM Fields.”
Dean of the College and Professor of History and Judaic Studies Maud Mandel will lead “What’s New at Brown in Educational Innovation,” a panel featuring three other deans on recent developments at Brown.
“I thought it might be useful for this panel to have the people … (who) actually have been former students here,” Mandel said.
The attendees will hopefully benefit from “really hearing from people who are on the ground doing this work everyday,” said Carol Cohen ’83, senior associate dean for class advising and for personal and health issues, who will also speak on the panel.
Conference attendees will also have the chance to “attend a class” taught by a faculty member. The TED talk-style offerings will be led by Dean of Public Health and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice Terri Fox Wetle, Professor of Political Science Wendy Schiller and Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Barbara Tannenbaum P’10.
“I love teaching, and I think it’s an opportunity for the attendees to see faculty who are currently actively engaged in (it),” Wetle said.
Panelists look forward not only to sharing their own expertise but also attending other talks. “I’m as excited to be there to meet other women and be inspired by other women as I am to come share my own experiences,” said Cheryl Houser ’83 P’13 P’19, partner and executive producer at Creative Breed, Inc., who will participate in two panels, including a shark tank-style forum for students to pitch their ideas to entrepreneurial alums. “I see it much more as a kind of symbiotic thing.””

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Pulitzer winners discuss MFA Program at University
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 27, 2017
“For the past 10 years, Brown alums have consistently been nominated the Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. This April, Lynn Nottage ’86 P’20 won her second Pulitzer Prize in this category, continuing the decade long trend with her play “Sweat,” which explores economic stagnation and the lives of steel workers in the town of Reading, Pennsylvania. While some past-winners studied in Brown’s Master’s of Fine Arts program and others studied playwriting as undergraduates, all point toward Brown as the root of their success.
Nottage, the first woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, was initially inspired by Paula Vogel, who was the head of Brown’s graduate playwriting program when Nottage was a student.
“It’s been a struggle. Hopefully, young women will see what I’ve been able to accomplish, and … they might sit down at a desk and write a play,” Nottage said.
Gina Gionfriddo MFA’97 was nominated for a Pulitzer in Drama in 2013 for her play “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” a dark comedy exploring the consequences of internet pornography. Gionfriddo   credited her success to Brown’s MFA program, which she said provided her with the time and space to focus on writing.
“It was two years where I had my education funded and I could focus 100 percent on my writing,” she said. “You develop your skill set faster than when you are working a 40-hour a week job.”
Nottage, however, believes that the necessity of an MFA depends on the individual. While some writers need graduate programs to grant them the freedom to explore, other emerging writers prefer to dive deeply into the world of writing on their own time, she said.
“You can’t give people talent. But you can inspire them to go deeper and write expansively and to be more adventurous,” Nottage said. She now teaches as an Associate Professor for Columbia’s   MFA program.
Stephen Karam ’02, who was nominated twice for a Pulitzer in Drama in 2012 and 2016,   shared a similar sentiment. Karam recalled forcing himself to work day jobs that were uninteresting but financially stable to give himself the opportunity to write.
“It’s what I needed to do to free me up to pursue something that felt impossible,” Karam said. “Some people get a job to make them feel safe, others need to run at it 100 percent. There is no right or wrong — it’s just what you need to do to be able to pursue (writing),” Karam said
All three playwrights agreed that producing their work at Brown was crucial to their developing careers.
“I had three full productions of my plays while I was at Brown. I think there’s stuff you learn as a playwright that you have to learn through having your plays being produced, and I think that’s an incredible education,” Gionfriddo said.
Karam noted the importance of developing his adaptation of a Jane Austen novel with Brownbrokers, a student run theater group who produces a student-written musical every other year.
“I had a lot of productions at Brown,” Nottage said. “If I hadn’t had that time to play in the sandbox, I might not have had the confidence to move forward in this career.”
The playwrights also credited their success to the faculty who taught and inspired them. “I was fortunate enough to study with several really incredible playwriting professors,” Nottage said. “They were really key in me beginning to find my voice.”
“Studying with Paula Vogel was the reason I went to Brown. I was drawn to her dark, irreverent sense of humor,” Gionfriddo said.
Gionfriddo also spoke on the importance of fostering peer connections at Brown. Gionfriddo met Peter DuBois AM’97, the director of “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” at Brown when he was in the graduate theatre program and she was in the playwriting program. After directing her thesis “U.S. Drag,” DuBois went on to direct three of her plays.
The playwrights stressed the pertinence of continuing to write. “See as much theatre as you can and write as much as you can. Do what you can to create a life where you have space for writing,” Gionfriddo said.
“You have to keep continuing to explore the craft. It’s really about making a commitment to doing that,” Nottage said.”

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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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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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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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StudentsReview Advice!

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach

• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
Ah, college. Considered by many to be the time of a young person's lif... more→
• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
According to NPR, the cost of college... more→
• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
Just so you know, filling out these forms is a lot more than penciling... more→
• How to choose the right college?
My name is Esteban Correa. I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL ... more→
• Create The Right Career Habits Now
Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to b... more→

• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
It's the end of junior year and everyone is anticipating the arrival o... more→
• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
We are in an instant information age, where you can find almost anythi... more→
• Personality Type and College Choice
Personality type is something very important to consider when deciding... more→
• A Free Application is a Good Application
As a senior finishing her scholastic year, I feel that it is my duty ... more→

• College Academic Survival Guide
The leap from high school to college academics is not an insignificant... more→
• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
As a tour guide, the absolute, most frequently asked question I got wa... more→
• Choose a Path, Not a Major
Unless you're one of the fortunate souls who's already found their cal... more→
• The Scoop on State Schools
A recent college graduate, I vividly remember touring campuses as a p... more→

• The Purpose of a Higher Education
You are one of the millions of people this year applying for admission... more→
• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
One of the most important academic choices you'll make while in colleg... more→
• How to choose a college major
I was not sure what college major to choose. When you are in your late... more→
• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
Are your grades are not what you think they should be from high school... more→

• Nailing the College Application Process
College applications seem to always be put on top of students procrast... more→
• What to do for a Successful Interview
Interviews seem to become more commonplace in every facet of life as o... more→
• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
Preparing for college is a difficult time for every student and it?s o... more→
• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
An interview is something we all have to go through when we get a job... more→

• Starting College (General College Advice)
College is a huge milestone in your life. You?ve seen the castle like ... more→