Abram, second president, dies 

By Peter Basso and David Salama

Justice Editorial Board Morris B. Abram, the second president of Brandeis University (1968-1970), passed away from a sudden viral infection on Thursday at his home in Geneva. He was 81.

Despite serving Brandeis for only two years, Abram was president during the historic civil rights era of the country and this university. Abram was also appointed to various posts by five U.S. presidents. He was also a civil rights advocate  and a world-renowned Jewish community leader.

“I came to know him later in his life,” University President Jehuda Reinharz said on Friday. “He is someone who was very supportive and always willing to lend his good advice to what we were doing. He was passionately concerned about Brandeis’ future.”

Abram succeeded Abram Sachar in 1968. Sachar then went on to become Chancellor of Brandeis.

Professor Lawrence Fuchs (AMST) recalled how Abram began his presidency “in the shadow of Dr. Sachar.” But, added Fuchs, Abram began his presidency with “tremendous promise and ability.”

Prior to his arrival on campus, however,  Abram had a distinguished career as a lawyer and an advocate for civil rights.

 

Heston event brings media to campus

By Carina Canaan

Justice Staff

Questions regarding the funding and planning of NRA President Charlton Heston’s March 28 visit to Brandeis have garnered media attention and sparked campus debate since the event’s announcement last week. 

Chairman of Freedom Magazine Bryan Rudnick ’00, the principal organizer of the event, sent a press release to several Boston-area newspaper and television groups alleging that Brandeis administrators were attempting to prevent Heston’s visit by increasing costs and making unreasonable security demands.

“They’ve put up financial roadblocks since February 1st, and used scare tactics to try and block (Heston) from speaking,” Rudnick said.

Some student senators also allege that they have been misled about how their monetary contribution to event will be used, although Rudnick denies the allegations.

According to Rudnick, University officials forced the Brandeis Students for the Second Amendment (BSSA) to change the location of the event from Olin-Sang auditorium to Levin Ballroom, which has a larger seating capacity and poses less of a security risk.  He alleges this was done to increase security costs to the point where the group would be unable to fund a visit from Heston, whose views on gun control are controversial.

Executive Assistant to the President John Hose called the allegations “utter  nonsense.”

“We’re pleased to have a very broad variety of speakers; Brandeis seeks to have diverse views expressed,” Hose said, adding that “the president (Jehuda Reinharz) plans to go.”

Director of Public Safety Edward Callahan agreed, and explained that the security measures employed for Heston’s visit are standard for any event involving a famous or controversial public figure.

“There’s no ‘plan’ (to block the visit).  Why would we do that?  This is an educational institution where you need to provide certain security measures consistently,” Callahan said. 

“Unfortunately, there’s a charge for everything,” he said. “I’m not here to bleed people.”

Also according to Callahan, Rudnick “didn’t seem against” moving the event to Levin Ballroom, which “for logistical purposes” seemed to be a more suitable location.

Specifically, Rudnick found the University’s demands for “10 police officers, two metal detectors, a bomb-sniffing dog, and Heston’s blood type” unreasonable.  He said that Heston’s own security team, comprised of former Secret Service Agents, agreed with him and informed Callahan of the same.

“They were taken aback by the amount of security (which they thought) was a bit exaggerated,” Rudnick said.

Callahan, who denies that a request for Heston’s blood type was ever made, said that no such concerns were expressed to him. 

“At no time in our conversation did he say (the security) was excessive.  It’s actually easier for them when there’s a formalized system in place,” Callahan said.

Rudnick sparked further controversy by claiming that the groups sponsoring Heston’s visit were receiving little financial aid from the University.  This accusation prompted an investigation by the Student Senate, which approved a money request by the BSSA for $4,500 (as well as a $1,000 loan) to cover security costs for the event. 

In the written request, according to Senate member Jonathan Sclarsic ’03, the BSSA said they had raised $2,500 but still needed $5,500 to meet the $8,000 security figure that Callahan had allegedly quoted.

“This was a huge amount of money,” Sclarsic said. “Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have voted to give them all that.”

What Sclarsic has since learned is that Callahan estimated the total security costs at between $3,000 and $3,500, a figure far below the $8,000 sum requested.

“That’s a red flag,” Sclarsic said of the discrepancy. “We’ve been misled.”

Rudnick denied deceiving the senate, and explained that the money will be “spread around” to cover incidental costs in addition to security, but not the private reception planned for the same afternoon. 

“The Senate was not lied to, they just don’t understand what’s going on,” Rudnick said.

What remains unclear is exactly which portion of the visit has gone unfunded. 

The Department of Public Safety, the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Dean of Student Affairs, and the Student Union Senate have all contributed funds in addition to those raised by the groups hosting the event, namely the College Republicans, BSSA, the Brandeis Libertarians and Freedom Magazine.

“I’m trying to bring light to the fact that the University is trying to stifle free speech,” Rudnick said.

Such statements are characteristic of the increasingly personal tone the debate has taken on.  Sclarsic said he was “offended” by the tactics Rudnick allegedly used to gain the senate’s financial support.

“We were threatened that he’d (Rudnick) go to TV and other media, saying that the Student Senate was trying to prevent Charlton Heston from coming,” Sclarsic said.

Other students were disturbed by fliers for the event that featured a picture of Adolf Hitler, which Rudnick denies having anything to do with.

Callahan said he had “no idea” about Rudnick’s motivations, but cited past visits by controversial figures as proof against Rudnick’s charges of censure .

“We’ve had this before, they come and go,” Hose said in reference to the current media attention.

For his own part, Rudnick appears to have had enough of the requests for media interviews.

“It was great when it started, but now I’m tired of it,” he said.

 

Graduate students rally for healthcare

By Rebecca Frisch

Justice Staff

To chants of “Social justice starts at home!” and “What would Louis say?,” graduate students led a protest rally and campus-wide march last Thursday in an effort to raise awareness about graduate student issues.

The protest was organized by members of the Committee to Lead to Organizing Graduates (CLOG). The concerns of CLOG include the need for graduate student healthcare at Brandeis, as well as the issue of graduate students being both students and employees.

More than 60 graduate and undergraduate students marched from Rabb steps to the Faculty Club, where a Board of Trustees meeting was taking place, to deliver a petition with approximately 700 signatures in favor of university-funded healthcare for graduate students.

“I spoke to those planning the rally the day before it occurred, and I explained to them that the Board was very interested in hearing them,” Chair of the Board of Trustees Steven Grossman said. “Hopefully, we will be able to come up with solutions for this issue. It is very important to the university to make healthcare affordable.”

Protesters rallied with posters and chants in front of windows, from which board members could see the activities. From the Faculty Center the rally continued to the center of Usdan Student Center, where featured speakers addressed the crowd.

“We are demanding healthcare, a living wage and respect,” graduate student David Wedaman, a founding member of CLOG, said.

The featured speakers included Richard Moser, a representative of the American Association of University Professors, and Brandeis professor Gordon Fellman (SOC).

Moser talked about the problem of the privatization of university functions, and the weakening of the importance of liberal arts. He said that the corporatism of universities “teaches that it is okay to exploit someone as long as you can get away with it, and that you can discriminate against someone based on their employee status.”

Moser concluded his comments by saying that “academic freedom is under assault.”

Fellman talked about building community among all members of Brandeis. “Social justice is an issue that arises every day,” Fellman said.

The rally concluded with CLOG members introducing Rekha Rosha (GRAD) as the CLOG nominee for president of the Graduate Student Association.

“This rally was absolutely wonderful. It went beyond expectations. We had an outstanding turnout, and the speakers were very moving. This rally brought our message to the Board of Trustees,” Rebecca Potter (GRAD) who formed CLOG last fall, said.

“We wanted to show that social activism lives at Brandeis. Undergraduate solidarity contributed greatly to the success of the march. This is an issue of social justice and fairness, recognizing that those in need should not have to compromise their physical health and should have access to psychological care,” Potter said.

In response to the rally, Grossman said, “The Board has a much greater understanding of the urgency of this matter, and none of the members expressed concern at seeing the rally. Many members graduated in the ’50s and ’60s and understand the importance of demonstrating for a cause.”

“President Reinharz never talks to us, but Steve Grossman is very sensitive to our plight,” Wedaman said.

“The rally brought important points to view. The Committee on Graduate Student Issues (COGSI) has been formed and has already met three times,” Milton Kornfeld, dean for Graduate Education, said.

 Kornfeld could not comment on progress the committee has made.

 “I was a little surprised at the need to demonstrate so loudly, but that is their right. We need to find out what percentage of the graduate population CLOG represents. I hope that in a few weeks we will make progress,” Provost Irving Epstein said.

Clark Hantzmon, coordinator of Graduate Student Services, said that he felt the rally was a success.

“Anything that raises the visibility of the graduate student population benefits the entire Brandeis community,” he said.

 “This is an important issue and hopefully publicity will insure a resolution,” Hantzmon also said.

The issue of graduate student healthcare will be discussed at the next Brandeis Community Meeting on March 28.

 

Asian students share culture with community

By Beth Seltzer

Justice Staff

The slogan “Step Up and Speak Out” best summed up the goals of last week’s Asian Awareness Week, according to coordinator Nien-ho Chang ’01.

Several discussions, dance performances, a talent show and more took place last week as part of Asian Awareness Week at Brandeis.  According to Chang and Grace Kim ’01, another coordinator, the goal of the week was to promote awareness about the Asian American community at Brandeis.

“We wanted to present the Asian culture to Brandeis and to have a general forum about issues relating to Asian Americans,”  Chang said.  “We tried to have our voice heard more on campus than it usually is. 

“Asian Americans make up the majority of the minority population at Brandeis, but many are not heard.” Kim said.  “The goal of the week was above all else to encourage the Brandeis community to work together towards ending racial segregation.”

A variety of activities took place on campus as part of Asian Awareness Week.  On Tuesday there were origami, calligraphy, and sushi workshops in Usdan Student Center.  There was also an “Asian Model Minority” discussion, as well as a performance by the Lion Dance Troupe.

On Wednesday the South Asia Club hosted an afternoon of henna, traditional Indian food, and music, and Brandeis Hawaii O’hana hosted a discussion entitled “Asian Influences in Hawaii.” 

Game Day was presented Thursday by the Korean Student Association, and the Cambodian New Year celebration was hosted by the Cambodian Culture Club.  There was also a culture show last Friday night.

A different Asian American group on campus was responsible for planning a specific day of the week.  According to Chang, this ensured equal representation of all Asian cultures at Brandeis.

“Each group would have a full day to represent the different aspects of their culture,” Chang said.

Preparations for Asian Awareness week began at the end of last semester.  The Core Committee first distributed questionnaires to the student body and hosted discussions to determine what topics related to Asian culture most interested the student body.  Based on the responses, the committee arranged for speakers and discussion groups, as well as activities related to these issues.

According to Chang, two of the most outstanding discussions were “Asians as a Model Minority” and a speech by Professor Paul Wakanabi from the Asian Studies Program at UMass Boston given at the Opening Ceremonies last Monday. 

“Asians as a Model Minority” focused on the idea that although Asian Americans have assimilated well into American culture, many Asian Americans are left behind by the stereotype that Asians are not in need of economic assistance.

“Many Asian Americans who come from less privileged backgrounds are not getting the help they need because they are perceived as being superior to other groups in need,” Chang said.

According to Nikki Evans ’02, a member of Students organized Against Racism (SOAR) and organizer of the “Asians as a Model Minority” discussion, the idea for the event came from an earlier SOAR conference in which there was a discussion by the same name.

“As the discussion progressed more and more confusion came out,” Evans said.  “I thought it would be a great opportunity for different groups to work together.”

Evans hoped that above all else, listeners walked away from the discussion with a greater appreciation for the diversity of minority groups.

“I hope that students walked understanding how things can be applied to you, and built around you. I hope they understand the diversity of experiences within the Asian American community,” Evans said. “The goal was to break down walls and for minority groups in general to discuss their perceptions.”

According to Kim, one of the most unexpected and powerful aspects of Asian Awareness Week was the outpouring of emotion from Asian American students in the Brandeis community.

“Throughout the week many students opened up and expressed how they were feeling,” Kim said.  “Many were really hurting inside and needed the chance to express themselves.”

 

Program’s future at Brandeis not yet determined

By Yanna Krupnikov

Justice Editorial Assistant

Despite Brandeis’ apparent commitment to affirmative action policies, outside of campus affirmative action is in jeopardy.

 Most notably, the future of affirmative action is uncertain simply because a large percentage of Americans remain confused as to the actual impact of these laws.

“There is a big debate about what affirmative action is,” Professor Robert Reich (HS), former U.S. Secretary of Labor, explained. “Very few people believe that there should be quotas or that unqualified people should be advanced over the qualified people. On the other hand, most people in this country strongly believe in extra efforts to find qualified women and minorities and extra efforts to promote them.”

Like the rest of the country, Brandeis too must deal with the confusion over affirmative action.

Carol Barbera,  affirmative action officer at Brandeis,  stressed the importance of understanding the policies before passing judgment on the program.

“We would never  ask a department to hire or promote anyone who was not best qualified for the position,” she said.

Barbera explained that many people view affirmative action as a series of punishments for a lack of minorities or women in certain positions, something which could not be further from the truth. Affirmative action does not establish quotas and no unqualified individual would ever be hired simply based on his or her race or gender, Barbera added.

Nevertheless the future of affirmative action in America is questionable.

In a recent poll taken in Florida, 54 percent of potential voters supported a ban on state preferences for minorities, while 58 percent  of the respondents in the same poll said they were in favor of state-mandated  affirmative action laws.

If anything, such a response points to the fact that many Americans do not understand affirmative action laws.

In addition, many state universities have already come under fire for using affirmative action in admission policies and have dismantled the laws as a result of law suits.

It is predicted that if more institutions follow this example many women and minorities may become alienated as a result and, according to Reich, both these groups would suffer.

“Americans continue to segregate by income like never before,” he explained. “(This segregation) makes it doubly difficult for poor minorities to get on the upward escalator.”

“Society has to be absolutely vigilant in reaching out to, recruiting and encouraging people who have been encumbered by the many burdens of society,” he said.

The debate over these laws has yet to impact Brandeis directly, and meanwhile Brandeis continues to work toward reaching the goals of the annual affirmative action plan.

However, in addition to merely working within the realm of affirmative action, Brandeis has begun to build a more inviting environment for both women and minorities.

“Affirmative action does not just mean bringing people in the door, but having people become part of the institution,” Professor Shulamit Reinharz (SOC), Chair of Women’s Studies Department explained.

“You don’t just get people to come here. You have to create a community that belongs to everybody, you have to create the kind of environment that people will want to be in,” Reinharz explained.

 

Women’s History Month could be most successful

A variety of programs have attracted a diverse audience for events.

By Carina Canaan

Justice Staff

With over 30 planned events and the participation  of more than 20 on-campus organizations, Women’s History Month 2000 is on track to be the most successful Women’s History Month thus far at Brandeis. 

The theme, “Women’s Voices: Embracing Our Past, Empowering Our Future,” was chosen to reflect the status of women and women’s history at the start of the new millennium, according to Women’s History Month Coordinator Freyda Gottesman ’00.

“We made (the theme) less specific than in the past so that it would be like a crossroads, looking back yet going forward,” Gottesman said. “It’s symbolic that there’s such a variety (of events) this year.”

The month’s events kicked off on March 6 with “Tea & Tasties” in the Alumni Lounge, where about a hundred members of the staff, faculty and student body chatted with each other and students had the opportunity to “talk about some of what we do outside of class,” according to Gottesman.

The “World of Women Professionals,” held last Tuesday night, drew about 20 attendees and featured a round-table discussion with female alumnae from various professions.  The women offered advice on networking tips, how to balance a career and a family, and how to break into certain fields according to Jennifer Weiner ’00, chair of the Student Alumni Association.

“People were able to speak one-on-one, which I think helped a lot of (students),” Weiner said. She got the idea for the event after taking Professor Joyce Antler’s (AMST) class “Gender In the Professions.”

“Take Back the Gym,” held last Thursday night in the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, featured aerobics, tennis, dance and weight-training instruction by clubs and female members of the Physical Education Department.

Although many of people signed up to participate in advance  inclement weather is believed to have lowered the actual student turnout.  Nevertheless, those who did show up took advantage of the various activities, according to Women’s History Month Planning Committee member Colleen Johnston ’00. 

“It was a good time.  A lot of people were trying new things and the people at the gym were amazing,” Johnston said.

Other notable events include the continuing “Brown Bag Lunch Series,” talks that have generated “successful dialogue” according to Johnston, and Sunday’s “Women’s Fair,” which featured booths, speakers and discussions on a number of women’s issues.

“This is a time to reiterate how important Women’s History Month and focusing on gender still is,” Gottesman said.  “The achievements and experiences of women are not considered mainstream, and they’re not recognized in history.”

Gottesman said that programming was designed to address diverse issues.

“(Our goal) is to reach out to different areas of the community ... start a dialogue on campus about women’s issues,” Johnston said.  Men, as well as women, are welcome and encouraged to take part in all of the activities.

“Men need to be a part of whatever change is made in society,” Gottesman said.

Events coming up include a lecture by feminist and Vassar College professor Uma Narayan Wednesday night,  “Take Back the Night” — a demonstration sponsored by the Committee on Rape Education (CORE) — this Thursday, and an Academically Incorrect  discussion set for Monday night in the International Lounge.

 

Swim test eliminated, new program created

By Jonathan Mark

Justice Staff

Wearing a bathing suit is no longer a requirement to obtain an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University.

The swimming test was removed from the list of University Requirements, and a Religious Studies Program was approved  at a faculty meeting held last Thursday.

Members of the Brandeis faculty convened for the first faculty meeting of the semester.  They approved two second reading proposals: elimination of the swimming requirement, and the implementation of an interdepartmental program in religious studies program.

Once proposals pass their second reading, they become part of the University curriculum.

The proposal to bypass the swimming requirement passed with a majority vote during the meeting.  Previously, the proposal had also included a section which would have reduced the physical education requirement to one semester with an optional pass/fail test, but this change was not passed at the Nov. 18 meeting of the faculty.  The new policy will be effective immediately starting in the spring term of 2000. 

The proposal to offer a new religious studies program at Brandeis passed unanimously. 

The level of student interest in the program has been considerably high.  Edward Kaplan (ROCL), head of the steering committee for the Religious Studies program, said that “the study of religion will be approached in a more systematic way; recognition of the study as a valid, distinguished academic discipline will be a valuable resource for undergraduates.” 

The first courses will be offered in the next fall term, and in the future  there will be a core course dedicated to the program.

Other business discussed at the meeting included discussion of the master plan for the Brandeis campus.  Several comments addressed the space utilization and proper building construction on campus without a master plan, which related to the quality of several buildings on campus. 

Mention was also made of the quality of residence halls, which the faculty recognized as needing renovation. 

The University has also received four new chairs in different departments, which marks the first time the University has received two fully-funded chairs from recent alumni.  The chairs will include ethics in the philosophy department, a chair to endow the university librarian, a new chair for the history department, and a new chair in democracy and public policy.

 

UCC recommends ousting clusters

By Carina Canaan

Justice Staff

•Students are invited to an open meeting to discuss the proposed changes on Thursday from 4-5:50 in Levine-Ross.

•The UCC’s recommendations are also available online at:

www.brandeis.edu/

das/ucc/recommendations

If the University Curriculum Committee (UCC) has its way, both the cluster program and the half-credit freshman writing lab will become requirements of the past.

After reviewing suggestions made by its Subcommittee on General Education, the UCC is recommending that changes be made to the current University Seminar (USEM) program and that the cluster requirement be eliminated altogether. 

The proposed changes, which must be approved by the faculty in two consecutive meetings before they can go into effect, were made in response to widespread dissatisfaction with certain current academic requirements.

“People overwhelmingly hated it,” subcommittee member Jonathan Hanus ’02 said in reference to the cluster requirement.   “We want (students) to be able to take the classes they want without worrying about the cluster.”

He added that the changes were formulated “with the problem of retention in mind.”

In their report, the UCC stated that the cluster program had not achieved its desired effects, namely “to provide a structure for cross-disciplinary study” and “to foster interactions and cooperation among participating faculty.”

“We had hopes that it would form little faculty communities, but most of them didn’t,” Acting Dean of Arts and Sciences and subcommittee chair Anne Carter said.

Based on research conducted by the Cluster Oversight Committee, the UCC determined that students were, of their own initiative, engaging in multi-disciplinary study.

“(Multi-disciplinary study) is a fairly unique aspect of Brandeis — one of which we’re very proud — but there are other ways for (students) to do it,” Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences Elaine Wong said.

The UCC is recommending that the clusters remain listed in the Bulletin as optional programs but that, unlike minors, they not appear on a student’s transcript because they consist of only three courses.

The other curricular changes proposed by the UCC attempt to modify the current USEM and writing lab requirements by offering first-year students several options. 

If the recommendations are approved, students will not be required to take the two classes concurrently, and will thereby have more flexibility in planning their academic schedules. 

“We want students to achieve the intellectual goals we set for them,” Wong said, adding that the USEM has been “the most successful (new measure) implemented;  it’s been achieving its goal.” 

Under the new proposal, the writing lab (tentatively entitled the “University Writing Seminar,” or UWS) would be an optional full credit course taught by a graduate student. 

Students would be required to take a USEM and two additional writing-intensive classes throughout the course of their studies, one of which could be a UWS, but wouldn’t have to be. 

Additionally, students with strong writing skills who wanted to challenge themselves would have the option of taking a writing-intensive USEM instead of a “regular” USEM.  They would still, however, be required to take two writing-intensive courses during their Brandeis careers.

“The UCC was very serious and concerned with getting it right, and worked hard to get it right,” Carter said, citing the fact that writing programs are a “very difficult problem nationally”. 

“I suspect that (students) won’t be unhappy about divorcing the writing from the USEMs,” she added.

Hanus said he was pleased with the attention the administration has given to the cluster and USEM issues, and emphasized that the UWS system is probationary and would be reviewed in two years.

“It’s an experiment; we hope that it works,” he said.

 

Spanish War Brigade’s role examined

By Greg Bendersky

Justice Contributing Writer

“America and The Spanish Civil War: A Symposium” dealt with the controversial legacy of a group of Americans fighting in the foreign war.

The event started with the screening of “The Good Fight,” a documentary about the Lincoln Brigade, an American Volunteer Unit in the Spanish Civil War that fought on the side of the Spanish Republic, which was unsuccessfully trying to withstand Francisco Franco’s fascist forces from 1936 to 1939.

It was followed by a personal account from war veteran George Cullinen, who discussed how his decision to fight Fascism in Spain was an outcome of social consciousness arising out of hard times.

Daniel Czitrom,  professor and chair of History at Mount Holyoke College and Andrew Lee, who works in the Tamiment Library at New York University, then discussed the unfairness of America’s negative regard toward the Lincoln Brigade.

Lee explained that the liberal Spanish Republican government and the veterans who fought on its side in the Spanish Civil War were scorned because America feared the Republic might adopt communism, a system that in their mind represented oppression and brutality.

Lee said this narrow view of the Republic is a distortion of  the noble mission of the soldiers of Lincoln Brigade that overshadows the importance of their courage and sacrifice. He says that proper understanding of the Spanish Civil War requires one to see past the communist-paranoid American government and realize that the threat of a fascist government was more serious than that of a liberal one that might become communistic.

Although the political right views the Lincoln Brigade’s mission as a lost cause that aimed to protect  communism, Lee said that  the volunteers did not particularly fight for or believe in communism. In fact, their struggle was about opposing the fascist regime.

Czitom’s research of letters from a relative who was in the Lincoln Brigade goes to prove this point.

His uncle decided to fight in the war not because he was ordered to by the communist party, but because he recognized that intervention was necessary to prevent the emergence of a brutal dictatorial regime similar to those already established in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Czitom emphasized that these volunteers were not the naive pawns of the Communist Party USA but “flesh and blood human beings with weaknesses” who hoped for a better world.

Cullinen said he also volunteered to join the Lincoln Brigade because he believed in the importance of the mission. His involvement with the political left gave him an international social consciousness. Cullinen, who worked as a seaman on various ships, joined the growing union movement and then the Communist Party USA to combat the injustice spurned by the Depression.

George said that during the Great  Depression, “a hell on earth,” it was demoralizing to witness the suffering of the American people confronted with widespread unemployment and poverty.

The refusal of the United States, among other western democracies, to support the Spanish Republic and provide it with weapons was the result of its defeat. The Spanish Republic’s shortage of weapons made their fight unsustainable against Franco’s revolutionary forces, who were adequately equipped with weapons by Italy and Germany.

Lee said that the veterans faced difficulties because of the the government’s disdain of their military service in defense of the Spanish Republic. They received no distinction or honor for their service. 

Many of them, who wished to join the United States army to fight the war, were also discriminated against and harassed in the army because they were considered subversive.

For the same reason, those who remained on the home front were often denied work.

The veterans of the Lincoln Brigade and other international units returned to Spain in 1996 for a celebration of their participation in the Spanish Civil War, where they were warmly greeted by the Spanish people. They were also granted Spanish citizenship in honor of their service.

 

Commissioners disqualify candidate; UJ case pending

Senate presidential candidate Joshua Peck ’02 was disqualified from the  presidential race late Monday night after another candidate accused him of violating the election rule prohibiting the use of  resources from outside the senate.

Peck is filing a case with the Union Judiciary challenging the decision. The case will be heard this afternoon.

“Josh Peck was disqualified by the elections commissioners,” Chief Union Justice Jeff Sussman ’00 said. “He obviously is not agreeing with this and is filing a UJ case.”

According to Peck, he was removed from the race because he used a digital camera to aid in the creation of his campaign website, which he claims is not a violation of the rules.

“I think they made a mistake,” Peck said. “I believe that the UJ case will show that I was well within my rights to use the camera.”

Peck claims that other candidates who were not disqualified have also used digital cameras.

“There will be a case,” Sussman said. “We’re hoping to finish it before the candidates’ forum.” 

The five elections commissioners declined to comment on the pending case.

 Peck appeared on a WBRS talk show for all candidates after his disqualification with the permission of the majority of his opponents.

— Dana V. Kaplan

 

Genetic testing debated by panel

Looking out at the faces surrounding her, Marguery Navaroli was moved to tears as she described her family’s history of breast cancer last Wednesday in Usdan Conference Room A.

“This is a story about my family, and a story about cancer,” she said. Navaroli tested negative for the breast cancer gene after undergoing an extensive genetic test.

Visiting Professor Susan Blumenthal, the assistant surgeon general, and Katherine Schneider, a genetic counselor, also spoke about the importance of breast cancer awareness and the stigma surrounding breast cancer and genetic testing.

According to Schneider, who tested Navaroli, one in nine women will develop breast cancer by the age of 85, and 10 to 15 percent of cases are inherited.  So, to a genetically pre-disposed family, like the Navarolis, where the chance of passing on the breast cancer gene is 50 percent, genetic counseling is a beneficial decision for early detection among family members.

Schneider described the three-step process of genetic counseling, which first involves pre-test education discussing implications, then pre-test counseling to prepare the patient with the potential emotional ramifications. It is only in the final session that the results of the test are disclosed and appropriate action is planned if they are positive.

But as Blumenthal discussed, genetic testing opens a Pandora’s box of legal and ethical issues.  Health insurance may not cover this expensive procedure, and some patients are vulnerable to discrimination at their jobs if they test positive. 

“Genetic information should be used to heal us, not reveal us,” she urged, asking those present to support legislation that would protect patients from genetic discrimination. 

Navaroli echoed these sentiments.  After seeing 10 members of her family stricken with breast or ovarian cancer, she hoped her story would promote awareness because the option of genetic testing for cancer-prone families, and laws that would protect patients’ results, are important issues for families like the Navarolis, and for everyone else.

 “We are all touched by cancer,” said Blumenthal, who ended the talk by stressing early detection of breast cancer through self-breast exams, and listed awareness, exercise and a healthy lifestyle as strategies to decrease high risk of breast cancer.

— Rebecca Smith

 

Police Log

Medical Emergency

Mar. 14 — An officer was called to East Quad to check on the well being of a student  due to the possibility of a knife wound. The student was not in the room at the time, but was later located and transported to Waltham Deaconess Hospital.

Miscellaneous

Mar. 14 — There was a report of two males running naked around Usdan.

Mar. 16 — An officer observed two individuals carrying two large trash bags in the rear of Usdan Student Center. The two were stopped by the police near East Quad and an investigation of the contents revealed marked property of the Physics department. The individuals claimed to have obtained the property from another student.

Mar. 18 — There was a report of a suspicious box in the area near the Shapiro Admissions Center; a check of the area revealed that the report was unfounded.

Dangerous Conditions

Mar. 14 — There was a report that a man-hole cover for a steam pipe had been removed. This created a hazard due to a hole in the ground.

Traffic

Mar. 14 — There was a report of a motor vehicle driving by itself in T-Lot. The vehicle had rolled out of its parking spot and came to rest against another parked vehicle with only minor damage incurred.

Disturbance

Mar. 15 — There were death threats received by telephone in Gryzmish Administration.

Mar. 19 — There was a report of people causing disturbance in North Quad. The cause of the disturbance turned out to be a a group leaving a registered party in the Quad.

Larceny

Mar. 15 — There was a report that a sound module for a key board was taken from Nathan Seifer Hall after the hall was left unlocked for the night.

— compiled by

Yanna Krupnikov

 

Student Senate

Swearing-in

Will Thomas, the new Transitional Year Program senator, was sworn in by Union President Ellie Levine ’01.

Money requests

A request for $2,000 from the Senate’s discretionary fund from Senior Week organizers was approved by unanimous consent.  Organizers requested the money because they project a deficit, but any profit up to $2,000 which Senior Week may make will go back to the Senate.

A Junior-Senior Formal emergency money request for $1,800 was approved by unanimous consent.  The money will come from the Senate’s discretionary fund.

A $1,000 International Club emergency money request was brought to consideration off the floor.  Senators approved an $875 contribution from the discretionary fund by unanimous consent. 

The International Club said it would request funds from the Allocations Board on Tuesday night and give any Allocations Board money that would put it over the $1,000 balance to the Senate.

A decision on a Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance money request to support a trip and a performer was postponed by unanimous consent.  The request will be considered next week.

By-laws

By a 14-2 vote, senators passed a by-laws amendment that would expand the criteria for de-chartering clubs. Under the new legislation, a club can be de-chartered for paying its members to engage in activities already integral to the club’s purpose.

A by-laws amendment that would require clubs to turn in their hazing forms directly after being chartered was passed by unanimous consent.

— David Dagan

March 21, 2000

Other News:

Heston event brings media to campus

Graduate students rally for healthcare

Asian students share culture with community

Program’s future at Brandeis not yet determined

Women’s History Month could be most successful

Swim test eliminated, new program created

UCC recommends ousting clusters

Spanish War Brigade’s role examined

Commissioners disqualify candidate; UJ case pending

Police Log

Student Senate