Social Justice Opportunities on Campus…Deadlines Approaching

Last Student Union e-mail we will directly copy and paste for a while, hopefully.

The Student Union just keeps telling us about such good  opportunities that I feel bad not re-promoting them in the name of social justice, though…
The deadlines to apply for:
  1. DEIS IMPACT is Nov. 4th
  2. Stanley Family Night is Nov. 8th
  3. Office of Communications job is Nov. 9th.

Read below for details on these events/opportunities:


Continue reading “Social Justice Opportunities on Campus…Deadlines Approaching”

Student Union: A Chance to Speak Up!

Remember when Innermostparts conducted two surveys this summer?

Well, not that many people participated, so we didn't gather that much information. This was due to a combination of lack of advertisement/buildup and it being summer, so I'm not pointing any fingers.

But, I do think surveys are a great way to gauge what needs to be changed, so I'm excited that the Student Union will be conducting a series of surveys starting Monday on food, shelter, quality of existence, government, and anything else. It's called the Union Pulse.

Also, theirs sound more enticing, since they're offering (non-partisan) prizes.

Give them some feedback. Help THEM help YOU.

Help Me Help You

So I know you all get a lot of surveys from a lot of different people…
but how often do you get to see what people really said in those surveys? 
      How often do you get to see your voice and your opinion making a difference?
With that in mind, the Student Union introduces the…
Monday, November 7 – Friday, November 11
Each day you will receive an email. And each day all of you will have a chance to sound off on the following topics. The schedule is as follows:
1. Monday, November 7 – DINING 
(hours, kosher/vegan options, meals, convenience)
2. Tuesday, November 8 – HOUSING
(facilities, services, your personal space)
3. Wednesday, November 9 – STUDENT LIFE 
(clubs, transportation, social life, etc.)
4. Thursday, November 10 – STUDENT UNION 
(How can we help/represent you?!)
5. Friday, November 11 – WHAT ELSE?!
(What else matters to you? SOUND OFF ON ANYTHING!)
Check your email every morning, and please take a moment to share your thoughts on the daily topic. It is anonymous, but then you'll have another form where you can… WIN PRIZES! 


HPA Club at Brandeis

People have been trying to start up a Brandeis chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance for a while now.

Here is an e-mail from Adam Ossip regarding the newest incarnation of this movement and how you can get involved!

Hello, everyone! 

I would like to announce the formation of a new Brandeis club, the Brandeis Chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance.

The Harry Potter Alliance is a national organization formed by Andrew Slack, a Brandeis alum. It's a social justice group that seeks to improve the world inspired by the lessons of love and friendship learned from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Just last February, they raised $125,000 to help those hurt by the earthquake in Haiti.

We hope to soon add our efforts to the good done by this group. And we would love to have your help as well. If you would like to join our listserv, please email

Thank you.


On-campus Social Justice Performance Troupe to Form!


Sometimes cool opportunities arise and I don't want to mar their awesomeness by adding commentary.

This is one of those times:


Looking for Interest in ICC Performance Troupe!

Attention creative students!  The Intercultural Center, in collaboration with the Department of Student Activities and the Department of Community Living, is seeking out students to create a performance troupe.  The goal of the troupe is to provide educational artistic expressions to the campus community around the topics of multiculturalism and awareness.  This is a brand new group and we are looking for students who are interested in taking action, have a passion for making social change, and are creative!

Interested in this unique opportunity? Go here to let us know and we will be in touch:

Create, Perform, Advocate!



“Don’t be a mummy and get all wrapped up in yourself”

Funny e-mail of the day, courtesy of our friends at Hiatt.

I don't think it needs further explanation.


light bulbTip of the Week: Top 5 tips to avoid a scary interview

1. Don't pull a Frankenstein and grunt at your interviewer – speak clearly and enunciate.


2. Like… don't answer with… like… too many ums and likes. Scary? No. Nauseating? Yes.


3. Don't mention you won the last office pool on the best way to torture your boss.


4. Don't be a mummy and get all wrapped up in yourself. Keep responses clear and concise so interviewers don't get bored to death.


5. Vampires suck; make sure your preparation and research don't. 


Take Your Professor to Lunch TWICE a year!

The Student Union sent out an e-mail last week announcing that Take Your Professor to Lunch, an opportunity which the Student Union organizes to facilitate better professor-student relationships, will now be occuring every semester instead of just in the spring.

This is great. Ideally you should be able to ask your professor to lunch whenever you want, and not have it be awkward, but the truth is, at least for me, it would be uncomfortable to randomly ask them out. So now there's an excuse, errr, I mean, reason! 

Isn't it weird how everything I'm writing makes it sound like a teacher-student risque rendezvous?

At first I thought it was just me, but then I re-read the Student Union e-mail:

This is a wonderful opportunity to talk to your professor on a personal, informal level.

Again, I think it's just me. Also, weirdly, if you dine at the Faculty Club (or anywhere), tip is NOT included in the voucher, even if your food costs less than the value of the voucher. Why?

Read details below:

The Student Union will provide $20 vouchers to have lunch with a professor anywhere on campus for two weeks from November 7-17. To participate, please fill out this survey:


Wikipedia Events: Liveblogging the Harold-Washington Library!

There are two awesome Wikipedia events happening this month- Wikipedia Loves Libraries and the Coding Challenge.

The Coding Challenge sounds awesome, but I don't know much about computer coding so I recommend you guys check it out- I'm here to post about the former event.

Right now, I'm at the Chicago Meetup branch event of Wikipedia Loves Libraries.

Basically, this is a project coordinated by individual wiki users, and it's aim is to bring people from all walks of life together to use public libraries' resources to update Wikipedia pages relevant to that region.

The Chicago event's focus is Barack Obama: The Chicago Years, and it intended to include "primary articles Early life and career of Barack Obama, Illinois Senate career of Barack Obama and United States Senate career of Barack Obama."

When I went to the 6th floor of the Harold-Washington Library Center (a huge, beautiful library), an hour ago, I didn't see any groups of people around so I asked someone who works at the Circulation desk where the Wikipedia event was being held.

She did not know what I was talking about*, but said some groups reserve private rooms, so directed me to the Northernmost study room. I walked to a locked study room with 2 people inside on laptops. When I knocked, they let me in, and much to my relief, they were in fact the group I'd been looking for.

They said that a few others had been participating but had left. Since I didn't have a laptop, they said I could edit articles downstairs on one of the open internet computers, which is where I am currently.

Because I'm somewhat intimidated by the grandeur of this library, don't know much about how to edit wikipedia articles or where to find the information I should find, and have to run as soon as my friend arrives(we're going to Hyde Park!), I might just follow up on one of the participants- Tony's -suggestion, and edit the grammar of a few Obama articles.

Which means anyone can participate in this. Why not, in honor of Loving Libraries and Relying on Wikipedia for All Your Research Papers Even Though You Can't Cite It, edit some grammar or put in a few facts you know abour Wikipedia articles today?

This turned into more of a call to action than I intended, but go for it! That's why it's user-based!


*=Note of interest: On the Meetup page it says:

"The topic that was proposed to the Chicago Public Library who will be publicizing the event on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook was Barack Obama: The Chicago Years"

However, they did NO publicizing, and further down in that same paragraph it says:

Note that the library will not be publicizing this at their website because it is not an official library event. It is a wikipedia event held at the library.

So, who's behind this event then? I'm confused.

Brandeis: so NOT the most vegan friendly

 You know how we keep getting e-mails from the Student Union telling us to vote Brandeis as the Most Vegan Friendly College?

We're in the Top 8 Round for the Most Vegan Friendly Competition! So Vote here:

Voting ends Monday, so get us into the final four!
Why IS that? It's not like a competition where you're CAMPAIGNING for something, it literally is asking us to pretend that Brandeis is vegan friendly.
Vegan friendly? For real? We do NOT have that many food choices to begin with, nor hours during which dining locations are open, and what we DO have, the ingredients of are not usually readily-accesible.
I have had to order in or eat out food when I'm eating with my gluten-free, lactose intolerant and vegan and vegitarian friends too often for me to think that Brandeis is vegan free.
So instead of voting us a title simply so we can have a title (would you vote for us most anti-semitic school if it meant we got an award?), why don't you vote based on how you feel, and let Aramark deal with the consequences.
Since I'm assuming most of you feel the way I do, that we're NOT vegan friendly, maybe that'll give the school some motivation to make us MORE vegan friendly. It's worth a try!

National Food Day

Today is National Food Day, and SEA, the Student Union and Dining Services have partnered to present events to call attention to our nutrition, the effect our eating has on our environment, and more social justice/awareness.

It sounds like they are also planning on making it fun. And free.

I went to a Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Chicago not too long ago (October 1st), at which Chipotle used interactive media (specially designed video games), live music, and free food to educate people on what it does to treat its animals well, reduce damage to the environment, and promote socially just business practices. It was an innovative way to make people more conscious about their food consumption, and it worked!

This sounds like a similar sort of fun, social justice event, and its hosted on our very own campus! So check it out:

Outside of USDAN!! 12-2pm – Food Day demonstration & FREE FOOD GIVE-AWAY (Butternut squash soup!!!)
SCC 6-8pm – “Food Matters” movie screening – MORE FREE FOOD GIVEAWAY. Hot apple cider! Yummy apples! Baked goods!

Food Matters Official Trailer:

Food Day is a nation-wide movement that can be summarized by its 6 main principles:
1. Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
2. Support sustainable farms & limit subsidies to big agribusiness
3. Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
4. Protect the environment & animals by reforming factory farms
5. Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
6. Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
For more info go to!

ELECTION DAY…Herbie Sends Good E-mails

I’m a big fan of Herbie’s presidential e-mails.

Especially this one, sent October 21st, which really makes me want to vote today. Since today’s the election. Oh yeah, did you know that? There’s another Student Union Election today.

If you don’t want to vote already (note Sec. Kirkland’s thinly veiled threats of more e-mails to come if people don’t vote), read Herbie’s e-mail below and you will want to vote. Or won’t. Up to you. But just read it. I even bolded my favorite lines for you!

Oh, and Kudos to Kirkland for a more concise and clearer summary of the voting process for Round 2!

So today marks the half-way point of the Semester. And I hope all of you have been having a great year a midst the Brandeis Thursdays, midterms, papers and the increasingly popular trend among students of being way too over-committed. Despite time flying by, I hope all of you have had the chance to pursue your personal goals.

To be honest with you, one of my primary goals has been to make the Student Union a more prominent part of your Brandeis experience. Now I know many of you might not care about what we do in the Student Government, but our organization can do wonders for your life as a student at Brandeis. We just need your support.

Every week, 60 people work hard to be the best advocates for all of you. We are not just about Marathon allocations and Midnight Buffet (though important); we also work to improve conditions on campus, making sure student voices are heard in big decisions. We also bring you events and programs to enrich your Brandeis experience.

Hopefully you’ve started to see the changes we are making to be a more open and effective Student Government. And in the coming weeks, as you hear more about our initiatives and programs, I ask that you lend your support so that we can make this year one to be remembered in terms of student accomplishments. The same goes for our Elections on Monday. Even if you don’t know the candidates, check out the newsletter we send out right before. Read about who is running and their goals. Based off that, VOTE! You don’t always have to abstain for every race; if you don’t feel comfortable voting for people you don’t know, then just press skip! But please if you can, vote on Monday!

So far the year has been going well, but we want to make it better – that’s our goal. See below for some events the Student Union is bringing your way, and good luck pursuing your goals for this semester.

Your Student Union President,

Brandeis Takes Stalking to a Whole New Level

…with Shadowing!

Ba dum dum shhhh, as my friend Roneil would say.

This Shadowing program has gotten some good reviews in the past.

Basically, you fill out a few questions (the line of work you’re interested in, which major cities you will be near over winter break, what you hope to gain from a shadowing experience), and Brandeis matches you up with an alum who meets those requirements. Then, you follow the person around hir place of work for a day, talk with hir about hir job, and la dee da!

I think it’s a good initiative and a good way to use our alumni. Although I have not participated in the past, I filled out the (short!) questionnaire so hopefully will get assigned a buddy this year.

One complaint: Writing/English/Comedy/Entertainment— none of those are listed as categories.

The closest I got was “Fine and Performing Arts,” “Media (Broadcast, Print, Digital),” “Publishing” and “Other.” However, if I want to be a novelist or comedy writer, I do not think any of these would really fit the bill.

Why are the creative arts ignored, lumped under one vague heading that doesn’t even encompass all of them, while education gets three SEPARATE categories? Is this indicative of Brandeis’ foci?

*Most intriguing option: “Food and Beverage.” As a line of work separate from marketing, management and hospitality…what does this mean?

Occupiers Journals

Confused about Occupy Wall Street? Not sure who to believe about what’s really going on with those protests?

Well, now, there may be a better primary source of information.

DFA Political Campaign Manager, Gregg Ross, sent out an e-mail about a new project DFA is starting: The Occupiers Journal. As he describes it, “first-hand accounts, personal stories and regular updates from DFA members taking part on the ground, in the middle of all the action.”

You can sign up to receive personal stories from occupiers, via DFA, or submit your own accounts of your experiences!

InnermostParts would like to provide a similar safe space for people to share their experiences. In the coming weeks we will be trying to setup interviews with Brandeis Occupiers, so if you have been involved in the protests in any way, or have questions/comments, please share your ideas with us in the comments section or e-mail

Full text of the DFA e-mail below:
Continue reading “Occupiers Journals”

Live Off-Campus? Not a Probelm!

This is a great program setup by Off-Campus Senator Rachel Goutman! Way to help the environment and make school more accessible! Kudos to you, Rachel, I hope this program will go far!

E-mail from Secretary Kirkland:

Your Off-Campus Senator, Rachel Goutman, has implemented a student run carpool system as a way to provide off-campus students with an additional option of transportation to campus. There are many students that live off campus with cars. Likewise, there are many students that live off campus without cars. The idea of the carpool list is for students with a car, who choose to participate, to provide rides to campus for students who live close by without a car.

Rules for using the carpool list:
• You MUST call a student with a car at least 24 hours in advance to
ask for a ride.
• Participation in the carpool is not mandatory. Student’s schedules
change and they may not always be available to provide rides.
• If you use a driver 5 times or more, you must give them gas money.
It is up to the drive to decide how much money a student should
• Try and contact drivers that live close by to you.

You can find the form to sign up here:

And you can find the spread sheet of participants here:

Brandeis Elections postponed to Oct. 24

Secretary Kirkland ’13 just informed me that Student Union elections will be POSTPONED to Monday, October 24th.

This is due to the opening of a new position, Senior Representative of the Alumni Association, after the student elected to it decided not to accept.

I think this is a good call. I don’t have the energy to look at the Brandeis Student Union Constitution and investigate how long an election can be postponed for, but I’m sure someone will.

Even better news:

[The postponement] will allow us to gather more candidates, give people more time to campaign, and allow us to look deeper into our current election system with Big-Pulse.” -Todd

What do you guys think: will more time help? Are you gonna vote?

Social Media Just a Fad

Below is a video interview with Brandeis Psychology Professor Peter Descioli and Wired magazine contributing editor Jeff Howe.

It’s a fun and enlightening video about social media, and it’s funnier since it’s being discussed by adults. (Favorite line: 600 friends!?!)

The conclusion seems to be that this technology mania is just a phase, and will inspire a counter-revolution…what do you guys think?

Two noteworthy things about this interview:

    The Brandeis professor is not the most awkward person in it.

    The Brandeis professor is not the one who brings up Shabbat.

(The above video can be found here)

For more, read the Brandeis Now interview with DeScioli on his social media research, from back in March.

Interfaith Chaplaincy Expose’

They use the same e-mails every holiday.

I never realized it before, but today when I was reading about the meaning of Sukkot, I thought something sounded a bit familiar. So I read last year’s e-mail from the Chaplains, and then 2 years’ ago, and I discovered: they are exactly the same.

The only differences I spotted were in the font of the names at the bottom, and the removal of an underline used to help people pronounce Simhat Torah.

Did other people know this?!

Brandeis Students’ Involvement in Occupying Movements

This Brandeis Now article covers Brandeis students’ involvement in the #Occupy Wall St movement, both in NYC and Boston! It’s not too late to get involved!

Read more about it here, from our Live Blogging Occupy Wall St series of posts, to my own experience at Occupy Chicago.

Know of other members of the Brandeis community (sutdents, alumni, family) participating in other city chapters? Tell us about it here, in the comments section!

#Occupyin’ Chicago

Sorry I didn’t liveblog this, I will try to do so next time.

I visited OccupyChicago for the first time this week, on Friday, October 7th when the movement had been active for exactly 2 weeks. I was lucky enough to meet up with esteemed former contributor Lev Hirschhorn ’11.

What stuck out to me the most:

    The diversity of people: From what I’ve heard in the media and how I think of protests in general, I expected it to be mostly white, liberal college kids complaining about the government. Maybe that’s even how the movement started out, but that’s not how it is anymore. There were white, black, Hispanic, and people of all skin colors there. There were men, women and people who don’t subscribe to the binary. There were people who resembled stay at home mothers, businessmen, students, unemployed people and more. Young and old. Dressed nicely and not so nicely. All together.

    The lack of police interaction: This is again a misconception that has been spreading in part due to the media. Nationwide, the OccupyWallSt movement gained popularity and notoriety after the NYPD arrested about 700 protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge. We’ve all seen the mace videos. So it came as quite a surprise to see the police watching the protest from across the street, walking through the crowd of protesters at times, but not interacting in any way.

    As you will see in some of my pictures, there are barricades up along the streets. However, I learned that these are NOT related to the protest, but in fact were put there for the Bank of America Marathon, which ran through that intersection on Sunday. I have not heard of any arrests or conflicts so far related to the Chicago protest, aside from the police directing protesters not to sleep on the streets and requiring them to continue moving their stores of food (which I don’t fully understand why they must do.)

My Experience:
Continue reading “#Occupyin’ Chicago”

Hoot Gathers Info on Brandeis Mental Health

The Brandeis Hoot has conducted some insightful surveys of Brandeis students in the past (see: Diversity at Brandeis), so we support its effort to conduct its latest one, on “mental health services provided by Brandeis.”

I think this is an especially good choice of topics since I have many, MANY complaints regarding mental health services at Brandeis, both from personal experience and from stories my friends have told me.

Read the description below and then take the survey!

Have you used the psychological counseling center or health center? What are your thoughts on the services provided? We want to hear from you!

Students are invited to take an anonymous survey on health and psychological health services provided at Brandeis, as part of a Hoot project to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the services. We need your help – please fill out the survey at

For more information, contact Alex Schneider at

Christine Hefner ’74 To Give Speech at Alma Mater

Christine Hefner, Hugh’s daughter, is coming to speak at her old alma mater, Brandeis.

I have great respect for Playboy Enterprises. Please go to this event, all of you, since I am abroad and will not be able to attend. And bring a copy of the magazine for her to sign. Please.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by the Student Union:

The Student Union invites you to have a conversation with Ms. Christie Hefner ’74 on Friday, October 21st from 3:30-5:30 PM in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall as part of the “Influential People Embodying the Brandeis Spirit” series. As former CEO and chairman of Playboy Enterprises from 1988-2009, Ms. Hefner will speak about entrepreneurship and how her successful career relates to the Brandeis spirit. This event follows upon the success of last year’s event with Chief Justice (ret.) Margaret Marshall and Professor Anita Hill.

The goal of the event is to create a conversational environment where Brandeis students can learn from accomplished professionals in the Brandeis community. This opportunity allows Brandeis students, undergraduates and graduates, and faculty to understand how community leaders have used their Brandeis connection to propel themselves into their successful and impactful lives. Students will be able to engage in a question and answer period with our guests and gain an in-depth understanding of their career choices as well as learn from their experience on present day issues. Refreshments will be served. Please contact Sarah Geller ( and/or Herbie Rosen ( if you have any questions/concerns.

Co-sponsors include the Student Union, Business Department, Department of Student Life, and the Hiatt Career Center.

DFA: Making Politics More Black and White

For a while now I’ve been troubled by one of Democracy for America’s (DFA’s) new campaign for the 2012 election season: Heroes and Villains.

This campaign, which started September 23rd and will end October 14th, allows users to vote for their favorite House and Senate representatives (Heroes) and their least favorite (Villains). While the Hero with the most votes gets financial support and publicity, the Villain gets an “anti-endorsement” from DFA, which entails support for hir opponent, negative publicity, and “a long-term commitment by DFA to defeat the Villain.”

The campaign has a pretty, colorful homepage and short, flashy blurbs about each nominee. It is meant to be fun, to encourage people to get involve, and even perhaps to satirize politics. In general, these are ideals I support. However, I think this campaign is doing the field of politics more harm than good. It is too divisive.

Continue reading “DFA: Making Politics More Black and White”

Best Sustainability Funtimes!

Y’all should apply to the BSF:

It’s time to get those green creative juices flowing. In its second exciting year the Brandeis Sustainability Fund (BSF) is open to your ideas!

What is the BSF?
The Brandeis Sustainability Fund was created by and for undergraduate students in 2010 to create a $50,000 fund for for innovative projects that cut energy use, reduce waste, promote sustainability in student life, and create a more environmentally friendly campus.

How do I get involved?
For inspiration check out last year’s funded projects. Projects included a new energy building dashboard, expanding DeisBikes, and more! Project Applications will be reviewed by a University-wide board of Faculty, students and administrators.

Any deadlines to consider?
Now is the time to get your idea or project funded and make a difference. Deadline to declare interest is Oct. 27 and writing the appliction Nov. 10 Learn more here!

You can attend a BSF Info session to learn more about this opportunity and connect with other who might be interested.

Wed. Oct. 5, 5-6:30 and Thursday. Oct. 6 4-5:30 both in room 315 in the SCC. Snacks included. If none of those times work e-mail to schedule something.

Boston Town Hall Meeting on Media and Democracy

This fall the FCC will face massive corporate pressure to gut media-ownership rules and pave the way for more media consolidation. In Congress the “Super Committee” will weigh cuts to public media as it trims the federal budget. Meanwhile, Net Neutrality protections preserving the free and open Internet are under increasing threat.

On Oct. 21 the Boston Media Reform Network is hosting a town hall exploring how today’s shifting media landscape impacts the news and information needs of local communities, especially Boston. We will screen portions of the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times, which chronicles the media industry’s transformation in the face of this changing landscape, to help frame the town hall conversation. New York Times reporter Brian Stelter, who is featured in the documentary, will participate in our discussion.

Here are the details:

What: Town Hall Meeting on Media and Democracy
When: Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30.
Where: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Room 10-250, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Mass.
Who: Brian Stelter, New York Times reporter, Kate Novack, Page One: Inside the New York Times producer, Andrew Rossi, Page One: Inside the New York Times director, Sasha Costanza-Chock, professor of civic media at MIT, and Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press

The town hall also kicks off the Social Movements/Digital Revolutions Conference, which will bring together hundreds of activists and media makers who are fighting to forge a new digital future:

The Boston Town Hall Meeting on Media and Democracy is sponsored by the Boston Media Reform Network, Free Press, Lesley University, Mass. Global Action, the MIT Center for Civic Media, the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and Open Media Boston, with support from Participant Media.


Fall 2011 Elections Round 2 will be on Monday, October 17th from 12am to 12am.

The interested candidates information session will be Thursday, October 6th at 10 pm in the Student Union Office.

The following positions will be voted on:

  • Mods Quad Senator
  • Charles River Quad Senator
  • Racial Minority Senator
  • Judiciary (3 Seats are Open)
  • Secretary Todd Kirkland ’13 says

    “We are trying to address concerns over the current election system and hopefully implement some changes that will work better with our expectations and regulations.”

    We say: That’s awesome, Todd! Good luck!

    An e-mail will be sent out with this information to the student body tomorrow.


    Aramark has a new voluntary meal plan for commuter students, grad students, and those who live in “off-campus apartments,” which includes Charles River, Ridgewood, 567, Foster Mod, although I’m not sure why those dorms are counted as off-campus? Ridgewood?!

    Anyway, the names of these plans are really the best part:

    · Wise Plan – $799.00: Combination of 90 Meals and $325 Dining Dollars

    · Wiser Plan – $499.00: Combination of 35 Meals and $300 Dining Dollars

    · New Plan – Wisest Plan – $259.00: Combination of 17 Meals and $169 Dining Dollars

    Lastly, here’s that coupon I promsied you. It expires October 7th, so get on that!

    Interfaith Peace Vigils Calling on Student Leaders

    The Interfaith Chaplaincy is inviting groups to submit ideas for themed discussions/programs during its weekly Friday peace vigil, held from 12:10-12:30 at the Usdan Peace Circle.

    If a club, a class, or other type of group you are involved with have ideas of discussions you would like to lead, you can e-mail Alex Levering Kern, Brandeis’ Protestant Chaplain, at:

    See the full text of his e-mail below for suggestions of themes and more details:
    Continue reading “Interfaith Peace Vigils Calling on Student Leaders”

    Recycling Gaining Popularity?

    In August, I wrote about the lack of recycling going on in small municipalities such as McComb, Mississippi (Britney Spears’ birth place).

    So, I was pleased to receive an e-mail from 1800Recycling, telling me that they have noticed that more municipalities have started local recycling programs, and they be featuring these communities on their site. In fact, you can SUBMIT examples of how your community is helping the environmental movement!

    Know of any environmental programs going on, or thinking of starting one yourself? Post here with ideas, and consult the website for more stories.

    Full text of e-mail below:
    Continue reading “Recycling Gaining Popularity?”

    Brandeis: Alcohol and Drugs?

    Today, President Lawrence sent out an e-mail to the Brandeis community about the “report from the ad hoc Committee on Alcohol and Drug Policy.” The Committee was “formed last fall to review the university’s policies regarding student use of alcohol and drugs and to offer broad-based recommendations to enhance the health and safety of our community.” (ie after Pachanga)

    Here is a selection of the report’s most interesting findings.

    Highlights of the Report’s Introduction

    • “…it is clear is that our campus experiences multiple highly dangerous situations each year.”
    • “The Committee did not assess the extent of the alcohol and drug use at Brandeis, nor even the effectiveness of the multiple programs that exist to deal with substance misuse…rather, we considered ways to enhance current policy to protect each student and community member.”
    • “As will be clear when one reviews the recommendations, the Committee does not believe that a punitive approach is the most effective way to address these issues.”

    Most Controversial Suggestions

    Health Protection

    • 2. Based on an assessment of current research, and perhaps the conduct of an experiment at Brandeis, Health Center medical personnel should consider adding a standard assessment tool for screening individuals for drug and alcohol use during routine annual physical exams and other appropriate encounters. Several such screening tools exist.

    Prevention and Awareness

    • 4. An on-line alcohol education course such as Alcohol-Wise or Alcohol Edu for all incoming students, including transfer students and graduate students. Until it’s possible to provide the training to each class, the course should also be made available to student leaders, upperclassmen, student athletes. It should be made mandatory for students who have violated campus alcohol policy.

    Environment and Community

    • 5. Consider the relationship of currently unrecognized fraternities and sororities to the student body.
    • 6. Work with Athletics to encourage greater student presence at sporting events and emphasize the role that support of sports teams plays in developing community and school spirit.

    Strongest Recommendations
    Continue reading “Brandeis: Alcohol and Drugs?”

    University Committees and Clubs in Service Calling All Activists!

    Two leadership opportunities- if you want to change the system, sometimes the best way is THROUGH the system.

    Apply to be on a University Committee!

    These committees meet regularly with administrators to provide them with a student voice; it is an excellent opportunity to get involved as a student leader and to see positive change made at Brandeis. There are committees that fit any interest and issue.

    There are also chairmanships open on most of the committees. Chairs schedule meetings and serve as the main contact person between the administrator and the committee.

    Some committees have membership caps and others do not. Please take this into consideration when applying and feel free to apply for a few!

    You can find descriptions of all the available committees here:

    To apply, please fill out the application here:

    Applications are due Sunday, October 2nd and interviews will be Monday, October 3rd – Friday, October 7th. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Abby Kulawitz at or Elizabeth Fields at

    Thank you!

    Abby Kulawitz (Director of Executive Affairs) & Elizabeth Fields (University Committee Coordinator)

    Love Community Service?
    Want a leadership position?
    Well we have the perfect opportunity for YOU!

    There is a new position available to serve as the Representative of the Student Union to Clubs in Service. Clubs In Service is a partnership between the Student Union, Waltham Group, and the Department of Community Service. The mission of Clubs In Service is to reach out and engage clubs in community service by connecting them with service opportunities.

    Your job will entail meeting with the Co-Directors of Community Advocacy, serving as a member of the Clubs In Service committee, and participating in both Clubs In Service and Student Union events while offering perspectives from a community service lens.

    Aside from these responsibilities, this position will allow you to utilize your creativity, connect with clubs on campus, and take a leadership role as a promoter of campus-wide community service, generating a positive effect both on campus and off.

    To apply, fill out the application here:

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Union Co-Directors of Community Advocacy, Tamar Schneck at or Dillon Harvey at

    Brandeisians Join Wall Street Occupation

    People are still occupying Wall Street. Brandeisians have been getting involved. And now there’s talk of a Boston occupation too!?

    Read Shea’s e-mail below to find out more about what’s going on, why, and how to get involved:

    Last weekend, 5 Brandeis students went down to NYC to join the Occupy Wall St. protestors. It was wonderful, awe-inspiring and empowering. This weekend, we want to bring even more students down: we will be joining an ever-growing movement, comprised of citizens from over 40 states, students from over 20 colleges, humans of all walks of life who have the courage to live the change they want to see in the world.

    If you have any interest in coming along, or joining the new Boston occupation that will be starting this weekend, we will be holding TWO meetings to plan our trip and discuss anything related to the ongoing occupations: tonight, Monday the 26th, and tomorrow night, Tuesday the 27th. Both meetings will be held at 10PM in the Peace Room, located above lower Usdan, next to Levin Ballroom.

    If you cant make either of these times, please email me (Shea Riester) at or call me at 9176452444!

    In the last week, the Occupy Wall St. protestors have been joined by Lupe Fiasco, Immortal Technique, Chris Hedges and Reverend Billy! To get a feel for the spirit of the occupation, here’s a report from last night in Liberty Square from

    Drums blared for hours into the night when the Assembly wasn’t in session, until the time came for quiet. The drummers ended by reciting from the Principles of Solidarity we approved in Friday’s General Assembly, in the rain. Before the police lined along the Broadway side of the plaza, they cried together, “We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality.” And more. “Safety in numbers!” a sign by them says. “Join us.”

    For more information:

    On-Campus Feminist Internships Available

    Here are some awesome opportunities.

    Paid, On-Campus Internships- Available Projects:

    “Women in Science: Celebrating the Centennial of Madame Curie”

    ‘Does Worshipping the Goddess Make You a Feminist?’ Studying Women, Paganism and Feminism

    Exploring Audio Archives of the Womens’ Philharmonic

    Justice and Gender Investigative Journalism

    Women’s Work Activities After Retirement

    “Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Law Relationships Work” Book Project

    Feminism in Cyberspace

    This paid internship opportunity is designed to give undergraduate students a unique and innovative learning experience by allowing them to work side by side with a Scholar or Faculty Member in an interdisciplinary environment. Find out how to satisfy your curiosity about a field, AND make your resume stand out from the pack with valuable experience now!

    Questions? Contact Kristen Mullin, SSP Program Coordinator:

    Log on for details and application:


    I love Dean of Student Life, Rick Sawyer’s, latest e-mail.

    Here are the highlights:

  • …the Swine Flu (we preferred H1N1 – sounds more academic)
  • We developed a community/team effort and we think that we single-handedly defeated the spread of the H1N1 flu!!..
  • You often need to be your own lifeguard on this beach.
  • Finally, on another important health note, if you are a Red Sox fan …… I have no advice. I am trying slow and deep breathing and some sort of chanting.
  • See the full text of his playful, helpful, and insightful e-mail below if you are interested.

    Continue reading “FLUPDATE”

    Netflix: Leading Corporations in Sensitivity?

    This is the sweetest and perhaps most ridiculous e-mail I have ever received: Netflix apologizing for making changes to their business without fully explaining their reasons to their customers. I applaud their transparency, but can corporations really BE this sensitive? For real?

    The text of the e-mail appears below unchanged, except that I put my favorite part in bold.

    Dear elly,

    I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

    It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

    For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

    So here is what we are doing and why.

    Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

    I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

    So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

    It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.
    Continue reading “Netflix: Leading Corporations in Sensitivity?”

    Fall 2011 Election Results

    ELECTION RESULTS, via Secretary Kirkland.

    Evyn Rabinowitz

    Class of 2015 Senators
    Sneha Walia
    Daniel Novak

    Class of 2012 Senator
    Melissa Donze

    Class of 2013 Senators
    Theodore Choi
    Sarah G. Kim

    Alumni Association Representative
    Jenny Lau

    Brandeis Sustainability Fund Representative
    Lisa Purdy
    Rohan Bhatia

    Castle Quad Senator
    Kelsey Dean

    East Quad Senator
    Jeremy Goodman

    F-Board Racial Minority
    Paul Lee

    Gaili Gordon

    Massell Quad Senator
    Dean Kaplan

    North Quad Senator
    Charlotte Franco

    Off Campus Senator
    Rachel Goutman

    Ridgewood Quad Senator
    Boris Osipov

    Rosenthal Quad Senator
    Jacklyn Gil

    TYP Senator
    James Polite

    Village Quad Senator
    Benjamin Beutel

    Ziv Quad Senator
    Sol Kim

    The following positions still remain vacant
    Mods Quad Senator
    Judiciary (3 Seats)
    Charles River Quad Senator
    Racial Minority Senator

    Ending Note: If ABSTAIN receives the most votes in the final round, then that position in question remains vacant. We will soon be announcing the election date for the vac ant positions. Thank you for everyone who campaigned and covered the elections. We appreciate your involvement. The news media will break the initial report followed by the Student Union at a later time with the summary of results.

    For voting statistics and full counts, check out the ElectionResults 2011 fall.

    Changes in the Election Process


    -Skip button
    Rationale: In the past if voters didn’t want to vote they would click abstain, and if abstain received the majority vote, the position would remain empty.
    Prediction: This will increase the percent of people elected to positions. That is, if voters even notice the Skip button.

    Candidates Newsletter
    Rationale: Voters usually don’t know that much about each of the candidates. This provides an alternative to judging them based on their facebook profiles.
    Prediction: More people will vote for candidates than abstain. That is, if voters even notice the link to the Newsletter hidden within the Student Union Election e-mail.


    -BigPulse Signing In
    Rationale: For some reason (an issue with renewing the contract? technical glitches?), in the past two elections, BigPulse, the site that hosts the elections, has required voters to click “forgot password” and then log in with a username sent to their e-mail, rather than just signing in with their Brandeis usernames.
    Prediction: Less people will vote because it’s a hassle. That is, if voters were going to even vote in the first place.

    -BigPulse List of Positions
    Rationale: I seem to recall that in previous elections, BigPulse allowed you to view all the different positions that were up for votes and then you could click on individual ones to vote in them as you saw fit. This also allowed you to make sure that you had voted in all of the categories. Now, you can only view one at a time, in a pre-determined sequence.
    Prediction: Less people voting overall, because they are skipping through to vote only for certain positions. That is, if voters realize they aren’t done as soon as they click the first submit button.

    Other things I noticed

    -Both of the candidates for Senator for the Class of 2013 were endorsed by the Skydiving and Future Endeavors club.

    -Of the Senator for the Class of 2015 candidates with bios on the Candidates Newsletter, only Haotian Shen was endorsed by a club.

    -There are an astounding TEN candidates for the Senator for the Class of 2015. Yeah freshmen!!! (I mean first years)

    -No one wants to run for Mods Quad Senator, Charles River Quad Senator (includes 567) or Racial Minority Senator. Well, some people want to run (ahem Nipun), but there are no official candidates and I haven’t seen much facebook activity advertising write-ins for these positions.

    Vote Today: Midnight to midnight

    Even if you don’t care about the school, don’t know the candidates, don’t give a damn, if you want to have an effect on the system, go online and vote.

    Good Evening Brandeis,

    Polls are now open!!!

    Click here for the polls:

    Quick Instructions
    1. Click on the above link and enter your Brandeis email address (ie:

    2. An email will be sent to you.

    3. Click on the link and you can vote!

    The final candidates newsletter can be found here:

    Many of you will notice that the following positions have no official candidates running, please feel free to write in an appropriate candidate and we will most likely have a second election to fill these spots:
    Mods Quad Senator
    Charles River Quad Senator (includes 567)
    Racial Minority Senator

    A brief explanation of what you will see on the ballot:
    1. Candidates listed, you may number the candidates in any preference you see fit
    2. You can also write in a candidate
    3. You can click skip poll, and your vote will not be recorded against any candidate. We advise that you do this if you are unfamiliar/indifferent with any of the candidates. You have the right not to vote (note: you cannot skip the last poll)
    4. Abstain. Please know that Abstain means you are voting against all of the candidates. If Abstain receives the most votes, the position remains vacant. We advise that you only vote Abstain if you disagree with all of the candidates.

    Please take a moment to vote, we would really appreciate hearing your input.

    If you have any questions, feel free to email me at


    Spike in Crime in Waltham?

    Anyone know anything about the numerous break-ins into apartments of Brandeisians living off-campus this week?

    Edward M. Callahan, Director of Public Safety at Brandeis sent out the following e-mail. Please comment below with information, or send tips to

    In the last week, several students residing off campus have reported
    break-ins at their Waltham apartments. Each incident was reported to the
    Waltham Police who are currently investigating. As a reminder, all
    students residing off campus should check with their landlord to ensure
    that their residence has proper locking devices on all windows and doors
    and remember to use them. Students should also report any suspicious
    activity to the Waltham Police.
    Students living on campus should make certain that their residence hall
    room doors and windows are secure when leaving the room and report any
    suspicious activity to Brandeis Public Safety.