Author: Phil LaCombe

  • Another articulation of the division Oren causes our community

    Many people unfamiliar with the Brandeis community view us as a strictly Jewish institution, when in fact we are a very diverse community.  We have members from a wide spectrum of Jewish backgrounds, from the many faiths of the world, and from no faith.  For a great number of our students, faculty, and staff, the […]

  • Demonstrate

    To the Brandeis Community: The Brandeis administration’s choice of Michael Oren as this year’s commencement speaker has brought division to what should be a unifying event.  If you are upset about this choice and would like an opportunity to voice your opinion, come to a demonstration against campus division tomorrow beginning at 4:45 p.m between […]

  • Sahar: An Accomplished Candidate

    Sahar is a blogger who has constantly worked for real-world change. He believes in changing the underlying structures and the dynamics of student government in order to empower and protect student and help Brandeis live up to its mission.  He turns great ideas into practical proposals and real change. Sahar co-founded the Committee on Endowment […]

  • Dr. Dean!

    Just a reminder we’re going to have a progressive champion coming to campus soon… Dr. Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont, presidential candidate and chair of the Democratic National Committee will be coming to campus on April 15th to talk to the Brandeis community about his career, current political debates, and youth participation in the political […]

  • Soldiers of Peace Film Screening

    Last week I stepped out of my usual network of activists and attended a Student Peace Alliance meeting.  It was an enjoyable experience–SPA does some cool things and has some great people.  I noticed some similarities with DFA in its meeting style, reminding me that we share common roots.  Both groups were founded on the […]

  • Howard Dean Coming to Brandeis

    A collaborative effort of Brandeis clubs including Democracy for America, the College Democrats, the Activist Resource Center, and Gen Ed Now has successfully secured a deal to bring Howard Dean to campus.  He will speak on April 15 at 8pm in Levin Ballroom.  The event will be open to the Brandeis community. Howard Dean, a […]

  • New Tool for Getting Around Boston

    Have you ever felt it difficult to get from Point A to Point B in the Boston area without going through downtown? Say you want to get from Harvard Square to Coolidge Corner in Brookline. You don’t need to go in to Park Street Station on the Red Line and then out again on the […]

  • Building Blunders of Brandeis, Part IV: Disposable Architecture

    This post is part of a series that addresses the physical aspects of our campus, specifically the history and the current state of Brandeis University architecture and planning. One of society’s ongoing problems is what to do with old buildings.  Do we demolish them and build something new?  Do we renovate and re-purpose them?  If […]

  • Critical Mass

    Cross-posted from my blog. This past Friday evening I participated in an event called Critical Mass, with the purpose to celebrate cycling and assert cyclists’ right to the road.  In Boston, bicyclists hold a ride on a last Friday of every month, starting at Copley Square in the Back Bay.  There are no organizers.  I […]

  • Jehuda Reinharz: A Retrospective

    For better or for worse, Jehuda Reinharz’s actions as University President have helped shape my experience at Brandeis.  After hearing about his imminent resignation, I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect upon some events of his term. My oldest memory is of a controversy surrounding a display of Palestinian art on campus.  It was […]

  • Insightful Points from an Inspired Protagonist

    Tonight Brandeis hosted a lecture and Q&A session with Jeffrey Hollender, the founder and Chief Inspired Protagonist of Seventh Generation, which a leader in sustainable business.  Perhaps you’ve seen their dish soap, cleaners, paper towels, or other products at the store.  I didn’t originally intend to write about the event, but it was so great […]

  • Campus Traffic: Chief Callahan’s Response

    Great news!  Campus Safety Chief Ed Callahan responded thoughtfully to my email just two hours after I sent it last night.  If you’re not familiar with the issue, see my previous post.  I’ve obtained permission from him to post his reply. Philip, Thank you for your comments relative to pedestrian safety and vehicles on campus. […]

  • Value People Before Cars

    Perhaps you’ve noticed that the Brandeis Campus Police have been directing traffic at the crosswalks between the Rabb Steps and Usdan, and that they’re letting vehicle traffic move through while students walking must wait.  Well, my friend Matt told me he was writing an email to Ed Callahan, chief of police, so I wrote one […]

  • My Gas Tax

    Do you think America needs better public transportation? Me too, but our local, state, and federal governments lack the vision to plan it and the political will to fund it. I’m not talking about maintaining current service levels during the recession, nor am I referring to a 10 or 20 percent increase in funding. I’m […]

  • Swap, Drop & Go!

    Going abroad? Too much stuff? Need cheap presents? You can swap clothing, shoes, and small household items at Swap, Drop, and Go. Anything not swapped will be donated to local groups on Dec. 19. Each quad, except the Mods, has a donation location. Any questions? Ask your Eco-Rep! There are other food donation programs going […]

  • Electricity isn’t just something that comes from a socket in the wall

    Ever wonder where your power comes from? Today, I and the other Eco-Reps tabled in the Shapiro Atrium to educate the Brandeis community about our energy consumption. Perhaps you’ve heard the term “the grid” tossed around in talk about energy use or energy independence.  The grid is our electrical infrastructure, composed of sources of generation, […]

  • The Castles of Brandeis: Part III – East Quad

    In the third part of my series on how Brandeis’ beloved Usen Castle has influenced some of the modern buildings on campus, I’d like to share my thoughts on East Quad.  Home to around 400 sophomores, East Quad was constructed in 1964 in the Modernist style.  East consists of three buildings: Hassenfeld Hall, which houses […]

  • In Reflection on Tom Friedman’s Remarks

    I just attended a wonderful event on campus at Spingold Theater.  Tom Friedman, New York Times colmnist and Pullitzer Prize winner, spoke about his new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America. He explained how America has “lost its groove” since 9/11, how the environmental crisis […]

  • The Castles of Brandeis: Part II – Rosenstiel Science Center

    For the second part in my mini-series on Usen Castles’ influence on Brandeis University architecture, I’d like to feature the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center.  You can find Rosenstiel directly on the loop road, visible from South Street.  With the new Carl J. Shapiro Science Center being built alongside it, Rosenstiel has had a […]

  • The Castles of Brandeis: Part I – Spingold Theater

    It’s been a while since I’ve written about campus architecture.  You might remember my short series entitled “Blunders of Brandeis” about the buildings and planning of Brandeis University.  This time I’m not so cynical.  I’d like to share with you some of the ways in which our most beloved building, Usen Castle, has influenced the […]

  • A Great Day for Brandeis Progressives

    It’s a great day for the Progressive Party (if you can call it that).  Adam Hughes will be in charge of setting the tone and moderating the debate in the Senate, which is great.  We’ll also have him to participate and report on executive board happenings.  Personally, there are two operational reforms I think the […]

  • Less than an hour left to vote!

    As the title says, there’s less than one hour left to vote in the Student Union Vice President Special Election. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first of Adam’s run for VP.  I suppose I didn’t really know him that well.  All I knew was that he was Sahar’s friend and he was […]

  • How I Greened My Lifestyle–and How You Can Too!

    Technical Support Help Desk Analyst at GE Healthcare.  Sounds thrilling and rewarding, doesn’t it?  Forced into working for “the man” out of financial necessity, that was my title this summer at my job back in Western Mass.  I admit that I needed a break from politics and working for my values after many months of […]

  • It’s Now Easier to Recycle than Ever

    Did you know that Brandeis introduced a new recycling program this year?  It’s a part of Brandeis’ efforts to become a more environmentally sustainable campus.  If you didn’t know, it’s called “Single Stream Recycling” and it’s designed to both increase recycling rates and decrease costs for the university.  In this new process, all sorting is […]

  • The Selfishness of Brandeis Students

    When I heard that despite all the efforts to spend the money from the SAF this semester, we still had $100,000 more in rollover than we did at the beginning of the semester, I saw a great opportunity.   That rollover told me that after all of the great events on campus, all of which were […]

  • Detailed Preliminary Results for the Final Round of Elections

    Here are the numbers for the statistics-lovers out there.  Congratulations to all the winners.  I’ll leave the interpretation and commenting up to you.  Enjoy! Dear Candidates, The winners of the Associate Justice of the Union Judiciary race are as follows: Judah Marans, Danielle Shmuelly, Julia Sferlazzo, and Rachel Graham Kagan. The winners of the Senator-at-Large […]

  • Building Blunders of Brandeis, Part III

    This post is part of a series that addresses the physical aspects of our campus, specifically the history and the current state of Brandeis University architecture and planning. I think I can safely say that almost all Brandeisians agree on at least one thing: the Castle is really cool. Many of us have explored its […]

  • Student Bill of Rights: The Real Story

    Every Tuesday morning I read through The Justice in order to stay current on campus affairs. One of the issues I’ve been following is the Student Bill of Rights, proposed by Jason Gray, Union President-Elect. Jason is a good friend of mine, and he’s revealed that the Student Rights and Responsibilities is long on responsibilities […]

  • Detailed Preliminary Elections Results

    The Elections Commission sent me these preliminary results. I encouraged them to make students more aware that they can obtain these numbers and also to post them on the Union website. Senator for the Class of 2009 As at poll close: Tue 15 Apr 2008 23:59 EDT Number of voters: 186 · Group size: 794 […]

  • Elections Results: Where Are They??

    It’s currently 1:15pm. The first round of Student Union Elections officially ended over one hour ago, yet I still haven’t received any results. I have been very disappointed with how the Union has made no effort at transparency in this election cycle. The votes are counted via computer software, so we should be able to […]

  • Building Blunders of Brandeis, Part II

    It is obvious to me that Brandeis seeks to destroy Modernism on its campus. In architecture there is the so-called “50 year rule” which says that after 50 years a building will be harshly criticized as unsightly, a monstrosity, etc. Considering that many of Brandeis’ buildings were constructed in the 1950s during what is called […]

  • Thoughts on Mike Gravel

    Recently I wrote a comment here at Innermost Parts about Mike Gravel’s upcoming visit to Brandeis, saying that I am excited for him to come but that I’m disappointed he left the Democratic Party for the Libertarians. A writer from the Brandeis Hoot contacted me about the comment and had two questions: 1. What do […]

  • Building Blunders of Brandeis, Part I

    My personal interests in architecture and planning have led me to do some research on the history of Brandeis’ grounds and buildings, and I have found many interesting things through both the university archives and my own exploring. This will be the first in a series of posts about poor decisions and unfortunate changes that […]

  • The Student Union Senate Fails its Constituents

    I heard something very disturbing tonight from one of my sources inside the Student Union Senate relating to their session on Sunday. The Senate supposedly spent two hours debating a resolution on wishing Israel a happy 60th birthday. I realize that many students at Brandeis feel very passionate about Israel, but this was a true […]

  • Fight for Clean Energy with Cape Wind

    It is no secret that America is addicted to oil. We all know that our country needs energy independence. Being from Massachusetts, it’s sometimes difficult to face the fact that my power comes mostly from coal. I feel very strongly that we need to support clean, sustainable energy solutions as not only sound environmental policy, […]

  • Arizona State Universities to Arm Police with Assault Rifles

    I’m pleased to be writing my first piece for Innermost Parts. My name is Phil LaCombe, and I’m involved with many activist causes on campus. last semester, I formed a group with other students, Students Opposing the Decision to Arm. I have been displeased by our university’s decision to arm the campus police since the […]