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!



Andrew Slack

Andrew Slack, who graduated in 2002, is not only a fantastic friend but a visionary. He is featured in Brandeis NOW, along with an awesome video.

Check out this blurb and follow the link:

Andrew Slack ’02 is creator, co-founder, and executive director of the Harry Potter Alliance, which takes a creative approach to activism by mobilizing thousands of young people to spread love and fight for justice in the spirit of the Harry Potter novels.

At the end of September, Slack gave a TEDx Talk in Rome, speaking to more than 80 broadcasters throughout Europe about the Harry Potter Alliance and what he calls cultural dreamwork, cultural acupuncture and the power of stories to transform the world.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading worthwhile ideas. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. Since then its scope has broadened to include two annual conferences, the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, TED Fellows and TEDx programs.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events at which TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group setting. These events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

Hiatt- You are SO FUNNY!

Hey Seniors!!

This is a really great opportunity to have Hiatt check over your resume… also Hiatt made a joke!

Haunted by family asking what you’ll be doing after graduation? Wishing Trick-or-Treat wasn’t just for kids?

Hiatt has a special treat that will make your head spin: resume e-reviews!

Just email your resume to hiattchat@gmail.com. Staff will be on hand Monday through Thursday, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. to review submitted resumes. You can even talk with Hiatt Advisors via Google Chat.

Email your resume today and have a happy Halloween!

Andrea Dine
Associate Director of Career Development
Hiatt Career Center

Disclaimer: Offer good only for resumes. Fava beans, chain saws, possessed videos, great white sharks, murderous dolls, sparrows and crows, tannis root, buckets of blood and axe-wielding shower guests not included. A special treat is available to the first student who can identify all 10 horror movies referenced in this invitation by responding to this email.

(I know… Several of these horrors can be attributed to various films. Submit the titles of the scariest; I’m open to debate.)

22 Year Old Stands Up to Bank of America

Please read this extraordinary story of Molly Katchpole a 22 year old from Washington, and her struggle against big banks. She created a petition against Bank of America’s $5 debit card fee. She utilized the website Change.org to raise awareness. Over 300,000 people supported Molly’s cause, and not only is Bank of America revising its $5 debit card fee, but big banks like Chase and Wells Fargo are publicly canceling their plans to charge their customers for debit cards. Diane Sawyer announced on ABC Nightly News Friday night “Score one for a customer rebellion!”

You must watch this segment from ABC Nightly News about Molly’s Change.org petition.

It’s a truly inspiring story about what’s possible when we organize together.

Although Bank of America is revising their fee, many customers including Molly, will still have to pay the $5 debit card fee. Her fight isn’t over, but, as the Wall Street Journal put it, the “big banks blinked.”

Here’s what else the media is saying about Molly’s Change.org petition against big bank fees:
• ABC: “Banks Back Down from Fees”
• CBS: “Bank of America Backs Down After Consumer Backlash”
• Mother Jones: “Banks Surrender on Debit Card Fees”
• Daily Mail: “Victory for customers as big banks back down from debit card fees”
• Time Magazine: “Banks Back Off Unpopular Debit Card Fees”
• NY Daily News: “After outcry, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America back off on debit card fees
• Dan Rather covered Molly’s petition too, saying that Change.org has become a “nerve-center for social justice the world over.”

Relief forTurkey

Please check out this e-mail from Monique Gnanaratnam, the director of the Intercultural Center.

Dear All,

As many of you might have heard on the news, the city of Van, located on the eastern part of Turkey has experienced a devastating earthquake with the magnitude of 7.2. As of now 550 people have been reported dead and 2300 wounded. Death toll is expected to rise because there are lots of people trapped in collapsed buildings and the cold weather makes the situation much more difficult.

Believing in the community spirit we have here at Brandeis, we wanted to ask for your support on this matter.

Here are 2 easy ways to make a contribution to the relief efforts:

1- Turkish American Cultural Society of New England Website allows you to make non-taxable donations through PayPal, at the desired amount

2- Global Giving website allows you to make $10 donations through just a TEXT MESSAGE or you can also make a donation at the desired amount from the website.

Thank you all for your awareness and your support.
Email rozilevi@brandeis.edu if you have any questions or if you’d like to help to further fundraise at Brandeis.

“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: http://goo.gl/Wkxp1


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!

Halloween For The Hungry

Halloween For The Hungry is looking for volunteers!

This year is the 25th anniversary of Halloween for the Hungry Food Drive! As club leaders your position can help inspire and mobilize fellow Brandeisians to get involved and give back to those in need. Ask your organization to volunteer to trick-or-treat for donations of canned goods, non-perishable food items, and toiletries to be sent to local soup kitchens and shelters.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Tina Zhang at xiaoyaaa@brandeis.edu or Caroline Ahn at cahn@brandeis.edu.


Make a difference on our country’s most pressing issues
If you’re looking for a powerful opportunity to change America for the better, consider U.S. PIRG (U.S. Public Interest Research Group). U.S. PIRG is a federation of state-based, nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that work in the public interest.
With U.S. PIRG, you might work to:
End our country’s addiction to oil by building support for mass transit and high-speed rail.
Strengthen our democracy by getting the youth of America to exercise their right to vote.
Guard against threats to our health and security, from poor food safety standards to toxic threats in neighborhoods across the country.
U.S. PIRG is hiring recent graduates throughout the country for salaried positions.
Thursday October 27
Interested? Send you resume to mpreskill@masspirg.org
Questions? Contact Micaela Preskill at mpreskill@masspirg.org or visit our webiste at www.uspirg.

Micaela Preskill
Consumer Associate, MASSPIRG
44 Winter St, 4th floor
Boston, MA 02108
w: (617) 747-4374
c: (626) 695-0498

Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masspirg

Earthquake in Eastern Turkey

Hello Brandeis,

I am very saddened to report that the earthquake in Eastern Turkey has been recorded as having a 7.2 magnitude. According to the CNN article, the death toll has risen to 279, with another 1,300 injured. There have been numerous aftershocks, some reaching to a 6.0 magnitude, which has caused even further damage.

Some of our Brandeis Community have family, friends, and organization members that may have been affected. If you need help, please know there are many resources here for you at Brandeis. If you need to speak with someone, before the extension dial 781-73
Anonymous Hotline x6TALK
Health Center x63677
Community Living/Residence Life x65060
Public Safety x65000
Psychological Counseling Center x63730
(2nd Floor Mailman)

If you have been affected, please take care.

BSF Gets a Check!

National Office Furniture has awarded The Brandeis Sustainability Fund the Gift of Inspiration for Education Environments, a prize which comes with $25,000!

As Brandeis Now reports, “Janna Cohen-Rosenthal ’03, a member of the Facilities services staff who serves as campus sustainability coordinator, applied for the National Office Furniture gift and says it “is a wonderful boost to the [BSF] program.””

The check presentation event for this award will be Tuesday Oct. 25 from 11:30-12:00 in the SCC Atrium. It will be a BIG CHECK, and a must see!!

Apply for the BSF NOW!!!

Past projects have included an Energy Building Dashboard and expanding the awesome Deisbikes program.

You can check out the BSF 2010-2011 Annual Report here.

Read below for more information on applying for a BSF grant, courtesy of Herbie Rosen, emphasis added by IMP.
Continue reading “BSF Gets a Check!”

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 www.foodday.org!

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 tips@innermostparts.org.

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: go.brandeis.edu/carpoolform

And you can find the spread sheet of participants here: go.brandeis.edu/carpoolss

Labor Fight here at Brandeis

The Attack on Public Workers
with Andrew Porter, National Organizer of the Young Democratic Socialists (YDS)

When: Tuesday, October 25th at 8 PM
Where: Pearlman Lounge

Sponsored by Brandeis Labor Coalition

Occupy Wall Street has shown a new break through in class consciousness among the working and middle classes against the financial sector. Yet, the attacks on working people and organized labor has been going on for decades. But labor and its allies are fighting back – from occupations to Ohio. Andrew Porter, a native Ohioan, will discuss the recent efforts of YDS to work against Issue 2 – a ballot measure that would prevent public employees from bargaining for health care and pensions.

Learn how you can get involved in labor solidarity here and around the country.

For more information, contact David Duhalde (dduhalde@brandeis.ed)
Visit the Brandeis Labor Coalition at www.brandeis.edu/~labor

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?

Message from Benjamin Beutel

Dear Social Justice Club Leaders,

My name is Benjamin Beutel, and I am the new chair of the Student Union Senate Social Justice Committee. The Committee’s first priority this year is to increase correspondence and collaboration between social justice groups and leaders at Brandeis. To get started, I would like to have a meeting of as many social justice groups’ leaders or other representatives as possible to figure out what everyone is up to, what we can all do for each other, new inter-group projects that we can work on, and whatever else you’d like to discuss. I’m including a Doodle poll so that we can start organizing a meeting time. By early next week I will reserve space, and while I cannot promise it yet, there will probably be pizza.


Also, since we don’t have a definitive list of current social justice groups at Brandeis available to us (and indeed, making one is on my agenda), please also let us know if there are other people you feel should be brought into this conversation.

And of course, feel free to email me with any questions or ideas you’d like to share. It would help me put together an agenda for the meeting.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

– Benjamin Beutel
Social Justice Chair, Village Quad Senator.

– Sneha Wallia
Class of 2015 Senator.

– Rachel Goutman
Off-Campus Senator.


(the Hindu/Sikh/Jain group on campus) and CHAPLAINCY


*Swamini Sadvidyananda Saraswati*

This Thursday, October 13, 9 pm-10 pm
at the Peace Room in Usdan Student Center
(1st floor, Gluck Entrance near Levin ballroom)

The Swamimi is a disciple of Swami Dayananda Sarasvati. She has studied Vedanta (Hindu philosophy) & Sanskrit for more than a decade in United States and India. She makes the teaching of Vedanta clear and enjoyable. She is connected with the ancient Gurukulam system of learning. She is also a Sanskrit scholar, giving her direct access to the original texts and their commentaries. She is a member of the Hindupedia (the online encyclopedia of Hindu Dharma) Editorial Board. For the last nine years she has been teaching in Gujarat, India and makes an annual tour in the US.

The visit was organized by Brandeis Catholic Chaplain Rev. Walter Cuenin.
For more information, email cuenin@brandeis.edu

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 http://my.brandeis.edu//survsimp/one?survey_id=6109

For more information, contact Alex Schneider at eic@thebrandeishoot.com

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 (sgeller@brandeis.edu) and/or Herbie Rosen (hrosen@brandeis.edu) 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”

ONE Movement

Check out this activist event from Brittany Ritell!

Not eating a thing for 24 hours – what would it feel like?
This is the reality for 923 million people around the world.
Could you survive a day in their shoes?

The famine in Somalia had killed 30,000 children in the last 3 months. Without urgent assistance more than 160,000 children in southern Somalia will die in the coming weeks. The clock is ticking. Join Positive Foundations and the Girl Effect from 6PM on Friday October 14 to 6PM on Saturday October 15 in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium in 24 hour fasting solidarity for the Horn of Africa.

A few of the facts (from www.whitehouse.gov):
1. More than 13 million people are in crisis – making this the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.
2. More than 700,000 people have fled from their homes in Somalia to Ethiopia and Kenya – creating the world’s largest refugee camps.
3. 1 child is dying every 6 minutes in Somalia.
4. More than 750,000 people are projected to perish from starvation in Somalia within the next four months if humanitarians are not allowed access in to southern Somalia

Event Highlights:
Keynote Speaker, Will Fonton from Oxfam
Advocacy Workshop with Cynthia Tschampl from RESULTS
T Shirt Decorating
Candle Light Vigil
“Twitter Attack”
Post-Famine Fast
and much more

Take just one day to educate yourself and join the ONE movement to end extreme poverty. Live hungry for just 24 hours so that, hopefully, one day, no one will have to.

Thank you for your support of this cause and if you have any questions regarding this, please email me back at britell@brandeis.edu

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 sustainability@brandeis.edu 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: http://www.digitalmediaconference.org

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!

    Action TONIGHT!

    Hey Brandeis activists,

    CHECK OUT this very important message from Matt Gabrenya:

    You’ve heard about Occupy Wall Street… the movement is growing. There are now ongoing occupations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and numerous other cities.

    This is it folks. A new American democracy movement is developing. This is something that our country has not seen in a very very long time and if you’re like me, it’s been exhilarating, inspiring, and nerve-wracking and to watch it develop.

    Let’s talk more about Occupy Boston TONIGHT at 8:00pm in the Peace Room (hidden away in Usdan, give me a call if you can’t find it 7818201450).

    Some students spent this past weekend at Occupy Boston, others want to check it out, and many more want to continue the discussions and debates of how we can help propel this into the mass popular movement it NEEDS TO BE and CAN BECOME.

    hope to see you tonight.

    Occupy Wall Street Statement

    If you are following the Occupy movement (where there is now an Occupy Boston!!!), you may want to check out this statement is issued by the General Assemblies of the Occupy movement:

    National General Assemblies Draft Declaration Version: 1.0 Time: 9/30/2011
    Over two centuries ago America’s founders gathered to air their grievances with the British monarchy and to declare an end to the divine right of kings in this country.

    Their English is archaic and strange to us now, but every single one of us knows and understands this part: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Today we, the free men and women of America, have gathered in Liberty Square to renew this foundation of our country, to ensure the natural, inalienable rights of all human beings are respected, and to restore the rule of the law, the very foundation of our civil society. Our grievances today are clear and simple.

    With regard to our property: We have been deprived of our homes in illegal foreclosure processes, often by corporate entities that can not prove that they have any claim on our property. Our national treasury has been drained to cover the gambling losses of Wall Street casinos, who conceal their true nature by calling themselves banks. With regards to our livelihood: Our First Amendment freedom of association, namely the formation of a union for the purpose of collective bargaining, is constantly under assault. Our factories and service centers are dismantled and shipped to other countries with no heed paid to the needs of those they employed, nor to the stability and well being of our nation as a whole. With regard to our lives:

    We are subjected to numerous schemes which deprive us of the fruit of education, the means by which we make citizens. From kindergarten to graduate school we are beset with fees contrived by bankers as well as requirements and restrictions conceived by fanatics who would have us revisit the religious wars this country’s founders fled.

    We have been deprived of healthy, safe, natural food grown by our neighbors and in its place we can only find that which fattens without nourishing, that which may be unclean, and that which is created from animals who live in torment and plants unnaturally turned into pesticide factories. We spend more than any other western nation on health care, our doctors and nurses are among the best in the world, but the only things ensured by our parasitic health insurance industry are their profits and banana republic grade care for our citizens.

    With regard to our Liberty: We have been subjected to policies that segregate us by race, by age, by country of origin, whom we choose to love, whether we be natural born citizens, legal immigrants, or desperate refugees, when no natural division exists. We have been subjected to endless eavesdropping, poorly conceived security procedures when boarding planes, a politicized “Do Not Fly” list, and a dozen other insults foisted on us under the guise of protecting us. We are arrested, often for victimless crimes that the nations of Europe have long since chosen to ignore or tax and regulate. We are imprisoned at rates SIX TIMES that of our neighbors in Canada, SEVEN TIMES that of our neighbors in the United Kingdom, and TEN TIMES that of our neighbors in Mexico. It is our 21st century slave plantations masquerading as prisons that need reform, not us.

    We are imprisoned differently; the darker our skin, the longer our sentences. Need we say more here?

    Our founders displayed great wisdom, cautioning us to take care that we are acting on problems, rather than reacting to them. “Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;” Our suffering today is not light, nor is it transient; a generation of carefully calculated policies were needed to dismantle America’s once broad middle class. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    We are today come to that which the authors of our Declaration of Independence so feared: total usurpation of our right to self government, brought on by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, an act clearly bought, paid for, and implemented by a few corrupt men. The removal from authority and prosecution of those found to be involved is our first and foremost DEMAND.

    America is a nation of the rule of the law, and without its steady, even application to ALL none can consider their rights and property to be safe. We will certainly find more causes for which we will DEMAND vigorous application of the rule of the law, but when the United States Supreme Court, one of the three pillars of our government, becomes a rotten husk where one can purchase the utter dissolution of our election system, and for naught but the price of a single Washington D.C. town home, we MUST act. When our rights were enumerated we were also reminded of increasingly dire solutions that a free people might apply to a government that no longer has their consent. Having discussed this among ourselves, we feel such talk is premature, paranoid and more than a bit hysterical. Our founders provided all the tools required for the housecleaning we MUST undertake. We need only muster the will to wield them.

    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: akern@brandeis.edu.

    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?”