Behind the Scenes at Innermost Parts

What’s going on at Innermost Parts? Why has posting been so light?

Here’s the deal. Many of us at Innermost Parts are spending our time getting the Change Agency off the ground. Change Agency is a chartered campus club with the same goals as we have: to grow and strengthen the progressive community at Brandeis.

Change Agency is having a retreat this Saturday (from 1-6pm in Grad 110 Room E3). After the retreat we’ll hopefully have everything organized and be ready to provide you our regularly scheduled Innermost Parts programming.

SPRINGFEST — You Heard It Here First!

Back in January 2009, Innermost Parts was the first news outlet to report that the Board of Trustees had decided to close the Rose Art Museum.  Last September, we were the first to announce that President Reinharz was going to resign.  Both times, we were accused of irresponsibly publishing false rumors, but both times, we ended up being correct.

So when Emily posted on March 13th that the Spring Fest music committee had booked Passion Pit to headline Spring Fest 2010, I feel that our track record should have been good enough that we should have at least gotten the benefit of the doubt.  However, we were again attacked in the comments, being called a “trash rumour site” and told we should “recheck our sources”.  And when the Spring Fest line-up was revealed on April 19th, the headline act was — surprise! — Passion Pit.  Imagine that.

I don’t know why our commentators thought it was appropriate to accuse us of rumor-mongering while they were doing that very thing, trying to spread confusion by claiming that it was actually Owl City who was coming.  And I don’t know why they thought it was appropriate to lie in a public forum about how Student Events’ money — money that comes from all of us — was going to be spent.  While I definitely appreciate the hard work that goes into planning events like Spring Fest, that doesn’t give anyone the right to be dishonest to students about student money.

My policy for handling confidential information is simple.  If someone tells me something with the understanding that it remains confidential, I won’t say or publish a word about it.  However, if someone with inside information shares important news with me because they want it to be publicized, I’ll write about it as long as 1) I’m confident that the source is trustworthy on the issue and 2) I think the information is interesting to the Innermost Parts community.  I may have further reservations on a case-by-case basis, but for the most part, I think my responsibility as an activist blogger demands that I’m transparent as possible with what I know about campus events.  I can only speak for myself, but I’m pretty sure that most Innermost Parts authors would agree with me.

By the way, Passion Pit alone cost us $40,000 dollars, and the newly-created Brandeis Sustainability Fund costs around $50,000 dollars.  Why hasn’t there been a push against holding Spring Fest from the people who are complaining about spending so much money?

Peace Vigil Covered in the Daily News Tribune

In light of all the negative coverage of Brandeis that filled the local media last week, it feels particularly good to see something like this in the newspaper:

Standing on the edge of Brandeis University’s Peace Circle, senior Beth Bowman urged the 100-plus students and faculty gathered in support of the campus’ Muslim community to look around and take in the feeling of unity.

In the wake of vandalism and the theft of Imam Talal Eid’s Quran at the Muslim Student Association’s newly renovated suite and prayer space on March 5, students held a peaceful vigil outside of the Usdan Student Center Friday afternoon, some even ditching class to attend.

Some wore white headscarves, some white yarmulkes, and many threw white T-shirts over sweaters, symbolizing peace, in a show of solidarity.

Student Sahar Massachi, the founder and editor of, the unofficial school blog, presented Eid with a petition he called “a love letter,” signed by more than 400 Brandeis students and professors.

Eid smiled as student after student handed him a page of the petition, each full of signatures.

Students of different faiths condemned the vandalism, and expressed support for their Muslim peers.

“Look around. This is so moving to me,” said Bowman, who is also on the Muslim Student Association’s executive board.

“The events that happened on March 5 are not the spirit of Brandeis – it’s the spirit right here,” she said, the group clapping.

I’m sitting in the library right now, reading the article over and over and smiling like a fool.  We couldn’t have asked for a nicer, more positive story on the vigil; we really put Brandeis’s best foot forward on Friday.  More importantly, we showed ourselves, hopefully our Muslim brothers and sisters especially, that this entire community felt the pain and fear of the MSA vandalism and that an attack on any of us is an attack on all of us.  We stood together in a way that people recognized.

The vandals must be absolutely furious right now.  They tried to attack a very specific group on campus, but instead they allowed us to prove publicly that we are united on a fundamental level, regardless of religious differences.  However, this can be their gain as well, because in the wise words of Imam Talal Eid, “This person was probably a member of the Brandeis family, and we will not give up a member of the Brandeis family.”  It’s a great feeling to know that you have an entire community willing to stand behind you when you need it the most, and provided you choose to act in accord with this community’s values, you (or anyone) can take comfort in that knowledge as well.