Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele Touts Nonconformity by mmcsx

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									                            Bureaucratic                                     Students Debate
                            Travails in                                                                                                                              Dating at SIPA:
                                                                             Libyan Military                                                                         Can it Work?|3
                            Cuba|5                                           Intervention |6




                                                  Volume 21, Number 1 | March 30, 2011

Amid Disaster, SIPA Students Witness Japanese Resilience
By Jennifer Yoo

  T    he floor began to                                                                                                                                             really knowing the full ex-
       swim and the cur-                                                                                                                                             tent of it, how much effort
tains      swayed      though                                                                                                                                        had gone into planning every
there     was     no   breeze.                                                                                                                                       detail     of    the    trip.
     Students from the Uni-                                                                                                                                             This consideration—that
versity of Tokyo Gradu-                                                                                                                                              not going could be disre-
ate School of Public Policy                                                                                                                                          spectful to all who had devot-
(GraSPP), standing tall                                                                                                                                              ed so much time, resources
with their hands folded,                                                                                                                                             and energy into making the
soon assured us that the                                                                                                                                             trip happen—convinced me
aftershock had stopped.                                                                                                                                              to proceed as planned.
    It was our first full day                                                                                                                                          Sitting in a conference room
in Tokyo, my first visit to                                                                                                                                          at the University of Tokyo, I
Japan and my first time                                                                                                                                              wondered whether I had cho-
experiencing an earthquake.                                                                                                                                          sen correctly. Surely Profes-
   There were many firsts on
                                                                                                                                                                     sor Hitoshi Tanaka had more
our trip, not limited to our
                                                                                                                                                                     urgent business than deliv-
early-morning outing to the
                                                                                                                                                                     ering a message on crisis



                                                                                                                                  Courtesy of the Associated Press
Tsujiki fish market or
                                                                                                                                                                     management while ongoing
my first taste of authen-
                                                                                                                                                                     crises engulfed the nation.
tic      Japanese      ramen.
  The fifteen of us from SIPA                                                                                                                                          Perhaps the students were
who chose to go to Japan two                                                                                                                                         incredulous that we actually
days after a 9.0-magnitude                                                                                                                                           came, and they would rather
earthquake struck were also                                                                                                                                          not have come to campus giv-
witness to circumstances                                                                                                                                             en disruptions in train service
that pose unprecedented           The earthquake and resulting tsunami caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.                                             and rolling power outages.
challenges to the nation.         returning to business as            However, I wondered            tion could seem insensitive                                           The commitment of
    After some research and       usual, I did not worry too much   whether traveling to Japan       to the suffering of so many.                                    the     GraSPP   students
hearing that Tokyo was            about my personal safety.         during an emergency situa-          Yet I knew, without                                          silenced   these  doubts.
                                                                                                                                                                             Continued on Page 4


Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele Touts Nonconformity
By Samantha McCann

 T    owering over the audi-
      ence in a pin-striped
suit, a loud tie, and large,
                                  the podium and gesturing
                                  frequently with his large
                                  hands, he started the eve-
                                                                    particularly good speaker
                                                                    for this series because he
                                                                    is controversial both with-
silver, and initialed cufflinks   ning noting that his speak-       in his party and among
(“MSS”), former chairman          ing style was a bit “noncon-      other parties,” she said.
of the Republican National        ventional” and that he liked         “Because he is no longer in
Committee Michael Steele          “to get up in your face.”         office, we also felt he would
spoke to a standing-room-            Referring       to       an    be more able to be candid.”
only crowd at Columbia Uni-       apocryphal Chinese proverb,
versity Law School on Tues-                                           Steele went quickly from
                                  Steele said that “’to live in     the    inspirational,   com-
day, March 22.                    interesting times’ means [a       mencement-like      speech—
  Advertised with his quote       life] not as organized, not as    “free the human spirit” and
from 2009, “I’m the gift that     structured—a little chaotic.”     “this sense of purpose that
keeps on giving,” Steele was        As if on cue, the banner for    drives and motivates your
sponsored by the Columbia         the Columbia Political Union,     actions”—to the colloqui-
Political Union (CPU) as          sponsor of the event, tum-        al—at the end of the speech
part of their “Friendly Fire”     bled to the floor behind him.     he asked, “Got some Qs?”
series, which aims to “bring
controversial speakers to           “Like that,” he said to           He seemed to bask in
campus and engage them            laughter in the crowd, the        the fact that the audi-
in an academic setting.”          inadequate masking tape           ence laughed at his use of
                                  still hanging limply from         slang—including “brotha’,”
  Steele promoted a mes-          the chalkboard behind him.        “skrilla’,” and “lazy-ass”—
sage of nonconformity and                                           that he was largely criticized
tenacity, and implored stu-         SIPA student Sara Jacobs
                                  (5-year program, MIA), who        for in the national media
dents to “cause a little chaos”                                     during his two-year term.
and “create a little tension.”    is also General Manager of
                                  the CPU, was excited Steele         “People gave me grief
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Samantha MCann




  “That’s what you are            agreed to the appearance.         because I used the term
uniquely and specifically                                           ‘hip-hop   Republican.’ I
charged with,” he said.            “We were very happy that
                                  he accepted our invitation.       knew what I was talk-
 Pacing back and forth on         We thought he would be a          ing about!” he exclaimed.
                                                                            Continued on Page 3      Michael Steele encouraged students to “create a little chaos.”
P. 2 Communiqué - March 30, 2011                               SIPA News
                                     ple of all creeds is possible.
                                              According to Rauf, who
                                                                             After the Rage
                                     graduated from Columbia Col-
                                     lege in 1969, the real battle is
                                                                               Revolution:
                                     not between America and Is-             Putting Egypt’s
                                     lam, but between modernists
                                     and extremists of all religions.         Transition in
                                     of
                                        He underscored the role
                                           American     Muslims    in            Global
                                     increasing        understanding.
                                        “We are the interlocutors be-
                                                                               Perspective
                                     tween America and 1.5 billion            By Alma Quintero Sepúlveda
                                     Muslims out there,” he said.
                                                                            “I never thought I would see ‘Egypt’ and   sian and Egyptian transitions share
                                           Rauf responded calmly to
                                                                          ‘transition’ in the same sentence!” ex-      important similarities: in both coun-
  Park51 Imam                        aggressive questions and anti-
                                     Islamic statements from some
                                                                          claimed Mona El-Ghobashy, Assistant          tries longstanding military authori-
                                                                          Professor at Barnard College. An Egyp-       tarian regimes fell in revolutions
    Preaches                         audience members, including
                                                                          tian herself, El-Ghobashy spoke during       triggered by economic grievances.
                                     one who claimed that terrorism
 Understanding                       was a fundamental part of Islam.
                                                                          “The Egyptian Transition in Context,”
                                                                          a panel held at SIPA on March 8th.
                                                                                                                         Egypt today has advantages, like stron-
                                                                                                                       ger institutions, that Indonesia didn’t
                                         Heavy security at the event
  to Columbia                        reflected   the    still-simmer-
                                                                              At the event, El-Ghobashy and four
                                                                          other panelists compared Egypt’s cur-
                                                                                                                       whenitstarteditstransition,sheasserted.
                                                                                                                           Timothy Frye, Professor of Post-So-
   By Abdelrahman Rashdan            ing controversy around Rauf          rent situation to the democratic transi-     viet Foreign Policy at Columbia, com-
                                     and the Community Center.            tion in Indonesia in 1998 and the fall of    pared the fall of Soviet communism
  “Muslims     want    to   love          Entry required CUID or          communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.         with the recent Egyptian revolution.
  America, Americans want to         pre-reserved tickets; no bags            The democratic transition in Egypt           In both instances, mass mo-
love Islam,” proclaimed Park51       or posters were allowed in.          “has the potential to be smoother            bilizations    toppled   civil     move-
Community Center Imam Fei-                                                and stronger than that of Indonesia,         ments within weeks, he said.
sal Abdul Rauf to his audience                                            and deeper than the Balkans’ ‘color
in Lerner Hall on March 9th.                                              revolutions’,” said Mirjam Künkle,
   Rauf, called the “Ground Zero           Abdelrahman     Rashdan        Assistant Professor of Near East-                 Alma Quintero Sepúlveda is a
Mosque Imam” by some crit-           is a second-year Master of           ern Studies at Princeton University.         first-year Master of International
ics, told attendees that un-         International Affairs student.            According to Künkle, the Indone-        Affairs student.
derstanding      between    peo-




                                     Novick, “The panelists all came
                                     from mission-driven organiza-
                                                                              The Arab
                                     tions, and it was inspiring to           Uprisings:
                                     hear about the ways in which
                                     what they do makes a measur-          A View from the
                                     able impact on who they serve.
                                     [They] made us think about
                                                                            University on
                                     building our personal stories as       Tahrir Square
                                     we search for careers that enable
                                     us to make our mark after SIPA.”                By Michelle Chahine
    Make Your                          Panelists included Li, Leonar-         “Gaddafi did spend 40 years
   Passion Your                      do Bullaro of Sweat Equity Edu-
                                     cation, John McKinley of Acu-
                                                                          disorganizing people. That was
                                                                          by design. Someone needs to or-
    Brand, Say                       men Fund, and Alicia Vermaele        ganize people. Maybe that can be
                                                                          the Libyan people, but given how
                                                                                                                       “issue is not going to be democracy
                                     of the Clinton Global Initiative.
   NYC Career                             Panelists echoed the com-       angry they are at each other...”
                                                                                                                       building [as in Tunisia and Egypt],
                                                                                                                       but state building. Is the very shape
                                                                             Former SIPA Dean Lisa Ander-
     Panelists                       mon sentiment that profes-
                                     sional success is achieved           son, currently the President of
                                                                                                                       of the country going to change?”
                                                                                                                             She worries that the de-
                                     through pursuing one’s passions      the American University in Cai-
       By Adrienne Davis                                                                                               bate over democratic changes
                                                                          ro, returned to IAB on Monday,
                                     and establishing a “brand.”                                                       will happen through conflict.
    “What’s your story? What’s                                            March 21st to speak to students
                                     Bullaro suggested that stu-                                                           “Let us see if we can orga-
your brand?” Jeff Li, Executive                                           and faculty about current events
                                     dents use social media as an                                                      nize conversations to manage
Director of Teach for America,                                            in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
                                     outlet for self-branding. The                                                     deep anger and resentment in
New York City, asked students                                                 Anderson’s talk began as a po-
                                     message was clear: as organiza-                                                   the reconstruction,” she said.
at the Non-Profit and NGO Ca-                                             litical science lecture with a few
                                     tions continue to do more with       descriptive anecdotes from her
reer Panel held on March 9th.        less, carving one’s niche will       personal experience in Egypt.
  The panel was part of the NYC      become increasingly important.          Students lit up duringthe ques-
Career Series put on by SIPA’s
                                                                          tion and answer session and the
Office of Career Services. Ac-        Adrienne Davis is a first-year      discussion became much more live-
                                                                                                                          Michelle    Chahine is a first-
cording to panel organizer and                                                                                         year Master of International
                                     Master of Public Administration      ly--Libya was on everyone’s minds.
first-year MPA student Joanna                                                                                          Affairs student.
                                     student.                                Anderson’s concern is that the



                                                                                                                             Photo Editor
          Editorial Board                                         Opinion Editors
                                                                Samantha Barthelemy
                                                                                                                            Lenny Pridatko

                                                                  Ryan Kaminski                                            Graphic Design
                Editors-In-Chief                                                                                           Michelle Chahine
               Samantha McCann                                   Multimedia Editor
                  Mike Larson                                     Patrick Delices                                          Managing Editor
                                                                    Lisa Wong                                               Thomas Chen
               SIPA News Editors
               Samantha Hammer                                                                                 Communiqué is the student-run newspaper of
                                                                   Photographers                                           Columbia University’s
                Camilla Lyngsby                                     Sandra Bitar                                 School of International and Public Affairs.
                                                                 Jonathan Levinson                               The editors are responsible for its content.
              World Affairs Editor
               Dotun Akintoye                                                                                       ColumbiaCommunique@gmail.com
                                                                                                               http://themorningsidepost.com/communique/
                                                                          SIPA News                                 Communiqué - March 30, 2011                                   P. 3


Economics of Love at SIPA: The OC xx,xy
By Samantha Hammer and Oriane Boutinard Rouelle

 O     n the first day of ori-
       entation for the MIA
class of 2012, Dean Sim-
                                  on their econ homework than
                                  on that cute EPD-er across
                                  the café. One male second-
                                                                        Students especially worry
                                                                      that their images will suf-
                                                                                                        It can also be difficult for
                                                                                                      single students to be confi-
                                                                                                                                                      for high school-style fun and
                                                                                                                                                      who is ready to play with the
                                                                      fer in the fallout from a       dent the person they’re lust-                   big boys.
mons told us to look around       year says, “Just keep it on the
                                                                      failed relationship as word                                                        The constant refrain at
                                                                                                      ing after is single as well,
– supposedly, many of us          DL unless you want to be eat-
                                                                      quickly spreads about al-                                                       SIPA – that there is too much
                                                                                                      students say. “[SIPA] isn’t
would find our better halves      en alive by the rumor mill.”
                                                                      leged cheating, secret fe-                                                      work and not enough hours in
                                                                                                      that    dating-friendly    be-
at SIPA! She didn’t warn us          He claims to have figured out
                                                                      tishes or embarrassing pet                                                      the day – is a major dating ob-
                                                                                                      cause nobody’s acting like
that that would be easier         the rules for scandal-free dating                                                                                   stacle, according to surveyed
                                                                      names. Navigating IAB post-     they’re in relationships,”
said than done.                   at SIPA, based on the gossip hab-                                                                                   students. Others say that the
                                                                      breakup is also a concern.      says a male first-year.
                                  its of male and female students:                                                                                    time argument is an excuse.
  Most SIPA students seem
to have a nonchalant atti-                                                                                                                            Although there may be little
tude toward finding a cud-                                                                                                                            time to “properly date, there
dle partner, a soul mate, or                                                                                                                          is time to get to know people…
something in between during                                                                                                                           because you’re always around
their time at SIPA.                                                                                                                                   the same people,” says a male
                                                                                                                                                      first-year. Especially at the
  The majority of respon-                                                                                                                             beginning of the first year,
dents (in an admittedly un-                                                                                                                           there are so many “manufac-
scientific survey of 45 stu-                                                                                                                          tured socializing venues,” he
dents) said that they don’t                                                                                                                           says, that it is easy to follow
go out of their way to find                                                                                                                           up on a romantic spark.
dates. 54% of those surveyed
said that it would be nice to                                                                                                                           However it appears that
find a life partner before they                                                                                                                       men seeking women have it
graduate, but that it is not                                                                                                                          better than women looking
essential; 29% said that it is                                                                                                                        for men. 56% of SIPA stu-
not even important at all.                                                                                                                            dents are female – and ap-
                                                                                                                                                      parently, they’re high quality
  Single SIPA-ites who are                                                                                                                            females at that. “There is a




                                                                                                                                   Michelle Chahine
looking to play the field or                                                                                                                          fantastic variety of very re-
settle down, however, face a                                                                                                                          ceptive [girls at SIPA],” says
tough environment.                                                                                                                                    an enthusiastic male first-
  SIPA manages to combine                                                                                                                             year. Students interviewed
the dating downsides of high                                                                                                                          (male and female) labeled the
school cattiness and profes-                                                                                                                          average SIPA guy arrogant,
                                  “If you’re a guy you can date         Of those who tried their        Public displays of affection                  “lame,” “intellectually [as op-
sional image consciousness
                                  one girl at SIPA…if you’re          chances with other SIPA         are virtually non-existent,                     posed to physically]” satisfac-
in a claustrophobic, high-
                                  a girl you can handle two           students, 20% didn’t re-        as couples try to balance pri-                  tory, and somewhat clueless
pressure setting. While the
                                  to three guys without them          ally hit it off with any-       vacy with professionalism.                      about women.
payoff can be great, “unless
                                  finding out about each oth-         one and another 20% said        The large number of com-
both people are on exactly                                                                                                                              Despite the hazards, look-
                                  er.” The same advice you get        the experience was too          mitted or engaged students
the same page, [dating at                                                                                                                             ing for love at SIPA makes
                                  in Professional Development         horrible to talk about.         can also be a hazard for stu-
SIPA] is a recipe for disas-                                                                                                                          sense for those of us consumed
                                  applies just as well to man-            Take a mental walk          dents on the prowl: “It’s not
ter,” says a female first-year.                                                                                                                       by the grad school experience.
                                  aging your love life at SIPA:       through IAB. Try and avoid      cool that guys don’t have to
  Openly dating at SIPA                                                                                                                               Who better to understand
                                  be strategic.                       the three main gather-          wear engagement rings!”                         that you really can’t go out
seems to almost be taboo, and                                         ing places – the elevators,     jokes a female first-year.
                                     There is one safe space                                                                                          this Friday, next Friday, or
most students interviewed                                             the 6th floor, and Lehman
                                  where students are kept                                                                                             any Friday until after finals
glossed over their own expe-                                          – and you live in a maze.         And in a school with stu-
                                  (fairly) free from exposure.                                                                                        than a fellow SIPA student?
riences to talk about dating                                             “If you do pursue people     dents who could be 21 or
                                  “There is a ‘don’t ask, don’t
in the abstract. No one was                                           at SIPA, at least make sure     61, former mayors or for-
                                  tell’ policy [for hooking up] at
willing to have his or her                                            they’re from different parts    mer warship captains, and                           Both Samantha Hammer
                                  SIPA events,” says a female
name linked to a quote.                                               of SIPA,” to avoid potential    who come from more than                         and Oriane Boutinard Rouelle
                                  first-year.      Unfortunately,
                                                                      post-breakup awkwardness,       one hundred countries, it’s                     are    first-year    Master     of
  The threat of gossip keeps      the rule “doesn’t translate to
                                                                      advises a female first-year.    hard to know who is looking                     International Affairs students.
some students more focused        daylight.”


        Steele                    to be evicted from her home,
                                  but was saved by a housing
                                                                      ning to “keep it civil”). He
                                                                      answered questions about
  Continued from page 1           program when he was Lieu-           being a black Republican,
                                  tenant Governor of Mary-            the media’s portrayal of
  “I thought it was fairly        land, he said, “you look in her     him in the media (“you all
self-evident. I was not say-      eyes and she looks in yours,        heard abut the little epi-
ing to some of my more tra-       and you say, ‘that’s what           sode in California at a strip
ditional Republican friends       the safety net is all about.”       club…well I wasn’t there”),
that they were gonna have                                             about what he planned to
                                    “The problem we have
to wear their pants down to                                           do about the military-indu-
                                  right now is that people have
here,” as he gestured to his                                          trial complex (“nothing!”),
                                  cut too many holes in the
knees, “and put the ‘bling-                                           and on Steele’s seeming
                                  safety net by spending the
bling’ on…What I was talk-                                            contradiction between his
                                  very dollars that were set
ing about was engaging in a                                           belief of individual liber-
                                  aside for those programs.”
conversation with my com-                                             ty and his propagation of
munity, because the party           Second-year   dual    de-         government restrictions of
that I joined at seventeen        gree (SIPA/Social Work)             gay marriage and abortion
had stopped doing that.”          student    Nate    Sherfin-         (“you make a fair point”).
                                  ski came to see Steele “out
  The speech seemed par-                                                While Steele’s appear-
                                  of interest in politics.”
ticularly tailored to fit the                                         ance got mixed reviews,
audience:      overeducated,        “I was struck by his gen-         at the very least his use
urban,     and—considering        eral remarks that were              of vernacular seemed to
NYC’s split in the Presiden-      rather bipartisan, just in          get score a point with Ab-
tial election of 2008--over-      his message of activism             shir Kore, first year at the
whelmingly           liberal.     and trying to get people            Law School—though Kore
  After saying he agreed          involved. It wasn’t unex-           did have one complaint.
with Obama when he said           pected,” he said. “I think he         “Aw man, he only said
“we’re not as polarized as        has that luxury now that            ‘skrilla’ once.”
our politics suggest,” he         he’s not committee chair.”
whispered to the audience,          The question and answer
“but don’t tell anyone.”          session remained courteous            Samantha McCann is a
  And when telling the story      (the CPU reminded audi-             first-year Master of Public
of a woman who was about          ence members at the begin-          Administration student.
P. 4    Communiqué - March 30, 2011                                   Spring Break

          Japan                   day night, when several
                                  members of our group
                                                                                                                                                         were our tireless hosts and
                                                                                                                                                         our best “insurance policy.”
   Continued from page 1          went in search of ramen.                                                                                                 They tried to reassure us
                                     Though it was bare-                                                                                                 of our safety when the risks
    They thoughtfully pro-        ly    six     o’clock,   many                                                                                          were unclear and, when the
vided guidelines on earth-        restaurants had closed for                                                                                             situation worsened, worked
quake          preparedness       the day. We found one open                                                                                             all night to guarantee our
alongside             portfoli-   in Ginza, and it wasn’t un-                                                                                            safety in leaving the country.
os neatly stacked with            til the walk home that we                                                                                                They even apologized to us
the      day’s     materials.     saw the first real signs                                                                                               profusely for not completing
     Having weathered a           of an emergency situation.                                                                                             the itinerary, though I felt
9.0-magnitude earthquake,            Until then, we had only                                                                                             sorrier for adding logisti-
they lauded us as brave and       noticed some power out-                                                                                                cal stress to their burdens.
thanked us for our con-           ages and relatively empty                                                                                                  As my most direct link
fidence in Japan’s abil-          streets, but for the most                                                                                              to the people and culture
ity to recover quickly.           part the areas we visited                                                                                              of Japan, they proved to
   I was sincerely moved by       were not heavily affected.                                                                                             me what news columns
their generosity of spirit and    However, on Tuesday night                                                                                              have affirmed: the Japa-
glad that I had come. Profes-     we found the shelves of                                                                                                nese people have incredible
sor Tanaka and the GraSPP         a convenience store com-                                                                                               grace under fire, resource-
students acknowledged and         pletely bare; all food items                                                                                           fulness and selflessness.
honored us through their          and water had sold out.
                                                                    Radiation from Japan’s nuclear plant has exacerbated the crisis
                                                                                                                                                             I would consider myself
willingness to host us in              At a bus stop, peo-                                                                                               fortunate to have been a
a time of crisis; the least I     ple stood in a single file          Still, we little knew that                       fort that must have gone          part of the trip, even if my
could do was fill the seats.      line that extended the            this would be our last night                       into    procuring    tickets.     72 hours in Tokyo had left
     If the strength of Ja-       full length of the block,         in Tokyo. I woke up at 6:30                        Fears of radiation had sent       me with no other expe-
pan’s infrastructure gave         then       doubled       back.    a.m. the next morning ex-                          a crush of thousands rush-        rience      than     receiving
me the confidence to visit           Seeing people waiting so       pecting to board a train                           ing for flights out of Nar-       such generosity and wit-
the country despite un-           stoically for buses that might    to Kyoto, but the organiz-                         ita airport, yet our dedi-        nessing such resilience.
certainty, the resilience of      take hours to come and            ers informed us that we                            cated organizers squeezed            Well, that and the ramen.
its citizens inspired me.         hours to get home amazed          would all be flying back to                        us all onto flights home.
    Normalcy and order-           me. News footage showed           New York that afternoon.                               Ultimately, the organiz-
liness     prevailed      over    thousands waiting for trains         I was speechless, partly                        ers’ graciousness convinced          Jennifer Yoo is a first-
panic, even as the threat of      in the suburbs of Tokyo.          from surprise but more so                          me that I would not have          year Master of Interna-
nuclear meltdown mounted.             No      stampeding,      no   from knowing, without re-                          traded the experience in          tional   Affairs   student.
   I witnessed this on Tues-      cutting.      Just     waiting.   ally knowing, all the ef-                          Japan for anything. They


Spring Break in Rural Guatemala                                     cific coast), Lago Atitlan
                                                                    (and the surrounding vil-
                                                                                                                         Zunil is a very traditional
                                                                                                                       village in which the women
                                                                                                                                                              Got something

By Julia Ritz Toffoli                                               lages of San Pedro and                             all wear a woven and em-                    to say?
                                                                    Panajachel),and Antigua.                           broidered Huipil (a blouse/

 I  spent spring break
    in Guatemala with
two friends from under-
                                  commonly known as Xela,
                                  an abbreviation of the old
                                  Mayan name of the town).
                                                                        Each place was amaz-
                                                                    ingly beautiful and deli-
                                                                    cious (oh the tacos!) but
                                                                                                                       poncho worn tucked into a
                                                                                                                       wrapped woven skirt), and
                                                                                                                       the town has a very color-             Get published!
grad, one of whom lived             We started our trip there,      one little town that par-                          ful central market where
in Guatemala for two              meeting up there with             ticularly struck me was                            all the villagers come to-
years while working for           some of her old friends.          Zunil, a town in the moun-                         gether to shop, talk, and             Communiqué is
Habitat for Humanity.                Over the course of the         tains above Xela that we                           generally        congregate.
   She had been based in          week we visited Tulate (a         drove through on our way                              As beautiful as the rest        looking for student
Quetzaltenango     (more          small island off the Pa-          to visit some hot springs.                         of Guatemala was, the
                                                                                                                                                                stories and
                                                                                                                       bigger cities were inevitably
                                                                                                                       modernized, so passing                      photos.
                                                                                                                       through Zunil provided a
                                                                                                                       refreshing breath of tradi-
                                                                                                                       tional indigenous culture          Pitch your ideas to:
                                                                                                                       and gave me a real sense of
                                                                                                                       the Mayan history.
                                                                                                                                                         ColumbiaCommunique
                                                                                                                           Julia Ritz Toffoli is a
                                                                                                                       first-year Master of Interna-            @gmail.com
                                                                                                                       tional Affairs student.


                                                                                                                       Villagers at the market in Zunil, left and below.
                                                                                                  Julia Ritz Toffoli




                                                                                                                                                                                      Julia Ritz Toffoli
                                                                    Spring Break                                  Communiqué - March 30, 2011                                 P. 5


Bureaucracy: A Week of Enduring the Cuban System
By Christohper Reeve

 T    he customs officer
      at Havana’s Jose
Marti International Airport
                                  words throughout my trip.
                                     I told them about a play
                                  I saw my first time on the
                                                                  ludicrous dual currency
                                                                  system. One currency, the
                                                                  Cuban peso, is the cur-
                                                                                                  father’s grave. “I don’t
                                                                                                  make the rules. I just fol-
                                                                                                  low them,” the woman said.
                                                                                                                                                     I walked along the famed
                                                                                                                                                     malecon seawall until I
                                                                                                                                                     reached my uncle’s house.
weighed my bags and asked         island. An actor in the play    rency used to pay employ-             I thought this was                                Anger and uncertain-
me about their contents.          referred to Cubans as but-      ees. The other currency,        the epitome of the sys-                            ty prevented me from
  He didn’t need to ask. All      terflies with no wings, say-    the    “convertible”   peso,    tem’s insensitivity and                            sleeping      that     night.
of the Miami Cubans on            ing they spend their lives      is tied to the U.S. dol-        greed. But it got worse.                             The next morning, my un-
my flight brought the same        getting educated, but can       lar and was created in re-         About two hours before                          cle took me to the address
items: food and medicine in       never leave the island to see   sponse to remittances from      my flight to Miami was                             an airport employee had
one bag, and clothes and hy-      the world for themselves.       Miami. Cubans receiving         scheduled to depart, I was                         given me the night before.
gienic products in another.           I asked my new friends      U.S. dollars buy convertible    told that I had the wrong                                 It       was       the
    This    is    what     the    if any of their work criti-     pesos for a fee. Those pesos    visa and would not be                              wrong immigration office.
Cuban government allows.          cized the system. “Are          can then be used to pur-        permitted to leave Cuba.                               Meeting the require-
    Because basic goods of        you crazy?” the second          chase higher quality goods        I spent the next two hours
                                                                                                                                                     ments of the visa pro-
any quality are difficult         actor responded. “That          only sold in that currency.     trying to find someone to
                                                                                                                                                     cess      meant     spending
to find in Cuba, it isn’t         would be my last act. You       Cubans with no access to        help me resolve the issue
                                                                                                                                                     hours      driving    around
enough to bring money to          wouldn’t see me again.”         dollars are left wanting,       (that I still don’t comprehend
                                                                                                                                                     Havana on a scavenger hunt.
family members. You have               We spoke about the         since buying a convertible      since I’ve gone to Cuba with
to carry the actual goods.
    I told the man what I
was bringing. He then
                                                                                                                                                       “Why did it take
asked me what I had paid                                                                                                                              two hours to find
for the “gifts.” After I told                                                                                                                          fish in a coastal
him, he wrote the num-
ber on a piece of paper,                                                                                                                                neighborhood?
and sent me to a cashier                                                                                                                                Why did it take
who added a third of that
figure to the amount. She
                                                                                                                                                     another two hours
then asked that I pay her                                                                                                                             to change money
the new figure—cash only.                                                                                                                              at a bank? Why
Welcome         to      Cuba.
     After eight years and                                                                                                                             couldn’t we find
new      U.S.      legislation                                                                                                                            fruit at the
allowing me to visit my
family, I was back on the
                                                                                                                                                      market? Why did
island of my father’s birth.                                                                                                                         the most mundane
   I hadn’t planned on go-                                                                                                                             of tasks require
ing to Cuba, but went to
accompany        my      cous-                                                                                                                       going from place to
in    who      was    visiting                                                                                                                             place and
her    sick     grandmother.                                                                                                     Christopher Reeve
   By the end of our trip,
                                                                                                                                                      person to person,
I concluded that the                                                                                                                                    and waiting in
Cuban system made life                                                                                                                                numerous lines?”
unnecessarily        difficult.   A street corner in Havana hails “Fatherland before all.”
  Why did it take two hours
to find fish in a coastal
                                  role of a free press.           peso costs 25 Cuban pesos.      the same visa in the past).                          Back at the airport, I
neighborhood? Why did it
                                      The second actor ac-          The irony here is that Cu-        I spoke with immigra-                          spent the day begging
take another two hours to
                                  knowledged       that    the    bans whose families defect-     tion officials, employees of                       people to check if there
change money at a bank?
                                  media’s role is to challenge    ed get to live more comfort-    the state-run travel agency                        were any seats avail-
Why couldn’t we find fruit
                                  government and corporate        ably than Cubans whose          dealing with the flights,                          able on any of the over-
at the market? Why did
                                  actions (one in the same in     families remained loyal to      and anyone else in the air-                        booked flights to Miami.
arranging transportation
                                  Cuba), so Cuba’s media—an       the revolution and stayed.      port who would listen to me.                           I learned that my fran-
take days? Why did the most
                                  extension of the regime—is          “This is shit, buddy,”          Those who didn’t walk                          tic mother had not gone
mundane of tasks require
                                  worthless. He looked down       the first actor repeated.       away while I was talking to                        to work and was go-
going from place to place
                                  as he spoke and ap-               Throughout my trip, I no-     them told me that there was                        ing to wait at Miami’s
and person to person, and
                                  peared         embarrassed      ticed that most cigarette       nothing anyone could do.                           airport until I arrived.
waiting in numerous lines?
                                  by     his      summation.      smokers smoked a harsh               I offered to pay for a                          I was finally able to get on
     Very few people have
                                                                  filterless cigarette. I told    new visa and any fine                              a flight, but only after pay-
phones, fewer have com-
puters, and only a hand-            “A government                 them that I was surprised       to get on my flight. Not                           ing more than $300, the fee
                                                                  that a government that          possible,       they       said.                   the state-run agency charg-
ful have “intranet,” which        employee tried to                                                                                                  es for a seat on any airline.
allows for emailing only                                          touts its medical accom-            Knowing that my fam-
                                    charge me five                plishments would permit         ily would be waiting for                                I later found out that
through the state-run ac-
count of the computer’s           convertible pesos               the sale of such cigarettes     me in Miami and that                               they had sold my seat from
                                                                  that must certainly result in   I still needed to get to                           the night before as well.
owner. Internet is available          to enter the                costly health care for aging    New York, I desperately                                   These earnings plus
in tourist spots for about
$12 an hour, the equivalent        Colon Cemetery                 smokers. Everyone admit-        asked to be deported. Not                          the $46 for the visa pro-
of a Cuban professional’s          to lay flowers on              ted to knowing the dangers.     possible, they repeated.                           cess meant that keeping
monthly wags, effectively                                             My aunt said it didn’t            I was told that al-                          me from making my flight
                                  my grandfather’s                matter. When given a cig-       though my problem was                              was excellent business for
keeping              Cubans
from       accessing       it.       grave. ‘I don’t              arette with a filter, she       common, there was no                               the Cuban government.
                                                                  breaks off the filter before    mechanism to solve it.                                 Now back in New York,
  To make calls, I had to use     make the rules. I               smoking. I couldn’t help          I heard the same response                        I keep reminding myself to
a neighbor’s phone. When
she overheard my difficulty       just follow them,’              but think that this men-        repeatedly: “I don’t make                          focus on the beautiful mem-
arranging transportation,         the woman said.”                tality was telling of Cuban     the rules. I just follow them.”                    ories I made with my family
she smiled at me, threw her                                       society. Generally, if people        I simply had to wait                          while in Cuba, and not on
arms in the air, and pro-                                         have hopes and dreams and       until the next day to go                           the inefficiency, ineptitude,
claimed, “Cuba is socialist!”       I told them that I thought    believe that the future will    to the immigration office.                         indifference, and hunger
     Throughout           my      it a contradiction to edu-      be bright, they tend to care       I left the airport, took a                      for money of the bureau-
trip,    I    thought       of    cate a population on the        for their health. They don’t    shared car to the Centro                           cratic apparatus that is
her    words     frequently.      one hand, and deny them         tear filters off cigarettes     Habana neighborhood, and                           the Cuban government.
   Near the center of Ha-         the ability to communi-         before     smoking      them.   walked through its dark
vana, I asked two actors          cate with the world and             A government employee       streets between the decay-
about their government.           access     information   via    tried to charge me five         ing buildings, remember-
                                  the internet on the other.      convertible pesos to en-        ing the words of my new                                Christopher Reeve is a
     “This is shit, buddy,”
                                  They nodded in silence.         ter the Colon Cemetery to       friends: “Cuba is socialist!”                      first-year Master of Inter-
one replied in Spanish.
                                     We talked about Cuba’s       lay flowers on my grand-        and “This is shit, buddy.”                         national Affairs student.
    I would also recall his
P. 6    Communiqué - March 30, 2011                                           Opinion

         Both Sides Now: U.S. Military Intervention in Libya
   On March 17th the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 authorizing the international
 community to use force to protect Libyan civilians against attacks by Col. Qaddafi’s military. In this edition of
                       Both Sides Now, the U.S. role in the intervention is put to debate.

                                                                PRO-INTERVENTION
By Mike Larson                     under the treads of Qad-                                                                               power is, simply put, that it

  I  n the lead up to the inter-   dafi’s tanks would have se-                                                                            has a good chance of working.
     national military inter-      riously stemmed the demo-                                                                                  When NATO carried out
vention in Libya two weeks         cratic tide that is currently                                                                          its air campaign against Slo-
ago, Rwanda was the word of        sweeping the Middle East.                                                                              bodan Milosevic’s Serbian
the moment--the internation-         In the matter of only three                                                                          forces in the spring of 1999,
al community could not per-        months, the region as a                                                                                many armchair generals
mit a repeat of the Tutsi geno-    whole has witnessed the rise                                                                           scoffed that air power alone
cide that took place in 1994.      of homegrown secular demo-                                                                             could defeat a ground force
    Commentators and poli-         cratic revolutions that less                                                                           fighting on its own territory.
ticians from both sides            than a decade ago would have                                                                              But this is precisely what
of the political spectrum          seemed outlandish even to                                                                              happened. In the interven-
used the genocide as ex-           the most idealistic of Neocons.                                                                        ing decade air power has only
ample 1A to highlight the                Prior to the interven-                                                                           become more potent with
possible consequences of           tion, many within the U.S.                                                                             weapons so precise that indi-
international          inaction.   administration,       including                                                                        vidual fighters could be tar-
   But this was mere rhetoric.     Defense Secretary Robert                                                                               geted if need be. And as long
The chances that hun-              Gates, argued that Libya                                                                               as the coalition refrains from
dreds of thousands of Lib-         did not constitute a core U.S.                                                                         inserting ground troops, an
                                                                      seems in full bloom could         only for the reason that
yans would have died if            national security interest.                                                                            Iraq or Afghanistan-style
                                                                      just as easily wither away if     U.S. military assets, in par-
the United Nations had                  To intervene was to                                                                               quagmire is unlikely since an
                                                                      met with a string of defeats.     ticular in the command and
not authorized interven-           risk straining further an                                                                              air campaign is easily halted.
                                                                         Qaddafi’s regime has been      control realm, are not eas-
tion were virtually zero.          already         overstretched                                                                             As of this writing, the bat-
                                                                      a thorn in the side of the in-    ily replaced by those of oth-
    Hundreds, possibly even        U.S. military. And four                                                                                tle between Qaddafi’s forces
                                                                      ternational community, and        er interventionist nations,
a few thousand, Liby-              months ago, the doubt-                                                                                 and the rebel militias rages
                                                                      particularly the U.S., for de-    namely Britain and France.
ans would have met their           ers would have been right.                                                                             on in the city of Ajdabiya and
                                                                      cades. To throw the weight          While President Obama has
end at the hands of Col-                But      the       calculus                                                                       the U.S. and its coalition al-
                                                                      of Western military might         been stressing that active
onel      Qaddafi’s      forces.   has       since        changed.                                                                        lies are debating whether to
                                                                      behind the rebel cause, even      U.S. involvement in combat
    But such violence is not            The international com-                                                                            openly arm the rebels. Where
                                                                      if under rhetorical umbrel-       sorties will be tapering off
uncommon in the world              munity stepping in on the                                                                              the conflict goes from here
                                                                      la of protecting civilians,       drastically in the near future,
and rarely does it occasion        behalf of the Libyan rebels                                                                            is uncertain. But the U.S.
                                                                      coheres strongly with the         the complex operation of en-
international military in-         demonstrated to the rest of                                                                            administration can breathe
                                                                      long-term U.S. interest in        forcing a no-fly zone, espe-
tervention (think: Sudan).         the Middle East that those                                                                             easier knowing that it did
                                                                      promoting a more secular          cially one actively supporting
  The U.S. was right to throw      pushing for greater democ-                                                                             act in service of U.S. security
                                                                      and democratic Middle East.       rebel forces on the ground,
its support behind the inter-      ratization and liberalization                                                                          and ideological interests in
                                                                         And one cannot play down       could not be done without
vention not because of the         were indeed in the right.                                                                              the region.
                                                                      the U.S. role in this interven-   the unique capabilities the
prospect of innocent blood-        As the Bahrainis in Pearl
                                                                      tion. Without U.S. support,       U.S. military brings to bear.
shed, but rather because al-       Square found out, revolu-
                                                                      the U.N. resolution authoriz-        Perhaps the most salient         Mike Larson is a first-
lowing the inchoate rebel          tions can be tenuous things.
                                                                      ing the intervention would        reason why the U.S. was           year Master of International
movement to be crushed             The “Arab Spring” that now
                                                                      not have been possible. If        right to intervene with air       Affairs student.

                                                               ANTI-INTERVENTION
By Eytan Sosnovich                                                                                      both seem to be failing.          ger needs a strong reason
                                                                                                           For one, Obama could be

  U
                                                                                                                                          to    intervene militarily.
       sually, when the                                                                                 attempting to signal to the           With there being seem-
       United States goes                                                                               Arab people that the Unit-        ingly unclear standards
to war under the aus-                                                                                   ed States sympathizes with        for     U.S.    intervention-
pices of altruism one                                                                                   their plight. This would cer-     ism, leaders of the third
can uncover the cam-                                                                                    tainly fit with the adminis-      world may come to see
paign’s ulterior motives.                                                                               tration’s goal of “rebooting”     nuclear weapons as the
    While President Bush                                                                                America’s global image.           only feasible way to deter
constantly invoked terms                                                                                     Unfortunately the op-        an arbitrary U.S. attack.
such as “freedom” and                                                                                   eration has already had              And this perception may
“liberty” in the run up to                                                                              the opposite effect. The          lead states like Iran, that
the 2003 invasion of Iraq,                                                                              Arab League – ever mind-          are currently developing
analysts understood that                                                                                ful of Western involvement        nuclear weapons, to has-
the invasion – for better                                                                               in Arab affairs – publicly        ten their development.
or for worse – was most-                                                                                opposed the campaign.                While only time will tell
ly about nation building               So “what is in it” for         vague about its objectives.           Such opposition is sig-       how the third world will re-
in a strategically impor-          the United States in                  If democracy is the goal,      nificant given that Egyp-         spond to the intervention in
tant part of the world.            Libya? Well, not much.             there is no concrete reason       tian presidential front-          Libya, it is clear that there
  Similarly, when Bush Sr.            Located in the outskirts        to believe that any thriving      runner      Amr       Moussa      is no pressing geostrate-
sent troops to the Gulf to         of the Near East and lack-         democratic state will come        currently heads the League.       gic reason for the United
liberate Kuwait in Opera-          ing the military capac-            if Qaddafi is forced to leave.     A second aim could be to dis-    States to be engaged there.
tion Desert Storm, it was          ity to project power with-          This of course assumes that      courage other Arab despots              Humanitarianism for
fairly clear that Kuwaiti          in the region, Libya is a          the aerial bombings will          from using similar tactics        humanitarianism’s        sake
oil was a motivating factor.       rather isolated, politically       aid in Qaddafi’s removal.         against their populations.        is a noble ideal, but with
    Even U.S. and NATO             inconsequential       state.          Historically, only bomb-            Arab rulers however          the U.S. bogged down in
operations in Kosovo and               The country does not           ing campaigns coupled             do not appear to have re-         two wars, and its econ-
Somalia were underscored           control access to any stra-        with the threat of ground         ceived the message. In Syr-       omy      stagnating     there
by some national interest.         tegically essential water-         intervention have had real        ia security forces opened         needs to be a very good
    With so many humani-           way, is no longer push-            coercive value. And Presi-        fire on a peaceful protest        reason for intervention.
tarian catastrophes oc-            ing for weapons of mass            dent Obama has been clear         at a mosque in the city               In Libya, there simply
curring all over the globe,        destruction and houses             that regular troops will not      of Daraa on March 24.             isn’t one.
national interest needs to         less than two percent of           be deployed on Libyan soil.          Given the mission’s pur-
be a part of the equation.         the world’s oil supply.                Symbolism in the wake         pose, the lasting impact of
 How else can a policymaker             With no real strate-          of the Arab upheaval              the Libyan campaign could
decide where to intervene          gic value to speak of, it          could be another motive.                                             Eytan Sosnovich is a sec-
                                                                                                        be a perception among
without asking, “What’s            is not surprising that the         Two possible aims fall                                              ond-year Master of Inter-
                                                                                                        third world states that
in it for my country?”             administration has been            into this category, and                                             national Affairs student.
                                                                                                        the United States no lon-
                                                                                Opinion                                                      Communiqué - March 30, 2011                     P. 7


Legalize Marijuana to Save Dollars and Lives
By Samantha McCann

  M     arcy Dolin, of Roh-
        nert Park, California,
smokes eight joints (marijuana
                                    ues. “I was in a fog, totally de-
                                    pressed. I told my doctor that I
                                    was going back to just marijua-
                                                                                                                                                                  less than a million people.
                                                                                                                                                                      When considering the
                                                                                                                                                                  amount saved from not pros-
cigarettes) every day, and eats a   na; he said he would have me                                                                                                  ecuting      marijuana     users
marijuana cookie before he goes     arrested if he could. What are                                                                                                and the potential revenue to
to bed every night. He prefers      they going to do? I’m 71-years                                                                                                be gained from its taxation,
the peanut-butter cookies.          old. Are they going to put me in                                                                                              the number is significant.
   A seventy-one year old who       jail? I’m not hurting anybody.                                                                                                  Full legalization would bring
has struggled with multiple-        It’s just here in my own house.”                                                                                              in an estimated $2.4 billion an-
sclerosis for over half his life,      Debilitating pain in the ner-                                                                                              nually if marijuana were taxed
Dolin is not the typical paro-      vous system can be caused by                                                                                                  like most consumer goods,
died drug user often seen in        cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple                                                                                                    and $6.2 billion annually if it
popular culture. He does not        sclerosis, and diabetes; this                                                                                                 were taxed at rates similar to
smoke recreationally, but be-       pain can also be a side effect of                                                                                             those on alcohol and tobacco.
cause marijuana is the only         the recommended treatments                                                                                                       Together, the savings from
thing that takes away the           for these various conditions.                                                                                                 legalization of marijuana—
pain and the muscles spasms.             About a third of patients                                                                                                over $13 billion—would to-
 “Without [marijuana], I would      with HIV/AIDS suffer from                                                                                                     tal the entire budget for
be living on morphine and oth-      this excruciating pain in their                                                                                               the Department of Labor.
er horrible drugs. I couldn’t do    nervous system—much of it                                                                                                       Maybe with a budget twice as
that to my family,” he recent-      a response to the antiretrovi-                                                                                                large, the DoL could do a bet-
ly told the New York Times.         ral therapy that is the initial                                                                                               ter job of creating jobs and get-
“That’s no life, and I would        treatment for HIV patients.          nomic future. Since the market                       sion. Simultaneously, the           ting Americans back to work.
have ended it. That’s the truth.”          Yet there is no ap-           crash of 2008, unemployment                          city debates which schools             How can we continue to al-
  Dolin is not alone. Across the    proved        treatment       ade-   has risen to over ten percent as                     to close, and which public          low sick patients like Dolin
United States, people affected      quate to mitigate the pain.          businesses have either closed                        employees to lay off, further       suffer without the medical
by chronic illness are increas-         As a result, some patients       or moved overseas. The U.S.’s                        worsening       the    recession.   treatment that they need?
ingly beginning to question         must reduce or discontinue           debt has doubled in the past                           Another report estimates that      In a time where tens of millions
U.S. policy toward marijuana,       treatment because they can           ten years, the poverty rate is                       nationwide government spend-        of people can’t find work, and
a homeopathic substance that        neither tolerate nor eliminate       the highest it has been in fif-                      ing on enforcing marijuana          pay and health care benefits
until 1937 was, for the most        the debilitating side effects.       teen, and, adjusted for infla-                       laws costs $7.7 billion per year.   are being cut, how can we con-
part, legal and regulated.          Marijuana has been proven to         tion, the median income has                               Montana’s economy, how-        tinue to deprive our sick econ-
  Because of its health and econ-   alleviate the effects of both the    hardly moved since the 1950s.                        ever, has been given a much         omy of much needed revenue?
mic benefits, marijuana should      illness itself, and the prescribed        Meanwhile, New York                             needed bump from marijuana.               We      must       envision
be legalized immediately.           medication used to treat it.         City spends $75 million                                Since 2004, investors have put    a drug policy that is
     When compared to other           While the advantages of legal      per year to enforce the pro-                         millions of dollars into the new-   patient-centered             and
drugs, marijuana is exceed-         medical marijuana are obvi-          hibition      of     marijuana.                      ly legalized medical marijuana      fiscally responsible—a policy
ingly successful in reliev-         ous, full legalization also must        A recent study by the Drug                        sector, creating jobs for profes-   that puts Americans first.
ing pain, without the serious       be considered, especially when       Policy Alliance shows that be-                       sional horticulturists, construc-
side effects that often plague      one acknowledges the econom-         tween 2002 and 2010, New                             tion workers, and electricians
users of other medications.         ic advantages to be gained by        York City spent between $350                         put out of work by the Great
  “I used to take a drug called     its regulation and taxation.         and $700 million dollars to ar-                      Recession. This small marijua-          Samantha McCann is a
Neurontin, and I just never             Americans are facing dim         rest and charge people with                          na industry created 1,400 jobs      first-year Master of Pub-
stopped crying,” Rolin contin-      prospects in terms of their eco-     low-level marijuana posses-                          last year—this in a state with      lic Administration student.



Making the World a Better Place, One Bathroom at a Time
 By Samantha Barthelemy

  A    SIPA professor recent-
       ly claimed, in class,
that I was sitting among the
                                    She stopped in her tracks
                                    at the sight of the mess. I
                                    watched her visibly sigh as
                                                                         easy. If we can handle GREs,
                                                                         Econ and Stats, surely we can
                                                                         flush the toilet. Or can’t we?
                                                                                                                              don’t want to dirty your
                                                                                                                              hands, then use your feet!
                                                                                                                              Or simply remember that
                                                                                                                                                                  out our mess, people would
                                                                                                                                                                  not have a job” to “we pay
                                                                                                                                                                  US$25,000 a semester, don’t
best and brightest minds in         she removed all the trash,                “I cannot believe that                          you are (hopefully) on your         make us feel bad about it.”
the world. I wouldn’t want          recycled the paper and wiped         women, well-educated wom-                            way to washing your hands.                “Saying that cleaning
to disagree with him, but I         down the tables. This made           en, cannot flush,” said sec-                            While we are on the sub-         up after SIPA students is
can’t help but wonder why           me truly regret my vote.”            ond-year Mónica Adame.                               ject of bathrooms, here are         someone’s job, that that’s
some of these bright minds                                                                                                    some thoughts: Why does             what people get paid to do,
seem incapable of throwing                                                                                                    used toilet paper decorate          I find it so unsettling,” said
leftover food in the trash-                                                                                                   the stall’s floor (also, why        a male second-year. “Those
can. Even getting used toi-                                                                                                   are unmentionable lady-             are the same people who
let paper where it belongs                                                                                                    specific fluids sprinkled all       are graduating with a top
is an apparent challenge.                                                                                                     over the toilet?)? Why are          degree, and claim to be rid-
     “Imagine the contradic-                                                                                                  there used paper towels             ing on a white horse to bet-
tion of people who say they                                                                                                   spread around (that’s right         ter people’s lives around the
want to go out and make                                                                                                       around – not in) the trash-         world. It’s an elitist attitude.
the world a better place, yet                                                                                                 can? And why, oh why are            A lack of accountability.”
they cannot take care of their                                                                                                beans, corns, peas, lettuce,            Fellow students point out
immediate       environment,”                                                                                                 hair and tealeaves floating         that the “Dirty SIPA” phe-
said a male second-year.                                                                                                      around in the bathroom sink?        nomenon comes from a sense
    First-year Michelle Cha-                                                                                                     The mess extends beyond          of entitlement, from belong-
                                                                                                        Samantha Barthelemy




hine told me about two lead-                                                                                                  the bathrooms. Anyone who           ing to a privileged group.
ing presidential candidates                                                                                                   has searched for a spot on          Could it be that our “best
who set up campaign tables                                                                                                    the sixth floor café can em-        and brightest” status has
with brownies and chocolates                                                                                                  pathize with first-year Chris-      a downside? Are we so ab-
during last fall’s SIPASA                                                                                                     topher Reeve. “I was looking        sorbed by it that we believe
election. “I was sitting near-                                                                                                for a table to eat lunch and        it excuses us to act like pigs?
by when voting closed,” Cha-                                                                                                  there was rice everywhere –            Just as I am confident that
hine recalled. “The candidate         News flash, SIPA students.              “Sometimes     our    fa-                       on the table, on the seats –        we will go out and make the
I had voted for moments             Yes, we do have a cleaning           cilities are worse than                              and there was orange juice          world a better place, I firmly
before looked at his watch,         staff. They work hard. But           those at Penn Station.”                              on the floor,” said Reeve.          believe SIPA doesn’t have to
picked up his backpack and          they are here to maintain the              Second-year     student                        “Where is the shame in walk-        be a disgusting cesspool. Let
walked away, leaving a huge         building, not pick up after you.     Camilla Lyngsby jokingly                             ing away from your mess?            social change begin in the
mess of crumbs, food con-             Some claim that not clean-         explained,    “Some     ladies                       It seems that people think          bathroom.
tainers, flyers and posters.”       ing up after ourselves is a          think they have to flush be-                         their mothers work here.”
      “I couldn’t believe my        matter of convenience: it is         fore they use the bathroom                               Such actions may stem
eyes!” she continued. “This         easier to walk away from             and not after. That is not                           from a lack of respect, con-
was an individual aspir-            spilled coffee than to take the      good!” To be fair to the la-                         sideration, personal hygiene
                                                                                                                                                                    Samantha Barthelemy is a
ing to lead SIPA’s student          time to wipe it off the floor.       dies, I’ve heard the same is                         or simple awareness. I’ve
                                                                                                                                                                  second-year Master of Inter-
body. A few minutes later,          But I don’t remember hearing         true of the men’s bathroom.                          heard failed justification at-
                                                                                                                                                                  national Affairs student.
a cleaning lady passed by.          that SIPA was supposed to be             If the excuse is that you                        tempts ranging from “with-
P. 8     Communiqué - March 30, 2011                                Arts and Culture
                                                                                                                                                   making rockets and move
                                                                                                                                                   into the policy world, but it
                                                                                                                                                   seems like a career outside
                                                                                                                                                   of the space industry is un-
                                                                                                                                                   likely. His passion for the
                                                                                                                                                   industry is palpable and he
                                                                                                                                                   doesn’t get nearly as excited
                                                                                                                                                   about his classes at SIPA.
                                                                                                                                                     However, there are limited
                                                                                                                                                   options in aerospace for a
                                                                                                                                                   guy with a low tolerance for
                                                                                                                                                   structure.
SIPA’s Not Rocket Science: Just Ask Chris Wilkins                                                                                                    Wilkins’ bright blue eyes
                                                                                                                                                   blaze in disgust at the idea
By Samantha Hammer                                                                                                                                 of working for the defense

 A
                                                                                                                                                   industry, a common career
       s his fellow first-years   hours, up to [the launch. Af-
                                                                                                                                                   destination for those with
       were spending their        terward] I went to the bar and
                                                                                                                                                   his background. “I got of-
summers before SIPA finish-       it was a disaster,” he laughs.
                                                                                                                                                   fered a job at [sic] the army
ing up stints in the Peace              Although SIPA doesn’t
                                                                                                                                                   to develop autonomous bul-
Corps, doing research on HIV/     seem like a natural next
                                                                                                                                                   lets, bullets that…like, go
AIDS treatment in South Af-       stop for Wilkins after his
                                                                                                                                                   over a wall and find some-
rica or crunching numbers         successful work on Drag-
                                                                                                                                                   body and kill ‘em, and I was
for multinational account-        on, he is a person who has
                                                                                                                                                   like, fuck, no. I don’t want to




                                                                                                                                     J. Levinson
ing firms, MIA Christopher        no interest in continuing to
                                                                                                                                                   fucking make bullets. What
Wilkins was racing to finish      do what he already knows.
                                                                                                                                                   am I, a murderer? No. I
designing the autopilot for a           He began interning at       SIPA’s own Werner von Braun, Chris Wilkins                                     don’t like defense. I fucking
spacecraft that may someday       SpaceX as a guidance navi-
                                                                                                                                                   hate defense.”
take space tourists into orbit.   gation     control     engineer   ton Beach, Calif. (home of         each week, applied to SIPA,
                                                                                                                                                     He relents for a second:
  Wilkins, 28, was the respon-    right after earning his Mas-      the SpaceX headquarters)           and arrived at IAB with the
                                                                                                                                                   “There is definitely a certain
sible engineer on the design      ter’s in mechanical engi-         with Wilkins when he took          class of 2012 in September.
                                                                                                                                                   need for defense… and that’s
of the navigation guidance        neering from the Polytech-        the     SpaceX       internship.     Even though Wilkins admits
                                                                                                                                                   fine if you’re one of those
and control system for the        nic Institute of New York         Wilkins was eager to get           that he doesn’t really know why
                                                                                                                                                   killer guys, but I’m not.”
Dragon I spacecraft, built by     University in 2007. He loved      back to New York so that           he’s at SIPA, he’s not bothered
                                                                                                                                                     Still, he has plenty of other
the maverick space transport      the company’s flat structure      they could be together, but        by the curve ball he’s thrown
                                                                                                                                                   ideas to pursue. “If I get
company SpaceX, started           and the innovation it produced.   there wasn’t much demand           himself. He does around 20
                                                                                                                                                   some free time, I’ve got some
by PayPal and Tesla Motors         “It was awesome,” Wilkins re-    for rocket scientists in NYC.      hours of contract work for
                                                                                                                                                   good ideas on stuff to do for
founder Elon Musk in 2002.        members, “because I was like          This dilemma came along        SpaceX a week, he lives near
                                                                                                                                                   artificial intelligence, cool
    Upon its first launch in      24, 25 and building rockets.”     just as Wilkins picked up a        SIPA with his girlfriend, and
                                                                                                                                                   ideas on how to do stuff for
December 2010, Dragon                Wilkins joined SpaceX full-    sudden interest in world news.     he gets to learn about what
                                                                                                                                                   energy,” he says. “Don’t get
became the first privately-       time after his internship            About a year before com-        was happening down on Earth
                                                                                                                                                   me wrong – renewable en-
produced spacecraft to go         ended, and began his work on      ing to SIPA, he says, “I went      while he was helping SpaceX
                                                                                                                                                   ergy, I don’t touch that stuff.
into low Earth orbit and          Dragon not long after that. Al-   on this international affairs      corner the market for com-
                                                                                                                                                   I don’t think it really mat-
be successfully recovered.        though his passion for working    kick… I watched GPS with           mercial spaceflight. At second
                                                                                                                                                   ters.” He pauses, suddenly
Wilkins, who was in the thick     on spacecraft didn’t lessen, as   Fareed Zakaria, and I was          glance, it sounds like just the
                                                                                                                                                   absorbed by the energy
of his first semester of SIPA     Dragon’s navigation systems       like, ‘Wow, what are they          kind of brilliant plan a con-
                                                                                                                                                   challenge. “God. Where’s
classes at the time, joined       took shape, Wilkins started       talking about?’ I didn’t get any   fident, intellectually curious
                                                                                                                                                   fusion?”
the crew in Cape Canaveral,       itching for a new challenge.      of this stuff, but, [I thought],   rocket scientist would cook up.
Fla., for the historic launch.       There was also the impor-      ‘That sounds pretty cool.’”            Overall Wilkins is satis-
    “It was pretty awesome,       tant issue of his girlfriend.          So he read a microeco-        fied with the SIPA experi-
                                                                                                                                                     Samantha Hammer is a first-
pretty freaking good,” he says.   She had not made the move         nomics textbook, watched a         ence. He isn’t sure if it has
                                                                                                                                                   year Master of International
“I think I was awake for 25       from New York to Hunting-         couple of hours of the news        given him reason to give up
                                                                                                                                                   Affairs student.



Forget-Me-Not: USA Memory Championship Returns to NYC
 By Samantha McCann

 C     an you remember the
       full name of the person
you last met? How about the
                                  Pennsylvania, an ex-Navy
                                  intelligence officer, a med       last
                                                                        Several records from
                                                                              year’s      competi-
                                                                    tion were beat this year.
                                  student, and a correspon-
last ten people? Twenty-five?     dent for NBC, among others.         In addition to recalling the
     If you were one of the          Props ranged from Snick-       order of a deck of cards in one
fifty    contestants—pardon,      ers bars and Red Bull en-         minute and three seconds,
“mental         athletes”—who     ergy drinks, to high-quality      Nelson Dellis memorized
participated in the four-         sound-blocking headphones         248 numbers in ten minutes.
teenth annual USA Memory          and      expensive     timers.       Hershey High School stu-
Championship on March 12,           Contestants faced four cat-     dent Sophia Hu recalled 120
you would not bat an eye.         egories in which to prove         random words in one of the
    Indeed, the champion of       their cerebral superiority:       final championship rounds,
                                  (1) “names and faces,” where      and her classmate Michael
                                                                                                                                                                                 Samantha McCann




the “name and face” section,
16 year-old Hannan Kahn           contestants were shown pho-       “The Tank” Glanz set the re-
of Hershey, Pennsylvania,         tos of 99 different people and    cord in poetry memorization,
memorized the first and           their first and last names,       this after battling appen-
last names of 154 people.         and then had to recall their      dicitis for the past month.
     In    fifteen    minutes.    full names when shown an               Techniques for memori-        Last year’s champion Ronnie White, left, battles competitor
    Held in the Con-Edison        unnamed photo; (2) “speed         zation seemed to adhere            and 2011 champion Nelson Dellis, right.
building near Union Square        numbers,” which entailed          to the same concept: re-
in Manhattan, the colorless       memorizing rows of 20 num-        late what you’re seeing to             She continued. “A lot of                  So if you hope to be a men-
conference room was brought       bers at a time, 25 rows per       something you know or              them went by cute boys.”                    tal athlete next year, start
to life only by the palpable      page, as many pages as the        something that stands out.              What really surprised                  now, stick with Thurman’s
energy of the participants.       contestant can get through—          Jenna Wolfe, a national         Wolfe, however, was her                     T-tables, become a card
   In between rounds, the fe-     get one number wrong and          correspondent for the To-          ability to stay focused in a                shark, and FTLOG, try to
verishly gulped down their        you lose credit for the entire    day Show on NBC, shared            room full of 100 other people.              remember that person’s
Smart Water, put their            row; (3) “speed cards,” where     her methods for memo-                “It’s amazing what you can                name you’ve met five times
faces in their hands as they      contestants memorize the          rizing “names and fac-             do when you focus. I think I                since September and still
tried to ignore the click-        order of a randomly shuffled      es” with the audience.             underestimated how much                     greet in the hallways with
ing of the cameras, and           deck of cards as fast as they         “Well, there was George        I could actually do if I just               a very general, “hey...you.”
rocked backwards and for-         can; and (4) “poetry,” where      Parker. He had a really good       blocked everything else out
ward, almost imperceptibly.       contestants are given a pre-      looking face that reminded me      and focused on exactly what I
   The makeup of the contes-      viously unpublished poem          of George Clooney,” she said.      was doing. I’m in this crazy
tants was varied: a software      to memorize, with points              “And he had a hat with         business where we multitask                     Samantha McCann is a
engineer for Google, several      awarded for correct spelling,     squares on it that looked like     24 hours a day, to stop and                 first-year Master of Public
improv artists, a high school     correct capitalization, and       a parking garage. So it re-        quiet your mind down…you                    Administration     student.,
student group from Hershey,       correct punctuation marks.        minded me of George Parker.”       can actually accomplish a lot.”

								
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