Phillipe and Jorge have words of wisdom for Brown University's idiotic, uber-politically correct faculty members who voted to drop Columbus Day and substitute a "Fall Weekend" at the behest of student group called Native Americans at Brown. This swinging genius move was undertaken to reflect displeasure over "the nature of Christopher Columbus' conquests and treatment of Native Americans," notably on the island of Hispaniola, which now is home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
P+J say: "What happens in Hispaniola, stays in Hispaniola."
So Brown yet again becomes the poster child for preposterous PC behavior, and a national laughingstock to boot. Nice work, faculty. Might you someday deign to enter the new . . . excuse us, real world? It is particularly astute to look for trouble in a state which has a very large and esteemed Italian population, many of whom who have matriculated at Brown and who, from P+J's experience in everything from ethnic soccer leagues to neighborhood festivals, hold (oops, held) the university in the highest regard.
The point has been less than gently raised that if the university is that concerned over events in the Caribbean 500 years ago, perhaps they should consider the resume of that wild and crazy slave-trading guy from the turn of the 19th century, John Brown, for whom the university is named. (His brother Moses, a staunch abolitionist, only got a prep school named after him.) Perhaps we can switch the name to Beige University, so all the colors of the multi-ethnic student body can be mixed together to form a new, PC color. (Reminiscent of when both Band-Aids and Crayola were called out by the black community for describing the shade of their GOP-pink bandages and crayon as "flesh.")
Better bring a food taster on your next venture into an Italian restaurant on Federal Hill, President Simmons. And it won't be just for the level of garlic in your Fettucine Alfredo.
Hey, screw the local ecology if you can put up a bunch of ugly, square buildings and parking garages! No, that's not P+J's position, but it certainly seems to be that of the University of Rhode Island brain trust. (Honk if you see an oxymoron.) (Full disclosure: Jorge is an honored and distinguished alumnus of URI, and Phillipe works there.)
Peter Lord's excellent piece in the April 13 edition of the Urinal pointed out that the URI administration plans to put a new research park in a spot off its Kingston campus known as the North Woods. It would involve cutting down centuries-old trees in some of the longest-standing forested area in state, disrupting an ecological wellspring that has served as a living laboratory and classroom for decades and currently serves more than 1200 students in 16 courses.
The case for the site is being made by P+J's friend Bob "Dorian" Weygand, URI's vice president for administration. This is a bit surprising, since Dorian is a landscape architect who should know better. His argument that the facility must remain close to the existing campus buildings for research purposes is absolute balderdash, as the alternative site being proposed by many of the professors who use the North Woods for field teaching is close enough to satisfy the access needs of the corporations the university hopes to lure to campus.