Former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci dies at 74

Buddy Cianci, dead at 74

Two-time former mayor of Providence, Vincent ‘Buddy’ Cianci, died Thursday morning at 74 of colon cancer, according to the Providence Journal. He was rushed to Miriam Hospital due to stomach pains he was experiencing Wednesday night.

Cianci’s legacy is quite muddled; while he is often credited with the economic transformation seen in Providence in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which birthed a commercial boom marked most notably by the Providence Place Mall and Waterfire, he was also removed twice from office on felony charges and faced rape accusations.

Felon or not, Buddy has been a relevant figure in the College Hill community for decades. He’s taken selfies with our staffers, sent in pictures of his breakfast, and dealt with drunk bloggers attending his campaign events. Another fun fact is that he had his own line of pasta sauces, which may not have been terribly profitable but were somehow displayed in the window of a Cartier store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Mayor Jorge Elorza, who defeated Buddy’s mayoral campaign in 2014, has ordered that flags in Providence be flown at half-staff, and said that arrangements are being made to memorialize Cianci.

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Does money talk in the Brown admissions office?

A Gawker exposé published Tuesday quoted leaked emails with offers of preferential admissions treatment from Brown administrators, including President Christina Paxson, for the children of potential donors. The story has drawn rapid response from both administrators, who claim the messages were cherry-picked and taken out of context, and student protesters from the #MoneyTalksAtBrown movement, who argue that they further validate the group’s concerns about undue financial influence on university policy.

Brown firmly stated that all admissions decisions are based on merit alone. Last night at the State of Brown, President Christina Paxson denounced the validity of the Gawker article for selectively quoting emails.

“The real purpose of that letter is to let people set their expectations about the level of influence they can have,” she said.

Cass Cliatt, the Vice President of Communications, added, “It’s tempting to seek connections where none exist. At no time is there communication between advancement and admissions.”

In so many words, the university firmly denies that financial donations have ever had any clout in the admissions office–except “maybe 100 years ago,” according to Cliatt.

Cliatt also took the opportunity to address what she called “discrepancies” in the article. The differences arose, Cliatt claims, because the article does not include all the correspondence that is accessible on WikiLeaks. The first problem was that the framing of the emails made it seem as though the donation and the early decision admittance were around the same time, she said. According to Cliatt, the discussion regarding the scholarship fund started in April 2012, and the concluding payment was made in February 2014, 10 months before the student’s Early Decision notification.

Cliatt also addressed an email in the Gawker article that was originally sent from Paxson to the Brown Corporation in September of 2014. According to Cliatt, the part that reads, “Also, please tell us if you learn of a prospective applicant who may need ‘special handling’ for campus visits or communications,” does not imply that the University gives special treatment to visitors of high status.

Instead, it is given to about 800 students per year who are from “any family we think could benefit from additional attention for their tour and/or meeting with a faculty, and the category includes a variety of reasons for this ‘handling’: having served in volunteer or leadership positions at Brown, being a family member of an alum, having made extraordinary contributions to Brown, being a celebrity or dignitary, or any reason that might disrupt a public tour,” Cliatt wrote in an email.

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IFF Presents: Richard Brown, Dougray Scott and the uncanny in contemporary television

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Understanding the rise of the uncanny in contemporary television isn’t so much an analysis of societal preferences, as it is one of the television industry. Filmmakers of the uncanny have spent entire careers trying to emulate a Freudian model of finding the unfamiliar and perverse inside the familiar, or as Stanley Kubrick puts it, finding the aesthetics of dread. But why are these aesthetics of dread so much more attractive to audiences now?

In a panel hosted by IFF at the Granoff Center, Richard Brown, the executive producer of True Detective, and Dougray Scott, a Scottish actor known for his role in the Netflix series, Hemlock Grove, told the audience what they thought made the uncanny so appealing. Both men agreed, the audiences haven’t changed at all, but the TV business has. According to Brown, it all started with House of Cards signing on for 22 episodes without a pilot on Netflix. From that point forward, the power of the industry was in the hands of the filmmakers, not the networks, and the quality started to improve dramatically. In other words, people don’t like the uncanny now more than ever. It just so happens that the uncanny is better now than ever before.

Scott in Hemlock Grove, and Brown, in a similar pose.

Scott in Hemlock Grove, and Brown, in a similar pose.

Brown credits the success of True Detective to the leverage the show had over HBO. The fact that it wasn’t shot episode by episode — the standard for television — but instead in the same style as an 8 hour film, made it a better final product. Furthermore, the style in which it was shot, and the choice of the cinematographer were included in the initial contract. HBO gave way to these terms, in fear that the makers of the show would run off with their idea to Netflix, Brown said. For the same reasons, the contract is signed before any episodes are made, meaning the makers don’t have to listen to the networks once they start working.

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What to do this week: April 6 – April 12


Monday, April 6 

Event: Who Has the Right to Speak? Hate Speech and “Self-Infantilization” On College Campuses
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Salomon 203

The Brown Political Forum is hosting a discussion attempting to answer, among other questions, “Is Brown restricting speech that is uncomfortable to students, and if so, is this justified?” There will be free pizza.

Event: Brown Annual Fund Student Board Awareness Event
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Chancellor Room in the Ratty

The Brown Annual Fund Student Board is hosting free food and drinks to get to know more about what they do, how they do it and how you can become a part of the annual fund.

Tuesday, April 7 

Event: J. Cole at Lupo’s
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel

Fresh off the release of his newest album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, rapper J. Cole will be taking the stage tomorrow night.

Event: and red all over: a new play
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: Rites and Reason Theatre

Written by Noah Fields ’17 and Sofia Robledo Rower ’18, and red all over is described by the playwrights as “a multimedia mosaic-ritual-performance-prayer-riddle-poem unraveling queer multi-racial love.”

Wednesday, April 8:

Event: Student Journalists in Nicaragua
Time: 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Watson Institute for International Studies

Ten students in the course called “International Journalism: Foreign Reporting in Practice” spent their spring breaks in Nicaragua covering different aspects of Nicaraguan life.

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An inside look into sophomore dorms

The housing lottery is, besides SPG and Spring Weekend, the most infamous event at Brown. And the housing lottery is the most terrifying for the poor, bewildered freshman. Not to worry–we’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a 360-degree view of one room in each sophomore dorm (Not pictured: Grad Center D and a few rooms on Vartan Gregorian Quad). To make the housing lottery feel a little less like warfare and a little more like online shopping!

Barbour is a bit far from the center of campus, but is in close proximity to East Side Mini Mart, Louis, Bagel Gourmet, and Wickenden Street. Basically if you like brunch, Barbour is the place for you. While it’s bunker-esque facade (and interior, actually) lacks charm, it’s a great place for those of you hoping for a suite with a private kitchen and bathroom. However, do be warned that not all Barbour rooms are suites with the aforementioned amenities.


Caswell is one of the older dorms, but it doesn’t show. The dorm is centrally located on Ruth Simmons quad, mere minutes away from the Ratty, the Main Green, and the SciLi. The rooms are fairly spacious and the windows are large, meaning there is a lot of natural light. The one downside to living in Caswell is that there is no elevator, making moving in a hassle.

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Resources and support for mental well-being

In light of the incident on campus today, we want to ensure that the following resources are easily accessible to the community. If anyone is seeking support, here is a list of relevant resources on and off campus.

Psych Services: (401) 863-3476

This is the number for CAPS and can be used to schedule appointments Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also show up to J. Walter Wilson 516. Additionally, the number has an option for emergencies accessible at all times.

University’s Offices of Chaplains and Religious Life: (401) 863-2344. They can also be found in J. Walter Wilson 410.

National Suicide Hotline: (800) 273-8255

Crisis text line:

Project LETS anonymous crisis chat:

On-campus support: 

  • Project LETS will be gathering on the first floor of Sarah Doyle Women’s Center at 26 Benevolent St., starting at 2 p.m. Tea and art therapy will be offered along with psychological support.
  • Representatives from Psych Services and Student Life are in CIT 477.

Update: representatives from Psych Services are no longer in CIT 477.