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Thursday, December 5, 2019

HEIGHTS For a Greater Boston College - Independent since 1970

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BC fell to Northwestern in a blowout loss, extending its losing streak to four games.

Australian exchange student Isobel Knight has made a name for herself with her original indie-folk music.



City Council Votes to Seize Webster Woods Boston College purchased the property in 2016. By Gavin Zhang For The Heights


Jarmond to Start Search for New Coach Rich Gunnell will serve as the Eagles’ interim head coach. By Andy Backstrom Managing Editor Boston College Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond addressed the media on Monday morning, less than 24 hours after announcing the dismissal of seventh-year head football coach Steve Addazio. He stated that interim head coach Rich Gunnell will not be interviewing for the vacancy, and that, ideally, BC would like to fill the position by the start of the early signing period (Dec. 18), but he didn’t commit to a date of when

a hire would be made. Before delving into the search process, however, Jarmond paid his respects to Addazio, who leaves BC with a 44-44 record after having clinched bowl eligibility six times in his seven years at the helm of the program. “I want to start off by thanking Coach Steve Addazio for the seven years that he spent here on the Heights,” Jarmond said, per BC Athletics. “He gave his heart and soul to this program, and I appreciate all the efforts and what he has done and the staff has done to help develop our young men.” The third-year AD’s decision comes one year after he extended Addazio’s contract two years through the 2022 season. The 2018 extension, which Jarmond offered because he “felt really good about the progress” BC was making last year, didn’t include specific

parameters that Addazio had to meet this fall, according to Jarmond. “Whenever a coach, specifically football, has less than four years, you really want to make sure that they have that continuity cause they’re recruiting a four-year class,” Jarmond said. “And so you’re in a position where either you need to make a change or extend.” Last year, the Eagles lost three straight games to end the regular season, including a brutal one-score affair at Florida State, and their bowl game was canceled because of lightning—the NCAA’s first-ever postseason weather cancelation. That said, before the end-of-year collapse, BC was playing its best football in close to a decade. The Eagles

See Jarmond, A3

OIP Cancels Three Hong Kong Programs Due to unrest in the region, OIP called for students to return. By Megan Kelly For The Heights Boston College’s Office of International Programs (OIP) has decided to close all three programs in Hong Kong for the fall semester and instructed its students to return home in the wake of ongoing civil unrest in the region. OIP has also terminated the upcoming Spring 2020 programs, offering students alternative programs elsewhere or simply a return to BC. Summer internship

programs in Hong Kong through OIP were also canceled. The three partner universities in Hong Kong that will be affected by the decision are Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, according to Nick Gozik, director of OIP. Other American universities, including Georgetown University, Syracuse University, Cornell University, and the University of California system, have also decided to terminate their programs in the region. “We monitor health and safety incidents around the world on a daily basis, receiving information from the U.S. Department of State, risk management professionals, news reports, colleagues at other universities, and

on-the-ground staff,” said Gozik in an email to The Heights. “In addition to political activities, we are monitoring a number of potential risks, including health concerns and natural disasters.” This past June, hundreds of thousands of protestors began taking to the streets in Hong Kong in protest of a bill that would have allowed extraditions to the Chinese mainland, subjecting Hong Kong’s citizens to the Chinese legal system. Clashes between the protestors and police have intensified as the demands of the protestors have increased—moving from just withdrawal of the extradition bill to less Chinese control of Hong Kong.

Newton City Council voted unanimously to seize Webster Woods from Boston College via eminent domain on Monday. Mayor Ruthanne Fuller first announced her plans to secure funds for the acquisition in September. In addition to the mayor’s request to seize Webster Woods via eminent domain, the approved proposal also includes the Community Preservation Committee’s (CPC) recommendations to acquire and appropriate $15 million to take the woods via eminent domain, as well as to appropriate $725,000 for legal fees and $15,000 for costs relative to conservation restriction. The proposal also includes the mayor’s request to accept and utilize a $200,000 donation from the Friends of Webster Woods, an activist group that aims to preserve the woods. “ We are disappointed with the City’s decision to seize Boston College’s property by eminent domain,” Associate Vice President for University Communications Jack Dunn said in an email. “This costly ordeal could have been avoided if the Mayor had not cut off negotiations or had agreed to a land swap.” In an interview with The Heights in September, Fuller said that she worked to come to a resolution with BC before deciding to move forward with reclaiming the woods. “While I understand that they’re disappointed the City of Newton is moving forward, I’m also disappointed we couldn’t come to an amicable solution to this,” Fuller said in the interview. “They see this land as critical to their future, but we, the City of Newton, know it is critical to ours.” Dunn said that the University will challenge the taking and the mayor’s appraisal of the land’s value in court.

“Our contention remains that the Mayor and City Council have grossly underestimated the value of the property and the legal cost associated with its seizure,” he said. Under eminent domain, the government can take land from private groups as long as it pays them fair market value and maintains the land for public use. The woods were appraised to have a market value of $15.2 million. BC purchased Webster Woods, which spans about 17 acres, along with the former synagogue and parking lot at 300 Hammond Pond Parkway for $20 million in 2015. At Monday ’s meeting, the City Council also unanimously approved a resolution from Leonard Gentile, councilor at large of Ward 7 and chair of the Finance Committee. The resolution states that the mayor’s office will ask the CPC to bond the $740,000 in funds that will be appropriated to cover legal fees of the acquisition so that the committee will still have this money in its account to fund other items. Councilor Lisle Baker put forward a motion for the City Council to reconsider its decision to seize Webster Woods with a recommendation that the council vote it down so the process of passing the proposal could be completed Monday evening. The councilors were told to vote “no” if they wanted the earlier vote on the acquisition of Webster Woods to stand, and the council voted “no” unanimously. The audience burst into applause as the City Council voted to uphold its decision. Marc Laredo, president of the City Council, gave thanks to the people who took part in the process, especially Baker, who was a member of Fuller’s Webster Woods advisory panel. “I think we all owe a great debt of gratitude and thanks to Councilor Baker, who is instrumental and tireless in leading the efforts in this as he has put in countless hours,” Laredo said. “He has organized our efforts. He has been exceptionally thorough, and I am deeply grateful.” n

See Hong Kong, A3

UGBC Votes Down Two New Resolutions Grant review board proposed after Koch offer of donation. By Julia Kiersznowski For The Heights The Undergraduate Government of Boston College voted down two separate resolutions at a senate meeting on Tuesday. The first resolution called for a re-vote on the president pro tempore position following concerns over the behavior of the current president pro tempore, Crystal Pu, Lynch ’20. The second resolution advocated for a


review board for grants to BC following the backlash over potential funding to the political science department by the controversial Charles Koch foundation. The resolution also would have condemned the University for accepting the funding. The resolution to hold another election for the president pro tempore position, presented by a UGBC senator, was debated and voted on in an executive session—meaning the deliberations were strictly confidential. The senator who presented the resolution said that the resolution did not call for an impeachment, rather for a re-vote next semester—it would be possible for Pu to be re-elected. The resolution would have needed a

two-thirds vote to pass, as it would have required an edit to the UGBC handbook. The written resolution expressed concerns that Pu was not acting efficiently in her position and was causing delays in meetings because of her disorganization, but some senators expressed that they believed the true issue did not lie in her inefficiency but in her lack of respect, specifically for Tiffany Brooks, UGBC vice president and MCAS ’21. Some senators said that while Pu had been successful in her previous role as a senator, they thought that she had not properly met the requirements of president

See UGBC, A3


Christmas Tree Lighting On Tuesday, BC continued its yearly tradition of lighting the Christmas tree on O’Neill Plaza.

FEATURES: James Balog


BC alum Balog travels the world taking photographs of the great outdoors............A4

Niu, an assistant prof. in the chemistry dept., was awarded NIH’s New Innovator Award...A10


NEWS......................... A2 OPINIONS.............. A6 Vol. C, No. 24 © 2019, The Heights, Inc. MAGAZINE..................A4 ARTS.................... A12 www.bcheights.com METRO.............................A5 SPORTS................. A14

The Heights




things to do on campus this week


The Arts Council is hosting Do-It-Yourself Night: Holiday Card Making Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the McMullen Museum of Art.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Institute for the Liberal Arts and Communication Depar tment will be hosting the two-day Media-Technology Nexus: Chinese Culture and Society conference Thursday and Friday.


Boston College Bands will be presenting A Christmas Festival, featuring performances by the University Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, and BC bOp!, at 3 p.m. on Sunday at 300 Hammond Pond Parkway.

NEWS UGBC Advocates for Improved Mental Health Resources BRIEFS

Bloomer Appointed WCAS Associate Dean

The Woods College of Advancing Studies has named Boston College alumna Michelle Elias Bloomer as the associate dean for undergraduate programs. An educator, attorney, and administrator, Bloomer brings extensive experience in adult and continuing education and professional studies, according to a University release. At Bunker Hill Community College, Bloomer led the Division of Professional Studies. She’s also served at Middlesex Community College as assistant dean of education and public service as well as professor and chair of the Criminal Justice Department, the statement said. “I’m thrilled that Michelle is joining our team,” WCAS Dean Karen Muncaster said in the release. “Her passion for BC, her broad experience in adult and continuing education and her deep understanding of diverse and non-traditional students will enhance our ability to meet their needs, and help us to strengthen and grow our on campus and online undergraduate programs in quality, rigor, and relevance.” Prior to her exdperience in administrative education, Bloomer worked in the Essex County District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney, and supervised the domestic violence unit at the Lynn District Court. “I am excited to have the opportunity to bring my experience as an administrator and educator to Boston College, the institution that provided me with an outstanding education and reinforced the values and high standards upon which I have been able to build a successful career in higher education,” Bloomer said in the release.

DA Rollins Speaks on You Prosecution Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins appeared on WCVB News on Sunday to defend her office’s decision to charge former Boston College student Inyoung You with involuntary manslaughter for her involvement in the suicide of her boyfriend, Alexander Urtula, BC ’19. The interview came after 110 text messages You sent urging Urtula not to kill himself before his death were released to the Boston Globe by Rasky Partners, a Boston-based public relations firm hired by You. Prior to the emergence of these messages, prosecutors had released over 75,000 messages between You and Urtula, hundreds of which encouraged his suicide, according to an investigation by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Police and Suffolk County prosecutors. “I would push back and say in most homicides that we’re dealing with … the murderer has done something nice for their spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend. That’s not why we’re here today,” said Rollins. “We’re not concerned with the nice things she may have said. It’s a cycle of violence and she is playing right into it.” Steven Kim, one of You’s attorneys, accused Rollins’ office of wasting public resources on prosecuting an innocent college student in a public statement on Nov. 22. You recently returned to the United States from South Korea and plead not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. “We have a … meticulous, relentless, pathological breakdown of this individual, Alexander Urtula, by somebody who claimed to love him,” said Rollins to WCVB. “Although it was a toxic relationship, we believe Ms. You’s behavior clearly entered into the criminal.”

By Julia Remick For The Heights And Lauren Wittenmyer For The Heights

Throughout this semester, the Undergraduate Government of Boston College has been working on a series of new initiatives aimed at expanding access to mental health resources on campus. Members of UGBC’s executive and legislative branches have also worked to market existing resources to the student body. “We’re always looking for ways where we can better support each other as a student body and as a campus community in addressing health,” said Michael Osaghae, UGBC president and MCAS ’20. “And to do that … we’re spearheading various campaigns around mental health and working with campus partners to plan events that will look at mental health through a variety of angles.” One issue UGBC is currently working to resolve is the limited number of counselors and psychiatrists available to students on campus through University Counseling Services (UCS). Students are often forced to wait a week or two after making an appointment to talk to a counselor, Osaghae said. “In the conversations we’ve had, the

administration has been very receptive, especially with regards to mental health,” Osaghae said. “I think that we all need to do a better job of being proactive in the campaigns and programs we offer, but also [make] sure that folks on campus engage with the resources that we currently have.” Osaghae noted that students sometimes seek counseling off campus because of the limited number of counselors and psychiatrists available. UGBC is working to provide subsidized transportation for off-campus mental health services, he said. “These are structural challenges across higher education. … We all need to do more to support each other as a campus community,” Osaghae said. Two UGBC senators, Ashley Stauber, MCAS ’20, and Quinn O’Connor, MCAS ’21, have also resolved to push conversations about mental health to the front of campus consciousness. “Mental health sometimes gets put on the back burner, not just at BC but at universities around the world,” Stauber said. “Everyone’s mental health is different, and it is important for students to know that they have the resources to reach out to.” One of the resources they highlighted is Lean on Me, a national peer-to-peer texting hotline that launched at BC last

year. Students can text the number and are anonymously placed in contact with a trained BC student who can provide support. The senators also emphasized that the push for more mental health resources isn’t a sign that the administration isn’t pursuing solutions on its own as well. “A big misperception is that BC only has 14 on-campus counselors, [meaning] they’re not trying to help, but I think that is unfair,” Stauber said. She emphasized that UGBC needs to take a collaborative stance in working with the administration to fortify the campus’s mental health resources. “A main goal that I have is really kicking off those conversations with [UCS Director Craig Burns] so that we can support him and find out what he thinks will be most helpful,” she said. O’Connor and Stauber said they recognize that mental health issues are not unique to BC. Campuses all across the country are experiencing an increase in demand for mental health services and do not have the resources equipped to accommodate their students’ needs, they said. “I think every university across America is having the same issues of just not having enough resources,” said O’Connor. “There’s a mental health crisis in this country where people our age

are needing a lot of support, and there’s a lot of mental health issues, [and] the universities are just swamped. I think BC could be doing a lot more, but every university is hurting.” One of the initiatives in the works for next semester is a UGBC-sponsored mental health panel composed of various speakers who would discuss the importance of open conversation about mental health on college campuses. These initiatives are part of UGBC’s effort to address the deaths of several students that have occurred over the past year. O’Connor said many students feel that the University hasn’t given them the resources to deal with these losses. “I think we could do more organizing to get student voices heard about how dire it is that we need this,” O’Connor said. Osaghae emphasized that students should do their part to support each other and make mental health a more prominent topic of discussion. “I think it’s our job as students, as folks caring for the whole person, to try and drive better avenues for folks to engage with mental health in a real and critical fashion,” Osaghae said. “And I think we have to do a better job as a campus community to make sure that this is something that is addressed constantly.” n

Addazio Memorialized in ‘New England Classic’ Vigil By Kaylie Ramirez Arts Editor The New England Classic, Boston College’s resident satirical newspaper, paid its respects to former head football coach Steve Addazio with a candlelit vigil outside Alumni Stadium on Wednesday night. Addazio, whose termination was announced on Sunday, is notably still alive, but the end of his tenure was mourned through a poignant eulogy and evocative musical tributes. Joey Reda, a staff writer for The Classic and CSOM ’21, delivered a brief eulogy in front of the Doug Flutie statue, which hosted a shrine adorned with candles and a black-and-white photo of Addazio. Prior to his remarks, Reda saluted the shrine to the former football coach. “We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of just a guy being a

dude—Boston College head football coach Steve Addazio,” Reda said. Addazio garnered internet fame in a Vine that went viral in June 2013. Against the backdrop of football practice at Alumni, Addazio remarked, “What’s better than this—guys bein’ dudes?” To date, the Vine has over 31.5 million loops on the once-popular platform, which was shut down in 2016. Addazio responded to his instant fame with a string of BC football-themed Vines, including one that featured Addazio quoting lyrics from “Stuck In The Middle With You.” For the eulogy, Reda pulled heavily from Addazio’s Vine career, as well as quotes from press conferences Addazio held during his time at BC. “It’ll come together, and it’ll be beautiful—you can write that down,” Addazio said at an Oct. 7, 2017 press conference after BC lost, 23-10, to Virginia Tech.

“Although thing s ne ver came together, it was still beautiful,” Reda said at the vigil on Wednesday. Addazio ended his tenure with a 44-44 record and led BC to bowl games in six of his seven seasons with the team. Following the eulogy, Reda led the crowd of roughly 20 mourners in singing “Amazing Grace.” Once Whitney Houston’s iconic “I Will Always Love You” began to play, Reda kneeled in front of the candles at the foot of the statue, which were arranged in a cross formation, to pay his respects. When the candle flames blew out, Mary Elizabeth Mooney, editor-in-chief of The Classic and MCAS ’20, attempted to light the picture of Addazio on fire, but the paper would not catch. The melting snow on the statue appeared to moisten the picture, making it difficult to burn. Mooney responded by tearing

the picture in half and letting the pieces fall to the ground. The Classic’s vigil builds on a string of public events the historically elusive student publication has held in the past year. Although The Classic still publishes its satire without bylines, members of the paper hosted a vigil for Meatball Obsession after it was torn down in February; gave speeches at NECTalks, a parody of TEDTalks, in March; and protested to abolish UGBC in May. Despite the abrupt end to Addazio’s BC career, Reda offered some hope for the former coach’s future. “I take great solace in the fact that Steve will go onto a better place— probably a s an a ssistant coach at Clemson or Ohio State, where he’ll have plenty of room to run right up the middle, over and over and over again,” Reda said. n

DiversityEdu Module Updated to Be More Interactive By Danny Flynn Copy Chief DiversityEdu was rolled out for all Boston College students in the fall of 2018 in response to student movements such as Silence is Still Violence that sought to bring awareness to issues of diversity and racism on campus. The diversity education module—which all incoming freshmen, transfers, and graduate students are now required to complete before they arrive on campus—has now gone through its second round of students after undergoing some changes based on student feedback. The module takes students through a series of videos and open- and closedended questions related to diversity and inclusivity on campus. Vice President for Student Affairs Joy Moore said that while she received an overall positive response from students about the module in its first year, there still remained room for improvement. “There was certainly groups of

students who felt it didn’t go deep enough, and those who felt it was maybe a little too light,” she said. “That’s sort of in delving into the complexities of diversity and awareness and equity and inclusion … and there were several suggestions as to what can be done to improve it.” One major change made to the module was the addition of a mandatory 20-question quiz at the end. The first iteration of DiversityEdu collected open-ended responses that were not graded, so there was a lack of accountability for the students learning the material, said Carrie Klemovitch, special assistant for Administration and Strategic Initiatives and the head of DiversityEdu. “Students felt [that] was problematic,” said Moore. “They wanted people to think a little bit more about what they had just heard and learned.” There were also key changes to the module to make it more specific to the University. The update includes the addition of interviews from faculty and

staff, who give their take on some of the topics presented in the module, as well as video vignettes of various students talking about issues related to diversity and race on campus, said Klemovitch. “The first year we rolled it out to all undergraduate students with the idea that going forward, it would just be firstyear students,” said Klemovitch. “So this past year, 2019, all first-year students took the module before arriving on campus, and then as part of our Week of Welcome, they had a mandatory, small-group facilitated conversation about the module.” “[We knew that DiversityEdu] was a foundational course … it’s meant to be part of a number of building blocks that we’re doing across the University to help students have these conversations,” Klemovitch said. “And we wanted to start it early, with the goal that they’ll continue throughout their time at BC.” “[DiversityEdu] was never designed with the idea that this one module was going to solve racial tension,” said Moore.

POLICE BLOTTER: 12/02/19 – 12/03/19

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Monday, Dec. 2 10:21 a.m. - An officer filed a report regarding a suspicious circumstance at Vouté Hall

6:50 p.m. - An officer filed a report regarding a larceny by false pretense over $250 at Cushing Hall.

3:57 p.m. - An officer filed a report regarding a suspicious circumstance at BCPD headquarters.

8:08 p.m. - An officer filed a report regarding a fire alarm activation in Rubenstein Hall.

8:08 - An officer filed a report regarding a medical incident in Carney Hall. 8:47 p.m. - An officer filed a report regarding a medical incident in Conte Forum.

—Source: The Boston College Police Department

Klemovitch also said she saw a pronounced improvement in students’ understanding of key terms in the module, such as “intersectionality”—which DiversityEdu explored more in this iteration—and “microaggressions.” This improvement was reflected, she said, in the more positive responses in the pre- and post-module questionnaires, through which the DiversityEdu team received feedback about the module from the students who completed it. “I think that this course was very helpful in learning about all of the different aspects of diversity,” one student response said. “Before I took the course, I was unaware of how many different parts there are to diversity, including race, age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. I was also unaware of the prevalence of micro aggressions in not just everyday life, but also in my own thinking. This course taught me valuable skills in recognizing my own bias and working to overcome them through continuing conversations about diversity.” n

CORRECTIONS Please send corrections to eic@bcheights.com with ‘correction’ in the subject line.

The Heights

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Koch Resolution Fails UGBC, from A1

Photo Courtesy of BC Athletics

BC Football Looking for a New Beginning Jarmond, from A1 featured their highest-scoring offense since 1993 and cracked the AP Poll for the first time in 10 years. They made their first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff rankings, hosted a College GameDay matchup against No. 2 Clemson that had ACC title implications, and boasted 13 All-ACC selections—the second-most of any team in the conference—four of which were selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. Granted, BC lost eight starters on defense, and third-year starting quarterback Anthony Brown suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 6, yet the Eagles took a big step back during a year in which the ACC struggled to keep two teams in the AP Poll. While BC was able to maintain its high-scoring offense with Dennis Grosel—a former preferred walkon—behind center, its defense was historically bad. The Eagles allowed 31.7 points per game throughout the regular season—currently on pace for the most in single-season program history—and reset the BC record for most yards allowed in a single game twice: at Louisville (664) and Clemson (674). “We look at the whole body of work,” Jarmond said. “And so, we evaluate throughout the year, but I started talking with Father Leahy at the end of the season, and we connected, and we just felt like the trajectory that we were on—I didn’t feel like we were making the progress competitively that we needed to. We want to be more competitive in conference and nationally. And I just felt with the total body of work, it was time to make a change.” During Addazio’s seven-year stay, BC made the postseason six times, but never finished a season above .500 in ACC play and posted a meager 1-17 record against ranked opponents. As far as the national stage is concerned, things only got worse as time wore on.From 2013-2015, Addazio’s first three years in Chestnut Hill, BC lost to ranked teams by an average of

7.4 points. But since the start of the 2016 season, the Eagles have dropped games against ranked opponents by an average of 30 points. Rather than waiting to fire Addazio after BC’s bowl game, Jarmond made the move a day after the Eagles defeated Pittsburgh on the road to punch their ticket to the postseason. He said he felt that it would have been unfair and unwise to hold off on the dismissal. “I think if you make a decision, you need to act decisively,” Jarmond said. “I don’t think it helps anyone to delay a decision on either side. I don’t think it’s fair to whoever that coach or that staff is, and I don’t think it’s fair to the institution. … And so I wanted to do that as quickly as we could to move forward, because I think it’s really important to get in the marketplace when you can—when you know you’re going to make a change—and start that process.” When searching for a new head coach, Jarmond implied that he will stick to P.A.C.E., the vision he first introduced when he was hired back in 2017. Jarmond has a Big Ten background: He served as Ohio State’s deputy athletics director and chief of staff (2009-17) and, before that, as the assistant athletic director for development and director of regional giving at Michigan State (2006-09). But, rather than targeting the Big Ten or another Power Five conference, Jarmond is focused on finding someone with passion and competitive excellence. “We want a person of high integrity,” Jarmond said. “We want a leader, someone that understands Boston College. We have a wonderful opportunity here. Our Catholic, Jesuit values, ‘men and women for others’—it has to be someone that understands us … a teacher, someone that’s passionate to teach the game but [also] teach the skills that they need for life. And someone that wins. We want to win, and we want to be competitive.”

Jarmond said that he spent an hour with the team on Sunday and described the players as “high character guys” who are driven and “want to be great.” They will be under the leadership of Gunnell for the final month of the season, as the Eagles prepare for their fourth consecutive bowl appearance. Gunnell, B C ’09, played wide receiver for the Eagles from 2006 to 2009. During his BC career, he racked up 181 receptions, 2,459 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns. Most notably, though, he hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass from Matt Ryan against Clemson in 2008 to send the Eagles to their second straight ACC Championship game. Gunnell, who’s worked as BC’s wide receivers coach the past four years (2016-19) declined to answer why he won’t be interviewing for the head coaching job, but he thanked Jarmond for the opportunity to serve as the interim and Addazio for jumpstarting Gunnell’s coaching career. Gunnell also emphasize d the importance of keeping the players together during this time and reaching the seven-win mark for the sixth time in the past seven years. “We have a lot of talent coming back, and we want to continue to develop that talent moving forward,” Gunnell said. “And that’s my job. It’s to keep these guys together, keep them focused at the task at hand, and that’s just to win this bowl game. That’s the only thing I’m focused on right now.” Jarmond referenced the Greater Heights Campaign and underscored his firm belief that BC football can and should be a top-25 program. He also alluded to BC’s tradition and history—the Eagles won eight or more games nine times in the 2000s alone—and pointed to the opportunity that the next head coach will inherit. “This is not something that’s a rebuild,” Jarmond said. “This is a retool to go for greater Heights, and that’s what this is about.” n

OIP Cancels Hong Kong Programs Hong Kong, from A1

“When we do have to cancel a program and students will be impacted, the options that we can provide depend much on timing,” Gozik said. “For the students who were planning on going to Hong Kong in spring 2020, we gave students a list of programs that were available,” Gozik said. These programs included universities that still had open spots, and OIP took into account countries where students would have had enough time to go through the visa process before the start of the program, Gozik said. “We always try to find alternatives that align with what would have been offered through the canceled program,” Gozik added. “If a student decides not to go abroad at all, we respect their decision, and help them reintegrate back into BC.” Jack Phelan, MCAS ’20, who applied to work abroad in Hong Kong last year and was subsequently placed in a job with an insurance company, spent this past summer in the city. He spoke of his encounters with the protestors, which were, in his experience, largely peaceful and non-

disruptive. “It was definitely a noticeable presence, as we would have to walk through an army of people … to get where we were going,” said Phelan. “From what my friends and I could tell, it was entirely peaceful. We were never near the ‘incidents’ that the media would later label as acts of rioting. “We didn’t feel threatened by them and would even sometimes ask them for directions.” While Phelan couldn’t comment on OIP’s decision to cancel the programs, he encouraged students to pursue going abroad to Hong Kong. “I’d really recommend it, as you get a totally different experience of the world in Asia as opposed to visiting Europe,” Pheland said. “A chance to go abroad to Hong Kong seems like a rarer opportunity than visiting London or Germany.” The decision to cancel or alter a program is rare, but must be done as needed, Gozik said. “Since I have been at Boston College (now 7.5 years), we have been forced to cancel a handful of programs due to health and safety risks, includ-

ing in Turkey, Japan, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and El Salvador,” said Gozik. “Most of the time we have been able to make a decision early enough so that students do not select one of these programs during the application stage and thus do not need to be relocated to another program. Hong Kong was different in that the protests began in June 2019, well after students applied.” Each situation must be considered by OIP on a case by case basis, said Gozik. Much of the decision comes down to the location and nature of a given event. An event taking place hundreds of miles away may have little effect on BC students abroad, according to Gozik. “Protests alone are not normally a reason to cancel a program. … When our students are in direct danger, we are quick to act. Our first goal is to ensure students’ safety,” Gozik said. “We would be very happy to reopen our programs in Hong Kong,” Gozik added. “Students have had wonderful experiences there, which have led to great personal, academic, and professional development.” n

pro tempore and should be forced to run for the position again. Other senators said that a re-election was not the right approach to solving the issue of disrespect—she should instead just be verbally condemned. The second resolution, focused on the Koch funding, was co-sponsored by John Gehman and Laura Perrault, both UGBC senators and MCAS ’21. Charles Koch, who made up the “Koch brothers” along with his late brother David, is the billionaire owner, chairman, and CEO of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States that, among other things, manufactures, refines, and distributes petroleum. The Charles Koch Foundation has proposed funding a new program within the political science department focused on new perspectives of foriegn policy—many faculty members have taken issue with this because of the Koch brothers’ controversial political history. The current vision statement for the program states that the grant could create public speaker programs, undergraduate workshops, and fellowships for graduate students. The resolution encouraged the University not to accept the Koch funding, citing reasons that included the foundation’s lobbying against climate change advocacy. It stated that the acceptance of this funding would undermine BC’s Jesuit values and contradict BC’s fight for social justice. The resolution also called for the creation of a committee consisting of both students and faculty to help the administration review potential grants and gifts. Perrault said in an interview that members from Faculty for Justice, a faculty group that promotes social justice on campus, had reached out to them with concerns about the potential Koch funding. She said that after doing some research, she believed there wasn’t enough information released by the University about the potential grant. “BC has the right to make that decision, but they should be more upfront, vocal, and transparent with students about it,” Perrault said. “So if BC had just handled

it by coming out and saying, ‘Listen, we’re accepting this amount of money, and it’s going to this specific part of the political science department that won’t get funding otherwise,’ then I think it would have been a completely different conversation.” While debating the resolution, Dennis Wieboldt, UGBC senator and MCAS ’23, said that the current system for the administration reviewing gifts and grants is very unclear. “There’s no stated policies about how they’re going to review grants, how they’re going to review the Koch grant, or how they’ve reviewed grants in the past,” Wieboldt said. “So we’re really examining the lack of procedure in place.” Perrault said that though the concern was initially started by the Koch funding, their resolution is more broadly aimed at addressing all grants that come through the University. “Obviously the faculty is affected by this, but students are as well,” Perrault said. “Their education is tied to the money that we’re receiving, so having some sort of formal body would allow students as well as faculty to be in on that process of accepting this money and the implications it would have. So although it was sparked by the Koch funding, it’s more about having this sort of review board that can go over the funding and give a student perspective before BC accepts it.” Kerry Soropoulos, UGBC at-large senator and MCAS ’23, expressed during the debate that he believes a review board consisting of students and faculty could dissuade potential donors, an opinion that many other senators agreed with. “Do we really want to say to our constituents that our legacy is we’ve made it more difficult to give more money to BC?” Soropoulos asked. “Is that really what we’re aiming at? This is adding more hoops and rings for people to jump through when they’re simply trying to donate money to BC.” The resolution failed to pass, receiving 14 votes for and 13 votes against with one abstention—passing the resolution would have required half the votes plus one. n

Moore Talks Addiction By Hannah Murphy For The Heights Vice President of Student Affairs Joy Moore was the second speaker in Nov. 20’s Agape Latte series. Moore shared the story of her older brother, who has struggled with addiction for most of his life—the first time she shared this story outside of her immediate family, she said. Moore began her talk by providing some backstory of her family. She is the middle of three children, born sandwiched five years after an older brother and five years before a younger sister. Her brother first began taking drugs while at boarding school at Lawrence Academy, where he played football. Her family realized something was going on when he stopped going to class and started getting in trouble and smoking marijuana, she said. He eventually got expelled and never finished high school—years passed, and he began to use harder drugs, eventually stealing to support his habit, Moore said. Moore recalled when she overheard her parents discussing getting money to drug dealers who had threatened her brother over his debt. She recounted the almost surreal situation of her parents driving to a drug drop and delivering money to the dealers. One of the most striking moments of her brother’s addiction was after Moore got married and moved to California, according to Moore. Her brother had also moved to California and was living in a garage at the time. One day—after a long period of noncommunication—he called Moore and said she needed to get him because people who he owed money to were after him. After she arrived, Moore started to become worried when her brother, who was high, could not focus on leaving quickly. “So in any event, I’m able to get all of his stuff, whatever we could take, and get in the car, and we were able to get out. And when I think back about it now, it surely was only by the grace of God that gave us the time that we were able to get out before they probably arrived, looking for him, but more looking for what he owed them,” Moore said. Moore called her parents, and a few days later he flew back to Massachusetts. At the airport, the Massachusetts State Police were waiting to arrest him for several outstanding warrants. Her father, a police

officer, had arranged to have him arrested upon his return. In hindsight, Moore reflected that this was probably the best thing for her brother. “When you’re a drug addict, when you have too much freedom, you get yourself in more and more trouble because you can’t control what the addiction is,” Moore said. “And so, not that anyone wants to go and spend any time in jail, but I must tell you, for my brother, it tended to be one of the best places for him because he couldn’t get the drugs, and it was a very structured environment, and he really thrived in structure.” Moore then turned to discuss how she believes that mental health is often a key component of addiction—her brother struggled with unaddressed mental health problems when he was younger, she said. Moore advised the audience to reach out to those facing mental health issues or addiction, rather than ostracize them. “You really need to do the best you can with a person in that situation of being as compassionate as you can, as empathetic and understanding and caring, and have that unconditional love,” Moore said. “I think that one of the things that we all have to do is be a bit more caring to those who are struggling. … It’s really challenging to do that when someone is continuing to use drugs and to steal from you and to treat you in ways that [don’t] feel very reciprocal.” Moore said that she still works to support her brother, who is now 65—she frequently tells him to take it “one day at a time.” She said that the saying is particularly applicable for drug addicts, as it can often take just one misstep to put them back on the path to addiction. Moore shared the story of her brother in the hopes that anyone who knows someone who is struggling will show that person compassion and love, even when it is difficult, she said. Moore also hoped that by sharing her story people can realize that despite her title, she is also just a person who has struggles like anyone else. “Part of this is just to let you know I’m just a regular human like everybody else out there,” she said. “Even though I have this title that says ‘Vice President for Student Affairs,’ it doesn’t mean that I don’t have challenges—some in my life and with my family and the world that I’m part of, so some things I can relate to that you might be going through.” n

The Heights


By Danny Flynn Copy Chief


uickly—this light won’t last forever.” James Balog, BC ’74, called for a rope, tied it to himself, put on a life jacket, took off his boots, waded into the frigid waters of the Jökulsárlón glacial lake in southeast Iceland, and began his work. He snapped some photos of the ice blocks along the shore and waded deeper, bracing himself with each step to keep himself steady. Icy wave after icy wave plowed into his back, but his camera kept clicking. Balog had spent two years photographing melting glaciers as a photojournalist—including for gigs with National Geographic and The New Yorker. These projects led him to found the Extreme Ice Survey, a large project that utilizes time-lapse photography to visually document and publicize the effects of climate change on some of the world’s many glaciers. But the small scene on the cold beach piqued his photographic instincts, and the camera crew for his 2012 documentary Chasing Ice looked on as Balog captured it. “There’s this limitless universe of forms out there that is just surreal, otherworldly, sculptural, architectural, insanely, ridiculously beautiful,” he narrates as he paces the beach in the film’s opening.

be outdoors, he wanted to push himself to look beyond Newton. He fulfilled his cravings for the outdoors by taking up rock-climbing, going on excursions to nearby mountains in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and more. It was on these trips that Balog was able to acquaint himself with a camera. He took an introductory filmmaking class his sophomore year at BC and instantly became hooked. One of his first projects allowed him to film his expedition—using Super 8 film—to the top of Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire, located a measly 62 miles northwest of Boston. “It was something that I could do that deepened my passion and connection to nature,” Balog said. His two majors might not directly connect to his current career, but Balog still found immense value in the Jesuit, holistic aspects of the BC education and overall experience. “A tremendous influence then, that I still feel now, is learning critical thinking,” Balog said. “Being able to think outside the box, being able to look past the cultural norms and clichés, and to seek more thoughtful, intellectual inquiry. And that’s really the fuel that BC gave me.” He found this not only in the oft-dreaded core requirements, but also in his unlikely friendship with a certain faculty member.


Balog embarked on many climbing excursions with Rev. Joseph Appleyard, S.J. “That’s when I thought, ‘OK, the story is in the ice, somehow.’” eople who knew Balog in his younger days likely wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he now spends most of his time in the outdoors. Anyone who knew the young Balog in his hometown of Danville, Pa., could have likely told you that he had a hard time keeping himself indoors. Balog was able to find himself in the vast wilderness even from a young age, which sparked in him, he believes, a long-time fascination with the outdoors. “It goes all the way back to when I was a little boy, my early memories,” he said. “I loved wandering around the forest, I loved the smell of campfires and wood smoke, I loved to climb trees and sit in the treetops in the wind, I loved to just be camping and be out there and enjoy the outdoors. … There’s a direct line between that and what I do now.” The transition from the sprawling


Rev. Joseph Appleyard, S.J., BC ’53 and STM ’58, served as the chair of the English department while Balog was at BC. He had heard through a colleague that the young student was a bit more complicated than he had appeared. “I always called him ‘Jim,’ and I still do,” Appleyard recalled with a smile. “But it seems to have become ‘James’ at some point. … I mean, he looked like most people did in those days. You know, kind of shaggy, dressed in a variety of clothes.” But Appleyard learned in his conversations with Balog that he was a rock climber and decided to give the activity a try himself. A tall task for someone to take on in his 40s, Appleyard admitted with a sly grin, he found the treks he embarked on with Balog grueling but rewarding. “[Balog] was the kind of person who you know to trust instinctively, because he knew exactly what he was doing,” he


In 2012, Balog produced ‘Chasing Ice,’ a documentary about the world’s melting glaciers. outdoors of Montour County to Boston College—a campus in an odd limbo between suburban and urban—was jarring for Balog, but he was able to find his footing before long, declaring a communication and secondary education double major. Fueled by his long-standing desire to

said. “He was very safe and thoughtful about things like that.” The two would talk for hours in the car, on the hike, and atop the slopes they undertook. On one of the pair’s first hiking trips, Appleyard found himself trailing his companion for the majority of the excursion, due to simple lack of expe-

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Costa spent his past summer in Lebanon as an instructor for Syrian refugee children.


Balog and his team set up dozens of cameras throughout glacial regions to visually capture the effects of climate change. rience. But Balog kept close, encouraging Appleyard along with each step. When they found themselves at the top of Cannon Mountain on that Saturday, one of the many peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire that Balog and Appleyard took on, it was already dark. And by the time they had cabled down to the ground, hitched a ride to their car, and grabbed a bite to eat, it was 11:30 p.m. Appleyard then realized he needed someone to say midnight mass back at BC. “I phoned a Jesuit and said ‘Look, I got delayed climbing a mountain,’” he said. “So I needed someone to say the midnight mass … So that worked, except the guy that I talked to had a bit of a hearing problem, and he went over and announced at mass that unfortunately Fr. Appleyard has been seriously injured while climbing in the White Mountains.” After Balog left BC and began to pursue his career as a nature photographer, the two still kept in touch. Appleyard, now in retirement at the Campion Center in Weston, Mass., a community that hosts retired Jesuits, keeps a framed photo that Balog gifted him in his room—a collection of small shacks sit adorned by some trees and assorted brush in the foreground, laid against a collection of imposing mountains in the background. “He has a real knack for being able to see what is beautiful in a scene,” Appleyard said of the photo. alog graduated from BC and quickly moved out west to attend graduate school in Colorado, where he would come to reside for the rest of his life. At the University of Colorado to study geomorphology, Balog found himself more interested in documenting his ever-more-often excursions into nature than he did in the number crunching and data that came with his studies. He even took up the odd job as a carpenter to help finance his climbing trips. Taking a camera to document his adventures each time, Balog began to submit stories to magazines and journals. Eventually, the idea came to him that he could continue this journey to document his excursions as a career. He made the switch from science to photojournalism and embarked on assignments for numerous magazines and publications, including trips to photograph the impact of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 and other avalanches and natural disasters. By the early ’80s, Balog was finally using his love of nature to propel him forward in his career, but he still could not rest on his laurels. “I started as a typical nature photographer,” he said. “I wanted to use the camera to celebrate the relationship between humans and nature. And that was a perfect motivation to get myself started. But as my understanding of the art form deepened, I realized that a lot of people have been using the camera over time to celebrate the relationship between humans and nature. There’s nothing terribly imaginative about that. “In parallel with the beauty, there

was a whole other story, a gigantic story that was happening, which was people impacting nature. Very few people were using the camera to talk about that.” He realized that examining this complex relationship would lead to what he called a tremendous opportunity for artistic and intellectual inquiry. Balog kept up his work for major p u b l i c at i o n s , i n cl u d i n g Na t i o n al Geographic, but embarked on a series of self-directed projects to capture the impact of humans on nature, many of which culminated in a series of photo books. His 1984 collection Wildlife Requiem examines the hunting of animals for sport in sometimes gruesome ways: One picture, as described by a Chicago Tribune article at the time, depicts a young boy displaying the organs of a downed elk. “So where does this leave the modern hunter who no longer hunts out of necessity?” the 1986 article asks. “Balog offers no pat answers there either. He neither condemns nor glorifies. But the viewer may have a hard time remaining neutral.” Balog’s thirst to capture a story through peculiar lenses has been a constant throughout his career, leading him

effect of climate change on ice and sea levels in the span of a human life—the project began just a dozen years ago, but it has tracked substantial change in glaciers and sparked scientific, political, and social dialogue. “I had absolutely no concept of how much social impact that it could have,” Balog said. “I saw, ‘Well, okay there could be a really big revelation here,’ but in fact I really didn’t know what the glaciers would do if the cameras could record it effectively, nor what the culture would think about it.” In addition to the EIS, Balog continues his work through his Earth Vision Institute, which he says keeps him chasing the same visions he nurtured in the ’80s: He is constantly looking to find new and exciting ways to frame the subjects of his photography. One particular subject he says he is grappling with is finding how to wrap his creative arms around photographing the extraction of oil from the earth—he finds photographing rigs, refineries, and the like to be a bit hackneyed. “You just make the same finger-wagging, eco, greeny criticism of industry,” Balog said. “The issue is much more complex than that. And trying to turn



Balog’s shots of disappearing glaciers appeared in ‘National Geographic.’ to always look for new ways to capture the complexities of the outside world. This desire lent itself to Balog when he set up as many as 43 time-lapse cameras to capture glaciers in the United States, Iceland, Canada, and atop Everest for the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), according to Chasing Ice. Balog had been to the regions before he kickstarted the ongoing project—his shots of disappearing glaciers had been the subject of a 2007 cover story of National Geographic titled “The Big Thaw: Ice on the Run, Seas on the Rise”— but he was taken aback by the sheer scale of the imminent impact of climate change on the ice he was photographing. “I never imagined that you could see features this big disappearing in such a short period of time,” Balog says in the documentary. “But when I did, when I saw that, I realized, ‘my god, there’s a powerful piece of history that’s unfolding in these pictures and I have to go back to those same spots.’” Many of the cameras that Balog and his team had set up remain in their original spots, still taking photos to continue to provide a clear representation of the

that into pictures that are complex and new is really difficult.” Still, he continues to challenge himself to find something more imaginative than what is plainly obvious and to constantly remain self-critical. By doing this, he always finds himself evolving, to the point where he believes his career is now totally unrecognizable from where he started. Building on each of his life and career experiences—from nurturing a love of nature as a child to applying his critical inquiry skills he learned at BC to taking on a massive project to unearth the implications of man-made climate change— Balog won’t stop pushing himself to grow. “These things are truly an evolutionary process,” he said. “You can’t map it out, you can’t plan it, you can’t try and say, if I do ‘A ,’ ‘B’ will happen and if I do ‘B,’ ‘C’ will happen … and then everything will be nice and neat and exactly how I want. All you can do is take a step. It may turn out that the first step is the wrong step, but it’s a step. And then you take another step after that, and by following your instincts, you find a license that works for you.” n

The Heights

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Northland Project Approved, Faces Criticism Savings for By Isabella Cavazzoni Copy Editor

Newton City Council passed the Northland Development Project on Monday, setting up the project to break ground over a year after its proposal. During Monday night’s vote, 17 city councilors voted in favor of passing the project, while seven stood against the development of the project. Proposed in September 2018, the Northland Development Project includes 14 buildings with 800 total housing units, 180,000 square feet of office space, and 115,000 square feet of commercial retail space. Of the 800 housing units, 140 will be affordable housing units for Newton residents earning 50 percent to 80 percent of the area’s median income, according to The Boston Globe. The project will be located on Needham and Oak Streets at 156 Oak Street, 275-281 Needham Street, and 55 Tower Road. This land is currently not being used, said City Council President Marc Laredo. The City of Newton is currently

lacking in affordable housing units, Laredo said. Under Newton’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, developers building six or more housing units must set aside a certain number of units for residents earning up to 80 percent of the area’s median income. According to the City, the median household income in Newton is $104,887. Monday night’s vote also included two separate votes aside from passing the project as a whole, which included a special permit and zoning changes for the project. Each vote had the same result as the project vote, with 17 councilors in favor and seven against. The special project permit outlines in detail what the Northland Development Project will entail, including what the buildings are going to look like and the amenities on site. The zoning change enables developers to build buildings up to eight stories, which is essential to the project’s success. Despite its passing, the Northland Development Project faced a number of obstacles on its road to breaking ground. Needham Street,

the site of the project, is already heavily congested by traffic, and concern was expressed by a group of Newton residents regarding a heavier flow of resident and business traffic following the development of the Northland Project. The site of the project is also not directly accessible by public transportation. In an effort to mitigate traffic, a transportation demand management plan was devised by a petitioner of the proposal. The plan includes a free shuttle that will run every 10 minutes to the Newton Highlands MBTA station. According the Laredo, the Northland development will also try to reduce the number of residents who need to use a personal vehicle frequently by providing on-site retail and commercial spaces. The development will also have a limited number of parking spaces available. “We also limited the number of parking spaces on-site to hopefully encourage people who are going to move there to be, I guess like the term would be ‘car-light’,” Laredo said. “Maybe instead of having two cars per family, have one car.”

While the project has passed, a group of residents have organized a group called RightSize Newton, to try to garner signatures for a voter referendum to overturn the zoning changes that passed on Monday night. On to its website, the organization says that the buildings will be out of scale with the surrounding neighborhoods. The group also says that the City Council’s traffic plan will not help to reduce the flow of traffic and that the project calls for only the bare minimum of affordable housing units. The group maintains that it is not opposed to the project, but wants to make sure the project will be beneficial for all Newton residents. The referendum requires over 3,000 signatures within 20 days following Monday ’s vote, according to the Globe. If the referendum does not pass, Laredo expects the multi-year effort to begin shortly. “This is a multi-year effort,” Laredo said. “This is going to be, you know, I would think, a five- to seven-year project.” n

An Escape to Cuba: Mariel Brings Cuban Past to Downtown Boston With Delicious Dishes By Becca Speer For The Heights

Chicken and two sides gets a makeover at Mariel, a downtown restaurant with flair inspired by Cuban cuisine. Located in Post Office Square in the Financial District, Mariel is one of four restaurants owned by COJE Management group, with Tom Berry as the culinary director creating dishes that are elegant yet shareable plates of traditional Cuban fare. The interior of the restaurant fully embraces its Cuban theme by mixing architectural styles such as faded colonial and rustic Baroque to mimic the meshing of cultures and structures that exists in Cuba. The music is upbeat but encourages conversation. Murals around the bar add pops of color to the mainly cream and faded robin’s egg blue color scheme. The main dining room consists of soaring ceilings with elegant chandeliers that provide warm mood lighting and transport its patrons to the Cuban past. The food and drinks, however, are Mariel’s main avenue to paradise. The drink menu consists of cocktails, mojitos, and daiquiris that blend the famous Havana Club rum with tropical flavors, such as the Pineapple Daiquiri. Another cocktail that draws on Cuban heritage is the Cigar, which consists of rye, homemade coffee liquor, nonino (a blend of herbs), and dark cocoa to give the drink its dark color and flavor. The cocktails and daiquiris typically range from $13 to $17 and the more traditional beers fall in the range of $7 to $9. The menu begins with bocaditos, or snacks that serve as appetizers. Two appetizers were the perfect amount for two people, and the waiters were attuned from the beginning to suggest dishes that would be fitting for dietary accommodations. I ordered the avocado con Mojo,


With all its greenery, the architecture and decor of Mariel is inspired by pre-revolution Cuba, bringing cultural flair to Downton Boston. a verdant and zesty dip much like guacamole, with sweet potato chips that complemented the fresh flavors perfectly with its combination of sweet and salty flavors. The chicken tots served as the duly needed, fresh alternative to chicken and two sides. The chicken was molded into crunchy yet juicy cubes that, when dipped in the spicy caribee mayo, seemed to melt in your mouth. As for the main dishes, they come on small yet shareable plates, so guests can share a delicious Cuban experience as well as a conversation. The blackened shrimp was a delicate contrast between sweet and spicy, with starfruit taking the sting out of the ñam ñam sauce. Another dish was

the pollo pizza, with the rich flavors of the adobo chicken lightened by the sweetness of pineapple and caramelized onions on a golden brown crust. The costs for the smaller plates are in the $14 to $18 range. But the large plates for large groups of people, such as the cod or steak fritas, cost in the $80 to $110 range, ensuring flexibility for groups of all sizes. The dessert menu was plentiful, with options for coffee, tea, coffee-flavored cocktails—including the Havana Speedball—and dessert wines. The dessert options played with coffee, coconut, chocolate, and fruit flavors. The ice cream ensalada intertwined the deep flavors of the dark chocolate sorbet with the sour orange sherbert, balancing expertly

between too sweet and too bitter. The rainbow colored ice cream sandwich was an elevated version of the nostalgia-riddled treat, bringing the bright flavors of guava, passion-papaya and mint together in between rich chocolate cake to transport you back to balmy childhood summers, or maybe just away from the cold Boston winters. At the end of the meal, Mariel provides postcards to be sent anywhere throughout the world as an ode to its location in Post Office Square. A meal at Mariel provides a little vacation. So if chicken and two sides becomes too monotonous, the winter too long, and the summer too far away, travel to Mariel to escape to Cuba. n

Closures of the Week BECCA SPEER / FOR THE HEIGHTS

With options for any guest, Mariel’s Cuban cuisine gives foodies a Cuban experience, escape from the cold of Boston for a warm trip.

Green Line - D Branch Shuttles will replace T service after 8:45 p.m. weeknights until Dec. 20 and weekends until Dec. 22. Green Line - All Branches Passengers can transfer to the Red Line at Park Street and Government Center on weekends.

Students Shantelle Gurley

It’s never too early to start saving for college, but some families can’t afford to invest in their children’s higher education as early as others, or at all. To combat these inequitable circumstances, Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg created Massachusetts’ first statewide college savings account program, dubbed the SeedMA Baby Program, which will begin Jan. 1, 2020. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, BC ’09, piloted his own program, Boston Saves, in 2016, providing savings accounts to every kindergarten student in 11 public elementary schools in Boston. Funded by the National League of Cities, a $50 seed deposit was put into each of these savings accounts. Boston Saves provided approximately 1,600 students with new savings accounts that were seeded with the automatic deposit. This fall, the program went city-wide and expanded from supporting 11 to 80 different schools in Boston. This year, enrollment in Boston Saves reached peak enrollment, with 4,000 new accounts to opened for students. Starting Jan. 1, the agreement for a free deposit of $50 into a 529 account will expand beyond just local kindergarteners and across the state of Massachusetts with SeedMA Baby. With the program, any child born or adopted as a Massachusetts resident after the start of 2020 is eligible for the opening of a savings account by the state along with a $50 deposit. Programs such as SeedMA Baby could work to close the gap between those born into more financially stable homes and those born with any form of financial need. Walsh expressed his excitement about SeedMA in a press release. “College savings accounts are tools that every family should have,” Walsh said. “They are key to leveling the playing field for students of all backgrounds and they are vital to making post secondary education both a dream and a reality.” Programs such as SeedMA Baby and Boston Saves are vital to prepare Americans financially for higher education and could encourage students to apply for college when they might not otherwise. One study by the Center for Social Development shows that knowledge of cumulative savings for the purpose of higher education can motivate lower-income students to enroll in college after high school. Seventy-five percent of the jobs in the American market require a college degree, according to a report by Georgetown University. With a college degree useful to financial success and a job, starting students out with a savings account sets them up for success in the future. Further, programs such as SeedMA Baby and Boston Saves will help students manage debt following college by allowing them to begin saving for a college education far before they step foot on campus. Students leave Massachusetts state universities with an average of $35,000 in debt, according to the Boston Business Journal. SeedMA Baby will alleviate students from some of the stress that comes with this debt. When faced with financial obstacles, students will be better prepared to handle them after having managing a savings account alongside their parents. Having a sav ings account prepared from the time a child is in kindergarten will allow for financial stability. Financial programs like SeedMA Baby and Boston Saves should be implemented in states across the country. Providing students with a start for financing their higher education has the potential to be a staple of support from the state. When money is not an obstacle, students can feel more open to doing something they love as a career, leading to a sense of belonging and a truer sense of happiness. Afterall, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, so why should the workplace or school be any exception?

Shantelle Gurley is a metro columnist for The Heights. She can be reached at metro@bcheights.com.

The Heights


Thursday, December 5, 2019



As UGBC Pushes Mental Health Resources, UCS Should Increase Number of Counselors

The Undergraduate Government of Boston College has introduced initiatives to highlight Lean on Me and coordinate mental health panels next semester. Lean on Me, a peer-to-peer texting support service, was launched in January 2019. The overall push to expand mental health resources and awareness of preexisting resources has sought to meet student need. Universities across the country, not just BC, are grappling with an increase in demand of mental health services. Students cannot always meet with a counselor immediately for non-emergency situations. Michael Osaghae, UGBC president and MCAS ’20, said in an interview with The Heights that students sometimes have to wait one to two weeks for an appointment. Students can meet with psycho-

logical emergenc y clinicians for urgent issues during working hours. University Counseling Services (UCS) offers same-day consultations on a first-come first-serve basis for students that are intended to be onetime meetings to clarify goals for future treatment. Counseling services also expanded to Newton Campus in March of 2019. UCS has taken good first steps to further meet student mental health needs on campus, but this still does not address the issues of needing more counselors in the first place. Long wait times can be discouraging to struggling students, especially given how hard it can be to take the first step and make an appointment with UCS. The primary solution to mitigate wait times is to add more staff at counseling services. An alternative that some students

have found is to go to off-campus counseling—something that might require substantial amounts of time and money not available to every student. UGBC has considered subsidizing transportation to off-campus resources, Osaghae said. While this is a worthy initiative, the problem must be solved at the root—there is no getting around that there are not enough UCS counselors. The Heights commends UGBC for working to provide resources for mental health. UGBC is doing its part by raising awareness of non-counseling programs within the student body—UCS should do its part and hire more counselors. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact University Counseling Services at 617-552-3310 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Letter to the Editor

In Response to: “Preservation Committee Passes Webster Woods Acquistion, City Council to Vote Soon” To the editor: It is already quite difficult to speak out against my own school regarding Webster Woods, especially when I want to see it expand and do well, but to see its response in a recent Newton Tab article, among others, I knew that I had to respond. Jack Dunn mentioned Boston College’s respect for students’ passion for sustainability, yet BC has orchestrated a continued pattern of disrespect toward the natural environment and the voices of students. It is a disturbing attitude and trend as an institution, particularly a Jesuit one. He went on to mention aspects of the proposal that students need to consider, along with the gravity of eminent domain action. I am insulted by the implication, as I have spent over a year engaged on this issue, reading hundreds of pages of proposals, studies, and legal documents, in addition to meeting with various stakeholders—and I do not take what I am doing lightly. I don’t demand an apology, but I demand respect. I don’t take pleasure in speaking out against BC, but it seems

that BC has no problem speaking against students. BC has given many reasons in defense of keeping the woods, but not a single one acknowledges environmental impacts. BC is telling residents to be afraid of costly litigation when BC is the one who can stop it all. They have released statements that dismiss the intelligence and credibility of myself, fellow students, and even the mayor. While a few BC administrators are able to use their full time job to lobby, I take five classes, study for exams, write papers, and work two jobs all before I am able to focus on the protection of the woods. I receive no compensation for spending my Monday night at a committee hearing. I could spend that time being an average college student, yet I have been forced to stand up for justice where adults have failed. I say this only to convey my intentions. I have been emailed by residents of Newton who feel intimidated and threatened by letters and calls from BC.

I wish I could fully support them because, as humans, they deserve compassion and someone from BC at least listening to their concerns. I regret that I and other students have been forced to take on this role. I hope that BC administrators honestly ask themselves why I and other students are spending so much time fighting to protect the woods. We love BC and want to see it thrive, and we take action because we honestly believe that the best thing for all parties is the preservation of the woods. We don’t do it out of spite. We do it because it is right. I urge BC to stand down and save tuition dollars and donations from being spent on further litigation. Any higher price it may be able to squeeze from Newton will be wiped out in legal fees, and further action will only continue to alienate us from our city and neighbors. Together, we can build a better Boston College and Newton. Let’s start by protecting Webster Woods. Proudly Signed, Kyle Rosenthal, CSOM ’21

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.” - Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Letter to the Editor

In Response to: “Faculty Consider Advisory Board for Koch Program” On Nov. 18, The Heights reported on the potential creation of an advisory board to oversee new political science program(s) funded by the Koch Foundation. In reading the article, I was disappointed by the proposed advisory structure, especially considering that it is in an area that so explicitly impacts the Boston College educational experience. While professor Kay Schlozman accurately observed that “advisory boards connected to centers and institutes are common in academic institutions,” the BC administrative bureaucracy, along with many of its analogues in other institutions of higher education, has failed to sufficiently engage the student body when forming steering committees, advisory structures, or other administrative systems that are tasked with promoting institutional innovation and an inventive approach to a liberal arts education. Two years ago, BC published its “Ever to Excel” plan, outlining the strategic decisions necessary to improve the student experience. First among these goals was to “re-envision liberal arts education at Boston College by sustained attention to the Core Curriculum, enhancing faculty quality and engagement, and leveraging the strengths of undergraduate programs.” If the University has committed itself to re-envisioning a liberal arts education, why has it not tried to re-envision the advisory structures that inform this education? As competition between the best institutions of higher education continues to grow, it is in the University’s best interest to explore the different ways in which it can engage with its most valuable resource: the student body. By capitalizing on the immense human capital BC has recruited to The Heights, the University could not only improve its academic offerings and strategic initiatives within the framework of valuable student input, but it could also provide additional opportunities for students to become accountable for their educational experience, beyond GPAs and exam scores. Currently, the primary engagement that occurs between faculty, administrators, and students is mediated through the Undergraduate Government of Boston College. While I am a proud member of UGBC and believe that our work is beneficial to the BC community, our efforts are often limited through the channels in which we have traditionally engaged. Without expanding the role student leaders have in these advisory structures, I fear that BC will face difficulty in completely fulfilling its long-term goals. BC is exceptional in many ways. Most of all though, BC is exceptional because of the students who are privileged enough to call Chestnut Hill “home.” As faculty and administrators alike embrace their awesome responsibility to create the best institution of formative higher education in the world, there is no question that meaningful engagement with the student body in advisory boards and other steering committees is the best way to support the success of their efforts.

Signed, Dennis Wieboldt, MCAS ’23

customer service Clarifications / Corrections



The Heights is produced by BC undergraduates and is published on Mondays during the academic year by The Heights, Inc. (c) 2019. All rights reserved.

The views expressed in the above editorials represent the official position of The Heights, as discussed and written by the

Editorial Board. A list of the members of the Editorial Board can be found at bcheights.com/opinions.

The Heights strives to provide its readers with complete, accurate, and balanced information. If you believe we have made a reporting error, have information that requires a clarification or correction, or questions about The Heights standards and practices, you may contact Steven Everett, Editor-in-Chief, at (617) 552-2223, or email eic@bcheights.com. To have The Heights delivered to your home each week or to report distribution problems on campus, contact Kristen Bahr, General Manager at (617) 552-0547.



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The Heights

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Food Waste Wrecks Environment, but We Can Start Fighting It at BC

Canada Geese Flock to BC

Additionally, food waste is a huge contributor to climate change, one of the biggest and most underrated issues facing our world today. When food is left in landfills, it produces 69

methane, a greenhouse gas. One way to reduce food waste is to decrease our demand for food and only purchase what we will actually consume. The production of food for our consumption necessitates energy, water, and a myriad of other resources in order to grow,

Grace Christenson

harvest, transport, and package the products.

Maya Taha

The food production process can also be deeply damag-

The other day, I offered my friend a cookie, and I was

ing to our environment. Chemicals used to grow food can be

“Canada goose counting for next column?” This was the no-context text I received last Wednesday from my former fellow perspectives sufferer, Jack (or “Jack-Jack Attack,” if you

shocked by her response: “I’m good, why don’t you just throw

harmful and even life-threatening to farmers, our water sup-

it away?”

ply, and wildlife. By only taking what we will actually consume, want to go with what our professor christened him). Reading it, I felt

Out of all the possible solutions, her first instinct was to

we can reduce the negative impacts on our environment.

just throw it out. I will admit, I may have overreacted when

Combating food waste is not an impossible task, and we

mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was pretty stoked my readership did, in fact, extend beyond my grandma—on the other hand, I found

I attempted to explain to her how privileged she was to have

can start doing it right here at Boston College. Before throw-

his proposition annoying, mainly because I was mad I hadn’t thought

any food at all, let alone excess food to throw away, but food

ing away uneaten food, we should remember the millions of

of it first.

waste is a moral issue that is under-discussed in our society,

people who go hungry every day. Say you purchase a salad but

Not one to let him revel in his genius, I responded indifferently:

despite how pervasive it is.

can only eat a few bites before feeling full—instead of throw-

“Not a bad idea…”

ing away a perfectly good salad, why not simply eat it later in

He shot back:

ans, for example: Kris, Kourtney, and Kim make fun of Khloe’s

the day? We can save leftovers instead of tossing them out,

“I don’t remember this many last year at all.”

obsessive cleanliness and attempt to tease her by throwing

freeze food, or share with others, whether at the dining halls,

around food. They toss around bowls of pasta and salad, and

at home, or when dining out.

Take the latest episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashi-

for what? Two minutes of footage?

The effort to reduce food waste should be made even

My interest was officially piqued. After all, I remember seeing the first Canada goose bobbing through a sea of students as early as September last year, when the native Bostonians were still wearing shorts

simpler by BC Dining’s system of charging us per item we pur- and flip-flops. Could there really be more? I didn’t think such a thing

The Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans wasted 133 billion pounds worth of food—up to 30 to 40 per-

chase, as opposed to the number of times we enter the dining

cent of the food supply—in 2010. Every year, college campuses

halls—something that should incentivize us to purchase only

throw out 22 million pounds of uneaten food. At the same

what we will actually eat.

time, an estimated one in nine Americans struggled to acquire

was possible. I acquiesced to the brilliance of his idea, admitting that it was worthy of an investigation—but I made no promises. I had to keep Jack-

The world’s population is ever-increasing, and we need

Jack guessing. Also, I seriously doubted that everyone’s favorite couple

enough food in 2018. Food waste is a moral issue—and wast-

to work toward finding ways to feed more people, instead of

ing food, a form of injustice.

growing more food for the same people who continue to waste long enough to get the data. (They can handle confronting Mod bros

and my favorite sidekicks, Gabi and Molly, would rough it in the cold

This attitude of simply throwing away food is very preva-

it. The issue is not that the planet is not producing enough

like stone-cold bosses, but if it’s a little chilly outside, they’re wimps.

lent in BC culture. Consider how thoughtlessly we spend our

food for the population: The problem is that excessive con-

Truly, these are some enigmatic ladies.)

meal plan money—maybe because somehow it seems less

sumption wreaks havoc on the environment and our essential

real than actual money. Wasting food is a symptom of our

resources are unevenly distributed. Fortunately, food waste is

generation’s sense of selfishness and entitlement. We do not

a problem that we can start to fix by doing our part at BC and

column’s call for investigative companionship. It seemed the universe

feel we owe anything to anyone, and we do not recognize our


was rooting for Jack-Jack and his idea. This irked me. Where was

own privileges. Instead, we feel entitled to an excess of food, so we waste it. It’s disgraceful to waste something that so many others desperately need.

Maya Taha is an op-ed columnist for The Heights. She can be reached at opinions@bcheights.com.

It was best, I told Jack-Jack Attack, not to get his hopes up. Later that day, though, I got an email responding to my last

this good universe juju when I spent days trying, and failing, to see a skunk? I digress. Anyway, the email turned out to be a thing of such absolute beauty that it washed away my irritation, replacing it with awe and bliss. This email deserves its own column—nay, its own Pulitzer Prize. I would

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Christmas Songs

write an anthology of love sonnets about this email if I could remember what, exactly, a sonnet is. (Shakespeare wrote some, right?) Or if I had an appreciation for poetry that extended beyond “Cynthia” from 22 Jump Street. (“Julia Rob...HURTS” is poetic genius, and I’ll die on this hill just like “Jesus died for our Cynthias.”) Or if I were somehow immune to the Sophomore Slump. (Should you find my motivation, please return it to me. I miss it.) Because I’m crunched for word space, I won’t go on much longer, but here are some highlights of the email to end all emails: A gif of Sherlock and Watson (the Benedict Cumberbatch adaptation) captioned “this could be us. A list of reasons why she would be a “good Partner in Crime,” including “not to toot my own horn, but I’m, like, kinda fun to hang out with” (an essential characteristic considering how long we’d be standing in the cold publicly embarrassing ourselves). A well-placed gif of Ron Swanson saying “I absolutely do not want to solve a series of riddles and clues, each more intricate than the last” And the line which boded best for the investigation ahead of us: “I

“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” A terribly violent song. How did this even come about? “Merry Christmas Grandma. Really hilarious that you were trampled?” No one even super cares she’s dead. Grandpa spends the next day watching football and drinking beer. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like death by Santa Claus.

“Carol of the Bells” (Trans-Siberian Edition) Like a rock song but for Christmas. Beautiful. A way for you to relive your edgy stage from when you were 15. You’ll be back in your small hometown anyway, might as well rock out to this song while staring longingly at Hot Topic during last minute Christmas shopping in your highschool mall.

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” This is cute for five seconds. Then it becomes grating. No hippopotamus(es) should be given to any 6-year-old, ever. Hippos are dangerous. That’s not even to get into the ethics of kidnapping a hippo from Africa and transporting to some kid in the Mid-west. The song’s release did result in the Oklahoma City Zoo being gifted a hippo.

am emailing you on this oh-so chilly yet lovely day.” Nipuni, the emailer in question, was a Sherlock fan, fun, well-versed in Parks and Rec, and, best of all, not afraid of the cold. In other words, the perfect Canada goose-counting companion. I paused only to profess my love for her before officially launching the investigation. Wednesday, we agreed, would be the day of goose observation. I made the mistake of relaying the good news to Jack-Jack. In return, he started telling people that he was my muse. He then informed me that he would be disappointed if “Jack is my muse” did not appear in my column. It seems being featured in my investigations is becoming a weird point of pride for men on this campus. (Was that good enough, Jack-Jack?) On Wednesday, I arrived late to meet Nipuni at our top-secret, pre-arranged location (the Chocolate Bar). As I ran through the door, headphones at max volume, she jump-scared me (improbably but iconically) perfectly in time with the lyrics “In an interstellar burst / I am back to save the universe.” This, I thought, boded unreasonably well for the investigation. My intuition was right. At 12:30 p.m. as the Gasson bells rang, Nipuni and I found our way to a pathetic patch of dirt right outside of Stokes South and huddled together in the rain. We gave ourselves half an hour to count. At the end of it all, after enduring many an embarrassing encounter with people who clearly thought we had lost our minds, our investigation yielded some incredible results. In 30 minutes, we saw 37 of those good-good little fluffy Canada gooses—more than one per minute. That’s absolutely, completely, 100 percent bananas.

What’s your favorite Christmas song? “My favorite Christmas song is ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ by Lindsay Lohan as performed in the movie Mean Girls.” —Nell Webber, MCAS ’22

“My favorite Christmas song is the classic ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!” — Siobhan Pender, MCAS ’23

“My favorite Christmas song is Lana del Rey’s version of ‘Santa Baby.’” — Marcus Manson, MCAS ’22

The overwhelming presence of Canada goose on campus isn’t inherently bad or good—that’s not the point. The point is that it is exceedingly unlikely that you would see such a high concentration in any other environment. The sheer ubiquity says something—something important—about the pervasiveness of privilege and wealth at Boston College. I won’t offer any moral/social/political conclusions, because this column is too silly for that, but it’s certainly something to think about. Also, isn’t it interesting that I didn’t even have to mention that I was talking about the ridiculously expensive Canada Goose coats (that retail for anywhere between $500 and $1,500) and not the actual Canada geese that do roam campus? Go back and re-read my column: Not once did I mention this investigation involving coats. To a person who has never seen the red-and-white designer logo that’s emblazoned on so many students’ sleeves here, this column would likely read as a (non-violent) goose hunt. While a BC student probably thought the lowercase “g” in “Goose” was the grammatical error, the average person would likely see my use of “goose” instead of “geese” when I’m using the plural as the mistake. So even if my data collection wasn’t enough to convince you of the endemic nature of privilege on campus, it should give you pause if you assumed I meant the designer and not the bird. As uncomfortable as it might be to admit, disproportionate

The opinions and commentaries of the op-ed columnists appearing on this page represent the views of the author of that particular piece, and not necessarily the views of The Heights. Any of the columnists for the Opinions section of The Heights can be reached at opinions@bcheights.com.

wealth is to this campus as “Mr. Brightside” is to a BC football game. Inseparable. Unignorable. Maybe even tradition.

Grace Christenson is an op-ed columnist for The Heights. She can be reached at opinions@bcheights.com.

The Heights


Thursday, December 5, 2019




Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Heights


“The Big 3” Andy Backstrom Managing Editor

Steven Everett President and Editor-In-Chief

Kristen Bahr General Manager

Over the course of the past 12 months, The Heights has celebrated 100 years in print, changing our masthead,

hosting a Centennial Gala, and publishing an anniversary issue. In the process, we have spent countless hours looking back at this newspaper’s breakthroughs and milestones. And all the while, we haven’t lost sight of the now—the relationships we’ve formed in McElroy 112 and 113, the stories we’ve told at Boston College, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. We might not be in journalism forever, but we’ll always have stories to tell about our time with The Heights.

Three-Year Board Members

Andy Backstrom Jacob Schick Steven Everett

Two-Year Board Members

Jack Miller Mary Wilkie Kaylie Ramirez Emily Himes Timmy Facciola

Bradley Smart Celine Lim Emerson DeBasio Peter Kim

The Heights


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Jia Niu Receives Prestigious New Innovator Award From NIH By Haley Hockin For The Heights

In the highly competitive field of scientific research, vying for funding is a difficult task. Groundbreaking developments come with a price tag—and those are exactly what the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) New Innovator Award funds. As part of NIH’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the grant allocates money for the brightest minds to push forward cutting-edge research. Jia Niu, an assistant professor in the Boston College chemistry department, is one of the recipients of this year’s award. The NIH is one of the world’s most prominent medical research centers, and it offers more public grant money for biomedical research than any other organization. Specifically, the NIH’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program targets scientists conducting extremely creative, unprecedented research that, if successful, will have far-reaching results. Additionally, because of this kind of research’s inherent risk, it often fails to receive the recognition it deserves within the mainstream scientific community. By receiving the New Innovator Award, these scientists, including Niu, are given the funds to continue pursuing their original experimentation. “This unique mechanism provided by NIH is specifically targeting people like myself,” Niu said. “We’re early-stage investigators who have just started their research careers.” Looking back on his success, Niu emphasized the long journey fueled by a love of chemistry and creativity that led him to where he is today. He was born in Shijiazhuang, China. Growing up, Niu’s love of and immediate success in science was unique compared to his classmates, who mostly preferred subjects in the arts. Niu said that even after about science extensively in school, many of his classmates chose to take different career paths, usually in finance or the arts. He said he believes it was this contrast between him and his peers that first gave him the opportunities to begin conducting high-level research. Today, Niu largely credits his success in chemistry to his middle school teacher who initially motivated him to participate in the Chinese Chemistry Olympiad. Before partaking in the competition, Niu had dreamed of being a physicist when he grew up, but after placing second, he decided to pursue his talent for chemistry instead. After graduating from high school, Niu attended Tsinghua University, where his interest in chemistry developed further. During his first year at the university, he attended a lecture that he now considers to be pivotal in motivating his interest in the type of research he does today. In the lecture, Hermann Staudinger, a Nobel Prize winner, talked about the relationship between synthetic polymers and biopolymers. Staudinger’s topic of interest was thought-provoking and inspiring to Niu. By acquiring more knowledge about both man-made and completely natural polymers, Staudinger hoped to be able to regulate their function. After that day, Niu was captivated by the potential


Costa spent his past summer in Lebanon as an instructor for Syrian refugee children.


Niu, an assistant professor in chemistry at Boston College, is the head and founder of the Niu Research Group, where he works to address pertinent human and environmental problems.

to change the world with the ability to modulate polymers. Polymers are large man-made macromolecules of similar molecular units bonded together. “At that time, I was thinking , ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we can actually learn from nature and apply some of the principles in biopolymers to synthetic polymers?’” Niu said. “Only after that point, I learned all these important issues for the environment, such as how to make these plastics to be able to degrade in nature.” After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Tsinghua University, Niu’s desire to become involved in research led him to move to the United States and attend graduate school at Harvard University. There, Niu worked with the Liu Research Lab under renowned scientist David Liu. “My training with him was focused on this unique type of chemistry that takes inspiration from ribosomal translation, mainly the biological process of making proteins,’’ Niu said. “Nature uses a nucleic acid, RNA, as a template which encodes all the information about the protein. Then, ribosomes translate the genetic code of RNA into proteins.” The Liu lab expanded its research to see if this specific process could be replicated in synthetic polymers. The team sought to discover the precise formula to use to achieve this goal and again looked to mimic already existing biological processes. Sequences determine the function of all proteins found in nature and allows them to more complexly self-replicate and assemble. One of the Liu lab’s main accomplishments was introducing sequence into synthetic polymers too. “Using a nucleic acid as a template, we designed an independent and self-assembling system,’’ said Niu. The ability to create this new method of translation without relying on ribosomes gave scientists the capacity to take DNA and turn it into synthetic polymers—without any supplemental enzymes. Doing this gave them the control to create synthetic molecules

that can divide on their own, something that previously only nature-made biopolymers were able to do. The research Niu did with the Liu lab at Harvard led him to conduct his own research at BC in 2015, and he is the head and founder of the Niu Research Group. At BC, Niu’s lab team focuses on designing synthetic large and functional molecules that are modeled after biopolymers—substances with molecular structures of similar units bonded together that were originally created from living organisms. This is the topic he plans to continue studying with his new grant from the NIH. “We take nature’s ability to program sequence-specific interactions between molecules and a polymer, which in this particular case, is DNA,” Niu said about his work. “In a research direction that’s funded by NIH, we want to specifically and programmably target DNA and the guiding molecules of life.” Niu and his team are currently investigating how to integrate Crispr, a genomic editor with gene-recognition capabilities, to achieve their goal. The Crispr machine works through taking an RNA molecule that recognizes a specific gene molecule and then using that interaction to target and edit the particular DNA sequence that relates to the gene. The machine’s value is in its ability to allow scientists to deliver their chemistry to exactly the spot they want to target, Niu said. His team’s current idea to successfully achieve a new form of genomic sequence editing integrates his Ph.D. work in how to design an RNA molecule, the Crispr machinery, and finally, aptamers—molecules with the ability to bind to other specific target molecules in the cell. “One part of it all will be recognizing the DNA, the other part will be the aptamer that would recognize the other protein components in the cell,’’ Niu said. This is a technological feat that would have an unprecedented impact on biochemistry by allowing scientists to

edit human genetics by either changing the sequence code of the DNA or removing mutated sequence all together. The ability to do this would solve certain genetic disorders. Chao Liu, a graduate student who is a part of the Niu lab team, said that the work the team is currently doing, especially with this particular project, will extend the polymer research effect to much farther than just the scientific community. “We not only work for the scientific community, but also for the broader community as we try to give back to it,’’ he said. Niu has already been a member of successful lab teams as a researcher, but through this recently received New Innovation Award grant, he will continue to lead his own team and ultimately reach new forefronts of discovery in the process. Niu said that, without funding by programs such as NIH, it may have been hard for scientists like him to continue their research. These particular form of research, however, may be the key to unlocking some of the biggest mysteries that captivate the scientific community today and facilitating great biochemical advancements in the future. “NIH has recognized the capability of this young group, where we tend to take more risks and work on more creative things,” Niu said. “NIH wants to encourage this out-of-the-box, high-risk but high-reward kind of project.” Niu said that the importance of this type of research is simple and profound. Its main goal is to help other people. From Niu’s perspective, environmental and human health problems are the most vital to address in terms of their global impact. Niu said he believes it’s the job of chemists and scientists to introduce new technology that is focused on the well-being of society. “When I’m trying to decide which direction of research we should go to as a lab, I always ask myself, ‘What are the most important problems that humankind are facing?’” Niu said.

A particular example of a new topic Niu hopes to study more thoroughly in the future involves the complex interplay between genes in the gene network. Specifically, he hopes his lab can focus one path of its research on better understanding cancer stem cells. Niu hopes that through fully understanding cancer cells and their role in the gene network, he and his lab will gain some of the fundamental understanding needed to look at how these particular cells are able to develop resistance to modern medicine and drugs so quickly. Niu and his research team have a bright future ahead of them, with the capability to change many people’s lives. He expressed both gratitude for and confidence in the students who work in his lab. Niu said that, without their dedication, it would be incredibly difficult to build a strong program and pursue academic achievements. Once a student himself, Niu recognizes the value of his both his research team and young scientists all around the world. “This is also very entertaining to me, this kind of process,” he said. “You get to see the younger generation, you’re working with them, and you’re basically learning constantly from them.” The honor of the New Innovator Award demonstrates Niu’s success as a chemist, a biologist, and also a professor in integrating the most important topics

of science and learning into his own life, as well as the lives of his students. Nevertheless, it wasn’t long ago that Niu sat in a lecture hall, listening to Staudinger’s lecture that would one day catalyze his own work. Looking back on his entire journey, from the Chinese Chemistry Olympiad to the New Innovator Award, he has one main piece of advice for aspiring scientists of the future. “Be brave, and always jump out of the box,” Niu said. “Doing science is about making breakthroughs. Doing science is about doing something that has never been done before. … That’s the only way we can advance.” n

The Heights

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Three Years, a Roommate, and Sixteen Editors-in-Chief Later Steven R. Everett

This job has involved a lot of walking. During my freshman year, I was the only editor who both lived on Upper and stayed late enough to see every page of tomorrow’s issue be sent to print. Save for a few coveted early days, I rarely ended up leaving before 2:30 a.m. The Upper stairs never felt longer than they did from November to February on Monday and Thursday mornings, when, truly, nobody else was outside (and don’t even ask about the 2018 walk from Mac to South Street). If I slipped and fell as I took those Upper steps two at a time, it’d have taken a few hours before anyone found me. I never slipped (or if I did, nobody saw, which, truly, is all that matters). Surely there have been numerous

close calls, peeved roommates, and missed 9 a.m. classes, but those never got to me. After all, I couldn’t study as much, I told myself, because I was finishing a page, or editing a story, or writing something that I couldn’t tell anyone about. Since I’ve been here, nothing has been as consistent as The Heights, its people, and its unending list of things to do. Until December 31. I’ve woken up in a sweat at 4 a.m., convinced that I forgot to submit a page that an editor spent the entire night perfecting. Once, I even stopped outside Robsham at 1 a.m, pulled out my laptop, and checked the page list because during the 10-minute walk home, I convinced myself I had forgotten to send them. I’ve taken finals where I was so focused on a story that I was absolutely convinced everyone needed to know about that I couldn’t focus on anything else. I’ve been kept up until all hours of the night wracked with the fear of getting sued or expelled or driving The Heights broke or all of the above. If I had to quantify that in circulating levels of cortisol, The Heights would

not be unlike taking 15 credits of organic chemistry in Latin over three years (and I barely got through eight credits in English—med school admission committees, I promise I was doing something important during my four years here). But I’ve also walked up those Upper stairs at 5:15 a.m. with the sun rising behind me after leaving the Soldier’s Field IHOP just 20 minutes earlier. I’ve pulled my only true all-nighters in college listening to my friends go on about everything this organization has done for them, and allowed them to do. I’ve sat on a roof in Maine watching canoes at dusk in a place so picturesque and cliché and absolutely magical that you feel nostalgia while you’re still there. Too often, I’ve forgotten what an insane privilege it has been to dedicate as much time as I possibly could to a group of people and an organization that has given me just about everything I could’ve asked for. It’s absurd. Wednesday productions weren’t worse because we used to do this twice

per week, but because that extra day until the next Sunday production felt like forever. I’d have to wait an extra day to hear a new (old) song, or to listen in to what the upperclassmen were talking about, or to simply carpe that f––ing diem, as the office’s tapestry-adorned wall so elegantly commanded. When I didn’t want to go to class, my dorm, or back home, Mac 113 became them all. In the three years (to the day) that I’ve been here, I’ve met my best friends, my roommate, two of my editors’ dogs, and 16 past editors-in-chief. I’ve used the office for 10-10:50 a.m. breakfast retreats during sophomore year and for my worst days at BC. I’ve had some of the most important conversations of my college career here, and I’ve stood alone in the office on aging spinny chairs while trying to string new Christmas lights across the peeling walls before the new year. Reader, the terror of standing on spinny chairs—at night, alone, with no way to call for help—is simply not worth it. Use a stool.

I came to the office for the first time because two upperclassmen insisted I see it even though collectively, they had spent about an hour with me. On Dec. 4, 2016—my first production day and 19th birthday—editors whom I hadn’t even met yet sang and celebrated the first Heights birthday of the new Editorial Board. They didn’t know anything about me, what I wanted to do, or even if I’d come back the next week. But their energy and dedication to this organization was contagious. More important than being the first outlet to publish or getting everything copy perfect is having The Heights be full of people who love storytelling, each other, and BC—in that order. I’m so grateful that next year’s editors will have all those opportunities, but now, I can wait until Monday afternoons to see the results for myself. n

Steven R. Everett is the Editor-inChief for The Heights. He can be reached at president@bcheights.com.

A Picture That’s Worth 103 Articles

Emily Himes

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The Cheers Bar, Central Perk, Luke’s Diner, even the Krusty Krab— every great plotline has a signature hangout. And ours happens to be Mac 113—a room of utmost squalor and supreme charm all at once, one that has seen everything and nothing over all the years it has housed the Heights newsroom. The presence of a meeting place makes a whole lot of sense for a TV show. It presents an opportunity for the writers to gather all the characters in one place, and they often do so for happy endings, sad cliffhangers, and every episode in between. Nobody has this in real life—in reality, people are scattered. Many might have a signature spot, but it’s not inherently theirs. Other people, mostly strangers, are always present. In real life, your spot in your favorite coffee shop doesn’t always await you and your friends, as if all the other customers know it’s reserved, like in Friends. And unlike in Cheers, most bars aren’t places where “everybody knows your name.” Somehow, after a last minute, ona-whim transfer across the country, I stumbled across a group that has a real life, signature haunt, just like you see on TV, but with characters 100 times as eclectic and fun and caring as anything that could be thought up in a Hollywood studio. And at any given moment, a handful of them is sitting on horrendous couches, and if you ignore the years of scurrying mice, overflowing champagne bottles, and sleeping (as well as “sleeping”) editors who have made those frayed cushions their home, you can almost see its charm. The office accumulates more knick-knacks and tchotchkes with every passing board, making it look like the set for a newsroom in some movie, but instead, it’s all very real and accumulating dust. Maeve, the printer (she’s French), and strands of purple and orange Christmas lights are relics of the newsroom. It’s a humble abode to abandoned group projects, 2014 copy tests, and stacks of CDs and books sent by publishers to review. New York Times pages, quotes scrawled onto Post-it notes, and tallies of how many editors threaten to quit adorn the walls, hanging on by peeling tape, blowing around in the draft that comes in by the sports desk. And while all these very important cultural artifacts matter more than they should, it’s the characters who reside in Mac 113 that truly give it heart. Some of my favorite moments over the past few years occurred

on random Friday afternoons, when everyone was getting out of class and didn’t have tests to study for or club meetings to attend, and wound up sitting side by side on the couches or aimlessly swiveling in circles on the desk chairs. Deflated soccer balls were tossed, and the painfully long cruise ship or strawberry ice cream story was told. Every one of these moments, the ones when we were doing nothing together, mean everything looking back. I’ll end this column on an unsurprisingly sappy note, but it’s the only way I know how to conclude my time on The Heights. On May 28, 2017, I had just received an acceptance letter to transfer to Boston College. I was so incredibly stressed about it, and I pored over information about courses and dorms and majors, hoping some decisive fact would jump out and make the decision for me. At 11:29 p.m., I wrote down this message on my phone, word for word: Pros of going: Better education, expanding horizons, different social scene, they say I will grow, picture frame. Cons: Jessica, Kathryn, Caro, Emily, and Monica, family at home, doing well in classes, winter, picture frame. When I was younger I would often daydream about what my apartment would look like someday. It’s such a distant memory, and so much has changed since then, but I would always imagine who would be in the picture frames hanging on my walls. I so desperately wanted the frames to hold something different than what I knew back then, and it’s crazy how, in the blink of an eye, everything can come together. To my family on The Heights— thank you for filling my picture frames. For gracing my walls with snippets of iHop at 4 a.m., wobbling (“very smooth”) canoes on windy days, and hours-long naps at the Maine House, where we crawled out onto the roof at sunset, watching the world go by through the warm glasses of cold beers. For the Arts corner where I spent countless hours beneath the most eclectic array of colorful posters, my running list of column ideas (and my unofficial beats—Cuba and unfair pay in the music industry), for Brandon Hooker and the Key West cover band that skipped over the drum solo in “In The Air Tonight,” and for back when The Heights still felt old-fashioned. Thank you for two years of Heights lore, two seasons of a soon-to-be hit sitcom, and two years of committing to an incredible whirlwind of a bit. And thank you—especially to Abby, Jacob, Steven, Kaylie, Jack, Colleen, and Jillian—for blessing me with more picture frames than I can possibly count. n

Emily Himes is the Associate Arts Editor for The Heights. She can be reached at arts@bcheights.com.

The Heights


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Musgraves Shines in Kitschy Christmas Special By Emily Himes Assoc. Arts Editor Kacey Musgraves manages to pack in a whole lot of holiday cheer in just 45 minutes. The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show allows Musgraves to be her usual weird, unapologetically funky self while multiplying the eccentricity to fit Christmas-level proportions. Through cheesy yet lovable skits and quick, funny side stories, the Christmas special follows Musgraves as she searches for her Nana’s Christmas star, which is nowhere to be found. Along the way, she performs various bright, overthe-top duets, spreading holiday cheer in the most glittery, stylish way possible. In a welcome yet unexpected twist,

actor Dan Levy serves as the narrator of the show, telling silly seasonal jokes as Musgraves moves from one song to the next. Of course, he’s dressed as an elf—one who’s cynical and negative at first, but full of joy and gratitude by the end of the episode. The show starts off with Musgraves and James Corden gathered around a beautiful Christmas tree, singing “Let It Snow.” The two have surprisingly compatible vocals, leading the viewer into a peaceful lull. Suddenly, the windows burst open, and snow whirls throughout the room, blowing in every which way. This same interruption repeats itself multiple times throughout the song, during which it’s revealed that this Christmas special has a laugh track. Unfortunately, it’s not




clear whether the track is there to complete the old-fashioned, kitschy atmosphere of the show, or if it’s low quality. Even if it was intentional, it still feels out of place. The presence of a laugh track in anything makes every joke feel forced—and certainly doesn’t help the low-level humor sprinkled throughout Musgraves’ show. The same interruption-style joke is replicated during “Silent Night,” during which a handyman keeps making noise as Musgraves sings. It might have been funny once, but ultimately, it detracts from what the viewers are really here to experience—the music. In this first song, Musgraves stuns in an incredible suede jumpsuit complete with a sparkly bow. She sports a new look in each of the 11 songs—and each one seems to top the next, especially in terms of extravagance. During “Present Without a Bow” featuring Leon Bridges, her glistening silver dress matches the turquoise walls of the picturesque room in which the video is filmed. Their voices are silky smooth and swirl about the room as the two dance together. Unexpected yet fun visual effects come into play during the performance, as Musgraves and Bridges begin dancing up the sides of the walls, eventually walking up to the ceiling and singing upside down. It’s definitely weird—but it’s also charming and delightful. Musgraves is joined by Troye Sivan as she performs her original song “Glittery.”

The two match in sparkly pink and green outfits, and their voices sound as though they were made to fit together. A disco ball illuminates the room as the duo sings the joyful tune. The song definitely doesn’t contain Musgraves’ best lyrical work, but it works well alongside Sivan in the cheerful holiday context. Her music off Golden Hour just wouldn’t fit the extravagant Christmas environment. One of the comedic high points comes toward the end of the special, as Kendall Jenner knocks on Musgraves’ door. Emulating Love Actually’s famous cue cards scene, Jenner pleads with Musgraves to swap places with her this holiday season. “We both have brown hair,” one card reads. “No one will notice.” At the end of the show, Musgraves’ real-life Nana knocks on the door, bringing with her the Christmas star that’s been missing the whole time. It is endearing but also odd to see an actual family member on screen, awkwardly smiling and unsure of what to do, but she does a great job of grounding the flamboyant theatrics of the special by adding a sweet personal touch. Once they embrace and place the star on top of the tree, Musgraves is joined by the Rockettes in a joyful rendition of her original song “Ribbons and Bows.” It ties the special together in a vibrant manner, capping off a weird, whimsical hour of holiday fun. n

Anyway Gang Falls Flat on Eponymous Debut By Nathan Rhind For The Heights As we look back on the alternative and indie music scene of the past decade, it’s clear that the best albums were also the most forward-thinking, original, and experimental. Jack White’s Boarding House Reach interwove different sounds and genres into a cohesive whole that still rocked and rolled. Lorde’s Melodrama zeroed in on the growing pains of adolescence with painful, incisive detail. Unfortunately, on Anyway Gang’s eponymous debut, the band does little to close out the decade with a respectable performance. Failing to explore different sounds or pen interesting lyrics, the band falls short of any meaningful impact. Anyway Gang is a recently formed Canadian supergroup consisting of Sam Roberts, Menno Versteeg of Hollerado, Dave Monks of Tokyo Police Club, and Chris Murphy of Sloan. They are signed to the label Royal Mountain Records, along with other notable Canadian acts in the indie scene such as Mac Demarco and Alvvays. On this effort, Anyway Gang struggles to live up to their labelmates’ reputations and don’t even manage to live up to the standards set by the members’ previous solo works. The lyrics on the album are painfully unoriginal and made worse by the whin-

ing, yelping vocals. Songs such as “Everybody Cries” and “Square One” feature choruses as boring as “Everybody cries / Everybody cries sometimes” and verses as uninspired as “Just put one foot in front of the other / We’ve all been there one time or another.” The songs all have the same jangly guitar-strumming, skipping rhythms, and dull cliches, as if the band used a formula devised for crafting forgettable indie rock. Believe it or not, the lowest point on the project is actually not these two songs but the “Interlude” nestled between them in the tracklist. The vocal straining and overly serious tone of the 43-second snippet bodes poorly for listeners determined to make it through the rest of the album. The four lines of the “Interlude” are enough to make any English teacher cringe, with no identifiable theme holding the lyrics together. “Cause without rain, there’s no shine / Without a stone, there’s no stream / And on the way, down the line / This’ll all just be a dream,” they sing. Common platitudes put to rhythm and melody, these lines do little to illuminate the purpose of the track or to function as a true interlude and connect elements of the album. The one bright spot on the album comes on the sixth track, “Eyes of Green.” It features a catchy acoustic melody; confident, passionate vocals; and swirling choral echoes in the background. For the first time on the album, it seems that

Anyway Gang is clicking and successfully recreating the sound of other indie acts known for producing energetic anthems: Blossoms, Sundara Karma, and Circa Waves. Unlike other songs on the album, the different members’ vocals meld together perfectly, and the song sounds like a true group effort. Within this track, the tension builds with driving percussion and heartfelt choruses until one of the members starts howling, “It’s too late to turn back now.” It is a defining moment that shifts into an electric guitar solo that would have made the song better if extended. It’s perhaps harsh to characterize this album as a complete failure, as the song

“Eyes of Green” shows promise, and the artists in the supergroup are all accomplished musicians in their own right. The project would have been improved if some of the weaker tracks were either revised or even cut entirely so the band could put its best foot forward on its debut. The group’s self-proclaimed motto is “three-chord maximum.” While this style has worked for bands as iconic as the Ramones and the Strokes, these past rock legends used these chords to greater stylistic effect, providing a bigger punch in their songs than the ones on Anyway Gang’s album. Three chords work sometimes, but Anyway Gang should realize that simplicity leaves no margin for error. n

For The Heights It’s easy to get lost in the sea of Netflix comedy specials considering the sheer quantity of options we’re given, and there seems to be something for nearly everyone. Mike Birbiglia is no stranger to the platform, with prior special Thank God for Jokes released on Netflix in 2017. Birbiglia sets himself apart with his most recent special, The New One, bringing together a medley of stellar stand-up jokes and Broadway-style elements for a truly unique and hilarious special. Even if you haven’t heard Birbiglia’s name, you’ve definitely seen him before. As an actor, Birbiglia has appeared in The Fault in our Stars as support group leader Patrick, in Trainwreck as

Amy Schumer’s brother-in-law, and as a guest star on numerous TV shows including Orange is the New Black and Billions. His fame as a stand-up comedian only continues to grow, with each of his specials better than the last, and The New One is no exception. The show centers around the theme of parenthood. Birbiglia, who was always sure he never wanted to have kids, ended up having a daughter in 2015. Birbiglia doesn’t miss a beat during the entire hour and a half, effortlessly circling back to jokes made earlier in the special and poking fun at himself. Birbiglia spends a decent chunk of the special telling self-deprecating jokes, showing the ease with which he can find the humor in his own life. While describing all seven of the






reasons he didn’t want to have a child, he focuses extensively on all of the bad qualities he would be passing down, leading the audience to believe that each of these is a separate reason until he later reveals that they all qualify as one. Most people wouldn’t be willing to disclose their medical history to a crowd, but Birbiglia does it hysterically, in such a way that you almost forget he’s talking about a real person. While going into extensive detail on the nature of his bladder tumor, severe sleepwalking disorder, and inability to find joy, Birbiglia manages to make life-altering conditions hysterical. One of Birbiglia’s best running jokes through the special comes with a reference to his sleepwalking condition: He needs to be wrapped up in a sleeping bag every night with mittens on to ensure he doesn’t open it and hurt anyone in his sleep. The homemade bed sheet that he made to encase himself along with a sleeping bag comes on stage in the second half of the performance, and Birbiglia puts it on to the amusement of the audience. Unlike most other stand-up specials, Birbiglia makes use of many props toward the end of his performance. In a refreshing and relevant gag, dozens of items supposedly from around Birbiglia’s house drop to the stage, and he offers comments on a few of them, including his homemade bed sheet. The typical format of stand-up comedy, with



“California Halo Blue” is the newest single from AWOLNATION, California native Aaron Bruno’s synth pop-rock solo project. It tackles devastation and disaster in an explicit way, openly discussing and referencing the intense wildfires that plagued Northern California in the summer of 2018. “California Halo Blue” is an interesting musical departure from previous AWOLNATION songs such as “Sail” or “Handyman,” but the track’s experimental sound is characteristic of Bruno’s approach to his work. While it’s common to hear pop songs about the luxury of L.A. life and the success to be discovered in the paradise of the West Coast, “California Halo Blue” reflects on the pain and destruction of the deadly wildfires. Bruno sings over a melancholy guitar and driving beat, “Don’t forget about the trees and the birds / And the families / Humanity, now I can see the devil’s hold on this world.” As these extreme disasters become more common and as climate change becomes an ever more urgent topic of conversation, “California Halo Blue” may be participating in a new wave of environmentally charged popular music. n




In ‘The New One,’ Birbiglia Pokes Fun at Parenting By Ciara Santry


only the comedian and a microphone on stage, can begin to feel monotonous after watching multiple specials. Unsurprisingly, Birbiglia’s reworking of the old standard is met with a warm reception from the audience. Performing on Broadway in the Cort Theatre adds an additional expectation of theatricality, and Birbiglia delivers. He repeatedly returns to a book of poems written by his wife, reading poems about their life and daughter. Rather than taking away from the story, it adds to it in a new and exciting way for stand-up comedy. Birbiglia ties everything in the special back to his previous lack of desire to have a child and the false comfort his wife gave him in saying that having a kid doesn’t change the way you live. Working through all the ways in which his life has in fact changed with fatherhood, Birbiglia offers a rarely heard perspective on the challenges of parenting—at one point almost empathizing with fathers who leave their children. But for the most part, he navigates the topic with tact and manages to bring the subject back to an 11-year-old girl he talked with at the beginning of the show, tying all the loose ends of jokes together before the special ends. The skill with which Birbiglia is able to bring all of his seemingly unrelated anecdotes together into one story about fatherhood is unmissable and a great addition to Netflix’s stand-up comedy lineup. n

This Thanksgiving, Kanye West gave his fans another thing to be thankful for: his new music video for “Closed on Sunday.” West celebrates family and his devoted faith in the single off his latest album, Jesus Is King. The camera pe ers out of the backseat of a car at a file of monstrous vehicles trailing each other, all destined for West’s version of the promised land in the desolate plains of Wyoming. The camera then cuts to West, his wife Kim Kardashian, and their children North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm, as they sit wedged between a mountain. Kr is Jenner and memb ers of West’s Sunday Service choir are then seen emerging from their cars, before the video pans out to the entire assembly of people—including West’s sister-in-law Kourtney Kardashian and his father, Ray West. West celebrates his faith in the video. Kneeling on top of a cliff, he holds his hands up in prayer, promoting his devotion to God. Cutting to a new scence, members of West’s Sunday Service choir surround him, dancing and singing the refrain to “Closed on Sunday” as he stands before them. Closing out the video, West’s oldest child, North, belts out one last cry for Chick-fil-A—the stand-out lyric that references Chick-fil-A’s choice to stay closed on Sundays for religious reasons. “Closed on Sunday,” one of the most talked about songs off West’s latest album, embodies his family values and renewed faith. It’s the second music video to be released from his album, the first being “Follow God,” a music video that honored the relationship between West and his father, and was also filmed in Wyoming. Although West has long cultivated a distinct identity in the rap industr y, his shift toward gospel forges a new path for him. With the help of his Sunday Service choir and devoted family at his side, West is a holy man. n




Thursday, December


Australian singer-songwriter Isobel Knight has charmed crowds at BC and beyond with her indie-folk stylings. And with an EP, an album, and a tour under her belt, she’s only getting started. By Jillian Ran Asst. Arts Editor We’re all used to hearing about transformative abroad experiences. We sit and smile and nod patiently while our friends gush about how much their lives have changed just from being away for a few months. Yet for Isobel Knight, a senior at the University of New South Wales who’s studied abroad at Boston College for the spring and fall of 2019, it’s not an exaggeration to say that her time in the United States has changed her. Knight has been writing and performing music since she was young, but since arriving at BC, she’s found her footing as an artist and kickstarted her music career. Knight has established herself as a fixture of BC’s arts scene, performing at open mic events and Music Guild showcases. Last spring, she won BC’s Best and got the chance to open for Chelsea Cutler, Ayokay, and Jeremy Zucker at Modstock. And all the while, she’s been writing songs and working on a professionally produced album that she plans on releasing in the coming months. Knight was surrounded by music at a young age. She grew up in a small town in the rugged Blue Mountains of Australia, in what’s called “the bush.” Her parents, avid musicians themselves, introduced her to the music of iconic singer-songwriters such as Bob Dylan and Carole King, and Knight recalls being surrounded by music at family gatherings. Knight started writing her own music when she was young, and by the time she was 12, she began performing. Her peers growing up were also heavily involved in music. She created a folk trio with two of her friends, while others around her were dabbling in genres as diverse as psychedelic rock and rap. Sometimes, her trio would even perform alongside metal bands. Although Knight was already a seasoned performer, it wasn’t until the end of her first year in college that she decided to begin recording her music. Her first album, The Nest, was finished in 2016 but not released until 2018. An album that Knight describes as centering around ideas of home and creating a home, it was fittingly recorded in her own childhood house over the course of two days. All of the musicians that play on the album stayed in the house, and they and Knight recorded the songs live as a group. The effect is an organic-sounding collection of songs that emphasize capturing the moment above all else. The release of the album marked a turning point for Knight. “I used to be much more closed off,” Knight said. “People wouldn’t know that much about me or get that much access to my internal monologue. And then suddenly I released this thing of eight songs that are deeply personal and singing them to rooms of people and sometimes strangers, as well as people I know.” Much of the appeal of Knight’s music comes from its intimacy. On The Nest, many songs find Knight collaborating with what she calls her “nest eggs,” a group of musician friends who contribute violin, piano, and even saxophone in a jam-session style approach. But the main focus always remains on Knight’s voice and her frank, poetic lyrics. Knight doesn’t shy away from discussing episodes from her own life in her songs. “I think it’s kind of freeing to be able to be that honest, especially because when you write a song, you’re trying to articulate


what you’re thinking and feeling in the best way and most succinct way possible,” Knight said. Performing such personal pieces, essentially revealing her inner emotions to a crowd of people, is always an unforgettable experience for Knight. “The most magical moments, why I love doing this, is because sometimes you’ll lock eyes with someone in a crowd, or you just know, you can feel that people are in it with you, and there’s this level of connection that I don’t

zation dedicated to spreading awareness of mental health issues. Knight didn’t want to relive the experience described in the song over and over again by playing it constantly. “To perform it, honestly, is kind of harrowing,” Knight said. Yet she still found value in sharing the song with others. “I think with some negative experiences, there’s an incredible level of connection and catharsis that a group of people can get from it,” Knight said.

Seventh Avenue in New York City when the song popped into her head. She quickly pulled out her phone and sang into it before she could forget it. In that first recording, you can hear the sounds of traffic and pedestrians walking past. “It’s often like I’ve clearly been thinking and feeling something, and then it gets articulated suddenly,” she said. For Knight, being in the United States has been thrilling if only for the fact that





Isobel Knight won Music Guild’s BC’s Best competition last year (above) and got the chance to open at Modstock (bottom).

feel like you get in any other sphere,” Knight said. “There is something kind of transcendent about the way that people can connect through a song that they wouldn’t if you just told the story.” Songwriting can be a way for her to process negative experiences, such as the one alluded to in “Kitchen Table” from Knight’s upcoming album, Here Now. But some songs that Knight has written are not meant to be performed. Knight cited a song that she has only ever performed twice, both times at open mics hosted by the BC chapter of To Write Love on Her Arms, a national non-profit organi-

While Knight sometimes uses songwriting as a way to work through difficult experiences, she takes a more lighthearted approach with other songs. Knight performed improv throughout high school, and some of the games required Knight and her group members to compose music on the spot. Knight credits improv with teaching her how to jam with other musicians and improvise effectively, and she often draws upon her improv background during the songwriting process. In rare cases, a song will come to Knight fully formed, like a track from Here Now called “Still Know Your Heart” did. Knight was walking down

she’s stepping foot on the soil that her musical idols once walked upon. “Just to see places that I’ve heard other people sing about or talk about is so cool,” Knight said. “There’s a really rich history of guitar-driven storytelling music here. I think the folkier side of my music, a lot of my influences are American—Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie, Joni Mitchell.” Knight has found support and camaraderie on campus through Music Guild, and she’s also connected with the music scene in the greater Boston area. It’s been a remarkably productive period: Knight thinks she’s written more songs this year than she did in the last

two years combined. She’s also found success. When Knight opened at Modstock last year, it was the first time that Knight had performed on such a large scale alongside well-established artists. She jokes that it was also the coldest she had ever been while performing. “I think being Australian, my guitar is just not happy—I take her outside and she’s just instantly out of tune,” Knight said. Early this year, Knight released her second collection of songs, an EP titled Talking to Myself. The songs on it are inspired by Knight’s life as a student in Sydney and her relationship with the voices in her head. After the release of Talking to Myself, Knight went on a small tour over the summer. With just her guitar and a backpack, she hit Boston, Providence, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Knight found performing at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City a particularly exciting opportunity, since many upand-coming artists pass through the venue on their way to the top. Although she performed live with her folk trio in Australia, it was still nerve-wracking to be on stage alone with just her guitar. Yet it was also an adventure, and through a serendipitous encounter with a recording engineer at an open mic event during her tour, the chance to professionally record an album with him fell into her lap. Since the school year started, Knight has been shuttling back and forth between New York City and Boston, working on Here Now while still studying full time at BC. The album is a product of Knight’s time living abroad and her journey toward becoming more grounded in her surroundings. “It’s about being present and being joyful and excited that we get to be here,” Knight said. “It reflects a lot of experiences both good and bad over the past year and a half. It’s about family and friendship and love and connection, and also about the States and feeling distance from people.” The album features BC musicians and alumni, such as Rachel Moon, MCAS ’19, from the band Unit One, and Dan Pflueger and Peter Toronto, both MCAS ’20, from Word on the Street. While still singer-songwriter driven and anchored by her vocals and acoustic guitar, Knight is excited about layering new sounds and instruments into the album. “What needs to sing through is that central performance,” Knight said. “If you strip the rest away, what you could hear, me playing alone in a room, would be me on a guitar or me on a piano telling you a story. And if that comes through in the way that it can and should, then it will feel as intimate. I think these are some of the most honest songs I’ve written.” There are rock influences and little homages to her heroes scattered throughout the work. Knight wrote one track, “Song for Woody,” after reading Woody Guthrie’s autobiography. It’s a nod to both Guthrie and Bob Dylan: Dylan also recorded a song dedicated to Guthrie entitled “Song for Woody.” Knight hopes to release the finished album in the coming months. She’s returning to Australia after this semester and plans on playing a few shows there, but she ultimately wants to return to New York City to focus full time on her music career. “I’d love to be based in New York, gather a band, some new nest eggs, and tour,” Knight said. “There’s just nothing to lose in giving it a shot.” n GRAPHICS BY IKRAM ALI / HEIGHTS EDITOR

‘The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show’ ‘The New One’

The country star released a retro-style Christmas special In his new Netflix special, comedian Mike Birbiglia reflects through Amazon Prime that featured plenty of guests..........A12 on the trials and tribulations of parenthood...................... A12

‘Anyway Gang’..........................................A12 ‘California Halo Blue’.................................A12 ‘Closed on Sunday’...................................A12

The Heights


Thursday, December 5, 2019


BC Beats Pitt, Clinches Bowl Eligibility for Fourth Straight Year By Bradley Smart Sports Editor Despite installing a new defensive coordinator at the start of the year, Boston College football has suffered through a plethora of breakdowns and miscues on defense throughout this season. The Eagles entered Saturday afternoon’s must-win game against Pittsburgh with one of the ACC’s worst defenses and were coming off a loss to Notre Dame where they surrendered 40 points. Against the Panthers, though, the Eagles looked like a brand new team on defense. BC forced four turnovers and bent but largely didn’t break throughout the afternoon, surrendering a lone rushing touchdown but otherwise turning in its best effort of the year. The Eagles paired that with a strong rushing game against the ACC’s top running defense and, with a 26-19 win, became bowleligible for the sixth time in seven seasons under head coach Steve Addazio. BC (6-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast) leaned on running back AJ Dillon, as he took 32 carries for 178 yards and a score. It didn’t seem to matter that the Panthers (7-5, 4-4) entered holding opponents to less than 100 rushing

yards per game, as Dillon was at his best in breaking tackles and even pulled away for a 61-yard score in the third quarter that gave the Eagles the lead for good. When BC wanted to drain the clock at the end of the game, it just handed the ball to Dillon, and he took eight straight carries and totaled 47 grueling yards. He was balanced out by quarterback Dennis Grosel, who ran for 51 yards and, despite going just 9-of-19 through the air, totaled 123 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Aaron Boumerhi, who entered just 8-of-13 on field goal attempts, was called upon four separate times and nailed all four of them. It was a strong showing from the Temple transfer, as he was the first to go 4-for-4 in a game since much-celebrated former BC kicker Nate Freese back in 2011. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett was effective throughout, completing 30-of-40 attempts for 323 yards, but the Panthers were undone by turnovers. Pitt fumbled three separate times, and then miscommunication with a wide receiver led to a Pickett interception. Those turnovers led to 12 points for the Eagles, and that proved to be more than the difference in the inter-division matchup.

Pickett was also sacked four times by a BC front that entered with just 12 in its previous 11 games. The defensive effort was impressive. Isaiah McDuffie, back to full health after missing the bulk of the season, racked up 10 tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for loss. Tanner Karafa had a sack and not one but two fumble recoveries, while Marcus Valdez forced a fumble when he leveled Pickett for a second-quarter strip sack. Players who have struggled to make tackles or get pressure stepped up left and right, whether it was Nolan Borgersen with a key pass breakup in the end zone or Jahmin Muse with an interception. The game started with a pair of threeand-outs, then Pitt’s second drive started ingloriously when linebacker Vinny DePalma poked the ball out from Panthers’ wideout Jared Wayne—and that turned into a 29yard field goal from Boumerhi. Then, the same thing happened on Pitt’s second play of the following drive, with a botched handoff between Pickett and Vincent Davis resulting in a fumble recovery for Karafa and a 32-yard field goal from Boumerhi. Pitt finally found consistency on offense

and embarked on an 11-play, 70-yard drive that was capped off by a 23-yard field goal from Alex Kessman. Pickett very nearly found tight end Will Cragg in the back of the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown, but Borgersen came diving in to bat it away. BC had an answer with its best drive of the game, as Grosel converted a pair of third downs with passes to Zay Flowers and Kobay White before sneaking for a first down in 4th-and-1. Then, with Pitt selling out to stop the run, the Eagles went with a play-action call, and Grosel was able to find a wide-open Hunter Long for a 25-yard touchdown. Pitt drove down the field but yet again were stood up in the red zone by BC’s resilient defense. Kessman buried a 35-yard field goal, then was called upon again right before halftime to knock in a 48-yarder. That one— which cut the Eagles’ lead to four—was set up by a beautiful drive from Pickett, who completed back-to-back passes to Maurice Ffrench for a combined 34 yards. The Panthers went three-and-out to start the second half, but then forced a punt with their first sack of the game—which was surprising, as they entered with a nation-best 48. On the very next play from scrimmage, Davis took a direct snap in a

wildcat formation and ran up the gut for a 39-yard touchdown, giving Pitt its first lead of the game at 16-13. Three plays later, Dillon was running into the end zone after a 61-yard sprint, and BC never trailed from there. Muse’s interception stopped a promising Pitt drive and set up another Boumerhi field goal following a methodical six-minute drive. Another Panthers’ fumble—this one from A.J. Davis—was followed by Boumerhi sinking his fourth field goal, this one from a comfortable 30 yards. Kessman tacked on a late field goal for the hosts, but Dillon singlehandedly ran out the clock to ensure that the Eagles reach another bowl under Addazio. It was a gutsy effort from BC, who entered as nine-point road underdogs but leaned on a surprisingly resilient defense and arguably the best running back in program history to snap a two-game skid. Rumors were flying around Addazio’s status, but after giving a heartfelt postgame interview, he was greeted immediately by a beaming Martin Jarmond. The Eagles, once again, have a chance to hit seven wins under Addazio, and they await their bowl assignment, which will be announced on Dec. 8. n

Panthers vs. Eagles Drive Chart A look at BC’s 26-19 win over Pittsburgh, possession by possession:

Defense, Dillon Play Hard-Nosed Football in the Steel City By Andy Backstrom Managing Editor The trademark play of AJ Dillon’s Boston College football career occurred two years ago. His highlight-reel stiff arm and 75-yard sprint at Louisville turned heads and made the New London, Conn., native a household name in the world of college football. But on Saturday evening at Heinz Field, Dillon stitched together the most dominant drive of his career. After Pittsburgh’s Alex Kessman drilled a 43-yard field goal to make it a one-score game, BC got the ball with a 26-19 lead and 5:26 remaining in the regular season finale. The Panthers had all three timeouts and the sixth-ranked rushing defense—a unit that, before this weekend, was holding opponents to an average of 92.6 yards per game. No one told Dillon. With BC’s season on the line, the junior running back, BC’s all-time leading rusher, couldn’t be stopped. Dillon carried the ball eight plays in a row, picking up four first downs while expunging all three of Pittsburgh’s timeouts. Dennis Grosel lined up in victory formation and kneeled down three straight plays, and the Eagles clinched bowl eligibility for the sixth time in the last seven years, perhaps delaying any sort of answer to the question surrounding head coach Steve Addazio’s job status for another month. Dillon ran wild when BC needed him most Pittsburgh (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast) has one of the best defensive lines in the country, even without edge rusher Rashard Weaver, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear this summer. As far as the ground game goes, the Panthers had limited Central Florida (22nd nationally in rushing) to 85 yards, North Carolina (43rd) to 136 yards, and Virginia

Tech (54th) to 110 yards. But they struggled to slow down BC (6-6, 4-4), especially down the stretch. Dillon rushed for just 44 yards on 14 carries in the first half. In the latter portion of play, though, the 6-foot, 250-pound running back barreled his way through the Panthers’ defense. Three and a half minutes into the third quarter, Dillon bounced outside, shed an arm tackle, and booked it down the sideline for a 61-yard, go-ahead touchdown—his longest run of the season. Then, on the final drive of the game, the junior single-handedly moved the chains, at one point stiff arming a Pittsburgh defender before carrying defensive back Jazzee Stocker past the first down marker. As a whole, BC rushed for 264 yards. Dillon rounded out his day with 178, averaging 5.6 yards per carry—more than double the average clip that ball carriers posted against the Panthers this season. The junior now has 20 career 100-yard rushing games and 1,685 yards on the ground this season, a career best and the fourth-most in singleseason program history. BC’s pass rush made a difference, not Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh entered the game as the nation’s leader in sacks with 48. BC, meanwhile, ranked a meager 122nd in that department. In fact, the Eagles—who had registered just 12 sacks all season—had failed to bring down the quarterback in four separate games this year. On Saturday, though, it was BC’s defensive line that made a home for itself in the backfield. The Eagles recorded four sacks, all in the first half, often applying pressure from both the interior and the edge. This was no better exemplified than when Isaiah McDuffie got a hold of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett’s foot on the Panthers’ first series of the day, pushing Pickett up in the pocket

so that he’d be greeted by fellow linebacker Max Richardson. Toward the end of the half, defensive end Marcus Valdez used a two-hand swipe to get off the edge and blindside Pickett, jarring the ball loose in the process. Pittsburgh recovered that fumble, unlike some of the others during its four-turnover performance, but BC clearly won the battle of the trenches. Pittsburgh only tallied one sack, as the Eagles’ vaunted O-Line bottled up its defensive front. BC came into the matchup having only allowed 10 sacks all year. Bill Sheridan’s defense started and ended the regular season creating takeaways Albeit inexperienced, BC’s defense has been historically bad this season. The Eagles are on pace to concede the most points per game in single-season history, and they’ve reset the BC record for most yards allowed in a single game twice this year (against Louisville and Clemson). That said, there have been flashes of potential. Just like the first half of last week’s blowout loss to Notre Dame, BC’s defense held in the red zone—only this time, the unit didn’t regress as the game wore on. The Eagles stalled Pittsburgh’s offense, twice forcing the Panthers to settle for field goals inside the BC 20-yard line. The Eagles also created four takeaways, the most they’ve notched since their Week 1 win over Virginia Tech. Vinny DePalma—who filled in for an injured John Lamot (concussion)—got it all started with a strip in the open field. All in all, BC recovered three fumbles and picked off one pass—more importantly, however, the Eagles scored 12 of their 26 points off turnovers. Aaron Boumerhi and Danny Longman had themselves very different games

Keith Srakocic / AP PHOTO

Nolan Borgersen celebrates with Vinny DePalma during BC’s victory over Pittsburgh

Aaron Boumerhi came into Saturday having converted just eight of his 13 field goal attempts this season. But in the Pittsburgh cold, the Temple transfer was as consistent as one can be: Boumerhi drilled all four of his field goal attempts, boosting his kicking percentage to 70.6 for the year. The last BC kicker to make four field goals in a game? Nate Freese in 2011. Boumerhi’s teammate Danny Longman, on the other hand, did more harm than good on special teams. Longman, who has now served as the Eagles’ kickoff specialist for the greater part of two years, booted the ball out of bounds on two kickoffs during Saturday’s game. Fortunately for BC, neither cost the team points. Still, this has been a recurring problem for Longman. The sophomore has been penalized for kicking the ball out of bounds 10 times this year—according to The Football Database, Longman and UCF’s Daniel Obarski were the only two kickers with eight or more such infractions in the country heading into the weekend. Kenny Pickett held his end of the bargain, and Dennis Grosel did his part too

Pickett has had his fair share of issues this season, but at times he’s carried the Pittsburgh offense—and it was one of those games on Saturday. Even without Taysir Mack, the Panthers’ leading receiver, the junior orchestrated a potent passing attack. Time and time again, Pickett went back to the middle of the field, finding Jared Wayne, Maurice Ffrench, and Shocky Jacques-Louis for big gains. The problem was, he didn’t have a run game to lean on, which led to the four sacks and the red zone struggles. On the other side of the field, Grosel didn’t rival Pickett’s 30 completions or 323 passing yards, but he did make some clutch throws. After starting the game 1-of-7 for 20 yards, the redshirt sophomore bounced back to hit eight of his last 12 pass attempts for 103 yards and a score. Not only did he connect with a wide-open Hunter Long for a first-half touchdown, but he also converted a 4th-and-4 and back-to-back third downs to help the Eagles knock in their final two field goals of the evening. Tack on 10 carries and a season-best 51 rushing yards, and Grosel had himself a respectable turnover-free performance. n

The Heights

Thursday, December 5, 2019


After Seven Unexciting Seasons, Addazio Fired by Jarmond Addazio, from A16 where they lost to Arizona. In his second season at the helm, Addazio engineered the signature moment of his tenure, knocking off thenNo. 9 USC, 37-31, in the first annual Red Bandana Game, for his only win against a ranked opponent during his seven seasons. For the second straight season, though, BC finished the regular season 7-5, before losing the Pinstripe Bowl to Penn State, 31-30, on a missed extra point in overtime. 2015 was undoubtedly the worst year the Eagles had under Addazio. Thanks in large part to an anemic offense, BC finished the season 3-9—and 0-8 in the ACC—despite having the third-best defense in the country as determined by Football Outsiders S&P+. The Eagles rebounded in 2016, once again reaching the seven-win mark

thanks to a win against Maryland in the Quick Lane Bowl—BC’s first win in a bowl game since 2007 and the first (and only) of Addazio’s tenure. The Eagles started 2017 2-4 but won five of their final six regular-season games after the emergence of AJ Dillon—who is now the program’s all-time leading rusher—despite losing freshman starting quarterback Anthony Brown to a season-ending knee injury in Week 11 against North Carolina State. Last year—building off that excellent end to the 2017 season—Addazio did manage to lead BC to its first ranking in the AP Poll since the 2008 season, before helping the Eagles earn College GameDay and a primetime contest against No. 2 Clemson for control of the ACC Atlantic Division. But the Eagles lost that game and both of their following two matchups to finish 2018

7-5 (the First Responder Bowl was canceled), and they weren’t able to build on that campaign this fall. BC finished the 2019 regular season with a 6-6 record and had the best offense by total yards per game of Addazio’s tenure despite losing starting quarterback Anthony Brown to a season-ending ACL tear in Week 6. In the end, though, the high-powered scoring unit was offset by a defense that ended the regular season ranked 125th in the country in yards allowed and 96th in points allowed. For the seventh straight season, the Eagles finished with a .500 or worse record in the ACC, and that evidently wasn’t enough for BC. In a way, the 2019 numbers are eerily representative of the past seven years under Addazio. The Eagles often had talent, and they excelled at developing players, but they were never able

maggie dipatri / Heights editor

Addazio ended his tenure with a 44-44 record overall and a 22-34 record in ACC play.

to put together a complete team capable of competing with the best of the ACC. As seven years of failing to reach the eight-win mark indicates, Addazio had

clearly reached his ceiling as BC’s head coach, and a change was necessary to help the Eagles take the next step as a program. n

Addazio’s Successor Must Be Good Recruiter, Bring Balance Successor, from A16 and a less-than-spectacular offense. The Eagles struggled on the offensive side of the ball, ranking 121st out of 125 D1 teams in scoring and tallying just 17.2 points per game that year. The 2015 campaign’s saving grace— although not in the win column—was defensive coordinator Don Brown and his wizardry against opposing offenses. But, after the 3-9 season, Brown headed to Michigan the next year. Brown now finds himself in the rumor mill for the head coach spot at BC after proving himself as a top recruiter and a capable defensive coordinator for the Wolverines. Since Brown’s departure, the Eagles have never truly found a defensive rhythm, particularly in this past season, which created the potential need for a head coach more focused on that side of the ball. This season alone, BC set two program records for offensive yards allowed—the first against Louisville with 664 and the second against Clemson with 674. Putting Brown in charge could help tighten up the Eagles’ defense, which would help to balance out BC’s offense-heavy 2019 team. With Brown though, many fear that his age could be a preventative factor in turning BC’s program around. At 68, Brown is the oldest of the potential candidates, which could spell trouble for a program looking for someone to breathe new life into it. In addition, oddsmakers raise the question of why Brown would want to return to the Heights after leaving an unsuccessful BC program just three years ago to take a higher profile job at Michigan. Another problem that Brown could help solve would be BC’s recruiting struggles. BC is ranked just 51st nationally and ninth in the conference in terms of recruiting for the class of 2020, which makes winning conference games consistently difficult—it’s hard to have to lean almost exclusively on the development of lesser-known recruits. Brown is known by his peers as an elite recruiter, which is a beacon of hope for the Eagles. Even so, he might not be the best choice. There are several other intriguing candidates who have had their names brought up. Luke Fickell, born and raised in Ohio, is the current head coach at Cincinnati. Fickell, a former linebacker at Ohio State, spent the first part of his career alongside

Jarmond as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes from 2002 to 2016 before moving to Cincinnati. In his first season with the Buckeyes, his team went a perfect 14-0, largely supported by a defense that ranked second in the country by total team defense. Fickell’s defense allowed just over 300 yards per game, substantially below BC’s 2019 mark of 480 yards. Another benefit to adding Fickell to the coaching staff would be his ability to reach the Midwest for recruits, specifically Ohio. Ohio is a state that BC has scooped up some key recruits from—starting quarterback Dennis Grosel, for instance—but it largely hasn’t been able to land any big names from the fifth-most talented state in terms of high school football. Fickell could create a new Midwest-heavy recruiting class, which could help the Eagles move up in the recruiting rankings. Fickell is still young at 46 and has a long career ahead of him, which could encourage more recruits to stick around the program for all four years. The possible hiring of Fickell faces some drawbacks as well, though. He has spent both his playing and coaching careers focusing on defense, and placing him as the head coach for BC may create the need for a new offensive coordinator as well to counter-balance his strength on defense. This year, Cincinnati finished the season low in offensive proficiency at No. 57 by points per game but high in the defensive rankings, coming in at No. 24 in points allowed. This trend appears opposite to BC’s patterns from the last few years under Addazio. In addition, as Fickell is an Ohio man through and through, it may be hard to convince him to move from a successful hometown team that was ranked twice in the AP poll over the last two years to a far-fromhome program that finished below .500 this year. Since Jarmond is his only connection to BC, it also might be difficult to pull him away from his beloved home state. Similarly, another candidate, Joe Moorhead, has a minimal connection to BC but could be a great addition to the Eagles if Jarmond can convince him to abandon a familiar team. Moorhead has been the head coach at Mississippi State for the last two years after a stint as a quarterback coach and offensive coordinator for Penn State. Under Moorhead’s leadership, the Nittany Lions built a

top-25 passing attack through quarterback Trace McSorley. Similar to the last two potential candidates, Moorhead puts an emphasis on recruiting and has been a key part in creating Mississippi State’s current No. 21 recruiting class in the country. I would encourage Jarmond to be wary of Moorhead, though, as his record over two years at Mississippi State is similar to Addazio’s patterns in his tenure. This year, the Bulldogs accumulated a 6-6 record in the regular season—just like the Eagles–to bring Moorhead’s career record with Mississippi State up to 14-11. In the two seasons before Moorehead arrived, Mississippi State had a similar trajectory, going 6-7 in 2016 and 9-4 in 2017. This means that the addition of Moorhead didn’t create much of an improvement for the Bulldogs, which could spell bad news for the Eagles if he comes to the Heights. Moorhead played quarterback for Fordham, though, which is a Jesuit school. Having the Jesuit values that BC seeks in its new hires could be a bonus in his column as the administration considers him. Another candidate with a strong Jesuit connection is Pete Carmichael Jr., who graduated from BC and went on to eventually become the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. With his status as a former Eagle, Carmichael is a favorite among alumni and could help to bring more booster support to the program. Currently as an offensive coordinator, Carmichael runs one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. His experience balancing the run and pass game with the Saints could be helpful for the Eagles and also make great use of Anthony Brown in his final season. Under Carmichael, the Saints have established themselves as a versatile offense through Drew Brees’ passing ability and a powerful run game behind Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Carmichael, though, has no experience at the NCAA level, which raises concerns about recruiting. He also has never had to run an entire team, as he has focused his career solely on offense, which could be a problem for BC’s struggling defense. Plus, it may be hard for the Eagles to pry him away from his current job, because why would he want to take what seems to be a step back from the highest level of football in the country?

Mark humphrey / Ap photo

Luke Fickell, current head coach at Cincinnati and former assistant coach at Ohio State. Finally, we come to the crowd—and Vegas—favorite, Al Washington. Washington enters the race for BC’s head coach position as the oddball, but arguably the most supported. At 35, he is the youngest of any candidates discussed here, which causes some concerns about his inexperience. Washington is currently the linebackers coach at Ohio State, though he worked for the Eagles as a special teams and running backs coach from 2012 to 2016. After leaving BC, he went on to Cincinnati where he was the defensive line coach before he transitioned to Michigan as a linebackers coach and was finally hired away to Ohio State. Even with a lack of head coaching experience, his youth could breathe new life into an Eagles program that seems to be stuck in a rut. Similar to Carmichael, Washington is a graduate of BC and a former defensive lineman, earning him favor from both past and present students. It would be a gamble for Jarmond to hire Washington, but that risk could have huge rewards. Washington’s supporters argue that being hired away from Michigan to a talented Ohio State program establishes him as a strong up-and-coming assistant, which could forecast a strong future as a head coach. Taking a young coach with a long career ahead of him could poise Washington to build a long and storied career. At the same time, though, he would need a strong offensive and defensive coordinator to counter his lack of full-team experience, so that may create the need for a complete coaching staff overhaul.

Vegas oddsmakers put Washington at the top of the heap, with Carmichael, Fickell, Moorehead, and Brown following behind, among others. Though this list is not exhaustive, each of these potential new coaches could spell a new era for BC football as the Eagles look to climb up from their current plateau. Though they all have their strengths, I think Washington is too much of a gamble for BC to take at this moment. The Eagles need someone who is mature in terms of experience at a head coaching position. If BC can pry him away from Cincinnati, Luke Fickell is the Eagles’ best bet. His combination of experience, history of success, and youthful energy is just what BC football needs to move on from a mediocre seven-year stretch. He has been a staple in some of the top programs in the country since 2002, and the Eagles could use that sort of consistency in their program. No matter who the Eagles hire, though, it’s most important that BC finds a coach who can bring an entirely new perspective to the team. Though Addazio helped the Eagles out of a slump, he ended his tenure with the Eagles on a plateau, and BC needs someone to drive the team over the edge. Consistently contending for low-tier bowls should not be the Eagles’ goal, so they need a coach who gives them more than a fighting chance in the ACC and against ranked opponents.

Emma Healy is a staff writer for The Heights. She can be reached on Twitter @_EmmaHealy_

SPORTS in SHORT Men’s hockey east STANDINGS Conference overall

Northeastern Providence UMass Lowell Boston College Boston University Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire UConn Merrimack Vermont

6-3-1 5-3-2 4-1-3 5-2-0 3-3-4 4-4-2 4-3-1 3-4-0 2-4-2 1-4-2 0-6-1

10-4-2 8-4-3 9-3-4 9-4-0 5-6-5 8-5-3 9-4-1 7-6-1 5-6-3 3-9-2 1-9-2

Numbers to know


Win percentage by BC football in the ACC during head coach Addazio’s seven-year tenure.


Victories for women’s volleyball, tying the team’s single-season record in wins in its last regular-season game against N.C. State.


Game losing streak for men’s basketball, following the team’s 82-64 blowout loss against Northwestern.

QUote of the week

“We want to be more competitive in [the ACC] and nationally, and I just felt ... that it was time to make a change.” — Athletic Director Martin Jarmond, on his and Fr. Leahy’s decision to dismiss head football coach Steve Addazio




Thursday, December 5, 2019


The Ideal Successor?

Emma Healy

Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor

Boston College announced the firing of head football coach Steve Addazio on Sunday afternoon—Addazio ends his seven-year tenure with a 44-44 record. By Peter Kim Assoc. Sports Editor

One of Boston College football’s most complete performances of the season—a 26-19 win over Pittsburgh that made the Eagles bowl-eligible for the sixth time in the last seven years—still wasn’t enough to save head coach Steve Addazio’s job. According to a statement released by Athletic Director Martin Jarmond on BCEagles.com Sunday afternoon, Addazio has been fired, bringing his seven-year BC tenure to an end. Wide receivers coach Rich Gunnell, who played for the program from 2006 to 2009, will serve as interim

head coach while the Eagles conduct the replacement search. “I made a recommendation to Father Leahy to make a change in the leadership of our football program, and he accepted my recommendation,” said Jarmond in the statement. “We thank Steve for his leadership on and off the field in guiding our football program the last seven years. He inherited a program that had a down stretch and led us to six bowl games while recruiting high-character student-athletes that represented BC the right way. Our student-athletes have been pillars of the community and in the classroom and that’s a credit to Steve and his staff. We

wish Steve and his family well and thank him for his tenure in leading our football program.” Addazio exits with a record of 44-44 at BC, and he led the Eagles to a bowl in six of his seven seasons as head coach. Even so, he failed to notch more than seven wins in any of his years at the helm, had a record of just 22-34 in ACC play, and was just 1-17 against ranked opponents. Addazio rose to prominence in the FBS coaching ranks thanks to a stint from 2005 to 2010 with Florida in which he served as an offensive line coach, an assistant head coach, and the offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer. In his time

with the Gators, Florida won two national championships (in 2006 and 2008). After Meyer resigned in 2010, Addazio accepted the head coach position at Temple and coached there for two seasons, compiling a 13-11 record before being hired by the Eagles in December 2012. He inherited a BC team that had gone just 2-10 in 2012 but engineered an immediate turnaround, leading the Eagles to a 7-6 record—thanks in large part to Heisman finalist running back Andre Williams, who rushed for 2,177 yards—and an appearance in the Advocare V100 Bowl,

See Addazio, A15

With the departure of head coach Steve Addazio after seven years at the helm, Boston College football is on the hunt for a new man. It’ll be the biggest hire of Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond’s tenure thus far, and the former Ohio State assistant athletic director is undoubtedly facing a lot of pressure to get this one “right.” Vegas oddsmakers have already started weighing the chances of a few top candidates, Twitter is obsessed with flight tracking, and BC fans everywhere are discussing just who they want to replace the much maligned Addazio. As a keen observer of one season of Addazio’s “run-run-pass” offense and record-setting defense—in the bad way—I’ve known it was time for a change. It’s a program-defining decision, though, as the Eagles have reached a plateau in terms of yearly success. As Addazio departs, it would be to BC’s benefit to look for potential new hires who can engineer a drastic turnaround, not just build on the parts of Addazio’s game plan that were successful. The Eagles need a young face: one who brings a fresh energy and has the potential to stick around for a long time. They need a recruiter who can bring top high school players who can hopefully transition seamlessly to college ball. Most importantly, BC needs a coach who can balance offense and defense. Under Addazio’s leadership, BC struggled to bring the two sides of the game in harmony with each other. In fact, offensive and defensive success had an inverse relationship during Addazio’s tenure. Any year the Eagles had a great defense, their offense fell apart, and vice versa, so it’s imperative that the next coach can strike a balance between the two. With rumors swirling around potential head coaches, each has his own benefits and drawbacks, which I’ll try to explore here. This list is not exhaustive, nor is it based on any official releases from Jarmond or BC Athletics. Addazio departs with a perfectly mediocre record of 44-44 over seven seasons, including a 3-9 2015 campaign that was marked by a spectacular defense

See Successor, A15


BC Can’t Connect on Offense, Falls to Northwestern in Blowout By Olivia Charbonneau Heights Staff Following a devastating 64-44 loss to Richmond last Saturday, Boston College men’s basketball sought to restore its scorNorthwestern 82 ing proficiency, Boston College 64 which has been nearly nonexistent for two weeks. And yet, despite an excellent start to the first half, the Eagles extended their losing streak to four straight in a blowout loss to Northwestern. BC (4-5, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) had only faced Northwestern (4-3, 0-0 Big Ten) five times prior to this matchup, and Northwestern had the historical advantage. Leading up to Tuesday, the Eagles were 2-3 against the Wildcats alltime, with Northwestern winning the last two meetings. BC’s matchup against the Wildcats also witnessed the return of forward A.J. Turner to Conte Forum, who spent two seasons with the Eagles before transferring to Northwestern. The game began with consistent back-and-forth action in the first half. Neither team truly stood out as superior in the first 10 minutes of the half, with the largest deficit being BC’s four-point lead over Northwestern at 7-3. The constant trading of points was most evident in the fact that there were 11 separate


lead changes to start the game as the two teams sparred for supremacy. BC’s last lead of the game came off a Jairus Hamilton 3-pointer midway through the frame, making the game 18-15 in favor of the Eagles. After that, the Wildcats made sure BC would have no chance of a comeback, shutting down the Eagles’ offense and going on a 20-2 run that would put them up 3520 with only three minutes remaining in the half. Throughout the rest of the game, the closest the Eagles got was within nine points, which came following a Jay Heath 3-pointer to make the score 46-37 at the 15-minute mark in the second half. After that brief single-digit lead, the Wildcats once again took control of the play with yet another long run against the Eagles—this one 16-5—topping the Eagles at 62-42 after another five minutes of play. The score was reminiscent of the BC’s still-fresh loss against Richmond, which may explain why the Eagles, seemingly reinvigorated, went on to execute an 8-0 run over the next four minutes, substantially decreasing their deficit. But from nearly the beginning, it was a game of catch up for the Eagles, and an 8-0 run wouldn’t be enough. Northwestern had a substantial lead,

and it would be extremely difficult for BC to regain its lost points while simultaneously preventing its opposition from scoring altogether. And yet, despite their late offensive efforts, the Eagles were not “saved by the bell” in their ’90s themed matchup against the Wildcats. A second late run by the Eagles —this time only seven points—put them within 10 points of the Wildcats, but it was too late. A final eight-point run by the visiting team in the waning minutes of the second half conclusively ended a game that, in reality, had been won in the first half. One may pin the Eagles’ scoring woes on their inability to steadily net shots that should be easy. BC consistently struggled with its free throws, only netting two out of the seven attempts in the second half. Meanwhile, the Wildcats collected all four of their free throw attempts in the second half in addition to the five they had netted in the first. Head coach Jim Christian, however, pointed to the Eagles’ defense as the source of their troubles. “Our defense was not where it needs to be, where it has been … [It was] very inconsistent today,” Christian said in a postgame conference. And he’s not wrong—the Eagles were not only unable to capitalize on their

Maggie Dipatri / Heights Editor

Derryck Thornton’s frustration shows as BC suffers another heartbreaking loss.

offensive opportunities, but they were also unable to stop the Wildcats from going on long, largely uncontested runs. Northwestern was also much stronger on defense than BC, forcing exponentially more turnovers, and scoring a total of 16 points off of those mistakes by the Eagles.

FB: BC Fires Addazio Ahead of Bowl Game FB: Eagles Secure Fourth Straight Bowl

BC is now off to its worst start since the 2015-16 season, a year when the program went 7-25 league-wide and 018 in the ACC. While it’s still too soon to write off this season, the Eagles need to take a look at their current methods and change something—the team as it is now is not working. n

SPORTS IN SHORT......................... A15 .... A15 After seven years with Steve Addazio as the head coach, The Eagles took down Pittsburgh to clinch their spot in ADDAZIO................................................... Jarmond decided it was time for a change....................A15 the postseason behind AJ Dillon’s rush..................... A14 FOOTBALL............................................. A14

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The Heights December 5, 2019  

The Heights December 5, 2019  

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