The Cavalier Daily
Vol. 133, Issue 4
Thursday, September 29, 2022
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The Cavalier Daily
This week in-brief CD News Staff
U.Va. confirms document reading ‘TICK TOCK’ was left at scene of hate crime The University confirmed a document reading “TICK TOCK” was left at the scene of the Sept. 7 hate crime at the Homer statue, when an individual hung a noose around the statue. A number of items left at the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers have also been identified as part of a philanthropic organization with no links to white supremacy. This update came in a community-wide email sent Thursday morning to the University community by Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis and Timothy Longo, associate vice president for safety and security and chief of police. “Investigators are still seeking to determine the relevance and relationship between that document and the placement of the noose, as well as the potential significance of the phrase on the document,” Davis and Longo said. A number of items were left at the Memorial last weekend, including a flag depicting an owl and a check for $888.88. Per the email, community members speculated that the flag represented a white supremacist organization and that the check was intended to intimidate students of color. However, UPD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that the items had been left by an alumnus of the University who is also a member of a Wise Investment Philanthropy, a micro-philanthropic organization which occasionally completes random acts of kindness for students. Davis and Longo also emphasized that the vandalism of the Office of African American Affairs was not racially motivated and unrelated to the hate crime. The individual responsible has been apprehended and charged, as outlined in an update from Longo and Interim OAAA Dean Michael Mason last week.
Student Council to propose increase to student activities fee Student Council heard a presentation from Jaden Evans, vice president for administration and fourth-year College student, regarding a proposed increase to the student activities fee Tuesday evening. All students currently pay $50 yearly for this fee which is used to financially support student organizations. The Board of Visitors created the fee — then $12 — in 1971. The fee has increased gradually since and has been $50 since the 2013-14 academic year. Active CIOs and Special Status Organizations can request SAF funding for expenses incurred during the school year or during the prior school year, including food, office supplies, guest speakers and more. “[Between] what was being requested and what we were able to meet, that gap got as wide as a million dollars some years,” Evans said “That shows a very clear demand from student organizations that they want more funding than we’re able to provide with the current revenue stream from the current fee level.” Both Evans and Ceci Cain, president of Student Council and graduate student, said raising fees would require a higher financial contribution from students. However, the pair see an increase in funds as moderate and emphasized that SAF is one of the fees that returns directly to students. Student Council will have a comment box open on their website from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5 for students who have feedback regarding the proposed fee increase. In the last meeting, Student Council’s representative body also passed a resolution calling for the Virginia General Assembly to deny the confirmation of Board of Visitors member Bert Ellis this January and passed a bill amending the Student Activities Fee appropriations process during its general body meeting Sept. 19. “The Student Council Representative Body calls for a holistic review of the replacement for Bert Ellis and future appointments by the governor to prevent such instances in the future,” the resolution reads.
KHUYEN DINH | THE CAVALIER DAILY
At least seven people lost their lives in connection with the Jan. 6 attacks, including at least four police officers who died by suicide.
U.S. Senator Kaine discusses state of democracy, honors police officers who defended Capitol at Center for Politics event The Center for Politics held a conference Friday to discuss the state of democracy five years after the events of Aug. 11 and 12, 2017 and one year after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va), shared his thoughts on faith and threats to democracy before honoring U.S. Capitol and D.C. Metropolitan police officers who received the first-ever Defender of Democracy awards. The first event, “Religion, Secularity and Public Life,” began at 11 a.m. in Old Cabell Hall and concluded the six-year Religion and Publics Project, which was funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. About 75 individuals attended the event. During both events, Kaine said the attack on the Capitol and the rally are deeply connected, as the perpetrators of both events fear losing their place in the “social order” by people of different religions, ethnicities and political affiliations. “The attacks were explicitly anti-democratic, rejecting a decision by a democratically elected Charlottesville City Council regarding the statues and rejecting the decision delivered by 80 plus million Americans in the 2020 presidential election,” Kaine said. Kaine said that as citizens are losing faith in their government, events such as the rally and Capitol attack represent attacks on democracy. “Part of the crisis in American democracy and local democracy is based on a citizenry believing that the system isn’t listening, isn’t responding and isn’t producing results,” Kaine said. Nine officers received the “Defender of Democracy” award for their role in defending the Capitol Jan. 6. Recipients include Private First Class Harry A. Dunn, Officer Caroline Edwards, Officer Michael Fanone, Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, Private First Class Eugene Goodman and Officer Daniel Hodges. Private First Class Howard Liebengood, Officer Jeffrey Smith and Private First Class Brian Sicknick received the award posthumously.
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Holsinger Studio Portrait Project opens exhibit The exhibit is currently housed in the main gallery of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Avery Donmoyer | Senior Writer Close to 200 faces of Black Virginians now line the walls of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, offering visitors a personal glimpse at life during the peak of the Jim Crow era. On display from now through June of next year, the exhibit features portraits taken in the Holsinger Studio in an effort to redefine perspectives on Black history. What is most striking about the black-and-white portraits is the simple humanity displayed in each one, says John Edwin Mason, chief curator of the exhibit and history professor. While the images depict people from a variety of occupations — from janitor to farm laborer to waiter — the portraits gave Black community members the chance to define how they wanted to present themselves to the camera. “That’s the point — they weren’t defined by their jobs,” Mason said. “They weren’t defined by Jim Crow.” In the early 20th century during the height of the Jim Crow era — a period marked by the legalization of discriminatory and racist practices — Charlottesville was dominated by racial segregation and white supremacy, with an active Ku Klux Klan presence and entrenched eugenic practices. Rufus Holsinger established his studio in Charlottesville in
DOMENICK FINI | THE CAVALIER DAILY
While the images depict people from a variety of occupations —including janitor and farm laborer — the portraits provided Black people opportunity to define how they wanted to present themselves to the camera.
the late 1880s, where Mel’s Cafe is now located on West Main St. After Rufus’ death in 1930, his son Ralph Holsinger took over the business, and operated the studio until he retired in 1969, and the studio closed in 1977.
DOMENICK FINI | THE CAVALIER DAILY
Mason discovered the Holsinger collection in 2014, and was immediately fascinated by the images.
The Holsinger Studio Collection in Special Collections includes an estimated 10,000 wetplate glass negatives, of which about two-thirds are portraits. For Black residents, portraits were a rare opportunity, and cost up to $20 in today’s dollars. More than 500 portraits were commissioned by Black residents of Central Virginia, many of whom were employed by the University. “We were all interested in more than just the fact that they are beautiful and seeing them as aesthetic objects,” Mason said. “We wanted to see them as historical objects and to see history through them. We’re blending aesthetics with the ability to see history in these images.” Mason stumbled upon the Holsinger collection in 2014, and was immediately fascinated by them. He knew he wanted to bring them into a larger space — alongside the physical exhibit is a website with biographical information about many of the portrait subjects, meticulously researched by students and researchers at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. While researchers have aimed to magnify the stories behind the subjects, the photographs themselves are enhanced, too — each has been digitized using modern technology and was given individual attention by skilled photogra-
phers. Holly Robertson, curator of University Library Exhibitions and one of the curators for the exhibit, said that the digitization efforts were one of the most exciting aspects of the exhibit. “That was a really special additive for the exhibition — that we were able to get not just the images we’ve always had, but to have such expert eyes [to] bring these images to true life,” Robertson said. In 1912, the Holsinger Studio suffered a studio fire that destroyed business ledgers and some of the negatives, making it difficult to identify portraits. In preparation for the exhibit, the Holsinger studio hosted Family Photo Day March 9, where individuals from Charlottesville and the greater Albemarle area were invited to identify family members in the photographs. Attendees could also share their own oral histories or get portraits taken at no cost. The exhibit, Robertson said, is unique because of these ties to the Charlottesville and Albemarle community. “We’re focusing on such a local … community of people who have great-grandparents and greataunts,” Robertson said. “We learn a new story every day of someone who sees someone they recognize from their family.” Mason hopes that the exhibit
will encourage attendees to see Black history in a new way — both literally through the photographs, and in a broader sense. A lot of this, Mason said, comes from focusing on the human experience of the subjects of the portraits, and providing a glimpse into their everyday lives. “We’ve been spending a lot of time think about the role of slavery in shaping this country, the role of white supremacy in shaping this country, and that’s really important,” Mason said. “But what we haven’t spent very much time doing is thinking about what Black peoples were doing, despite all the obstacles.” Funding for the exhibit came from the Special Collections Library and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. The Jefferson Trust also provided a $73,000 grant, which is largely being used to support this project. Mason said the Holsinger Portrait Project has plans to expand community outreach, including traveling exhibitions that go to schools, religious institutions and community centers. “Using those life stories then to speak about a much larger history — local, national, international history — that can be a resource for years to come,” Mason said.
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New memorial benches honor marginalized communities Fourth-year Commerce student Sanjeev Kumar aims to diversify the University’s built landscape Emily Horn | Staff Writer Students crossing the bridge from Nau Hall to New Cabell or exploring the McIntire School of Commerce may stumble across one of six newly-installed memorial benches on Grounds. These simple, curved white pieces of concrete — engraved with the names of women and members of other marginalized groups deeply involved in the University — were recently installed as part of fourth-year Commerce student Sanjeev Kumar’s Memorial Benches Initiative. Facilities Management installed six of the 1,100 pound outdoor benches this summer. Each bench features the name of an honoree and a QR code with links to more information about the individuals and the project itself. The initiative was born during Kumar’s first year at the University, when he and Abigail Schofield, collaborator and fourth-year College student, noticed that the majority of artworks, monuments and other objects of recognition centered white men. “Looking around, we saw statues of Thomas Jefferson, buildings of men,” Kumar said. “We didn’t see women or people of color in the built environment, even though U.Va. prided itself on diversity within the student body.”
In the following two years, Kumar and Schofield contacted faculty members, wrote proposals, fundraised and ultimately came up with a plan — a bench dedicated to a graduate of each undergraduate school at the University. Kumar also played a major role in the design of the benches. He chose concrete over other materials such as wood in order to maximize the longevity of the pieces, and opted for a curved design to encourage discussion and reflection. “The nature of the benches is for people to sit down and to be able to face each other,” Kumar said. “There’s no back to it, so it’s kind of formless, to foster a sense of conversation around the people that use the bench.” A bench located by New Cabell Hall honors Karene Wood, College alumna and director of Virginia Indian Programs. Woods was a member of the Monacan tribe — a group that originally inhabited the land that the University occupies today — and advocated on behalf of Native Americans in Virginia. Another bench by Thornton Hall remembers Wesley Harris, Engineering alumnus and activist, to highlight
his experience as the first Black student to enter the Jefferson Society, as well as his work with the Thomas Jefferson Council on Human Relations. During his time as an Engineering undergraduate, Harris worked to coordinate Dr. Martin Luther King’s visit to the University in March 1963, months before King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Kumar also considered representation at the University’s College at Wise campus, where a bench honoring Sandra Jones, former staff member of 22 years and chair of the Black History Committee, was installed Sept. 17. To coordinate locations of the benches, Kumar worked with Facilities Management members, including Director Mark Stanis. Stanis spoke highly of the Memorial Benches Initiative, and said witnessing initiatives like Kumar’s come to life is one of the reasons he’s enjoyed working at the University for 23 years now. “I think it’s invigorating to have young adults that are thinking about these things and will have the tenacity to really keep at it,” Stanis said. Stanis also spoke to the bench’s contrast with the University’s typical architecture, a feature that he hopes
will draw attention to the project’s purpose. “Walking around Grounds people will see these benches now … and you’re drawn to it because it’s different,” Stanis said. “And then when you scan the QR code and read about the vision of the project, I think that’s really helpful.” Throughout the project, Abby Palko, director of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center, served as an advisor, answering questions and providing feedback. Palko said that the project works to fulfill a gap in representation, and she admires Kumar’s community-based approach. “[The project] speaks to what I hear students saying that they need visible markers that show everyone belongs here,” Palko said. “The other layer that I find so impressive is just how much work Kumar put into this and how he was able to seek guidance and take advice from folks all across Grounds.” For his efforts with the Memorial Benches Initiative and beyond, Kumar was awarded the John Casteen Diversity Award honoring University leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion. Even following the project’s success, Kumar remains committed to inclu-
sivity efforts. Together, he and Schofield founded She Writes History — a CIO dedicated to sharing women’s narratives — as a sustainable continuation of the project’s goal to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of women and other marginalized communities. Schofield currently serves as the organization’s president. Kumar hopes to use the knowledge from his experience with the benches to promote She Writes History and similar initiatives. He is also in the process of advocating for an Asian student center on Grounds, an effort that Palko said will solidify the bench’s impact. “It’s not just changing the built landscape to create these memorial benches so that there are markers that represent the full spectrum of the student body,” Palko said. “It’s also concrete, the depth to advocate for the resources and the spaces that students need while they’re here so that they can make the most of their time at U.Va. And they can walk away with the strongest education possible and then go on to change the world and make it a better place.”
Guide Service maintains relationship with the University Despite increased interest from certain members of the Board, the Guide Service remains student-run and independent Avery Donmoyer | Senior Writer The Board of Visitors has recently taken an increased interest in the University Guide Service, a special status organization at the University responsible for providing both admission and historical tours for prospective students, families and other visitors. Although the group works closely with the Office of Admission to provide a positive guest experience, the Guide Service remains student-run and independent. Currently, members of the Guide Service write their own tours based on information they are taught in new member education programs — classes designed to rigorously teach the University’s history. The Office of Admission, meanwhile, supervises other aspects of the guest experience, like scheduling and parking. At a meeting in mid-September, members of the Board’s Academic and Student Life Committee briefly discussed the Guide Service after reviewing a survey in which a small number of guests reported being
“disappointed” with their tours of Grounds. New member Bert Ellis suggested members of the Board could “anonymously’’ observe tours and report back with their findings. The Jefferson Council, a group Ellis serves as president of, has been a vocal critic of the Guide Service and the content of their tours in recent months. This summer, about 3 percent out of 709 survey respondents — those who took a tour in either July or August — cited their tour as “need[ing] improvement.” Of the same survey, 83 percent of July respondents and 76 percent of August respondents described the tour as “excellent.” The Board’s written report also said any respondent problems did not seem to come from “negative comments about the University.” Tahi Wiggins, chair of the Guide Service and fourth-year College student, emphasized that members of the Guide Service care deeply about tour content. Wiggins said most survey complaints were out-
side of the Guide Service control, such as not including a dorm visit and logistical issues involving parking and check-in services. “It’s not really a question about the content of our tour, but more the institutional infrastructure within which we’re operating,” Wiggins said. In order to bolster guest experiences on the admissions side, Senior Admissions Officer Kelli Barnette filled a new senior position and focuses full-time on the guest experience at the University. The Office will also engage an external expert with a background in guest experience and hospitality to help improve the guest experience. Although the Guide Service is an independent organization, Wiggins said it shares the same goals with the University — to provide the best guest experience possible. “We have a good working relationship where we each respect that our respective entities have the same goal of making people feel welcome at the University and
helping them understand if this place would be a good fit for them,” Wiggins said. In an additional effort to strengthen guest experiences, the Guide Service will receive $7,800 in funding for the 2022-23 school year. This funding will be used to support Guide training, as well as to eliminate member dues. “The $7,800 is basically the equivalent to the operating budget if all members are paying dues,” Wiggins said. “This is like a recognition of the effort that Guides are putting in, of the time that they’re putting in, to convey the University to visitors.” Isabelle Mathewes, co-scheduler for the Guide Service and thirdyear College student, meets with the Office of Admission weekly. Despite calls from the Board for increased oversight, Mathewes said she hasn’t noticed much of a change to the Guide Service. “It does not feel like there’s a big difference in how admissions is interacting with us this semes-
ter compared to last semester,” Mathewes said. Grace Deakyne, member of the Guide Service and third-year Commerce student, feels it is important that members are able to share their individual experiences at the University because that is what makes each tour unique and meaningful. “You can have a neat opportunity to sort of shape a narrative, [although] obviously there are certain things you have to talk about,” Deakyne said. Above all, Wiggins emphasized that the Guide Service and the University will work together to overcome any challenges. “In that working relationship, we also respect that we are each independent entities, but that our goals can be best accomplished if we’re working together,” Wiggins said. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t have disagreements, it just means that we can work through them well, and overall our relationship is very productive.”
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Thursday, September 29, 2022 | 5
Top 10 complaints about midterm season With the workload of the semester only increasing, it feels necessary to list my grievances Elizabeth Parsons | Top 10 Writer As we move into the thick of the semester, I am sure we are all tired and overwhelmed. I hope you can find some solace in knowing that we are all in this together. We can definitely do this — but let me complain first.
1. The use of the word “midterm” itself
First, I do not even support using the phrase “midterm” when describing the exams and papers due around the end of September. Something about calling an exam in September — when the semester ends in December — a “midterm,” does not sit well with me. While some professors explicitly refer to these exams as the “midterm,” other times students unnecessarily label it a “midterm” themselves.
4. Somehow everything is due on 8. The leniency of “it’s only the the same day beginning of the semester” It’s never fun to look at your syllabi and realize that you have multiple exams and papers due on the same day, but this situation inevitably happens. You are then forced to somehow juggle your studying efforts between multiple exams and papers — and something falls through the cracks. Thankfully, there is an upside to having multiple due dates on the same day— completing it all at once instead of having it painfully drawn out.
5. The rise of library-coughers
Walk into any library on Grounds and you will hear a chorus of constant coughing and sneezing. I get it — it is so easy to get sick in college, and we have all been there before. However, there should be some etiquette to handling the persistent and mysterious illness that lingers for the whole semester. Perhaps donning a mask before parking yourself in a library to cough for hours is a good start.
6. The omnipresent stress culture only increases
LEXIE GAGNON | THE CAVALIER DAILY
2. “That definitely was not mentioned in lecture!”
As soon as the exam results are released on Collab, your lecture hall is abuzz with classmates exasperatedly claiming that number 22 was definitely not mentioned in lecture and that they are going to email the professor immediately for a grade change. My piece of advice — I generally avoid opening exam results in front of groups of people. Also, take a few minutes to calm down before sending that post-exam email — although it might be horrifying to consider, you might actually be wrong.
3. Two words — group projects
There is nothing quite like the common refrain of “I only got two hours of sleep last night!” that enrages me. When did it become a competition to see who got the least amount of sleep? The twisted competition of who is the most stressed is pervasive, and it is really strange. If you can, enjoy your early bedtime while everyone else pulls an all-nighter. From my experience, going to bed is more often than not the better choice.
I am sure you have heard at least one of your professors irritatedly tell the class that “we have been doing this for six weeks now!” Alas, the lovely cushion of citing the beginning of the year as being the reason you missed a reading or incorrectly formatted a discussion post has reached its expiration date. This is a notable turning point in the semester, and it is one that can be tough to swallow. On the bright side, this means we are inching closer to the finish line of the semester.
9. Participation grades only work to compound the stress
I am a huge supporter of having active and engaging discussions in-class — it makes the learning process more vibrant. I, however, despise strict participation grades. As someone who sometimes feels shy in class, it can be frustrating to compete for discussion points with my classmates. There are so many other ways to participate in a course beyond dominating a discussion — being a good listener, coming prepared and submitting work on-time are all aspects of good participation in my book.
7. A single assignment suddenly feels high stakes
It has always amazed me how I can attend classes every day for a whole semester, and despite this consistent and sustained effort, my grade is determined by only a few assignments. Turning in a paper in September that will determine 25 percent of my final grade in a course can feel daunting. If I could choose, I would prefer having multiple smaller assignments that give you an opportunity to figure out how a professor grades.
LEXIE GAGNON | THE CAVALIER DAILY
bottom line — midterms 10. The are difficult
I am sure you have been assigned at least one group project by this point in the semester. Even if you are given class time to work on the project, it is never productive. Then, you must figure out when everyone can meet, which is nearly impossible. Before you know it, your group members have completely gone off the grid the day before it’s due, and you are left to tackle it yourself and cross your fingers that it will work out.
Let’s face it — I am stressed right now, and I am sure you are too. Complaining about my workload usually helps me feel marginally better. I am wishing you a successful midterms season and giving you permission to complain about it along the way — sometimes that is the only way to get through it.
LEXIE GAGNON | THE CAVALIER DAILY
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Competitive Spikeball takes hold at Virginia Virginia’s nationally-ranked Spikeball players reveal the extent to which the sport has grown and changed dramatically in recent years Harry Farley & William Smythe | Sports Writers
COURTESY JOE BONDI
One doesn’t have to look far to find Spikeball being played in various spots around Grounds.
It’s early autumn, and a familiar sound is echoing outside the Observatory Hill Dining Hall. Scattered across the sprawling field are nets, serving only to uphold the weight of a small, yellow ball. The only sound is rubber rebounding off the palms of countless students, complementing the constant chatter around each circular net. Dozens of worn-down circles on the field’s grass are the mark of feverish competition. Spikeball is a game founded in 2007 that is like a combination of volleyball and four-square. Since then, it has evolved from a backyard hobby into a competitive sport with a professional circuit. How did a laid-back, four-person game turn into an uber-competitive sport with sponsored athletes and ESPN television coverage? Third-year College student Joe Bondi and fourth-year Engineering student Joe LaRuffa are two of the top players for their age in the
Eastern region and members of the University’s Club Roundnet — the technical name for the game which employs the Spikeball-brand set. Bondi has risen through the ranks as the No. 1 player in Virginia. LaRuffa is not far behind him, currently sitting at No. 4 in the most recent power rankings from the Virginia Roundnet Association. However, neither player found success instantly. Bondi cut his teeth in several tournaments alongside a partner from Virginia Beach, initially tasting some defeats in a more competitive landscape. Thanks to tournament exposure, Bondi ultimately joined forces with a partner to whom he had previously lost in order to gain some more traction with the sport. In a similar vein, LaRuffa played throughout high school yet did not anticipate the step-up in competition once he arrived in Charlottesville in 2019. He found
a stark contrast between the style of Spikeball from his high school years to the competitive edge of the club, yet the camaraderie helped him along. “[Joining Club Roundnet] transitioned into participating in a tournament with U.Va. in the fall of my first year, and that was super fun because I got to meet a lot of people from a lot of different schools,” LaRuffa said. The communal aspect of Spikeball is one of the key drivers to its growth. As a niche competitive sport, the close community has allowed players to make connections they otherwise wouldn’t have. “My personal favorite aspect of Spikeball is just the community,” Bondi said. “There are a lot of people who went to one tournament, and now they’re addicted to Spikeball just because of the atmosphere.” Club Roundnet started in 2018, one year before LaRuffa en-
rolled at Virginia. While the club was founded with competition in mind, Bondi and LaRuffa said the club was not aware of the talent level outside of Charlottesville. Despite the second-place finishes of last year’s club roster at both sectional tournaments, the 2019 group did not fare as well in outside competitions. “It was competitive focus without a lot of competitive awareness,” Bondi said, in regards to the mindset of Club Roundnet in the first couple years. Nowadays, a typical club practice consists of an hour of drills and an hour of in-game implementation of those drills. Drills largely focus on the fundamental aspects of the game — hitting, serving and movement around the net. Moreover, players are beginning to get used to new rule implementations such as the no-hit zone — a foot-and-a-half wide circle around the edge of the net designed to make offense
more difficult, prolong rallies and improve watchability. With a tryout process, a team of around 25 players and an elevated travel roster, Club Roundnet is growing healthily and continues to compete at high levels with other college teams. However, it’s important to the club that casual play and the general roundnet community is encouraged as well. “Last year, we tried to run a WhatsApp groupchat just to allow casual players to have a platform to communicate,” LaRuffa said. The group chat included over 100 people and helped foster passion for the game for players who may have just discovered Spikeball and wanted to play more without the intensity of practice and tournaments. Spikeball has exploded in the past several years. So where does the game go from here? The top tournaments and professional scene have thousands of dollars of prize money up for grabs in three types of tournament events — Challenger events, Major events and the Championship event. ESPN has broadcasted several Spikeball events, and the nation at-large has seemed to begin to turn its eyes towards the next big backyard sport. However, Bondi and LaRuffa aren’t exactly bursting with confidence that the game can break out of its small shell. “I don’t think it’s super watchable right now, but I know a bunch of people high up in the Spikeball scene are trying to shift that and make it more watchable,” Bondi said. “Nationals will be on ESPN this year … so that’s definitely growth.” It will be interesting to see if the sport continues to ascend. Despite its potential limitations as an attractive option for television, Spikeball has undoubtedly left a mark on the University in terms of its rapid growth over the past several years. Ultimate frisbee, KanJam and other backyard sports have enjoyed success on college campuses and still have a foothold, yet Spikeball has successfully blended competition and entertainment into one. Whether you seek a pickup game, national tournament or a casual rally on the beach to pass the time, the sport has developed to check the boxes.
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ROUNDTABLE: A midseason check-in of Virginia sports As the calendar flips to October, several Cavalier squads deserve a deeper look CD Sports Staff Through over a month of action for Virginia athletics, a number of Cavalier teams have excelled and earned high rankings, while others have shown promise. After an undefeated start and an incredible road win against then-No. 2 North Carolina, the women’s soccer team suffered its first loss last week and will need to bounce back to achieve the high expectations many have set for the team. On the men’s side, the soccer team has flashed glimpses of brilliance, including a road win against No. 3 Syracuse Saturday. Meanwhile, the men’s golf team has earned a No. 1 ranking for the first time in program history and is in prime position to make a run at a national championship in the spring. As these teams look to make the next step, members of our sports staff discuss the implications of these developments for each of these three teams going forward.
the Cavaliers need to apply more pressure to opposing defenses, as they are averaging just two shots on goal per game in the last three contests. Is the win against No. 3 Syracuse a turning point for men’s soccer? Harry: In short, hopefully. The win will surely be a huge morale booster for the team, yet a daunting ACC schedule still remains ahead, including matches on the road at Pittsburgh, Clemson and North Carolina. The key for the Cavaliers will be consistency on offense. Junior forward Leo Afonso, who scored the game-winner against the Orange, must continue his high level of offensive production if Virginia wants to contend for an ACC title. Aidan Baller: The win against No. 3 Syracuse demonstrates this roster’s capabilities when
they play at its best. After a win against a top-ranked team, this roster knows its capabilities, which should allow them to produce better results against other ACC teams down the line. Syracuse was Virginia’s biggest regular season test, so if they continue to play at that level, it could definitely turn this season into something special. Taylor: This win is absolutely huge for Virginia as they seemed to be going in the direction of its third straight season of mediocrity. It is all going to be about how the team will be able to build off of this win and keep this momentum going forward throughout the rest of the year in ACC play. The Cavaliers will have a chance to do just that Friday at No. 10 Pittsburgh. Men’s golf is ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history — can it win a national champion-
ship in the spring? Harry: Definitely. In its first tournament of the fall at the Streamsong Invitational, the team shot a school record 56-under en route to winning the tournament. Freshman Ben James, who might be the best individual golfer Virginia has had, has stimulated belief in a national championship. He won the Streamsong Invitational individually, shooting 20-under, and is ranked as the second best individual player in the most recent Golfweek poll. Aidan: To start, Virginia wins National Championships — winning at least two in each of the last two years overall. Athletes at this school perform at the highest level in the crucial moments — something I see in this golf team. James has been phenomenal this fall and has shown that he is certainly capable of leading
this team to a National Championship. Additionally, senior Pietro Bovari was only five strokes behind James, displaying that he has the capability to play with the best as well. Brandon: Virginia men’s golf team has recently become the 13th sport in Virginia athletics history to reach the No. 1 ranking. The team boasts three players in Golfweek’s top-70 college golfers, including No. 2 James, who opened the season with a school record 20-under 196 in the Streamsong Invitational in Bowling Green, Fla. If the team continues performing as it is right now, it has a good opportunity to join the list of Virginia teams to win a championship.
How can women’s soccer respond to its first loss of the season? Harry Farley: The loss to a talented Notre Dame team on the road can be framed in a positive light. At 9-1-1 so far this season, Virginia has almost been unbeatable. While the loss is disappointing, this will serve as a reminder to the Cavaliers that they are not invincible. Virginia will need to have that feeling after losing at the front of their minds. With seven games left all against high-caliber ACC teams, the Cavaliers are certainly good enough to win out. Brandon Brown: There is no need to panic in Coach Steve Swanson’s camp. Losing away to ACC foe No. 18 Notre Dame by one goal is not the end of the world. Missed chances and inconsistent defense led to the Hoos’ first loss of the season. Though likely to fall from No. 2 in the NCAA rankings, Virginia only needs to continue improving. The team has momentum and a chemistry that I predict will translate into the postseason. Taylor West: At the end of the day, it’s always going to be challenging, no matter how good a team is, to go onto the road and beat a top-25 team in the ACC. In the Notre Dame game, it was the factor of not being able to put shots on goal with Notre Dame having eight to the Cavaliers’ one. Going forward,
KHUYEN DINH | THE CAVALIER DAILY
After its first loss of the season last week, women’s soccer will look to rebound in the coming weeks with an opportunity Friday against No. 5 Duke.
8 | www.cavalierdaily.com
Why Virginia football’s offense is stuck in the mud After a banner year, the Cavaliers have seemingly forgotten how to score – here’s why Connor Lothrop | Sports Columnist During the reign of former Coach Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia football consistently possessed one of the best offenses in the country. Mendenhall took over a team that scored in the bottom quarter of all FBS teams in 2015 and improved its output nearly every year until it peaked as the 21st highest scoring unit in the country last year. The 2021 Cavalier offense was lethal. Mendenhall ran an Air Raid offense that focused around throwing the football to playmakers in space and stretching the field to create holes in the defense. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong, then a junior, racked up some of the best passing stats in the country, and the team scored 34.6 points per game. Despite the explosive offense, Virginia’s defense was horrid and the team faltered down the stretch to finish with a record of 6-6. Mendenhall resigned after losing his fifth contest against Virginia Tech in six tries. Enter Coach Tony Elliot. The former Clemson offensive coordinator developed a sterling reputation winning multiple national championships and developing future NFL quarterbacks like Trevor Lawerence. He brought with him a more prostyle offense than Mendenhall had run.
A year after being one of the top scoring teams in the country, the Cavalier offense has been dysfunctional during the team’s 2-2 start, averaging 18.2 points per game — 116th in the country. Armstrong has regressed below the mean, completing just 52.1 percent of his passes and failing to crack 1,000 passing yards through four games. This begs the question — what’s wrong with this offense? The offensive line Last winter, 2021’s rock solid offensive line followed Mendenhall out. Second-team All-American center Olusegun Oluwatimi and tackles Ryan Swoboda and Bobby Haskins transferred, while guards Chris Glazer and Ryan Nelson graduated. Only two of the unit replacing these guys played on the Cavalier line in 2021 – although neither played a significant role. The new five had not played at all together before practice in April and most are average or below talents. As expected, the line has so far played poorly. Armstrong has taken 12 sacks in four games, the seventh-most of any Power Five quarterback. No Power Five squad has allowed its quarterback to be sacked
at a higher rate than Virginia’s 11.22 percent. This has caused a number of problems for the offense. Armstrong has been so constantly under pressure that he has rarely been able to make one or two reads before he has to break the pocket to scramble. The repeated hits the gunslinger is taking from constant pressure and scrambling leaves him open to injury, which could prove catastrophic for Virgnia’s offense. Another issue of a weak offensive line is that defenses need to send extra pass rushers much less often. Getting consistent pressure with only three or four rushers allows the rest of the defense to focus on coverage. Against the Cavaliers, teams have rarely blitzed, instead electing to rush four most of the time and leave seven back to gum up throwing windows. New scheme issues Any offensive scheme is supposed to maximize the team’s output by leveraging players’ strengths and papering over their weaknesses. Mendenhall countered deficiencies in running back and blocking talent by letting his quarterbacks throw the ball quickly to playmakers in space or tuck it and run.
Meanwhile, at Clemson, Elliott had the luxury of NFL talent at every position — therefore, he ran an NFL-style system. Elliott asks his quarterbacks to go through multiple reads on more complex routes before the play breaks down. Being forced to read the defense more, in tandem with teams dropping back more coverage, has made Armstrong’s life tough. Aside from poor stats, the quarterback has failed to deliver in the clutch. Against Syracuse, Armstrong twice stared down and threw to covered targets on key fourth downs instead of passing to open receivers. The second of those incompletions ended the game. Virginia has been best when letting Armstrong run the offense quickly out of the shotgun with a healthy mix of air raid and pro concepts, getting the ball quickly to receivers in space. Elliott would do well to include more of this in his gameplanning. Bad execution All that being said, the Virginia offense would be in a much better spot if the players were committing fewer errors. So far, the team has committed more turnovers per game versus last year, 2.5 to 1.5.
While Armstrong has had to throw into tighter windows this year, his interceptions against Syracuse and Richmond were easily avoidable, and the pair he threw at Illinois were downright inexcusable. Penalties have also killed the team. The offense is commiting 7.8 per game for 68.8 yards, up from 6.4 and 56.8 last year. Lots of these have been calls against the offensive line, like holding or false starts. Drops, fumbles and other avoidable miscues have plagued the Cavaliers, too. Formerly reliable wideouts junior Dontayvion Wicks and senior Billy Kemp can’t hold onto the football, with a fumble and a few uncharacteristic drops each. Most schematic and talent deficiencies Virginia has faced this season could be fixed if the team played cleaner. This season is looking bleak for Virginia football — there may not be a bowl game come December, and if there is, not a prestigious matchup. However, it’s important to remember that under Mendenhall, the Cavaliers only broke through to win a bowl game in year three after two fairly unsuccessful seasons. Elliott has time to improve the program and bring offensive fireworks back to Charlottesville — it just may not be this year.
AVA PROEHL | THE CAVALIER DAILY
The Cavaliers have sputtered on offense through four games of the 2022 season, averaging just over 18 points per game.
Thursday, September 29, 2022 | 9
The Cavalier Marching Band brings games to life With more than 320 members, the band play an integral role in bringing spirit to the gameday atmosphere Jude Nanaw | Sports Editor Whether seen on the field or heard from the stands, the Cavalier Marching Band has been an integral part of Virginia athletics since its initial founding in 2003. With over 320 members today, the band has a significant role across a number of sports at the University — particularly in football. On the football field, many associate the Cavalier Marching Band with traditions Virginia football fans have come to know over the past decades including pregame hype shows, halftime performances and countless renditions of “The Good Ol’ Song” every time the Cavaliers score. However, not known to most is the intense and rigorous preparation the Cavalier Marching Band undertakes each week. “Preparation isn’t brief – it’s hours long,” fourth-year College student and drum major Evan Denison said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “So the excitement for me is simply knowing that preparing is a journey, one that we all get to experience together.” Every week the band has its standard practices each Tuesday and Thursday that last over two hours. During weeks in which the Virginia football team has a home game on its schedule, the band’s drumline will have an extra sectional rehearsal on Wednesday with the color guard having an extra sectional on Monday in addition to an extra full-band rehearsal on Friday. “[The extra] rehearsal is so that we have extra time to polish up our halftime show for the coming game week and revisit the pregame performance,” Leah Baetcke, fourthyear College student and cymbal and mallet section leader, said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. One of two section leaders for both cymbals and mallets, Baetcke takes on a number of additional responsibilities for the Cavalier Marching Band from week to week. These tasks include assigning and delegating aspects of a given performance to other section members and annotating music. “Every Sunday or Monday before we start practicing a new halftime show myself and my co-section leader for mallets will get together and assign the different mallet parts for the show and we’ll annotate our music to send to our section members,” Baetcke said. “I will annotate drill moves to be sent to the mallets and cymbals, as well as assign drill numbers to the mallets for the next show.” Additional responsibilities for section leaders include ensuring
KHUYEN DINH | THE CAVALIER DAILY
The Cavalier Marching Band has been a staple of gameday in Charlottesville for nearly two decades.
that all section members are prepared for their performances. As game day approaches, all aspects of the intricate performances put on by the Cavalier Marching Band need to be memorized. “Our job is also to hold everyone to the rehearsal expectations set forth by the Drum Captain, which include having different portions of the show memorized by certain dates, following rehearsal etiquette and working on fundamentals when possible,” Baetcke said. The culmination of the week’s preparation comes on game day. Prior to kickoff, the band has a full rehearsal over four hours before the game begins. Game day rehearsal for the Cavalier Marching Band includes repetitions of the halftime show followed by rehearsing the pregame performance in order to bring it back to the forefront of the memory of band members. As kickoff time approaches, the drumline loads into the homeside of the tunnel and then marches
onto the field to play the Hype Show and pregame performance. After the team takes the field, the Cavalier Marching Band takes to the stands where they are heard playing stand tunes in between plays. Halftime preparation also takes significant diligence from band members — ensuring instruments and equipment are prepared beforehand. “We roll the [equipment] out onto the field with about eight to 10 minutes left in the quarter and then wait on the sideline for the rest of the quarter prepared to set them up as soon as the clock hits zero and halftime starts,” Baetcke said. Aside from home games, the Cavalier Marching Band goes on the road — often once per season. For away games, usually only a subset of the band has traveled in the past, although almost all of the CMB will be traveling to Virginia Tech this year. The away match-ups the band attends vary from year to year, but are typically games against either the Hokies or
North Carolina. An extension of the Cavalier Marching Band, the CMB Media Committee also plays a significant role in weekly preparations for home games. The committee is comprised of 10 general body members and leadership chairs and assigns GoPro cameras to volunteer members of the band to collect footage of the Cavalier Marching Band gameday experience. This often includes footage of the pregame show and the Wahoo Walk performance — where the football team walks off of the bus and into the stadium with the band playing stand tunes and cheerleaders performing nearby. “The media committee is largely focused on recruitment and engagement,” Abby Kupstas, second-year College student and Media Committee chair said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. Kupstas, along with other committee members who lead different aspects of the group depending on social media platform or type of
content, aim to produce content to not only attract new members, but also up the engagement of current members. “On social media, we advertise our annual Band Day event, a CMB student-led event that invites high schoolers to participate in our college band for a day,” Kupstas said. “The committee is also focused on the engagement of current members … We post student features on our Instagram and Facebook pages so the CMB community can learn about our members.” All things considered, it requires a tremendous amount of time and effort to sustain the welloiled machine that is the Cavalier Marching Band. Without the directors, drum majors, section leaders, committees and general members of the band, Scott Stadium would be significantly less energetic on game day — especially during “The Good Ol’ Song.”
10 | www.cavalierdaily.com
The Cavalier Daily
LGBTQ+ youth are in danger from a culture war Conservatives are expanding their hunt from bathrooms to books featuring LGBTQ+ narratives LGBTQ+ youth are once again under attack. The culture war has evolved from restricting their ability to use restrooms in line with their gender identity to erasing any trace of the LGBTQ+ experience from schools. Bathroom policies that restrict queer kids from using their preferred restroom are an unjust attack that does nothing other than to intimidate them from expressing themselves and alienate them from their peers. On top of this, parents obsessed with removing any mature content from schools have put their sights on queer literature, continuing the erasure of any LGBTQ+ narrative. These policies are harmful and infantilizing to young adults — Virginia should take action to protect the free speech and right to privacy of LGBTQ+ students. The Hanover School Board is the latest locality to enact a policy restricting students’ access to restrooms. This mirrors current activity at the state level, where Governor Glenn Youngkin has recently done away with LGBTQ+ students’ protections put in place under the past administration. Acts such as these that remove
protections create deep institutional harm that will have lasting effects on LGBTQ+ kids during their most formative years. Bathroom bans create an environment that makes LGBTQ+ youth feel like they are not wanted or welcome. It’s also important to remember that this legislation does not exist in a vacuum. Virginia is at risk of the same economic consequences that North Carolina and other states have faced for bathroom bans. In North Carolina, due to the statewide ban, Paypal pulled out its deal in Charlotte, Deutsche Bank put a deal on hold in Cary, CoStar relocated to Richmond — something they may consider doing again — and the NBA and NCAA both moved tournament locations from the state. All of this would have culminated in putting $5 billion at risk all for the desire to target the incredibly small minority of trans youth in the state. While former governor Pat McRory believed this would benefit the state and proponents of the bill called it “common sense,” the transphobic motivation behind the bill brought about nothing but negative
consequences. Removing protections for LGBTQ+ youth will open the door for harmful legislation against them and stifle the state’s ability to thrive economically. As if the estrangement of not being able to use the right bathroom isn’t enough, books that feature LGBTQ+ characters have also been roped into the battle over America’s schools. Parents have become increasingly concerned about the content their children are taught, no thanks to Youngkin’s outrageous critical race theory conspiracy. This has now spread to book banning, an archaic concept that one would think we had left in the past. Targets of earlier this year were graphic novels such as “Maus,” though now graphic novels such as “Gender Queer” are under attack as well. Even more concerning is the general attack on books containing any mature content, despite many of them being staples of high school English classes, such as classics by Toni Morrison or relatively tame novels like those by John Green. While these battles have been occurring since these books were released, the fight behind them is con-
stant and becoming a worrying struggle over free speech. The claim goes that because such novels feature anything graphic, such as nudity appearing in one or two scenes in the case of “Maus” and “Gender Queer,” they are therefore inappropriate for a middle to high school audience. This ignores several factors about society. First, these are kids who are going through puberty and are on their way to being adults. If we infantilize children who are having hormonal changes and act like they can’t have thoughts or access to information about those changes, then we are failing them and not encouraging critical thinking in the slightest. Moreover, ignoring the reality of the world — that children are in the process of becoming adults and should be treated with respect as such — is a foolhardy venture. If the children are to inherit and lead the future, then it is in the spirit of free speech that they see a robust number of perspectives and ideas on what life is really like. If you truly believe that a child has never heard or thought about anything explicit, then you are living on another
planet. While it may seem bleak, there are some positives in the fight against book banning. Recently a judge ruled that “Gender Queer” could not be banned from book stores in Virginia, as doing so would violate the First Amendment. There are also efforts from national organizations — such as the American Civil Liberties Union — trying their best to support citizens in pushing back against book bans. This support is invaluable, but more must be done. To show its commitment to free speech and equal rights, the Virginia General Assembly should ensure books are not banned in school libraries and protect trans kids from attacks based on specious reasoning with underlying hateful intent. Silence and inaction cannot be tolerated neither from a moral perspective nor from an economic one. The only option is to preserve the privacy and speech of LGBTQ+ youth or face the consequences of failing to do so. RYAN LANFORD is an Opinion Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thursday, September 29, 2022 | 11
‘Hoos Against Hazing’ is not enough to be effective To prevent hazing, the University must promote accountability and provide material consequences if hazing occurs Adam Oakes was pledging Delta Chi at Virginia Commonwealth University in February 2021 when he tragically died after his fraternity brothers hazed him to the point of alcohol poisoning. The horrific incident led to 11 members of the fraternity being arrested for hazing-related crimes. In the wake of his death, the Virginia General Assembly passed Adam’s Law in January, which mandates anti-hazing training for all members of organizations that required new members to go through a probationary or pledge period. As a consequence of this legislation, the University has instituted its own hazing prevention seminars titled “Hoos Against Hazing.” Having sat in one of these anti-hazing training sessions, I can tell you the seminars are pointless — the University very clearly misses the mark. I learned nothing new and left frustrated at the waste of my time, and predict that no hazing practices will be combated by the training. It’s the same basic information over and over — don’t force people to drink. Don’t do anything that will cause mental or physical harm. Don’t force people into uncomfortable situations for the sake of participation in your organization.
These are important messages, but they’ve been drilled in so much that they become meaningless phrases rather than rules. When combined with a lack of true enforcement, they become empty statements. Administration has made the sessions interactive, adding an online component where students answer questions on their phones and an in activity during which students rate the harmfulness of various situa-
these sessions. We are taught that hazing is bad — an obvious and redundant fact that does nothing to actually limit the behavior. Hazing continues because people are so entrenched in a system of hazing and refuse to acknowledge it, so simply stating that it is bad does nothing. Hazing undoubtedly goes on at the University. Last spring, the University Judiciary Committee released a report
istration blandly telling students to stop hazing isn’t enough. How many Greek life chapter members who have taken an oath to their organization are going to be swayed by a simple “don’t do that” from the University? To actually combat hazing, the University should pay more attention to chapters within the IFC and their hazing behaviors. They should do routine check-ins and afford fraternities
For the most part, the result of these activities is not understanding, but laughter.”
tions. For the most part, the result of these activities is not understanding, but laughter. For the most heinous examples of hazing, the room would laughingly say they were harmless behaviors. When questions were asked, people would answer with random words — or, my personal favorite, the simple phrase “hazing is bad.” Hazing is no joking matter, but the latter response is a commentary on the lack of knowledge actually gained through
revealing that it sanctioned five fraternities and banned an additional two from Grounds for hazing that occurred during the 2021-22 academic year. Using UJC as a resource, the University must focus on the organizations which are the biggest culprits. Per these reports, that means Greek chapters — but more specifically, those chapters overseen by the Inter-Fraternity Council. Hazing is the norm for many fraternities. While I support educating students on hazing prevention, admin-
the same level of scrutiny as other organizations. For example, Inter-Sorority Council chapters are so scrutinized that they are sanctioned for the presence of alcohol at their social events, whereas fraternities have free reign to serve alcohol. If fraternities are found to have committed hazing activities, not only should they face legal consequences, but they should also be prohibited from gathering in any form whatsoever under any name. Increased accountability is necessary — this is
quite literally the difference between life and death. While this investigative action should start with the most likely perpetrators, it shouldn’t be limited to chapters within the IFC. It should extend to all organizations, including sports teams, academic and pre-professional organizations, and even special status organizations as well. At the moment, it seems to me that the University is putting in the bare minimum amount of effort to comply with new legal requirements. They are simply trying to cover themselves so they can say they took action after the passage of Adam’s Law. Meanwhile, they waste students’ time with bland and empty declarations of protection and neglect their responsibility to actually protect students. The reality is that these training sessions will do nothing to combat hazing, aside from making organizations more cautious and ensuring their hazing practices are even more covert. If the Hoos really are against hazing, they must promote accountability and provide real, material consequences for perpetrators. HAILEY ROBBINS is an Opinion Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dorm security cameras do more harm than good Housing and Residence Life’s decision to install security cameras in first-year dorms is morally questionable and puts students’ security at risk Oh, to be a first-year student again — and to experience the eager excitement of the newfound independence that comes with it. I fondly look back on my earliest memories, specifically those made in my dorm. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had the freedom to discover lifelong friends, share many laughs — and exam-induced tears — and even embrace the glories of communal bathrooms. This year, however, first years have had a different experience. And not because of improved COVID-19 guidelines, but because of the impromptu installation of security cameras across residence halls. The decision to install the cameras, without notifying students, does exactly the opposite of their intended purpose — they leave students questioning why the University does not value their privacy, ultimately threatening the security of all students occupying residence halls. Housing and Residence Life’s justification for the camera installation is its report of non-resident entry and $100,000 in billable damages from the 2021-22 academic year. This large sum includes repairs to elevators, exit signs, building graphics and signage and wall damages, to name a few. And while these claims should be met with swift action, adding student surveillance should not be the University’s default
solution. While legal, I find this morally concerning. HRL states the camera locations are limited to public areas, avoiding “any field of view where an expectation of privacy exists.” This simply is not the case. One student noted cameras placed in the “hallways that lead to our bathrooms where we walk in our towels.” I have been there, with my caddy in one hand, holding up my towel with the other as I hobbled to and from the bathroom. While
knownst to this new addition to their University experience — instead notice was given to resident advisors, who were tasked with explaining it after student arrival this summer. Although HRL cites incorporating student feedback and peer review data into its proposal to install cameras, no further details were given. Ironically, its execution has been met with student concerns. This is no justification for the University’s lack of communication to first years — students
of explaining the poor decisions made by salary-earning leaders — and students should not have to deal with these implications either. This is not to say that damaging property should go overlooked. But there are other, more proactive means at our disposal to mitigate this issue — like increased RA training or creating a mandatory module for students that outlines the consequences of vandalism. Placing cameras in hallways is a half-hearted attempt to protect
To monitor young adults and potentially minors in bathroom towels is an invasion of privacy.”
I describe my experience in good humor, there is no reason for adults to have video access to that. First-year students are primarily 18 years old, some not even that. To monitor young adults and potentially minors in bathroom towels is an invasion of privacy. If these scenarios were considered by the University, they did so with little effort — failing to grasp the moral and psychological consequences of their actions. Moreover, students were unbe-
deserve to know about new systems put in place that will impact their day-to-day lives. Adding video surveillance into residence halls chock-full of young-adults already anxious from being submerged in a foreign environment will only increase those anxieties further. Moreover, RAs are not the spokespersons of the University. Their job, as indicated by HRL’s website, is “to create inclusive, welcoming communities” for residents. They should not be tasked with the responsibility
the physical and emotional wellbeing of students in residence halls. The University is quite fond of its Honor Code, which aims to deter lying, cheating or stealing. If the University administration truly sees value in this historic aspect of University life, why not promote student accountability through the Honor Committee and their recently-amended single-sanction policy? Furthermore, The University Judiciary Committee also exists to promote safety and freedom for
students. The University should utilize UJC and its use of proactive sanctions, which aim to not only educate students but prevent inappropriate behavior in the future. It is questionable to me that the University administration felt it exhausted all other options, despite Honor and UJC living right under its nose. By calling on Honor and UJC, these crimes can be addressed while also setting norms of respecting the spaces that we live and grow in for incoming first-year classes to come. We — hopefully — all want the same thing. We want to come away with four years of meaningful experiences and connections, starting with our time in residence halls. Our first year should be filled with feelings of security and excitement, not apprehension and precaution. Surveilling students is the wrong answer to addressing this problem. It is of the utmost importance that the University administration recognize the full implications of their actions, and listen to students to make necessary changes to them. Our first year here on Grounds is at stake. GRACE DURREGER is an Opinion Senior Associate for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12 | www.cavalierdaily.com
The Cavalier Daily
Five Ways to Not Look Like a Noob in Minecraft Over the summer, I found myself with an abundance of free time. Nobody wanted to hire me, all my friends were too busy with their jobs to hang out, it was far too hot to leave the house and the one vacation I was planning to go on got canceled. So, I did what any other sane person would do in this situation — I bought a Minecraft account. If you have heard of the game Minecraft, like me, you initially thought it was called “Mindcraft.” However, the game is apparently less about using your mind and more about mining. When I first opened up the game, I didn’t really have any idea of what to do, so I consulted an expert — my teenage brother. After my brother showed me some of the main controls and told me what I was supposed to do, I got to work. Though I have only been playing Minecraft for a short period of time, I would like to share some tips that any-
one new to Minecraft might benefit from knowing. So, without further adieu, here are the “Five Ways to Not Look Like a Noob in Minecraft.” 1. Make your house in the shape of a square. I, unfortunately, had the genius idea of making my house into a circle. Yes, a circle house in a game made of solely square objects. Now, I was able to eventually get my house into a spherical shape, but trust me on this one, it was so not worth the hassle. 2. Know where things come from. As in, know how to get the blocks you want to build with. Looking through the different materials, I thought it would be a great idea for me to make my house out of Blackstone. Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Wrong. You see, Blackstone may just sound like a normal stone that is black, but apparently, it’s a very special stone that is black. In order to get
Blackstone, you must first find Iron Ore, mine it, make it into a pickaxe, find rare Diamond Ore, mine it, make a Diamond Pickaxe, find a way to mix lava and water, mine the Obsidian that is created by doing so, create a block frame of Obsidian, light it on fire with the Flint and Steel you supposedly should already have by now, go through the portal that is created, find what they call a Bastion while fighting mobs and avoiding lava pools, mine the Blackstone the Bastion is made of and then safely return to your base. Seems like a lot of work for a house that might get blown up by a creeper. Just stick to cobblestone. 3. If you see a dog, it’s not a dog. It’s a wolf. And more importantly, don’t try petting this “dog.” You will probably accidentally hit it and then it will kill you. Just mind your business and walk away. Also, the wolves are just wolves, not werewolves.
That means there is no point in trying to form a relationship with a wolf who you think is going to turn into a superhot dude named Jacob Black. Trust me, Minecraft is not the place to fulfill your Twilight fantasy. On a similar note, if you see a tall, dark figure in the woods, just know it’s not Slenderman, but in fact, his much scarier, fraternal twin brother Enderman. Remember, Enderman is shy, so don’t look at him or he will start to act like Slenderman, if you know what I mean. 4. Make sure to hide your chests on a multiplayer server if you don’t want to get your stuff stolen. The honor code may exist at the University, but in the Minecraft world, it’s anarchy. First come, first serve. But also remember to remember where you hide your chests, or else you will end up demolishing entire biomes trying to figure out where you placed your valuables. And by valuables,
CARTOON Kroger in September Teresa Michael | Cartoonist
I mean the stacks of cobblestone for your circular house. 5. And last, but not least, make sure you put a slash before you type in the “gamemode creative” cheat when playing in survival mode with others. There might not be an honor code in Minecraft, but that doesn’t exempt you from looking like an idiot for not only needing to cheat in the game but also not knowing how to do it properly. And that’s how you go from a Minecraft Noob to a Minecraft Beginner with just five short tips. Hopefully, this helps you get a feel for the game and stops you from embarrassing yourself in front of other crafters. Trust me, they’ll never let your mistakes go — I know from experience. WARDAH KAMRAN is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at email@example.com
The Cavalier Daily
Thursday, September 29, 2022 | 13
HEALTH & SCIENCE
U.Va. researchers lead Antarctica ‘Doomsday’ Glacier study University environmental science researchers involved in international observational study recently published by Nature Geoscience Jacob Woodford | Staff Writer Two years of research led by University researchers into sediment samples obtained from the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica — also referred to as the “Doomsday Glacier” — came to its conclusion earlier this month with the publishing of an article by Nature Geoscience. This study revealed that the Thwaites Glacier has retreated twice as rapidly as expected. With similar retreat events feasible to occur again, our coastlines are directly impacted by the fate of this glacier. While conducting this research, the University collaborated with other American colleges as well as international organizations, all working under the Thwaites Offshore Research project within the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. The project obtained its data through a series of three trips to the glacier between 2020 and 2022, with the first voyage embarking in January 2020. On this initial voyage were graduate Arts & Sciences student Allison Lepp and graduate Arts & Sciences student Santiago Munevar Garcia, who spent two months on the research vessel studying the seafloor surrounding the glacier and collecting samples to send to laboratories for analysis. Lepp is a doctoral candidate studying Thwaites Glacier meltwater and Garcia is a doctoral candidate studying ice stream sensitivity in subglacial topography. “Working on an Antarctic research expedition was an incredible experience,” Lepp said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “It’s a fast-paced environment where science is ongoing every hour of the day in order to maximize the time. The diverse researchers present … promoted a collaborative and interdisciplinary learning environment, much like the Department of Environmental Sciences at U.Va.” While the Antarctic data collection was a vital step in determining the fate of the Thwaites Glacier, the largest conclusions could only be drawn after extensive analysis was conducted into close to 100 sediment cores brought back to the University from the research vessel. These cores were analyzed in labs belonging to the University and other organizations asso-
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ciated with the THOR project. Researchers studied physical and chemical properties to determine the history of both the sediments and the glacier itself. “With the sediment cores, each university got different samples and is doing something different with them,” Garcia said. “So at U.Va., Allison is the one working with sediments and she’s taking a more chemical approach of the sediments with pore water analyses. And then other universities — like Alabama — are in charge of carbon dating to get an estimate of the ages of the sediment … So there’s lots of different methods that each group is using.” The data collected from this analysis was then used to connect trends between the retreating events of other Antarctic glaciers and the signs observed in the Thwaites in order to determine the causes behind its retreat. In a 2022 paper led by Lepp, the sediment cores were used to determine that signs of subglacial meltwater drainage in other glaciers was consistent with the retreating in the Thwaites Glacier,
suggesting this drainage is a factor behind its melting. While the melting of any glaciers can impact the environment, the Thwaites Glacier’s retreating event is particularly significant. With the single glacier contributing to 4 percent of global sea level rise, this particular glacier poses a greater risk to the coastlines than other individual glaciers in its surrounding area. “The Thwaites Glacier is of high scientific priority and concern because of its rapid rate of change in recent decades,” Lepp said. “The likelihood that future retreat can be expected, and the sea-level rise that would be associated with future retreat. The Graham et al. (2022) paper demonstrates that Thwaites has retreated twice as rapidly as we have observed today in the past 200 years, and implies similar rapid retreat events are feasible in the future.” The impacts of the Thwaites Glacier’s retreating event are not only felt in the Antarctic. The rise in sea level will affect both coasts of the U.S., with the
Northern Hemisphere in particular experiencing higher sea levels along its coasts. This effect, which poses a direct threat to Virginia coastlines and other areas of the Eastern Seaboard, is expanded upon by Lauren Simkins, assistant professor of environmental sciences and co-author of the Nature Geoscience paper. “Because adding water to the oceans is not like adding water to a bathtub, actual sea levels in any particular location can deviate from global mean sea level,” Simkins said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Adding water to the oceans from Thwaites Glacier and the larger West Antarctic Ice Sheet will result in higher sea levels along the United States East and West coasts, and generally relatively higher in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere.” This is especially prevalent in Virginia, as Hampton Roads is the second largest population center at risk from sea level rise in the country. Worsened by the issue of sinking land, the sea level in parts of this area is rising by
as much as one inch every four years. As the Thwaites Glacier melts, this problem will worsen at an alarming rate. While the results of this research on the Thwaites Glacier are daunting, instead of viewing this retreating glacier as an inevitable disaster waiting to happen, Simkins chooses to focus on the ways that these projections can be improved. “I believe the scientific community needs to better communicate their findings and the importance of seemingly far-off places and problems to broader audiences,” Simkins said. “However, this isn’t something that we are explicitly trained to do but should feel a responsibility to do so.” Simkins hopes that future research questions will be solved in more resourceful ways by using datasets that have already been collected and working across disciplinary lines in order to achieve more than what individuals believe to be possible.
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The Cavalier Daily
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
CGI influencing raises important ethical questions Digital beings teetering on the edge of the uncanny valley are taking social media by storm Mary Kurbanov | Arts & Entertainment Editor
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In a largely digital era, through the power of influencers online, brands promote themselves on social media and advertise their products — often via perfect people with perfect bodies and perfect lives. As technology and advertising techniques develop in parallel, so does the strangeness in influencer promotion — now, advertisers are ushering in the era of the CGI influencer. Also known as virtual influencers, these pseudo-human moguls are fascinating technological creations taking over social media marketing. Their entire existence is based around the wants and needs of the advertisers behind them — whether that means increasing their relatability, solidifying their brand image or moving away from depending on flawed, problematic creators. In Media Studies Prof. Allison Wright’s eyes, virtual influencers are great for brands, especially through saving them money in innovative ways.
“It’s a lot cheaper in a lot of ways to hire a virtual influencer,” Wright said. “You’re not paying for travel, for instance — you’re not paying for the time or the money it takes to scout locations, to change clothes, hair and makeup. In a very simple, streamlined way, looking at budgets, virtual influencers can be a lot cheaper. I think brands have a pretty good understanding of that.” But from the user perspective, certain moral issues arise, especially in what CGI influencers should be allowed to do or say. For example, take FN Meka, an AI creation from Anthony Martini and Brandon Le. FN Meka was built to be an artificially intelligent rapper, and was recently “sacked” from his deal with Capitol Records due to backlash from activist non-profit Industry Blackout. According to the group, FN Meka was a prime example of digital blackface, in which an online persona upholds caricatures and stereotypes of Black experiences through their content.
Even more concerning, the lyrics, tempo and songwriting style that FN Meka was programmed to produce were derived through an algorithm made by creators who were not Black. For third-year College student Miyanna Bell, the creators’ attempt to use Black culture for their own gain is crossing a line. “I definitely think there are boundaries,” Bell said. “If you’re not a part of a community, don’t be speaking out about the community … It goes back to the question — do you really know the hardships [and] the complicated obstacles these different communities have to go through?” Another famed virtual influencer, Lil Miquela — who has worked with the likes of Calvin Klein and Prada — has also been under fire in recent years. In 2019, creators Trevor McFedries and Sara Decou had the socialite release a vlog claiming she had been sexually assaulted, enraging thousands with her creators’ attempts to make her seem as human as pos-
sible. According to Assoc. Media Studies Prof. William Little, Lil Miquela’s story, and perhaps the other stories of virtual influencers, are a calculated move to make the virtual influencer — and in turn the brand — more approachable. “[The creators will] pull back a little bit from this idea of trying to make the virtual influencer look so perfect, and what they do is humanize her by giving her a story,” Little said. “It’s to make her seem relatable. There’s this perfect sweet spot where the influencer is above and beyond, but also just like me in some ways.” Though virtual influencers and the teams behind them can make mistakes, their problems can be ironed out, their personalities redefined, aspects of them manipulated to appeal to their consumer and to continue the influencer’s revenue stream. They have no real flaws, except the ones bestowed upon them by their creators. In that sense, their perfection might
feel disconcerting, especially in the view of potentially resembling the CGI influencer. “I think a lot of what virtual influencers do, especially in the world of fashion, and in the world of beauty, is present an unrealistic expectation of what someone should look like,” Wright said. “We are talking about a visual media, and so whether or not that image is of a real person matters.” When a virtual influencer is both aspirational and completely fabricated, the implications of desiring to be them are frightening, Little said. “It somewhat begs the question — if the follower wants to be like the virtual influencer, does that mean to some degree the follower aspires to have a life that is closer to a machine-like life than a flesh and blood life?” Little said. According to Little, when virtual influencers are online doing their jobs by influencing masses of people, they can infiltrate the minds and ideations of their followers in ways that are unprecedented and more dangerous than others before them, so much so that viewers’ perception of imagining a perfect life could forego all humanness. Of course, the questions raised by the likes of Little and Wright are not yet definitive, and the ways that CGI influencing can affect audiences, consciously or unconsciously, is still uncertain. What is certain is that the prevalence of virtual influencers, both in the marketing sphere and in conversations of social media users, is growing. Now more than ever, digital natives, students and educators alike are finding more than a few issues with what creators of virtual influencers should be allowed to post and the impact that will have on followers in the long run. Wright sees the realities of human life and social structure as a main reason why ethical questions about virtual influencers are even being raised in the first place. “Humans do a lot of work behind the scenes [with virtual influencers],” Wright said. “And it’s hard to escape the ideas of capitalism, the ideas of white supremacy, all of these systemic problems that exist in our real lives, in virtual reality.” At any rate, it seems CGI influencing is a captivating peculiarity that online audiences will be forced to think about –– and interact with –– in the times ahead. Whether their existence is a blessing or a tragedy has yet to be revealed.
Thursday, September 29, 2022 | 15
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Olivia Wilde’s ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ lacks relevance Wilde’s sophomore effort does not live up to its ideological ambitions Sophie Hay | Staff Writer There is something deeply wrong with Victory, California. Unfortunately, director Olivia Wilde doesn’t know what it is. In Wilde’s sophomore effort “Don’t Worry Darling,” Alice, played by Florence Pugh, and Jack, played by Harry Styles, are a picture-perfect young couple situated in a picture-perfect mid-century community. Each morning, Jack races off to his undefined engineering job at Victory headquarters, a secretive organization whose function is unknown to his wife. He leaves Alice to a pleasant, if repetitive, routine of shopping, swimming, ballet lessons and domestic chores, eagerly preparing for their reunion upon his return each night. But Alice realizes Victory community founder Frank, played by Chris Pine, is keeping secrets, and she slowly uncovers the menacing reality of her pretty, predictable surroundings. Pugh’s performance as Alice is one of the film’s greatest strengths. She carries “Don’t
Worry Darling” with admirable confidence and strikes just the right tone as Alice’s understanding of her situation develops and her terror grows. As Jack, Styles is competent, but not an adequate scene partner for an actor as skilled as Pugh. The film is undeniably visually beautiful, with Katie Byron’s production design and Arianne Phillips’ costumes rendering the 1950s era in gorgeous detail. Wilde also creates some striking imagery through the visions that inform Alice she is being deceived. She sees hypnotic hallucinations of synchronized dancers and undergoes bizarre experiences, at one point being pressed into a pane of glass like an insect on display as the walls of her home literally close in. Unfortunately, these visuals are largely meaningless. Seeing Alice wrap her head in cling film is memorable, but ultimately disappoints when the significance of the unnerving act is never made clear. Wilde appears to drop hints as to the reality of Alice’s
situation early in the film, but when the truth is revealed near the end, it becomes apparent that these hints have little meaningful plot function beyond inducing a sense of agitation. The film’s thesis is likewise weakly executed. It is clear that “Don’t Worry Darling” wants to be a biting condemnation of misogyny and its sinister manifestations, but its politics are so obvious that it fails to offer any new or necessary insight into the issue. Of course Victory’s retrograde patriarchy turns out to be a bad thing — this is nothing groundbreaking. Furthermore, perpetrators of inequality within the film are so exaggerated in their evil that any effort to engage with covert displays of sexism is totally flattened. The misogyny is overt and grotesque, and the film lacks both subtlety and a meaningful understanding of how gender dynamics have functioned in the past and continue to function in the present. One of the film’s greatest
weaknesses is its disinterest in understanding its setting on a deep level. Mid-century suburbia is easily unsettling in and of itself, but its power to unnerve is largely ignored in favor of showy clues that Alice is being deceived as to the nature of her environment. Alice finds that an eggshell is missing its contents and looks on as a plane disappears from sight in the middle of the desert, but we don’t see Alice struggle with the passive gender role she plays or the bore of her daily routine — in fact, if you’re not put off by the uncanny homogeneity, her routine looks sort of enviable. Alice’s pretty life looks too appealing. She is being lied to, but the oppressive manifestations of the lie aren’t sufficiently visible within Victory’s gender hierarchy. This detracts from the film’s ideological weight. What is the point of the setting if it’s not going to be interrogated? The film’s production and press tour were fraught with drama and reports of strained rela-
LEXIE GAGNON | THE CAVALIER DAILY
tionships between the cast and creative teams. While the quality of the film itself deserves to be evaluated independently of behind-the-scenes issues, its few merits aren’t strong enough to withstand the controversy surrounding its release. Overall, “Don’t Worry Darling” does not live up to its own ambitions. Wilde delivers a redundant social statement through an incoherent plot, rarely delving deeper than Victory’s shiny surface.
Heartwood Books is a distinct part of Charlottesville The used bookstore stands as a monument to the Corner’s history, student life and the evolution of the book industry Kennedy Moore | Staff Writer “Old Staff, New Variant — please wear a mask” reads a paper sign on the front door. Stacks of dusty paperbacks and cloth-bound volumes surround the front desk. Copies of “Das Kapital” and books on postmodern feminism lie next to biographies of Lincoln and histories of the U.S. Constitution. A stool in front of the cash register bears the logo of the Salem Red Sox, a Virginia minor league baseball team. Everything about Heartwood Books on Elliewood Avenue evokes a sense of the past and the unique identity of its owner Paul Collinge. Customers can usually find Collinge rearranging books, giving a recommendation and, if he’s not wearing a mask, offering a welcoming smile. Collinge has run the store with his friend Art Collier for nearly forty years, providing a source of community for both its customers and employees. Second-year College student MaeEllen Megginson enjoys asking Collinge and Collier for book recommendations and likes the small-town feel that the two friends bring to the store. “It’s nice to see the same faces there
every time,” Megginson said. “It’s one of the things that makes a big school feel smaller.” Collinge started dealing in books in 1969 while he was a student at Georgetown University. He studied philosophy before dropping out to help start a non-profit bookstore that specialized in anti-Vietnam War material. Eventually, he moved to Charlottesville and opened Heartwood Books in 1975. The store still reflects Collinge’s philosophical and political bent. Shoppers will find an eclectic mix of books lining the aisles, including older academic and political books that are hard to find in mainstream bookstores. Collinge says students often read famous books by classic authors like Virginia Woolf or Walter Scott in their courses, but could benefit from reading their more obscure works as well. “I tell people sometimes, we specialize in books that you should have read, but didn’t,” Collinge said. Aside from the countless novels and pieces of literature housed in the store, Heartwood Books also holds emblems of Charlottesville’s past. A
paper flier near the front door shows what Elliewood Avenue looked like back when the bookstore first opened. The flier shows a sketch of a quaint tree-lined street with student housing and a parking lot where Crozet and the Biltmore now stand. Collinge remembers the Corner having more of a small-town feel where the University would mix with the surrounding area. Locals would shop for groceries or go to the laundromat and stop at stores like Heartwood Books along the way. Over the years, however, Collinge says that the Corner has become more separate from the Charlottesville community. “It gradually became more of a captive of the University,” Collinge said. “And the local townspeople [don’t] come here.” The 1975 flier also shows two other bookstores that have since closed, part of a national trend of bookstores closing. From 1998 to 2019, the number of brick-and-mortar bookstores in America has been roughly cut in half. “Most of that is because [of] a big drop in the actual reading of books,” Collinge said. “And number two,
there’s a feeling…that you can always get the book.” Collinge says online booksellers have made it cheap and easy for students to find required books, and made it less likely for students to search for books they haven’t heard of. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was forced to move out of the store and significantly downsize the business. “[The store] really is, at this point, kind of limping along,” Collinge said, “But you know, I make a little bit of money on it. And Art, who has worked for me for about 40 years, still has a job. But, you know, I’m 73, and he’s 69. So we’re not going to do this for much longer.” Heartwood’s rare book business has been hit especially hard, according to Collinge. In spite of this challenge, he hopes to recoup rare book sales moving forward, as this is the part of the business he has been most passionate about over the years. “I’ve had a lot of interesting stuff,” Collinge said. “I helped handle a collection that had the first printing of Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, which was very rare.”
While the outlook for independent booksellers like Heartwood Books may be bleak, Collinge says young people are still reading a lot. National polls reflect this trend, showing that general readership has declined over the last decade but remained more stable than the number of closing bookstores may suggest. Collinge believes most of his sales are now driven by young women who are students at the University. In that sense, student purchasing power seems like it will significantly impact the fate of the store in the future. Like Megginson suggests, Heartwood is not just a charming novelty but an important part of student life. The store offers a home for used books that may otherwise be thrown away and exposes students to books they would not often encounter in their courses. So whether students are shopping for a required book for class, picking out pleasure reading for the fall, or purchasing a rare book as a gift, Heartwood Books continues to be an integral part of the Charlottesville community.
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GR E AT M IND S PUT TO G OOD USE . T H EO O’NEILL
Astronomy Physics and Statistics Goldwater Scholar