Thursday, November 10, 2022

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The Cavalier Daily

Vol. 133, Issue 7


Thursday, November 10, 2022

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This week in-brief CD News Staff


Ryan and Couric discussed Couric’s time at the University, her memoir “Going There” and career, among other topics.



The Cavalier Daily

Katie Couric announces $1 million scholarship donation in conversation with University President Jim Ryan Cavalier Daily and Class of 1979 alumna Katie Couric was interviewed by University President Jim Ryan in front of a standing-room only crowd at Alumni Hall Friday evening. The pair discussed Couric’s time at the University, her memoir “Going There” and career, among other topics. Couric also announced a $1 million donation to the University, which will go towards the creation of the Blue Ridge Scholarship for disadvantaged students. Couric was the co-anchor of the NBC TODAY Show from 1991 to 2006 and later became the first woman to solo anchor a network evening newscast as anchor and managing editor of CBS evening news from 2006 to 2011. Couric’s New York Times bestselling memoir “Going There” was published last year. “The University of Virginia is such a special place for me,” Couric said. “I wanted to give back and I have been grossly overpaid for years — it’s so much more fun to be able to give back when you’re alive instead of after you die, and I’m really excited to help support some students here.” Couric’s donation was matched by the University, meaning the scholarship will begin with a $2 million fund. Couric began her time at the University just five years after it became fully coeducational. While a student, Couric majored in American Studies and wrote for The Cavalier Daily. She also served as a resident advisor for three years, lived on the Lawn as Senior Resident and was a member of Tri-Delta Sorority. Couric emphasized the importance of encouraging young people to pursue journalism professionally and ensuring that truly accurate information reaches the public, noting that the landscape of journalism has changed drastically from when she began her career. “Journalism is such an important profession — it’s so critically important, particularly what we’re seeing happening in our country, where it’s post-truth,” Couric said.


Organizers of the 19th annual Pancakes for Parkinson’s aim to raise $75,000 for Michael J. Fox Foundation Approximately 150 volunteers and 1,000 attendees filled South Lawn to flip and enjoy pancakes at the 19th annual Pancakes for Parkinson’s. Held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., student organizers of the event raised money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research Parkinson’s disease and raise awareness. Pancakes for Parkinson’s event is a yearly pancake breakfast run by students. In addition to complimentary pancakes, there was a silent auction and raffle with prizes as well as a variety of musical performances by many a capella groups on Grounds, including The Virginia Gentlemen, the Hullabahoos, The Virginia Belles, No Tones, The Silhouettes and The Flying V’s. Before the event Saturday, the organizers connected with local businesses and families for sponsorships. In an email statement to The Cavalier Daily, Anna Ward and Parker Kreiser, Pancakes for Parkinson’s co-chairs and fourth-year College students, said this year they aim to raise $75,000 — compared to $50,000 last year — for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. “We are already more than halfway there, so we are hoping the event brings in a lot of donations,” Ward said. As donations are still being made to the organization, Kreiser said that the total would be released in the next few weeks on their website, Facebook and Instagram page. Ward and Kreiser said that they are thankful to the people and organizations who have helped them put on a successful event that serves not only the University but also the Charlottesville community. “The Parkinson’s community has taught us so much about the disease and helped us improve our awareness efforts,” Ward said. “University staff are always willing to offer a helping hand or advice. We are so thankful for everyone’s hard work and generosity.”

Honor Committee sets date for next Constitutional Convention meeting, discusses lack of Engineering representation The Honor Committee met briefly Sunday to discuss its Honor Constitutional Convention meeting Wednesday and a need for another Engineering representative on the Committee. Following a roll call, 15 members marked present and the meeting reached quorum, meaning the Committee could vote on constitutional matters. During this week’s Convention meeting, delegates will conduct an analysis of the current constitution to determine what works well and what needs to be revised. The group will also clearly determine an Honor offense. Following last week’s meeting, no additional meetings of the Convention are open to the public. Rep. Kevin Lin, third-year Engineering student, said there is a need for more representation on the Committee from the School of Engineering. Currently, Lin is the only representative from the school. “It was brought up during the Constitutional Convention that a lot of cases come from the School of Engineering and I’m the only rep here,” Lin said. “So there’s been talks [with the] Engineering Council about getting a representative. There’s people interested.” The Committee also discussed upcoming events to increase interactions between the Committee and students and improve the relationship between Honor and students across Grounds. Rep. Hannah Shapiro, fourth-year College student, gave a brief overview of two of the events that are currently being planned. The first event involves handing donuts out at Clark Hall to increase the visibility of Honor. The second event included giving out snacks and coffee to students studying for finals in Clemens Library. “The plan is to have a laptop out that way students who walk by, if they want to, can get interaction with Honor [by leaving contact information],” Shapiro said. The Committee would use their contact information to notify them of any upcoming events or initiatives concerning Honor.

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Bob Good defeats Josh Throneburg in re-election bid Students and community members headed to the polls Nov. 8 to cast their ballots in the 2022 midterm election Avery Donmoyer & Caroline Yu | News Writers Republican incumbent Bob Good defeated Democratic nominee Josh Throneburg in the race for Virginia’s fifth district for the House of Representatives seat. The race was called by the Associated Press at 9:04 p.m. — Good received 57.9 percent of the vote and Throneburg received 42.1 percent. “I would like to thank the voters of the 5th district for giving me the honor of continuing to represent you in Congress,” Good said in a statement released Tuesday. “It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to serve as your representative these past two years, and I am truly grateful for your continued support.” The fifth congressional district includes parts of Albemarle County and Charlottesville as well as Louisa, Amherst and Fluvanna. Good defeated Dr. Cameron Webb, University alumnus and professor of medicine, with 52.4 percent of the vote in the 2020 election. According to Good’s campaign statement, he decided to run for reelection to push back against illegal immigration, “leftist indoctrination” in schools and “reckless” spending by Democrats in office. In 2021, Good was one of 147 Republicans who voted to reject election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, and has previously cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics and professor of politics, has characterized Good as one of the most conservative members of Congress. Throneburg ran on a platform that included combating the climate crisis, reinvesting in Virginia towns and addressing prejudicial systemic issues as his top priorities. “I will pray for Bob Good, and pray that he can rise to the challenge of being a representative who helps these people build the world they seek,” Throneburg said in a statement conceding the race. Polls opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 7 p.m. across the state. Students living on and around Grounds voted at a variety of locations, including Slaughter Recreation Center, Alumni Hall and Venable Elementary. Student Council offered free rides to the polls for students through Charlottesville Yellow Cab Services for early voting and on Election Day itself. Other student organizations also engaged in get-out-the-vote efforts in the


This year marked the first time the University canceled classes for undergraduate students on Election Day.

days leading up to the election, such as voter registration drives and phone banking. This year marked the first time the University canceled classes for all undergraduate students on Election Day in an effort to remove barriers that might otherwise prevent students from voting. The decision was made after Student Council advocated for easier access to voting for students. This year’s election was also the first time Virginia has allowed same-day voter registration, allowing voters to either register for the first time or change their registration location on the spot at any polling place. Same-day voter registration was championed by the Democratic Party in 2020 as part of a sweeping set of reforms. Fourth-year Architecture student Teo Blazquez said he forgot to change his voting registration

to Charlottesville before the deadline, and the new same-day voter registration law allowed him to still be able to vote. “I think what changed a lot this year was that you can register on the same day that you vote,” Blazquez said. “Also having no school I think helped a lot too.” Despite same-day registration, turnout this year in Virginia and Charlottesville was lower than in 2018. Approximately 2,991,000 people voted in this year’s midterm elections, while 3,374,382 voted in 2018, a 13 percent decrease. The City of Charlottesville reported that 14,481 people voted versus 20,490 people in the 2018 midterm elections. Vote counts are still being finalized, and turnout is approximate. Carissa Kochan, president of University Democrats and thirdyear Batten student, said Virginia Democrats have continued to advocate for voter accessibility

expansion. “Our expectations for turnout in majority-student precincts were exceeded today,” Kochan said. “Young voters were important today and will be especially important as we turn our attention to the 2023 election cycle.” College Republicans did not respond to a request for comment. Second-year College student Avery O’Kane said the University provides its students with resources that help students gain access to voting, which makes it easy to participate in elections. “I think it’s more a matter of effort than accessibility, at least at this school,” O’Kane said. First-year students said they were excited to be able to participate in the electoral process. “I’m a first-time voter, so I wanted to come out here and make sure I was doing my part, no matter how small it is,” First-year College student Carson Diggs

said. At Venable Elementary, community members Luciano Mateo and George Johnson volunteered for Good’s campaign. The pair listed border control and Second Amendment rights as the issues they viewed as most important this year. “Every citizen sort of has this civic duty as an American, so no matter what side you go on, I think it’s important to practice that because we are privileged to be Americans at the end of the day,” Johnson said. Throneburg was supported by community members Cathryn McCue and Christa Bennett, who said climate change and women’s reproductive rights were most important to them. “I’ve had … a better feeling about being a part of a democracy this year than I ever have had before when I just show up to vote,” McCue said.

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Advisory Council members share motivations, goals The new initiative has been met with both praise and criticism as the community awaits the Council’s first meeting Mimi Lamarre & Grace Thrush | Staff Writers


According to Bowen, Ryan’s idea for the Student Advisory Council has been in the works “for some time.”

New members of University President Jim Ryan’s Student Advisory Council named student well-being and representation for transfer students as their reasons for applying to the Council. Members plan to improve University communication with students, provide better financial support for student health-related matters and strengthen the relationships between individual schools in the Council’s first year. Ryan announced the names of the twelve members who comprise his new Student Advisory Council Oct. 17. The Council includes 10 third and fourth-year undergraduate students and two graduate or professional students — thirdyear College students Hamza Aziz, Zach Hallock-Diaz, Lauren Horan, Jonathan Marter and Lizzie Weschler, fourth-year College students Grant Blumberg and Carlos Rodriguez, fourth-year Commerce students Nellie Philpott and Tianxiao Yao, fourth-

year Education student Quana Dennis, graduate Engineering student Russell Hawes and Law student Annie Somerville. Jonathan Bowen, special advisor to the president for external affairs, said the Council will have its first formal meeting Monday and will begin holding regular monthly meetings next semester. “This is a pilot year for the new Council, and President Ryan plans to reassess at the end of this first year,” Bowen said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. Marter was one of the students selected to serve on the Council and said he looks forward to providing Ryan with input on how his decisions will affect students. “I applied to the Student Advisory Council because during my time at U.Va., I have been on the receiving end of many decisions made directly by administrators,” Marter said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “From students’ past reactions to regulations during [COVID-19] to

the demonstrations surrounding the release of information about University incidents, we see that there are areas for improving the well-being of students on Grounds.” Marter said he hopes to improve communication between the University and the student body, financial support for student health issues and cohesiveness between different schools during his time on the Council. Bowen said Council members will not serve as representatives for their respective schools. Instead, they will participate in discussions with Ryan “on issues related to the student experience” and serve as “open lines of communication.” Dennis, another student appointed to the Council, said that as a transfer and first-generation student, he hopes to help students with similar paths to the University. “I want to be a sounding board for transfer students, and

I would like to increase the engagement and presence of transfer students, especially students from the Virginia Community College System,” Dennis said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. Ryan announced the Council’s creation in an Instagram post Sept. 12, and applications were due Sept. 23. Comments on the post praised Ryan’s decision, and gave examples of potential topics for the Council to explore — including first-year student advising, diversity initiatives and more. Ryan’s idea for the Council has been in the works “for some time,” according to Bowen, mirroring many of the student-outreach initiatives which Ryan has undertaken during his time at the University — such as Runs with Jim, office hours and Lunches on the Lawn. Not all members of the student body are convinced of the need for a Council, however. Ceci Cain, president of Stu-

dent Council and graduate student, said she wonders why Ryan wants to establish a new group to advise him on student matters when Student Council’s representative body already exists. “The Student Council representative body already is and has been, for decades, serving as the advocacy group that President Ryan is seeking here,” Cain said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Representative elections are already baked into the long-standing system of student self-governance.” Cain proposed that the Student Council representative body could also serve as an advisory board to Ryan as a way to honor students and their agency. Bowen said Student Council remains an important resource for the president, adding that the Advisory Council is not intended to replace or replicate Student Council, but to act as another way to build relationships with students. “Student Council is an invaluable resource and sounding board for President Ryan, and that’s why, over the years, he has continued to meet with the StudCo president on a regular basis,” Bowen said. When planning the Advisory Council, Bowen said the office wanted to give “a broad range of students” the opportunity to get involved, not those who were “already established in leadership positions.” “With an application process that was open to all third and fourth-year students and graduate and professional students, we think we have formed a council that complements — rather than duplicates — other student leadership groups and will bring a broad and diverse view of the student experience to the group’s conversations,” Bowen said. Still, Cain said she agrees that students need to be better integrated into the University’s decision-making process. “I do hope that this Council is productive in bringing forth the true and diverse student experience and does not simply serve to undermine pre-existing student-run institutions,” Cain said. “It’s also my hope that President Ryan’s engagement with student issues begin, and do not end, with this Council.”

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New Dean Acampora names student success top priority Christa Acampora succeeds Provost Ian Baucom as Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Lexi Baker & Merrill Hart | Senior News Staff Christa Acampora found her love for higher education during 20 years of teaching across multiple states and, after expanding into administrative roles, joined the University in August as the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A native Virginian, Acampora found the mountains calling her back home to professors and faculty at the University — where she hopes to foster a sense of community among students. Acampora succeeds Provost Ian Baucom, who spent eight years in the role. The dean is responsible for overseeing both the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, along with interacting with alumni, facilitating research development and recruiting faculty. As a first-generation college student who graduated with a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Hollins University, Acampora later obtained her masters and PhD from Emory University. Acampora said her time in the classroom proved key to her student-based approach to education. “I learned more from my students than I could have ever imagined teaching them,” Acampora said. During Acampora’s undergraduate years at Hollins University, she received a grant to study the papers of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which detail the separation of church and state. This experience — along with growing up in Virginia — created a tie between Acampora and the University. “I already had strong attachment to U.Va. in particular, and then the opportunity to lead the School of Arts and Sciences, the

heart and soul of the institution, that was just irresistible,” Acampora said. During her time at the University, Acampora plans to prioritize student success over administrative processes in a large university. She said that it can be easy to get lost in the idea that the University is just a business and forget that the main point is to educate students. “Put the student experience at the center,” Acampora said. “[We exist] really to deliver the very best outcomes for our staff, our faculty and our students.” The lasting power of the University experience on students’ lives, Acampora said, is evident in her conversations with alumni, and sometimes even with whole families that remain connected with the school. “Finding ways of amplifying [stories and connections] and making that accessible to as many people as possible so that U.Va. continues to have that special place of pride in people’s hearts and minds — that’s great and important work that lies ahead,” Acampora said. Prior to arriving at the University, Acampora was a faculty member at Hunter College, City University of New York and Emory. Additionally, she held the title of associate provost for faculty affairs and research at Hunter and most recently she was deputy provost at Emory. During her time at Emory, Acampora played a vital role in creating a comprehensive faculty data system — which includes information from faculty and staff — and shaping the first Office of Faculty Affairs at Emory. Acampora said she hopes to bring the same attention to faculty at the University.

One prominent issue among faculty members is pay. At this August’s Board of Visitors meetings, Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis described a “war on talent” in reference to high vacancy rates among faculty and staff. These vacancies are the result of less competitive pay — the University currently sits at the 29th percentile of competitors in terms of faculty salary. Acampora said that in conversations with professors, she has noticed both concerns with pay along with a desire for more connections. “Ultimately, U.Va. will have to be a place that’s harder to leave than it is to stay, and the most talented people want to stay where they’re surrounded by other talent and where they feel like they’re supported to do their best work,” Acampora said. Acampora also said the University could improve conditions for professors by supporting a strong graduate student

community that can participate in research with faculty. In addition to faculty retention, Acampora worked to improve the advising process at Emory by helping to create a center that incorporated academic advising and career services. When faced with recent student dissatisfaction with University advising, she said she plans to utilize this previous experience. A survey conducted last spring by Josipa Roska, associate provost for undergraduate education and asst. sociology professor, found that 60 percent of undeclared students were satisfied with the quality of advising, compared to 80 percent of students who had declared a major. Students are randomly assigned to an advisor as a first year and receive a major advisor in the relevant department after declaring. In a similar vein, Acampora hopes to improve advising at

the University by looking at the whole student experience and removing any bureaucratic roadblocks. “I’m really keen to take on advising, but I hope that we’ll have a process that helps us take a more holistic view on what students need and what their aspirations are for how they come to the University,” Acampora said. Ultimately, Acampora said she is glad to be back in a student-facing role. She said that as dean, the responsibilities allow for much more time interacting with students than in the role of provost. “One of the big draws for me and taking on a dean’s role instead of a provost’s role was getting to spend more time with students and just having been in the classroom for decades I crave those experiences,” Acampora said.




















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The Cavalier Daily


Top 10 things to bring to a Friendsgiving party The key to a successful Friendsgiving party is good friends and good food Katrina Samaan | Top 10 Writer

As Thanksgiving approaches, there are a lot of holiday plans to prepare for between traveling and pre-break midterms. But, before the long-awaited Thanksgiving break arrives, it is time to gather your close friends and have the annual “what are you thankful for?” conversation around the dinner table. If you are hosting or attending a Friendsgiving, a casual Thanksgiving dinner with your friends, here are some helpful ideas of things to bring to the table.

1. Charcuterie board

Hosting a Friendsgiving in college means that not everyone is going to arrive on time. Having a charcuterie board is a great appetizer to fill your friends’ appetites while people start trickling in. This way, everyone has something to munch on while waiting to dig in on the amazing food that is to come. It does not have to be one of those elaborate boards that you see on Pinterest — consider buying some cheese, crackers, salami and maybe a few grapes and you will have an appetizing charcuterie board.

4. Board games

After a delicious dinner and the food coma that will most likely ensue, you might need a fun game to play so that everyone can relax and digest the tremendous amount of food that was devoured. If you have a smaller group of friends, try playing a card game or a classic like Monopoly. If it is a bigger group, you can try playing interactive games like Heads Up or Mafia.

5. Dessert

As we all know, dessert at any Thanksgiving dinner is essential. Baking or buying a pie is a tasty original, but consider spicing the dessert up with some unique fall recipes, like apple cinnamon blondies, pumpkin spice oreos or cinnamon rolls. If you decide to make your Friendsgiving a potluck style, you can have some of your friends bring in different assortments of dessert options, so that you can have something sweet for everyone.

7. Decor

Set the tone for your Friendsgiving soirée with some creative decor so you can celebrate the holiday in style. One idea is to buy some Thanksgiving-themed paper plates, which are not only cute, but also make for an easy clean-up. Or you may even try purchasing some pumpkin scented candles. You can also include some party favors, like turkey hats, so that you and your friends can make the dinner seem as festive as possible.

8. A gift for the host

If you are not hosting Friendsgiving at your place, consider buying a gift for whoever is. Whether it is a contribution to the meal or a bouquet of flowers, think of something simple but sweet to give to the host. A lot of preparation goes into hosting Friendsgiving, so getting something for the host is a nice way of saying thank you.

6. Specialty cocktail

A great way to make this gathering of friends special is to serve a creative drink that commemorates the occasion. You can look for recipe ideas on Pinterest or come up with one of your very own. Some of my personal favorites are hot spice buttered rum and warm apple cider mulled with cinnamon for a virgin cocktail. Of course, for those who do not or cannot drink, you can make a mocktail version with some simple substitutions.



9. Comfortable clothing

2. Polaroid camera

This is one of the most important ways to prepare for Friendsgiving. You want to be able to move around and eat a lot of food while being cute and comfortable. If it is a potluck style dinner, you know there will be a grand array of food options — appetizers, the main entree and of course, dessert. So grab your most expandable pair of pants and get ready to eat — a lot.

You can always take photos on any person’s phone and send it around, but nothing beats a hard copy version to hang on a wall or put in a scrapbook. A great way to keep your Friendsgiving memories forever is to bring a polaroid or disposable camera. You can take candid photos or make a Thanksgiving-themed photo backdrop for your friends to pose with so you can have digital photos to remember the night.

10. Turkey

3. Playlist

If you are anything like me, you have a playlist for everything — pre-games, workout sessions and even holidays. A social event is never complete without a playlist, and making one for Friendsgiving could be a fun way to get in the holiday spirit. One approach to making a Friendsgiving playlist is to have all your friends contribute to a shared playlist on Spotify. Playing some great tunes during Friendsgiving is a fantastic way to liven the celebration.


Do not worry — I did not forget. The most necessary accompaniment to a successful Friendsgiving — the turkey. Now, in my experience, a homemade turkey is better than a store-bought one.If you would like to take the store-bought route, some options are Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter and Costco. If you want a vegan option, there are some great turkey alternatives online as well. If you are up for the challenge, consider teaming up with the best cook in your friend group and cooking the turkey.

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Iron Paffles brings an interesting twist to the classic sandwich This unique restaurant is sure to impress the adventurous foodie Alison Tashima | Food Writer Located between The Space Downtown and Hot Yoga Charlottesville at 214 W Water Street, Iron Paffles is owned by English immigrant and entrepreneur Kathryn Matthews. The restaurant is hard to miss, with gear decals on the restaurant’s exterior windows and a chalkboard outside the door advertising sandwich specials. When I walked in, I was met with a dynamic mural and local art available for purchase displayed on the wall. Their ‘90s R&B playlist adds to the atmosphere and can be found on their @ironcville Spotify account so you can bring their good vibes with you out the door. The idea for the restaurant came after Matthews found herself one day with a shortage of sandwich bread in college. She opted to use leftover puff pastry dough instead — and thus her vision for Iron Paffles was born. With Matthews’ hospitality degree and experience working in the restaurant and bar industry, her vision for a paffle restaurant has come to life and contributed to the eclectic collection of restaurants that makes Downtown Charlottesville so special.

Iron Paffles and Coffee opened in 2017 and has thrived ever since. The paffle is a puff-pastry waffle — wonderfully flaky and the perfect canvas for both sweet and savory fillings. Matthews learned to make puff pastry from scratch with her Grandmother’s recipe. When baked on a waffle iron, the delicate dough puffs into a perfectly sized waffle with many flavor-filled, flaky pockets. The paffle is a delightfully crispy — albeit, a bit messy — sandwich vessel that makes for an interesting and exciting eating experience. Iron Paffles has a broad menu ranging from sweet paffles stuffed with Nutella and banana filling to savory fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese paffles that are easily customizable at a price point of about $9 each. Iron Paffles also caters to most dietary preferences offering gluten free, vegan and build-your-own options. The delicious combinations keep you coming back for more with the restaurant’s ever-improving menu featuring seasonal paffles — such as the Thanksgiving-inspired “Southern Thanksgiving Sammy” filled with cornbread stuffing over fried chicken

and maple syrup — as well as weekly specials and unlimited sandwich combinations. Through sourcing ingredients locally, Iron Paffles contributes to the Charlottesville food community and helps support other small businesses. Iron Paffles has an excellent online presence — with an easily-navigated website and engaging Facebook and Instagram pages where it is transparent about business values and details how it seeks to change the restaurant industry to create a sustainable and inclusive work environment. The restaurant’s online ordering system is streamlined and straightforward, making it easy to order paffles from your phone and on the go. I opted to order my first paffle online for in-store pickup. I was greeted with a smile walking in and my order was already waiting for me on the pick-up counter. My first order was the Nutella with Sliced Banana paffle, which I customized by adding peanut butter. Served warm with a light dusting of powdered sugar, it was divine. The paffle certainly delivers on texture and allows the filling flavors

to shine through. Breakfast sandwiches made with croissants are the closest concept to a paffle I’ve experienced before, but the flimsy croissant simply can’t compare to a buttery and flaky puff pastry waffle. While the sweet paffle filling options are certainly delicious — the caramel cannoli being my personal favorite — savory paffle sandwiches are the way to go. The Egg, Cheddar, Bacon and Sriracha Mayonnaise paffle is a great, hearty brunch option. The texture of the soft and juicy baked egg contrasts beautifully with the crispy paffle which makes for an interesting and unique eating experience. In addition to the delicious food, I also appreciated the straightforward and streamlined ordering process. Customers use a self-serve tablet and the paffles are then served warm in an adorable and functional paper package that makes them easy to hold and devour. This well-thought-out packaging makes eating them on-the-go a breeze. A recyclable cardboard box encases the paffle and helps control the inevitable puff pastry crumble. Befitting of the industrial theme of the res-

taurant, a gear wheel design is on the half-circle folds of the container each paffle comes in — which generates continuity and adds to the unique ambiance of the restaurant. For additional accommodations, Iron Paffles also offers online orders for pickup and delivery as well as catering with classic savory, breakfast, lunch and dessert platters to choose from and a variety of customization options. However, the paffle is not the eatery’s only claim to fame — the restaurant also serves coffee, tea, kombucha, craft beer and other beverages. Iron Paffles offers seasonal and weekly limited specials like its pumpkin spice latte and pickle spice drinks. With T-shirts and stickers — and even their own coffee blend — this wonderful restaurant has a lot to offer. Iron Paffles is open Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and accepts their last orders at 2:45 p.m. While a bit of a trek from Grounds, Iron Paffles is well worth the trip and I highly recommend checking it out — the paffle may very well become your new favorite brunch go-to.

Hoos First Week spotlights first-generation students Facing a myriad of challenges, first-generation students share their experiences about navigating life at the University as Hoos First Week commences Miriella Jiffar | Features Writer Finding a sense of belonging and community is an integral part of the college experience. For first-generation students, this goal can be especially difficult to achieve as they venture into unfamiliar territory. To create a scaffold of support that addresses the specific needs of first-generation students at the University level, the Department of Student Affairs has a fully staffed office dedicated to the Hoos First Program, which organizes events like Hoos First Week in celebration and recognition of the first-generation community at the University. The week is being celebrated from Nov. 7 through Nov. 11 and recognizes the achievements of more than 1,700 first-generation students, faculty and staff. The University defines first-generation students as “any student where neither parent or guardian obtained a four-year degree.” Third-year Education student Alvin Nguyen, a first-generation student, said he feels the week-long celebration was a crucial step in increasing the visibility of the first-generation student experience at the University.

Nguyen said he hopes the University will keep up the momentum and continue supporting first-generation students. “A whole week dedicated to students like me is nice,” Nguyen said. “I would just hope that after this week is over, [the University] continue[s] to be open about things and have an open door policy.” A variety of programs and events are scheduled for the week, such as the Career Center’s First Generation Career Conversation Drop-ins, First Generation Study Café at the libraries and the First Generation Day Party hosted by Student Affairs. Resources such as the Walentas Scholarship, QuestBridge Scholars Network Chapter and the First Generation/ Low Income Partnership also aim to empower first-generation students and create community. Aiding specifically in the transition from high-school to college, the Engineering Summer Bridge Program is designed to support first-generation college students and other underrepresented minorities in the domains of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Fourth-year Engineering student Thomas Ortega participated in the program the summer before his first year. The program enabled him to become acquainted with the rigor of college classes, resources offered to students and the culture on Grounds. As an out-of-state student originating from California, Ortega credits his time in the Bridge cohort to streamlining the transition to college. To this day, the fellow students Ortega met that summer are still his best friends, four years later. “By the time I was a first-year, because I had done that program … I knew a lot about U.Va., where my classes were and had a group of friends already,” Ortega said. First-generation students at the University make up a small percentage of each graduating class, with only 15 percent of the Class of 2026 being first-generation students. As such, it can be difficult for first-generation students to find others who relate to and understand their unique experience. Ortega said he experienced substantial social obstacles during his first year at the University as a

first-generation student. He found that students who shared his background struggled with a prevalent sense of imposter syndrome and discovered his peers felt like outsiders at the University because most students couldn’t relate to them. As such, he made conscious efforts to connect with other first generation students to build a sense of solidarity. “Sometimes [being a first generation student] makes it hard for you to feel like people understand you,” Ortega said. “A lot of students aren’t first-gen or can’t really understand the certain types of mindsets firstgen students can have. So finding that community is really important, because then you know you’re not alone.” In addition to programs initiated by the University such as Hoos First Week, there are also some outside organizations who are committed to supporting first-generation students in their college journey. For example, the Charlottesville-based nonprofit Rise Together, is dedicated to providing first generation students as well as low-income students with the resources to succeed in post-secondary

education. Nguyen volunteered as a first-year at Rise Together, and his experience there gave him a sense of belonging during his first year. “It was my first chance to feel at home at U.Va.,” Nguyen said. “There was some type of purpose. I had somewhere to be. I had some type of obligation and I could say I’m doing more than just studying all the time.” Nguyen recalled an event for first-generation students similar to Hoos First Week during his first semester first year. President Ryan, a first-generation student himself, spoke at the event. Through the event, Nguyen found self-confidence as he entered the University, which is exactly what Hoos First week strives to foster. “Just to see hundreds of people in that position and [learn] that the president of the University was once in that same situation, seeing that there are people that are successful, and there are people that are going to be navigating the same obstacles alongside me was amazing for me as a first-year,” Nguyen said.

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Sam Brunelle’s return comes at the dawn of a new era The Ruckersville native has taken a winding road home with hopes of reestablishing Virginia women’s basketball as a powerhouse Jacob Tisdale | Senior Associate


Graduate student forward Sam Brunelle transferred to Virginia with the hopes of building a successful program under new Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton.

Graduate student forward Sam Brunelle is no stranger to John Paul Jones Arena. She grew up a short drive away in Greene County, Va. and became a Virginia women’s basketball fan at the tail end of legendary Coach Debbie Ryan’s tenure. As she grew up, Brunelle made frequent trips to John Paul Jones with her family, getting so close to the program that she even served as a ball girl, dreaming of the day she might get the chance to take the court herself in an orange and blue uniform. “When I was a ball girl I was always thinking, ‘Ooh, I could wear that jersey someday, playing in front of my family and friends.’” Brunelle said. While she is now able to live out that fantasy, she didn’t arrive at this moment quite how anyone would have expected. Brunelle grew and developed her basketball skills at Virginia-hosted camps alongside her favorite players. By the time she was playing at William Monroe High School, she had begun to receive national attention. In high school, Brunelle was selected as a member of the U16, U17 and U18 USA national basketball

teams from 2016 to 2018. Her small home county celebrated the star it had generated, holding a parade after she returned from a Team USA victory with one of her three gold medals. She was equally dominant on William Monroe’s court, helping end a regional championship drought. It seemed like the stars had aligned and Brunelle would have her pick for which collegiate program she would continue her playing career at — and why wouldn’t the hometown heroine pick Virginia? Unfortunately, Virginia’s program had not flourished alongside Brunelle’s ascent to the top of many college recruiting boards. At the time of Brunelle’s recruitment in spring 2018, the program was coachless and directionless after the surprising resignation of Ryan’s successor Coach Joanne Boyle. Meanwhile, top programs including South Carolina, Kentucky and even UConn actively pursued Brunelle. She eventually landed on Notre Dame, wanting to play under legendary Coach Muffet McGraw. “I don’t think that at the time when she made that decision there was an-

other choice for her,” Sam’s mother Katie said. “You’ll know when you know.” It seemed that Brunelle and Virginia had just missed each other and that her childhood dream of donning the orange and blue uniform would remain just that — a dream. Instead, Brunelle returned to John Paul Jones Arena in 2020 wearing the Fighting Irish’s green and gold. However, unexpected circumstances in both Notre Dame and Virginia’s programs, as well as in Brunelle’s career, set a course for an unlikely reunion. McGraw announced her retirement in 2020 after Brunelle had a standout freshman campaign, averaging 13.9 points per game to lead all ACC freshmen. Under a new coaching staff, Brunelle faced injury concerns and saw a diminished role over her next two seasons. After her junior campaign, Brunelle fully tore her labrum. Meanwhile, Virginia was floundering under the leadership of former coach Tina Thompson, and the added complications of COVID-19 exacerbated the issue. A suspended season followed by a 5-22 record the following

year were enough to warrant a change. Both Brunelle and the Cavaliers needed a fresh start. Brunelle entered the transfer portal, while Virginia relieved Thompson of her duties and announced it had hired Coach Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton. The new coaching staff recruited Brunelle as soon as she entered the portal. Coach Mox brought an excellent resume and two mottos to Charlottesville that resonated with Brunelle, ultimately leading to a decision to transfer to Virginia — “Grind now, shine later” and “Culture wins.” Brunelle is now excited to make her dream of playing at Virginia a reality while helping establish Coach Mox’s new culture. “Obviously, my path was a little bit different in getting here,” Brunelle said. “But now I’m here, and it’s gonna be exciting to be able to wear that jersey.” Coach Mox is equally as excited to receive a player like Brunelle in her first year at Virginia, emphasizing her offensive impact and ability to stretch the floor. “Her versatility really fits into our style of play,” Coach Mox said. “If

she didn’t fit … hometown or not I wouldn’t recruit her. She has to fit our culture and she has to fit our basketball style to play.” While it may seem like a fairytale reunion between program and player, Brunelle knows she will face adversity helping to build a program from the ground up while recovering from severe injuries. She received nine anchors in her shoulder and required five months of rehab and recovery before she received clearance to return. Brunelle relied heavily on her new teammates, coaching staff and sports medicine team to help her through the recovery process. Now, Brunelle relishes the opportunity to overcome that adversity with her team. “Being able to be resilient is huge for me,” Brunelle said. “That’s my word for the season … resilient. I’m gonna look at it every day before games [and] before practice to remind me [that] it’s not going to be easy. My journey has not been easy since I’ve been in college, right?” Being close to home has helped ease the stress of recovery, fitting in at a new school and adjusting to her third collegiate coaching staff in four years. Brunelle is now able to easily drive home and visit her parents for dinner throughout the week or catch up with old friends. “It’s been everything I thought it would be,” Brunelle said. “I’m lucky to be able to go home. Before it was 10 hours [away]. Now I’ve got my support system here in the backyard basically.” Brunelle fully expects John Paul Jones Arena to be full of Greene County residents for her return. For Coach Mox, Brunelle’s return is the perfect way to begin the new era and reestablish a winning culture for the women’s program through recruiting and retaining local talent. “I want to keep the hometown kids home,” Mox said. “Especially in a storied program like this. They understand right away what it means to have [Virginia] on their chest.” Though Brunelle took a winding road home, she is confident that the decisions she has made and trials she has faced thus far will only stand to benefit her as she makes her childhood dream of playing as a Cavalier come true. “I don’t regret my journey,” Brunelle said. “I think it’s made me a better person. It’s made me who I am now. I’m thankful and blessed that I can be here now for these next two years.”

The Cavalier Daily

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U.Va. Health professionals warn of possible ‘twindemic’ With an upcoming chance of high influenza rates and COVID outbreaks, the community discusses how to actively protect themselves Bhavya Guduru | Staff Writer With the winter season right around the corner, risk for COVID-19 outbreaks has increased and influenza rates are high, especially in densely-packed communities at the University. Health officials warn about the strong possibility of a simultaneous spike in flu and COVID-19 cases causing a rare phenomenon — a twindemic. Though COVID-19 cases in Charlottesville are low, they are expected to increase as winter sets in. At the moment, over 400 deaths involving COVID-19 occur each day in the U.S. This number is predicted to increase, possibly upwards of 1000 daily deaths by March if current booster vaccination rates persist, per an updated analysis from the Commonwealth Fund and the Yale School of Public Health. The rise of new variants, increased indoor interaction compared with the past two years and waning levels of community immunity are leading to increased risk of COVID-19. Combined with high flu rates, the U.S. is facing a viable risk of a twindemic this winter, as Dr. Costi Sifri, director of hospital epidemiology at U.Va. Health, detailed at a U.Va. Health media briefing. “We could [and] should anticipate a flu season this year,” Sifri said. “We saw a fairly robust flu season in the Southern Hemisphere this summer, their winter in Australia, for example. We should expect to see that now.” Australia is currently arriving at the end of its worst flu season in five years. The flu season began earlier, and hit children hardest. Notably, this is Australia’s first severe flu season since the COVID-19 pandemic began. “People are back together, [so] there’s a lot more opportunity for the flu to spread,” Sifri said. “There is a lot less level of immunity to flu since people have not had the flu for a couple years. At the same time, there are opportunities for COVID-19 to be transmitted over the next couple months.” The CDC reports that the 2020-21 season had the lowest recorded flu activity, furthering the risk of infection, especially among the most vulnerable. Increased rates of influenza can also be attributed to reductions in community-based preventative methods. Face mask usage, physical distancing and reduced

travel helped to stave off a twindemic last year. Now, nearly half of Americans rarely or never wear face masks indoors, despite CDC recommendations. The University’s mask mandate has been lifted, though students are still encouraged to wear masks in public, especially when feeling unwell. Experts agreed that a lack of mask usage and disregard of vaccine recommendations are the primary factors causing the high risk of a twindemic this winter. If the twindemic is realized, hospitalization rates will rise, putting stress on an already overburdened and understaffed healthcare system. Housing and Residence Life no longer has isolation housing available to all students who contract COVID-19, so students must take their own precautions if infected. First-year Engineering student Yashasvisai Veeramasu is one of many students who have planned how to isolate themselves. “My roommate [and I] are actually not from far [away], so we do have the ability to go home if we do end up catching something,” Veeramasu said. Charlottesville community members and University students can still take several precautionary measures in an effort to remain protected against COVID-19 and the influenza. Most importantly, doctors recommend getting COVID-19 boosters and influenza shots. “The best thing that we can do to protect ourselves is to make sure we are up to date with our vaccines for both COVID-19 and influenza,” Sifri said. During the media briefing, Dr. Max Luna, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine, urged University students to take proper precautions. “Vaccination remains tremendously successful to prevent hospitalization and death by COVID-19,” Luna said. The current COVID-19 booster is bivalent, targeting two Omicron variants — BA. 4 and BA. 5. The CDC recommends that people five years or older get the bivalent booster if it has been at least two months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose. For those five years or older who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, the recommendations allow for receiving the next vaccine dose once three months have passed since

testing positive. There are many options to get flu shots and COVID-19 boosters in Charlottesville. The Blue Ridge Health District offers vaccinations at local health departments, a mobile health unit, community events and local pharmacies. Independent pharmacies such as CVS also provide these shots. Boosters and flu shots are also available through on-Grounds organizations, such as Madison House. Students can make such appointments at any time by registering with the Student Health and Wellness Department. Most students and staff are fully vaccinated with the first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but they are strongly encouraged by U.Va. Health officials to get their updated boosters.



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Listen to the community — support Swords into Plowshares Lawsuits stalling Swords into Plowshares’ progress stem from attempts to glorify Confederate ideology Despite the efforts we have made to heal and move forward as a community from the events of summer 2017 and the centuries of racist history preceding it, there are those who continuously try to hinder this progress. One of these community efforts at healing, Swords Into Plowshares, is an ongoing project by community leaders to melt down the Robert E. Lee statue that once stood in Market Street Park. The project would transform the Confederate monument’s materials into a new piece of public art. The original proposal came from the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center after the statue was finally removed in 2021. This removal followed years of local protests and organizing efforts, including a petition authored by fourthyear College student Zyahna Bryant, who was a high schooler at the time. As an Editorial Board, we wholeheartedly support SIP. We are eager to see it take mate-

rials of hatred and turn them into tools of reclamation spearheaded by the community itself — to, as the proposal states, “move history forward.” The project is currently at a halt, however, as the Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation and the Ratcliffe Foundation filed a lawsuit claiming melting the statue is illegal. After City Council approved the project and donated the statue to JSAAHC, these foundations claimed that while Charlottesville may remove the statue, it cannot destroy it. We are not fooled by these foundations’ attempts at misconstruing community reclamation into destruction as a means of preserving Confederate ideology. TSBF and the Ratcliffe Foundation are both dedicated to this preservation, albeit in different ways. Let us be clear — the Confederate legacy is one that glorifies racism and enslavement. Monument erection and removal is inherently local. Virginia

allows individual localities to decide what monuments go up and come down within their boundaries. This means that national and even state interests fall secondary to the interests of cities and counties themselves. JSAAHC and SIP have held this in mind while planning for the transformation of the Lee statue. SIP’s polling thus far indicates that residents want the statue to be repurposed — one set of respondents actually said they hoped for a functional outcome, such as a public garden. JSAAHC and SIP understand the distinctly communal nature of monument removal that Virginia law dictates, and have incorporated community engagement into their project with this in mind. TSBF and the Ratcliffe Foundation are not local to the Charlottesville area, however. TSBF is primarily dedicated to preserving the Trevilian Station Battlefield site in Louisa County — not Charlottesville. And the Ratcliffe Foun-

dation operates the Ellenbrook Mansion, where it hopes to gather Confederate monuments, in Rosedale — again, not Charlottesville. These are undeniably outside groups hoping to disrupt a community project here in Charlottesville. It is the same lawyers arguing in the current court case that successfully won the 2017 lawsuit that delayed the Lee statue’s removal. While the students serving on this Editorial Board may not be permanent residents of Charlottesville, we express solidarity with SIP. We do not support either TSBF or the Ratcliffe Foundation’s efforts to preserve Confederate monuments and we thoroughly oppose their efforts to halt progress made in Charlottesville. While state law is vague, the fact of the matter is that the statue has been placed into the hands of JSAAHC — it is no longer the City’s property. If declared legal by the circuit court, then JSAAHC and SIP would presumably have

the right to use the monument’s materials to reflect the community’s wishes. These outsiders have no right to overstep these boundaries and tell JSAAHC what it can and cannot do with the Lee monument. This case is not scheduled to take place until February. In the meantime, we stand in solidarity with those working on SIP and we admire its truly community-based practices. We believe that, if eventually enacted as we hope it will be, SIP will create an artwork or community space that benefits Charlottesville residents — particularly its Black residents who have time and time again been the ones to establish and lead projects like these. THE CAVALIER DAILY EDITORIAL BOARD is composed of the Executive Editor, the Editor-in-Chief, the two Opinion Editors, their two Senior Associates and an Opinion Columnist. The board can be reached at

THE CAVALIER DAILY THE CAVALIER DAILY The Cavalier Daily is a financially and editorially independent news organization staffed and managed entirely by students of the University of Virginia. The opinions expressed in The Cavalier Daily are not necessarily those of the students, faculty, staff or administration of the University of Virginia. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the editorial board. Cartoons and columns represent the views of the authors. The managing board of The Cavalier Daily has sole authority over and responsibility for all content. No part of The Cavalier Daily or The Cavalier Daily online edition may be reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the written consent of the editor-in-chief. The Cavalier Daily is published Thursdays in print and daily online at cavalierdaily. com. It is printed on at least 40 percent recycled paper. 2022 The Cavalier Daily Inc.

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MANAGING BOARD Editor-in-Chief Eva Surovell Managing Editor Ava MacBlane Executive Editor Jessica Moore Operations Manager Ethan Fingerhut Chief Financial Officer Katrina Yankovich

EDITORIAL BOARD Jessica Moore Eva Surovell Evelyn Duross Bryce Wyles Shaleah Tolliver Grace Duregger Nathan Onibudo


Assistant Managing Editors Kate Jensen Ellie Prober (SA) Ella Dailey (SA) Claire DiLorenzo (SA) Nicole Freeman (SA) Alexandra Holmes (SA) Jenna Onetto Assistant Operations Manager Ava Proehl News Editors Lexi Baker Emma Gallagher (SA) Merrill Hart

Life Editors Cecy Juárez Mario Rosales (SA) Acacia McCabe Sports Editors Jude Nanaw Joe von Storch (SA) Ben Anderson Arts & Entertainment Editors Mary Kurbanov Lauren Whitlock (SA) Kyndal Harrison Health & Science Editors Alexa Clark Catherine Cossaboom (SA) Ava Bagherian (SA) Katie Treene Podcast Editors Ariana Arenson Grace Fluharty Opinion Editors Evelyn Duross Bryce Wyles (SA) Shaleah Tolliver (SA) Grace Duregger Humor Editors Camila Cohen Suárez (SA) Ellie Wilkie Cartoon Editor Nicole Piatko (SA) Kaileigh Proctor Photo Editors Khuyen Dinh Domenick Fini (SA) Proud Chandragholica (SA) Tess Ginsberg (SA) Kate MacArthur

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Design Editors Lexie Gagnon Maya Kalidindi Mix Rudolph Honor Wood Social Media Managers Nicole Ryeom Jennifer Tran (SA) Covonna Bynum (SA) Ceili Canning Newsletter Editors Lauren O’Neil (SA) Jacob Tisdale Analytics Manager Melinda Wong Translation Editors MJ Corvalan Xiaohan Zhang (SA) Giuliana Rejalaga Finance Manager Charlie Healy Advertising Manager Bella Graber Archivist Grace Franklin DEI Chairs Shaleah Tolliver Yssis Cano-Santiago

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U.Va.’s use of land acknowledgement is performative The University’s land acknowledgement does not go far enough and is instead hypocritical If you are a current or even past student at the University, you may have seen it. A land acknowledgement statement that appears at the end of your class syllabus. Perhaps the professor has even read the statement out loud. Maybe the professor even went as far as having you pull up a Native American land map so you could see what Native land your hometown sits on. If you did not already know, the University occupies Monacan land. However, most students’ understanding of the Monacan land and people does not go beyond that. Some may believe the inclusion of a land acknowledgement statement is sufficient, or that all professors should include one in their syllabi. I argue however, that this is not enough. Instead, the University benefits when land acknowledgement does not go any further than just recognizing that you occupy Monacan land. Rarely do you learn about the history of how the land which the University sits upon was forcibly taken, or about the people from whom the land was stolen. The University must move beyond the performative aspects of land acknowledgement and start taking further action towards making amends with the Monacan Nation. The history of land acknowledg-

ment spans cultures and has historically allowed Native people to fight back against lack of representation and cultural erasure. As Native American people are not a monolith, each Tribal Nation has its own definition of land acknowledgement. Similar to the definition of land acknowledgment, the purposes and ways to acknowledge the land may also differ by Tribal Nation. According to the Monacan Nation

part to atone for its role in cultural erasure. The University claims it wants “to engage in meaningful relationship building for our shared futures and acknowledge with respect that we live, learn and work on the traditional territory of the Monacan Indian Nation.” It seems that at every attempt to make amends, however, the University fails. Few resources are offered for Native students, there has been no attempt

would be offering free tuition for Native students — an initiative that is already underway at several universities. Perhaps most egregiously has been the University’s acquisition of Morven Farm. Morven Farm was the property of the Monacan people in the 17th and 18th centuries before it was forcibly taken by white settlers. It came to be the property of the University in 2001 through its most recent owner John

Rarely do you learn about the history of how the land which the University sits upon was forcibly taken, or about the people from whom the land was stolen.” website, the purpose of land acknowledgement is to “create awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life.” Land acknowledgement can appear in a variety of formats from lectures, to ceremonial openings to email signatures. Land acknowledgement is not the end goal for every nation however. Ideally, land acknowledgment would lead to land back. While the University has attempted to acknowledge its history of forcibly using enslaved laborers to build on stolen Monacan land, there has been little effort on the University’s

at land back, and as of 2020 there was only a single Native American professor. Additionally, the University has been slow in hiring a tribal liaison, and it has been slow to build a Native American Student Center despite years of student-led advocacy. Even the University’s past attempts to reach out to Native American communities has been minimal. In 2012, the University tried to increase Native American student attendance through a series of educational videos on college life. However, it failed to consider that a more effective solution

Kluge, who donated the property to the University. The University has only recently designated Morven Farm into a sustainability lab. It is very ironic that the University believes it can do a better job at taking care of the land and fighting climate change than the actual community it belongs to. This property should never have been acquired by either of its previous white owners, or by the University in the first place. It is stolen land. We have the tendency to see colonialism as a thing of the past, but it continues to happen and the Universi-

ty is complicit in it. The University has been hypocritical in its use of land acknowledgment. It claims to care about the land and the people, but it continues to do the bare minimum and is slow to action while Native activists continue to fight for change. What can be done? Well the University can begin by following the lead of other institutions and offering free tuition for Native students. It can require students to take a Native American history class so that they can expand their knowledge on Native culture beyond the obligatory land acknowledgment statement. The University must hire more Native professors so that the burden of teaching these cultures does not rest on the shoulders of a few Native professors who are then expected to be the sole voice for thousands of different Tribal Nations. It must also return Morven Farm to its rightful owner, the Monacan people. The University cannot rewrite the past, but it can do everything in its power to make the future better for Native American students and the Monacan community. YSSIS CANO-SANTIAGO is an Opinion Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

Divisive concepts are not what’s threatening our schools Governor Youngkin’s obsession with divisive rhetoric only causes more rifts and ignores real problems in Virginia’s public schools Since the beginning of his term, Governor Glenn Youngkin has been spouting divisive rhetoric — ironically, about “divisive” rhetoric. This has come to a laughable end. Announced in late January, Youngkin’s administration initiated a tip line to connect parents to his office in an attempt to survey the education of our Virginian children to ensure it did not violate his recent policies, specifically his mask mandate opt-out. However, he soon encouraged it to be used to also report “divisive” content in curriculum. An unfettered tip line open to all parents, students and Virginians alike — what could go wrong? Unsurprisingly, quite a lot. Youngkin’s tip line is not only ridiculous, but his arbitrary idea of “divisive concepts” makes it dangerous as well. A tip line designed to stop Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ+ rhetoric in schools welcomes division rather than warding it off. What’s more, Youngkin’s emphasis on the imaginary problems of division leaves real problems in schools — like disabled student accommodations and education quality — on hold. As I have written before, Youngkin won the election by panicking parents with trigger words like “critical

race theory” and “divisive concepts.” Youngkin’s idea of disruption, however, did not stop there. He recently reversed former governor Ralph Northam’s gender identity policies, revoking students’ rights to use their preferred pronouns, bathrooms and sports teams without parental consent. So, it is no surprise with this track record that Youngkin orchestrated

a helpful way for parents’ concerns about education to be heard — especially by making it state-wide instead of district-run. The idea of creating a tip line specifically to report teachers based on the imaginary critical race theory curriculum in our public schools or to further derail LGBTQ+ representation is not just unhelpful, though — it’s harmful to our progress. The very nature of Youngkin’s

ments. The latter is a topic that should be presented to school boards, but instead, Gov. Youngkin is on the hunt for eliminating Critical Race Theory, not improving Standards of Learning test scores. This further confuses parents on how to express valid concerns on students’ education. Complaints like the last one exemplify my point. More important matters dominating the tip line may

The tip line was immediately met with backlash and it ultimately backfired. ”

a poorly-organized and ineffective witch hunt against Virginia public schools and their teachers through his tip line. The tip line was immediately met with backlash and it ultimately backfired. People mocked the tip line, flooding it with fake tips and praising teachers rather than ousting them as Critical Race Theory witches. As of Nov. 2, the tip line has been shut down. While not inherently a bad idea, a tip line is far too unorganized to be

tip line proved to be arbitrary. One comment complained that a teacher was trying to convince the class that certain books were sexist — it almost sounds as though the teacher is teaching an interpretive subject like English and took a stance on it. There also seems to be utter confusion about the purpose of the tipline as one comment encouraged offering advanced math classes for certain grade levels so students could excel beyond the require-

be ignored in favor of tips that actually complain about “divisive” curriculum. It was not created to spotlight more harrowing concerns in Virginia’s public school systems, and I wonder if these complaints will even be addressed by Youngkin’s administration. The tip line shows that Youngkin’s concerns are not that of the parents. While outlined as a way to stop critical race theory or “oversexualized” content in schools — a code word for

LGBTQ+ representation — some of the emails complained about mask mandates and remote instruction. Others brought forth topics of curriculum and course placement. Real problems in Virginia’s schools, such as remote learning and the quality of education, should be the real focus for Virginia’s policies, not erasing trans students or white-washing history. Perhaps we should focus on the concerning retention rates of teachers in Virginia, the even less appreciative average pay in the state or the fact that standardized testing is not only reliant on harmful information, but ineffective for testing understanding. We should focus on the fact that Virginia public schools still have zero tolerance policies for minor offenses, or that Virginia does not have universal free school meals, despite stark poverty and income disparities. Youngkin, your policies are disappointing and even those parents who did vote for you are fed up. Virginia’s students deserve better. SHALEAH TOLLIVER is an Opinion Senior Associate for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

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Dear first years — an open letter Dear first years, Your first semester of college is almost over and you are either thinking that this is the most fun you have ever had or you are questioning if you peaked in high school. Regardless, I am here with some third-year wisdom to show you that there are still a few things you can look forward to and others … not so much. Let’s dive right in, my young, impressionable friend. This is the most you will care about anything. Your first semester of college is the equivalent of stepping off the bus for your first day of middle school. Everything is shiny and new because you have things like lockers to put your two pencils in and no teacher sitting at your lunch table, telling you not to curse while she eats her premade salad from the supermarket. You

are basically a free spirit and nothing can dull your sparkle. You will put a lot of effort into making friends, doing well in school, going to parties, joining clubs, yada yada yada. But then the mediocre grades will come back and the “bestie” you met at orientation will sit with someone else at Observatory Hill Dining Hall — when you are literally right there in front of them!! — and your proverbial sparkle will be dulled. I am so very sorry to have to break this to you. One way or another, you will start skipping classes like the rest of us and calculating the lowest grade you can get on an assignment to pass. Classes get better. One of the biggest shocks of college is the huge lecture halls. Why do we need to sit in a room with 500 other people to learn about photosynthesis? How am I supposed to get

this professor to worship the ground I walk on when I can barely get two words in during office hours? Do not worry, the class sizes get smaller as the years go on. Your professor will start to recognize you once you cannot answer their question after they cold-call you to talk about the readings you did not do, or when you do your best to avoid eye contact after they ask the class a question that literally nobody wants to answer because we all have no clue what is happening. Dining hall food is not good. This is a fact and I absolutely do not want to hear any back talk. Okay, I will admit that Runk is the Disneyland of dining hall food, but the other two dining halls are seriously lacking. The allure of unlimited pizza, burgers and ice cream will fade as the stomach aches kick in and you will be begging for a homemade meal by Thanks-

giving. The stale cookies will get you through midterms and emotional breakdowns, but your trauma bond to them does not make them objectively delicious. The only thing that will keep you coming back to these places is the people who work there. These angels will love you more than your own parents and brighten your day so much you will be willing to gaslight yourself into eating the food. Sure, this chicken breast might be pink in the middle, but you also might just be hallucinating that. Ms. Kathy will always be there for you. Ms. Kathy, the Queen of Newcomb and the glue holding this crumbling institution together, will always have your back. Even as the years go by, her whole face will light up when you convince yourself to enter Newcomb, and she will hug you tight enough to release all of your built-up stress-

CARTOON Fall Time Feelings Nicole Piatko | Cartoon Editor

es. She’ll tell you how much she has missed you since you were last able to make the pilgrimage to see her and do a little happy dance depending on the day. Even as classes begin to kick your butt more and more, Ms. Kathy will never fail to convince you that you are the butt-kicker. By the time you graduate, the only person you will actually miss is your biggest fan, Ms. Kathy. This concludes the knowledge I am willing to part with for today. Some things you will just have to learn on your own — I cannot take all the fun away from you! I will talk to you later, my special little snowflakes. Yours Truly, Maggie MAGGIE MCHATY is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at


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The Cavalier Daily

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT The Fralin’s fresh take reevaluates power “Power Play” exhibit tackles representation in mainstream media Emily Pitts | Staff Writer

“Power Play,” the latest exhibit at the University’s Fralin Museum of Art, reimagines popular feminine figures like Disney princesses and American girl dolls to criticize mainstream media’s definitions of gender and social roles. Organized by curator Hannah Cattarin, assistant curator Adriana Greci Green and curator of exhibitions Laura Minton, this photography exhibit features the work of five female artists — Sarah Maple, Tokie Rome-Taylor, Cara Romero, Martine Gutierrez and Wendy Red Star — that harness fashion, color, and staging to construct powerful messages. Each artist uses her cultural upbringings and individual techniques to criticize reinforced ideas of femininity, gender roles and identity. Together, their photographs aim to override the predominant narratives in media, challenging traditional standards and connecting the past to the present — an aim solidified by the written introductions placed next to each artists’ work in the exhibit. “I love the variety that’s shown,” museum-goer Glenna Ohlmes said. “I think the first time I came through it, I didn’t appreciate it until I read about each one.” Maple’s “Disney Princess” series confronts harmful representations of femininity through her depiction of princesses in occupational settings. Each princess can be seen performing tasks outside of the domestic environment — Snow White works in a chemistry lab, Sleeping Beauty is the surgeon in a hospital, Belle coaches a soccer game and Ariel leads a business meeting. Maple intentionally portrays each princess in her traditional outfit from the films to confront stereotypical gender roles and illuminate how media influences society’s creation and enforcement of these roles. As the exhibit describes, the British artist uses her “mixed religious and cultural upbringing” to inspire her pieces, challenging the status quo. Tokie Rome-Taylor’s work confronts the representation and erasure of Black culture in Western history. Her series depicts three African children in wealthy traditional European attire to convey the idea of “creolization”


Cara Romero’s “First American Girl” series lies in the center of the exhibit, with three pieces that portray Native American women in stereotypical attire to critique traditional assumptions of Native culture in media and reclaim the modernity of Native peoples.

— the blending of European and African cultures that resulted in extensive violence. In the exhibit, Rome-Taylor explains how her work “[reaches] back to address the erasure of worth in how black bodies are perceived and represented,” countering inaccurate stereotypes and historically inferior depictions of people of color. Romero’s “First American Girl” series lies in the center of the exhibit, with three pieces that portray Native American women in stereotypical attire to critique traditional assumptions of Native culture in media and reclaim the modernity of Native peoples. The women are in brilliant colors with bright backgrounds that imitate doll packages to address disrespectful representations of Native Americans in toys. Each woman is from a different Native American tribe, and Romero herself is a citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of Cal-

ifornia. Her upbringing on the Chemehuevi reservation informs her approach to representing Native identities in modern art, and enables her to accurately address the issues that these communities find important. To the right of Romero’s series in the exhibit is Martine Gutierrez’s “Lineup” series, which uses photographs of thin yet curvy mannequins and dolls to critique the unrealistic physical ideals that society sets for women and the way that these ideals shape the construction of feminine identities. The pieces are both self-portraits, capturing Gutierrez attempting to blend in with the mannequins she poses with. The purpose of the work, as Gutierrez explains in an introduction to the exhibit, is for Gutierrez to discuss her own identity and how it fits within society, not just as a woman but as a “trans woman, Latinx woman and a woman of Indigenous

descent.” Gutierrez’s insertion of herself among idealized female bodies expresses the reinvention of queer embodiment and provokes the viewer to see society through a new lens. Finally, Wendy Red Star’s “Four Seasons” series is showcased. Using her background on the Crow Indian Reservation, the Apsáalooke artist comments on the erasure and disappearance of Native peoples using life-size dioramas similar to natural history museums. While traditional dioramas often depict landscapes and animals that are extinct, Star uses herself as the subject and meets the viewer’s gaze to communicate the often ignored truth that Native people still exist. Dressed in honorable attire and using witty techniques such as irony, Star confronts widespread ideas of Native disappearance and Western representations. “We are hoping to shift our

audiences’ perceptions about sites and objects of consumerism which play an important role in reinforcing gender construction and stereotypes,’’ the curators said. “We were able to purchase ten of the artworks in the exhibition, one or more by each artist, for The Fralin’s permanent collection. You might see the photographs again in future exhibitions at the museum.” “Power Play” is truly a moving exhibition. Not only does it entertain museum-goers, but it also inspires them to investigate the standards and cultural values at play in their own lives. For additional information, the museum will host a virtual panel with all five artists over Zoom Nov. 18 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will be on display until Dec. 31 and is located in the J. Sanford Gallery on the second floor of the Fralin.

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Dustin Lance Black honored at Virginia Film Festival The screenwriter and activist was awarded the “Changemaker Award” before a special screening of the new documentary based on his memoir Omega Ilijevich | Staff Writer Throughout his screenwriting career, Dustin Lance Black has been lauded as a prolific biographer who meaningfully immortalizes the legacy of impactful figures in his films. Most famously, he painted a very timely portrait of trailblazing gay politician Harvey Milk in his Oscar-winning script for the 2008 film “Milk.” In his 2019 memoir “Mama’s Boy: A Story of Our Americas,” Black takes on the most personal biographical subject of his career — his mother, Anne Bisch. The piece memorializes his mother as a figure of perseverance, while also presenting a narrative of change and acceptance. Black’s close relationship with his mother is challenged by her commitment to the Mormon faith. This rift is eventually superseded by their mutual love and empathy for one another. A documentary adaptation of the book, directed by Laurent Bouzereau, was released on HBO Oct. 25. Using Black’s words, Bouzereau adds new dimensions to

the story for the screen, layering a biography of Bisch with a biography of Black himself to present an intimate portrait of a family’s journey to understand themselves and each other. Black was involved in the film as a subject, but explained that he wanted it to be produced separately from himself. “I didn’t feel like I would ever be objective enough to write a movie about my life,” Black said during a panel. “So what I needed then was someone I could trust to take the book away from me and make a film.” As a tribute to Black, the Virginia Film Festival hosted a screening of the documentary at Culbreth Theatre Sunday. The presentation began with remarks from Glenn Williamson, movie producer and member of the VAFF board, who presented the screenwriter with the Changemaker Award. Black began his career as a screenwriter uplifting the histories of the LGBTQ+ community,

and became a major figure in the fight for marriage equality after being inspired by his Oscar win. This award honored Lance’s commitment to inspiring political action and empowering LGBTQ+ communites, both on and offscreen. As Black accepted the award, he spoke about the special connection he shares with Virginia on both a political and personal level. It is also the state that his mother and brother called home. “I’m a mama’s boy with a mom that [lived] here in Virginia,” Black said. “So this place has my heart.” Following the screening, Black joined a conversation with NPR reporter and Class of 2004 alumnus Bilal Quereshi to discuss issues raised by the film and answer questions from the audience. Through a series of family photos, documents and home videos, the film visualizes the progression of Bisch and Black as individuals and as a family

across decades. In the film itself, images of Black’s family life are pushed forward by the narrative he provides in his to-camera interviews. He recounts intimate family memories and moments of personal revelation. Black’s natural grasp on the power of storytelling — and his passionate onscreen presence — is able to shine through in these segments. In one particularly moving scene, Black and his brother return to a river near their childhood home, where the two used to play and hide away from their abusive stepfather. These moments of visual confrontation with the past add incredible layers to Black’s stories. In exploring these personal topics, the story also unveils a profound political message of connection across differences and meaningful conversation as a path forward for change. Black recalled learning that his late older brother was also gay, but was unable to fully embrace his identity in his rural

Virginia atmosphere in the same way Black was able to in his California community, remarking that it felt they were living in “two different Americas.” Another emotional scene documented how Black and Bisch were able to reconcile after Bisch’s initial reluctance to accept his sexuality created a rift in their relationship. On the day of Black’s graduation from UCLA, Bisch showed up unannounced to his party, gained a better understanding of Black’s community and even put a good word in with his crush. At the end of the discussion, Black tearfully explained how his mother’s influence keeps pushing him towards pursuing a better world, even as the future seems bleak. “I am my mother’s son,” Black said. “You know, for better or for worse, if I see something happening, and it’s really hurting people, and I know I have a solution or a way we could go, I was just raised to get in there.”

First Year Players rehearse for ‘Hello, Dolly!’ As the semester begins to wane, the University’s oldest student-run theatre organization prepares for their fall production Emily Pitts | Staff Writer For theare lovers on Grounds, First Year Players is an integral part of one’s University experience. Founded in 1977, the organization puts on a musical production each semester. This semester, the group is preparing to perform “Hello, Dolly!” “Hello, Dolly!” follows matchmaker Dolly Levi to New York. There, she is to find a match for rich and single Horace Vandergelder, though secretly she wants the man to herself. The heartfelt story is full of adventure, romance, and classic Golden Age musical flair. All of the actors featured in the FYP production are first-year students or transfer students. Upperclassmen direct and students of any year are welcome to join the crew or orchestra pit. First-year College student Cavan Meade portrays Cornelius Hackl, one of the leads of the production, who is an adventurous and outgoing clerk at Vandergelder’s store. Alongside other cast members and directors, Meade has long rehearsals throughout the semester to focus on specific scenes and musical numbers.

Meade also spends time on his own preparing to perform well in these rehearsals — especially for one particularly challenging monologue, which comes as Hackl solidifies his love for his romantic counterpart Irene Molly. “I’d spent the week kind of following up to it going through my script, and for every line, just making sure that I really understood what my character was trying to say and where he was trying to go, both within the monologue and within the entire story,” Meade said. Though first-year students make up the cast, the organization serves as a home at the University for years. For John Fitzgerald, technical director of the production and fourth-year Engineering student, this kept him coming back every semester and encouraged him to take on a leadership role. “We’ve made great friendships and made great bonds,” Fitzgerald said. “That just sort of kept me involved and made me want to sort of become [technical director], to bring people into this community and then mentor them …That’s why

I stayed here for four years.” Even during their first semester, the first-year students feel this same sense of community. “What’s so cool about FYP is that it is equal parts a community of people who love theater and a production,” Meade said. “You’re joining a club that is so much more than just the production itself, with a bunch of people who are always there to support you.” Jacquelyn Bryant, pit director and fourth-year College student, ensures the orchestra is performance-ready by show week. In the rehearsals leading up to show week, Bryant’s direction of the pit is centered around building the musicians’ connection to each other, which she feels is integral to a good performance. “In my opinion, musicians and ensembles do better when you are connected with people individually, and then as musicians you’re better connected in that way as well,” Bryant said. “I usually like to get people talking for the first 10-ish minutes. We talk about our days or anything that went on over the weekend. Then we just go for whatever num-

ber we’re working on that day.” As the show approaches its premiere, the team has moved into the Student Activities Building to begin building sets and setting up the show’s technical elements. “The main building component actually happens all within one week,” Fitzgerald said. “From Monday till Sunday we basically just start from scratch, setting up the stage, lights, sound, costumes and show hair and makeup …Then the show week is, of course, a lot of rehearsals and tweaking of any technical elements that need to be fixed.” The actors, crew and pit will soon be entering tech week, which some jokingly call “hell week.” The week entails long rehearsals each night where all hands must be on deck to put all elements of the show together. It’s very time consuming,” Bryant said. “It’s a big jump in rehearsal commitment from what we usually do, but it’s one of my favorite times of the year just because it’s another way of getting to know each other better and connecting with each other.”

During hell week, cast, crew and pit are tasked with the challenges of putting all elements of production together. “Getting all the cues lined up with the pit and the actors is a really big challenge because they learn their music in a totally different way than we do,” said Andrew Culbertson, assistant pit director and fourth-year Engineering student. “We will put a metronome on and we’ll play, but [the cast] has to be acting when they’re going through the music. Sometimes that process can be tough.” Despite the challenges that will arise in the coming weeks, the First Year Players are optimistic and excited about their upcoming opening. “As grueling as the process may be, it’s just going to be really special to get to perform that for people,” Meade said. “Hello, Dolly!” is set to open Nov. 17 at the Student Activities Building, with shows at 7 p.m. Nov. 17, 18 and 20, and a matinee performance Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available in the coming weeks.

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