1.30.2020 Issue

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In This Issue... Oscar on the Oscars - Episode I: Unsung Gems p. 3 An update of what happened during the Oscars via Oscar. By Oscar Bauman, Living Arts Editor

Image courtesy of Clark University

Bigger and Bolder: Clark Chooses its Next President

Katherine Hamilton Editor-in-Chief On January 13, Clark’s Board of Trustees announced alumnus David Fithian (’87) had been selected to become the university’s next president. He will assume the position on July 1, filling the shoes of President David Angel, who announced his intent to retire a year ago. In an interview with the Scarlet, Fithian expressed intentions to be “bold,” but remained vague about specific plans for his presidency. “I think it would be inappropriate to layout a bunch of plans without the opportunity to talk to a lot of people at Clark first, but I intend to think big about the opportunities there,” he explained. While Fithian is still looking for more insight from the Clark community, he said he has already started to gain a sense of Clark’s aspirations from the presidential search committee. “The sense that I have already is that Clark is due for a number of investments in the overall student experience,” he said, mentioning improving services for

mental and physical health, dining and residence, and careers and research. Associate provost and dean of faculty, Esther Jones, echoed this aspiration for growth. She told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that, under Fithian’s leadership, Clark has the potential to become a “global force to be reckoned with...bigger, bolder, and better than ever before.” Fithian has studied and lectured at Yale University, and held senior positions at both Harvard University and the University of Chicago. He emphasized that his experience with these larger institutions will inform his bold ambitions as president. “It won’t be hard for me to adjust to the scale of Clark,” he asserted. “I’ve had a lot of exposure to people thinking big and thinking about how to transform institutions.” Fithian will be the first president to have also attended Clark University as a student. He graduated in 1987 with an undergraduate degree in Sociology and English. As a student, he focused on academic life and research with faculty, but

also dabbled in community service as a Big Brother through the Big Brother, Big Sister program in Main South. While he remembers appreciating the urban community during his undergraduate years, he also acknowledged that both Clark and Main South have grown and changed considerably since the 1980s. “It’s a deeply familiar place, but I am absolutely not going to assume that I have the information I need to come in and make plans for Clark,” he said. He praised President Angel’s work in maintaining strong connections with Worcester and said he hopes to continue to build on that foundation. Students have expressed a range of opinions about the new president, many of which focus on Fithian’s plans for action. “I’m excited to see what initiatives he takes in regards to the growing need for student mental health services on campus,” said Dave Astill (’20). Alexis Marston (’20) stated that

she would like to see Fithian teach a class like David Angel has done. “If he gets involved and gets to know the students because I think Clark is very invested in community.” Students have also referred to Fithian’s identity as an indicator for his potential work as president. “I think it’s great we have a president who is no doubt an advocate for our LGBTQAI+ members of both Clark and the world,” Astill said. “I would’ve liked to see someone a little more diverse as president,” remarked Marston. “Clark really emphasizes diversity and inclusion, and I’m not sure that choosing another white man was the move.” Fithian addressed some of these concerns in his interview with the Scarlet, saying that he could not judge the process of the selection committee, but is extremely dedicated to “ensuring that programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion are wellsupported and well-funded.”

Cats: The Worlds Horniest Movie Without Genitalia p. 3 A wild review on the movie Cats. By Raina Carfaro, Scarlet Staff Playing with Fire Means You’ll Get Burned p. 6 A nuclear war update. By Annie Sinert, Scarlet Staff Squash and Racquetball Courts Are a WellKept Secret on Clark’s Campus p. 8 A dive into the ins and outs about the squash courts and who keeps them in use. By Malcolm Jacob, Scarlet Staff

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Editors-in-Chief: Katherine Hamilton and Arianna Reyes Managing Editor: Joshua Canning Layout Editor: Drashhti Bilimoria News Editor: Luis Santos Opinions Editor: Elyse Wyatt Living Arts Editor: Oscar Bauman Sports Editor: Sara Conroy Photo Editor: Marena Koenka Web Editor: Julia Baldacci Advertising Manager: Drashhti Bilimoria Treasurer: Katherine Hamilton


Reem Abouchleih Raina Carfaro Evelyn Ford Jessie Garbeil Gari De Ramos Malcolm Jacob Mary Kelley Mia Levine Will Mahan Claire McMahon Tara O’Donnell Sarah Reinbrecht Logan Rosell Monica Sager Annie Sinert Emma Theisen Constance Wright


Drashhti Bilimoria Juila Baldacci


Marena Koenka


Website: thescarlet.org Email: scarlet@clarku.edu Facebook: The.Clark.Scarlet Twitter: @Clark_Scarlet Instagram: clarkscarlet

The Scarlet

jan. 31, 2020

Police Logs

01/07/20 - 01/20/20 Wednesday 01/08/2020 Students in Dodd Hall set off the fire alarm because of a cooking mishap. Worcester Fire Department and units responded, and the alarm was reset. Students were advised that they need to evacuate as soon as the alarm is set off. Friday 01/10/2020 Disorderly male, trespassing in Clark’s Bookstore on Main Street. Units responded, and issued a no trespassing, verbal warning to the trespasser. Wednesday 01/15/2020 Complaints of loud music on Maywood/Florence Street, person playing music located and spoken to. Friday 01/17/2020 Suspicious person reported on Hawthorne and Main Street. Units responded and it was all clear. Saturday 01/18/2020 Report of loud noise on 3rd floor of a Florence Street apartment. Party spoken to. Loud noise and underage drinking on 3rd floor of a Florence Street apartment reported, Worcester Police Department was notified. Complaint was unfounded, and WPD was cancelled. Sunday 01/19/2020 Loud party reported in Dodd Hall. Units responded, no party was found. Suspicious activity reported on Charlotte Street and Clifton Street. Cameras showed a large party of people sledding down the hill. Party was located and spoken to. Two males located skateboarding in the Kneller garage. Units responded and males were removed. Fire alarm set off at 3 Maywood Place apartments because of cooking mishap, WFD and units responded, alarm was reset. Wednesday 1/22/20 Physical Plant called about a person sleeping in front of one of the bathrooms in the AC. Reported theft of a sound bar from Daniel’s Theater in Atwood Hall. Report taken. Report of a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a face mask who was drawing graffiti on the back elevated side of the building behind Annie’s Diner. Units responded and spoke with a witness who said the suspect headed up Woodland Street. Unable to remove paint, but work request was submitted. Thursday 1/23/20 Student reported phone scam that happened off campus. Student was advised. Friday 1/24/20 Report of a male outside that the caller could hear but not see. Units removed male. Two females were trying to enter the Bistro who were possibly homeless. Gone on arrival. Report of an older female in the lobby of the ASEC who seemed disoriented. She was spoken to and found to be under the influence. She decided to leave and take a bus to rehab. Report of a suspicious white female about 5’4’’ wearing a denim jacket and begging students for money outside the ASEC. Units patrolled around and inside the building. Sunday 1/26/20 Student filled out voluntary statement about stolen watch.

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Oscar on the Oscars - Episode I: Unsung Gems Breaking down the big snubs from the Academy’s nominations

Oscar Kim Bauman Living Arts Editor As we approach the 92nd Academy Awards, I’ll be sharing my thoughts in this trilogy of articles on the last year of films and the awards show with which I share my name. For the first installment, I want to highlight some of the year’s best films which were overlooked by the Academy’s nominations. As to not get bogged down in negativity, I won’t propose who ought to not have been nominated; instead I will argue that these five exceptional films were at least equally deserving. At the top of my list of snubs is “Booksmart,” the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde. Its a tale of two high school seniors (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) attempting to escape their antisocial image by attending a series of increasingly wild parties the night before graduation. The film successfully threaded the needle between being emotionally resonant and laugh-out-loud funny.

A teenage-focused comedy released in the spring, “Booksmart” was always a long shot for awards season, even with its critical acclaim. Despite this, it is disheartening to see such a well-crafted film go entirely ignored. Additionally, nominations for “Booksmart” could have injected a needed dose of female talent into the overwhelmingly male field of nominees. Despite this lack of recognition, “Booksmart”s Dever and Feldstein, with any luck, have promising careers ahead of them following their star turns in “Booksmart,” and I look forward to seeing more films from Wilde. Another film which has received a shocking lack of recognition from the Academy is “Uncut Gems,” a tense crime thriller from directorial duo and brothers Josh and Benny Safdie. The film tells the tale of Howard Ratner, a gamblingaddicted jeweler in New York City whose attempts to pay off his debts to loan sharks end up getting him in increasingly dire straits. Beyond

elevating the Safdie brothers into the cinematic mainstream, “Uncut Gems” marked a return to critical success for Sandler for his engrossing portrayal of the slimy, charismatic Ratner. Ultimately, everything that made “Uncut Gems” a success -- its chaotic, grimy, nail-bitingly tense mood, and its casting of the critically-reviled Sandler in the lead role -- may have been its downfall, making it too unusual to be considered an “Oscar movie.” According to a recent New York Post article, at least one anonymous Academy member refused to vote for Sandler, saying he lacked “respect” for the Academy due to a joke Sandler made that he would make a movie that was “so bad on purpose just to make you all pay” were he to be snubbed. For ignoring a film as exciting as “Uncut Gems,” the Academy just might really deserve Sandler’s punishment. “Ad Astra,” which I reviewed in


A Release from Eminem that Nobody Could Predict Malcolm Jacob Scarlet Staff Fans of both old-school and modern hip-hop will be pleased to hear that Eminem’s latest album is now available for listening. “Music to Be Murdered By” was recorded throughout most of 2019, and it was released on January 17, starting off 2020 strong for the genre. Much like with his previous album, “Kamikaze,” Eminem gave close to no indication that he was about to put out a new release, and the news is a surprise to listeners. It quickly created discussion among enthusiasts and debate over the meaning of the lyrics. What can be said about the guy that hasn’t been said before? Eminem is a household name whether you enjoy his style or not. He started performing alongside hip hop legends such as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, and over the years has made music with a wide array of greats such as Rihanna, 50 Cent and The Weeknd. His name has become synonymous with rap in many ways. Most people know at least one Eminem song, showing how much his career has permeated through many corners of the world of en-

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tertainment. Even if you don’t know his music by heart, you may recognize the remarkable speed of his rhymes (he reached 101 words in 16 seconds in “Rap God”), or perhaps memes such as the famous “Mom’s spaghetti” line taken from “Lose Yourself.” “Music to Be Murdered By” is Eminem’s eleventh studio album. It has a total of 20 tracks, so fans will have plenty of new songs to enjoy. For one, there are some interesting collaborations. “Those Kinda Nights” recruits Ed Sheeran for the chorus, adding to the already impressive list of talented people that Eminem has worked with. “Leaving Heaven” was made with help from Skylar Grey, whose powerful voice compliments the distorted melody and simple, thundering percussion. At the same time, the solo tracks carry their own just as strongly; check out the melancholy piano in “Darkness” and the unique hip hop beat used in “Farewell.” In a genre saturated with copy-and-paste beats, this is a welcome change. And then there’s the elephant in the room; or, rather, the monster. “Godzilla,” as it’s called, is one that multiple news outlets have

been talking about eagerly. It features verses from late rapper Juice WRLD, who passed away from an accidental overdose in December, making this his first posthumous track. What really makes it special are the verses towards the end of the recording. Remember Eminem’s unbelievable speed mentioned before? Well “Godzilla,” at one point clocks in at 224 words in 31 seconds, and is actually said to surpass Mathers’ 2013 “Rap God” in speed. Some are saying this feat is worthy of the Guinness Book of World Records, though the people who collect these records have not officially confirmed this. Many listeners have enjoyed “Music to Be Murdered By” in the last week, though some critics have been more critical. Listen to it for yourself if you are curious, and chances are you will find something you like. And with twenty songs, we have more than enough to hold us over until Mathers thinks up something new, whenever that may be. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that nobody knows what Eminem will do next or when it will happen.

Cats: The World’s Horniest Genital-Free Movie Raina Carfaro Scarlet Staff I know, I know! I’m sure that you have heard lots of horrible things about this movie, like that it has no plot, terrible effects, and awful dancers, but that’s all wrong! The dancers aren’t that terrible! The dancers do the best they can with the highly unnerving choreography they were given. Andrew Lloyd Webber was notoriously hopped up on cocaine while writing the original stage musical, and apparently, the production team of this movie was, too. I went into the movie theater excited and terrified for the journey that lay before me. To my glee and no one’s surprise, the theater was completely empty. To simplify “Cats”’s senseless plot, the story is about cats in our human world competing against one another for the chance to be reborn into a new life. They are reborn by going into a hot air balloon into space, where they then dissolve into thin air. From the moment the movie started to the minute it ended, I swear I didn’t blink. My eyes felt like they were being pried open by the hands of God, forcing me to watch furry Jason Derulo writhe around and thrust on the floor. For a movie rated PG, it comes off as extremely sexual the entire time. The actors slink about like cats and attempt to be as graceful as they can in hopes that they might cling to whatever dignity they have left. In spite of the actors’ clear efforts, the skintight suits and constant rubbing against one another invokes other images that are far less familyfriendly. It would somehow be less sensual for the cats to just kiss instead of bringing their faces very close and grind necks whilst purring. Even the scale of the movie is unnerving. The actors are supposed to be around the size of real cats, but the scale changes throughout the movie. At points, the cats look like they’re around the size of large dogs and at another point, they look as small as mice. And the mice! The mice featured in a scene are CGI-ed children, and worse still are the cockroaches who sing and dance

and have human faces. They are eaten in a disturbing manner by Rebel Wilson’s cat, who is turned into a fat joke. Most of the featured characters have a song to themselves which is common for ensemble musicals, but for a film interpretation, they did it all wrong. Films have far more freedom than stage shows, and can physically move the setting of the scene with ease. They used this freedom too much in the movie to the point where each song felt like it was from a different movie. The simplistic plot is made to be enhanced by the performers, not effects, and the rapid change of location made the film hard to follow. The producers leaned on the big names in the cast to bring in people, but they forgot that the most important part of “Cats” is having competent performers with huge stage presence. The show comes alive because of its hard-working actors, not because of gimmicks and Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift is a singer and no more. She doesn’t have the stage presence or acting abilities to match even Idris Elba’s energy on stage, and though her performance sounds nice, it is soulless. This is the fatal mistake, because the success of “Cats” relies almost entirely on soul. The original stage show is filled with charming elements, like gorgeous handmade suits and sets designed to make the actors look like the real size of cats. The show stole audiences’ hearts by whisking them away to a story done with Broadway flair, where the importance of the plot was overshadowed by the extraordinary dancers and the magic of theatre. This movie, in an attempt to modernize the show for a film audience, ended up neutering the original’s charm and removing the factors that made it the longest-running musical on Broadway. I am listening to the music from the movie as I write this, and despite its shortcomings, I can’t help but sing along. This is because, just like the scene of Idris Elba perched naked atop a statue, the lyrics have been seared into my brain. Forever.

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Mac Miller’s Circles Proves that Posthumous Releases Don’t Have to be a Cash Grab

Image courtesy of Matt Rushford

Matt Rushford Contributing Writer For many who grew up through the 2010s, Mac Miller’s creative growth from a Pittsburgh pop rapper to an experimental musician testing abstract hip-hop and live instrumentation signified that artists willing to work outside of the box are often met with greater fanfare and recognition than those who don’t. Miller’s long-term fight with addiction resonated with audiences and his death from an accidental overdose in 2018 was a hard hit for fans. Lyrically, Miller has some of the strongest of his whole career on “Circles.” Contrasting with his other works, this album, at its core, is not a rap album, with Miller primarily singing and even reaching spoken word at points. Miller brings a blunt honesty to all the tracks, at times pessimistic about the world around us. At other points he allows for slight optimism, such as on “Good News” where he talks about the need for silver linings as a way to avoid some of the darkness around us. Miller’s family acknowledged the difficulty of releasing a project following an artist’s death in a statement given prior to the release of “Circles,” Miller’s first project released after his death.

“This is a complicated process that has no right answer,” said Miller’s family. “We simply know that it was important to Malcolm for the world to hear it.” “Circles” was created as a companion album to his final release, “Swimming,” and Miller’s bittersweet energy pulses through the entire project, giving listeners an honest and introspective view of his last few months. In the rap community in recent years, artists’ deaths have become tragically common. Besides Miller, rappers Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, and Juice WRLD all died unexpectedly in recent years. Like all genres in which noted artists pass away, the release of posthumous musical projects following their death always comes with great difficulty and is often met with a mix of praise and criticism. A prime example of music being poorly released after the death of an artist is the chaotic releases of controversial rapper XXXTentacion’s two posthumous albums “Skins” and “Bad Vibes Forever.” Both of these albums have been criticized for being sloppy and unfinished products that were pushed into being released by XXXTentacion’s mother. Much of the credit for the success of this project should be given

to co-producer Jon Brion, who has previously worked with artists ranging from Fiona Apple and Elliott Smith. He collaborated with Kanye West on his albums “Late Registration” and “Graduation” and with Janelle Monae on her latest album, “Dirty Computer.” Brion and Miller crafted simple, yet effective backgrounds which pick up and develop into beautiful melodies. This helps set the mood for the entire album properly. “Circles” is different from many other posthumous projects in that it gives off a feeling of being fleshed out stylistically, as if it were what the final product would have sounded like. While we can’t know what it would have sounded like if Miller were alive to finish the product, Brion did an incredible job of preserving Miller’s artistic intent, thus creating a very satisfying experience for listeners and fans. For those looking for a final stage of Mac Miller’s evolution, “Circles” is bound to be a satisfying conclusion.

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greater detail for the Scarlet back in October, actually did receive one nomination for sound mixing. While the film undeniably features an engrossing soundscape, director James Gray’s emotional tale of discovering the deepest parts of oneself at the edge of our solar system is deserving of much more. Brad Pitt has been nominated for his role as Cliff Booth in “Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood,” but his subtle, emotionally isolated turn as Roy McBride in “Ad Astra” -- a far cry from the gregarious, hotheaded Booth -- is equally powerful, and shows Pitt’s range. While “Ad Astra” was one of the year’s best; its lack of nominations may be chalked up to multiple factors. While well-received by critics, it faced a lukewarm audience reception, likely due to expectations for an action-packed space adventure rather than a slow, moody drama. Director James Gray, while a known name, also lacks the instant recognition of competitors like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. Beyond this, “Ad Astra”’s September release date may have simply been too early, as it was overshadowed by later released in the minds of voters. Given the success of director Jordan Peele’s previous film, 2017’s “Get Out,” his ambitious follow-up, “Us,” seemed like a likely contender for this year’s Oscars, but ended up with nary a single nomination. “Us,” the story of a family’s attempts to evade death at the hands of mysterious doppelgangers, packed in thrills alongside high-minded, thoughtprovoking social commentary. At the film’s center is Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o turning in a stunning dual performance as both the meek, traumatized Adelaide Wilson and her sinister, commanding double, Red. The Academy’s complete snub of “Us” must be viewed in the context of its larger problems with race. The voting membership of the Academy, despite diversity efforts in recent years, is still 84% Caucasian, and was, for many years, even less diverse. This makeup is reflected in the Oscar’s treatment of filmmakers of color, particularly their frequent overlooking of films featuring black

talent that aren’t about racial topics, such as the Civil Rights movement or the horrors of slavery. It’s all too plausible that the Academy would be fine with awarding Nyong’o for playing an enslaved woman in “12 Years a Slave,” but not a modern-day horror heroine in “Us.” Or that they awarded Peele for his explicit racial allegory in “Get Out,” but won’t for his new film’s economic culture critique. “The Farewell,” Lulu Wang’s touching familial drama, was another apparent victim of the Academy’s racial insensitivity. The film, which stars Awkwafina, navigates familial dynamics and cultural tensions. It tells the reallife story of a family who stage a wedding in order to bring together their relatives to see off their terminally ill grandmother, who is unaware of her condition. Such a film would be an Oscars favorite had it featured white protagonists, but its centering of a Chinese family, and Wang’s choice to have the majority of the dialogue be in Mandarin likely rendered it too “foreign” for the Academy. Wang’s delicate direction brings out touching, nuanced performances from its ensemble. Awkwafina, previously known for her comedic work, shows great versatility in an understated, but emotional performance as Billi. Tzi Ma displays great depth and inner conflict as Billi’s father, Haiyan, and the breakout star of “The Farewell” may very well be Zhao Shuzhen, whose portrayal of Nai Nai serves as the film’s emotional center. Ultimately, an underlying theme of all these snubbed films is that they are all from less established filmmakers. “Booksmart” was Olivia Wilde’s first film, “Us” and “The Farewell” are sophomore efforts, and while James Gray and the Safdie brothers are more prolific, they remain less familiar names to the Academy. While these five excellent films going overlooked is frustrating, the realization that the creatives behind them, with any luck, have many years of work ahead remains a silver lining. For next week’s Oscar on the Oscars: a look at the films that actually were nominated.

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Australian Wildfires Devastate Cities and Wildlife Evelyn Ford Scarlet Staff Unusually severe wildfires continue to rage across the southeast coast of Australia, leaving communities devastated in its wake. Persistent heat and drought can be blamed for the intensity of the fires, but others question the role of climate change. Since the fires began in October, there have been at least thirty deaths nationwide, eight of whom were firefighters, and over 3,000 homes have been destroyed in North-South Wales (NSW) where the fire began. Over 2.7 million acres of land have been destroyed. Seasonal wildfires are to be expected in the hot, dry Australian summers, but the recent fires have been particularly brutal. Drought, dry lightning, and other natural causes are to blame for the majority of the fires, but humans are to blame for some of the fires as well. Twenty-four people in NSW have been charged with intentionally starting bushfires and NSW police have taken legal action against 183 people for fire-related offenses since November. The fires, which started in NSW, have spread to parts of Victoria and have devastated many towns in addition to impacting major cities. In December, air quality in Sydney reached hazardous levels when a blanket of smoke settled over the city. In early January, Victoria and NSW declared states of disaster and emergency respectively and government assistance has been sent to aid in firefighting, evacuation, search and rescue, and cleanup. Over 2,000 firefighters are working on the ground, some sent from the US, Canada, and New Zealand, in addition to military assistance from the Australian government. An estimated half a billion animals have died since the fires be-


Big Brother Joins Big Tech

What Secrets are Hidden Behind Household Security Cameras?

Will Mahan Scarlet Staff Most people in the United States fear infringement into their personal lives. It’s the primary reason that the Amazon company has made millions of dollars through their Ring security cameras. Compatible with Amazon’s popular Alexa device, Ring security cameras are intended to prevent home break-ins. Unfortunately, what was once believed to be protecting our privacy is, in fact, hijacking it. Several security breaches into Ring’s software have given hackers full access to people’s homes. One such example took place this past December when a hacker had spoken to a young eight-year-old girl through her parent’s Ring security camera. However, it isn’t just illegal activity, that should make Ring security camera owners nervous. Recently Amazon was forced to admit, they have secretly been giving Ukranian subcontractors secret access into Ring security video feed. It is a frightening realization for the

millions of Americans with these cameras in their households that the most private parts of their lives may be watched by people they will never know. Another uncomfortable revelation has to do with Amazon’s partnership with four hundred U.S. police forces. Amazon has collaborated with police forces to create template scripts. These scripts are being used by law enforcement to persuade people into giving police access into their Ring security camera footage. The most frightening revelation from this is U.S. Law Enforcement does not need any kind of warrant to do this. In an email from Ring, Inc. to the Bloomfield Detective Bureau Commander, more insight was given regarding the thought process of Amazon. “The more users you have, the more useful information you can collect.” (Anonymous Ring Inc. Representative, Amazon). In the scenario that an individual refuses to give police access to their surveillance feed, police can still

directly ask RING Inc. for camera footage if the user declines. This would in turn force the person to attend court over the matter. “If we ask within 60 days of the recording and as long as it’s been uploaded to the cloud, then Ring can take it out of the cloud and send it to us legally so that we can use it as part of our investigation” (Fresco County, California Sheriff’s Office). In addition to this partnership, multiple city councils have actually subsidized the costs of Ring security cameras. Several police departments are even distributing the cameras for free. In Arcadia, California Ring security cameras are actually being sold by the local city government, with the costs of these cameras being subsidized through taxpayer dollars. This means Amazon receives a free monetary reward, and the city’s law enforcement receives free access into people’s homes without needing search warrants. Arcadia’s city government even put out advertisements for the cameras, with

captions such as “Help stop crime before it happens”. The most frightening revelation in all of this is that many Ring security camera owners are unknowingly participating in what Amazon calls “Beta Testing” for facial, vocal, and movement recognition systems. It is extremely unsettling that none of us have any grasp on what Amazon can or will do with all of this information. Ring security cameras are certainly a momentary concern, but what’s worse is the consolidation of power we are currently seeing within Amazon. If this single Amazon product is clouded in so much ethical dilemma, then what other Amazon products could hold similar faults? Whether our privacy is being sold to the government or foreign power, it should be a wakeup call to all Americans. Freedom is never truly free - it is earned. In order to preserve our freedom, we as Americans must confront private and public figureheads, for answers on morally questionable actions like these ones.

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Playing With Fire Means You’ll Just Get Burned America Toes the Line in Terms of Nuclear War

Annie Sinnert Scarlet Staff Over the course of his Presidency, Donald Trump has only escalated tensions with other countries, further putting the United States in the exact peril he promised to deliver us from. These tensions were further exacerbated by his call to assassinate Qassem Soleimani, the head General of the Iranian military. In the early hours of January third, Trump ordered a drone strike near the cargo area of the Baghdad International Airport where Soleimani was traveling by car. The strike killed Soleimani and ten other individuals including Abu Mahdi alMuhandis, the deputy leader of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces. Soleimani was incredibly popular among the people of Iran as well as with many Iranian allies. He had survived several previous assassination attempts over the past two decades and was credited with helping armed groups retaliate against the nefarious terrorist group commonly known as ISIS. His death sparked outrage among Iranians with citizens taking to the streets to publicly mourn his demise. Following the assassination, many Iranian officials and leaders spoke out with promises of revenge against America. Former Iranian military Commander, Mohsen Rezaei, tweeted “Soleimani joined his martyred brothers, but we will take vigorous revenge on America.” In another tweet from Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister said that “The U.S. act of international terrorism targeting and assassinating General Soleimani - THE most effective force fighting ISIS, Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al - is extremely dangerous and foolish escalation.” As they promised, Iran delivered a retaliation. Five days after Soleimani’s death, Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at U.S. military airbases in Iraq. Thankfully there were no casualties, though later reports stated that thirty-four American service members suffered from traumatic brain injuries. When asked about the injuries at a news conference, President Trump said, in his usual flippancy, that he “heard that they {the soldiers} had headaches” and that he doesn’t “consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries” he has seen. This comment outraged American troops and veterans who are now demanding an apology. So why did this happen? The ris-

ing tensions between the U.S. and Iran in recent years could be a possible answer. Last year, Trump pulled the U.S. from the landmark nuclear deal between the countries and began reimposing punishing sanctions in an effort to weaken the Iranian economy. Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has cycled through more cabinet members and advisors than any other presidency. Anyone who did not agree with him or didn’t propose the options that he wanted was pushed from the White House. Trump’s current Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, as well as his acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, have little to no expertise or knowledge on Middle East relations. They could not have warned the President of the potential ramifications of this action because they genuinely did not know what would happen. Trump’s former Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, had extensive knowledge of the Middle East and, knowing that Trump was a “loose cannon,” didn’t want to enable any bad decisions by providing military options that Trump could seize. His successors did not have this awareness and thus allowed Trump to grab at the most extreme option they could offer him. We are exactly where Mattis feared we would be: teetering on the edge of a nuclear war. The possibility of a full-scale conflict between the U.S. and Iran is at its highest point in decades. Trump’s reckless decision to assassinate Soleimani now locks our countries in a dangerous escalatory cycle, leaving his administration and Congress scrambling with the consequences. Trump has not met any of his stated objectives. If anything, he has pushed our country into a position of weakened security and made another war an actual possibility that would destroy our economy and push us deeper down the rabbit hole. In a televised press statement, Trump tried to justify his performance by saying that “we took action to stop a war, not to start a war” and that “the world is a safer place without these monsters.” Ironically, not only did Trump metaphorically bang the war drums, but he has painted himself as the exact monster that the world would be a safer place without. His imprudent and ill-advised action has pushed us to the very edge of a war that we cannot afford. He is playing with fire and we’re all about to get burned.

jan. 31, 2020

Warren’s Centrism is Painted as the Picture of Progress

Positioning Warren and Sanders in the same progressive category neglects the rich history Sanders has as an advocate for justice and equality. Noor Almaslamani Contributing Writer On January 13, 2020 Elizabeth Warren accused Bernie Sanders of underestimating her capabilities to win the presidency because of her gender. Warren told the media that in 2018 while she was having a private meeting with Sanders, she laid out her strategy and plan to beat Donald Trump. Sanders, in response, allegedly told her that a woman could not win the election. The media has no quotes of Bernie Sanders saying that a woman cannot win the presidency because Warren did not provide them with sincere evidence. Sanders’ history in Congress shows that he has been one of the few maleidentifying senators who supported a woman running for the presidency. There are videos of Sanders talking about the importance of women having equal opportunities and outcomes as men in the United States. Sanders has always run his seat for Congress as an independent candidate because he believes that the Democratic Party needs to move more to the left of the political spectrum. This shows that there is a very limited chance, if any, that people will believe Warren’s accusations and dismiss Sanders. In a statement to CNN, Sanders denied the accusations stating that “it is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth

Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn’t win. It’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.” To be clear and concise, no one was in that room and no one knows what happened and what was said. There are also no quotes from Warren about Sanders’ accusation until this moment. In addition to that, Warren released this information two weeks into 2020, although the meeting took place in 2018 because Sanders was at his highest peak in terms of voters’ support. It was at a time when Sanders was leading in many states around the country, including Iowa. Elizabeth Warren is a capitalist who only joined the Democratic Party twenty-three years ago. She did not join the party because she changed her opinions regarding politics and economics and decided to move to the left on the political spectrum; the Democratic Party moved further to the center on the political spectrum and allowed

Warren to join the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party was for the workers and against corporations. Today we see candidates from both parties get funding from big corporations on Wall Street, the heart of capitalism, injustice, and inequality. Something else worth noting is that Warren has a history of lying and narrating different stories on national TV about the reasons she left teaching. Additionally, Warren lied about her origins and caused a huge controversy after stating that part of her DNA testing showed that she is Native American. Moreover, Warren takes corporate PAC money from Kaiser, a famous healthcare company that profits off of opioid addiction. Playing the gender card and the “we should defeat Donald Trump” to win the presidency is not the right strategy, the right strategy is to release a robust platform that will vividly explain the different plans that have been talked about. In short, Warren is not a progressive and should not be labeled as one. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are not the same; Sanders is a hard-core advocate for justice, while Warren is all about the chair in the Oval office.


between the unusually aggressive fires and hotter temperatures points to one thing. Some climate scientists believe that climate change could be a driver of the fires. Fire season in Australia has been starting earlier and a national average temperature increase of 1.8F could support that claim. Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, a climate research group, tweeted, “There are many drivers of wildfires, but it’s increasingly clear that hotter, drier conditions play a big role in making them worse.” To fully analyze the drivers of the fires, they first must come to an end. Dr. Richard Thornton, chief executive of the Bushfires & Natural Hazards Cooperative

Research Center said, “We find it very difficult in general to attribute climate change impacts to a specific event, particularly while the event is running.” The Australian summer is only halfway through and it is unlikely that the fires will cease before the end of the season. Organizations such as the NSW Rural Fire Service, Australian Red Cross, and the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital are raising money to aid in relief and recovery for the victims of the wildfires.

gan, causing growing concern for endangered and endemic species. Already, fires on Kangaroo Island in South Australia may have decimated the remaining population of dunnarts, an endangered species of mouse-sized marsupial. The destruction of forest habitats does not bode well for the species that rely on niche environments. Tanya Latty, an entomologist at the University of Sydney says, “The fires could be the last straw that drives fragile populations over the brink.” Many species that have suffered population losses due to the fires are also impacted by climate change. For some, the link

jan. 31, 2020

The Scarlet

sports | 7

Rising Stars and Hopes on the Court Sara Conroy Sports Editor While most Clark students were enjoying some time away from the action at Clark this past winter break, the members of the men’s basketball were hard at work. With an 8 and 9 overall record and a 3 and 3 conference record, the men’s basketball team is now amidst the toughest of their NEWMAC competitions of the season. The team remains just under a .500 season win percentage for all games. Most teams consider a “500 season”, when a team ends with a paired number of wins and losses, a decent outcome. The men’s basketball team is certainly in a building year with a lot of young talent and both co-captains in only their junior season. In the NEWMAC, Clark ranks 5th in the men’s basketball standings. Overall the team is showing many strengths on the court, but two individuals in particular have stood this season. Junior Tyler Davern was named Co-Defensive Athlete of the week earlier this week by NEWMAC officials. He was joined by junior Andrew Jaworski of Babson College and senior Heath Post of Springfield College. Davern earned this honor for his role in aiding the Cougars to victory over the Babson Beavers and his impressive showing against the nationally ranked Springfield College Pride. When the Cougars took down the Babson Beavers, Davern had 3 steals and totaled 23 points. Against Springfield, Davern led the team in defensive playmaking with 10 rebounds in the game. It would be hard to get through a conversation on the Clark men’s basketball team without mentioning junior Biko Gayman. Gayman put his name in the Clark Athletics history books after scoring his 1,000th point of his college career in a game against NEWMAC opponent the Coast Guard Academy. Gayman joins just 27 other men’s basketball players in program history who’ve achieved this honor and he is the 3rd to have also reached 300 assists at the time of earning this achievement. Throughout this season Gayman has averaged 19.8 points per game and has already earned a NEWMAC honor earlier this season. The NEWMAC named Gayman the Offensive Athlete of the

Week at the very start of spring session classes after taking the game high’s in two big matches against NEWMAC opponents Wheaton and Emerson, the latter of which is the defending NEWMAC championship team. Head Coach Tyler Simms, in his first season at Clark, has lead the team to its strongest conference play since the 20122013 season. The Scarlet had the chance to speak with Coach Simms who had the following to say about the performances by Davern and Gayman, “Their talent on the court speaks for itself in terms of the responsibility they have put on their shoulders. It’s good to see them getting the honors they deserve, but something we’ve been focusing on is that individual success comes from team success. When the team wins, everyone wins”. Coach Simms also stressed that both players are leaders on and off the court in their own ways. Davern is a Co-Captain leading the team in that capacity with “a real passion for getting better and for the team,’’ according to Coach Simms. He also drew attention to Gayman’s involvement in groups across campus where he uses the same energy he has on the court to create positive change in the Clark community. Gayman is one of five Co-Founders of Clark Athletics Inclusion Coalition (CAIC), a group emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion through education and action. As for the rest of the season, Coach Simms is confident that the team’s attitude and effort will guide them through the next eight games and hopefully carry them through post-season play. If you’d like to catch Davern, Gayman, and the rest of the team against NEWMAC opponents, you can catch them this Saturday at 1 PM versus Springfield College at the Kneller Athletic Center. To keep up with all the latest Clark Athletics news on-the-go, follow Clark Athletics on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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Don’t delete the 281 (background) colored parallelograms. They can be turned off or on to create new arrangements of windows.

8 | sports

The Scarlet

Squash and Racquetball Courts Are a Well-Kept Secret on Clark’s Campus

jan. 31, 2020

Clark University Athletics Schedule Saturday, February 1 Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving vs. Brandeis, 1 PM Men’s Basketball vs. Springfield College, 1 PM Wednesday, February 5 Men’s Basketball at WPI, 5:30 PM Women’s Basketball vs. Emerson College, 7 PM Saturday, February 8 Women’s Basketball vs. Babson College,1 PM Men’s Basketball at Babson College, 2 PM Sunday, February 9 Men’s Tennis vs Stonehill College, 1 PM

Image courtesy of Evelyn Deleon.

Malcolm Jacob Scarlet Staff Every college campus has its big secrets. Here at Clark University there are places that even veteran students may be unfamiliar with. For example, look at the basement level of Kneller Athletic Center. Not everybody visits here on a regular basis. When walking down the tight, winding flights of stairs, a new visitor may wonder what is hiding in the dark corners of this old building. But the basement of Kneller is not nearly as mysterious as it may seem. Here there are four racquetball courts and two squash courts, and the students and faculty actually use them frequently. Just ask Professor Mark Miller, who teaches courses in the Political Science Department but is also the Chair of the Faculty Athletic Board. Miller has played racquetball since his days in law school, and he is eager to pass on his expertise on the sport to any students that are looking to learn. “Racquetball is a game that people can play without too much experience,” Miller said. “What’s more important is that players are roughly equal in skill. People can have a good time without much background.” Squash, meanwhile, also has a considerable turnout. While participants would have played in another building in the early days, they moved to their new location after Kneller was built. In the 1980s the school’s student squash club was

coached by Professor Stan Gerber from the Sociology Department. On some days it was so busy that participants would show up early to guarantee their playing time. Although the sport was popular in its heyday, eventually the group stopped their meetings due to an overall loss in interest and participation. Fortunately, in 2018, student Ravi Rao, ‘21, revived the club on Clark’s campus. The new squash club began with just nine participants and has since grown to a size of 25 regular participants. They practice four days a week to give everyone a chance to play, and they are now competing in the CSA (College Squash Association). The squash courts are built in the American (or hardball) style. This means they use a specific set of dimensions, such as the court being 18.5 feet wide, and the short line being 10 feet from the back wall. However, the Clark Squash Club is currently working towards having the courts redesigned to international (or softball) style. In this case the court is 21 feet wide, and the short line is 14 feet from the back wall. Students and faculty are thrilled that Rao has helped in bringing back organized squash. Katie Morrison, the Athletics Department Secretary and Facilities Scheduler, sees the facilities as a place where people can try something new and have fun without a great deal of preparation. “These courts are a great way to get involved in a sport that doesn’t require a team,” Morrison said.

“They bring in students who otherwise wouldn’t know about Kneller, and they help get them moving.” In addition to serving their original purpose, the various courts throughout Kneller are also useful for offering backup indoor space. Sometimes a team may need to move locations when their usual spot isn’t available. Or, they may need to hold practice in a place that is safe from the elements. This is all too common in New England, where unpredictable weather can put a sudden end to outdoor practice plans. Anybody from badminton players to the dance team can be seen using the racquetball courts, which shows how versatile these facilities can be. Upstairs, the gym floor is a popular location for students and staff to organize games of pickleball. With the potential for upgraded courts, the future for squash and racquetball at Clark is bright. No matter their skill level, students are encouraged to stop by the (not-so-scary) Kneller basement, whether to play a match or simply watch others compete. Anyone interested in joining the Clark Squash Club can contact Ravi Rao at rrao@clarku.edu. Special thanks to Jeff Himmelberger, Wayne Gray, Fred Greenaway, and Daeg Brenner for providing stories of the history of squash at Clark University.

Please check the Clark Athletics website and their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates on matches and games. You can find them at @ClarkAthletics on social media. Check back into The Scarlet next week to see how the Cougars performed in some of these challenges.