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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020 VOL. CXXXVI NO.19

2020 saw the world turn upside down

as COVID-19 struck the United States and forced Penn to move all classes online in March. Students and faculty grappled with the adverse effects of online learning on mental and physical health. Beyond the virtual classroom, the Penn community rallied together to support the Black Lives Matter movement, call on Penn to pay PILOTs, and increase voter turnout in a historic presidential faceoff between two Penn affiliates. Take a look back at this year’s biggest stories with The Daily Pennsylvanian’s Year in Review.

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Penn transitions to remote learning OPINION

2020: The year Penn failed its international students PHOTO

The year in review SPORTS

Fighting racial injustice: From breaking color barriers to Black Lives Matter NEWS

Tracking COVID-19 34th STREET

The year of apoliticism: How 2020 made apathy easy

Photo Credits: Son Nguyen, Alec Druggan, Sukhmani Kaur, Kylie Cooper, Chase Sutton Cover Design: Isabel Liang

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | THEDP.COM

Penn transitions to remote learning As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philadelphia area, Penn shifted to virtual learning and closed on-campus housing by KOMAL PATEL

After just weeks of normal instruction at the beginning of the spring semester, the COVID-19 pandemic plunged academics and student life at Penn into uncertainty, indefinitely. Since spring break, the vast majority of courses have been conducted remotely — and will continue to be mostly virtual in the spring 2021 semester. The pandemic has prompted a flurry of University-wide policy changes, disrupted study abroad programs, and forced on-campus services, such as gyms and libraries, to close. To track cases on campus, Penn opened a testing facility in Houston Hall, which has logged hundreds of positive results to date.

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Though no cases had yet been reported at Penn, the University announced in an email to undergraduates that it was monitoring the pandemic and communicating with students studying abroad in China. The email stated that students who had visited China within the past two weeks should contact Student Health Service immediately if symptoms occur.

Feb. 4 — The pandemic prompted the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing to remain closed until at least Feb. 10. Feb. 5 — Penn recommended that any students, faculty, or staff returning from mainland China self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to the United States. At this point, there were no cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia or at Penn, and the risk to the Penn community was considered to be low. March 2 — Penn suspended all University-related travel to China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Students were also urged to reconsider any international travel plans. By March 2, COVID-19 cases had been detected in 10 states, and six people had died from the disease, all in Washington state. March 11 — Penn joined several other universities in announcing that it would extend spring break for another week, with remote learning beginning March 23. Students who had left for spring break were told not to return to gather their belongings, while students who remained on campus for spring break had to move out by March 15. March 12 — Penn extended the deadline to move off campus by two days to March 17 after students expressed frustration with the short timeline. Though Residential Services urged students who were off campus not to return and retrieve their belongings, many did anyway. Penn Abroad urged students studying in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Ireland to return home immediately. SHS also alerted more than 100 students and faculty about potential exposure to COVID-19.

March 16 — Three Penn students tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling abroad for spring break. Twenty additional students were identified as having medium- to high-risk exposure to the virus, but most were off campus and were told to self-isolate. Penn also canceled on-campus graduation events and moved the 2020 Commencement ceremony online. April 13 — Penn announced it would conduct all summer courses virtually. The remote summer sessions included many of the courses that were initially scheduled to be offered in person. Students expressed frustration with the unchanged price of the summer courses despite their online nature, and some chose to take classes at other universities instead. Despite this, Penn saw a 70% increase in enrollment in summer courses in the first summer session and a 30% increase in enrollment for the second summer session. June 11 — Penn canceled all fall 2020 study abroad programs as a result of the global travel restrictions and health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. State Department had previously issued a Global Health Advisory of Level 4, advising Americans to avoid international travel due to the pandemic. June 25 — Penn announced it would reopen campus housing for a hybrid fall semester. The semester would start on Sept. 1, and in-person operations would be suspended on Nov. 20. The remainder of the semester would then be conducted remotely following Thanksgiving break, including final exams. Fall break was canceled to discourage students from traveling. July 6 — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that international students would be

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Penn announced it would reopen on-campus housing for the spring semester, while the majority of classes would still be taught remotely. Undergraduate students must be tested twice a week for COVID-19, and graduate students must be tested once a week. To meet the expected increased demand for testing, Penn will open seven testing sites in addition to the current site at Houston Hall. Students remain hesitant to trust this plan after Penn reversed its initial fall semester plan just weeks before the semester was set to begin.

above 2%. Of the 107 cases, 90 were undergraduate students, with 17 cases comprising graduate students, faculty, staff, and other Penn affiliates. Nov. 19 — New citywide COVID-19 restrictions, which will remain in place until at least Jan. 1, forced the University to close indoor dining, Van Pelt Library, and the Penn Museum. Dec. 7 — Penn transitioned to a salivabased test for the rest of the fall semester and the spring 2021 semester. The University had used nasal swab testing, but switched to the FDA-approved saliva-based screening to prepare for the expected increase in demand for testing as more students return to campus in January.

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Calling all Movers Shakers + Quakers

prohibited from staying in the United States if taking an entirely online course load at their university in the fall semester. Penn, along with many other universities, condemned the move. International students scrambled to confirm their enrollment in at least one in-person class for the fall semester while expressing frustration with the policy. July 14 — The U.S. government rescinded the ICE restrictions, instead reinstating the guidelines it had issued in March, which allowed nonimmigrant students to retain their F-1 visa status within the United States while taking online courses. International students expressed relief at the policy reversal. Aug. 11 — Penn announced it would reverse its decision to hold a hybrid fall semester, closing on-campus housing just weeks before the start of the semester. The vast majority of undergraduate classes would be held remotely. Tuition would freeze for the fall semester, and the general fee would decrease by 10%. Oct. 20 — Penn Libraries announced that a limited number of seats would be available in Van Pelt Library for students to study individually. Students who wished to reserve a seat in the library needed to be living on campus and be part of Penn’s COVID-19 surveillance program. To enter the building, students were told to have a green PennOpen Pass, along with confirmation of their reservation that must have been made at least four hours in advance. Students needed to abide by the precautions outlined in the Student Campus Compact, including wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing. Nov. 4 — Penn reported what was at the time a semester-high weekly count of positive COVID-19 cases, with 107 recorded cases, in the last week of October. The positivity rate was 2.2% — the second time to date the rate had risen


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NEWS 3

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

QUINN ROBINSON, SUKHMANI KAUR, AND CHASE SUTTON

Students struggle to adapt to virtual classes Students suffered from Zoom fatigue and pushed for pass/fail course grading opby LINDSEY PERLMAN

Being a Penn student in 2020 shattered everyone’s expectations of what their college experience would look like, with many forced to attend class from their childhood bedrooms. First years still have yet to attend lectures on campus, and upperclassmen spent the last two months of the spring and the entire fall semester learning remotely. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life for Penn students, many of whom are still struggling to adapt to remote learning. Just three weeks before classes were set to begin, Penn reversed its decision to bring students back to campus for the fall, instead holding the vast majority of classes online and offering housing only for limited exceptions. Some students opted to take a leave of absence this semester rather than pay $26,583 in tuition for a fully online course load, and about 300% more incoming students than usual decided to take a gap year. But some first years chose to live in offcampus housing in spite of Penn’s decision, in the hopes of experiencing a somewhat normal first semester. Students found the semester challenging because of “Zoom fatigue,” the exhaustion caused by using their computer all day, and the lack of fall break. March 20 — A student petition calling for a pass/ fail grading option garnered more than 3,000 signatures, prompting administration to announce that undergraduates from all four schools could take any course pass/fail, including those taken to satisfy major or general education requirements. The policy mirrored that of several other peer universities. March 25 — Following Penn’s decision to close campus for the semester, many first-generation, low-income and international students faced unique challenges during online learning. Some FGLI students who were denied on-campus housing were forced to conduct a last-minute search for housing and stable internet access. International students also struggled to Zoom in to class from vastly different time zones, with some students having to attend class at 3 or 4 a.m. Other students expressed concern over delays in much-needed financial aid to go towards new laptops, internet access, and groceries. April 9 — Penn extended the deadline to opt in to pass/ fail grading to April 29, the last day of classes for the spring semester. The move followed widespread student criticism and petitions for the University to push the original April 13 deadline back, which was the earliest deadline in the Ivy SEE REMOTE PAGE 8

Penn takes center stage in the 2020 presidential election The election saw former Penn professor Joe Biden face off against 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump, with Pa. flipping blue to propel Biden to the White House by TORI SOUSA and CELIA KRETH

In the history-making 2020 presidential election, both presidential nominees had strong ties to the University, with President-elect Joe Biden previously serving as a Presidential Professor of Practice and President Donald Trump as a 1968 graduate of the Wharton School. The Daily Pennsylvanian followed Biden’s campaign, from on-the-ground coverage of the New Hampshire primary in February to his decisive win in Pennsylvania, a vital battleground state that ultimately propelled him to the presidency. During the entirely virtual fall semester, student groups — such as Penn Democrats, Penn for Biden, and College Republicans — actively campaigned for the candidates, relentlessly advocated for Penn to cancel classes on Election Day, and hosted virtual events to mobilize voters in the Penn community. Feb. 2 — The Daily Pennsylvanian Editorial Board endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic presidential nomination, citing his support of working-class Americans, civil rights and LGBTQ rights, and the Green New Deal. Feb. 5 — Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2019, but was ultimately acquitted in February 2020 after the United States Senate voted to reject both articles of impeachment. The House had passed two articles, charging Trump with abuse of power and

obstruction of Congress. Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman served as an impeachment witness and joined Perry World House as a fellow this academic year. Feb. 12 — In the first primary of the year, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won New Hampshire with 25.7% of the vote, followed by South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 24.4%, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) with 19.8%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 9.2%, and Biden trailing with 8.4%. Students in Penn for Bernie and Penn for Biden traveled to the Granite State to canvass and door-knock for their respective candidates. When asked by Daily Pennsylvanian reporters in New Hampshire what she would say to college voters, Warren stressed the need for “an America that works for everyone.” March 5 — Warren, a former Penn professor, ended her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in early March. Warren, who taught at Penn Law from 1987 to 1995, has received praise from former students who said she was a “whip smart” and “well-liked” professor. She ran her campaign championing policies to combat corruption and climate change, and aid workingclass Americans. Ahead of Super Tuesday primaries, Buttigieg and Klobuchar had also dropped out of the race and

endorsed Biden. April 8 — Sanders suspended his second presidential campaign in early April, leaving the 2020 race between Trump and Biden. Sept. 3 — Penn Dems and Penn for Biden shifted their typical campaign efforts and club-wide activities to a virtual format this election season due to COVID-19. Penn Dems established a paid fellowship for their club members to encourage phone-banking before Election Day, and continued organizing for Biden and local Democrats such as 2013 Engineering graduate Rick Krajewski, who will take office in January 2021 to represent Philadelphia’s 188th district. Student group leaders held Zoom meetings with local politicians, voter registration events, and even delivered voting materials to over 500 off-campus residences to boost turnout. Oct. 1 — In the wake of this election season’s first presidential debate, several of Penn’s election experts provided commentary on the interruptionridden discussion between Trump and Biden. Marc Trussler, director of data sciences at the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies, emphasized the importance of moderators efficiently fact-checking candidates — particularly SEE ELECTION PAGE 7

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OPINION EDITORIAL

THURSDAY DECEMBER 10, 2020 VOL. CXXXVI, NO. 19 136th Year of Publication ISABELLA SIMONETTI President BENJAMIN ZHAO Executive Editor MAX COHEN DP Editor-in-Chief AVA CRUZ Design Editor ASHLEY AHN News Editor JULIE COLEMAN News Editor CONOR MURRAY Assignments Editor ZOEY WEISMAN Copy Editor HADRIANA LOWENKRON Copy Editor SUKHMANI KAUR Photo Editor NAJMA DAYIB Audience Engagement Editor GRANT BIANCO Opinion Editor SAGE LEVINE Video Editor WILL DIGRANDE Sports Editor MICHAEL LANDAU Sports Editor ALEC DRUGGAN Podcast Editor PETER CHEN Web Editor DANE GREISIGER Business Manager DAVID FAN Analytics Manager ALESSANDRA PINTADO-URBANC Circulation Manager SARANYA DAS SHARMA Marketing Manager SHU YE Product Lab Manager

THIS ISSUE ISABEL LIANG 34st Design Editor ALANA KELLY Deputy Design Editor QUINN ROBINSON Deputy Design Editor KYLIE COOPER News Photo Editor CHASE SUTTON Senior Staff Photographer BRANDON PRIDE Sports Editor LOCHLAHN MARCH Associate Sports Editor NICKY BELGRAD Associate Sports Editor BRITTANY DARROW Copy Associate CARMINA HACHENBURG Copy Associate ISABEL LIN Copy Associate SOPHIE NADEL Copy Associate TIFFANY PARK Copy Associate JORDAN WASCHMAN Copy Associate HANNAH WASSERMANN Copy Associate NINA WEI Copy Associate AMY XIANG Copy Associate

LETTERS Have your own opinion? Send your letter to the editor or guest column to letters@thedp.com. Editorials represent the majority view of members of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. Editorial Board, which meets regularly to discuss issues relevant to Penn’s campus. Participants in these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on related topics.

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o say 2020 has been a difficult year has become cliché at this point. Between event cancellations, rampant systemic racism, the loss of numerous American icons, and the loss of almost 300,000 deaths from an out of control virus, Americans have endured much over the past 12 months. Many of these impacts have hit Penn students, faculty, and staff directly. Virtually all classes have been online since March of this year. The Ivy League has canceled multiple sports, with more to come. And a year of little in-person interaction has taken a significant toll on the physical and mental well being of students, many of whom were struggling even before the outbreak. Despite all this, Penn students should look forward to the coming months, for 2021 promises to be a better year for Quakers everywhere.

Penn students, look forward to 2021 Most obviously, the resumption of campus operations will provide a tremendous boost to the spirits of Penn students. Penn students will be able to live in dorms, have more days off than this past semester, and have access to some campus facilities. Although the Penn community is skeptical that the University will go back on its plans, expanded testing capacity makes this possibility more unlikely. For first-year students, this return will be particularly significant. Penn’s Class of 2024 has been denied the benefits of a normal college experience, being forced to learn from home with minimal social company. Going your first semester without friendship, campus life, or freedom is a burden unique to first-years. While the return to campus won’t solve all these problems, it will help Penn’s

MIA KIM

youngest students in more ways than one. Furthermore, 2021 promises a fresh chance for student activism. With the conclusion of the presidential election and the approach of a new inauguration, the eyes of campus will finally turn away from the White House,

and the notorious alumnus who occupies it. The resumption of relative normalcy in D.C. gives students the chance to turn their full attention to issues closer to home, such as PILOTs, police reform and/or abolition, and the status of cultural houses. Finally, and most significantly,

a vaccine appears on the verge of widespread distribution. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is significant for this country; it means a resumption of complete normalcy is in sight, and a likely significant decrease in deaths due to COVID-19. For Penn students and faculty in particular, a vaccine means the full resumption of all in-person classes, the ability to hold social gatherings without the possibility of distributing a deadly disease, real graduation ceremonies, and going back to a traditional college experience. Both Penn and the nation have been through much over the course of 2020. A global pandemic, systemic racism, police brutality, and a contested election have all taken a toll on our mental healths. The problems from this calendar year won’t go away on Jan. 1, 2021. But better days are ahead.

As 2020 ends, celebrate your resilience and vow to carry it forward VIEWS WITH VARUN | Be proud, you made it to the end of a tough year

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ongratulations: you made it to the end of 2020! It was difficult; maybe it was even the most difficult year of your life, but you did it, and that’s certainly commendable. Reading this might be the first time you have even considered being proud of the accomplishment of just surviving this year, and if that’s the case, you are not alone. Humans are prone to a negativity bias. For example, if I ask you to list something that you did yesterday you were proud of, you might take a couple minutes to come up with something. Though, if I ask you to recall an embarrassing moment from your childhood, I’m sure you would identify a mortifying old memory within seconds. Evolutionarily, this negativity bias serves a purpose: prehistoric Homo sapiens were better off if they remembered the one time their neighbor was killed by a lion because it would make them a little extra cautious on the next hunt. A bout of diarrhea after eating the fruit from a particular tree would remind you to steer clear of it next time, potentially saving your life. Even today, a negativity bias can be a valuable asset. Hearing about a COVID infection within your friend group or extended family rightly spooks you into wearing a mask more often and thinking twice about attending an event — at least

SHANA AHEMODE

in theory. Where the negativity bias fails us is when it ceases to simply highlight those individual moments and begins to tint our entire worldview. During a chronically stressful event — a global pandemic, for example — our innate negativity bias has a nearly nonstop supply of bleak situations of which to remind us. The everyday wins that make us feel good in the moment ultimately get lost in the whirlwind. Instinctually, you would think the best way to avoid this bias is by forcing ourselves to focus on the positives. But attempting to eliminate negativity from our lives only buries it and allows it to resurface. Shutting out negativity does an injustice to the tremendous amount of suffering that deserves acknowledgement. COVID-19

and our government’s insufficient response has killed hundreds of thousands of people nationwide. Moreover, this year has brought waves of natural disasters and heartbreaking partisanship over the simple acknowledgement that Black lives matter. There could be personal devastation in your own life. Perhaps you or a close family member fell ill. Maybe you were unable to meet academic or professional goals after the disruption of the past two semesters. Maybe you couldn’t sustain a relationship or friendship after moving back home. These are real losses that should be grieved, not ignored. A more sustainable approach to navigating the future is building resilience. This doesn’t mean fighting the adversity and hating it, it means accepting and working

with it. A common statement I’ve been hearing over the past couple of months is some form of, “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over,” the spoken equivalent of kicking the door of a locked safe. Jan. 1, 2021 is not going to bring radical change. It’s going to look and feel exactly the same as Dec. 31, 2020. Realistically, the start of 2021 is going to have the same troubles as 2020, given that vaccine distribution is likely to take months, and the winter weather will undoubtedly bring unprecedented sickness. Wishing for the year to be over, even if only in jest, inevitably sets us up for disappointment. In 2011, Dr. Martin Seligman, the director of Penn’s Positive Psychology Center, wrote that the key to building resilience involves separating your beliefs about adversity from adversity itself. In other words, you had certain expectations about what the year ought to have looked like, and if you compare present-you to the expectations of past-you, you almost certainly missed the mark on all accounts. But is that comparison really fair? I’m here to tell you that if you think you coped with 2020 poorly, you didn’t. You still showed up to Zoom class even though it was hard. You managed to get up every morning and do what you needed to do, even though you were

probably isolated from friends and family. Your 2020 was difficult and probably full of fear and sadness, but it was still a success. If you search hard enough, I guarantee you will find many ways in which you managed to move forward despite the circumstances. The longer you think about your accomplishments in the context of the year, I promise you’ll feel better about where you are. Eventually, the pandemic will conclude, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose the resilience you built over the past year. We’re always going to face adversity, but knowing how to separate your beliefs about adversity from adversity itself can allow you to deal with almost anything. The thing about resilience is that we all have the potential for it, as long as we have the right mindset.

VARUN SARASWATHULA is a College junior from Herndon, Va. studying Neuroscience and Healthcare Management.

Penn’s Year of Civic Disengagement ISABELLA’S IMPRESSION | One semester in, the Year of Civic Engagement is a failure

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his year demanded a level of civic engagement not seen in recent times as a global pandemic, social justice movement, and contentious election season gripped the nation’s attention. Penn’s response was to name the 2020-2021 school year the Year of Civic Engagement, a very fitting theme for the Class of 2024’s reading project and various other academic initiatives throughout the school year. However, Penn as an institution has not taken civic-minded actions that reflect the theme they put forth or actions that demonstrate an understanding of the civic missions of their own community. As 2020 comes to a close, it is important to reflect on Penn’s failures to encourage and support students’, faculty’s, and staff’s civic engagement. In 2021, Penn’s student body must demand that the university do better. Penn students, faculty, and staff are not shy when it comes to fighting for their beliefs and have been a force this year truly embodying civic engagement. Penn’s complicated history with Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) gained massive attention after social justice movements shed light on structural racism in the nation. Penn’s refusal to pay PILOTs in light of the expected funding cuts in West Philadelphia schools seems to display complacency with the educational repercussions of coronavirus and structural racism. PILOTs have been and continue to be a consistent source of tension within the Penn and Philadelphia

community since the university failed to renew a PILOT program in 2000 that ran from 1995 to 2000. Some have taken to social media to once again stir up advocacy for PILOTs, using the Instagram account pennforpilots and garnering large support amongst students. A petition by faculty and staff garnered 1,127 signatures. Penn’s response to these outstanding efforts and worthy missions was underwhelming considering the civic engagement it claimed to be encouraging. Instead of paying PILOTs, Penn promised to pay $10 million a year for 10 years, a mere 10 percent of what it would owe in property taxes. The fight is not over. Penn’s behavior this year is the antithesis of what it preaches, but the Penn community must continue its civic-minded efforts to incite change in the university. Penn’s “do as I say and not as I do” attitude was additionally exemplified by the school’s refusal to make any formal accommodations for students, faculty, and staff on election day. While every election day is vital, 2020’s presidential election demanded civic duty from everyone with the power to vote. The University, undoubtedly, recognized the significance of this election and in an email to the entire Penn community on Oct. 20 stated that “perhaps never before in our nation’s history has your vote been more important.” While Penn was unable to give the day off because of Pennsylvania’s minimum semester length requirement, it neglected

to make any concrete effort to encourage voting, and failed to give paid time off to their 41,000 person staff. Two College seniors started a petition stating that the school’s mere encouragement did not suffice; paid time off was the

engagement. If this election year has taught people anything, it is that people and their activism have power even when they feel powerless. Joe Biden could not have won without various communities, who

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only fair option, especially since some nonacademic employees might not have been able to afford an unpaid day off from work. The petition has 13,088 signatures and counting. This fight did not end after Election Day, and efforts are still being made to encourage the school to change its policy moving forward. This is the spirit of civic

feel disenfranchised in this nation, exercising their right to vote. The votes of young people, the Black community, and the Latinx community (in states like Arizona and Nevada, not Florida) proved to be decisive for Biden. Their voices were heard on election day and taught the Penn community a lesson: the Penn com-

munity must demand that Penn as an institution cultivate a culture of civic engagement. Penn’s efforts in 2020 have been largely hypocritical. While the staff, faculty, and students have engaged in civic duty on their own, Penn remains civically disengaged. Next semester, as the Year of Civic Engagement continues, Penn must do better by listening to its students’ demands. This means paying true PILOTs to Philadelphia, adjusting academic calendars to make election day a day off, and taking another look at divesting from fossil fuels. While Penn may fall short now, there is cause for hope. After students were frustrated at Penn for disregarding students’ well-being by slashing spring break, they created a petition. Penn Student Government pushed back by proposing their own solution, suggesting that the university instead adopt multiple single-day breaks in lieu of one continuous spring break. This engagement saw results after Penn canceled three days of classes for the next semester. There is still so much more Penn can do to become a true progressive pillar, especially in the West Philadelphia community. While 2020 was a year of hypocrisy, with continued engagement by student, staff, and faculty, 2021 may have the potential to be Penn’s true year of civic engagement. ISABELLA GLASSMAN is a College sophomore studying Philosophy, Politics, & Economics.


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When did alone time become so unappealing? BRIDGET BELIEVES | It’s time to add pauses into life at the “Social Ivy”

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nyone who knows me can vouch that I’m an extrovert. To my surprise, since the onset of the pandemic, I’ve enjoyed my time alone more than ever before. Still, I focus on nurturing my relationships with loved ones on a daily basis, whether via FaceTime calls or constant text messages. But nowadays I derive the most energy from time spent alone. COVID-19 has undoubtedly taken away lives, jobs, opportunities, and so much more. It’s evident that quarantine has led to increased social isolation and prevalent feelings of loneliness. But if there’s one thing we should learn from the pandemic, it’s that alone time should be more appreciated. Learning to be alone and to feel wholly secure in yourself is very much underrated. We depend on relationships and platonic friendships for emotional fulfillment, social pleasure, and general personal satisfaction — but often to a counterproductive, even detrimental, extent. That is, perhaps for those who

FELICITY YICK

may struggle with attachment or dependency, quarantine has surprisingly improved their mental health in at least some regard. Truthfully, alone time and self-care are really beautiful

and healing. Before anything else, before we enter the real “adult world,” we must learn to make ourselves happy first — whatever that might mean for you. Perhaps it’s re-reading your favorite books or indulg-

ing in your favorite TV show. Maybe it’s stargazing at night or watching the morning sunrise, or even hosting your own personalized wine tasting from the comfort of your home. Frankly, here at the “Social

Ivy,” we are too caught up with networking, parading our large social circles, and strutting about Locust Walk recognizing the many people we know. Yet, somehow, we still manage to complain about feeling lonely at times. Especially now that we must adapt to a new normal, it’s crucial to actively prioritize self-care and value our alone time. Your happiness shouldn’t be contingent on whether you secure that Goldman Sachs internship or not, or whether you score a date with your crush — we must learn to love ourselves regardless. “Physical and emotional separations or boundaries are essential to healthy adult relationships,” says psychotherapist Dana Dorfman, Ph.D., MSW. “While humans are social creatures who rely on relationships and connection for emotional survival, we also need time alone to think, nourish, and care for ourselves. That’s what replenishes our individuality.” Let’s not forget that mental health encompasses not only specific disorders but also general wellbeing. And let’s never

forget to love ourselves first and foremost, before we can love our career prospects, or that internship or research position, or any romantic partner for that matter. We should all learn something from these times. It’s our best hope for maintaining resilience during this indefinite period of isolation. For me, I’ve learned to love being alone; I’ve become more in tune with my emotions and passions, and consequently more secure and confident in myself. And that’s something this pandemic could never take away from me.

BRIDGET YU is a College junior from Los Angeles, CA studying Psychology. She plans to attend medical school and specialize in psychiatry.

2020: The year Penn failed its international students DEDALUS | International students learn at the will of Eastern Time, leading to awful sleep schedules and deteriorating health

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ver the summer, I had to decide between flying to the United States for the fall semester, or studying remotely in China with a 12-hour time difference. Frankly, I didn’t have much of a choice; international air travel is prohibitively expensive, has a higher risk of infection, and requires a two-week quarantine in a third country. That Penn would close after Thanksgiving makes traveling 7,400 miles even less appealing. Recognizing the unfavorable circumstances, I canceled my Fisher-Hassenfeld College House single and stayed home. But some foreign students took the arduous journey to Philadelphia nonetheless. And Penn’s move to online learning, abruptly announced a week prior to move-in, was a huge blow for them. One of my friends was moving out of her high school host family’s house when the announcement came, and as a result, was left to scramble to find a sublet; another friend learned about the change upon arriving at New York’s JFK Airport from Shanghai. The fall plan fiasco affects the entire Penn community, but international students are its foremost victims. As home to the largest number of international students among Ivy League schools,

Penn must acknowledge that every decision its administration makes would inadvertently — and often disproportionately — affect all 5,000 of us. Lamentably, Penn has been failing to support international students. In July, international students began calling on Penn to launch a “go local” program, which would allow Penn students to enroll in universities in their home countries and regions, with those universities’ credits counting toward their Penn requirements. This is important for students who cannot return to campus, as COVID-19 shuts us out of the collaboration, studying, and extracurricular activities we expect from our education. To no one’s surprise, Penn

failed to roll out a plan. The reason, according to Lily Zhang, senior associate director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), is that Penn’s different schools cannot reach a consensus on what a “go local” program entails. This is not an acceptable answer. Over a dozen universities have adopted similar “go local” initiatives for international students, including Cornell, Northeastern, Tufts, and Penn State, some of which have fewer study abroad resources than Penn. As an alternative, Penn could have partnered with other local institutions. Penn should learn from Columbia. In September, Columbia adopted an initiative to provide international students in seven

Penn must acknowledge that every decision its administration makes would inadvertently — and often disproportionately — affect all 5,000 of us.”

TYLER KLIEM

countries with Columbia-dedicated workspaces. It also gives students “all-access” passes to use WeWork sites in 50 cities worldwide, where students can connect with those in the same city and have access to amenities like color printers and conference rooms. Besides serving as a bridge to in-person campus life, Columbia’s initiative powerfully conveys to international students that they are a part of the Columbia community regardless of their physical location. For international students at Penn, especially first years, this sense of togetherness may well not exist. Penn also shows little consideration for international

students when scheduling classes and events. The Student Activity Council’s virtual club fair, for example, was held from 5 to 8 p.m. EST three days in a row. That means somewhere from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. for a student in Europe and from 5 to 8 a.m. in Asia. I, for one, woke up and clicked into Zoom links at 7 a.m. China Standard Time, only to find the info sessions already over. Classes can take place at ungodly hours, too. While my latest class runs until 2:30 a.m., I know plenty of international students who must attend synchronous lectures until 7 a.m., staying awake through the night and early morning. A disrupted sleep schedule

undermines both health and productivity. Now that I sleep at 6 a.m. and wake up around 2 p.m. my local time, the lack of sun exposure makes me drowsy while working, thanks to the rising level of melatonin in my body. More unsettling, some of my friends are showing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is known to lead to anxiety and reduced concentration. International students should not be left to struggle on their own. The very least Penn can do is to advise student groups and professors to provide multiple time slots for classes and office hours. The University of Chicago, for example, offers synchronous classes at 7 p.m. ET to accommodate students in Asia. But while some Penn professors are kind enough to offer recitations at various times, the university pays little attention to international students’ predicament. With COVID-19 cases setting records in the United States, a majority of international students may yet be barred from returning in spring 2021. This time, Penn should learn its lesson.

BRUCE SHEN is a College firstyear student from Shanghai, China studying German Studies.

Finding hope and strength at Penn in the new year HERE’S THE TEA | The fighter’s mindset of 2020 will help us prepare for another year of unknowns

A

few weeks ago I had a conversation with a prospective Penn student, which gave me pause for thought. Telling me why he was interested in Penn, he spoke to Penn’s drive for social impact, thirst for learning, and love of challenge. As a fully matriculated Penn student in the midst of a soulcrushing, pandemic-ridden semester, I was jarred by his view of Penn. To be honest, it has been a struggle for me to view my Penn experience very positively this year, and I know I am not alone in this. For many of us, no matter how many years out from writing those impassioned 300-word supplemental essays we are, it is easy to forget what brought us here in the first place. With a COVID-19 vaccine and a new presidential administration on the way, many people are tentatively finding hope as we head toward 2021. Even so, we cannot deny that our country’s poorly bandaged scabs have been ripped off by the events of the past year. A failure of our healthcare system as well as police brutality ravages communities, and the future of democracy remains at stake. As the United States struggles for a sense of normalcy,

so does Penn. Whether you are struggling to finish out this unprecedented semester or searching for clarity during a semester off, it can be hard to see a future in which we are back in lecture halls, chatting with friends

smallest of things. Classes have taken on a new role during this online semester: a safe space to discuss hopes and fears of the turmoil around us and a place to find solace. The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered many of

tiny boxed profile pictures, Penn’s community still thrives. In my small, 12-person Health and Social Justice seminar, a place where we

challenged for sure; but I have also found communities of people still striving to uphold “a proud tradition of intellectual rigor and

Within the confines of a Zoom call, among tiny boxed profile pictures, Pennʼs community still thrives.”

GARY LIN

in between classes, and getting ready for Spring Fling. While this sense of confusion, despair, and frustration is omnipresent and this semester has been anything but traditional, there is hope and strength to be found even in the

us displaced and feeling lost as we struggle to adhere to social distancing guidelines in order to protect those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. But I’ve found that within the confines of a Zoom call, among

discuss the future of American healthcare, I found students confiding their fears about their communities and their families. Our discussions are rooted in listening and understanding in the middle of a time where both of those entities are scarce. In my large, 300-person CIS 160 lecture, I found a professor whose quick wit and sharp teaching — though at times terrifying — creates a learning environment supportive of students and their growth, even within the constraints of Zoom. In those classes among others, I have struggled and felt

pursuit of innovative knowledge” while making space to explore with, support, and learn from their peers. This year has also pushed student activism to the forefront of the collective conversation. Penn students used their voices to address everything, from Penn’s complicity in police brutality to Penn PILOTs, to mental health at Penn, all while the pandemic raged around us. This Penn student activism pressured the University to commit to $10 million annually for ten years to ameliorate environmental hazards

in local Philadelphia schools and convinced Penn to add on three additional mental health days during the spring semester. Student efforts to combat inequity and injustice at Penn and beyond reflect a commitment imbued with the words of Ben Franklin, “well-done is better than wellsaid.” That is not to say there is no significant work ahead of us. There is work to be done on all fronts. But we Penn students are willing to roll up our sleeves and get to work, toiling to inspire and to effect change wherever we can. So come on 2021, we know how to make the best of whatever we’re dealt, and we’re ready for whatever you’ve got.

AGATHA ADVINCULA is a College junior from Brooklyn, N.Y. studying Health & Societies and Computer Science.


6 NEWS

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | THEDP.COM


NEWS 7

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

CHASE SUTTON

THEDP.COM | THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN

Penn and Philadelphia show up for Black Lives Matter

a number of speakers rallied the crowd, calling on the city to defund the police department. College senior and president of Beyond Arrests: Re-Thinking Systematic Oppression Michael Williams was among the speakers, denouncing Penn for its continued funding of private police forces while refusing to pay PILOTs to the city. June 7 — Hundreds of Penn healthcare workers gathered at Franklin Field to honor Floyd and protest against racial inequality in the U.S. healthcare system. June 15 — Police Free Penn, an assembly of Penn community members calling to abolish policing and transform community safety at the University, released its first statement and petition to Penn in mid-June. The statement listed seven categories of actionable demands including decriminalizing After the police killing of George Floyd sparked a nationwide movement Blackness, protest, and poverty, and both defunding and disbanding the Penn Police Department. in May, protests for racial justice flooded the streets of Philadelphia By early June, a petition to “end Penn police state collusion� had garnered nearly 10,000 signatures. June 24 — Following local and nationwide retaliation against policing methods, Penn announced it would no longer support the Philadelphia by JONAH CHARLTON Police Foundation in the form of purchasing tickets to attend fundraising events. The University also commissioned an independent review of Penn’s Division of Public Safety from the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at Penn Law School. Police Free Penn condemned Penn’s announcement, stating that it failed to address the extent of its On May 25, George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, was killed by vandalized with red and white spray-painted slogans. The statue, installed relationship with PPF and the harm caused by Penn Police to Black students. a police officer who knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd’s in 1998, was seen as controversial because of Rizzo’s tough tactics targeting July 24 — Protests throughout Philadelphia and on Penn’s campus death, and the killings of many other Black people at the hands of police, people of color and LGBTQ people. After the city’s reckoning with racial continued throughout the summer, including a protest against University sparked a nationwide movement for racial justice — including protests at injustice, the statue was removed from its location on June 3. The sculptor, police that began at Penn Police Department headquarters on 4040 Chestnut Penn’s campus, more than 1,100 miles from Minneapolis. Philadelphia’s a Penn graduate, told The Daily Pennsylvanian that “it had to come down.� St. Around 100 demonstrators that day chanted their three demands: “Fire protests over Floyd’s killing lasted for more than a week straight. May 31 — Penn President Amy Gutmann released a statement Rush, defund UPPD, pay PILOTs� and also condemned Penn Police’s On Oct. 26, two Philadelphia police officers shot and killed Walter addressing the “tragic and senseless� nature of Floyd’s murder, as well as alleged involvement in teargassing protesters on 52nd Street on May 31. Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, in West Philadelphia, again leading to the University’s commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive campus More demonstrations occurred in August. citywide protests and widespread grief. community “free from discrimination and deprivation.� Oct. 26 — Two police officers shot and killed Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black Lives Matter protests, considered the largest movement in the Police Free Penn also condemned Penn Police’s alleged involvement on Black man, in West Philadelphia, leading to protests near Penn’s campus country’s history, peaked in early June but inspired many demonstrations May 31 in teargassing protesters on 52nd Street, prompting backlash on and throughout the city. Hundreds of demonstrators marched for justice from May to August. Penn students scattered across the nation marched students’ social media accounts and at later protests. in West Philadelphia that night into the early morning hours of Oct. 27. in solidarity with the movement, and specifically called on the University June 1 — Penn suspended all University operations, as Philadelphia Wallace Jr.’s death was met with widespread grief and protests among the to reimagine community policing and contribute financial resources to the announced a citywide curfew limiting the hours people could be outside. Penn and larger Philadelphia community. city. The city announced emergency executive orders implementing citywide “I would speak first personally, as a Black man who is grieving and May 30 — Philadelphia’s demonstrations began when hundreds of curfews from May 30 to June 5. weeping with the family of Walter Wallace, and sisters and brothers all protesters knelt in silence in the shadows of City Hall. Protesters — nearly June 3 — Gutmann released another statement one day after hundreds around the country who are tired,� Vice President for Social Equity and all of whom wore masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — held signs of demonstrators conducted a peaceful protest at the intersection of 38th Community and University Chaplain Charles Howard said. “It is painful. It reading “Say their names,� “Black Lives Matter,� and “Defund the police.� and Walnut Streets near her home on Penn’s campus. Gutmann announced is exhausting. It is heartbreaking. It is terrifying to see people who look like The protest grew throughout the day, as thousands of Philadelphians, a number of University-wide to foster inclusivity at Penn Corporation and you killed by police officers.� The New initiatives York Times Syndication Sales including Penn students, peacefully marched through the streets. beyond, and announced that that the 2020-2021 academic year would be Penn’s statement on the police killing, which was released on Oct. 27, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 That evening, many demonstrators gathered around the 2,000-pound named the Year of Civic Engagement. For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 did not mention the word “police� and referred to his killing as a “death,� statue of the late, former Philadelphia Mayor and Police Commissioner June 6 — Philadelphia’s largest occurred whenDec. more than For protest Release Friday, 11, 10,000 2020 outraging Penn students. Along with several peers, College senior Landry Frank Rizzo located across from City Hall and attempted to bring it to the demonstrators took to the streets braving nearly 90-degree temperatures. Krebs condemned the email as “a passive way of talking about stateground. Police intervened and began guarding the statue, which had been The group marched to the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where sanctioned terrorism.�

Crossword

ELECTION

>> PAGE 3

Trump and his notoriously false claims about the mail-in ballot system. Claire Wardle, Penn lecturer and co-founder and director of First Draft, a global nonprofit, focused on addressing misinformation, referred to the debate as an “avalanche of lies.� Oct. 2 — About one month before Election Day, Penn’s non-partisan Government and Politics Association hosted a 90-minute, contentious livestreamed debate between Penn Dems and College Republicans. Three hundred viewers tuned in to hear the clubs advocate for their respective candidates and discuss a myriad of pertinent topics including the ongoing pandemic and nationwide protests for racial justice. Nov. 3 — On Election Day, the DP was present from dawn to dusk at various on-campus polling locations to document vote counts and catalog the experiences of students and faculty who voted on campus. More than 1,000 total ballots were counted throughout the day at Penn’s three voting sites: Houston Hall, ARCH, and Walnut Street West Library. Before voting alongside students at Houston

        

        

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Hall, Penn President Amy Gutmann told the DP that “it is important for young 29 people to getabroad, involvedâ€?54 Disney ACROSS Quarters and that there is “no single better way to do that as a character who maybe 1 YouTube star sings “Part of citizen than to vote.â€? Chamberlain, 31 Risen, in a way Nov. whom 7 — After of vote counting, Biden Your Worldâ€? The four days33 Sides of a Atlanticthe called was declared projected winner of the 202056 Really bothered conversion “the election most alongside Vice President-elect presidential 61 Le ___ (French 36 German Kamalatalked-about Harris, defeating the Republican incumbent port) opposite of teen influencer after tipping to reach the 270 electoral62 Satisfies, as with “jungeâ€? in thePennsylvania worldâ€? votes necessary to claim the White House. Penn a small snack 5 Abbr. on a family 37 “Thus ‌â€? studentstree joined hundreds of Philadelphia residents in63 In case 39 Hello or goodbye front of City Hall that afternoon, celebrating Biden’s 9 “Dirty Harryâ€? 64 Gender-neutral 40 Lipton win withorg. dance and song. possessive competitor Nov. 9 — Penn Vice Provost for Global Initiatives 13 Loaded 65 42 to Easy-listening Ezekiel questions? Emanuel was named Biden’s Transition Pickup order? music COVID-19 Advisory Board to help guide the 15 Reacted in a good, nation’swonderment pandemic response 44 intoTake the next presidential DOWN long look at administration. 1 Wane 17 When it’s all Nov. finally 13 —over After Trump’syourself? campaign launched 2 Month after avril 46 Political a widespread legal campaign in ___ numerous 18 Grade A battleground states he lost47—Absolutely including crazy multiple 3 Muscleman who co-starred in 19 Hunches lawsuits in Pennsylvania — legaland experts “Rocky IIIâ€? 49 Penn’s Rutherford 21 Bunches labeled the claims as “frivolous,â€? arguing Shackleton, for the two of the American 4 Legal fig. 22 Crafts lawsuits attackcreated the very foundation 5 More urgent a rotating electoralonsystem. 51 Figure skating

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REMOTE

>> PAGE 3

League at the time. April 15 — Students called on the University to refund tuition, citing unusable campus resources — which tuition money funds — and the isolating nature of the semester. April 16 — International students found that online classes held during the middle of the night in their time zones made it impossible to spend time with their families and live a normal life. Some students added that they felt pressured to attend these late lectures to do well on exams. April 17 — Some teaching assistants, who said the shift to remote learning was difficult to manage in their dual student-teacher roles, called on Penn to provide more support and implement guidelines for professors to adhere to when managing TAs. Sept. 16 — Despite widespread student backlash, Penn stood firm in its decision to cancel fall break, which would have been held from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4 but was scrapped to discourage travel. Associate Vice Provost for Education and Academic Planning Gary Purpura wrote in an emailed statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian that the move was in response to concerns of “increased incidence of COVID-19 in our community as students travel from campus and Philadelphia for the break.� A petition urging the University to reinstate the long weekend to give students a mental health break was signed by nearly 800 people — though some students and professors understood the concern that a fall break could increase the spread of COVID-19. Oct. 6 — Some of Penn’s virtual classes were infiltrated by “Zoom bombers,� or hackers, who in one case, yelled homophobic and racist slurs. Professors of BIOL 101: Introduction to Biology A and CRIM 100: Criminology swiftly responded to the Zoom bombings by amping up course security, such as restricting access to users with Penn email addresses. Oct. 12 — Penn’s competitive club recruitment process posed significant challenges for international students, many of whom were unable to attend the Student Activities Council fair, information

sessions, and interviews due to differences in time zones. Students called on SAC to promote greater accessibility for international students by holding the club fair at different times throughout the day, as well as taking on a greater role in regulating student groups whose meeting times might exclude international students. Oct. 13 — Despite Penn’s decision to cancel in-person classes and urge students not to return to Philadelphia, dozens of first years rented local apartment rooms anyway. Around 40 first years chose to reside in The Chestnut, a new luxury building at 3720 Chestnut Street where monthly rent begins at $1,800 per bedroom. Some students living in The Chestnut said they were aware of first years throwing parties in their apartments, while others said most socialization took place outdoors, such as through events hosted by Penn Hillel. Oct. 28 — Many students alleged rampant cheating on exams due to the virtual format of the semester. Some professors, acknowledging the likelihood that many students would use their notes during virtual exams, have made their exams open-book. Other professors have imposed strict time limits on exams, live-proctored their exams over Zoom, administered different versions of the same exam, or made their exams free response. Students in curved classes, where one’s grade on an exam is contingent on the class average, expressed concern that cheating was hindering their own course performance. Oct. 30 — More than 3,800 students petitioned the University to extend the pass/fail deadline from Oct. 30 to the end of the semester. The petition, created by College junior Leo Chambers, pointed to the difficulties of solitary online learning, the stress caused by the 2020 presidential election, and the threat of contracting COVID-19 as reasons to extend the deadline. The petition was unsuccessful, though it continued a longstanding debate over how to best accommodate students during this challenging time. Nov. 1 — To accommodate for the loss of in-person traditions like the “Take Your Professor to Lunch� program, some instructors turned to online platforms such as Slate, Slack, and Gather to connect with their students.

THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | THEDP.COM

KYLIE COOPER

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

The fight for Penn to pay PILOTs intensifies Student and faculty demands for Penn to pay PILOTs were reignited this summer amid the Black Lives Matter movement by SHIRALI SHAH

DIEGO CARDENAS URIBE, ISABEL LIANG

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Although Penn announced a $100 million contribution to the School District of Philadelphia, the University did not pay Payments in Lieu of Taxes, financial contributions that property tax-exempt organizations voluntarily make to local governments, this year. While students have been calling on Penn to pay PILOTs for decades, demands were reignited by the Black Lives Matter movement and protests against systemic racism this summer. Universities do not have to pay property taxes to their respective local governments, despite owning large amounts of land, forcing local governments to make up for the lost tax revenue. Despite this, Penn and Columbia University are the only Ivy League universities that do not have PILOT agreements with their local governments. Students and faculty have petitioned Penn to make the payments, citing that the city, and particularly its public schools, are facing especially dire financial losses this year due to the pandemic. May 27 — Penn Democrats and Penn Student Power joined a coalition with other Philadelphia-based organizers to urge the University and other large nonprofit institutions to pay PILOTs. The coalition also includes Penn Law students conducting research for the project, members of local nonprofits, local teachers, and parents. Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, a coalition fighting for the fair treatment of working people, Penn Dems, and Penn Student Power, also hosted a virtual speak-out about the social and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Philadelphia’s public schools on May 5. June 14 — More than 730 faculty and staff signed a petition calling on the University to pay PILOTs. The campaign, Penn for PILOTs, marked the first united effort by Penn faculty and staff demanding the University make payments to the city The petition, which now has more than 1,100 signatures, called on Penn to pay 40% of what the University would pay in property taxes in a given year. Under Penn for PILOTs’ proposal, the University’s payments would fund Philadelphia’s public schools through an Educational Equity Fund governed by the city and the School District of Philadelphia. After receiving no response from administration, 68 faculty and staff members sent individual follow-up emails to the Board of Trustees in July asking to meet with them to discuss their refusal to pay PILOTs. July 24 — Over 100 Penn students and Philadelphia community members gathered outside the Penn Police Department headquarters to protest Penn Police’s alleged involvement in tear-gassing protesters in May. Protesters wore masks and held signs that listed three demands: fire Vice President for Public Safety and President of the Philadelphia Police Foundation Maureen Rush, defund the Penn Police Department, and pay PILOTs. Sept. 22 — Penn professors held an open press conference to publicly demand the University reverse its refusal to pay PILOTs ahead of the Sept. 24 Board of Trustees meeting. Following months of silence from the Board of Trustees after delivering its petition and individual letters, Penn for PILOTs called on the Trustees to start an open dialogue about paying PILOTs. Oct. 8 — Second-term Philadelphia Councilmember and 1993 College graduate Helen Gym urged the University to pay PILOTs in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian. Gym ran for office in 2015 on a Penn-centric platform, agreeing to work with the city’s largest nonprofits to increase the revenue Philadelphia receives from PILOTs. While she said Penn has made great contributions to Philadelphia, she thinks the University has an unfinished role in uplifting one of the poorest cities in the country. “The fundamental issue is that property taxes are the bread and butter of school funding, and the unjust and unconstitutional lack of funding for our public schools is a key reason why so much inequity exists across our city,� Gym said. “Philadelphia’s greatest nonprofit actors — many of which don’t pay property taxes — cannot be silent on this issue, and indeed should be proactive on this at every level.� Oct. 11 — The Record, Penn’s official undergraduate yearbook, announced plans to donate a percentage of its profits from 2021 yearbooks sales to the School District of Philadelphia in response to Penn’s refusal to pay PILOTs. While the exact donation amount is currently undecided, the donation will be made to The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, a nonprofit that serves as an intermediary between donors and the district. Nov. 17 — Penn pledged to contribute $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia over the next 10 years, the largest private contribution in the school district’s history. The University plans to contribute $10 million annually over the next decade to address environmental hazards in Philadelphia’s public schools, such as lead and asbestos. Students and faculty say the payment is not a PILOT, criticizing its short-term commitment as well as Penn’s framing of the contribution as a gift rather than a debt owed to the city. Members of the Penn community continue to support Penn for PILOTs’ demands that the University pay 40% of what it would owe in property taxes, which is almost four times the amount Penn has pledged to give annually, and continue contributing to the city well beyond the 10-year period.

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Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle: nytimes.com/wordplay.

GARY LIN


THEDP.COM | THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN

NEWS 9

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

In Photos: 2020 Unprecedented. Tragic. Revolutionary. Uncertain. Exhausting. Inspiring. Historic. 2020. by KYLIE COOPER

The world has experienced some of the most extraordinary events in modern history this year, and the Penn community has been impacted by it all. A raging pandemic forced campus to close, moving all classes online. The police killing of George Floyd sparked protests for racial justice, where students took to the streets

in Philadelphia and across the country. A highly contentious presidential election turned all eyes to Pennsylvania, the state that ultimately delivered Joe Biden the victory. The Daily Pennsylvanian’s photographers have been on the ground documenting 2020 as it unfolded. These images serve as another reminder of the year that we will never forget.

CHASE SUTTON January — Penn students filled the area outside Houston Hall’s Hall of Flags to protest the visit of former United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan, who was speaking inside. Previously, an event with Homan on Oct. 23, 2019 had been shut down by protesting Penn students.

CHASE SUTTON Februrary — 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H. ahead of the New Hampshire primary election. It was his first campaign event since he had been acquitted of two articles of impeachment on Feb. 5.

CHASE SUTTON March — A masked student pulled a cart full of her belongings across Locust Walk. Penn announced on March 11 that all classes would be moving online after spring break, which was extended by one week. Students were originally asked to move out by March 15, but the date was later changed to March 17 in response to student backlash.

SON NGUYEN April — Locust Walk remained largely empty as the trees became more and more green. Although the majority of students were not on campus, about 450 received approval to remain in on-campus housing.

KYLIE COOPER May — The University’s 264th Commencement ceremony aired virtually at 11 a.m. EDT, marking the official conferring of degrees for the Class of 2020. On March 16, Penn canceled the in-person ceremony due to COVID-19 concerns, and later rescheduled it for May 22 and 23, 2021.

CHASE SUTTON June — Protesters flooded Interstate 676 on the second day of protests in Philadelphia for racial justice, following the police killing of George Floyd. Soon after, the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd of thousands. Large-scale protests continued in the city until June 6.

KYLIE COOPER July — Penn community members gathered outside the Penn Police Department headquarters to protest Penn Police’s alleged involvement in the May 31 tear gassing of protesters and residents on 52nd Street in West Philadelphia.

SUKHMANI KAUR August — In response to a spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States, Penn reversed its decision to invite students back to campus for the fall semester. Although the University encouraged all students not to return to Philadelphia, many did and leased offcampus apartments.

ALIRIS TANG September — An orange-tinted sky loomed over a neighborhood near Portland, Ore. Wildfires raged across the West Coast starting in August, amounting to the worst wildfire season on record.

KYLIE COOPER October — A protester held her hands up in front of a line of police equipped with riot gear near 56th and Pine streets. Earlier that day, 27-year-old West Philadelphia resident Walter Wallace Jr. had been shot and killed by two Philadelphia police officers. Protests lasted throughout the night and into the early morning hours of Oct. 27.

CHASE SUTTON November — A couple embraced in front of City Hall, where thousands of Philadelphians gathered following media projections that Joe Biden had won the state of Pennsylvania and had crossed the 270-vote threshold to become president-elect.

SUKHMANI KAUR December — Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was first administered in the United Kingdom. Pictured above, István Tombácz, a Penn Medicine researcher from Drew Weissman’s laboratory, prepared his samples for a gel electrophoresis. Weissman’s mRNA technology provided the basis for the vaccine.


1 0 NEWS

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

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NEWS 11

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

COVID-19, civil unrest cause Philadelphia businesses to suffer University City businesses took a hit after students left campus in March by ELIZABETH MEISENZAHL

F

ollowing this spring’s stayat-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses in West Philadelphia and University City suffered. Several restaurants and bars in the area, including Smokey Joe’s, rely on student business and were devastated by the decrease in customers after many Penn students did not return to campus after spring break. Civil unrest and protests against systemic racism this summer also led to the destruction of some local business on the 52nd Street commercial corridor. As the Black Lives Matter movement reached its peak, increased calls for racial justice also benefited some Blackowned businesses, such as Hakim’s Bookstore, which was buoyed by the demand for anti-racist literature. While many businesses were forced to close their doors, Acme Markets opened in place of The Fresh Grocer, drawing a long line of eager students as well as complaints about high prices. March 17 — In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, Philadelphia ordered all nonessential businesses, like gyms, movie theaters, and bars to close. Restaurants were also required to halt indoor dining. Hummus Grill and Smokes’ both temporarily closed down after the lack of Penn students and new restrictions left owners unable to make a profit. Copabanana and Allegro Pizza and Grill shifted to a takeout-only model. The popular Spruce Street food truck Lyn’s lost 80% of its business once Penn depopulated campus. Students rallied to support the truck with a GoFundMe page that raised over $3,300. June 9 — Avril 50 reopened after closing in March due to COVID-19,

KYLIE COOPER

Chris Arnold (left), Dawud Hakim’s daughter and Hakim’s Bookstore’s current owner Yvonne Blake (center), and Hakim’s great-granddaughter Alanna Ramberan (right).

and New Deck Tavern began preparations to reopen for the first time in three months. Although Copabanana remained open during the spring, the restaurant’s owners were forced to decrease staffing from 30 employees to only four or five, as the restaurant lost nearly 60% of its business. After Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a law in May allowing bars and restaurants to sell cocktails togo, Copabanana was able to recover financially. Smokes’, however, did not find the alcohol to-go sales as beneficial, and lost 70-80% of its business. Allegro earned nearly as much revenue as it would have during a normal year by maintaining pizza takeout and delivery sales. June 15 — Like many local businesses, Hakim’s Bookstore experienced a decrease in sales after the onset of the pandemic. The Black Lives Matter movement, however, led to a huge influx in orders for the Black-owned bookstore this summer. The West Philadelphia store has been a hub for Black literature in the area since its 1959 founding, making it the first and oldest African American bookstore on the East Coast. The nonessential business was forced to close its doors on March 16, receiving only the occasional mail order until demand for anti-racism resources from Black-owned bookstores spiked this summer. The store’s owners soon converted the main room into a shipping center to mail out copies of books that were in high demand, including “White Fragility” and “The New Jim Crow.” June 22 — New Deck Tavern reopened in June after three months of shuttered doors. In order to comply with city regulations, New Deck Tavern’s owners had to rearrange seats and tables and install a large plexiglass partition on the bar to protect the bartenders. Even after reopening for outdoor dining, the restaurant could only serve at limited capacity. At the maximum allowed occupancy, the

restaurant made only around 25% of the revenue it would have brought in on a typical summer day. July 21 — Penn announced a $100,000 donation to rebuild the commercial corridor of 52nd Street in West Philadelphia after businesses there suffered losses from COVID-19 and civil unrest. Many of the businesses were already at risk of closing when protests following the police killing of George Floyd caused damage to about 80% of the storefronts. The donation was made to the Enterprise Center’s Community Development Corporation, which aims to promote the corridor while protecting its historic identity. The Enterprise Center had already been providing grants to keep the struggling businesses afloat. Oct. 23 — The fall semester saw the long-awaited grand opening of Acme Markets at 40th and Walnut streets, taking the place of The Fresh Grocer, which closed in March. Local residents and students lined up hours ahead of the 6 a.m. opening to secure deals, including free bags of groceries and discounted vegetables. Students voiced excitement to again have a grocery store located so close to campus. They also praised the store’s numerous stations, including sushi, poke bowls, Asian hot eats, focaccia pizza, and BBQ. Some, however, were disappointed with the store’s higher prices compared to Fresh Grocer. Nov. 20 — Smokes’, which had previously been operating at 50% capacity reopening, was forced to close indefinitely in November after the city of Philadelphia instituted new guidelines banning indoor dining to slow the spread of COVID-19. The bar had seen an increase in attendance at its Thursday night “Quizzo” events this semester, which Smokes’ owner Paul Ryan attributed to “[COVID-19] fatigue” among Penn students. The restrictions are currently in effect until Jan. 1, but may be extended.

Penn shakes up University leadership by ANYA TULLMAN

In 2020, many long-time Penn administrators left their positions, paving the way for new faces on campus. The former Vice Provost for University Life left her role after 25 years to serve in a new student engagement position at Penn. Wharton made history by appointing the school’s first Black and female dean, and the University Chaplain is taking on additional responsibilities as Vice President for Social Equity and Community. Penn also announced that the current Dean of Admissions and Chair of the Board of Trustees are planning to leave their positions.

Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum

NEW VICE PROVOST FOR STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Former Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum left her role in June to become Penn’s inaugural Vice Provost for Student Engagement. McCoullum, who served as the VPUL for 25 years, is now able to focus more on Penn’s pipeline and college preparatory programs for high school students in Philadelphia. She added that she has always been interested in policies and programs that affect students in urban school districts, or who are first-generation or low-income, as they are groups with which she identifies. “It’s so exciting to join my two loves, University of Pennsylvania and City of Philadelphia, in a way that I can actually have even more of a direct impact on the connections that Penn has woven, and work with all of you as a Penn family in my city to have Penn be even more of a strong partner in the life of our city,” McCoullum said.

KYLIE COOPER, ETHAN WU, AND CHASE SUTTON

Clockwise from top left: Howard, McCoullum, Furda, Accapadi, James, Bok

Scott Bok

INCOMING BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIR

Scott Bok, 1981 College and Wharton graduate and investment banker, will become the chair of the University’s Board of Trustees on July 1, 2021. Bok is the chairman and CEO of independent investment bank Greenhill & Co., Inc. He will succeed David L. Cohen, who has served as chair since November 2009. Bok has earned three degrees from Penn: a bachelor’s of science degree in economics from the Wharton School and a bachelor’s of arts degree in political science from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1981, and a JD degree from Penn Law School in 1984. Bok said that his gratitude for the experiences and opportunities Penn has given him led him to first become involved with the Board of Trustees in 2005. “Like so many people who graduate from Penn, I came away with a wonderful, positive feeling toward the school and with the desire to some way stay involved and to give back to some degree, given so much of what I have been able to achieve in life is really a function of the great education I got at Penn,” he said.

NEW WHARTON DEAN

Erika James made Penn history on July 1 when she became the first female and Black dean of the Wharton School. James replaced former Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett, who left Penn in July to serve as dean of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. James, the former dean of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, said that Wharton’s impact on the business world compelled her to accept the new position. Her main responsibility, as Wharton dean, is to advance the school’s mission of creating the world’s next “visionaries, inventors, and trailblazers,” as well as to leave Wharton better than it was when she started the job. “I want to make sure that we continue to elevate [Wharton students’] scholarship and ensure that it is applicable to help solve the world’s greatest challenges,” James said. “I think Wharton is particularly primed to be able to do that because of the scale and reach.”

Mamta Motwani Accapadi

Charles Howard NEW VICE PRESIDENT

NEW VICE PROVOST FOR UNIVERSITY LIFE

FOR SOCIAL EQUITY AND COMMUNITY

University Chaplain and 2000 College graduate Charles Howard began his tenure as Penn’s first Vice President for Social Equity and Community on Aug. 1. In his new role, Howard designs and oversees the University’s Projects for Progress, a $2 million fund created to support pilot projects on research that addresses social issues and inequities. Howard has served as University Chaplain since 2008 and continues to do so in conjunction with his new role. As a Penn alum, Howard said he is excited to work with student groups such as the cultural resource centers and activist groups to create positive change at Penn and in Philadelphia. “When students are protesting at trustee meetings and in front of College Hall, it’s like I see me,” Howard said. “Back then, it was sweatshops and racism and violence, and now it’s violence, policing, and fossil fuels. I feel like if I was a student today, I’d be right there with them.”

Erika James

Eric Furda

DEPARTING DEAN OF ADMISSIONS

After 12 years as Dean of Admissions, Eric Furda will leave Penn on Dec. 31 to join the college counseling team at William Penn Charter School. Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett wrote in an email to the Penn community that Furda’s decision to leave is a “very personal one,” as his two children are currently enrolled at William Penn Charter. Under Furda’s leadership, Gutmann and Pritchett wrote “the diversity and academic excellence of [Penn’s] classes have grown each year,” particularly highlighting the Dean’s work in prioritizing the admission of more first-generation, low-income students to the University.

Mamta Motwani Accapadi assumed her role as Penn’s Vice Provost for University Life in August, replacing McCoullum. Prior to coming to Penn, Accapadi served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Rollins College in Florida since 2013, preceded by four years as the Dean of Student Life at Oregon State University. Accapadi, who began meeting with student organizations virtually before the semester even began, said she looks forward to bridging the gap between students and administrators as the VPUL. Although she was disappointed to begin her role online, Accapadi said that it has allowed her to attend more studentorganization events than she would have been able to attend in person. “It’s been humbling to start in this role not being able to be in a room to gather folks and build community,” Accapadi said. “It’s also presented the opportunity to rise and work harder and be creative in how I show up and present.”


12 SPORTS

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | THEDP.COM

Ivy League remains firm in sports cancellations Spring teams will not be allowed to compete until at least February 2021 BRANDON PRIDE Senior Sports Editor-elect

CHASE SUTTON

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, the sports world went into disarray. The Ivy League was among the first to act, and while its move to cancel sports was at first widely criticized, almost every other sports body eventually followed suit. When all of this began, few would have guessed that we would be where we are now, with Ivy League athletics still halted and no date to resume on the horizon. While many leagues and conferences have resumed play, Penn and the rest of the Ivy League are patiently waiting. March 10 The Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments scheduled for March 13 to 15 have been canceled, the League office announced on Tuesday. The decision was made in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and occurred after Harvard, the host of the tournament, announced it was moving classes online after its spring break.

Instead of sending the tournament winners to the NCAA Tournament, the Ivy League will instead give the regular season champions — Yale for the men and Princeton for the women — automatic bids to March Madness. Penn men’s and women’s basketball, which were seeded fourth and second, respectively, in the tournaments, will no longer have an opportunity to claim the Ancient Eight’s spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Ivy League is the first NCAA conference to announce the cancellation of a conference basketball tournament. March 11 The Ivy League announced in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that it would be canceling all spring sporting events for the remainder of the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made unanimously by the Ivy League presidents and affects both practices and competitions. The statement came just min-

utes before Penn’s announcement that it would be moving classes online for the remainder of the semester. “Several Ivy League institutions have announced that students will not return to campus after spring break, and classes will be held virtually during the semester,” the statement read. “Given this situation, it is not feasible for practice and competition to continue.” March 16 The Penn Relays will not occur in 2020, at least not to its full extent, according to a statement posted on the Relays website Monday morning. The annual event has run every year since 1895, marking its 125th anniversary last year with a special commemoration. In lieu of the standard three-day competition, Penn Athletics announced its intention to host a substitute one-day event later in the spring to make up for the cancellation. “Based on the current novel

coronavirus pandemic, we cannot host an event in late April without putting our participants, spectators, officials, volunteers, and staff at risk,” wrote Penn Athletics Director M. Grace Calhoun in the statement. “We remain hopeful that the recent measures put in place by many health organizations, government officials, and academic institutions will curtail the spread of this disease.” Although the meet adapted to conditions during both World Wars and other national crises, this year is the first that it was canceled completely. The 2021 Penn Relays are still on as scheduled, slated for April 22-24 on Franklin Field. July 8 The Ivy League announced Wednesday that it has canceled all competitive sports until Jan. 1, making it the first NCAA Division I athletic conference to enact such a policy. A decision on whether or not the canceled sports, including

football, will be made up in the spring has not yet been made. Players and teams will be allowed to practice as long as the training stays within each institution’s procedures as well as state regulations. Fall sport athletes will not lose a year of eligibility regardless of their decision to enroll, but it is unclear if the Ivy League’s rule prohibiting graduate students from playing has been altered. The decisions were made after a nationwide spike in coronavirus cases in July, and after several members of the Ivy League revealed plans for online classes and reduced student density on campus in the fall. Nov. 11 Citing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ivy League has canceled the full winter sports season, league sources confirmed to CBS Sports Thursday evening and the conference announced shortly after.

In addition, the league announced that fall sports will not have a spring season, as some have argued for, and that spring teams will not be allowed to compete until at least the end of February 2021. The cancellation marks the third sports season affected by the pandemic, and now each sport has lost a year of competition. The NCAA has already announced it would grant an extra year of eligibility to spring and fall athletes who have lost seasons, but since Ivy League rules do not allow graduate students to compete, athletes will have to either continue their undergraduate education during that time or be forced to transfer if they choose to take their extra year. A number of Penn’s spring athletes have made such a change and transferred, such as baseball ace Christian Scafidi, thrower, Maura Kimmel (both to Notre Dame), and pole vaulter Sean Clarke (to Texas A&M), among others.

A look back at Penn’s forgotten sports history During the 1918 pandemic, Penn football was able to complete a slightly modified season LOCHLAHN MARCH Senior Sports Editor-elect

Without live sports for most of 2020, The Daily Pennsylvanian looked back at the history of the Red and Blue. The state of Penn football during the 1918 pandemic puts our current situation into perspective, while the early stages of women’s athletics on campus demonstrates the progress women in sports have made. Other stories reintroduced the earliest and now-forgotten Penn teams of cricket and bowling, and celebrated some of the most successful Quakers of all time, who have gone on to medal in the Olympics for both track and field and rowing. Sept. 2 One team that was determined to return to its regular schedule during the 1918 pandemic was Penn football. The Red and Blue were coming off a 1917 season that featured their first and only Rose Bowl appearance. Early on, the team was rocked by the loss of several major personnel, including their coach Bob Folwell, who contracted influenza. While Folwell made an appearance at practice on Oct. 8, a few days following his diagnosis, he ultimately returned to his farm in New Jersey to recover for the better part of the season. Several players began missing practice at the same time, as they too had come down with the virus. Opening day was delayed three times before the Quakers eventually played USS Minnesota in front of an empty crowd

on Oct. 19. Penn won by a score of 27-0 despite only having three returning players on its roster. The Quakers were ultimately able to complete the rest of the season, albeit with a slightly modified schedule, and finished with a record of 5-3. Every game but one was played at home, with the team only traveling to Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. Sept. 18 In 1921, with a lack of access to sufficient sports facilities, a group of female students arranged for time at the West Branch YMCA to practice basketball. Sensing interest in the student body, the University then offered gym classes for women two hours per day. Although the classes were only for elective credit, more than 50 women attended, instructed by Margaret Majer. During these gym classes, the Penn women developed baseball and tennis teams and strengthened their basketball team. In the latter sport, they played eight games against external teams, including those from Bryn Mawr, Temple, and Drexel. At the helm of the program, Majer earned the title of the first official coach of women’s athletics at Penn. By 1922, the athletic teams had expanded significantly. The basketball team put up a record of 5-6, with some of their victories coming against teams like Pittsburgh, George Washington, and Adelphi. Fencing, swimming, baseball, and tennis programs

DESIGN: VALERIE WANG; PHOTOS COURTESY OF DP ARCHIVES AND THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES AND RECORDS CENTER

continued to develop. Penn’s first intercollegiate field hockey game was played against Temple. Oct. 14 Bowling was among the earliest sports offered by Penn, closely tied with the construction of one of the most prominent buildings on campus. When Houston Hall first opened, it housed a swimming pool and a four-lane bowling alley in its basement. In 1906, Penn joined an official intercollegiate bowling league, also composed of Haverford, Columbia, and Lafayette. However, interest within the league didn’t last long. The Houston alley was closed and converted into storage space in 1914. Bowling became a feature of campus life again with an eye towards a varsity program in 1927, with the construction of a new bowling alley at 37th and Walnut. “Bowling is a real sport here, taking in several hundred players each week, and having a longer schedule than at any other school,” the proprietor of Walnut Street Alleys, Joe Travis, told the

DP on May 6, 1937. Oct. 28 Cricket was the first organized sport to be offered by Penn. In 1842, a student named William Rotch Wister brought the European game to campus when he founded the Junior Cricket Club, one the first cricket clubs in the United States to be made up of Americans. In 1881, Penn formed the Intercollegiate Cricket Association together with Haverford, Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia. Penn dominated the early years, winning the title in 1882 and 1883. While Haverford took back the crown in 1884, the Quakers followed up with an eight-season tear, winning every year between 1885 and 1892. With such local success, Penn’s cricket program turned towards international competition in 1895. Also, when Franklin Field opened that year, along with its track, field house, and tennis courts, the stadium housed a cricket crease. Nov. 12 The Quakers certainly made

their mark on the 1900 Olympics in Paris. Penn’s track coach, Mike Murphy, was named trainer of the U.S. Olympic team and took 13 of his best athletes overseas with him. In total, the Quakers won 21 Olympic medals for the United States and Canada, 10 of which were gold. The most impressive performance came from Alvin Kraenzlein, a student at Penn’s dental school and a member of the track team from 1898 to 1900. Kraenzlein’s revolutionary hurdling technique won him four gold medals in Paris in the 60m dash, 110m hurdles, 200m hurdles, and long jump. The feat of capturing four gold medals in one Olympics would not be replicated until Jesse Owens’ famed performance at the 1936 Berlin Games. Nov. 29 In 1976, the first year women’s rowing was an Olympic sport, a Penn law student named Anita DeFrantz traveled to Montreal as a member of the U.S. women’s eight team, notching a bronze medal. DeFrantz’s plan to improve upon this result at the 1980

Moscow Olympics was thwarted by the United States’ boycott of the Games that year. DeFrantz, along with the rest of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, instead received a Congressional Gold Medal to honor her efforts. DeFrantz has remained heavily involved in the Olympics even after retiring as a rower. In 1986, she became the first woman and first Black person to represent the United States on the International Olympic Committee. In 1997, she was elected to vice president of the IOC, becoming the first woman to hold that position. DeFrantz was re-elected to another four-year term as IOC vice president in 2017. The most recent Quaker to win an Olympic rowing medal was Susan Francia, who rose from a walk-on to a world champion, winning gold for the United States in the women’s eight at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Two generations of Penn rowers came together that year atop the podium when DeFrantz presented Francia with her medal.


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SPORTS 13

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

Remembering this year’s recordbreaking journey in Penn basketball Both the menʼs and womenʼs teams secured a spot in Ivy Madness NICKY BELGRAD Sports Editor-elect

This year will likely be remembered as one of the most unique years in sports history with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 12, the Ivy League became the first major athletic conference to cancel its spring sports. Though Penn’s athletic teams hoped to take their seasons a bit further into the playoffs, both Penn basketball teams wound up having to be satisfied with just clinching spots in the Ivy League tournament. The women’s team finished their season with a 20-7 record, 10-4 in conference play. The men’s team finished at a 1611 record, 8-6 in the Ivy League. Both teams performed well at the end of the season, riding a threegame win streak that they sought to add to in the playoffs against their shared opponent in Yale. Feb. 9 Why does the Palestra, commonly referred to as the Cathedral of College Basketball, routinely struggle to fill its 8,722-seat capacity? Penn

prides itself on having a diverse student body with differing interests, but discussions with many students showed that their reasons for not attending games were mostly the same. As an Ivy League school, Penn carries an identity as an academically rigorous institution, where students are often consumed by their studies and extracurricular commitments. Undergraduates often find themselves moving from class to class during the day only to attend several club meetings later that night. While it is easy to say that Penn students are just busy and always have been, the numbers tell a different story. Only five years after the Quakers played in front of an average of 5,571 people, the average attendance at Penn home basketball games fell to 4,620 in 2005, a year in which the team made the NCAA Tournament. This new trend continued throughout the rest of the 2000s and into the 2010s. In 2009, for the first time in decades, the average attendance at Penn home games was under 4,000 — 3,656, to be exact. There is no doubt that Penn stu-

dents spend their weeks hitting the books and let loose on the weekend — the school follows a “work hard, play hard” social schedule. But taking in a basketball game at the Palestra? For most, that’s just not the way they want to play. Feb. 29 After a heartbreaking comeback loss to Yale on Friday, the Quakers defeated Brown on Saturday by a score of 73-68 in a game that was closely contested from start to finish. The win keeps Penn’s Ivy League Tournament hopes alive and currently gives it the tiebreaker over Brown (1312, 6-6 Ivy), which is tied with the Red and Blue (14-11, 6-6) for fourth place. The Bears kept fighting back, and the Quakers’ lead was only one when they mounted a 6-0 run that was punctuated by a strong dunk from junior guard Eddie Scott. Penn then held on down the stretch to keep its postseason hopes alive. The Red and Blue will likely advance to the Ivy Tournament as the No. 4 seed if they at least match Brown’s record next weekend. Penn will face off with Cornell on Friday and Columbia on Saturday at the Palestra.

PHOTOS: CHASE SUTTON, GARY LIN; DESIGN: NATHAN ADLER, ISABEL LIANG

Left to right: AJ Brodeur, Ryan Betley, Devon Goodman, Kendall Grasela, Phoebe Sterba, Eleah Parker

March 7: Women’s Playing to determine the No. 2 and No. 4 seeds heading into Ivy Madness, Penn women’s basketball calmly took care of business against Columbia to finish off its regular season. The last time these two teams met, the Quakers eked out a victory in a close 86-84 overtime game with a strong offensive performance. But on Saturday night, the Red and Blue (20-7, 10-4 Ivy) showcased focus on defense and constant effort on both ends of the floor to extend their winning streak against the Lions (17-10, 8-6) to 18 games in a 51-36 win. Junior center Eleah Parker finished the game with seven blocks, tying her career high. She also leads the

Ivy in blocks with an average of 2.5 per game. March 7: Men’s When the ball tipped off between Penn men’s basketball and Columbia on Saturday night, there were two major questions on the minds of Penn fans: Would the Quakers prolong their season with a win, and would senior forward AJ Brodeur break the program’s all-time career scoring record? By midway through the second half, both of those questions had been emphatically answered in the positive. With 9:46 left in the game and the Quakers already leading the Lions by 20, Brodeur scored on a layup to give him his 18th point in the game and the 1,829th of his career. With Brodeur leading the

way, the Quakers went on to win, 85-65, securing a matchup against top-seeded Yale in next weekend’s Ivy League Tournament. As if all that wasn’t enough excitement for one game, Brodeur also made history in another unexpected way. His 21-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist performance gave him the first triple-double in program history. Brodeur himself hadn’t realized what he had accomplished until he heard it announced during a timeout. In addition to the all-time scoring record and triple-double, Brodeur made history in two other ways against Columbia by setting the all-time records for career blocks (196) and games played (119).

Fighting racial injustice: From breaking color barriers to Black Lives Matter Jelani Williams and others led collaborative initiatives with Penn Athletics, creating an advisory KATHRYN XU Associate Sports Editor

In this critical year, Penn athletes used their platforms to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing issues of racial injustice and police brutality. Without the attention and involvement of Black athletes, Penn Athletics’ Plan of Action would never have come to fruition, as athletes have continued to ask more of the University in giving back to the West Philadelphia area and the greater Philadelphia community. The Daily Pennsylvanian strove to

document these changes, in addition to looking back on the early buried history of Black athletes at Penn. June 16 On June 11, Penn Athletics announced its first steps toward combating racism after meeting with approximately 30 Black athletes to determine a Plan of Action in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Penn Athletics first acknowledged past complacency when it came to racism. The plan included elements such as expanding implicit bias and microaggression training to all coaches, staff, and athletes, creating a Diversity and Inclusion position on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and

CHASE SUTTON

Men’s basketball senior guard Jelani Williams (center) has urged Penn to do more for the West Philadelphia community.

growing current civic engagement programming. Nearly every single Penn team held a virtual forum to discuss recent protests and racial injustices. Led by head coach and Minneapolis native Steve Dolan, Penn track and field held multiple individual meetings between athletes and coaches, as well as a larger team meeting. “Penn Athletics, our team, I think we strive to figure out what we can do and how we can each play a role in making Penn, our community, and the world better,” Dolan said. Sept. 7 After the release of Penn Athletics’ plan, Penn players and athletes reacted. Women’s basketball senior Michae Jones heavily emphasized the influence of the athletes: without their initiative, Penn Athletics’ Plan of Action would never have come into being. Penn Athletics’ initial inaction drove men’s basketball senior Jelani Williams, along with volleyball senior Raven Sulaimon and track and field seniors Marvin Morgan and Demetri Whitsett, to outline a number of concrete actions for Penn Athletics to become an “anti-racist organization.” Penn athletes urged for greater representation in hiring Black coaches and professors, beyond

committee and expanding the initial Plan of Action

simply hiring Black professors only within the Africana Studies department. Additionally, they urged Penn to give more to the West Philadelphia community. For many athletes, the Black Lives Matter movement and racial injustice did not suddenly manifest after the murder of George Floyd. Men’s basketball sophomore Lucas Monroe learned about Black Lives Matter after it was founded in 2013 and reflected on his own experiences of systemic racism; he recalled when he was nine and police officers questioned him at a basketball court, even threatening to take him to the police station. “The main thing is that we were frustrated by how Penn and Penn Athletics had a bit of a late response to what is going on,” Monroe said. Sept. 8 Jelani Williams sat at the forefront of much of Penn athletes’ activism and was unsatisfied with simply following the Plan of Action. He especially wanted Penn to do more for the West Philadelphia community, emphasizing how the school did not pay Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs). Penn, as a property taxexempt organization, does not make any financial contributions to the local Philadelphia government. “There’s a lot that Penn can do

outside of just trying to appear that they’re on the right side of this issue, because at the end of the day, as a school with a multi-billion dollar endowment with very powerful alums, very powerful students, and very powerful people, there is a responsibility there for them to affect change in the education sphere,” Williams said. Living at Penn, Williams felt that he was in a bubble. Members of the University City and West Philadelphia communities surrounding Penn, which are home to many of the city’s BIPOC residents, do not view Penn as an available resource. “I just think that there needs to be major action, and I would like for Penn to take the lead, because there are so many resources, and there is so much that we could do,” Williams said. Sept. 30 There was no single “color barrier” at Penn, but many. The history of Black athletes’ presence at Penn is difficult to uncover, as it is equally a history of exclusion and erasure. Track and field marked the start of this history. John Baxter Taylor, Jr. enrolled as a Wharton student and competed on Penn’s track team in 1903, 1904, 1905, 1907, and 1908. At the 1908 London Olympics, he went on to become the first

Black athlete to win a gold medal for the United States. A decade after Taylor, Willis Nelson Cummings became the first Black captain of any varsity sport in the Ivy League. The Quakers’ team photo tradition was discontinued for that season, and there was no official record of Cummings running for Penn until 1963, when he brought his own scrapbook of clippings and archives to the administration. While Cummings starred on the cross country team, Douglass Sheffey became one of the first Black baseball players to suit up for the Quakers. Almost three decades after Sheffey, Bob Evans and Eddie Bell were the first two Black athletes to play for Penn’s football team. Evans became Penn’s first Black football captain in 1952. John Edgar Wideman may have been Penn’s first Black basketball player, as the team photos do not include any Black players until Wideman joined varsity in 1961. Wideman ultimately became the second Black Rhodes Scholar ever. These stories only scratch the surface of the endemic racism for collegiate athletics at Penn. These elisions in Penn’s archives serve as a painful reminder of what is missing from its history.

In with the new: Looking back on a trio of Penn coaching changes over 2020 Volleyball, womenʼs soccer, and gymnastics all saw new head coaches step in this year WILL DIGRANDE Senior Sports Editor

Outside of all the craziness of 2020, a trio of Penn teams also went through coaching changes over the year. Here’s a recap of which coaches left the Red and Blue and who came in to replace them. Volleyball Jan. 31 — Penn Athletics has announced that volleyball coach Iain Braddak has resigned from his post after two seasons on the job. Braddak oversaw a turbulent tenure as coach of the program since his controversial hiring in April 2018 as the team’s third head coach in as many years. After Braddak’s first season in 2018, players complained of emotional manipulation and mistreatment that led to an unhealthy team environment. Three athletes quit the team during that season and eight filed formal grievances against Braddak. While several players questioned Penn Athletics’ handling of the grievance process, by the following season, the team simply wanted to put the controversy behind them and get back to playing volleyball. Year two of Braddak’s tenure got

off to a much better start. The Quakers ran through their non-conference schedule with a record of 7-2 – already more wins than 2018’s program-worst total of six. The team didn’t fare as well in the Ivy League portion of the season but still held a winning record entering the final two-game weekend. Those two games never were played after the season was suspended following the discovery of “vulgar, offensive, and disrespectful” posters were found in the team’s locker room. Braddak’s final record of 17-29 (7-19 Ivy) is the worst coaching record in program history, and he is the only coach to finish their tenure with a losing record. March 20 — On Friday, Penn Athletics announced that Meredith Schamun will be the new head coach for Penn volleyball, the fourth person to take the job in the past five seasons. Schamun is already comfortable in Philadelphia after spending the past two seasons as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Villanova. During her tenure, she helped lead the Wildcats to a 39-23 record and a pair of Big East Tournament appearances. Schamun was responsible for coaching an offense that finished second in the conference in hitting percentage.

“Her recruiting connections around the country, especially in her native Southern California, will serve the program well,” Penn Athletics Director M. Grace Calhoun wrote in a statement. “I look forward to watching Penn volleyball compete for Ivy League championships in the near future.” Women’s soccer Jan. 4 — Penn women’s soccer coach Nicole Van Dyke resigned from her position after five seasons with the team to take on the same position at the University of Washington. In her tenure at the helm of the Quakers, Van Dyke compiled a 4124-15 overall record. The highlight of her tenure was in 2018, when she led the team to a share of the Ivy League championship, ending the season with a 13-2-1 record. The team’s 13 wins were the second most in program history. The 2018 team gave up only five goals, the lowest in program history. A native of California and a former coach at Stanford, Van Dyke will hope to carry over her Ivy League success in her return to the Pac-12. March 23 — In its second coaching addition within a week, Penn Athletics announced that Casey Brown will be the new head coach

for Penn women’s soccer. Brown comes to Penn from Holy Cross, where she spent four seasons as head coach. Over the course of her time with the Crusaders, Brown became the coach with the secondhighest number of Patriot League wins in program history. In 2019, Brown led the Crusaders to their best season since 2000. They posted five wins overall and went 3-1-5 in the Patriot League, the program’s best conference record in the last 20 seasons. At the end of the 2019 season, Brown’s team saw five of its players named to the AllPatriot League — again, the most since 2000. Gymnastics March 20 — After 19 years on Penn gymnastics’ coaching staff and 14 years as the head coach, John Ceralde has parted ways with the Red and Blue. Ceralde joined the Penn coaching staff as an assistant to Tom Kovic in 2002, and took over as head coach just four seasons later. Over his coaching career with the Quakers, Ceralde led Penn to a pair of Eastern College Athletic Conference titles in 2012 and 2013. Seven of his gymnasts were ECAC champions, and nine went on to compete individually at the NCAA Championships. Ceralde left the team on a high

PHOTOS: CHASE SUTTON, SON NGUYEN, KAITLIN ROWAN; DESIGN: ALANA KELLY

Top: Iain Braddak (left) and Meredith Schamun; Middle: Nicole Van Dyke (left) and Casey Brown; Bottom: John Ceralde (left) and Kirsten Becker

note, having earned his fifth Ivy Classic title — and first since 2015 — in February. In March 2019 in a meet at Maryland, his team’s score of 195.075 broke a 15-year-old record for best in program history. May 21 — Kirsten Becker will take over the job of head coach for Penn gymnastics this season, Athletics Director M. Grace Calhoun announced. Becker has been an assistant coach for the team since August 2015, and she also competed for the Red and Blue as an undergraduate, graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences as a communications

major in 2013. As a gymnast, Becker had an impressive career at Penn. A twotime captain, she led the Quakers to back-to-back Ivy Classic championships, was twice named Penn’s Most Valuable Gymnast, and was named ECAC Gymnast of the Year. She was also named Penn’s Most Inspirational Gymnast, and was the University’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Becker is married to Ryan Becker, who is an assistant coach for Penn football, and was formerly a quarterback for the team.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

THEDP.COM | THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN

Jan.

No cases had yet been reported at Penn, but the University announced in an email to undergraduates that it was monitoring the pandemic and communicating with students studying abroad in China.

March

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Penn moved to a completely virtual semester following the COVID-19 outbreak. Spring break was extended another week, and virtual learning began on March 23. Students on campus were expected to leave campus by March 17.

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COVID-19 prompted the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing to remain closed until at least Feb. 10. At this point, the COVID-19 case count was 20,000 worldwide, 11 of which were in the United States.

Three Penn students tested positive for COVID19 after traveling abroad for spring break. Of the three students, two were off campus and one was on campus.

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on across the nation, Penn announced it would conduct all of its summer courses virtually.

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After multiple delays, Penn canceled all fall 2020 study abroad programs as a result of the global travel restrictions and health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Following a spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, Penn decided to close on-campus housing for the fall and conduct a completely virtual semester.

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Penn reported what was at the time a semester-high weekly count of positive COVID-19 cases, with 107 recorded in the last week of October.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRANDON LI

NEWS 1 5


1 6 UNDER THE BUTTON

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

The Pleasure Chest 2039 Walnut St · (215) 561-7480 pleasurechestphilly.com

Hot Girl Erasure: I Turn My Camera Off During Zoom Classes by MEGAN STRIFF-CAVE

THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | THEDP.COM

My identity is being erased. You see, I am a Hot Girl. Always have been, always will be. Middle school ugly phase with side bangs and crooked teeth? Sorry, can’t relate! I’ve had layers since third grade and got those braces you can’t even see — the ultimate Hot Girl move. When I get ready in the morning, I just put on a little bit of mascara and I’m good to go. Honestly, I look worse WITH makeup. Can’t do anything about it. But every day, I join my Zoom lectures and never turn on my camera. Why? Because I’m on my phone the whole time —duh. And although this decision is necessary due to the irreconcilable fact that my classes are boring and dumb, it prevents people from seeing my perfectly proportioned face. And as a Hot Girl, I consider that a crisis. The internal battle: Sacrifice my mental health and wellbeing by having to suffer through a three-hour Zoom Lecture with my camera on, but relish in the fact that everyone in my class will have to recognize my hot girl status? Or remain facially ambiguous, a dark screen, a blank canvas on which others can paint their view of me... Is there a way I can communicate my very identity? How can I legitimize my Hot Girl status without them seeing me? How can I communicate to others that they’re in the virtual presence of a hot girl, and they should probably press “Touch Up Appearance” ASAP? This is Hot Girl Erasure. Maybe I’ll just enter the call without video but put “I’m a 10, btw” in the chat. Or maybe I’ll just have to like, base my personality off of superficial things, like my basic values and moral character.

“Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia,” Said Every Penn Student Ever by MIKAYLA GOLUB

Stop in for last minute gifts!

On Sept. 29, 2020, during the Presidential Debate between President Trump and Joe Biden, Trump paid homage to his alma mater by quoting every Penn student in the history of the University of Pennsylvania when he said: “Bad things happen in Philadelphia.” All across the country, current Penn students and alumni alike rejoiced, their grievances finally aired on national television. College senior Derek Derekson has been complaining to his buddies for years that: “Sure, the greater Philadelphia area faces an opioid epidemic, but the real crime is my dealer trying to charge me $100 for a gram of coke. We have serious drug problems here in Philadelphia, and the epicenter of it is Walnut to Pine

between 39th and 41st.” Penn alum Rachel Rachelson (W’ 18) recounts the days when she had to eat Penn dining: “Sure, the greater Philadelphia area faces food insecurity, as Philadelphia is one of the poorest cities in the country, but I never knew where my next meal was coming from … because there was too many options! There was Hill, McClelland, Houston Hall, not to mention all the food carts, chain restaurants, BYO places and coffee shops.” A Drexel student tried to give a quote but was denied because his university is outside city bounds. As every Penn student ever has said: “Bad things are happening at Penn. I mean Philadelphia.”


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34TH STREET MAGAZINE 1 7

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

Favorites OF 2020 Favorimtse Albu IT’S BE E N A TOUGH YEAR. THANKFULLY, MUSIC EXISTS. Whenever life gets too hard or the world is too much, I know that I retreat into the comfort of my headphones and escape to a different universe for three or four minutes. Spotify says that I listened to 90,000 minutes of music in 2020, and I know some other Street staffers have me beat by a wide margin. Like I said: It’s been a tough year. Without further ado, here are the five best albums that Street listened to in 2020—the albums that kept us going in the wake of a pandemic, overdue reckonings with racial justice, a tumultuous election cycle, and ever ything in bet ween. —KYLE WHITING, music editor

UNGODLY HOUR, Chloe x Halle

The music industry lost something when it got over its boy and girl band phase. Perhaps these groups were seen as too juvenile or too sugary to appeal to a generation so keen on maturity. But maybe it was the bubblegum pop genre that was holding these artists back. Enter Chloe x Halle: an R&B sister duo whose sophomore EP Ungodly Hour brings sensuality, colorful lyricism, and relatability together to create a contemporary R&B experience. Moving away from their squeaky–clean images, which include three seasons on Grown– ish, performances at the Super Bowl, and casting in the live–action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Chloe and Halle curse, talk about sex, make drunken mistakes, and deal with unsolicited dick pics—just like any other 20–somethings. With raw earnestness, the duo brings back an essential piece that girl bands of the 2010s lost: lyrical sex appeal. “Forgive Me” is another

TE I R O V FA s + TV FILMHOWS S TO SAY THE LEAST, 2020 HAS BEEN A WEIRD YEAR. In light of the social distancing required to remain safe during these times, we’ve had more time than ever to consume media voraciously. Although watching TV oftentimes felt like a painful reminder of the life we left behind, it also serves as a welcome distraction from the havoc of the real world. Without further ado, we present to you our favorite shows and movies to escape into this year.

GRAND ARMY

Since the release of Euphoria, there has been a public appreciation for shows that take a tough, yet honest look at the high school experience. Following the stories of five high school students in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, Grand Army takes a successful swing at this genre. Created by Katie Cappiello and based in part on her theatrical work, Slut: The Play, the show focuses on Joey Del Marco (Odessa A’Zion), who is passionate about female bodily autonomy. One night, she goes out, and is sexually assaulted by her best friends—a moment that changes her life forever. While this plot point alone would be enough to tell a compelling story, the show also gives significant screen time to four other characters. Each character, despite all living in Brooklyn, comes from a different socioeconomic background—and faces their own challenges. Exploring issues such as sexual assault, sexuality, familial expectation, economic distress, and wrongful punishment, this show successfully explores serious issues without being condescending or heavy–handed. LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM

There were a lot of great albums released in a not–so–great year. Check out our favorites. standout track. Showcasing the duo’s vocal prowess, this unapologetic self–empowerment anthem with ear–catching production complements the sisters’ emergence into the sultriness of adulthood. Ungodly Hour doesn’t just symbolize that the girl band isn’t dead—it’s an homage to maturity, self–empowerment, and owning your sexuality. POSITIONS, Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s sixth studio album positions does not stray away from her brand of typical, confectionary romance—it dives right into the cheekiness of it. Grande doesn’t abandon her usual production. Rather she fuses it together with notes of R&B as she croons about the physical and emotional intimacy of true love across every song. The title track demonstrates the indulgent pleasure of being one half of a whole in an unapologetic manner; that ethos similarly colors “34+35.” Her lyricism is illustrative yet playful, displaying a wit that her past work lacked. The project is coquettish and clever but also pleads for self–love, like when Grande wishes to view herself through her lover’s eyes in “pov.” These themes, although not novel, still shine through as the greatest accomplishment of positions, especially when paired with the most impressive vocals yet by the artist. Just as 2020 has confined the world to its bedroom, Grande implores us to share ours with a lover. SUGA, Megan Thee Stallion

The release date for Megan Thee Stallion’s Suga was originally in May. Meg intended to go public with a full album, but became ensnared in a legal battle with her label over the right to release her own music. Initial rulings in Megan’s favor allowed her to drop the EP on March 6, 2020, which also happened to be the last day Penn held on–campus classes. In the monotony of the new lockdown, Suga reverberated across the suddenly quarantined population. TikTok dances to “Savage” and “Captain Hook,” popular in March and April, now occupy permanent places in the halls of internet history. Hot Girl Meg became a household name—often along with her famed lyrical descriptors—“Classy, bougie, ratchet / Sassy, moody, nasty.” But apart from the memes, Megan’s third,

twenty–four–and–a–half minute EP is a snapshot of a rapper in metamorphosis. Megan opens with a reference to her own trauma on “Ain’t Equal” (“I lost my mommy and my granny in the same month”), but relinquishes none of her trademark self–empowerment as she follows with “Savage” and later “B.I.T.C.H.” Just like the rest of us, Meg had a complicated 2020. After being shot in the foot then publicly dissed by Canadian rapper Tory Lanez, she went on to pen an Op–Ed in The New York Times, release her debut full–length album, and receive multiple Grammy nominations. Suga stands at the precipice of one of hip–hop’s most exciting new acts, the peaking tidal wave of a cultural behemoth just moments before it envelops everyone in its wake. SET MY HEART ON FIRE IMMEDIATELY, Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius (a.k.a. Michael Hadreas) has always made music that’s deeply personal and deeply queer. Across all of his releases, he has looked inward for inspiration, singing about his own love, loss, and life. But on Set My Heart On Fire Immediately, that inward examination is no longer metaphorical: Hadreas rips himself wide open, examining every muscle, vein, every nerve. Nothing is left untouched. Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is a remarkably physical record, full of vivid, sensual imagery. He sings about “the rise and fall of his chest,” and begs his lover to “set [his] heart on fire, immediately” with an aching fervor. Still, Hadreas finds wisdom in the mundane: After the rousing guitar breakdown of “Some Dream,” he sings “I know you called me and I didn’t pick up / I was busy freaking out.” Or, the plain observation that dominates “Nothing At All”: “I got what you want, babe / I got what you need, son / Nothing, nothing at all.” Regardless of whether Perfume Genius is describing ephemeral hookups, bountiful love, or devastating heartbreak, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is a visceral testament to the wonder and beauty found in ordinary bodies, living ordinary lives. PUNISHER, Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers’ second studio album creates a

wondrous emo–folk dystopia of grief and solitude. From reflection on Bridgers’ complex relationship with her father on Grammy–nominated “Kyoto” to the raw contemplation of belief and faith on “Chinese Satellite,” Punisher is gloriously honest and deeply personal. Each song is simultaneously a whispered confession and a viscerally screamed revelation, tucking away universal truths of existence, identity, and love within the depths of Bridgers’ own experiences. With stark, self–aware lyrical musings and seamlessly winding melodies, Punisher is addictive in its authenticity and musical mastery. Closing with “I Know the End,” Punisher finishes with a cacophony of screams, encapsulating the spiritual catharsis that Bridgers so deeply yearns for. Yet throughout Bridgers’ haunting journey to the edges of her emotional hell, she pushes forward to personal recovery with hope and determination, leaving listeners with a sense of divine epiphanic finality. FOLKLORE, Taylor Swift

To pull from a prolific Swiftie tweet, “taylor swift writing folklore during COVID quarantine is the modern day equivalent of shakespeare writing king lear during the plague...” As far–fetched as it sounds, Swift’s surprise eighth studio album bears resemblance to a literary masterwork. It plants short story characters into songs that twang with the angst of a mid–2000s indie folk album, full of the delightfully gloomy acoustics we’d sooner associate with Bon Iver than the brains behind tracks like “22.” There’s the love triangle that comes to a head in “betty,” where you can feel the teenaged regret of an adolescent cheater most palpably in the chorus. Then there’s the winding tale of Rebekah Harkness that comes in the sparkling ditty “last great american dynasty” and the bright romanticism of soulmates finding each other in “invisible string.” folklore is great because it’s distinctly Swift and anything but. She uses all of her signatures—melodramatic bridges, potent imagery, Easter eggs—to write outside of herself, creating a storybook world we can all escape to as quarantine bores on. ARTWORK BY ISABEL LIANG—Original Images From: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Megan Eagles, Ramona Rosales/Cosmopolitan, Arielle Bobb-Willis/The New York Times.

In the face of COVID–19, distracting yourself with TV is key—so here are our favorite worlds to disappear to. As much as reality television is the genre of housewives flipping dinner tables and campy games shows, it’s also a genre filled with heart. Take Love on the Spectrum, a Netflix docuseries that follows a group on the Autism spectrum as they discover romance in different ways. The series is refreshingly honest. It highlights the subtle difficulties of neurodivergence— switching topics of conversations, figuring out how to end a first date, decoding cryptic texts—without ever trying to explain away the casts’ disabilities. Mostly, it reminds us all that love is hard no matter how natural it may come to you, with the archetypes of your favorite romantic comedy reflected in this rotating cast of characters. Michael is the hopeless romantic while Maddi is a player, and Sharnae and Jimmy are the couple everyone envies. There’s something soothing about a show that finds beauty in the bluntest edges of its characters, making Love on the Spectrum a mindless—but rewarding—quarantine binge.

her coming to terms with the concept of gender fluidity, a conversation that needs to be had in the Muslim community. Another stand–out this season is Mahershala Ali as the Sufi Sheikh Malik, who is pivotal in Ramy’s emotional and religious journey. THE MANDALORIAN

Every day we wonder if Pedro Pascal’s back hurts from carrying the entire Star Wars franchise into a new era of critically acclaimed

RAMY

There isn’t a lot of great representation for Muslims. It can get exhausting tallying up the moments in a show where the token Muslim character is downgraded to a stereotype— or even worse, eventually ends up taking off her hijab for a ridiculous reason, like the male gaze or a hospital emergency. However, Ramy is different: it portrays the plight of Muslims, especially those who grow up in America post 9/11, as more nuanced. Ramy Hassan (Ramy Youssef) is, at first glance, a sensitive person confused as to how he can balance his faith with modern American culture. But he’s also simultaneously an obsessive, selfish brown male who can sometimes come off as a hypocrite. Specifically, episodes that focus on other characters, such as Ramy’s mother, Maysa (Hiam Abbass) make for tragic, yet heartwarming television. This season shows

storytelling. Pascal plays the titular character in the Star Wars spin–off show, The Mandalorian, an incredibly cinematic space western that’s currently in the middle of its second season. The series creates a fresh, original narrative in a well– worn and well–loved world, with each episode telling a stand–alone story. The Mandalorian teems with cameos from famous actors and characters, as well as Easter eggs from both the Star Wars films and numerous animated television adaptations. Playing the protagonist, a cowboy–esque, bounty hunting Mandalorian named Din Djarin, Pascal gives a stunning

and emotional performance even though his costume covers his entire face and body. There’s nothing that tugs at the heartstrings more than an angsty, brooding character who steps up to be a responsible and loving father figure. After the disappointing end to the new Star Wars trilogy of films, The Mandalorian sweeps into flesh out the Star Wars universe through the Mandalorian people, a fan–favorite but unexplored culture from the canon. Films:

EMMA

Following a rich line of on–screen adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels, 2020’s Emma is filled with whimsy and humor. The film is a light period drama that revels in its lush romance and incredibly talented cast, with Anya Taylor–Joy as the titular Austen heroine. Sometimes, it’s nice to just watch beautiful people in period clothing cry about their emotions and deal with the awkwardness and apprehension of falling in love. In this way, the movie dips into the genre of teenage romance despite its high ISABEL LIANG literary background. Emma draws upon the incredible humor present in the original novel, which is itself a comedy of manners. Additionally, the film, like the novel, portrays a female protagonist who is complicated and self–centered, yet equally capable of growth and deserving of love regardless—and that’s pretty damn revolutionary for a story from the Regency period. Austen remains timeless, and Emma is an entirely fitting adaptation of what makes Austen feel so special generations later. EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA


1 8 34TH STREET MAGAZINE

Many major annual events have not been possible in 2020 due to the pandemic. The Eurovision Song Contest, which was supposed to be held in Rotterdam from May 12–16, was one of them. However, unlike many other traditions which were all but disregarded this year, fans were treated to the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. For die–hard Eurovision enthusiasts, Fire Saga captured the magic, whimsy, and fun of the yearly competition that brings together an entire continent. Fire Saga stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir, who comprise Fire Saga, the band that ends up representing Iceland. Coincidentally, in the real world, Iceland was the favorite to win for the first time, but lost the opportunity. With

T E N R E INT NDS TRE AS 2020 COMES TO A CLOSE, IT’S TIME FOR SOME R E F LE C T I O N . A N D T RUS T ME , WE’VE GOT A LOT TO UNPACK HERE.

In the past 12 months, we’ve weathered everything from a global pandemic to fears of an impending World War III. We witnessed a historical presidential election, saw a society mobilize in the name of racial justice, and even braced for siege of murder hornets. And what better way to look back on this absolute rollercoaster of a year than to reflect on the internet trends that made us laugh, cry, and full–body cringe our way through these unprecedented times? Love them or hate them, virtual fads can tell us a lot about what we went through—and inform our journey forward. While the sheer madness that is 2020 may be temporary, the internet is forever.

HANNAH LONSER, style editor

Trends We Loved

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS

Whether you were nostalgic for your childhood days of playing Animal Crossing on your DS or searching for a no–stress form of escapism, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was one of our favorite ways to stay entertained while COVID– 19 related regulations shuttered our favorite businesses and kept us six feet apart from loved ones. Rather than spiraling into a panic over spiking case counts, Millennials and Gen–Zers alike took an hour or two—or five—out of their socially distanced days to get away to Animal Crossing’s virtual islands. Turning our attention to catching fish, talking to villagers, picking out outfits for our characters, and paying back our loans to Tom Nook was enough distraction to make us forget that we hadn’t left the house in a while. FILM CAMERAS Nostalgia for times past is ever so present in a year like 2020. A true throwback, capturing memories with film or disposable cameras

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

the great cast, catchy music—including a viral “Song–Along” medley—and a little bit of elf magic, this movie is one to check out. ONWARDS

A light–hearted and moving Pixar film that makes us reminiscent of the pre–COVID days, Onwards tells a story of family and friendship. Set in a fantasy land that resembles our modern world more than any mythology, the film combines fantasy with a classic Pixar coming–of–age film. The two brothers, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt), find on Ian’s birthday a staff that can bring their dad back to life for one day. Unfortunately, they mess up the spell and have to go on

Learn how the Penn AAPI founder balances relaxation with radical change. by MADDIE MULDOON

CHASE SUTTON

a journey—like in any Pixar film—that’s filled with magic, adventures, and goofy side characters. The mix of fantasy creatures and modern technology, in an understatement, is an interesting one—but one that’s surprisingly fun to watch, from the dragon puppy to the retired, buffet–owning manticore. Although it’s not the best Pixar film out there, for any fan of animated family movies, it’s sure to bring joy. THE WAY BACK

In iconic roles like Bruce Wayne and Tony Mendez, Ben Affleck is used to carrying himself with a certain degree of confidence and swagger. This persona is

eradicated in The Way Back, where Affleck plays depressed construction worker Jack Cunningham, whose alcoholism pervades into every area of his life. He drinks a beer in the shower every morning; spikes his coffee before embarking on a day of dangerous construction work; and spends nearly every night at the local bar. Formerly a D1–bound basketball prodigy who abandoned the game for unknown reasons, Cunningham earns a shot at redemption when he is recruited to coach the basketball team at his alma mater. This film is deeply emotional and moving, and Affleck’s acting illustrates a broken man who has severed nearly all personal relationships in his life. Affleck gives it his all in this film, and it’s a story that tugs on the heart–strings right up until the final buzzer.

Breaking down the social media movements we loved—and loved to hate—this year. resurged in recent months, especially after celebrities like supermodel Gigi Hadid and David Dobrik started posting retro–esque shots of their famous friends to their Instagrams. Scrolling through TikTok, you’ll find hundreds of videos with a combined 14.4 million views under the hashtag “disposable camera.” Instead of snapping thousands of pics on an iPhone to select the perfect one and then further editing it using filters, film allows us to capture more candid moments. No longer armed with the option to “delete” or “retake,” these cameras provide an escape from the digital environment that has taken over our lives.

of our favorite social media memes. In a true testament to its addictiveness, celebrities and small–time players alike posted lighthearted videos of them recreating the mafia–style game IRL perfect for a laugh. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez (D–N.Y.) even used the popular streaming platform Twitch to broadcast her experience playing Among Us to the world wide web in a move to relate with young audiences and encourage them to vote in the 2020 election.

THE BANANA BREAD CRAZE

It’s only fitting that one of the most bizarre social media trends in recent memory took off during one of the strangest years to date. The #pillowchallenge—which emerged at peak quarantine boredom–entails placing a large pillow in front of your midsection and securing it with a belt. And while you could try to argue that the resulting pillow ensemble kind of resembles an extreme celebrity statement dress from the front, beware that it will leave your backside totally exposed. At the end of the day, this trend seemed unnecessary and just a little too odd to avoid falling flat. A reminder of just how weird people were willing to get to alleviate lockdown ennui, let’s hope that the pillow challenge doesn’t make a comeback in 2021.

As lockdowns were mandated across the country in early March, COVID–19 updates dominated national news outlets, while banana bread photos took over the internet. Stuck at home, thousands of social media users broke out their favorite banana bread recipes, sharing pictures of the finished products with their followers. A beacon of comfort during anything– but–comforting times, the process of making this baked good from scratch proved to be an enjoyable and reassuring task for many. And with many people over–stocked on groceries following the initial pandemic buying panic, baking banana bread was also a way to prevent over–ripe bananas from going to waste. As life seemed to slowly spiral out of control, banana bread’s social media sweep undoubtedly emerged as one of the best trends of the year. SHARING THE GOOD NEWS While the headlines this year felt like they were ripped from the script of an apocalyptic horror movie, there’s plenty of positive news out there– and several social media users were dedicated to spreading it. Whether you were tuning in to John Krasinski’s feel–good web series “Some Good News” or scrolling through Instagram accounts like @goodnews_movement, 2020 saw an uptick in the number of internet spaces devoted to sharing the good in the world. In stark contrast to the deluge of doom and gloom that overtook mainstream media, netizens took to their favorite social media platforms to showcase all things hopeful, from this stories about a California woman’s donation of 7,500 pet oxygen masks to help dogs escape wildfires or clips of dinosaurs dancing to Whitney Houston. AMONG US Incoming! The imposter is near. A contest of sabotage, strategy, teamwork, and betrayal, the virtual game Among Us became an internet sensation in 2020. The perfect solution for when boredom struck, Among Us gave rise to some

Amira Chow

Street’s Activist of the Year:

THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN | THEDP.COM

“W

Trends We Hated

TIKTOK’S PILLOW DRESS CHALLENGE

SLACKTIVISM Remember when Instagram flooded with black squares for #BlackOutTuesday following the police killing of Minneapolis’ George Floyd? What about the time your friends pressured you to post black–and–white selfies for #ChallengeAccepted, an Instagram trend that went haywire as famous creators pried it from Turkish activists protesting femicide? 2020 was the year of Instagram activism, of pastel infographics hawking well–meaning but uninformed statistics about the prison industrial complex, COVID–19 safety measures, and mutual aid tips. As well– meaning as these slideshows are, they trick us into the pitfalls of slacktivism. They let us think we’re changing the world with the swipe of a repost. In reality, we’re passively consuming media—just like we do on TikTok and Twitter. Enacting real change means getting off of your profile to make good on the graphics you keep posting. Donate to a bail fund. Register voters. Use that curiosity to read books and talk with your friends about what justice actually looks like. CGI INFLUENCERS In an era when in–person photo shoots are less commonplace, CGI models, which are hyper–realistic digital avatars created through computer generated imagery, are taking over

hen we came to America we faced severe poverty ... My activism is connected to my family and my lived experience. Between experiencing poverty, being an immigrant in this country, learning English, struggling with English, and having parents who struggle with English, it helps me to recognize that the bare minimum is not provided for folks to even begin to have a dignified and humane living.” Amira Chow (C ‘22) was born and raised in Bangladesh. When she was in middle school, her family immigrated to the United States and called Los Angeles their new home. She recalls filing her family’s tax returns and paying electricity and internet bills as young as the sixth grade on account of her parents’ limited English proficiency. A similar vigor and determination brought Amira to Penn, where she majors in Urban Studies and Political Science with a minor in Urban Education, all while pursuing a Master’s in Social Policy at the School of Social Policy & Practice. With this in mind, Amira has dedicated her undergraduate years to relentlessly advocating on behalf of those historically marginalized by what she sees Penn as—a white–dominated political space. At the heart of Amira’s Penn experience is activism rooted in the causes of working people. She’s furious at Penn’s apathy towards its West Philadelphia neighbors. “Penn has extracted and devastated West Philadelphia, from using eminent domain to get rid of black homeowners and community members, to not giving them reparations, to not paying PILOTs (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes),” she says. Her deep and palpable sense of justice led her to become involved with the campaigns of Police Free Penn. “I began joining my friends [in Philadelphia] over the summer and protesting as the demonstrations were going on after the murder of George Floyd,” Amira says. “I became involved with key organizers in the group to raise awareness, share resources, and get more folks introduced to their work. We organized a demonstration in front of Penn Police headquarters over the summer.” Prior to her entry into Police Free Penn, Amira had already been involved with Penn Community for Justice. As a member of the community mobilizing arm, she builds coalitions, publishes and writes Op Eds, and helps different Philadelphia communities connect with and learn from one another. Yet the activist is known most widely by her leadership position in one of Penn’s most influential clubs, Penn Justice Democrats. She was one of the founding members of Penn for Bernie, which transformed into this club during the primary season. “Penn for Bernie was the number one most organized student group in Pennsylvania, and eighth most organized student group in the nation. We had over 200 members in by the end of our time here. We got to go to New Hampshire with over 40 Penn students, and a Japanese national news station made a mini documentary about our

Instagram. Debate on the ethics of using CGI models in ad campaigns has rises ever since digital influencers like Lil Miquela started launching their collaborations with fashion brands like Prada and Calvin Klein. These high–tech creations raised concerns about their ability to promote extremely unrealistic beauty standards and caused an uproar amongst models who worry that these digital mock–ups are stealing their work. CGI models are also not subjected to the same standards when disclosing sponsorship deals. In other words, when these digital avatars wear a label on Instagram, they don’t have to mention if their creator was paid. Whether you’re more creeped out by their lifeless expressions or by their service of our capitalist overlords, let’s hope that CGI influencers’ social media takeover doesn’t continue. UNTIL TOMORROW Imagine this: posting a cringworthy photo of yourself, complete with a facial expression that you didn’t even know you were capable of making, to Instagram for 24 hours. For all of your followers to see; close friends, NSO acquaintances that you haven’t spoken to in years, and crushes included. This was the premise for the Until Tomorrow challenge, which dominated the ‘gram back in March. Sure, seeing some people post their most unflattering pictures can give us a good laugh, but did we really need to be DMed a message reminiscent of a chain mail threat after leaving an unsuspecting like on another person’s post insisting that we do the same? There were definitely more meaningful challenges that we could have been devoting our social media real estate to instead. INFLUENCER PARTYING Someone really needs to let influencers know that their follower count won’t protect them from the coronavirus, because they sure aren’t acting like it. From the social media uproar that followed Bryce Hall’s huge birthday party back in August to Ariana Grande calling out TikTokers for frequenting Saddle Ranch, influencers have faced a lot of backlash for hosting large gatherings in the midst of a global pandemic. Worse yet, their prolific posting of their reckless behavior has people worried that they might be influencing their young fans not to take COVID–19 seriously. Dr. Fauci went so far as to make an appearance on Lil Wayne’s podcast to urge young people–influencers included–to be more careful. Unfortunately, many content creators still don’t seem to care, as several are still traveling, eating out, and throwing down without concern for CDC guidelines.

activism,” she says. The heart of Amira’s activism, however, stems from her identity as a Bengali woman. Frustrated with the portrayal of Asian Americans as apolitical in mainstream media, she created Penn’s premier and only non–partisan Asian and Pacific Islander identity–based political affinity group, Penn AAPI Politics. AAPI has since brought a litany of speakers to campus, hosted demonstrations, and participated in intimate discussions with other campus organizations. AAPI also collaborates with many other community–based Asian American organizations in Philadelphia, assisting with everything from voter engagement and registration to mobilizing the Asian American community to fill out the census. Another central pillar of Amira’s undergraduate career is her research, which focuses on adult literacy in the United States. Over the summer, she had the opportunity to research prison literacy, allowing her to speak with many formerly incarcerated Americans. She explains that literacy can be a source of liberation for those in the prison system. Amira has since put her research into practice, obtaining a teaching certification in English as a Second Language (ESL) through Penn GSE and teaching adult learners at the Community Learning Center weekly. When asked what she hopes for in the next five years, Amira’s answer is simple. To see true progress, Amira wants Penn to take accountability for the damage they’ve caused to West Philadelphia’s marginalized communities. What does this look like? Defunding the Penn Police, divesting from fossil fuels, and committing to paying PILOTs, which would fund West Philadelphia’s public schools. “I want [Penn] to recognize what their politics are and how much [of] it is rooted in a pro–corporate and pro–status quo sort of politics and how much their politics are actually harming the same people that they claim to care about,” she says. Amira has another hope, too. Throughout her immense success and unwavering activism, she has never worked after 9 p.m. She doesn’t check notifications after this time but rather uses those sacred hours to journal, meditate, and embrace solitude. Ultimately, Amira urges Penn students to recognize the importance of rest. Amira’s life philosophy? “Rest is an act of resistance. Rest is revolutionary. Rest is radical, and our bodies deserve [it],” she says. “Unfortunately, what I’ve seen at Penn ... is a belief that rest is lazy and not competitive enough ... In reality we need rest in order to be critically engaged.” After Penn, she hopes to take a year or two to escape the U.S., then attend law school and dedicate her career to continue fighting for the causes of working people. As always, the Penn junior looks to the future: “Real social transformation can only happen when we build robust multi–racial coalitions to challenge power and bring down systems to create anew. I plan to dedicate my career and efforts to building upon this people–powered cause for justice.”


THEDP.COM | THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN

34TH STREET MAGAZINE 1 9

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2020

‘H

olden Caulfield’ is a name that’s strewn about in literary analysis with as much frequency as there are blades of grass in a field. He’s the teenage narrator and protagonist of J.D. Salinger’s infamous The Catcher in the Rye, a novel that everyone either loves or loves to hate. There’s no shortage of literary study guides deconstructing what exactly it means to be Holden Caulfield. Most characterizations are synonymous with nightmarish adolescent angst, including buzzwords like alienated, cynical, and moody. This portrayal undoubtedly contributed to the novel’s success among teenagers. However, public reactions to The Catcher in the Rye have always existed in stark polarities— ranging from critics raving about the brilliance of Holden’s character to people condemning the book after John Lennon’s shooter, Mark Chapman, adopted it as his manifesto. The novel’s popularity is inseparable from its sociocultural context. In 1951, the McCarthy period was in full swing while the Cold War continued to play at a fever pitch. Investigations of supposed communist infiltrations occurred with alarming frequency, condemning political figures. Character assassinations became a public spectacle. In short, the country was embroiled in a Hitchcock–esque paranoia. Art historian Moira Roth says that two protagonists set the parameters of national feeling in this particular period: Holden Caulfield and Mike Hammer, from the novel One Lonely Night. The latter is best portrayed in the following line: “I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it. … They were Commies, Lee. They were red sons–of–bitches who should have died long ago.” Roth argues that these two polarizing attitudes of “embittered passivity” and “bigoted conviction” were crucial products of McCarthyism. While right– wing anti–communists pursued their goals with an ardent zeal, “others of a more liberal and self–critical persuasion found themselves paralyzed when called upon to act on their convictions.” This psychological ambivalence is coined by Roth as the “Aesthetic of Indifference.” She uses it to describe a group of artists in the 1950s, including Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. As a general rule, these artists viewed politics with “distance and irony.” In an interview with Pierre Cabanne, Duchamp refers to politics as “a stupid activity, which leads to nothing. Whether it leads to communism, to monarchy, to a democratic republic, it’s the same thing, as far as I’m concerned.” Duchamp’s quote clarifies that his indifference, despite seeming callous, stems from a disillusionment with the system. The term “Aesthetic of Indifference” refers to a cult of intellectuals from the past. But its definition of passivity has extensive implications for our future. This moniker encapsulates a theme persisting far beyond the Cold War era: passivity in the face of social turmoil. This sense of neutrality or inaction isn’t characterized by laziness or ignorance. Instead, it’s the same emotion that came with Holden Caulfield’s every move: a complete and total disillusionment with society, accompanied by a fear that there’s nothing you can do to change it.

The Year of Apoliticism:

How 2020 Has Made Apathy Easy As 2020 finishes burning, we turn to Holden Caulfield to understand why it was so easy not to care. by AAKRUTI GANESHAN

YX ND CI U

Teenagers today face a unique set of challenges. In the United States alone, students are processing the outcome of one of history’s most divisive elections, alongside police brutality and civil inaction. Increasing COVID–19 rates continue to wreak havoc on both lives and livelihoods. So, what does it mean to be a modern–day Holden Caulfield? A survey conducted in the wake of the 2016 election found that teens are as “politically disillusioned and pessimistic about the nation’s divisions as their parents.” A similar study concluded that young adults reported significant emotional stress as a direct result of the political climate. Meanwhile, teenage depression and anxiety rates continue to skyrocket. Today, the “Aesthetic of Indifference” doesn’t refer to a teenage boy, fiddling with his cigarette, in the solitude of his New York hotel room. It more likely describes the teenager in their latest month of lockdown, watching the evening news with their family, overwhelmed with a feeling of abject horror. We are bombarded with a score of Instagram stories, colorful infographics, and Facebook rants prescribing different ways to act. @soyouwanttotalkabout and @shityoushouldcareabout have become a staple of our daily news intake. The names attached to these accounts sneer at passivity. We should want to talk about these things. We should care. Conversely, another dialectic encourages turning the news off—even if incrementally. Media outlets capitalize on the “negativity bias,” a psychological phenomenon where the human brain disproportionately focuses on the negative. Sometimes, these sources argue, ignorance really is bliss. Especially when ignorance is self–care, not inaction. Yet, as many rightly argue, in a sociopolitical context, ignorance or apathy is a privilege that many can’t afford. There seems to be a growing recognition of the “Aesthetic of Indifference” as a fundamentally inequitable concept. The New York Times interviewed several high school teachers who addressed this in the context of The Catcher in the Rye: “Holden’s passivity is especially galling and perplexing to many present– day students,” says Julie Johnson. “Today’s pop culture heroes, it seems, are the nerds who conquer the world like Harry [Potter], not the beautiful losers who reject it.” Given the events of the recent year, it seems more important than ever to acknowledge the circumstances of apathy. The “Aesthetic of Indifference” seems to be just that—a projection of detachment that doesn’t encompass its causes. More often than not, passivity is rooted in cynicism and sadness and privilege. To discourage indifference, we must contextualize it. We must understand the psyche that gives rise to cynicism. Then, we must stop belittling it. Perhaps only then we can fix what’s left of our apathetic youth. Holden Caulfield may not be the protagonist in our modern narrative. For many, a rich white male lamenting the cruelties of society may even be the villain. But the only way we can defeat this villain is to first try to understand them.

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SAVE

OFF YOUR TOTAL SHOPPING ORDER OF $30 OR MORE!

Redeem after store and manufacturer’s coupon redemptions. Offer excludes discount on beer, wine and spirits, money orders, lottery tickets, gift cards, tobacco, prescriptions, stamps, phone cards, Starbucks® coffee bar, fuel and convenience store purchases or other products prohibited by law. Cannot be doubled, tripled, quadrupled or exchanged for cash. Not valid towards previous purchases. Void if copied or transferred. In the event of a return, coupon savings may be deducted from refund. May not be used in combination with other offers. Customer is responsible for sales taxes on all taxable items. One coupon per customer. Coupon not available in-store.

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December 10, 2020  

December 10, 2020  

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