April 12, 2023

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The Emory Wheel

Social media shifts approach to University marketing, applications

When incoming first-year student Tai Jackson started looking at colleges his junior year of high school, Emory University was not his top choice. He knew he wanted to go somewhere with a strong theater program, and Jackson said Emory did not seem to fit the bill with its pre-med reputation.

However, after discovering Emory’s “very strong” theater community, such as Dooley’s Players, on Instagram, his perspective shifted. By senior year, Jackson was set on attending Emory. He was accepted in Early Decision I.

“I would have never even known that Emory had a good theater program, or even had a theater program, if it wasn’t for social media,” Jackson said.

Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Admission John Latting said that if the University sends an email to 300,000 prospective students, only about 600 people will open it, while an Instagram video can get 30,000 views in three days. This outreach is a large part of the admissions process, Latting said.

“Our whole team were involved, not just in selecting students, but in engaging students, in telling the Emory story, ” Latting said.

Latting added that students seek answers to their questions on social media instead of looking up statistics in a book.

“We're really having to shift and rethink what tools do we use to tell the Emory story,” Latting said.

According to Director of Enrollment

Marketing and Communications

Luca Magnanini (05B), the University started a program called Emory Student Ambassadors in 2022, which employs students as paid influencers. The students create content, such as day in the life videos, that the University can post on their social

media accounts.

Five students employed as influencers did not respond to requests for comment. Arianna Ophir (25C) said that she was unable to provide comment as an Office of Undergraduate Admission employee.

Social media can help prospective students who are unable to visit campus, Magnanini added. He recalled discussing this with a Canadian student who told him she never visited campus before coming to Emory.

“She really relied on our site as well as social media to really get a good sense of what Emory was about,” Magnanini said.

Incoming first-year student Tessa Butler said social media gives a better look into what day-to-day student life is like than campus tours.

“Social media and the virtual tour and so forth are really our opportunity to enhance, to help students and their

Students cite ‘degrading’ accessibility difficulties at Emory

Most students can walk from Raoul Hall to Callaway Memorial Center in about six minutes. Once they are out the door, it is a straight shot past the Emory Student Center and across Asbury Circle before they can enter Callaway through the south entrance. For Jaden Ellman (24C), however, the trek is not always that simple.

Ellman is one in about 126,000 people in the United States who have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neuromuscular condition that impairs muscle strength in the feet, legs and hands. Ellman struggles to walk long distances and often relies on a mobility scooter to help get around campus.

just kind of take the scooter and hope for the best.”

To determine the best mode of transportation, including reviewing pick-up and drop-off locations, Transportation and Parking Services works with DAS and registered students, according to Assistant Director of Transportation Walter Kolis.

Though Ellman explained that students will inevitably need to put in extra work to get their accommodations met, he said much of the hassle on his part “could have been avoided.”

parents make a decision,” Magnanini said.

Incoming first-year student Jahara McGarrell, who is from New York, said that one of her biggest concerns was moving to Georgia by herself, but social media “nullified” this concern because it enabled her to “network” and form her “own little community.”

Incoming first-year student Halle Stewart, who is from Jamaica, said social media was her main outlet for learning about colleges, remembering Emory's posts about Dooley’s Week.

“Those kinds of things, they kind of drew me into the school,” Stewart said. “It looks like an environment that I’d want to be in.”

Managing Editor Madi Olivier (25C) contributed to reporting.

— Contact Alexa Freedman at alexa.freedman2@emory.edu

On rainy days, the paratransit services, a subset of Emory University’s transportation department, used to drive Ellman to his classes as a part of his Department of Accessibility Services (DAS) accommodations. However, Ellman eventually stopped using the service because it was inconvenient, describing the route as “silly.” Paratransit starts at Raoul Circle, loops to Emory Village, then up Dickey Drive to drop him off near Asbury Circle, only cutting the walking distance roughly in half.

As a result, Ellman said he was forced to walk without his mobility scooter on brick paths in the rain to get from Asbury Circle to Callaway. And, because carrying his bag was difficult enough, Ellman often did not bring an umbrella. This walk, Ellman said, was ultimately more strenuous than if he had taken his scooter in the first place.

“I pretty much, starting last semester, sort of just gave up on using paratransit,” Ellman said. “If it's raining, I

“The goal of an accessibility office, anyone advocating for accessibility, should be to minimize the amount of that extra work that people need to get the accommodations they need because ultimately that's the whole point of accommodations is to even the playing field and make people comfortable,” Ellman said.

Ellman is not alone in his accessibility needs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2022 that over 61 million people in the U.S. have a disability, making up 26% of the nation’s population. The South has the highest percentage of people with disabilities at 11% in metro areas.

Emory provides accessibility services that help facilitate accommodations and equal access to students. But, according to disabled students like Ellman, failures within Emory’s accessibility services have led to “a number of frustrating experiences.”

“People are always kind of surprised by that,” Ellman said. “It's not something that is talked about a lot.”

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), disabilities are physical or mental impairments

Bloodlines of medicine: Students report nepotism in medical industry, pre-med opportunities

Vulture magazine defined 2022 as the “Year of the Nepo Baby” in the entertainment industry, referring to “nepotism babies,” or children who advance their careers through familial connections. The rise of celebrities such as actress Lily-Rose Depp, who shares ties to famous kin, encouraged a cultural examination of nepotism in the entertainment industry.

According to some students, nepotism is not limited to the entertainment industry. Emory University

Minority Pre-Medical Society

President Precious Ajiero (24C) wrote in an email to the Wheel that parental connections in the medical field provides an advantage in securing internships and other opportunities.

“Individuals who have parents in the medical field typically have access to great connections with other physicians early on and access to shadowing and internship opportunities,” Ajiero wrote.

Additionally, legacy status sometimes plays a role in medical school acceptance. Many universities reserve a percentage of their incoming classes for legacies. In 2020, legacy students

made up 21% of the incoming class at University of Notre Dame (Ind.). While Associate Dean of Medical Education

Ira Schwartz noted that the Emory School of Medicine does not track applicants’ legacy status, Emory’s Office of Undergraduate Admission values legacies and encourages them to detail their ties to the school.

Maurice Safar (23Ox), who is premed with parents in the medical industry, wrote in an email to the Wheel that while Emory offered him academic opportunities other universities would not have, such as clinical research, certain groups of students should not be rewarded with exclusive opportunities. The biggest disadvantage for pre-med students is coming from a “boring” background, according to Safar.

“Neither the student born to economic excess nor the student born to economic distress chose their financial situation,” Safar wrote. “If both of them have demonstrated capability in that they have made it to college, the aspects of their life that they cannot control should be neither punished nor rewarded.”

Although Safar obtained some shadowing opportunities through family contacts, he wrote that he earned most of his opportunities by reaching out to

professors and doctors. Safar volunteered at the Newton County Senior Center through the Oxford Service Corps and started a non-profit that sends refurbished hearing aids to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Simren Kochhar (26C) also has parental connections in the medical field. She was exposed to the medical field through her mom’s dental practice, but her parents initially discouraged her from pursuing medicine. After shadowing her mom at her dental office and other health professionals, Kochhar decided to pursue the pre-med track at Emory.

“My parents always said to do anything I wanted except medicine,” Kochhar wrote. “It’s way too long a road and that the stress and paperwork and lifestyle is draining. However, seeing my mom working and the impact she made heavily influenced me.”

Pre-Health Advising Director Kim Molee said that while parents influence their children’s career paths, parental connections are not the sole factor in deciding to pursue medicine.

The demanding nature of being premed requires self-motivation, Molee said. She noted that the most recurring reasons for pursuing medicine she has seen were personal experiences with

a healthcare issue or seeing a family member go through one.

By developing mentorship programs and eliminating financial barriers to application resources, Ajiero noted that pre-med students without familial ties to medicine gain opportunities they previously could not access.

“In order to bridge students who face economic struggles, college and medical schools must first acknowl-

edge that there are disparities present that can have detrimental impacts on their students' future endeavors,” Ajiero wrote.

An abridged version of this article appears in print. Read the full version at emorywheel.com.

— Contact Julia Laszcz at julia.laszcz@emory.edu

NEWS StudentS PuSh for eaSier accomodationS ProceSS A&E myth meetS PoP in Britney aPProximately OPINION agree to diSagree With the editorial Board
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Emory community advocates for greater disabled representation

Continued from Page 1

that “substantially” limit one or more major life activities. Ellman said that he has not seen any other students on Emory’s campus who have “a visible physical disability” like him.

Ella Day (26C), who has autism, said that disabilities are not always visible. Day uses a service dog named Sadie and said people often question her dog’s necessity. She added that people with invisible disabilities are often seen as not truly disabled.

“If you're not seen as a true disabled person, then it's literally impossible to receive any sort of accommodations or accessibility in general,” Day said. “I don't think there's anything more frustrating than not feeling believed.”

Accessing accommodations

To receive accommodations at Emory, students must register with DAS, which works with other offices, such as Residence Life and Housing Operations, to develop plans tailored to each student, according to DAS Director and ADA Compliance Officer Allison Butler.

“While students may begin their accessibility journey at Emory with DAS, it is important to understand our office is not solely responsible for meeting accessibility needs,” Butler wrote in an email to the Wheel.

This collaborative approach is where DAS struggles, Ellman said, citing his difficulties with paratransit as one example. After dropping a class and notifying DAS, paratransit buses continued to show up to Ellman’s dorm, flooding his phone with calls when he did not come. He also said it took him two years of emailing with the athletic department to get an adaptive physical education (PE) credit, explaining that the athletics department was not informed on how to handle the situation and that DAS did not help facilitate the process after initially approving the accommodation.

Butler did not respond when asked why DAS does not directly facilitate accommodations, pointing out that the athletics department manages adaptive PE credits.

“Once a student is approved for Adaptive PE, there are key contacts at Atlanta and Oxford who are notified," Butler wrote.

Ellman said he does not blame the individuals involved in the miscommunication with DAS, instead emphasizing the importance of properly training other Emory departments.

“It's not their fault,” Ellman said. “They don't know what to do because either they haven't been told what to do or whoever told them what to do didn't do a very good job.”

In response, Butler noted that DAS offers an “array” of presentations, tabling, information sessions and other programming to help ease partnerships with other departments.

Ellman also encountered roadblocks during his first year when trying to access Raoul, which did not have handicap buttons on the outside of the building at the time for security reasons. As a result, he had to stand up and open the door, hit the handicap button inside, walk back out and then drive back inside on his scooter — a painful routine because of his mobility issues, Ellman explained.

Ellman’s parents got involved after he fell and hurt himself in the process of entering Raoul in February 2021. DAS then began to fix the issue, according to Ellman.

Emory ultimately reprogrammed

Ellman’s EmoryCard to automatically open Raoul’s doors. As of April 12, about 74% of housing options across Emory’s Atlanta and Clairmont campuses are wheelchair accessible.

Ellman described repeatedly voicing his concerns to DAS as “degrading.”

“It was like no one was listening to me,” Ellman said. “At a certain point, I just got so exhausted by the stress of working with them and feeling like my voice wasn't being heard.”

Butler declined to comment on Ellman’s situation, pointing to Campus Services, the Emory Police Department (EPD) and Housing Operations as responsible for building access.

When asked about Ellman’s complaints, EPD Communications Director Morieka Johnson (94C) wrote in an email to the Wheel that DAS manages disabled students’ needs. Raymond John Hebert directed the Wheel back to University communications.

Other students, such as Disabled Medical Student Association (DMSA) Founder and Vice President Sydney Doman (25M), said that they have faced obstacles with acquiring documentation for accommodations.

On top of medical forms describing the disability in comprehensive detail, cognitive disabilities require a comprehensive neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation — which can cost more than $3,000 with insurance, according to Doman.

“Medical school is hard enough and then to have to spend all this time getting accommodations, getting the paperwork, going to the doctor,” Doman said. “It can get excessive.”

Christen Hairston serves as the liaison for the Emory School of Medicine, where she ensures access to testing and clinical learning accommodations, among other learner needs. Director of Academic Affairs Operations Sherice Allen-Henry (20L), who held the position before departing last month, declined to comment on the scope of her work because she said it will likely change after she left, but praised DAS.

“DAS is a great partner and has shown great commitment and care to our students,” Allen-Henry wrote in an email to the Wheel.

Professor of English Emerita Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, who has been called a “disability justice and culture thought leader,” added that the accommodations process at Emory was “pretty good,” but cited difficulties with her own accommodations.

Garland-Thomson, who has a congenital upper body mobility limitation that affects the use of her hands and arms, requires a talk-to-text program to write. Though Emory provides her the program as part of her accommodation, Garland-Thomson said she faced roadblocks in getting technical support through the Office of Information Technology.

improving their accessibility services. She also recommended hiring more disabled faculty members.

“We are just not there yet,” Doman said. “Some of that takes recruitment. That's hard to do, but some of it is just having the infrastructure and putting out the … expectations that you will be supported and are valued.”

Associate Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Compliance

Maurice Middleton (20L) noted that Emory is committed to recruiting disabled individuals by expanding advertising of employment opportunities and partnering with the Georgia Department of Labor to reach a broader applicant pool.

“It is important to note that not all disabilities are visible, and some individuals may choose not to disclose their disability at the time of employment,” Middleton wrote in an email to the Wheel. “Emory is taking steps to encourage faculty and staff to feel comfortable disclosing their disability status during the application process and throughout their employment.”

Instagram and TikTok. Her most popular TikTok has 1.5 million views.

“People are really scared to talk about it because if you aren't personally disabled, you think it might be taboo to talk about it,” Day said. “It's not something that should have to be shamed. The more conversations we have, the more inclusive we can make our campus.”

As a professor, Garland-Thomson said she spread awareness by focusing on learning, teaching and research, but faced difficulty in creating a disabilities studies degree, citing the administrative burden of overseeing the program on her teaching and research obligations. Other universities, such as Columbia University (N.Y.) and the University of California, Berkeley have disability study programs.

“There wasn't enough capacity,” Garland-Thomson said. “And so, it was much more productive to put our time and energy into that. Now, I'm not sure that was the best decision.”

Day added that Emory’s lack of a disabilities studies major is a “shame.” Though Middleton said that professors have incorporated disability studies into existing programs, Day believes it isn’t enough.

“Any field can incorporate things about disability, just considering that in your workforce alone, you'll probably have to interact with disabled people,” Day said. “No matter what field people are studying, it's something that should be looked into and should be talked about.”

Proper documentation, according to Butler, is important to provide the University with “verification” of a disability. She declined to comment on Doman’s specific situation but pointed out that every institution, including Emory, can establish processes and procedures to determine eligibility for accommodation services. Much of the guidelines disabled students can expect can be found online, such as Emory’s published requirements and the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights’ guidance.

Additionally, in the case that a student requests accommodations unfamiliar to DAS, Doman said that students may have to do their own research to propose how to implement their accommodations in a cost-effective way, an “unfortunate” outcome that can lead to months of delay.

Butler stated that students must be a part of the “interactive” process with DAS, campus partners and faculty members to find a solution to a “nonstandard” accommodation request.

However, not all students have reported a negative experience with DAS. Day said that despite communication issues, getting accommodations has been “easy." Doman added that DAS does a “wonderful” job with testing accommodations.

“Those are [the] easiest accommodations to get and execute,” Doman wrote in a follow-up email to the Wheel. “It’s the classroom, lab and clinical accommodations that are the most painful.”

Associate Dean of Student Success

“It's hard for me to understand how they can potentially get away with saying, ‘We'll provide this … but we won't support it,’” Garland-Thomson said. “Many other universities that I have traveled to — and I’ve visited a lot of universities — provide coordination among disability services, technology accommodations and disability studies so that it all works together to create a welcoming, overall accessible environment. And, that has not happened at Emory.”

Associate Dean of Academic Technology Services Kim Braxton said the department works “closely” with DAS on specific support needs, adding that Student Technology Support assists with installation of speech-totext services, which school-specific information technology units may also help with. Braxton did not comment on how professors and other faculty may receive technical support.

Recommended solutions

Though many have had difficulties at Emory, Ellman, Doman, Day and Garland-Thomson agree that improving accessibility is not a lost cause.

“I don't just want to slam Emory,” Ellman said. “School is a great place in a lot of different ways, but this is one area where they can certainly improve a lot, and really there should be more of a demand for improvement on that front.”

Doman pointed to Stanford University’s (Calif.) Medicine Alliance for Disability Inclusion and Equity, which advocates for dismantling systemic ableism discrimination, and the University of Michigan’s Medical Ergonomics consultation team and the U-M Council for Disability Concerns as models Emory might look to in

Middleton said that the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, which includes DAS, the Department of Equity and Inclusion and the Department of Title IX, works with Emory partners to promote a barrierfree, “inclusive community for all.”

Additionally, Emory Human Resources plans to establish an employee network for employees with disabilities within the next year in light of employee feedback, according to Senior Recognition and Engagement Manager Melissa Morgan.

“These groups benefit the Emory community by bringing together employees with similar interests, issues or identities and their allies,”

Morgan wrote in an email to the Wheel. “They help foster a sense of belonging and community by providing opportunities for networking and social connection and raise awareness to many programs and resources that are available for employees.”

Spreading awareness is another component of addressing ableism on campus, Day said. She documents her experience with her service dog on

Garland-Thomson spearheaded a disabilities studies initiative at Emory alongside the late Candler School of Theology Associate Professor Nancy Eiesland in 2001. She described the initiative as a grassroots effort from students, faculty and deans.

Though academic programs are important, Doman said that the “ultimate” solution is anticipating disabled peoples’ needs through accessible facilities and attitudes.

“Those who do register now have a drastically smaller list of things they have to figure out and less meetings with professors and staff about logistics,” Doman wrote. “It also sends a message to applicants and potential students that we are welcoming and helps recruit a more diverse student body.”

Student body diversity is important for the future of health care and disability justice, according to Doman.

“Disabled physicians have this degree of empathy that you just can't teach,” Doman said. “They're just incredible advocates because … we know what it's like to have the shoe on the other foot.”

— Contact Nica Leung at danica.leung@emory.edu

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a nna schWartz/staff photographer A wheelchair accessible ramp outside the Alumni Memorial University Center leads to the Emory Student Center.
"It was like no one was listening to me."
— Jaden Ellman (24C)

Every year, the Editorial Board creates a special project together — this year, the project theme is “Agree to Disagree.” Members of the Board have written dissents to previous editorials, rethinking arguments and reformulating their opinions through a different perspective. During a time of unrelenting opinions, “Agree to Disagree” reminds all of us to step into others’ shoes and be able to reframe perspectives.


Ellie Fivas

My first taste of Oxford College of Emory University was, unfortunately, unsavory. Moments after joining the new GroupMe, I was bombarded by links to an editorial published last spring by the Emory Wheel’s Editorial Board.

“‘We’ll just drop you here and forget about you’: Emory’s terrible case of Oxfordism” flashed at the top of my screen, unlocking a whole new set of anxieties about my nearing transition to Oxford. As I later learned, the former Board’s perspective on Oxford and its problems was written by Emory College and Goizueta Business School students who had likely never even been to the Oxford campus, much less had personal experience with its community. This editorial, arguing that Oxford has been seriously neglected, underfunded and ignored by Emory University, resulting in negative experiences for many of its students, is an insufferably narrow perspective on Oxford.

Don’t get me wrong — Oxford has its issues, such as mental health and a lack of strong community — and they should be heard and resolved by the administration. However, what’s at the heart of the outpour of negative Oxford student experiences is not academic inequity, unfair funding nor blatant discrimination from the University. Oxford gives students exactly what it markets: a small liberal arts college education, access to opportunities from Emory University and an emphasis on student leadership and involvement. Problems within Oxford’s community are more easily tracked to suffering mental health resources, lacking club culture and communities and a student body that signed up for a different college experience.

Instead of picking at Oxford’s gen-

eral education requirements (GERs), their differences from the Emory College GER plan should be appreciated. Specifically, the editorial criticizes the experiential learning (“E”) and ways of inquiry (“Q”) required credits.

The “E” credit was difficult for the Oxford Class of 2023 to satisfy due to the pandemic lessening options; thus, it was waived for sophomores. Now, as more “E” and “Q” credit opportunities open up, I feel that these requirements are more of a blessing than a curse, providing the chance to learn outside of the classroom and gain more applicable skills to our communities.

The aforementioned editorial compares the experiences of Oxford directly to those of Emory — this comparison is not an apt one. As a small liberal arts college, Oxford provides students with small class sizes, close student-professor relationships and countless opportunities for leadership, internships and research with professors. Furthermore, Oxford totes a beautiful campus and state-of-the-art facilities and dormitories that rival the Atlanta campus’. It’s true, students do not have access to all the classes offered at Emory — but that is simply the nature of going to a smaller college. I do not mean to sound unforgiving, but if you don’t want the small liberal arts experience, then why did you choose Oxford?

From my two semesters at Oxford, I have grown to recognize that the “Oxfordism” editorial was concerned with the wrong things: it compared the academics and atmosphere of a small liberal arts college to that of a medium-sized research university. For one, scheduling an appointment with the Office of Career and Counseling Services is particularly challenging. Due to the office only employing four counselors, their services are always limited, with few chances for students struggling with their mental health to get the help they need. While it is

The Emory Wheel

difficult to dissect the question of why Oxford students struggle with mental health, it is much easier to spot the improvements that can be made to help students have easier access to mental health counseling services. This concern is not new, but I still implore the Oxford administration to take actionable steps to foster easier access to in-person counseling services and to consider the mental health crisis at Oxford as their problem — because it is.

Along with mental health, there is also a semi-toxic club culture on our campus. The double-edged sword that accompanies early leadership opportunities: if you aren’t in a traditional leadership position, you then feel as if you are lacking in some way. The College boasts that 65% of its student body holds a leadership position. Because Oxford clubs are all run by executive boards, there is a popular feeling — acknowledged by the involvement of the Oxford Student Government Association (Oxford SGA) and other student voices — that you are not truly involved in a club’s community if you are not on its executive board. Clubs focus more on planning show-stopping campus-wide events than on creating a community among its members.

As a member of Oxford SGA, I have witnessed the work that Oxford SGA is doing to improve this culture, however, I also believe that this change necessitates action and a perspective shift from the student body as well. To that 65% on an executive board: make your goal curating a community for interested students, not event planning. Only people can change a mindset, and this community norm is making Oxford an overall worse experience. While there are many other details to pick on and criticize in that original editorial, I think the more important point is that the needed improvement at Oxford is not rooted in its differences from the Atlanta cam-

pus but in its own structural issues. The entirety of Emory needs to learn more about Oxford, its history and its own unique culture and community. It may seem inconsequential to students attending the Atlanta campus; however, Oxford is very much a part of Emory University and deserves to be treated as such. Not as a worse experience than Atlanta, but as a different one. One Emory, right?

Emory College, Goizueta and Nursing students, do your best not to be ignorant about Oxford — you’re only perpetuating assumptions about Oxford’s resources, community and rigor. Maybe Google it, read about its history and look at a few pictures. Or, god forbid, make a trip to Oxford and experience it firsthand.

Oxford students, don’t treat Oxford as a backdoor to Emory. I understand the impulse to hold Oxford side-byside with Emory, however, they are not the same and are not meant to be similar. Appreciate the good aspects and advocate against the bad, such as men-

tal health, club culture or any other problems. If you hate the “E” credit, then hate it — and speak out about it — but do not justify your disdain with a comparison to Emory College, Goizeuta or the Nursing School. My two semesters at Oxford have not been all sunshine and daisies. However, I am relentlessly reminded by my fantastic professors, ample leadership and research opportunities and the beautiful quad why I chose this experience over the Emory College one. You don’t have to love Oxford, but use your voices to call for feasible and proactive change. “Oxfordism” was not well-captured by the former Board’s editorial. Their criticisms only drown out other more legitimate reasons to protest change at Oxford. Instead, they would have served both Oxford and the greater Emory community better if they had pinpointed actual problems and solutions — not just differences.

Ellie Fivas (24Ox) is from Cleveland, Tennessee. Volume

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The Met Gala fosters unity, not political ignorance

fashion, one could say that OcasioCortez nailed it.

The Met Gala is an event worthy of cultural appreciation and artistic expression — far from what the Wheel’s Editorial Board describes as a “fiasco” focused on “the superficial nature of celebrity culture.”

Beyond this, in the Board’s Sept. 22, 2021 piece, “The Met Gala — A Celebrity Symposium of Theatrics and Performance,” the Editorial Board goes on to describe the event as one that perpetuates “a cycle of [political] inaction.”

This pushes the harmful misconception that cultural entertainment is an unworthy indulgence during the midst of political turmoil.

Political turmoil in the United States is omnipresent. That September, as the editorial mentions, the continuation of mask-wearing and advocacy for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement were topical issues.

When Rep. Alexandria OcasioCortez (D-N.Y.) wore a dress to the Met Gala with “Tax the Rich” displayed in big, red font, it was an act of political solidarity. Considering that the artistic annual theme focused on American

The Board originally commented that there were “nine Black Lives Matter protestors” arrested outside the 2021 event. The event’s organizers also received general backlash for failing to show “their awareness of the health implications of the lavish event,” referring to COVID-19 safety.

I agree that these issues are of valid concern. However, the event did mandate full vaccination status upon guest entry, alongside a requirement to wear masks indoors.

Concerning the BLM protesters, I agree that the Met Gala highlights the stark difference in capitalistic realities that the top 1% of celebrities experience, as compared to low-income Black and brown communities advocating for defunding the New York City Police Department.

The 2021 Met Gala, the first since COVID-19, launched the world and disproportionately marginalized groups into violence, health-related turmoil and political upheaval.

Because of this, many made the event a symbol of wealth disparity and political ignorance.

However, there is something to be said about the mindlessness of feeding

into celebrity culture, particularly during a time when the political climate was justly heightened. The editorial, however, should not have conflated “adoration with celebrities” with “performative over substantive action.”

Just as Ocasio-Cortez had been and continues to take substantive political action, her dress made an important stand and engaged with the artistic intellectualism that the Met Gala promotes.

Moreover, it was completely unfair for the Board to establish a stance that engaging in the Met Gala emphasizes “ignorance to broader problems faced by everyday Americans.”

Activist burnout was a phrase that many social justice advocates brought attention to in 2020 and 2021 because it is impossible to be constantly politically engaged; in fact, it’s exhausting.

Making viewers feel guilty about watching the Met Gala only furthers the trope that those who are politically engaged must be all the time.

In arguing that Americans should be constantly politically engaged and that entertaining the four-hour broadcasting of the Met Gala promotes ignorance, the Board published a toxic piece.

The Met Gala doesn’t necessar-

Emory’s spirit sucks. So, what?

An article published two years ago by The Emory Wheel urges the Emory Student Programming Council (SPC) to do better and claims that the student-run organization prevents the student body from becoming more unified. It also blames other student groups, such as Greek Life and athletic teams, for contributing to a disengaged campus environment.

While Emory may lack school spirit, it is unjustified to solely blame organizations such as SPC, Greek Life and athletic teams. Creating a sense of community and school spirit requires effort from both sides, and it appears that the majority of the effort is lacking from the student body rather than Emory’s organizations. Emory is known for its academics — not its party scene or school spirit — so why are we making the lack of spirit an issue? It is also important to address the elephant in the room: Emory’s lack of a football team.

This fact is well-known to students before they enroll, and with it comes certain expectations regarding the social scene at Emory. Students should not be surprised by the lack of spirit compared to larger state schools, where spirit is built into the school’s culture. For example, we don’t have the typical tailgate events before football games, and the absence of a large campus gathering in support of an athletic team is felt. Instead of relying on external resources or complaining about the lack of spirit, students should take the initiative to organize on their own if they feel they are lacking a sense of engagement on campus.

Or, if a student feels that the lack of pep interferes with their daily life, they can transfer to a university that fulfills that desire. Simply because SPC does not hold small-scale events or have activities on weekends does not preclude students from taking the initiative to socialize.

As college students, we should

have the life skills necessary to initiate a conversation with classmates and invite them to hang out outside academic settings. While SPC can serve as a starting point for community building or friendships, it should not be relied upon as the foundation. Furthermore, it is unfair to blame the lack of unification solely on academic departments, athletic teams or social organizations. The issue regarding social cliques is a universal problem and is not unique to Emory. While it is essential to acknowledge these problems, the editorial exaggerates the issue and presents it as a pressing concern exclusive to Emory, saying it “is a major problem that needs to be solved.” Social cliques are in every environment, but it’s how we react to them that is the more pressing issue. And, blaming the cliques without holding the entire population accountable is problematic in itself.

Without acknowledging our own contribution to the issue, we as a student body will continue to be trapped in the vicious cycle of blaming organi-

zations that are not entirely responsible for the disconnection. The editorial also falsely represents the social scene at Emory, suggesting that those who do not join Greek life or participate in athletics “risk painful isolation.” This is a painful exaggeration. Additionally, not only does this assertion paint athletic teams in a negative light despite athletic teams having the most school spirit on campus, it presents athletes as being contentious for wanting to spend more time with people who share similar lifestyles.

If the argument is to create more school spirit and interconnectedness, then why are we blaming the one area of Emory that has it? If we want to create a more unified campus and generate more school spirit, then part of the responsibility falls upon individual students. It is worth considering why we perceive this as problematic, given that it is precisely what we committed to by enrolling at Emory.

ily have to be made into a symbol of America’s pervasive wealth-gap; viewers can recognize this while simultaneously indulging in criticizing overthe-top outfits and gushing over their favorite celebrities.

There shouldn’t be any guilt in that.

An escape from the often devastating reality of our political landscape is necessary. Change cannot be pro-

moted by criticizing events based on frivolity, because it is those very events that bring people together, no matter one’s political orientation.

If it takes “a celebrity symposium of theatrics” for that unity, I think it’s worth fighting for the Met.

Saanvi Nayar (26C) is from Marlboro, New Jersey.

Weed-out classes have more merit than you think

the structural integrity of the course would have been compromised.

New York University’s (NYU) decision to fire former professor Maitland Jones after a group of his organic chemistry students petitioned for his removal set a dangerous precedent for academic institutions throughout the country. Jones was promptly dismissed from NYU after 82 students complained that Jones’ class was too difficult and their grades were too low.

In an October 2022 editorial, the Wheel’s Editorial Board concurred that Jones — who is respected in his field and had been teaching at NYU for 15 years — should not have been fired by the university.

While it is important that students have a say in their own educational systems, we must also recognize that a professor with a 59-year track record of successful research, teaching and advising knows better than a group of undergraduates on certain academic matters, especially those pertaining to his own classroom.

Administrators are thus tasked with determining where to draw the line between student influence and institutional oversight, and they must find a balance on the spectrum where neither side is given too much power.

While I agree with the Board’s conclusion that it was wrong to fire Jones, their suggestions for how to avoid similar situations in the future is unfeasible. The Board argues for a process that would “require that complaints be lodged via petition signed by a majority of students.”

Students should have an influence in the way their classes are structured, and it is important that students’ voices are heard by their academic institutions. But granting students too much control over their own education raises concerns. If students had excessive amounts of control in Jones’ case,

The article states that “faculty must be protected from unfounded mob mentality.” But that is hypocritical — formalizing a process by which students could petition against their professors behind their backs would enable this very “mob mentality.”

It seems self-evident that angry, struggling college students would use such power to fight to make their classes easier, but college is supposed to be hard. Certain “weed-out” classes, like organic chemistry, are widely known to be very challenging and for good reason.

They are specifically designed by top scholars in the fields of science and medicine to sift through students preparing to become the world’s next generation of cream-of-the-crop doctors, researchers and professors — a brutal, albeit necessary, process.

Not everyone can earn an A, and there is no group better-equipped to determine who does than the current generation of professionals in these fields.

We must also not forget that students select which classes they take. A plethora of resources, including Course Atlas and Rate My Professor, exist to inform students about classes and professors. Jones’ students could have known what they were getting into by taking his class.

At some point we must surrender our frustration and recognize that we do not always know best. We deserve to have a voice in many important academic matters; for instance, studentdriven initiatives toward safety, inclusion and respect in the classroom are critical to creating a healthy learning environment. When it comes to course structure and evaluation, however, we just need to trust the experts.

The Emory Wheel Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Saanvi Nayar Elyn Lee (24C) is from Woodinville, Washington. Marc Goedemans (25C) is from Los Angeles, California. Marc Goedemans Elyn Lee
hayley powers/Visual editor Jessie SatoVsky/Staff Illustrator

Don’t blindly trust ChatGPT

A week ago, I asked ChatGPT for a list of Latinx Georgia state legislators. It responded that, as of 2021, no Latinx officials were elected in the state. This claim is incorrect.

When I reconfronted the artificial intelligence (AI) phenomena, it later listed State Representative Pedro “Pete” Marin and Rep. Marvin Lim as the only two Latinx Georgia legislators. This time, only the latter was incorrect. Despite citing “news articles and official government websites” as its source, the instance made me entirely question the factual reliability and accuracy of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm with its ability to generate human-like responses at lightning speed. The AI tool has been praised as a revolutionary tool for students and professionals, branded as the future of college essay writing rooted in its instant access to vast information. It’s no surprise the popular AI language model caught the attention of the Wheel’s Editorial Board.

The Feb. 1 editorial, “ChatGPT threatens the integrity of learning, but we have the final say,” lauds ChatGPT as a “foundational source for summarized research,” arguing the tool could help students save time with assignments.

There is no denying that ChatGPT is impressive; however, as with any technology, there are numerous concerns about the accuracy and authenticity of the information and sources provided.

The Board also failed to warn students, and all ChatGPT users, about the false information the AI tool incorporates when elaborating on certain writing samples or responding to specific research efforts.

It is easy to see why people have turned to ChatGPT for assistance with research, writing and other “busywork” tasks. Chat GPT will acknowledge that it does not have access to certain publications when asked to summarize specific scholarly articles. Thus, the tool is restrained by the data it has been trained on and has access to. If the data ChatGPT draws from is biased, incomplete or inaccurate, it only makes sense for the results it generates to be as well.

This trend of inaccuracy has also been analyzed and scrutinized by a graduate student at George Mason University, Will Hickman.

In his efforts to challenge the growing AI tool, Hickman asked ChatGPT a vast amount of research questions, which he said provided “false and misleading references.” The author found an insurmountable amount of reasoning and factual errors, including references to nonexistent papers, sources utterly unrelated to the question and incorrect authors for the sources it provided.

Fallacious arguments and references for research are only a glimpse into the inherently unreliable nature of this AI tool. Fueled by the fear of mass misinformation, NewsGuard created a study that concluded the latest version, GPT4, is “easier to convince to spread misinformation” despite being 40% “more

Emory, support the liberation of Palestine

Scenes of zip-tied men laying in lines across a mosque floor and women holding their bloodied hijabs haunted the news cycle last Wednesday morning.

likely to produce factual responses” than its previous model. The results also included the concerning theory that ChatGPT could be used to “spread misinformation at an unprecedented scale.”

ChatGPT is undeniably a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionize the way we access and dissect information. In the age of misinformation, however, it is crucial to be cautious when using the tool and verifying the accuracy of the information it provides. Students and all ChatGPT users should be aware of these limitations and actively combat inaccurate claims when using the chatbot.

There is always room to improve language models like ChatGPT. However, one thing is for sure: all ChatGPT users should be wary of the very real possibility of misinformation created by excessive confidence in the “revolutionary” AI mechanism.

Sara Perez (24C) is from Managua, Nicaragua.

Kindness doesn’t make a great leader

We all love to see politicians kissing babies, volunteering at food banks or scarfing down a corndog at the Iowa State Fair.

After all, it’s proof that we, the voters, made the correct choice when electing a down-to-earth and understanding representative.

This point was reiterated by the Editorial Board’s recent piece, “Jimmy Carter’s legacy, a reminder that Americans need more good people in politics,” which expresses how important it is to elect morally just individuals into positions of power.

In the midst of the United States’ current politically divisive climate, the editorial highlights how modern day politicians should strive for civility and kindness, while also cementing themselves as strong leaders.

However, a politician’s perceived benevolence shouldn’t hold any weight when Americans are attempting to elect effective leaders.

Rather, policies and demonstrated leadership should be primarily valued, as these efforts are the only real mechanism through which politicians can tangibly improve the lives of their voters.

For example, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has long been lauded as a defender of human rights globally and as a proponent of more restrictive gun legislation.

In light of the recent traumatizing school shooting in Nashville, however, she has only come out in a televised press conference to “praise the courage” of the two Tennessee politicians who were expelled from

their seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

If she truly wanted to honor the cause those representatives were fighting for, Harris could have advocated for numerous gun-control bills in Congress.

Sure, supporters can commend Harris’ actions by claiming that she spoke out knowing that the United States’ gridlocked Congress wouldn’t be able to pass any national gun-control measures. But the question still stands — why are we content with fruitless posturing?

We should be able to expect our elected officials to campaign for impactful legislation, but citizens have been trained to be grateful to leaders like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who do the bare minimum and simply pay lip service to prominent issues.

It’s a nice gesture from Harris’ end to publicly announce her support for the Tennessee lawmakers’ greater fight for gun control, but her statement is ultimately hollow.

It doesn’t further amplify the gun violence protection movement that

Thousands of Palestinian men, women and children gathered in the Al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem to worship during Islam’s holiest month, Ramadan. The peace was disrupted when heavily armed Israeli Occupation Forces stormed the prayer hall, launching stun grenades, throwing tear gas and brutally assaulting worshippers with batons. Over 350 were arrested and many more were injured.

The Emory Wheel’s Editorial Board published an editorial in 2019 that reprimanded Emory University for its poor engagement with the topic of Israel and Palestine following a forced eviction demonstration by the Emory Students for Justice (ESJP) in Palestine. The Board wrote that ESJP alienated people by not being equipped for the response to this demonstration. As Palestinians suffer from the brutal occupation, we still continue to police the way the diaspora advocates for the freedom of their homeland.

The extreme reactions of right-wing groups are not the responsibility of Palestinians to account for, but instead something we should all be critical of. There should be more support for Palestinian protests movements and unequivocal critique of the ways in which institutions like Emory are so quick to ignore them.

While there has been a steady increase in discourse on Israel’s crimes in Palestine, there still remains massive suppression of support for the cause, especially in academic institutions. A New York University student who wrote “F*** Israel” on a piece of trash in early 2023 was fired and investigated by the University on counts of vandalism and anti-Semitism. Kenneth Roth, the former executive director of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), was denied a fellowship to Harvard University’s Kennedy School for his criticism of Israel during his time at the HRW.

If protecting the safety of students and faculty is a priority for universities, then they should firmly dispel rumors that Palestine activism is antiSemitism. But, if the goal of universities is to also promote learning, truth and change, then they need to unequivocally support Palestinian liberation.There is a dangerous precedent that equates criticism of a settler-colonial state to criticism of a rich, vibrant faith. Just as criticizing Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations is not Islamophobic, actively protesting Israeli apartheid is not antiSemitic. Jewish people have endured unimaginable trauma at the hands of ethnic cleansing campaigns, and to say that Israel’s existence as an ethnostate represents all of Judaism is an insult to that history.

But as suppression of Palestinian advocacy persists in the United States, Palestinians themselves continue to resist a brutal occupation. Ramadan, a month of togetherness, spirituality and gratitude, is once again wrought with violence for Palestinian Muslims. The Al-Aqsa raid was just a continuation of a long cruel tradition of violence that Israel has perpetuated against Palestinians every Ramadan since 2014. Like clockwork, there have been attempts to paint this violence as equal on both sides, despite the fact that Israel has received approximately $158 billion from the U.S. alone in missile defense funding. Conflating Palestinian defensive attacks as equal to the military might of Israel’s bombing campaigns is not only untrue, it is intentionally misleading. While loss of Israeli life is unfortunate during these periods of escalation, the disproportionate loss of Palestinian lives is almost never given the same importance or grief. Instead, they are villainized for defending their homes, in life and in death.

the Tennessee politicians and numerous citizens have been rallying for or provide lasting support to the cause, instead just serving as a positive PR move for Harris.

This is not to say that leaders who aren’t able to pass legislation or implement nationwide change aren’t important or are faking their agreeable personalities — rather, citizens should demand real action from their leaders that can measurably improve their communities.

The Editorial Board’s piece is not wrong to hope for a more idealistic version of U.S. national politics. However, it falsely equates politicians’ positive public activism with an assumed dedication to actually helping their constituents.

Americans deserve more than just “good people in politics” and should strive to elect politicians who have genuinely proven their record of true leadership and commitment to progress through their legislative voting history.

Outright suppression is not the only avenue in which conversations of Palestinian struggles are halted; they suffer from silence as well. Emory University exemplifies this silence in the way they approach this issue — which is, more often than not, from a place of political neutrality. Emory ardently supports conversations on reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa, but fails to support the liberation of a modern day people struggling under occupation and apartheid in the 21st century.

Even beyond the confines of academia, pro-Palestine sentiments are punished with fervor. In 2022, a Google employee resigned following pressure from management after her participation in protests against the company’s $1.2 billion cloud project with the Israeli government. Even globallyrenowned supermodel Bella Hadid has come forth to speak on how her more recent vocal support of Palestine has cost her career opportunities.

The variability of how institutions or places of work respond to pro-Palestine sentiment is something that keeps so many activists fearful of repercussions for their political views and, in the case of Palestinians, lived experiences. Canary Mission is a website that is well known for collecting profiles on student activists, professors and other Palestine advocates and labeling them all as antiSemites, racists or even supporters of terrorism. Activists remain fearful of the day they end up on the site, which often follows with issues to admission into school, job prospects and even simply the ability to engage in free speech.

This violence won’t stop until there is a shift in the culture that finally sees Palestinians as victims of ongoing colonization and not religious extremists itching for a fight. The normalization of human rights abuses won’t end until we learn from the mistakes of history and actually take action instead of reflecting on the past with regrets and what ifs. That shift must start now, and it must start within our own academic institutions.

It is crucial that universities protect students who advocate for Palestine from wolf cries of anti-Semitism. As students, it is imperative that we remain critical of the discourse surrounding this issue and understand it for what it is: not a conflict, but an indigenous people’s struggle for freedom. Supporting your local Students for Justice in Palestine is a great way to engage in education and advocacy for the cause. Other organizations that are doing incredible work on this issue also include Palestine Youth Movement, Jewish Voice for Peace, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Palestine Legal, the last of which specifically helps students who have been unfairly targeted for their Palestine activism.

If you are not Palestinian, speak up for your Palestinian classmates and co-workers who may not always be able to afford sticking their necks out in fear of what may happen to them here, or what may become of their families back home.To support Palestinians back home, demand that your representatives end exorbitant U.S. funding of Israel’s military forces and donate to organizations like Anera that provide support to people on the ground.

Let’s move past policing the way oppressed people protest, and instead support their movement for the freedom to exist as they are, from the river to the sea.

Nushrat Nur (23PH) is a student at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

The Emory Wheel Wednesday, April 12, 2023 OPINION 5
Shruti Nemala (26C) is from Johns Creek, Georgia. Sara Perez Shruti Nemala
aMy Xia/ContriButing illustrator
a-tien Nguyen/PodCast Editor

Student cast brings ‘Britney Approximately’ to life

“It’s Medea B****,” reads a neon pink sign, glowing against a backdrop of CDs and vines. This elaborate photo spot was created in the hallway entrance of the Mary Gray Munroe Theater, home to Theater Emory’s newest production, “Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy.” The sign greets theatergoers with a sassy representation of the eclectic, campy show they are about to enjoy.

Megan Tabaque, a 2021-2023 Emory playwriting fellow and visiting faculty in the creative writing program, wrote and directed this workshop production as a loose adaptation of the story of Medea. In Greek mythology, Medea is a princess who uses her powers of sorcery to aid her lover Jason in his adventures. However, Jason leaves her for another woman, and Medea goes mad with rage.

“Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy” deftly combines the story of Britney Spears’ recent conservatorship battle with this ancient myth, specifically the version written for the stage by Euripides in the fourth century B.C.

For Tabaque, the isolation and loneliness of the COVID-19 pandemic translated directly to the lack of control Spears had over her own life under her conservatorship.

Tabaque was astonished to watch Spears, someone who she said “looms large in our kind of collective

cultural psyche,” beg a California judge for basic personal autonomy.

Tabaque wanted to explore the idea of the weight Spears has carried for decades: the weight of being a “pop princess,” of becoming a mother and of proving her sanity.

“It started coming out in this very bombastic, kind of lyrical mode, and it felt very Greek to me. And then I just [was] like okay, this is it,” Tabaque said.

She connected the press framing Spears as a bad mother with the story of Medea, the mythical character whom Tabaque thought of as “the most famous kind of bad mother.”

“It’s like if Britney Spears and Euripides kind of were in a studio all night making their own album, maybe they would make this play,” Tabaque said.

The result is a 90-minute, freelyspinning explosion of drama that creatively combines the stories of Spears and Medea, two desperate, defiant and larger-than-life women.

“Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy” transports its audience into a parallel universe: one in which the emotions are poignantly ancient, the metaphors are extravagant and Spears stans wail, Greek-chorus-style, while wielding glittery protest signs and Starbucks drinks. In this universe, a golden crown, which four actresses transfer between themselves throughout the show, symbolizes Spears’ identity. Towards the climax of the story, one of these actresses takes the crown

Creon boasts that he has “a crown, and it is heavy,” but there is a cruel irony in the fact that any power he holds is derived from the glory of his daughter’s success. Spears is well aware of this irony, defiantly telling

depth to the scene.

Die-hard Spears fans will notice the costuming’s many nods to her iconic looks, most notably the glimmering pink top and white pants she wore on her 1999 “Baby

One More Time” tour, as well as her red catsuit from the 2009 “Oops!...

I Did It Again” music video. It is details like these, as well as the melodramatic performances of the cast, that have forged the theatrical heart of “Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy.”

“It’s got to feel wacky; you’ve got to feel wild,” Tabaque explained to the cast during their final dress rehearsal.

The wildness of the humor, dance moves and loud yelling matches help build up a passionate fervor that perfectly evokes Spears’ and Medea’s inner turmoil.

Tabaque said she hopes her play will inspire audience members to consider the humanity of celebrities instead of simply treating them “like gods.” She wrote a play in which this ultimate celebrity, Spears, mourns that she wasn’t warned of “the grotesqueries of motherhood.” Spears rages against the expectations that have been placed on her, and she longs to escape her loneliness. This theatrical interpretation of Spears simply wants to push her sons on swings, throw pennies in fountains and order blizzards at Dairy Queen. While “Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy” retells Spears’ story as “its own sort of myth,” the play also lends a great deal of humanity to the pop star, causing us to reconsider how we treat womanhood both in our stories and in our lives.

— Contact Brigid May at brigid.may@emory.edu

Weyes Blood sings of yearning, lost history at the Eastern ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’: A joyful throwback to video gaming franchise

Natalie Mering is obsessed with artificial intelligence, which I know because she brought it up three times during her April 4 show at the Eastern, the Atlanta stop on her “In Holy Flux” tour.

songs from her albums “And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow” (2022) and “Titanic Rising” (2019). Her idyllic voice, reminiscent of 1970s singer Karen Carpenter and folk legend Joni Mitchell, transported the audience into another dimension, where myth, lost love and passing time are all that are real.

Mering began with the single “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” a song about living in a time of change and feeling lonely in a room full of people, which made it a fitting opening for a performance at the jam-packed Eastern.

This theme hovered over the audience for the entire show.

I think the entire venue identified with Mering’s sentiment of being surrounded by others but connecting to music in an individual way that is both unifying and isolating.

After the show, my friends and I walked to one of their apartments, wandering by Cabbagetown bungalows and through the Krog Street Tunnel, which was so fluorescently lit and covered in graffiti that it also felt like another world.

being soft and delicate like a flower, when in reality it scorns vulnerability and demands narcissism. “’Cause the person on the other side has always just been you,” she sang. “Oh, God, turn me into a flower.”

Nostalgia is an emotion that can transport us back to fond memories from our past.

For many of us, the world of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. was a significant part of our childhood, and the memories associated with those beloved characters remain vivid and cherished.

Watching cinematic adaptations of our favorite Mario games is an experience filled with excitement and wonder, taking us on a roller coaster ride back to our childhood. The enduring popularity of the characters and their adventures is a testament to their universal appeal and impact on generations of fans.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which premiered on April 5, has brought the beloved video game franchise to life on the big screen.


The film is a standout in its genre due to the focus on delivering pure thrills, rather than striving to convey a heavy social or political message. For example, “Kung Fu Panda” (2008) displays the value of owning up to responsibilities and personal development, while “Zootopia” (2016) encourages young minds to condemn racial segregation.

Contrastingly, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” does not promote a socio-political message but manages to keep viewers engaged by constantly introducing new components, such as a kart fight featuring bananas, rockets and an entire arsenal of weapons on Rainbow Road.

The singer, who uses the stage name Weyes Blood, is performing across North America and Europe in the coming months. Dressed in a white gown with flowing brown hair, her silhouette turned into a blur by hazy lights, Mering looked like a statuesque hologram; a Greek goddess or a Biblical painting that had been projected onto the stage.

Bathed in blue and purple light and weaving easily between the candelabras lighting the set, Mering played

We didn’t say much, choosing to bask in the aftermath of Mering. It was like waking up from a dream; like leaving church on Sunday and stepping out into the sunlight, feeling alone but simultaneously, together. We all saw the same concert, yet Mering evoked different emotions in each of us.

A standout from the performance was Mering’s gorgeous appeal to a higher power, “God Turn Me Into a Flower.”

In the song, she intertwines the myth of Narcissus with her desire to exist in a world that praises people for

As the organ swelled and Mering crept across the stage, the screen lit up with collage that documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis had pasted together.

Black and white eyes blinked at the audience before mundane, yet somehow haunting, images of people going about their daily lives overtook the screen. It was as if Mering was begging the audience to give her a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The hairs on my arm stood up as I, too, wished to be turned into a flower.

The film features Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day), who find themselves unexpectedly transported to various new galaxies, embarking on a mission to save the universe from the threat posed by Bowser (Jack Black).

As they journey through perilous terrain and face countless challenges, Mario encounters Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy).

They grow closer as they fight to protect the kingdom from Bowser. Action-packed sequences fill the movie’s storyline with an abundance of Nintendo easter eggs, such as the kart customization garage in “Mario Kart 8” (2014) and Bowser’s wedding outfit from Super Mario Odyssey

The film grows on familiar viewers through its use of classic question mark boxes, fire flowers and mushrooms. While we may not learn much about each character individually, the movie succeeds in creating a dynamic and immersive world that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

Despite the film’s thrilling and mesmerizing qualities, the story of the Mario brothers falls short overall. Rather than focusing on the dynamic between the two brothers, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” becomes a oneman show led by Mario, leaving Luigi with minimal screen time.

This lack of balance in character development ultimately fails to portray how the two brothers complement each other.

While the film gives us a glimpse into each brother’s primary characteristics, such as Mario’s courage and Luigi’s timidity, it leaves us in the dark about

Arts Entertainment The Emory Wheel
Sophia peySer/M anaging editor Weyes Blood dazzles the audience at the Eastern on her “In Holy Flux” tour.
Sophia peySer/M anaging editor The singer united the audience with her emotional message on April 4.
See MARIO, Page
See WEYES, Page 7
CourteSy of LiSa L aretta

Weyes Blood eluminates, enchants

Continued from Page 6

Mering’s performance brought true meaning to the term “collective effervesce:” the almost-indescribable feeling of togetherness and belonging that going to a concert, a parade or a sports game brings you.

Engage with campus art this finals season

Campus Life Desk

With finals week looming in the distance and assignments rolling in, don’t forget to make time for yourself.

Take an hour or two and make art at the Visual Arts Building’s punk celebration or Michael C. Carlos Museum’s student studio, enjoy performances by a variety of student groups or see the Emory Dance Company spring concert.

Here are some upcoming arts events on Emory University’s campus to put on your calendar.

Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy

Date: April 6-16, times vary

Location: Mary Gray Munroe Theater

Cost: Free (Emory Affiliates) | $15 (non-Emory affiliates)

Written and directed by 2021-2023

Emory Playwriting Fellow Megan Tabaque, “Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy” blends the ancient Greek tragedy “Medea” with a retelling of the Britney Spears conservatorship court battle.

The play explores themes of power, motherhood and the treatment of celebrities by the public.

Gallery Talk: A Very Incomplete


Date: April 12, 6-7:30 p.m.

Location: Works on Paper Gallery, Michael C. Carlos Museum

Cost: Free Hear more about the exhibit “A Very Incomplete Self-Portrait” from its photographer Tom Dorsey in this gallery talk along with the Carlos Museum’s Works on Paper Curator Andi McKenzie and Andrew W. Mellon Intern Anna Clark.

Table Talk Couchella

Date: April 13, 6-10 p.m.

Location: Asbury Circle

Cost: Free

In a ’70s-themed showcase of Emory musicians, enjoy live music, snacks and comfy couches.

Performances include bands, soloists, DJs, spoken word poetry and more.

Create Your Own Culture: Art, Punk & DIY Fest

Date: April 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Location: Visual Arts Building

Cost: Free

Celebrate Rose Library’s punk collection with activities such as making silkscreen T-shirts, buttons and punk sock puppets.

The Ladrones, a punk band from San Juan, Puerto Rico, will perform live music which they self-described as a “wailing blast of garage-y punk’n’roll.”

Emory Wind Ensemble: Songs with Friends

Date: April 14, 8 p.m.

Location: Cherry Logan Emerson

Concert Hall

Cost: Free The Emory Wind Ensemble, with members from the United States Army Band and Agnes Scott College Community Orchestra, will perform a diverse selection of music, including works by Richard Strauss, Carolyn Bremer and student composer Eli Parrish (24C).

Cooke Noontime Concert:

Emory’s Young Artists

Date: April 14, 12-1 p.m.

Location: Ackerman Hall, Michael C. Carlos Museum

Cost: Free

Undergraduates from the music department will perform in this annual showcase of student talent.

Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Expression

Date: April 14, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Location: Oxford College Library and Academic Commons

Cost: Free Join Oxford faculty, staff and peers for a celebration of creativity and scholarship.

Student Music Recitals

Date: April 15, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Location: Cherry Logan Emerson

Concert Hall

Cost: Free

Student recitals showcase the talent of juniors and seniors majoring in music at Emory, including pianists Francis Peng (23C) and Annie Seo (23C) and Christy Song (23C) who plays both the flute and the violin.

Emory Chamber Ensembles

Date: April 16, 2 p.m.

Location: Cherry Logan Emerson Concert Hall

Cost: Free

Student musicians will perform chamber music, including Emory Percussion Ensemble performing works by Jacques Ibert and Emory Woodwind Quintet performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s works.

Emory Concert Choir

Date: April 16, 7 p.m.

Location: Cherry Logan Emerson Concert Hall

Cost: Free Join Emory Concert Choir for a spring performance featuring works by Ola Gjeilo, Jake Runestad and Buddhist prayers from “The Way of the Bodhisattva.”

Jazz on the Green

Date: April 20, 6 p.m.

Location: Patterson Green

Cost: Free

Take some time to relax outside with jazz music, played by Emory Jazz Combos.

WMRE Spring Band Party

Date: April 20, 8 p.m.

Location: Emory Campus Life Pavilion

Cost: Free Emory’s student-run radio station is hosting Atlanta artists in this spring showcase, including Gus Glasser, luvlocket, We Are Damselflys, nerdboink and DJ Cube Head.

Emory Dance Company Spring


Date: April 20 and 22, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Location: Schwartz Center for Performing Arts Dance Studio

Cost: $10 (Ga.) | $8 (Discount) | $6 (Emory Students)

Enjoy student-choreographed performances at any one of these four concert times.

Candler Concert Series

Date: April 20, 8 p.m.

Location: Cherry Logan Emerson

Concert Hall

Cost: $65 (Ga.) | $10 (Emory Students)

Flutist Rakesh Chaurasia will join the acclaimed trio — banjo player Béla Fleck, bassist Edgar Meyer and tabla player Zakir Hussain — for “a powerful four-way musical dialogue.”

Student Studio: Make Your Mark

Date: April 21, 1-4 p.m.

Location: Tate Room, Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Cost: Free

Make time to explore yourself at the final student studio of the year. Using the “A Very Incomplete Self-Portrait” exhibit as inspiration, you can utilize a variety of provided artistic materials to create your own “incomplete self-portrait.”

Concert: Carmina Burana

Date: April 22, 8 p.m.

Location: Cherry Logan Emerson Concert hall

Cost: Free

Join Emory University Symphony Orchestra and University Chorus for a performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” which is known for its iconic melodies and reflection of medieval life.

This concert will also feature the premiere of the Schwartz Center’s Composer Commission Project Winner Sofia Rocha’s new orchestral work.

—Contact Alexandra Kauffman at alexandra.kauffman@emory. edu

parade or a sports game brings you.

It is the emotion that comes from deep within your chest; an awareness that everybody in that venue felt something during the performance. Mering riddled “Grapevine,” the second single off her latest album “And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow,” with references to James Dean and Southern California, but at its crux is a story that everybody can relate to.

Mering sang, “Now we’re just two cars passing by / On the grapevine.”

As she danced across the stage, light flowing through her body and catching in her dress, an awareness that every single person in the audience had a person to whom they were just a car passing by overcame me: somebody they love and whose past is inextricably connected to theirs.

“And I was yours for a time,” Mering sang. Her voice filled with yearning, acknowledging that being in love with somebody doesn’t always mean being with them.

It makes sense to me why musicians make music. It is for the same reason that writers write: to take an emotion that is complex and painful and turn it into something that brings people together.

The crowd swayed side to side in disjointed harmony, passing DVDs to the stage when Mering asked and laughing in unison when Mering joked that the next song would be a rave song before launching into “Andromeda,” a heartwrenching song off “Titanic Rising” about the myth of Andromeda and the pain women carry into relationships.

At the show’s beginning, Mering asked the audience what they would do if their partner turned out to be artificial intelligence. “What would you do?” she asked. “We break up with the robots, don’t we?”

After Mering’s performance, I know one thing is sure: she doesn’t need to be so worried about artificial intelligence, as a robot cannot be programmed to feel what the crowd at the Eastern felt last Tuesday night. To be human is to want God to turn you into a flower, to sit at a party and wonder if anybody knows you — and every other theme of existentialism and being Mering incorporates into her music. That cannot be coded.

— Contact Sophia Peyser at sophia.peyser@emory.edu

Mario Bros. movie evokes nostalgia

Continued from Page 6

how they developed such distinct personalities.

Additionally, the film neglects to provide us with much information about their lives leading up to the events of the story.

Though we typically see Mario as the more adventurous of the two, the film misses an opportunity to explore Luigi’s character arc in greater depth, thus neglecting to depict a more nuanced exploration of the Mario brothers and their iconic partnership.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” features a talented cast but fails to capture its audience with voiceover acting performances.

The voiceovers lack creativity and fail to fully capture the characters’ personalities. In particular, Pratt’s performance as Mario feels rushed and lacking in depth; as if it was recorded on a very limited time budget.

Contrastingly, Black’s portrayal as Bowser is a standout, bringing a range of emotions to the character, from sinister to hopeless love. His singing also adds a touch of humor and entertainment to the film.

Additionally, Seth Rogen and Keegan-Michael Key deliver solid

performances, with Rogen’s portrayal of Donkey Kong showcasing a contrast between overconfidence and inner insecurities.

Despite these strong performances, the film overall fails to fully utilize the talents of its cast and falls short of creating a memorable experience.

While “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” may not be considered a cinematic masterpiece, lacking the creative depth of its video game counterpart, it does succeed in bringing a sense of nostalgia and joy to Nintendo gamers who grew up with Mario and Luigi.

Despite its hype as one of the most anticipated films of 2023, the movie does not deliver a powerful story that expands on the creative potential of the franchise.

Instead, the film feels like a commercial move designed to reignite viewers’ nostalgia for the Nintendo game rather than offering something new and exciting to broaden the franchise’s appeal.

— Contact Yashonandan Kakrania at yashonandan.kakrania@emory. edu

The Emory Wheel A&E
Mia uSM an/Staff iLLuStrator
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 7
CourteSy of nintendo and univerSa L StudioS
Arts Aplenty
Mering’s performance brought meaning to the term “collective effervesce:” the almost-indescribable feeling of togetherness and belonging that going to a concert, a

Emory Life The Emory Wheel

Green giants unveiled: The world of COVID-19 plant research

Picture a vast field of wheat gently swaying in the breeze, or a dense forest teeming with life. From the towering trees to the smallest blade of grass, plants are essential to life on Earth. They provide people with food, oxygen and medicines and are critical to the health of Earth’s ecosystems, helping humans to combat a wide range of diseases.

As scientists delve deeper into the mysteries of the plant world, they are discovering an arsenal of antiviral agents in the complex biology of these fascinating organisms. Emory University researchers Cassandra Quave (00C) and Caitlin Risener (24G) were able to not only discover the wonders of nature, but also harness them to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing the planet: COVID-

19 and its emerging variants.

Quave, a medical ethnobotanist and associate professor of dermatology at Emory School of Medicine, served as the lead researcher of a study that examined plants’ antiviral activity against COVID-19. Her motivation for this research stemmed from the belief that the plant world may be able to save countless lives and quell the onslaught of plaguing viruses.

“There are many examples of essential medicines that were developed based on molecules originally found in plants,” Quave wrote in an email to the Wheel. “Take, for example, aspirin from the willow tree, morphine from the opium poppy, taxol from the yew tree, artemisinin from wormwood. I think that plants will continue to serve as a source of medicine for treating various diseases, including infections.”

People might be tempted to explore North American fields, bring home a

few goldenrod stems and eagle fern plants and incorporate them into their meals as natural remedies for antiinflammation, diuretics and urological issues.

However, Quave and Risener warned that consuming these plants without proper isolation and extraction of active ingredients is potentially dangerous and toxic to the human body. They added that people should hold off on any trips to explore tropical landmarks until the plant extracts are deemed safe to consume.

“There is much still for us to evaluate concerning the safety and efficacy of these plant compounds in different lab models,” Quave wrote.

According to the Emory University Herbarium, Quave’s lab curates the Quave Natural Products Library, a website that contains a wide collection of botanical and fungal extracts from plants and fungi worldwide.

Researchers at the Quave lab settled on using Quave’s Library to test 1,800 extracts and 18 compounds for activity against COVID-19. Through tedious observations, Risener said that Quave’s research group was able to identify the tall goldenrod and eagle fern extracts as the strongest candidates as viral kryptonites.

pharmacological potential, Risener said that Quave’s research lab is still beginning to explore nature’s medicines.

“Plants are made of thousands of compounds that they have evolutionarily created to defend themselves from things in their environment,” Risener said. “We as humans could not even dream up some of the complex molecules that plants have created to protect themselves.”

According to Quave, this makes examining the relationship between plants and medicine important. Quave and her research group were able to successfully apply knowledge from traditional medicine to determine which part of a plant and virus-like model to use as a starting point for their research on medicinal plants.

spread of dangerous viruses.

To further test these results and confirm that the plant extracts could inhibit COVID-19, the Quave lab teamed up with co-author and Frances Winship Walters Professor of Pediatrics Raymond Schinazi.They focused on using Schinazi’s highlyrated biosafety laboratory as a place to safely handle the infectious COVID-19 particles.

Researchers had to assess these extracts’ performance against infectious COVID-19, so the plant extracts and COVID-19 particles were placed in test tubes with a fluorescent light illuminating their complex to detect any sighting of a green protein.

H a-tien nguyen/Podcast editor Emory researchers at Emory School of Medicine recently discovered plants’ antiviral ability to fight against COVID-19.

Quave and her research group explored fields in northern Georgia and used on-site sampling methods to score concentrated amounts of the tall goldenrod and eagle fern extracts. Once back in the laboratory, the researchers held the extracts in test tubes as they devised methods for their potential to be explored.

With only a small percentage of plants having been studied for their

Quave and Risener chose virus-like particles to act as the threats to safety in this research and the plant extracts to act as the superheroes that eventually save the day. Risener said proteins and molecules from the plant extracts fit into their corresponding receptors on the surface of the virus like a lock being inserted into a key.This antiviral activity is like nature’s own defense system. Just like how the human body has an immune system to fight off infections, plants have protein molecules that block the virus’ receptor sites to prevent infection.

When the researchers noticed the subtle hum of green color under fluorescent lighting that indicated that viral activity had been suppressed, they realized they just might have harnessed the power of these extracts as antiviral agents, and they may be able to save countless lives and prevent the

Given that the extracts were successful in inhibiting the virus-like particles, it was no surprise that the COVID-19 virus was prevented from causing an infection.

To this end, Schinazi believes that isolating active ingredients and improving their potential as drugs for COVID-19 is a step in the right direction.

“There is still a lot of work to do in order to advance these extracts forward,” Schinazi said.

From decoding plant genomes to exploring the potential of COVID-19 medication, plant research is revolutionizing the way people think about nature’s biomedical uses.

So, the plants growing by the roadsides or in backyards might just hold the key to defeating viruses like how plants in northern Georgia fields could help fight against COVID-19.

— Contact Aila Sheri at

Black-owned, women-run children’s bookshop promotes inclusive stories

Nestled in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, Ga. lies a quaint children’s bookshop. A rainbow of shiny book covers illuminate the front window of the compact shop, creating a stark contrast with the dingy dive bars that populate much of the rest of the street. Beside the shop’s turquoiseoutlined front door is a chalkboard sign in pastel block lettering that welcomes patrons to “the cutest little neighborhood bookshop.”

Bunnie Hilliard is the owner and founder of Black-owned, women-run Brave and Kind Bookshop, a children’s book store specializing in diverse and inclusive children books. Hilliard sports thickly-framed tortoiseshell glasses, a wide smile outlined in bright pink lipstick and a sweater with bunnies on it — to match her name, of course.

When stepping inside the bookshop, customers are transported into a world of magic and color. Books are everywhere. They’re shelved, stacked, binned and displayed in every cranny of the store. Special displays are granted to educational books about inclusion.

A black curtain separates the sea of books from a back-office area. Hilliard gladly leads me behind the scenes, where multiple desks are cluttered with scattered papers and binders. She sits down on a tattered couch, melting into the cushion with ease, and shares her story as if catching up with a longtime friend.

“We like to coin ourselves as having a beautiful, intentional collection

of diverse and inclusive kids’ stories,” Hilliard said.

Hilliard founded Brave and Kind Bookshop in 2018, but the idea had been brewing since she was pregnant with her now-teenage daughter. She said that she had a hard time finding books with Black and brown main characters that were not centered around history or slavery.

“History is a very important part of sharing our stories, but looking for books for my kids that resonated with our family, and that we just enjoyed reading every day,” Hilliard said. “That was the beginning of the seeds of thinking that this was something that was missing.”

After graduating from Florida A&M University with a business degree in 2000, Hilliard came to Atlanta, where she first attended Clark Atlanta University for an MBA in marketing, then worked in banking and stayed home for a while after having kids. In 2016, she was ready to start the next chapter of her life. She asked herself what she would do if she knew she couldn’t fail, leading to the creation of Brave and Kind Bookshop.

“I wanted to do something that felt brave and kind for myself, that I felt like would leave a legacy on our community,” Hilliard said. “And I thought that championing these stories and prioritizing these stories would leave a legacy that we could all be proud of.”

In the summer of 2018, Hilliard launched a crowdfunding campaign “as a sort of litmus test” to see if the community was interested in her idea. She said she was met with an overwhelming amount of support and donations from family, friends,

friends of friends and complete strangers. The bookshop officially opened in September 2018. Bringing the vision to life was a community DIY project.

Hilliard knew that her budget was tight starting out, so she recruited her friends and family to help her decorate the store and bring the space to life.

“I have photos of some of my friends with their little paint brushes painting in the letters,” Hilliard said. “We placed some orders and I placed that minimum stock inventory purchase and we opened the doors and it’s grown so much.”

The bookstore started with around 200 different titles. Now, Hilliard said that number is around 6,000. Selecting books to fill the shelves was a challenge, given the restrictions of the store being so small.

Hilliard sprung up from her seat and trotted over to the bulletin board hanging over her chaotic, colorful desk. She ran her finger over the board and landed on a Post-it note with a list of qualifications scribbled on it. Hilliard rattled off, “Is it a good story? Is it diverse? Does it have diverse characters? Will the kids learn something? Does it provide mirrors, windows and doors?”

She explained that a story provides mirrors if the readers can see themselves in the story, it provides windows if it transports readers into someone else’s perspective and life experience and it provides sliding doors if it brings readers into a fantastical world, but also allows them to exit the sliding door and apply to the story to reality.

Hilliard said that during the pandemic it became more of a challenge to maintain a thoughtfully-curated col-

lection, due to the pressure that came with being a Black-owned business during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Going through the pandemic and getting just some of the additional exposure that we did as a Black-owned store during that time, I felt a little inclined to be more to more people,” Hilliard said. “But, we talk all the time about making sure that we still feel thoughtfully curated. And so, we’re sloughing off some of the older titles and retiring some of those things because I want it to always feel like a very special and an intentional collection.”

Although the store itself is small, Brave and Kind Bookshop’s outreach is vast. Hilliard hopes to eventually open a second location in Atlanta, and to continue expanding her reach across Atlanta, as well as create a nonprofit branch of Brave and Kind to be able to receive grants to serve those who have less access to books. In the meantime, the store is broadening

their impact through hosting a variety of events, including school visits and book fairs.

“One of the things I really enjoy most is doing school visits and bringing picture book authors to schools and have students get a personal storytime and to hear all about the books and get to ask the author about their creative process,” Hilliard said. “And to just kind of see that sparkle in their eyes as they’re being read this really fun, funny, beautiful story.”

Hosting these author events is one of Hilliard’s favorite parts of owning Brave and Kind Bookshop, she said.

“To kind of see it through to fruition, to see this author of color come to this audience and share their story in a meaningful way, and to see the looks on people’s faces when they’re talking about it, and that it really matters to them, it feels like we’re doing something important.”

— Contact Jordyn Libow at jordyn.libow@emory.edu

Jordyn Libow/emory Life editor A diverse collection of books is displayed atop a packed bookcase.

Meet me at Kaldi’s


There are thousands of people in the Emory University community who will never get a mention in the Wheel. We see each other all over campus: at the Dobbs Common Table, on the Quadrangle or at Kaldi’s Coffee. We invited our writers to “spin the Wheel” using a random generator system to select the name of a person from the Emory community. Writers took their profile subjects to Kaldi’s, where some of the best conversations and friendships at Emory begin, to learn the interesting anecdotes, crazy experiences and unexpected facts about the community members they met.


Shayne Goldstein finds her voice in music

The rug was pulled out from under Shayne Goldstein’s (26C) feet when she found out in her freshman year of high school that she might lose her ability to sing, or even to talk, due to a vocal cyst.

Her doctor said the cyst was around six millimeters, the biggest one they had ever seen on a teenager. Due to the size, the doctor told Goldstein that her voice likely wouldn’t be the same after they performed surgery to remove it.

“It was very hard for me to deal with that,” Goldstein remarked. Losing her ability to pursue music was not something she had ever even anticipated, and she said that the prospect of losing her ability to sing was devastating.

Goldstein had fallen in love with music in preschool. As a toddler, her twin brother took voice lessons as a way to help him heal nodules on his vocal cords.

Because they were twins and so young, Goldstein came along and participated in the lessons alongside her brother. The voice lessons helped her brother’s nodules, and eventually, he stopped the lessons.

But for Goldstein, this was only the beginning — the voice lessons had sparked something in her, and she continued singing.

“Singing was an outlet for me that I found that I could express myself,” Goldstein said. “That’s where I had a voice.”

While her brother initially got her into music, it quickly became a way for Goldstein to differentiate herself from her brother. The twins went to school together and even had classes together, so Goldstein said she was


Emory, Georgia Tech student makes the best of many worlds

Abby Paulson (23G) is not a typical member of the Emory community.

As a seventh-year Ph.D. student in the Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology joint biomedical engineering program, Paulson spends most of her time not on Emory’s campus, but in the lab at Georgia Tech. We met at Kaldi’s Coffee at the Emory Student Center, and although she took neuroscience courses at the University when she started the program in 2016, our meeting was the first time she’d visited the new Kaldi’s.

“A lot of nature can make you feel a little small and remember there’s so much more besides yourself,” Paulson said.

Paulson will graduate this summer after completing her dissertation. After graduation, she said she hopes to pursue a career in the biomedical engineering industry. However, she said she is not sure what that will look like exactly. To undergraduates who are interested in a similar path, Paulson advised them to “keep persevering and moving forward.” Although she said that graduate school is a big commitment, “learning how to be a scientific thinker” is valuable.

grateful to have music as something that was only hers.

When Goldstein found out that she had a vocal cyst, she was scared she might lose not only her ability to do one of her favorite things but also a big part of her identity. A few months after her diagnosis, Goldstein had surgery to help remove the cyst and began a long recovery process.

“I couldn’t speak for like two weeks and then I couldn’t sing for three months, and I had to go to vocal therapy,” she said. “Thankfully, everything worked out, and my voice is fine.”

She mainly does classical singing and musical theater, but she also does some pop and is interested in branching out more from her roots. Her love for music is also what brought her to Emory University.

“I was looking for a balance between … getting a liberal arts education and then also like the music aspect,” she said. “[Emory] was like the perfect balance between the two.”

When Goldstein took a tour of Emory’s campus, she spoke with the Director of Vocal Studies Bradley Howard, which she said helped solidify her decision to apply early decision to the University.

Goldstein is a music and psychology double major. Outside of class, she is a member of the University’s Meals on Wheels club, where she helps deliver food to people in the Atlanta community who are in need. In her hometown, she worked at a food pantry and saw the Emory club as a way to continue this work.

Goldstein is also a member of the University Chorus, which includes everyone from students to alumni and even people from the broader Atlanta community.

Paulson studies neural activity involved in learning and memory and how it fails in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The powerful information processing ability of the brain fascinates her.

“Memory, for example — how it can control our motor action, how it pretty much underlies everything that we do in life and how those things are altered in disease — I think is really interesting,” Paulson said.

This research is personal to Paulson, as her grandmother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Additionally, Paulson’s interest in biomedical engineering stemmed from her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Alabama.

“I always have really liked math, and I felt like it was a good application of some more quantitative skills but still having the opportunity to take some science classes because I had a feeling I still wanted to do something in science post-grad,” Paulson said. “It’s a good opportunity to have a taste of both worlds.”

“I think that mindset can apply to anything, but grad school can be a long road, and it’s important to have a positive attitude,” Paulson said.

When Paulson first replied to my interview request, she told me she wasn’t sure she was the best person for this project. However, as a researcher, student, mentor, ballerina, cat mom, new aunt and more, she truly represents the multifaceted beauty of the Emory community.

Despite the medical scare, surgery and taxing recovery process, Goldstein was still in love with music. She continued voice lessons throughout high school and even did a pre-professional program at the Manhattan School of Music.

Goldstein said that she loves how she can express herself through music and the flexibility to perform whatever genre and style she desires as a singer.

“I’ve been in choirs before, and I’ve never been in such a big choir, and it’s very different,” Goldstein said. “I didn’t know if I’d like it or not, but I really like it.”

Additionally, Goldstein is in a band called “Groove” with other Emory students. She joined earlier this year after Evan Covey (24C), a friend in the band, asked her to join and help out while their lead singer is abroad this semester. Goldstein and Covey had been in a band together in high school, so when she got the opportu-

See SINGER, Page 10

Paulson’s love of math shows in her life outside of research. She has a silvery-gray cat named Pi, who has been her companion since the start of graduate school.

Paulson is well-spoken, often pausing to think before answering a question. Her elegant manner of speech came as no surprise when she mentioned her love of ballet, having done classical ballet through high school.

“I love to take a ballet class,” Paulson said. “The music is really calming.”

In addition to continuing to dance in her free time, Paulson enjoys running and walking the trails by the Chattahoochee River. Her favorite vacation spot, however, is the beach.

After graduation, one might find Paulson with her nose buried in a book or traveling. Although she said that she is open to staying in Atlanta and would also love to be somewhere near an ocean, she is not sure where her future job will take her.

— Contact Emma Kingwell at emma.kingwell@emory.edu

Chemistry major, English minor never stops learning

Spring is perfect for a meet-up in The Depot by Kaldi’s Coffee outdoor seating area. Aditya Kolisetti (24C) sits at a table on the porch of the popular Emory University coffee spot with bulky black headphones around his neck. He smiles.

“In coming back to the States, I’m excited to be here, and I’m very, very happy for the summer day,” he said, motioning toward the bright rays that poke through the cracks of the wood paneled awning.

Kolisetti was born in Portland, Ore., but he moved to India at eight years old and spent the majority of his life there, moving back to the United States to go to Emory. He is both a U.S. citizen and an international student, since his home is in India.

He is also very close to his family and tries to call home each week, though he said the 11-hour time difference can make that tough.

He said he tries to call at hours when both sides are often awake, usu-

ally 7 to 10 a.m., or 9 to 11 p.m. Atlanta time.

However, at times, he said he has had to make midnight or 2 a.m. calls to reach his family if there’s something pressing. Kolisetti said that the hardest thing about the time difference was when he was in India during the pandemic and his online chemistry labs were held from 3 to 6 a.m.

Despite the inconvenience of traveling from India to Atlanta, Kolisetti said that going to college in the U.S. was a clear choice.

As a U.S. citizen, he said he receives more financial aid from schools here compared to what he would’ve received in India. He also said that many Indian universities are very “strict,” and only recently has India established liberal arts schools.

“They’re very young universities,” Kolisetti said. “Here, there’s always been a lot more of an interdisciplinary focus and because I didn’t want to abandon either humanities or the sciences, I think I had to come here if I wanted to make the most of it.”

As both a chemistry major and

an English minor, Kolisetti finds the complementary aspects in seeminglyopposite things. However, he said that he doesn’t feel that managing these two disciplines requires a “balancing act.”

“In fact, I think it’s more of a coexistence,” Kolisetti said. The very creative side of English — the extremely subjective ebb and flow of words and pace, meter, rhythm, register — all of that lends itself really well to scientific writing, as well.”

Kolisetti specifically chose to come to Emory for this duality. He said he was initially attracted to the University for its emphasis on students gaining a well-rounded, liberal arts education, but that he ultimately committed because it has both strong chemistry and English programs.

“It was the best of both worlds,” Kolisetti said.

This sentiment of bridging the gap is prevalent in many of Kolisetti’s endeavors. He serves as the director of the research committee for PlasticFree Emory, as well as the Green Chair for the University’s official chemis-

try club, ChEmory. In these positions, he is able to combine his interests in chemistry and environmental activism.

“I enjoy being able to straddle the line and make sure that both [clubs] get what they want out of the science,” Kolisetti said.

He said he plans to organize a collaborative event between the two clubs for Earth Week, the last week of April, in which he hopes to bring the analytical, quantitative side of chemistry to Plastic Free Emory, and a more environmentally-sustainable lens to ChEmory.

Kolisetti cares deeply about the environment — a passion he said he will carry with him for the rest of his life. During his sophomore year, he worked in a lab with Dr. Sihi in Emory’s environmental science department on soil carbon analysis projects.

He plans to attend graduate school after Emory to study organic synthesis in chemistry. In his graduate school search, he said he prioritizes finding a place that has good public transport and meat-free food options, as he

strives to follow a vegetarian diet for environmental reasons.

Kolisetti, who has lived in India for most of his life, said that living a meatfree life in the U. S. is challenging.

“A lot of fast food and easy-access cuisine has been either vegetable-lacking or meat or dairy-focused,” he said.

The Emory Wheel EMORY LIFE 9
yasHonandan K a K rania/web desK Shayne Goldstein (26C) overcame vocal injury. Jordyn Libow/emory Life editor Aditya Kolisetti (24C) enjoys tutoring peers in chemistry. emma K ingweLL/dei editor Abby Paulson (23G) is passionate about ballet.
KOLISETTI, Page 10 Wednesday, April 12, 2023

King of Horror


1. Horror novel about a rabid Saint Bernard

5. Math class taken after algebra (abbr.)

9. Celebrity, e.g.

14. Global partnership of educational institutions founded in 1991 (abbr.)

15. Buildings used for musical performances in ancient Greece

16. Story from Doctor Who written by Douglas Adams

17. Star Wars heroine

18. Suffix for improv and prom

19. Caused a birth

20. __ Sleep, sequel to 10-down

22. Not sm or med

24. Mardi Gras city (abbr.)

25. Smirk

26. Common descriptor for horror films

28. Peek _ __

30. Make

31. “__ Theodosia”, song from Hamilton

34. College with a cavalier mascot (abbr.)

36. Opposite of zigged

40. “When it’s __ said and done”

41. Kubrick who directed 10-down

43. Taylor Swift’s Reputation __

44. Pepto-__

46. Oscar-nominated film starring Cate Blanchett

47. Ripped

48. Al-__, sixth chapter of the Quran

50. Librarian’s disciplinary sound

52. Villain in “It”

56. Cilantro, basil, etc.

60. Falls behind

61. Line on a tax form

62. Action of a spring or firearm

63. “_ __ in the neck”

65. “__ of mind”

67. Shrek, e.g.

68. Opposite of yes dad

69. Single-stranded DNA-like molecule (abbr.)

70. Polite antonym

71. River that flows through Paris, France

72. Action necessary to get one’s attention in a loud room

73. Where a bird lays eggs down

1. Sore throats and runny noses

2. Apply to

3. Orange, cranberry, etc.

4. Idiom meaning to engage in a burst of activity

5. Coconut fiber

6. YouTube video option to skip __

7. Turanga who is a one-eyed character on Futurama

8. Horror novel about a teenage girl with telekinesis

9. Donkey

10. Novel about the Overlook Hotel by the author of 1-across, 8-down, 47down, and 49-down

11. Cards read by a psychic

12. “Rolling in the Deep” singer

13. Weather tracker

21. Sphere

23. Those who apply shiny coats to pottery

26. Bright star

27. Sound made by 9-down

29. Fugitives

31. A tiny amount

32. Nickname for Elias

33. Lou Gehrig’s disease (abbr.)

35. Academic department known for ethnographies (abbr.)

37. Prefix for logical and metric

38. Mess up

39. Race car driving champion Gurney

41. Company that owns the rights to Spiderman

Singer overcomes injury

Continued from Page 9

nity to be part of one again in college, she jumped at the opportunity.

Despite having to overcome obstacles, Goldstein said her love for music has never wavered. She said she’s interested in being a musical therapist, possibly writing her own music or even just doing something with music as a side job. Regardless of

what she ends up doing, Goldstein knows that she wants music to be a part of her future.

“I’ve done it for so long,” she said.

“It’s always been in my life and I love doing it … I want to stick with it if I can.”

— Contact Jessie Satosvsky at jessie.satovsky@emory.edu

Kolisetti adores teaching

Continued from Page 9

“Of course, there are great restaurants that are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, but a majority of my meals will need to be home-cooked if I want to have variety while also getting enough nutrition from meals.”

Kolisetti is a sponge. He is enamored with life and soaks up everything around him. He said he believes that there is something to learn from everyone in his life, especially those in the Emory community.

“I look up to everybody around me,” Kolisetti said. “Peers, friends, professors — there’s honestly something very noble and very, very forward-driven about most people. I mean, it’s Emory. There’s good people here, you know what I mean?”

Kolisetti has a 30-year plan. His ideal trajectory involves graduate school, then working as an independent researcher for 10 to 20 years, and finally retiring as a professor, hopefully teaching organic chemistry.

He is also a natural teacher. While he adores learning, Kolisetti said he enjoys passing on his knowledge to better the lives of others even more.

At Emory, he’s worked as a learning

assistant teaching chemistry courses, including Chemistry 150, 202, 203 and 204.

“Two years of teaching so far, and I don’t intend to stop,” he said beaming.

“I’m really glad for the students who have shown marked improvement and who have said that I was able to tangibly change their life for the better.”

Kolisetti also holds his own personal review sessions for his classmates in the classes he takes.

“I think being able to put that forward and give what I’ve been given from my mentors previously, that’s been a real treat here,” he said.

Kolisetti said he believes that learning is lifelong. It doesn’t stop once you get a grade on an exam.

“I don’t think I’m gonna ever stop learning,” he said. “I’m never gonna stop setting goals. The only thing that I will do tomorrow is better than today. And that is it. I cannot give you the world, and I cannot give you more than what I have right now, but be sure that one day eventually I will. Success is an inevitability, not an endpoint.”

— Contact Jordyn Libow at jordyn.libow@emory.edu

42. Action of a lightsaber

45. The Haunted __, Disney film

47. “Children of _ __”

49. Horror novel featuring an authorfan romance

51. __/her/hers pronouns

52. “I have grand __”

53. Author of “The Raven”

54. Popular fishing and tourist lake in Botswana

55. Trap

57. Go

PAID RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY : Individuals aged 12-34 in the Atlanta area needed for online research study

The Emory Mental Health & Development Program is seeking participants for an online research study about how your thoughts about other people and your perception of things can be assessed through computerized tasks.

Individuals aged 12-34 in the Atlanta metropolitan area may be eligible for participation.

Participants are asked to complete baseline study sessions, then 12-month and 24- month follow-ups. Appointments are online. Compensation is $30 per hour.

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Email: mentalhealth.research@emory.e du

Website: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/mhdp/ or scan the QR code:

STU00211351: CAPR

Principal investigator: Elaine Walker

The Emory Wheel EMORY LIFE
April 12, 2023 10
__, behave erratically 58. Hornbills, Macaws, etc. 59. Icy rain 62. Not fake 64. British music and culture website (abbr.) 66. Weekend show featuring a celebrity host and comedic skits (abbr.)
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Western conference will have talented playoff pool

Continued from Back Page

Moreover, in games against more competitive teams, it is evident that Harden lacks the intensity needed to win in the playoffs. Not to mention he and Embiid have missed games due to injury recently. The Sixers peaked too early.

There are a couple of teams I don’t think will win but are worth mentioning. The Cleveland Cavaliers have a great young core and with Donovan Mitchell’s scoring ability, they are going to be a tough out against any opponent. Especially as center Evan Mobley begins to figure things out, Cleveland could be a serious threat in coming seasons.

Heading south, I am absolutely terrified of the Miami Heat. I know they are the seventh seed and have had, at best, a mediocre season, but they scare me. Jimmy Butler tends to turn into prime Michael Jordan during the playoffs, and Miami is really good at eliminating leads, especially at home. Your team will be up by eight with four minutes left, then Butler gets fouled, Tyler Herro hits a three in transition and all of a sudden, you’re down five with 80 seconds left. They probably won’t do much, but I really wouldn’t want to face them in a series.

Moving away from the East, the Western Conference is incredibly competitive. It seems like there are six or seven teams that could conceivably win the title: the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. Depending on how the standings end up, we could see some great teams get knocked out in the first round.

The Nuggets have maintained the best record in the West all season, finishing 53-29. Their starting lineup — built around two-time MVP center Nikola Jokic — has been a strong point with one of the best net ratings in the league of 14.3. This season, their weakness has been the minutes with Jokic on the bench, but during the playoffs, starters always get a significant bump in playing time, so this will be less of an issue. I do have concerns, though. The

Nuggets finished the season ranked 15th defensively, so I worry that they won’t be able to make stops down the stretch, especially in the more competitive play in the playoffs. The Nuggets have also struggled on the road; they finished with a road record of 19-22. To win in the playoffs, a team has to be able to win away from home. If they can stay healthy, the Nuggets are a real threat to win the West.

Are we overthinking this? The Suns have guard Devin Booker, forward Kevin Durant, center Deandre Ayton and guard Chris Paul, so they’re probably going to win the championship. There are criticisms about the Suns, though. They traded all of their wing depth for Durant and have a very weak bench, but none of those factors seem to matter because the Suns haven’t lost with Durant. The main concern would be Paul choking in the playoffs, something he’s been known to do. However, because the Suns only need him to be the third or fourth option, it doesn’t worry me much.

The third seed, Kings, are really good, but I don’t think they’ll win. The Kings’ league-best offense revolves around a series of shooters and moving pieces, including former Atlanta Hawks’ guard Kevin Huerter. Who knew Huerter had more to his game than watching Trae Young chuck thirty-footers with 18 seconds left in the shot clock? Everyone?

Everyone knew? Yeah, I thought so.

The Kings’ starting lineup looks like they’ve been playing together for years, even though this is their first season together. Their starting five has played more minutes together than any other lineup in the NBA by a wide margin, which may explain their chemistry. They will also have homecourt advantage for the first round, so expect the Sacramento crowd to be loud as they’ve been waiting 16 years to see the Kings back in the playoffs. However, the Kings’ defense is absolutely abysmal, hence why I doubt they’ll make it far.

The Grizzlies really confuse me. The NBA investigated guard Ja Morant for possible possession of a gun on a

Baseball scores 62 runs in double header

Continued from Back Page

run and two walks, and McLoughlin went 2-4 with three RBIs. On the defensive end, sophomore pitcher Ryan Reynolds went 5-2 with three allowed runs and one strikeout.

The Eagles won their last game against Brandeis 12-1 to complete the series sweep. Looking ahead, Halloran believes the team has a lot more to accomplish.

team road trip, which, along with other lawsuits and incidents, resulted in an eight-game suspension. Their offense has been inconsistent and has struggled, partially due to center Steven Adams missing games because of injury. The Grizzlies recently announced that they expect Adams to miss another four weeks, so they will have to navigate the postseason without him. The Grizzlies have a very promising core — Morant, forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and guard Desmond Bane are all under 24 — but I’m not sure it’s their time just yet.

I keep trying to rule the Warriors out. Their supporting cast has not been good enough all season, and their road record is astonishingly bad (11-30). But every time I say they’re done, I watch a game and fall back in love. Guard Stephen Curry is playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play. Guard Klay Thompson might not be as good defensively as he once was, but offensively he’s almost identical. If forward Andrew Wiggins comes back and some of their young guys get it together, I could talk myself into it. I don’t think they’ll win. But when Steph is hoisting up the Finals MVP trophy, I’m still going to say, “I told you.”

The Lakers are a long, long, long, shot. Behind forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they have built a solid rotation, largely players they acquired on the trade deadline. If James and Davis can stay healthy, they could make some waves. The issue, however, is that James and Davis will not be healthy. One of them, if not both, will get hurt and miss time. They’ve only played 36 games together this season, so there is no evidence that they can stay healthy. Maybe I’ll be wrong and the Lakers will make the finals, but I have a hard time believing the Lakers will do much.

My pick is the Bucks. We’ll see what happens, but either way, it is shaping up to be a wildly entertaining playoffs.

— Contact Daniel Rosen at daniel.rosen@emory.edu

Prioritizing team success over individual

Continued from Back Page

he hopes the Eagles can walk away with the title. During the indoor UAA Championships, Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.), Carnegie Mellon University (Penn.) and Emory scored 144, 140.33 and 136 points, respectively; only eight points separated the first and third placed teams.

“We were very close,” Brandstadter said. “It’s a really tight race right now, and I’m excited to see how well we can do.”

Brandstadter’s prioritization of the team’s success before his individual success does not go unnoticed by his coaches.

“[He wants to] be able to win a conference championship as a team, but also as a national championship as a team,” Fritsche said. “He looks teamfirst too, and he wants to be able to be at nationals with his teammates and celebrate with them.”

As for his individual aspirations,

Brandstadter said he is focused on improving his high jump marks.

“I got into nationals for my long jump, but I’ve always considered myself more of a high jumper,” Brandstadter said. “That’s always been my favorite event out of the two, so I personally have been gunning for seven feet in the high jump, which is 2.14 meters.”

Brandstadter and the rest of the men’s track and field team aim to win their sixth UAA Outdoor Championship title April 22 to 23 in Chicago, Ill. before heading to Rochester, N.Y., to compete in the NCAA DIII Outdoor Championships May 26 to 28.

“He really wants to change the record books, not just at Emory, but in Division III,” Fritsche said. “He has the potential to do a lot.”

— Contact Sophia Lin-David at sophia.lin-david@emory.edu

Standing up to gender inequality in sports

Continued from Back Page

“Our goal is to win a college world series,” Halloran said. “That has been [our goal] since day one last year … but we realized that we had more in the tank. And so our goal is to not only win the UAAs but go to regionals, win regionals and then take it all the way.”

— Contact Clement Lee at clement.lee@emory.edu

always aware of his teammates’ blatant disregard for me as an equal player, and he never failed to intervene and call them out. Instead of letting them shame me, he pushed me ahead and supported my development when his peers were less than welcoming of a girl joining their competitive training.

My true passion is to play competitive soccer and gender is never a factor, but those early interactions forced me to develop an awareness that stayed with me as I continued to face challenges as a competitive female soccer player. I went on to have similar experiences when I played in an adult men’s league alongside my father and attended predominantly boy’s soccer camps. My goal is always to prove myself as a strong player and demonstrate that I deserved to be there, but disrespect and an underestimation of my abilities were always factors.

While these challenges never dissuaded me as a young athlete, the experiences made me cognizant of the gender bias in sports. Sadly, despite half a century of progress, women still struggle to attain equal professional status and opportunities. In my case, it is not about wage gap or equal television coverage; it is about high-level development opportunities

that were only accessible to boys back then. For example, both academy clubs my brother played for back then, New York City FC and Metropolitan Oval Academy, did not have girls’ programs until recently. Another example is that Major League Soccer, the professional men’s league, was established in 1993, but Women’s Professional Soccer did not begin until 2009, followed by the founding of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2012.

Before shifting my focus to soccer in high school, I was also a competitive gymnast. I was always a huge fan who found inspiration in the tremendous talents of the Fab Five, the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team that won gold at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. They were so young, yet they were world class.

When the revelations emerged of sexual and emotional violence against so many young gymnasts for years at the hands of former U.S. Women’s National Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar, I was traumatized. How did America’s most celebrated female athletes live a nightmare of violence for so long? Learning that the system protected and enabled Nassar as he betrayed the trust of some of America’s most successful Olympic gymnasts was unbelievable and disheartening. What I came to understand is that

despite its historical implications, Title IX is not enough to protect these young female athletes.

Despite the profound challenges women still face, thanks to the courage of female athletes like the Fab Five who have come forward to share their traumatic accounts, we have more protections in place than they did before. Women now have a platform of which to challenge the inequities, push for accountability and represent one another. They have also forced doors open through which I, as a collegiate athlete, have walked through. It is important to acknowledge how much Title IX has helped us get to a better environment for female athletes, but we must also know that we still have a long way to go to get to where we need to be. Let us hope we don’t have to wait another 50 years to see greater improvements. I am inspired and look forward to witnessing the historic opportunities Title IX continues to provide for the generations of female athletes to come. As Maya Angelou once said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

— Contact Pilar Rossi at p.rossi@emory.edu

The Emory Wheel Wednesday, April 12, 2023 11 SPORTS SWOOP’S
Time Opponent Thursday April 13 Track & Field Softball All Day 3 p.m. Friday April 14 @Berry Field Day Invitational MUW WashU Track & Field Baseball Sotftball All Day 12 p.m. & 3 p.m. 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Saturday April 15 @ Kathy Niepagen Spring Fling MUW WashU W Golf Baseball Softball All Day 1 p.m. 1 p.m. @ Berry Field Day Invitational WashU Sport
*Home Games in Bold Natalie Sa N dlow/Staff Photogra Pher Senior outfielder Ellis Schwartz throws during a game against Oglethorpe University (Ga.) on Feb. 25.

Sports The Emory Wheel

Brandstadter soars to new heights



had an outstanding indoor track and field season. Brandstadter placed first in both the long jump (7.15 meters) and high jump (1.98 meters) at the 2023 University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Championships from Feb. 25-26. Additionally, he placed eighth in the long jump (7.10 meters) at the 2023 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships on March 1o.

As for the secret to his success? Changing his socks.

Emory baseball breaks UAA scoring record in big wins

The Emory University baseball team broke the University Athletic Association (UAA) single-game scoring record during their fourgame series sweep against Brandeis University (Mass.) from April 7-9. The team ranks No. 1 in the UAA after the four wins, improving their overall record to 19-10.

Emory baseball head coach Mike Twardoski attributed the team’s success this season to his players’ hard work at practice. Twardoski also said he believes that their competitiveness at practice has created a more tight-knit team chemistry and that the team “really is gelling” this season.

The Eagles began their sweep with a 12-1 win on April 7. The hard work clicked for the Eagles during the first game of the double header on April 8 when they scored 31 runs,

breaking the UAA (24) and Emory (26) run records set in 1995 and 1998, respectively. The game went to seven innings with notable performances from sophomore infielder Jack Halloran and senior outfielder Ellis Schwartz. Schwartz hit 3-4 and scored four runs while Halloran hit three home runs, tying Schwartz for the most in program history.

Halloran also broke Schwartz’s record of RBIs and total bases covered with nine RBIs and 13 bases (5-5), and 12 players recorded at least one RBI. Twardosky said Halloran was “locked in” during all four games.

“Anxiety is a big part of the equation, and when you take that anxiety out … he just was relaxed,” Twardoski said. “He was on the ball all weekend, and I’ll be very honest, I don’t think I’ve seen that in a kid.”

During the game, Halloran said he didn’t realize his team was beating Brandeis by such a large margin.

“I wasn’t even really processing

what was going on,” Halloran said. “I was on autopilot. For most of the game, I wasn’t even cognizant of the fact that we were doing so well. Looking back, I was like, ‘Wow.’”

Other notable performances from the game included sophomore catcher Blake Dincman who had five RBIs and a home run. At the pitching mound, senior pitcher Joey Bock had five strikeouts with no walks. The Eagles restricted Brandeis to four runs.

Emory carried their momentum into their second game of the day. The Eagles won the third game of the series 31-7 in seven innings. Halloran continued his batting dominance with one home run, three doubles and 15 RBIs. Adding onto the hitting onslaught were senior outfielder Henry Pelinski, Schwartz and junior infielder Tyler McLoughlin. Pelinski had four hits, Schwartz had six RBIs, one home

See BASEBALL, Page 11

“One of my things I do is I have warm-up socks, and then I have competitive socks, but they’re the same pair of socks essentially,” Brandstadter said. “I just, I don’t know, I have to switch out my socks. Otherwise, I feel weird.”

Beyond superstitions, Emory track and field assistant coach Jessica Fritsche, who focuses on vertical and horizontal jumps, highlighted how Brandstadter’s work ethic is instrumental to his impressive accomplishments as an athlete.

“He wants to be successful, and he’s really gonna push us and do everything he needs to do,” Fritsche said. “Just that drive he has ... he doesn’t put a limit on what he can do.”

Brandstadter started track and field in middle school simply because all of his friends were on the team. During his high school career, Brandstadter made his talents known. He graduated Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Penn.) with MVP awards for indoor and outdoor track and also earned high school All-American status five times in the high jump.

His success continued during his first collegiate season when he earned All-UAA and All-American honors and set a new Emory long jump record.

At the Birmingham-Southern Ice Breaker on Dec. 2, 2022, his first collegiate meet, Brandstadter broke the Emory indoor long jump record with a mark of 7.20 meters. Troy Thompson (97C), who set the school record of 7.18 meters in 1993, held the previous title. For Brandstadter, becoming a school record holder in his first meet as a college athlete was an unexpected, yet welcome, surprise.

“For indoor season, I had no idea what was going to happen,” Brandstadter said. “So, I was just kind of there. I was just jumping and running and all that, and I just happened to be doing very well.”

After breaking the Emory record for the first time, Brandstadter broke his own record at the Carolina Challenge on Jan. 20 with a jump of 7.21 meters. Just two weeks later, Brandstadter would blow that record out of the water, jumping an impressive 7.40 meters at the South Carolina Invitational on Feb. 3.

Going into his inaugural indoor season, Brandstadter’s goal was to qualify for the UAA Indoor Championship and walk away with a team UAA title. While Brandstadter became an individual UAA champion, the men’s track and field team fell just shy of a conference championship title, placing third.

First on Brandstadter’s bucket list for the 2023 outdoor season is a revenge tour at the UAA Championships where


Title IX reflections from a female collegiate athlete 2023 NBA playoffs promise competition

In June 2022, the U.S. celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX’s legacy and empowerment of women in education, athletics, the workforce and beyond in order to establish an equitable society.

At our first home conference game in the 2022 soccer season, we as members of the Emory University women’s soccer team had the privilege of wearing shirts that read “50 Years of Title IX.” Recognizing this historical context, I felt proud to be a part of the celebration of this anniversary and fortunate to have the leadership of an allfemale coaching staff who all formerly competed at soccer’s highest levels. On that day, I reflected on their comingof-age experiences as student-athletes with this law in place, imagining how it impacted their personal and professional experiences. I thought about the misogynistic culture they must have endured as they climbed the ranks and how they fared in a profession that is still predominantly male-led. The celebration reminded me of the genesis of Title IX, its long history and the arduous fight endured by so many to get to where we are today. While we were standing in the team huddle

wearing our Title IX shirts, our coach said, “It is a privilege to be here right now.” I left that match experiencing a myriad of emotions: grateful, humbled and motivated by my own journey as a female athlete.

I was raised in a family where the culture of sports and competition was a present and very positive part of life. Through my struggles with debilitating shyness growing up, sports became my voice and the driver of my emergence as a strong and confident woman. Sports helped me quickly understand the power and inherent positives of being a passionate and committed athlete. I learned that hard work matters — it can define and empower. The inner confidence I developed as a female athlete carried over into other aspects of my life.

I am fortunate to have a very close relationship with my younger brother, who now plays professional soccer in Italy. Soccer was a true constant in our lives growing up. However, my brother’s invitations for me to partake in his training sessions were often met with criticism, resistance and rejection from his teammates, introducing me to the inherent sexism in sports. Boys on the pitch dismissed me simply because I am a girl. My brother was

It is almost time for the NBA playoffs, and this year it feels like there are five to seven teams that could win the championship. Will the Golden State Warriors repeat? Will Giannis Antetokounmpo capture his second title? Will Chris Paul finally win his first ring? Will the Larry O’Brien Trophy return to New York City? That last one was a joke, but the answer to all of those questions ultimately comes down to health. A major player gets injured every year, changing the entire playoff race. So, throughout this article, when I repeat myself about health, let me be.

Unlike the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference had all playoff seedings determined on April 7. The Milwaukee Bucks have dominated all season, with a record of 35-16 against teams in the East. Many fans regard Bucks forward Antetokounmpo as the best player in the league. Jrue Holiday is the best defensive guard in the NBA, center Brook Lopez is one of the league’s best rim protectors, and Antetokounmpo has the build and athleticism to guard any player.

Moreover, the defensive juggernaut Bucks secured the best record in the league mostly without forward Khris Middleton, who is slowly coming back from a right knee

injury. In past years, critics noted their lack of depth, but those criticisms are no longer valid with the additions of forwards Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles. Crowder and Ingles both provide more shooting around Antetokounmpo, making it even harder for teams to put multiple defenders on him. The two of them are also good wing defenders, giving the Bucks even more defensive firepower. Again, the Bucks are the favorite because Antetokounmpo is the most dominant player right now. If they are healthy, the Bucks should win the NBA finals.

The Boston Celtics are good enough to win the title. They won 21 of their first 26 games but they lost their momentum throughout the season. The Celtics hit a low point in early March, blowing a 28-point lead against the Brooklyn Nets and shortly thereafter losing to the Houston Rockets (a team that is actively trying to lose). Since that loss, though, the Celtics are 10-3 and are gaining much of that momentum back — possibly ramping up for a deep playoff run. On March 30, a day after inexplicably losing to the Washington Wizards by 20 points, the Celtics defeated the fully healthy Bucks by 41 points, proving they still have the ability to win the championship.

However, Boston’s inconsistencies threaten their championship aspira-

tions. Their heavy reliance on threes brings a shooting variance that can be dangerous. Almost half of their field goal attempts are threes and when they don’t fall, they can’t win. The Celtics shot 33% from three in December 2022. Not coincidentally, they were only 8-6 that month. The Celtics are the only team in the league to rank top five in both offensive and defensive ratings, so the question I have for the Celtics is not whether or not they’re good enough but whether they can sustain that level of greatness for the next six weeks.

The arrow is pointing down for the Philadelphia 76ers. If you’d asked me in January or February, I would’ve said, albeit reluctantly, that the Sixers had a real chance at the title, but I no longer believe that. Center Joel Embiid has had a spectacular season, and with his 52-point performance against the Celtics on April 4, he is the frontrunner for the NBA’s MVP award. Embiid’s running mate, guard James Harden, leads the league in assists. They both have had very good regular seasons, but Embiid has proven that he cannot stay healthy during the playoffs and Harden has become notorious for his consistently underwhelming postseason performances.


Natalie Sa N dlow/Staff Photogra Pher Sophomore infielder Jack Halloran hits a fly ball to left field during a game against Oglethorpe University (Ga.) on Feb. 25. WOMEN’S SERIES NBA
See STANDING, Page 11