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The Emory Wheel Since 1919

Emory University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Volume 102, Issue 1

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Printed every other wednesday

Sorority Members Decry Systemic Failures By Anjali Huynh and Sarah Davis News Editor and Asst. News Editor

A njali Huynh/News Editor

Students carry their belongings into Longstreet-Means Hall on Jan. 23. Some first-year students who learned from home in the fall have arrived at Emory for the first time.

174 New First-Year Residents Move Into Dorms By Claire Fenton Staff Writer

Moving away to start college is often a rite of passage that bonds firstyear students. This year, however, the option to study remotely split the Class of 2024 into two distinct groups: those who lived on campus for the fall semester and those who learned from home. On Jan. 23, the former group expanded as the Atlanta and Oxford

campuses welcomed 174 new firstyears to their residence halls. Despite initial uncertainty about the University’s COVID-19 policies, the relatively low number of on-campus COVID-19 cases in the fall made Chitralekha Yarasani (22Ox) from Edison, New Jersey confident that she would be safe to join the Oxford firstyears this semester. “I got my time at home and I was ready to have a change of scenery,” Yarasani said. “I didn’t want to give [an

in-person experience] up just because I was online.” Singapore native Kayla Kim (24C) said she considers her hometown to be far safer than the United States, so she’s worried about catching COVID19 on campus. However, the 12-hour time difference between Singapore and Atlanta was too disruptive for her to stay home in the spring. “I would have classes in the middle

See STUDENTS, Page 3

The racial reckoning sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May 2020 was the tipping point for dozens of Emory Panhellenic Council (EPC) members to drop. Citing discrimination against minority communities, economic barriers and internal resistance to change, former sorority members told the Wheel that last summer’s revelations follow years of “cognitive dissonance” about being part of Emory’s Greek Life. “I just felt pretty isolated in the sorority because nobody really knew how I was feeling and nobody seemed to really care,” said Krista Delany (23C), a former Black member of Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) who dropped earlier this month. “ADPi would pride itself a lot on being the most diverse sorority on campus but then you’d look around, and there were multiple times where I couldn’t find a brown face in the room.” On Jan. 14, EPC began its first round of 2021 recruitment and experienced a 23% drop in participants:

compared to 2020’s 357 potential new members (PNMs), only 274 individuals rushed in 2021. Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Laura Diamond noted that this drop could have occurred for a number of reasons, including “concerns related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).” As of 2019, 24% of Emory students participated in Greek Life organizations. Discussions about Emory’s Greek Life’s issues spiked after Instagram accounts @blackatemory, @ greeklifeatemory and @abolishemorygreeklife featured anonymous accounts criticizing predominantly white fraternities and sororities. The stories involved a myriad of incidents ranging from discriminatory clothing requirements to tokenizing Black members. This rise in students’ disaffiliation from Emory Greek Life organizations wasn’t an anomaly. Multiple prestigious institutions across the country such as Northwestern University (Ill.) and Duke University (N.C.) experienced similar movements as members

See MEMBERS, Page 3

Emory to Receive $5 Million From Latest Stimulus By Grace Lee Contributing Writer The University will receive about $5 million through the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) passed in late December, according to Vice President of Government and Community Affairs Cameron Taylor. This round of COVID-19 relief requires $4 million of this funding to be distributed to stu-

dents with significant financial need. The office has yet to specify how the remaining $1 million will be allocated. Taylor wrote in a Jan. 22 email to the Wheel that “the timing of Emory’s receipt and subsequent disbursement is not known.” Congress passed the $20.5 billion emergency aid legislation for public and nonprofit colleges and universities on Dec. 21, an increase from the first round of relief packages in March,

which allotted $14 billion through HEERF. The spring CARES Act distributed around $4 million to Emory for emergency financial aid grants to students. The legislation allows institutions to split the funding between “financial aid grants to students, student support activities, and to cover a variety of institutional costs, such as technology costs associated with a transition to distance education and fac-

ulty and staff trainings,” according to a Jan. 14 press release from the U.S. Department of Education. The press release noted that the amount of money allocated to each institution is determined by a “formula” calculated from the number of Pell and non-Pell grant recipients. The Federal Pell grant primarily supports undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students from low-income households through need-based

grants. The legislation also reduces the number of questions asked on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid from 108 to 33 and allows incarcerated people to qualify for Pell Grants. Colleges and universities nationwide continue to face devastating financial challenges during the pandemic, with fewer students living in

See CONGRESS, Page 2

Emory Businesses Board of Trustees Donations Skewed Republican in 2020 Struggle During Pandemic By Layla Wofsy Staff Writer As the pandemic continues into 2021, many businesses across the country are closing, losing revenue and laying off workers. Businesses around Emory are far from immune from those economic pressures, with fewer students around campus. During a typical school year, businesses in Emory Village and Emory Point are usually teeming with students searching for off-campus food and amenities; businesses in both of these locations have fought to stay afloat, and many have succumbed. Restaurants have cut down on staff members and their hours of operation. Additionally, businesses have had to

NEWS Emory Installs

6,530 Solar Panels Across PAGE 4 Campus ... P

By Isaiah Poritz and Ninad Kulkarni Executive Editor and News Editor

prioritize takeout dining over in-person dining or close their doors entirely. Rise-n-Dine, located in Emory Village, permanently closed in November 2020 after the manager realized that the restaurant was too small to have tables that were socially distanced and maintain a safe environment. Lucky’s Burger and Grill in Emory Village and Tin Lizzy’s Cantina in Emory Point permanently closed their locations during the pandemic. “We were lucky enough to be in the position where from the beginning we were putting money inside and that helped us for a while to get through the pandemic, but after a while it was like, ‘Where do we see this going?’ And the

Members of Emory’s Board of Trustees, the highest governing body of the University, gave $225,500 to Republican political campaigns and PACs in the 2020 election, representing 67% of all political donations during the 2020 cycle, Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show. Around $56,000, or 17%, went to Democratic campaigns and PACs and $51,138, or 15%, went to corporate PACs. The Board of Trustees, which currently has 37 members, is composed


See CURRENT, Page 2


The Death Penalty ...

A&E Gorman’s Poem

Highlights Issues of PAGE 6 Inequality ...




Students Share Vaccine Volleyball Coach Bri Jones PAGE 12 Departs Emory ... Back Page Experiences ...



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Emory Wheel

Congress COVID-19 Cases Increase to 35 After Move-In Weekend Expands Pell Grants By Madison Hopkins Staff Writer

Continued from Page 1

dorms and using facilities and dwindling enrollment numbers. Despite anticipation of outbreaks on campuses, some universities invited more students back in the spring, like Emory. Some schools with large endowments such as Harvard University (Mass.), Stanford University (Calif.) and Yale University (Conn.) declined federal funding from the spring CARES Act after receiving criticism from then-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. As of Jan. 25, the Biden administration has included public colleges and universities, as well as minorityserving public and private institutions, in its $35 billion aid package to higher education. An additional $5 billion will be distributed to individual states to spend on educational programs for any age. Emory has received over $200 million in emergency relief funding through 2020, which supports “healthcare and research missions, as well as ... our students in need,” a newsletter from the University’s Government and Community Affairs read.

— Contact Grace Lee at grace.lee4@emory.edu

The University recorded 259 new COVID-19 cases among students, faculty and staff between Dec. 16 and Jan. 21. Since students began moving back into residence halls on Jan. 22, the University has recorded 35 new cases. Of these latest 35 cases, 16 were off-campus students and one was an off-campus staff member. The 10 on-campus staff cases were reported in the Carter Presidential Center, the School of Medicine, 1762 Clifton Road, Whitehead Research Building, the Grace Crum Rollins Building, the Schwartz Center, Facilities Management Building F, the Psychology and Interdisciplinary Sciences Building and Yerkes National Primate Research Center. The eight on-campus student cases were reported in Harris Hall, Clairmont Undergraduate Residential Center, Alabama Hall, Woodruff Residential Center and Raoul Hall. Executive Director of Emory University Student Health Services Sharon Rabinovitz declined to provide the specific number of quarantined and isolated at the Emory Conference Center Hotel from the previous semester. Gathering Risk Meter Inches Closer to Red Emory announced that its “gathering risk meter,” which was at an orange risk level by the end of the fall, has shifted closer to red, in a Jan. 19 student-wide email.

According to Associate Vice President and Executive Director for COVID-19 Response and Recovery Amir St. Clair, several factors, including “community prevalence, hospitalization rates, ICU capacity [and] student infection rates” were considered in the decision to increase the risk level. Emory never reached a red operating status in the fall. The current indication means students should be more “mindful of the environment,” St. Clair said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close, and so we need to change our behavior and adjust some of our restrictions to make sure we don’t get to that red,” he explained. Under the new operating status, in-person offices, classes and labs will continue to be in-person. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed as long as faculty or staff members are present. All recreation centers will be closed and indoor gatherings of any size will not be allowed until Feb. 8. University Increases Weekly Testing Capacity

The University has expanded the number of testing locations and the hours available for appointments. In the spring, students will be able to get tested Monday through Friday at the Woodruff Physical Education Center, the Emory Conference Center Hotel (ECCH), the Student Activity and Academic Center at Clairmont Campus and the Whatcoat Street Building at Oxford.

All weekly screening tests will use a saliva-based method, which produces results in up to 48 hours. Because of the delay, contact tracers will collect information on contacts for the two days prior to the test, as well as the time between the test and the positive result. “Once we have the positive result, the process on our end has not changed,” Rabinovitz said. “So there’s still going to be a very quick turnaround to contact the student [who is] the index case and subsequent contacts.” Emory Student Health Services will also hire more contact tracers for the spring, Rabinovitz said. Unlike the fall, students who are asked to quarantine will only stay in the ECCH for 10 days instead of 14,

assuming they are not symptomatic and did not test positive on either the first or eighth day of their quarantine. Emory is working on a building clearance system to ensure compliance with COVID-related policies and guidelines. Previously, the Emory Forward website displayed information on a passport system that would be implemented in February, but this has since been removed. According to Rabinovitz, the new system, which will apply to both on and off-campus students, will be about “moving the compliance process in a very transparent, consistent and concise way.”

— Contact Madison Hopkins at mhopki6@emory.edu

Current Trustees Donated $2.1 Million to Campaigns, PACs Since 1980s Continued from Page 1 primarily of business executives and lawyers from a range of prominent companies including The CocaCola Company, Ernst and Young, General Electric and BlackRock. Most Board members are alumni or otherwise have strong ties to the University. Tasked broadly with managing the “businesses and affairs of Emory University,” the Board makes many of the University’s most important decisions, from appointing presidents to approving the University’s lines of credit and all matters relating to tuition and fees. The Board approved the reduction of the Student Activity Fee for undergraduate students for the fall semester and came under pressure from law school students over its 3% increase in tuition despite a mostly virtual acaJohn Latham (79L), Partner at Alston & Bird

Courtesy of Emory Photo/Video

demic year. Most of the largest individual donations by Board members in the 2020 cycle went to the campaigns of former Georgia Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and their affiliated PACs. The Republican pair lost to their Democratic challengers in nationally watched runoffs in January. The races determined control of the Senate and collectively were the most expensive Senate races in history. In total, Board members donated $139,800 to Perdue, Loeffler and their related PACs and $2,150 to Senators Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

The heavily Republican donations differ from the political contribution trends among Emory employees, who overwhelmingly favored Ossoff and Warnock. John Latham (79L), an attorney for Alston & Bird, gave the single largest donation of all Board members this cycle: a $50,000 contribution to Perdue’s leadership PAC on Dec. 12, 2020. Latham was also the most prolific donor, giving $112,600 in total, which went to Republican candidates and PACs and Alston & Bird’s PAC. The other top donors on the Board in the 2020 cycle include BlackRock Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income Rick Rieder, who gave $52,708; Aflac Foundation President Kathelen Amos (79C), who gave $40,100; and General Electric Chairman Gas Power John Rice who gave $26,500. Only one Board member, retired Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company Javier Goizueta, contributed to former President Donald J. Trump’s re-election campaign, giving $200 in

September 2020. Top donors to Democratic campaigns and PACs in 2020 were Rieder, who gave $11,900, co-CEO of Central Park Group Mitchell Tanzman (81C), who gave $8,250 and former CEO of BJC Healthcare Steven Lipstein (78C),

Across all available FEC data, current board members gave over $1.4 million to Republican candidates and PACs.

who gave $8,400. Although Chair of the Board Robert Goddard, who is the CEO of Goddard Investment Group, has not made any political donations since 2014, filings show that he gave exclusively to Republican candidates and PACs since 1992. His largest donations include $50,000 to Sen. Mitt Romney’s

(R-UT) 2012 presidential election campaign and $30,800 to the Republican National Committee the same year. Across all available FEC data dating to the 1980s, current Board members gave over $1.4 million to Republican candidates and PACs, $391,000 to corporate PACs and $310,000 to Democratic candidates and PACs. Vice President of Academic Communications and Reputation Leadership Nancy Seideman wrote in a Jan. 26 email to the Wheel that Board members are required to complete annual questionnaires to ensure compliance with Emory’s conflict of interest policy. The Board’s standing committee for Executive Compensation and Trustees’ Conflict of Interest reviewing possible conflicts. “As fiduciaries of the university, they are required to act in good faith and in the best interests of the university, placing its mission and interests above any personal or professional considerations,” the email reads. Seideman did not answer questions

about the partisan leanings of Board member donations. The University’s bylaws state the Board’s Executive Committee, which has 16 members, can exercise the authority of the full Board in the periods between its three annual meetings, barring certain legal circumstances. Board members must be confirmed by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC), a continuation of the University’s association with the church and its predecessor, the Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Four current trustees are members of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the UMC. The Board last elected trustees in March 2020, with two new inductees being members of the UMC.

— Contact Isaiah Poritz and Ninad Kulkarni at iporitz@emory.edu and nkulka7@emory.edu


The Emory Wheel

Members Cite Exclusionary Practices Continued from Page 1 reconciled with the racist and sexist origins of the groups with which they were affiliated. At Vanderbilt University (Tenn.), where the most prominent anti-Greek Life movement took place, over 400 students dropped and called to abolish the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Greek life on campus. As Emory sororities grappled with structural inequalities, Diamond said the Office for Sorority and Fraternity Life (OSFL) implemented initiatives aimed at improving DEI like distributing a climate survey to “assess students’ experiences” and requiring inclusivity training for chapter recruitment chairs and membership coordinators ahead of recruitment. Despite OSFL’s efforts, former members believe attempts to remedy a system built on racism and sexism are futile, saying instead that Emory Greek Life should be abolished. “There are really valuable parts of sororities, but I do believe the whole system — if you have to pay for it, if certain people are excluded — I think that automatically, it’s something that shouldn’t belong on campus ‘cause you’re going to see inequalities,” said Hannah Risman (20Ox, 22C), a former Pi Beta Phi (Pi Phi) member who disaffiliated. As current Greek Life members continue to question their affiliations, the belief among students that Emory Greek Life is less pervasive or harmful than other schools no longer holds true in the Emory community. “I got wrapped up in this idea of like, ‘Emory is not like a state school,’” said Gabriella Lewis (23C), a former Pi Phi member. “Every single person during the rush process said, ‘If I went to [University of Georgia] or any big state school, I would never be rushing.’ And in my opinion, that’s bulls---.” Pi Beta Phi Though nearly every Panhellenic sorority faced criticism on social media, no sorority came under more scrutiny than Pi Phi, who faced backlash after allegations of racism and sexual assault cover-ups against former Chapter President Jessie Michael (20C) surfaced. Following heavy criticism, the sorority took down their Instagram account for part of the summer as members dropped. Former Pi Phi member Tania TrejoMendez (20C) said the sorority’s alumnae network, the executive board and her sisters discriminated against her, causing her to eventually drop. “For recruitment events, I was just really held up [as] someone to show off and someone to talk about how good of an experience I had being a minority woman coming from ‘X’ background or whatever,” Trejo-Mendez said. “Then behind the scenes, … I got really hurtful commentary from alumni, and it was really confusing.” Shortly after joining in the fall of her sophomore year, an older sorority member reported one of TrejoMendez’s Instagram posts to Pi Phi’s conduct committee for being too revealing, despite her saying that white sisters posted similar photos. In a subsequent meeting with an alumna member, Trejo-Mendez said the member “formally harassed” her. “I left the meeting crying,” TrejoMendez said. “She interrogated me about my values. She said that alumni of years past were ashamed of me for that photo; they were ashamed to be

associated with that particular chapter because of that photo. That whole meeting made me feel really awful.” Trejo-Mendez’s story was one of many detailed in a 37-page document obtained by the Wheel that listed grievances and demands for change and received 100 signatures from current and former Pi Phi members. The authors alleged that Pi Phi covered

“I really thought I was going to hell for it ... There’s something really twisted about spending all this time trying to make girls want to be in your house for the sake of saying no.” — Alice Goddard (22C), former ADPi member up cases of sexual assault, allowed homophobic comments to go unpunished and called for the revocation of Michael’s alumna status for her “foul actions and words.” Michael did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. Current Pi Phi president Emily Kerness (21C) wrote in a statement to the Wheel that the sorority prioritizes “ensuring a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive membership and member experience.” “While our chapter over the last year has engaged in difficult conversations and even seen members resign, I am confident the members and leaders of the chapter today are positioned to strengthen our organization,” Kerness wrote. Risman, a signatory of the document, described her experience in Pi Phi as “materialistic,” recalling that members of the sorority prioritized the cosmetics of their social media feed over posting an apology for past racism in a timely manner. “That was the last straw for me because I was so upset,” Risman said. “I was like, ‘You care more about your aesthetics and matching the colors to the filter of the feed than you care about the women of color.’” The recruitment process Coming to Emory, Iris Chen (23C) did not see herself joining Greek Life. However, since many of her friends were, Chen decided to rush out of fear of losing her social life — a decision she said caused her mental health to “crumble” in subsequent months. After multiple sororities dropped her, Chen ultimately quit the recruitment process. “It was just a very clear, public rebuke on someone, and I think that was definitely hard for a lot of people,” Chen said. “I think a lot about what other people think about me, and sorority recruitment was the most insane like, ‘Wow, you do not belong here.’” The rush process consists of several days during which PNMs visit the lodge and have short conversations with members from each organization. As the days progress, each sorority determines which members to keep or drop. Alice Goddard (22C) left ADPi after helping recruit during the 2021 cycle. She said she felt “really awful” judging PNMs off of brief conversations and physical appearances. “I really thought I was going to hell for it,” Goddard said. “There’s some-

thing really twisted about spending all this time trying to make girls want to be in your house for the sake of saying no. … Sororities were supposed to be about supporting women, and it just was the opposite.” Risman called the secretive practices of sororities during recruitment “culty,” saying, “You really just set up a system where you can do anything and not get in trouble for it.” One former Gamma Phi Beta (Gamma Phi) member noted she felt pressured to pursue a certain sorority because it was high-ranking, stating, “I was sad, but thinking back now, I didn’t have a good conversation with anyone in there. It was just my favorite because it was the ‘right one.’” Multiple former members said a sorority’s desirability amid fraternities contributed to the EPC hierarchy, and sororities often continued mixing with fraternities despite them being known for treating women of color poorly. Many also reported that wealth played a role in participating in sororities, considering the cost of items such as purchasing clothes, attending parties and paying dues. Still, current and former members don’t know how to reduce costs, given that national organizations mandate dues. “It just has to cost money,” a current member of Delta Delta Delta said. “That’s the way it’s built, so I’m honestly not sure how you can change that aspect.” Despite feeling “welcomed” by other members upon joining ADPi, Jamie Villalobos (23C), a Black woman, said the lack of diversity was clear. “Being a visibly Black woman, a Hispanic woman, you notice it instantly when ... there aren’t that many people that look like you,” Villalobos said. “I remember the first time walking into chapter, and I looked around and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s only like five.’” Delany echoed Villalobos, noting the lack of representation contributed to pressure to physically conform. “This pressure to appear as Eurocentric as possible … is especially heavily felt when associating with fraternities which are predominantly white,” Delany said. “A lot of women of color in Greek Life aren’t paid attention to in the same way because they don’t meet the standard of what is stereotypically desirable.” Barriers to change Responding to criticism, sororities strove to increase inclusion and accountability. Some, like ADPi, established diversity committees that organized events centering DEI initiatives. Others, like Kappa Alpha Theta (Theta), removed their legacy policy from their recruitment process, which favored women with relatives in sororities and historically hindered women of color. Theta’s recently appointed Chief DEI Officer Wendy Aviles (22C), a Hispanic international student, expressed pride in her chapter’s inclusion efforts, noting the recruitment team worked to ensure inclusivity by collecting and discussing diversity numbers after each recruitment round. Aviles reported that 24% of their first-year class were women of color. “We wanted transparency and we didn’t have the structure to talk about these things or to even engage in these conversations really,” Aviles said. “I was impressed by how engaged the girls were.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Students Excited, Nervous for Campus Life Continued from Page 1 of the night,” Kim said. “That was definitely really challenging and I felt like it did impact my grades. I still did pretty well, but I would have done better if I had actually gotten sleep and not stayed up for a class or an exam.” Kim hopes to integrate into Emory’s social scene as a new sorority member. She also became close with a few people over social media within the past few months and is eager to meet them in person. Denver native Will Kerscher (24C) said he was able to form Emory friendships despite living two time zones away. A member of the varsity swim team, Kerscher stayed in touch with his first-year teammates on campus even though he trained from home. “With athletics up in the air, I had guaranteed training at home,” Kerscher said. “It was kind of unsure what we were going to do training-wise here [in Atlanta]. So, just talking with my coaches, [we] decided that was the best option.” Like Kerscher, LuLu Scully (24C), who moved into Smith Hall at Oxford College for the first time, found a tight-knit community in her virtual music department classes in the fall and bonded with other students also specializing in vocal performance. However, as a self-proclaimed introvert, she expressed trepidation about initiating conversations and meeting new people. “I think I’m fairly nervous, a healthy amount of nervous,” Scully said. “I do like being by myself, which is a good thing, but when you’re ... not even living with family or anything, it’s important to try and put yourself out there.” Yarasani also expressed anxiety Villalobos, a former member of ADPi’s DEI task force, applauded her chapter’s efforts to “acknowledge and address that Greek Life is literally inherently racist.” She cited the committee’s role in planning events at which sisters discussed not mixing with certain fraternities or hosted speakers discussing DEI efforts. Delany, who also served on the committee, was comparatively disappointed by the lack of effort from white sorority members, stating “the people who needed to be doing the least amount of work were putting in the most.” “Everyone was posting on social media saying that they want to take action and make a change,” Aviles said. “Then we created this council, and no one really applied. That was just disappointing because it was the perfect opportunity for people to put their words into action, and that didn’t really happen.” Structural changes, such as redirecting sorority dues, met resistance from national organizations, which hold considerable control over local chapters in procedures ranging from recruitment procedures to chapter probation periods. A portion of sorority and fraternity dues go towards the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (PAC), a super PAC that has historically donated more to Republican candidates than Democratic ones. The PAC donated $10,000 to former Senators David Perdue (D-Ga.) and Kelly Loeffler (D-Ga.), according to Open Secrets. Villalobos and Goddard both said

about being a newcomer but is thrilled to finally experience the Oxford community firsthand. “I’m a little nervous just because I know people already have some friend groups made, but at the same time everyone seems really welcoming at Oxford,” Yarasani said. “Everyone’s just so nice and they want to get to know you.” While Kim previously visited Emory, she said adjusting to campus life while trying to stay safe has been “difficult,” especially because she is still finding her place at Emory. “It’s definitely been hard and I definitely feel homesick,” Kim said. “It’s still really hard because everybody has their own groups. Finding a place where I officially and fully belong to is kind of stressful.” Kerscher also noticed the social divide and is thankful he does not have to navigate established friend groups. “Honestly, I can imagine it would be really tough to not be a part of the swim team and come in this semester,” Kersher said. “There’s definitely some social groups that have formed, so there’s less of that outreach.” Last semester, virtual learning was draining and isolating for remote students left out of Emory’s social scene. While campus activity is subdued and academic life is less vibrant, Scully insisted she welcomes the chance to be closer to the Emory community, no matter how limited. “I came in with very low expectations,” Scully said. “Last semester was kind of sucky, so anything was better than. I’m kind of just ready to try something new.”

— Contact Claire Fenton at claire.fenton@emory.edu they were incentivized to drop ADPi upon learning that their money went toward political groups and figures they opposed. “Your chapter can be a great chapter and do all the work to try and break down these systems, but then your money is still going towards oppression in a different way,” Villalobos said. Subsequently, some Emory sororities like Kappa Kappa Gamma and ADPi considered disbanding altogether but were deterred after conversations with national organizations. Grace Church (23C), a member of Theta who considered dropping last summer, noted the movement reminded her how “problematic these organizations can be” and that more needs to be done to “make our campus a more inclusive space.” “There’s only so much that can be done within Greek Life organizations to promote diversity and inclusion,” Church said. “At the end of the day, Greek Life was made to favor wealthier and whiter groups of students.” Editor’s note: Editor-in-Chief Madison Bober, Executive Editor Isaiah Poritz and Multimedia Editor Gabriella Lewis are former members of Greek Life. Managing Editors Ryan Callahan and Caroline Silva are current members of Greek Life. None were involved in writing and editing this story.

— Contact Anjali Huynh and Sarah Davis at alhuynh@emory.edu and sgdavi4@emory.edu



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Emory Wheel

In Remembrance In a year of untold loss, the Wheel is providing Emory community members the opportunity to memorialize victims of COVID-19. If you would like to share the story of a loved one who has died from the virus, please email us at emorywheelexec@gmail.com.

Howard Worley Jr. The man known for his infectious laughter and by his many

Noor Mohal Begum On Jan. 2, my grandmother, Noor Mohal Begum lost her life to COVID-19. She leaves behind five children and nine grandchildren. My grandmother was a teacher, dedicating her life to the belief that anyone and everyone deserved an education. She inspired generations of students to pursue any career they could imagine, includ-

ing her children and now her grandchildren. She encouraged my cousins and I to reach for the stars, inspiring us to want to be doctors, engineers, lawyers, and pilots. It can happen to anyone and everyone. A virus that doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done with your life.

names, “Howard, Pops, Joe, Woo, Tulsa’s Jewelry Man,” was

A virus that doesn’t care how young or old you are. I watched my grandmother pass away through a screen, unable to even attend her funeral due to travel restrictions. Please, wear a mask, social distance, and act responsibly. Every life lost is one too many. - Jareer Imran (24C)

reunited with our beloved Grandma Gigi in late November. The first holiday season without him was extremely difficult, but hearing stories about his selflessness and his lighthearted presence helped to soothe the heartache. He was so loved by everyone around him and will leave a large impression in so many. We will love and miss him forever! - Ava Kirchmer (23C)

Mental Health Research at Emory The Mental Health and Development Program at Emory is enrolling participants, between the ages of 12 and 30, for an NIMH project on factors that contribute to risk for mental illness. Individuals who are experiencing a decline in functioning and other symptoms (e g., social isolation, unusual thoughts/ perceptions, suspiciousness) may be eligible for an assessment that includes diagnostic and neuropsychological evaluations, all conducted at Emory. Participants are compensated for their time and, if requested, test results can be provided to treatment providers. For further information, contact Elaine Walker, Ph.D. at psyefw@emory.edu or contact the Mental Health and Development Program at (404) 727-7547 or mentalhealth.research@emory.edu.

Courtesy of Emory Photo

Emory collaborated with Cherry Street Energy to install solar panels on Fishburne parking deck (above), 1599 Clifton Road and Gambrell Hall.

Emory Installs 6,530 Solar Panels By Ulia Ahn Staff Writer

Within the past year, Emory has installed 6,530 solar panels atop eight buildings and parking decks as part of a sustainability initiative to transition 10% of campus energy sources to renewable energy by 2025. In the first phase, three sets of panels were installed and connected to the Georgia Power grid on 1599 Clifton Road, Fishburne parking deck and Gambrell Hall. The project, in collaboration with energy company Cherry Street Energy, will install 15,000 panels across 15 buildings by 2025. Cherry Street will pay for the panels and their installation, supported by tax incentives, and will have control over maintaining the panels for 20 years. “I think when students come back they’ll be really excited because it’s pretty transformational,” Director of Sustainability Initiatives Ciannat Howett (87C) said. “Despite the financial crisis, we were able to move ahead.” Emory hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 4,300 met-

ric tons to comply with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which stipulates a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Howett said that Emory is on track to reach that goal by 2030. “We have so many exciting sustainability vision goals. Our big hard goal is greenhouse gas reduction,” Howett said. “We just completed our latest greenhouse gas emission inventory and we found that we’re at 31% reduction. We think we can get to 45% by 2030.” Unlike other projects halted by the pandemic, Cherry Street Energy was able to continue the solar panel installations. Howett called this the “silver lining” of Emory’s reduced campus capacity. “By having a reduced occupancy on campus, it enabled us to perform the construction on some of the parking decks because they were not at full capacity,” Howett said. “We didn’t see delays.” Howett said Cherry Street Energy also deliberately sought out workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic through a program called Shine On, which aims to provide occupa-

tional training to “displaced workers” and establish careers to support local residents. The Office of Sustainability Initiatives aims to complete many projects like the solar panel installations by 2025. Some collaborations include solar micro-grids on the Health Sciences Research Building and better pedestrian and bike path lines with the Path Foundation. Most recently, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded the University a $298,502 grant for an anaerobic digester, a process that breaks down food waste into energy. Howett also noted that the Office of Sustainability Initiatives is collaborating with other campus offices like the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to incorporate racial justice initiatives within their work. “We’ve really embraced and framed our work around these goals that form a bridge between social justice and equity concerns with traditional environmental impact,” Howett said.

— Contact Ulia Ahn at usahn@emory.edu


The Emory Wheel

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Restaurants, Salons Restructure Business Models

Continued from Page 1

answer to that question was constantly not to a place that would support inside business for a long time,” Rise-n-Dine manager George Basco said. In October 2020, the Georgia Restaurant Association found about 12% of Georgia restaurants have permanently closed since the pandemic started and predicted the number will increase to 30% within the upcoming months. Unlike Rise-n-Dine, the General Muir, a deli located in Emory Point, has managed to remain open following a five-month closure from April to mid-August. Jennifer Johnson, one of the owners of the establishment, said the restaurant chose to restrict operations to takeout and deliveries until they felt comfortable opening up for in-person dining. Johnson described the General Muir as thriving prior to the pandemic, but once the virus began to spread, business quickly decreased by 70%. Tables on the patio and sidewalk have more than 50% of total seating. Prior to the pandemic, however, outdoor seating made up only 25% of that total. “We are now still down 50% but that is not a sustainable decrease in business,” Johnson explained. Rich Chey, owner of Dragon Bowl in Emory Village, explained that in a normal semester, students, staff and faculty make up at least half of their revenue. “When Emory did not come back in session, we lost all of our student busi-

ness,” Chey said. “We are used to that for the 10 to 12 weeks of summer that we don’t have students, but this time, not only did we not have students but we did not have faculty or staff.” Additionally, Chey reformatted Dragon Bowl to only allow takeout orders and opened up their patio space for those who wanted to eat their takeout outside. When the weather became colder, the restaurant opened up five tables inside, spread out, for people to eat their to-go food inside. Cyrus Vaqar, head stylist at Emily J Salon at Emory Point, discussed how prior to the pandemic the business was outperforming the past six years that it had been open. However, this drastically changed once the pandemic hit. “Our big clientele was CDC people and Emory students, and right now, they are both not here, so we want to market to different clientele right now,” Vaqar said. The manager of the salon, Kristin Aschermann, explained that the business was booked out weeks and months in advance. Now it is trying to relaunch with new marketing tools and new promotions for students and people who live around the area, to help keep revamping the clientele. “We are bringing on new marketing ideas, using social media more, … thinking of different ways to bring clients in and of course keep everyone healthy and safe,” Aschermann said. All clients and employees are required to wear masks in the salon, they sanitize in between services and

have utilized the upstairs and downstairs spaces in the salon in order to space out the styling stations. After the pandemic began, the General Muir created an online ordering and delivery service option. Despite the economic downturn, Johnson explained that restructuring their restaurant model allowed her to take a step back and reexamine the pay structure for all employees. “We have gone to a structure that is more equitable, more fair, everyone gets paid a minimum wage … plus all of the gratuities are divided among all non-managers,” Johnson said. “It was a change unrelated to the pandemic but something good that came out of this.” Tipped employee minimum wage under Georgia law is $2.13 per hour; however, employers must make up the difference if an employee’s tips are not enough to get them to the federal minimum wage during a pay period, which is $7.25 per hour. The General Muir believed that the tip-based system was unfair, since only wait staff were receiving tips from customers, even though they would not be able to do their job without those working in the kitchen. Wagaya, a popular sushi restaurant in Emory Village, stopped serving lunch Monday through Thursday. Founder and owner Takashi Otsuka explained that the change in hours necessitated fewer staff members, which made the situation even more difficult.

Experts Talk State-Level Advocacy By Caelan Bailey Staff Writer An advocacy webinar focusing on lobbying state legislatures closed out Emory’s first day of online King Week programming, with panelists discussing how to leverage expertise in statelevel policy change. The Emory Alumni Association and the Office of Government and Community Affairs partnered to host the event, with Assistant Vice President of State Affairs Kallarin Mackey (19B) moderating. “We’re lifting a little bit of the mystique here in terms of the legislative process and what it really means to be involved,” Mackey said. “I’m so excited by the conversation because these are real world steps you can take.” Panelists included Georgia State Rep. Jasmine Clark (D-108) (13G), Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs for Emory’s Department of Neurology Gregory Esper (09B) and Director of State Affairs Hillary Thrower. The virtual event drew 67 attendees. Panelists focused on how to influence policy in state legislatures from the perspectives of lawmakers, subject matter experts and professional lobbyists. They broke the lobbying process into four steps: prepare, build relationships, advocate and follow-up. Since Georgia state lawmakers earn a part-time salary with no budget to hire staffers, Clark explained that lawmakers are expected to juggle a range of issues relevant to their district, typically while working a second job. “Think, for your issue, that you are following … we are expected to know that about 25 to 30 issues,” Clark said. “And so we actually do lean on our advocates and even lobbyists to really help keep us in the loop on what’s going on with legislation.” Esper, who lobbies to advance Emory Healthcare interests in partnership with Emory State Affairs rep-

Ayushi Agarwal/Managing Editor

Lucky’s Burger & Brew and Rise-n-Dine in Emory Village closed permanently in May and October 2020, respectively. “[It is challenging] not being able to bring back the same amount of employees, some begged me for more hours, but it gets to the point where the business is not making enough money or there is no point of opening,” Otsuka said. “I wanted to stay open for lunch so people could work and I could pay for them, but you get to the point where you just don’t make money, rather you are losing money.” However, Ostuska acknowledged that his restaurant has been somewhat successful with takeout orders. “For some concepts, like hibachi or Korean barbecue, they just could not adjust to takeout style, but we are one of the lucky ones where sushi is suitable for takeout,” Ostuska said. “It is something that people cannot cook at home and it doesn’t get cold.” Many Village and Point business owners still hold out hope for their

businesses — even those who have closed their doors. “There are going to be so many restaurants that shut down and so much commercial space that is available, that when things do get to a point where it’s possible to open and feel reasonably safe for people, we should be able to do it,” Basco said. The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has some business owners feeling even more optimistic that eventually business will return to normal. “We hope that with the roll-out of the vaccine that people will start to feel a little safer coming to restaurants and public spaces,” Chey said. “Then perhaps we will start seeing more customers.”

— Contact Layla Wofsy at lwofsy@emory.edu


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From top to bottom: Hillary Thrower, Kallarin Mackey, Gregory Esper and State Rep. Jasmine Clark. resentatives like Thrower and Mackey, added, “I consider myself as one of the staffers.” When preparing to lobby lawmakers, Esper prioritizes a strong understanding of legislators’ individual priorities and others’ opposing views. He works to summarize dense, jargonfilled research into easily digestible fact sheets and talking points. Panelists emphasized the importance of building advocacy on a basis of trust, developing relationships with representatives throughout legislative sessions and long before an intended piece of legislation makes its way to debate on the floor. “The real opportunities to stop a bad bill or to push forward a good bill or to make changes to make a bill better happen in committee,” Clark said. Advocates should focus efforts on their representatives and the committee leaders specific to their subject. During a first meeting with a lawmaker, rather than presenting a specific “ask” like support for a bill, advocates should introduce themselves on a personal level and give an overview of the organization they’re associated with, if any, Clark said. During the

pandemic, Clark said 30-minute Zoom calls are the perfect medium for such introductions. Advocates should then consistently work to build a relationship with lawmakers, Esper said. He emphasized that advocacy happens on legislators’ terms, so he’s readily available to answer calls and listen to lawmakers. “You’re going to find yourself in a position in which a sentence, a line, a paragraph, your elevator speech can make all the difference in the world,” Esper said. Panelists said it’s essential to follow up with legislators, whether through a thank you note, a brochure with contact information or an email. Clark said she prefers searching past emails with issue-specific subject lines to easily reconnect with an advocate. “This is the step that’s the easiest to do but most often the one that’s forgotten. And it’s the most important,” Thrower said.

— Contact Caelan Bailey at cjbail3@emory.edu

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The Emory Wheel Volume 102, Issue 1 © 2021 The Emory Wheel Alumni Memorial University Center, Room 401 630 Means Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30322 Business (404) 727-6178 Editor-in-Chief Madison Bober madison.bober@emory.edu

Founded in 1919, The Emory Wheel is the financially and editorially independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University in Atlanta. The Wheel is a member publication of Media Council, Emory’s organization of student publications. The Wheel reserves the rights to all content as it appears in these pages, and permission to reproduce material must be granted by the editor-in-chief. The statements and opinions expressed in the Wheel are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Wheel Editorial Board or of Emory University, its faculty, staff or administration. The Wheel is also available online at www.emorywheel.com.

The Emory Wheel


Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Opinion Editors: Ben Thomas (ben.thomas@emory.edu) & Brammhi Balarajan (bbalara@emory.edu)


Abolish the Death Penalty This article contains mentions of sexual assault, torture and death. In October 2007, Lisa Montgomery became the third woman sentenced to death for the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnet and the forced removal of Stinnet’s unborn child. On Jan. 13, Montgomery was executed by the Trump administration. After a nearly two-decade hiatus, the federal government began executing individuals in July. Within the last six months, 13 people have been executed — three times as many people than in the past 60 years. The resurgence of capital punishment is alarming and warrants signifcant reconsideration. Montogomery’s case was unusual and complicated. She was the first woman to be executed in the United States since 1953, and her childhood, plagued with years of torture at the hands of caregivers, led to brain damage and untreated mental illness. In the months before her execution, Montgomery could only function with “a complex cocktail of psychotropic medications to maintain contact with reality.” According to Montgomery’s lawyers, the government refused to “bear some culpability for her crime given its abject failure...to protect her from severe child abuse and sexual violence.” The federal executions of Montgomery and so many others in recent months should be a wake-up call to all Americans — the death penalty must be outlawed to prevent future administrations from ever sinking to Trump’s level. Capital punishment is immoral and racist, and it must end once and for all. Public approval of the death penalty has steadily decreased over the past 50 years, both in the U.S. and worldwide. The death penalty is currently out-

lawed in 22 states and 106 countries, and yet it still remains legal for the federal government. In executing its own citizens, the U.S. is a geopolitical pariah and subverts the will of its own people. As with many facets of the U.S. justice system, the administration of the death penalty is racially asymmetrical. More defendants who are convicted of killing white victims are executed than those convicted of killing victims of color. Black defendants are dispropor-

Frequently, defendants have to choose between spending the rest of their lives in prison or risking death for crimes they didn’t even commit. tionately sentenced to death row; Black Americans make up 13.4% of the U.S. population but 42% of death row inmates. Six of the 13 inmates executed under Trump were Black. Ending the death penalty means ending its racist influence on our criminal justice system. Frequently, defendants have to choose between spending the rest of their lives in prison or risking death for crimes they didn’t even commit. Prosecutors have sole authority over the decision to pursue the death penalty in murder trials. As a result, they use capital punishment as a bargaining tool to resolve cases without going to trial, which often forces defendants to take wildly unfavorable plea bargains.

The most substantial argument in favor of the death penalty is that it gives the victim’s family closure and vindication to move on from the tragedy. But revenge is less of a panacea than a band-aid. In fact, research suggests it consistently interferes with family members’ long-term healing. Others see the death penalty as a way to deter more violence. But countries that have banned the death penalty in recent years have experienced declines in murder and crime rates. In the U.S., too, states that have abolished the death penalty have not seen statistically significant increases in crime. Lisa Montgomery’s execution, complicated and criticized, lays bare the moral bankruptcy of capital punishment. The death penalty is a violent action that lacks moral justification and understanding of mental illness. The U.S. justice system completely misunderstood how violence and trauma affect the brain and behavior in Montgomery’s case, and it must be stopped from ever doing so again. In the past, elected officials who oppose the death penalty have contented themselves with simply choosing not to use it. But the Trump administration’s flurry of executions after a 17-year hiatus shows that we cannot trust future generations to stay away. It’s time to legislate an end to capital punishment in the U.S. By calling your representative, learning about the executed and having difficult conversations about it with those close to you, you can help make that happen. All of us must hold the death penalty accountable for what it is: a cruel punishment devoid of empathy for human life.

The above editorials represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s Editorial Board. The Editorial Board is composed of Sahar Al-Gazzali, Brammhi Balarajan, Viviana Barreto, Rachel Broun, Jake Busch, Sara Khan, Sophia Ling, Martin Li, Demetrios Mammas, Meredith McKelvey, Sara Perez, Ben Thomas, Leah Woldai, Lynnea Zhang and Yun Zhu.

Emory, Go Test-Optional On Jan. 19, the College Board temporarily scrapped SAT subject tests and the SAT essay portion due to the ongoing pandemic. Over this past year, COVID-19 has forced American higher education to reconsider the role of standardized testing in college admissions. Accordingly, many universities, Emory among them, decided to go test-optional last year, temporarily allowing applicants to not send in SAT or ACT scores. While Emory went test-optional for just one year, given the inequities of standardized testing, admissions should permanently implement a test-optional policy to increase equitable access to higher education. Emory and dozens of other schools recognized that during the pandemic, prospective applicants might face myriad obstacles that would hinder access to testing. But standardized tests didn’t become inequitable when COVID-19 struck; they have always disadvantaged those with less means. It is no secret that students from wealthier families tend to score higher on the SAT. They can afford to study more, retake tests and hire tutors. Additionally, affluent students are more likely to get 504 designations, accommodations typically offered to students with anxiety or ADHD that provide the additional time or private space necessary to be on an even playing field with neurotypical students. Low-income students are less likely to receive these measures. Instead of assessing academic ability as they purport to do, the SAT and ACT, the other dominating college admissions exam, largely measure access to these opportunities and resources. Taken together, standardized testing is a poor way to measure scholastic aptitude, as scores are often products of socioeconomic conditions rather than intelligence. Making the SAT and ACT optional is necessary to make college admissions more equitable. A study of more than 33 testoptional colleges found that minorities, women, Pell Grant recipients and disabled students were more likely to withhold their test scores if given the chance. Emory going test-

optional helps these students out by giving them the freedom to choose, and it helps Emory: one study found that schools that go test-optional can yield a higher overall number of applications and a higher proportion of enrolled low-income students. However, making standardized tests optional will not solve all of the college admissions system’s inherent problems. Being born wealthy enables future success in many more ways than overperformance on tests. America’s socioeconomically disadvantaged are set up to fail, and this inequity has no easy solution. Emory going test-optional won’t cure this disease, but at the very least, it mitigates the flaws of an inequitable system. As such, Emory must actively limit their influence in admissions. According to Dean of Admissions John Latting, Early Decision I applicants last fall who submitted test scores held a slight advantage over those who did not. This should not be the case. If simply going test-optional does not yield meaningful increases in accessibility or equity, as Emory’s results and research suggest, Emory should prevent admissions staff from impairing those who choose not to send their scores. Otherwise, the decision will prove performative. Just as the wealthy adjusted to standardized testing by paying for preparation and retaking tests, they will find other ways to gain advantages through grades, extracurriculars and internships by virtue of nothing but their parents’ affluence. The legacy system, which preferences applicants whose parents attended the university in question, and the absurdly high cost of a college education are probably not going anywhere soon. Going test-optional indefinitely, clearly, will be no panacea. But it would be a major step toward remaking Emory in the equitable, accessible image to which it aspires.If Emory admissions officers truly wish to build a diverse, groundbreaking class of students, they should evaluate how the standardized testing requirement reinforces class and race inequities. If not, they’ll continue to miss out on exceptional students and remain forever ranked 21.

The Emory Wheel Volume 102 | Number 1

Madison Bober editor-iN-chief Isaiah Poritz executive editor Ayushi Agarwal MaNagiNg editor Ryan Callahan MaNagiNg editor Caroline Silva MaNagiNg editor Rhea Gupta diverSity aNd iNcluSioN editor Jacqueline Ma Copy Chief Ninad Kulkarni News Editor Anjali Huynh News Editor Ben Thomas Opinion Editor Brammhi Balarajan Opinion Editor Angela Tang Emory Life Editor Jessica Solomon Sports Editor Forrest Martin Photo Editor Jackson Schneider Photo Editor Cailen Chinn Chief of Digital Media

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The Emory Wheel

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Emory Should Offer Online Classes After COVID-19 Ben Thomas If the backlash against remote learning after COVID-19 forced most Emory classes online last March is any indication, students hate virtual classes. And with good reason. As one of the Wheel’s opinion editors, I’ve edited article after article lambasting online education’s pedagogical inefficiency, vulnerability to cheating and inequity for international and low-income students. All of those criticisms and more are completely justified. But I’m not sure that they’re the whole story. My last semester, hard as it was, convinced me that the evils of remote learning are not absolute. In the fall, I enrolled in 20 credit hours, worked at the Wheel and managed a busy schedule of other commitments. Balancing all of that with my health and social life was difficult, but because of, not despite, the fact that all of my classes were online, it was not impossible. I doubt I’m the only one for whom that was true. Online classes’ suit-

ability for those who learn well independently and need flexible schedules will not change once COVID-19 fades from view. For those reasons, Emory should continue to offer a robust array of online courses after the pandemic ends. Had all of my classes been in person in the fall, managing everything would have been crushingly difficult. But this spring, in addition to similar commitments and another 20 credit hours of classes, I’m also interning for 25 hours each week. Had I not been a fully remote student, this would have been impossible. Because I don’t have to spend time commuting to and from my classes, internship or clubs, I can prioritize everything I’m involved in and finish my asynchronous work whenever I find it most convenient. That flexibility lets me learn independently and at my own pace, which I find much more effective than the alternative in some cases. Most importantly, I can make room for the people and things I love without quitting anything. For me, online classes’ flexibility

has been a boon. For others, it may be a necessity. I didn’t need to find an internship this semester or work at the Wheel to survive, but many lowincome students do need to balance part-time, even full-time, jobs with their coursework to support themselves. I didn’t need to take 20 credit hours this spring, but many students might want to save tens of thousands of dollars by taking lots of classes to graduate earlier. In such cases, online classes could actually improve access to an Emory education — including the accompanying social scene, clubs, research opportunities and internships — for those of lower socioeconomic standing. To be clear, I do not believe that Zoom classrooms outperform physical ones. As soon as the state of COVID-19 enables Emory to do so safely, administrators should return to a full slate of in-person classes and welcome as many students back to residence halls as possible. For most students, in-person classes are vastly superior; seminar discussions are more lively, remaining focused is easier and building rela-

It’s Not on Black Women to Save You Rachel Broun In becoming the 49th Vice President of the U.S., Kamala Harris gave away the only Senate seat held by an African American woman in the Senate. Cori Bush, an African American woman and freshman member of the House of Representatives, tweeted, “Black women shouldn’t have to sacrifice our representation at one table to have a seat at another.” While historic, her victory will do little to increase opportunities for Black women within elected office, instead, she was forced to forgo her power in one arena for another. Despite making history as the first Black and South Asian female vice president, Harris is only one person. She shouldn’t be the sole figure representing Black women in higher office. While Black women continuously drive out voting efforts, their representation across Congress is severely lacking and disproportional. Despite being hailed as the saviors of recent elections by Democrats, Black women are still failing to receive adequate representation in Congress. Harris was only the second Black female senator, with the first being Carol Mosely-Braun who served one term as Illinois’ senator from 1993-1997. After narrowly losing the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race Stacy Abrams’ has centered her work around voting rights in Georgia. She created First Fight, an organization dedicated to the protection of voters rights, Abrams cemented herself as an advocate for all voters. Her work has consistently demonstrated her electoral abilities and dedication to democracy. She worked tirelessly the past two years and has helped to register over 800,000 voters throughout her campaign to end voter suppression. But even then, she does not hold political office and it is unclear as to when she will rise up to the position she deserves. Black women continue to fight to end inequality through voting campaigns and advocacy, yet are left to wait for their place within government to materialize. Without numerous legislative positions, Black women’s issues are poised to be left behind and ignored until they are able to advocate for these issues themselves. The traditional Black Proverb stated in many households, “In America, you

have to work twice as hard to get half as much,” rings true of the increased effort Black women must put into every facet of their campaigns if they dream of achieving officing. Black women continue to be left behind, even when they put substantial effort in the seeds of injustice continue to be sown across the U.S. Placed at a difficult cross section, women of color, especially Black women, within politics have to navigate the intersection of their identities in nuanced ways. In U.S. politics, racial minorities tend to be men while the women in politics tend to be white women. There has been little room for the intersection of identities due to preconceived notions of how minorities should look in politics. They must navigate preconceived ideas of minority representation in politics from the moment they begin their campaigns, fighting against racism and sexism, more than their traditionally male or white counterparts. Without having With few Black women in Congressional office, the battle for representation has become more pressing than ever. Before she could be sworn in, Harris resigned from her position in the Senate. To replace Harris, Gov. Gavin Newsom (Calif.) appointed Alex Padilla, who became the first Latino senator from California in a state that is 39% Latino. Though the appointment was an important step toward equal representation for California, it came at a cost of another minority group’s representation. Different minority groups across California such as Black Women United and Equality California lobbied for different choices to fill Harris’ seat. Equity California lobbied for Robert Garcia, the Latino and openly gay mayor of Long Beach. Black Women United advocated for the appointment of Representative Karen Bass or Representative Barbra Lee, both seasoned Black female lawmakers to fill the position and maintain the representation for Black women in the Senate. Minority populations should not be pitted against each other in the quest for representation. These disagreements, often within the Democratic party, sow division, instead of unifying the party behind a new leader. Instead of focusing on

party growth, Democrats engage in representation squabbles, with race becoming a defining factor in who is appointed. Identity politics have infiltrated throughout different aspects of the political spectrum, and without engaging in substantive representation, these squabbles detract from important issues and lead to identity politics becoming the focus of the legislature, rather than considerable and progressive legislation being offered which benefits the country as a whole. If numerous minorities gain office in the Senate, losing one won’t spark division among others. While the racial and gender makeup of Congress continues to diversify, Black women, and all women of color, deserve greater representation. Though the 116th Congress was the most diverse since 1930, it still fails to mirror the population distribution of U.S. Since 1789, there have been over 11,000 representatives in Congress, yet only fifty of those representatives have been Black women. Black women are drastically underrepresented in Congress and across statewide positions. Black women’s issues don’t end with Vice President Harris. Black women have to face a maternal mortality rate three times worse than white women, a criminal justice system which disproportionately persecutes and prosecutes us and police brutality throughout America. These are only few of the myriad issues Black women are facing, and yet there is no one in the Senate to address these issues. Because of the lack of representation within the Senate, no one is consciously and actively advocating for Black women the way they should. Black mothers and girls deserve a voice in the Senate to tackle pressing legislative matters. No one is showing up for Black women like they showed up for the rest of America. With the 2022 midterms in mind, remember Black women and their contributions. Remember their work in remedying the injustices of our nation. Remember their lack of representation in Congress, especially in the Senate. Remember the centuries of America built off their unpaid labor. Remember Black women and vote for Black women. Rachel Broun (23C) is from Carrboro, North Carolina.

tionships with professors, teaching assistants and students is much more effective. Since in-person classes require no extra technology and all students take them in the same quiet, controlled environment, they are also more equitable. Almost universally, they are superior to their online counterparts. Given the chance during a normal semester, I would probably take a mix of both. But there is no reason why Emory cannot offer both. Even in public elementary, middle and high schools, teachers have begun to include virtual students in physical classes to great success. Emory professors could do the same. Popular classes could offer both in-person and synchronous online sections; one of my professors from last semester, Assistant Professor of Religion Ellen Gough, did so to great effect for an introductory religion course. Teaching assistants or graduate students could help run special, asynchronous online sections of otherwise in-person classes for international stu-

dents in different time zones. Emory already offered some online classes before COVID-19 struck, and thanks to the last year of online education, most faculty have experience running online classes. The infrastructure and expertise necessary to give students more online options in the future exist — all that remains is to use them. The last 10 months have taught us that offering a predominantly remote slate of classes is a poor institutional choice. In some cases, choosing a virtual course over an in-person one is a poor personal one, too. But at the end of the day, it should still be a choice. No one student’s needs correspond exactly to those of any other, and ensuring that as many are met as possible is Emory’s responsibility. Since Emory charges each of us over $60,000 every year to use its resources and learn in its classrooms (and Zoom rooms), the least administrators could do is allow us to make the best of it. Ben Thomas (23C) is from Dayton, Ohio.

The Capitol Riot’s Imperialist Legacy Sara Perez Following the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, all I saw highlighted on social media was, “this is not America.” World leaders and politicians sympathized with the U.S. and condemned the fatal storming of the U.S. capitol. Perhaps not surprisingly, though, this was not the first attempted coup by a U.S. President — It was just the first one on U.S. soil. The demonstration organized by Trump supporters is a representation of a history-long subversion of democracy exercised by the U.S. government. Trump changed the norms of our society with his lack of deniability and blatant instigations of white supremacy and violence. He shamelessly incited his supporters with the false accusation that the election was ‘stolen,’ claiming that he had actually won. Most notably so, Trump was simultaneously challenging the U.S. democratic election process. However, we must look further than simply Donald Trump and his failed presidency — the imperialist nature of America exemplifies that this coup was rather usual. The U.S. government has been organizing coups – the sudden and irregular removal of executive authority – to undermine democracy in Latin America for decades, often to protect commercial interests or sabotage left-wing politicians. The events of Jan. 6 should remind us that the U.S. has been a perpetrator of colonialism, imperialism and military action for decades. In no way do I mean to minimize the white supremacist and fascist ideologies that pervaded the streets of Washington D.C. But, with Trump’s recent attempted coup, we must criticize the U.S. government for doing the same horrific actions, or worse, to nations abroad. For instance, in 1954, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) launched a coup to overthrow the democratic government in Guatemala. Its left-wing president Jacobo Arbenz was removed to be replaced by a military cabinet leading the country into decades of violence. Between 1954 and 1990, approximately 100,000 civilians were killed merely to protect the particularistic interests and profits of the United Fruit Company. These actions were authorized by

Former President Dwight Eisenhower and, as a product, thousands of Guatemalans lost their lives at the expense of a growing corporation. The list of U.S. interventionism remains extensive. Former President Richard Nixon continued the same path during his office. In 1973, the CIA instigated a coup to overthrow Salvador Allende, Chile’s and Latin America’s first Marxist democratically-elected president. Allende was replaced by the 17-year dictatorship held by General Augusto Pinochet. Famously, the Raegan administration covertly backed the Contras in Nicaragua to overthrow the leftist Sandinista regime. The U.S. government has subverted Latin American leadership for too long, all in the name of restoring democracy, and now it has reached domestic soil. In all the above instances, as well the Capitol attempt coup, the U.S. government – presidents particularly – aim for deniability. Everything seems to somehow fall into place to favor the high level of government and private corporations. For instance, following Guatemala’s 1954 coup to protect the United Fruit Company, the U.S opted for their historical “we can neither confirm nor deny” stance. It wasn’t until 1997 that the CIA released several records revealing the U.S’s involvement in the coup. Most of the time the public depends on speculation and biased witnesses alone making plausible deniability the U.S government loophole. Latin America has struggled to end violence and instability for too long. The violence and chaos we witnessed outside the Capitol is a long-overdue wakeup call on the inherently imperialist nature of the U.S. Particularly in times of polarization and civil unrest, the lessons learned should be recognized by the entire international community to preserve democracy. Rather than focus on the U.S. alone and be merely confined to Trump’s incitements, we must educate ourselves on the roots of such chaos to best understand the magnitude of the issue. It’s time to recognize the damage done to international communities in order to move forward in the fight for democracy. Sara Perez (24C) is from Managua, Nicaragua.


The Emory Wheel

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Trump Destroyed U.S.’ Reputation Community Means Safety Joe Beare In 1939, my grandfather arrived at Ellis Island as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. America was the antithesis of the nations from which he and other immigrants fled — a safe haven where responsible politicians shunned the demagoguery that characterized much of Europe at the time. To be clear, America was not, and still is not, the “perfect union,” we all aspire it to be. In fact, six months before the Nazis invaded Poland, more than 20,000 people protested at Madison Square Garden with banners that read “Stop Jewish Domination of Christian America.” And yet, for all its warts, America was glorified as the “goldene medina” or “golden land” by Jewish immigrants escaping the persecution they suffered in Europe. The U.S. was venerated for all it had achieved: its two centuries of peaceful transitions of power, its gradual yet enormous expansion of freedom and its long, seemingly solid tradition of civil discourse. The sun may have set on Trump’s Presidency, but the harm he posed to these foundational values and the revered reputation the U.S. has long enjoyed will likely live on. As I sat with my grandmother in Florida weeks ago, watching the violent mob storm the symbol and seat of our democracy, I was confronted with just how far we have fallen in the past four years. Indeed, the events at the Capitol were merely the denouement of a Presidency marked by many calamitous lows for America’s global standing. Besides alienating our allies and embracing the most repressive of world leaders, Trump continually engaged in a brutish style of politics at home. He rejected the moderation and civility that had long served as the bedrock of American democracy, and cultivated a climate of rage and paranoia. We elected an instinctual tyrant, incapable of accepting the constraints of democratic politics and more concerned with stoking culture wars than uniting us. We indulged cheerleaders in the media and apparatchiks in the White House as they lent credence to Trump’s scapegoating of immigrants and mainstreaming of conspiracy theories, including his fantastical accusations of massive voter fraud in the 2020 presi-

dential election. The mob of Trump supporters that descended on the Capitol to overturn President Joe Biden’s legitimate victory, and effectively send our democracy into a death spiral, was the logical end of his vitriolic crusade. In the words of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it was the “tragically predictable result” of extremist grievance fueled by the former president. Those who sounded the alarm over the past 4 years were consistently dismissed as victims of presumed Trump Derangement Syndrome. CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria defines this malady as a “hatred of Trump so intense that it impairs judgement.” For sure, Democrats do exercise poor judgement when they compare Trump to Hitler or dismiss every policy pursued by the former president, even his

illuStratioN By Mia uSMaN

policy achievements, as axiomatically moronic or barbaric. The left’s indifference, and occasional hostility, to the historic peace agreements brokered between Israel and its neighbors is a prime example. Yet to label all who are tough on Trump as deranged would be misguided. If no U.S. president has been ridiculed like Trump, it’s because none have behaved like him. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are all conservatives or apolitical officials who worked for Trump because they wanted to serve their country. All concluded Trump was “dangerous” — and they were not wrong. We witnessed just how dangerous he was, and may still be, on Jan. 6. The domestic terrorists, exhorted by Trump to “fight like hell” against a “stolen” election, stormed the U.S. Capitol in a scene reminiscent of a Latin American take over. The magnitude of this event and

the message it sent to the rest of the world cannot be overstated. The optics were so appalling that even Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), along with other death-bed converts, broke with Trump and lambasted his role in fomenting the insurrection. Unfortunately, their conversion came too late. America’s image has dramatically deteriorated since 2016 and the riot was the final nail in an already closed coffin. Our adversaries relished in our political decadence and our allies watched in horror as the U.S. Capitol was attacked by domestic terrorists, some decorated in bizarre costumes, others sporting symbols of Nazism and the Confederacy. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, among a manifold of other world leaders, castigated what they were witnessing on television. The America once extolled by my grandfather as the “goldene medina” has evidently suffered a dramatic fall from grace. Throughout his tenure, Trump complained the world had no respect for America. He was wrong. America’s most valuable asset abroad was not its military prowess, but its example. Refugees flocked to America in search of a better life and nations sought to replicate our sturdy institutions. In 1989, many of the post-Soviet countries of Eastern Europe became democracies, partly because they wanted to model the U.S. and solve their disputes through the democratic process as opposed to violence. For all his promises to garner the respect of so-called disrespectful nations, Trump has actually damaged this global allure. The Biden administration can, and must, reestablish the U.S. as the shining, albeit deeply flawed, beacon of democracy it once was. Fortunately, I can think of no one more viable than the current incumbent to heal our divisions, sow faith in our depleted institutions, repair our strained alliances and “restore the soul” of this country. The Lowy Institute put it most succinctly: “The world still wants to believe in America. But the world needs America to help it believe.” Joe Beare (23C) is from London.

Amir St. Clair From the beginning, Emory’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been grounded in the fundamental belief that our ability to create a safe campus environment rises from a strong community-wide partnership. That has been our essential compact, an understanding between the university and every student, that only by working together can we succeed in our shared goal of shaping a healthier, safer campus for everyone. Within that commitment, each partner is empowered to play a vital role — caring enough to protect one another, trusting that we can follow recommended safety protocols and exercising the diligence and discipline to make it happen every day. As students return to campus this semester, you will notice some changes within our strategy to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 — and each of these policy changes has been informed by evidence-based practices, community feedback and expanded testing capacity. We especially appreciate the invaluable input from students, which helped us to refine when and where screening testing will be offered this semester. What does that mean for you? It’s pretty straightforward. For the spring 2021 semester, Emory is providing three types of COVID-19 testing: onboarding testing (for move-in or accessing campus); screening testing (for asymptomatic community members); and diagnostic testing (for anyone who shows symptoms or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive). In addition, all students living in Emory residence halls — as well as those conducting classes, labs or research on campus — will be required to take a weekly screening test, beginning Jan. 25.Students who are symptomatic or discover that they have been exposed to COVID-19 should not report to screening locations for testing. Instead, they should visit the Atlanta campus Student Health Portal or the Oxford College Student Health Portal and message the COVID assessment provider to schedule a diagnostic test. To find a full summary of all student testing options — including timing, locations, instructions to register for a test — please check out the

Emory Forward site. Here is where you can explore a virtual library of the latest information on testing, policies and guidelines and campus resources. From our experience with testing last semester, we know that regular screenings offer a powerful tool in assessing the overall health of the campus community. In response to your requests, the hours and locations for campus testing have been expanded to accommodate greater convenience. Thank you for doing your part to make this work. In the interest of mitigating COVID19 exposure amid a rising prevalence in our region, and to reduce the impact on health care services, the University is also temporarily adjusting how we gather and interact as a community. For now, recreation centers will be closed on the Atlanta and Oxford College campuses, and indoor gatherings of any size will not be allowed (except indoor classes, labs and research activities) — changes that will remain in effect until Feb. 8. Outdoor gatherings of 10 people or fewer with a faculty or staff member will continue to be permitted, and essential safety and hygiene protocols — including face coverings, physical distancing and hand-washing — will continue to be required. As we continue moving through the COVID19 vaccine distribution process, the University will be bringing you into the conversation. We will continue to share important updates and host a series of community forums on the distribution phases in Georgia, and Emory’s strategy for approaching the process. Even now, vaccinations are already underway for frontline health care workers and other populations. Eligibility will be expanded to other members of the Emory community as allowed by the state of Georgia and vaccine availability.As we enter the spring 2021 semester and begin making plans for a full return to campus this fall, know that protecting the health of our students, faculty and staff is essential to our mission — and your active participation is essential to our success. Thank you for doing your part. Thank you for your partnership in fighting this pandemic. Thank you for making a difference. Amir St. Clair is Emory’s associate vice president and executive director of COVID-19 response and recovery.

Kiss Cams: A Nonconsensual Form of Entertainment Sophia Ling Even if you have never attended a live sports game, you have inevitably heard of the kiss cam. At the very least, you’ve seen YouTube compilations of “Kiss Cams Gone Wrong” and “Awkward Kiss Cam Moments.” The premise is simple: camera operators lock in on two people in the audience who are then expected to kiss. As if it’s not horrifying enough to have your face broadcasted on the Jumbotron, the chosen fans are either zealously cheered on or booed if they don’t kiss. Starting out as an innocent form of entertainment, the kiss cam transformed into a defining social pastime in sports culture that hides an ugly truth: underneath its frivolity is a perverted form of pressure that evokes a distorted message about our perceptions of entertainment. Whether you like it or not, choosing to attend a sports game means choosing to participate in the kiss cam. There’s no opting in or out. Though it may be unintentional, kiss cams normalize unwanted public intimacy, undermining persistent efforts to prevent these pressured intimate advances.

When the #MeToo movement erupted nearly two years ago, exposing sexual abuse and harassment stories from women, our society became more cognizant of this endemic, working toward strict policies and regulations to prevent sexual harassment. While the kiss cam cannot be legally defined as sexual harassment or coercion, it breaks the barriers of someone’s privacy and consent for the sake of public entertainment. Why is coerced public affection used as a form of entertainment and as a method of “comic relief”? While some might argue one can simply ignore the camera and wait for it to turn away, the kiss cam still throws people under the limelight. Under the pressure of the jeering, the disappointment and the unspoken stereotype of being uptight, we tend to make poor decisions, making it difficult to say no. For some, this momentary awkwardness will fade away. But for others, it might be a memory of embarrassment and humiliation. “There was an almost immediate feeling of discomfort of knowing that tens of thousands of people were staring at us expecting a kiss,” Adam Shprintzen, an associate professor of history at Marywood University (Pa.), tweeted about his experience.

“There was the inherent pressure to have some sort of reaction. … I can’t even imagine what was running through this total stranger’s mind at the moment, to be asked to kiss some random dude for everyone’s entertainment.” Similarly, in a letter to the editor of Syracuse.com, Steve Port of Manlius, New York, listed some of the incidents he witnessed at a football game. Port detailed one instance where, although the girl shook her

Unwilling participation and discomfort should not be disregarded under the pretense of having fun. head when the camera zoomed in on her, the guy “[grabbed] her head and shove[d] his tongue down her throat.” Another time, he wrote, “this second female in question shakes her head no. I then see no less than six sets of hands from the seats around her shove her unwilling face into his, crowd cheers.” These incidents would be criticized under any other circumstance. Why

does a sporting event make them okay? Unwilling participation and discomfort, regardless of relationship status, should not be disregarded under the pretense of having fun. People are not entitled to receive a kiss if they appear on the big screen, nor should others around them pressure them. “There’s nothing inherently perverse about kissing, or even sex for that matter,” said Melissa A. Fabello, a sex writer and researcher. “But there’s something disturbing about performing it for others’ entertainment in a decidedly non-sexual environment.” When the first Jumbotrons were introduced in the 1970s, the only audience members privy to the kiss cam were those already in the stadium. However, in a world where social media and technology reign, nothing is private anymore. Facial recognition apps can identify fans, and a video recording from a phone can be posted on YouTube compilations – someone’s 10 seconds of fame could inadvertently end up imprinted on the internet forever. Kiss cams are not just an invasion of privacy, however. They breed an environment of social pressure where success gambles on spontaneity and stereotypes. “[Camera operators] are typically … looking for cues that indi-

cate fans are together,” an Orlando Magic spokesperson wrote in an email. But what does a “couple” look like? Trying to speculate someone’s relationship status assumes people’s actions are divided between “dating” and “not dating.” Sometimes, people of opposite genders can be siblings, relatives or just friends. Pervasive heteronormativity also leaves out and discriminates against LGBTQ+ couples. Kiss cams thus reinforce heteronormativity by delegating a narrow-minded definition to the word “couple” to prevent any potential offense someone may take. It might be hard to believe kiss cams will ever go away. After all, they have cemented their place as a staple of American sports culture. But even then, are they so ingrained in our traditions that we forget to be skeptical? It’s time to critically analyze kiss cams and consider what they perpetuate — otherwise, we cannot really preach about respecting someone’s boundaries and preventing sexual harassment if we let sports events get away with it for “fun.” We must stop excusing the lack of consent and agency kiss cams impose. Sophia Ling (24C) is from Carmel, Indiana.


The Emory Wheel

Arts Entertainment Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Asst. A&E Editors: Saru Garg (saru.garg@emory.edu) & Stephen Altobelli (saltobe@emory.edu)


Ghibli Films To Inspire and Excite By Cole Huntley Contributing Writer

Courtesy of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recites her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the swearing in of President Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

Gorman Preaches Unity Amid Division By Anastasia Knudsen Contributing Writer Inauguration Day saw Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate, read her poem “The Hill We Climb” to commemorate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris being sworn into office. Gorman’s powerful vitality, presence and delivery immediately made her an internet sensation. She has already been immortalized on social media, with countless Instagram text posts circulating her most inspirational sound bites: “For there is always light,” Gorman said, “if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it.” Championing peace, unity and harmony, Gorman’s poem arrives at a dark moment in history when such ideals are perhaps the most difficult to find.

Over the course of 46 presidencies, begins, going on to depict an America there have been a mere six inaugural standing on one ground, illuminated poems, including Gorman’s. All, in by one light and living under one sky. Gorman’s poem is no exception. one way or another, have emphaIn line with the sized collective iden“America United” tity. Robert Frost theme of Biden’s inauflooded his poem, In line with the guration, Gorman’s “The Gift Outright,” “America United” poem calls for togethwith inclusive words erness and healing: like “we” and “ours” theme of Biden’s “We lift our gazes and “ourselves.” inauguration, not to what stands Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of Morning” Gorman’s poem calls between us but what outlines, in broad, for togetherness and stands before us,” Gorman proclaimed. sweeping strokes, a healing. “We close the divide shared historical trabecause we know, to jectory from mastput our future first, odons and dinosaurs to a river that invites “all” peoples we must first put our differences to plant themselves beside its banks. aside.” One after the other, every inau“One Today” by Richard Blanco manages to find oneness everywhere: “One sun rose on us today,” the poem See Inaugural, Page 11

schwartz Performance

Gorō Miyazaki, son of beloved Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, will release his third feature film, “Earwig and the Witch,” on Feb. 3. The film will be the studio’s first fully 3D computer-generated project, representing the younger Miyazaki’s desire to rejuvenate Ghibli and propel it into modernity. At a press conference for the film, Miyazaki boasted, “I didn’t consult with the old guys [at Ghibli] at all.” Bold words, considering the “old guys” are responsible for creating some of the most adored animated films in history. The trailer for “Earwig” has garnered skepticism from fans and critics alike, with many questioning the need for a reinvention of the studio’s celebrated traditional animation style. Can Miyazaki hope to possibly cement his place as one of Studio Ghibli’s renowned directors by way of technological reinvention? The relationship between father and son is known to be fraught, so it’s understandable that Gorō might aspire to one day fill his father’s shoes. Will “Earwig and the Witch” be the work that allows Gorō to live up to his name, or will its ambition alienate him from Ghibli fans forever? Ahead of “Earwig and the Witch”’s release, the Wheel compiled a list of Ghibli films to watch on HBO Max. “Princess Mononoke” (1997) “Princess Mononoke” (1997) is required viewing for anyone remotely interested in Studio Ghibli films.

Released in 1997, the film is credited with introducing Studio Ghibli to Western audiences, and it bears all the hallmarks of a Hayao Miyazaki epic: a profoundly affecting (and impeccably crafted) narrative, countless gray shades of moral ambiguity and themes of nature and conflict in human existence. The film follows Ashitaka, the prince of a small village in feudal Japan, as he attempts to rid himself of a curse sustained while defending his people. Through Ashitaka’s journey, Miyazaki presents his own ruminations on human nature with a finesse that Studio Ghibli has never before seen. “From Up on Poppy Hill” (2011) “From Up on Poppy Hill” (2011) is the only film on this list directed by Gorō Miyazaki. In a rare collaboration between father and son, “From Up on Poppy Hill” is Gorō’s most successful work and is Ghibli at its most lighthearted. The Ghibli films of 2011 and 2013 highlight the studio’s shift to a more realistic storytelling approach. By shedding the fantastical elements of “Spirited Away” or “Howl’s Moving Castle” that scared us as children, the Miyazakis tell personal stories with a subtlety that the films of Ghibli yore eschew in favor of broader musings. This more grounded art direction allows both Miyazakis to present compelling individual narratives while encapsulating specific Japanese time periods with astound-

See Studio, Page 10

local arts

Virtual Concert Retrospective Illuminates Mehretu’s Career Kicks Off 2021 By Jeffrey Rosen Staff Writer

By Caleb Jones Contributing Writer Traditionally, a classical concert at Emory or elsewhere usually takes up the greater part of one’s afternoon or evening. From getting dressed to finding a seat, such a concert can be a time-consuming affair. This, however, wasn’t the case with Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta’s pre-taped All-Star Trio virtual concert on Jan. 23. Uploaded as a video on the Schwartz Center Virtual Stage, the concert began with an introduction filmed at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts before pivoting to the actual performance, which wasn’t shot at Emory or even in Atlanta. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trio of violinist CheeYun, cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Natasha Paremski instead filmed at a private residence in El Paso, Texas, after having quarantined for 10 days each and testing negative. The concert featured performances of violin sonatas written by César Franck and Johannes Brahms, as well as a few individual selections

for a piano trio out of the repertoire of Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. Piazzolla is not necessarily as well known as Brahms and Franck, who while not necessarily on the Mount Rushmore of classical composers, are still giants within the field. Piazzolla blended elements of jazz and tango with classical music to create a unique mixture that would go on to inspire the Nuevo Tango style in Argentina. The performance of Brahms’ and Franck’s violin sonatas was bookended by four Piazzolla pieces, available only during the synchronous concert, beginning with selections from his “Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas” and finishing with two distinctive pieces: “Le Grand Tango” and “Oblivion.” The Piazzolla sections were the only ones in which Grammy-winning cellist Bailey participated. Many of the Piazzolla pieces were not originally written for piano trio, and hearing them played on traditional instruments like the piano,

See ALL, Page 11

Julie Mehretu, one of the most critically acclaimed visual artists of the 21st century, has made significant waves over the past three decades. Her contemplative works are on display with “Julie Mehretu,” the artist’s first career retrospective, at the High Museum until Jan. 31. A spectacular collection of abstract art, this exhibit illuminates Mehretu’s oeuvre and is worth a visit. Over the course of her career, Mehretu has used abstraction to explore migration, urban landscapes and human behavior, while also experimenting with the influence of color and shape on space and perspective. Her interest in cartography and geography is evident early on — the exhibit begins with some of Mehretu’s earliest paintings from the late 1980s, which are noticeably more simple and bare than her later works. Initial works like “Untitled” (1988) feature intricately sketched lines, incomplete landscapes and routes that seem to be vaguely organized through a compass rose. Mehretu’s early abstraction is firmly rooted in the concrete reality of geographical mapping and sheds light upon her interest in movement and charting migration.

Jeffrey Rosen/Staff

Visual artist Julie Mehretu’s titular exhibit featuring ‘Babel Unleashed’ is on display at the High Museum until Jan. 31. Because the exhibit is ordered chronologically, viewers can easily discern Mehretu’s artistic transformations, which are rapid and marked. Replete with colorful geometric shapes, broad curved lines and images of fire, Mehretu’s work in the 2000s added significant depth and space to her abstract landscapes. Her 2001 painting, “Babel Unleashed,” for example, reveals architectural post-cubism and various disorienting perspectives. Shapes and colors are personified;

restless and bursting with energy, they jump out toward the viewer and command attention. Blocks of white, black and green curve the dimensions of the painting, pulling the fine vectors and underlying architectural blueprints inward like a black hole bending space. By the mid-2000s, Mehretu pushed her early ideas to a much larger scale, with pieces reaching 20 feet and filling entire walls with their puzzling gran-

See Artist, Page 11



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Emory Wheel

Studio Ghibli Films To Watch Ahead of ‘Earwig’

Courtesy of Studio Ghibli

Stills from Gorō Miyazaki’s ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’ (2011) and Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises.’

Continued from Page 9 ing facility. That being said, “From Up on Poppy Hill” is not without its thoughtprovoking themes — the film revolves around two high schoolers’ plan to save their Yokohama clubhouse before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and the intersection of tradition and modernity features as one of the film’s key ideas. However, innovation can breed estrangement, especially when considering a formula as beloved as Studio Ghibli’s. Will the full CG of “Earwig and the Witch” be an innovation or an estrangement for the studio?

“The Wind R ises” (2013) “The Wind Rises” (2013) was believed to be Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, as, not for the first time, Miyazaki intended to permanently retire after its release. The film, which presents a fictionalized biography of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, is regarded by fans and critics as Miyazaki’s swan song. This excellent feature is at once a meticulous portrait of prewar Japan, a contemplative meditation on the implications of Jiro’s planes being used in World War II and a heartbreaking, moving love story.

The picture is, of course, a mesmerizing treat for the eyes, evident in the resplendent sunsets of its soaring dream sequences. However, the film is also a treat for the ears — the vast majority of its sound effects, including engine noises and an earthquake, are made by human voices. It’s not a secret that “The Wind Rises” has semi-autobiographical elements, and you don’t have to look too hard to spot parallels between Jiro’s ambition for flight and Miyazaki’s lifelong pursuit of beauty. “The Wind Rises” is as close as we’ll get to a personal retrospective of Hayao Miyazaki’s life and work, and it’s a must-watch for anyone planning

on seeing Gorō Miyazaki’s “Earwig and the Witch” in February. “The Tale

Princess K aguya” (2013)


“The Tale of Princess Kaguya” (2013) is the only film on this list not directed by either Miyazaki. In Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata’s final directorial effort, the studio presents a masterful interpretation of a centuries-old Japanese fable. Takahata decided that the film should be animated in watercolor and charcoal style, a deviation from Ghibli’s usual iconic style, in order to better engage viewers’ imaginations.

faculty feature

Lee on Critique, Teaching and Future of Theory By Saru Garg and Stephen Altobelli Asst. A&E Editors

Nathan Lee is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Film and Media. He has published film criticism in outlets including The New York Times, NPR and The Village Voice The Wheel sat down with Lee to discuss film and media criticism, critical theory, and their relation to former President Donald Trump. This transcript has been edited for clarity and length. The Emory Wheel: What made you decide to move out of film criticism and into academia? Nathan Lee: My path to academia is sort of nontraditional because, for a number of years in the 2000s, from 2002 until 2010, I worked full time as a film critic in New York City. One of the things that I was engaged with was experimental and avant-garde film. Most of my friends were artists, so I was quite involved in the art world in New York. As the years went on, I found myself really interested in what was happening in movies, but also very interested in what was happening in the art world like experimental video makers and installation artists. I was interested in what David Lynch and artists like Ryan Trecartin were doing with digital video. I wanted to think about movies and the art world together, which I couldn’t do as a film critic. I had this intellectual restlessness and wanted to think about visual culture more broadly. The last years of my career coincided with the financial crisis of 2008. Newspapers were radically downsizing and laying off tons of people. The profession of film criticism started to really collapse. I decided to do a master’s program at Bard College in curatorial studies. Three things happened to me when I entered the curatorial program in 2009. First, I realized I didn’t want to be a

curator, even though I found curatorial studies fascinating and I curated many projects. Second, I realized that I was powerfully inspired by critical theory, which I read very intensely in that program. Third, I realized that I loved to teach. I had the good fortune when I graduated to be hired out of the program by the director to help her run the program administratively and also teach. I really fell in love with teaching. That’s how I then completed my PhD in the department of modern culture and media at Brown University, which is also very interdisciplinary. I had a kind of circuitous path, because this was the moment when online journalism didn’t dominate everything. We were still in a kind of tranNathan Lee, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Film and Media

Courtesy of Joel Silverman

sitional moment where there were film magazines, and there were alternative weeklies. I was a critic at this moment when the industry was going through some transitions, and I was lucky because I had a kind of wonderful career as a critic at a time when that was sort of possible. And now I don’t think it’s a career path one can find themselves falling into so easily. TEW: You talked about how much you love to teach, so that was something we wanted to ask about: What has your experience with teaching been like during this pandemic? NL: It’s been really hard. Part of my approach as a teacher during a pandemic and teaching remotely is to not pretend that stuff’s not happening — to be very direct with my students, very open and check in with them, because it’s coming from a place of concern and sincerity.

You can’t disentangle the personal challenges that we’re all going through under the pandemic from the pedagogical challenges and responsibilities that one has as a teacher. I can’t solve the problems. But I think for students to know that professors and Emory staff are concerned about them, are thinking about them and are trying to figure out how to help them do this is important for people to succeed, to feel supported and engaged in their studies. TEW: We were wondering if you’d talk a little bit about the film and media criticism class [FILM 401W, Film and Media Criticism] that you’re teaching in the spring? NL: This class is like a senior seminar. We begin the class reading some writers who are writing about criticism: How do we think about what criticism is? What does it do? What are we doing when we read a text? What is the position from which the critic speaks? What is the cultural, racial, gendered, sociopolitical, geopolitical and geographic location of the critic? How do we think about that as we’re writing? I’m curious to see how it goes. I’m hoping to create a space where people can really think and just test stuff out. There’s not a big pressure to get it right. It’s not that kind of a class. It’s really, “you guys are seniors. This is one of the last classes you’re going to take. What are your ideas?” I think it will be really fun. TEW: We would also love to hear about your book project or your research. NL: The manuscript I’m working on right now is called “Post-Cinema and the Question of Critique.” One of my fundamental arguments that drives the project is that critique is not the answer to anything. What critique and critical theory are centrally aimed at is developing and elaborating and testing questions. It’s never about coming up with an answer in its purest sense. For a film and media studies scholar, this means thinking about the idea

of the post-cinematic. The pandemic has made this really literal. But in a broader sense, the last 20 years have seen a kind of digital revolution in media. The dissertation thinks these questions together: How do we think about contemporary media? How is it being presented, theorized, talked about? When we say “How is the digital different from the cinematic?” What does that question mean? What is the nature of that question? What are the presuppositions of asking a question like that? That, to me, is a question that gets answered through critique and critical theory. It’s a way to think about a cultural moment in which critique is unfashionable, critical theory is considered obsolete, and yet the tools and the kinds of questions in those legacies continue to strike at the heart of how media is functioning today. For example, one of the chapters will be about this relationship of Trump to critical theory. Why are people in his administration talking about critical race theory? They don’t know anything about critical race theory. Why are they talking about Herbert Marcuse in the 1776 report? It’s insane! Some, like, boomer didn’t have their morning coffee. I don’t get it. That’s the subtitle of the book: “Boomer Didn’t Have His Coffee: PostCinema and the Question of Critique.” So my interest is, in film and media studies, a distinct set of writings called Post-Cinematic theory. The dissertation looks very closely at the key moves in that discourse and how it’s related to these debates which are everywhere in the culture around critique. And it offers a kind of defense of critique. This interview appears in a condensed form. To see the full version, visit emorywheel.com.

— Contact Saru Garg and Stephen Altobelli at saru.garg@emory.edu and saltobe@emory.edu

Ironically, the different art style is distracting, and stunningly beautiful; the simple, folkloric beauty of the characters combine with placid tableaux of hills and straw houses to evoke a powerful sense of nostalgia, lending the work a serene beauty while paying homage to the story’s provenance. With the same delicate touch as the artwork, the film presents a narrative with deep emotional resonance. Often, the animation pauses to capture the childlike glee on Kaguya’s face as she revels in the sights and sounds of Takahata’s exquisitely realized world, reminding us of the innocence of a youthful spirit. These wholesome moments contrast with our heroine’s aristocratic existence; Takahata juxtaposes Kaguya’s carefree nature with the prim society she inhabits to gently examine how the souls of women are dimmed in the name of nobility, and the unfair way that pure souls are exploited by others. “The Tale of Princess Kaguya’’ shows there is a Ghibli beyond Miyazaki and that a change in art style can be successful. It’s an excellent film to watch in anticipation of “Earwig and the Witch.” — Contact Cole Huntley at chhuntl@emory.edu

Upcoming Arts Events at Emory and in ATL • Jan. 28 — Feb. 6, Theater Emory: “La Voix Humaine” by Jean Cocteau, online • Jan. 28 — Feb. 3, Sundance Film Festival Satellite Screenings, Plaza Theatre • Jan. 29, 8 p.m., Virtual Concert: pianist Jeremy Denk, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, online • Jan. 30, noon, ARCE GA Lecture with Egyptologist Michelle Marlar, Michael C. Carlos Museum, online • Jan. 31, 2 p.m., Nix Mann Endowed Lecture in Art History: “The Shifting Shape of Classical Art,” Michael C. Carlos Museum, online • Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m., Theater Emory Community Night: “The Dark Hound of Malleus” documentary premier, online • Feb. 2, 3:30 p.m., Repousse Metalworking Workshop, Carlos Museum, online • Feb. 4, 6 p.m., Driskell Prize Lecture: “Phylacteries to Repel Ghosts” with Jamal Cyrus, High Museum, online • Feb. 7, 4 p.m., ECMSA: The Bach Bowl “Bach for One” — Virtual Concert, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, online • Feb. 7, 4 p.m., Tribute Event: “Athlete. Scholar. Activist: Chapters in the Life of Pellom McDaniels III,” online • Feb. 8, 7 p.m., Photography at Emory lecture: Rob Barracano, online


The Emory Wheel

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Inaugural Poem Asks How We Write America’s Story

Continued from Page 9

gural poem has depicted America as a myth written, rewritten and still unfolding. In her 2009 inaugural poem “Praise Song for the Day,” Elizabeth Alexander describes how with every new morning “any thing can be made, any sentence begun.” Miller Williams, in his 1997 inaugural poem “Of History and Hope,” writes of an America “memorized” through “telling the stories, singing the old songs.” Like other inaugural poems before it, “The Hill We Climb” stresses the sense of a shared story. But Gorman is perhaps the most explicit of all the inaugural poets in positioning America as a narrative. “History has its eyes on us,” she said, quoting “Hamilton” — a show whose motif perpetually repeats, “Who tells your story?” Gorman’s poem depicts the American people as finding “the power to author a new chapter.” At one point, she cites what is arguably the mythos most foundational to American culture: the Bible.

“Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree,” she says, referencing a verse often quoted (both in “Hamilton” and in real life) by George Washington, “and no one shall make them afraid.” The America of the 18th century would have associated this verse, according to the Mount Vernon library, with immigration tolerance. However, the America of today just witnessed the waving of “Jesus Saves” posters alongside Confederate flags and swastikas at the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. And that’s exactly the trouble with the vague appeals to “unity” and “God” so prevalent at Biden’s inauguration, with unity in particular being the buzzword of choice since the riots. These buzzwords appeal to a shared mythology — except no one can agree on what those myths mean. Uniting the left and right through “one nation under God” is easy enough when the terms are left so

murky and inoffensive that “God” can be allowed to signify diversity, inclusion and justice for some, and white Christian nationalism for others. Listening to Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard sing the inaugural country anthem “Undivided” might resonate at the time, but ultimately the story has paradoxically been left too open and too broad to offer any “space to place new steps of change,” in Angelou’s words. Regardless of the political aisle, myths have power. The myth of the stolen election successfully drove the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol. So, too, do the myths penned in the poems by our six inaugural poets, all performed at Democrat inaugurations, have the power to inspire hope. Biden, however, has more than an uphill battle ahead of him if he seeks to unify the American people under one collective story. Writing for NPR, Senior Political Editor Domenico Montanaro puts it succinctly: “The misinformation con-

sumed by many on the right has been fed for decades through prime-time cable dressed up as straight news. Facebook memes and outfits even further on the fringe than Fox News are growing in popularity. Conspiracies are being mainstreamed. There is no good answer for unraveling that. So the country will remain sharply divided.” The myths of unity, progressiveness and inclusivity woven throughout all six inaugural poems resound with beauty and genuine aspiration. But are these ideals on their own enough to stand up to the aggressive and very real mythologizing campaigns currently being furthered by the Republican party? In October of last year, former President Donald Trump announced his “1776 Commission,” an attempt to rewrite the American national identity through the conservative Christian lens of the founders. Made as a response to the “1619 Project” of The New York Times, his historical

revisionism would have overwritten our nation’s past to align with the so-called patriotism of white conservative America. When the very history of our country is being made up for debate, such attacks warrant a greater rebuttal than reciting “unity” and singing “Amazing Grace.” “Who were many people coming together,” wrote Williams in his inaugural poem for former President Bill Clinton, “cannot become one people falling apart.” That was almost 25 years ago. Without a common narrative, we still find ourselves falling apart. It is up to our nation’s leaders to define specifically our shared story and do their part in taking us there, so that — as Gorman says — we do not “march back to what was” but instead “to what shall be: A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.” — Contact Anastasia Knudsen at ana.knudsen@emory.edu

underrated art

Art With a Purpose: The Paccha, an Incan Planting Vessel By Zimra Chickering Staff Writer

We rarely value the artistic merit of functional objects, but respecting both the function and the beauty of an object enriches the viewers’ understanding and experience with it, artistic or otherwise. Many ancient civilizations recognizeddid see the beauty in functionality, and ceremonial and aesthetic objects would often mirror the shapes and materials of everyday functional objects. A prime example of this is the paccha, a ritual watering device used to initiate the agricultural cycle of maize growth, onean example of which is on display at Emory’sthe Michael C. Carlos Museum. Theis object relies upon sophisticated symbolism, incorporating the shapes of everyday agricultural tools in order to embody the process of

growing and harvesting maize. While not lifesize, the paccha depicts the details of a taclla foot plow, an urpu used to hold maize drink and an ear of corn. The long, brown ceramic body of the paccha resembles the shape of a taclla, the foot plow used by the Inkas to plant maize. The golden vessel at the top of the paccha is an urpu, a common Inkan container used to store maize and brew chicha, a form of maize beer. The top of this ceremonial object is crowned with a small ear of very naturalistic corn painted in black slip, representing the final harvest of the corn crops. By placing the maize storage container and the maize itself atop the maize planting tool the Inka exemplify their advanced and elaborate storytelling skills, highlighting the cycle of maize and making what could be a functional foot plow into a powerful ritual object.

All-Star Trio Defies Expectations Continued from Page 9 violin and cello was an interesting contrast. The Latin-classical style of the Piazzolla also provided a nice contrast to the Brahms and the Franck sonatas, as Brahms and Franck both fall firmly within the classical era as opposed to Piazzolla’s modern approach. While Piazzolla’s pieces varied in tone, there was a liveliness and excitement the trio brought out, which is more present in modern classical music as well as South American classical styles, and not usually found in pre-modern European styles. Brahms’ piece was played with more reserve than most musicians can muster, as many usually add too much bombast to his works. The trio performed them with the requisite climactic intensity, but the natural fast and furious temperaments were kept in check. Often considered one of the best sonatas written for the violin and piano, the Franck sonata lived up to

its reputation in the iteration presented by Chee-Yun and Paremski, which made for the best part of the concert. It was the most demanding piece performed in terms of technique, but it was played error-free and energetically throughout. The concert’s videography was also creative. Going in, I expected a single camera angle filming the entirety of the concert, but the videographers effectively switched angles to keep viewers engaged. Shots sometimes focused on the performer with the dominant musical line, which allowed viewers the rare opportunity to experience the music up close. The All-Star Trio concert admirably kept the technical aspects of the performance compelling and it offered a promise that despite an unorthodox virtual medium, music performances will continue to thrive in the coming months. — Contact Caleb Jones at caleb.emrys.jones@emory.edu

As Peri Klemm (02G), noted in their thesis, specialists at Emory University worked to uncover the use of this object by examining the residue left in

Courtesy of Michael C. Carlos Museum

the bottom hole of the paccha. The tip was quite worn and discolored as compared to the rest of the sculpture, and they found traces of chicha in the bot-

tom hole, as well as sand particles from the Chancay area of coastal Peru, an area conquered by the Inka. The paccha acted as a ritual watering device for the earth; the Inca would thrust it into the soil they had just conquered, allowing the dirt to “drink” from the watering of chicha into the ground as the agricultural year began. While the soil was generally watered with traditional irrigation, this first drink of water for the new soil was seen as a way to honor the Earth through a gift and ensure that maize would grow successfully. It is simply miraculous how something as small as grains of sand and discoloration can help reveal the entire purpose and intention behind such a beautiful work of art and ritual. The paccha celebrates the beauty of functional everyday objects and the role of each of those tools in the maize-growing cycle, a cycle critical

to the Inka empire. When considering the popular art of today and the canon of art history, ritual objects that mirror everyday function are often overlooked. I think a modern appreciation of such cycles and ritual, especially through art, can enrich our connection to the Earth and our fellow humans, just as the Inka used it for. Artworks such as this warrant time in the spotlight and deserve to be just as valued as a Rembrandt or Andy Warhol for its use of symbolism and exemplary artistic skill. The intersection of important daily function with symbolic meaning, while not often seen in contemporary artworks today, is a valuable and critical characteristic of exquisite and impressive Inka artworks like this paccha. — Contact Zimra Chickering at zimra.chickering@emory.edu

Artist Molds Geography, Color and Architecture Continued from Page 9 deur. Larger works like “Retopistics: A Renegade Excavation’’ (2001) are a playful and infinite swirl of color, shape, architecture, movement and gravity. Blocky shapes morph the space around them, creating alternative planes of perspective, while graphite-sketched fire and smoke snakily fills gaps of color, disobeying any formal boundaries. At times, the slithering intricacies of the smoke reminded me of a Ralph Steadman illustration. The color palette in this painting is diverse and atmospheric- gazing deep into this work feels like stepping into a spaceage, mid-century family room or a Stereolab music video. As I moved into the next room of the exhibit, Mehretu’s work progressed by eliminating color once again, becoming almost entirely black and white. Standout works from this mid-2000s movement include “The Seven Acts of Mercy” (2004), which depicts a coliseum surrounded by a whirlwind of fiery movement. An energetic display of order against entropy, this piece shows

how structures can impact the movement and behavior of people: “The coliseum [is] the perfect metaphoric constructed space clearly meant to situate large numbers of people,” the painting’s description read. But it also hosts “undercurrents of complete chaos, violence, and disorder.” As 19th-century Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky once stated, “The more abstract is form, the more clear and direct is its appeal.” Something about Mehretu’s intense abstraction was directly appealing enough to confound and inspire internal realizations. Her work felt personal — each piece is visually abstract and yet grounded in a comforting familiarity. Despite the potentially daunting and dissonant nature of Mehretu’s works, she employs only familiar aesthetic vocabulary, which promotes accessibility. Mehretu’s work isn’t necessarily satisfying, however; there is a never-ending sense of movement and change as if the work and its meaning are perpetually shifting. In the early 2010s, Mehretu’s theme of architecture and urban structures

became the primary focus. Most notable was “Aether (Venice),” a towering dissection of Gothic Venetian architecture. Mehretu mixes layer upon layer of archways, facades and quatrefoils, forming a mutated monster out of Venitian urban structures. In the closing section of the exhibit, which showcases Mehretu’s most recent works, the focus was more on the artist’s process of creation. This was less impactful, however, as I found these works to lack the gravity and backbone which made her older works so evocative. Mehretu’s titanic experiments with color, space, volume, cartography, desire and movement are mesmerizing and thought-provoking. I felt a tinge of dissatisfaction at the end; perhaps Mehretu’s work evoked yearning for a concrete understanding at which I may never arrive. Regardless, Mehretu’s mesh of bizarre abstraction and familiar reality makes for a lighthearted experience for any audience.

— Contact Jeffrey Rosen at jrose77@emory.edu

The Emory Wheel

Emory Life

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Emory Life Editor: Angela Tang (ytan258@emory.edu) | Asst. Editors Kaitlin Mottley (kmottle@emory.edu) & Lauren Blaustein (lblaust@emory.edu)



The Students Working On the Frontlines By Twisha Dimri Contributing Writer As businesses shut their doors and millions lost their jobs, essential workers, including grocery store employees and fast food workers, have ensured society continues moving forward. Balancing a full course load and a part-time job is challenging in itself, but for the Emory students working on the frontlines, braving a deadly virus to put food on the table for themselves and their families has been excruciating. Maya Caron (23C), a patient care technician at AdventHealth Hospital in Orlando, Florida, said that working during a pandemic has taken an immeasurable toll. As a healthcare worker, she is at a constant risk of being exposed to the virus as it cycles through her colleagues. With the added responsibility of caring for her grandmother, Caron mentioned that she’s always on high alert for signs of sickness. “I’ve had a few COVID scares,” Caron said. “Because I have to take care of my grandmother as well, [working] has put a strain on me.” Battling for both herself and her patients, Caron worries not only for her health, but also her finances. Rolande Kangnigan (23C), line associate at Panera Bread in Emory Village Courtesy of Rolande K angnigan

Testing positive would mean a long sick leave, and the backpay from this time off can take months to come in. “It leads me to think what happens if I get sick,” Caron explained. “I use the money to help my family… and we really need the money.” Closer to campus, Rolande Kangnigan (23C) said she feels safe working at Panera Bread in Emory Village as a line associate. Kangnigan described a detailed regimen of mask wearing, daily temperature checks before shifts, constant sanitization and strict hand washing.

“Everyone still follows the measures,” Kangnigan said of her coworkers. “No one has begun slacking off.” She emphasized her own personal safety measures, like leaving her work shoes in the car, showering when she gets home from a shift and keeping a close eye on any potential symptoms.

Eating Out in 2021

A Guide to ATL’s COVID-Friendly Restaurants

Maya Caron (23C), patient care technician

Courtesy of M aya Caron

For Kangnigan, taking small steps makes a world of a difference. “I used to [leave my shoes in the car] because of ants attacking the food under my shoes,” Kangnigan said. “But now I think of it as a way of not bringing those germs in the house.” Still, not every workplace has taken precautions to protect their employees’ wellbeing. Mikahla Gay (21C), a former server at Del Frisco’s Grille in Atlanta, revealed that a lack of proper safety protocols led her to quit. “Rather than ensuring the safety of guests and staff, management was only concerned with appearing sanitary,” Gay revealed. “[When] they provided masks, gloves and sanitizer to clean the tables with, it felt more like a performance for the guests.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations were regularly flouted, she said. Gay recalled attending to parties of more than 20 people and being surrounded by lax coworkers. “I would always take the cleaning protocols very seriously,” Gay explained. “But my coworkers would say things like, ‘This is just extra work for us’ or ‘I don’t want to do this.’” Despite changing her own habits to keep germs away from both herself and her family, Gay said that poor management, disinterested coworkers and belligerent guests led her to leave extra income. “I was just so taken aback,” Gay said. “I felt angry and taken advantage of, so ultimately, I resigned.”

— Contact Madeline Bryce at mbryce2@emory.edu

The Emory Wheel Cover your campus Come to our second spring interest meeting on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. ET bit.ly/JoinTEW

K aitlin Mottley & L auren Blautstein/A sst. Emory Life Editors

The cacio e pepe and burrata plates at A Mano ( left) and the short ribs at Miss Gogi (right).

By Kaitlin Mottley and Lauren Blaustein Asst. Emory Life Editors If you’re back in Atlanta this spring, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of delicious and safe alternatives to the dining hall. From Taiwanese desserts to flavorful pasta dishes, Atlanta’s food scene features plenty of new cuisines and the pandemic hasn’t ruined the chance to try them. Below is a list of some local eateries that are safe and open for business. Make sure to mask up, wash your hands and social distance when stepping out — the virus is still very much around. Miss Gogi Playing with your food takes on a new meaning at this Doraville Korean barbeque restaurant. Adjacent to the Korean-American supermarket chain, H Mart, Miss Gogi features sociallydistanced indoor seating, hand sanitizer pumps and staff equipped with both masks and gloves. Once seated, you’ll find that your table is decked out with a flat-top grill, ready for you to cook to your heart’s content. Choose from the all-you-can-eat menu priced at $32 per person, or select individual meats, veggies and seafood to suit your taste buds priced at around $19 to $30 per plate. Despite being a bit more pricey, one of our favorites was the Premium Galbi. Marinated in a traditional soy sauce mixture, these Korean shortribs are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and are easily a crowd favorite. If you’re unsure about cooking, just wave down a staff member and they’ll happily show you exactly how to grill each item. Regardless of your experience, grill away — with the amount of free sides you receive, you’ll certainly walk away with a full stomach. Score: 4/5

Tea Leaf and Creamery After your weekly Publix run, stop by this brand new bubble tea shop in the nearby North Decatur Center plaza for a unique twist on the classic Taiwanese drink. With most of the drinks priced under $7, you can enjoy a deliciously inexpensive treat. Tea Leaf has over 50 flavors of tea, including classic hits such as green milk tea and more daring combinations like the fresh avocado smoothie tea. You’ll definitely taste the freshness in your drink — they use real ingredients for every beverage. Don’t be surprised if you find fresh mango bits in your ice cream mango fusion tea. With a sleek, modern interior and wooden accents, the freshness of the drinks beautifully compliments the ambiance. Score: 5/5 A Mano For a heavenly Italian feast, A Mano is the place to be. With amazing pasta dishes to sweet desserts, A Mano offers an expansive menu and fair price points. The $13 burrata appetizer is the perfect way to begin your dining experience. If you’re looking for a simple yet delicious pasta entree, the cacio e pepe is the way to go. Priced at $10, the sauce is cheesy and creamy with little bit of spice from the black pepper, making it an easy option for picky eaters especially. For dessert, while a little pricey at $12, the bread pudding with chocolate and apple compotes is crunchy on top and gooey in the middle. Besides the mouth-watering food, the outdoor area is beautifully decorated with an abundance of lights and greenery and filled with wooden picnic tables. To keep the restaurant COVID-friendly, disposable silverware is given to customers to prevent contamination.

Score: 5/5 Boruboru For all lovers of raw fish and buildyour-own restaurants, Boruboru is the perfect option. Just a few blocks from Emory’s Atlanta campus in Emory Point, Boruboru has outdoor seating . Their most popular dishes are poke bowls ($12), sushi burritos ($16) and salad bowls ($15 or less). For drinks, they offer a wide variety, including a basic black milk bubble tea and a matcha iced latte, typically priced around $7 or less, depending on the drink. The restaurant’s fast-food style setup belies its quality. Their salmon and tuna are rich in flavor and the option to pair them with ingredients like toasted coconut, for example, allows for a unique culinary experience. Stop by for a convenient, fairly priced and flavorful meal. Score: 4/5 Conclusion Despite COVID-19’s strain on the dining industry, many Atlanta restaurants have implemented safety measures to keep customers safe, including outdoor, socially-distanced seating arrangements and disposable silverware. If you’re looking to visit any of these places, be sure to stay safe by social distancing, masking up, washing your hands before eating and frequently using hand sanitizer. While the list above features only outdoor, socially-distanced dining, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains. Going out to eat at any restaurant places yourself and others at risk.

— Contact Kaitlin Mottley at kmottle@emory.edu and Lauren Blaustein at lblaust@emory.edu


The Emory Wheel

Wednesday, January 27, 2021



‘Freedom’: Vaccinated Students Rejoice By Angela Tang Emory Life Editor

Ayushi Agarwal/Managing Editor

The ‘Wondrous Worlds’ exhibition is on display at the Michael C. Carlos Museum from Jan. 26 to May 9.


Virtual Internships Return Unexpected Gains By Matthew Chupack Asst. News Editor

A few days after picking up his mother’s birthday gift at a shopping mall, Myles Dunn (23C) tested positive for COVID-19. He defeated the illness, finished the fall semester and completed his virtual internship at RAYDAR Entertainment, a record label in Atlanta, all from the Emory Conference Center Hotel. With COVID-19 affecting nearly all aspects of life, from virtual classes to postponed life milestones, internships were no exception. Students reflected on how both in-person and virtual internship assignments were altered by the ongoing pandemic. “The only thing that changed during my schedule between the weeks I tested negative and then testing positive was that I went to the mall to get my mom a gift for her birthday, so I believe that’s where I got COVID-19,” Dunn explained. “I just did assignments from the hotel … throughout the day. That was just the most challenging part of the internship.” Dunn’s typical weekly schedule consisted of driving to his internship three days a week. On those days, he would go to class in the morning and attend to his internship and work until around 6 p.m., to then finish off his day completing his school work back on campus. “I was able to balance it well with school … since I only took 12 credit hours last semester,” Dunn said. “Because of that, my class schedule didn’t take up much of my time.” Although many internships reorganized into a virtual format due to the pandemic, Dunn expressed his appreciation for having an in-person experience. After his summer plan to study abroad at the London School of Economics was canceled, Dunn said he felt like there was a gap that he needed to fulfill. He jumped at the opportunity to have an in-person internship. Dunn said he still wants to explore his interests and see where his next endeavors take him, but through his unique opportunities at RAYDAR Entertainment, such as assisting R&B artist 11:11 with the promotion of his recent album, Dunn confirmed his passion for the music business. “Now I’m doing another internship this semester, this time with

before, I took a political science class before [and] I just felt like I was being thrown into a world that I truly have been an outsider to. I felt like I had nothing really to contribute to the team.” Odney eventually stopped communicating with Kendrick’s team about her application until Kendrick’s Chief of Staff Jalyn Radziminski (18C) reached out to Odney to see if she was still interested in the internship. “The fact that she actually reached out to me after I didn’t respond … was a big factor,” Odney explained. “I was still worried, but it encouraged me to still go for it and not write myself off.” Rachel Zipin (23C) also cited “I am supposed to work around complications when applying to her 15 hours a week, so finding time virtual internship at the Tahirih Justice Center, an organization that in my schedule while taking deals with female immigrants seek17 or more credits and having ing refuge.“If I did the internship a full load with my internship in person, I would have had more client interaction, which would have … really honed in on my time been nice since I’m a psychology management skills.” major and the social services aspect of the internship really interested — Anne Odney (23C) me,” Zipin said. “Because of COVID19, they offered me the development part of the internship with administrative tasks.” However, limited internship oppor“Because it’s virtual, I guess it’s tunities available during the paneasier to do the internship because demic motivated Zipin to accept the we don’t have to physically be there,” internship. Odney said. “I’m still able to complete “I thought it would be really hard … her weekly e-newsletters, updat- for me to get any other internship ing her website, creating flyers and because of COVID-19,” Zipin said. “I thought I might as well take the attending staff meetings from my own internship and use it to broaden my space.” Odney expressed that she was skills, even if it’s not directly psycholultimately appreciative of the intern- ogy related.” Zipin said she mainly completed ship because it allowed her to have a “hands-on role in the change- administrative tasks, such as calling making for Georgia.” The internship donors and planning events. Since also helped her gain a stronger work she did not meet any clients, Zipin ethic and develop time management was unable to see the direct fruits skills as she had to juggle her school of her labor: witnessing the moment work, internship and other club refugees received their care packages. commitments. Nevertheless, Zipin appreciated the “It was definitely difficult,” Odney more menial assignments. said. “I am supposed to work around “Sometimes the behind-the-scenes 15 hours a week, so finding time in stuff is just as important as the direct my schedule while taking 17 or more hand-on stuff,” Zipin noted. “Even credits and having a full load with my though I didn’t get to work handsinternship … really honed in on my on with the clients, I did learn that time management skills and working my behind-the-scenes stuff is just as on procrastination.” important and necessary for the orgaOdney also expressed apprehension nization to function.” when first applying for her internship. “When I first applied, I genuinely — Contact Matthew Chupack at felt like I wasn’t cut out for this job,” mhchupa@emory.edu Odney said. “I never read legislation SluttyVegan ATL,” Dunn said. “I will be a financial analyst intern in their accounting and finance department, which is very much different from my previous internship, but I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do and where that leads me.” Unlike Dunn, Anne Odney (23C) virtually completed her internship with Georgia State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick (D-93). The pandemic meant that she was unable to visit Kendrick’s office and the Georgia State Capitol. She believed the plus side was not having to regularly commute, however.


“I feel safer going to work knowing I’m protected and, in a sense, protecting my patients as well,” Mechelle Punjwani (21B) said. “I thought it was important to take the first opportunity I got to achieve herd immunity at a faster rate for the community.” Punjwani, a data analyst at Peachtree Orthopedics, was among the first group of Emory students to be vaccinated. In late December, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech began distributing their long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare personnel, as the first step of a phased distribution plan. Punjwani and patient care technician Natalie Scales (21N) received the Moderna vaccine, while nurse Eva Cheng (19N) and scribe Brian Wang (22C) received the Pfizer vaccine. Both vaccines require two doses, administered either three weeks (Pfizer) or one month (Moderna) apart. All medical and nursing students and faculty were first offered the vaccine in a University-wide email sent on Jan. 6. The vaccines work through the injection of genetic material, in the form of messenger RNA (mRNA), to build spike proteins found on the surface of COVID-19. When the body detects the spike proteins, the immune system produces antibodies, which fight the virus. The vaccines can lead to a variety of side effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these symptoms include pain, swelling, fever, chills, fatigue and headache, all of which should subside in a few days. However, when a vaccinated person then contracts COVID-19, their body will already know how to quickly create the necessary antibodies to quickly fight the virus without strong, adverse effects. Natalie Scales (21N), patient care technician at Emory Decatur Hospital

Courtesy of Natalie Scales

Both vaccines require two doses, administered either three weeks (Pfizer) or one month (Moderna) apart. Cardiothoracic nurse Eva Cheng (19N) and scribe Brian Wang (22C) received the Pfizer vaccine, while Scales received the Moderna vaccine. After graduating in 2019, Cheng began working at Emory University Hospital as a cardiothoracic operating room nurse. As a health care worker, Cheng could receive and administer the vaccine. She received the doses on Dec. 19 and Jan. 6. “I’m very glad to have been given the opportunity to get the vaccine especially since I do care for COVID19 patients once in awhile,” she said. “I hope more healthcare employees (and eventually the public) take the vaccine. I understand theres some doubt in people’s mind regarding the vaccine but healthcare facilities such as Emory have shown its support and confidence in the vaccine development. I feel safer going to work knowing I’m protected and in a sense, protecting my patients as well.” Adi Goren (21N) echoed Cheng’s sentiments. She received the first dose of the vaccine on Jan. 15. “Emory made it really easy and convenient,” she recounted. “I feel so much better about going into the hospital for my clinicals knowing that I

am better protected against COVID., and that most of the health care professionals I work with are also protected.” As a scribe, Wang charts patientphysician encounters. He first received a consent form through He then received the two doses on Dec. 28 and Jan. 19. Afterwards, he received a card administered by the CDC which recorded information about the patient and the vaccine, including the date he received the vaccine. The shot only took a few minutes, but Wang noted that he was instructed to stay for 15 minutes afterward to confirm no immediate reactions occurred. Mechelle Punjwani (21B), data analyst at Peachtree Orthopedics

Courtesy of Mechelle Punjwani

In an email to the Wheel, Cheng wrote that Emory Healthcare employees have recorded patients react more severely to the second dose, which Wang experienced. Cheng said she only experienced soreness at the injection site for a day. “The first very dose was fine,” Wang said. “Once I got the second dose … I had body aches that would run down from my shoulders down to my fingertips … and I had a slight headache.” Scales was eligible for the vaccine as a frontline health care worker and nursing student. She received the vaccine on Jan. 7 and will receive the second dose on Feb. 7. She noted that she experienced headaches and chills for two days after the first dose. Scales had already contracted COVID-19 in July 2020; however, she was scared of contracting the virus again. When the pandemic first hit in March, many health care workers were forced to work without sufficient personal protective equipment. “The first few months of me working at Emory, I was very scared,” Scales said. “We have [personal protective equipment] and everything, but people were still getting really sick.” Wang agreed with Scales’ worries and said he considered quitting his job before receiving the vaccine due to fear of contracting COVID-19. He was especially concerned about exposing his parents to the virus. “I did take a leave of absence though for a little bit because I was scared for my parents for a little, and I obviously didn’t want to get them sick,” Wang said. Scales noted that although the vaccine alleviated some health care workers’ worries, others remained concerned about its safety. Wang said a few of his colleagues declined the vaccine because they were afraid of possible negative effects. Scales noted that her pregnant colleagues were especially anxious about the vaccine’s effect on fertility. Nevertheless, Scales emphasized the importance of vaccinating students and Wang recommended all students receive the vaccine. “Don’t be afraid of the symptoms,” he said. “I’m sure most people would agree that the few days, or even day, of body aches and headache is worth the gaining of freedom again.”

— Contact Angela Tang at ytan258@emory.edu

The Emory Wheel


Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Christopher Labaza

Crossword: Logging Into a New Semester By Aidan Vick || Associate Editor Across


1 Hiring through outsiders 4 Timbaland- “The Way ___ ___” 8 ___ Sultana, Australian musician 12 “Uncut Gems” tough guy 14 Take enemy land as your own 15 Affliction to head, stomach 16 Emit a strong odor 17 Message and FaceTime abbr., combined 18 Stack of paper 19 Admitting you were wrong 22 Italian vinegar 23 Baseball division featuring the Braves, Nationals, Phillies 24 Singular nominative pronoun 25 Tests of authoritarian personality, major pentatonics 27 In Poe, partner of the pendulum 30 Lower-body cancer screening 31 Navy Exchange abbr. 32 Golf cry, placed in the front 33 Computer display; 9 down is known for them 37 Bicycle part manufacturer 39 Prayer conclusion 40 Dormitory confidants 42 Bruce Willis movie, Taylor Swift album 43 Army position above corporal 44 “Papaoutai,” “Alors on Danse” singer 46 e.g. Atomic, Information, Classical 49 Pass without difficulty 50 Where you place vertical coordinates, plural 52 e.g. Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller 56 Called on the phone 57 Primary artery 58 A deer, a female deer 59 ___ Pärt, groundbreaking minimalist musician 60 Car abbreviation, throws dice 61 New Zealand birds, intellectuals 62 Rival of H äagen-Dazs, Halo Top 63 Scottish island known for terriers 64 Fathers of Jrs

1 “___ ___ hen’s teeth” [idiom] 2 What Raphael Warnock did before elected 3 Single shirt 4 Matched up 5 From south of the DRC and north of Namibia 6 Filled with gasoline or Gatorade 7 “Read all about it!” 8 “The Fool,” “The Hierophant,” etc. 9 Taiwan-based computer company 10 American river herring 11 ___ and haws 13 Approve it 14 High-end Mercedes subisdiary 20 Type of yogurt popular after New Year’s 21 60’s “Romeo and Juliet” adaptation, abbr. 26 e.g. Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Mac 27 Hawaiian dish, suspect 28 Who audits you 29 Football position; Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce 30 To a shirt or taskbar 32 Sending a received email to others 33 “More” south of Texas 34 Often precedes “lmao” in texts 35 For fishing or browsing 36 What you might find at the Rose Library 38 “Catch you later!” 41 Without the influence of alcohol 44 ___ Paulo 45 South Carolina beach, flower 46 Second book of the Bible 47 French impressionist 48 Examine with scrutiny 49 Rowing machines, colloquially 51 Snitch, laboratory staple 52 Atlanta Hawks guard 53 Like a diamond or an exam 54 Motivation for the Biblical Abel’s murder 55 As opposed to Bachelors of Science

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


The Emory Wheel

Jones to Begin New Chapter at Stevens Continued from Back Page Martin every week during Martin’s first year of college to aid her transition into college life and collegiate athletics. “Anything really that was on my mind, [Jones] always wanted to talk to me about it and make sure that I was okay,” Martin said. “She was always able to instill confidence in myself.” Since meeting Jones during her own recruitment her junior year of high school, Martin has appreciated getting to know the multiple sides to Jones, she said. While her former coach could be as detailed as pinky placement on a block, Jones also knew how to make Martin laugh. “[Jones is] just a total goof,” Martin said. “You kind of never know what Bri you’re going to get when you show up to practice. She can be super, super intense sometimes, but she can also just be completely messing with you. Going into practice and seeing her is definitely something we’re all gonna miss.” Jones will become the sixth head coach of the Stevens volleyball program.

As a Stevens Duck, Jones hopes to cultivate a new culture and is excited to work with a new group of women who are intelligent, driven and determined. McDowell is excited for Jones to develop Stevens’ program. While she will miss Jones’ friendship and presence, McDowell knows the future is bright for her former camp attendee. “[Stevens] is a very good volleyball program, and they have a history of success there,” McDowell said. “I expect her to lead Stevens to one of the top programs in the country, no doubt about it.” While Jones is ecstatic about the opportunity up north, she will miss her home in Atlanta, where she grew up. But what she will miss most are the friendships she made along the way. “This home — I love it here,” Jones said. “These are lifelong friendships and people I’ll never forget, people I’ll always speak to.” — Contact Jessica Solomon at jessie.solomon@emory.edu

Civil Rights Icon Dies at 86 Continued from Back Page most inspirational and influential figures in Atlanta history. In an era of the civil rights movement that featured so many charismatic and outspoken leaders, Aaron provided consistent yet subtle support for the struggle, opting to be a silent leader who inspired others with his superb actions on and off the field rather than with eloquent prose behind a podium. On the field, he was the epitome of a trailblazer. His collection of career stats are perhaps second to none, and his pioneership as a Black man in a white league in the Deep South should be mentioned in any conversation that features Jackie Robinson. Some six years after Robinson broke the baseball color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Aaron was the first to integrate the South Atlantic League in the minor leagues. When the Braves relocated to Atlanta from Milwaukee, he was baseball’s first Black superstar in the South. In the face of constant racism and bigotry, Aaron never once paused in momentary defeat. He faced the ugly truth of humanity head on, using the sweet stroke of his righthanded swing to break racial barriers. His contributions to baseball did not end with his final at-bat either. Shortly after his retirement, Aaron

became vice president and director of player development for the Braves and thus one of the game’s first Black executives with an upper-level management position. His name also graces an award given annually to the best offensive performer in the American and National Leagues. His mark on baseball, as a player and executive, cannot be overstated. The magnitude of his impact on the game is perhaps rivaled only by his philanthropy and commitment to the city of Atlanta. After the Braves relocated, Aaron bought a home in the southwestern part of the city where he supported, created and donated to numerous charities, scholarships and programs meant to uplift and empower Black people, especially students, exemplified by his $3 million donation to the Morehouse School of Medicine in 2016. Aaron stayed in the same home until his death. His affection for his community characterized his commencement speech, which he gave shortly after he received an honorary doctor of laws degree, to graduating members of the Emory Law School Class of 1995. “Whenever a single human being is humiliated, the human image is cheapened,” Aaron said in his speech. “Whenever a person suffers for whatever the reason and no one is there to offer a hand, a smile, a present, a gift, a memory, a smile


again. What happens, something is wrong with society at large.” The Legend So, who was Hank Aaron? When future generations ask us to describe one of America’s very best people, how should we? How can we, as mere onlookers, capture his remarkable life in a series of carefully yet vainly constructed clauses that will never be able to adequately describe all that he was? Bluntly, we cannot adequately answer any of these questions. He was a man who faced the world’s most wretched hive of scum and villainy with the same grace, humility and persistence with which he faced 98-mileper-hour heaters from the batter’s box. Aaron is and forever will be a legend, the making of myths. His stats tell the story of one of the game’s best-ever players, and his character, partially contained in the collections housed in the Rose Library, reveals the story of a civil rights icon, Atlantan, community leader and extraordinary man. The location of Aaron’s exhibit, which towers dozens of feet over the general Emory community, is fitting for such a towering figure.

— Contact Ryan Callahan at rjcalla@emory.edu

Fumble-to-Touchback Rule Nonsensical

Continued from Back Page

field of play, and goes forward into the opponent’s end zone and over the end line or sideline, a touchback is awarded to the defensive team.” Yes, that’s the real NFL rule. If you fumble, and the ball goes out of bounds at the 1-yard line, it’s still your ball where you lost it, because the other team never got possession. But what if it rolls forward just 1 yard further and out of the end zone? Then it’s the opponent’s ball. When this rule came into play in the playoffs this season, players and fans immediately took to Twitter to voice their frustrations. Perhaps the worst part of Higgins’ fumble is that it was not an isolated incident. This rule has been plaguing the league for years. In 2016, an article on NFL.com described it as “the league’s worst, most nonsensical rule” after a fumble out of the back of the end zone caused the Baltimore Ravens to

lose by six points against the Washington Football Team. Just a year later, the rule appeared in another close game when New York Jets tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins lost possession of the football for a brief moment as he carried it into the end zone. The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but upon review, it was overturned and replaced with a touchback for the New England Patriots. The Jets ended up losing the game by seven. Every offseason, the NFL competition committee reviews many of the rules that caused controversy in the prior season. Gut instinct screams that this fumble-to-touchback rule plainly makes no sense, and in 2018, when the rule finally came under review by the committee, fans were hoping that the rule would be altered. Instead, Competition Committee Chairman

W Cover sideline to sideline. Write for sports. Contact jessie.solomon@emory.edu for more information.

Rich McKay stated that they “did not believe it merited a proposal” for change due to the fact that it was so uncommon. McKay’s reasoning, like the rule itself, makes little to no sense. Just because the rule is applied infrequently does not mean its fallibility should be ignored, and it does not mean that it should be immune to adjustment. The mere fact that it happens at all should be enough to merit a change. Instead of this rule, the NFL should apply the exact same rule that applies everywhere else on the field when a team fumbles the ball. Teams can also be punished by being sent back to the 20-yard line. Hopefully, the call in the recent Browns game will finally draw enough attention to change this egregious rule.

— Contact Ethan Mayblum at ethan.mayblum@emory.edu

Illlustration by Cailen Chinn

Browns Wide Receiver Rashard Higgins catches a ball in 2017.

Harden’s Mark on Houston Unforgettable Continued from Back Page should be remembered as such. For nearly an entire decade, Houston bore witness to the craftsmanship of one of the most lethal scorers in NBA history. No scoring record was safe with Harden on the floor, and three consecutive seasons of over 30 points per game prompted a slew of scoring heights that only the legendary likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan summited before. If the entertainment factor alone wasn’t enough, Harden’s ability to unlock defenses with ease sparked a revolutionary offensive system that lent itself into winning, a system in which 3-pointers reigned supreme. The Rockets graduated from an occasional playoff participant in the early 2000s to a perennial championship contender that made the playoffs in each of Harden’s eight seasons. Harden is the main reason

why Houston reached the Western Conference semifinals in five of the last six seasons. Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that Harden promoted winning basketball in Houston, the absence of an NBA title to his name has been commonly used to suggest that a combination of character flaws and his ultra ball-dominant style of play makes him a player around whom it is impossible to build a championship team. The problem with only evaluating individual impact on championship rings is that the context of playoff success changes dramatically based on the strength of the individual’s team and their opposition. Much of Harden’s perceived legacy is tainted by the Rockets’ best title charges being stopped in their tracks by the Golden State Warriors, arguably the greatest team of all time. Harden’s Rockets were the closest

any team got to dethroning any of the Warriors’ teams with a healthy Kevin Durant, having only been stopped by a nine-point differential in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference finals. Even a LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers team was comfortably swept in the NBA Finals a week later. Expecting Harden, or any other player in NBA history, to individually bridge the talent gap between his Rockets and the prime Warriors remains preposterous and is why his lack of an NBA title should not be used to discredit his greatness. Harden should go down in Rockets history as one of their all-time greats who stood toe-to-toe with an infallible Golden State team and revolutionized the extent to which one player can run a successful offense. He will be sorely missed in Houston.

— Contact Charlie Scruton at charlie.scruton@emory.edu

The Emory Wheel


Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Sports Editor: Jessica Solomon (jessie.solomon@emory.edu) | Asst. Sports Editor: Michael Mariam (mmariam@emory.edu)


Bigger than Baseball: The Legacy of Hank Aaron By Ryan Callahan Managing Editor

Courtesy of Emory Athletics

Former assistant volleyball coach Bri Jones encourages her team from the sidelines. Jones was appointed to head coach at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Asst. Volleyball Coach Leaves Emory

By Jessica Solomon Sports Editor When a 13-year-old Brianna Jones first stepped foot onto Emory’s campus for a summer volleyball camp, head coach Jenny McDowell sensed there was something special about her. Jones, an Atlanta native, never did suit up for the Eagles, but after she was a volunteer assistant during her senior year for the Emory volleyball team, McDowell was determined to have her on staff. When an assistant volleyball coach position opened in 2017, McDowell knew exactly who she wanted for the job. Within the last four years, Jones has been an integral part of the volleyball program, aiding the Eagles to two NCAA Division III championship appearances, two University Athletic Association titles and a glorious NCAA championship win in 2018. While her career at Emory has been nothing short of remarkable, Jones is ready to begin the next

chapter of her coaching career. On Jan. 19, Emory Athletics announced Jones’ resignation to become the head coach of the Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.) volleyball team. While Jones has enjoyed her time in Atlanta, she said she was eager to begin a new chapter in her coaching career. Jones always aspired to move to another big city, McDowell recalled. “I’m excited to move up northeast,” Jones said. “Atlanta is great, but it’s time to go. I’m excited for a new adventure. You have your chapters of life, and I feel like this is a big one for me.” Jones will undoubtedly be missed by her players and fellow coaches, but her mark on Emory’s volleyball program will not be forgotten. McDowell noted how Jones’ detailoriented mindset has helped lead the Eagles throughout her time in the program. “She is one of the best technical coaches of the game that I’ve


ever been around,” McDowell said. “She is way beyond her years in how she sees the game of volleyball, and that’s truly a gift. She’s a learner of the game and loves to teach the game.” Her coaching, though, is driven by the individuals with whom she works. Jones’ fondest memory of her time with the volleyball team is their national title victory in 2018, but not for the reasons people may think. “In terms of winning a national championship, trust me, that is something I’ll never forget in my life,” Jones said. “But watching the players and watching all their hard work, their labor come to fruition later on down the road — I have never looked upon a group of people and been so happy for them before in my life.” The feelings are mutual between Jones and her players. Jones met with junior outside hitter Tara

See JONES, Page 15

On Emory’s Atlanta campus, stories above the cigar-smoking statue of Robert W. Woodruff, lies a legend. Well, pieces of one. In 2014, three Emory baseball players curated the “He Had a Hammer: The Legacy of Hank Aaron in Baseball and American Culture” exhibit at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library. The exhibit contains a diverse set of materials with which one can trace MLB star and former Atlanta Braves right fielder Hank Aaron’s journey to baseball immortality and discover his character as a true moral exemplar. However, no amount of scouting reports, photographs, memorabilia, letters, correspondences and hate mail could ever accurately capture the life and legacy of “Hammerin’ Hank,” one of the greatest players to ever grace a baseball diamond. No matter how unfamiliar one was with Aaron, the weight of his death on Jan. 22 carries a heavy shadow across the entire nation. The All-Timer It would be a vast understatement, perhaps even a grave misdoing, to say that Aaron was just a great player. Aaron played for the Braves (who were formerly the Milwaukee Braves before moving to Atlanta in 1966) from 195474 and the Milwaukee Brewers from 1975-76. By the time he retired in 1976, he had amassed a .305 batting average, 3,771 hits, 2,297 runs batted in and, most famously, 755 home runs over his indescribable 23-year MLB career. By significant margins, his All-Star appearances, runs batted in and total bases are all MLB records and further immortalize him as one of the best players of all time, if not the best. The 25-time All-Star was unstoppable for so long that by his retirement,

he was the last player on an MLB roster who had also played in the nowcanon Negro Leagues, where he played for three months in 1952. His 755 career home runs stood as an all-time record for 33 years before Barry Bonds broke it in 2007 as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Significant hype followed Bond as he approached the all-time record, yet Aaron was not met with such hospitality during his own chase. In the months, weeks and days preceding Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run on April 8, 1974, in the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, he received countless testimonials of humanity’s worst attitudes, dozens of which are currently displayed in his exhibit in the Rose Library. Hate mail and consistent threats of death and kidnapping against him, his wife and his children poured in with increasing intensity from racist onlookers who felt threatened that a Black man had come for Babe Ruth’s record. Some threats were so serious they prompted FBI investigations. The countless letters and on-field taunts which Aaron received were effective, but not in the way in which their senders had intended. Did they harm the Braves great? Absolutely — he confessed in 1992 that his pursuit of No. 715 “should have been the greatest experience of my life, but it was the worst experience of my life.” He was never fully deterred, however, and persisted through the bigotry with a certain grace and humility that defined his person. The Pioneer Aaron will likely always be most known for his athletic prowess, and justifiably so. However, one would be remiss to remember Hammerin’ Hank as only a ballplayer and not one of the

See CIVIL, Page 15


James Harden: A The NFL’s Worst Rule Merits Change Rockets Legend By Ethan Mayblum Contributing Writer

By Charlie Scruton Senior Staff Writer

“#Rocket4Life”: a guarantee that superstar guard James Harden made to the Houston Rockets’ fan base in a September 2017 tweet. However, as demonstrated many times before, a few years is sometimes all it takes for the NBA’s best to no longer feel at home with the franchises to which they once committed their future — as was the case for Harden, who entered the 2020-21 NBA season determined to depart a Houston team he felt was no longer deserving of his All-NBA caliber services. With $132.9 million and three years still remaining on his contract, Harden’s only way out was to convince the Rockets to do the unthinkable and trade the former MVP, who is still in the prime of his career. From skipping training camp to travel to Las Vegas to violating league COVID-19 protocols at a strip club and openly disrespecting teammates and

management in front of the media, Harden made it abundantly clear his solution to force a trade was to become an insufferable pest for Houston’s higher-ups. On Jan. 13, a four-team trade granted Harden’s wish and sent him East to join the newly revitalized Brooklyn Nets juggernaut. The Harden trade spells a sour end to a complex era in Rockets history that is onerous to neatly characterize. Do Harden’s preposterous individual achievements and transformation of the team into a consistent title contender make his eight years in Houston a success? Or is the Harden era doomed to be remembered by the team’s inability to achieve championship glory? Even though Rockets fans have every right to be bitter toward Harden’s forceful departure, what Harden was able to accomplish in Houston was nothing short of remarkable and

See HARDEN’S, Page 15

There are many rules in the NFL that simply make sense. For example, running or passing the ball into the end zone results in a touchdown; kicking the ball through the goalposts after a touchdown is an extra point; sacking a player inside of their end zone is a safety; throwing an interception or fumbling the ball results in a turnover. The list goes on. Yet among these rules are many that have been altered throughout the history of the NFL, and others that just seem illogical. There’s the “Tuck Rule,” which was changed in 2013, 11 seasons after it was notoriously used to overturn a fumble by then-New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the 2001 AFC divisional playoff round and ultimately handed the game to the Patriots. The rule stated that if a player was moving the ball forward, even when tucking it into their body, any fumble arising during that forward motion would be ruled as an incomplete pass. The league later concluded that the rule made no sense, and it was taken

out of the rule books. More recently, the rules defining a catch were simplified in 2018 after years of confusion and controversy, and the rules banning certain celebrations were relaxed in 2017 after being far too strict.

Yet among these rules are many that have been altered throughout the history of the NFL, and others that just seem illogical. To this day, however, there remains perhaps the most confusing rule in the NFL: if a runner fumbles the ball out of the back of the opponent’s end zone, a touchback is awarded to the other team. In other words, the ruling is a turnover and the other team gets the ball at the 20-yard line. Any Cleveland Browns fan who watched their AFC divisional playoff

game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 17 should be painfully aware of this rule. As Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins dove for the endzone, the ball was knocked out of his hands — with what some believe was an illegal helmet to helmet hit — and went out of the back of the end zone. At first, a sigh of relief might have escaped from fans because the ball went out of bounds and the other team didn’t recover it. Then the rule came into play. Instead of scoring a touchdown or gaining possession where the fumble occurred, the Browns lost the football, a touchdown and momentum going into halftime. They eventually lost the game 17-22. What’s even more confusing about the rule is that it appears at odds with other fumbling rules. If a player fumbles the ball forward and out of bounds anywhere else on the field, their team gets the ball back where it was fumbled. But for some reason, the NFL rule book states, “if a ball is fumbled in the

See FUMBLE, Page 15

Profile for The Emory Wheel

January 27, 2021  

January 27, 2021