The Emory Wheel Since 1919
Emory University’s Independent Student Newspaper
Volume 102, Issue 2
Printed every other wednesday
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
ED II Applicants Increase by Over 10%
SAs to Receive Pay Starting Fall 2021 By Sarah Davis Asst. News Editor After Sophomore Advisors (SAs) pushed to receive compensation for increased workloads and COVID-19related stress last fall, the Office of Residence Life agreed to pay SAs starting in fall 2021. Some current SAs received emails from their complex directors stating that during the 2021-2022 school year, SAs will receive a housing stipend of $3,000 per year, which was obtained by the Wheel. Other SAs who did not receive an email confirmed hearing this payment amount in conversations with their complex directors and colleagues. The $3,000 stipend would cover less than half of the 2021-2022 $9,254 housing fee for a standard double room, which is where SAs typically reside. Resident Advisors (RAs) have their housing fees fully covered and receive a stipend of $1,500 per year, which is paid in $150 increments monthly. Senior Director of Campus Life Scott Rausch wrote in a Feb. 9 email to the Wheel that the exact amount of
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By Claire Fenton Staff Writer
The NAACP nominated Professor of African American Studies Kali Nicole Gross for the organization’s 52nd Image Awards in the “Outstanding Literary Work - Nonfiction” category on Feb. 4 for her book “A Black Women’s History of the United States.” Gross co-wrote the novel with Chair of the History Department at The University of Texas at Austin Daina Ramey Berry. Created in 1927, the awards aim to cele- C K N G brate African American individuals for their contributions in film, television, music and literature. Previous winners in Gross’ category include novelist Toni Morrison in 2020 and poet Maya Angelou in 2005 and 2009. This year, Gross’ fellow nominees include prominent figures like former U.S. President Barack Obama for his memoir “A Promised Land” and former U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) for “We’re Better ourtesy of
NEWS Lecture Discusses
Racial Imbalances in Sports ... PAGE 3 P
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Students who fail to schedule a test for a particular week will have their Wi-Fi access to some websites restricted, according to executive director of Emory Student Health Services Sharon Rabinovitz. The penalty is part of the University’s various enforcement mechanisms to ensure on-campus students undergo weekly screening tests. This restriction, which takes effect on Wednesdays if a test has not yet been scheduled for a given week, would include “entertainment sites” such as Netflix or Hulu, but not websites such as Canvas or YouTube that students may need for classes, according to Rabinovitz and Amir St. Clair, associate vice president and executive director of COVID-19 response and recovery. “We’re not trying to impede your ability to log on to your Emory services and be able to access things you need for your classes or for registration,” St. Clair explained. “It’s not impacting your academic progress, it’s meant to really impact your conveniences, and make sure we want to get you back into compliance.” The consequences for failing to schedule a test over multiple
weeks have not been fully outlined, Rabinovitz said, but they may include “parent involvement, building access loss and then the ultimate, which we hope nobody will get to, is housing
privileges lost.” Rabinovitz noted that testing compliance last week was 98%.
A&E Highly Anticipated
Affinity spaces in the Alumni Memorial University Center will receive new color schemes and furnishings by fall 2021 and transition to the third floor of Cox Hall by fall 2023.
Asian Affinity Space to Open Fall 2021 By Matthew Chupack Asst. News Editor Following years of Asian student advocacy and the University’s public commitment to advancing racial justice, students can expect an Asian affinity space to open this fall. The space is expected to temporarily reside on the first floor of the Alumni Memorial University Center (AMUC), where all other affinity spaces are located, said Assistant Vice President of Campus Life Dona Yarbrough. In fall 2023, all affinity spaces will relocate to the third floor of Cox Hall. The Asian affinity space will replace Centro Latinx’s room in the AMUC
Emory Prof. Nominated For NAACP Award By Isabella Roeske Contributing Writer
entails transferring the spaces from the AMUC to Cox Hall. “Hopefully the color schemes, most of the furniture and things will be able to move into Cox Hall so that it won’t be like we’re starting from scratch,” Yarbrough said. “We really didn’t want to shortchange students who are here in the interim by not refreshing those spaces, and a lot of them really do need new furniture [and] carpet.” Yarbrough said Cox Hall is a better location for affinity spaces because there is more natural light and space for student support staff offices, which are currently located in the Emory
The Class of 2025 welcomed 233 new members to Emory College and 149 to Oxford College on Feb. 3 through Early Decision II. Continuing a trend displayed during Early Decision I, both schools received an increased number of applications compared to previous years, with the pool growing by 10% for Emory and 12% for Oxford. The admission rates for Emory College and Oxford remained steady at 14% and 14.5%, respectively. Applicants continued to take advantage of the University’s test-optional policy, as nearly 38% of students at Emory College and 48% at Oxford were admitted without standardized test scores, according to Dean of Admission John Latting and Oxford Dean of Enrollment Services Kelley Lips. On Feb. 4, the University announced the policy will extend into the 20212022 application season, a decision which Lips explained is meant to make the application process more accessible.
Than This,” among others. The awards this year will take place virtually on March 27 at 8 p.m. ET. “It’s pretty amazing,” Gross said. “Honestly, all the nominated books are phenomenal. I feel incredibly blessed and humbled, and I am excited that so many people are learning about Black women’s history.” Their novel details Black womanhood through the history of the U.S., from the first African Kali Nicole woman who arrived to Gross, contemporary African Professor American women. The of African novel takes a holistic American approach, including the Studies voices of both enslaved and freed women along with artists, queer women, religious leaders, activists and others. Gross said “A Black Women’s History of the United States” aims to inspire people to engage with and learn more about Black women’s history. She hopes readers “understand just how hard Black women have fought for liberty, equality and democracy — not solely for themselves but in a manner
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1963 From Integration
Onward, Racism Pervades PAGE 5 Wheel Coverage ...
and Centro Latinx will move into the old Kaplan Test Prep room across the hall. The creation of the space coincides with the renovations to existing affinity spaces such as Centro Latinx and the Emory Black Student Union promised by University President Gregory L. Fenves in an August 2020 letter to the community. While existing spaces are being revamped, the Asian affinity space is a new addition to campus. Yarbrough added that each affinity space will be “refreshed” by fall 2021 and completely renovated by fall 2023. This includes new color palettes, paint, furniture, carpeting and decorations for each room while the renovation
No COVID-19 Test? No Netflix By Madison Hopkins Senior Staff Writer
A24 Movie Releases Feb. 12.. PAGE 7
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PopSockets CEO Shares $200 Healthcare Workers Attend PAGE 9 Super Bowl LV ... Back Page Million Journey ...
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
The Emory Wheel
All Affinity Spaces to Transition to Cox Hall by Fall 2023
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Student Center. Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Activists (APIDAA) Chief of Staff Stephanie Zhang (22C) expressed appreciation for the move to Cox Hall, noting “anything beats the basement of the AMUC because … there is no light in the basement, it floods a lot and there’s roaches in the bathroom.” There are two more meetings between administrators and students before the AMUC refresh completes and Campus Life starts planning meetings for the Cox Hall renovations. Yarbrough said that in the final two meetings, students will finalize the color palettes and give feedback on finishes and fabrics for their respective
“For a long time we thought we were advocating into a black hole.” — Former APIDAA President Alice Zheng (21C) affinity space. “We’re looking for places that are really affirming of student identities, that are welcoming, that are functional and that are unique to each student group,” Yarbrough noted. In his Aug. 13 letter, Fenves said it’s “crucial that the university leadership not simply put the burden of responsibility on you — including or especially those from Black, Latinx, Asian, Native and Indigenous communities, among others” to make the necessary strides in racial justice at Emory. Yet Zhang said she feels as if she’s “forcing her way into the administration’s attention” and taking on another
job in advocating for Asian students on campus. “The amount of extra labor that the University puts on its student activists is actually pretty stressful,” Zhang said. “At least for me, since I’ve been pretty vocal about the needs of Asian students and what the University is lacking, it feels like a lot of admin are like, ‘Oh Stephanie, will you be on this committee or will you help us figure out these needs, and I’m like, ‘Sis, does it look like I’m getting paid for this?’” Although Zhang feels progress has been made, she believes the road to an Asian affinity space was arduous. Asian students first advocated for the creation of an Asian affinity space in 2018, but the University did little to entertain the idea, Zhang said. “I think the previous assumption from the administration has been that because there is such a large population of Asians and visually they look so well represented, they don’t really need a lot of support,” Zhang explained. However, Yarbrough said that when students proposed the Asian affinity space to administrators, “there was never a question of ‘should we have this space,’ it was more a question of when and how.” Former APIDAA Presidents and Senior Advisory Board Members Alice Zheng (21C) and Julia Zhong (21C) said the organization began advocating for an Asian affinity space by creating a task force and encouraging students who identified as APIDAA individuals to join. By 2019, the University began to take a more active role in Asian advocacy efforts and established meetings once or twice per semester with students about the space. “For a long time we thought we were advocating into a black hole, like
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The newly-created Asian affinity space will replace the Centro Latinx center in the Alumni Memorial University Center. Students have advocated for an Asian “hub” since 2018. we had no idea that any of this would actually happen,” Zheng said. “But in the end, we’re just super grateful that somebody in the administration saw this was important and decided to give us some time and space.” Zhang attributed this administrative shift in Asian student rhetoric to changes in University leadership and the racial reckoning over the summer. “With the onboarding of the new president of Emory and with the advocacy that a lot of Black and Latinx student organizations have done during the Black Lives Matter stuff … I think it’s a culmination of a really close allyship with other student communities at Emory and long-standing activism within the Asian community itself,” Zhang explained. Yarbrough said the arrival of Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Enku Gelaye in 2019 facilitated the creation of the Asian affinity space.
Emory Relaxes Indoor Gathering Restrictions Continued from Page 1
meter shifts away from red zone
As planned, Emory relaxed its restrictions on student gatherings on Feb. 8, with the gathering risk meter further in the orange zone. Emory reopened recreation centers and will allow indoor gatherings of up to 10 students “with a faculty or staff member present,” according to a Feb. 8 studentwide email. Positive effluent test Recorded at Oxford campus Oxford students received an email on Feb. 3 informing them that a COVID-19 test of wastewater, called an effluent test, was positive. According to the email, Haygood Hall, the Jolley Residential Center and Fleming Hall were affected. Students who had spent time in those buildings and who had not received a COVID-19 test since Feb. 2 were asked to take another test within the next day. “With the saliva testing weekly, and now effluent testing, it just reinforces, to make sure that we’re capturing everyone who might be in that residence hall,” Rabinovitz said. Effluent testing, like weekly screening tests, helps identify asymptomatic cases so individuals can enter isolation. “Because compliance has been so good this past week, it really did help the process to make sure that test-
ing was done very much in real-time and consistently in the assessment of those effluent test results,” Rabinovitz added. Saliva-based test turnaround time Unlike the rapid antigen nasal swab that was previously used, the salivabased test takes 24-48 hours to yield results. According to St. Clair, the average time for a test result to return is under 36 hours.
“A good example is somebody might not have spit into that tube the right way, and therefore it delays our ability to get the right results.” — Amir St. Clair, Executive Director for COVID-19 Response “We’re still doing part of our testing outside of Emory. Over the next few weeks, we anticipate bringing all of that testing in-house. That’s really important, because it’ll bring that turnaround time down even more,” St. Clair said. St. Clair acknowledged that there have been some cases in which results took longer than 48 hours to process. He explained this could happen for
several reasons. “A good example is somebody might not have spit into that tube the right way, and therefore it delays our ability to get the right results,” St. Clair said. “Sometimes, since we use an external lab, if they have any delays on their side, that might impede our results.” Rabinovitz and St. Clair stressed the importance of other mitigation strategies, such as avoiding gatherings, wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing. “If you’re wearing your mask, if you’re physically distancing, if you’re washing your hands, then the turnaround time isn’t a significant variable because you’re doing what you should be doing. The turnaround time becomes a significant variable if you’re not doing what you should be doing,” St. Clair said. Cases decline by 6 from last week Emory reported 48 new cases this week, a slight dip from last week’s total of 54. This included 22 off-campus students, 11 on-campus students, 14 on-campus staff and one off-campus staff member. The locations with multiple cases included Clairmont Undergraduate Residential Center with two cases, Longstreet-Means Hall with three cases and Woodruff Residential Center with four cases.
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“She was really interested in immediately getting to a place where we could include a space for APIDAA students, who are obviously a large population of students on campus who had never had an identity space before,” Yarbrough said. Zhang explained that an Asian affinity space is especially important because it will allow Asian organizations to plan “culturally significant” food-based programs. “The fact that we have to have a lot of our events in freshman halls because that’s where kitchens are … is really frustrating,” Zhang said. For Zhong, an Asian affinity space will provide a safe space for Asian students to connect and share their perspectives without having non-Asian people invalidating their experiences. “When I first came to Emory, I knew I wanted to get involved with the Asian community and do Asian advocacy work, but … I didn’t know where to
go for that,” Zhong reflected. “If I had this space … that provided resources, a community space or programming for Asian students, I would have been able to find a community more easily and feel like I had a place to be.” Despite multiple years of Asian American advocacy placing additional burdens on students, Zhang said she would never take back all of the work and effort put into creating the Asian affinity space. “I think it’s fruitful because with all of these concrete spaces being put in place … it leaves an institutional memory for Asian American activists and Asian American students,” Zhang said. “By creating this memory … it puts pressure on the University to continue to recognize the needs of Asian students.”
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Nominated Book Details Black Women Experiences Continued from Page 1 that benefits everyone.” She attributed her interest in her areas of expertise to her personal experiences, saying she “grew up in multiple Americas.” “In my world at home, my hardworking, single mother built a life for us that was filled with laughter, love, good food, music, reading and Black literature and the arts,” Gross said. “The world outside was often hostile, filled with unspoken and spoken threats. ... I knew much of that unfairness was about race and about gender even though I didn’t have the vocabulary to give it a name.” In the face of racism, Gross persevered and is currently serving as the Publications Director for the Association of Black Women Historians and is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. “Black women are forced to navigate a web of interlocking systems of oppression ... that impact their quality of life in myriad ways; from unequal justice, to a lack of access to adequate healthcare and education, to pay equity issues, to the widespread myths that depict Black women as untrustworthy, domineering and extractive,” Gross explained. “A Black Women’s History of the
United States” has also been nominated for Goodreads Best of History and Biography 2020 and named in the African American Intellectual History Society’s best Black history books of 2020, Kirkus Best Books of 2020: Black Life in America, Kirkus Best-Big Picture History Books of 2020 and Ms. Magazine’s Best of the Rest 2020. Gross is no stranger to high notoriety. Her first book, “Colored Amazons: Crime, Violence, and Black Women in the City of Brotherly Love, 1880-1910,” won the 2006 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize and her second book, “Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex and Violece in America,” won the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction. Her prolific research of Black women’s experiences in the United States’ criminal justice system has been published in Vanity Fair, TIME, BBC News, The Washington Post and other outlets. There are “no easy answers” to the problems Gross mentioned, such as unequal justice and a lack of access to adequate healthcare; however, she continues to work in education and conduct research to advocate for racial injustices and spread awareness.
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The Emory Wheel
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Lecture Discusses Racial Increase Credited to Imbalance in U.S. Sports Test-Optional Policy Continued from Page 1
By Claire Fenton Staff Writer “How much power do you really have if you lose everything by opening your mouth?” ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant’s reflection on the fragility of Black power in sports encapsulated the 2021 Pellom McDaniels Sports History Lecture Series on Feb. 4. Assistant Professor of History Carl Suddler hosted a dialogue between Bryant, who wrote “Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field,” and writer-at-large for The Undefeated William C. Rhoden, who wrote “Forty Million Dollar Slaves.” The conversation explored the complexity of race relations in professional athletics, a realm long heralded as an equalizer that struggles to adequately address its racial disparities. “White America has always allowed Black people to entertain them,” Bryant said. “These integrated spaces are supposed to create some sort of enlightenment and you realize they don’t.” Bryant explained that power in sports is divided along racial lines, as teams depend on Black athletes to grind out wins, while white owners, coaches and media personnel move the pieces and control the narrative. Fans and season ticket holders are mostly white as well, and the pressure to keep that audience satisfied has been a confusing process for the entire industry. “Tom Brady is a Trump supporter, so here you got this guy who arguably is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time whose career has been made by a lot of Black guys he’s thrown to,” Rhoden said. “You’ve got this white quarterback who’s clearly in support of this racist president, but yet his career has been made by these Black guys.” Bryant and Rhoden suggested that some white people only feel comfortable celebrating Black excellence in a sports setting and are taken aback when Black athletes carry their influence into other arenas. From Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests which sparked a national conversation to NBA players’ refusal to take the floor for games after the shooting of Jacob Blake, attempts by Black athletes to use their platform for activism receive harsh backlash. “To the public, having that money is
From top left: Sports journalist William C. Rhoden, Assistant Professor of History Carl Suddler and ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant discussed race relations in sports on Feb. 4. sufficient reason for you to say nothing,” Bryant said. “Everybody in this country, the more money they get the more they talk. Black athletes are the only people in this country that the more money they make, the less we want to hear from you.” Conflicts between athletes and franchise owners are nothing new, but the recent racial justice protests in professional sports indicate that players hold sway over the game itself. As Bryant explained, without players, there is no game; without a game, there is no income. White franchise owners depend on their athletes to fuel the industry, yet some try to suppress Black voices and reduce them to nothing more than entertainers, Rhoden explained. “At the Capitol building there was the one scene where the white guy had the Confederate flag standing outside the Senate chambers,” Rhoden said. “It occurred to me at that moment, that there are a lot of these team owners and executives who’ve got their own Confederate flag—their invisible Confederate flag—that they put on the organization.” Bryant and Rhoden drew parallels between slavery and the hierarchy of professional sports, noting Black players give far more to their respective organizations than they receive. Bryant explained that while some may dismiss the notion by citing the immense wealth Black athletes have, the structural inequality of the system speaks volumes. “You still have to view it through a labor lens, not your lens of what I make
The Emory Wheel Volume 102, Issue 2 © 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
• In the Jan. 27 issue, “Sorority Members Decry Systemic Failures” incorrectly identifies former Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler as Democrats. In fact, they are Republicans. • In the Jan. 27 issue, “Sorority Members Decry Systemic Failures” incorrectly attributed a quote about disappointment in diversity initiatives to Wendy Avilés (22C). The quote was in fact meant to be attributed to Krista Delany (23C). • In the Jan. 27 issue, “Sorority Members Decry Systemic Failures” incorrectly stated that 2021 Panhellenic recruitment began on Jan. 9.
and what they make, but against what they make against what they bring into the industry,” Bryant said. “[Athletes] are the most successful, the most visible, they’re the most influential Black people in this country.” Rhoden agreed, indicating that as Black presence in sports has grown, so has audiences’ apathy toward the principles Black athletes support. “The more Black folks are playing, the less you can care,” Rhoden said. “That goes all the way back to the eighteenth century where we’ve defined Black folks, Africans, as people who are not really human.” Bryant and Rhoden argued that Black athletes must reclaim their narrative and work collectively to level the playing field. They cited recent events like highprofile college athletes committing to HBCUs, quarterback Deshaun Watson’s vocal disapproval of the Houston Texans organization and the diverse coaching staff behind the Superbowl-bound Buccaneers as encouraging signs, and commended the young activists championing the Black cause. “My parents never, ever emphasized equality to me. They emphasized opportunity,” Bryant said. “I love the fact that this generation, they don’t just want opportunity. They want equality too.”
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“The students who seem to be the most disadvantaged in the COVID pandemic in general are underrepresented students,” Lips said. “We just really wanted to make sure that we were equalizing the playing field for all students and that the test would not impede their ability to apply.” Latting cited the test-optional policy, which many universities have adopted in recent months, as one of the causes for the increased racial and socioeconomic diversity displayed in this year’s applicant pool. Far more Black and Hispanic students applied in the Early Decision II round than is typical, Latting said, stating that around half of all students applied for need-based financial aid. Latting said the University will continue to collect data on how the testoptional policy impacts the applicant pool. Above all, he stressed that the admission team’s goal is assessing academic preparedness and shaping a class that meets Emory’s standards. “The fact that we’re test optional is a sign of flexibility of what credentials students need to submit to be considered for admission, but it is not a sign of flexibility about our insisting about academic preparation,” Latting said. “We’re really very determined and really disciplined about that.” Some students, like Long Island native Helen Andrade (25C), had no scores to submit due to test centers closing and were worried about its effect on admission. Although Andrade applied to a different school in the Early Decision I round, she became increasingly disillusioned with her choice over time and was “relieved” when she was rejected. “I was really happy that I didn’t get in,” Andrade said. “I realized then that Emory was my top choice this whole time. I was so happy that they had [Early Decision II]. I was so grateful for that.” Eric Jones (25C) from Millburn, New Jersey, came to a similar conclusion after being rejected from another
school in the Early Decision I round. While Jones plans on entering the business school, he is eager to take advantage of the liberal arts education Emory offers by dabbling in courses outside of his pre-professional track. “I could pick up another interest and experiment with the class and start to really like it,” Jones said. “I think at a place like Emory, you’re totally able to do that. And not only are you able to do it, they will encourage you to be exploratory and do that.” Jones cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s proximity to the Atlanta campus and the accessibility of Emory Healthcare as valuable resources that factored into his decision. Danny Jackson (25Ox) took COVID-19 into account during his college search and found Oxford more appealing than other larger schools he considered. “COVID definitely affected the process,” Jackson, a native of Miami Beach, Florida, said. “Big-city schools that are very densely packed seem a lot less appealing as opposed to schools that are in a much smaller environment such as Oxford.” All three students said they capitalized upon virtual resources to learn about Emory, from virtual tours and information sessions to social media accounts and student forums. They noted that relying heavily on such impersonal interactions was frustrating at times, but they are nonetheless eager to join the Emory community and remain confident in their decision. “One of the questions I asked to every student, every school I applied to — I said, ‘What are the biggest positives, and what are the biggest negatives?’” Jones recounted. “Nobody that I talked to at Emory had many negatives. … All these schools are great, and there are nice people everywhere, but when you don’t hear it from anyone, I know that’s a good sign.”
— Contact Claire Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current SAs Criticize Deferred Pay Continued from Page 1
compensation is “still under review” but confirmed that payment will go into effect in this fall with the next round of SAs. He stated that the decision to pay SAs was informed by three meetings in the fall semester with a working group that included several SAs and members of the Office of Residence Life. Praneeth Kolli (23C), an SA from Longstreet-Means Hall, expressed that this was a bittersweet victory for current SAs because they will not reap the benefits of this compensation. “It’s a success, but I think there’s more that can be done,” Kolli said. “For one, I see no reason why our year can’t be compensated, especially because we’re the ones in the pandemic.” Hamilton Holmes Hall SA Celline Kim (23C), who was part of the working group, echoed Kolli’s frustration that their year of SAs would not be compensated and underscored the unique difficulties they endured due to the pandemic. “The entire reason that my grade of SAs have fought for compensation was, to put it bluntly, because of the current
first years,” Kim said. “Seeing how the first years are handling all the COVID restrictions just honestly felt like a slap in the face to say, ‘We’re going to start paying them now instead of you.’” Harris Hall SA William Gao (23C) applied to the position after talking to his freshman year SAs about the amount of work he could expect. However, he said that COVID-19 created additional challenges which added onto the workload that he did not sign up for. “I think none of us really knew what the college campus was going to look like with COVID, even with all the regulations with social distancing,” Gao said. Gao noted that while he was expected to keep students in check, the volunteer description allowed himself to step back when he needed a break. It is unclear how the compensation will affect SAs who partake in work study programs. Rausch noted that the Office of Residence Life will work with the Office of Financial Aid to “minimize those effects” on student financial aid packages. “We advise students to meet with their financial aid advisor to under-
stand how the compensation will affect their package before they decide to apply or accept a position,” Rausch wrote. Residence Life has yet to release RA and SA applications, which were released Nov. 18 last year and closed Feb. 15. This year, the applications were previously scheduled to open on Feb. 15 but have now been postponed indefinitely. Some SAs said this delay impedes planning. Gao said he needs to know whether he will receive the position in order to secure housing next year. “I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t have time to make a decision just because I don’t even know if the RA position is going to be the same,” Gao said. Despite frustration with the lack of payment for current SAs, Kolli believes the decision still deserves praise. “Although there’s room for improvement, I’m happy,” Kolli said. “Doesn’t mean that we stop or that we don’t see if there’s still areas of improvement, but right now, I am feeling successful.”
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The Emory Wheel
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | Opinion Editors: Ben Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Brammhi Balarajan (email@example.com)
Emory College admitted its first Black student 58 years ago, but its integration continues today. “1963,” an investigative project led by the Wheel’s Opinion section, explores desegregation as an ongoing process and explores the inequities that remain at Emory. A selection of stories follows. The full project can be found at emorywheel.com. Editorial
Faculty Need Anti-Racist Action, Not Rhetoric In 1963, at the height of the civil rights movement, Emory University desegregated its campus. However, more than 50 years later, the dream of a more equal, diverse community is still a work in progress. Emory began desegregating its campus following Emory v. Nash (1962), when two of the College’s administrators contested a Georgia law that disincentivized integration by providing tax breaks to exclusively white-only private educational institutions. The administrators would go on to win the lawsuit, and in the following school year, Emory started admitting African American students. “In the long run Emory could never be the truly great national University we all want it to be if it denied admission to qualified students on illogical or irrelevant grounds,” said former University Vice President Judson C. Ward, Jr. at the time. Nevertheless, simmering campus inequities culminated in widespread protests by Emory’s Black students in 1969. Their demands — except for a few immediate actions by former President Sanford Atwood, including the creation of an African American Studies program — have been implemented slowly over the past six decades. Regarding faculty diversity, a 2007 study from the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education identified Emory as having the highest proportion of Black faculty among top-ranked universities at the time (6.4%). At the time, this must have been encouraging, since the national average for Black faculty makeup is still only around 6% today. Today, just over 9% of faculty members at Emory are Black, which is still higher than the national average. Yet this number remains a glaring reminder that more must be done to achieve equity across higher education. Specifically, the massive summer protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black individuals forced a racial reckoning
at universities, corporations and organizations nationwide. This movement evokes the spirit of the original civil rights movement, which opened the doors to Black students at Emory and other universities across the country. The welcoming of nine Black students to the University in 1963 was a sign of hopeful progress, but Black student activists’ protests in the late 1960s were a stark reminder that Emory was still a homogenous, inequitable place. It still is. While the proportion of Black students at predominantly white colleges and universities has remained considerably low, Black students and faculty members have been vocal critics of the persistent whiteness in higher education. These are the same voices that repeatedly bring awareness to racism and its detrimental impact on the broader Emory community. Six years after the Nash decision, the few Black students at Emory took it upon themselves to make their peers and school administrators aware of the racial inequities holding the University back. Finding power in protest, they sought to pave a clearer path toward progress, which the school had hoped to jump-start with its 1963 decision to integrate. The same occurred in 1990, 2015 and 2020. Six years ago, The Coalition of Black Organizations and Clubs presented demands in response to contemporary acts of racism, particularly police brutality. Black students’ need to continue protesting and drafting demands to the administration indicates that racism is still deeply ingrained in higher education. The most recent set of demands from Black Emory student organizations and anecdotes shared on social media pages, like the @BlackatEmory Instagram page, indicate the need for more decisive action from University leaders in addressing bias toward Black students on campus, the treatment of Black clubs and organizations and the role and power of the Emory
Police Department (EPD). Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science and director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute, noted that the University’s response to this past summer’s protests must be a continuing and active effort. “This challenge demands an ongoing response and also demands a regular check-in,” Gillespie said. “So, if Black students and other students of color are complaining of a hostile climate in 2015 and they are still complaining about it in 2020 and 2021, that is evidence that there is some more work to be done.” Gillespie is confident that the implementation of the race and ethnicity general education requirement and faculty endorsement of the requirement are signs that meaningful change has begun. “The faculty support of instituting that GER is a sign of progress, but we now have to look at how it gets implemented, what kinds of courses people take,” she said. “We want to look to see how students are influenced by those courses.” Though it took five years to materialize, this new GER is a model for future anti-racism policy at Emory. It arose based on input from faculty, students and administrators, is a sustainable idea and, most importantly, should successfully push students to engage critically with race and ethnicity. But rather than an excuse to pat ourselves on the back, that success should instead be an inspiration, a guide for future change. The challenges brought to the fore by this summer’s protests do not exclusively affect students. The inequities also extend to faculty and staff, namely in hiring and workplace treatment. The summer #BlackintheIvory trend provided Black academics a space to share their experiences of racism and prejudice at predominantly white colleges and universities. Their stories, detailing microaggressions, biased tenure processes and more, illumi-
nated the need for immediate, aggressive action to combat racism at the faculty level. Despite Emory’s strong track record for faculty diversity relative to peer institutions, the number of underrepresented minorities among faculty is still far too low. Last fall, a Wheel investigation by Executive Editor Isaiah Poritz also revealed rampant racism in the University’s treatment of its Campus Services staff, 63% of whom are Black. Higher-level administrators forced employees to work double shifts during the pandemic without overtime or hazard pay, and Emory has failed to mandate COVID-19 testing, making it harder for employees to be regularly tested. They routinely chose outside hires over current staff when promotion opportunities arose, enforced unrealistic performance standards and marginalized female and Black staff. Such blatant discrimination and toxicity indicate that the University’s problems extend far beyond its faculty — for Black, Indigenous, people of color as well as women, Emory isn’t an equitable workplace. Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law Dorothy Brown acknowledged the work Emory must still do to advance inclusion and address racism among faculty and throughout the University. “[Emory Law] is still a difficult place for this black law faculty member over a decade later,” Brown wrote in an email to the Wheel. “But moving beyond the law school, if Emory University is to make progress, Emory must be prepared to face some uncomfortable truths.” One of these, Brown noted, is “learn[ing] how to walk the talk.” “Accountability is key, and in my experience Emory does not like holding people accountable for their antiinclusive actions,” she wrote. Emory administrators should consider plausible solutions to rectify these disparities, such as revisiting strategies for faculty and staff recruit-
ment and hiring, which could increase the diversity of the University’s professors. Cluster hiring, the practice of hiring employees in groups that match a particular academic or demographic need, is one elegant solution that many universities, Emory included, have used to great success in the past. The Emory History Department used cluster hiring to find several phenomenal Latinx professors, such as Assistant Professor Maria Montalvo. Another method would be to modify Emory’s tenure process. Currently, professors are tenured on the basis of four metrics: research, teaching, service and advising. Yet these guidelines ignore a plethora of unique experiences, backgrounds, ideas and skills that may greatly benefit individual departments and the University as a whole. To solve this problem, administrators should convene a panel of faculty, deans and students from throughout Emory’s various schools to recommend a more holistic, inclusive tenure process. We are not so naive as to think Emory administrators can heal the disease of racism with cluster hiring and tenure modification. These are band-aids. To achieve true and lasting equity, University heads, politicians and voters must address the disparities between Black and white children long before they enroll in college. However, this doesn’t preclude us from identifying the continuing impact of racism and racial inequity in higher education. “1963” is a stepping stone to giving marginalized communities at Emory a voice and an effort to detail the history that has created the community in which we share today. It is a reminder that the University’s leaders must take more active steps to address the demands of Black, Indigenous and people of color. If the events of 1963 taught us anything, it’s that change is possible, not promised. Making it happen is on us.
The above editorial 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.
The Emory Wheel Volume 102 | Number 2
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
Jada Chambers Copy Editor Michael Mariam Asst. Sports Editor Phyllis Guo Copy Editor Stephen Altobelli Asst. A&E Editor Gabriella Lewis Multimedia Editor Saru Garg Asst. A&E Editor Becca Moszka Multimedia Editor Aidan Vick Associate Editor Sarah Davis Asst. News Editor Matthew Chupack Asst. News Editor Sophia Ling Asst. Opinion Editor Mileen Meyer Business Manager Yun Zhu Asst. Opinion Editor Kaitlin Mottley Asst. Emory Life Editor Advertising Email firstname.lastname@example.org Lauren Blaustein Asst. Emory Life Editor
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The Emory Wheel
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
To Address Racism, Emory Must Offer a Bridge Program Craig Womack
This past fall, the University, under the leadership of its new President Gregory L. Fenves, formalized a Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations. The task force was created after the discovery of racist images in Emory yearbooks in 2019 and its work became even more urgent given the national discussions of racist brutality in the U.S. that has occurred since. The charge of this task force, according to a campus-wide announcement, is to honor the labor of enslaved persons, develop criteria for awarding scholarships, acknowledge the contributions of Indigenous peoples and develop educational and experiential opportunities. All these goals are laudable and easily within reach, and they should be implemented in concrete ways as soon as possible. As I retire from Emory University this year, however, it is my hope that these beginning demonstrations of good faith will turn into something much more long-term than the many task forces and committees that have already come and gone, failed to produce material results and lacked significant follow-up. To be specific, I hope that the charge that the president has presented us with will, immediately, turn to a commitment to our own city, Atlanta. As a professor who has taught a good many years here, it seems to
me Emory does a much better job recruiting students from all over the globe than from our own city and that our classrooms do not, even remotely, represent the demographics of the very city we are located in, especially in relation to African American students from Atlanta. We need to recognize the responsibility we have to the place where we study and work. I find it extremely difficult to talk to professors and administrators about these matters. I hear that I am not acknowledging the work that Emory is already doing, not recognizing specific offices that explore community liaisons, not aware of scholarships already in place — basically, what I hear people telling me is that I need to do my homework. I feel, however, what I need is for people to listen to what I am saying. If a student comes from an Atlanta neighborhood where no one, or very few people, have ever gone to Emory, what are the chances that student will end up in an Emory classroom? If a potential student hasn’t graduated from high school, how will an Emory scholarship be of any use? If a person is incarcerated in one of Atlanta’s many jails and prisons, some of which I teach in myself, how can that person take classes at Emory? Emory needs a bridge program that allows Atlanta residents who would never have the opportunity to attend a university anywhere to be guaranteed a slot at Emory upon successful completion of the program so that at some point in our not too distant future we
can look across our classrooms and incorporate the viewpoints and experiences of people who grew up in the city where we are located. This cannot be accomplished by establishing more scholarships and creating memorials and doing a better job at unpacking our problematic history and renaming buildings; it can only come to pass by paying attention to who is inside the buildings. Every problematic name and history on campus can be reimagined, renamed, and re-memorialized, while the people inside the buildings remain the same. In our case, the people NOT inside our buildings will remain the same, the lack of a significant contingent of residents of our own city, even though we have people from everywhere else across the globe. A bridge program is not some kind of quixotic dream beyond the ability of human knowledge; many different kinds of colleges and universities have these programs that could provide models. It could begin with Emory trying to explore ways of understanding that there are far more important realities than Emory’s yearly rankings in slick periodicals. We would be a better institution if we slipped in the rankings but took our classes to our closest neighbors. I was hoping, many years ago, when Emory was in a national scandal over accusations of misrepresenting its own data in order to achieve higher rankings, that we might have learned something.
Instead, the University seems to keep pursuing these empty laurels like a hellhound on a death trail. Let’s find new priorities — how to build relations with the very people who live here and make a bridge program possible. We are in an unprecedented time when change, at the university level, is no longer a possibility but an inevitability. Perhaps one of the greatest dangers of the pandemic is that technology will shift while our ethics remain the same or become further eroded than they already are. We are facing a new frontier in which teaching technologies could become a means of changing universities like ours into something different than simply a privileged space for ensuring that elites remain elite. There is no reason why classes cannot be opened to local people, especially disenfranchised people, who have not had the opportunity to take them before, and why programs cannot be developed for preparing them for success in such courses. I’ve taught Native American Studies for three decades all over the U.S. and Canada, and the first thing I have tried to do at each institution when I arrived was to design courses whose content reflected the tribes in the immediate area of my new home. I think turning to the local population is a good model in order to have any understanding of the relationship between the past and the present. I would like us to consider that age-old gospel question: “Who is my neighbor?” This is a better question than
“What is my ranking?” To argue that such efforts would drag us down as an institution (besides being potentially racist) is like the educational equivalent of climate deniers who say that if we just keep supporting the coal industry everything will be OK. Other universities in our city, like Morehouse College, have started programs that give faculty credit for teaching in prisons. The beginning of these kinds of exchanges is truly exciting, and it won’t be long until colleges and universities in our city, as well as our nation, will surpass us if we only worry about scholarships, memorials, history rewrites, names on buildings and so on. These important efforts are beginnings, not endings. I hope we think of them as a down payment on establishing a profound connection to the city where our University is located. I like to think about the kind of transformative powerhouse Emory might become if it had programs inside local jails, if Atlanta neighborhoods saw their first residents enrolled in our classes, if people who began a bridge program without high school diplomas ended up walking across our graduation stage. That’s when courageous inquiry would become more than a motto, and we could address systemic racism with something more than cosmetic treatments. Craig Womack is an associate professor of English at Emory University.
From 1963 Onward, Racism Pervades The Wheel’s Coverage Brammhi Balarajan, Shreya Pabbaraju and Ben Thomas In 1973, two students sat at a table during Emory’s student activities fair, pictured below. One, sitting atop the Wheel’s booth and piercing the camera is white student Geoff Gay (74C), who was editor-in-chief. The other is a Black student whose name remains lost in Wheel history. Many former editors whom we contacted for this piece couldn’t place his name; former Photo Editor Richard Sexton (75C) only referred to him as a ”really sweet guy.” Everyone seemed to remember that there was one Black writer, but no one could give him the humanity of a name. Where Gay sat in the center of the frame, literally and figuratively dominating the Wheel’s presence at the fair, the Black student reclines off to the side, a minor player in the photo and, in all likelihood, the Wheel itself. This photo is nearly 50 years old, but it nevertheless evokes the current state of Emory student journalism. Just as the Wheel provoked the formation of a competing, more conservative paper in the 1970s, so it did just last year. Just as the Wheel marginalized Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) then, so it does today. Throughout our investigation for this piece, we have sought buried truths from throughout the organization’s history in hopes of sparking not just a conversation about the problems they reveal, but also action — real, sustained action that will change future generations for the better. While many stories, such as Emory filing a suit for desegregation, made front-page news, many more slipped beneath the waves of history. In this piece, we investigated The Wheel’s coverage, culture and DEI efforts since 1963. We found that, for decades, BIPOC have been silenced and their stories have been ignored. Before our
words are diminished as mere anger, Klan member and failing to acknowl- Black writers still earned it a strongly we must ask ourselves, what are the edge the lasting harm of doing so. progressive reputation in the 1960s uses of anger? In memory of civil Even worse than Sverdlik’s detached and 1970s. According to several forrights advocate Audre Lorde’s revolu- response to Greg, however, was the mer Wheel editors, a second student tionary work, “My response to racism fact that Wheel editors had published newspaper known as the Emory New is anger. That anger has eaten clefts that piece in the same issue as an Times split from the Wheel in 1969 in into my living only when it remained article amplifying Black students’ 1969 response to the paper’s progressivism. unspoken, useless to anyone.” demands for change. This was not While the leaders of both papers In the late 1960s, the Wheel took the first time Wheel editors published claimed their differences centered some significant steps toward becom- members of the Klu Klux Klan in the on journalistic practices, the reality ing a more inclusive organization. form of op-eds or interviews, nor appears much different. Sexton, for As early as 1968, a group of Black would it be the last. example, explained that New Times students authored demands to the In addition to spotlighting white editors “thought [Wheel staff] were a University through the bunch of hippie wackos, leftWheel. The Black Voice, wing communists who were not a column featuring Black of the frame of mind that they students’ opinions, first were.” Five years after the split, appeared in 1975, accordthe two papers finally agreed ing to then Editor-in-Chief to merge in the fall of 1974. Brenda Mooney (76C). For Mooney, who ran for editorthe moment, hate speech in-chief against a former New began to ebb. As early as Times editor, described her 1969, the Rev. Dr. Otis campaign as a “race between Turner (69T, 74G) became the ideologies.” In reality, both one of the first Black stuorganizations simply justified dents, if not the first, to their hateful speech in the write regularly for the Courtesy of former Photo Editor R ichard Sexton (75C) name of free speech. As such, Wheel. Yes, the Wheel Former Editor-in-Chief Geoff Gay (74C) and conflating the Wheel’s left-leanimproved during Emory’s an unnamed Black student table for the Wheel ing reputation and its failure to integration, but its mini- in 1973. disavow hatred, however, would mal steps toward inclusion be a disservice to the communistill masked rampant prejudice. For an nationalism, the Wheel also pro- ties it harmed. overwhelmingly white paper that rou- duced sexist, photographic coverage The story of the New Times and tinely published the N-word, desegre- of women, especially Black women. In the Wheel may be decades old, but gation was only just beginning. one tradition, editors in the 1960s and it should sound very familiar — just That veneer of inclusion was grossly 1970s chose a weekly “Wheel Girl” to last year, another group of conservadisrupted by the continuous publica- feature, including an overtly sexual- tive staff left the Wheel because of tion of hateful ideas following Emory’s ized photo and a short, reductive biog- ideological differences and formed a official integration, which occurred in raphy of a female student each week. new organization, the Emory Whig. 1963. In 1976, Features Editor Alan While only about 10 Black students After a few right-wing opinion writers Sverdlik (77C) published a feature on attended Emory in 1967, three Black concluded that the Wheel had unjustly the oldest living member of the Klu women became Wheel Girls from 1968 suppressed their ideas, they decided Klux Klan. A week later, he wrote to early 1969. Though such depictions to create a new organization for theman equivocal article responding to a may appear inclusive, they’re really selves in the name of exercising their Black student, referred to only as Greg, just tokenizing. The Wheel objecti- freedom of speech. Yes, the Wheel who argued that both the “sympathetic fied Black women at alarming rates, rejected their articles on rare occatone” of Sverdlik’s article and its pub- a visual representation of the Wheel’s sions, but it almost always did so with lication constituted blatant miscon- racist values. justification. One current Whig writer duct by the Wheel. Greg was right. Still, the Wheel’s publication of once submitted a draft that, among Sverdlik’s article was clearly neglectful anti-war articles, discussion of sex- other things, used racialized language in both giving a platform to a Klu Klux positive issues and celebration of a few to malign prominent Black Americans
and insinuated that systemic racism did not exist. That is not the exercise of free speech. It’s hatred. And BIPOC are always expected by white-dominated societies to face the hatred they receive. As Lorde wrote in “Uses of Anger,” “Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity.”So where do we draw the line between hate speech and promoting free discourse? As current and former editors, we have had to make tough decisions about the articles, ideas and writers we platform. Often, we must contend with the costs of publishing an article, either to our own identities or to those of others. The line between hate speech and protected speech is often obfuscated by coded references to journalistic ethics and standards of objectivity. For instance, when editors received cartoons which vilified Black civil rights leaders, they had to evaluate the tradeoffs of publication. To these editors, free speech outweighed the costs of publishing a glaringly racist cartoon and effectively trivializing integration. Many similar tradeoffs also risked alienating and harming BIPOC and continue to do so. On the other hand, when deciding to publish pieces supporting the end of “separate but equal” policies, the Wheel was branded as radical and extremist by people like the editors of the New Times. We still face such dilemmas daily. As editors, we have both the responsibility to balance practicing ethical journalism with honoring the freedoms of expression and speech. And evidently, the Wheel will always be subject to criticism on either side of the debate. However, we must choose to be on the right side of history. Brammhi Balarajan (23C) and Ben Thomas (23C) are the Wheel’s Opinion editors. Shreya Pabbaraju (21C) is a former managing editor.
The Emory Wheel
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Academia Excludes Black Women Rethink Building Names Leah Woldai Throughout the nation, Black women of all ages face a burdensome number of challenges as they attempt to navigate the taxing world of academia. From primary school to higher education, we remain painfully cognizant of the racial discrimination, gender bias and everyday microaggressions from our peers and teachers. This knowledge is devastating to the Black woman scholar’s self-confidence, it is a weight she must carry as she seeks academic growth. Triumphantly, many will pursue various passions despite these obstacles in the spirit of radical Black women, like Kimberlé Crenshaw and Alice Walker. But for a large number of us, the Eurocentric design of academia quickly stifles our creative drive and quality of life. As a young Black woman scholar, I have witnessed firsthand these lifelong feelings of academic inferiority morph into a form of imposter syndrome. This phenomenon has gone on for far too long. We must end the inherently problematic cycle that continuously robs young Black students of equal opportunities in the academic and professional world. To do so means examining the various factors contributing to inequities in the Black woman’s academic experience, including negative racial stereotypes, classroom microaggressions and the Eurocentric design of academia. The various racial stereotypes of African Americans stemming from slavery have largely shaped the negative academic experiences of Black women from an early age. Although slavery was abolished over 150 years ago, harmful caricatures of Black women prevail, parroted by the media, Black communities and American society. This influences Black women’s first experiences in school. Young Black girls are up to 11 times more likely to be suspended than their white female peers, and frequently face disciplinary action for minor infractions like dress codes more often than their white counterparts. When Black girls misbehave in school, they are deemed sassy, disrespectful and full of attitude — pushed into the “Angry Black Woman” or the “Sapphire’’ trope from an early age. These tropes prematurely influence our peers’ negative perceptions of us in childhood, embedding the idea that Black girls are less capable and more headstrong than other children, and they are carried along with us into adulthood.
When Black women enter higher education at predominantly white institutions like Emory, we are forced to confront a landscape visibly marred with the history of racism, classism and segregation. We live and study on campuses funded by the profits of slavery. While walking to class, we pass by historical monuments and buildings dedicated to slave owners. This is especially true of Black women who, like myself, have lived in the American South their entire lives. In primary school, I found confederate apologists and “Southern pride” at every corner, a phenomenon that slowly made me feel like an outsider in every classroom. As a first-year at Emory, I was exposed to vast sources of information on Black history and the Atlantic slave trade, as well as archives that one could only find in higher education. Yet, I lived in Longstreet-Means Hall, a complex named after the second and fourth presidents of Emory College, confederate slaveholders Augustus Baldwin Longstreet and Alexander Means. For the Black student, it is impossible to escape the horrors of slavery and segregation, even at academic institutions like Emory that pledge anti-racism. These relics of slavery are an all-encompassing reminder that the injustices of the past are still alive today, albeit in different forms. Our journey in academia literally does not allow us to forget the historical violence our identities encompass. On an even larger scale, we continue to face microaggressions and tone policing from our college-aged peers. I know my experiences with covert racism from other students on campus have contributed to the feelings of helplessness and being an imposter in higher education. As I’ve grown older, recognizing the microaggressions non-Black students and professors utilize against Black women has become easier; they point at us when it’s time to discuss slavery, they expect us to speak for all Black students, they wax poetic when we change our hairstyle and —my favorite — they repeatedly call us by the name of the other Black student in the class. The academic and personal insecurities we first found in childhood continue into our adult learning, reinforcing the negative association with academia many Black women scholars hold. In response to the many challenges faced in higher education, Black women often feel the need to overcompensate for negative stereotypes in classroom settings in a way our non-Black peers do not. Our non-Black peers may be assertive and outspoken
during classroom discussions without fear of being seen as rude or demanding by professors or classmates. This is an explicit representation of the “stereotype threat,” a situational predicament in which people are cognizant of negative stereotypes associated with their racial group, becoming increasingly anxious about their performance in relevant settings. From the effort of maintaining perfect manners in fear of being stereotyped as angry or sassy, to going above and beyond to prove our capabilities, these guards are incredibly exhausting to maintain. They are certainly representative of the hefty burdens Black women carry in white-dominated spaces. I know that as soon as I step into a space dedicated to Black women, I no longer have to worry about being spoken over, disrespected and “othered.” These factors are ultimately detrimental to the Black woman scholar’s academic and postgraduate growth. We second-guess our capacity to succeed, continuously doubting our “legitimacy in academia” and feeling as if we must prove that we are not a diversity hire or acceptance. It is incredibly challenging to not give in to negative feedback because we are surrounded by it. From public debates on equity and inclusion to politicized conversations about privilege and affirmative action, Black women are pushed to hyper analyze their work in fear of being seen as inferior. We need to ensure that Black women no longer feel intimidated or uncomfortable in academic spaces. This means that nonBlack professors and students must remain mindful of gross racial stereotypes and biases in the classroom and call them out when they are utilized by others. If we can foster a deeper understanding of Black history and misogynoir among all students and faculty, we may be able to create an inclusive environment for Black women scholars at Emory. The Eurocentric design of academia makes it easy for Black women to feel isolated and unimportant in predominantly white spaces. In order to challenge the negative experiences that Black women face in educational settings, we must first address and reform the roots of Black women’s academic inequities, starting at the primary school level. Young Black girls need the safe spaces and mental health resources — from Black women counselors to mentorship programs with Black college students — to exist freely in schooling, as well as in all walks of life. Leah Woldai (23C) Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Martin Li and Sophia Ling President Joeseph Biden unexpectedly won Georgia in the 2020 presidential election. A few months later, Georgia elected two Democratic senators for the first time in two decades. This is a time of great change in the Peach State; new voices like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who boosted Georgia’s Black voter turnout by over 30%, and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), the first Black senator from Georgia, are working to move the state past its horrific history of racism. Emory was part of this history, and many of the early figures in our University’s history were Confederates or slave owners. Their names still adorn buildings and locations all throughout campus. Emory must move beyond its disconcerting past and rename these locations to honor people more deserving of respect. On campus, you can find Confederates and racists on the names of Emory’s streets and buildings. Erected in 1931, Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church honors Wilbur Fisk Glenn, a Confederate soldier and the father-in-law of former Emory Board Chair Charles Howard Candler Sr. The Haygood-Hopkins Memorial Gateway and Hopkins Hall both celebrate Isaac Stiles Hopkins, Emory’s ninth president and a Confederate soldier. Longstreet-Means Hall honors Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, a staunch defender of slavery, and Alexander Means, a Confederate soldier. Both the Atlanta campus’ Pierce Drive and Oxford College’s Pierce Street are named after George Foster Pierce, Emory’s third president, who supported and supplied the Confederate army. The Yerkes National Primate Research Center, a more recent example, was founded in 1965 and obtains its name from Robert Yerkes, whose work on intelligence testing fueled racism and the American eugenics movement. Finally, Atticus Greene Haygood, Emory’s eighth president, whose name decorates many buildings and streets on campus, believed Black Americans were better off enslaved rather than free. By allowing these figures to define various locations on our campus, we are continuing to honor and respect them. None of them deserve it. We can’t change Emory’s past support for slavery and the Confederacy, but we can still acknowledge and disavow it.
Administrators have recently begun listening to Black student demands for reforming the University. But despite all that strong rhetoric, Emory celebrating the names of old racists still recalls a glaringly evil reality. Haygood eventually changed his views on slavery and created institutions to help educate freed African Americans. He will always be a man who defended chattel slavery, but he is also a man who tried to right his wrongs and help formerly enslaved persons. Emory is no different. It will always be descended from the Emory University that was led by racists, but it can also be something better. Although renaming a few locations is far from the reparations and dismantling of white supremacy needed for true healing, taking Confederate names off buildings sends a message that Emory acknowledges the faults of its past. Instead of lionizing those who have oppressed Black Americans, we should honor the many Emory alumni who have dedicated their lives to positively influencing our University and the world. Emory already has a few places named for Black and anti-racist alumni. For instance, Bowden Hall is named for Henry L. Bowden, who led Emory’s desegregation, and Hamilton Holmes Hall is named after Hamilton Holmes, the first African American graduate of the Emory School of Medicine. More deserve recognition, though. Verdelle Bellamy (63N) and Allie Saxon (63N) were the first two Black students to graduate from Emory. Dr. Delores P. Aldridge was the first African American woman faculty member and founder of the African American Studies program at Emory. Inspired by her parents’ legacy of activism, Bernice King (90L, 90T), daughter of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and an American minister, continues to fight for civil rights. These and countless other Black Emory alumni have garnered significant recognition in their respective fields. Changing the names on our buildings does not erase Emory’s past complicity in slavery and racism, but it holds the University accountable to push for even more progressive changes. It is a visible way for Emory to send the message that change and reflection is happening, and we can critically analyze the past and stop categorically glorifying our founders. It may be our history, but it does not have to be our legacy. Martin Shane Li (22Ox, 24C) is from Rockville, Maryland. Sophia Ling (24C) is from Carmel, Indiana.
The Heart of the Matter: An Ideology of Whiteness Valerie Babb I was born into the racial reckoning set in motion by Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement, and what many hoped would be the end to racial segregation. Explicit posters and signs may be gone —“No Irish Need Apply,” “We Serve Whites Only — No Spanish or Mexicans,” “Gentiles Only,” “Chinese? No! No! No!” “No Indians, No Dogs Allowed”— but a look at economic indicators or the demographics of neighborhoods and educational institutions suggests that removing signs was the easy part. As I am now living through yet another racial reckoning in the U.S., I’ve come to the realization that in all of our dialogues, conversations, and reconsiderations, we never get to the heart of the matter. We look at the ills of segregation, never realizing that they are symptoms of a persistent underlying disease: an ideology of supremacy that equates whiteness with Americanness. Please under-
stand that an ideology of whiteness is not the same as an identity of whiteness. Many who identify as white do not buy into the ideology that says they are superior and that fuels the many segregations that make achieving parity in the U.S. so difficult. The problem of racial segregation started early on in the history of the U.S. when a myth was created: that there is a WE composed of “real” Americans who must protect themselves from the threat of a THEY. By the time English voyagers set sail for what would become the U.S., the lies of racist hierarchies were circulating widely, and gave the English settlers who would shape pre-national America a conviction in their own superiority, not only over Africans and Indigenous peoples, but also over other ethnicities—Scottish, Irish, Welsh and others, all who in the U.S. would subsequently become known simply as white. As the nation expanded, settlements developed, and land seized from Indigenous peoples was turned into plantations where an enslaved Black labor force created the economic engine powering American
wealth. A rationale was needed to reconcile the ideals of democracy continually spouted by the Republic with its actuality. Written histories, song, art, literature, music, all were enlisted to repeat a myth of exceptional pilgrims crossing the Atlantic in search of religious freedom and under the blessing of God given the divine right to conquer an unforgiving landscape and its peoples. Sadly, statutes write this myth into the laws of the nation, and practice followed. The rationale was born and with it the surety that white supremacy would become a bedrock of national identity. White supremacy presented problems for a nation that was multiracial from its inception. It engendered laws that had terrible reallife consequences for many: the loss of homes and dispersal of communities caused by the government-sanctioned expulsion of Indigenous peoples with the Removal Act of 1830; the 13th Amendment designed to end slavery yet leaving a clause where someone convicted of a crime might still be enslaved, thus opening the door to Black codes that reinstituted “slavery
by another name”; the land loss and subjection of many Mexicans to mob violence due to lax enforcement of provisions in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; the many reenactments of the Chinese Exclusion Act over the decades from 1882 to 1909 in response to fears of labor competition and cultural mixing; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 that forced the relocation and incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry, 62% of them U.S. citizens. We have sacrificed much to this ideology of whiteness, and always with the justification that “real” Americans have the right to control their own destinies. The divisiveness continues undergirding arguments over immigration policies, the carceral state, racial, and sexual identities — and until we get to the heart of why some continue to cling to this ideology, how it influences everything from health policy to political and judicial institutions, considerations of diversity and racial reckonings are akin to sprinkling water droplets on a fire. In 1998, I wrote the following in my
book “Whiteness Visible”: “To sustain an ideology of whiteness is to sanction the violent acts of persons who may be as equally marginalized as those they victimize and to nourish a growing enmity toward those perceived as enjoying its advantages.” I thought of this during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021 and saw nothing contradicting that statement; yet, I take heart in the many Americans who participate in social justice advocacy, who know that the idea of the U.S. is too good to leave in the hands of elected officials not up to the task of being public servants, or in the hands of those so wealthy their interests can never align with the common interest. Those Americans know that undoing ideologies fueling white supremacist thought take down the borders that separate us from neighbors, coworkers, potential friends and from getting to know lives beyond our own. Valerie Babb is the Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities in African American Studies and English at Emory University.
The Emory Wheel
Arts Entertainment Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | Asst. A&E Editors: Saru Garg (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Stephen Altobelli (email@example.com)
What We Can Learn From Yoko Ono This V-Day
‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Pulls No Punches By Jackson Schneider Photo Editor
By Robert Fuhriman Contributing Writer Seemingly everything is “a little different this year.” As we prepare for the first Valentine’s Day in a pandemic, we should not despair at the modified traditions and instead learn from the liberated work of Yoko Ono, a woman who embraced the unconventional in her art, compelling her audience to engage with the strange, beautiful and disturbing elements of life in ways that make the mundane feel unexpected. An influential member of the Fluxus art movement, Ono helped pioneer a genre of conceptual art consisting of performative instructions that emphasize artistic process and replicability. These works empower anyone to act out a work of art or merely imaginatively engage with the poetic instructions. Many of these works, known to Ono as “scores,” were published in her 1964 collection “Grapefruit” and made widely available in cheap pamphlets. Born in 1933, Ono witnessed the atrocities of war in ways that would define her future art and activism. Facing extreme hunger during World War II, she began cultivating her creative imagination to distract from her hunger. Ono recounts this trying period in her life in Alexandra Munroe’s
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to my own life, whether it be the traditional concoctions Soon-ja feeds David to make him strong or the delicate yet methodical way Monica cleans out her children’s ears. Chung communicates the realities of immigrant life with an ease and honesty that is exceedingly rare in American films. Many immigrant stories privilege narratives of hardship without fully depicting all that this complex identity entails. Watching such movies makes me feel as though I’m glancing at shards of broken glass, sometimes catching a glimpse of myself but never seeing the full picture. When I watched “Minari,” it felt as though I had finally found a mirror; I felt understood. Though the American Dream is tied to land, productivity and ambition, “Minari” actively calls the value of these national touchstones into question. Any breakthrough Jacob makes in his farming comes at the cost of harmony at home; in order to irrigate
There is a scene early on in Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” during which Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), the chairman of Chicago’s Black Panther Party (BPP), teaches a roomful of initiates the pillars of Black Panther ideology, telling them to abandon the idea that liberation for oppressed people will come through reform. Instead, true freedom will come from taking up arms against the oppressors. “The capitalist has one goal,” Fred lectures, “and that is to exploit the people.” What Fred Hampton doesn’t know is that one of his recruits, a man named William O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield), is an FBI informant. Thus begins the story of the Black messiah who promised freedom for the people and the Judas who was willing to sacrifice the people’s freedom for his own. “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which releases on Feb. 12 in select theaters and on HBO Max, is surprisingly radical and refreshingly honest, presenting its socialist ideals without apology or hesitation. The film’s greatest strength lies in its acting. Kaluuya and Stanfield both deliver exemplary, multilayered performances. Fred Hampton is a complicated man, and Kaluuya portrays the many sides of his character seamlessly. We see both the young firebrand
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Courtesy of A24
Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun) and his family survey their land in ‘Minari,’ which releases on Feb. 12.
‘Minari’ Subtly Dismantles American Dream By Saru Garg Asst. A&E Editor The American Dream is inextricably linked to land. Visions of spacious skies and an ever-expanding frontier have driven immigrants to the country for as long as “America” has existed. Lee Isaac Chung’s latest feature “Minari” (2020), which releases Feb. 12, tells the story of a Korean American family who follow this dream all the way to the expanses of Arkansas. Drawing on Chung’s own upbringing in the 1980s, the film paints an intimate portrait of the Yi family’s journey. Nevertheless, the Golden-Globe nominated film transcends the personal to depict universal aspects of the immigrant experience as well as the versatility of the American identity. “Minari” opens with the Yi family standing in wild fields that stretch to the horizon. Jacob (Steven Yeun), his wife Monica (Han Ye-ri) and their two children, David and Anne (Alan Kim and Noel Kate Cho), have arrived in
Arkansas from California. It quickly becomes evident that Jacob has transplanted his family there, to the middle of nowhere, in order to pursue his American Dream: operating a farm that functions as his own Garden of Eden. Whether or not the rest of his family shares this dream is much less certain. As the strain of their new environment takes its toll on Jacob’s relationship with his wife and children, his mother-in-law Soon-ja (Youn Yuhjung) moves in to help out with the kids and the dynamic of the household shifts drastically as new bonds form while others begin to crumble. Just as the story of “Minari” is inseparable from Chung’s childhood, so too is my perception of the film entangled with my own experiences as the daughter of immigrants. Much of what I love about “Minari” lies in my ability to see myself and my family reflected in the film despite our dramatically different circumstances. Each scene is rife with detail that speaks to both the authenticity of the director’s vision and
Bey and Driskell: 2 Art Icons at the High By Zimra Chickering Staff Writer
While the world is full of iconic duos, the works of David Driskell and Dawoud Bey definitely top the list. Their career retrospectives, “Dawoud Bey: An American Project” and “David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History,” are on display for the first time in decades at the High Museum. On view through March 14 and May 9 respectively, Bey and Driskell’s exhibitions paint a rich picture of America and Black American identity in a light far more educational and comprehensive than any history textbook I have read. While these histories and stories are rarely done justice, Bey and Driskell successfully honored the diverse experiences, identities and impact of Black Americans throughout their decadeslong careers. Bey started photographing Harlem’s Black community in the 1970s with black-and-white street portraiture. His most recent works address a wide range of topics, usually in relation to race, place, visibility and identity. His collection of high school student portraits displayed alongside
his subject’s personal written statements highlight identity formation and his “Night Coming Tenderly, Black” series reimagines the escape narratives of the enslaved via the Underground Railroad. Bey wields his camera to reveal oft-ignored stories and identities. While Bey worked solely with photography and videography, Driskell dabbled in numerous mediums, from painting and drawing to collage and printmaking. Driskell, who died in April from COVID-19, borrowed inspiration from many artistic histories and subjects often related to nature, history and identity. Some of Driskell’s works are solely landscape depictions of the American Southern and the environment around his summer home in Maine, while others are biblical portraits inspired by Byzantine art, vibrant festival paintings describing his African ancestry and layered assemblage works depicting the civil rights movement. In utilizing African imagery, Driskell reflected on his ancestry as a Black American. Although the artists themselves worked in different mediums, the diverse yet overlapping themes of both exhibitions complement each other.
The curation of the two, while unique to the aesthetics and missions of the respective artists, mirror each other in their captivating and nuanced narratives. When entering the Driskell exhibition I was welcomed by the bold, grounded and active brushstrokes of Driskell’s early oil paintings. His collection of artworks highlight the way in which he combines both his own identity and natural environment, the American landscape and the aesthetics of the African diaspora. The video at the entrance of the exhibition states that Driskell “was the best storyteller, the chronicler of his own life,” a strength expressed through his artworks. The piece that stuck with me the most was “Dance of the Masks,” a heavily layered ode to nature and African tradition. Driskell gracefully combines the landscape of the American South with the African masks from his ancestral legacy. All at once, his painting embodies the complexity of Black American identity at large and the origins of his own existence. Driskell’s artworks rely upon frequently shared imagery as well, including a sort of “split-face” motif
that reflects the multifaceted nature of identity and usage of masks. Interestingly, I saw that same concept reflected in Bey’s multipanel portraits, as frames split the faces of his subjects in half. Both artists challenge traditions of portraiture, whether in paint or in photography, by splitting the faces of their subjects into two. Each half of the face is similar yet just different enough in angle and style to make the viewer ask: Which half is truer? How should we identify the subject? As I meandered through the Bey exhibition, I was blown away by the diversity of his portraiture; despite not working in multiple mediums like Driskell, Bey portrays an equally complex and comprehensive subject matter through his photography. The evolution of Bey’s street portraits described in the gallery labels was extremely engaging; he became increasingly uncomfortable with the ethics of street photography and began to approach his subjects prior to taking their pictures. Bey’s decision was uncommon, especially among majority white street photographers, who often exploited their subjects without consent. Susan Sontag notes that, “The camera is
a kind of passport that annihilates moral boundaries and social inhibitions ... The photographer is always trying to colonize new experiences.” By actually speaking to his subjects, Bey formed reciprocal relationships with strangers, allowing them to assert their presence and meet the gaze of the viewer. This celebration of his subjects’ self-identification was most apparent in his large format portraits, including Bey’s “A Couple in Prospect Park.” The viewer cannot help but witness and identify the couple’s intimacy without having to search deeply for the image’s meaning. Both Bey and Driskell use art as a form of internal and external examination, reflecting on their own identities and the identities of their subjects, whether it be the spirit of an African mask or young love. These current exhibitions are an insightful way to support Black artists and celebrate Black American stories, which, while an intrinsic part of the American artistic narrative, are often underrepresented in mainstream media and education. — Contact Zimra Chickering at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
The Emory Wheel
Ono’s Art Addresses Sex and Gender Chung Explores Immigrant Experience Continued from Page 7
Continued from Page 7
his crops, he must divert the house’s running water. At one point, Monica accuses him of choosing the farm over their family. Still, Jacob struggles with the desire to feel useful and grapples with the question of how he can best serve his loved ones. By placing financial and familial success at odds, the film examines both what achievement is expected and has the potential to mean in America. Without the film’s grounding performances, which constitute its emotional core, “Minari” would be a lesser movie. The vulnerability with which Yeun and Han portray a husband and wife with different dreams, as well as the tenderness and mischief Kim and Youn bring to their roles, lend the film its heart. Though the Academy Awards has a troubling history of snubbing Asian actors, one can only hope that “Minari” will be the film that helps them to correct course. Other than its performances, “Minari” communicates emotion
through its score, which is far and away the best of 2020. Composer Emile Mosseri’s music captures the dreamy haze of long summer days, expressing everything from joy to melancholy without a word. Some of the movie’s best scenes rely solely on the score rather than speech, as the camera follows characters roving through the grass and soaked in sunshine, with blue skies and more land as far as the eye can see. The film’s title, “Minari,” refers to a hardy Korean plant that Soon-ja cultivates on the family farm. As she explains to David, “Minari is the best. It grows anywhere.” Chung asserts something similar about the immigrant experience over the course of his movie. Though conventional American logic may tell us that we need the biggest or best plot of land in order to flourish, “Minari” shows that if we focus on what truly matters we can put down roots anywhere we go. — Contact Saru Garg at email@example.com
book “Yes, Yoko Ono”: “Lying on our backs, looking up at the sky through an opening in the roof, we exchanged menus in the air and used our powers of imagination to survive.” Just as it is impossible to eat imagined food, Ono’s work is often conceptual and impossible. “Fly Piece,” for example, just reads “Fly.” Works such as “Laundry Piece” are relatable and elevate the mundane drudgery of every day to an individual form of art — the perfect accompaniment to a year spent indoors. The beauty of these scores is that they exist beyond the walls of closed museums, perpetually reanimated in the imaginations of readers or through their active recital. A largely absurdist art form, these scores take on new meaning in a world of uncertainty where daily exigencies feel surreal. “Lighting Piece” and “Wall Piece” read like the stircrazy journal entries of someone in isolation due to a COVID-19 scare. Many of these artworks are tasks, things to do, means of escape and entertainment, while others address
topics of death or encourage screaming into the wind. By their performative, replicative nature and status as “art” (and thus worthy of contemplation), Ono’s pieces demand the reader-participant explore new ways of understanding the world. Ono ventured beyond a celebration of the inane, boldly addressing issues relating to sex and gender through the same ephemeral medium of a participatory audience. “Cut Piece” (1964) instructs a performer to sit on stage, motionless, as the audience is invited to cut away a piece of the performer’s clothing one by one. While Ono initially framed the piece as an act of giving herself to the audience, she did so “to see what they would take,” reclaiming power as a female performer by offering her body to the public on her own terms. Ono’s 1996 film, “No. 4,” consists of a series of closely-shot posteriors. Degendered and reduced to objects, the bottoms are largely desexualized and normalized as a natural anatomical feature all humans have in common. If the viewer chooses to sexualize the film, they are faced with a new
valentine’s day messages
dilemma: the ambiguous gendering subverts the presumed heterosexuality of the viewer, challenging them to examine their concept of sexuality. Ono’s career is not without controversy. “No. 4” was banned in the United Kingdom upon release. In addition to being considered radically feminist, “Cut Piece” has been called anti-feminist for its objectification of women (though Ono has specified that the performer may be of any gender and the work ends at the artist’s discretion). Ono has also drawn criticism for a song she recorded with John Lennon, which compared the experience of women with that of Black people in a song with an unprintable title. Far less deservedly, she is widely blamed for breaking up the Beatles through what Paul McCartney referred to as her influence over John Lennon as a “strong woman.” Although her relationship threatened to be defined by her husband’s career, Ono used their combined star power to gain an audience for her anti-war activism. She and Lennon staged “bed-ins” in lieu of a honeymoon where they invited the press into their hotel room at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and later the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal to advocate for world peace. She continues to draw on their connection with her advocacy and personal website imaginepeace.com. Ono’s work, for all its controversy and subversive messaging, is largely grounded in replicable, personal connections to art. Through its interactive nature, her work democratizes artistic experiences, taking art beyond the rigidity of a gallery to question broader issues of political culture while empowering anyone to engage with art. While dinner may be off this Valentine’s Day, you can still go to a show. Make your roommate or significant other sit while you explain how your clothes got dirty. Feeling risque? Try “Cut Piece.” Alone this holiday? Light a match and watch till it goes out. Better still, advocate for something you care about or simply imagine the world you want. If all else fails, I suggest “Wall Piece for Orchestra.” Ono turns 88 on Feb. 18. — Contact Robert Fuhriman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaka King Honors Revolutionary Heroes Continued from Page 7 revolutionary who never fails to rile up his supporters and the soft-spoken, introverted Fred that emerges when he is alone. Fred is torn between a desire to sacrifice everything for his ideals and the responsibility he feels for the people he loves. Meanwhile, William O’Neal agrees to work with FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) and rat on the Black Panthers to avoid prison. However, William begins to believe the rhetoric of Fred Hampton and the BPP. Stanfield embodies William’s constant paranoia, changing beliefs and inner conflict in an understated and powerful performance. In a roundtable interview with the cast, I asked Lakeith Stanfield about his pattern of choosing to work with politically bold directorial debuts. “It’s hard to subsidize a movie like this even, you know, to be able to tell the story,” he said. “But I hope that when
people see the story, they realize that stories like this need to be told. I think it’s nice to be able to be a part of something that is apparently breaking the boundaries of expectation.” Despite being a politically radical movie, “Judas and the Black Messiah” is quiet in its resolve. King utilizes the camera as a tool of observation, following the lead characters in their moments of passion, flashes of doubt and seething anger at an unjust system that has burrowed deep into their bones. King intersperses silence between his crescendos, giving those quiet moments a sense of tension and anticipation for the next time the pot boils over. King’s use of color is also notable, as he contrasts the cold smoke-filled gray of the FBI interrogation room with the warm greens and browns of the BPP headquarters. “Judas and the Black Messiah” is Shaka King’s first major motion picture, and it is a promising directorial debut.
However, the film’s wide scope and King’s detached directing style sometimes undermine the otherwise powerful story. The narrative arc of “Judas and the Black Messiah” does not have one singular focus. It is the story of William O’Neal, his inner struggle and the betrayal he commits against the BPP. Yet it is also the story of Fred Hampton, the idealist who sacrificed everything he loved for the people he swore to fight for. As such, the film does not dive deeply enough into either of these arcs. O’Neal’s conversion into a Black Panther is displayed in a few short scenes, and we only get to see him struggle with that cognitive dissonance briefly before we are whisked away to another point of view. While Hampton’s story receives more screen time, it could have been deeper and more multifaceted had the writers chosen to tighten their focus onto him alone. “Judas and the Black Messiah” falls
into a trap that plagues many movies based on true stories. In its quest to portray historical events exactly as they happened, the film sacrifices some of its narrative power. In the opening scene of the movie, Hampton speaks on the topic of solidarity: “We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.” Fred Hampton was assassinated in his bed by the FBI on Dec. 4, 1969, after information leaked by William O’Neal led to the raiding of Hampton’s Chicago apartment. He spent his life contributing to the liberation of oppressed people everywhere, regardless of the color of their skin. When asked about what young activists will take from Chairman Fred’s story, Kaluuya said he believes the real movement will come from emotion rather than logic. “I don’t believe we make stuff in
order to make people who are actually on the frontlines feel seen or feel held,” Kaluuya noted in an interview. “Because it’s hard on the frontline, like day in, day out showing up. So what they take from it and how they take from it, it’s gonna be intimate and personal, and I want it to be that.” Despite a general lack of focus, the message of “Judas and the Black Messiah” is quite clear: none of us can be free until all of us are free. In a time of increasing economic inequality in this country, Fred Hampton’s life and story can remind us that working-class people have a lot more in common than we think. Hampton, preaching to a packed congregation, sums it up perfectly: “You can kill a revolutionary, but you cannot kill the revolution. You can kill a freedom fighter, but you cannot kill freedom.” — Contact Jackson Schneider at email@example.com
The Emory Wheel
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | Emory Life Editor: Angela Tang (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Asst. Editors Kaitlin Mottley (email@example.com) & Lauren Blaustein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Be Mine: Top Valentine’s Day Treats By Kaitlin Mottley and Lauren Blaustein Asst. Emory Life Editors
Although it’s quite a turn from the
a delicious buttercream frosting, you can easily find these cookies in any grocery store. While the baked treat usually comes with frosting in a rainbow of colors, this month, pink, red and white frosting with heart shaped sprinkles have been put on shelves. Priced around $4 for a pack of 10, these melt-in-your-mouth treats will be a favorite at a Valentine’s Day celebration with loved ones. Hershey’s Kisses Kaitlin Mottley/Asst. Emory Life Editor
chocolate boxes one may be used to on Valentine’s Day, LoftHouse brand cookies satisfy every sugar craving. Soft, buttery, fluffy and topped with
An obvious fan favorite, Hershey’s Kisses are the quintessential Valentine’s Day treat. This year, there
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The Advantages of Being an Early Riser or Night Owl Black Student Entrepeneurs Conquer Fashion, Fitness By Sophie Gern and Nicole Smith Contributing Writers
One of the most intimidating aspects of college is time management. How does one organize their schedule perfectly? How do people get all their work done? How can I get a workout in? And is it even possible to see my loved ones? Busy mornings or late afternoon class schedules often force a choice between taking advantage of the morning hours or focusing on the dimmer hours of the day. Luckily, we’ve curated a list of the benefits to pursuing each. The following tips can provide clarity on how to organize your schedule. Reasons to Become an Early Bird The Blissful Serendipity Of Quiet Morning Hours There’s something innately soothing about rising before the sun and the rest of campus. A calming stillness in the air prepares you for the hectic day ahead. Empty sidewalks remind you that your concerns that day are small. Put simply, the quietude of the world forces an inner-peace. Early mornings can cause less irritability, helping you feel better prepared to face the day’s
challenges. Start by setting your alarm just 30 minutes earlier than usual and see what happens. You just might be surprised at how much a tranquil start to your day can transform the rest of your schedule. Run Into a Different Crowd of People
In the early hours of the morning, you often run into people you never would have otherwise. There may be a friendly janitor to give you a warm smile. Energized joggers might wave hello. A sleep-deprived Dobbs Common Table cook serves you an early morning breakfast, you exchange formalities and lament about whatever is plaguing the both of you that day. Now you have a friendly face to recognize every time you grab a bite to eat. Mornings can supply unparalleled opportunities for bonding that don’t take place during the bustling day. Interactions blossom when life slows down. Morning Exercise Starts Your Day Off on The Right Foot Although exercise at any point of the day can shift your mindset, why not experience a rush of endorphins first thing in the morning? Targeting your workouts toward the morning
can develop good habits and, over time, you begin to associate working out with getting up. As an added bonus, your workout will be far more enjoyable when completed before the fierce Georgia sun fully rises. The earlier the workout, the more time in the day to reap the benefits. You’ll have an extra pep in your step and likely be a far more enjoyable person to be around. Exercise can improve memory, concentration and mental health. With a myriad of academic responsibilities, making an effort to wake up earlier could have a lasting impact on academic performance. So, get out of bed and take an early morning stroll through Lullwater! Reasons to Become a Night Owl
Time For Hobbies In the daily rush of school, homework and clubs, becoming a night owl could be the best way to catch up on personal hobbies like crocheting and painting. Not to mention, creativity comes more easily when the moon is out. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with the ability to concentrate, begins to falter as sleep drive increases at the end of the day,
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By Angela Tang Emory Life Editor While juggling classes and extracurriculars, some Emory students are also tackling entrepreneurship. Boutique owner Trinity Peacock (25C), fitness trainer Damon Ross Jr. (22C) and custom clothing designer Lyric Vinson (23B) have all launched Blackowned small businesses. While browsing Instagram in the beginning of quarantine, Vinson discovered social media users reselling thrifted and used clothing. She began listing her own items on Instagram and was met with immediate success. Quickly realizing thrifting limited her inventory, she branched into creating custom clothing. “With thrifting, you can’t control what you are going to find,” Vinson wrote in a Feb. 7 email to the Wheel. “But if you are making custom clothing, you control your inventory, your designs, and you can better appeal to the market.” In late March 2020, Vinson launched EzPz Customs (“Easy Peasy Customs”) on Instagram, The Custom Movement, Depop, Etsy and Curtsy.
Having sold over 360 clothing items thus far, she aims to branch into custom stickers, bags and more once she perfects the designs. Although a fashion lover herself, Vinson admitted she struggled to learn her market. “I had to learn to find and curate pieces that weren’t necessarily my style, but that I knew would appeal to the masses,” Vinson wrote. “I have an objective eye for what is nice … and what isn’t.” Vinson also noted that the everyday fluctuations of a small business can be discouraging. Though she believes her business has been successful, there are days when business stagnates. Despite this, she has become more resilient over time and these experiences have taught her valuable skills she hopes to utilize in her post-graduate career. “I am using this as an experience for my future career,” Vinson wrote. “It is teaching me how to sell, how to interact with customers and how to be resilient.” Similarly to Vinson, Peacock also
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CAPS Staff Offer Mental PopSockets CEO Reflects on Emory Experience Health Tips for the Spring By Angela Choksi Staff Writer
By Ulia Ahn Staff Writer As the second week of the spring kicks off, staff members of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) are still seeing students weather the same virtual classrooms and stressors from the fall, only this time amid even more staggering COVID-19 case numbers. Confined to small living spaces, swamped with assignments and devoid of a social life, Emory students have continued to battle mental illness for the past year. CAPS Associate Director of Outreach & Consultation Services Jane Yang’s first piece of advice to students is that, as classes pick up, “be gentle with yourselves.” Flint noted that students are still evaluating themselves against pre-
pandemic standards, which can harm mental health. “We’re working and living in the same space,” Flint said. “We have to figure out and plan and take care of ourselves in a different way.” Flint noted that some “positives” have arisen out of this socially distanced environment — we have become more aware of our mental health. “People are more concerned and aware about their mental and physical health because [the pandemic] has created this environment where we are working and living in the same spaces,” she said. “It forces us to figure out how to plan and take care of ourselves in a different way. There is this awareness of ‘These are my challenges
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How does one impact the way we hold our phones? Products that enhance user experiences have become ubiquitous and indispensable. In 2018, the burgeoning mobile phone accessories market in the U.S. amassed $28.52 billion and has continued to boom since. For former philosophy professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder David Barnett (92C), creating the infamous PopSocket wasn’t a conscious decision, rather, it was a simple solution to his earbuds being constantly tangled. A brand that started with Barnett gluing a large fabric button to the back of his iPhone 3 has since blossomed into a $200 million company that has sold more than 100 million units since its inception in 2014. The Wheel discussed the meteoric rise of the cult favorite and Colorado-based
PopSockets with Barnett, founder and CEO, on Feb. 4. This transcript has been edited for clarity and length. Angela Choksi, the Emory Wheel: What encouraged you to major in philosophy at Emory? David Barnett: I was actually originally an economics major. I remember that I was sitting down with an advisor, and told him that I found economics interesting at the beginning, but I was losing that interest quickly. About a year into classes, I went to drop or change a class, and I vividly remember standing in front of a wall on which they used to post course listings. There was a cute girl next to me who picked a philosophy course, and I thought to myself, sure I’ll try that class. I took the class, I loved it and ended up eventually getting a Ph.D. in philosophy. TEW: How would you describe your transition from being a philosophy professor to becoming a CEO?
DB: The timing was just perfect for me. I was burnt out of thinking of philosophical questions and the discipline itself. I love philosophy and loved grappling with those questions, but after so many years, I felt that you can only make so much progress. Then, just by chance I came up with this invention … that I thought that I could sell to other people, and by the time I brought it to market, I realized that I could actually sell quite a few of these. Philosophy still comes in handy every day, though, in terms of critical thinking skills and decision-making skills. TEW: How did the idea of PopSockets first come to you? DB: As a kid I was an entrepreneur, so I think that I was tapping into that spirit. In 2010, I was fed up with my earbud cords tangling in my pocket, and so I drove to a nearby fabric store to find a solution for myself. I ended up gluing a couple of big clothing but-
See BARNETT, Page 10
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
The Emory Wheel
Share Some Kisses With Your Sweetheart 6 Ways to Maximize Your Schedule
Continued from Page 9
are a number of unique flavors to choose from outside the original milk chocolate. Still bite-sized and delectable, Hershey’s has four additional flavors to add to your shopping basket. The Hershey’s Kisses Rose Foil Milk Chocolate Meltaway has a gooey center with an elegant red foil outlined with a rose petal print. If you like dark chocolate, give Dark Chocolate Lava Cake Kisses a try. The center of these candies ooze out rich dark chocolate, just like the titular dessert cake. Other options feature alternating white and milk chocolate filled with a milk chocolate center, elegantly wrapped with a striped pink wrapper and a “hugs” and “kisses” Valentine’s message. With so many to choose from, be careful not to eat too many! Sour Patch Kids Hearts If you’re looking for something with more of a kick, try Sour Patch Kids Hearts. Similar to the original sweet and sour chews, this Valentine’s edition of the candy features heart shapes instead of the usual child-shaped gummy. The flavors are a bit more
limited as well, featuring only the Pink Strawberry and Redberry flavor. Still, the taste doesn’t disappoint, leaving you craving more after every bite. Despite its shareable size, you may find yourself hiding this from your significant other. If you’re looking for something a bit different from your typical smooth-tasting chocolate treats, these treats might be the way to go. Conversation Hearts Have a special someone or just enjoy fruity flavors? Conversation hearts are a classic option. They’re the recognizable dainty candy hearts featuring charming messages on them that will impress even an unrequited love. For each message there’s a different color and taste. White is wintergreen, purple is grape, green is lime, pink is cherry and yellow is banana. While you may not want to throw a handful of them in your mouth at once, these candies are great for a lasting sweetness. Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts For any peanut butter lover, Reese’s
How to Cope With Zoom Fatigue, Stress, Anxiety
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and how can I figure out how to turn the corner?’” According to Flint, CAPS has worked on improving resources available to students this semester. Discussions with students revealed that Zoom fatigue and lack of human connection has affected students the most. CAPS plans to provide self-help “tool kits,” or digital resources such as a daily planner, articles and links to meditation classes to students. Brandi Benton, director of the Office of Health Promotion, also mentioned that CAPS plans to install signs across campus with QR codes that students can scan to gain access to e-resources. In September, CAPS experienced a 71% increase in appointments, leading to an increased variety of services like Timely MD, a free app that provides students both in and out of Georgia with 24/7 access to therapists. “The main components of mental well being and this partnership with CAPS is that we really do serve as an office that helps students think about themselves as a whole person, not just
reactionary but also how to prevent some of the problems,” Yang said. In addition to individual sessions during the spring, CAPS and the Office of Health Promotion plan to host events weekly for students focused on mindfulness and meditation. These events will feature 12 wellness coaches from various offices on the Atlanta and Oxford campuses, who will provide guidance and tips. “Students have actually done a good bit themselves, like outdoor lawn games,” Flint noted. “Our hope is as the weather warms up, we’ll be able to do more things outdoors.” Without spring break this semester, CAPS staff encourage students to follow their social media, where they will upload wellness resources, reminders and tips to follow during rest days. “ It’s important to consider mental health holistically, physical, emotional, these things are very linked together,” Yang said. “ We miss you, the human contact with you. All [students] have to do is call.
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Peanut Butter Hearts are a must. The peanut butter and chocolate combination will always be elite, but the Valentine’s Day version is even cuter than your basic peanut butter cup. If you’re looking to surprise a special someone who has a sweet tooth for peanut butter and chocolate, Reese’s hearts are bound to please. With a rich and thick peanut butter filling and a gooey milk chocolate layer, you can’t go wrong. If they don’t cure your sugar craving by themselves, chop them into pieces and mix them into your favorite cookie batter or ice cream. If you’re on a limited budget and looking for the sweetest choice for a Valentine’s Day treat, we recommend the Hershey’s Kisses above all else, but each candy we reviewed is palatable and enjoyable in its own way. No matter which candy you buy for yourself, your significant other or your friend, we hope you have a sweet Valentine’s Day.
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Continued from Page 9 which clears the way for more flexible thinking. Use this creative flow to take hobbies to the next level. The next time you find yourself staying up at night, try working on some of your passion projects and see what you create. Increased Mental Alertness The next time you’re worried about being able to do work at night — don’t. Your brain is good to go, for the most part. Researchers at the University of Liege in Belgium found that those who are used to staying up later are able to concentrate on tasks without feeling fatigued. With this in mind, spare time at night could be used to catch up on assignments, plan out a weekly schedule and even start some projects ahead of time. If you decide to become a night owl, you’ll find yourself with extra time to catch up on some tasks you may have put off to head to bed early. Create Memories With Friends Over Zoom Nighttime is one of the best times to hang out with friends. During the day, others are often booked with
daily tasks and might not have time to socialize. Banding together as night owls creates time to build life-long memories. Try watching a late-night movie together, having a dance party in a dorm, going for a walk outside or even having a contest to see who can bake the sweetest midnight treat. Either way, the evening is the perfect occasion to catch up and unwind with friends who have busy morning schedules. Conclusion Whether you resonate more with the benefits of being an early bird or a night owl, these tips should give you a head start in deciding how to operate throughout the spring. Both options pose certain advantages — just ensure to pick the best and healthiest schedule for you. Try alternating between both routines to feel out which one works best; either way, remember to make time for yourself as you navigate the busy life of being a student.
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Small Business Owners Tackle the Market, College Continued from Page 9 launched her business, Trinndy Boutique, on Instagram last March. She first started by selling fake eyelashes and soon expanded to include lip glosses, clothing, handbags and other accessories. Peacock’s business model revolves around reselling inventory bought through wholesale manufacturers. She said that launching her business was initially challenging because she didn’t know whether the monetary investment would pay off. “Getting my inventory built up was challenging,” Peacock said. “And actually starting not knowing if it was going to be successful or not … Am I wasting money?” Peacock mostly advertises through social media and websites, but her customers also support her business through word of mouth. Ultimately, she aims to open a storefront in Atlanta in the next five to 10 years. “I have always wanted to have my own business and it’s going well so far,” Peacock said. Instead of selling products like
Vinson and Peacock, Ross sells a service: fitness training. Ross started out by training friends and family. After successfully working with a close friend his first year at Emory, news of Ross’ fitness training traveled quickly around campus. Ross then began building his business, “113 fitness,” and has worked with around 100 clients individually. Though he mainly trains college students, his clients range from sevenyear-olds to those in their mid-50s. Most of his clients hope to lose weight, while some aim to gain muscle. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ross worked around 25 hours a week in addition to being a student. He trained clients in the gym, planned their fitness routines, filed paperwork and networked with other trainers and gym owners. Ross admitted he was initially hesitant about launching his business due to the significant time commitment. “I would say the biggest challenge is getting my mindset right,” Ross said. “How am I going to balance school, social life, my overall health and wellbeing and take care of a business? Once I was able to get past the block
Courtesy of Damon Ross Jr.
in my mind, everything just fell into place.” After graduation, Ross aspires to launch his own gym combined with a health and wellness center in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. He hopes to benefit his entire community through his fitness center with accessible clinics focused on physical therapy and mental health. “I want it to be more than a gym,” Ross said. “I want it to be centered around the community … I believe that everyone can eat.”
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Barnett Talks Failures, Successes of $200 Million Company Continued from Page 9 tons to the back of my iPhone 3 with a few spacer buttons. I quickly set out to improve the solution, and toyed with many different mechanisms until I landed on the accordion mechanism. TEW: How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted you in your role as CEO, as well as the PopSockets brand? DB: Before the pandemic, we had about 300 employees, and sold at about 100,000 doors in the United States alone. The pandemic was a major threat to our business, and we were running out of cash from all these doors closing, so we quickly had to cut expenses by roughly $45 million dollars within a matter of weeks, furlough 60 employees, and lay off 40 employees. Those were some of the roughest days that I have had in the brand, and we had to be prepared for a decrease of about 40-50% in our sales projections. We ended up missing by
about 20% at the end of last year, and that was in large part to our online business, as well as our retail partners that remained open, like Target and Walmart. TEW: What is your fondest memory from your time as an Emory undergraduate? DB: I have so many fond memories from my time at Emory. Just yesterday I was thinking about the draft of a book that the author, who was my physics professor, shared with me. Even though I wasn’t a physics major, I formed a rapport with him and he felt comfortable enough to share his unpublished manuscript with me. Even though it went way over my head, I read the whole thing and was stimulated by it. Pulling all-nighters is a fun memory of mine, even though I did not really retain much while cramming. Curly fries, intramural competitions and of course, late night meals at Waffle House with my friends will
always remain in my heart. TEW: If you could share one piece of advice with Emory students or budding entrepreneurs, what would it be? DB: Tenacity is one of the most important qualities that an entrepreneur should have. You should also have the ability to internalize feedback and tweak your ideas accordingly. One should definitely join a start-up community that can support, advise and guide you in key ways especially when you are just starting out with your business. You cannot be deaf to the market, and have to be willing to adjust in light of feedback from the community. TEW: What were some failures that you faced or obstacles that confronted you during the early stages of the company? DB: Two of the biggest obstacles that I encountered were around supply chain and hiring. I had massive problems around quality with my product,
with shipment after shipment of products being defective. I had no expertise in manufacturing or identifying the right suppliers either domestically or overseas, and that led to massive pain for me that could have been avoided had I aligned myself with an expert or joined a start-up community in town. Our very first shipment of 30,000 PopGrips, which took all the money that I had at the time, all had an ineffective adhesive and so they fell right off the phone. The second challenge was formulating expectations on what sorts of people I could hire for various positions. I had no understanding whatsoever of what an A player is or what a B or a C player in business is. As I hired people, I had no idea whether I was hiring the best person in a field or the worst person in a field because I had nothing to compare these people to. Over the years I have understood what is available in the talent market
and what sorts of people to hire for different levels of the company. Conclusion Barnett’s inspirational journey of perseverance, tenacity and hard work is surely one that is celebrated. From late nights at Waffle House to early mornings in Colorado, Barnett’s story epitomizes entrepreneurial spirit. Today, Barnett’s company sells a variety of mobile phone accessories and has offices around the globe including Finland, Singapore and South Korea. Ultimately, Barnett’s clear vision for the PopSockets brand and the company’s grand plans to conquer even more phones in the future chart a bright path for its highly anticipated initial public offering.
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IOC Must Address Venue Problem Continued from Back Page would still place an enormous economic burden on the host country or countries. Spreading that burden out geographically would, in theory, diversify responsibility and encourage countries with multiple large cities to place bids. We could see this model as soon as this summer. In response to rumblings of Tokyo canceling the Olympics, the state of Florida reportedly offered to take on hosting duties. While the odds of Florida hosting are slim, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could see it as an opportunity to test this model.
Olympic city. While this model would prevent cities across the world from hosting, it would possibly foster a sense of excellence greater than that which the Olympics currently exudes.
“It is highly illogical to spend millions of dollars on a world-class site only to have it go into irrecoverable decay.”
Create an Olympic city This is the proposal I believe most compelling. The Olympics are uniquely special precisely because of the geographic proximity of all of the venues. But that monstrous burden has gotten us to this moment of crisis. There is a way to retain that allure while nearly eliminating the massive financial obligations: a permanent
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
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By having one city knighted as the Olympic city, the event would find a permanent home, and that home would come to be revered and idolized among millions of athletes and fans. Beyond that, the logistics of such a model make almost too much sense. Yes, constructing an Olympic city would be expensive. But in no way
would it be more expensive than the billions of dollars cities are spending every two years. The IOC could require participating nations to contribute to the overall construction costs, or a city could volunteer to create an Olympic city, believing the long-term benefit to outweigh the short-term cost. If constructing and maintaining such a city would prove to be too expensive, having a permanent host city, such as Los Angeles, would practically ameliorate all financial issues. Growing anti-Olympic sentiment has become unavoidable in recent years, and it is time for the Olympics to change. While hosting duties are already assigned through 2028, and bidding for 2032 is underway, it would be at least a decade until a new hosting model is implemented. However, as more and more cities refuse to even entertain the idea of bidding, the Games must adapt before the entire spectacle crumbles.
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Emory Nurse Appreciative of NFL Recognition Continued from Back Page lated. Studdard, however, said she was impressed with the safety precautions and guidelines she saw implemented during the game. “I don’t think I had a fan in front of me for at least five rows,” Studdard recalled. “It was very well spaced and everyone was masked up in the hotel. If you were standing in line to go to the NFL store, they had staff there to make sure you kept distance, so I thought that for the scale that it was done, it was done very well.” Emory Healthcare CEO Jonathan S. Lewin, who is the official health care provider of the Atlanta Falcons, said he was grateful for the experience. “We are so appreciative to the Atlanta Falcons for providing this amazing opportunity for our health care workers to attend Super Bowl LV and to the NFL for creating
this unique program for vaccinated staff,” Lewin wrote in a press release. Atlanta Falcons CEO and President Rich McKay expressed a similar gratitude for frontline health care workers. “We are extremely grateful for the frontline workers who have spent months battling the COVID-19 pandemic here in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia,” McKay said. Beyond a classic American sporting event, Super Bowl LV doubled as a show of appreciation for health care workers. Studdard, along with her colleagues, felt very honored to be appreciated at the event. “It was so much fun to be at a sporting event and to be recognized for all the things that we’ve done in the past year,” Studdard said. “That was really special.”
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Women’s Tennis Team Eager to Hit the Court Again Continued from Back Page letes who are going to take advantage of the opportunity instead of looking at it as detraction. TEW: The UAA canceled formal competition that would normally occur. What form of competition will your team engage in? AB: The UAA is our conference. We have one tournament that we have to play. So I don’t have to travel to Cleveland [Ohio]. I don’t have to travel to Rochester, New York, which is, you know, fine by me. Nobody wants to go there to play tennis. So instead, we have one tournament that occurs in April at the end of our season as the last thing we do. All the teams go to Orlando, [Florida], and that’s where we play, and whoever wins gets the automatic qualification to the national tournament. When the UAA canceled all of its competition, all it meant was round robins and tournaments were canceled for those sports. We are just not having any UAA competition. For me, I still had every year at least 20 other matches besides the UAA
competition that we would play. So it doesn’t really mean that much that the UAA is canceled. Also, Division III said the amount of matches needed to be considered for the championship is greatly reduced. This year, you have to play five matches to be considered for nationals, which is nothing. I can play almost five matches in one day. So that’s what we’ll be trying to do as we get approved for travel. I’m going to be calling up folks and saying, “Hey, I need five matches. Can you do it?” TEW: Has the Emory Athletics Department given the all-clear for women’s tennis to compete? AB: We haven’t found that out. We haven’t been approved by Emory to proceed with any competition with the problems of travel. Like, how do you put all the girls in the van and keep them all safe? And what if the other team is not doing weekly [polymerase chain reaction] tests? There’s going to be a ton of requirements for who we can play versus who we can’t play, if they say we can play at all. TEW: Has the tennis team begun to practice together? If so, what do
typical practices look like and how do they differ from a normal season? AB: Our team started practice on Feb. 8. The restrictions or the mitigations that have been communicated to me in regard to tennis are that you can only have two [players] on a court, you can’t play doubles and we can only have groups of 10 or less. I have 13
“I’m just looking forward to getting back to the grind.” — Amy Bryant, Women’s Tennis Head Coach
girls on my team that are on campus right now, so we’ll have to have eight of them be on four courts, because there’s two on a court and then the other ones have to be on a separate set of courts. TEW: How have you managed to keep the team connected this year? AB: We’ve been doing Zooms con-
sistently since March. Then in the fall, once Emory allowed group gatherings, me and the girls that were here got together in a socially distant, safe way, while those at home continued on Zoom. Sometimes — it’s funny, — I’ll run into somebody, and they’ll say to me, “Oh, it’s been a while since I’ve seen you.” But I just saw them on Zoom the day before. It doesn’t even feel like we haven’t physically been in person. I feel like you can just take off where we were before. But again, it’s just a matter of making sure that we maintain our team culture and expectations. What makes our program special has been the commitment of the girls and their drive and their passion and all of these things that we’ve developed over time. TEW: What do you miss the most about pre-COVID sports? AB: That’s a hard question. I try not to look at what was or what could have been and just look at where we are right now. It’s related to a competition mindset, too. Any athlete that is stuck on where they were before is never going to get better and be able to
look ahead. Even the ones that do look ahead — sometimes that’s not a good thing because it creates a lot of anxiety. The best athletes are the ones that are just in the moment all the time. So that directly circles back to our team culture and what I’m trying to continue. TEW: What are you most excited about for the future of women’s tennis? AB: I’m excited to see where my graduates go, what they do, how they get there and the confidence that our program gives them to be able to do whatever they want to do. That’s just part of my whole philosophy as a coach. I’m excited for that, to have five seniors that are graduating. I’m also excited to work with our current student-athletes. I haven’t worked with our freshmen at all, and I’m excited to see what they can do on the court. Our juniors, seniors and sophomores still have a ton of potential. I’m excited to tap into that and help them learn and grow. I’m just looking forward to getting back to the grind.
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Safety, Health of Fans a Priority at NBA Games Continued from Back Page COVID precaution that was definitely effective, and there were also people walking around with signs telling fans to keep their masks on at all times unless you were eating or drinking.”
While many health officials recommend that NBA teams play games in empty arenas, teams that have opened their doors to fans enforce strict social distancing and public health regulations to mitigate spreading the virus. “I honestly felt really safe,” Mars
said. “I know a lot of people are partying, and going to a party right now seems 10 times worse than going to a game.”
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Courtesy of Eli Mars
The Atlanta Hawks take on the Los Angeles Lakers in Mercedes Benz Stadium. Fans were allowed in at limited capacity.
The Emory Wheel
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | Sports Editor: Jessica Solomon (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Asst. Sports Editor: Michael Mariam (email@example.com)
The Inevitable Olympic Crisis
By Tripp Burton Staff Writer
Courtesy of Ncaa Photos
Emory women’s tennis Head Coach Amy Bryant huddles with her team before the Division III Women’s Tennis Championship in 2014. The current team faces an uncertain future regarding competition.
Volleying Back and Forth With Amy Byrant By Jonathan Fineman Contributing Writer While the pandemic continues to restrict what Emory sports teams can do, Amy Bryant (96B), head coach of the women’s tennis team, eagerly counted down the days until her team’s first day of practice on Feb. 8. Bryant, who has coached at her alma mater since 2000, has accumulated a stellar 408-103 record and six NCAA Division III titles over her 20-year tenure. Despite the abrupt conclusion of spring sports last year, Bryant insists that the women’s tennis team is prepared to live in the present and seize opportunities during this 2021 season. The Wheel spoke with Bryant about the upcoming season and the challenges that COVID-19 imposed on collegiate competition and team morale. Jonathan Fineman, The Emory Wheel: The dynamics of spring sports certainly differ from past years due to logistical and health-related challenges. What are the greatest challenges of coaching Emory women’s tennis during these uncertain times? Amy Bryant: I think what I’m facing right now, and what we’re facing as a team, is a continuation of the strong team culture that we’d already established prior to COVID. And then we’ve just had this long break of noth-
ingness. When I say nothingness, it’s not really nothingness: we have been meeting on Zoom, staying in touch, but there’s nothing like being on the court, traveling with your teammates and practicing with your teammates. That whole element of our program has been gone for almost a year. So bridging the gap is one of the biggest challenges that I’m facing right now. TEW: Has COVID-19 affected your approach to coaching? What lessons have you learned? AB: I don’t think it has affected my coaching style at all. I’m still, at my core, the same coach that I was before. I have the same philosophy, the same values and the same goals for the team. Perhaps I have become a little more flexible and understanding than I was before, just in terms of having to allow this strange new phenomenon into our lives that we’ve never dealt with. I have to almost be like, Here’s my expectation, but I know what you’re experiencing, what we’re all experiencing. So there’s a little bit of a “but” to everything that I’m doing that didn’t exist before. All the girls on my team have lost two years. They trained for this their whole entire lives, and they’re so serious about their academics, and they’re so serious about their athletics. They just lost a huge portion of who they
are. So just trying to be sensitive to that is essential as a coach, and [it’s] something that I’ve tried to really implement. TEW: Do you think that missing two straight years of formal University Athletic Association (UAA) competition has stymied team spirit and momentum? AB: I’d like to hope that we became stronger. I really do. I’ve known [my players] since their junior year in high school, and then I’ve known them while they’ve been at Emory. We’ve gone through this, and they are strong-willed. There will be a little bit of a reckoning that goes along with practicing five days a week with masks on outside. There’s so many little things that we’re just like, Okay, what’s next?” But at the same time, we’re holding out hope that we’ll get to compete. We have a proposal in place that may allow us to start competing after March 15. If that’s the case, we are going to be scrambling to set up some matches, and if the NCAA holds the tournament we’re gonna get there, come hook or crook. We’re going to do our best to get there and to compete and do what we can with what we’ve got. That’s just who we are as a team. I think these are an extraordinary group of student-ath-
See WOMEN’S, Page 11
The Olympics have remained relatively unchanged since the first torch was lit in Athens, Greece, in 1896. The Earth’s most talented athletes travel to one city in representation of their country, hoping to bring home medals and garner national pride. At its best, the Olympics are an exhibit of athletic excellence, international camaraderie and elite competition. But the Olympics are deeply flawed. And after the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were postponed to 2021, and with whispers swirling of an oncoming cancellation, there is no better time to restructure than now. It’s time to change the Olympics, and the first step is to rethink how it is hosted. Hosting the Olympics is an honor for any city. For two weeks, the host city is the most important place in the world. It grants a city the ability to showcase its most attractive qualities and usually brings a boon in tourism. Yet, cities are increasingly shying away from bidding on the Olympics. Recently, Hamburg, Germany; Calgary, Canada; Budapest, Hungary; and other mid-major cities that would stand to benefit immensely from the worldwide exposure rescinded their bids for future Games. Boston was widely considered a frontrunner for the 2024 Summer Olympics, but they never submitted a formal bid after many Boston residents expressed their opposition. The financial costs of hosting the Olympics have been historically accepted as reasonable, albeit massive investments. But now, after Greece and Brazil suffered economic meltdowns associated with the 2004 Athens and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, respectively, cities are less willing to dole out the billions of dollars needed to host. Japan reportedly spent $15.4 billion on the 2020 Olympics, an amount they
will not be able to recoup if the 2021 games are canceled. Los Angeles, a city with a massive preexisting athletic infrastructure, will still reportedly spend around $7 billion to host the 2028 Olympics. Much of these costs go toward building Olympic venues, such as the Olympic Village. While architecturally and visually impressive, these venues suffer from short life spans. The Olympics require highly specialized facilities to support events ranging from beach volleyball to equestrian sports to whitewater canoeing. They look amazing for the two weeks that they are used but are rarely touched again following closing ceremonies. There exists an entire corner of the internet dedicated to abandoned Olympic venues. It is highly illogical to spend millions of dollars on a world-class site only to have it go into irrecoverable decay. It would be difficult to lessen the cost of the Olympics or revolutionize the construction of athletic venues. There have been consistent calls to reorganize the Olympics, with people proposing new and innovative ways to host. Here are two that could soon become reality. Adopt the World Cup style The Olympics’ closest competitor for the title of largest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, also takes place every four years. It, too, brings together hordes of people from across the world. Like the Olympics, it’s extremely expensive, but the World Cup differs in that it’s not as loudly decried as hosting the Olympics. Why? Because hosting duties for the World Cup do not fall upon one city, but rather one country or, occasionally, multiple countries. This model is not perfect, as it
See IOC, Page 11
Emory Healthcare NBA Fans Yearn for Semblance of Normalcy Workers Attend Super Bowl By Sofia Himmel Staff Writer
By Mia Han Contributing Writer The Super Bowl has been sacred to the United States ever since the first big game saw the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Green Bay Packers in 1967. A raging pandemic couldn’t halt this tradition. On Feb. 7, 23 Emory Healthcare and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta workers attended the Super Bowl LV, courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons to show the NFL’s appreciation for their heroic acts amid the pandemic. These individuals were chosen in a random lottery to attend the game. Among the group selected was an intensive care unit nurse, emergency room nurse, cardiac nurse technician, physical therapist and patient care assistant. Those invited were required to obtain both doses of the COVID-19
vaccine prior to the game, as were the rest of the attendees, per an NFL Super Bowl initiative. Along with the 23 Atlanta-based health care workers, approximately 7,500 other health care workers, mostly from central Florida, attended the game. One such attendee was Amelia Studdard, an emergency department registered nurse at Emory Decatur Hospital. Before the game, Studdard recalled a surreal experience when health care workers gathered at a Miley Cyrus concert organized by the NFL. “It was so weird to be outside with 7,500 of us, all vaccinated, meeting each other through the NFL,” Studdard said. As the game progressed in Raymond James Stadium, pictures of fans failing to wear masks or social distance circu-
See EMORY, Page 11
The 2019-20 NBA season, after weeks of postponement due to COVID-19, resumed and finished in the Orlando bubble in March. Since the NBA’s intentions were to create an environment maximally safe from the virus, gameplay differed vastly from the usual stadiums packed with cheering fans. Despite the bubble’s resounding success in keeping teams safe from COVID-19, NBA players felt mentally and physically trapped, with some comparing the bubble to a prison sentence. However, in this NBA season, the bubble has popped as arenas throughout the league are now allowing fans to attend in person and enjoy a semi-normal fan experience. Teams currently allowing in-person fans include the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers,
Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz. The remaining teams that have chosen to continue game play without fans base their reasoning primarily on recommendations from local health officials. In pre-COVID times, half the fun of going to a basketball game, or any sporting event, is the energy of the crowd — the sense of community, the camaraderie and the electric atmosphere among fans. While these key attributes have been stripped during the pandemic, many fans remain eager to return to watch their favorite stars in person. Eli Mars (23C) is one such fan. Mars, a California native and Los Angeles Lakers fan, attended the Hawks game on Feb. 1, when the Hawks took on the defending champion Lakers. Mars reflected on this unique experience and listed off the myriad changes of attending a game during a pandemic.
“I showed up and had to download the CLEAR app,” Mars recalled. “In the app, I had to download a picture of my drivers licence, fill in some basic information, and [then] the app scanned my face to see if I had a fever. Once I showed a Hawks staff member that I had been approved on the app, I went through security and I was in.” Under normal circumstances, lucky fans can sometimes sneak down into seats closer to the court. While getting past security is usually the stiffest obstacle, during COVID, the Hawks resorted to more extreme measures to ensure social distancing protocols were followed. “Since the stadium was only open to 10% capacity, there were a ton of empty seats, but there was no moving down to better seats,” Mars said. “The empty seats were sealed shut, so you couldn’t pull down the seat [to sit]. This is a
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