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September 13, 2018 VOLUME XXXV, ISSUE 9

Influx of Freshmen Forces Triples in McMahon By CARMEN BORCA-CARRILLO News Editor

The safari-themed doors of McMahon Hall’s second and fifth floors are teeming with fern leaves and pith helmets marking the names of freshman residents — up to nine in one suite. The freshman class’ title as Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s largest class yet comes with an increased need for on-campus housing, which has led the university to convert McMahon’s double rooms into triples. While freshmen triples have previously occurred in McMahon, this year’s increased population has led to at least one triple in every room — in the most crowded dorms, up to nine people share one fridge and six people share one bathroom. On move-in day, freshmen in triples arrived to find their bedrooms set up to accommodate enough furniture for three people in rooms usually used for two, which meant desks and dressers in closets and bunked beds. First-year students were alerted to the possibility of forced triples early on during the summer and were notified of their status through their housing assignment email by the second week of August. Students living in a triple receive the accommodation of a reduced rate, paying $5912.50 per semester rather than the standard $8262.50 in McMahon. Jenifer Campbell, senior director of residential life, told The Observer that Fordham followed procedure from earlier years and utilized the building floor plan’s information about room size to select which rooms could become triples. Despite this precaution, many freshmen still find their living quarters to be cramped. “There’s not enough space for everything,” Laura Vasquez, FCLC ’22, said. “One of the dressers was just in the closet when I came in, so I had to move everything around myself and see how I was going to fit it.” Vasquez, like many other freshmen, relocated her desk to the living room in order to clear up space in her and her roommates’ bedroom. “Seeing the space, it kind of felt like they just stacked two beds on top of each other and didn’t really accommodate much else, in my opinion,” Sydney Ebbeler, FCLC ’22, said of her room on movein. “The room just feels smaller … if everyone is in the room all

ResLife Blocks Most Guest Policy Provisions By COLIN SHEELEY Editor-in-Chief


Freshmen in a nine-person suite cook dinner in close quarters. at once, it’s just a lot of having to navigate around each other.” Ebbeler lives in a dorm with two triples and confessed the most difficult part of her living situation was sharing one bathroom between the six of them. “We had to have a roommate meeting to make sure there are no disputes over the bathroom,” she said as she pointed to a calendar filled with color-coded shower times for each member of the suite hangs on their wall. “We came up with a schedule of who showers in the morning, who showers at night, if someone has an 8:30 class, they need to use it before someone else who usually uses it in the morning … we’re still trying to figure out a good flow to it.” Other than their reduced room rate, freshmen in forced triples did not receive any other accommodations or resources specific to living with an increased number of suitemates. The resident assistant and resident freshman mentor for the McMahon freshman floors were alerted during training in August about the forced triples but were not given any additional training in response to the increased number of residents. Residential Life did not say if the RFM received additional compensation for their extra respon-

sibilities other than the standard half room rate and meal check. This increase in the number of residents on the floors, without a proportionate raise in benefits, means that the floors’ RFM still pays half of their room and board with nearly twice as many residents to take care of. The floors’ former RA, who spoke to The Observer under condition of anonymity, resigned their post after learning how many residents they would be in charge of. “I was afraid I’d be spread too thin,” they said of their reasons behind leaving. “I worried I wouldn’t be able to give them the time and commitment ... [to] have the best freshman year experience they could have.” In order to ensure McMahon freshmen can participate in freshman programming held in McKeon Hall, Residential Life set up a system between the two buildings in which McMahon freshmen can identify themselves to security personnel via a sticker on their ID and sign themselves in between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Despite the self-sufficient system, Ebbeler says she still feels “very separate” from the freshmen in McKeon. “I know they [Residential Life] want to create a freshman community in McMahon … but I think everybody is

kind of on the same page of wanting to be able to be included in everything in McKeon.” Amid the crowding and confusion, however, residents in the forced triples have also come to appreciate the opportunity for community-building within suites that the situation presents. Aiden Tice, Gabelli School of Business (GSB) ’22, who lives in a nine-person suite, said he actually enjoys the bunk beds and credited the close quarters for he and his roommates’ strong friendship so early in the year. “Both of my roommates are from China and I ended up taking four years of Chinese in high school, so we talk all the time,” he said. “While it may not have been ideal at first, nine people in a room is bringing us all together.” Vasquez held similar sentiment: “Me and my roommates, we’re all chill with each other … We haven’t known each other that long, but we’ve already got a friendship.” While Vasquez admitted the forced triples weren’t ideal, she has found one definite advantage in the support of her new bunkmates: “I think that could be an advantage sometimes, having two roommates instead of one.” see CENTERFOLD pg. 8 for graphic illustrations accompanying this story

Keith Eldredge, dean of students at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) wanted to be careful when he and Jenifer Campbell, senior director of the Office of Residential Life, spoke with the past and current student members of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) on Aug. 20. Over the summer, he and Campbell had decided that the residence halls would not go through with a majority of the changes to the Guest and Visitation Policy proposed by RHA last spring. Among the rejected provisions was a motion to remove the gender and sex-based conditions from the university’s guest pass procedure. Under the current policy, undergraduate residents are permitted to obtain overnight passes only for guests of their same sex. Eldredge cited the input of “other constituencies” as a key factor in Residential Life’s consideration. “The policy aims to be sensitive to residents’ needs for privacy in a community environment within the context of our mission and identity as a university in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition,” he said. Samuel Blackwood, FCLC ’19 and former RHA advocacy coordinator said he was frustrated with the outcome of the larger initiative — he primarily led the campaign last year — but particularly with the conclusion of the inclusive guest pass provision, by which he had hoped to combat a policy that, according to the proposal “invalidates the identity of trans and intersex students.” “I’m disappointed that the voices of the students weren’t heard in this situation,” Blackwood said, “and that the people who are most impacted by this policy are the ones whose voices have been drowned out.” Aria Tejano, a former student at the university who is transgender said she was not surprised with the decision. “Unless a major shakeup occurs, I doubt the administration will ever change. see RESLIFE POLICIES pg. 3





Fifteen Fordham students and alumni come to her defense

Meet the Class of 2022: their hometowns, talents and Fordham aspirations

A look into Fordham Theatre’s upcoming season

Not quite The New York Times, but still a brain-teaser!

Christina Greer PAGE 6

Freshman Feature PAGE 12

“What Happens When?” PAGE 7


Crossword Inside PAGE 14



September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER

SAGES Hosts First ‘Fordham Disorientation’ By RUBY GARA News Editor

On Sept. 7, members of the Students for Sex and Gender Equity and Safety (SAGES) Coalition hosted an unprecedented “Fordham Disorientation” in a law school lecture room at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). In addition to discussing access to contraception on campus, SAGES tackled topics from sexual and mental health to race and racism at Fordham. On their Facebook event page, the event was described as “a student-run guide to everything admin didn’t teach you at Freshman Orientation.” SAGES has been running as an unofficial student-run group advocating for enhanced sex education on campus since 2014. The core members of SAGES explained to the attendees that the event was a “safe space,” where students could freely share their experiences. Trigger warnings were given prior to sensitive conversations. The event, promoted as “for the students by the students,” took the shape of an open discussion after brief introductions by the group’s members. Each member leading the event shared their knowledge on specific topics. Alisia Ortiz, FCLC ’20, spearheaded the conversation about mental health. Ortiz called the lack of resources available on campus as “frustrating” and provided the students with information on cheaper off-campus mental health resources. The turnout of the event was higher than anticipated; according to leading member Eliza Putnam, FCLC ’18, over 130 students attended, mostly from the class of 2022. “We estimated that 25 of us were not freshmen,” she reported to the Observer, “meaning that 1 in 7 members of the freshman class, including the Gabelli business students, attended last night.” Core member Maggie Ball, FCLC ’19, said that SAGES saw some Columbia students’ initiative of providing online resources with the students on campus, and were inspired to host their own version of the event. Ball joined SAGES their sophomore year and said that they have been trying to contribute to the


Members of SAGES gathered Sept. 7 to provide freshmen with resources not provided during orientation.

group by taking on “a more active role” during their last year at Fordham. SAGES considered following in Columbia’s steps, “but the idea of having it as an event came together very quickly, because we wanted to educate students about what’s going on at Fordham,” Maggie stated. “It was also about seeing student organizers on campus and feeling that you can find a place where you won’t feel patronized.” As part of their drive to im-

prove campus-wide access to contraception, the members of SAGES shared with all attendees a phone number they could text, at any time, for free condoms. The SAGES Coalition wants to start the conversation about birth control on campus. As reiterated on their Facebook page, their cause is urgent because their daily lives are affected by the university’s policies. Ball also stated that, after the event, many students approached SAGES and expressed interest in

joining the group and hoped for a second event. More still thanked them for hosting the “Disorientation.” “I think it’s generally a trend in younger people,” Ball said, referring to the increasing number of involved students on campus. “With each passing year, students at Fordham and in general seem to be more educated about the issues in the world, and are more interested in bettering them.” A SAGES representative, who spoke on the condition of ano-

nymity for fear that it would endanger their scholarship, spoke about the turnout of the event. “It was very heartening,” the student said, “to see so many interested people actively listening to us and engaging with us.” When asked about potentially hosting “Disorientations” in future years, The anonymous source replied that “as long as the resources and topics we discuss aren’t available at the actual Orientation, there should continue to be a Disorientation.”

Professor Faces Backlash After Remark on MSNBC Student workers in the Office of Admissions fielded phone calls from “disgruntled folks.” By RUBY GARA News Editor

On Aug. 21, a comment made on MSNBC’s live segment by Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) Associate Professor of Political Science, Christina Greer, Ph.D., sparked outrage across social media and the nation. The panel was in the midst of a discussion about Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and Paul Manafort’s verdict, when Greer, a frequent guest speaker, said that “Fox News is talking about a girl in Iowa and not this.” The “girl in Iowa” Greer was referring to was 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, whose body was found dead in Brooklyn, Iowa, weeks after she was declared missing on July 18. Cristian Bahena Rivera, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, was charged with first-degree murder after confessing to killing Tibbetts. Greer did not respond to requests for comment. During the conversation on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Greer said

“ The caller basically yelled at me for about a minute, saying how appalled she was that Fordham would hire ‘such an evil woman.’ ” – STUDENT WORKER , on incoming phone calls following Greer’s comment.

that Fox News’ coverage of this story was a tool for distraction. According to Greer, the news outlet should have instead reported on how President Trump’s former attorney pleaded guilty to tax evasion, in addition to his former campaign chairman’s conviction, who was found guilty on eight counts, both on Aug. 21. In relation to Mollie Tibbetts’ murder, Greer also stated on MSNBC that “I’m sure we’ll hear what [Trump] has to say about this at his rally.” As she predicted, President Trump politicized Tibbetts’ death during a rally held on Aug. 22 in West Virginia by using

the incident to justify a push for stricter immigration laws. On Sept. 2, in response to Trump’s rally, Rob Tibbetts, the victim’s father, asked that the President not “exploit my daughter’s death to promote a racist agenda,” in response to Trump’s rally. Over the summer, FCLC student workers in the Office of Admissions placed on phone duty fielded multiple phone calls from those who were infuriated by Greer’s comment. Kara Hogan, FCLC ’19, said she did not personally answer any calls about Greer, but stated

that the “admissions office directed us that if we did answer a call about her, to not engage with the caller.” They were required to then transfer them immediately to Bob Howe, the assistant vice president of communications. As Greer does not have her contact information available on the Fordham website, Hogan said that those calling about Greer had to call the general Fordham phone number, which routes to the phones in the admissions office at both campuses. Another student worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid administrative retaliation, noted that the office received several calls from “disgruntled folks.” “I was only manning the phone for one of these calls,” the student said. “The caller basically yelled at me for about a minute, saying how appalled she was that Fordham would hire ‘such an evil woman’ and that she wouldn’t be sending any of her grandchildren to Fordham ever ‘again.’”

The caller proceeded to hang up before the student could explain that their only duty as a student worker was to transfer the call. Greer’s comment enraged thousands of Twitter users, as well as members of the far right for stating that the Republican party is “working on behalf of Donald Trump. And he’s been able to bully them into their silence. And I don’t think today changes much, unfortunately.” Following the whirlwind, Greer tweeted an apology for her comment on Aug. 22. “Yesterday I said something flippant that was unintended,” she wrote. “Mollie Tibbets [sic] was a promising young woman who lost her life. My hope is that her family will find peace & justice and that her murder is not used to justify a discriminatory immigration policy.” She concluded the tweet with the hashtag “#Apologiesaremyown,” posted shortly before deleting her Twitter account. Greer has since reactivated her Twitter.

THE OBSERVER September 13, 2018



Gender Remains Divisive Issue with ResLife RESLIFE POLICIES FROM PAGE 1

Working with them to change is almost certainly futile,” she said. “And sadly, for the people who bear the burden of Fordham’s bigotry, the only choices are to submit or leave.” Tejano, who left herself, wrote an editorial in The Observer in April about Fordham’s dorm policy. Eldredge, admitting that the current rules “impact trans students differently” and expecting the RHA members’ dissatisfaction, said that he didn’t “want to set them up.” “I did say to them, I don’t anticipate that a broad change on the policy related to opposite gender guests for undergraduates is happening this year,” he recalled. What he could provide them, he said, was future conversation. “I want to be genuine with them,” he added, “but did say that there might be some continued opportunities if we want to continue the dialogue.” Eldredge said he could not be sure if they would take him up on the offer. Blackwood, while open to discussion, concluded: “I think my time taking a proactive stance, a proactive position on this thing is done.” He did, however, express confidence in his successor, Vasilios Livanos, Gabelli School of Business (GSB) ’21, who now helms the advocacy branch of RHA. “He and I talked at the end of last semester and he’s very passionate, he’s very intense,” Blackwood said. “I think that he’s going to do a great job.” Livanos declined to comment on any future plans he had for the proposal; however, RHA President Minna Suh, FCLC ’20, said in an email that the association in-

Reduction of fines incurred upon violation of visitation and guest policy to $5.00. Upon continued violation of guest and visitation policy the fine will increase by $5.00. If a student violates guest and visitation policy an email will be set to the student’s email notifying them of their violation and the amount that will be charged to their account. In the same notification the student will be given the opportunity to appeal the fine. An appeal must be filed within 7-10 days of being notified of guest and visitation policy violation. A list of guests permitted each night will be available online to the guards, to be used in the case that a student’s physical guest pass may be misplaced or stolen, in order to prevent a guest who is registered and approved as a guest from being placed in an unsafe circumstance without other accommodations. Both undergraduate and graduate students are permitted to obtain guest passes for guests of any gender or sexual identity. Both undergraduate and graduate students are allowed to obtain same day guest passes. McKeon and McMahon freshman residents may move freely between the two residence halls, without having to be signed in. Residents will also be able to submit an online request for an overnight guest pass 24 hours in advance, to be reviewed and approved by the RA on duty, in recognition of the fact that many students are enrolled in night classes, evening classes at Rosehill, and/or have evening jobs. ESME BLEECKER-ADAMS/THE OBSERVER

Results of the guest pass policy, in the administration’s own words.

tends to follow up with Eldredge and Campbell. “We plan on continuing this much needed conversation and pushing for change as much as we can,” she said. According to Eldredge, the Of-

fice of Residential Life approved one provision to make the language of appealing a policy violation more explicit in full. Another specification, which sought to reduce the amount of money

owed for a policy violation from $15 to $5, was altered so that the first fine was instead waived, with subsequent offences incurring the standard incremental $15. Additionally, there were

changes that Eldredge said could be well within reason for the residence halls in the future. He explained that one element of the proposal, creating a private database of current guests accessible by Public Safety guards for reference, would be impossible to implement with Fordham’s current security system, but that he was looking into more compatible technology. Other changes, Eldredge said, the university was less willing to accomodate. Along with the inclusive gender guest pass provision, Residential Life turned down five of the seven changes proposed. Among them were motions to implement same-day guest passes, 24-hour access to McKeon Hall for freshmen and online guest pass registration. Each of these presented an uncertainty that Eldredge said would potentially weaken the policy as a whole. “The design behind the guest and visitation policy is really about safety and security,” he said. “There are exceptions, and we’re willing to be flexible where it makes sense to do that,” however, a blanket procedure bore too many “difficulties.” Ultimately, Blackwood said that despite the result of the proposal, he believes the administration better understands the position of the students who pushed for the changes, as well as their dedication to what they believe in.

Passed in full Passed with revisions Rejected due to technical drawbacks Rejected on principle

Fordham Welcomes New Title IX Coordinator “As an institution that highly promotes faith, hope and love, it would be silly not to take those core tenants into every room with you.”


“Good,” “better,” “best.” These were the words Kareem Peat, Fordham University’s new Title IX coordinator, used to describe everything he hopes he has done, everything he does and everything he aims to do. “Everywhere I go, every time: Do better. Be better — whatever that means,” he said in an Aug. 31 interview with The Observer. “This is my best at 8 a.m. on a Friday … I’ll do my best. Maybe if you come back in six months … I’ll just do my best at that time, whether I’m sleep deprived or really rested.” Indeed, Peat’s record is exhaustive. With a near 10-year stretch in the legal sector, he holds degrees from the University of Michigan, New York University School of Law and Harvard University Graduate School of Education, the diplomas of which leaned against the bare walls of his Cunniffe House office, into which he was still settling. Peat, however, said his former office in Cornell University’s Day Hall reminded him of his first opportunities in Title IX, work that he and those he admires “really love doing.” Speaking of his call to higher education, Peat said he “knew that you could directly impact people’s lives for the better.” “When you can talk to people and make them feel like you’re listening and that you’re sincere, and empathetic, that gives them the ability to keep going,” he said, “to keep sharing their experience, or to remain as a member of the community: that’s a wonderful experience.”


Peat, a new face at Fordham, extends a welcome to all of campus. Last February, Public Safety Investigator Patricia Scaglione assumed the role of interim Title IX coordinator after Anastasia Coleman stepped down from her fiveyear post. Following a six month search process, the university announced Peat’s appointment in August. Prior to his time at Fordham, Peat began his career as an investigator in higher education at Cornell University, where he rose through the ranks to Deputy Title IX coordinator for investigations and lead Title IX investigator in two years. During his time there, he and his office fielded student-requested reviews of conduct by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which Peat welcomed as a chance for students to engage in a

fair process. “Any institution I’m involved with- we encourage people to pursue all of their options, and we are more than happy to let them know of all of their rights,” he said. “If someone would like to review our conduct or have someone else review our conduct, they’re welcome to do so. And we certainly won’t hide that.” For Peat, Title IX investigations represent an opportunity to directly impact people’s lives and help others realize their academic potential. He first decided to pursue the path after taking a course on Title IX and its effect on students at Cambridge. There, he said he came to understand how an empathetic investigator can give students the ability to remain

part of their community and continue sharing their experience. While Peat already possessed much of the analytical skill necessary for his position from his years in legal work, he volunteered as a staffer for the Online Hotline and as an advocate for patients’ healthcare in hospitals to gain emotional insight into the sensitive topics that Title IX cases concern. “That was the time where I really learned how to speak to people,” Peat said. “It’s a position that I hold to this day … if I’m in a meeting with someone on a Title IX matter, if I’m doing most of the talking, I’m not doing it right.” Listening and observing, rather, are much more valuable to Peat. He supplemented his volunteering with advice and lessons from experts in the Title IX circuit. Jill Zellner, Title IX coordinator of Tufts University and one of the officials Peat consulted, said that when she spoke to him, she had wished her office was in a position to hire him then and there. “Fordham is fortunate to have such a thoughtful and empathic person,” she said in an email to The Observer. Although, like most fresh administrative hires, Peat is primarily set on familiarizing himself with the new academic environment, he acknowledged that Ford-

ham’s Jesuit principles have already given him an idea of how to approach the new position. “As an institution that highly promotes faith, hope and love, it would be silly not to take those core tenets in every room with you and bring them to every discussion,” he said. “For us to exude or represent the qualities of the institution in all of our communications, that’s important.” Communication as a whole, in fact, is the first step in Peat’s game plan. “I literally would like to say hello to everyone,” he said. “My goal is to let everyone know that I’m approachable and I’m really just interested in their well-being.” Peat said his favorite area on campus is the Third and Webster Ave. Gate, where he likes to speak with Bert Scipio at the guard booth. Scipio too recognized Peat’s eagerness to put his finger on the “heart pulse beat” of the university, but worried that members of the community would be slower to warm up to him because he, like Scipio, is a person of color. Peat said that while he had never spoken to Scipio about it, he wanted to stress that his identity was complex. “I am a member of the Fordham community,” he said, “and I am African-American, and I am Caribbean-American, and I am a member of a loving, supportive family.” To that end, as the university’s new Title IX coordinator, Peat said he is determined to establish himself within the institution, socially and fundamentally. To get to this point, “I did everything I could, learned everything I could,” he said, but his future interests are simple: “Just the people and the mission.”


Opinions Editors Jordan Meltzer - Owen Roche - September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER



RESLIFE, ADMINISTRATION: LISTEN CLOSER Once again, the Fordham administration’s potential to improve the Fordham community has gone unrealized. Last year, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) movement to change the unpopular Fordham housing policy was further punctuated with a student’s oped criticizing the transphobic nature of the policy. The RHA held meetings, conducted town halls and distributed surveys to determine what methods of change the student body felt were necessary going forward. Dedicated students took the initiative to fix an important issue within their school; this, in turn, was met with what appeared to be cooperation, even encouragement, from the Office of Residential Life administrators. Suffice it to say, the dialogue between the RHA and Residential Life’s dialogue got the student body’s hopes up — and rightly so. Over the summer, the administration considered and ruled on the RHA proposal, and their verdict rang out over an empty campus. The rejection of most students’ housing-related propositions, especially trans-

gender housing accommodations, is not just a letdown for students; it is the latest event in a timeline of increasing distrust

Students deserve to trust that their administration acts in their best interest. For a yearlong student effort to be denied so trivially and with such finality, this conviction is brought into doubt. within the greater Fordham community. Time and again, The Observer has published news articles, op-eds and staff editorials detailing the deterioration of trust between the upper echelon of the administration and the student body. News that Residential Life has chosen to block most guest policy provisions is a disappointment: a failure to assure that any hope of gen-

uine consideration from the administration on this issue is sincere. The fines system within the housing policy was altered and the restroom signage now reads “All Gender,” but these decisions now feel like attempts to placate the student body, much of which supports a much greater change. Students deserve to trust that their administration acts in their best interest. For a yearlong student effort to be denied so trivially and with such finality, this conviction is brought into doubt. If the university’s primary obligation is to its more conservative constituencies or to selective Catholic ideals, the administration should at least be up-front about it and figure out a way forward as a community. In order to make that progress a reality, transparency is critical. Fordham boasts of countless enthusiastic students dedicated to positive change, but its conduct is all too discouraging. Every member of the Fordham community strives to uphold its mission to live for others — the university must simply let them do that.

OBSERVER Editor-in-Chief Colin Sheeley Managing Editor Izzi Duprey Business Manager Luis Navarro Online Editor Madison Leto Layout Editor Sabrina Jen Asst. Layout Editors Esmé Bleecker-Adams Steph Lawlor News Editors Carmen Borca-Carrillo Ruby Gara Opinions Editors Jordan Meltzer Owen Roche Arts & Culture Editors Courtney Brogle Marielle Sarmiento Asst. Arts & Culture Editor Kevin Christopher Robles Features Editors Lindsay Jorgensen Jeffrey Umbrell Asst. Features Editor Gianna Smeraglia Sports & Health Editor Luke Osborn Social Media Editor Madison Leto Photo Editors Andrew Beecher Lena Rose Copy Editors Lulu Schmieta Sami Umani Visual Advisor Molly Bedford Editorial Advisor Anthony Hazell Comma Coordinators Tatiana Gallardo Cat Reynolds Alexandra Richardson Abby Wheat

Photo Feature “Thunderhouse Falls”

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THE OBSERVER September 13, 2018



Equal Access to Education for All: A Civil Rights Issue fall behind their white counterparts by two to three years. By the time they reach fourth grade, approximately 70 percent of black students are unable to meet their expected reading level. Additionally, only 16 percent of students from segregated schools are expected to pass college courses, which undeniably affects their ability to flourish in the workforce. The inequitable distribution of qualified teachers may be the most devastating impediment for students in underserved districts to receive the level of education they deserve. Black students are twice as likely to be assigned educators who are not trained with up-to-date teaching methods. Research suggests that the quality of educators is inextricably linked to the student’s future success. When assigned equally qualified educators, students from marginalized backgrounds are expected to perform just as well as white students from afflu-


Imagine this: You walk into your school and you are immediately engulfed in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees due to defective furnaces. As you proceed to walk down the hall, metal detectors welcome you, making you question whether you are a student or a miscreant. The water is irrefutably undrinkable. There are insects crawling around the cafeteria. Pieces of classroom ceilings periodically break and fall. The population of the school is composed of academically neglected students, faculty that is either apathetic or unqualified, and vermin roaming the halls. You are legally obligated to sit through classes for hours at a time, but you still can’t decode the symbols of the alphabet strung together on the board and translate them into words. Your potential is imprisoned by your own education, locked behind a writing system that should be second nature by now. What if you found out that the only thing holding you back from achieving your greatest level of success was the color of your skin? Would you fight for justice? Some have. Seven students took it upon themselves to file a class action lawsuit against the state of Michigan for denying minorities in Detroit access to literacy. Usually, cases about education are reviewed by state courts. But since the students believed their inability to obtain a quality education transgressed their constitutional rights, this case, Gary B. v. Snyder, was assessed by a U.S. district judge.

What if you found out that the only thing holding you back from achieving your greatest level of success was the color of your skin? Would you fight for justice? The decision for the suit could have produced a notable court precedent and acted as a potent weapon against poverty, injustice and de facto discrimination. Instead, the ruling was a huge disappointment for those opposed to systemic injustice. Judge Stephen Murphy III determined that even though literacy is intrinsic to the well-being of an individual, the Constitution does not stipulate the attainment of literacy as fundamental to one’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Imagine that. It is true that access to a quality education is not explicitly guaranteed in our Constitution. However, the Constitution has not always been interpreted to uphold civil rights. The most noteworthy example is the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case in 1896. The case stated that individuals of different races were “separate but equal,” acknowledging

segregation as a legal governing practice. In 1954, the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision overturned this case in a unanimous decision, citing the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court justices determined that segregation of public schools based on one’s race inhibited children of color from acquiring a proper education. The court did not rely on precedent to make this decision; rather, the ruling was based on social science studies which indicated that implicit biases impede the academic growth of students. This ruling essentially deemed equal education opportunities as a right. Two decades later, news surfaced that Governor William Milliken took action to prolong segregation of the public school system in Michigan. After the NAACP sued the state of Michigan for enforcing a racially divided school system, the district court decided to create a desegregation plan by busing students in Detroit across 53 school districts. Shortly thereafter, the Supreme Court case Milliken v. Bradley ruled in a 5–4 decision that segregation of school districts could continue. The reemergence of a systemic educational schism prompted individuals to fight against these policies which incessantly held back people of color. We can see that the ruling of Gary B. v. Snyder failed to acknowledge the embedded racism in the system. The discriminatory public policies of the past disproportionately allocated resources to ensure predominantly white districts were granted more opportunities, competent educators, updated curricula and increased funding. This allowed them to prosperously develop while leaving vulnerable, marginalized communities hopelessly underdeveloped. Because of segregation, people of color were unable to integrate into other school districts and, therefore, were incapable of being exposed to the same education and resources as their white peers. Evidently, not much has changed. Studies show that students from marginalized backgrounds

Depicted: number of black students in each Michigan school district compared to the respective achievement gap in reading and math performance, measured in Grade Equivalent Units. Zero represents the national average, so a negative numeric value indicates how many grade levels below the mean students in the district are performing. Michigan’s Department of Education presented its research with the following introduction: “In 2014, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) articulated seven strategic priorities, the first of which was to: ‘Close achievement gaps in reading and math, with an initial focus on African American young men for whom data show are Michigan’s persistently lowest achieving student group.’”

ent communities. All of it begins with that alphabet on the board. Without access to literacy, students cannot acquire the skills they need to obtain a higher education, thrive in the workforce and exercise their democratic rights.

Black students are twice as likely to be assigned educators who are not trained with up-to-date teaching methods. Research suggests that the quality of educators is inextricably linked to the student’s future success. It is time to stop obligating socioeconomically disadvantaged students of color to continually sacrifice the hours between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. every weekday for no academic gain, and start providing them with an education that will prepare them to succeed. Students in Detroit and all over the country are relegated to institutions that not only fail to protect and educate them but also perpetuate the vicious cycle of social inequality. If literacy is not guaranteed to each and every American student, what exactly do we expect them to gain from public education? Equal opportunities allow all people to have the same educational foundation from which they can cultivate their own destiny through their own merit regardless of their race, nationality, color, gender, age, religion or disability. It is in the fundamental interest of our society to provide students with the finest education to ensure a prosperous future for our country. We owe it to them. Their lives, liberties and individual pursuits of happiness depend on it.



September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER

In Appreciation of Christina Greer Below is a collective op-ed by 15 Fordham students and alumni. Fordham Associate Professor of Political Science Christina M. Greer, Ph.D., is a brilliant scholar and generous, inspiring educator. She is highly respected in her field at large and is a frequent political commentator on broadcast national news, appearing regularly on MSNBC and NY1. She writes a weekly column in Amsterdam News, currently co-hosts “FAQ NYC” and previously hosted the OZY series “The Aftermath.” Greer fights for a just city for all New Yorkers, in the past two years advocating for public transit for all and Fair Fares and a swift, permanent closure of Rikers Island jail. She predicts progressive candidates’ victories and works to achieve them. And she brings this breadth of political experience into the classroom. In her spring 2016 Urban Politics course, Greer dispatched students to the five boroughs to engage with theories studied in class. They analyzed New York City’s museums, and returned with questions about the accessibility and purpose of public spaces. The class contributed to the Tenement Museum’s Your Story Our Story project, exploring personal experiences of forced and voluntary migration and immigration while learning the role of immigration, migration and displacement trends in the formation of U.S. cities. In their capstone project, the class studied the conditions of MTA stations, observing that while 76 percent do not have elevators, those that do are frequently filthy and fetid, and out of service at erratic intervals. After site visits and research, students presented their recommendations to the transit experts Greer invited to class, and submitted full reports including policy memos for city officials. The project showcased Greer’s magical ability to foster connections between her students, helping those with shared passions find one another. She invites

students to engage in creating their vision of a better political future, and prepares them for the collaborative, ground-up work our visions will require. Greer does not hide behind impartiality; she makes her views known, but is careful to never stifle conversation or debate. Her classroom is at once comfortable and challenging, demanding but fun. Her courses are so popular that she’s inspired the phrase “minoring in Greer”: political science majors taking so many of her classes that they could constitute a minor. Greer’s passion for educating and making politics current and tangible is not limited to her classroom. She regularly brings academics, intellectuals, reporters and politicos to campus, inviting the Fordham community to take advantage of these opportunities to both educate themselves and promote dialogue on campus. Here’s a sample of the past five years of Greer’s contributions outside the classroom at Fordham: in 2013, she published her first book, becoming one of the first political scientists to use quantitative data to study the multiplicity of ethnic groups that get lumped in under the category of “black voters,” omitting the nuances of Afro-Caribbean, African and black American communities and how they vote. In 2014, Professor Greer organized a panel on Mayor de Blasio’s first 100 days in office. In 2015, Greer moderated a panel hosted at Fordham Law on economic security for women of color with participants including Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour. That year, she also spoke at and supported an incredible all-day conference on the anniversary of Malcolm X’s murder, reflecting on his legacy on contemporary U.S. politics. In 2016, Greer moderated a panel on gun violence and police brutality. In 2017, Greer co-organized Fordham’s first-ever panel on trans politics with Assistant Professor of Political Science Zein Murib, Ph.D., and hosted a debrief on the 2016 elections with several


Per Greer’s Twitter: “Yesterday [Aug 21] I said something flippant that was unintended. Mollie Tibbets [sic] was a promising young woman who lost her life. My hope is that her family will find peace & justice and that her murderer is not used to justify a discriminatory immigration policy.”

political scientists. Greer encourages Fordham students and the community at large to take national and regional political moments seriously and to play a role in how they develop. Countless Fordham success stories, whether in New York City government, think tanks in Washington D.C. or law schools and graduate programs across the country, owe their success to her guidance. She’s taught students to never be late, to always know what’s going on in the world today, to take constructive criticism in stride and to always be smarter and better for it. Fordham is fortunate that Greer has chosen our university

as her home base for research and teaching. Her students are proud to see her represent Fordham and our Political Science department every time she speaks on TV. In her podcasts, columns and frequent public appearances, Greer shares valuable and clear-sighted commentary on current political events, allowing the greater public to learn from her insights as her students do every week. We couldn’t be more impressed with or appreciative of Dr. Greer’s work this year, as a McSilver fellow in residence at NYU, as a frequent commentator in the New York Times and other media outlets, and always as an advisor to students.

WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY: Melissa Aziz, FCLC ’17 Kendall Bennett, FCLC ’20 Hunter Blas, FCLC ’17 Francesca Ciannavei, FCLC ’20 Chandler Dean, FCLC ’18 Michaéla Finneran, FCLC ’18 Yint Hmu, FCLC ’17 Leah Johnson, FCLC ’20 Meg Johnson, FCLC ’20 Kyle J. Kilkenny, FCLC ’19 Maya Kitayama, FCLC ’18 Lexi McMenamin, FCLC ’17 Evangeline Miele, FCLC ’20 Eliza Putnam, FCLC ’18 Maria Rodriguez, FCLC ’18

How Rudy Giuliani Deceives the American People PATRICK RIZZI

Staff Writer

As the seemingly endless scandals of the Trump administration continue to materialize in places both expected and unexpected, a bombastic former prosecutor and mayor on the president’s legal team is the newest and most convincing example as to why many in the public fear the possibility of political misconduct by President Donald Trump. His name: Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani’s attempts at creating a legal defense for Trump against a possible probe for obstruction of justice are spotty at best. With round-the-clock appearances on cable television and enough conflicting legal theories given on such programs to make a seasoned political analyst’s head spin, it’s unclear how much Giuliani thinks before he speaks. Giuliani was added to Trump’s legal team in April 2018. While he committed significant work to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, he kept a relatively low profile on the national stage at the time, save for a speech at the Republican Party’s convention. His employment as a member of Trump’s legal team was a response to the ongoing special counsel investigation that began

in May 2017. About a week after Trump fired FBI director James Comey, Robert Mueller was appointed as a special counsel to oversee an investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The investigation has been a success in that it has helped uncover proof of improper and sometimes illegal ac-

it a “witch hunt” on Twitter and at campaign-style rallies. Much of his political base eats up such aggressive and often factually incorrect rhetoric. When Giuliani joined Trump’s legal team, public opinion over the Mueller investigation was very divided. While some who have bought into the mentality that

It is understandable that some Americans may feel exhausted from the non-stop media coverage of the special counsel investigation, but in no way does pervasive media coverage undermine or threaten its inherent legitimacy and necessity to our country. In contrast, Giuliani seems to have no legal strategy other than to be

With round-the-clock appearances on cable television and enough conflicting legal theories given on such programs to make a seasoned political analyst’s head spin, it’s unclear how much Giuliani thinks before he speaks. tions involving people in Trump’s inner circle related to Russia. Initially, Mueller’s investigation enjoyed broad public support, including that of most Republicans. Mueller’s reputation and personal integrity is considered sterling by a consensus of public servants from across the aisle. However, as indictments have started coming out by the number, even baseline support for the investigation in general has now become partisan — an utter travesty in a country far too polarized over political differences already. Trump has derided the investigation more and more, often calling

Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt” may smile at Giuliani’s rhetoric on television news shows, his slapdash legal “strategy” is causing great harm by exacerbating extreme political polarization. Mueller’s investigation is not intended to be partisan. Contrary to what some far-right news pundits may claim, the special counsel does not have a conflict of interest in spite of the fact that he knows Comey. Progressive activist and former Congressman Tom Perriello noted on Twitter that the special counsel’s investigation “has moved faster and at lower cost than previous probes.”

a metaphorical conductor of the “discredit Mueller” train, while tooting his own horn at every possible second in the process. It is likely that many Trump followers in the media feel that they must discredit Mueller because of the possibility that should criminal activity committed by Trump be uncovered, the probe could pose an existential threat to this presidency. Since this summer, Giuliani has claimed that collusion is not a crime, stated that Trump does not necessarily have to mean something when he tweets about the investigation and dipped his toes in the water of Orwellian

nonsense by saying that “truth isn’t truth.” Giuliani’s half-baked attempt at legal strategy is tailor-made to stick a knife in the beating heart of political division. Spirited political disagreements will always be as American as apple pie, but the rejection of universally respected and proven facts in pursuit of a political goal is not normal. If truth isn’t truth, then Democratic truth could be different from Republican truth. Unfortunately, we already live in a society where that often seems to be the case, given the ideological gap between Fox News and CNN or MSNBC. Citizens of good faith and conscience should feel ethically obliged to refuse to make this division in the perception of facts any worse. Sadly, as Giuliani has claimed that the Trump legal team is preparing a “counter-report” to Mueller’s report, we will likely head further down the rabbit hole of extreme partisanship. While we are fortunate to have a functioning and independent judiciary that could resolve possible legal disputes or criminal charges rooted in the Mueller probe, the court of public opinion still matters regarding public perceptions. Yet the court of public opinion is not equivalent to a verdict or legal analysis in a court of law, and we all should be thankful for that.

Arts & Culture Editors Courtney Brogle- Marielle Sarmiento-

Arts & Culture

September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER

Politics on the Stage

Tackling the Realities of American Leadership in Fordham’s Theatre Program By COURTNEY BROGLE Arts & Culture Editor

“How do we create a season that’s not so blatantly agitprop that people who might have conservative tendencies will shy away from it because they think they’re going to get beat over the head? How do we make the broadest possible inclusive environment but somehow create through structural choices a sense of consequence?” According to Matthew Maguire, that was the primary concern within the theatre program this past summer as they worked to create another provocative mainstage season. As the director of the Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) theatre program, he was determined to produce another year of political art, without repeating the 2017-18 season, “What Does It Mean to Be American?” After careful deliberation, the upcoming season, which kicks off in October, does not actually have an official theme. Rather, each play begs the question: “What happens when?” “It’s of course the source of all dramatic structure; it moves plot forward and character choices,” Maguire said. Even still, the theatre department struggles to remain impartial, as Maguire added, “It gives people an understanding of cause and effect, because the real question I want the audience to be asking as they leave is, ‘What happens when we elect a racist, sexist authoritarian steeped in corruption?’” This upcoming season follows last year’s examination of American citizenship and identity. The program produced works which stemmed from the modern understanding of national character. This contradicts President Trump’s ideas that anything deviating from white nationalism was not only un-American, but also worthy of deportation, standing in the way of supposedly “Making America Great Again.” Maguire continued, “We had to figure out how to amplify resistance, without just hammering away in the same direction. Hence, this season.” Indeed, the season ahead


Members of the Fordham Theatre program collaborating to answer the question, “What happens when?”

balances modern challenges on archaic and established “norms.” Starting with Anne Carson’s contemporary translation of Sophocles’ “Antigone,” “Antigonick” gives fresh meaning to when a woman defies rigid state power (especially in the context of a woman under Trump’s insensitive administration). Later this semester, Sarah Ruhl’s “Orlando” challenges gender norms and distinctions. Diana Son’s “Satellites” examines cultural clashes in the midst of gentrification. The season wraps up with Anne Washburn’s “Mr. Burns,” a play that takes the audience through 75 years-worth of tribal survival as the characters hold onto the memory of a beloved cartoon episode.

Astute readers will notice another key theme — each mainstage is written by a female playwright. Indeed, each show is also directed by a female director in the theatre program. In a year marred with contraceptive scares and opening up about sexual assault, for those who identify as an American women (especially as a women in the entertainment industry), Fordham’s theatre season is actively working to celebrate womanhood and create an equal, safe space for their voices to be heard — a novelty in comparison to the widespread national sentiment. Theatre students were abuzz this past syllabus week in the midst of their auditions for these innovative plays. “It’s something

we really need right now given the state of our administration. And they’re all very different from what we normally do,” Sarah Lazarus, FCLC ’19, said. “Look at our lineup: ‘Mr. Burns,’ what we’re doing at the end of the year actually [in the third act] is a musical-opera. We never do musicals, and while most assuredly not a traditional musical, is something fresh and challenging. And ‘Orlando’ is really cool too, it’s about gender and the constraints society puts on them can throw someone into disarray.” India Derewetzky, FCLC ’20, agreed. “I think it’s great that we’re doing plays written by women, directed by women,” she said. “It’s an important perspective that sometimes gets swallowed by

all the hoopla and the press about Trump, especially as he makes living in America as a women increasingly more difficult.” “It’s nice to hear female stories where female protagonists triumph and work alongside women in power, because you don’t often meet many female directors, especially at such a high level like [Rebecca Martinez and Ashley Brooke Monroe] directing our mainstages,” she continued. “They’re even written by women and they’re gorgeous; they’re really deep and about two women struggling against the establishment, of gender, of the estate … it’s really exciting.” The 2018-2019 mainstage season kicks off Oct. 4 with “Antigonick.”

“Stars in the Night” Comes to NYC By MORGAN STEWARD Editor-in-Chief Emerita

“Please be advised: this show will have you on the move!” is not your typical warning when buying tickets to a theatrical event in New York City. But “Stars in the Night” is anything but normal. “Stars” is an immersive theatrical adventure like no other. As opposed to traditional performances where patrons sit in a dark theater and watch the action unfold in front of them, “Stars” makes the audience a part of the adventure. The unique production brings intimate groups of 12 on a tour of the historic cobblestone streets of Dumbo, Brooklyn, all while telling the story of the mysterious disappearance of a woman and how her life is intertwined with the apparent strangers theatergoers encounter along the way. Firelight Collective artistic directors Stephanie Feury and Nathan Keyes co-wrote and are directing the production, which

makes its New York premiere after a sold-out, extended engagement in Los Angeles in 2017. As artistic directors of of the company, Feury and Keyes aim to “create original events focused on narrative storytelling designed to awaken the audience’s senses,” allowing the viewers to switch between observing and being observed. “Stars” will run in Brooklyn for a strictly limited four-week engagement from Sept. 13 to Oct. 14. The regular performance schedule is Tuesday through Sunday with five groups of performances each night at 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., making this the perfect late-night adventure for any students who have night classes or work late into the day. Those interested in attending should be warned that this experience lasts for approximately one hour and 40 minutes and will involve lots of standing, walking


“Stars” is running in Dumbo, Brooklynfrom Sept. 3 through Oct. 14.

McKeon Hall RA


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September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER

Ram Jams — August 2018 By JORDAN MELTZER Opinions Editor


Album Artist

“Bone Crew - EP” Bone Crew








Ariana Grande




Pop, R&B


Hip-hop, rap

Play it with

Joyner Lucas, Dr. Dre


Trap metal (self-proclaimed); hiphop, metalcore, deathcore, nu metal

On a playlist with

The Weekend, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift

The peaks

“Greatest,” “The Ringer”

The valleys


On a playlist with

Scarlxrd, City Morgue and Korn

The peaks

“no tears left to cry,” “God is a woman,” “blazed (feat. Pharrell Williams)”

The verdict


The peaks

“Welcome to the Bone Crew,” “Back It Up”

The valleys

“goodnight n go,” “R.E.M.,” “successful”

The valleys

“Tunnel Vision”

The verdict


The verdict


If you hated the nu metal trend of the 2000s (see also: Limp Bizkit), avert your ears, because you are going to loathe Bone Crew. Conversely, if you didn’t mind hearing Evanescence’s timeless “Bring Me to Life” everywhere you went in 2003, then you just might love this EP (and have something in common with me). This “trap metal” duo is the brainchild of Fronzilla, the critically acclaimed frontman of Atlanta-based metalcore band Attila, and DaBoiJ, a practically unknown rapper from Detroit. As Fronzilla tells the story, the two met at the Detroit date of Warped Tour 2014. How much more apt could a trap metal rendezvous get than Warped Tour, the only traveling festival with designated stages for both hip-hop and metal? When these two worlds collide, it is … surprisingly fitting. While the metalcore roots of Attila and the hip-hop vibes of DaBoiJ might not have much in common, the two don’t sound entirely abrasive when combined. The sound leans more heavily on hip-hop than metal, in that the structure of the songs is more typical of rap, and both vocalists deliver their flows like rappers do (even when screamed). But the elements of hardcore that tinge these five tracks don’t sound out of place at all; the low-tuned, distorted guitars and screamed vocals blend in quite nicely. The best example of this amalgam is on “Real Ones,” which begins with a hi-hat beat indicative of a trap song but quickly adds the low-tuned distortion guitar that deathcore music epitomizes. Then, about halfway through the track, Fronzilla begins screaming with an impressively fast and coherent flow for a harsh vocalist. However, something must be said about how boring Bone Crew’s bars are. Both DaBoiJ and Fronzilla fall utterly flat in their lyrical prowess. DaBoiJ’s lines lack cleverness virtually the entire time, which he could’ve made up for by complicating his flow, but his normal pace feels like that of spoken word, and he rarely kicks it up a notch. Meanwhile, Fronzilla has not developed his writing skills enough, either, relying too heavily on his complex flows and well-executed growls. And this is the thing that drags down the quality of this otherwise solid record. I know that trap artists screaming is not a new concept. Rapper Scarlxrd, who grew up listening to metal, has been doing this for three years now, and City Morgue is a trap metal-esque crew that’s already popular on WORLDSTAR. Even Brooklyn’s own 6ix9ine, a recent rap phenomenon, screams in his music sometimes. But the unabashed elements of hardcore music on this Bone Crew EP are new, and they fit well, despite the underwhelming nature of the record’s lyrical content. The bottom line: Bone Crew just might have scratched the right itch with this “trap metal” EP. With some lessons in lyricism and a good marketing team, this duo could jumpstart a nu metal-like resurgence of rock music.

Ariana Grande is one of the most easily recognizable voices in music today, and for good reason: she is immensely talented and has a distinct brand image. Grande’s confidence on “Sweetener” shines particularly on the tracks “successful” and “God is a woman.” On the former, she plays on the classic trope of a man coming home to his wife to talk about work. On the latter, which was a single for the LP, she asserts that her lover will be so impressed by her abilities in the boudoir that he will suddenly become spiritually awakened: implicitly, believing she is God. The instrumentation on the album is mostly pop, but there are tasteful tinges of R&B throughout. The best example of this is “blazed,” on which noted hip-hop and R&B artist Pharrell Williams wrote, produced and features. The song is mellow yet danceable, which is a positive trait that many R&B records have. But, unfortunately, “sweetener” actually struggles to achieve this on most of its other cuts. Many of the tracks on this album are too slow and laid-back to be fun, a characteristic I expect of pop music: “goodnight n go,” “R.E.M” and “successful” all disappoint in their lack of proverbial punch. Their weak production and leisurely paces make them hard to enjoy, and there are enough of these songs on this 15-track album that it sometimes becomes a drag to listen to. Grande is at her best when her beats are enjoyable and the production is good, which is why “no tears left to cry” it is distinctly the standout song on the album. The track is fast-paced, the melody is catchy and it goes without saying that the vocals are outstanding: the perfect storm for the young superstar. “God is a woman” stands out for the exact same reason. It would be criminal not to mention Grande’s dedication to making impassioned social and political statements via her massive platform, be they subtle or overt. On “the light is coming,” there is a sample of a 2009 public meeting about healthcare during which a citizen yells that a Senator “wouldn’t let anybody speak.” This outburst is played on a loop throughout the song, possibly adding low-key social and metaphorical commentary about light overcoming darkness in a political context. Meanwhile, she said on Twitter that the song “successful” is about women celebrating each other, adding a message of feminism to the record. The most powerful moment comes on “get well soon,” though. This cut is about overcoming anxiety and other mental health issues in general, but Grande said that it is also about the months following the bombing at her Manchester, U.K., concert and how hard they were for her mentally. After the last notes of the song ring out, there are 40 seconds of silence dedicated to the victims of the bombing, bringing the track’s length to 5:22, which is, poignantly, the date of the bombing.

The bottom line: “Sweetener” is not strong in production or entertainment value, but it is stronger than ever in passion and vocal ability. Grande must include more interesting dance-pop jams on her next album for it to hold up in the oversaturated pop market, but this is certainly a step up from her previous works.

At 45 years old, Eminem has finally returned to vintage form on “Kamikaze” — the real Slim Shady has returned. However, the question remains: is this a good thing? After the release of 2017’s “Revival,” feedback on the album was largely negative; critics suggested that Eminem had lost his aggressive luster and failed at attempting trapstyle triplet flows. On Kamikaze, Em takes direct aim at those very same critics, addressing almost every one of the individual criticisms of “Revival.” That lost aggression came back, as he name-drops several rappers in biting insults — members of his hit list include Lil Yachty, Lil Xan, Lil Pump, Drake, Machine Gun Kelly and Tyler, the Creator. Adding to the punch of this album is the fact that there isn’t a single ballad on the album. All 13 tracks on this album are unapologetic and powerful, with great production from young producers like Mike Will Made It and Ronny J. I particularly enjoyed the strength of “Lucky You,” which features young rapper Joyner Lucas. Lucas notably rose to fame on social media and YouTube with his song “I’m Not Racist,” a track that deals with issues of race and politics in modern America. Em’s inclusion of Lucas and young producers on “Kamikaze” shows that, even at 45, he is willing to praise and collaborate with artists younger than he is. The beat on this track is incredibly fun, Lucas’s verses showcase his rhythmic prowess, and Eminem’s long stanza proves that he is still sharp in his flow and attacks. He even calls out rappers who don’t write their own songs, likely referencing the recent Drake ghostwriting controversy. He addresses the trap flow issue on “The Ringer,” though a bit hypocritically. On this cut, he raps ironically in trapstyle triplets, saying, “Do you have any idea how much I hate this choppy flow everyone copies though? Probably no / Get this f--kin’ audio out my Audio, yo, adios.” It doesn’t make much sense that he claims to hate choppy trap flows when he attempted them on 2017’s “Believe” and “Chloraseptic.” But he might be inadvertently admitting it was a mistake on this line in “The Ringer,” so I’ll give him a pass on that for now. What I cannot excuse, however, is Eminem’s continued use of the homophobic f-slur. While the ninth track, “Fall,” is one of the best on the album, he hurls the tone-deaf insult when dissing Tyler, the Creator. Even on the explicit version of the track, the word is censored, showing he understands the gravity and implications of the word’s use, yet he uses it anyway. Here, it is clear that Em is striving to maintain relevance in a trite and tired way. But while it is unfortunate that the he had to spoil his most interesting release in a long time with a major hindrance like a homophobic slur, it is not surprising. He has used it on almost every album of his career, and many rappers still use it today, including Tyler, the Creator. I can only hope that hip-hop as a genre can move past this childish and offensive attitude soon. Eminem’s age does make him seem a bit out of touch on this album, but it is clear that he is trying to freshen up his style with his use of young producers and young featured artists. Ultimately, this album sounds much better than his two previous albums, and it is an effective mix of new sound and classic Shady attitude. The bottom line: “Kamikaze” is his best album in at least a decade, and the first on which he embraces newer trends and younger collaborators. Once he moves past homophobic insults and makes up his mind about whether or not he espouses trap influence, he might be able to bang out one or two more quality releases before he inevitably retires from the game.

THE OBSERVER September 13, 2018



No Time To Read? No Problem By MARIELLE SARMIENTO Arts & Culture Editor

reading apps where you usually keep your social media apps. Then, you’ll notice when you subconsciously go to click on Instagram, now Overdrive is there. This will make you more aware of mindless scrolling. Now that you have tons of free e-books on your phone, there’s no excuse to scroll through your ex’s Twitter likes over and over again when you can instead swipe through Kindle pages. Set a reminder in your calendar app or add an alarm to schedule time to read into your day. It can be as easy as reading one chapter when you wake up in the morning or reading for 10 minutes before you go to bed. You can bring a book with you and read on the Plaza in between your 10 a.m. and your 1 p.m. class. Make it as easy for yourself to be successful by always having a book on your nightstand or making sure you have an e-book or audiobook downloaded on your phone.

During the summer between third and fourth grade, I read the entire Harry Potter series. As an adult, that feat I performed, devouring those 4,224 pages in three months with ease and excitement, sounds impossible. Reading is easy with zero responsibilities and no Netflix account. In face of that, however, I was determined to get through my tobe-read pile this summer, and to read for fun again despite working a full-time job. I managed to read two physical books, one audiobook and three e-books. If you’ve been wanting to read can’t seem to juggle it along with your homework or internship, here are some tips for reading more: Grammy Award-Winning Books The 2018 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album was the audiobook for Carrie Fisher’s memoir, “The Princess Diarist.” Just like a Grammy doesn’t always mean music, reading doesn’t always mean “reading”; with a busy schedule, multi-tasking is a must. That’s where audiobooks come in. Instead of listening to music on your morning commute, listen to an audiobook. You can “read” when you’re walking to the grocery store, or when you’re rushing to class and can’t stand to talk to people on the elevator. You can time your workout intervals to chapters instead of songs at the gym. Listening to an audiobook is the perfect activity to occupy your brain while you’re being productive like doing the dishes or folding laundry. If you’re a fan of podcasts, audiobooks are a must-try. An easy way to access audiobooks is via, a ser-


Use technology to your advantage when trying to fit reading into a busy schedule by downloading e-books.

vice free with Amazon Prime, and you can use your Fordham email for a discount. My favorite audiobooks are the “Six of Crows” and “Crooked Kingdom” duology by Leigh Bardugo, narrated by a full cast of voice actors for each different point-of-view. There’s An App for That The most effective way to read more is to make reading as easy and accessible as possible. Use technology to your advantage. Luckily, there are several apps for that. The most well known e-book apps are Kindle and iBooks. You can purchase e-books from either Amazon or the iTunes store and

read digitally without needing to carry a bulky book. However, you still have to buy the books, and it can get a little pricey. My reading app of choice is Overdrive. Overdrive lets you connect to a library and access all e-books and audiobooks in that library system’s online database for free. I connected my hometown library card as well as my New York Public Library account, and now I have access to thousands of free books to read and listen to right on my smartphone. After you’ve downloaded and read the entire “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, you can track the books you’ve read on the Goodreads app. There, you can add

books to different “bookshelves” like Want to Read, Currently Reading and Read as well as set yearly Reading Challenge goals, rate books and find recommendations. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb because you’re too busy reading. Swipe Instead of Scroll Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram Explore page or your Twitter feed, and suddenly it’s hours later and you’ve done absolutely nothing with your evening? You weren’t doing homework or anything productive so you could’ve spent that time reading. Place your

Make It Fun What’s the most important rule? Have fun! You’re already reading thirty pages of Kant for philosophy class, don’t force yourself to read what you “Kant.” You don’t have to pick up or even finish a book just because it’s #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. If you want to reread “Twilight,” reread it. Go to a bookstore and pick up that new romance novel because its cover was pretty. Some days your eyes will just be too tired to read more words after studying for five hours straight in the library and you truly just need to go brainless and binge-watch “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Do it. But then, be sure to pick up that book that you’ve had since sophomore year of high school and read it.

I Know What You Read Last Summer The Comma’s Summer Reading List 2018 What makes a better day at the beach or a journey on a roadtrip than a good book? Reflecting back at the end of the break, The Comma, Fordham Lincoln Center’s literary and arts collective, presents the E-Board’s top summer reads that can be enjoyed year-round. ABBY’S PICK:




“Eileen” by Ottessa Moshfegh

“Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane

“Reporting Always” by Lillian Ross

“The Muse” by Jessie Burton

When it comes to fiction, there is nothing that pleasures me more than a wickedly sneaky, grossly unexpected plot twist. And with this physiological thriller, Dennis Lehane delivers. Again and again, as the story raced towards the finale, I kept repeating, “No way.” No way was this possible. No way was that the outcome. The only issue I had with this book was that it took reading through two thirds before the needed “no ways” began. Was it worth the time spent to get to that point? Yes. Because now I can finally engage in conversations about the movie without having seen the movie.

“Reporting Always,” an anthology of some of Lillian Ross’ (former writer for The New Yorker - and one of their first woman reporters!) best magazine articles is, simply, an absolute delight to read. The articles - some long, some short - are perfect, bitesized chunks to enjoy on a dull, sweaty train or subway commute. The writing style is striking in it’s direct, detail-oriented simplicity. Some names of the profiled are familiar, like Robin Williams, Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel; others are ordinary people, rendered extraordinary by Ross’s honest story-telling. The world, the mundane, ordinary one that we all know and live in, is made special, as Ross, writing of things the way are, and we, reading her work, become wideeyed children hearing stories, innocent and dazzled by everyday magic.

This is a book about nothing. I loved it. Told entirely from her perspective, “Eileen” follows the thoughts of a woman (ironically enough, named Eileen) looking back on her gloomy youth. There is next to no plot and I could not put it down. The protagonist is an objectively terrible human being (by her own admission) and one of the most relatable characters I have ever read. “Eileen” fits perfectly inside the intersection of humor and macabre; I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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Want more? To read The Comma’s complete summer reading list and discover more original content, visit

This was the most unexpected read of my summer. I came across “The Muse” after I had finished Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” while on the road, and needed another book for the planes, trains and buses ahead. While “The Muse” is barely a year old and has already sold over a million copies, I don’t typically read literary fiction and missed it when it was a chart topper in May 2017. Equal parts indulgent beach read and mystifying page turner, I am happy to have stumbled upon it this summer. “The Muse” features Jessie Burton’s masterful storytelling, interweaving two narratives separated by both considerable time and space to show how our lives are inextricably intertwined. A thoughtful examination of art, desire and relationships, Burton’s sophomore novel features intimate characterization of an ensemble cast and lyrical prose that never falters into syncopation. While “The Muse” was my most unexpected read of my summer, it was also my favorite.


Features Editors Jeffrey Umbrell - Lindsay Jorgensen - September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER

Taking a Look at the Class of 2022

By KEVIN CHRISTOPHER ROBLES Asst. Arts & Culture Editor

The beginning of the school year brings a lot of change, but perhaps the most exciting of which is the introduction of new Rams to Fordham Lincoln Center. The Observer took some time this past week to interview a few members of the Class of 2022 to see what made them choose Fordham, what they love about New York City and what they are looking forward to in the years to come. McKenna Meskan - “Chi-Town Yogi” Hailing from the Windy City itself, Chicago, Ill., McKenna Meskan, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, professed her love of New York in very succinct, yet relatable terms: “I just visited a few years ago and I was like, ‘I’ve got to go here!’” What’s more, NYC’s reputation as a hub for museums meant that her art history major would be well-served. But her infatuation with the city wasn’t the only reason why she chose to attend Fordham. “I know a few people that went to Jesuit schools and were really happy with their experience,” she said. Meskan also related to The Observer the organizations that caught her eye at FCLC, expressing enthusiasm about both the Rainbow Alliance and the Environmental Club. However, she made sure to note that, though she had forgotten to sign up, she really wants to join Yoga Club. Victoria Fanning - “Signing On Stage” A Morristown, N.J. native, Victoria Fanning, FCLC ’22, is one of Fordham’s many student actresses. “If you can imagine yourself doing anything [other than theatre], do that. And, if you can’t, then you’re supposed to go into it,” she said. Fanning was quick to praise Fordham’s theatre program. “A lot of the programs that I was looking into were too conservatory-style,” she said, “and didn’t provide that educational aspect that I was looking for.” Naturally, Fordham was the place for her, and its location in the beating heart of New York City only fueled her decision further. “It’s the kind of place that, whenever I think about it, I get excited. My blood starts to boil and it makes me want to get up and do something.” Fanning also mentioned her excitement when she discovered the presence of the Deaf Education and American Sign Language organization on campus. She explained, “I am slightly conversational in ASL but I’m looking to expand it. I think it is an absolutely beautiful language and I am so excited that I have the opportunity here to continue learning it.” James Widodo and Xurxo Riesco “Funny Abroad” Asking to be interviewed at the same time, James Widodo, FCLC ’22, and Xurxo Riesco, FCLC ’22, had instant chemistry with each other, functioning more like a well-worn comedic duo than two people who hailed from Indonesia and Spain, respectively, and who must have only recently met. Riesco would often urge Widodo to answer first — to which Widodo would reply with a deadpan delivery. “Living in Manhattan is what everyone wants with their lives,” Widodo said. “The pace is fast and everyone has a purpose and they know what they want to do.” “I agree,” Riesco added. “There’s always a lot of things to do so you’re never bored.” When asked about what they had done over the summer, Widodo threw the question at Riesco — which caused him to laugh nervously. “I went to a lot of music festivals, just one after another.” Widodo, with a straight face, said, “Yeah, I didn’t do much.” As for their extracurriculars, Widodo noted that he was on the rugby team but that he was injured, so he was not “really” on the team. Riesco laughed at that. “I missed the club fair,” he said, with a wry smile. Noon Kauer, Jin Lin Chen and Katharina Kremer - “Cura Personalities” Noon Kauer, FCLC ’22, Jin Lin Chen, Gabelli School of Business (GSB) ’22 and Katharina Kremer, FCLC ’22, were all interviewed together, and each touched on different aspects of the Jesuit service exper-

ANDREW BEECHER/THE OBSERVER -ience at Fordham. Kauer mentioned her interest in the Jesuits, saying, “Their focus on service has always been a big part of my life and to continue that in college is great. I did the Urban Plunge program and I think that really incorporated it well.” Chen talked about her experience at orientation with the Gabelli School: “Father Vin talked about incorporating Jesuit values into business. I thought that was really cool.” Kremer, an international student, said, “In Germany, we pay a lot of attention to not only making profit but also doing what is morally right.

So, I thought Fordham presents those values really well.” Diego Oliverio - “Gabelli Gives You Wings” Diego Oliverio, GSB ’22, introduced himself as “Diego, like in ‘Go, Diego, Go!’” Coming all the way from Phoenix, Ariz., Oliverio’s description of New York City was succinct and mirthfully sardonic: “It’s like Vegas, but people are actually doing work.” Oliverio, a global business major, mentioned

that he worked an event in Alaska, filming a “financial summit/hike thing,” as he described it. On the topic of clubs and organizations, he also expressed interest in joining The Observer as a photojournalist. In terms of the future, though, Oliverio was steadfast in wanting to work for a company in New York, saying, “Working for Red Bull or Beautiful Destinations [would] be really good. That’s [another reason] why I like New York, because all of the companies I want to work for have some strong connection to the city.”

THE OBSERVER September 13, 2018



More than Summer School: Studying in Granada By GIANNA SMERAGLIA Asst. Features Editor

When summer rolls around, many college students look forward to spending time at home, most dreading the thought of their summer job or dreaming of days at the beach. This was not the case for one group of Fordham students, who hopped on a plane this past summer to study abroad 3,685 miles away in Granada, Spain. Among these students were Maya Banitt, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’19, Becca Light, FCLC ’20 and Joshua Anthony, FCLC ’19, all of whom enrolled at the Universidad de Granada or five weeks. ach o them had different majors and academic interests — Banitt studying theater arts administration, Light pursuing an Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. and Anthony double majoring in history and classical civilizations — and as such, had different reasons for going. For Banitt, it was her love of travel that compelled her to spend the summer in Granada. “I had never been to Spain,” she said. “It was the perfect opportunity for me to go, and I’m so glad I did. It also counted as a course for my Spanish minor.” Light felt similarly about her choice to study abroad as she, too, had always wanted to visit Spain. As a dance ma or, it is di ficult to travel during the academic year, so the summer was the perfect time for her to achieve her goal. “ he five weeks ew by,” ight said. “I wish I could’ve spent more time there, but at the same time it was a great amount of time to get to know the city and explore Spain.” ven though their stay in Granada was academically demanding, the students still man-


Both Light’s and Banitt’s love for travel compelled them to study in Granada, allowing both students to take these beautiful photos of their travels.

aged to explore the city. According to Anthony, he was able to take exit-level Spanish to satisfy Fordham’s language requirement, and also managed to find the opportunity to take a siesta after his lunch breaks. Despite taking classes, there always seemed to be time to have fun with his friends throughout the week. For each of the students, the best part of studying in Granada was experiencing and immersing themselves in Spanish culture — something you can’t get in a classroom, they said. Both Anthony and Light noted that their favorite memory was celebrating the Fe-

ria de San Juan (Festival of San Juan). One highlight of Anthony’s time in Granada was speaking with local kids his age, taking pride in the fact that he was able to hold a conversation in Spanish. “I don’t think I would have been able to do that before this trip,” he said. For Light, the event was incredibly emotional and spiritual as she was able to partake in local traditions. “We wrote down things we wanted to leave in our past and things in our lives that we felt were no longer serving us and threw them into a bonfire on the

beach,” Light said of the festival. “ veryone students and locals dove in the ocean at midnight together as a way of purifying ourselves.” At the end of their trip, Banitt, Light and Anthony all felt as though they had become not only better Spanish speakers, but also better people. Banitt admitted that the whole experience opened her mind and gave her new perspectives on life. For Light, she said studying abroad definitely enriched her as a person. “I think travel in general gives you a better sense of perspective and helps you understand

your place in the world,” she said. “It gives you insight into other cultures that, in turn, informs how you think of yourself as a member of our global society.” For Anthony, the experience made him reevaluate his own culture. “I feel a lot more open to other ways of living now,” he said. hough they only spent five weeks in Granada, Banitt, Light and Anthony were able to learn about the Spanish language, and moreover the culture and history of the city. Overall, their time studying abroad was more than just a vacation or summer school; it was a life-changing experience.

Stephen Freedman Built a Legacy of Care By JEFFREY UMBRELL Features Editor

“Stephen Freedman opted or li e,” ve eller, h. ., president of the Fordham Faculty Senate, said last Thursday. She was speaking at the service of remembrance held for Freedman in the Fordham University Church, and the love and energy with which Freedman had lived was evidenced by the hundreds of faculty, friends and family who were in attendance. tephen reedman, h. ., served as provost of the university from 2010 until his death on July 2, 2018 at the age of 68. Many who spoke at the service grieved the loss of such an admired, accomplished and successful administrator, but hung around the necks of the many deans and academics who sat in the church choir was an unexpected sight: a bright pink Hawaiian lei. va adowska, dean o the Fordham Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, recalled at the service an old photo in which a lei can be seen peeking out from underneath Freedman’s gown, hood and formal academic wear. The lei, she said, was a reminder for him to live his life to its fullest. “He used to say to me,” Badowska continued, “‘Will you visit me when I’m on the beach in Hawaii?’” There was a hint of irony in the question, as Badowska said that Freedman was

“just about the last person who could sit quietly on a beach” in retirement. He worked tirelessly, passionately, generously. But still, she said, the lei and the idyllic beach scene represented for Freedman “a future beyond the here and now,” one where there would finally be ample time to cherish his friends’ company. Indeed, at the heart of Freedman’s work, both here at Fordham and throughout his career, lay a deep care for others. Virtually every speaker at the service emphasized the genuine, intense empathy Freedman possessed. Jonathan Crystal, interim provost and associate chief academic o ficer in the fice o the rovost, was an esteemed colleague and a close friend of Freedman. He recalled the “compassion reedman brought to everything he did.” “It wasn’t an act,” Crystal told those in attendance. “He was genuinely interested in other people.” Interest in and compassion for others guided the course of Freedman’s work at Fordham. The projects he oversaw expanded the university both at the local and global level. Nonetheless, he managed to give an individualized attention to each of those projects and to those involved in them. Freedman was “the kind of decision-maker that would seek input from lots of different people,” Crystal said. “I think he

always wanted to know what other people thought, what their ideas were, what their suggestions were.” No matter the size of the project, Freedman always wanted to build personal relationships with his colleagues. “It wasn’t all business,” Crystal said. “He wanted to know how people were doing and what was going on in their lives.” As provost, Freedman would inevitably have to make di ficult and sometimes unpopular decisions however, llen ahey-Smith, associate vice president and chief of staff in the Office o the rovost, stressed that Freedman would put the utmost care not only into making a decision but also in communicating that decision and its effects once made. “His approach,” Fahey-Smith said of Freedman, “was always one to convey and communicate those decisions in a way that was understanding of how others might eel about them .” ven i a decision went against the interests of an individual or group, those involved “knew that he had listened to them and taken into account their viewpoints,” Crystal said. “Sometimes that makes it easier to have a decision go against you, if you feel that the person who made it heard what you had to say.” As Freedman worked to broaden Fordham’s international presence, his ability to form personal connections proved to

be an invaluable skill. During his tenure as provost, university programs in London, Beijing and okyo ourished the ordham London Centre particularly is gaining recognition both as a branch of the university and a standalone institution. There was an opportunity in London, Freedman saw, to bring together the drama, business and liberal arts programs to create a unified student body. “ is vision there,” Fahey-Smith said of the London campus, “was to take it from a standalone program to a true, integrated center.” Instead of treating the three academic departments as distinct programs, Freedman would ask, “How do they all interact together?” Fahey-Smith explained. “How do you offer extracurricular activities to all those students?” She stressed that Freedman understood that the academic experiences of all students could be “enriched” through exposure to other disciplines. It was important, in considering a location for the London Centre’s new Clerkenwell building, to find a space that “really could be the future of the ordham ondon rogram,” ahey-Smith said. The space had to “fit the needs o our program It was really important that it’s truly functioning as a center.” Born in Montreal, Freedman came to the United States as an immigrant. Consequently, Crystal said, “he always had that

international perspective. He was always fascinated by other cultures.” Nevertheless, for Crystal, Freedman’s ultimate goal in expanding Fordham’s presence abroad was to provide Fordham students and faculty with opportunities to study, research and develop partnerships “across the world.” At the service, University resident Rev. oseph . McShane, S.J., described Freedman as an “academic diplomat.” Fahey-Smith explained what made Freedman such an effective ambassador, both in New York and abroad, for the university: “He had such a passion” for academia and the Jesuit mission, she said. “He brought that everywhere he went.” For the university, it will be nearly impossible to fill the void that Freedman’s death has brought, but both Crystal and ahey mith eel that the fice o the rovost is well prepared to move forward. “We had a very good sense of his vision for the university,” Crystal said. “His emphasis on academic excellence, his concern about students, his pro-faculty perspective, those are things that we all share.” “He really urged me to develop my own ideas and my own vision for the university,” Crystal said of Freedman. “He invited me to disagree with him and to challenge him, and I think that, in some ways, is carrying on his legacy.”

Fun & Games

September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER



ACROSS 1. Brief period of growth, 21. Separating appliance as in height 22. Occular membranes 6. Unit of wt. 24. This text, for example 9. Author of controversial New 26. “Losing My Religion” per York Times Op-Ed, in brief former 13. Tater 27. Miserly 14. Elderly people org. 28. Secondary School in France 15. Missile or grain structure 31. “___ a friend” 16. With 37 Down, a Core Cur 32. Film series with tortuous riculum class series puzzles 18. Tight ___, as a community 35. 31 Across, when out of battery 19. Jacob’s twin, biblically 36. Long-necked bird 20. Communications dept. major 37. Compulsive desire to eat non- for internet studies foods

38. Lapel mic. 39. To wear down, as for confi- dence or beaches 40. With 42 Down, an ad- vanced Theology Core class 41. Perceptive 43. “A horse walks into a ____” 44. Pirates star Bloom 46. Give up 50. Holy site 51. Old fashioned function of 31 Across 53. Otherwise 54. A door that is not a door is ____ 55. Demetrios Stratis, in a Ford- ham sense 57. Cow part used to make leather 58. ___back: A savage response to a diss 59. Short tailed weasel cousin 60. Better tasting cheddar or whiskey 61. Snake noise 62. Tinder double positive DOWN 1. Turn, as in a wheel 2. Heart rate 3. Nazi submarine 4. The reading in your Core classes, for example 5. __TV: Cable home of Imprac- tical Jokers 6. Tardy 7. Fire and ____ 8. Business of relaxation 9. Inquiring

10. Birth year of many seniors 11. Pitted Greek fruit 12. Made record of 14. Paul Rudd’s insects of choice 17. Dutch cheese 21. With a clean bill of mental health 23. Maiden name signifier 25. Queue 27. That which is thrown by catty gossipers or oak trees 28. “Bad cholesterol,” abbr. 29. Affirmative vote 30. Honorary procession, typi- cally on horseback 31. Codified company procedures 33. SAT competitor 34. Used to be 36. Muck 37. See 16 Across 39. Mount ___, an active Italian volcano 40. Cigarette additive 42. See 40 Across 43. Miley Cyrus animated dog film 44. Famous Manning ad-lib be fore the snap 45. Tinker again 46. Pancake cooking move 47. Cats source material author 48. Nearly sacrificed son 49. States’ rights amendment 52. However 55. Machines running a Micro- soft OS 56. Belief suffix

Word Scramble Question: On what site can you find all of these clubs and organizations’ official webpages? SLOGGINUICB WNTR





Sports & Health

Sports & Health Editor Luke Osborn - September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER


One of the most political, virulent and tragic diseases is now easily preventable with the assistance of a small blue pill. PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, can reduce the risk of HIV infection by more than 90 percent when taken consistently. This drug is so effective that it is listed on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. PrEP is the combination of two anti-HIV drugs called emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. These drugs inhibit the pathway through which HIV infects and multiplies within white blood cells. In essence, if your body ever comes in contact with HIV while you’re on PrEP, these medicines would make it very difficult for HIV to survive. In the United States, the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences owns the patent for PrEP and sells the drug under the brand name Truvada. This drug is not over the counter, so individuals who are at risk for HIV must obtain a prescription from a doctor. It’s important to remember that PrEP is an HIV prevention drug, so only HIV-negative individuals should obtain PrEP. Therefore, PrEP is most useful for individuals who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV. According to the Truvada website, individuals who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), have ever had unprotected sex or have a partner with a positive or unknown HIV status should highly consider using PrEP. Altogether, a drug like PrEP can end the spread of HIV and remove the epidemic status of HIV infections. What makes PrEP so unique and effective is its minimal side effects. Most people taking PrEP even report having no side effects at all. There are some listed, however, including nausea, upset stomach, fatigue and headaches that tend to go away after the first month of taking the drug. Extremely rare side effects include kidney, liver and bone problems. Nevertheless, PrEP is a seemingly safe drug that can prevent HIV, a feat in medicine capable of saving millions of lives. Individuals taking PrEP must do so every day in order to reduce their risk to the greatest extent; the clinical studies of PrEP demonstrate that the drug loses its effectiveness when taken sporadically. Moreover, individuals taking PrEP must


PrEP is sold under the brand name Truvada.

get tested for HIV every three months because PrEP is only effective as a preventative drug; PrEP alone cannot treat a fullblown HIV infection. Most importantly, individuals who take PrEP should not stop having protected sex. PrEP is very effective at preventing HIV transmission, but it is not 100 percent effective. Adding extra protection, like using a condom, during sex can significantly help individuals reduce their risk of getting HIV. Also, PrEP does not prevent infection from other STIs like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Again, condoms are the best sources of defense against these STIs. Though PrEP is a highly impactful drug, the monthly price of PrEP is a deterrent for

some, especially for underinsured individuals. In the U.S., the sticker price of a onemonth supply of PrEP can be as much as $1,600. Most private insurers cover PrEP, and New York State Medicaid covers PrEP prescription costs, medical appointments and lab tests. New York State also has a PrEP Assistance Program that serves uninsured and underinsured HIV-negative residents. There are also medication patient assistance programs that help cover the costs of PrEP. Gilead Sciences offers a service which supplies individuals with a co-pay coupon card that reduces prescription fees. By the same token, Patient Access Network Foundation (PANF) aims to provide access to critical medicines to indi-

viduals who cannot cover the costs themselves. One service the PANF offers is a $7,500 grant that goes toward co-pays for prescription medicines. There are financial assistance options that can help underinsured individuals obtain PrEP, but the pricing of the drug will not change drastically until the expiration of Gilead’s patents. The patent on tenofovir disoproxil fumarate expired in July 2017, but the patent on the second component of PrEP will not expire until 2021. Generic PrEP will most likely not come to market until that expiration date. Though PrEP’s characteristics warrant its status as a “wonder drug,” there is still work to be done on reducing the price in order to increase affordability.

Sulfates and Shampoos: Why They Should Not Mix By LENA ROSE Photo Editor

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a common chemical found in several shampoo brands, carries more than a thousand health hazards, and they are more severe than one might think. SLS is a popular sulfate that acts as the foam-generator for shampoos. That lathering foam that we oh-so-love while washing our hair — that is all thanks to SLS. There’s more to it, however. More than just the gratification of soft bubbles and sweet-smelling hair. This ingredient is not exclusive to hair; because SLS is so potent and inexpensive, it is widely utilized in engine degreasers, pesticides, industrial detergents and garage floor cleaners. On a daily basis, the average person applies more than 200 different chemicals to their skin and more than 60 percent of those applied chemicals enter that person’s bloodstream. Combine this with SLS and you may understand why the search for natural solutions is on the rise. Although SLS is considered an excellent and efficient cleanser, you probably do not want to treat your hair the same way you treat your


Pay attention to what’s in your products. Your body will thank you. lawn. These chemicals will rob your hair of moisture, leaving it stiff, dry and unprotected. In a study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, this unique and powerful substance was discovered to work through a chemical reaction in which they bind to the sebum, the oil on our scalp, at one end of the molecule and with water on the other. When rinsing out the shampoo, the substance wash-

es an excessive amount of the hair’s natural oils down the drain. In turn, these chemicals pollute the groundwater and leave your hair parched. The chemical is so harsh that it not only strips moisture from hair, but makes it brittle and frizzy — especially for people with color-treated hair. Using SLS products is not lethal, but with the severity of its impacts, it should absolutely be avoided. SLS is also found in other

personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, bath soap, mouthwash and cosmetics (hence the foamy residue from these products). For one thing, it is the reason why juice tastes so bad after you brush your teeth. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the cleaning agent can have a harmful impact on the kidney, liver and central nervous system in the human body. In some cases — particularly those where SLS comes directly in contact with the skin — people have experienced swelling of the arms, face or hands, eye redness and skin rashes. For those with sensitive skin, it is possible to develop an allergic reaction if inhaled or overexposed to the chemical. With all that said, it is reasonable to assume that SLS is not the most innocuous ingredient out there. Though many shampoos claim they are “natural” or “organic,” a lot of them still include harmful ingredients. The Environmental Working Ground warns that SLS — as nondescript as the name already sounds — may be listed under different names, such as sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex methyl and more than 150 others.

The good news is that although it may take time to heal chemical damage within the hair, the hazards can be eliminated simply by using natural and safe SLS-free products. It will not be easy to avoid SLS, though; the chemical is so low-cost that hair care companies lunge at the opportunity to obtain as much as possible. That meansthose cheap shampoos you see in the pharmacy are probably SLS-ridden. Whether or not you continue to use the same shampoo that may or may not have SLS mixed in, it is necessary to keep mind of what you put in your hair. The lower prices of those leading name-brand shampoos may not stop you from buying them. After all, we are college students on a budget. However, in the case that you have a few more dollars to spend while shopping for personal hygiene products, be sure to look for the “SLS-Free” label, and examine the ingredients on the back of the container. Alternatively, an even safer idea would be to make your own shampoo so that you know what’s going in your hair. Bottom line: pay attention to what’s in your products. Your body will thank you later.



September 13, 2018 THE OBSERVER

Rams’ Road Trip Turns Sour, Team Falls to 0-2 By JEFFREY UMBRELL Features Editor

The kickoff on the Sept. 3 season opener in Charlotte was delayed 74 minutes due to lightning, and halftime was extended for another 75. Indeed, after Fordham’s 34-10 loss to the 49ers, it felt as if the official start to the football season had been delayed as well. But it didn’t stop there. Having traveled now 2,000 miles for their first two games of the season, the road seems to have worn on the Rams. Last Saturday’s 52-7 Week 2 loss to Richmond echoed Army’s 64-6 rout of Fordham at last year’s season opener. The 0-2 Rams have now been outscored 86-17 by their opponents. Head Coach Joe Conlin, Offensive Coordinator Mike Burchett and Defensive Coordinator Paul Rice are all in their first year with the team. Conlin won the Ivy League Championship last year as offensive coordinator with Yale, but he’s still looking to replicate that success here at Fordham. During camp, Burchett said that he wanted the offense to “play fast” and to employ a “heavy run game.” Neither goal was accomplished Week 1 at Charlotte; Fordham struggled to consistently move the ball downfield, and finished the night with an abysmal -9 total rushing yards. The team went 3-15 on third down. Neither team played particularly well in the first half, but the Rams defense appeared to show some promise early on. After a 71-yard run by 49ers junior running back Benny LeMay on third down, Fordham managed an impressive goal-line stand and held Charlotte to 3 points. Fordham led early in the second


Rams quarterback Luke Medlock played well against Charlotte, but it would not be enough to lead the Rams to victory.

quarter 7-6 after a 70-yard touchdown pass by senior quarterback Luke Medlock, but after that, the 49ers began to run away with the game. 49ers coach Brad Lambert, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, said that the Rams came into the game with a “good energy level,” but after the

second weather delay at halftime, fatigue seemed to set in for Fordham. The team put up just 3 points in the second half, as Charlotte’s defense shut down Medlock and the offense. The Rams, in fact, had moderate success moving the ball through the air; Medlock completed 22 of 47 (47 per-

September 1

UNC Charlotte

34-10 Fordham

cent) for 296 yards. Senior receiver Austin Longi caught eight passes from Medlock for 113 yards and one touchdown. But for Fordham, yards simply couldn’t translate into points. A picksix by 49ers linebacker Juwan Foggie late in the fourth quarter all but sealed Fordham’s fate.

September 8


52-7 Fordham


Fordham struggled in all three phases of the game against the Richmond Spiders.

Things, too, were not destined to improve, as the team beat a less-thanhasty retreat to Richmond last weekend, hoping to weather their season-opening storm. Yet, while the rain held up for Saturday’s game, the same could not be said for the Rams’ offensive line. The Richmond Spiders sacked Fordham quarterbacks a total of five times last Saturday. Medlock, down 52-0 at the end of the third quarter, was benched in favor of freshman backup Tim DeMorat. With nine minutes left on the clock, DeMorat led the Rams across the goal line on their only touchdown drive of the night, but it was far too little too late. He

would finish the game five-of-six for 66 yards. Almost nothing went right for Fordham in Richmond’s Robins Stadium. For the second straight week, the Rams ran for negative yardage; their -3 was a slight improvement over -9 against Charlotte. Fordham trailed 7-0 after the first quarter, a deficit that would grow to 17-0 by halftime. It wasn’t until the third quarter, though, that the Spiders took over the game. In the first six minutes of the second half, Richmond scored three touchdowns, and, by the end of the quarter, had put up 35 unanswered points. Spiders quarterback Kevin Johnson

threw an impressive 14-21 (67 percent) for 273 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. He also rushed for two additional scores. Medlock would end the night 1732 (53 percent) for 125 yards, no scores and three interceptions. For the Rams, Longi hauled in four catches, but they totalled a mere eight yards. His 143 career receptions do mark him ninth all-time on the Fordham receiving list, however. Fordham begins what is shaping up to be a much-needed homestead this week as they prepare to take on Stony Brook University on Saturday in the Bronx. The Rams are looking to avoid their first 0-3

start since 2009, when they finished the season 5-6, winning 2-4 of in-conference games. Stony Brook enters the week 1-1, coming off of an energizing 50-21 victory last week against Bryant. Following a 38-0 loss in week one against Air Force, the Seawolves regrouped to carry out a dominant performance. Fordham will have to do the same if it hopes to keep its season afloat. The Rams will remain at home against Central Connecticut State and Georgetown until they travel the (relatively) short distance to Lehigh on Oct. 13. Colin Sheeley contributed reporting.

Fordham Observer Issue 9 Fall 2018  
Fordham Observer Issue 9 Fall 2018