VOICE The Georgetown
Seeking a Space on Campus, Student Groups Weigh Benefits of University Recognition page 8
With Three Big East All-Freshman Selections, Menâ€™s Basketball Is on the Rise page 12
March 15, 2019
MARCH 15, 2019
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE —Celebrating 50 Years—
staff editor-in-chief Margaret Gach Managing editor Sienna Brancato news
Volume 51 • Issue 13
executive editor Jake Maher Features editor Jack Townsend news editor Noah Telerski assistant news editors Damian Garcia, Caroline Hamilton, Roman Peregrino
executive editor Santul Nerkar Leisure editor Dajour Evans assistant leisure editors Emily Jaster, Nicole Lai, Ryan Mazalatis Sports editor Aaron Wolf Assistant sports editor Tristan Lee, Will Shanahan
Untitled by EGAN BARNITT
contents Editorials Carrying On: My Parents Don’t Sleep in the Same Bed and That’s Okay Leina Hsu Strive for Imperfection Katie Ho The Friendship Vow: In Sickness and in Health? C. M. Seeking a Space on Campus, Student Groups Weigh Benefits of University Recognition Sienna Brancato
4 5 6 7 8-9
The Sun Also Rises: Georgetown’s Long and Complicated History of Solar Energy Noah Telerski
The Kids Are Alright: With Three Big East All-Freshman Selections, Men’s Basketball Is on the Rise Aaron Wolf
Pulling No Punches, Captain Marvel Soars in Debut Juliana Vaccaro de Souza Touchstone Gallery Exhibits Highlight the Duality of the Natural World Claire Goldberg The opinions expressed in The Georgetown Voice do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty, or students of Georgetown University, unless specifically stated. Columns, advertisements, cartoons, and opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or the General Board of The Georgetown Voice. The university subscribes to the principle of responsible freedom of expression of its student editors. All materials copyright The Georgetown Voice, unless otherwise indicated.
Executive editor Emma Francois voices editor Julia Pinney Assistant Voices editors Natalie Chaudhuri, Leina Hsu Editorial Board Chair Claire Goldberg Editorial Board Sienna Brancato, ANNEMARIE CUCCIA, INéS DE MIRANDA, CHRIS DUNN, EMMA FRANCOIS, MARGARET GACH, Nick Gavio, Alex Lewontin, Jake Maher, JULIA PINNEY, Phillip Steuber, Noah Telerski, Jack Townsend
Leisure editor Juliana Vaccaro de Souza assistant leisure editors Skyler Coffey, Anna Pogrebivsky, John Woolley Sports editor Teddy Carey Assistant sports editor Nathan Chen, Josi Rosales
Executive editor Delaney Corcoran Spread editor Jake Glass Photo Editor Hannah Song cover Editor Egan Barnitt assistant design editors Camilla Aitbayev, Jacob Bilich, Josh Klein, Olivia Stevens Staff designers TIMMY ADAMI, Amy Zhou
copy chief Cade Shore assistant Copy editors Sophie Stewart, Neha Wasil editors Mya Allen, Natalie Chaudhuri, JULIAN DAZA, MAX FREDELL, MAYA KNEPP, STEPHANIE LEOW, MOIRA PHAN, MADISON SCULLY, CINDY STRIZAK, MAYA TENZER, KRISTIN TURNER, RACHEL WEINMAN
Podcast editor Kayla Hewitt assistant podcast editor Panna Gattyan social media editor Katherine Randolph MULTIMEDIA editor Isabel Lord Content manager Margaux Fontaine
general manager Anna Gloor assistant manager of alumni outreach Beth Cunniff
associate editors Rachel Cohen, Brynn Furey, Inès de Miranda, Lizz Pankova, Katya Schwenk email@example.com Leavey 424 Box 571066 Georgetown University Washington, DC 20057
Kent Adams, Luis Borrero, Annemarie Cuccia, Haley D’Alessio, Jorge DeNeve, Max Fredell, Errol French, Bradley Galvin, Amy Guay, Peter Guthrie, darren jian, Dominic Parente, John Picker, Zach Pulsifer, Cam Smith, KARISSA TEER
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Page 3 An eclectic collection of jokes, puns, doodles, playlists, and news clips from the collective mind of the Voice staff.
Margaux’s Animal Doodle The Cheatah
SPORTS Jessie Govan (15) shoots over the outstretched arm of Jaylen Butz (2) during men’s basketball’s 82-73 victory over DePaul on Feb. 27. The Hoyas closed the regular season on the road with a victory over Marquette to finish with a record of 19-12, their best mark since 2015. (John Picker/The Georgetown Voice)
GU Pep Band Discovers the Windy City, Flagship McDonald’s Over Spring Break The Georgetown University Pep Band traveled to Chicago for the Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament in Wintrust Arena for spring break. Rumor has it a Georgetown basketball team went with them. Georgetown’s premier band of record enjoyed a stay in a nice hotel, a visit to the midwest, and the delicacies of a flagship McDonald’s restaurant. For Lily Gong (COL ’20), the food was the highlight. It took Gong four days to try any Chicago-style deep-dish pizza because she was so distracted by the McDonald’s in the city’s River North neighborhood, which features a living wall of plants and an herb garden on the roof. “The flagship McDonald’s was so nice,” Gong said. “Honestly, I wouldn’t mind being buried there.” In their first game, the Hoyas faced off against Villanova in the quarterfinals, defeating the Wildcats 76-67. The band’s trip came to an end with the team’s 75-62 loss to No. 13 Marquette in the semifinals. Some pep band members, however, were shocked to learn that basketball was on the itinerary for the weekend.
“I was surprised when I found out that the athletics department funded the pep band field trip to Chicago, and I was even more surprised when I found out that there were basketball games happening when we traveled here,” Eli Lefcowitz (COL ’21) said. Indeed, unconfirmed reports suggest that the band was sent to the Windy City for basketball, not, as previously reported, for pictures with the bean in Hyde Park. Meanwhile, on campus, academics continued in spite of the musician-scholars’ absence from their Monday and Tuesday classes. Pep band president Kylie Snow (NHS ’19) said she believes that the academic sacrifice was a fair trade for the band bonding experience. “Missing these classes is worth it to spend time with the pep band,” Snow said. The band returns to their vacation this weekend at the men’s Big East Tournament in New York, New York. They hope to locate another flagship McDonald’s in the Big Apple and wonder if there might be another basketball team along on this trip, too. Full disclosure: The author, along with approximately one-third of the Voice’s masthead, is a member of the pep band.
Overheard in the Office Halftime Leisure Preview
“Your profile picture is really nice; it doesn’t look like you.”
In Russian Doll, a comedy-drama unique in its combination of grit and smarts, Natasha Lyonne shines in the role of Nadia, a savvy New Yorker with a big-but-battered heart. She is completely unapologetic for her unhealthy lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, unapologetic in her relationships with men, and unapologetic in who she is, foul language, red curly hair, and all. Read more in Inès de Miranda’s article this week on georgetownvoice.com.
PHOTO COURTESY OF IMDB
sier BREAKING: Rich Kids Get Into College Easier BREAKING: Rich Kids Get Into College Easier BR
MARCH 15, 2019
Campus Housing Crisis, Deferred Fixes Demand University Accountability This semester, Georgetown’s housing problems came to a head when one top-floor Village B unit’s ceiling caved in. This prompted the university to inspect the entire complex’s roof. Out of what the university administration called an “abundance of caution,” all 85 top-floor Village B residents had to move out of their apartments and into the Leavey Center hotel. This editorial board commends Georgetown for its action to move students to safe housing and for fairly compensating the affected students. Still, the university’s housing system is plagued by deferred maintenance, and students’ frustrations are justified. To address the problems, the university has promised to spend some $75 million over the next five years to improve facilities across campus. We hope the university follows through on its commitment and that it makes permanent the increased spending on deferred maintenance and student housing. In 2016, several outdoor metal chairs disappeared from Henle Village. University officials sent an email to Henle residents demanding that the chairs be returned and threatened to charge the entire community for replacements. Holding a group responsible for isolated misdeeds was the wrong way to handle the situation, but we are also concerned with the cost of the chairs, and what it represents. The chairs, Henle residents were told, cost about $500 each. This episode raises a pressing question: What are Georgetown’s housing priorities? Housing on campus,
though not generally a direct danger to students, suffers from a pileup of deferred maintenance, and this incident makes us wonder whether the $75 million will actually be spent on the university’s most urgent housing needs. Cosmetic renovations—no matter their ability to impress prospective students and donors—must take a back seat to structural and health concerns. Therefore, we call on the university to take a radically open and transparent approach to addressing the housing problems on campus. Contracts with construction companies and other vendors should be made available to the public. The costs of the projects and the tradeoffs inherent in them—such as cost versus quality—should be subject to student and press scrutiny. At a time when tuition and housing costs exceed the average American family’s entire annual income, affordability must be among the university’s top priorities. And to the extent that the university must charge students such enormous sums, it should justify every cent. The new housing spending presents an opportunity to adopt new habits. Seventy-five million dollars is a good start, but top administration officials need to take responsibility for the fact that an apartment roof was allowed to deteriorate to the point that it collapsed into students’ living spaces. Students deserve to know what went wrong—on an institutional and technical level—and what will be done to prevent it from happening again. The university must be held accountable to ensure ceilings never collapse again and to guarantee that money is spent on basic improvements before fancy upgrades.
The university’s decision to allocate more funding toward fixing campus housing is the right one. We are grateful to those who will do the work to implement the changes, from administrators to contract workers to facilities staff. Nonetheless, we are concerned that the money will not be spent wisely. Georgetown’s housing needs major upgrades, and the university is in a position to provide them. But as the university spends its money, we are asking for a few promises. First: No more ceilings at risk of collapse, and no more mold infestations allowed to fester. The university must address health and safety risks first before it contemplates cosmetic improvements. Second: Students do not need $500 chairs, especially when such expensive things contribute to the exorbitant cost of attendance. Even if the university was able to justify such expensive furniture, it should have made its justification public. More seriously, the university’s spending must prioritize value and necessity. Third: The university must prove its commitment to affordability and publicly release the information required for a skeptical third party to verify its frugality and the soundness of its financial decisions, especially regarding housing. Continued unaccountable spending should draw student frustration. But students must be intelligent, measured advocates. Student complaints about lingering mold or unstable ceilings are well-founded, and the students who raise them are often well informed. After all, it does not take much expertise to know that mold, collapsing ceilings, and $500 chairs are problems in need of a solution.
Abolish the Selective Service System When a group of students felt that opposition to the war in the Vietnam needed a platform at Georgetown, they founded The Georgetown Voice 50 years ago. As we speak with some of our alumni about their experiences during the Voice’s early days, the draft is a common thread. It was a dark cloud hanging over the heads of the young men on campus who gathered together around radios to hear if their draft number was going to be called next. This editorial board believes that the Selective Service System is an outdated idea that does not protect an individual’s agency or right to decide if military service is for them. As we are currently of draft age, even without an impending draft, it is important to us that the current system be abolished. While no one has been drafted into military service since 1972, young men still need to register with Selective Service when they turn 18. The possibility remains that Congress could pass legislation which would begin conscription if the president signed said bill into law. But in February, a Texas district court judge declared the all-male draft unconstitutional in a case brought by the National Coalition for Men, a men’s advocacy and civil rights group. In a declaratory ruling—which passes judgement without proposing specific action—Judge Gray Miller wrote that the 2015 decision allowing women to serve in combat roles means the Supreme Court’s ruling in Rostker v. Goldberg (1981), upholding a male-only draft, is no longer valid. This month, another case brought by a woman who wished to register with Selective Service was allowed to proceed in New Jersey District Court. These challenges could lead to a requirement for women to register for the
draft alongside men. But this editorial board believes that the only appropriate solution is to abolish Selective Service entirely. Registration is mandated by law for all men aged 18 to 25, and failing to register is a felony carrying penalties of a $250,000 fine or five-year prison term. Failing to register also prevents people from receiving federal student loans or holding many government jobs. According to the Selective Service website, these penalties are enforced to make a potential draft “as fair as possible.” But at its core, any draft is inherently unfair. A long history of draft avoidance has favored the wealthier members of our society. During the Civil War, drafted men could pay someone else to go in their place, and during the Vietnam War, men who could afford to attend college could receive a deferment. Currently, even those who would qualify as conscientious objectors or have disabilities that disqualify them from military service must register. Men living in Puerto Rico, Guam, other U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., cannot vote for the members of Congress who could send them to war, but they still have to register for the draft. When the Voice was founded in 1969, the voting age was 21. Many young men were drafted without representation. This lack of representation extends to non-U.S. citizens living in the country on a permanent basis, including refugees and asylum seekers. These people have often fled a warzone but could be sent to a different one in service of a country of which they are not citizens, by a government they had no say in electing. And if they do not register, they can never be granted citizenship. Requiring women to register for the draft will not solve these problems. While women, and all people regardless of their gender identity, should be allowed to serve in the military in
the same capacities as men, mandating registration only makes them equals in their lack of agency. The United States has been at war since our troops invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, and people born after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 are now old enough to enlist in the military with parental permission. But, there is no existential threat comparable to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan which prompted a peacetime draft in 1940, and therefore, no need for a draft. The ways in which we fight are changing, too. As our reliance on technology increases, our fighting forces become less conducive to “manpower” and “boots on the ground.” Today our military requires people highly skilled in areas of technology, mechanics, special operations, and other fields related to modern warfare, rather than the average person registering with Selective Service. Congress created the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service in 2017 to examine the intricacies of military and other kinds of national service, including the necessity of draft registration. In March 2020, they will release a final report, which, while not becoming law, will have a large impact on the policy discussion around Selective Service. We encourage people to leave a written comment for the commission through their website or to contact their congressional representatives to share their thoughts. Expanding Selective Service to include women will not solve the draft’s problems, and continuing the system in its current fashion is unfair to the men who have no desire to serve. Only abolishing the Selective Service Systemwill ensure fair treatment of all individuals, allowing those who want to serve to volunteer and letting everyone else live without the dark cloud of conscription hanging over their heads.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Carrying On: Voice Staffers Speak
My Parents Don’t Sleep in the Same Bed and That’s Okay In the summer of 2010, a young English instructor, emotionally unprepared for the chaos of elementary-school classrooms, told the story of a monster that devoured disobedient little children. The cautionary tale did little to subdue the rambunctious students but succeeded in causing 10 year-old me many, many sleepless nights. When night fell, the decision had to be made: to knock on my mother’s or my father’s door? *** Years later, when I relayed this story to my friend in amusement, he asked me why my parents slept in separate bedrooms. The question was nonchalant and all the while damning as I, having been preoccupied with elaborate descriptions of said child-eating monster, completely tuned out the glaring “non-normality” of my parents’ sleeping habits. I struggle to recall the answer I made up to my friend’s question, but I am certain he, as did I, left the conversation believing I was the child of an unhappy marriage. On television, even the most combative of couples share a bed. When a fight reaches its breaking point, the husband is often banished to the couch, the pair’s physical distance signaling a comparable emotional one. To the American public, the bedroom is a place of intimacy where affection can be displayed and conversations can be had away from the kids. The claim also holds true for many people of Chinese heritage like my parents, for it is likewise typical within their culture for spouses to share a bed. Nonetheless, barring the separate bedrooms, there were no indicators of aloofness between my parents. In each other’s company, they laughed and joked, ever so tender and obviously comfortable. Their relationship caused me to re-evaluate my idea of a healthy marriage, starting with a divergence from Euro-centric and Sino-centric ideals. It turns out that American and Chinese couples are actually in the minority when it comes to bed-sharing. Anthropologist John Whiting found that the common practice in 50 percent of the 136 societies he studied was for the child to sleep with the mother in one bed and the father to sleep in another. Recently, this preference seems to be seeping into Western society. A
survey by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that almost one in four married American couples sleep in separate beds, while the National Association of Homebuilders cited an upward trend in custom dual-master bedrooms. There are many reasons for couples to sleep in separate rooms, the most common being comfort. My parents have wildly different sleeping patterns. My mom is an especially light sleeper, which makes any noise during the night perturbing for her. They also have opposing preferences in room temperature. As a result, separate rooms seems to be the obvious answer, save for the consequence of outside judgment. My dad told me that they don’t mention it in front of their acquaintances for fear of being misunderstood. Indeed, there are many negative implications to room separation, and my dad attributes the success of their situation to a mutual preference for comfort over formality and the open-mindedness of my grandparents when it comes to following Chinese traditions. Bed-sharing is just one of many restrictive norms that can damage the relationship between live-in partners. For those without sleep compatibility, sharing a bed would result in a sharp decrease in the quality and duration of sleep, leading to other health risks, such as heart disease and issues with memory. Furthermore, it could lead people to believe that they are not suited for each other just because they struggle to fulfill the baseless expectation of sharing a bed. This is especially true for cross-cultural relationships, where conflicts may arise out of a divergence in deep-rooted values that inform behavior. Yet, couples continue to be silent about this issue for fear of social repercussions or offending each other. The validation of room-separation is especially important to me as someone with chronic onset insomnia. For me, the process of trying to sleep can be very frustrating and exhausting, and I often undergo bouts of sleep deprivation due to anxiety. Consequently, I have developed a very particular bedtime routine. In relationships, I look for people who will understand that sleeping on my own does not indicate a lack of desire for physical intimacy. Funnily enough, I actually find comfort in
having another person around, but my brain is wired to respond adversely, so there will always be some sacrifice of sleep involved in sharing a bed. I am not alone in this matter—quite the opposite, as one in three people suffer from at least a mild form of insomnia. If sleep incompatibility was a deal-breaker, then it would be very unlikely for any of us to find partners at all. Fortunately, from my parents, I have learned that the happiness of a relationship is independent of its cosmetic upkeep, and it may very well be due to the disregard for the latter that the former succeeds. It helps to see that the positive connotations of bed-sharing are not inherent to the action itself; for instance, you can still cuddle, play fight, and have “pillow talk” before retiring to separate beds to sleep. Flexibility with sleeping arrangements is not only productive, but also a revealing characteristic of an understanding partnership. Simply having this conversation with your significant other is the first step toward effective communication. More importantly, it gives you the basic well-restedness you need to sustain a fun and playful relationship. It is a wonderful feeling to rest knowing that your significant other values your security over social expectations and your health over their reputation. Besides, who says living together has to halt the thrill of sneaking into your partner’s room?
Leina Hsu is assistant Voices editor and a freshman in the College aspiring to disappoint her parents by majoring in English.
MARCH 15, 2019
Strive for Imperfection
Last month, my day often started with sharing an understanding smile with the Lau security guard. If you’ve stumbled into the library anytime from 5-8 a.m., determined to study for an exam that day or desperately wrapping up the final touches of a paper, you may have also found me there, dark circles under my eyes from just four or five hours of sleep and a big mug of hot coffee with a splash of whole milk in front of me. As someone who always yearns to add some color into my life, a variety of colored highlighters would have been set on the table to help get me into the studying mood. Going to Lau at 5 a.m. to study, and still managing to remain relatively peppy and cheerful during the day, used to be something I was rather proud of. I believed it signaled that I was hardworking and taking my commitments seriously. I was pushing myself to become a better student and doing the most I could. Yet more and more, I came to realize that I was sliding down a slippery slope toward an subconscious drive for perfection. Running back and forth from my room to the library on the weekdays, getting four to six hours of sleep a night, drinking two cups of coffee in the mornings, and continuously feeling tired and overwhelmed was not healthy, productive, or sustainable. It was stressful and absolutely detrimental to my mind, body, and spirit. Even though I am a student who genuinely loves my classes, I now see that as my stress levels peaked, my innate desire to learn waned. Instead, I succumbed to “survival” mode just to keep afloat, a state of mind I found rather dehumanizing. Of course, I recognize that there are other structural elements at play here. For example, many students, perhaps due to juggling work and school, may not always have the luxury of opting out of this lifestyle. I spent my freshman year at a small, liberal arts college in rural Maine. While I am grateful to be at Georgetown and have met incredibly active and passionate spirits, I had more time at my previous institution to think, slow down, and sleep. I did not feel as pressured to be perfect and do it all. Georgetown propels the idea that “busyness” is associated with a good, successful, and meaningful life. Sometimes, I find it absolutely bizarre that so many Georgetown students seem to have their whole life plans figured out, with status, prestige, and financial stability as added bonuses. How can so many 18- to 22-year-olds possibly know what will make them happy in the long-term? I know that I’m not the only one who does not have my entire life figured out. But at Georgetown, it seems as if this uncertainty puts me
at a disadvantage. However, I’ve realized that indecisiveness is part of the beauty of being 20 years old. I am learning about myself by not restricting myself to one limited path or field of interest. Besides, isn’t a major purpose of college to learn, explore, take risks, and make mistakes? Even though we may not think about this every day, chances are many students only have these four undergraduate years to fully devote themselves to learning from professors who are experts in their fields and living among unique and brilliant peers. Shouldn’t we be cherishing this opportunity? Shouldn’t we be spending more time cultivating healthy relationships with friends and having meaningful conversations? Shouldn’t we be taking classes because we find them interesting and genuinely want to embrace challenges and learn something new, rather than being worried that a particular class might tank our GPA? Too soon, our college years will be over. That’s why we should be striving for imperfection instead. Last summer, I read a book by Carol Dweck called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success that completely changed the way I approach life. Dweck’s research discusses the difference between the “growth mindset” and the “fixed mindset.” When individuals have a growth mindset, they see challenges and failures as opportunities to grow and believe that effort leads to success rather than ability. In contrast, when individuals have a fixed mindset, they tend to believe that failure reflects their ability and limitations, and, as a result, will shy away from challenges that will force them to make mistakes and at times fail. I am a strong proponent of the growth mindset mentality, as I have learned the most from my failures. But while achievements are certainly important, having a growth mindset must consist of improving as an entire person, not just as an individual with a brain, textbook, and a highlighter, or as a student who leads five different clubs at once. We are not mindless robots, but living, breathing beings with thumping hearts, capable of feeling and expressing emotion, falling down and getting back up again with resilience. I know that I will still be on the third floor of Lau early in the mornings during stressful times because that is when I happen to do my best work. But these days, I strive for seven to eight hours of sleep each night and go to the library only after I feel adequately well-rested and have fixed myself a hearty breakfast. Instead of drinking coffee, I drink green tea. Rather than forcing myself to be “on the go” when I am overwhelmed, I stop, acknowledge how I am feeling, take a deep breath, and
assure myself that everything will be okay. I hope regardless of circumstance, everyone can incorporate small acts of self-care into their days. Sometimes I call a family member or friend to let them know how I am feeling and what I am struggling with. Allowing yourself to be imperfect is easier said than put into practice. Stress culture is a reality, and we should have more dialogue about its relationship with mental health and self-care on our campus. Additionally, there needs to be greater accessibility and awareness of the resources, like Project Lighthouse, that are available for students who need psychological support. Also, by being more vulnerable and open when communicating to our friends, peers, and professors about mental health, we can work together to build a positive, emotionally supportive environment where we encourage each other to make mistakes, learn, and grow. I am currently reading War and Peace. As I read, I continuously compare and contrast two characters of a similar age, Sonya and Natasha. Sonya appears to be a perfect character who continually does the right thing and feels a strong responsibility to uphold her reputation as one who serves others. On the other hand, Natasha is imperfect, making one mistake after another and getting herself into heaps of trouble. Toward the end of the novel, Sonya fades into the background and remains a stagnant, uninteresting character while Natasha, who is always adapting, learning, and changing, shines. All students should know that part of developing, obtaining depth as human beings, and living a worthwhile life lies in being imperfect and making plenty of mistakes. Maybe we could all try to be a bit more like Natasha.
Katie Ho is a sophomore in the College majoring in psychology and minoring in philosophy. She enjoys long walks and Russian literature.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
The Friendship Vow: In Sickness and in Health? The power of my story compelled me to write this piece. But my parents reminded me what having my full name attached to an honest description of my illness would mean for my hopes of employment. Despite the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment against qualified individuals with disabilities, the stigmas and prejudice surrounding chronic illness win out over fair employment. Sharing my story is incredibly important, but it is also a story society has not yet adapted to fully accept. *** I woke up paralyzed. My senses quickly stirred. I could smell the chocolate-chip pancakes cooking downstairs. I could see the glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling. I could hear “That’s Amore” playing in the living room. The only thing missing was feeling. I couldn’t move anything from the neck down. I don’t recall what lapsed between my ear-piercing cry and my parents rushing me to the ER, but I do remember the smell of the hospital that day. The overwhelming scent of antiseptic that burned my nostrils and hinted at the painful reality to come: a lifetime of illness. Fortunately, the paralysis was only temporary, but in a very real sense, my 9-yearold self never left that hospital room alive. The person who survived wasn’t her, but a shadow of who she used to be. I live in this void between fatality and wellness that even doctors don’t understand. My illness is permanent and invisible. When I try to explain my situation, I am often met with the response, “But you don’t look sick.” The crippling pain I feel in my neck isn’t normal for someone my age. My constant fatigue even after 16 hours of sleep isn’t obvious. On the outside, I am the picture of the average 20-year-old. On the inside, I am disintegrating. Because my illness is invisible, there’s always this underlying expectation that I’ll get better—that the indefinite timeline looming over my head is really just finite. The type of chronic illness I have doesn’t abide by predictability. Chronic illness is different for everyone. For me, I’ll always have the illness, but the symptoms may not always manifest. I could wake up one day with no symptoms, just to wake up to my typical reality the next. I’m also constantly given unsolicited advice: Have you tried tea leaf extract? What about eating more cinnamon? I know it’s an attempt to be helpful, but I wish people knew that as the person suffering, I’ve explored every option. Having to say “Yes, I tried that” and “No, it didn’t work” only reinforces my hopelessness.
The biggest challenge chronic illness has presented is the difficulty of maintaining relationships. Nine-year-old me was a go-getter, making friends everywhere she went. I wish I was still her. Instead, I constantly feel like a burden, because I am. There’s no denying it. I try to hide my illness, but when my friends ask “How are you?” reality speaks before I have a chance to stop it. “My pain is worse this week, and Advil isn’t helping. I slept over 11 hours last night but I’m still exhausted. I have two doctors’ appointments but also two midterms. I can’t handle it all.” I’m the friend who always bails. The friend who’s always sick. The friend who’s always complaining. And despite what they say, people do treat me differently, like I’m fragile and with one misstep I could shatter. Granted, I could, but not because my boss gave me three extra shifts or because my friend decided I should plan her Tombs night alone. Eventually, people give up on me, and I can’t blame them. I’m no stranger to loss. Depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand with chronic illness. I always wait for my friends to text me, giving them the chance to opt out of our friendship at any time. If I do text first, I’m terrified of annoying them. There’s a voice in my head over-analyzing everything. I texted them three times in a row, is that excessive? It’s been a few hours since I asked them to hang out, that must mean no, right? It’s irrational and it’s not the true me. It’s the part of me that knows how much of a responsibility I am. The part of me that knows friendships are meant to be easy-going. The part of me that knows I take way more than I give. There are so many people I’ve let drift away because I felt their lives would be easier without me. For me, FOMO isn’t the fear of missing out. It’s the feeling of missing out. I’ve deleted and re-downloaded my social media apps more times than I can count. I put on a façade, snap a picture every few weeks, and seem normal. Other nights, I scroll through the feed and see all the things I should be doing but can’t: going out with friends, visiting exhibits, going to the gym, Sunday brunches. I’ve been blessed to have a few friends stand by my side, but that little voice is always there telling me what a burden I am. In almost every message I send, I’m apologizing. I write, “I’m sorry I didn’t respond,” leaving out that I fell asleep again. I text, “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you,” but I don’t add that I can barely be there for myself. They often get mad at me for not relying on them more, but feeling like a burden means I never want to ask for help.
It’s a constant struggle between asking for enough help so that they feel I’m taken care of, but not too much help that I overwhelm them. The few friends who have stayed, the ones who text me to check in even when we haven’t talked in a while, the ones who randomly offer to come to doctors’ appointments, the ones who surprise me with my favorite candy after a hard day—they are the people who keep me afloat. But I also keep waiting for the day when they get tired of it all. I know I’m tired of it. How much can I expect my friends to deal with? Sometimes I’m filled with jealousy as I watch them live their lives without the fatigue that comes with even 18 hours of sleep and without harboring a mini-pharmacy of vital medications in their desk drawers. For the majority of my young adult years, I’ve been drowning, crashing under continuous waves. Maybe one day I’ll resurface and breathe the fresh air of good health. I hold that day close to me, a possible sunrise on the horizon. It’s impossible for me not to believe my friends deserve better. It’s impossible for me not to be jealous of a symptom-free alternative I create in my head. I’m in the early stages of acceptance, shedding bits of denial each day. Sometimes I’m convinced this life isn’t actually a life at all. But then I meet people. I learn about their invisible suffering—a different chronic illness, anxiety, a broken heart, grief over the loss of a loved one. Relationships are bittersweet: They can break you and hurt you, but they can also be your lifeboat. I wake up fighting a new wave of symptoms every day. The only reason I am still swimming, still trying to find my way to the surface, is because of the friends and family who refuse to let me drown.
C. M. is a sophomore in the SFS majoring in International Politics and minoring in Spanish. She is an emerging writer with a forthcoming compilation of poetry and prose set to be published this year.
MARCH 15, 2019
Seeking a Space on Campus, Student Groups Weigh Benefits of University Recognition By Sienna Brancato String lights and pops of color hung on the walls of the Henle apartment: a portrait of Lupita Nyong’o, old Kober-Cogan building signs, and a miniature basketball hoop. This is where GUCCI, the Georgetown University Collective of Creative Individuals, hosted its first open mic as a recognized student group on Feb. 15. People sat close together on the floor and on couches, all eyes pointed at the front of the room where Brian McGraw (SFS ’19) was singing. GUCCI is an arts collective that hosts open mics, art shares, and other events to promote student arts on campus. A frequent performer at these open mics, McGraw was recruited to join his band, Right Stuff, at a GUCCI event. “Open mics are big, particularly now, they seem to be growing,” McGraw said. “There’s almost one every weekend now.” A group of friends formed GUCCI in 2016 but were denied when they first attempted to get university recognition for their club. The Council of Advisory Boards (CAB) deemed it too similar to the Georgetown University Art Aficionados, which, according to their HoyaLink, “host art workshops, student exhibitions, lectures, art themed parties and more.” The Art Aficionados focus on professional arts while GUCCI promotes the work of student artists. GUCCI lost an appeal despite a letter from the head of the Art Aficionados saying that the groups were distinct. But that didn’t stop GUCCI from hosting events. They tried again for recognition this semester, and this time, they succeeded. GUCCI’s Facebook group, now 1,400 strong, is filled with posts advertising arts events on campus and around Washington, D.C. GUCCI has held events in apartment living rooms,
townhouse basements, and backyards. But now that it is is recognized, it can reserve university spaces, request funding, table at CAB fairs, and use the university’s name and logo. There are about 300 recognized student groups on campus but no official count of the unrecognized organizations who operate without university benefits. Each year, these groups have to decide whether recognition is worth pursuing, and if so, navigate the complicated path to it. Accepting GUCCI to the new club development process on its second try was easy given its established presence on campus, wrote Carley Mambuca (SFS ’19), head of CAB, in an email to the Voice. Between 20 and 30 student groups apply for university benefits each semester, Mambuca wrote. Student organizations seeking university benefits must have open membership, at least 12 full-time undergraduate members, a constitution, and be in compliance with university club guidelines. Groups also must not overlap another group’s mission. As CAB chair, Mambuca administers the New Club Development (NCD) process. The procedure for club recognition begins with attending one of several mandatory information sessions at the beginning of each semester. The groups then submit applications describing their programming, mission statement, membership, leadership, and reasons they need access to benefits. CAB reviews the applications to make sure potential groups will use finite university resources effectively, Mambuca wrote. The board then decides if a club is either accepted and assigned to an advisory board to begin the NCD process, rejected, or
invited to present in front of CAB to answer any lingering questions. Once accepted into the NCD process, a potential group must develop a constitution, a five-year plan, and host three events, including one in collaboration with another student group and another for the wider university community. The number of groups accepted varies per semester, Mambuca wrote. This semester, CAB accepted 15 of 20 applicants. In the past, as few as eight of 30 have been accepted in a semester. Rejected clubs must determine how to proceed: remain unrecognized and operate without access to university benefits, or try again in the future. Mosaic, a club dedicated to empowering and fostering a community for multiracial and multiethnic students, completed the NCD process in spring 2018 following a failed attempt in the spring of 2017. After submitting the initial application, the group was called to present before CAB. Haley Wint (COL ’20), president of Mosaic, described presenting to CAB “like a pitch, trying to sell an idea of what you want Georgetown to look like.” CAB allowed the club to move into the NCD process. At the end of the process, Mosaic submitted a final application with proof they had met CAB’s requirements. But some of their required forms were submitted late, and the group was denied full club status. When they were unrecognized, Wint said, it was hard for them to publicize their events because they didn’t have access to printing.
Photos, clockwise from top left, courtesy of H*yas for Choice, Harrison Blondeau, mikko CastaÑo , and Mosiac
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Mosaic was relegated to the unrecognized groups section at CAB fairs, where student groups recruit new members. They had trouble finding members, so the founders turned to their friends instead. The Center for Student Engagement (CSE) resources are reserved for recognized groups, which means other clubs must be split from the rest at CAB fairs. Unrecognized groups are allowed to table in Red Square—or the HFSC Herman Meeting Room at indoor fairs—which Mambuca wrote is “more than the CSE is required to do for groups that it does not recognize.” Mosaic did not have a set budget when it was unrecognized. “We had to be pretty savvy about how many events we were planning throughout the semester and then how much money we were allocating at these events,” Wint said. “Now, it is much easier as a recognized club to get those things done.” Wint said the experience of being rejected made her wonder whether getting recognized was worth the effort. “Eventually I decided that yes, this is worthwhile, this is worth my time,” she said. The next semester, the group repeated the NCD process and gained university recognition. Since being recognized, Wint said that turnout at Mosaic’s events and its name recognition have grown significantly. Kala Amos (SFS ’19), former president and current treasurer of Mosaic, is pleased with the club’s progress, too. “While the process itself is very difficult and an additional stress on college life, the result is that I have a club that I take pride in,” she said. “I am happy I completed the process, but I don’t think I will be trying to create a second new club anytime soon.” One of the biggest and most visible blocs of unrecognized groups on campus is Greek life. Around 10 percent of students participate in fraternities and sororities at Georgetown. The only recognized Greek organization on campus is Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity. Jack Colavita (COL ’21), president of Alpha Epsilon Pi— AEPi—said his fraternity’s nonrecognition contributes to the stigma around Greek life on campus. AEPi is a Jewish social fraternity with 90 active brothers, although not all are Jewish, and is growing steadily. The Georgetown chapter of AEPi is recognized by the national organization. But the university does not recognize “single sex groups with ritualized, demeaning, or secret membership practices, and specifically those organizations affiliated with the national Intrafraternity Council, Pan Hellenic Association, and Pan Hellenic Council.” For the past four years, Jeanne Lord, dean of students, and Todd Olson, vice president for student affairs, have sent an email to the student body expressing the administration’s opposition to Greek life on campus. “Georgetown’s decision not to support a social Greek system reflects our concerns for the safety and well-being of our students, and is rooted in the values that have animated this university for more than two centuries,” they wrote. Each year, GUSA has sent an email in response. In their most recent statement on Sept. 30, 2018, they refuted the university’s position that social and professional Greek organizations run counter to Georgetown’s Jesuit values. “For many, Greek organizations are spaces to find community, enhance leadership skills, and develop into women and men for others,” the statement reads. “By holistically meeting the individual needs of so many Hoyas, our Greek organizations are precisely what the standard of cura personalis demands.” Colavita said nonrecognition has some benefits—autonomy chief among them—but that its detriments outweigh the advantages. “If we’re trying to do community service, if we’re trying to do outreach, anything like that, the fact that we can’t get these
[university] spaces means that we either can’t do the events that we would like to do, or we have to find ways to partner with other organizations that are recognized,” Colavita said. He is proud to be a member of AEPi, Colavita said, and he and his brothers try to challenge the popular image of fraternities. “We do everything in our capacity to make sure that it’s safe and respectful to all of the different communities on campus,” Colavita said. “But I don’t always want to tell somebody that I’m in AEPi because they might take that the wrong way. They might think that I’m a part of a Greek culture that’s toxic or problematic.” To promote a healthy frat culture, Colavita said, AEPi requires all new members to participate in a SAPE training, in addition to university-wide freshman workshops on consent and sexual assault prevention. AEPi’s separation from recognized clubs does not mean its members are isolated from other students, Colavita said. The fraternity has developed a close relationship with the Jewish part of Campus Ministry, and there is an overlap in membership between AEPi and the recognized Georgetown Israel Alliance. AEPi has also encouraged its members to live in Bayit, the Jewish Living Learning Community.
Colavita believes the current system of recognition creates a harmful binary—either out or in. “I think that it would be helpful to start considering whether that binary isn’t necessarily the only two options, if there is a third option perhaps to bring these Greek organizations into the fold.”
something that conflicted with their values,” said Kory Stuer (COL ’19), vice president of HFC, referring to the university administration. One of the litmus tests for club recognition is whether a club adheres to the university’s Roman Catholic values. HFC, the university has said, is not in line with these tenets. “We don’t see any inconsistency between advocating for reproductive justice and ideas of cura personalis, ideas of Hoyas for others,” Stuer said. The group relies on donations to fund their programs, which include contraception distribution and pro-choice and sex-positive advocacy, their website says. Stuer believes HFC is able to raise much of its money because of university opposition to the group, as donors are more likely to give where they see a need. Ninety-nine percent of the group’s donations are one-time, so HFC is launching a recurring donations program to make their income more consistent. Stuer initially had mixed feelings about the proposal. “Isn’t this a bit much that you’re developing basically a non-profit? But unfortunately we have to operate more or less as a non-profit on this campus,” he said. “There are so many needs of the community that Georgetown just won’t fill.” HFC launched an emergency contraception program in September 2018 which provides Plan B to students. Stuer believes the program exemplifies one of the benefits of being unrecognized. “We’re able to fill a really important gap that exists on this campus, and there is no way that we would be able to do that if we were recognized. We wouldn’t be able to distribute condoms—never mind emergency contraception,” Stuer said. The group values the administrative freedom that comes with being unrecognized, but it means they are responsible for managing all of their fundraising efforts and internal operations without a faculty advisor. HFC is also excluded from the bystander intervention training required of student group leaders that teaches students about consent and sexual assault. Their non-recognition reflects an imbalance of power on campus, Stuer said. The institutions that grant and deny club recognition reinforce the divisions between privileged and marginalized students. “Most of the things that—for straight students, for white students, for men—that people want on this campus already exist, so they don’t have to worry about starting something new,” Stuer said. Instead, he argued, marginalized students often have to fight through the NCD process to create groups that reflect their identities while their more privileged peers can join existing groups which are already tailor-made for them. “There is a symbolic message that’s sent when groups aren’t recognized,” Stuer said. “That this work isn’t valued and also around who does get recognized, around who is and who is not valued on this campus.”
H*yas for Choice (HFC), the unrecognized group which advocates for sexual health and abortion services, has a more complicated view of university recognition. When the group, then named GU Choice, made its initial push for recognition in 1990, they faced pushback from alumni and others in the Georgetown community for their prochoice stance. On the condition that it be a discussion-only group, then-Dean of Students (now-university President) John DeGioia briefly granted funding for GU Choice in 1991. But he pulled it 14 months later after the administration deemed their pro-choice advocacy too activist rather than discussion-based. “Doing any sort of advocacy, providing direct services, the things that we feel really define who we are, was too much for them. They felt that reproductive rights is too much
The GUCCI open mic was in full swing, and all eyes were on the performers. The crowded Henle living room felt like a personal concert. McGraw believes university recognition will benefit the group without taking away this grassroots energy. “Going forward we can have some kind of combination of leaky basements and rented spaces on campus, but it’s great to not have to feel like you’re not welcome to hold events on campus,” he said. GUCCI wasn’t just a group of friends performing for one another anymore. The open mic had the same intimate atmosphere as before, but GUCCI had grown beyond its former limits, coming into its own as a space for Georgetown artists and their supporters. After everyone who had signed up in advance performed, the hosts turned the mic over to the audience, first-timers welcome.
There is a symbolic message that’s sent when groups aren’t recognized.
MARCH 15, 2019
THE SUN ALSO RISES
GEORGETOWN’S LONG AND COMPLICATED HISTORY OF SOLAR ENERGY BY NOAH TELERSKI
design: jacob bilich
Georgetown is currently facing backlash from environmentalists over a proposed off-campus solar project in La Plata, Maryland, which would require clearcutting over 200 acres of forest to make room for solar panels. The La Plata installation is not the university’s first foray into solar energy. Despite the issues with its most recent initiative, Georgetown has a long history with solar power and was at one point on the field’s cutting edge. Solar panels have continued to be a feature of campus to this day. The university powered up the largest rooftop solar array in the world on the roof of the Intercultural Center (ICC) in 1984. The 4,464 solar panels could produce 300 kilowatts of electricity and operated for almost 30 years. A Washington Post report from January 1979—three years before the ICC itself was completed—said that project was a part of the university’s ongoing efforts to become energy self-sufficient. This effort also included the construction of Yates Field House, which they hoped would have lower heating and cooling costs because much of the structure is underground. The report projected that half of the funds for the project would come from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Solar power was all the rage in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, and President Jimmy Carter had just installed solar panels on the roof of the White House. The DOE had many suitors vying for money for solar projects. Another Washington Post article from May 1979 headlined “GU Solar Project Favored for $8 Million Spot in DOE’s Sun,” detailed just how hard the university was working to secure government funding for the project. Bennett Miller, then-head of the DOE office that evaluated solar proposals, told the Post,
PHOTO: JACK TOWNSEND
“Georgetown is talking to anyone who will listen, here and on the Hill. Hill staffers have called us to say GU is interested in being approved.” An assistant to the House Appropriations Committee said in the same piece that the university had been sending witnesses to committee hearings for two or three years. Georgetown officially applied for a DOE grant on Jan. 17, 1980, to construct a “Higher Education Exemplar Photovoltaic Facility.” The project was meant to demonstrate how solar technologies, such as photovoltaic materials, could be used in place of regular building materials. For the ICC, the solar panels would be integrated into the roof, where they would need to be weather tight like a normal roof. The university won the $4 million grant in August 1980 to undertake the project. They sought bids for construction beginning in December 1981, months before the completion of the ICC in 1982. Four contractors responded, but none of the sample panels they provided met the standards needed to survive changes in temperature, humidity, and precipitation. After all four resubmitted their proposals, Georgetown signed a contract with Hughes Aircraft Corporation on March 8, 1983. The project was completed in August 1984 at a total cost of $5.89 million. The final report on the installation, prepared for the DOE by Georgetown in 1991, outlines the history of the project. The early days of the array were plagued by occasional outages, and on Dec. 9, 1985, there was an accident that shut down the installation for 10 months: Georgetown’s solar consultant had experimented with cleaning the modules and burned out a breaker and a number of components. The university elected to shut down the entire array to avoid a potentially dangerous repeat
of the incident and resumed operation only after the issue was satisfactorily dealt with. An unusual feature of the panels is their rough surface, which reduces the glare of reflected sunlight so as not to affect planes taking off and landing at Reagan National Airport. However, this roughness reduced the panels’ efficiency and also meant that rain did not naturally clean the array. This lead to significant decreases in the panels’ energy production over time. In a test conducted between 1985 and 1988, the New Mexico Solar Energy Institute found a 29 percent loss in energy production over the years. The researchers attributed two-thirds of that loss to the dirtiness of the panels, but later discussions with DOE representatives concluded that cleaning the array would not have been cost-effective. As of the 1991 report, the installation had “never been thoroughly cleaned.” Overtime, the array became more unproductive. According to Georgetown’s report, in 1991 the system produced 273,835 kilowatt-hours of energy. In 2015, the Voice reported that from July 2009 to June 2010, the panels had produced only 164,300 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Eventually, the university shut down the array. “Solar panels typically function for about 20 years. These panels lasted nearly a decade beyond this expectation and were disconnected in approximately 2012 after surpassing their operational lifetime,” university spokesperson Matt Hill wrote in an email to the Voice. With the ICC array offline, the university looked for other sources to replace that energy production. On April 21, 2017, Georgetown announced that it would not only be replacing the ICC solar system but would also install new panels on Regents
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Georgetown applies for a U.S. Department of Energy grant to build a solar array on the roof of the then-planned ICC.
1980 Georgetown enters a contract with Hughes Aircraft Corporation to construct the solar array.
An accident during cleaning short-circuits a breaker and several diodes. Georgetown shuts down the system until these problems can be addressed.
Testing finds a 29% decrease in the effectiveness of the array from April 1985. This decrease is attributed mainly to dirty panels.
Electrical output for the previous year measured at 164,300 kilowatt-hours.
Replacement of the ICC array is announced alongside the construction of solar panels on 5 other buildings. The project is yet to begin.
Georgetown awarded $4 million grant from DOE.
1984 DEC. 9
The solar array is completed at a final cost of $5.89 million. It comes online, able to produce 360,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year.
1985 OCT. 30
The solar array resumes operation.
Electrical output from the system is measured at 273,835 kilowatt-hours for the year.
The ICC solar array is shut down.
Hall, Davis Performing Arts Center, Alumni Square, McDonough Gymnasium, and Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall. The university signed a power purchase agreement with Community Renewable Energy (CRE), a solar energy firm. The project, projected to produce 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, would be installed at no cost to the university, said Xavier Rivera, director of the university’s Department of Energy and Utilities. Georgetown would commit to purchasing the energy at a fixed rate while CRE would retain ownership of the panels and be responsible for their maintenance. CRE would also receive the renewable energy credits from the project. Robin Morey, then-vice president for Planning and Facilities Management, wrote in an email to the Georgetown community that the project would be economically beneficial for the university. “This is a win-win for both the University and our local communities, driven by our Catholic and Jesuit heritage and commitment the common good,” Morey wrote. “The project allows us to leverage the economics of solar to address critical deferred maintenance needs on campus while advancing our sustainability and common good mission.” Part of this “common good” would be the revenue produced from the project, a portion of which would go toward creating an investment fund to support clean energy projects in low-income areas across the District. But the project was never started. When asked why, Hill responded that the university will continue working toward its sustainability goals. “Georgetown is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2020 through a multi-pronged approach to sustainability,” he wrote. “University officials are continuing to meet, assess this project, and determine the best path forward to advance our sustainability goals.” Georgetown announced the off-campus solar project in La Plata, Maryland, as a facet of these sustainability goals in September 2017. Nareg Kuyumjian (SFS ’21), president of the Georgetown Renewable Energy and Environmental Network (GREEN), understands why the university is pushing for the off-campus project as opposed to on-campus solar construction. “On-campus solar is less cost-effective, so I guess they’re looking at other ways of conserving energy and cutting down on costs,” Kuyumjian said. Beyond the expense of on-campus solar are the types of ecological pitfalls that concern La Plata residents. Victoria Boatwright (COL ’22), GREEN’s energy team leader, thinks that on-campus projects are much easier to green-light because they do not face the same potential for negative environmental impacts. “It’s the least ethically difficult because [the roofs are] already black and covered, so it’s the easiest to just say, ‘oh, why don’t we put it on top of that,’” Boatwright said. The Maryland Department of the Environment is currently reviewing the La Plata proposal to determine whether to allow the system to be built. If completed, the installation would produce enough energy to satisfy half of the university’s electricity needs. Community members and students have protested the destruction of the area’s forest. However, they say there are other concerns beyond just the loss of trees. The region is recognized by the Audubon Society as an “Important Bird Area” and has
SOLAR PANELS TYPICALLY FUNCTION FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS. THESE PANELS LASTED NEARLY A DECADE BEYOND THIS EXPECTATION AND WERE DISCONNECTED IN APPROXIMATELY 2012 …
two streams with high water quality grades from the state. Some are concerned that the project will create runoff issues which would degrade other valuable waterways further downstream. Members of the local Piscataway Tribe have also come forward and stated that cutting down the forest in their ancestral lands would destroy their history and culture. The university and its partner in the installation, Origis Energy, have said that an environmental review of the project showed no harmful impacts on the streams, while the loss of trees would be outweighed by the reduction in carbon output. These responses, however, have not seemed to satisfy citizen and student concern. While there are issues with the replacement of the ICC array and installation of solar panels on other campus buildings, as well as with the off-campus proposal, the university has had some recent success with solar power. In April 2013, the university completed an installation of solar panels on six Magis Row townhouses on 37th Street. That project, called Solar Street, was a collaboration between the administration and a student group, Georgetown Energy, which worked to promote renewable energy on and off campus. Across the six roofs there is a combined 18 kilowatts of capacity, capable of providing 27 percent of the electricity needs of those townhouses. The project was feasible because of GUSA’s 2011 reform of the student activities fee, making $3.4 million available for student-proposed projects. Georgetown Energy applied for some of those funds and won $250,000, enough money to install solar panels on 43 townhouses. The group eventually settled on six at a cost of $45,000, limited by the age and construction of some of the townhouse roofs. The remainder of the money was used to create a fund for future student-driven sustainability projects. The project drew the attention of the Obama Administration. Gary Guzy, then deputy director and general counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, attended the completion ceremony in 2013. Students in Georgetown Energy entirely led the project, Morey said in a press release. “We just kind of shepherded them through the process of doing the design, construction contracts and getting approval through proper university and city channels,” Morey said. “I think the students see what it actually takes to get the work done.” Kuyumjian, Boatwright, and the rest of GREEN will be trying to follow a similar path as Georgetown Energy to work with the administration to make Georgetown more energy-efficient and independent. They have submitted a number of proposals for money from the Laudato Si’ Fund, a new university initiative announced on Jan. 29 that makes $300,000 available to members of the Georgetown community for sustainability projects. These proposals include funding for composting projects, bee hives, and making sustainability education a focus of New Student Orientation. On the energy consumption front, GREEN is working to increase energy conservation around campus by running a “Switchit-off” challenge, encouraging students to use less energy through simple measures like turning off lights that are not in use, and then comparing the energy-saving results for each building. There used to be a university-run challenge every year by the Office of Sustainability, but the last one was held in the fall of 2017. Boatwright hopes that students can become more conscious of their energy use and that the university can upgrade its buildings to become more efficient. “There is no way for us to generate, on campus, enough energy ever to make up for everything that we consume,” Boatwright said. “But I think that you can get closer to it through reductions.” Solar panels alone will not solve all of Georgetown’s sustainability issues. Staying on track to meet its own environmental targets while keeping up with the ambitious goals for carbon reduction of its peer institutions will require the university to pair its history of innovative solar projects with a future of other creative solutions.
MARCH 15, 2019
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: by Aaron wolf
With Three Big East All-Freshman Selections, Menâ€™s Basketball is on the Rise
Clockwise from top: Mac McClung (2), Josh LeBlanc (23), and James Akinjo (3).
Photos: JOHN PICKER
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
hen Georgetown men’s basketball coach Patrick Ewing announced his first starting five this season, fans were both bewildered and excited. The Hoyas were taking on Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), and Ewing, about to begin his second season at the helm of Georgetown’s program, had decided to insert not one, but two freshmen into the lineup. James Akinjo, a four-star recruit out of Richmond, California, was an obvious choice. Ewing brought in Akinjo to jolt the Hoyas’ offense as the starting point guard. For a team that had lacked an electrifying playmaker in the position for several years, it was a given that he would take that spot from the outset. The more questionable freshman insert was Mac McClung. Ewing had an array of veteran options at his disposal, including Jagan Mosely, Jahvon Blair, and Greg Malinowski, to fill that second starting guard position, but he chose to go with another freshman. “That’s my starting lineup,” Ewing said of his decision after the game. “They’re two terrific players. Nothing against Blair or Mosely, but that’s who I want to start.” Georgetown fans were well aware of McClung’s talents before the season began. The Gate City, Virginia, native rose to national prominence last year for his high-flying dunks and prodigious scoring ability. McClung broke former Hoya Allen Iverson’s Virginia High School League single-season scoring record in five fewer games. Yet McClung was rated as just a three-star recruit and many questioned the 6-foot-2-inch guard’s ability to translate his scoring to the college level. But both guards shined early in the UMES game. Within the first 30 seconds of play, McClung pulled up from the left side and hit a jumper for Georgetown’s first points of the season. Three minutes later, Akinjo made a flashy inside pass to sophomore forward Jamorko Pickett for his first career assist. On the first UMES possession out of the halftime break, McClung intercepted a pass and threw down one of his signature reverse, double-pump dunks, made famous on YouTube and Instagram. With solid all-around performances, both freshmen lived up to much of the hype surrounding them going into the game. “It was a nice dunk,” Ewing said with a grin when asked about McClung’s highlight-reel play. “He’s very athletic.” Despite all the fanfare surrounding Akinjo and McClung, neither guard had the most impressive freshman performance of the day. Josh LeBlanc, a forward from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, filled the stat sheet with an opening line of 11 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. LeBlanc was a threestar recruit like McClung but was the least heralded of the freshman trio coming into the season. For a player who spends most of his time inside the paint, LeBlanc is undersized at just 6-foot-7-inch, but quickly proved detractors wrong with his tenacious defense and elite athleticism. “He was great,” Trey Mourning, a graduate student forward, said of LeBlanc’s game against UMES. “Eleven and 11 off the bench. That kid is special. He can definitely do a lot and help us out this season.” LeBlanc has continued to be a vital part of the team, starting in every game since Dec. 22. He has notched seven double-doubles on the season and ranks sixth in the Big East in rebounding with 7.5 per game. On the defensive side, he is second on the team in both blocks and steals. On offense, he averages 9.4 points per game. Meanwhile, McClung and Akinjo rank first and second among freshmen in the Big East in scoring and 16th and 17th overall, respectively. Akinjo has also been an effective distributor, averaging a conference-best 5.4 assists per game.
Since that opener, Akinjo, LeBlanc, and McClung have solidified their starting roles and continued to exceed expectations. However, the freshmen have also had their troubles. After all, the Hoyas finished the regular season on the bubble, without an assured spot in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season. All three have had difficulties with decision-making on the court, perhaps none more so than Akinjo. Late in a crucial Jan. 15 matchup against Marquette at Capital One Arena, Akinjo handled the ball for the Hoyas, down one with 19 seconds remaining. He chose to push the ball in transition and had his shot blocked out of bounds. After Ewing called a timeout to set up their final offensive play, Akinjo again received the ball. He elected to drive directly at the Big East’s leading shot blocker, Golden Eagles sophomore forward Theo John, who again denied him at the rim. Ewing was visibly frustrated as the Hoyas blew a prime opportunity against one of the top teams in the conference. Akinjo acknowledges that being overly aggressive on offense is something he will need to address as his game continues to progress. “That’s something I’m still working on as you can see,” he told reporters when discussing his tendency to over-dribble on offense. “My teammates are helping me point out stuff I need to work on, so I’m just trying to get better.”
A day later, all three freshmen were named to the Big East All-Freshman team, marking the first time one team has had three players earn the honor since Pittsburgh in 1988. For Georgetown’s following game, a matchup against Creighton at home, Akinjo did not start for the first and only time this season. He would still play 30 minutes and rack up a season-high 11 assists, but he continued to misfire, shooting just 2 for 11 from the field. After the game, Ewing had a positive take on Akinjo’s performance. “I thought he did a very good job,” he said. “He didn’t shoot the ball well, but he distributed the ball. He took his shots when he had his shots. He made great plays.” At the same time, sitting at 2-4 in the conference, Ewing made it clear he expected more from his young players. “We have to grow up fast. The freshmen have to grow up faster than they’re growing up.” A week and a half later, Akinjo put on one of his best performances of the season against Xavier, notching 23 points on 6 of 10 from the field to go along with five rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Since then, his shooting has continued to be erratic, but his decisions as the team’s floor general have markedly improved. His backcourt mate, McClung, has also experienced shooting woes. McClung missed his first sixteen 3-point attempts of the season, leading media and fans to wonder if his offensive repertoire was restricted to hard drives at the rim. He quickly put those doubts to rest, though, as he made nine of
his next 26 attempts from beyond the arc. Despite shooting just 29 percent from deep on the season, McClung has shown deep range and the ability to catch fire, hitting four 3s in four different games. On Dec. 22 against Little Rock, McClung had his best game of the season, scoring 38 points on four of nine 3-point attempts, but suffered a leg injury which forced him to miss the next four games, including the start of Big East play. He did not miss a beat in his first conference action. During his first two games against Providence and then-No. 15 Marquette, McClung was an efficient 14-of24 from the field and 6 of 12 from deep. In the Providence matchup, McClung had one of the plays of the season. Down three points with three seconds remaining, McClung received the ball near the half-court line. After a pump fake, he took a dribble and fired from over 30 feet. The shot went off the glass and in to send the game to overtime. The Hoyas would eventually win after two extra periods. McClung continued to impress early on in Big East play, and on Jan. 27, he scored 25 points against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. After McClung notched 11 points in a Jan. 31 matchup against Xavier, Musketeers head coach Travis Steele praised the freshman guard. “McClung’s talented,” Steele said. “He’s always putting you on your heels. He’s in attack mode from the very first time he catches the ball to the end of the game. I think he’s got a chance to be a really good player.” In Georgetown’s final game of the regular season on March 9, the freshmen led the way and showed just how bright the future could be for men’s basketball on the Hilltop. After a blowout loss to DePaul in Chicago, the Hoyas stood at 8-9 in conference play, with any hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid fading fast, especially considering they were taking on No. 16 Marquette in Milwaukee. To make matters worse, star senior center Jessie Govan got into foul trouble and was limited to playing just 20 minutes of the game. It was up to the freshmen to guide the team to victory. Akinjo redeemed himself after his error-prone display earlier in the season against the Golden Eagles, leading the Hoyas with 25 points, to go along with five rebounds and five assists. McClung finished just behind him with 23 points. LeBlanc was also limited by foul trouble but managed eight points and six rebounds, even extending his range beyond the arc for his fifth 3-pointer of the season. The Hoyas grabbed a shocking 86-84 road win over the ranked Golden Eagles and breathed new life into their hopes of reaching the tournament for the first time since 2015. A day later, all three freshmen were named to the Big East All-Freshman team, marking the first time one team has had three players earn the honor since Pittsburgh in 1988. It is impossible to say for sure how this team will develop over the next three years. But Ewing’s second-ever recruiting class is clearly a core of talent capable of taking the Hoyas to new heights. At the same time, Ewing wants to keep everything in perspective. “I believe in these guys, and they’re starting to show that all the belief I have in them is starting to pay off,” he said. “We’re growing. We’re all growing. Everyone is growing. And that’s basketball. You’re going to have highs. You’re going to have lows.” For now, the Hoyas have secured their best season finish in four years. With this freshman group, there is no telling how far they can go.
MARCH 15, 2019
Pulling No Punches, Captain Marvel Soars in Debut By Juliana Vaccaro de Souza
Photo Courtesy of IMdb
A young Kree soldier—Vers (Brie Larson)—wakes up her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), to practice fighting. She is running away from her nightmares: an explosion, a mysterious woman, an enemy Skrull. Her fists clench, pulse, and power up with photon energy. Yon-Rogg tells her to control her emotions. She does, and her powers fade away. He throws her to the ground. She loses. Finding one’s strength is crucial in Captain Marvel, but it isn’t easy, especially for its amnesiac hero. Vers only remembers being a soldier locked in the war between Kree and Skrull, two alien races out for each other’s blood. While the shape-shifting Skrulls seek to invade planets, the Krees hunt the Skrulls throughout the galaxy. However, when Vers is separated from her fellow Kree soldiers, is kidnapped by Skrulls, and escapes by crashing into Planet C-53 (also known as Earth), she soon learns this isn’t her first time in this strange place. Teaming up with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), she searches for what the Skrulls are after. Instead, she finds the truth behind the war she has been fighting and discovers who s he really is. The Skrulls, in particular, are striking: With their ability to assume any form, they are one of the most dangerous alien species ever to terrorize a Marvel movie. No one is safe, not even the seemingly invincible Fury. While chasing down a runaway Skrull, Fury drives alongside his trusty companion Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). However, as he lets his guard down, his phone rings: It’s the real Coulson, back in the Blockbuster store, asking where he is. The “Coulson” next to him growls and morphs into
a green figure—a Skrull. The Skrulls lure others into a false sense of safety, surprising us in an unexpected game of who’s who. For Vers, the quest to discover her identity haunts her, as she sees flashes from another life with every step she takes on Planet C-53. Is she Kree warrior Vers or pilot Carol Danvers? Is she the girl falling from her race car or the woman singing at a karaoke bar? Is she alien, human, or something else entirely? Captain Marvel shines brightest when Vers wrestles with these questions, as Larson’s performance effortlessly shifts from witty soldier to troubled warrior to rogue hero. Learning her past may not always be easy, but Vers—or Carol, as she finds out—sets herself free with it. She becomes more than a soldier blindly following orders. She picks her own battles. She forges her own identity. There is strength in the truth, and Carol uses it to become who she wants to be. Carol’s humanity is undeniable, despite all of her Kree training urging her to push her emotions and empathy aside. She jokes around with Fury. She cries in despair but finds comfort in reuniting with her long-time best friend, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). She lets 11-year-old Monica Rambeau (Akira Akbar) change the colors of her supersuit so that it can match Monica’s T-shirt. Carol may be joining the ranks of kickass heroes, but these small moments make her someone interes -ting to watch, someone to cheer for. Her Kree side makes her a warrior, but she truly captivates when she is vulnerable and genuine. The film recognizes at every moment that Carol is the hero of Marvel’s first female-led movie since Marvel Studios launched
its cinematic universe with Iron Man more than a decade ago. Her womanhood informs her experiences: At one point, a biker tells her to “smile” (she steals his bike and rides off into the desert). However, she does not allow her gender to limit her, as she holds her own, never backing down, and demolishing her enemies in battle, even when an entire army of Skrulls is chasing after her. Larson is breathtaking, and so is the supporting cast. Maria is an expert pilot, easily flying an unknown aircraft and saving countless lives. Carol’s former mentor, Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening), not only seeks to end the Kree-Skrull war but uses her program to give other women a chance to fly. Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan), with her sharp-shooting skills and arrogant humor, is easily the most memorable of Carol’s Kree team members. Even the preteen Monica is incredible, her energetic attitude and clever remarks making her a stand-out. There is no damsel-in-distress in Captain Marvel. Instead, a variety of women each embrace their own journeys and abilities. “I’ve been fighting with one hand tied behind my back. What happens when I’m set free?” Carol asks as she lets go of all of her restraints, finally becoming who she was always meant to be: a powerful hero, a compelling character, the galaxy’s one-woman defense. She embraces her powers, lights up in flames, and flies across the sky, soaring “higher, further, faster,” and becoming a welcome addition to the team of Marvel heroes. It may have been a long wait for Marvel to get to this point, but it was worth it.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE Photo Courtesy of Ksenia Grishkova
Photo By Pete McCutchen
Touchstone Gallery Exhibits Highlight the Duality of the by Claire Goldberg Natural World On one side of the white wall sits a giant, glossy, black-andwhite photograph of sand dunes, while on the other, a coterie of small, vibrantly-colored pictures of rock formations and nature scenes hang in a row. These two exhibits, currently showing at the Touchstone Gallery until March 31, perfectly display the contrasting sides of nature and how photography can lend to ideas and viewpoints so spectacular that they demand to be discovered. Both are equally striking, encapsulating nature’s greatness in dramatically different ways. The series of large-scale black-and-white images of rock, sand, and ice formations is entitled Pattern + Texture II, by local photographer Pete McCutchen. McCutchen focuses on the patterns of different natural formations, making a photograph of lines in the sand look like an intricately painted abstract work of art. The shapes and shades seem almost unnatural, begging the question of how the world can create such organized splendor. The artist’s eye for these lines, and for the lighting that turns a desert ground into a million shades of gray, is impeccable. Harvey Kupferberg’s collection of nature photography, called Daylights Reflections From Sunrise to Sunset, lies only a room away. Each of McCutchen’s photographs takes up nearly an entire wall, their majesty demanding attention from across the room. But in Kupferberg’s exhibit, the photographs’ comparatively small size make it so that the viewer must get intensely close to the work to see every detail. These photographs showcase more of the grandeur of nature: an overview of a canyon at sunset, or a rushing river flowing between mossy rocks. They evoke the great landscape paintings of artists like Thomas Moran and other members of the Hudson River School. There is a majestical quality to them, especially with the array of colors that contrast with the grayscale of the photos from the previous room.
Each exhibit intentionally utilizes color, or the absence of it, to portray this individual majesty. McCutchen goes for more abstract-yet-focused imagery, while Kupferberg tries to encapsulate the splendor of the natural world as a sum. Angles, edges, and reflections are the most crucial details of each artist’s pieces. The angles of a rock formation, the soft edge of clouds in the sky, the mirror of a mountain on the surface of a lake; these treasures on display in Kupferberg’s photos remind the viewer of the surreality of our world. Moreover, the patterns in McCutchen’s photos evoke a sort of surreality, too, but in the sense of someone recognizing a piece of nature without the larger context. It’s hard to even imagine the complexity of rock formations that take their shape over millions of years, and both photographers capture this miraculous reality in dichotomous ways. The only doubt the photographs leave is how much creativity was required in the making of the Daylight Reflections exhibit. Though the landscape photography is beautiful to look at, it’s easy to wonder how truly artistic it is to take a picture of a river or a mountain range. Anyone with a camera can look at parkland, see its magnificence, and snap a similar photo. The splendor is in the nature itself, not necessarily the photography. Yet there is certainly still a place for magnificent landscape photography, even if it is simplistic. There is boundless beauty in nature and capturing at least a small part of that brings the viewer an inescapable feeling of joy. The separate focus on the whole versus the part makes these two exhibits work so perfectly together, and the color contrasts further augment their cohesion. The Touchstone Gallery has done a wonderful job in pairing two works of nature photography that feel anything but repetitive. By highlighting the different intricacies and impossibilities of the natural world, these artists push forward the importance of our surroundings.
Photo by Harvey Kupferberg
Photo by Pete McCutchen
Photo by Harvey Kupferberg
BEWARE The THighs of March
Enjoy a bucket of wings (or thighs!) this March at
2218 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20007 firstname.lastname@example.org 202.878.6576
The Voice is turning 50! Look out for a copy of our anniversary issue on April 3rd!
Read our newest issue to learn about living with a chronic illness, the benefits and pitfalls of university recognition for student groups,...
Published on Mar 15, 2019
Read our newest issue to learn about living with a chronic illness, the benefits and pitfalls of university recognition for student groups,...