S E P T E M B E R 9, 2 0 2 2
HEALTHCARE PRIVACY: HOW SECURE IS OUR DATA? By Michelle Serban
IF YOU WANT TO DO RIGHT BY STUDENTS, RECONSIDER TEACH FOR AMERICA By Sarah Craig
SUMMER WOES: STUDENTS PUSH FOR HOUSING SECURITY OVER BREAKS By Joanna Li
SWITCHTECH LOCK SYSTEM TARGETS EFFICIENCY, FALLS SHORT ON PRIVACY By Paul James
September 9, 2022 Volume 55 | Issue 2
Editor-In-Chief Max Zhang Managing Editor Annabella Hoge
Summer woes: Students push for housing security over breaks
internal resources Executive Editor for Andrea Ho Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion Editor for Sexual Paul James Violence Coverage Service Chair Devyn Alexander Social Chair Sarah Watson
How the land of the free has become the land of the partisan CLAUDIA AMENDOEIRA
If you want to do right by students, reconsider Teach for America SARAH CRAIG
Executive Editor Features Editor News Editor Assistant News Editors
Sportswashing: Money, morality, and the fine line between sports and politics JO STEPHENS
Voice Sportz’ NFL 2022-23 season predictions
A League of Their Own (2022) celebrates stories of Black and queer folks in baseball
SwitchTech lock system targets efficiency, falls short on privacy PAUL JAMES
ANDREW ARNOLD, LUCIE PEYREBRUNE, NICHOLAS RICCIO, TIM TAN
Healthcare privacy: How secure is our data? MICHELLE SERBAN
on the cover
Halftime Leisure’s favorite summer reads HALFTIME LEISURE
“League challenges these harmful tropes by displaying queer characters whose existence is neither an anomaly nor a plot device for straight characters." PG. 13
email@example.com Leavey 424 Box 571066 Georgetown University 3700 O St. NW Washington, DC 20057
opinion Executive Editor Sarah Craig Voices Editor Kulsum Gulamhusein Assistant Voices Editors Ella Bruno, Lou Jacquin, Aminah Malik Editorial Board Chair Annette Hasnas Editorial Board William Hammond, Annabella Hoge, Paul James, Allison O'Donnell, Sarah Watson, Alec Weiker, Max Zhang leisure Executive Editor Lucy Cook Leisure Editor Chetan Dokku Assistant Editors Pierson Cohen, Maya Kominsky, Isabel Shepherd Halftime Editor Adora Adeyemi Assistant Halftime Leisure Ajani Jones, Francesca Theofilou, Hailey Editors Wharram sports Executive Editor Carlos Rueda Sports Editor Tim Tan Assistant Editors Andrew Arnold, Thomas Fischbeck, Nicholas Riccio Halftime Editor Lucie Peyrebrune Assistant Halftime Editors Jo Stephens Executive Editor Spread Editors Cover Editor Assistant Design Editors
design Connor Martin Dane Tedder, Graham Krewinghaus Sabrina Shaffer Alex Giorno, Cecilia Cassidy, Deborah Han, Ryan Samway
copy Copy Chief Maanasi Chintamani Assistant Copy Editors Devyn Alexander, Donovan Barnes, Jenn Guo multimedia Podcast Editor Jillian Seitz Assistant Podcast Editor Alexes Merritt Photo Editor Jina Zhao online Website Editor Tyler Salensky Assistant Website Editor Drew Lent Social Media Editor Allison DeRose business General Manager Megan O’Malley Assistant Manager of Akshadha Lagisetti Accounts & Sales Assistant Manager of Gokul Sivakumar Alumni & Outreach support Contributing Editors Sophie Tafazzoli Staff Contributors Nathan Barber, Nicholas Budler, Romita Chattaraj, Leon Chung, Elin Choe, Erin Ducharme, Christine Ji, Julia Kelly, Lily Kissinger, Ashley Kulberg, David McDaniels, Amelia Myre, Anna Sofia Neil, Owen Posnett, Omar Rahim, Brett Rauch, Caroline Samoluk, Michelle Serban, Amelia Shotwell, Isabelle Stratta, Amelia Wanamaker
“Who's Watching” SABRINA SHAFFER
news Jupiter Huang Margaret Hartigan Nora Scully Anthony Bonavita, Joanna Li, Franziska Wild
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.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
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An eclectic collection of jokes, puns, doodles, playlists, and news clips from the collective mind of the Voice staff.
→ STYLE EXPERT
What's 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Crushing HARD Clogging the toilet Dijon mustard Oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, chocolate milk Letting out a guttural yowl every now and again Chris Pine's French Lesbian Bob Freeing the woman inside the yellow wallpaper Joining the Voice
2. Chapter 11 bankruptcy 3. Using a backpack ( just carry your stuff, silly) 4. Rotting broccoli 5. Your friend’s boyfriend’s former roommate 6. Movies feeling like movies 7. The stone that killed two birds 8. JEB!
Songs for when all your friends are fake but it says more about you 1. Case of the Fake People TLC 2. I Don’t Fuck With You Big Sean, E-40 3. If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead James Blake 4. Bad Ones Matthew Dear feat. Tegan and Sara 5. Creep Radiohead 6. iloveuimcrazyimsorry Field Medic 7. Liability Lorde 8. That Don’t Impress Me Much Shania Twain 9. Leave Me Lonely Ariana Grande, Macy Gray 10. WTF Are We Talking For Labrinth 11. I’m Moving On Chyvonne Scott 12. Ain’t It Fun Paramore
→ JOIN THE VOICE Join the Voice! Be sure to visit us at CAB fair this Saturday and come to our information session on Sunday, Sept. 11th at 2 p.m. in the HFSC Social Room to learn about all our sections, from news to sports to design! As an open-membership club, the Voice has no application involved— all are encouraged and welcome to join! Come tell stories with us; we can’t wait to meet you soon :) Scan this QR code to get involved:
→ GOSSIP RAT Did all you toe-suckers miss me? While you were touring Europe or humbly accepting your internship offer from Deloitte on LinkedIn, I’ve been here watching. Waiting. Lurking. Mating.
"whiskered screamer" by dane tedder
You may have heard about some of my work. Georgetown Cupcake? All me. And my 420 children, of course. You may think your sexual prowess is unmatched after your wild study abroad experience, but I’m the real sex god. Eat up my cupcakes. Think of me while you wait in line. Think of my humid rat body as you thrust your teeth into my cake. Speaking of thrusting, what a summer… you really did them? THEM? AFTER BEING WITH ME? Who can beat going 500 rounds in six hours? Not the sneaky link in Barthelona, that’s for sure. I’m disappointed in you. You think you’re so far above those high schoolers infesting Yates with their Axe body spray, when really, you’re all the same. Spreading cooties, carnality. I’ve seen it all. I know far more than the university testing your poop for COVID-19. I can see the spread. Watch out, Hoyas. I’m back. xoxo, Gossip Rat
SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
700 O St. NW is a real-estate hot spot in Washington, D.C. For most of the 6,000 Hoyas that live here, this campus address is home only when classes are in session, as students often leave for breaks and the summer. For the remaining Hoyas, particularly low-income students, the proverbial “home on the Hilltop” holds a more literal meaning. “We actually live through the university, and depend on the university for many things, because otherwise we could not afford it,” Jenny, a student who lived on campus over the summer and asked to be identified by a pseudonym, told the Voice. Some students rely on university housing as their only means of accommodation, particularly during periods where school is not formally in session. Georgetown’s current housing policies and at times dismal living conditions pose significant barriers for those students during winter break and the long summer months when many university amenities—especially dining—are limited. In Jenny’s case, she was able to get an on-campus job that came with university housing. “If I didn’t get housing through my job, I’m not really sure what I could have done,” Jenny said. Jenny, who has relatives in Brooklyn, said staying with them would have been her last resort for the summer. But because those relatives have been undergoing financial hardships, reliable and continuous housing with them was precarious. “It would [have been] unstable housing for the entire summer until I could get back to campus,” Jenny said. The dilemma Jenny faced at the end of the spring semester is not unique: In spring 2022, 35 students indicated an urgent need for university housing over the upcoming summer, according to Josh Anderson (COL ’25), a member of the GUSA Summer Housing Committee. By the summer, this number increased to 59. “What we were seeing mainly is Hoyas from low-income backgrounds who were at substantial risk of being unhoused,” Anderson said. He added that the indication of urgent need was not only relegated to income status, but also other factors that prevent students from returning to a permanent address, including the presence of abuse, disability status, being an international student, and being an undocumented student. Nationwide, 43 percent of college students experience housing insecurity. According to the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, housing insecurity encompasses multiple dimensions of housing challenges surrounding affordability, location safety, and quality of living—and it’s an increasingly prominent issue in the context of rising costs of attendance in higher education. At Georgetown University, where 74 percent of the student body comes from the top 20 percent of earners, housing insecurity is often overlooked. But that does not detract from the fact that housing insecurity exists and imposes real, impactful hardships for the 3.1 percent of 4
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Summer woes: Students push for housing security over breaks BY JOANNA LI
Georgetown students from households in the bottom 20 percent of earners. For students already facing systemic financial discrimination, the challenge of housing stability is only enhanced by the economic segregation at Georgetown. “Not everyone has the same fight. Everyone struggles in different ways,” Jenny said. “But know that people are not just trying to be mean and take advantage of the institution. It’s just that they actually don’t have the means for it. We’re just stuck and can’t go home.” There are conditional ways students can obtain campus housing during the summer. Students taking summer classes can apply for campus apartments based on their session start date—for $2,290 per month independent of tuition costs. Besides this, students can apply for two-week transition housing going into the break, seek an on-campus job, or participate in an internship that includes campus housing. None of these options, however, are specifically designed to address housing insecurity. Due to these limited options, students at risk of housing instability resort to working or interning through the university. Even then, the process for obtaining summer housing isn’t straightforward. Jenny and her peers flagged the lack of communication from Residential Living as a primary concern. During the 2021-22 academic year, Jenny lived in Village A. When her roommates graduated, she had to move to New South for transitional housing while working her fulltime job. After two weeks, she moved into her long-term on-campus summer housing in Henle. But the repetitive moves, which were exhausting and anxiety-inducing, were only the start to the summer housing woes. What surprised Jenny the most were the living conditions at her Henle apartment. “I lived there for less than a week, because there was a leak in our shower, which led to very bad mold,” she said. “One of my roommates has asthma and she could not breathe.”
Jenny reached out to Residential Living, who reassigned her and her summer roommates to a different Henle. There was no more mold. Instead, Jenny’s kitchen had a busted stovetop, a non-functional fire alarm, and a missing dining table. Moreover, they had one fewer bedroom. Work orders were sent, without response. “[Residential Living] gave us two rooms that were not ready to be lived in,” Jenny recounted. The lack of attentiveness to students living on campus over the summer is far from one isolated case. In April, Aiai Price-Smith (COL ’25) was accepted to a Georgetown-affiliated summer internship with guaranteed on-campus housing. She looked forward to spending her summer working with the Georgetown Community Health Division researching the social determinants of health and shadowing at an urgent care facility in D.C. The excitement, however, was quickly disturbed by a growing sense of anxiety. Weeks went by, finals wrapped up, and the program start date inched closer, yet Price-Smith still hadn’t heard a word from Residential Living about her housing assignment. “It was a difficult time,” she said. “We weren’t sure if [housing] was going to happen.” Less than 24 hours before the program start date, Residential Living finally responded. “On May 24th I got the email from Res Living. On May 25th I moved onto campus,” she said. PriceSmith explained that this was the first time she received any specific housing information for the summer—including when she had to move, and where she had to move to. Price-Smith traveled to Georgetown by herself the very next day. “The short notice is very unacceptable and inappropriate, especially given finals and the overall stress of things,” she said. “Knowing that you have to move the next day or the next hour is frustrating.” As Price-Smith waited for a response from Res Living, she considered alternative housing to ensure she started her internship on time. “I
illustration by ryan samway; layout by graham krewinghaus
knew that there was at least one person living on campus. I assumed that if I was on campus and had nowhere else to go, I hoped they’d take me in,” she explained. Price-Smith raised particular concerns for underclassmen who may not yet know the ins and outs of university housing. “Imagine being a first-year student and not knowing anyone or where to go.” Georgetown’s current housing policies hinder students at the highest risk for housing insecurity. During summer and winter breaks, students living on campus—the few granted permission—receive no additional support for meals, groceries, or laundry. Moreover, they are subject to unsatisfactory living conditions upon move-in: defunct housing facilities, missing furniture, and unsanitary shared spaces, as exemplified through Jenny’s experience. These conditions achieve a basic standard of living but are not enough to create a stable housing environment. Across the nation, a handful of academic institutions have made efforts to alleviate housing insecurity for students. Most of these schools are state and community colleges, and the initiatives include volunteer-based host families, rechanneling COVID-19 relief funds toward subsidized housing, and safe parking programs that allow students to sleep in their vehicles in a secure campus location. Of course, these measures are themselves short-term solutions only, and greater, more sustainable efforts are needed to tackle the problem. Georgetown, compared to many of these schools, has the financial capacity to eliminate housing insecurity for its students, according to the GUSA Summer Housing Committee. By their estimate, less than 0.01 percent of Georgetown’s annual budget could provide annual summer housing for a projected 100 students with urgent needs. “Pennies for the university, but a world of a difference for the students we are fighting for,” Anderson said. “When it comes to summer housing, it’s not what the university can afford, but the fact that
the university can’t afford not to provide these students housing. We truly can’t afford not to.” Georgetown students are once again pushing for administrative change in housing policies. In May 2022, the GUSA Summer Housing Committee created a petition that laid out five demands for the administration. First and foremost, it demanded that university-sponsored housing be made available to students facing houselessness during the summer, low-income students with inadequate housing options, LGBTQ+ students who do not reside in a safe home environment, and students experiencing inaccessible medical care. The committee demanded the implementation of a need-based summer housing portal that is confidential and unobtrusive. The petition urged for accessible and inclusive meal services to accompany campus residency and aimed to ensure that auxiliary living costs, such as laundry and cleaning supplies, would not be incurred by students. Within a week of its creation, the petition received 331 signatures from individual students, 30 signatures from faculty and staff across various disciplines, and signatures from 18 student organizations. “We needed to show that our fellow students cared deeply about this issue,” Anderson said. “It put us in a stronger position to make sure no Hoya goes unhoused this [upcoming] summer.” In past years, other summer housing committees have advocated for a more permanent program without much success. When the pandemic evacuated most students from campus in March 2020, Georgetown established temporary stability housing for students unable to return home, charging $1,500 for the entire summer. This discounted cost, however, was still a financial burden for students who remained, and it quadrupled a year later. Moreover, some students who expressed imminent needs, including international students who faced ICE
restrictions, were rejected from this stability housing program. Centering summer stability housing efforts around COVID-19, however, neglects continuing challenges of houselessness. “Homeless and housing insecure students exist and will continue to exist even as we enter the endemic phase,” Axel Abrica (COL ’25), a co-creator of the petition and member of the Housing Committee, said. The petition implored the administration to establish a permanent summer housing plan for students by the end of the 2022 fall semester. The committee held bi-weekly meetings with university administration over the summer, and the meetings will continue throughout the fall with the goal of establishing a permanent housing policy change. “Our current goal is to have a resolution by January of 2023, which we think will be great because summer housing won’t be in limbo for unhoused students and other marginalized communities up to the 11th hour,” Abrica said. He added that if talks with the administration lead to a long-term housing solution, Georgetown would be added to the list of pioneer institutions that provide a year-round safety net for its most vulnerable students. Upcoming meetings between the student committee and university administration will center on establishing a housing plan for students needing stability housing over the approaching winter break—a policy that has been long-anticipated by concerned students. University comment on future break housing plans was not received in time for print publication. If Georgetown can commit to stable housing, it would be an essential step in prioritizing the varied financial backgrounds of the students who call the Hilltop home. “I feel like Georgetown really prides itself on its diversity and its strong community. But it still forgets that the diversity and community is actually human,” Jenny said. G SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
How the land of the free has become the land of the partisan BY CLAUDIA AMENDOEIRA
s a Portuguese international student, I have spent the past year immersing myself in the coveted all-American college experience. Of the many observations I’ve cultivated about the United States, one has been particularly surprising: In America, everything is made into partisan politics. Consider the recent school board meetings where ferocious debates about critical race theory have played out along partisan lines, or the FTC’s constant flip-flopping over how strongly to regulate businesses depending on which political party is in power; everything is political. This notion is perhaps best exemplified in the politicization of the United States Supreme Court. For the past few years, the court’s decades-long nonpartisan reputation has been fractured with rushed appointees and rulings trumping procedure; and with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, its precarious reputation as an apolitical institution has completely shattered. No matter the legitimacy, or lack thereof, of Roe v. Wade—I find that on such polarizing issues, few are willing to have their minds changed—its overturning was based on partisan opinions and preconceived thoughts, rather than on a true reading of the U.S. Constitution. First of all, the composition of the Supreme Court is predicated on complicated dynamics: Four out of the five conservatives judges who voted to overturn Roe had controversial nomination processes. Justices Kavanaugh and Thomas faced accusations of sexual assault, Justice Barrett was hurridly confirmed just about a week before Election Day, and Justice Gorsuch was only approved because of a Republican-controlled Senate’s refusal to vote on Merrick Garland. Republicans have been quickly appointing loyalty-based judges in a game of power—and instead of refusing to fulfill party needs in the name of their prestigious jobs, these judges comply with this game, manipulating the Court’s procedure in their favor. Justice Alito’s flawed majority opinion relays this: According to him, Roe is invalid because the Constitution does not spell out “abortion,” a right entirely “unknown in American law” until the latter part of the 20th century. But we must ask: Why is abortion not present in the constitution? Because it was written in 1787, by 55 white men in a time when women 6
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
couldn’t vote or enter legal professions, let alone have any form of bodily autonomy. I think it’s safe to say that the rights of women and LGBTQ+ people were not high on their agenda. And yet, that’s the way the U.S. Constitution has always worked: Recognizing that its creation in the 18th century prevents it from covering the breadth of rights that the 21st century American needs. Edmund Randolph, one of the signers of the Constitution, tells us that himself: The goal of the document was to “insert essential principles only, lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events.” Republicans, however, have long denied this idea with a single principle: originalism. Originalism—a legal ideology championed by late Justice Antonin Scalia—argues the Constitution must be interpreted according to how someone living at the time of its writing would have interpreted it When invalidating Roe v. Wade, Justice Alito invoked this philosophy. But—both in this instance and as a tenet in general—originalism is a disingenuous push of conservative principles disguised as a legal practice. It allows conservatives to deny the expansions of rights under the pretext of faithfulness to the text and the rule of law. The line between what is a constitutional philosophy and what is a political philosophy has essentially disappeared—“original” readings of the Constitution seem to nearly always result in conservatives’ preferred policy positions. The rhetoric in the ruling points unequivocally toward the partiality of Dobbs v. Jackson: The use of terms like “egregiously wrong,” “abortionist,” and “murderess,” and the questioning of why personhood starts at viability shows how the decision reflects a strong partisan opinion against abortion, rather than a non-partisan reading of the Constitution—a truly neutral interpretation of the Consititution would not be concerned with whether something is “egregiously wrong,” only whether the Constitution protects it.
Despite Alito’s deferment to the seemingly neutral doctrine of originalism in the Dobbs decision, a number of his previous opinions make it clear that it was the conservative outcome of the case, not any sort of jurisprudential principle, that motivated his decision. This partisanship comes despite the fact that the law and the Court are intended to be the exact counteractor of politics—the stabilizing forces preventing personal and partisan opinions on both sides of the political spectrum from pushing the extremes to make America too progressive or too conservative. If the Supreme Court is political, who is neutrally protecting the law? As explained in a Georgetown Law article on partisanship, politicizing the Court might give government actors the ability to perform “partisan gerrymandering, racial gerrymandering, restriction of elections laws, and minority voting dilution.” While this hyper-partisanship only seems to be a concern under the current conservative majority, they are setting precedent for future Supreme Court members, allowing progressives to get their own agenda passed once they obtain the Court majority. As I said, everything in America is drawn by partisan lines. Coming from Portugal, I used to look at the American experience as a fascinating thing: a population who thrived on their differences, disagreeing with each other’s opinions but respecting everyone’s right to have one. The “shining city on the hill,” built on laws, rights, and votes. Now, I look at America and something feels broken. Almost like it’s going back in time. Over the course of one week, a much needed law to increase gun safety was struck down in the wake of two horrific mass shootings, and millions of young women have fewer reproductive protections than their grandmothers did. Perhaps it was always naive to think of the United States as an example; now, with democracy crumbling, it’s simply absurd. Where is this new America heading? I’m not sure, but if it keeps going in the same direction, I might have to move back home. G
graphic by sabrina shaffer; layout by alex giorno
If you want to do right by students, reconsider Teach For America BY SARAH CRAIG
longside the many popular private firms present at Georgetown’s Sept. 16 career fair, one non-profit employer is likely to garner a wealth of interest: Teach For America. Teach For America (TFA) is an AmeriCorps program that recruits recent college graduates to become teachers in low-income public schools. Beginning in 1989 as a Princeton student’s senior thesis, TFA has spawned a network of over 5,000 corps members—teachers—and nearly 60,000 alumni. According to the Career Center, Georgetown sent 16 students through TFA’s ranks in 2021. While TFA’s accelerated path to a (temporary) teaching certification may appear as a noble solution to the ongoing teacher shortage, in reality, it is a quick-fix program that exacerbates education inequity. And with TFA recruiting on campus throughout the fall semester, it is essential that interested Georgetown students weigh the program’s ambitious expectations against its actual repercussions, stemming from inadequate training and short-term placements. Since Georgetown does not have an undergraduate teaching program, students who pursue Teach For America usually don’t have any prior formal education training—or even a serious interest in teaching. Many TFA participants see the nationally-renowned program as a means to advance in other careers—a prestigious stamp of “social justice work.” In fact, TFA was founded to recruit non-education majors into the field, resulting in many recruits beginning the program with little-to-no teaching experience. This lack of experience means that the majority of corps members’ preparation is limited to TFA’s summer training, the bulk of which is a five-week session that throws them into a practicum teaching summer school students. While this baptism-by-fire approach certainly forces TFA teachers to develop rudimentary teaching skills, it disregards the needs of the students the program serves—primarily lowincome students of color—who already face educational inequities such as inadequate resources and de facto segregation. These students deserve to be more than test subjects on which corps members can experiment with the basics of teaching. Regardless of the breadth of TFA’s training, five weeks does not provide the necessary depth for knowing how to teach. Compared to standard teaching preparation programs—which can take four to five years to complete, in addition to the master’s degree many teachers go on to obtain— TFA’s preparation program is embarrassingly sparse. And as states like Arizona and Florida ease
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certification requirements, it’s essential that TFA strengthens its teaching preparation program to ensure that their teachers are entering the classroom with sufficient experience. Teaching is an art form—it cannot be treated as merely a tool to deliver content. In reality, it is a highly complex practice that, among many other virtues, requires stellar facilitation skills, interpersonal intelligence, and excellent training. One especially critical teaching method is culturally-relevant pedagogy (CRP), which incorporates students’ unique identities and experiences to inform classroom instruction and practices. For low-income students of color, substantive training on CRP can make the difference between experiencing the classroom as a safe and inclusive space and feeling isolated from educational experiences. Furthermore, CRP demands that teachers are in touch with their students’ cultures and identities, which is critical in developing perspectives that challenge societal inequities. This kind of cultural competence isn’t something that can be effortlessly learned, especially within a short training window. Without proper knowledge of CRP, corps members are more likely to overlook important facets of students’ identities and how those identities contribute to students’ learning. This oversight is especially concerning in the case of white corps members teaching students of color. While TFA tends to be more racially diverse than the rest of the profession, the organization has long faced claims of white saviorism, and it is a kind of harm that remains relevant as TFA sends its members to teach low-income students of color without adequate training. Concerns of minimal preparation and white saviorism are compounded by a failure to develop cultural and geographical context. During the application process, potential recruits choose three (out of 38) regions in which they would like to teach. Many of these regions are considered to be “major urban centers and rural areas” experiencing “persistent teacher shortages.” As a result, corps members are often relocated, moving to the region just before they begin fulltime training. Consequently, TFA teachers do not have enough context to understand students’ customs and experiences—and have no ability to implement CRP. Another concerning dimension of TFA’s structure is the high turnover rate. Corps members only teach for two years before they become alumni of the program, and oftentimes move out of the educational field entirely. The inconsistency created by TFA’s two-year
structures leaves students without opportunities to build long-term relationships with teachers, which can be crucial for marginalized students who already face systemic educational inequities. It would be naive to think that these critiques will sway all Georgetown students from pursuing TFA. After all, TFA offers an early notification of post-grad job security, reduced graduate school tuition at partner universities, and a vast alumni network. These benefits can be essential for recent college graduates, and wanting a sense of post-grad certainty is more than understandable. Yet teaching should not be treated as a stepping stone to “more valuable” opportunities. It must be treated as the greatest impact someone can have on a child. And this is something that
college students— specifically Georgetown students—should remember as they consider Teach For America. In chasing this opportunity, Georgetown students must consider their reason for choosing Teach For America. Is it a matter of wanting to help “fix the problem”? Is it a matter of an extra two years to figure out post-grad life? Or is it a genuine desire to become an educator? Without introspection, it’s easy to embrace Teach For America as a virtuous post-grad opportunity. But while TFA’s goal of “working towards excellence and equity for all” is made to appear desirable, its practices threaten long-term equity. Before TFA can become a viable option for addressing long-standing issues in the education system, it must expand training programs and increase placement periods to ensure that its teachers are best-equipped to enter the field and have a meaningful impact. G SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
Healthcare privacy: How secure is our data? BY MICHELLE SERBAN
hen seeking a COVID-19 test, many Georgetown students turn to the free, on-campus option provided by the university through the primary care service One Medical. Amazon’s July acquisition of One Medical— with its 790,000 total users—has sparked worry among Georgetown community members about medical data security. “I definitely do think this raised concerns about data privacy because we use One Medical often,” Prisha Punjabi (COL ’25) said. Amazon has amassed large amounts of personal data—financial details, addresses, comprehensive ad preferences—and now, with the acquisition of One Medical, health data. Despite claims of regular audits and attentiveness to user privacy, the company has been accused of valuing growth over privacy by former high-level information security employees. “I would hope that whatever information is leaked to Amazon would be as minimal as possible but still necessary—if it is necessary at all,” Christina Landau (COL ’25) said. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently investigating Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical, which could delay the closing of the deal. This investigation is partially due to calls from supporters of stricter antitrust regulations urging the FTC to stop the deal altogether. Meg Leta Jones, an associate professor in the Communication, Culture & Technology program at Georgetown, sees Amazon’s venture as part of a profit-increasing strategy and does not necessarily have concerns about data privacy. “Amazon is definitely buying One Medical to make money, but I do not think Amazon has any plans to
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violate the law,” Jones said. She pointed out that health privacy laws, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), regulate companies like One Medical. “One Medical operates under [U.S.] health privacy laws. Amazon and its data do not, so that relationship will have to sort out which data stays on one side of the fence that gets a certain kind of treatment and which data stays on the other side and gets another,” Jones said. Despite significant concerns surrounding Amazon's ownership of One Medical, the university claims that it will protect students’ data privacy. “The university complies with all applicable privacy laws and regulations relating to its collection, use, and maintenance of personally identifiable information, including health information of members of the Georgetown community and is committed to having companies that provide services to Georgetown for its faculty, staff, and students do the same,” a university spokesperson wrote to the Voice. Despite these assurances, the acquisition feels particularly sensitive now. Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade earlier this year, new health data privacy concerns have emerged. Used by about a third of all women nationwide, menstrual tracking apps allow users to track cycle dates, the use of birth control, and other sensitive data such as geolocation. With some U.S. states enforcing laws banning abortions, these apps may be used in court as evidence that someone has had an abortion. “It is really infringing on your privacy in a way it shouldn’t be because, especially when it comes to menstrual stuff and abortion,” Punjabi said. “I definitely think it’s a step backward.” These apps failed to store data securely even before the overturn of Roe v. Wade, with reports of the apps being used to target users with certain advertisements or to determine insurance coverage or loan rates. “This all feels very new, but that data was not private or secure before, and it is not now either. It is now just relevant to a procedure that you may not have a right to anymore,” Jones said. A team testing health apps for the U.K.’s National Health Service found that 84 percent of the 25 most popular period-tracking apps share data with third parties. Consumer Reports evaluations revealed apps such as Flo and Period Tracker are among those that do not maintain users’ privacy securely. Even if individuals who use period-tracking apps delete them,
their data may have already been collected and shared, leaving many feeling disappointed at the lack of privacy within these apps. “I feel like whenever you put something on the Internet that we should have the right to still keep it private, and it should not go any further than where you are putting that information,” Landau said. In a post-Roe world, the protections provided by HIPAA are under fresh scrutiny, with many pushing for adjustments to better address technological advancements. Currently, HIPAA applies to “covered entities” like healthcare plans and providers (including One Medical) but is limited to domestic providers and does not cover all internet activity. In an effort to establish stricter health data privacy laws, Rep. Frank Pallone introduced the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) earlier this summer, a bill designed to establish requirements for how companies handle personal data and minimize the amount that companies collect. Companies would only be allowed to collect data if the reason for doing so fell under one of 17 categories outlined in the bill, including completing transactions and fraud prevention. Under the ADPPA, companies would need explicit consent from consumers before targeting them with advertisements. It would also require companies to implement security practices to keep personal data away from unauthorized viewers. “It has a lot of features that would push companies to minimize the amount of data that they have,” Jones said. “Which does two things: It pushes for software [to support data-minimizing internal structures], and it pushes companies to have different kinds of business models.” Despite not banning targeted advertising in its entirety, the bill would impose stricter limits than any law thus far. The current version of the ADPPA received a fair amount of bipartisan support, with the House Commerce Committee advancing it by a 53-2 vote, making data privacy advocates hopeful that it or a similar bill will pass soon. Jones stressed that data privacy—like many issues—is one where progress will only be made if consumers advocate for it. "We have procedures that law enforcement are supposed to go through to get access to data. The problem is that those hurdles are not high enough," Jones said. "Push your representatives to pass ADPPA or a bill like that." G
design by elin choe and dane tedder
SwitchTech lock system targets efficiency, falls short on privacy BY PAUL JAMES
n an attempt to increase campus safety and boost efficiency, Georgetown replaced the physical lock and key systems of 12 on-campus residences with Bluetooth-activated SwitchTech door locks. Now, resident assistants (RAs) and students are adjusting to the new technology, though not without some difficulty. Over the summer, the university replaced room locks in New South, Village C West, Village C East, Darnall, Reynolds, Kennedy, McCarthy, Harbin, Ida Ryan and Isaac Hawkins, Arrupe, LXR, and Copley Halls. “These easy-to-use new locks improve the safety and security of on-campus residences and reduce the hassle and cost of lost keys,” a university spokesperson wrote in an email to the Voice. During the last academic year, multiple intruders were reported in dorms: In September 2021, for instance, an intruder gained access to New South and fled after GUPD confiscated a pocket knife. The new system mirrors a larger trend of digitizing access at the university that includes the shift from physical to digital GoCards in fall 2021. With the SwitchTech system, each student’s phone becomes the key to unlock their door. Students open their Switch Mobile Access app, tap “activate,” and hold the phone toward the circular lock above their door handle. When the lock recognizes the device, the student can turn the cylinder to unlock their door. About a month before moving in this year, students received individualized codes via email that served as unique identifiers for SwitchTech locks to recognize their devices. By eliminating a physical key students must remember to carry with them, RAs will ideally deal with fewer lockouts, and the university will have to replace fewer keys, cutting costs and saving time. “Now that we have the SwitchTechs,” one RA—who spoke on the condition of anonymity—said about lockout management, “it’s much more convenient and streamlined.” Rather than visiting the Harbin key room or using master and sub-master keys to help residents back into their locked rooms, the RA on duty can now use the duty phone’s Switch Mobile Access app to do the same job. “It’s actually been pretty successful,” the RA continued. “There are fewer lockouts now than there were in the past.”
Other students and RAs worry there are still glitches in the system, inherent in any technology of this sort, that need to be worked out. “The complications that may arise from this new system are being locked out of your room because of your phone dying or the app not working properly,” Rebecca El Choueiry (COL ’24) wrote in an email to the Voice. “I'd like to see the system improved in a way that allows us to utilize the app when our phone dies like with our GoCards,” El Choueiry wrote. The system has already presented Hoyas with practical issues just a few weeks into the semester. During the move-in period, students who forgot to register for SwitchTech through HoyaHousing were locked out of their rooms until RAs discovered the oversight. For other residence halls, the SwitchTech servers went down, according to another RA, and dozens of people temporarily lost access to their rooms. In the past, any RA might have addressed these lockouts by accessing a sub-master key. But under the new system, only the RA with the duty phone is able to assist, leaving some worried that requests could overwhelm the person responsible for an entire residence hall— and in certain cases, multiple partnered halls. “We expressed concern that we would receive an unmanageable amount of lockout calls in the buildings where rooms autolock, as residents’ phones would likely die,” another RA added, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Usually, upperclass movein is very smooth with very minimal RA involvement, but this year the duty phone had to be assigned to someone who was not necessarily on duty to perform lockouts all across partnering buildings.” Some raised potential issues during RA training sessions. “Many RAs asked supervisors what the action plan was for when folks’ phones were dead and they couldn't contact the [RA on duty] for a lockout, and they seemed very unsure,” the RA said. In the meantime, they added, supervisors told them residents should borrow someone else’s phone to call the RA or visit GUPD. The latter option raises concerns with students who may feel uncomfortable going to GUPD given a documented history of departmental misconduct against students of color, and the racism inherent to the institution of policing.
These added hurdles may have led to an unintended decrease in residence hall security. “We have noticed a significant decrease in lockout calls, but it appears this is because residents have stopped locking their doors,” the RA continued, describing student reactions to SwitchTech complications. “There has been an increase in cases where people enter rooms that are not their own without the resident present because the doors are left unlocked.” In those cases, the attempt to improve residence hall security through the use of SwitchTech may have the opposite effect. Some of these hassles may be overcome with more regular use and troubleshooting, but the new locks also bring a serious privacy concern surrounding surveillance. According to SwitchTech’s website, the app and system “allows instantaneous, secure management of all users, plus visibility into who is accessing what, when.” This kind of oversight allows system administrators to bar access for any individual’s unique passkey, lock down individual rooms in residence halls from afar, and collect robust data on student entrances and exits. Residents of buildings with the new technology who spoke with the Voice indicated they hadn’t been made aware of the lock’s ability to collect that kind of information. Georgetown and many of its peer institutions have moved toward more invasive monitoring technologies in recent years, some brought on by the virtual learning environment as a result of the pandemic. Some students were uncomfortable with virtual proctoring software, which could record their movements and surroundings during exams. In fact, an Ohio federal judge recently deemed use of third-party tools like these unconstitutional. This magazine has also called on Georgetown to commit to ethical data use. Details about the type of data collected and its use at Georgetown remain unclear. “We retain some limited data for diagnostic and safety purposes,” a university spokesperson wrote, but did not provide specific details on its access. G SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
HALFTIME SPORTS SPORTS
by jo Stephens
Sportswashing : :Money,, ,morality,, and the fine line between sports and politics Content warning: This article contains reference to human rights abuses and violence.
here is a war afoot in professional golf right now. The stakes? Golf Digest dubbed it an “ongoing battle for the soul of golf.” And the cause? LIV Golf, a new professional golf tour billed as an alternative to the PGA. The concept of LIV (a reference to the number of holes that will be played in each event) first went public in 2019, but LIV Golf did not become an official entity until October 2021. With an alleged $2 billion in backing from the Public Investment Fund, which is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, LIV was conceived as a move by Mohammed bin Salman—the Saudi crown prince—to diversify the Saudi Arabian economy away from oil and toward other investments, sports included. LIV Golf is essentially Saudi Arabia’s answer to the PGA Tour. Using eye-popping salary offers, LIV has managed to attract some of the best names in golf right now, including Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, both of whom are now making well over $60 million from LIV money alone—not including sponsorships and other potential off-course deals. In the PGA, on the other hand, players make much less from play alone: Last year’s top earner made $7.7 million. With numbers like these, it might seem like a simple issue that comes down to one organization having wealthier investors than the other. The truth of the matter, however, is far more insidious—it is part of a practice known as “sportswashing,” where an entity uses its involvement in sports to minimize a record of political or ethical harm. With LIV, the Saudi government tries to distract from a complicated human rights record. The murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018 is perhaps the most well-publicized of their recent abuses. Khashoggi 10
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was murdered after defecting from Saudi Arabia and using his platform as a journalist to criticize the regime. After an extensive investigation, U.S. intelligence revealed that bin Salman approved the mission that led to Khashoggi’s death. This discovery was met with widespread outrage, and the events garnered significant airtime in both U.S. and international media. Khashoggi’s murder was not a stand-alone incident. Since bin Salman came to power in 2015, the country has faced a long litany of accusations pertaining to human rights abuses, including high arrest rates for human rights activists and involvement in the current Yemeni Civil War. Bin Salman has also publicly defended China’s use of internment camps to detain Uyghur Muslims. On March 12 of this year, Saudi authorities executed 81 men, a decision condemned by human rights activists and ordinary people alike. It was not their first mass execution either—47 individuals were executed by the government in 2016, and another 37 in 2019. With all of this in mind, LIV Golf is about a lot more than money. Bin Salman’s policies and actions—and how LIV Golf’s founding and funding are inherently tied to them—are precisely why “the soul of golf” is now at stake. As former PGA stars turn towards LIV, they are aiding and abetting an enterprise predicated on a regime that regularly and unapologetically commits horrific atrocities. The golfers who participate in LIV Golf make both a fiscal and a moral choice: a fiscal choice to earn higher salaries, and a moral choice to ignore the source of those salaries. It isn’t just the golfers who are involving bin Salman’s politics in their game, though. Under the instruction of bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is involving itself in sports very strategically. The country has carved out a place for itself in the sports world in a
variety of ways, including spending $60 million on the Saudi Cup (a horse race), negotiating a decadelong deal with Formula One that cost the kingdom $650 million, and purchasing Newcastle United, a soccer team in the English Premier League. These buyouts are not just about bringing more sports to Saudi Arabia, but also about improving public perception—or downplaying public criticism—of Saudi Arabia’s politics. Saudi sportswashing here manifests as direct investments into athletics serve to put the Kingdom in a favorable global spotlight, far removed from its rampant human rights abuses. Despite Saudi Arabia’s laundry list of sportswashing attempts, LIV sits at the center of the controversy as the most jarring and obvious sportswashing-related action they’ve taken so far. The other decisions were noteworthy, to be sure, but none came close to the level of LIV, primarily because of the amount of attention it has received. LIV seems to be the most threatening PGA challenger in recent history, with the potential to reshape golf as we know it. The inaugural LIV season only began in June 2022, so it’s hard to tell what kind of cultural influence and staying power it will have long term. Based on some of their comments, though, PGA officials seem to be nervous about LIV’s potential as a threat to their power in the sport, and the Tour has turned to lobbying against LIV whenever possible. “I would ask any player that has left or any player that has considered leaving: Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?” PGA commissioner Jay Monahan said recently. It’s a valid point. It also reeks of desperation. Bringing up morality in an attempt to bring people back into the fold clearly illustrates that Monahan doesn’t have a counter to the money argument. He simply can’t compete with LIV funding, so he resorted to a guilt trip instead.
In some cases, this appeal has proved successful. Tiger Woods has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to the PGA Tour. As one of the most iconic golfers in modern times, he holds a lot of power and influence, and his refusal to jump ship in favor of LIV is an encouraging sign for the PGA. Another big star, Rory McIlroy, has publicly denounced LIV and those players who have left the PGA to participate. The PGA is alive and well by basically any standard. However, regardless of how effective the moral argument has been for Monahan and the PGA, it comes with its own baggage. Some have argued that just about every country has ties to morally reprehensible entities, and that no history is above reproach—including the United States’. That’s where abortion comes in. Back in May, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson, overturning the formerly-guaranteed federal right to an abortion in the United States. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), 11 states currently have trigger laws on the books that ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy with no exceptions. Additionally, another 15 states have been deemed “hostile” to abortion rights by the CRR—most states in this category have either bans or significant restrictions on abortion rights in place. Abortion restrictions of these kinds make it nearly impossible for pregnant people in 26 states to terminate their pregnancies; to do so safely and legally would require them to travel to another state, unless they are aware of the pregnancy early enough to get abortion pills mailed to them. For those without reliable transportation, the trek would be entirely dependent on someone else’s charity. For those who cannot afford to take time off work, abortions go from “nearly impossible” to entirely so.
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Simply put, a pregnant person in those circumstances would have no choice but to carry their fetus to term. That is, as author Kate Manning pointed out in her Washington Post op-ed, equivalent to forced birth. It is, she writes, “cruel and unusual punishment”—and thus a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Furthermore, abortion bans are inextricably tied to economic and racial inequality, especially since they disproportionately affect low-income people of color. As a result, many U.S. states find themselves in a somewhat similar situation to Saudi Arabia. At this crossroads of sports and politics, questions need to be asked about how the U.S. sports conglomerate is going to handle this moral dilemma. Take Super Bowl LIX, for example. It’s scheduled to be held on Feb. 9, 2025, in New Orleans. Louisiana is one of the 11 aforementioned states mentioned above that has made abortion completely illegal. Were the NFL to work to move the game out of the state, it would exert economic and political pressure on the state (on average, the city hosting the Super Bowl makes between 300 and 500 million dollars) as the case of LIV Golf makes clear, money and optics can make a big difference. If the NFL agreed to move its final game outside Louisiana because of these restrictive laws, it could cause a serious shakeup in both sports and government, and would set a groundbreaking precedent that other leagues could follow. With that being said, it seems incredibly unlikely that the NFL would make this decision. The league’s track record of lenient or nonexistent sanctions against players accused of domestic violence and sexual assault is a dismal standard for its morality. This line of thinking doesn’t stop with the NFL, though. There are opportunities for many sports organizations to make a stand against restrictive policies in certain U.S. states when it comes to decisions related to marquee revenue-
driving events, and the NCAA is a prime example of that. Every year, the Women’s College World Series is held in Oklahoma City, Okla., where abortion has been outlawed completely. Although it is important to note that not all pregnant people are women, a women’s college sports league feels like an appropriate place to make a stand. The same could be said for NCAA women’s basketball, who will play their next three Final Fours in Texas, Ohio, and Florida—all states that have restricted or removed abortion access. Moving tournaments into abortionfriendly states would both make a powerful moral statement and take away a good chunk of revenue from states with oppressive reproductive policies. Regardless of whether or not sports institutions in the U.S. choose to take this path, there is an undeniable reckoning looming ahead. The United States cannot condemn the actions of bin Salman in one breath (ironic on its own, given the United States’ historic economic relationships with Saudi Arabia) and take away their residents’ rights in the next without fully embracing a sort of hypocrisy so blatant as to be laughable. Even as the spotlight shines on LIV Golf and Saudi Arabia, there are echoes of sportswashing in our own country. Though the states mentioned in the examples above are not traditionally “sportswashing” per se, they very well could begin to do so. One way to prevent that is to move those events somewhere else entirely. In the context of the United States, sportswashing looks less premeditated and more opportunistic. At its core, though, the same principles shine through. As sports continue to grow and evolve in this country, it is going to become increasingly difficult to avoid traveling down the LIV Golf path. If sports leagues want to avoid more “battles for the soul” of their respective sports, they might have to make a decision on what they stand for—and what they care about the most. G SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
Voice Sportz’ NFL 2022-23 season predictions BY ANDREW ARNOLD, LUCIE PEYREBRUNE, NICHOLAS RICCIO, AND TIM TAN
The Buffalo Bills have one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Josh Allen and added Von Miller to an already dangerous defense. No roster in the NFL is as complete from top to bottom, so the Bills should make light work of the AFC. Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs are always in the mix, and Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers should be exciting; however, all signs point to a Bills-Bucs Super Bowl, and I expect Tom Brady to be raising up Lombardi number eight on February 12. In the NFC, there’s no way I’m betting against the GOAT. I don’t care that he’s 45, or that Rob Gronkowski and Ali Marpet retired, or that head coach Bruce Arians stepped down. Tom Brady is the greatest player to ever touch the gridiron with no signs of slowing down. Besides the Bucs and the LA Rams, every NFC team has concerns: Green Bay is missing stud wide receiver Davante Adams, the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers have unproven quarterbacks, and…the Dallas Cowboys are, well, the Cowboys. I expect the NFC crown to come down to LA and Tampa Bay, and Brady to come out with a vengeance. —Andrew Arnold
I think the Bills are a clear choice from the AFC to advance to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are a competitive team, especially with JuJu SmithSchuster at wide receiver, but they just aren’t the same team they were two years ago. The Bills have great depth at receiver with the veteran Stefon Diggs and the standout rookie James Cook. Although their road to the Super Bowl will not be easy, they have what it takes to make a deep run in the playoffs this year. I will pick Tom Brady to win it all one more time. The Bucs still have the depth and talent to be Super Bowl contenders. Their roster’s age could be a potential issue down the road, but I think they have what it takes to hold off the competition and bring Brady an eighth ring. Their biggest competitors will be the Rams, assuming that Matthew Stafford stays healthy. There is a chance that the Bucs could repeat last year’s playoff letdown, but if Brady makes it to Arizona, he’s walking out with another ring. —Tim Tan
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Kansas City will win the AFC. The Chiefs may have lost wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but they still have Travis Kelce, arguably the best receiving tight end in the league, and a formidable offensive line backing him up. The Bills, who have a top-two roster in the conference, will be their biggest challenge. It will come down to how big of a breakout year wide receiver Gabriel Davis has. The Baltimore Ravens will also be a team to watch out for, now that quarterback Lamar Jackson is back. In the NFC, the Bucs will take the championship. No matter how much I dislike Tom Brady, I cannot deny that he has the talent to get his team to another Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers are another team with a great roster on paper, especially considering how weak the NFC North is expected to be. The Rams will also make an impact, but unless quarterback Matthew Stafford can continue to catch some lucky breaks, it would be a surprise to see them go as far as they did last year. The Super Bowl will see the Chiefs beating the Bucs in a Super Bowl LV rematch—except this time, Mahomes will come out on top. —Lucie Peyrebrune
The AFC is a blood bath, but the Buffalo Bills seem to have the best chance to make their way through, with Josh Allen as a top-five quarterback and Von Miller bolstering an already loaded defense. A weak AFC East lets the Bills easily claim a division title. I expect the Chargers to take the loaded AFC West. I think the Bengals will regress as the Ravens take the AFC North, and that the Indianapolis Colts steal the AFC South from the Tennessee Titans. In the playoffs, the Bills will beat out the Chargers for a trip to the Super Bowl, heading to the big game for the first time in 30 years. Losing Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. would be tough for any team, but the Rams found solid replacements in Bobby Wagner and Allen Robinson, and running back Cam Akers should be healthy. I think the Bucs will take the QB-deficient NFC South, the Eagles will win the god-awful NFC East, and the Packers will take the NFC North. This year, the NFC Championship will be played in LA, and the Rams will defeat the Packers as Aaron Rodgers blows yet another playoff chance. Then they’ll take on the Bills, who will continue their Super Bowl losing streak as the Rams repeat as champions. —Nicholas Riccio
design by nicholas riccio; layout by dane tedder; photos courtesy of diddykong130, cc-sa 2.0 / nfl
A League of Their Own (2022) celebrates stories of Black and queer folks in baseball BY FRANCESCA THEOFILOU
he year is 1943. With most men off at war, one question remains on every American’s mind: Who will play baseball? Enter the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), recruiting women across North America to play ball. A League of Their Own (2022) reframes the true story told by the classic 1992 film of the same name, paying homage to the well-loved movie while highlighting the stories of marginalized folks—especially that of Black and queer folks— in women’s baseball in 1943. A League of Their Own, an eight-episode series released by Prime Video in August, primarily follows two baseball players— Carson Shaw (Abbi Jacobson), a white woman from rural Idaho, and Max Chapman (Chanté Adams), a Black woman from Rockford, Illinois—as they navigate the world of women’s baseball. Shaw’s effortless journey to success, as she quickly becomes the unofficial coach of the Rockford Peaches, is juxtaposed against Chapman’s, who—despite her undeniable pitching arm—is barred from even trying out for the league due to racism on account of her skin color. Chapman’s refusal to back down leads her to eventually travel the country pitching for Wright’s All-Stars, a Negro League semi-professional team. There may not be crying in baseball, but there is plenty of laughter. Loyal to its original namesake, the new series preserves some of the most iconic scenes, including the Peaches’ ladylike montage for the press and the dance sequence after the girls sneak out on night one. Heart and humor intact, the new show’s longer format—compounded by its brilliant writing— allows for deeper character development, and even more hilarious one-liners. Viewers will fall in love with Clance’s charm; cheer on Esti (Priscilla Delgado), a sweet-as-pie teenager from Cuba, as she learns English; and laugh with the team about Shirley’s (Kate Berlant) latest neuroses. League is truly a joy to watch. While the show highlights the joys of baseball, camaraderie, and chosen family, it also tackles the challenges that came with being a Black queer female athlete in the 1940s. The decision to portray Max’s story alongside that of the Rockford Peaches distinguishes the series from its 1992 predecessor. In the original film, Black representation is reduced to a 15-second scene in which a nameless Black
woman throws the ball back onto the field. The remake of League chose to fashion an entirely new protagonist to represent the strife of Black women in baseball in 1943, nearly five years before Jackie Robinson—the first Black man to play in the Major League—began playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. This refusal to shy away from suppressed stories also translates into a more expansive picture of sexual identity. League represents love between women—both romantic and platonic— with care and grace. The writers worked with the original Rockford Peaches, as well as other players, to tell their stories of queer existence in America in the 1940s. The result? Many varied portrayals of what “queer” could look like in this time—each complex, unique, and beautiful. After falling in love with one of her teammates, Carson must reckon with her sexuality and reevaluate her marriage. Carson’s story unfolds alongside that of Greta (D’Arcy Carden) and Jo (Melanie Field), a pair of queer best friends who have lived in hiding for years at a time when queerness was perceived as a crime. Similarly, Max has spent years sneaking out at night to meet women in her mother’s hair salon. She struggles to find community as a Black lesbian until her uncle Bertie (Lea Robinson), whom she had previously known as her estranged ‘aunt,’ reveals to her how many others like him have managed to live authentically in spite of the discrimination queer people have faced. League’s queer characters from generations ago don’t just exist, but also live and love. Historically, queer representation in media is lacking, and the stories of queer folks—especially queer women— that are actually told tend to be disproportionately trauma-based. League challenges these harmful tropes by displaying queer characters whose existence is neither an anomaly nor a plot device for straight characters. Greta and Carson fall for each other over the course of the season, sharing sweet stolen kisses and secret dates. Bertie and his longtime partner host events for other Black queer folks. Towards the end, Max goes on the road to play with her new team alongside Esther (Andia Winslow), with whom she has a budding romance. These relationships between queer people depict intimate moments with love and care at the forefront.
design by lou jacquin; photos courtesy of anne marie fox and nicola goode / prime video
Despite League’s masterful portrayal of love between queer people, a portion of fans of the original film have flooded its reviews with negative and even hateful commentary towards the LGBTQ+ community. One-star reviewers have commented that the show represents “the woke agenda and its lies” and “an indoctrination film,” and is “offensive to girls who aren’t lesbians.” These comments make up a sizable 15 percent of the reviews— demonstrating how our culture is very much resistant to inclusive representation. League also brings multiple beautiful examples of female friendship to the table. Max’s best friend Clance (Gbemisola Ikumelo)—an eccentric aspiring comic book illustrator— supports her through every rejection, and cheers the loudest for her victories. Conversely, Max also comforts Clance after her husband leaves for the war, and stands up for her at the market when she is ignored because of her race. Their platonic unconditional love fuels Max to keep pursuing her baseball career despite opposition, knowing she will always have a support system to fall back on when she stumbles. This honest portrayal of female friendship felt so impactful because it is not tied to any man or gossip, and instead exemplifies pure love and support. A League of Their Own does right. It does right by the 1992 movie, it does right by the women of the original All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and it does right by the women who were never allowed to play. The series is able to tell a true story from many different and diverse perspectives, while preserving the charm of the original film. Apologies to Mr. Dustin Pedroia himself, but my new favorite baseball players are the girls from Rockford, IL. G SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
Halftime Leisure's favorite summer reads BY
ing Ma takes dystopia, diaspora, and bildungsroman and ties it all together with a delightfully dark and satirical tone in Severance. The book details the life of Candace Chen, a young working professional in New York City, as she carves out her own little niche within the vast metropolis. However, her life and those of everyone around her is violently disrupted when a deadly pandemic sweeps the world, and Candace must deal with the aftermath as her known life shatters. As many Hoyas return to campus from some sort of academic or careerrelated summer endeavor—I personally spent the summer in New York working in financial services (classic MSB behavior, I know)—I think Ma’s exploration of the various political, economic, and social systems that govern our society will feel resonant. Candace’s experiences participating in empty HALFTIME LEISURE consumer culture, faith and religious rituals, and political upheaval provide the reader with a third-person view of the world we live in. Perhaps you’ll crack a smile at Candace’s drab job of overseeing Bible supply chain logistics or find her to be a dark mirror as she takes comfort in rote and routine tasks both pre- and post-pandemic. iriam Toews’ books all cover very similar thematic ground, but each novel Or maybe you’ll empathize as she struggles to finds a new emotional angle to explore her cultural history. Toews was born reconcile her cultural upbringing with America’s to Mennonite parents who emigrated from Russia, and her novels fictionalize realsocial norms. As a second-generation American, life events both personal and historical. This summer, I finally got the chance to corporate sellout, and enjoyer of New York City, catch up with Toews’ newest novel, Fight Night, and her work remains brutal yet I was self-inserting intensely throughout the elegant, each phrase placed on the page with clarity. Toews considers her short whole book. novels as “one big book,” and Fight Night marks the first time that a young child Severance is a deliciously multidimensional has become part of the master story. narrative that reflects the nebulous moral gray Fight Night concerns Swiv, a nine-year-old Canadian girl, who lives in Toronto with matter that makes up our lives. Read it if you her mother, Mooshie, and her grandmother, Elvira. Mooshie, pregnant with her second want to probe at the edges of your life philosophy child, is struggling with depression and anger, while Elvira is always boisterous despite as you enter the Real World. her many physical ailments. Swiv’s parental figures are direct opposites of each other; Toews uses these contrasts to explore how this family loves each other through being tough, and how being tough in their own ways acts as their coping mechanism against the world. The book is light on plot and heavy on dialogue, as Swiv gets suspended from school and travels with her grandmother to San Francisco in a series of often-comic misadventures. Much of the detail concerning Mennonites is implied, as Swiv does not fully understand where she comes from. Still, it is remarkable how Toews captures Elvira’s feelings of reconnection with a culture lost long ago while simultaneously refusing to valorize that patriarchal, conservative culture—all through the eyes of a nine-year-old observer. Recreating a child’s voice, Toews’ writing is punchy, sentences are perfectly designed to appear inelegant, and vulgar humor peppers the narration. As always with her work, turns of phrase sneak up on you, and you pause your barrel through the fast-moving dialogue to drink in a page, paragraph, or even a sentence. Her work feels special because you can tell that she arranges her phrases for maximum impact, knowing that she only has a little bit of time to tell this story but wants to tell as much of it as possible.
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erhaps this will be controversial for fellow Sally Rooney disciples— but, as of June 11 (according to my Goodreads), my Sally Rooney novel of choice is her 2017 masterpiece Conversations with Friends. It’s better, in my humble opinion, than even her 2019 bestseller Normal People and her latest hit, 2021’s Beautiful World, Where Are You?. Conversations with Friends is a novel about a four-way love triangle—a love square, dare I say. I would be shocked to encounter individuals who have experienced more dysfunctional and borderline incestuous (?) relationships than Francis, Bobbi, Melissa, and Nick, the story’s protagonists. As exgirlfriends Francis and Bobbi pursue love affairs with married couple Nick and Melissa, respectively, readers are sucked into the drama and toxicity of Francis’ attempts to conceal her obsession with Nick, Nick’s inability to communicate his emotions with Francis, and the lying and manipulation that they must both undergo to hide the affair from their friends and partners. As a narrator, Francis tells this story in an elegant and tragic way that epitomizes her characterization as a talented (and somewhat unstable) poet. Tied with Rooney’s naturally fast-paced storytelling, Conversations with Friends acts as a portrayal of the unavoidable chaos of entangling love and friendship—one that will surely cause you to raise questions about your own conceptions of relationships, power, and intimacy. But if you do throw yourself headfirst into this untraditional and tumultuous love story, be warned: This novel is likely to elicit both an intense appreciation of Rooney for her spectacular depiction of the modern-day relationship and a hatred of her for that very same reason.
adeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles is merely one entry in the ever-expanding catalog of modern retellings of classic Greek myths. Every medium imaginable has its fair share of entries that have taken some form of inspiration from Greek mythology. However, while she draws from a wellworn well of inspiration, Miller’s masterfully written novel suffers no losses as she breathes new life into the legend of Achilles. Written from the perspective of his beloved Patroclus, The Song of Achilles is as lyrical as its title suggests. From cover to cover, Patroclus’ narrative voice shines through, timid yet evocative. Every sentence, every word is woven together beautifully, telling a careful and sincere story in a way that only Patroclus can. Through his eyes, Miller paints a vivid picture of a world grounded in the reality of living legends. It feels strange describing anything related to Greek mythology as “grounded in reality,” but Miller is somehow able to paint Patroclus’ world as perfectly normal while retaining the innate whimsy and grandiosity of the original myths. The true strength of the novel comes in the tragic and poetic love story between Achilles and Patroclus. Through Patroclus’ eyes their love is as boundless as the cosmos. Patroclus is Achilles’ better half, but their partnership is never one-sided. He adores Achilles, and Achilles him. It’s hard to really pinpoint a climax (narratively) in their relationship as every scene between the pair is fiery and new, filled with earnest love unburdened by the fear of the millenia-old fate that looms before them. The Song of Achilles is raw and breathtaking. A beautiful tale of two starcrossed lovers (eat your heart out, Shakespeare) that will be a wonderful, albeit tear-soaked, addition to any reading list.
rilliantly true to its title, The Dead Romantics tells the story of Florence Day, a “disillusioned millennial ghostwriter” caught in a maelstrom of emotion in the wake of her father’s passing. Tasked with organizing her father’s funeral alongside her eccentric siblings and mother, Florence finds herself treading the unruly waters of grief. But the situation is further complicated when Benji Andor, the beautiful editor who refused to extend Florence’s deadline, arrives on the front steps of her family’s funeral parlor…as a ghost. His unfinished business with Florence is a mystery that entangles the two, challenging their preconceived notions of love and sparking tentative hope in our protagonist’s heart. The novel’s concept alone is fantastic, but its execution is infused with the genre’s quintessential balance of humor and depth. The Dead Romantics is a carefully threaded story that, despite being a romcom, hollowed me out inside, in turn filling me with a newfound understanding of the fine line between love and loss. While the plot itself is understated, the weight of its words and the lively relationships illustrated are what stuck with me the most, brought out by a deeply authentic protagonist. Florence and Benji’s developing relationship puts forth the idea that love is, at its basis, emotional rather than physical; here are two souls joined by quiet understanding, coexisting as both distinct individuals and seamless counterparts. Even though I teared up reading this book, it was also hilarious and charming. The Dead Romantics is the type of enjoyable, slow-paced read that you remember long after the last page. Poston says it best herself: “It was the answer to a question, soft and subtle, but it was there—the kind of feeling, this hope, that had just been hiding, waiting for some specter to take my hand and dance me across the floorboards. It felt, for a moment in time, like happiness.”
SEPTEMBER 9, 2022