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N O V E M B E R 19, 2021

MORE THAN A LINE: D.C.’S MOST RECENT REDISTRICTING DEBATE

DEAR YA AUTHORS, I WANT MY FEMININITY BACK

By Annabella Hoge

By Aminah Malik

IT’S TIME WE EMBRACE ASEXUALITY IN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM

THE D.C. PEACE TEAM IS A HOMEGROWN ALTERNATIVE TO THE POLICE

By Lou Jacquin

By Annemarie Cuccia


Contents

November 19, 2021 Volume 54 | Issue 7

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Editor-In-Chief Annemarie Cuccia Managing Editor Sarah Watson

news

More than a line: D.C.’s most recent redistricting debate ANNABELLA HOGE

6

internal resources

Executive Editor for RDI Editor for Sexual Violence Coverage Service Chair Social Chair

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news

features

voices

It’s time we embrACE asexuality in our education system LOU JACQUIN

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voices

Dear YA authors, I want my femininity back AMINAH MALIK

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Executive Editor Features Editor News Editor Assistant News Editors

The D.C. Peace Team is a homegrown alternative to the police

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Georgetown’s dining infrastructure fails to justify the high cost of the mandatory meal plan

Cabaret blurs the line between reality and performance

leisure

CAROLINE SAMOLUK

KULSUM GULAMHUSEIN

news

“Accessibility must be at the forefront of efforts to improve resources on campus.”

Stuffed animals, stickers, and hope at D.C.’s youth vaccination clinics GRAHAM KREWINGHAUS

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sports

One team, two cities? CARLOS RUEDA

leisure

Executive Editor Leisure Editor Assistant Editors Halftime Editor Assistant Halftime Editors

Abby Webster Olivia Martin Orly Salik, Anna Savo Lucy Cook Chetan Dokku, Gokul Sivakumar, Abby Smith

sports

Executive Editor Sports Editor Assistant Editors Halftime Editor Assistant Halftime Editors Executive Editor Spread Editors Cover Editor Assistant Design Editors

Jakob Levin Roman Peregrino Hayley Salvatore, Tim Tan Alex Brady Langston Lee, Natalia Porras, Carlos Rueda

Deborah Han Josh Klein, Allison DeRose Insha Momin Max Zhang, Alex Giorno, Anela Ramos

copy

Copy Chief Maya Knepp Assistant Copy Editors Maya Kominsky, Kenny Boggess, Julia Rahimzadeh Editors Eimon Aung, Christopher Boose, Jennifer Guo, Alene Hanson, Ian Tracy, Anna Vernacchio

multimedia

Executive Editor Podcast Editor Assistant Podcast Editor Photo Editor

PG. 11

Georgetown knows how to improve mental healthcare—it just hasn’t done it

Executive Editor Annette Hasnas Voices Editor Sarina Dev Assistant Voices Editors Sarah Craig, James Garrow, Kulsum Gulamhusein Editorial Board Chair Darren Jian Editorial Board Advait Arun, Annemarie Cuccia, William Hammond, Annabella Hoge, Paul James, Darren Jian, Allison O’Donnell, Sarah Watson, Alec Weiker, John Woolley, Max Zhang

design

on the cover

editorial

Paul James Caroline Hamilton Annabella Hoge Ethan Greer, Sophie Tafazzoli, Nora Scully

opinion

ANNEMARIE CUCCIA

voices

Max Zhang Allison Grace O’Donnell Paul James Roman Peregrino

John Woolley Jillian Seitz Alexes Merritt Nathan Posner

online

Website Editor Assistant Website Editor Social Media Editor Assistant Social Media Editor

“uncover” INSHA MOMIN

EDITORIAL BOARD

Anna Pogrebivsky Tyler Salensky Emma Chuck Margaret Hartigan

business

General Manager Alice Gao Assistant Manager of Megan O’Malley Accounts & Sales Assistant Manager of Abigail Keating Alumni Outreach

support

Associate Editors Samantha Tritt, Sky Coffey, Amanda Chu 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.

contact us

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graphic by max zhang

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

editor@georgetownvoice.com Leavey 424 Box 571066 Georgetown University 3700 O St. NW Washington, DC 20057

Staff Contributors Andrew Arnold, Nathan Barber, Nicholas Budler, Maya Cassady, Natalie Chaudhuri, Erin Ducharme, Arshan Goudarzi, Andrea Ho, Jupiter Huang, Julia Kelly, Lily Kissinger, Graham Krewinghaus, Ashley Kulberg, Connor Martin, Amelia Myre, Anna Sofia Neil, John Picker, Omar Rahim, Ryan Samway, Francesca Theofilou, Diego Ventero, Amelia Wanamaker, Alec Weiker, Franzi Wild, Katie Woodhouse


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An eclectic collection of jokes, puns, doodles, playlists, and news clips from the collective mind of the Voice staff. → ALLISON’S PIE DOODLE

→ ADVAIT’S CARTOON

cartoon by advait arun; crossword by graham krewinghaus; pie by allison derose

→ GRAHAM’S BASKETBALL CROSSWORD ACROSS

DOWN

1. Navigator 4. Major banger, slangily 7. __ amo 9. Done to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive,” fittingly 10. Learnedness, intelligence 13. Outfitter that owns Aerie 15. New Hoya men’s starting SG 16. Long-time out-of-conference rival 18. Most recent first round pick from Georgetown 19. -ide, or -escent 20. Moses Malone’s 1983 playoffs prediction (x3) 21. Acid sometimes used in cooking 23. Most recent John Thompson 26. Big East state home to the Huskies 27. They haven’t lost an Olympic game since 1992 29. Mediocre, slangily

1. Team stat indicating how far behind one is from the #1 spot 2. Captured soldier, or onomatopoeia 3. Italian apology, with Mi 4. Jesuit rival that left the Big East in 2005 5. Online address 6. Sold-out home game 7. Printer cartridge instead of liquid ink 8. Flightless bird Australia once lost a war against 11. Small blue people with their own fictional universe 12. Separate, sort of 14. Slip-up 16. Separate 17. Open outside meeting space, or chamber of the heart 19. Govt. agency that regulates television content 22. Forensic drama with Ted Danson 24. Like AP but harder and more structured 25. Kings second round pick turned “King in the Fourth” 28. __-40, for use on squeaky hinges

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

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More than a line: D.C.’s most recent redistricting debate BY ANNABELLA HOGE

B

efore Charles Wilson moved to Washington, D.C. 17 years ago, the Anacostia Historic District he now calls home was in Ward 6. After a constitutionally-mandated redistricting process 10 years ago, it was reclassified into Ward 8. Now, the lines around his neighborhood are being redrawn once again. Materially, these lines don’t seem to matter much. “Your neighborhood boundaries don’t change, your neighbors don’t change, your way of life doesn’t really change. It’s just boundaries, that’s it,” Wilson said. And yet, for some of the District’s residents, it feels like changing their ward changes everything. This tension represents the latest political scuffle in a city long defined by racial segregation and unequal access. On Friday, Nov. 19, the Subcommittee on Redistricting, chaired by Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), will be marking up and voting on a redistricting bill and map that will change the borders of D.C.’s eight wards. The bill will then go to the full D.C. Council for its first vote on Dec. 7, and the Council will cast its final vote to enact the new boundaries on Dec. 21. While, as Wilson pointed out, redistricting will not change street addresses or drastically impact individuals’ basic day-to-day interactions with their government, the racial demographics of their wards will shift for some residents, especially those in Wards 6, 7, and 8. After the release of the U.S. Census each decade, the Council evaluates the District’s ward populations and redraws boundaries to maintain relative balance in each. This census, D.C. saw a population growth of 14.6 percent to a total population of 689,545 residents from 2010 to 2020. This increase, however, was not evenly distributed among the eight wards, creating a constitutional need for redistricting to balance the number of residents each council member represents. Over the last decade, the Ward 6 population grew by over 40 percent. Populations in Ward 7 and 8 only grew by 6.3 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. As a result, these three wards fell outside the required ward population range. While Ward 6 has an extra 17,699 residents due to growing neighborhoods in Navy Yard and Southwest, Ward 7 falls short by 5,638 residents, and Ward 8 by 3,370. 4

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

design by connor martin

When the census data was released, the Subcommittee on Redistricting launched a mapping tool for residents to learn more about the population changes as well as submit their own redistricting recommendations. Over 200 proposed maps were submitted. On Nov. 1, three “discussion” maps were released as examples for redistricting and for residents to offer feedback. The maps were based on six principal criteria: equal representation; racially equitable; compact and contiguous; communities of interest are kept together; whole census tracts; and ward continuity and stability. According to the memo released in October along with the three discussion maps, “the subcommittee’s final proposal will likely include elements from each of the three maps. Each map should not be considered as a whole, but as a combination of options.” In all three discussion maps, most of the wards experience boundary adjustments, save for Ward 3, which experiences none, and Ward 4, which only sees boundary shifts on one map. What followed the release of these discussion maps was a series of ward-specific and citywide public hearings over the last few weeks where D.C. residents voiced their opinions on the proposed redistricting, many of which were negative. “I would say the biggest consensus, the one thing almost everyone agrees on, is that we should not adopt any map that changes their ward,” Sam Rosen-Amy, Councilmember Silverman’s chief of staff, said of the hearings. “A lot of people have weighed in and said, ‘We don’t like this map because it changes my ward, it puts me in a different ward so you should choose this other map that doesn’t do that.’” This resistance is not equal across all residents, however, according to Jamila White, an advisory neighborhood commissioner for Ward 8. In her view, residents in her community are more open to redistricting than some of their incoming neighbors across the Anacostia River. “I think the Ward 8 community is very welcoming of it, and that’s because our community has been Ward 6 before,” White said. While some Ward 6 residents resist integration, for White, the growth of Ward 8 is an opportunity to bring people together, even if nothing gets physically closer. “These changes aren’t necessarily new, but it’s also reuniting communities that were historically united,” she added.


Wilson, who lives in the Anacostia Historic District, considers redistricting a symbolic reunification of historically connected areas on both sides of the Anacostia as well as the potential for increased civic engagement and attention paid to heavily-Black neighborhoods. “Now we’ll be able to call the west side, the opposite side of Anacostia River, which has been known to kind of divide communities, to be considered a part of Ward 8,” Wilson said. “That’s exciting because not only will the ward have ‘more’ grocery store options or economic development options, but it will increase voter turnout because you’re adding additional voters to the Ward 8 rolls. When it comes time for election season, candidates running for office will have to pay more attention to this side of the city because they know there’ll be a higher voter turnout.” Certainly, redrawing the ward lines will help numerically balance out unequal distribution of groceries, book stores, and other services that Ward 8 residents currently see a dearth of; however, the physical distance between families and food across the river will not change until new facilities are built east of the river. The larger problem of unequal access may not be immediately solved by redistricting, but some residents are hopeful it will spark a change. “We want development. We don’t want to be stuck in a certain time period. However, we want development that does not lead to displacement but leads to an opportunity that leads to progress for our community,” White said. “We want to be a part of that development. We want to shape that development. We want it to be equitable and community-centered.” These exact changes have been rapidly occurring in Ward 6, yet development is often accompanied by gentrification and displacement of low-income residents, which often has racially disproportionate outcomes displacing residents of color. The threat of displacement has led to hesitation from some of White’s neighbors to wholly embrace redistricting. “I feel like my feelings are still mixed,” Bàbá Alejaibra Badu, a long-term resident and community healer in the Anacostia Historic District said of D.C.’s redrawn boundaries. “I am a person that embraces change, though change can sometimes show up in the displacement of other people, or more so the displacement of people that are native to the space.” White and other residents are hoping that the redistricting process furthers these conversations about gentrification in D.C. and why booming development in Ward 6 has not translated into nearly stagnated growth in Wards 7 and 8. “I think this is an opportunity for the city, and for all residents quite frankly, to push for more equitable development for Ward 8, and ask themselves why is that Ward 6 has developed so fast, and not just so fast but through so many resources, and that Wards 7 and 8 haven’t?” White said. It’s the hope of community members like Wilson and Badu that these questions will play into an even larger conversation about the constructed narrative of the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, especially as those borderlines extend and challenge that distinction.

“Ward 8 has been known to be that place over there that nobody really wanted to go to or needed to go to, and a place people wanted to avoid,” Wilson said. “It’s in the messaging, it’s in the media, every article tells us we’re garbage. Every article: marginalized, vulnerable, poor Black population—talk about the why. Poverty is a policy issue, it is not a moral failure, so talk about why is it that this community has been starved,” White said. “We’re not marginalized, we’re not vulnerable. We’re excluded.” This narrative surrounding wards became clear at the redistricting hearings, streamed live on Facebook, when residents expressed their frustration at the prospect of being associated with a new ward. While some cited issues such as parking, other comments about specific wards broke into less logistical territory.

“We want to be a part of that development. We want to shape that development. We want it to be equitable and communitycentered.” Over the past few weeks, some Ward 6 residents have expressed discontent for their inevitable “move” to Wards 7 and 8. Given that Ward 6 is plurality white (49.52 percent) while Wards 7 and 8 are majority Black (91.74 percent and 91.84 percent respectively), these concerns bear resemblance to longstanding racist connotations of the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia. These connotations seem to be central to a great deal of the concerns around redistricting. In one hearing, Rosen-Amy explained, a Ward 2 resident called Ward 1 a “horrible place” as a reason for not wanting a border change. “We’ve had similar things said about Wards 7 and 8 about why people didn’t want to join those wards, and we pushed back on those too. That is not acceptable,” Rosen-Amy added. Before the hearings began, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen warned residents against engaging in dogwhistle racism about ward change.“If we hear someone say, ‘I’m concerned about my property values being reduced if I moved into a different ward,’ shut that down,” Allen said, referencing a thinly-veiled racist idea that the inclusion of people of color in a neighborhood drives down home prices. “It does not have a place in this debate. It’s not based on any kind of fact.”

This is not the first time D.C. residents have protested the redrawing of ward boundaries. According to Corey Holman, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Ward 6, in 2010, a Ward 6 councilmember led marches against a proposal to move more of Ward 6 into Ward 7. Oftentimes, these objections fell along racial divides in the District. In 1981, the Georgetown neighborhood fought against being moved from Ward 3 to Ward 2 (the ward the university is currently in), partially due to the fact that the majority-white neighborhood would be merged with the areas of Dupont and Shaw, then more racially diverse. With the shifting boundaries, members of Ward 6 have the potential to be represented by a council member they did not vote for—at least until 2022 when six new members will be elected to the D.C. Council. And, as Holman noted, most people who voted for Councilmember Allen in Ward 6, a white man, looked like him. With their upcoming reclassification in majority-Black wards, that could change come December. “Your representative may not look like you anymore, and your representative may hold different views than you do, but that doesn’t make it wrong or bad,” Holman said. The redrawing of wards will also necessitate the redrawing of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Single Member District (SMD) boundaries, which connect D.C. residents with their government through their commissioners, who are elected one per district. With the growth of the District, many new SMDs will need to be added, according to Christian Damiana, a student advisory neighborhood commissioner for American University. “I think the ANCs are a really important way for local voices to be heard and they really serve as a liaison between the general public and the D.C. government,” he said. Despite hesitancy, Holman notes that at the end of the day, not much will really change the lives of everyday residents in Ward 6. In fact, according to him, not even the parking boundaries will alter much. “How does it matter? Not a whole lot,” Holman said. “In the end, your city services will not change, your interactions with agencies will not change. It is simply who represents you, and some people are struggling with that.” Whether it’s the ANC SMD boundaries or those of the wards, commissioners are aware that the racial equity principle of redistricting is critical in D.C. “I think there’s a lot of wealthy white homeowners who believe the lines should be drawn in a certain way, and while they’re constituents and their views should be considered, that should not necessarily be a priority when balanced against other things,” Damiana said. The redrawing of lines, however, won’t solve the racial and social tensions extant in D.C. “We can build another building, we can build another bridge, and have celebrations, but not be honest with the people about what happens when you cross that bridge,” Badu said. As the redistricting bill makes its way through the legislative process over the next month, some residents are choosing to see this as a chance for important conversations about identity in the District and the potential for more diverse and equitable communities in the face of pushback and discontent. “It’s an opportunity that only comes every 10 years, right?” Wilson said. “We need to take full advantage of it.” G NOVEMBER 19, 2021

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VOICES

It’s time we embrACE asexuality in our education system BY LOU JACQUIN

O

ne minute and 30 seconds. That’s the total amount of time I have seen my sexuality explicitly represented in popular media. In the minute-and-a-half-long clip from Sex Education, Florence talks to a sex therapist and discovers that she, like me, is asexual. Though Florence and I share this element of our identity, we differ in our anxieties over that sexuality. Florence fears that her asexuality, a sexual orientation characterized by the lack of sexual attraction, means she is “broken,” missing a fundamental part of how people love. My biggest fear has been the opposite—that my lack of sexual attraction would mean that no one would ever love me. Until recently, though, I had been lucky to live in an environment that eased my fear. Within a month of coming out in eighth grade, I had a boyfriend, temporarily proving to myself that I was still loveable. My friends, most of whom were queer as well, already knew about asexuality and how expansive the category is. They asked respectful questions about my specific experiences and worked to understand my particular identity. When I was 19, however, I started a job where my coworkers were more representative of the general population—that is, far less aware of asexuality. When I was outed at work, it was clear that unlike for my high school friends, the topic was foreign to them. They assumed I was incapable of love and uninterested in dating, and began to debate my hypothetical sex life in ways that, though they probably didn’t realize, were invasive and demeaning. Witnessing their ignorance on the topic, my fear of never being loved began to 6

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

creep back in, encompassing me in despair. As I searched for why my coworkers treated me this way, it became clear that the misconceptions and debates that surrounded me stemmed from the lack of ace representation, leading to a general lack of understanding. Like me before watching the Sex Education clip, my coworkers had never seen an ace person in media. And even after the episode aired, if they had watched Florence struggle with her sexuality on screen, they would have only understood a small portion of asexuality— the clip neglects many of the nuances of the identity, such as the range in willingness to engage in sex within the asexual community. I don’t blame my coworkers for their ignorance. Chances are they didn’t spend the majority of eighth grade hunched over Instagram infographics about asexuality the way I had. But even if they had embraced the opportunity to learn about asexuality and made an effort to understand me through online research, they probably wouldn’t have gotten very far. For years, I have had to grapple with the lack of representation of my sexuality. I’d spend frustrating hours trying to find data that would validate asexuality only to end up with articles about bacteria, or ask the internet questions about ace issues and receive zero results. So how do we inform ignorance and change the lack of information available about asexuality? How do we prevent that ignorance from sending asexual people down spirals of fear? The answer is simple: We teach about asexuality in school. Schools have begun to discuss different sexualities as a part of their sex ed curricula,

finally addressing the fact that not everyone is straight. Though the U.S. public school system has a long way to go in teaching about non-heterosexual orientations, the recent push has been a major step for inclusion. It would be so easy to just add asexuality into that discussion. While the same lack of resources that I’ve faced in researching my own sexuality will make it hard to create a full curriculum for asexuality, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. This curriculum must explore the fact that asexuality is a spectrum with no set level of sexual attraction experienced by every ace person. It must also highlight that asexual people have varying levels of comfort with sex, meaning even those who experience the lowest level of sexual attraction may not always be abstinent. To help support this, the curriculum should outline that there are many reasons outside of sexual attraction for ace people to be sexually active, including wanting children, seeing sex as a good way to get closer to one’s partner, or even just for pleasure. This curriculum would begin to validate ace peoples’ feelings. By teaching them that asexuality is even a possibility, ace youth will be able to discover their identity sooner and understand they are not alone in the way they feel. This sense of belonging is vital, especially as asexual youth experience higher levels of depression and anxiety than the general LGBTQ+ community. It will also lessen the alienation of asexual people within the allonormative world. By teaching this information to allosexual, as in non-asexual, people, they will be more likely to understand the nuance within asexual identities and less likely to write off relationships with ace individiuals, making asexuals feel less alone.

illustration by dane tedder; layout by deborah han

Teaching about asexuality would also benefit allosexual individuals. Though the definition of a relationship has grown past traditional heterosexual monogamy, one thing that hasn’t changed is the seeming requirement of sexual intimacy. This makes relationships involving asexual partners a radical example of non-traditional realtionships. By seeing that such deviations from the norm are possible, all people would be increasingly comfortable with choosing the dynamics they want for their own relationship. Furthermore, asexuality is a great tool for teaching consent. People often enter relationships with other allosexual people assuming that the person wants sex. With asexual people, however, one enters the relationship without this expectation, making the necessary level of explicit discussion about sex and consent much higher. By teaching allosexual people about this increased and explicit communication, it may facilitate this same level of communication and consent within allosexual relationships. All these reasons for teaching about asexuality are important. But at the most basic level, one fact stands above the rest: One minute and thirty seconds is not enough time for people to learn about a community that is almost equally as diverse as the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. So let’s increase this time. Let’s embrace a new page in our sex ed courses and teach people about the asexual community. G


VOICES

Dear YA authors, I want my femininity back BY AMINAH MALIK

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hen I first checked out The Hunger Games from my middle school library, I excitedly dove into the story, ready to experience the thrilling novel I’d heard so much about. But I wasn’t even 50 pages into the book when I realized I had one rather large problem: I couldn’t stand Katniss. While her four-note whistle, three-fingered salute, and iconic French braid marked a new era of young adult literature finally dominated by women, the long wait for female representation allowed us to readily embrace heroines who were, at best, subpar. All these new depictions of strong female leads—women who sparked revolutions, held power, and were fierce and unstoppable—came at a price. Series after series, authors made their female characters “strong” by stripping them of traditionally feminine qualities. This characterization perpetuates dangerous ideas about the relationship between femininity and strength, an occurrence we cannot afford in a literary world with so few female protagonists. Take Katniss. She detests intimacy and is seemingly determined to avoid close relationships. In her mind, showing vulnerability or asking for help are nothing more than displays of weakness. She keeps herself from crying at all costs. She is a thinker over a feeler and a fighter over a lover. These aspects of her made her completely unrelatable— she was as cold as an ice cube and as expressive as a rock. I hated her personality, and having to read hundreds of pages narrated by her made my brain spin in circles inside my head. I bitterly finished the novel and the rest of the series, holding out hope until the very end that it—and Katniss—would grow on me (they didn’t). My twelveyear-old self accepted the fact that maybe I just didn’t have the same taste in books or characters, as everyone who had enjoyed the novel, and moved on to the next mainstream dystopian trilogy. But other female leads, like Tris of Divergent and Teresa of The Maze Runner, were just as insufferable as Katniss. The truth is, the traits these characters lacked, the ones treated as impediments to success, were exactly the ones associated with traditional femininity: emotionality, vulnerability, and empathy. My dislike for the protagonists stemmed from an inability to connect to them—an inability caused by the absence of typically feminine traits I value as part of my identity. Society often sees women as providers of comfort and warmth, and sees this softness as a limiting factor, so these female leads had to break this norm to make a name for themselves. These heroines sent the message that in order for women to be strong or achieve power, they must shed any qualities that make them traditionally feminine. But stripping female characters of these traits implies that womanhood is inherently incompatible with strength. The presence of this idea in YA novels poses a danger to the self-image of the young girls reading them. Classifying this depiction of strength as the definition of female power tells young women that they must sacrifice a portion of

their womanhood, if it conforms to societal norms, to gain respect and validity as leaders. Not only do these female characters reinforce harmful ideas of what it means to be strong, but they also fall short from a literary perspective; in effect, the women of these novels lack depth. The emotional sides of their personalities are left underdeveloped out of fear that focusing too much on them would make the women too “girly” and thus less powerful and fierce. YA authors’ method of creating unstoppable female characters by overcompensating for their femininity left them with characters who lacked the traits many women—and people in general—relate to. In reality, the inclusion of such characteristics would have improved not just the books’ messages on womanhood, but also the depth of the characters personalities and the literary value of their novels—a truth evident in novels with male protagonists. For example, emotionality, though a traditionally feminine trait, was ever present in perhaps the most well-known male YA lead: Harry Potter. His reckoning with his parents’ deaths and ability to mourn, miss, and remember them added purpose to his quest against Voldemort. Harry is in touch with his emotions, giving his story a personal meaning that readers could connect to. He is able to show vulnerability and ask for help when he needs it. He understands that he can’t do everything alone and recognizes the value of teamwork, allowing others to take the lead when necessary. Meanwhile, Katniss is the opposite. Since her emotional side is poorly developed, she is incapable of seeking out assistance and is hesitant to connect with others on an emotional level. However, a greater appreciation for these seemingly feminine qualities—vulnerability and sensitivity—could have been in her best interest. Had Katniss been more open to accepting help, perhaps she would not have had so many close

graphic by cecilia cassidy; layout by alex giorno

encounters with death. If she had been more empathetic, maybe she could have avoided making so many enemies. The difference in the character-building highlights society’s double standards for women. Since men like Harry Potter are considered natural leaders, emotionality is not considered an obstacle to their success. But as women are consistently underestimated, they cannot afford the same luxury of vulnerability. YA depictions of women fall short of their initial intentions. While many were created by female authors and stemmed from a valid desire to put women in the spotlight, they lack authenticity and range. We must question the validity of female representation if it fails to embody the traits many women relate to. Women can be emotionally expressive and vulnerable—both traditionally feminine traits—and still be independent and inspiring. They can be stereotypically feminine and still rise to positions of power. Unlike Katniss, they can be lovers and fighters. While we still need more female representation in media and literature, we must be critical of the depictions we receive. If the price of a female character is femininity, are we really willing to pay? G

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

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E

very weekend, Eli McCarthy puts on his bright, highvisibility yellow vest and goes on shift for the D.C. Peace Team (DCPT). Every weekend, McCarthy reimagines public safety. And he’s been doing it for almost a decade. When activists promote alternatives to the police, they’re often talking about devoting more resources to organizations like DCPT. Founded in 2010, the volunteerbased group specializes in nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. DCPT street teams offer a new model: security without armed force, but rather through de-escalation and community trust. “Our focus today is really on cultivating the habits and skills of non-violence in our daily life so our communities can better resist injustice and build a more sustainable, just peace,” McCarthy said. McCarthy is a board member who works with DCPT’s most visible program: its unarmed civilian protection units. Donning their yellow vest uniforms, the units are deployed in response to demonstrations, ongoing neighborhood conflicts, or to protect individuals experiencing homelessness. Civilian protection units survey their assigned areas like a patrol route, but rather than the District’s armed Metropolitan Police (MPD), they are composed of unarmed D.C. residents trained in conflict resolution. Unit members attempt to mitigate conflicts without involving police, and often by engaging more than police would, chatting with people and offering resources. On weekends, McCarthy and his team can be found promoting nonviolent responses at the Columbia Heights Plaza, responding to conflicts between those living around the plaza and those experiencing homelessness who live in the plaza itself. The team has also begun sending units to

the Sunday morning Dupont Circle Farmers Market, and is often present at marches and rallies that are expected to be contentious, such as this year’s Unite the Right rally. “You’re not there to police the crowd, you’re there to intervene if you see things escalate,” Sal Corbin, another DCPT board member, said. “[The police] bring escalation, not de-escalation.” On Oct. 23, McCarthy, who is white, arrived at the plaza around 5 p.m. to about a dozen people, predominantly Latino men, experiencing homelessness. The plaza is surrounded by buildings with security guards, who often physically remove unhoused city residents from their stairs and benches. That day, two MPD officers were standing in one corner of the plaza, and some of the men experiencing homelessness had been drinking. Any one of these factors could lead to conflict: a security guard violently handling a sleeping resident, a drunken fight, overeager policing. Corbin, who helped set up the first plaza as a regular deployment, said the team chose that area because its designation as a cultural hub also comes with a fairly constant police presence. The police in turn can harass people experiencing homelessness, who congregate in the plaza on nights and weekends. “When everybody comes together there is celebration, there is festival, but there is also clashing,” Corbin said. McCarthy spent most of the night walking between groups of residents in the plaza, many of whom he personally knows. A few new people were there, and he handed them pamphlets about resources in the area. One man approached, asking for housing. Another was waiting for his favorite DCPT volunteer, Elena, to come by tomorrow. McCarthy, who does not speak Spanish, was clearly on the outside of this community, but he wasn’t

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graphic by max zhang

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

unwelcome. The residents might not have been sure exactly what he was there for, but they didn’t seem to mind that he was present. This is a pretty standard response to DCPT’s presence, according to Corbin. “Community members are usually welcoming, especially if your presence is consistent,” he said. Deployments at both the plaza and the farmers market are weekly, and the same volunteers often return to the same spots. DCPT volunteers and board members have been striving to build this sense of community trust for over a decade. The team launched in 2010, when Cortez McDaniel met McCarthy. McDaniel, who was previously incarcerated, wanted to help foment community connections that were so important to his return. After the two attended unarmed protection training, they began to collaborate with local groups to develop an unarmed civilian peacekeeping force, drawn from the communities they would work in. By the next year, the team had trained 25 community participants, and was helping youth in at-risk neighborhoods get to school through a program called Safe Passage. Over the next few years, DCPT hosted a youth violence prevention conference and developed data collection programs to monitor police aggression during interactions with youth experiencing homelessness in Gallery Place. Since 2012, the team has focused efforts in neighborhoods with historic heavy police presence and high populations of people experiencing homelessness. The core team meets once a month, in addition to training, committees, and street team deployments. DCPT is registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3) and is funded mainly through donations, including suggested donation rates for training.


Today, DCPT is led by a six-member board and holds training meetings more than once a month. They have one staff administrator, 15 trainers, 30 core team members, and occasional interns, in addition to one-off volunteers and community partners. According to McCarthy, the team is demographically about half Black and Latino at all levels of leadership, and a majority are female. “A lot of people are kind of looking for some connection, or support, or ways to be constructive,” McCarthy said, noting the group has grown during the pandemic. “We’ve got a bunch of folks who say well, I want to volunteer, can you train me?” The answer to that question lies in DCPT’s other major initiative: restorative justice events. Both individuals and organizations can benefit from trainings and discussions that focus on nonviolent communication, bystander intervention, and racial justice, among others. “Peace circles,” DCPT’s restorative justice roundtables, are at the forefront of this initiative. Facilitators find the circles to be a reliable way to lead community conversations and reach group understandings about conflicts and struggles, as well as ways to collectively heal. Through a series of rounds, each person in the circle answers the same set of questions set for the event, listens to others, and at the end shares a few key takeaways. The goal is to create a structured listening space that gives everyone a chance to speak and respond to issues the group faces day-to-day. “These circle processes kinda facilitate folks being able to identify the harm and coming up with places to heal,” McCarthy said. In addition to bringing peace circles to the city, McCarthy has also introduced the practice at his day job—a Justice and Peace Studies professor at Georgetown University. He worked with student DCPT members to host a campus peace circle during homecoming. As the pounding rhythm of “Levitating” echoed across campus parties, four students and an administrator came together to talk about the challenges of returning to campus and the Georgetown they wanted to create. Georgetown’s circle featured questions about the challenges of returning to campus (exhaustion, social pressure, enforcing COVID-19 protocol) and how students found community during the pandemic (art, cooking, re-forming connections). Before going to join the day’s festivities, students offered one takeaway they wanted to share with campus: Overwhelmingly, there was a hope to do better supporting each other. The impacts of these types of circles can be hard to quantify, though the fact people keep coming to DCPT’s monthly offerings or requesting them for their community is encouraging for organizers like McCarthy. But discussions organized with a specific purpose can have a clearer impact. According to one DCPT circle leader, Heather Thompson, it’s often a rewarding one. Thompson learned about restorative justice through her own experience in one version of the circle: the victimoffender dialogue. Nearly 20 years after her brother was murdered, she met with the man who killed him in a meeting led by a facilitator from the Maryland Department of Corrections. Feelings of anger, grief, and frustration were channeled into a conversation in 2019 about their backgrounds and Thompson’s brother. The conversation, which began with a hug, helped her remember that he was human, and allowed their connection to be characterized not just by hurt, but by apology.

“When he came in the room the first thing I did was hug him. And I felt this immense like type of respect for him, because he was a human being. And all the years before he was just an image, he was just a figure to me. He wasn’t really real,” Thompson said. Though Thompson requested the meeting with her brother’s murderer, victim-offender dialogues can be suggested by judges in court as well, though both parties have to agree for a dialogue to begin. Not every state offers them, and they can’t be used for all offenses. While Thompson’s dialogue wasn’t run by DCPT, they do offer training on how to lead one—the first step towards Thompson’s ambition of making the practice more common. “Leaving the door open for an offender, leaving it open for a victim, leaving it open for the prosecution to just say ‘let’s see what happens’, it’s something I have become incredibly passionate about,” she said. “If we look at people for who they are, and not the actual action, and we take the time to get to know them, and their mitigating circumstances, they deserve a chance at restorative justice, just as our victim does.”

These practices aren’t guaranteed to work— Thompson’s mantra is to remember the dialogue might not go anywhere this time. As a Black woman in the restorative justice space, which is fairly white and at its worst, can appropriate South Asian cultural traditions, Thomson can attest to how structural barriers and inequalities can persist in circles intended to break them down. “It can be difficult at times, especially if you’re in space where you are the only person of color, and trying to work through the harms,” she said. One time while she was the only person of color in a circle, a participant said “all lives matter.” She described the words as a gut punch, but said she tried to separate her personal animosity to the statement and continue to use the circle as a point of growth. Restorative justice practices have gained traction in recent years as widely shared accounts and incidents of police officers killing Black people—in line with a long history of racist policing practices—continue to raise questions about whether America’s current vision of public safety actually protects people. In addition to overwhelming evidence that the police use excessive force in racist ways, law enforcement philosophy sets officers apart from the population until something has already gone wrong. DCPT’s restorative justice circles and civilian protection services are just one form of civilian alternatives. These reforms are generally part of the solution implied by calls to defund or abolish the police. Some volunteers with the organization describe themselves as abolitionists, who feel that community

safety cannot be achieved under the supervision of the police, an institution built on theories of racism and coercive violence. For abolitionists, the role of an organization like DCPT is to replace traditional policing structures with unarmed, more accountable civilian teams. Those against abolition, like Corbin, see their role as supplemental. “I think the police have a role and I think there are appropriate times to call them,” he said. In his ideal world, organizations like the DCPT would work alongside police and incorporate restorative justice into the law enforcement’s daily practices. One of the best-known examples of civilian alternatives to policing is the Newark Community Street Team (NCST). Founded by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, NCST is part of the city’s attempt to reform policing as mandated by a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. Like the DCPT, the NCST deploys civilians to do outreach and intervene in disputes, as well as provide safe passage to school for children in high-risk areas. That team, UCLA researchers found, “effectively decreased crime while increasing community trust as well as public safety,” showing there is potential for programs like DCPT to replace traditional policing systems. DCPT has been coming to this area since August, McCarthy says, and has de-escalated about 30 incidents. While their most obvious goal is to diffuse conflict, a lot of their time is spent on the other prong to their approach: connecting the people experiencing homelessness in the plaza to resources, their community, and each other. Back in the plaza, McCarthy remained on alert the few times MPD walked through, but nothing happened. He checked that all the sleeping residents were breathing, and asked those awake if they had coats for the upcoming hypothermia season. When two men almost got into a fight over a stolen hat, he stood between them. One of them, who McCarthy knows well, quickly shifted into deescalation mode and the two calmed down the instigator. Police did not seem to notice. The plaza is just one of dozens of public spaces in D.C. that might benefit from DCPT coverage, but the team doesn’t have the resources to expand. Newark’s NCST is funded by its city, and has access to resources the DCPT can only dream of. DCPT members are paid for their shifts but have limited availability and deployments are often small. And, while the DCPT members often have more in common with those they are protecting than the police do, it’s not exactly a community protecting itself. DCPT might be demographically representative of the attendees at the farmer’s market or a political rally, but this isn’t the case in the current community deployment. DCPT members are whiter, richer, and less likely to speak Spanish than those they serve in the plaza, which both presents a logistical language barrier and means intervention, while well-intentioned, can feel paternalistic. The team also has little power to address the structural reasons— gentrification, disenfranchisement, a thin social safety net, abhorrent racial disparities in access to education and wealth—that the high risk areas exist. These concerns, though, were not on Jose’s mind that night. As one of the newcomers to the plaza, Jose has been to several community organizations, but never felt connected. “Nobody listens to me. I’m being really real right now,” he said to McCarthy. “But you two do.” It might not sound like a declaration of public safety, but McCarthy hopes it’s enough to keep everyone safe for the night. G NOVEMBER 19, 2021

9


NEWS

Stuffed animals, stickers, and hope at D.C.’s youth vaccination clinics

BY GRAHAM KREWINGHAUS

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t 3:25 p.m. on a Wednesday, a line of families trails out of the Kennedy Recreation Center in Shaw. Parents stand patiently, but their kids are doing any one of a hundred things: shoving siblings, tapping away at iPads, and running around a nearby playground. Each wears an expression of excitement and nervousness— both natural feelings, parents say reassuringly, when you’re waiting to get vaccinated. On Nov. 10, the Rec Center hosted one of D.C. Health’s 36 pop-up youth vaccination clinics held across the city over the past two weeks. For these families and hundreds more, the clinics offer convenience and flexibility as they rush to vaccinate their newly eligible children against COVID-19. At the end of October, the FDA approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11, and on Nov. 2, the CDC released its long-awaited recommendation that children of those ages receive the vaccine. Almost immediately, pharmacies across the District began offering vaccine appointments to kids, and by Nov. 5, the first pop-up clinics opened. Unlike pharmacies, the clinics do not require a reservation, which can make all the difference for parents like Kendal Tyre. While he waited with his daughter in the opening line at the Rec Center, he noted the abundance of walk-in options made finding a shot easier. “It was the first priority. First available time, first available place,” Tyre said. In his place in line, Tyre balanced his laptop precariously on the waist-high fence, typing up a work email. “I’m here trying to work in line, and it’s not working out too well,” he said, laughing. “But getting her the vaccine is really important,” added Tyre, “and it’s good to get it over with.” The pop-up clinics stay open into the evening, as long as doses are available and parents and children are still coming to take them. At KIPP D.C. Heights Academy in Anacostia, the site of another pop-up clinic, the afternoon started with a line similar to the Rec Center’s—the clinics are timed intentionally to begin at 3:30, so many families simply waited for half an hour after school ended. But

by 5, that line had settled to a slow stream. Families entered the building, exited, and headed straight for the nearby ice cream truck down the street. KIPP D.C.’s Director of Communications Adam Rupe handed out medical information forms and chatted occasionally with talkative kids. As one of many adults who had to drive a long way on a weekday to get their shots, Rupe was eager to make sure that wouldn’t be necessary for young children and their parents. Spreading the clinics across all eight wards, according to him, has been crucial for their efficacy. “It’s really important that they can do it in their community,” Rupe said. “It’s great that D.C. Health is making vaccines available in schools and places that families already trust.” While the line at the Rec Center was still long, volunteer Katherine Kortum stood outside and ushered families inside one by one. An avid volunteer for D.C. Health throughout the pandemic, she has shifted her hours for her main job, which has gone remote, to be able to work both. “The two have been an excellent complement for me mentally,” Kortum said. “With the COVID work, I can very clearly say at the end of the day, because of me, 250 kids got vaccinated today.” “Being able to feel like I have a very tangible benefit in the world has been extremely rewarding,” she added. The Rec Center clinic was her third volunteer spot in three days. She plans to continue helping out as long as needed because of how much she’s enjoyed interacting with the kids. “As everybody’s waiting in line, you can talk to the kids and ask them about the patterns on their mask, or ask them the name of the stuffed animal they’ve got, ask them all kinds of things,” Kortum said. “All of them are just so stinkin’ charming, you almost can’t stand it.”

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illustration by lou jacquin; layout by allison derose

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

Kortum has noticed that eagerness to get the shot can be a combination of any number of reasons. This was the case for parent Jack Hayes. “Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are coming up, and we have family coming to see us,” Hayes said while waiting in line. “At least this way she can have the first shot and some protection.” His daughter Zeina, who had just returned from greeting her classmate further down the line, interjected with her own explanation. “A couple of my friends got COVID so it’s a little scary, but this will make me feel a bit safer. I know that I’m negative, but this is good in case something happens,” she said. Even though their reasons for getting the shot are the same as many adults, vaccine administrators at these youth clinics must make accommodations for the age of their patients. Kortum said it takes longer because the kids might balk at first, and Rupe explained the kids need to stay preoccupied during the post-shot wait period. “Fifteen minutes is a really long time for a six-yearold to sit, so Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is on in the auditorium where they’re set up doing the shots,” he said. These pop-up clinics have put shots into the arms of over 3,000 kids across the city over the last two weeks—almost every arm that wanted one. Besides being convenient, the first-come, first-served, no appointment basis of the clinics has made them more accessible for all kids, regardless of factors like wealth, race, and immigration status. “There’s no insurance needed, there’s no IDs needed,” Kortum said. “You just walk in here, vaccinate your kid with some hopefully friendly people, and you get to leave hopefully from a site that was convenient for you.” G


EDITORIAL

Georgetown knows how to improve mental healthcare-it just hasn’t done it BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

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t’s that time of the semester. Students, overwhelmed by midterms, burnout, and personal challenges, need mental health resources. The collegiate conversation around mental health happens like clockwork: Students call for increased focus on mental health at their universities, administrations make promises to improve mental health access, and then the issue dips beneath the radar again. This is what we see at Georgetown; as psychological demands on students grow, so does the gap between community needs and the steps taken to address them. It’s time the university changes its approach to mental healthcare by paying attention to the needs of all its students and ensuring they have the funding to access resources. The problem of insufficient mental health resources is endemic to higher education. While the university may not cause mental illness, its culture prioritizes measurable achievement like grades and resume-building over healthy practices. The resulting statistics need little explanation: Suicide is the secondleading cause of death among college-aged Americans, and nearly a third of college students experience depression. University systems’ faults in addressing mental health are visible in their language. Mental health and self-care are used as buzzwords to avoid addressing the underlying issues: mental illness and community neglect. Georgetown’s tips for improving mental health often amount to “take a moment, and then get over it.” The language frames well-being as an individual pursuit, where mental illness is attributed to a student’s inability to take care of themselves, rather than treated as any other diagnosed illness. The language ignores the communal and, more importantly, university responsibility for its members. The wait times at Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), for instance, are unacceptably long; though the office promises swift initial consultations, students regularly wait months for a follow-up appointment. These delays discourage people from seeking help in the first place, instead turning to informal support networks of their fellow students. While student organizations like GERMS, Project Lighthouse, and Active Minds support their peers, they are often unable to do more than refer students to the same broken services. The pandemic only exacerbated the system’s shortcomings: Months of isolation and virtual learning compounded pressures on student health. Georgetown adapted its offerings through

virtual counseling services, like HoyaWell, but licensing issues and limited reach hamstrung these efforts. Georgetown’s support network similarly fell short with the return to campus. Students faced disconnected phone numbers to Health Education Services (HES), CAPS became inundated with students looking for appointments, and key staff positions— including CAPS director and HES interpersonal violence education and training specialist—remained unfilled. Access to care and accommodations is also uneven. Whether in funding for these positions or students’ ability to take advantage of mental healthcare, finances play a massive role in student well-being on campus. Socioeconomic status determines the options students have for outside support. Students could avoid long wait times and access long-term care by going to DMV psychologists, but there is a high barrier: The average cost of therapy in D.C. is $229 per session. Moreover, undergraduates’ mental well-being is subject to their professors. In the absence of standard university guidelines for extensions and accommodations beyond those guaranteed by the Academic Resource Center, student experiences hinge on faculty. Forced to make a case to their professors for extensions on assignments or accommodations, students may feel pressure to “sell” their mental health, sharing more than they feel comfortable. And, with end of term evaluations largely unheeded, students who would raise issues with the pressure lack avenues for feedback. Georgetown must do more to support its entire student population, including accommodating a wide range of experiences. The demands of the Black Survivors Coalition (BSC) and others, which include the need to prioritize hiring staff of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds, shows the importance of the relationship between identity and mental healthcare. Working through race- or gender-related trauma can be exponentially more difficult with counselors who do not share the student’s background. While CAPS recently hired four new clinicians, the university has given scant updates about diversifying the counseling staff by hiring more people of color and LGBTQ-identifying people with expertise in issues of identity and racial or gender trauma. Further, the free access to community mental health providers that came out of BSC activism are only guaranteed through spring 2022.

design by deborah han

The university can make tangible changes to the way it addresses mental health. Accessibility must be at the forefront of efforts to improve resources on campus. The free community mental health providers may have been a temporary step to address a longstanding issue in Georgetown’s network of care, but in order to cement its progress, the university must improve the internal capacities of CAPS and HES to provide tailored help. This change requires a conscious emphasis on accessibility and civic responsibility when looking to fill positions and when considering the larger mental healthcare system. If CAPS continues to function as a short-term care organization, it must consider the costs of external longterm care when it refers students off campus. To address the inequity, students on GUSA’s mental health policy team have long advocated for endowing the student mental health fund, which the university has not implemented and still funds on an annual basis. The Georgetown Scholars Program, which serves first-generation and low-income students, created a Necessity Fund, in part to offset the costs of healthcare and mental health services, but the burden cannot be on that program alone. In lieu of amending the CAPS model to include long-term care, the university should enable any student to seek offcampus help instead, by endowing and advertising a sizeable fund to cover any and all costs of DMV area providers rather than leave the responsibility to individual programs. Improving accessibility also requires an examination of how information about services is disseminated to the student body. There should be an intentional effort to define available support at CAPS, HES, and elsewhere from the very first day of orientation. The university can also improve visibility on campus, especially with CAPS and HES offices located off the beaten path under Darnall Hall and in Poulton Hall, respectively. The issues with the current system are easily diagnosed: Student, faculty, and staff activists have enumerated the problems and proposed solutions for years. We know what we need to do to improve mental health, but the gap between knowledge and action still needs bridging. Students are, and have been, suffering. It’s time Georgetown did something to change that. G

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

11


VOICES

Georgetown’s dining infrastructure fails to justify the high cost of the mandatory meal plan BY KULSUM GULAMHUSEIN

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e all make jokes about Leo’s. Like most colleges, Georgetown isn’t famous for its dining options, rightfully. But beyond the usual complaints about repetitive meals and missing mom’s cooking, there’s a bigger problem—Georgetown’s meal plan system poses an unnecessary financial burden to many students while failing to meet the needs of those same students. The beginning of the semester was characterized by lines of hungry students stretching around the block outside Leo’s. Though the issue has gotten less visible, Georgetown’s meal plan requirement for upperclassmen is still causing more problems for students than it is solving. While the installation of faster GOCard scanners shortened lines, many obstacles—restricted hours, limited seating, and a lack of options for students with dietary restrictions—persist. It is clear that the university has not given Hoya Hospitality the infrastructure to feed approximately three-quarters of the undergraduate student body, and the administration should thus free upperclassmen of the meal plan requirements. The limited hours at Leo’s have made this semester nothing short of wasteful for me. Though my apartment comes fully equipped with a kitchen, I’m still required to have a meal plan that covers two-thirds of my weekly meals—14 meal swipes I can barely find a way to use. Limited hours at Leo’s limit usability; only serving dinner until 8 p.m. ignores the realities of a college student’s lifestyle. Students who have evening classes face the choice to eat unreasonably early before class, forage for food in the dorm kitchens, or spend extra for food at locations that don’t accept meal exchanges. Not only that, but by later in the evening, it is common to find most of the food at Leo’s already gone. This poses a particular problem for students who can only eat from one or two stations, such as those with allergies or a religious restriction. If I, a student who eats only halal food, arrive at Leo’s and the halal station is already empty, I’m cooking my own meal that night. Because I can not depend on Leo’s to meet my needs for every meal, I carry the expense of weekly groceries in addition to the $2,978 meal plan. Of course, Leo’s isn’t the only on-campus dining option, but it is the most cost-effective place on campus that caters to most special dietary needs and accepts meal swipes. Though Epicurean and Company (known best as Epi), located under Darnall Hall, serves a variety of hot meals until 10 p.m., it doesn’t accept meal swipes and is unsustainable for students who cannot afford to increase their flex dollars during the semester. Other options, such as Royal Jacket or Crop Chop, provide limited options at limited times; Royal Jacket did not offer vegan options until just this week.

Georgetown’s dining problem is not inevitable—peer institutions, such as Brown University, understand that if they are unable to offer students with dietary restrictions the same variety of options as other students, they must provide alternate meal plans—and pricing—accordingly. At Brown, a student who keeps a halal or kosher diet can opt for a less comprehensive meal plan for the entirety of their time on campus, a solution Georgetown would do well to adopt. Being required to pay the same amount as students who could eat from any station when I can only trust the halal or vegan stations is nonsensical. The meal plan requirement is not only unsatisfactory for students with dietary restrictions—while halal food is available at Leo’s, kosher food is not—but also for upperclassmen. Most upperclassmen live in housing with kitchens, making a meal plan redundant. And the continued threat of COVID-19 actually makes it safer for students to eat in their own dorms, instead of a dining space packed with maskless students. During a recent surge in COVID-19 cases three weeks ago, Dr. Ranit Mishori, Georgetown’s chief public health officer, emailed students encouraging them to use grab-and-go dining options. Were upperclassmen not forced to have meal plans, they would have no reason to be in Leo’s at all, reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 to each other. If Georgetown continues to force the majority of students to purchase a meal plan despite the negative impacts, it needs to expand its dining infrastructure to adequately attend to students and protect their health. Providing more options for students with dietary restrictions at other locations would help to alleviate pressure on Leo’s. For example, all chicken that arrives on campus is technically halal, but Hoya Hospitality does not guarantee its status, except for the chicken headed for the halal station at Leo’s. By preventing cross contamination, Hoya Hospitality would realistically be able to offer halal food at Epicurean, Crop Chop, and Royal Jacket. Additionally, Epi should start accepting meal exchanges, making hot meals easily accessible at more than one dining hall, especially during a health crisis. Leo’s should expand its evening hours to accommodate students with evening classes and reduce the density of students at any one time—this change, of course, should be done with consideration to the Leo’s workforce and how it would increase their burden.

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design by sabrina shaffer

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

The university administration introduced a massive change far too quickly without considering the impact it would have on dining facilities and students. Hoya Hospitality cannot be blamed for being unable to keep up with the changes that have added an additional 1,500 students to the meal plan within the same facilities and reduced hours. None of us, students or workers, are in a sustainable dining structure. The university must make changes to spread the burden of the meal plan across more campus dining options and increase its accessibility to all students, including those with more specific needs. Forcing students to purchase a meal plan adds an additional financial burden on top of the already high cost of attending Georgetown, without providing the food security it purports to guarantee. Considering the price they pay, it is unacceptable that students are unable to use meal swipes after 10 p.m., and that there is only one place where students can use a meal swipe to access a hot meal. If Georgetown really wants to care for me and my peers, it would create an accessible dining infrastructure that meets the needs of students. G


LEISURE

Cabaret blurs the line between reality and performance n

omadictheatre and the Theater and Performance Studies (TPST) program have made their co-produced return to the stage with a Broadway classic, spectacular ambience, and a whole lot of glitter. Audiences who have been longing for live theater will be pleased to find Cabaret is not only full of surprises, but fully immersive as well. The line between the house and the stage is blurred in the Devine Theatre as traditional audience seating bleeds into cabaret-style tables and chairs and couches going right up to the ‘stage’, which includes a platform. Each position has a different perspective of the performance, from right in the thick of the action to a third-person view. This immersive-style seating brings a whole new meaning to up close and personal, entrancing audience members with lavish costumes and scenery despite pandemic limitations. This production is well-done overall and is particularly adept at asking new questions about an old show. Cabaret tells the story of Cliff Bradshaw, an American wannabe-novelist in 1930s Germany, through his interaction with the performers from the Kit Kat club, a Berlin cabaret. Upon arriving in the sordid city, Cliff encounters a smuggler who tells him about the nightclub, and Cliff quickly catches the eye of the club’s star performer, Sally Bowles. From there, the two begin a complicated almost-romance where they live together and sleep together but can’t quite fall in love. The story is loosely told by the quintessential unreliable narrator, the Emcee. He steps in and out of the story, sometimes playing himself and other times playing background characters. The exhilarating and debaucherous nightclub atmosphere is offset, however, by the increasingly dangerous political atmosphere of the ’30s as the Nazis begin their rise to power. This production was supposed to premiere a year ago but was postponed repeatedly during the national lockdown. For many months it was unclear whether the show would be in person, virtual, or if Cabaret would even go up. “For me, truly, the most exciting part about Cabaret is that we got to do

Cabaret at all,” Director Matt Phillips (COL ’22) wrote in an email to the Voice. “For the larger portion of two years this project has seemed mostly like a figment of my imagination, something which I log onto Zoom meetings to talk about but don’t really believe will come to pass.” But through the power of vaccines and masks, live theater is back at Georgetown. For safety, actors are all masked throughout the performance, so cast members learned to compensate with their eyes and bodies to convey emotion. “The regulations forced me to reimagine certain moments,” Phillips explained. “And to embrace the many, many things the eyes and body can tell us—about desire, attention, discomfort, power—without the aid of our lower faces,” he continued. The sensual nature of Cabaret requires lots of physicality, so the combination of heavy make up, costuming, and increased physical expression collide in spectacular harmony. This rendition of Cabaret fully explores the cast’s musical abilities. Each piece is a testament to the musicality of the actor. In particular, Sally Bowles’s (Maddie Wasson, COL ’22) numbers are stunning—her powerful vocals capture the pain and passion of John Kander’s famously heart-wrenching score. Cliff Bradshaw (Jacob Livesay COL ’23), Fraulein Schneider (Ava Foster, COL ’23), and Herr Schultz (Will Hammond, SFS ’23) (full disclosure: Hammond is a member of the Voice editorial board) all deliver tour de force performances, capturing their characters’ rawest struggles and nuanced emotions. Fraulein Schneider practically shakes as Herr Schultz begs her with eyes and voice to not call off their engagement. Another impactful moment of impending strife comes when Herr Schultz reveals himself to be Jewish by using the Yiddish word “mazel” to wish Cliff good luck in writing his novel. The real standout of the show is, by no surprise, the Emcee (Colum Goebelbecker, COL

BY CAROLINE SAMOLUK ’21). One simply cannot put on a successful production of Cabaret without a captivating and committed Emcee. It is the Emcee’s job to entice the audience at the beginning and send them off with heavy hearts at the close. Throughout the entire show, the Emcee brings jovial wit while still subtly alluding to the impending doom at the play’s conclusion. The fear and confusion were palpable, and the audience’s laughter was uproarious after well-delivered jokes. Though every character has to rely on their eyes and bodies to successfully act, this is particularly important for the Emcee and ensemble. Cabaret is a classic Broadway musical, and there are several different versions that have been performed over the years, consolidated into three different scripts. Phillips chose to use the newest version to better pay homage to the source material, Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, about the author’s experiences in 1930s Berlin. Cliff Bradshaw is inspired by Isherwood himself. The latest rendition most clearly portrays Cliff ’s sexuality as a gay man and creates a strong bond between the Emcee and Cliff. Phillips noted that the Emcee is the liberated version of Cliff, furthering this connection in his blocking by having Cliff interact with the Emcee in a way which no other character does. At one moment, the Emcee helps Cliff up when he gets beaten up and the two stare at each other, Emcee with pity and Cliff with confusion. They mirror each other’s movements when passing by and solemnly acknowledge each other throughout the show. Another strikingly impressive aspect of this production is how both the actors and the staging, amidst the musical’s glitz and pageantry, manage to convey the heavy tone of the show. There are several points that foreshadow Herr Schultz will be victimized by the impending Holocaust, which pull the characters and the audience out of the carefree whirlwind and back to the brewing reality. When Ernst removes his coat at Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schnider’s engagement party to reveal a Nazi armband, the silence is deafening. Such moments land in just the right way—an achievement that, though subtle, leaves the audience in deep reflection. Cabaret is a resounding success for the TPST program and for nomadictheatre. The studentrun theater group has triumphantly returned to Georgetown, bringing more than enough energy and talent for a fantastically immersive performance. The production runs Nov. 11-13, 19, and 21, and though all performances are sold out, seats may be available at the door. G

photos by daisy steinthal; layout by graham krewinghaus

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

13


SPORTS

One team, two cities? BY CARLOS RUEDA

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he Tampa Bay Rays have only ever called Tampa Bay home. The baseball team has put down roots in a community that has rallied around it in moments of triumph and in moments of uncertainty, just like the present—a potential partial move to Canada. The Rays first unveiled a potential “sistercity” plan, which would split the season’s games between Tampa Bay and Montreal, in June 2019. Rays owner Stu Sternberg is the driving force behind the idea, looking to build new stadiums in both cities. Sternberg has cited lackluster attendance and diminishing support for the ballclub as a justification, while President Matthew Silverman has said the sister-city plan is “the best and possibly only chance for baseball to be here [in Tampa Bay] for generations.” In the wake of persistent promotion of the Montreal plan by Rays ownership, fans have begun to collectively push back. @moveraystotampa is a Twitter account which describes itself as a movement “completely run by the fans” that fully opposes the Montreal plan. “For far too long our franchise has been ridiculed by not only the big market sports media, but by our owner himself. As a fanbase, we have had enough, its official online statement says.” One of these fans, who wishes to be identified as Jay, has been speaking out against the sister-city plan through social media and has rapidly garnered support online. “When your owner says that he wants to ultimately move your franchise to another 14

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

country while not investing in Tampa Bay whatsoever, it makes perfect sense why fans do not show up to games,” Jay said in an interview with the Voice. “He refuses to go through with the solution of moving the team to Tampa since it’d cost him too much.” The Rays currently play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg—over 30 minutes outside of downtown Tampa. The stadium’s location has the lowest population within a 30-minute commute out of all 30 Major League Baseball venues. It has about half the regional population of the next lowest team—Tropicana Field is ranked 30th with 670,000 people, while PNC Park Pittsburgh is ranked 29th with 1.18 million. So it’s no surprise that compared to most other Major League teams, the Rays see much lower levels of turnout at their games, ranking 28th out of 30 ball clubs in average attendance this year at 9,396 per game and 29th in 2019. Instead of splitting the team with Montreal, many Rays fans argue that a stadium in Tampa proper could solve the attendance issues while keeping the team local. “They’ve never made us feel welcome at home, they’ve never committed to the community,” Jay said. “If they open their wallets and come to Tampa, we could see the future of Rays baseball thriving.” If the Tampa Bay Lightning, an ice hockey team, can sell out virtually every game since 2014 in ice-devoid Florida, he pointed out, it should not be a problem to sell baseball to fans. Opposition against the Montreal plans and Rays ownership has come from the Rays

fan base collectively. Whether demonstrating public disapproval at games or rallying community objection online, fans have become more and more vocal. At the beginning of the postseason, the team announced that the Rays would put up a sign in Tropicana Field promoting the sister-city plan throughout the playoffs. Fans were not happy about the distraction from success at a time when the Rays are more competitive than ever. “When [Sternberg] announced the sign and then went on the radio to apologize saying he didn’t mean to take the spotlight off the players, it felt like a fake apology,” Jay said. “Later the next week, they still held an event in Tampa talking about the split season plan and he got what he wanted, he got the attention.” Devon Garnett, a lifelong Rays fan and a diehard Tampa Bay sports fan, was there when Rays executive Brian Auld touted the Montreal plan, and Garnett decided to voice his thoughts. “I was fortunate to get off work, I felt it was kind of my duty to at least say the things everyone’s been asking,” he said. “We’re in the 11th hour, we need answers, and the sister-city plan is not the solution.” After Garnett presented his points against the Montreal plan, Auld simply responded with, “So you didn’t have a question?” Auld’s dismissive reply went viral locally in Tampa Bay. “It was annoying 100 percent,” commented Garnett on the interaction

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with Auld. “At least acknowledge and say, ‘These are great points, I’d love to talk about them.’ He’s a Stanford graduate, he knows how to talk to people, we’re human.” After the interaction, Auld reached out to Garnett after his originally dismissive reply, apologizing and offering to talk to Garnett after the season ended. “The season is over, so I have to take him up on the offer,” Garnett said. Garnett’s interaction is far too familiar for Rays fans. They feel they have not been listened to, and at a time as crucial for the future of the team as now, one can only see Auld’s response as emblematic of the ownership’s attitude towards the fans. Whether the ownership will go through with the plan or not, or whether executives like Auld will genuinely listen to fans like Garnett, remains unclear. What is apparent is that Tampa Bay Rays fans will not see a Montreal team as their own. “I’ll become a Braves fan,” Garnett replied when asked if he’d support a split Rays team. “It’s a joke, I’m not sharing half a season with Montreal.” When it comes down to it, the sistercity proposal is an unreasonable, even nonsensical, plan in the eyes of Rays fans who see no real benefit. “[Sternberg] thinks the split will get him double the money, but the thing is he expects to keep our fan base in Tampa Bay and gain a Montreal fan base, which won’t happen,” Jay said. “Rays fans won’t support that team.” G


SPORTS

Title talk: Comparing the 2019 and 2021 men’s soccer team BY ROMAN PEREGRINO

The 2019 Georgetown men’s soccer team was one for the record books, winning the first NCAA title in team history. The 2021 team shows a lot of similarities to the 2019 squad: sterling goalkeeping, an impervious defense, and a high-powered offense. The Hoyas have momentum heading into NCAA competition after winning the Big East regular season and tournament titles, and starting on Nov. 21, they will once again pursue a spot in the College Cup. As the Hoyas hope for another record-breaking season finish, let’s see how the current players stack up compared to the 2019 squad. Forward: Derek Dodson (2019) vs. Stefan Stojanovic (2021) Stojanovic has been nothing short of a revelation this season, providing an immediate impact as a transfer by leading the team in goals, including two scores in the Big East Final. However, he has not yet reached the level of Dodson, one of the greatest scorers in Hoya history as well as an excellent table-setter, an area where Stojanovic still has room to improve. Advantage: 2019 Forward: Zach Riviere (2019) vs. Riviere (2021) Provided that Riviere is not limited by concussion-like symptoms in the tournament, an older, more experienced Riviere takes this one. In 2019, Riviere got the start in the NCAA Tournament as Head Coach Brian Wiese tried to ease Achara back into the lineup coming off of an injury, but now Riviere is the old head at the top of the formation. Advantage: 2021 Midfielder: J.B. Fischer (2019) vs. Chris Hegardt (2021) Two contrasting styles match up here. Hegardt has incredible amounts of technical and creative skill, with more points this season (four) than Fischer had in his career (three). On the other hand, Fischer was as steady as they come, providing a calm veteran presence that anchored the Hoyas in the midfield. There is some risk with Hegardt that his fiery play can take him out of a game if he gets frustrated, but he can still create offense out of thin air when the Hoyas need it. Advantage: 2021 Midfielder: Sean Zawadzki (2019) vs. Zawadzki (2021) Zawadzki was one of the Hoyas’ best players down the stretch in 2019, scoring a huge goal in the semifinal match versus Stanford and largely dominating play. But the 2021 version of Zawadzki makes this call easy. He is one of the best players in the nation, completely on top of his game in all facets, and a decisive force in the defensive midfield. He will look to leave his mark on another national tournament this year. Advantage: 2021 Midfielder: Jacob Montes (2019) vs. Dante Polvara (2021) From an easy call to an incredibly hard one. According to TopDrawerSoccer, Polvara is the best player in college soccer, a beast on offense and defense who has moments of absolute greatness, such as his pass to Stojanovic that won the Big East Championship game. The same could

arguably have been said in 2019 of Montes, who went on to sign with Crystal Palace and became the first Hoya to sign with a Premier League side. It’s an incredibly close comparison, but the slight edge goes to Polvara for his defensive prowess in the midfield. Advantage: 2021 Midfielder: Paul Rothrock (2019) vs. Kyle Linhares (2021) Linhares is a valuable offensive weapon for the Hoyas, making space down the right side and causing problems for defenses. However, Rothrock may have been one of the most underrated pieces of the 2019 team’s success, scoring four goals and registering seven assists on the year. Meanwhile, Linhares has yet to score a collegiate goal and still has some ways to go in his development. Advantage: 2019 Defense: Sean O’Hearn (2019) vs. Aidan Rocha (2021) Rocha was a bench player on that 2019 squad, notably scoring a penalty kick in the National Championship game. Since then, he has really blossomed into an excellent wingback that shoulders defensive responsibility while also knowing when to get forward offensively. O’Hearn’s Hoya career was as steady as they come, and he provided a calm presence on the back for the championship team, but never had the dynamism that Rocha displays. Advantage: 2021 Defense: Rio Hope-Gund (2019) vs. Kenny Nielsen (2021) Hope-Gund may have been the most essential player during the Hoyas’ 2019 run, providing both top-class defending as well as a competitive fire in the back. Nielsen, on the other hand, is a much quieter player, though he has performed well this season after returning from injury. At the end of the day, however, Hope-Gund was in a class of his own in terms of defensive ability and leadership. Advantage: 2019 Defense: Daniel Wu (2019) vs. Kieran Sargeant (2021) Before Wu hurt his leg in the Big East semifinal, he would have been the final repeat starter. Unfortunately, there is no news on Wu’s availability as of now, so Sargeant gets the draw here. Wu was amazing as a freshman, combining with Hope-Gund to create a calm, cool, and collected backline. Sargeant may get there someday, but, as of now, is still raw and less defensively sound than the 2019 freshman star. Advantage: 2019 Defense: Dylan Nealis (2019) vs. Will Sands (2021) Sands is an incredible player, who dominated offensively and defensively on his way to an All-Big East First Team honor this season. As Sands goes, so do the Hoyas. However, Nealis was an All-American his senior season, named a MAC Hermann finalist and drafted top five in the MLS Superdraft, as well as captaining the Hoyas to glory. Sands is great; Nealis was transcendent. Advantage: 2019

illustration by sean ye; design by graham krewinghaus

Goalkeeper: Tomas Romero (2019) vs. Giannis Nikopolidis (2021) There is no denying Romero’s talent and poise as a freshman in 2019 was incredible. It was Romero who was out there for the Big East Final against Butler and in the National Championship game. However, Nikopolidis gets the slight edge based on experience. Nikopolidis matched Romero every step of the way in 2019 and, in his fourth season, the veteran has the skill and savvy to lead this team back to the promised land. Advantage: 2021 Bench: Beer, Polvara, Sands, Achara, Nikopolidis (2019) vs. Tabora, Da Luz, Franks, Wu, Koehler (2021) The bench decision is tighter than it seems, as neither Polvara nor Sands wasere fully-formed as freshmen and both would take time to find their way. However, Achara was deadly, even if he was physically limited, and Beer was a legitimate impact player. Tabora, Da Luz, and Franks have all been big parts of the forward rotation, but their consistency can be lacking. Advantage: 2019 Coaching Staff: Brian Wiese, et .al. (2019) vs. Brian Wiese, et .al. (2021) As a coach, you need to be able to push all the right buttons to win a championship, and Wiese was able to do just that in 2019, whether that meant alternating Romero and Nikopolidis or giving big minutes to freshmen. Unsurprisingly, Wiese and his staff have not lost this skill and have one major advantage over the 2019 crew: they’ve done this before, they know their players, and they won’t crack under pressure. Advantage: 2021 Final Analysis: The 2021 players won seven categories to 2019’s six. Second championship incoming? Well, the Hoyas are certainly in the conversation, but potential injuries to Wu and Riviere may reduce their chances, a challenge compounded by a tough draw that leaves Marshall or Providence looming as a formidable Third Round matchup. That being said, with Zawadzki and Polvara dominating the midfield and a coaching staff that’s been there before, the Hoyas are coming into the tournament feeling like they can beat anyone. G Second championship incoming?

The 2019 Georgetown men’s soccer team was one for the record books, winning the first NCAA title in team history.

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

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