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DINING DISASTERS: IS GEORGETOWN CREATING FOOD INSECURITY? By Maya Kominsky

THESE “PART-TIME” PROFESSORS WANT GEORGETOWN’S FULL-TIME RESPECT By Paul James DEFUND GUPD. WITH THE RIGHT RESPONSE SYSTEMS, WE WON’T NEED THEM. By the Editorial Board


Contents

October 8, 2021 Volume 54 | Issue 4

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Editor-In-Chief Annemarie Cuccia Managing Editor Sarah Watson

features

SHIP was supposed to bring sophomores together, but some were left out NORA SCULLY

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editorials

Defund GUPD. With the right response systems, we won’t need them. EDITORIAL BOARD

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voices

The anti-women meaning of “women’s lit” ANNETTE HASNAS

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leisure

Maisie Peters shows the duality of young adulthood on You Signed Up For This

internal resources

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

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news

features

Executive Editor Features Editor News Editor Assistant News Editors

These “part-time” professors want Georgetown’s fulltime respect

opinion

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voices

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Contrary to Greg Abbott’s belief, cis men cannot make decisions about abortion

College athletes scored a big win in court. The NCAA wasn’t ready.

ANTHONY BONAVITA

JAKOB LEVIN

“Far too often, men are at the helm of these decisions, no matter what they decide.” PG. 12

leisure

sports

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sports

Executive Editor Sports Editor Assistant Editors Halftime Editor Assistant Halftime 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

news

Dining disasters: Is Georgetown creating food insecurity? MAYA KOMINSKY

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

multimedia

Executive Editor Podcast Editor Assistant Podcast Editor Photo Editor

John Woolley Jillian Seitz Alexes Merritt Nathan Posner

online

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

leisure “disarray” INSHA MOMIN

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

LILY KISSINGER 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 dane tedder and max zhang

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

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

design

on the cover

The Eyes of Tammy Faye engages with reality, but not cruelty

Executive Editor Leisure Editor Assistant Editors Halftime Editor Assistant Halftime Editors

Executive Editor Spread Editors Cover Editor Assistant Design Editors

HAILEY WHARRAM

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

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

PAUL JAMES

Max Zhang Allison Grace O’Donnell Paul James Roman Peregrino

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, Blythe Dujardin, Panna Gattyan, Arshan Goudarzi, Andrea Ho, Julia Kelly, Steven Kingkiner, Lily Kissinger, Graham Krewinghaus, Cheyenne Martin, Connor Martin, Bella McGlone, Amelia Myre, Anna Sofia Neil, Ryan Samway, Diego Ventero, Amelia Wanamaker, Alec Weiker, 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. → SABRINA’S ANIMAL DOODLE

→ ADVAIT’S CARTOON

cartoon by advait arun; crossword by graham krewinghaus; snail by sabrina shaffer

→ GRAHAM’S CROSSWORD ACROSS

DOWN

1. Don’t catch it 6. Why might I have a fever? 11. Insect that physically can’t fall to its death 12. Placed on a food transportation vehicle 13. Precedes Gioia, Tocqueville, etc. 14. Wheels on the bottom of the good chairs 15. Take action 16. One of five Jacksons 17. It’s ___ or nothing 19. E. Can. province 20. Playing the sport of kings 22. Agency in Langley 24. Highly visible Darnall neighbors 25. Email domain you might balk at now 26. Forgotten university messaging system 28. Resided, literarily

1. Gone-too-soon social media app 2. U.S. Dept. it’d be ironic for SFS grads to end up at 3. MTW__ 4. Cosmetics store 5. South calle 7. Society at Georgetown that’s a lot more competitive than you’d think, for a basic human function 8. No’s, авось 9. Soccer losses (knock on wood) 10. Spotify’s “want a break from the ___?” 11. __ majorem dei gloriam 14. Why might I have a fever? With 1 across 15. Something the mail system’s been experiencing a lot of lately 17. Why might I have a fever? With 1 across 18. Cooper or Shaw 20. California State Route 1 21. The cardinal directions 22. ___ of attendance 23. Kim Jong-__ 25. Score bug name for the Hawks 27. Common first word of subject lines

OCTOBER 8, 2021

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SHIP FEATURES

BY NORA SCULLY

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was supposed to bring sophomores together, but some were left out

eing a sophomore is harder than I imagined it would be. In addition to the expected shock of going from online classes taken from the comfort of my house to a bustling campus of more than 7,500 students, there was one unanticipated hurdle to settling in at Georgetown— my lack of participation in the Summer Hilltop Immersion Program (SHIP). The five-week program, available to the class of 2024 and transfer students, offered the chance to live on campus, explore the city, take classes, and meet their peers face-to-face—for those who could attend. Every conversation my first week on campus with fellow sophomores went along these lines: “Hey! I’m Nora … I’m from Bakersfield, California … Yeah, most people haven’t heard of it. It’s about two hours from L.A. … No, I didn’t do SHIP.” Students around campus were having similar conversations. Sabrina Perez (COL ’24), who also did not participate in SHIP, noticed the frequency of these interactions. “I would use the analogy: you know when you first come to college and people are talking about their SAT scores?” she said. Once that final question in the routine back-and-forth had been answered, inevitably the conversation would strike a different tone. Our lack of shared experiences, from the friends we wouldn’t have in common to the inability to commiserate about summer classes, was pronounced. My decision to get a summer job instead of seizing the early opportunity to take in-person classes at Georgetown isolated me from my classmates as we came together for the first time. As a sophomore, I’m supposed to be familiar with Georgetown and campus life. I’m technically qualified to be a residential assistant or orientation advisor to help guide new students, but it is hard to qualify how unqualified I felt to do those things. I had no idea where 90 percent of my classes were, let alone how to give others directions; I had barely participated in clubs thanks to an online CAB fair; and I had met exactly one other Georgetown student in-person. In essence, I felt like a freshman. But freshmen have help: They have NSO to make friends and explore campus, they have peer advisors to guide them as they adjust to college life, and they have the benefit of being freshmen—no one expects them to know things. In contrast, the class of 2024 and transfer students received an invite to a convocation ceremony and a Welcome Back Jack Barbeque and then were released into the wild to fend for ourselves. SHIP gave my peers the ability to be a sophomore in both name and experience. Out of the approximately 1,500

students in the class of 2024, almost 800 moved onto campus. The offered courses included immersive, onecredit classes that combined traditional classroom work with exploration of Washington, D.C. and Georgetown. Isa Karathanos (SFS ’24) is one of the many students who attended SHIP. Karathanos took five credits during the summer program: Comparative Political Systems and two one-credit classes —D.C.: a Global City and Activism in D.C. Not only was she able to knock out a core SFS requirement, but the one-credit classes gave her a brief introduction to the nation’s capital—luxuries not granted to those of us at home. “[SHIP] was definitely helpful for me personally to get here, with primarily sophomores, get to know people, and become acquainted with the campus and the city before getting here with everyone,” Karathanos said. For those of us who did not attend SHIP, seeing our peers explore D.C. and form connections added to the anxiety of arriving on campus in the fall. According to the American College Health Association, 65 percent of college students have felt very lonely at any time in the past 12 months. During the pandemic, nearly one-third of students were found to have depression and/or anxiety, a rate nearly two times higher than in past years. “Before I came to campus, when I would see all the pictures on Instagram, I was like, ‘Oh, should I have gone [to SHIP]?’” Perez said. “It seems like everyone in my grade is already connected and I’m not going to be able to wiggle my way into those friend groups.” Importantly, attending SHIP was an opportunity not equitably offered to all. Students who worked over the summer, like Perez and myself, were unable to attend the program. To compound the financial burden, SHIP came with a $7,500 price tag. The university offered financial aid packages but did not cover the opportunity cost for a student who needs to work over the summer. Imperfect financial solutions likely excluded students from lowerincome backgrounds. Financial burdens weren’t the only barrier. Other students are immunocompromised or were unwilling to risk exposure to COVID-19; students were not mandated to get vaccinated to attend summer classes, though COVID-19 cases rose in the District over the summer. With students settling into campus life for the first time in almost two years, bonds will continue to form

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design by lou jacques; layout by josh klein

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

and break, but the relationships formed at SHIP no doubt gave some of my peers a leg up. To me and some others, it felt like we’d already fallen behind in a race we didn’t know we were participating in. Every week at Georgetown, these feelings of isolation ebb little by little. I am more settled than I was when I set out to write this piece. I probably still couldn’t give you clear directions, especially if the Metro is a factor, but our corner of the District feels more like home every day. “Georgetown feels like a smaller campus than it really is, so I would always bump into people I had classes with, and then we would talk and make plans to go eat together or have coffee, so within the first week I was able to find a good collection of friends because they were people I already knew online,” Perez said. SHIP offered a small taste of campus life, but as the rest of the student body settles in for the fall semester, the new dynamics will force sophomores to broaden their horizons. “As the weeks progressed, [the SHIP students] realized they have to branch out and know more people,” Perez said. SHIP was an incredible opportunity that wasn’t implemented well. It was amazing that sophomores got to experience Georgetown for the first time, but we were also living through a pandemic. If I had the opportunity to do this again, would I go? Maybe. I’m not perfect and neither was SHIP. But as some of my fellow Hoyas and dear friends remind me, friendship isn’t a race. There are no winners or losers, and these things take time. Time that, yes, my classmates who did SHIP received more of, but there’s no expiration date on building relationships.G


EDITORIALS

Defund GUPD. With the right response systems, we won’t need them. BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

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he Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) has maintained a dangerous and imposing role on this campus for far too long. As an organization, GUPD is not equipped to deal with emergencies beyond flexing muscle. GUPD’s bloated force of 47 patrol officers should be slashed to 10, with the $1.7 million saved yearly used to develop alternative crisis response organizations. At its core, GUPD actively harms. This is true with regards to their conduct around students of color, predominantly Black students. Throughout its history, GUPD received multiple reports of racially profiling and aggressively policing students of color, calling into question whether it actually increases student safety. The current organization still enshrines racist policing on campus. GUPD even struggles to complete the most basic tasks associated with “public safety” work. On Sept. 19, a campus intruder tailed students and brandished a knife in New South. GUPD did not apprehend the intruder until the next day in a stunning failure of security. The New South debacle was an isolated incident—the vast majority of GUPD actions are in response to drugs or alcohol. According to public data, only eight arrests were made on campus from 2017-2019, all related to substances. This policy of policing victimless crimes results in an increased police presence on campus. GUPD’s own arrest data makes it clear the situations they respond to do not require law enforcement, just care and intervention. In cases with mental health concerns, GUPD are never the most qualified respondents. These services could be provided more effectively by someone trained to handle a crisis. Many students—especially students of color—would feel safer seeing a clinician arrive at their apartment than a uniformed officer, thus encouraging people to actually seek help when they need it. The remaining tasks of GUPD—enforcing university COVID-19 policies, providing security at student events, and responding to after-hours facility calls—also do not require actual police. Equally concerning is the lack of accountability that students have over the organization. GUPD is supervised by the Vice President for Public Affairs, Erik Smulson. This set-up frames policing as a PR issue rather than a community safety initiative, begging a critical question: Is the force’s purpose truly to ensure safety, or the appearance of it? We are not the first to point out these concerns; generations of student activists, especially Black and femme students, have highlighted these issues. Many of the following proposals are adapted from or inspired by the 2020 Healy Hall sit-in organized by the Black Survivors Coalition (BSC). Given a long history of racial harm, in any GUPD reform, the needs of students of color, especially Black students, must be centered.

The lowest-hanging reform is greater accountability. While students can submit concerns with officers, there are few opportunities for systemic oversight of the force. The Student Safety Advisory Board, designed to respond to worries about security on campus, meets only when administration calls it and suffers from low attendance. Thus, the force does not receive muchneeded oversight, not just in individual instances of misconduct, but also as an institution that regularly terrorizes students of color and generally inflicts a culture of fear. Though past student review proposals, including a GUSA-initiated oversight board, have failed to come to fruition, some body must be implemented that has the power to handle long-term issues like staffing, training, and internal culture. Any form of oversight board should have access to the force’s hiring and bias training materials, demands made by BSC two years ago that were never met. Though the police force undergoes bias training and has completed an active bystander training, students have a right to know exactly what is being done to keep them safe. Bias training should not be seen as a fix-all; students have no indication of whether officers are receptive to the training, and antiracial bias training can never change the fact that the police are, fundamentally, a racist institution. Meanwhile, students rely on chronically underfunded vital services. Students must make mental health appointments months out to ensure a spot with CAPS. Survivors of trauma, especially Black survivors, have implored the university to provide more clinicians and wider specialization at Health Education Services. GERMS, the student-run emergency service that is able to respond to any substance-related medical concerns GUPD handles, receives comparatively little funding despite providing an essential function. Each of these services can handle 90 percent of what GUPD currently does and can do it in a more trauma-informed, accessible, and identity-aware way. Though GUPD does not release budget information, their website lists different officers’ salaries, which indicate that our proposed cut to 10 officers would save the university $1.7 million annually from wages alone. This simple fact points to a reality the university has too long ignored: Policing is costing us other chances at community care.

That’s not to say students don’t need emergency services on call 24/7—but there’s no reason for that service to be a uniformed police officer. Georgetown already runs Saferides to help students get home late at night and could continue to expand the program with non-police accompaniment. To advance community care, Georgetown should follow the BSC’s proposal and implement a 24/7 crisis center and hotline with trained professionals to respond to substance-related or interpersonal conflicts that are nonviolent, which the vast majority are. Though in the past the university has cited cost concerns as a reason not to enact the proposal, the money saved through defunding GUPD would make this feasible. Students have a role in this too. We must stop calling GUPD on fellow students or community members. For nearly any situation, RAs and GERMS are better resources, and if escalation is truly needed, they can help you make that decision. Know that when you call the cops, you could be exposing your fellow students to trauma and violence. Ask yourself if the situation truly demands the risk of that. If you are a student who feels safe around GUPD, recognize that this is in itself a privilege, and avoid glorifying their work when they make so many of your fellow students feel unsafe. And call for the reforms that you agree with. Just a modicum of accountability required a week long sit-in, so if you are dedicated to reform, keep going. Look out for each other, not just in the face of daily stress, but in response to systems of oppression and discrimination on our campus. The onus is on us to continue building mutual-aid-style networks and supporting systems that are student-centric and anti-racist. G

illustration by ryan samway; layout by graham krewinghaus

OCTOBER 8, 2021

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FEATURES

These “part-time” professors want Georgetown’s full-time respect BY PAUL JAMES

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art-time faculty at Georgetown, called “adjunct” or “contingent,” have an outsize role in supporting the university’s student body. They are responsible for core classes, career advice, letters of recommendation, and much more. At the same time, they receive insufficient compensation and lack the same benefits available to their full-time tenured and tenure-track colleagues. Students are not immune to the disparity either; many advocates point out that the working conditions for professors become the learning environment for students themselves. As contingent professors make up an increasing share of faculty at universities across the country, disparities between their job description and de facto duties continue to grow. While some, including those at Georgetown, have union representation, many do not and have few avenues for collective bargaining, leading to gaps in pay, access to benefits, and career advancement. The glut of highly educated and qualified graduates vying for the same few positions and the lack of professional mobility for contingent appointments creates a class of professors who feel exploited and disconnected from the communities they serve. Since the early 2000s, the movement toward equity for faculty on contingent appointments has expanded to a national scale and begun to create the first waves of change. At their best, contingent positions let universities b e n e f i t from the experience and expertise of

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THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

professors who can only devote time to one or two courses. They allow schools like Georgetown to extend fellowships and short-term appointments to government officials and career professionals who give students insight into the “real world.” Professors on contingent appointments have the latitude to pursue other projects: running businesses, teaching elsewhere, or lightening their workload after a full career. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t professors. “They are not just invested in careers and financial compensation but are largely here because they care about the students and want to see them succeed,” Prof. Christopher Shinn, who has held a contingent appointment at Georgetown since 2008 and a more recent tenured position at Howard University, said of his parttime colleagues. “They want to feel that they’re an integral part of university life.” The idealized contingent model no longer reflects reality. Nearly two-thirds of all university faculty are contingent, including many for whom teaching is their primary career. The Georgetown main campus itself employs about 1,000 faculty on contingent appointments. That means core classes—and the majority of daily teaching responsibilities—fall on faculty who are not afforded the same benefits, job security, or voice in department governance as their full-time tenured and tenure-track counterparts. “This is not a Georgetown problem; this is a university problem,” Prof. Sara Collina, who teaches part-time in Georgetown’s Women’s and Gender Studies program, said. Collina owns and operates a small business and is also involved in advocacy, but for some faculty, contingent positions are their only source of income. New contingent faculty receive a minimum of just $7,000 for teaching a semester-long, three-credit course and teach an average of 1.4 courses per year since they are limited to a set number of hours. As of the latest round of collective bargaining between Georgetown and the Service Employees International Union Local 500 (SEIU), which represents adjunct faculty at Georgetown and nine other universities in the DMV area, course rates increased by $200 or $250 above the $7000 base rate for the fall 2021 semester, depending on how long a contingent faculty member has taught at the university. Pay isn’t the only disparity; faculty on course-by-course appointments do not have access to the healthcare benefits that full-time employees do, and their employment status is unassured. Prof. Mary Jane Barnett described the uncertainty of a contingent position, even after teaching as an adjunct at Georgetown for more than 25 years. “If you’re an adjunct there’s always the thought in the back of your mind: What about next semester?” she said. To compensate, many professors pick up additional contingent appointments. Prof. Rebecca Boylan, who has taught at Georgetown since 2006, now holds a full-time position at

illustrations by dane tedder; spread by max zhang

Howard University as well. “I think universities should conside r more justice in how they are responding to their faculty,” she said. “There’s a lot of service I’ve given to Georgetown for a long time.” On top of instruction, contingent faculty serve the university by providing independent scholarship, writing letters of recommendation for students, and, most recently, developing virtual learning strategies. None of these services, which go above and beyond contingent faculty’s restricted job description at the university, are compensated. Fees are calculated only with respect to hours in the classroom (or on Zoom). That attitude toward compensation and labor is at odds with the stated values of educational institutions like Georgetown, where learning is a core value in areas beyond the classroom. “I don’t ever expect businesses to have empathy for workers. And I think the university sees itself as a business,” a faculty member in the College, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “But I would hope that it sees itself as more than that, and I certainly don’t see my students as customers at all.” The university, meanwhile, insists that its goals align with those of contingent faculty. “We deeply appreciate all that our adjuncts do to support our university community. They are key contributors to the formation of our students,” a university spokesperson wrote in an email to

“I can’t count on Georgetown, and Georgetown can’t count on me. If there’s a commitment on both ends, you’ll invest in each other.”


the Voice. “We are committed to working together to honor what each individual brings to his or her work and to the fabric of our university community.” Maria Maisto (SFS ’89, MA ’92), a leader in the movement for more equitable compensation for contingent faculty, blamed a broader shift in higher education toward a more profit-oriented model. “I would say [the contingent model] has been exploited for political and economic reasons—to serve the corporatization of higher education,” she said. Maisto is president of New Faculty Majority, an organization dedicated to improving equity for faculty in higher education. “It’s an incredibly good deal to have so much of the teaching done by adjuncts,” Collina pointed out. The median salary for a tenuretrack faculty member is roughly four times the equivalent of adjunct pay for the same course, making contingent staffing much more cost effective. But the arrangement leaves little room for trust. “I can’t count on Georgetown, and Georgetown can’t count on me. If there’s a commitment on both ends, you’ll invest in each other.” For Collina and other contingent faculty, recognition as equal community stakeholders would go a long way toward improving morale. “What we have now is, we have this sort of sub-class of faculty, and of course they bear the largest amount of teaching at the university,” Shinn said. He believes more balanced consideration for the three main elements of a professor’s duties to teach, research, and serve would improve the disparity between faculty on different appointments. These disparities reflect and perpetuate societal inequities. People from communities historically excluded from higher education increasingly struggle to find tenuretrack positions and end up on contingent appointments instead. “It’s absolutely true to say that it’s gendered,” Maisto said. The increase in access to education and faculty opportunities for women, people of color, and people from working class backgrounds coincided with the widening gulf in employment structures. “That was when the shift began and the profession started to be devalued,” she said. An Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System study on faculty

demographics found the percentage of women faculty on the tenure track declined from 13 to 8 percent between 1993 and 2013. At the same time, the percentage of women in contingent positions increased by 8 percent. “Women are in the majority in the humanities and general education, where the lowest-paid positions are

found, again teaching the core courses, often to the most vulnerable students,” Maisto said. The narrative of discrimination in contingent work is borne out in the lived experiences of some Georgetown faculty. “I worked for a number of years, then I was married. I had two kids and took some time off to be with my daughters,” the anonymous faculty member said. She is fully qualified, with a Master’s degree and Ph.D.—an enormous investment to result in a contingent position. “I’ve picked up work on the side when I can just to make ends meet,” she added. The present vulnerabilities were made especially visible over the past year and a half. In March 2020, Collina wrote a letter to President John DeGioia with the subject line: “Adjuncts are stepping up, please step up for us.” In it, she detailed ways that contingent faculty are shut out from community at Georgetown, especially at a time when community was all that bound the university together. “Faculty meetings? I’m not invited. Teaching awards? I’m not eligible. Grants? Not for me,” she wrote. The advent of the pandemic, which coincided with Georgetown adjuncts’ latest round of union collective bargaining, exposed the position’s unique vulnerabilities. When Georgetown moved all instruction online, contingent faculty—like all faculty and students—had to adapt to teaching virtually and redesign their courses. The university offered training courses to aid them, but Shinn said, “We’re not paid for taking this training and so on; we do it because it’s necessary to do our jobs.” As recently as 20 years ago, contingent faculty had few means by which to advocate for just compensation. Since then, unionization and community pressure in higher education have forced gains, however modest, in critical areas: compensation, job security, professional advancement, and community involvement. The latest contract includes annual pay increases through the fall 2023 semester, with more experienced faculty seeing the biggest raises—up to $7,750 for a threecredit course. It also guarantees adjuncts are notified of their employment status for the next academic year by June 30 at the latest. Faculty also have a pathway to greater job security under the agreement. Adjuncts who have taught at least three courses for five of the past eight academic years will become eligible for regular full-year appointments with the option for renewal. The current contract is in effect until 2024, after which the union may renegotiate. The SEIU’s main goals are improving compensation and job security, according to Anne McLeer, SEIU Local 500’s director of higher education and strategic planning. “We will continue to seek to push to the point where adjuncts have equity or parity with full-timers in terms of pay and also even in terms of benefits,” she said. “There’s still a long road to go.” Unions have been essential for improving faculty working conditions. The organizations are important for faculty advances because contingent work is transitory by nature, which makes organizing efforts difficult to maintain. “Eventually, many of us will move on. It’s not sustainable,” Maisto said. Unions create longevity and infrastructure that address problems in mobilizing shortterm employees for a long-term campaign.

Since she began her work in the movement more than a decade ago, Maisto believes unions and collective action have offered the greatest gains.

“They’re effective in part because they provide an infrastructure and a culture and a community through which the faculty can be provided support and continuity of effort in negotiating improvements,” she added. As with any movement, however, the chosen path forward does not help everyone equally, and the union representing Georgetown’s contingent faculty is not popular with all its constituents. “I would like to feel as though adjuncts and the union are working hand in hand, as one unit. But sadly, that’s not the case here,” the anonymous professor said. She pointed out that in addition to their public messaging, both the union and the university have separate agendas that can conflict with acting in the faculty’s best interests. In the past, she explained, this has led to the university not approaching negotiations with an open mind. “I didn’t see any real seriousness of purpose, unfortunately, on the part of the university in terms of trying to be invested in and thinking about the needs of adjunct faculty,” she said. Boylan also felt the union’s effect had been minimal. “From my experience, it didn’t change things at all until very recently,” she said. Internal disagreements between the union and the professors it represents have the potential to slow further gains. “The union is as strong as its members. We want this union to get engaged in social justice issues that reflect our membership and the union,” McLeer said. Collective bargaining’s power comes from the size of the collective, and without widespread buy-in, the union’s efforts to secure gains for all contingent faculty could suffer. Despite this, faculty with concerns about the union’s agenda, the university’s response, or slow progress may not join its membership. Some faculty, including Collina, see better opportunities for progress through alternative mechanisms. “Frankly, our leverage is the students,” she said. Students are the most likely to experience the direct impacts in the classroom of what happens when a university undervalues its contingent faculty, who deliver most of the instruction. Collina argues students’ power stems from their role as vocal and foundational members of the university community. “Georgetown needs you and your classmates to love Georgetown and to respect it and honor it and believe that this is a community you can be proud of,” she said. G OCTOBER 8, 2021

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VOICES

The anti-women meaning of women’s lit ANNETTE HASNAS

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ne of my favorite novels is Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. It excellently captures the pathos of the Lost Generation, telling the fictionalized story of some of Hemingway’s own experiences as an American expat in Europe in the 1920s. The emotional heart of the novel, as much as one can be ascertained, is the tragic relationship between the narrator and the promiscuous Lady Brett Ashley—a love doomed never to materialize due to an injury the protagonist Jake suffered in the war, resulting in an inability to have sex. The novel follows a group of Americans—all men, with the exception of Lady Ashley, with whom essentially every other character either is or wishes to be sexually involved—and explores themes of romance, trauma, sex, and, importantly, masculinity. It is remembered as a landmark piece of literature and a defining part of the modernist artistic movement. And, despite the distinctly male gender of both Hemingway and most of his characters, I have never once, among this praise, seen it referred to as “men’s fiction.” That should come as no surprise. “Men’s fiction” is, after all, not an established category of literature. It’s not the kind of thing you’d see demarcating a bookstore section or as the title of a chapter of a literary anthology. Sites like Goodreads are not replete

with lists of the “100 Best Pieces of Men’s Lit.” To categorize or define a novel as “men’s lit”—to even conceptualize it as a category at all—is more or less unheard of and patently absurd. When it comes from a man, we are asked to expect a gendered perspective and overtly masculine themes as just some of the many features of a work of literature that do not define the work overall. Unfortunately, when that perspective is female, this logic seems to somehow not apply. Women’s fiction, though, is a “real” category. The label “women’s lit” does get thrown around in bookstores, in anthologies, and on literary websites. As a genre, or maybe just a category—how women’s fiction works as a label isn’t entirely clear—women’s fiction can be hard to define. More commercially focused definitions revolve around the fact that women’s literature is marketed towards women (especially those no longer in their twenties). Definitions more focused on the content and nature of the works tend to include in the category anything revolving around “uniquely” female experiences—think motherhood, feminism, specific elements of romance. There are debates around how female the intended audience needs to be for something to count as

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illustration by elin choe; layout by allison derose

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

women’s lit, where “chick lit” fits into the equation, and whether or not the label can include works written by men (Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter rarely appear on lists of women’s literature, despite their female-focused subject matter, in large part because they are written by men). Generally speaking, though, I’ve found that if a work’s author is female and its themes or plot could reasonably be considered female-specific—as, incidentally, is the case with much of my own writing— that work counts as women’s fiction. At face value, this seems like a reasonable enough categorization to have. But it’s what the genre’s existence implies about women, both in general and in literature specifically, that is cause for concern. One of the principal issues with determining what counts as women’s fiction based on whether or not it has a uniquely female focus is that, in many ways, anything a woman ever experiences could be considered “uniquely female.” Our lived experiences are affected by our identities and circumstances, meaning that gender, like any other category of one’s identity, is liable to make its influence felt in essentially each and every one of our experiences.


Consider again The Sun Also Rises. As a novel, it’s a hell of a lot more defined by topics of gender than plenty of works that appear all too frequently on lists of “women’s fiction:” Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Virginia Woolf ’s To the Lighthouse, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, to name a few. That’s not to say that these novels aren’t impacted by their author’s gender; they certainly are. But this gendered perspective is only one element of these works, which also tackle themes as meaty and important as depression, financial inequality, and the intricacies of human relationships. These are multifaceted, complex novels—novels inadequately described when referred to simply as “women’s lit.” If Hemingway’s story on the then-male-exclusive war experience and resulting sexual impotence is merely an example of literature, no gender-related qualifier required, then so too are the aforementioned examples of “women’s lit.” Our failure to apply this logic evenly can be seen as nothing other than an obvious double standard. But it is not merely the fact that the category labeled “women’s lit” has no male equivalent that bothers me, since, after all, the experiences women have in this world are different from those of men. The same can be said of, beyond just women, all nonmale individuals (whose fiction tends, as it were, to be sidelined similarly to women’s through categorization as “LGBTQ+ fiction”). So, if differently gendered experiences don’t mirror each other in reality, there is no reason their literary genres should. Following the logic that gender does create unique experiences, “women’s lit,” insofar as it refers to literature entirely or primarily focused on the subject of womanhood, seems to pose no problem. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, for example, deals explicitly with the topic of breaking out of the repressive societal role for women in New Orleans in the 19th century. Because men do not experience this same type of historical repression on the basis of their gender, I would find it difficult to argue that categorizing the book in a way that makes heavy mention of gender is unwarranted. The novel does not just include gendered themes, but is more or less entirely focused on the topic of womanhood, making it a prime example of what can actually be accurately described as women’s lit. No, it is not the existence of uniquely female literature as a concept that strikes a nerve with me, but the effects that this labelling can have on not just female authors but all women. The fact of it is, by framing everything they have to say as “women’s,” the label of “women’s fiction” effectively bars female writers from participation in broader, ungendered discussion through their work. Even if the category of women’s fiction isn’t intended to include every work of fiction with a female author, in reality, the label is applied far more widely than its theoretical description would imply. Though there certainly are some female-written works of literature that escape the label, a novel need only barely brush a topic that could be construed as somehow specific to the female experience for its fate to be sealed.

Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved, for example, tackles many more far-ranging and dominant themes than motherhood, and yet is still featured in lists of women’s lit by literary players like Goodreads. Morrison has just as much to communicate in the novel about family dynamics, generational trauma, coping with pain, and Blackness (as well as the legacy of American racebased chattel slavery, specifically). In fact, a significant part of the novel’s thematic exploration actually focuses on manhood, a topic that’s specifically inapplicable

by framing everything they have to say as “women’s,” the label of “women’s fiction” effectively bars female writers from participation in broader, ungendered discussion through their work. ” to women. By classifying Beloved as women’s fiction, one implies that speaking on womanhood is its sole, or at least primary, purpose. The label simplifies a complex, nuanced work of art down to a single topic of exploration, effectively denying Morrison’s contributions to discussion around the novel’s other themes the attention they deserve. This delegitimization of female authors is not just speculation. The tendency to view anything even touching on femininity as somehow relegated to the world of women specifically has very tangible effects on men’s willingness to pay heed to or even bother to read work by women. According to Nielsen Book Research (in a study commissioned for Mary Ann Sieghart’s The Authority Gap), while readership of the top ten best-selling male authors was fairly evenly split across genders—55 percent men and 45 percent women—when it came to the ten best-selling female authors, men accounted for only 19 percent of their readership. This not only results in the tendency for female writers to be considered more niche than their male

counterparts, leading to both relatively fewer material sales and less literary respect, but also has a profound effect on the lens through which male readers view the world. By framing all literature from a woman’s point of view as specifically for women, we push men away from consuming written works that could broaden their perspectives away from the extremely limited male one, which has broader implications that affect all women, not just those who write. This perceived need to earmark any and all literature with female focuses as specifically for women is also both symptomatic of and catalytic for the broader cultural tendency to view men as the universal default, and women as merely an aberration from this distinctly male norm. There’s no shortage of documentation of this phenomenon (called androcentrism in analytic discussion) and its impacts—from the inconvenience women (on average 5-foot-4-inches in America) feel in a world physically built for a six-foot-tall man to the injury and death caused by cars’ safety systems designed with a more typically male stature in mind—and the view of female-focused fiction as needing qualifiers where malefocused fiction does not plays right into it. “Male” is not the default state of human existence, but merely one of many options, and it’s about time our understanding of literature reflected that. My push to change the perception of women’s fiction away from that of a niche gendered category and towards acceptance as literature, full stop, isn’t a purely impersonal, altruistic one. I myself am not only a woman, but a fiction writer. And as such, I am deeply affected by the topic on an individual level. My writing, though usually not autobiographical by any means, cannot help but draw from my own perspective of the world. Even without the conscious reflections on womanhood and gender I often include in my work, the influence of my experiences as a woman would already put me dangerously at risk of being considered a writer of women’s fiction. Perhaps my aversion to this classification of my work is little more than internalized misogyny—certainly that played a role when I was younger—but I’ve done enough selfreflection to confidently say that there’s more to it than that. I do not recoil from labelling myself a women’s author merely because of the word “women,” but instead for reasons of principle, for the real-world impacts this label has on the way women—and even womanhood itself—are perceived. I don’t plan on changing the themes or focuses I find myself drawn to writing about, nor should I have to, despite the unjust classification it may well earn me in my career. Hell, maybe someday I’ll even come to enjoy being considered a woman’s author. But, until Hemingway is a “men’s author” and his works appear on lists of “men’s lit,” I very much doubt it. G

UPDATE OCTOBER PUB8,DATE 2021

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LEISURE

Maisie Peters shows the duality of young adulthood on You Signed Up For This BY HAILEY WHARRAM

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Up For This.” The synth-filled autobiographical title song instantly captivates with its unflinching honesty and fervent positivity in its motivation towards self-improvement. Peters unapologetically lists her many quirks rapid-fire, embracing all of these details as an intrinsic part of the wonderful collage that formulates her identity. The third song on the album is the electric “John Hughes Movie.” A song soaked in a crystal clear confidence, the protagonist of this tune is turned down by her crush, but gracefully accepts the romantic rejection without internalizing it. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she laughs it off, relieved to have not wasted her time with someone who could never love her the way she deserves to be loved. This message is incredibly refreshing and the chorus is utterly explosive and infectious. “John Hughes Movie” is a clear highlight of the album, and every repeat listen solidifies it more as one of the best pop songs of 2021. From the vivacious snaps and claps that mimic a drumbeat in the background of “I’m Trying (Not Friends)” to the soft “ooh’s” and strings in “Love Him I Don’t,” the production on You Signed Up For This is especially impressive for a debut. One of the most unique instrumentations is on “Brooklyn,” a song detailing Peters’ heartfelt relationship with her twin sister, Ellen. The piano coupled with the rhythmic clicks combine to create a track that is simultaneously upbeat and lowkey. And these are only a few notable examples—the album’s sound design is truly solid all around. The vocal production, too, is stellar: Peters’ light and wispy, almost fairy-like soprano voice floats over every song with a stunning tonality that is ohso-pleasing to the ear. Peters’ songwriting is fast-paced and narrative-focused. Each song bursts at the seams with witty, layered lyricisms that are a pleasure to unpack upon repeat listens. Songs like “Talking to Strangers” and “Outdoor Pool” use their acute lyrical reflections to tell stories that are both specific to her life and universally identifiable, a style reminiscent of Swift. Additionally, the album derives a vibrant and youthful ambiance from several hilarious, irresistibly quotable lines. Some might argue that these borderline cheesy lines, like one that self-deprecatingly details Peters’ embarrassing affinity for “calling guys with guitars in a cemetery,” feel shoehorned in for the sake of t-shirt-worthy manufactured eccentricity. However, Peters’s endearing down-to-earth charm more or less allows her to get away with it, and listeners simply end up laughing right alongside her. This album came at the perfect time for me. Although adolescence is characterized by confusion, no time is more disorienting than the transition to college when you are on your own for the first time. Amidst the jumble of emotions that have accompanied the start of my freshman year experience, You Signed Up For This has been able to verbalize many of the previously stirring—yet dormant—musings that have been racking my brain. As the album title suggests, we signed up for this. We signed up to hear about all of the different, intimately intermingled facets of Peters’ life—and by the end of the album, we are so glad we did. G

fter making a name for herself with her singles such as 2017’s “Places We Were Made,” a lyrical love letter to her hometown, and 2018’s wildly popular “Worst of You,” it finally appeared as though 21-year-old Brighton native Maisie Peters was going to have the chance to break out into the mainstream. It was February 2020, and she was set to be accompanying Niall Horan on tour later that year. And then COVID-19 happened. With a potentially career-altering tour canceled, many would have succumbed to the gut-wrenching devastation of these unfortunate circumstances. But Peters did not allow the setback to break her stride. She used the remainder of 2020 and the newly freed-up schedule quarantine provided her to begin penning not just one, but two original albums: the 14-track, 46-minute-long You Signed Up For This (2021) and another album of nine originals for Apple TV’s Trying season two. On You Signed Up For This, an album of growth, wit, vulnerability, and self-reliance, Peters hits a wide-range of emotional beats with a remarkable finesse that will leave you wondering why you have not yet seen her name popping up on the U.S. Top 40 charts. At only 5-foot-1, Peters may be small in stature, but her stunning lyricism and breathtaking vocal performance certainly place her among the pop giants. In many ways, this album feels like the older sister of Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (2021), a similarity that can perhaps be attributed to Rodrigo’s and Peters’s mutual citation of the one and only Taylor Swift as a key inspiration for their songwriting. Both albums grapple with similar themes of playful self-deprecation (especially in

their openers), innocent, wide-eyed longing, and the cruel sting of a lover’s betrayal. However, where Sour captures a distinctly teenage, more melodramatic outlook, You Signed Up For This approaches these scenarios with a graceful maturity that only more life experience can bring (even though Rodrigo got her driver’s license first). One of the most important details of this debut album is its seemingly effortless ability to capture the duality of the young adult experience. Like Walt Whitman in his famous poem “Song of Myself,” You Signed Up For This contains multitudes (a quality perhaps reflective of the “gemini panic” she mentions in “Brooklyn”). It cannot be summarized in one or two simple feelings. Instead, an entire color palette of emotions is on display and these kaleidoscopic complexities add immense depth to the album. Back-to-back tracks “Psycho” (a collaboration with Ed Sheeran) and “Boy” are edgy, brash, and angsty. “Hollow” and “Tough Act” encapsulate brokenness following a breakup. “Volcano” and “Villain” are soft yet sharp, fragile yet fiery. “Outdoor Pool” and “Talking to Strangers” are tender and innocent in their childlike adoration. This wide range of tones perfectly reflects the authentically multifaceted and often confusing nature of the young adult experience while still feeling cohesive as a body of work. Even when things do not go her way, Peters bounces back from every devastation with resilient optimism and an affirmed sense of self. Nowhere is this resilient optimism and strong sense of self more apparent than on the opening track, “You Signed

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illustration by amelia myre; layout by graham krewinghaus

THE GEORGETOWN VOICE


LEISURE

The Eyes of Tammy Faye engages with reality, but not cruelty BY LILY KISSINGER

Content warning: sexual assault here is a lot to unpack about the life of muchlampooned televangelist Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Bakker). There’s the Christian worship broadcasting empire both built and destroyed by Tammy and her ex-husband Jim Bakker, her unexpected third act as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and the harmful effects of the white, conservative, and evangelical culture in which the Bakkers came to power, just to name a few. There is too much, it turns out, to fit comfortably within the just-over-two-hour run time of The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021). Starring Jessica Chastain, The Eyes seeks to reexamine Tammy Faye both as a cultural figure and as an individual by following her from childhood to her death in the early 2000s. The film shows, step by step, the process that built her into the kind of person she was. After meeting her future husband (and later ex-husband) Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) at college, the two marry and start their ministry. They grow in popularity while becoming connected to the upper echelons of evangelical culture. Throughout their relationship, Jim becomes an authority in Tammy’s life rather than an equal partner. The fissures emerge early—Jim hides things from her, taking extreme actions without her input. With these decisions filtered through Jim, Tammy is able to avoid confronting the core problems—their manipulation and exploitation of their audience, the magical thinking of their worldview, their alignment with the right-wing religious leaders—with her ascension. It seems, at points, Tammy is hiding behind this shield of passivity; the film, at its worst, uses these dynamics to mitigate Tammy’s responsibility. Director Michael Showalter (known for writing Wet Hot American Summer (2001)) starts the film at a breakneck pace, choosing not to linger on the details. This is how we are introduced to the miraculous, rapid ascent of the Bakkers; we are asked not to look too closely, not to consider how they grew their audience and businesses, and to accept their prosperity gospel. All the while, Tammy’s dissatisfaction and anxiety grows. Problems, such as Jim’s financial misconduct and Tammy’s worsening addiction to prescription painkillers, arise alongside their advancements. Their successes, we are told, come at a steep cost. Watching the Bakkers

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build their empire is like watching a train barrel towards an immovable obstacle—gaining speed as it progresses closer to an inevitable impact. The Eyes is at its most compelling when focused on Tammy herself. In a reversal of the dynamic that Tammy and Jim shared in their ministry, she is the center of attention. While Jim acts as the patriarchal head of the couple’s pursuits, Tammy commands the audience. Try as he might, Jim cannot match the sheer magnetism of Tammy; he is the star of the relationship only in theory. When they embrace, the camera focuses on Tammy’s face, while Jim is out of focus and mostly out of the shot. This is how the film tells us about the function of their marriage. It’s as if—despite her role in protecting and bolstering Jim’s ego and self-importance—the camera simply cannot take its focus off Tammy. Chastain brings a kind of nervous energy, a peoplepleasing positivity attributed to the evangelist’s traumatic childhood and emotionally abusive marriage. Through Chastain’s performance, we see a side of Tammy that is hesistantingly exuberant, energetic yet exhausted, sincere but self-conscious. Her extreme emotionality comes off as a desperation for approval that would appear fake if not for the moments when her mask slips and her pain shines through. Tammy’s love for God and her love for her audience are intimately tied, and the line between faith and performance are increasingly blurred. Still, Tammy lacks Jim’s cold Machiavellianism. In one scene, she invites a gay preacher ill with AIDs, Steve Pieters, to speak on her talk show. Through her trademark cartoonish emotionality, she asks her viewership to empathize with the kind of person her community sought to dehumanize. (Pieters, thankfully, is still alive to this day). She uses her platform to make an impact—her strongest relationship, in fact, seems to be with those who watch her. When she is not on stage, we watch Tammy watching others, a directorial choice which highlights the loneliness of her position. To her community, she is an extension of her husband, but her husband blatantly lies to her face

and mocks her behind her back. Behind the exaggerated affectations, the film suggests, is a deeply hurting and very complicated person. Jim, on the other hand, is focused on grifting his way to the top, a pattern which he has, apparently, continued to this day—he used his platform to sell a phony COVID-19 cure-all. While both parties benefit from the ministry they built, Jim seizes the opportunities handed to him by the emerging “moral majority.” He eagerly rides the coattails of Jerry Falwell, Sr., a notorious bigot and the founder of Liberty University, which recently contended with a scandal of its own. The film also alludes to, but does not dwell on, allegations of sexual assault against Jim. While these allegations are mentioned, the choice to focus on the Bakkers’s financial crimes above allegations of assault is highly questionable. Media coverage of the accusation has been re-evaluated and criticised in recent years, especially because the press initially portrayed the incident against Bakker as a tryst, not the violent sexual assault of which he was accused. These accusations are particularly relevant in light of the recent #ChurchToo movement, which seeks to expose sexual abuse within church communities. The Eyes of Tammy Faye does not always ask the right questions and does not leave the audience with easy answers to the questions that it does pose. It does not let Tammy off the hook for her misdeeds and her complicity, but it does not engage in the cruelty of those who mocked her while she was alive. Within this story, she is both the victim and the author of her circumstances. Her legacy remains a contradiction: she was complicit in the rise of right-wing evangelicalism and guilty of perpetuating a grift in the building of her wealth, while also a victim of her culture’s cruelty and and repentant of its bigotry. This film, simply put, could not possibly have the time to decide what lies within Tammy Faye, even if an answer is readily available. Instead, it lets the audience observe Tammy as she observes her world. Perhaps this allows us to see, cleareyed, what tends to be lost in the cultural caricatures of Tammy: her perspective. G

photos provided by searchlight pictures; layout by anela ramos

OCTOBER 8, 2021

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VOICES

Contrary to Greg Abbott’s belief, cis men cannot make decisions about abortion ANTHONY BONAVITA

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orty-eight years after the historic Roe v. Wade decision, the rights of women, and anyone who can get pregnant, are still in danger. In a horrific move, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fulfilled many Texas Republicans’s hopes by signing Senate Bill 8, also known as the “heartbeat bill,” which bans abortions after an ultrasound is able to detect cardiac activity, what lawmakers deem to be a “heartbeat.” The law was voted in on May 19 but started to go into effect Sept. 1. The problem with this is that people who are pregnant typically become aware through skipping their menstrual cycle, around four weeks into a pregnancy. This does not account for any issues or irregularities they face during their cycles. “Heartbeats,” meanwhile, are detected around the six week mark. At that time, the heart and heartbeat have yet to develop. The Texas bill completely defies the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which decrees that abortions are a constitutional right, by making an abortion a suable offense and punishable. Abbott’s decision to sign this bill is another example of male leaders imposing their authority on rights that do not apply to them. The right to choose is just one of many that are continuously debated by cisgender male officials, while their impact is predominantly on female, nonbinary, and transgender people. The first step to undo this pattern is electing more women and stakeholders of power, but the societal shift does not stop there. Nina Yee (COL ’23) is the Vice President of H*yas For Choice (HFC). As a Catholic institution, Georgetown chooses not to provide students with contraceptives. H*yas For Choice fills this gap by offering contraceptives and birth control to students despite not being officially recognized by the university. While abortion is predominantly referred to as a woman’s right and the majority of people who can get pregnant identify as women, it’s important to recognize people of all gender identities can menstruate. “I think that it’s not necessarily just a female kind of issue,” said Yee. “It’s an everybody issue and it’s everybody’s right to have that autonomy over their bodies.” Yee was upset by Senate Bill 8, but not surprised. “I definitely was initially outraged, but I feel like for many activists, this is a feeling that has

been so familiar over the past few years that it just felt like such a disappointment,” Yee said. “And even with all the anger that we are looking forward to, things still seem so bleak that the anger can even still fall short.” Yee pointed to the “bounty hunter provision” in the bill, which grants Texans the ability to sue someone aiding in an abortion for a monetary reward. Neighbors can report on anyone they know to be involved, including doctors, employees at abortion clinics, those seeking an abortion, and people transporting the patient. This provision will not stop abortions; it will only further dangerous practices and unethical incarceration. Tessa Block’s (COL ’25) reason for joining HFC was straightforward: Having a choice is important, and currently reproductive rights have succumbed to the patriarchy. “I was completely struck by the fact that [the law] was actually upheld,” Block said, explaining that South Carolina passed a similar law limiting abortions to six weeks. “It is not a shocker that states are continuing to try to pass these kinds of laws.” Far too often, men are at the helm of these decisions, no matter what they decide. States like California, New York, Washington, and Vermont, which are led by male governors, all passed legislation protecting abortion. In Texas’s state legislature, there are 48 women to 132 men in the legislature. In Congress, women compose 26.7 percent of the members, including 24 percent of the Senate and 27.4 percent of the House. We cannot even begin to ponder reproductive justice without people who can get pregnant making the decisions. As Block demanded, “Can we start to break that glass ceiling even more and enter into that political realm and gain leadership positions where [women are] the ones opposing these laws directly?” Men must stop believing they have autonomy over anything regarding a body that is not theirs. I am tired of hearing men say they have control over a woman’s body. I am tired of fellow men not only passing legislation that doesn’t affect our own bodies, but thinking that we can make these decisions at all. Electing more female leadership may not be the definitive answer. Of the nine current female governors in the United States, few have engineered major pushes regarding

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THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

reproductive rights. Of the states deemed to have laws “protecting or expanding abortion rights,” few have female governors. And Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama passed legislation restricting abortion access in 2018. Additionally, men in power frequently appoint women who share conservative views on abortion to attempt to rectify the lack of female representation but keep restrictive measures against those bodies. Few nonbinary and trans people are represented in government. While Republicans were flaunting that Justice Amy Coney Barrett was the newest woman appointed to the Supreme Court, protesters were flooding the streets with the knowledge that she would not be making decisions to uphold Roe v. Wade. She and others have been made into “token” leaders who misogynist politicians use to defend a lack of female leadership in politics. Additionally, most of these leaders are white, and the majority of reproductive restrictions affect people of color at higher rates due to institutional racism and socioeconomic status, with less access to contraceptives and birth control. This does not change the fact that we need more female and nonbinary representation. Regardless of whether they vote in restrictive laws or not, it is their experience that makes their opinions on the matter more impactful and important than any other. “[Reproductive justice] is not just for one group, it’s for everybody,” Yee said. “But including non-males in leadership is incredibly powerful as their experiences as a minority within a heteropatriarchal society is incredibly important for revealing and recifying injustice.” Elevating diverse female voices in leadership is just the beginning to a needed social shift regarding reproductive justice. Men must take a step aside on issues regarding reproductive rights, and understand that there is no sufficient experience to educate cis men on these issues that would give them authority to legislate on it. People should not have to worry about receiving a fine for affecting their own bodies, and reproductive rights should not come with an asterisk.G


SPORTS

College athletes scored a big win in court. The NCAA wasn't ready. BY JAKOB LEVIN

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or at least the past 70 years of college athletics, it has been a foundational principle that the athletes are neither paid nor able to profit off their brand. Now, however, the NCAA is fundamentally reexamining that structure. The organization’s resolute stance against student-athlete compensation was undercut by the advent of name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules enabling student athletes to take advantage of branding opportunities. While the broad perception is that the current direction of college athletics is a surefire victory for student athletes, this is, at best, premature. Instead, the temporary gain pales in comparison to long needed structural change. Owing to an NCAA rule change, as of June 30, student athletes are permitted to profit off the use of their name, image, and likeness for any form of branding. The change follows a long simmering dispute in which the NCAA resisted the notion of NIL compensation publicly and in court. Perhaps the most famous incident leading to recent NIL reform was a class action lawsuit from 2014, when a group of players, including former UCLA basketball player Edward O’Bannon as well as NBA stars Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson, sued the NCAA for its sole right to profit off players’ images, particularly in NCAA basketball video games. Since that case (and others like it), the NCAA has shied away from producing college sports video games to avoid litigation, showing the tangible effects of NIL regulations. For players, who build popular local—and sometimes national—brands as they compete, the O’Bannon case underscored the immense revenue stream they were being denied. However, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling did not radically alter the playing field; it took states forcing the NCAA’s hand for NIL reform to actually happen. In recent years, 28 states began to adopt laws securing players’ rights to their NIL income within the state. Consequently, the NCAA faced the possibility of a patchwork landscape in which some states would have NIL provisions and others would not, with untold potential to warp the competitive playing field. Why would a top recruit go to a school in a state without NIL laws over a school where they could profit off their image? After repeated efforts to forestall the change with a unified federal standard, the NCAA’s rule came into effect as a stopgap just before state NIL laws were slated to do so. Despite the NCAA’s dire warnings that NIL reforms could disrupt and compromise the spirit of college athletics, collegiate sports have not drastically changed. Apart from the occasional in-game advertisement featuring players on the field, there has been minimal disruption to the normal routine of college sports.

It is a material step forward that student athletes can now exercise the same right to benefit from their image as professional players and, incidentally, their own coaches. Combined with a recent Supreme Court decision in NCAA v. Alston, which struck down NCAA restrictions on certain “education-related benefits” including scholarships and internships, the benefits that players can receive from schools are clearly on the rise. However, the common perception of NIL reform in its current stage as a marquee victory for student athletes remains questionable. Despite being lucrative for many student athletes, the results under Alston and NIL reform are opaque and rife with uncertainty. Whether or not the argument was put forth in good faith, the NCAA’s stated objection to the chaos of an inconsistent standard was not groundless. Student athletes must now navigate the challenge of profiting off their likeness with minimal central guidance. The NCAA’s current rule is vague almost to the point of uselessness, granting students latitude to use a “professional services provider” without defining the role or who can perform it, and largely offshoring regulatory responsibility to its constituent schools and conferences. Colleges and universities are charged with providing information about NIL rules to student athletes, creating a reporting system for players who do take advantage of NIL opportunities, and administering all relevant regulations, with no clear recourse to resolve areas of dispute or confusion. Leaving it to each school and conference to provide students with answers to this uncertainty is an invitation for confusion, while a lack of standardized process is a recipe for exploitation and unscrupulous dealing. Without oversight to ensure that individuals advising student athletes act in their interest, there is little protection to prevent those “professional services providers” from taking undue advantage through excessive fees and exploitation. Some form of advisor certainly seems necessary in many cases— navigating the vagaries of a complex NIL landscape while simultaneously fulfilling athletic and academic obligations is no simple task—but currently there is no guarantee that student athletes will receive good advice. The lack of regulation also raises equity concerns. Athletes are often viewed through the prism of their race and gender, calling into question who companies will prioritize in offering NIL deals. Without a clear system under which to operate, the athletes who are best connected and have the resources, social capital, and surrounding expertise to assist with the complex wrangling inherent in any branding deal are those who will capitalize most. A hasty impulse to view current trends as decisive victories for student athletes may be the biggest

illustration by sean ye; layout by alex giorno

challenge to further advocacy for fair and standardized NIL reforms. Next month the NCAA is holding a “special constitutional convention,” convened in recognition of ongoing changes with college sports’ model. But is permitting the existing actors to reshape and police themselves consistent with genuine improvement in the conditions for student athletes? In the Alston case, Justice Brett Kavanaugh penned a concurring opinion that concluded in part, “The NCAA’s business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America.” While this signaled real potential for further legal challenges to the business model of college athletics, public attention rested predominantly on his stark denunciation of the NCAA. The rapid impulse to celebrate the Alston decision reflects the basic dynamic underway in conversations surrounding NCAA reform. After so many years of operating on a playing field demonstrably tilted against student athletes, any acknowledgment or move towards balance represents a significant step. But in this transition, it is critical not to let what amounts to little more than catharsis distract from the challenges student athletes still face in the existing NCAA structure. G Editor’s note: This is the first in a two part series about ongoing changes in NIL policy. Georgetown’s response will be covered in a subsequent article.

OCTOBER 8, 2021

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Dining disasters: Is Georgetown creating food insecurity? BY MAYA KOMINSKY

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THE GEORGETOWN VOICE

ince the return of all Hoyas to the Hilltop, finding food on campus has become a burden. Food insecurity among college students increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with a reported 5.8 out of 10 students lacking basic needs. The new meal plan requirement introduced this semester, which the university claimed would prevent food insecurity, mandates students to get their food mainly from Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall and the on-campus vendors that accept meal exchanges. In the past, students were able to choose among several plans, some significantly more inexpensive than the current options, and upperclassmen could choose to not select a plan at all. The meal requirement has especially created problems for students with dietary restrictions, and with the recent norovirus outbreak on campus, more people are avoiding the university’s food. In response to these challenges, the GUSA Senate is advocating for more equitable dining policies. “That’s really problematic that Georgetown is telling students that the meal plan is the only way to get food security,” Leo Rassieur (COL ’22), speaker of the GUSA Senate, said in an interview with the Voice. “But their solution to try to create food security actually, number one, doesn’t give people access to food, and number two, when they get access to food, they end up in the hospital.” In the 2019–2020 school year, the minimum meal plan requirement was 18 swipes per week plus $200 Flex (costing $3,007 total) for freshmen, and 160 swipes per semester plus $350 Flex (costing $2,500 total) for sophomores;

graphic by connor martin

juniors and seniors were not required to purchase a meal plan, as many live in housing with kitchens. This year, first years and sophomores were required to purchase at least the All Access 7 plus $200 Flex ($3,260), and juniors and seniors were required to pay at least $2,978 and $1,614 for a meal plan, respectively. The university’s email announcing the meal plan requirement in June stated that it would foster a sense of community through bonding in shared spaces, and students with financial aid have the All Access 7 plus $200 Flex plan included in their packages to ensure food security. But students say the requirement is exploitative and financially motivated, especially because the cost of the meal plan averages $13 per meal, making it more expensive than buying groceries or dining off-campus in some cases. “I don’t think it takes a whole lot of thought to realize why this requirement exists, namely that the university has been in a financial crisis of its own for a while now because of the pandemic,” Rassieur said. “[The mandatory meal plan] is maybe one of many things they’re doing to recuperate the losses at the expense of students.” According to Rassieur, when the requirement was announced in the spring, GUSA identified it as a cause of financial concern among students. On Aug. 29, GUSA introduced a resolution demanding that the university act on food insecurity and change the meal plan requirement. Food insecurity at Georgetown was a problem even before the pandemic. In 2016, a university poll found that 54 percent of the student body on campus had experienced food insecurity. In 2019, Georgetown Students Advancing Food Equity (SAFE) opened the Hoya Hub, a community


pantry that provides free food for students, now located in the Village A Community Room. Georgetown Mutual Aid also accepts donations of Flex dollars for redistribution to food-insecure students. This semester, there are several new sources of food insecurity: long lines at Leo’s extending to Cooper Field at times; overcrowding in the dining hall, which creates a COVID-19 health concern; a lack of options for those with dietary restrictions; and stations at Leo’s running out of food, forcing students to pay for meals with Flex or out-of-pocket. In the last few weeks, several students have avoided the dining hall altogether for fear of catching norovirus or salmonella. The GUSA resolution also included complaints about technical difficulties that make it difficult to access food, such as issues with the GrubHub app and meal exchanges, which resulted in some students having to use Flex to pay for meals that should have been covered by meal exchanges. Additionally, the temporary removal of Whisk from the meal exchange program diminished the value of the meal plans. In response to these early issues, Marc Fournier, vice president for auxiliary business services, wrote to the community that changes had been made to alleviate overcrowding in Leo’s. These included faster GOCard readers, to-go containers for food, and the use of meal swipes instead of exchanges at Leo | MKT, including Whisk. Fournier also addressed confusion regarding the use of the GrubHub app and said the university would begin refunding people who were accidentally charged Flex instead of meal exchanges. According to Rassieur, the administration did not consult GUSA before making these changes. “We told them that the root cause of the issue was the meal plan requirement and, in essence, they ignored us,” he said. “They made this change that, admittedly, is beneficial, but that’s not really the solution that we’ve been asking for for months, so it’s very frustrating.” These changes did not alleviate the obstacles that students with dietary restrictions face, especially given that Leo’s stations designed to accommodate certain needs—such as allergen or halal diets—sometimes run out of food or are especially susceptible to foodborne illness. Akil Cole (COL ’24), who adheres to a vegan diet, has difficulty satisfying all of his nutritional needs on the meal plan. He does not require a lot of variety in his meals, but outside of breakfast, it is difficult to find sources of protein. In some cases, the food options have been misleading, such as tofu—a typical source of protein for those who eat vegan or vegetarian—that contained fish. Cole is not the only one encountering difficulties in the dining hall. “My dietary restrictions already make it difficult for me to eat on the meal plan,” Han Miller (COL ’23) wrote in an email to the Voice. In addition to limited food options, Miller has trouble accessing that food, which is why they would prefer not to have a meal plan. “Leo’s is not a safe or conducive space for my OCD or sensory processing disorder.” Health concerns about on-campus food further limit student dining options. On Sept. 21, Georgetown’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Ranit Mishori sent an email about a gastrointestinal illness impacting 12 students, then suspected to be salmonella. The next day, GUSA set up a Google form for students to report if they were experiencing symptoms of food poisoning. Within 24 hours, GUSA received over 30 responses.

A follow-up email days later confirmed that two people had tested positive for norovirus, which is a contagious gastrointestinal illness with similar symptoms to salmonella. By the following week, 150 students and faculty reported having these symptoms, and one student had been hospitalized. The university instituted a quarantine meal delivery service, cleaned the rooms of affected individuals, and increased sanitization of frequentlytouched surfaces. Though the source of the illness has still not been determined, prepackaged and washed foods in the dining locations were removed out of caution. While campus dining locations were approved to remain open after a visit from D.C. Health, student discomfort with eating on campus persists. “I could choose to eat more salad, which is I guess an option,” Cole said. “But particularly the norovirus going on right now, there’s a lot of concerns with eating raw food, which especially cuts down on the options.” Norovirus is not the only concern about university food, as some students experienced gastrointestinal illness after eating on campus before the outbreak. “Many of the students who reported being ill recently after eating at Leo’s—or some other Georgetown dining location—they had previously gotten ill or had some kind of adverse reaction to eating,” Rassieur said, pointing to an issue larger than the recent outbreak. “It’s been like this for a while, it’s just that it possibly became more severe or more students have been falling ill recently. So this is an ongoing problem.” Though Miller did not contract norovirus, they experienced food-related illness before the outbreak. “I [attempted] to eat at Crop Chop a few times because they do have a few options that I can eat. However, all three times I had gastrointestinal problems after eating there. These occasions were earlier on in the school year before the campus wide issues,” they wrote. The university requires students experiencing norovirus symptoms to quarantine in their rooms until they have received a negative COVID-19 test, while roommates do not receive temporary housing. With several contagious illnesses going around campus, Leo’s is even more of a public health concern, according to Rassieur. The gastrointestinal illnesses impact both students’ health and academic performance. Those who cannot afford to pay for off-campus food in addition to the meal plan have been affected the most, Rassieur said. “For students who aren’t able to just Doordash or buy groceries and get out of the meal plan requirement, if they are just stuck in the hospital all day or they’re not getting enough meals a day because they don’t trust eating on campus anymore, then it presents such a huge hurdle to the academic success,” Rassieur said. “That creates problems of equity in the classroom.” For students who are buying additional meals, the extra cost is still burdensome.“Because I do not eat on the dining plan except for using my Flex dollars, I am paying for the meal plan while simultaneously paying to feed myself, which is not financially sustainable,” Miller wrote. GUSA scheduled a meeting with school administrators on Sept. 27 to learn about actions being taken to locate the source of the norovirus, how the university planned to restore students’ trust in on-campus dining, and to restate their demand that the meal requirement be waived now that students are afraid to use it. However, the university seemed unwilling to reconsider.

“I asked administrators point-blank whether, in light of all that’s happened, they still believed this meal plan requirement is helping students,” Rassieur wrote. According to him, the administrators in attendance maintained that the requirement is beneficial, and that the food on campus has not been confirmed as the source of illness. On Oct. 1, GUSA held a teach-in to inform students about actions they are taking to push for the end of the meal plan requirement. The event was accompanied by a slideshow presentation entitled “The Food Security Crisis at Georgetown: Or, how Georgetown is profiting off of students getting food poisoning.” Vice President of GUSA Nicole Sanchez (SFS ’22) said that when GUSA reported their findings on students’ fears about eating at on-campus dining locations, the administration brushed off these concerns, as the food has not been confirmed as the source of the norovirus outbreak. GUSA members in attendance expressed their disappointment with the administration’s lack of action to combat recurring food insecurity. Sen. Mirka Sosa (COL ’23) believes there should not be a need for resources such as the Hoya Hub. “It just shows how a school like Georgetown is not doing anything for its students,” she said. At the teach-in, GUSA members also referenced an email communication sent to students the day before, instructing them to attend class unless they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Even if a student is ill, having a family emergency, or other life events, the university set clear expectations for in-person involvement and no guarantee of providing synchronous virtual resources. In light of the multiple contagious illnesses circulating throughout campus, including norovirus, Sen. Megan Skinner (SFS ’24) said the email notice creates a dangerous incentive for students to always show up to class despite potential sickness. “It is overall unacceptable when people don’t feel safe in their classes,” she said. At the end of the teach-in, GUSA members presented their list of demands including the end of the meal plan requirement, refunds for the difference between the current and former meal plans, and that students affected by the gastrointestinal illness be compensated with Flex for additional food costs. In an Oct. 3 GUSA meeting, the Senate followed through with an unanimous resolution demanding the university take steps to address food safety. Included in the document are added concerns about the burden placed on food service employees, who are overworked due to the meal plan requirement and increased rush of students. The university received additional criticism for its treatment of dining hall workers in the spring semester, when they faced high exposure to COVID-19 and whose low wages did not cover basic expenses. GUSA encouraged the university to hire more staff members to address this issue. Though GUSA also pointed to a lack of training of food service staff as a source of concern, Cole wants to remind students not to misdirect frustrations that stem from administrative policies toward the employees preparing the food. “I would like to give a shout-out to the Leo’s workers,” he said. “Most of them are really cool, nice, and helpful, and they’re doing an important role here.” G OCTOBER 8, 2021

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Profile for The Georgetown Voice

The Georgetown Voice, 10/8/21  

Check out our latest issue with articles on contingent professors, Georgetown’s dining diasters, the anti-woman meaning of woman’s lit, why...

The Georgetown Voice, 10/8/21  

Check out our latest issue with articles on contingent professors, Georgetown’s dining diasters, the anti-woman meaning of woman’s lit, why...

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