APRIL 17, 2018
THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO SINCE 1892
VOL. 129, ISSUE 40
Former WH Advisor Valerie Jarrett Visits IOP Uncommon: Law Professor Eric Posner on New Book BY MADELEINE ZHOU SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
Courtesy of the IOP
Jarrett, now a Law School fellow, will also give the Class Day speech, as The Maroon reported last week.
BY BRAD SUBRAMANIAM NEWS REPORTER
Va ler ie Ja r ret t , former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, spoke about her childhood and early life White House experience and recent political developments in a talk hosted by the Institute of Politics (IOP) last Thursday.
Jarrett is a distinguished senior fellow at the UChicago Law School. Later this year, Jarrett will be the 2018 Class Day speaker. Jarrett spoke about her experience working in the White House and pra ised Obama for his leadership qualities. “Sometimes people think he’s just a nice guy, but he has a
terrific temperament and demeanor for the job. He’s capable of making really hard decisions.” While commenting on the Trump administration’s revocation of numerous Obama-era policies, Jarrett stated, “What troubles me as I travel around the country is how many peoContinued on page 3
Eric Posner has been a professor at the Law School since 2013. A n accomplished law scholar, he is known for proposing potentially controversial ideas, as he does in his upcoming book, Radical Markets. Radical Markets is co-written by Glen Weyl, a research scholar at Yale, and will be released in early May. T he M aroon sat down with Posner to discuss the book and his past propositions, which have generated high levels of debate. Chicago M aroon: Can you give a quick summary of what Radical Markets is about? How long have you been working on it? Posner: The book is about how to design markets and market institutions so as to advance both economic growth— or wea lth , genera l ly — a nd equality. Often, people think that markets are inconsistent with equality. Their argument
is that [markets] depend on how they’re designed, and they can be designed in ways to advance equality as well as wealth. And one of the premises of the book is that the market institutions we currently have were developed a long time ago, before the radical changes in technology that we’ve experienced over the last several decades. One of the reasons the country has experienced slow economic growth and worsening inequality in recent years is that the market institutions we have are out of date. The book goes through five topics where markets have done poorly and where they could be improved. CM: What are the five topics? Posner: One is property markets. T he second is political markets, which is the market for political influence. We have a chapter on capital markets and a chapter on migration and labor markets. The Continued on page 3
Woodlawn Community Gardens Face Potential Closure BY MADELEINE ZHOU SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
T he F i r st P r esby t er i a n C hu r ch of C h ic ago, wh ich owns the land occupied by the 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden and the Kumunda Community Garden, is contemplating shutting the gardens down, leaving community gardeners worried about the fate of their crops. Ga rdeners were f i rst warned in late February about the gardens’ potential closure, but the church’s leadership did not release an official notice until March 17, alongside an announcement that the contract would not be renewed for the upcoming season. T he 6 5 t h & Wo o d l aw n C ommu n ity Ga rden , wh ich opened in 2005, contains 122 plots and provides organic produce for about 300 homes. Its smaller counterpart, the Kumunda Community Garden,
was founded in 2013 and contains about 50 plots. Members of the gardening commu n ity have expressed f r ustration about the suddenness of the church’s announcement and the lack of information from the church in response to questions about the closure. Many gardeners are concer ned about the f utu re of their crops and are upset by the potential loss of a tightknit community. Jessica Gillespie, a volunteer at the gardens, told T he M a roon , “The gardens are important to the neighborhood, as they are a way for people to access healthy, organic food in an area that is still classified as a food desert.” T he F i r st P r esby t er i a n Church has not yet announced a final decision about the gardens’ fate and has not responded to T he M a roon ’s request for
comment. In discussions with the garden’s leadership, the church has listed several causes of the shutdown. Gillespie told T he M a roon that First Presbyterian’s pastor felt the gardens needed new leadership, as there are currently many volunteer leaders who take care of a variety of tasks—including coordinating communication between the garden and the church, organizing the weekly food pantry harvest, and directing internal communication with the gardeners. T he pastor hoped to improve the state of the Kumunda Community Garden, as it is lacking some of the amenities of the 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden. In an e-mail to the gardeners, the gardens’ coordination committee encouraged peo Continued on page 3
The Community Garden provides organic produce for 300 homes.
What a Dating Site Can Tell Us About the Persistence of Racism
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Du: “User preferences on OKCupid reveal that racial bias is still alive in modern dating.”
Cardi B Conquers New Territory Page 5 Bean: “While switching between a Maybach and a Ferrari is not exactly relatable for the average listener, lyrics like ‘and my bitches with me pretty too, they look like bridesmaids’ still make you want to be her.”
Maroons Split Games Against Hawks Page 8
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THE CHICAGO MAROON - APRIL 17, 2018
Events 4/17– 4/19 Today Treating America’s Opioid Crisis Quadrangle Club, 5:30–6:45 p.m. A panel of experts will discuss the state of the opiod crisis in America–what areas are most affected, what role law enforcement and health officials play in creating and addressing the crisis, and, most importantly, what can be done to stop it? Register online. Building Queer Alliances: Student Mixer Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (Community Lounge), 5 – 7 p.m. LGBTQ+ students are invited to enjoy light refreshments, meet other community members, and get involved with LGBTQ+ campus groups.
Courtesy of the University of Chicago Photographic Archive
Attendees at the dedication ceremony for Yerkes Observatory, including George Ellery Hale and Edwin Frost, pose for a photograph.
Jeanne Gang – “The Uneven City” Performance Hall, Logan Center for the Arts, 6 – 7 p.m. A rchitect Jeanne Gang, founder of the architecture firm behind Campus North, will deliver the second lecture in her three-part series. Wednesday
E. E. Just Annual Lecture Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, 4 – 5:30 p.m. Kenneth Manning, professor of rhetoric and the history of science at MIT and author of a biography of Ernest Everett Just, will speak on Just’s work and legacy. Just was one of the first African-American biological scientists to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Film Screening: Wood Floaters Cobb 307, 7 – 9 p.m. The Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies will screen the documentary Wood Floaters which follows the lives of men who transport lumber through the Russian wildnerness.
Support Our Advertisers Page Seven: Lumen Christi is hosting an event on Thursday, April 19: “ The Future of Liberalism? Relativism Confronts St. Augustine.” It will feature Georgetown University Theology and Philosophy Professor Stephen Fields. Register at www.lumenchristi.org If you want to place an ad in T he M ar o on , please e-mail ads@ chicagomaroon.com or visit chicagomaroon.com/ pages/advertise. In our podcast, T he M a roon Weekly: Austin Christhilf talks the history of housing in the college with Spencer Dembner, and Quinn Kane sits down with Katie Akin to find out what exactly happened to the business economics major proposal. Visit https://soundcloud.com/chicagomaroonpodcast to tune in.
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Seeing Stars on the Shore of Lake Geneva: A History of Yerkes, the University’s Moribund Observatory BY OREN OPPENHEIM SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
“YERKES BREAKS INTO SOCIETY—Street-Car Boss Uses Telescope as a Key to the Temple Door—AND IT FITS PERFECTLY,” the Chicago Evening Journal exclaimed when Charles Yerkes financed UChicago’s Yerkes Observatory in 1892. More than 125 years later, the University plans on withdrawing from the observatory—and the observatory, once the site of experimentation and innovation, could be closing its doors. But for many years, the “key” fit perfectly. The Maroon looks back on Yerkes’s long history, from its storied past to its uncertain present. A Star-Studded Beginning The observatory’s story begins in July 1892, when William Rainey Harper, the University’s first president, hired George Ellery Hale as an associate professor in astrophysics. At the time, Hale’s family owned their own observatory in Kenwood, which then became part of the University. During a scientific conference that September, Hale heard from another researcher about a set of glass optical disks for telescopes—40 inches each in diameter—that had been recently crafted for the University of Southern California. The lenses’ diameter and thinness allowed them to take in more light than other telescopes and to give astronomers a sharper, more vivid look at the cosmos. But USC was unable to finance the lenses, so they remained on the market. At the time the largest refracting telescope in the world was only 36 inches in diameter, so Hale and Harper became intrigued with the prospect of buying the 40inch diameter lenses. The next month they set up a meeting with Charles Yerkes, a financier who helped fund Chicago’s mass transit. Yerkes agreed to provide $500,000 for the telescope and a new observatory, according to a New York Times article announcing the gift. The observatory was set to be built by New York–based construction firm Warner and Swasey of New York City, and would bear Yerkes’s name. The telescope itself came into the public eye the very next year, when parts of it were displayed at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in May 1893. In an 1897 book he authored about the observatory, Hale explained why Yerkes Observatory could not be located in Chicago. “Some of the other researches demand a dark sky and great transparency of the at-
mosphere, while for still others the principal requisite is complete protection of the instruments from vibrations of any kind,” he wrote. According to Hale, the University’s trustees understood that the research intended to be done at Yerkes could not be done on campus, or even in Chicago. Hale wrote that several towns in Illinois, Wisconsin, and even California had expressed interest in hosting Yerkes as soon as word got out about the observatory. After reviewing the sites, Hale and other researchers decided on a site next to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, near the town of Williams Bay. “The region is one where the mean annual cloudiness is low for this part of the United States, there is but little dust, and the nights of the best observing months are usually calm,” Hale wrote of the decision. Construction on the site began in April 1885 and concluded in May 1887, according to Yerkes’s first annual director’s report, which was written by Hale in 1898. The observatory was designed by Henry Ives Cobb. Frederick Law Olmsted, whose other notable projects include Midway Plaisance, Jackson Park, and Botany Pond on campus, designed the grounds. Equipment from the Kenwood observatory was brought over to Yerkes as well. Hale described the classes and research taking place at Yerkes during its first year, including classes on astronomical spectroscopy (measuring radiation from stars) and celestial photometry (measuring the brightness of stellar radiation). Researchers also took solar and star photos at the observatory with the help of the telescope, “in spite of the fact that the forty-inch telescope is not intended for photographic work,” Hale wrote in the report. Hale remained at Yerkes until 1904, when he left for the Mount Wilson Solar Observatory he had founded in California. A Stellar Site Edwin Frost, Yerkes’s second director, described some of Yerkes’s early accomplishments in a retrospective published in 1923. For example, the article notes that astronomer Sherburne Burnham studied double stars, or star pairs that seem to be near each other when viewed, and published related research in 1904. Just four years earlier, the observatory successfully photographed stars using the telescope. Astronomer Frank Schlesinger used this to measure the distance of stars from Earth. Other significant explorations included the measuring of heat from the stars in 1898 and 1900, and an experiment about the
earth’s rigidity in 1913. (A Journal of Geology article explains that the experiment explored the question of whether what lies beneath the surface of the earth is rigid or fluid.) “During the past twenty years, the average number of hours per year during which the 40-inch telescope could be used at night has been nearly 1,700,” Frost wrote. Frost also expressed his wish that the observatory had done more since its founding, even as he spoke of its experiments, equipment acquisitions (including another telescope in 1906), and published papers. “We frankly admit that we have accomplished in these twenty-five years far less than we could wish.... The observatory has no spectacular achievements to record, but it has been the policy to carry on a program of observations which would be certain to be useful, rather than to spend much time in attempting to make discoveries which might not be realized,” he wrote. During Frost’s tenure, Edwin Hubble, who went on to discover galaxies beyond the Milky Way, and Otto Struve, who discovered the existence of hydrogen in space, both conducted research at Yerkes. Struve took over as director of Yerkes in 1932, and led Yerkes through a deal with the University of Texas to open the McDonald Observatory that year in western Texas. Yerkes and the University would run operations at McDonald until 1963, when an astronomer from the University of Texas took it over. Struve, a Russian immigrant to the United States, joined Yerkes in 1921 and spent the following years revitalizing and guiding the observatory during World War II. One major innovation pioneered during his tenure was the Yerkes Spectral Classification. Created by researchers William Morgan, Philip Keenan, and Edith Kellman, this system categorizes stars into six groups by luminosity. Thanks to innovations in telescoping technology, the observatory’s refracting telescope, the original raison d’être of the site, became obsolete as the 20th century continued. Newer telescopes with mirrors worked more effectively and were built in sites that had less light pollution. In the 1960s, the astronomy department moved from Wisconsin to Hyde Park, in order to bring the department onto campus, which left Yerkes without any academic department on its premises. The observatory continued to be used for educational, research, and outreach purposes, and in the past two decades has been a site of several astrophysics discoveries. This story continues online.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - APRIL 17, 2018
Petition to Save Gardern Has 2000 Signatures
“The book could conceivably anger people” Continued from front
final chapter is on data markets, the market for personal data that people basically gift to the big Silicon Valley tech firms…. My co-author is Glen Weyl, an economist, who was here for a few years. He and I had been working on related ideas for quite a long time, maybe three or four years. The idea in this book was both to draw on the academic work but also try to make a more general argument for a general readership. CM: Do you think the audience is more intended for very academic people or for anyone who might be interested in the topic? Posner: It’s for anyone. Although realistically it would be for the sort of person might read The Economist. CM: I heard that the book has some controversial propositions. Do you have an idea why that is? Posner: It’s not out yet, so it’s a little hard to talk about what will upset people. What’s unusual about the book is that we’re pro-market, but we’re not
libertarians. We’re not the traditional Chicago school type of pro-market people. We think that markets are not natural, but they’re institutional artifacts. They’re designed by governments and they can be designed in better or worse ways. We put a lot of emphasis on the problem of inequality, so the book could conceivably anger people on the right and the left. A lot of people on the left reject markets and a lot of people on the right don’t care about any equality in the way we do and tend to take, what seems to us, a very unrealistic view on what markets are and how they work. CM: Where would you place yourself on the spectrum of political ideologies? Posner: I think of myself as a more or less middle type of person. I think of things in a very technocratic way. My philosophical starting point is kind of utilitarianism, or what’s sometimes called welfarism, which is the idea that people’s well-being matters and should be advanced by the government. Depending on your empirical premises and how you think about how the world
Continued from front
works, that can lead to sometimes more left-wing proposals and sometimes more right-wing proposals. It depends a lot on what area of life you’re talking about. Note: This article has been lightly edited for clarity. The full interview continues online.
Racism Did Not Cause Brexit, Former Labour Party Leader Says BY JADE YAN NEWS REPORTER
Ed Miliband, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party from 2010 to 2015, spoke to community members and students at the Quadrangle Club on Tuesday, April 10, discussing issues that included Brexit, global warming, and the future of democracy. The event was moderated by the Institute of Politics Director David Axelrod, who worked with Miliband on the Labour Party’s campaign in 2013. Miliband’s leadership saw the Labour Party move left, with aims to reduce inequality and to improve living standards for the working class. However, some have criticized Miliband’s practical leadership abilities, particularly after a picture of him awkwardly eating a bacon sandwich went viral. Miliband stepped down in 2015 after the Labour Party lost the general election to the Conservative Party, and was succeeded by Jeremy Corbyn. During his talk with Axelrod, Miliband
emphasized the need for “big answers” to current issues. While discussing Brexit, Miliband urged the audience to look beneath the surface, arguing that the desire for change was the common motivating factor in pro-Brexit individuals. He argued that the voters were worried about the future for their children, the banking crisis, and were on the bad end of huge inequality. He later compared Brexit to Trump, stating that “both offer the semblance of big change.” Miliband dismissed the idea that racism is responsible for Brexit. He instead identified the root cause as “deeper economic concerns” about inequality and the economy. “Capitalism isn’t delivering,” Miliband said. “If we’re worried about inequality now, what is it going to be like in the era of driverless cars?” He stated that inequality would only worsen with a concentration of wealth in the hands of technology giants. Miliband’s proposed solutions included increased antimonopoly action and new redistribution plans such as universal basic
income, which would replace the welfare system with a fixed regular payment to every person. “It’s fine to be skeptical [of solutions like universal basic income],” Miliband said. “But at least it’s thinking about big scale.” Discussing the environment, Miliband spoke positively about China’s aggressive action against climate change. He had previously accused China of hijacking the 2009 Copenhagen climate deal, arguing that it tried to resist a deal being signed. Despite his praise of the country, he commented that, as a whole, “we haven’t brought climate justice and economic justice close enough together,” and climate change is often denied the context of other issues. Miliband was skeptical of a second referendum to reverse the result of Brexit, although he argued that Britain has to maintain ties with the European Union. “The Tories have this ridiculous fantasy of a free-floating Britain as a sort of Hong Kong of the North Sea, or something,” Miliband said.
Conservative Writer to CRs: “Are you willing to be vilified?” BY CAROLINE KUBZANSKY SENIOR NEWS REPORTER
National Review writer and National Review Institute senior fellow David French spoke to the UChicago College Republicans about the state of campus free speech on Thursday night. National Review is a conservative magazine that publishes news and opinion pieces. Prior to joining National Review, French worked with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and was deployed to Iraq as part of the U.S. Army. French focused on the way cultural shifts often precede legal and political ones, and the way growing cultural intolerance toward offensive speech may influence future legislation and politics. He called upon attendees to defend the University’s much-lauded culture of free speech in order to preserve “the marketplace of ideas.” French opened by contrasting the United States’ nominal attitude towards free speech with its changing reality of increased self-censorship and lower tolerance for center-right views.
“As of right now, you are more free to speak your mind than at any other point in United States history,” he said. He noted however, that about 20 percent of those surveyed on campus free speech said that they thought it was appropriate to use violence in order to shut down “hate speech.” Arguing that no real definition for hate speech exists, French used the phrase in reference to speech that offends others based on a “protected characteristic,” like gender, race, or religion. “We’re unlearning liberty,” French said. French pointed toward new social behaviors such as conservative employees of large corporations being afraid to post about their political views to Facebook, or the “speech codes” many universities have attempted to put in place as evidence for a new cultural view concerning free speech. “All of this is not new. It just has burst out of academia,” he said. French later argued that American politics are beginning to reflect culture, a trend he said that can be seen in controversial judicial cases. As an example, he referenced the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which will decide a business owner’s right
to refuse service to gay customers. He also cited California’s disputed Fact Act, which requires anti-abortion medical facilities to post notices about the locations of abortion-providing facilities. French feared that the Supreme Court would affirm the Fact Act’s legality and strike down the Indiana law that allows bakers to refuse service to gay couples. “If these two cases go the wrong way, we’re going to see an undermining of the bedrock of the First Amendment,” he said. “When you lose the culture, you lose the law. Otherwise, the culture will just continue to slide away and we will not be the same free people we’ve always been.” He told those at the meeting that it was their duty to defend the boundaries of acceptable free speech. “The edge recedes,” French said. “You retreat from the marketplace of ideas…and the favored idea pushes forward.” French emphasized that this defense might involve sparring with PR offices, other students, or even hate mail, as he received some for advertising a pro-life student group while still a graduate student at Harvard. In closing, he asked: “Are you willing to be vilified?”
ple to send e-mails to the committee about why the gardens are important to them. Local gardeners have started a petition on Change.org to keep the gardens open, which has garnered over 2000 signatures as of Sunday. The current gardening leadership will be meeting with the church on April 17 to further discuss the future of the gardens.
Jarrett: Our Democracy Has Always Had Periods of Chaos. Continued from front
ple are really worried and scared who are going to benefit from many of the policies and legislation that we put in place.” Jarrett said that although the Affordable Care Act, controversial health care legislation signed by Obama, is not perfect, she emphasized that compromise and cooperation is necessary in politics. “When we had the baton, we did the best we could,” she said. “ You can’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.” W hen asked to comment on the Trump administration, Jarrett said she believes that the current reactionary political climate will only prove temporary. “I also take the long view. Our democracy has never been easy. It’s always had periods of chaos,” she said. Despite this optimistic perspective, Jarrett said that the Democratic Party still has areas in which it can improve. “We have to appeal broadly in this country to parties that are close to one another.” Jarrett grew up in Hyde Park and graduated from UChicago’s Laboratory Schools. Prior to her Chicago upbringing, her parents’ careers brought her to Iran and the U.K. Jarrett mentioned that her unorthodox upbringing and supportive parents gave her a safety net and allowed her to take risks. Jarrett’s father, James Bowman, taught at UChicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine for nearly 30 years and served as a professor of pathology and genetics. Her mother, Barbara Bowman, is a prominent expert on childhood education and co-founder of the Erikson Institute, a graduate school for childhood education in Chicago. After receiving a J.D. from the University of Michigan, Jarrett faced the obstacle of balancing her family life as a single mother with her career ambitions. “I feel as though I was one of the fortunate ones, but if you were to ask me twenty years ago, I would say I was holding on by my fingertips.” Although her job as a lawyer offered numerous benefits, such as extended leave, Jarrett emphasized that maternity benefits are a privilege uncommon to many industries. “Imagine working women who are on a shift and their employers don’t care if their child is sick or they’re sick,” she said.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - APRIL 17, 2018
VIEWPOINTS What a Dating Site Can Tell Us About the Persistence of Racism Racism Is Still Ever-Present in the 21st Century United States, as Seen Through a Simple Dating Website
Lucas Du For me, and I think for many other people at UChicago, the 2008 election seemed to be a turning point in American history. With Barack Obama in office, the first black man to ever reach that rarefied political pedestal, I could feel a palpable buzz in the air around me, even though I was only about nine years old at the time. There was hope that we were entering a post-racial America, hope that we could finally move past our legacy of slavery and segregation and racial oppression, and finally begin to view each other as worthy, complete, and equal. I still remember the crowds of people that spilled out into the streets on Broadway and Pike in downtown Seattle that night. I can remember the look on my fourth-grade teacher’s face the morning after the election, surveying the classroom, full of idealistic light. But nearly a decade removed from that fateful, hopeful day in 2008, the my th of a post-racial A merica has been fractured, broken and beaten to a pulp. The slaying of Travyon Martin in Florida and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement punctured a hole in our national delusions. A nd the election of Donald Trump, whose campaign played strongly into racial fears and whose public record is littered with instances of racial discrimination, hammered in the final nail. As Ta-Nehisi Coates so succinctly noted in a 2015 issue of The Atlantic, “ There is No Post-Racial America.” And perhaps there never will be. It seems to me that racism is still very much alive today, not in the same way as it was in the 1800s or in the 1950s and ’60s, but in a quieter, subtler, perhaps more insidious way. Racism now operates furtively—hidden away in subconscious biases and knee-jerk assumptions, leaking out through the corners of human interaction, erupting
sometimes in a burst of gunfire. Honestly, I think the questions that bother me the most are: How and why? How did we go from heavenly visions of a post-racial future to the brutal reality of a still-racist, still-divided America? Why does it seem like we’re going backward? And what can we do to keep moving forward? Recently, I stumbled upon a 2014 OkCupid blog post on race and attraction that compared data from 2009 to 2014, looking at how men and women in four broad racial categories (Asian, black, Latino/Latina, white) rated each other. The study is limited in that it looks solely at heterosexual ratings
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and matches, but the broad results are clear: Black people and Asian men generally get fewer matches, and the addition of whiteness (adding “white” to your racial description) increases ratings. Also, about 10 percent fewer people admit to having a racial bias in 2014 than in 2009, but overall, their actual ratings and decisions have remained the same, if not even more pronounced. The last two results are especially interesting, and to me, have broader implications, especially regarding contemporary racism. While racial bias in dating doesn’t necessarily correspond directly to racial bias in other interactions, I do think it offers a quick and illuminating look into the world of gut reactions and subconscious conceptions of worthiness that racism often seems to exist in today. According to the OkCupid results, whiteness still has remarkable currency despite the fact that people believe they hold less racial bias. And I think that this is at the root of at least some part of contemporary racism, especially among the white folk that proclaim themselves liberals. There is an exaggerated sense of self-congratulation, a hypocritical belief in their racial progressiveness, while all along they continue to hold views and act in ways that support white supremacist power structures. It also points to the performativity of our actions and our activism—a disconnect between the beliefs we say we hold and the beliefs we actually act on. This is the kind of hypocrisy that the 2017 movie Get Out explored and
exposed through its unique brand of horror. This is the kind of hypocrisy that I feel is often prevalent among more liberal American communities, where racism is assumed to be firmly in our past. And this is the kind of hypocrisy that keeps racism alive in places where it is supposedly despised. So, for those of us that care about equality and justice, the message is clear: We’re not as tolerant, as unbiased, and as accepting as we think we are. For the white folk among us, especially those who claim that they’re “not racist” and list off their nonwhite friends as proof, who voted for Obama, who look down on those faceless masses who brought Trump to power: You’re not as good as you think. There’s a deep vein of racism that runs through the heart of this country, and it still exists, not just in the Deep South or the Midwest, but sometimes right under our very noses, sometimes even inside of ourselves. Ultimately, there’s not much we can do about the thoughts and ideas of others, but for those that do care, especially the white allies and white liberals among us, you have to do your part. You have to be willing to listen without getting defensive, and most importantly, willing to change. You have to be willing to look within yourself, either on your own or with the help of others, and try to reconcile, as much as you can, the beliefs you claim to hold and the beliefs you truly hold. Because racism isn’t dead, and we, too, are part of the problem. But we can also be part of the solution. Lucas Du is a first year in the college.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - APRIL 17, 2018
ARTS Cardi B Conquers New Territory With Invasion of Privacy BY ZOE BEAN ASSOCIATE ARTS EDITOR
In 2015, “a hoe never gets cold” was one of many memes to become famous not only because it was eccentric and hilarious, but also because it featured women expressing self-love in a way that was accessible to women across the world. In the video, a pre–“Cardi B” Cardi shows off her revealing outfit despite the cold weather. Although many viral stars have trouble pivoting from Internet celebrity to something more lasting, Cardi is an exception. This might be because Cardi has a lot going for her that the others just don’t. After becoming famous for discussing her life as a stripper on social media, Cardi became a regular on the VH1 show, Love & Hip Hop: New York, in which her unabashed, unfiltered persona gained a platform. Now, a year since she signed with Atlantic Records and her single “Bodak Yellow” blew up, her highly anticipated first album under the label has finally dropped. Invasion of Privacy is a fitting title for an album that proceeds such a rapid rise to fame. Invasion of Privacy had an overwhelmingly positive reception—Chance the Rapper was one of dozens of celebs who took to Instagram to sing its praise, congratulating Cardi on “releasing a classic album as her debut.” Ask friends what they think of the album, however, and the reviews are likely to be more varied. This is to be expected. Work so blatantly feminist is often written off as “mainstream,” its substance ignored. The album is a mixed bag, stylistically. There are the classic Cardi songs such as “Get Up 10” and “Bickenhead,” but then there are ones that show her softer side like “Be Careful,” “Thru Your Phone,” and the final track, “I Do” (feat. SZA). The latter, though less aggressive, are still peppered with typical hints at her contagious confidence. Although songs like “I Like It” and
“Drip” stand out upon a cursory listen, it’s Cardi’s ability to serve us more of whatever made “Bodak Yellow” so delicious that really secures the album’s likeability. In “Money Bag,” for example, she displays typical bravado with lines like “I do the Maybach on Monday, Ferrari Friday,” and “Wig be laid, waist snatched.” A lot of what’s appealing about Cardi is the confidence she inspires, much like female rap artists Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, and Nicki Minaj. While switching between a Maybach and a Ferrari is not exactly relatable for the average listener, lyrics like “and my bitches with me pretty too, they look like bridesmaids” still make you want to be her. Cardi’s clout has risen significantly in this past year, if the star power of her collaborations is any indicator. Among the features are “Drip” (feat. Migos), “I Like It” (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin), and “Ring” (feat. Kehlani). While Invasion of Privacy features enough typical Cardi songs to establish her style, some of her collaborations explore some variations from the norm. “Best Life” (feat. Chance the Rapper) is interesting because Chance’s style doesn’t seem like it would mesh with Cardi’s, and yet the song works. The two find common ground talking about their recent success. Cardi’s line “I’m gigglin’, can’t let the devil have the last laugh” pulls in some of Chance’s religious imagery, while Chance defends Cardi—“Don’t be mad because she havin’ shit, you had it your whole life.” Other songs, like “Ring” (feat. Kehlani) touch on relationship issues, presenting a gentler Cardi. “Should I call first? I can’t decide / I want to, but a bitch got pride” is an uncharacteristically indecisive line, but its relatability is refreshing, and Kehlani’s voice on the chorus is as angelic as always. A review of this album wouldn’t be complete without mentioning “I Like It.” Genius calls it the album’s “most danceable song.”
Sampling “I Like It Like That” by Pete Rodriguez, another extremely danceable song, “I Like It” features Bad Bunny and J Balvin, respective Latin trap and reggaeton superstars. Cardi’s father is Dominican, and she has done other Spanish songs, namely a Latin trap remix of “Bodak Yellow” featuring Messiah and “La Modelo” in collaboration with Ozuna. Cardi’s Latin music adds dimension to her persona, but “I Like It” is broadly appealing. You don’t have to understand the Spanish verses to dance to the song. It’s hard to explain why Cardi is so lik-
able. Maybe it’s her realness—one never gets the sense that she’s pretending to be anyone else, and she never apologizes for that, either. Maybe it’s her confidence, which feels so accessible and natural somehow. Maybe it’s the fact that her songs are just good (something that’s debated by those who are put off by her feminism). Maybe we all just love an underdog success story, which is certainly a part of her narrative as a former stripper. Whatever the case, Invasion of Privacy solidifies her status as an artist, rather than a meme.
Courtesy of The 405
Wong Fu Duo Talks Going Viral , Repping Asian-American Identity BY YAO WEI MAROON CONTRIBUTOR
For a f leeting moment, Wong Fu P roductions member Ph i l ip Wa ng walked on stage, then was ushered to return backstage. It wasn’t his moment yet. The crowd and the Wong Fu crew waited patiently for the sponsor to finish her speech. But all that didn’t matter as the crowd was sent into a craze of applause and whistling as he finally
made his belated entrance—it was better late than never. A s much as the Wong F u crew are now icons of the Asian-American community, with over three million subscribers on YouTube and over 500 million total views as of April 2018, waiting for the right opportunity was a significant chapter of their narrative trajectory to stardom. As Wong Fu member Wesley Chan explained to an enthusiastic audience in Mandel Hall
The Asian Students’ Union hosted Phillip Wang and Wesley Chan.
last Tuesday, “When we started, first of all, YouTube didn’t exist yet.” The audience collectively gasped. He then added, “Social media didn’t exist,” and the audience chuckled in disbelief. Indeed, without media platforms like YouT ube that allowed content creators to directly reach their audience, the means were few for an Asian American to prove himself in the entertainment industry. The issue wasn’t so much about being denied a particular career option as it was about the need for representation. Wang said, “Growing up I would stop a music video just to see [an Asian] backup dancer and be like, ‘That’s me! I see myself!’.... [That’s why] the issue of representation is so important and powerful.” But, like most YouTube celebrities, the members of Wong Fu Productions did not always intend or realize that they could represent the voice of the Asian American community. “ W hen we started, it was just fun,” said Chan. “We were students just like you guys were. Philip, Ted, myself, we made videos in class, and found it fun, and realized how we wanted to keep doing it outside of class…. Then some of them were getting views, some of them a lot of views, and it just got viral.” In fact, Wang told the audience,
“When people [first] started telling us, ‘You guys are awesome…. You are representing us,’ originally, we were like, ‘No, that’s not us, we don’t want that responsibility.’” But as their popularity grew, it was inevitable that, given the scanty headcount of Asian-American celebrities, they had to eventually shoulder that responsibility. Yet, even Wang conceded that more than a singular voice is needed to truly represent a diverse Asian-American community. He said, “At the end of the day, we can only do what’s authentic to us, and what we feel is personal to us. But we also know that there are a lot of voices that need to be heard, and what we’re trying to do is to find other creators that we can work with to help us to tell different stories and different perspectives.” While the media industry has arguably been hostile to the entrance of Asian Americans, Asian Americans in the past have been relatively resistant to the idea of pursuing a creative career. Scattered throughout the session were stories from Wang and Chan about stability being a deep-rooted cultural ideal that could potentially turn individuals away from a risky creative profession. Wang said that he acknowledges the Continued on page 7
THE CHICAGO MAROON - APRIL 17, 2018
“ The issue of representation is so important and powerful.” Continued on page 7 risks of a creative career and supports those who seek stability. He emphasized the need for an ecosystem to support a rise in Asian-American representation. “We don’t go around preaching art and creativity is the only way to be satisfied in life, and you got to quit your job. I’m
definitely not one of those people…. For our community to progress, we need people in all different positions.” His theory is that every Asian American has a part to play in this ascension, by either providing capital, being a consumer, or being directly involved in a creative career. It is these components
working in conjunction with each other that creates a positive cycle of reinforcement and allows for the increased representation of the Asian American community. This process requires patience. “Many of my friends are like, I wish Asians have a Black Panther, something that is that cool. But let’s remind
ourselves that they’re like at Chapter 50 [while] we’re like on Chapter Two or Three.” Though the Asian-American population is still waiting for more representation, Wong Fu’s crew members have shown that waiting is as much about patience as it is about seizing the moment when it finally arrives.
Artists Envision Inclusivity in Art With “Engendering Change” BY BROOKE NAGLER ARTS EDITOR
Art holds power as a means to change systemic circumstances. And this power is not necessarily just in the art itself, but also in the community-building and formation-fostering capacities involved in the creation and distribution of art. As Nitasha Dhillon and Amin Husain, cofounders of the MTL Collective, put it, “art is the decolonial formation,” and it can happen during poster-making and community conversations. Dhillon and Husain came to speak on campus last Friday night as a part of the eighth annual “Engendering Change,” a Chicago-area graduate conference on gender and sexuality. This year’s conference was curated by Chase Joynt—an artist,
scholar, and currently a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the University. Within the MTL Collective, Dhillon and Husain have worked on many different projects in collaboration with other artists, organizers, and educators. In 2011, they collaborated with Occupy Wall Street, creating the magazine Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy to disseminate research and techniques related to the movement. The magazine featured articles on topics like “Commoning Against Debt,” focused on how to organize collectively around individual debts. But, as Husain pointed out, Occupy was not as successful as some may have hoped: “one of the failures of Occupy was that it thought class was everything,” causing it to ignore other influential factors
like race and gender. After Occupy, the MTL Collective collaborated with the Gulf Labor Artist Coalition. The Coalition was working on a project called “52 Weeks,” whose goal was to raise awareness about the labor conditions at the construction site of the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, where workers are tied to the workplace, living in quarters away from their families. As the MTL Collective is based in New York, they also examined the conditions for workers in the New York Guggenheim Museum, finding that they were not making a living wage. Dhillon and Husain worked with the organization Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction (GULF) around these issues, attempting to meet with the museum board of trustees, but to no avail. So GULF staged an unsanctioned action on May Day
Courtesy of GULF/Nitasha Dillon
The Guggenheim’s construction site in Abu Dhabi was a subject of conversation at last week’s “Engendering Change” conference.
2015 around three central demands: living wage, debt jubilee, and the right to organize. On this day, they had people enter the museum as regular visitors planted throughout the space’s upward spiral walkway. When the signal came, organizers on the ground floor opened a poster listing their demands while those standing above released hundreds of postcards and flyers, closing down the museum for the rest of the day. From this action followed another occupation of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice later that week. In 2016, the MTL Collective started the project Decolonize This Place. With this project, they looked not only at the institutions showcasing art, but also at what the museums were exhibiting. In the American Museum of Natural History, they did anti-Columbus Day tours as part of “Decolonize This Museum.” These tours highlighted the racist classifications in the museum; as the poster for the tours states, these classifications “relegate colonized people to the domain of Nature and the colonizers to the realm of Culture and Society.” They also covered the statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside of the museum since it depicts the people of color who stand next to him as subservient. As Dhillon stated, the Museum of Natural History “is a hall of white supremacy.” Dhillon and Husain are taking actions to confront institutions directly through their art, looking at decolonization as an alternative framework to the exclusionary nature of concepts like citizenship. Much of their work builds upon the theories and research of scholars like Judith Butler and Gayatri Spivak; out of research and conversation, they consolidate and disseminate messages through pamphlets and posters in collaboration with others. In explaining their goals, they describe them as visionary organizing—organizing around a future which they plan to build into existence— as opposed to reactionary organizing. They do not call themselves activists, as they see this label as creating an unnecessary binary—instead, they are artists finding projects about which they are passionate.
Exhibit [A]rts Tuesday [4/17] Jeanne Gang, Berlin Family Lectures: Part Two Logan Center Performance Hall, 5:30 p.m., free. As part of the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Lectures series, architect Jeanne Gang, who designed Campus North Residential Commons and the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, is delivering a three-part lecture on campus. Third Tuesday Jazz: Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Sax Café Logan, 7:30 p.m., free. Back in Chicago for their third two-week residency, alto saxophonist Steve Coleman and the Five Elements Band will be
playing at the Hyde Park Jazz Society’s monthly Third Tuesday Jazz. Coleman, recipient of the 2017 Rosenberger Medal, will perform again with his ensemble on April 22 and 29 in the Logan Center. Matt & Kim at the Riviera Riviera Theatre, 8 p.m., free Indie electronic duo Matt & Kim, famous for hits like “Daylight” and “Lessons Learned,” are touring Chicago ahead of their upcoming album, Almost Everyday. Opening acts are Tokyo Police Club and Future Feats. Friday [4/20] Schubert’s “Winterreise” Logan Center Penthouse, 8:30 p.m., free. Fourth-year Lucas Tse (baritone) and
third-year Bryan McGuiggin (piano) will give a recital of Schubert’s song cycle “Winterreise.” Refreshments will follow the event. Saturday [4/21] Java Jive + Balboa Night Ida Noyes West Lounge, 7:30 –11 p.m., free. Learn balboa, a 1920s swing dance style, from two professional instructors at the Chicago Swing Dance Society’s weekly Java Jive. A beginner swing lesson and balboa lesson will take place concurrently from 7:30 to 8:30, followed by DJed social dancing until 11 p.m. Opening reception of Richard Rezac’s Address
The Renaissance Society, 5–8 p.m., free. For its upcoming exhibition, the Renaissance Society will showcase 20 sculptures by Chicago-based artist Richard Rezac. Working with different mediums and dimensions, Rezac challenges our existing understanding of “sculpture.” Sunday [4/22] Soundscapes of Color 6018North, 6–8:30 p.m., free. Soundscapes of Color, an opera and art installation by fourth-year Michal Dzitko, is premiering in Chicago. Commissioned by a fine-print publisher in New York City, where the opera debuted, the work is based on an 1874 typography and ink catalog. Shuttles depart from Reynolds Club at 5 p.m.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - APRIL 17, 2018
Rain Can’t Stop Baseball Maroons Play Ranked Teams BASEBALL
BY VIKRAM PRASAD SPORTS STAFF
In spite of rain delays cutting the planned four-game series to only two games this weekend, the UChicago baseball team had a very strong performance, routing Finlandia 6 –1 in the first game, and 6 – 0 in the second. The back-to-back victories allowed the Maroons to improve to a 15 –7 record on the season. Starting pitchers Brenton Villasenor, a third-year, and Jacob Petersen, a second-year, had among their best performances yet. In the first game, Villasenor allowed only four hits and one run in seven innings, while striking out 12 batters. In the second game, which had to be ended early due to rain, Petersen allowed zero runs and struck out nine batters in five innings of play. “ The pitching staff put in a lot of work this off-season and I think that it’s starting to pay off,” Petersen said. “ We’ve had some ups and downs but it feels like we are starting to hit our stride at a good time. I think our staff is pretty deep this year, especially with the strong freshman class and some big improvements from our returners. Pitching for this team is an absolute privilege. Even when it isn’t your day to throw, we make an effort to keep the dugout full of energy and banter. I think that the team feeds off of the intensity; it helps us stay locked in.”
The team’s offensive efforts also paid off strongly. Fourth-year outfielder Max Larsen hit a double in each game, bringing him to a total of 51 for his career. With this, Larsen broke the previous school record of 50 career doubles—a fitting send-off as he approaches the end of an illustrious career on the field. Second-year third baseman Payton Jancsy also continued his hot streak, scoring a triple in the first game and a double in the second. T hird-year f irst baseman Brady Sarkon expressed his confidence in the team’s offense. Sarkon said, “ We have been rolling with the bats lately, and the pitchers made it really easy for us this weekend. Obviously, the weather wasn’t ideal, but we did the little things right at the plate to get runs across.” “We have a lot of guys stepping up and playing big roles, especially with some of the injuries we have had to deal with,” Sarkon continued. “It has been fun to watch some of our young guys step up, and it’s exciting because I still don’t think we have hit our peak yet offensively. In the end, we took care of business against a team we should have beaten, but we have four big games this week, which should be a nice test to see where we stand.”
The Future of Liberalism? Relativism Confronts St. Augustine THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 5PM Harper 130 Free and open to the public. Presented by the Lumen Christi Institute. Cosponsored by the Theology Club at the Divinity School. Register at www.lumenchristi.org
Integrating the recent argument of Patrick Deneen in Why Liberalism Failed, this lecture begins where the book leaves off by addressing the question: If it is true that political liberalism has become morally corroded, can reasonable people still make a case for our continued cooperation with it? Fields considers thinkers like Richard Rorty, John Rawls, and St. Augustine in the course of answering this question. Stephen Fields, SJ, is Professor of the Philosophy of Religion and Systematic Theology at Georgetown University.
BY ALYSSA RUDIN SPORTS STAFF
This weekend, the Chicago men’s tennis team headed to Janesville, WI to play three tough matches against nationally ranked opponents. They rebounded from a tough loss to No. 8 ranked Gustavus Adolphus College to defeat both No. 10 Wash U and UW– Whitewater. The Gusties have been a thorn in the Maroons’ side since they upset Chicago in the round of 16 of NCAAs last spring, and unfortunately, Chicago was unable to overcome them again, dropping a hotly contested match 6–3. The doubles matches were very close, with two of three pro sets going to a breaker. Chicago came out on top in one match but headed into singles play down 1–2. The singles matches were similarly close, with four of six matches going to three sets. The top of the lineup dropped their matches in straight sets but the bottom four were absolute dogfights. Unfortunately, only fourth-year Nicolas Chua and third-year Charlie Pei were able to pull out wins. While obviously this was disappointing, the Maroons had to rebound quickly as they had a rivalry match with Wash U the next day. On day two of their trip, the Maroons came out ready to play. They began their match with a doubles sweep, highlighted by an 8 –0 dominating win by Pei and fourth-year Bobby Bethke in doubles. Heading into singles up 3– 0, the Maroons had a comfortable lead that they
quickly consolidated to clinch the win. Second-year Erik Kerrigan and Chua took their respective matches in a thirdset breaker to put the team ahead 5–0. Pei also won in three sets, and fourthyear Luke Tsai and first-year Jeremy Yuan won in straight sets to lead the team to a 7–2 victory. This is the second time the Maroons have defeated Wash U; their first win came against them at the ITA National Indoor Championship and they won 6–3. On the final day of competition, Chicago blanked the UW–Whitewater Hawks 9 –0. Chicago once again swept doubles with ease, and singles also was a relatively straightforward affair as Kerrigan, Chua, Yuan, second-year Jaird Meyer and first-year Alejandro Rodriguez won in straight sets. Tsai won in straights but in two tiebreakers. Reflecting on the weekend, Tsai believes the team took some knocks but learned a lot. “Obviously we would have preferred to beat Gustavus especially considering our history with them but I think that this loss will only fuel our fire for the rest of the season. Regular season is over for us and all we have left is conference play and then NCAAs so there is no more messing around. If we can bring the attitude and fight we showed against Wash to every match then there really aren’t a lot of teams who can stop us.” The team heads to Valparaiso University, a DI school, this Saturday and will play in the UAA conference tournament the following week.
THE CHICAGO MAROON - APRIL 17, 2018
Maroons Split Games Against Warhawks SOFTBALL
BY TRENT CARSON SPORTS STAFF
The University of Chicago women’s softball team kept their cool on Friday the 13th to split a pair of games with the visiting Warhawks from UW–Whitewater. The Maroons took the first game, defeating UW–Whitewater 2–1, but fell to the Warhawks in the second game 11–0 to finish with a record of 14–8. Fourth-year Molly Moran put up a strong performance in the first game, throwing a no-hitter through the first five innings, and finishing the game with four hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and one earned run. The Maroons were solid on the offensive side as well in the low-scoring game, with three total hits. First-year Abby Hayes broke the scoreless game in the bottom of the third with a lead-off home run to deep left field, her first home run of the season. Both third-year Serena Moss and first-year Skye Collins were able to single in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Hayes scored Moss on a grounder to shortstop. On the approach to the game and the importance of scoring early, Hayes said, “Going into the game we are all very focused, we have the
same goal and that is to win. We know that we have the ability to beat virtually every team we play, so it’s on us to perform at the high level we all know we’re capable of. And, as you probably saw in the second game, capturing the momentum early in the game is critical because it’s always difficult to come back when you’re behind. Starting off ahead and with high energy sets the tone and can determine the game. I think we did a great job of that in the first game; we came out competitive and engaged, ultimately allowing us to come out on top.” Despite top-notch pitching from the Maroons, the Warhawks stayed in the game and put pressure on Chicago until the final inning, scoring a run off of three hits in the top of the seventh. Moran was able to stay focused and secure a victory, forcing the last UW–Whitewater batter to fly out to right field. After a short break, the Maroons took the field to start the second game of Friday’s doubleheader against UW–Whitewater. Chicago trailed from the very beginning, as the Warhawks started the game off with two hits and one run. The Maroons were unable to answer their opponents who put up five runs in the second inning, followed by three
Third-year Maeve Garvey releases the ball with full force during warm-up.
runs and two runs in the third and fourth inning, respectively. Collins attributed the contrast between the two games to the mental preparation, and said, “I think we were mentally prepared to play one game but not two. We completely checked out after the first game, so, once we were down, it was pretty hard to try to get out of that hole mentally and
logistically.” Second-year shortstop Emma Nelson was able to single in the fourth inning, but the bats were quiet for the rest of the game for the Maroons. The team will look to bounce back from the doubleheader and continue the overall positive performance this season with a dou-
bleheader on Tuesday, April 17, at Millikin University. Collins said, “I think to bounce back we took the weekend off—I really believe there is much more of a mental block for us than one related to skill or ability—and today we are most likely going back to some basics in practice and work out some kinks.”
Women’s Tennis Whacks Whitewater, Wash U TENNIS
BY ANDREW BEYTAGH SPORTS STAFF
The UChicago women’s tennis team went on the road this weekend to Janesv ille, Wisconsin, to take on Wash U on Saturday and UW–Whitewater on Sunday. The Maroons have been on form recently, winning their last five matches. Heading into the UA A Championship on April 27 in Altamonte Springs, Florida, the Maroons look primed for another championship run. O n Satu rd ay, UC h icago
gutted out a hard-fought win against Wash U for the second weekend in a row. Due to injury and illness, the Maroons have leaned on their younger classes down the stretch of the season. With three of the six singles players being firstyears, the Maroons battled the Bears from Wash U. The team score became tied at four matches apiece, and the only match remaining was that of second-year Estef i Navarro. Navarro battled into the thirdset tiebreak and ultimately pulled out a clutch win 10 –8.
Third-year Adrienne Travis commented on the matches and the season thus far. She said, “We have all improved so much throughout the season and have all grown as players, especially our freshmen. Our Wash U match was a tough one, but one that displayed our team grit. No. 1 through No. 5 singles all went to third sets, with it all coming down to Estefi’s match. Both teams were standing and screaming for our teammates, and ultimately Estefi handled the pressure like a pro and clinched the
win.” the two weeks heading up to The next day, the Maroons the UA A Championships to squared off against the hosts, get healthier and hopefully U W–W hitewater. Using the play a few matches outdoors. energy and momentum from T r av i s c om ment e d on t he t he m a s s i v e w i n a g a i n s t fickle Chicago spring weather, Wash U the day before, Chi- “ We haven’t had the opportucago blasted through the War- nity to play outside as much hawks. The Maroons took two as we would have liked, due out of the three doubles match- to the snow. But hopefully, the es. Following doubles play, the weather turns for the better Maroons made swift work by and allows us to prepare outwinning No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, side heading into the UA As.” and No. 6 singles in straight The Maroon women will have sets with Travis demolishing a few days off before heading her opponent 6 – 0, 6 –2. down to Florida for the UA A The Maroons look to utilize Championship.
7 p.m. Women’s Tennis