Jerk April 2021

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April 2021 Vol XVIII Issue III Syracuse, New York Your student fee


My friend just got downed...



Jerk revived him. Now we're heading southbound.



Vivian Whitney EDITOR IN CHIEF

Meredith Clark

Fiona Gaffney

Pearl Cadigan

Hayden Ginder & Kyra Surgent






Camryn Simon


Isabel Bekele,


Lucy Messineo-Witt


Zoe Glasser

Violet Lazurus

Libby Cultra, Eleanor Quarles ST YLE EDITOR


Madi Bauman

Liz Goldblatt, Kate Regan

Jess Garfield, Ava Lahijani,

Tristan Lamson, Jacieon Williams FRESHMAN INTERNS

Kathryn Stathakis, Bella Young DIGITAL DIGITAL EDITOR

Lucy Stover

Kenneth Barrist,

Chloe Hechter, Jillian LeVeille GRAPHICS DIRECTOR


Lucinda Strol

Nina Bridges, Kelly Chang,


Benjamin Piers

Jenny Katz,

Izzy Madover, Zoë McCreary ILLUSTRATORS & GRAPHICS

Nina Bridges,

Sam Currier, Sophia Dyer, Lance Evans, Jenny Katz, Bailey Kretschmer, Haley Lopez, Madison Miller, Anastasia Powell, Jordan Schechter, Thanh Thai, Gina Witt

Grace Denton,

Campbell Gulbrandsen, Katie Murray,



Tanner Hogan



Isabelle Hong


Megan Adams, Alycia Cypress, Valentina S. Diaz, Sarah Dolgin, Annie Labarca, Margo Moran, Car Shapiro, Alethea Shirilan-Howlett

Jenna Wirth


Surya Vaidy


Emily Lewis


Neha Penmetsa


Madeline Goore

Scan to learn more about the staff.

Melissa Chessher ADVISER Through its content, Jerk is dedicated to enhancing insight through communication by providing an informal platform for the freedom of expression. The writing contained within this publication expresses the opinions of the individual writers. The opinions expressed herein are not those of Syracuse University, the Office of Student Activities, the Student Association, or the student body. Additionally, the ideas presented in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Jerk Editorial Board. Furthermore, Jerk will not be held responsible for the individual opinions expressed within. Submissions, suggestions, and opinions are welcomed and may be printed without contacting the writer. Jerk reserves the right to edit or refuse submissions at the discretion of its editors. Jerk Magazine is published monthly during the Syracuse University academic year. All contents of the publication are copyright 2021 by their respective creators. No content may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the Jerk Editorial Board.


Vivian Whitney

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Hotly and dryly,


Stick with me on this one… Fiona and I came up with this theory in life. You’re either a hot or a cold, and a wet or a dry. It’s kind of like the Myers–Briggs test or the enneagram test, just as meaningless and totally fun to believe in. I’m a hot dry, and Fiona is a cold dry. Introvert or extrovert? Nah, I want to know if your hands are slimy and cold or if they could be used as a washboard. The thing about it is that, yes, everyone is going to be hot, cold, wet, and dry at different times in their lives. I may be a dry, but if it’s 90° and I have no AC in my house, I’m gonna be wet and sweating. It’s less about your response to climate and more about your natural state and propensity to, you know, be a certain temperature and… dampness. Are you the type of person to sleep with three blankets no matter the season? You’re probably a cold. Do your skin flakes lightly dust the inside of your jeans every winter? Might be a dry. Sweat through your shirt every time you walk to class? Yup, you’re a wet. And while it seems simple, there’s not always a clear answer between hot and cold or wet and dry. It’s just whatever you feel like is you. It’s meaningless. But it’s fun, even necessary, to find meaning in the meaningless. It’s how we understand and accept the world around us, and it’s usually never as clear-cut as hot, cold, wet, and dry. What if you can’t help but wear shorts when the temperature hits 40 but can’t go to a restaurant without bringing a jacket for backup? What then? Are you a hot or a cold? I don’t know. Find your own meaning. Be a hot/cold cusp for all I care! Wet sun and dry moon? Sure! Come up with your own arbitrary categories to sort people into. None of it matters! For this issue, we looked at the meaningful, meaningless things in this world that we love to argue about but couldn’t live without. Read about different dialects and the role of white supremacy in grammar on pg. 16 or about alcoholic drinks and the freedom in wine tasting and pairing on pg. 58. Find out what it’s like to transition at SU on pg. 28, and hear from students on why they enjoy astrology on pg. 24. Whether it’s grammar, food, gender, or the stars, we all create our own meaning in the meaningless, no matter how important or erratic. With that — hot, cold, wet, or dry — I hope you find some sort of meaning in these stories, or that you learn to let go of the things that don’t actually matter, like the correct use of “whom.” We’re all just here trying to make sense of this shitshow. No need to get pressed about being asked to use the singular “they” while you’re at it.



IN THIS ISSUE TALKING GOOD pg 16 Grammar exists to help us communicate effectively, but white supremacy has co-opted the grammatical rules of language — specifically English. In this piece, we look at the history of discrimination against different variants of American English including AAVE and Appalachian English. Will we ever be able to make academia more inclusive of these dialects? Read more on pg. 16 to find out.


November 2020 Vol XVIII Issue II Syracuse, New York Your student fee

pg 24

Astrology has been gaining massive popularity among younger generations, especially in the last few years. But what’s so captivating about the sun, moon, stars, and planets? In early times, storytellers and answer-seekers turned to the sky to explain what couldn’t be seen. These days, maybe answers to the unanswerable are exactly what we need.


pg 60

When lockdown orders hit last March, people weren’t going to let that stop them from getting their drink on. In fact, they bought alcohol in record-breaking numbers and changed the landscape of the industry as a whole. Jerk took an in-depth look at this new era of drinks to give you the rundown on how to step up your alcohol — or non-alcohol — game.

Cover illustration by Lance Evans





44 HOW ARE WE REALLY? Fashion Feature

10 HIT/BITCH April Events

52 STRIPPED From Latinx to Lagerfeld

14 SEX A Different Kind of Safe Sex


Camryn Simon 28 TRANS-FORMATIVE By Eden Stratton 32 TO ACKNOWLEDGE WITH RESPECT By Alycia Cypress


TALKING GOOD By Violet Lazarus


FROM MITTENS TO MEME By Alethea Shirilan-Howlett





55 FORM & FUNCTION Girlboss


36 NOT SO SILENT By Annie Labarca


42 SPEAKEASY Maranie Rae

60 GET YOUR DRINK ON Drinks Package

43 DISCOVERSYR Syracuse Sounds of Music Association

66 REWIND 2014 Tumblr 67 AMPLIFIED Sarah Gross

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12 FRAMED Mikel Lamont


11 SIGN OF THE TIMES April Horoscopes

13 21 PLUS/MINUS The Spicy Spring Break Substitute



Scan to visit our website and social links.




April 20 It’s a hit for a reason, people. You know what to do. What’s the point of online class if not to celebrate this holiday in comfort! And for those who know what's up, make sure to stock up on free G Monday.

April 6 Although we haven’t seen this advertised much anywhere, Walmart CMO William White will join SU virtually to give a keynote presentation called “Using Walmart’s size and scale as a force for good.” Might we suggest actually paying your employees a living wage, since you guys are, you know, a top employer of SNAP and Medicaid recipients. And maybe stop violating workers’ rights while you’re at it?



THE OSCARS April 25 While Jerk has many qualms with award show ceremonies — we will never forgive the Grammys for giving Macklemore’s The Heist best rap album in 2014 — this year’s Oscars is the first time we’re actually excited for its list of nominees. Shoutout to Steven Yeun for becoming the first Asian-American man to be nominated for Best Actor for Minari. Plus, not one but two whole women were nominated for Best Director.

ST. VINCENT ALBUM May 14 St. Vincent — or as her friends call her, Annie Clark — is back with a new album this spring, Daddy’s Home. Another album for us to add to our shelf of sapphic artists who’ve had a relationship with Cara Delevigne. Fingers crossed that Jack Antonoff also has his grubby little genius fingers on this record.

April 21 While we certainly enjoyed our first Wellness Day, we’re sure most of us can agree that it didn't really make us feel all that well… Nothing like fitting in the rest of the spring break we missed onto a random Wednesday in April and waking up for class the next day with a hangover, right? Thanks, J. Michael Haynie!



April 22 As much as we’re bracing ourselves for the onslaught of people using the holiday to post old abroad pictures and for finding out way more people can afford jungle vacations than we thought, the Earth deserves to be celebrated. If just for this one day, remember to turn off those color-changing LED light strips lining your ceiling. And for the love of all things good in the world, please never do a Shein haul again. No ethical consumption under capitalism doesn’t mean consume as unethically as you can.


May 5 If you’re Mexican and celebrate Cinco de Mayo, consider this a hit. But for those of you who are planning to appropriate this holiday and use it as an excuse to drink margaritas and have a white people taco night? Consider not doing that... But knock yourself out celebrating white culture on May the Fourth!

TAX DAY May 17 Good luck to those of you who have to figure out whatever the hell filing your taxes means. And to the dependants, enjoy it while you can. Soon, you too will get to pay the government to totally ignore your basic needs and rights!



The best fortunes are the ones that make no sense.

words by Meredith Clark | illustrations by Bailey Kretschmer



Aries season is upon us. It’s finally

What would we do without you,

You’ve worked hard this month,

time for you to celebrate in the way

Taurus? Over the past year, your

Gemini. The second that $1,400

only an Aries knows how: “Bus, club,

constant calming presence was a

stimulus check hits your bank account,

another club, another club, plane,

saving grace for everyone around you.

you’re going all out. And by all out, we

next place. No sleep!” — Lady Gaga,

But recently, there’s been a change

mean that at Burger King, you’ll be

in you. Putting so much energy into

asking for the Queen too.

also an Aries





everyone else instead of yourself has

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made you go from meditating and manifesting to rage texting and social media stalking.



VIRGO One year in lockdown is really hitting

Last month you binge-watched iCarly

This month, you’re making decisions

on Netflix, which caused you to regress.

for YOU, Leo. One year of your life has

you, Virgo. Because you are a mutable

You even called everyone on the

already been wasted away, so you’re not

sign, you adapt to your environment,

street a “hobo!” While you’re valid in

taking any chances. Toxic friends? Who

and boy, is your environment bleak!

fangirling over Spencer Shay, we’re

needs ‘em? Annoying classes? Just drop

But not to worry; now that the days

begging you to consume something

out! It’s time to be selfish, Leo — as if

are getting longer and warmer, you’re

that isn’t from the Dan Schneider

you couldn’t get any more self-serving.

becoming your old self again. To think,

universe. Try subscribing to the

you were screaming “Driver’s License”

Criterion Channel.

in your car just a month ago!



You’ve lost your voice lately, Libra, and

You’ve been down bad this month,

We think there’s a glitch in the

we just have to ask: Were you siLENT

Scorpio. Everyday you wake up, log on

simulation for you, Sagittarius. You’ve

or were you siLENCED? Did a royal

to Twitter, and ask your 200 followers

been receiving texts from unknown

dynasty cause you emotional harm? Or

from high school that have you muted,

numbers, your entire life savings was

are you just too hungover in all of your

“Me and who?” Trust us, nobody wants

drained from your bank account, and

Zooms to simply thank the professor at

to know whether you’d prefer a gay

the end of class? These two things have

son or a thot daughter.

no correlation to each other; we just


all your passwords have been changed. Oh, wait, just kidding. You’ve been a victim of cyberterrorism.

love pop culture references.




You’ve been feeling lost lately,

Aquarius, your dream blunt rotation

There was negative energy in the

Capricorn. Your timeline has been

would be Marianne Williamson, sexy

air last month (okay, there’s always

oversaturated with 16-year-olds

Velma from Scooby Doo 2, both the

negative energy when Mercury is in

gatekeeping indie. But don’t forget

uncle and the nephew from LMFAO,

retrograde), and for that, we’ll blame

your roots: ballet flats, Peter Pan collars,

and the animatronic Renesmee doll

the February Pisces. But this month,

from Twilight. And we love you for that.

March Pisces are ready to cause chaos

“Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand, and an obsession with Alex Turner and

in the best way they know – by playing

Alexa Chung’s relationship.

the victim of Mercury in retrograde!



“I was really inspired by a fellow grad student in the program who had started using beading because it was very accessible during the pandemic to do at home, and the textures she was creating – I just was really attracted to them and I wanted them on my skin for some reason. I’d also been struggling with acceptance of a clinical disorder, EDS. So, I really got these, like, nerve pains that felt invisible because only I could experience them. So I took the little beaded patch I made on my foot and I developed that onto the joints and areas that hurt the most as visualization of that nerve pain I was experiencing. "I don’t think [there is a message] I’m trying to get across. I believe that people project what they want to see from your art onto your art. You can only help guide them, hopefully, if you’re successful in specific ways. I really just try to give them a moment to empathize with something. "The process of the project is really cathartic for an experience. I feel a lot of relief from it. There is something about reclaiming my body — it just feels really good. There’s also a lot of visual validation from the project itself – I think those are two key things it evokes within me, beyond the sense of nerve pain from it. Actually, I’ve heard a lot from older women who have seen my work, and they seem to really empathize with it on the same levels, the same kind of universal experiences of joint pain. I think it has been a really big connecting experience. "In every culture, there is a ritual of body modification and to just see it expanded so much in pop culture, even today, is just so beautiful. So bringing that in a contemporary space and playing on my skin has just been so exciting. Every bit of this project has helped me personally grow, so, it’s been a full and beautiful experience in every part of it really.”

@mikellamont_art VPA Studio Arts focus in jewelry and performance





You may not be sitting by a pool bar in Cabo right now, but why restrict yourself from having any fun at all when you could, well, not? Our recipe for a spicy marg will let you enjoy the best parts of that trip, well, maybe not, but it’ll help you forget that you’re not in a cabana in Mexico, and there’s just enough spice on the way down to ease that deep, heart-wrenching pain. JERK 2 - 21

Ingredients Infused Tequila 1-2 jalapeños 750 ml of Tequila Margarita 1.5 oz of infused tequila 1 oz lime juice 1.5 oz orange juice A tablespoon of agave Salt for the rim

Instructions Infused Tequila 1. Slice jalapeño(s) lengthwise and add them to a pitcher, seeds and all. 2. Add tequila to the pitcher and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. 3. Leave at room temperature for 10-12 hours.


1. Run a lime wedge around the edge of your class and dip in salt. 2. Add infused tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and agave to a shaker or jar with ice and shake it up! 3. Pour into a glass. 4. Enjoy!


A DIFFERENT KIND OF SAFE SEX words by Megan Adams art by Sam Currier

Has being quarantined made you hornier than ever? Have you been struggling to find ways to stay satisfied and socially distanced? Do you just desperately want to get off all the time? Us too. Fucking, whether it’s by yourself or with a partner(s), during a pandemic can be tricky, but there is hope: let’s talk COVID-safe sex. Everybody hates COVID, but what we hate even more is how staying sexually active is just another challenge brought on by the pandemic. For Syracuse University junior Sarah (names have been changed for privacy reasons), forcibly becoming long-distance dared her and her boyfriend to make some changes to their regularly-scheduled sexual activity. “Because of the distance, we usually FaceTimed each other and had virtual sex until we came back to school and could see each other again.” Still, there are definite advantages to being in close quarters. “My sex life has gotten better and more consistent since the

pandemic because I only have one partner whom I trust completely.” COVID relationships seem to be a common theme over the course of the pandemic. Now that we’re all cooped up, EVERY season is #cuffingszn. Casual hookups have also changed as a result of the pandemic. For Jerk’s Sexplained columnist, Polly, hooking up with friends, rather than randos at Lucy’s, is a safer option. “I would definitely say I’ve been having less random hookups and have been hooking up with friends more often.” In terms of finding regular sexual partners, Polly said she “has a couple that I see more regularly and definitely more regular consistent partners [in her hometown].” Tinder's become a dangerous game lately, especially without knowing someone’s COVID practices or even their testing status. SU sophomore Drew is wary of dating apps, especially now. “On dating apps, I try to find out if the person is real because catfishing is very realistic, especially in the queer community.” Look out for too many professionallytaken photos, reluctance to send any selfies, or even just a certain off vibe ­— these can all be red flags. Some students aren’t even hooking up in person at all and have become completely reliant on digital options like porn, sexting, and Facetiming as a way to, uh... get off. “When everybody



1. Unsolicited: This kind of dick pic needs no explanation, similar to how there is rarely one provided with it. 0 out of 10. 2. Flaccid: Listen Jake, no one wants to see your dick when it’s hard, so what makes you think we want to see it soft? These types of dick pics are rare (thank god) but definitely one of the worst kinds you can recieve. 3. The Comparison Pic: Take that goddamn ruler out of the shot, dude. Please. We don’t care that your dick is a whopping 4.25 inches rock hard. Put. It. Away. 4. Package Shot: This one is definitely more PG-13, but is still incredibly cringeworthy. Nowhere near as bad as the others, but we still don’t want to see your dick through your pants with a water squirting emoji over the top. Give it a rest, chief. 5. Solicited: This one is quite obviously the best kind of dick pic to receive, although we are yet to confirm their existence IRL. Do people really *ask* to see pictures of dicks? Please write in and answer as this is a pressing question for us.

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how to sext (we feel you), but sticking with words like “cock” and “suck” and “fuck” is rule number one. The most important thing is to be descriptive. The more painstakingly detailed you are in your ~dirty little messages~, the hotter it’s going to be for all parties involved. Our final rule? PUT YOUR PRIDE ASIDE. Chances are, you won’t feel cool or clever the first few times you sext, but learning to put your dignity in your back pocket and just lean into it is an adequate start. Don’t worry if you don’t have a COVID relationship — I don’t either. COVID may make dating and sex hard (hahah, hard) to navigate, but it also provides an opportunity to discover what makes you happy — and even more importantly­— what satisfies you. Polly gives some stellar advice­— just buy matching vibrators with your roommates! You won’t regret it.


was sent home in March before [her and her boyfriend] started dating, "I would say my consumption of pornography increased since I wasn’t able to hookup with people,” Sarah said. But she and her boyfriend took advantage of the ~wonders of technology~ and found ways to have sex without actually having sex, such as the aforementioned Facetime adventures as well as the more classic sexting. Of course not everybody has the luxury of having a consistent partner available to hook up with. Rivers, who is single, says he used to find sexting more fun, but recently has gotten tired of not having that emotional connection. Digitizing sex can definitely be difficult, especially when it’s just a hookup, no strings attached. Emotional connection is an essential to any form of intimacy for many, and exclusively having “phone sex” definitely doesn’t help. Sexting can be tricky at first if you don’t know



s much as Newhouse kids hate COM 101, it’s difficult to argue with the logic that future communications professionals need to be equipped with knowledge that will guide them and their public messages through the crowded world of misunderstandings and misplaced commas. Clear communication is one of the most valuable tools a person can possess. What becomes unhelpful, though, is when people weaponize the rules of northern, white, “standard” English to put non-standard speakers down and portray them as dumb and uneducated. Standard English is complicated and particular, but it’s not the only way to speak it. African American Vernacular English (often abbreviated as AAVE or Black American English) is dynamic and complex. Appalachian English is melodic and distinct. “Both dialects share this view by outsiders, that they’re simply a collection of errors,” said Dr. Walt Wolfram, director of the North Carolina Language and Life Project and linguistics professor at North Carolina State University. Through the project, Wolfram studies the variety of dialects in order to celebrate the rich language variety of western North Carolina. Due to the area’s diverse population, the project analyzes AAVE speakers, Appalachian speakers, and even those who speak “Affrilachian,” a combination of the two. “Basically anybody who speaks a language speaks it correctly, because

Grammar isn’t just annoying… It’s prejudiced. words by Violet Lazarus illustration by Nina Bridges

they follow the rules or patterns of the language,” Wolfram said. Though these speakers don’t follow the patterns found in standard English textbooks or style guides, they’re not simply throwing together a collection of words and hoping that some of it makes sense. To disregard the complexity and beauty of nonstandard dialects is ignorant, and to consider them sub-standard is simply incorrect. They’re different, and the only reason AAVE and Appalachian English are thought to sound dumb and uneducated is because those are the attributes that have been assigned to their speakers by a racist, classist America. Dr. Andrew Hippisley, Dean of Wichita State’s Liberal Arts and Sciences college, points out the grammatical issues in the book The Help, a classic story of white saviorism written by a white woman about a white woman, who through the power of pen, paper, and white English, is able to share the stories of her friend’s Black housekeepers. Kathryn Stockett, the author, writes from the perspective of the Black maids for a few chapters, but the grammar is incorrect. Stockett, like many white people, likely assumed that all there was to AAVE was errors. She didn’t take the time to learn the language she was trying to write in. History plays a key role in not only the conception of dialects, but also how those dialects are perceived



by outsiders, most notably with AAVE. “There’s this phenomenon called reversed linguistic stereotyping where someone’s appearance is going to cause a listener to make all sorts of assumptions about their language use,” Marie Tano, a linguistic student at Pomona University, explained. “So if Black people are already stereotyped as inferior, then the language that they speak is going to be seen as inferior.” In 1996, the Oakland School Board in California recognized AAVE, or “Ebonics” as it was referred to at that time, as a second language in order to develop curriculum for Black students in Black English in an effort to raise poor test scores. The Linguistic Society of America published a statement regarding the controversy the following year, stating, “the variety known as ‘Ebonics,’ is systematic and rule-governed like all natural speech varieties. ... The systematic and expressive nature of the grammar and pronunciation patterns of the African American vernacular has been established by numerous scientific studies over the past thirty years. Characterizations of Ebonics as ‘slang,’ ‘mutant,’ ’lazy,’ ‘defective,’ ‘ungrammatical,’ or ‘broken English’ are incorrect and demeaning.” However, more than 20 years later, formal education systems still fail to recognize any non-standard language use as valid. As universities work to plaster the faces of students of color over introductory brochures and send out monthly diversity and inclusion emails in an effort to become (or appear

to become) more inclusive, language subordination still persists. “Despite our multicultural musings and commitments, when it comes to language, universities are at the forefront of gatekeepers who help keep this dichotomy of linguistic subordination,” Wolfram said. Both critics of the 1996 Oakland School Board and critics of Wolfram’s argument point out that education is supposed to prepare students for the professional world, and in the professional world, people think poorly of those who don’t use Standard English. Hippisley said a university’s responsibility is to educate its students and faculty on the myth of “proper English,” and to emphasize the disparity between intelligence and accent or dialect, but he also acknowledges the need to prepare students for the unfortunate and racist perceptions they may face in the professional world. “Realistically, we’re not going to get to a point anytime soon where African American English is accepted to a level where you can use it in a corporate setting. If teachers are trying to prepare students, they should do so with cultural awareness, and treat different dialects as equally valid and equally important,” Tano said. To associate dialect or accent with incompetence is a demonstration of one’s own ignorance, not the opposite. Someone who natively speaks a language can’t speak it incorrectly.

From Mittens to


Bernie Sanders has changed the landscape of the Democratic

party and garnered massive support from young voters, but

continues to be shunned by party leadership. words by Alethea Shirilan-Howlett | art & photo by Jenny Katz V e r m o n t Senator Bernie Sanders sat in a metal folding chair, hands rested in his lap, during the Presidential Inauguration. Within minutes, for the first time since before the pandemic, all eyes were on Bernie. Hundreds of millions of people had seen, photoshopped, and shared the “Bernie meme.” It was current, funny, and somewhat sweet — even wholesome. Sanders showed up to the most important transfer of power in the nation’s history in a cute little outfit: a blue surgical face mask, a green winter coat, and handknit patterned mittens. But it was no coincidence that America’s sudden love affair with the man that they tried so desperately to get rid of happened to take place the second he was no longer considered a threat to the Democratic party. Only after this progressive leader was shoved far enough away from the election was he allowed to be likable. But his sudden stardom did not give awareness to any of the progress that he demanded during his campaign and throughout his

political career. The anti-progressive, risk-averse, and eager-to-please nature of the Democratic party will be its downfall, and perhaps the downfall of progressive legislatures that will help the American people. Because of the rapid internet reach of the Bernie meme, the star of the Presidential inauguration wasn’t even the brand new president. Within hours, Sanders was not only photoshopped into different backgrounds, but he was also turned into t-shirts, drawings, paintings, crocheted dolls — even food. Sanders’ new status as a meme portrayed him in a mostly positive light that overshadowed the gravity of the causes he fights for. He appeared on Seth Meyers’ late-night show the day after the inauguration, where Meyers asked him about the memes. Sanders, who joked along with Meyers, was eager to get back to talking about political change. “People are hungry in America today. They’re facing eviction. They have no income. They’re worried about the future. We’ve got climate change out there. We’ve got 90 million people uninsured or underinsured. We have got to move aggressively to protect the American people, and we can go forward simultaneously on all of these issues if we’re prepared to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” he said. Now, we’re in April, almost three months since Biden’s inauguration and a year since Biden promised


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it’s a terrifying spectacle. We beat Trump, but we’re still in crisis. Sanders said it best himself: we’re facing a future dominated by an economic crisis, homelessness, and climate change and natural disasters. There’s hope, but Joe Biden, the man who gained the nation’s vote with promises of progress, must act to grant us this hope. The scene of the Inauguration, while cute, is an example of distraction from the serious issues plaguing our nation. The viral meme was, essentially, a cold-looking Vermont senator who had skipped out on a Gucci mask, sitting in the middle of what looked like a Hunger Games dystopia — a moment captured in a bubble of extravagant, colorful celebration filled with glitter and designer clothing protected from the raging pandemic and the military-occupied zone outside.


Sanders’ supporters progress. So far, Biden has failed to deliver. In his final primary debate facing Sanders, Biden promised that during his first 100 days in office, “no one will be deported at all.” In a February 2021 article, AP News found that the administration has already deported “hundreds.” Biden campaigned on the promise of raising the national minimum wage to $15, but when that promise was on the voting table, the White House backtracked, stating that the President has no legislative power to push the motion through — which is false. Biden’s supposed “top priority” COVID relief took almost two months to pass through the Senate. Relieving student debt, reuniting families, and banning all private prisons (including private immigration detention facilities and private post-incarceration services) are other campaign promises that Biden has slowly distanced himself from. But weren’t we at least somewhat aware that this was coming? Let’s face it: as a nation, we have a problem with likability. Our activism is short-lived; we settle for sharing posts that state “for every like, we’ll plant a tree” instead of researching, petitioning, and protesting. In the summer of 2020, white media influencers responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by posting messages like, “I am not Black, but I stand with you. #BlackLivesMatter,'' rather than committing themselves to change. We care about things in the short term, when it’s suitable for quick sharing and little thought, little action. Biden’s campaign and presidency are not results of this phenomenon — they’re causes. The truth is that we don’t know if Bernie really could have beaten Trump. But we did know what we were in for when Democrats united against progress, and


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other stress management skills and coping mechanisms. Weed Car Shapiro made drugs a part of his carefully balanced is like a band-aid; it can help mental health diet and wants to share the benefits. mitigate my pain, but it definitely doesn’t cure it. words by Car Shapiro I have been smoking weed for over five years now, illustrations by Haley Lopez but I only started taking mushrooms in the past two. I was always interested in psychedelics, but I didn’t ripping on psychedelic mushrooms feel mentally ready until I got top surgery. I mention revitalized my passion for life and recentered this because I think it’s extremely important to my sense of purpose in this world. During feel mentally and physically aligned before trying the COVID-19 pandemic, recreational drugs psychedelics, and this is how I felt post-op. I had like cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms have been a great setup in my backyard — I was laying in a vital to my sanity, unless you’re a c*p — in that case, hammock next to my pool while listening to a trippy I’m totally kidding. Growing up, we were taught time playlist and it was beautiful outside. At first, the and time again by the adults in our personal lives and nature around me appeared to be visibly breathing at school that doing drugs is an unhealthy coping and swaying along to the music; the tree branches mechanism that will ruin our lives, but I’ve found the were moving to the rhythm of the songs and the exact opposite to be true. Smoking weed eases my surrounding white gate was zig-zagging to and fro. anxiety, helps me destress, alleviates my chronic pain, It was a bit overwhelming, so I took out a pre-rolled opens my mind, and connects me to others. Similarly, joint and smoked it. That’s when things got spiritual. tripping on shrooms teaches me about myself and With my playlist blasting in the background, my exposes me to new perspectives; every trip has been body in complete physical euphoria, and my brain life-altering. D.A.R.E. might argue otherwise, but I open and receptive, I fell totally in sync with nature. think recreational drugs have the potential to boost In my mind, everything clicked. I was eating nature mental health (with some conditions, of course). I and smoking nature and sitting in it too. It felt like might be preaching to the choir here, but c’mon, an “aha” moment, I realized we are all one, and this drugs can be good! epiphany healed me in a way Throughout my life, I’ve experienced a lot of nothing else had before. anxiety. It gets to the point where my brain feels like It reconnected it's working in overdrive and I’m physically shaking me to this Earth in my seat. When I smoke weed, specifically indicaand brought heavy strains, a wave of relaxation washes over me and my spiraling thoughts become a clear stream. I love indica because it produces an overall body high that eases my physical pain and also soothes me mentally. I do a lot of introspection when I’m high; it allows me to take a step back and look at my feelings from an aerial view, helping me overcome the anxieties that often trap me in my head. Despite this, too much of anything can be harmful, so it’s important that I balance my use with


A gateway to self care

Scan to listen to Car's trippy playlist.

I would do anyway.” She described the trips as learning experiences that connected her to herself and “reality,” or the lack thereof, while also bringing her closer to her emotions. She would see colors and patterns more vibrantly while tripping, but when the trip was over, she was back to her plain life. When she realized she was enjoying her trips more than her sober life, she channeled her trips into her art and reality. “It me closer to brought me closer to my art, and I started inner peace. adding more color,” Lopez said. Before winter break, Although there are many benefits of using I’d never had a trip with intense recreational drugs, they can be detrimental if abused. hallucinations before, but I tripped fucking balls on Using them as a way to numb pain without ever these shrooms. Not only were the visuals insane — processing and healing is definitely harmful, and it’s the carpet fibers were growing, my Keith Haring important to recognize when that’s happening. In tattoos were dancing, and my LED lights were the documentary Have a Good Trip: Adventures in trailing — but I also felt so fiercely invigorated by Psychedelics, Donick Cary, the director of Adventure life. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was so Time says, “If you take psychedelics just to get devastated about the time I was losing and with fucked up, you’ll get fucked up. But if you take them that went my motivation. During this trip, I felt with an intention, then they can have a lot of useful overwhelmingly affirmed about all the decisions I’ve applications.” This is a good rule of thumb to keep in made throughout my life, and I decided I’m still on mind when exploring drugs; without trip intentions the right path. That feeling of confirmation I received and a safe environment, things could get dangerous through shrooms has revitalized the passion for life or just straight-up unpleasant. that I lacked during lockdown. Hallucinogens aren’t for everyone, but more The pandemic has definitely encouraged other and more studies are finding that psychedelics and students to explore new methods of entertainment cannabis can have countless benefits and have even and escapism; and some have turned to psychedelics cured patients’ depression symptoms. According like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. Haley Lopez, a to Dr. David Knox, co-founder of The American sophomore at Syracuse University, experimented Cannabinoid Clinics and Advent Academy, “There with LSD and micro-dosing during lockdown. She are amazing things about how some patients heard about her friends’ positive experiences with benefit across a large spectrum of method uses and the drug and had already tried shrooms, so she felt dosages.” Dr. Knox believes there is great promise ready and enthusiastic to try acid. I wanted to know for marijuana microdosing and pain management how the drug has impacted her life, but the questions and is a proponent of the continued clinical study couldn’t start until she took some dabs. and scientific advancement of cannabis for its use “[The pandemic] felt like my whole life perception in emergent, acute and chronic care management. was flipped upside-down. I was thinking ‘Is this A big part of Dr. Knox’s research and advocacy for real life?’ and ‘What do I do?’” recalled Lopez. In medical marijuana is the safety of use compared March 2020, she started taking tabs of acid on her to narcotics; he believes marijauna should be own at least twice a week and painted and listened accessible as an alternative to prescription pills. to music while tripping, “basically doing the things




Cause of death: Kent's early bird special.

words by Eleanor Quarles illustrations by Anastasia Powell

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It’s 2 a.m. on a Friday. You’re stumbling down Comstock with your friends. All you can think about is getting a Queso’s quesadilla or a bacon cheeseburger — and some waffle fries, obviously. It’s dark out and your vision is a little blurry, but in the distance you can see it: the bright lights of Kimmel, illuminating frat row like a lighthouse, calling you home. Soon you’ll be crammed in a four-person booth with ten of your closest friends, carefree and blacked out. Everything will be as it should be. Kimmel was a beloved institution on Syracuse’s campus. It was home to some of our most valued treasures including the holy trinity: Dunkin’, Queso’s, and Trios. No matter what we were craving, no matter what meal of the day it was, Kimmel was ready to give us what we needed. It even had a freaking HäagenDazs to satisfy our after-dinner sweet tooths. It may not have been much to look at, but the ambience was impeccable. At mealtimes, it buzzed with activity. On Friday mornings, it was a quiet spot to study with friends while sipping Dunkin’ iced coffees. Late night weekends found it packed to the brim with intoxicated students, all laughing and keeping the party alive. What we would give to spend a few more moments on those uncomfortable booth seats, tailbones aching, listening to the soft murmur of daytime television, and having the time of our lives. Unfortunately, we never got to say a proper

goodbye to Kimmel, as it was suddenly and tragically closed over winter break. The administration, in a heartless and blindsiding decision, chose to close the top tier food court on campus and send everyone to the newly-renovated Schine Student Center instead. While the student body was very excited to have CoreLife and Panda Express on campus — and Dunkin’ having coffee on tap is pretty cool — Schine has thus far failed to replace the irreplaceable. Kimmel would have never subjected us to an hour-long wait for a salad or forced us to get dinner at an hour that would, quite frankly, only be acceptable as an early-bird special. Although our time together was cut short, we will cherish every moment spent in Kimmel. From morning Dunkin’ to midday pick-me-ups, from dinner with friends to late night eats, it never let us down. Kimmel was always there for us, and for that, we are eternally grateful. Kimmel, we will be sure to honor your memory and carry on your legacy with us each and every day. Although we may eat in Schine now, we will always be thinking of you. Rest in peace.



For the Love of God, or Not Younger generations are gravitating toward different practices for spiritual means, in and out of the church. words by Kailey Norusis & Camryn Simon illustrations by Lance Evans

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am a Cancer sun, Cancer moon and Capricorn rising. How do I know this? Through a recent concoction of TikToks, Instagram accounts and passive-aggressive astrology loving friends who won’t stop asking me about my zodiac placements. Like many, I’ve been bombarded with an abundance of spirituality content across social media, and it’s encouraged me to ask life’s simplest and somehow most complex questions. How and why did this start? My not-so-professional guess? COVID-19. In times of stress and despair, it’s common for humans to search for outlets that provide peace and clarity. Nowadays, there’s a trend of younger generations moving away from reliance on holy scriptures and looking to other places for answers, like the night sky. “Traumatic things lead folks to search for meaning wherever they can find it, whether that be in science, religion, or something that occupies the space between science and religion,” said Professor Walter Freeman, an associate teaching professor at Syracuse University. Freeman, a Capricorn, teaches Astronomy 101: Our Corner of The Universe as well as a few physics courses. This pursuit for meaning Freeman described encapsulates the Gen Z and millennial populations as we struggle to find connection and belonging during a virtual pandemic. As a result, specific practices and routines have become more common and integrative in day-to-day life, like

yoga, religion, meditation, or reading the Pattern app faithfully. Whether you’re learning about spirituality through the horoscope section of Jerk (maybe you shouldn’t) or if you’re like me and never knew much about the specifics, we asked students, professors, and self-proclaimed “astrology hoes” to navigate us through the world of zodiacs, religion, and spirituality. We hope regardless of where you’re at in your spiritual journey, these methods and practices offer a baseline for you to incorporate a little bit of zen into your everyday routine.

The lifelong search for answers and definitions Religion, spirituality, and questioning life's meaning have been at the forefront of human minds since the beginning of time. “Religion is the human attempt to identify, celebrate, and serve that which is worthy of worship-worthy of devoting yourself to in life,” said Professor Ronald Cavanagh, a Sagittarius and associate professor of religion at SU. While religion lives in the space Cavanagh defines as “the attempt to respond to human wonderings,” other practices are also used to answer the same existential questions. For example, spirituality is a practice that’s usually more individualistic, with a focus on human nature and, in turn, humans’ satisfaction with their spirit. “I’ve always looked at spirituality in the following way: My dad wasn't a very religious man but he felt that everyone ought to vigorously and rigorously embrace the adventure of life and that meant existentially and intellectually. That is, figure out what it is that satisfies the human, and pursue it to the full,” said Cavanagh. So where does astrology come into play? According to Freeman, it traces back to astronomy, the science of the stars and stuff beyond the earth.

An origin story Since the beginning of time, humans have passed legends of the sky and stars down through multiple generations. As a result, Freeman said, two groups of people emerged: the question-askers and the storytellers. “People would start to look at the stars and ask, ‘Why do they move the ways they do?’ And the stories [people would tell] are every culture's attempt to connect patterns in the sky to their own legends,” said Freeman. Soon after people noticed these patterns and started connecting their legends, the questionaskers recognized iconic symbols of their culture in the sky itself. “When the question-askers were trying to describe where something was in the sky, they’d look to a piece of stars and say, ‘Oh that’s a swan,’ and this would become a map,” said Freeman. The origin of constellations stems from the process of identifying star patterns to know where to look in the sky. Humans’ love for stories and willingness to keep old tales alive opened the doors for horoscopes and astrology readings and allowed them to become the phenomenons they are today. “There’s a continuum between fictional things people are convinced are fiction (i.e. Harry Potter). On the other end of the continuum, you have mythologies that people do believe in the literal truth of, and, by that, I mean religion. Astrology is in the middle of that continuum,” said Freeman.

Today's astrological advancements Mikey Behr, a Cancer, is a junior at SU who’s obsessed with astrology. He loves all things zodiac and leans on astrology to define and understand himself and his relationships. “I've learned as of late that [astrology] goes a lot deeper,” he said. “It also has an impact on perceived personality — for example, your sense of humor and the way you communicate with people to a certain extent.”


In pursuit of that intergalactic peace

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"It's not something that you have to devote your whole life to."


If you’re looking to get started on your spiritual journey, there are a variety of resources globally to look toward, but Freeman, Cavanagh, and Waghorne suggest looking right on campus. While it may be daunting to walk right into Hendricks Chapel, the chaplains and staff are eager to help students along in their explorations, be it religious or otherwise. “If I was at Syracuse University, I would literally go to the chapel and say I’m interested in cultivating my sense of self through religious, spiritual practices,” said Cavanagh. Off-campus, Waghorne recommends the Zen Center of Syracuse, one of the oldest of its kind, which provides weekly meditative practices for all those seeking mindfulness. And if you’re looking to learn more about the night sky, Freeman's advice is simple: go out and look up. “The night sky is really damn pretty. I recommend following in the footsteps of ancestors and noticing patterns and retracing peoples steps in learning them,” said Freeman. Perhaps that means renting books on Buddhist holistic practices or pulling out a blanket in Thornden and studying the movement of the stars. Whatever it may be, though, know this: just like everything in the night sky, phases of life come and go. And that is the quintessential magic of the universe.


But, according to Freeman, differences in positions in the night sky don't really determine people's characteristics. “People are really good at perceiving patterns — we’re so good we often perceive patterns where none exist,” said Freeman. There’s even a good possibility that our sun signs are wrong. Because the seasons and zodiacs get out of sync once every 2000 years, the sky's position on one's birthdate affected. This isn’t to say you should stop reading your daily horoscopes or throw away your Virgo nameplate, but incorporating other practices and information can help you achieve a fuller spiritual practice. Along with reading horoscopes, Hannah Saltz, a freshman Aries, uses various items and objects, such as tarot cards and crystals, to fulfill this practice. “Maybe, I don't believe in a big specific god or something like that, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I found astrology, and, in hand, I found spirituality, which has also become a big part of my life,” Saltz said. Saltz isn’t alone in her views of spirituality. It’s fairly common for younger generations to identify this way. Professor Joanne Punzo Waghorne, a Gemini, teaches in the religion department at SU, with a specialty in Asian American and South Asian studies. “I’ve seen a change in students over the years,” she said. “What I’ve discovered is increasingly students saying, ‘I’m not that religious, but I’m spiritual.’” This move from traditional religious practices to more holistic solutions is reflective of our generation. We are an incredibly fluid and open-minded age, so it only makes sense that the relationship between our wellbeing and spirit mirrors that. “I think when people use [spirituality], it means they’re not interested in churches and institutional forms. They want something that's personal. Spirituality doesn’t want to make those clear cut identities. [It’s] a much more flexible identity,” Waghorne said.

Transitioning can be demanding both physically and mentally. Resources on and off-campus are attempting to rectify the issues that often permeate the process. words by Eden Stratton photos by Izzy Madover

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well as providing letters of support to update documentation (passports, driver’s license, etc.) that reflects the individual’s name and gender. Genderaffirming equipment – whether that be chest binders, hormone syringes, hair removal and bleaching kits, or even underwear — can be obtained via the pharmacy. Shapiro utilizes SU’s insurance plan, and happily reported that he faced no issues getting the supplies he needed. However, when it comes to surgical procedures, the Barnes Center recommends students to off-campus practitioners who specilize in transgender healthcare. Alongside the Barnes Center at the Arch, the LGBT Resource Center provides support for mental and emotional health. According to Jorge Castillo, director of the LGBT Resource Center, “The primary resources we offer trans students, in addition to general information, are trans-specific programming (like Trans Day of Remembrance and Trans Week of Liberation) and closed-spaces for community building, such as our Trans Affinity Group that meets every other week during the semester. We also do educational outreach for the university community through our Safe Zone and Trans 101 workshops. Most other resources are on an individual basis as a way to either help a Trans student find other resources on campus or in the Central NY area (e.g., healthcare, legal name change) or in other instances serve as the liaison or advocate for a student



hen I first talked with Car Shapiro (he/they), I was immediately struck by his patience and willingness to walk me through the complex world of transgender healthcare. The sophomore, who studies entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises at the Whitman School of Management, has taken advantage of the multitude of resources that exist on campus for transgender individuals, and ultimately seeks to support his community by bringing awareness to the resources that have helped him. Transitioning is, for lack of a better term, transformative, and is oftentimes invisible to those who don’t know trans individuals personally. It is also an incredibly personal process and looks different for everyone. Some transgender people have gender-affirming surgery, others don’t. Many undergo hormone therapy via injections of either testosterone or estrogen, but most, if not all, of these treatments are incredibly expensive. For example, top surgery — a reconstructive surgery to give the chest a masculine or feminine appearance — currently ranges from $3,000 to over $10,000 depending on the surgeon and geographic location, according to the Trans Media Network. The Philidelphia Center for Transgender Surgery reports that other surgeries could add up to over $25,000, a figure that is not always covered by insurance companies. Not only is the process financially stressful, but it’s also long and tedious. “It was a very bureaucratic process, there was a lot of paperwork and it took probably two to three years for everyone to get on the same page,” Shapiro said. This, compounded with regular checkups, astronomical surgery fees, and hormone prescriptions, makes resources that were once within reach suddenly inaccessible. Despite the challenges continually facing the transgender community, Syracuse University provides various options for transgender individuals. The Barnes Center at the Arch provides both continuation and implementation of hormone injections via the Patient Portal. Additionally, counseling and other gender-affirming treatments are available as


estioning, “If you’re qu paces you realize the s ow that are have right n and then supportive, aces that seek out sp g of your are affirmin .” possibilities experiencing a particular issue/problem.” Dr. PJ DiPietro (they/them), a professor in SU’s Women and Gender Studies department, highlighted the significance of spaces such as the LGBT Center. “If you’re questioning, realize the spaces you have right now that are supportive," they said. "Then seek out spaces that are affirming of your possibilities, where you can go on your own journey.” While Shapiro didn’t use the LGBT Resource Center’s space specifically, he did find his own through the Barnes Center’s counseling services. “If you need the help, they’ll be there,” he said. “People often think that there’s a limit to how many times you can meet with a therapist per semester, but if you really need to talk with someone, they will always accommodate you.” In addition to the Barnes Center, Professor Coolhart, who has over 20 years of experience working with the transgender community, trains master’s students in helping transgender individuals with the Gender Expansive Support Team (also known as GEST). They provide free individual, couple, and family therapy, as well as letters of support for medical gender transition. “There’s an immense need for mental health clinicians right now,” Coolhart said. “We have new therapists ready

and able to help.” Based in Peck Hall, they are available to both students and off-campus individuals for counseling through telehealth services. However, if the resources on campus aren’t your jam, there are a plethora of resources available through the private sector that are both discrete and accessible. FOLX is a gender-affirming provider that delivers queer healthcare supplies straight to the individual. Instead of using conventional insurance plans to pay for treatment, FOLX uses a monthly subscription to provide unlimited access to qualified healthcare professionals who specialize in queer and trans health. Although they are mainly known for their pregnancy services, Planned Parenthood is another resource for trans individuals. Education is the backbone of the organization’s attempt to support patients, with multiple FAQ pages designed to help them through the process. They also provide financial assistance to the uninsured and accept government insurance programs like Medicaid. Armed with telehealth video, they ensure quality care for patients in and outside of the SU community. While we are making great strides in our resources on and off campus, we must strive to do

resources Dr. Anthony DiBoni Specializes in Top Surgery


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315.464.5831 Upstate University Hospital Speciality LGBTQ+ Care Anal colonoscopy, gender affirming hormones and care, GYN/pelvic exams, Hepatitis C treatment, mental health services and referrals, PReP and HIV care, substance use assessment and more 315.878.7554 FOLX

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Dr. Karen Teelin Specializes in pediatric and adolescent care till 21 years of age


better, especially for queer people of color. “It’s impossible to separate color and being trans. The ways in which the world is structured compounds on you in a complicated way. The challenges are both interpersonal and institutional,” said DiPietro. They suggest that, due to the nature of intersectionality, new spaces be created for queer individuals of color, or existing spaces undergo both anti-racism and anti-homophobia training respectively to meet the needs of the people involved. Without adequate spaces that affirm all parts of one’s identity, individuals often slip through the cracks and thus never have their experiences heard. At the end of our interview, Shapiro made a salient point that stuck with me. “Even though there are resources here that help me maintain my transition, I still feel marginalized as a trans individual. It’s complex because I feel protected and safer since I pass as cis[gender], but I also feel erased or hidden at times,” he said. While transitioning is a personal journey, it should never be one without social and institutional support. As a community, we must ensure that Syracuse is a safe place for people of all identities, regardless of where they are in their own personal process — whether they are questioning, transitioning, or still figuring it all out. To those who are considering transitioning, Shapiro said: “There are people trained here to help, and there are resources for you if you seek them. It was lifesaving for me to medically transition, so I highly recommend it for anyone looking to do so.” Even if you can’t medically transition, there are resources here to affirm your identity, regardless of where you are in your journey.


TO ACKNOWLEDGE WITH RESPECT Onondaga Lake has been brutalized by industrialization for decades, long after it was stolen from its rightful Native owners. words by Alycia Cypress | art and photos by Lucinda Strol

S “

yracuse University would like to acknowledge with respect the Onondaga Nation, firekeepers of the Haudenosaunee, the Indigenous peoples on whose ancestral lands Syracuse University now stands.” It’s a statement we hear at major university events, but what exactly is our community doing to help protect sacred Native lands? Because quite honestly, we should be doing more considering we are visitors on Onondaga land. Onondaga Lake, part of the sacred land of the Onondaga People, is one of the most polluted lakes in the nation. Following the Revolutionary War, New York State took control of the lake despite it being sacred Native territory. Since then, toxins have invaded the lake, negatively affecting all surrounding wildlife, and will continue to do so if we don’t step up and demand more action be taken in the cleanup process. The Haudenosaunee Nation was born over a thousand years ago when the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca were at war. The people of the five nations had forgotten their ways, which upset the Creator and forced him to send a messenger, known as the Peacemaker. The Peacemaker traveled from Ontario to Onondaga Lake in a white stone canoe and met a woman along the way who housed and fed the warriors, which indirectly encouraged the continuation of the war. The Peacemaker shared the Creator’s message of peace, which the woman accepted, and gave her the duty of being Clan Mother — an important role that would help keep the peace later on. The Peacemaker then made his way to the

Mohawk tribe and explained that he carried the Creator’s message: “One nation can be easily broken, like a single arrow. But five arrows bound together with one heart, one mind, and one law will be powerful.” The Mohawks agreed with the Creator’s plan for peace but didn’t trust the Peacemaker, so they made him jump off a waterfall to prove himself. After winning the Mohawks’ trust, he made peace with the Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca. But an evil man of the Onondaga tribe, Tadodaho, denied all peace talks. Tadodaho was so evil that when Hiawatha, another Onondaga member, attempted to speak of peace, Tadodaho killed Hiawatha’s family. Hiawatha was unable to find peace until he strung together white and purple clamshells, and then joined the Peacemaker to help spread the word of peace. At this time, the Onondaga was the only tribe that had not agreed to peace, so the Peacemaker, Hiawatha, and the other nations’ leaders made their way across Onondaga Lake to deliver the message to Tadodaho once more. This time, the Peacemaker gave Tadodaho the duty of presiding over the Grand Council, a group that would make responsible tribal decisions in order to preserve the tribes for generations to come. Tadodaho agreed, and the Peacemaker symbolized the union of peace by uprooting a white pine tree. The nations’ leaders threw all their weapons into the hole and let the lake wash them away before replanting the Tree of Peace. The tribes have been united in peace since. But in the 1800s, New York State disrupted the peace. The state government illegally took control of Onondaga Lake, despite an agreement that


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As Syracuse students who are temporarily residing on Native land, the least we can do is bring this predicament to light. What’s important is that we educate each other and start a conversation about this never ending cycle of degrading Native values, tradition, and opportunity at land sovereignty.


around $1 billion on fixing the lake, but their cleanup plan still isn’t very promising. Honeywell finished building a barrier wall to keep out contaminated groundwater in 2011 and completed dredging and capping parts of the lake in 2014, but the Onondaga people believe this solution is temporary and only delays the inevitable. Capping is typically used after oil spills to capture oil and gas but isn’t used as a permanent solution. Onondaga leaders say the caps aren’t reliable and are bound to break, and after dumping 165,000 pounds of mercury and tons of other chemicals into the lake, it seems unlikely that the community would be open to swimming or fishing there ever again. Our university likes to “acknowledge with respect” that we are on Native territory but has seemingly turned a blind eye to the continuous downfall of the sacred Onondaga land that it so repetitively “honors.” But even if our administration isn’t offering assistance to help fix the land their university now rests on, there’s so much we can do if we actually try. Neal Powless, a member of the Onondaga Eel clan who serves as the SU Ombuds, said that “students have the connections within Syracuse University to ask for guidance, help, and information” in order to assist the Onondaga Nation. “Ask what they need, and see how you can help. It should be a collaborative effort amongst everybody. Include us in the conversation.”


proclaimed the Onondaga as the rightful landowners. This is nothing new; seizure of Native American land has been a common colonial tactic since settlers “found” America, and Natives have been stripped of their land since. Land sovereignty is the right of communities to have a say in how their land is used and how it will affect them. As much as Native Americans have advocated for it, their voices have long been silenced. The U.S. government has broken land treaties with Native leaders time and time again, with the usual outcome of destroyed land and tribal leaders feeling, quite simply, fucked over. By stripping away 95% of Onondaga land, New York State was able to develop the local area. In 1883, the Solvay Process Company, a corporation known for soda ash production, obtained the rights to drill in the salt springs of Onondaga and by 1884, the company was pouring tons of waste into the lake. This continued throughout the late 1800s and into the early 1900s when Solvay switched to producing organic chemicals and joined forces with the Allied Corporation, which has operations in chemicals, oil, and gas, among other things. By 1970, the two companies polluted the lake so much that a fishing ban was imposed and production was ceased due to mass amounts of mercury in the water. Then, in 1994, Onondaga Lake was named a Superfund site, or a polluted or contaminated location determined by the U.S. requiring long-term cleanup. To some, this may sound like a good thing. Superfund site status is supposed to help clean up the lake and even possibly restore it to its former glory. Why was it allowed to get so bad in the first place? It was simply cheaper to pour the toxins into the lake than to find a more environmentally-safe way of disposing of them. That’s not all, though. After taking a deeper dive into Superfund sites and where they’re located, we found that most sites are either on or around Native American territory. According to Indian Country Today, there are over 500 Superfund sites on Native land sprawling all across America. It seems like the U.S. government took the “Kill the Land, Kill the People” saying pretty seriously. The problem with Onondaga is that Allied Corporation, now known as Honeywell, has spent

Not So Silent

SU’s Deaf and hard of hearing community is too often unheard on and off campus. Despite this, American Sign Language continues to speak volumes and symbolize a sign of change. words by Annie Labarca photos by Zoë McCreary


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Story sign for


captioning aren’t available, which is often the case for live events. For a university that seeks to “provide equal opportunities for all,” we as a community need to stop treating those within the DHOH community as people who are “hearing impaired.” Former access counselor and current professor Michael Mazzaroppi shared his views on the language that’s being used to discuss the Deaf community each and every day. “Deaf people don’t want to be associated with disability,” Mazzaroppi said. “The word disability is like, ‘you need to be fixed, there’s something wrong with you.’” Instead, the administration should promote more spaces that unify everyone on campus, while educating those who have no prior knowledge regarding this community.


I’ve always been interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL). While I was in high school, I wanted to take an ASL class, but I was advised against it by my counselors because some colleges don’t recognize it as fulfilling the language requirement. Syracuse University is one of those universities. My best friend is hard of hearing, and I’ve watched her struggle as teachers refused to be accommodating, classmates grew tired of having to repeat what they had just fired out quickly, and jokes were repeatedly made at her expense. Unfortunately, this is very common in the DHOH (Deaf and hard of hearing) community. Interpreters are often overlooked or not even considered in most public speaking occasions; however, they are the key connection for the DHOH community’s understanding when subtitles or closed

Unity sign for


model: Conrad Schmidt








How Newhouse graduate student Maranie Rae Staab uses photography to tell the stories she wants to be told.

words by Isabel Bekele | photo provided

Among all the travelbased livelihoods that were grounded due to COVID-19 were creatives like @maranierae photojournalist Maranie Rae Staab. In a strange silver lining, however, the U.S. provided plenty of domestic storytelling that needed capturing. Staab, present at many newsworthy events in recent memory was poised and ready to shoot and capture the stories around her that needed to be told. Staab, a graduate of the multimedia, photography, and design program at Newhouse, has always been interested in photography but didn’t pursue it professionally until 2015. Jerk sat down with her to learn more about her career and what it's like being a photojournalist during one of the most historically and culturally impactful periods of our lives. JM: How was the past year/COVID impacted your work? MRS: 2020 kept me grounded and forced me to look around in ways I previously hadn’t. In early 2020, I did a 7,000-mile road trip around the US covering essential workers — the conclusion was that the most underpaid, marginalized people are those doing the most important work, and they’re often persons of color and/or immigrants. In the summer of 2020, I covered the protests in Syracuse, Rochester, Pittsburgh, and Portland. It was history in front of us, mass mobilization of people demanding racial equity. JM: Can you tell us a little bit about your experience witnessing the insurrection at the capital firsthand? MRS: January 6 was supposed to be a MAGA march, so I was already in D.C. to capture it and went to make a video with a colleague. Everything happened

very quickly — the first portion of this march was 10,000 people. You had families out there — kids, elderly people. After Trump spoke, a portion of those individuals started to walk towards the capital. Not long after, things had really escalated. The crowd went head to head with officers. The barricades were broken, [and] people began to climb the walls. It was a free for all. JM: How are you not apprehensive to travel to certain places with negative perceptions of them? MRS: When I’ve traveled to these places, there are necessary precautions I take, but mostly I’ve been welcomed with open arms and hospitality. It’s important to do your research no matter where you're going. It is not prudent to base an entire nation on the actions of a few, especially not on headlines. JM: What kind of storytelling/work do you plan to do in the future? MRS: Where I am right now is attempting to see what the rest of the year will look like. I don’t actually know. I’m waiting to see how quickly the vaccine takes hold. Right now I’m based in Portland, Oregon and waiting to see about international travel. As many of us have been watching the tumultuous events of the last year from the comfort of our own homes, the work of photojournalists like Maranie Rae has been imperative on educating the public on our state of affairs, whether that means highlighting the struggles of frontline workers, or capturing the bravery of social justice activists. “In a perfect world,” she said, “we are paid well for what we want to do and are qualified to do, but if we wait around for someone to give us permission, there’s a very good chance that it won’t happen." Staab’s work and perseverance reminds us all of the importance of amplifying voices that might otherwise not be heard.


SSMA exists at the intersection of good music, cool clothes, and giving back to the Syracuse community.

words by Margo Moran | photos by Surya Vaidy Syracuse Sounds of Music Association (SSMA) absolutely rocks, pun so intended. SSMA advocates for the promotion and support of music in the Syracuse area. The non-profit started as a small and passionate group of women who believed Syracuse needed an orchestra in 1957. In the years that followed, SSMA has branched out beyond just supporting Symphoria, Syracuse’s Symphony Orchestra, and has started fundraising for non-profit music programming organizations throughout Central New York. The money SSMA raises funds programs and scholarships that allow students in CNY to explore their musical talents, something that very well might not have otherwise been possible. SSMA’s current president Jen Loh told Jerk how the non-profit fundraises and how SU students can get involved in supporting the organization. Their yearround gig is Encore, a thrift shop in Fayetteville staffed completely by volunteers. Encore is perfect for all of your second-hand needs, from reasonably priced business casual to cool and unique t-shirts. Anyone who is looking to clean out their closet right now, take the clothes you aren’t using anymore to Encore! They do only carry women’s clothing; however we all know clothes have no gender, and providing music programming to underprivileged communities definitely has no gender, so don’t let this discourage you!

The money SSMA receives through Encore directly funds grants for music promotion. “We awarded grants to twelve non-profit music organizations totaling $36,000,” said Loh. These organizations included Front Row Players, Symphoria Youth Orchestra, and Syracuse Children’s Theatre. “Music education is an important aspect of providing children with a well-rounded education. When allowed to work in harmony with other subjects and areas of study, music helps children grow in self-esteem, build essential skills and prepare for bright futures,” writes Jenny Silverstone in an article for the New England Board of Higher Education. SSMA’s scholarship program has a direct influence on bringing this harmony to the CNY community, so please do what you can to support this local organization. If you have any clothes burning a hole in your closet, consider donating them and updating your wardrobe at Encore.

Find out more: visit on Facebook at Syracuse Sounds of Music or Encore Thrift Shop Stop by at 119 Brooklea Dr, Fayetteville, NY

Scan to see more photos from the shoot on our website.

How do we really feel? How do we feel as a collective after a year of COVID? It’s cyclical, really. With the stages of pandemic grief — anxiety, anger, hopelessness, growth — we found rhythm. We were asked to find solace within ourselves and our feelings as waves of lockdowns, COVID scares, and strife plague our ecosystem. Where are we going? Will we get there? Will we be ok?

top & bottoms: Lauren Philpott, Jacieon Williams




Jennie Bull, Alyssa Chang, Bailey Davis, Pearse O'Donohue


Madi Bauman


Jess Garfield, Liz Goldblatt, Ava Lahijani, Tristan Lamson, Kate Regan, Jacieon Williams


Benjamin Piers Witt

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illustrations: Gena



Hannah Gates, Annalise LoBiondo



dress: Ava Lahijani







top: Nina Chen, Shelstie Dastinot, Jacieon Williams bottom: Shelstie Dastinot, Jacieon Williams



Latinx culture is ignored until it’s appropriated on the runway.

words by Valentina S. Diaz illustrations by Sophia Dyer

Nothing screams spring like fashion inspired by Spanish and Latinx culture. If you don’t believe us, check that saddle bag you’re sporting or the bolero — you know, those odd sweaters that have no purpose other than keeping your arms warm and, oh yeah… being a fashion statement — on your shoulders, or even your cowboy boots. That’s right folks, the quirky clothes you’re wearing stem from the same cultures that face constant oppression. So put on your boots, saddle up, and get ready for a ride. Dior didn’t invent the Saddlebag The saddlebag isn’t just the cute pouch you reach for before a quick coffee run; it’s the bag traditionally used by Colombiano coffee farmers when harvesting their beautiful beans. Originally, carriels — saddlebags from the Aburrá Valley region in Colombia — were used by these farmers to carry necessities while out in the mountains, an OG farmer fanny pack, if you will. Traditionally, the carriel is made of rawhide or native furs. As for saddle bags (note the separation of “saddle” and “bag”), well that’s a different story. What most of you probably envision when a saddlebag is mentioned is Dior’s now-signature saddle-shaped purse with a dangling D strap. Gotta love couture cultural appropriation. Although unconfirmed, inspiration for the famous bag is credited to Helmut Newton’s "Saddle I," a photograph featuring a model seductively wearing a saddle and riding boots. Interesting that credit is given to another European man and not one of color, isn’t it? The bag was designed in 1999 and first appeared in John Galliano’s spring/summer collection in 2000. No matter how culturally insensitive, after Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw flaunted it, there was no going back. Dior’s saddle bag and the space between the two words were here to stay.


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toreadors wore them because they were brightly colored, dispensable, and lightweight. Women grew intrigued by the cropped sweater after sitting in the spectator stands of said bullfights


“Is that a bolero?” *Shrug* What really is the purpose of that flimsy and extraordinarily-cropped sweater? Well, if you ask a toreador, a Spanish bullfighter, from 19th century Spain, they’re going to tell you: bullfights. Boleros were originally designed for men, and

with their uncomfortable long jackets worn over crinoline skirts. The cropped nature of the sweater allowed them to move more easily in their large skirts. What’s popular today though, is a bolero sweater, more accurately, a shrug. From Alexander McQueen to Peter Do, the shrug has resurfaced on the runway and it is here to stay. Just don’t go around shouting “Olé!” because you now know the origins of your tiny sweater...


These boots were made for riding This might be a shocker, but the cowboy boots we know and love today were originally worn by herders and ranchers, not paired with bedazzled, feather-trimmed cowboy hats and neon bikini tops. Influenced by Spanish vaqueros in the early 1600s, the modern cowboy boot is classified into two styles: Western and Roper. The Western style has a tall shaft and either a round or square toe while the Roper has a short shaft and a rounded toe. Oh, and that cute stitching? It prevents the leather from bending. 1940s Western films glamorized cowboys and, subsequently, their boots. Soon Marylin Monroe was wearing Roper-style boots in a Valentine’s Day “western” photoshoot, influencing others to do the same. But the history of the boot doesn’t start there. While it’s safe to say that Spanish vaqueros played a large role in creating the boots we wear today, horse riders have been wearing leather boots for centuries; Genghis Khan and his Mongol army wore a form of leather boots. Now, Frye and Jeffrey Campbell are arguably the stars of the show with more affordable options than those on runways, with just as much dazzle. The cowboy boots on your feet aren’t just adding flare, they’re the result of hundreds of years of history.

Ahora para estilar... Now that we’ve enlightened you with the history of some of the hottest fashion trends, let’s help you style them. If you’re eager to carry your phone and some extra masks in a saddle bag, then allow the bag to do all of the talking; wear it as a statement with a simple outfit. Shrugs are perhaps the most challenging to style out of the three, but again, simplicity is your friend. Layer the shrug over a simple cami, open neck tank, or corset. Or, if you really want to commit, buy a set equipped with a matching knit cami. Cowboy boots are the most forgiving. Wear them with just about anything— any length dress, some bootcut jeans, or a mini skirt. If you’re worried about wearing these items now that you know their origins, don’t be. Feel free to experiment, but respect the culture. Remember that cowboy boots and saddlebags aren’t Americana. Latinx and Spanish culture have always faced a double standard. When members of the community share it with pride, the culture is corriente; when others appropriate it, the culture is caliente. Once these items hit the runway, the price tag may go up but the cultural classification stays low. So buy those boots, but be aware of the Latinx shoes you’re filling.


TIGHTS photos by Benjamin Piers

AVA LAHIJANI: Coming from Texas, it was hard for me to learn how to dress to combat the Syracuse weather, so I decided to use tights as a way to layer. Being a fashion design major means clothing is a big form of self expression. Tights and other layering items have helped me stay warm and stylish. I have different colors, prints, and styles. Over time they have become a trendy clothing piece and overall perfect for functionality.

KATE REGAN: I’m loving tights’ return. Wearing brighter, pastel colored ones reminds me of when I was younger, so it gives me a youthful feel. I love to pair tights with leg warmers when I can, which is something I never thought I would be into, but here we are. I saw a bunch of my friends rocking leg warmers and tights and it convinced me to give it a try, even though it’s out of my comfort zone. As the weather gets nicer, I encourage everyone to push themselves out of their comfort zones and throw on a pair under your mini skirt.

ZOË MAXEY: I got my flower tights after spending a lot of time alone with nature. Nowadays we are not able to leave our houses as much, so last summer I spent a lot of time outside. I would watch my mom garden and formulate the most beautiful flower arrangements that were a mix of chaos and quality. I fell in love with the plants and when I saw these tights on Etsy, I knew they were special. They help me feel more connected to the earth and make me feel like a fairy. I will always believe in fairies deep down in my heart, as they are the magic hidden in nature.



Blowout: The key to filling every private prison? Looking good while doing it! A fresh blow from Drybar is a must before you get cracking — how else are you supposed to hide all your secrets? JERK

Gold Necklaces: You better flex those pendants, queen! How else are you going to remind yourself of the fact that you’re a boss babe and that the future is female?


FORM & FUNCTION: How to dress like a...

2 - 21 Blazer: Nothing says let’s get down to business like a blazer. Perfect for walking around the White House and posing for promotional photos that look something like Beyonce and Jay-Z’s On The Run Tour.

Pockets: Purses are so seven years ago — all of your jumpsuits have pockets, and you make sure to announce that to the specific people who absolutely couldn’t care less. You always carry your wallet case-clad iPhone, a Kiehl’s lip balm, and a Mary Kay coral lipstick — only the essentials.

modeling by Leah Jones photo by Benjamin Piers

Timbs: Every girl boss needs a pair of Timberland boots. These boots send a message to your constituents that you’re one of them; you smoke weed too! The only difference is that they’ll go to prison for it.

VINYL’S VICTORY LAP The 21st century’s unexpected vinyl rebirth is fueled by nostalgia and desire for tradition.

words by Zoe Glasser photos by Lucy Messineo-Witt Everything sounds better on vinyl. If you haven’t heard that sentence, you have probably never met a 20-somethingyear-old white man in a beanie and Birkenstocks. We hate to say it, but that guy might be onto something; vinyl has undoubtedly made a comeback. In 2020, vinyl record sales surpassed CD sales for the first time since 1986, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Collecting vinyl records has become one of the premier ways that young, hip people can let you know how cool they are — but it hasn’t always been that way. As our parents would be more than happy to remind us, music lived mostly on vinyl records from the late 1800s to around the 1980s, until handheld cassette players like the Walkman brought music past the reach of the turntable sitting in the


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calling itself Pandora. Pandora’s algorithm was built to classify musical traits and create radio stations tailored to each individual user’s personal taste. This new app shook the industry, giving rise to a bunch of music-sharing and streaming platforms that we still know and love today: SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and a lesserknown Swedish platform called Spotify. It seemed as though the age of vinyl records was over. Streaming services multiplied in numbers, and those who didn’t use downloaded music listened to CDs. Vinyl record sales became just a fraction of the overall revenue for an artist. Then, something magical happened. “Records started becoming popular again in the early 2000s,” said Jon Goode, who has owned combination record store and bookstore Books & Melodies for nine years. “In the 90s, everyone was into CDs. I had mostly tapes when I was young. But now, vintage records are in high demand because they’re originals, and you can’t really remake an original.” Part of the reason for this resurgence, it


of your living room. Soon enough, CDs became the favorite method of music listening, and records faded into obscurity. In the late 1990s, the music industry experienced a digital reckoning. Programs like Napster and Limewire began to pop up, allowing those with internet access free downloads of their favorite radio hits, often accompanied by nasty computer viruses. As the new millennium approached, the music industry was sent into a panic; how could it possibly generate revenue if people weren’t buying music anymore? “Prior to streaming, the music industry had really been shrinking for 14 or 15 years,” said Bill Werde, director of the Bandier Program at Syracuse University. “You started to see a lot of file trading, and you started to see a lot of MP3s being traded for free. The industry didn’t have any way to stop it and there was no healthy alternative, so the recorded music industry just shrunk and shrunk.” In 2005, a small California-based startup called The Music Genome Project rebranded,

seems, is that longtime vinyl fans began to yearn for the days when they could touch their favorite albums. “I think what really happens is you reach this point where it’s been several years that the music business is no longer a physical business, and I think people start to miss that; the idea that when you listen to music you can actually hold something in your hands. You can have a piece of something that the artist created and intended for you to have. I think that’s a powerful idea,” said Werde. In the midst of this record revival, family members often passed down their records to younger children, who came to love the sound just as much as their parents had thirty years prior. “A majority of my collection is my uncle’s old records,” said SU sophomore Cali Delisle. “He has a ton, so when I got my record player, he gave me 15 or 20 of his favorite albums from

when he was my age. From there, I added my own favorite artists and random records I would find on my own.” The rise of internet culture coincided with the rise of nostalgia culture. Now, people who grew up listening to music on vinyl and had switched to CDs or streaming wanted back in. They would visit their local record shops looking for the albums they enjoyed as kids. At the same time, hipster culture became popular on young social media apps like MySpace and Tumblr. Owning vinyl records was not only for adults anymore. Young people began to enjoy frequenting record stores. “I was on Tumblr when I was in middle school, so I thought it was a cool thing to do, so I got a turntable and started getting records,” said SU junior Mackenzie Glaubitz. “This was around the time I started really developing my own personal music taste,



albums on vinyl to meet demand. Goode says that although Books & Melodies only sells used records, he knows that neighboring Syracuse record store Soundgarden makes a good deal of its profits off of represses. Still, millennials and Gen Z-ers who collect records often have a combination of newer and older albums. “When I’m smoking, I like to listen to Benny Goodman,” said Delisle. “When it’s raining out, I like my Carole King Tapestry album. It really depends on the day and my mood.” Vinyl is back and better than ever, but don’t get it twisted — when it comes to the numbers,

down yet, and it’s been growing now for 14 years,” said Werde. “I don’t ever see vinyl being more than seven to ten percent of revenue, but you never say never. I have a turntable at home, and I love the act of selecting some music and physically sliding it out of the sleeve and putting it on the turntable. I love the crackles and the tiny little hisses that make it sound like something much warmer and more analog than the sometimes clinical perfection of streamed digital music, so maybe many other people will also feel this way.”

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most people still listen to music through streaming services. “To be honest, we’re not seeing signs of [vinyl record sales] slowing


and records were a way to further that.” When the music industry noticed these trends, it frantically began repressing old

Get Y Your Drink On Take advantage of the finer things at Liquor City. words by Vivian Whitney illustration by Jordan Schechter

ou might not be able to tell based on the liquor shelves in our run-down student housing or the Four Loko Gold tucked away in our dingy Flint Hall mini-fridges, but we’re entering a new era of drinks. You may be surprised to find that there’s a whole ever-changing alcohol industry outside of Skytop Liquors, Orange Hill, and the corner store, but it’s true. Take it from Torrey Michael Grant, a full-time adjunct instructor of Beer and Wine Appreciation at Syracuse University and a fine wine coordinator at Liquor City. If you’ve taken his beer and wine course, you know he knows what’s up. So, pour yourself a mug of Franzia or crack open a lukewarm Natty Lite, and delve into the new era of drinks with us. And for those of us who aren’t drinking alcohol for whatever reason, we didn’t forget about you. Treat yourself to a virgin rum and coke on us. As you probably could have guessed in your sleep, the pandemic really flipped the alcohol industry upside down. When lockdown orders started rolling out last March, on-premise consumption of alcohol — drinking at restaurants, bars, clubs, concert halls — dropped to almost 0%. “Off-premise or retail, which I spend my days at, went through the roof. I mean, just crazy through the roof,” Grant said. “We saw lines out the door every day.” Because people were now drinking almost entirely at home, they started buying alcohol in ways the industry had never seen before. Boxed wine was the first shortage that Grant’s Liquor City, along with the industry as a whole, saw. As



Americans prepared for the possibility of not being able spend those checks on? High-end tequila, of course. to buy alcohol for the foreseeable future, they started “The run on Don Julio 1942 Clase Azul, those $130, $140 stocking up on the good stuff. But “they weren’t out bottles? Insane. Couldn’t keep them on the shelf. And all of wine. They were out of boxes. These box wineries people in their 20s,” Grant said. just couldn’t get enough cardboard for the amount of Despite this boom in at-home drinking, Liquor boxed wine going out the door,” Grant said. Next was the City’s figures are starting to show that overall alcohol aluminum shortage. The ready-to-drink cocktail consumption stayed the same during industry took off in the early pandemic as lockdown and the pandemic, or might have portable drinks became a hit during the summer, even gone down, according to Grant. “If you’d and suddenly, no one could find a High Noon asked me six months ago, I was basically saying, anywhere. Newer drink brands were the most ‘We’re in trouble. Like everybody’s gonna be in affected by the shortage, Grant said. rehab next year,’” Grant said. “But what they What surprisingly wasn’t in short supply at were taking home and drinking wasn’t making Liquor City last year were unemployment checks up for what people couldn’t go out drinking in and the round one stimmy burning a hole in bars.” young twenty-something-year-olds’ pockets. So, here we are a year later. People are “We saw people buying products they normally drinking at bars and restaurants again, but wouldn’t,” Grant said. And what does a college that doesn’t mean our off-premise drinking student stuck at home during the pandemic will stop. Yes, a Lucy’s fishbowl might sound like it would hit the spot this Friday, but what about adventuring past your usual White Claws at the pregame and trying something new? Don’t get us wrong: a cheap bottle of Barton is a cheap bottle of Barton, and it’s gonna get the job done. But after a year in Pandemica, we’ve finished one too many magnum bottles of shitty red wine in one night than we’d like to admit. Let’s take the extra time we’re not spending chugging suspicious jungle juice in a basement to start working on a taste for the finer things in life — finer things being slightly more expensive, maybe even equally as bad-tasting alcohol. Cheers!

Become the Bruh Girl of Your Dreams

words by Meredith Clark illustration by Thanh Thai

F*** Friday Beers, we’re here to help you navigate brews everyday of the week — the Jerk way. Ladies, it’s time to reclaim beer. Sure, Saturdays can be for the boys. Let them chug their Bud Light seltzers in a Watson double. But for the rest of the week, we’re drinking craft brews. And for the ones in the back with a gluten intolerance, we got you too. Being a selfproclaimed “bruh girl,” I’m almost always drinking beer


over wine. Being a bruh girl has its perks. We’re blunt with others, but we soften each blow with a punchline — and we never take ourselves too seriously. For those who still don’t know what a bruh girl is, picture the bartender from Shrek 2, Doris. And boy, does Doris know her beer! Now, let’s get down to the basics:


IPAs, also known as India Pale Ales, are the most Sour beers taste exactly how they sound. They’re popular of the craft beers. Recently, IPAs have become intentionally acidic and tart, but with a different mix synonymous with 30-year-old Brooklyn hipster dudes of flavors they can taste spicy or fruity. If you’ve never who curl their mustaches and listen to Wilco. But really, tried a sour beer before, Jerk recommends Dogfish there’s an IPA for everyone. IPAs come in a range of Head’s SeaQuench Ale. There’s nothing like a session styles, but two of the most popular are English and sour on a hot summer day. American IPAs. There are also East Coast and West Coast IPAs, but we don’t need to rehash a turf war with that one. English IPAs tend to be hearty and earthy, while American IPAs are Pilsners are a type of hoppy with a fruity taste. pale lager. They’re light, crisp, and refreshing. A pilsner A porter is a dark beer that is a perfect choice originated in England for those who don’t during the 1700s. They always love the taste smell like chocolate or of beer. Remember, coffee, but taste quite all pilsners are lagers malty. In fact, porters are but not all lagers are made from malted barley. pilsners, but that’s If you were a ten-year-old for another issue. boy during the Industrial Revolution, you’d stop by a pub on your way home from the factory and order yourself a porter, Now, a cider isn’t because children were technically beer, but indestructible back then. for the sake of our gluten-intolerant readers, we want you to feel included. Rather than being made from barley like beer, cider Stouts are the grandchildren of porters. Stouts look comes from fermented apple juice. That doesn’t mean similar to porters, but they’re a lot stronger and are you should be making your own hard cider in your made from roasted barley. The most popular stout is dorm room with juice from the dining hall. Or do it! We Guinness! So don’t forget to kiss an Irish person while can’t stop you. drinking a stout. Isn’t that how the saying goes?





words by Pearl Cadigan illustration by Thanh Thai


Read Between the Wines


Unleash your wine picking and pairing potential.

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favorite wines include Barolo (specifically produced by either Ceretto or Marchesi di Barolo), Champagne (either Bollinger or Krug), and Burgundy. As for locally-produced wines, he recommends the brands Ravines, Forge, and Fox Run. Now, for the fun part — pairing! Grant’s first piece of advice is to match intensity. By pairing a rich Chardonnay with a heavier food such as mac and cheese or a light Riesling with a refreshing salad, you avoid the wine overpowering the food or vice versa. The two should work with each other rather than against. Luckily for us, there aren’t many “no-no’s” in the pairing world. Despite this, Grant does recommend avoiding a bitter wine with bitter food. I’m not sure how many of you were planning on pairing a Cabernet Sauvignon with a side of arugula or cranberries, but we’re telling you right now, beware. Along with this, the wine you’re drinking should almost always be sweeter than what you’re eating. Heat often pairs well with a sweet wine, so save those chilis for when you have a bottle of Moscato at the ready. While the world of wine can be overwhelming, especially with the snobs who can’t keep their notes of this and hints of that to themselves, all you really need to know is what tastes good to you. As Grant told us, “There are way more ways to get it right than get it wrong.” We may personally advise against mixing a Cabernet with roasted Brussels sprouts, but if that’s your jam, we’re not hating.


We’ve all been there: the thirstiest of Thursday nights, so close yet so far from the end of GoPuff’s alcohol sales hours, with nothing but half a box of Sunset Blush Franzia sitting in all its room-temperature glory next to you. We know that you’re already questioning your decisions enough at this point, but come on, who walks into the liquor store and chooses a box of Franzia — at least go for a Bota Box. No need to fear though, Jerk is here with all the guidance you need for your next wine encounter — we even have some tips for pairing your vino of choice with food. Why trust us? Because we walked up to checkout proudly holding two bottles of Pinot Noir while you shamefully hid your “Chillable Red” Franzia. Your next great wine adventure can begin anywhere, but according to Torrey Grant, it’s best for it to start somewhere where the employees understand your tastes or, even better, share them. By no means are we saying you should go get drinks and deeply connect with the gaiter-clad Skytop clerk you see once a week — actually, we’d probably strongly advise against that — but it can be really beneficial to ask a clerk which wines they would recommend for someone who enjoys the flavors you already know you like! If you’re feeling shy, or just want a second opinion, Grant also recommends exploring wine scores, noting that anything over an 85/100 is a solid choice. While he’s quick to state that the entire alcohol industry is completely subjective, Grant’s personal


words by Vivian Whitney illustration by Jordan Schechter & Jenny Katz

dds are you have at least one of the Big Five — vodka, tequila, whiskey, rum, or gin — sitting pretty somewhere in your kitchen. But there’s a whole ‘nother world out there beyond the classic spirits we’ve all vomited back into a BBB toilet, and it’s sitting right at Skytop Liquors in the back left corner, where few of us have ever ventured. You may have come across some of these alcohols at one point in your life, whether you stole a water bottle of Peach Schnapps from your parent’s liquor cabinet or ordered a $12 Campari Spritz at 2 a.m. in Milan while waiting for your earlymorning flight to Amsterdam. Either way, they deserve a revisit and a spot on your bar cart. If you still look forward to ordering your vodka cran at even the nicest of bars, this section might not be for you. But if you’re tired of a vodka and whateverjuice-I-can-find-in-the-fridge-oh-thank-god-wehave-lemonade cocktail and are willing to trade “gets me fucked up the fastest” for flavor and intrigue, read on. It’s okay to want to enjoy what you’re drinking! Whitman kids recently hired at Deloitte who love to blackout but need to shape up for your future work dinners in the city, take notes. “Some of these craft cocktails, these bitters, these more esoteric things have led people to an appreciation of how their drinks actually taste,” Torrey Grant said. “Now they’ve got a taste for something good, but as they mature or their lifestyle changes — I've joked about in class: drinking is just bottling fun from tomorrow. Well, maybe they don't want tomorrow to be as bad.”


Liquor, but Make it Classy Put the solo cups away; we’re bringing out the glassware tonight.

Hopefully you love yourself enough to have purchased a liqueur just once. You know, your Blue Curacao, your triple sec, that bottle of creme de cacao for hot chocolate on a snow day. Liqueurs have always been an important part of drinks, but they’ve started to earn more shelf space at Liquor City the past few years. “Prohibition-era cocktails kind of kicked this off 10 or 12 years ago,” Grant said. “Five years ago, we’d sell a bottle of Pernod once a month. Now we’re selling a case a month.” While there are far too many liqueurs to have a bottle of each, your liqueur collection comes down to what kind of drinks you tend to enjoy. “Figure out what your favorite type of drinks are,” Grant suggests, “and



then find the liqueurs that pop up in them the most.” “For a lot of people, the bitter category is brand new, Tend to enjoy cocktails with anise flavors? Get and people are discovering they like the flavor of yourself a bottle of Pernod. Love a cocktail with a bitter things, and it’s blowing their minds,” Grant said. beautiful pop of color? Find a good Crème de Violette Though it’s subtle, a dash or two of bitters can take an and make an Aviation. Love fruity drinks or cherries? improvised cocktail from sickeningly sweet to “Okay, Try out a Maraschino. There’s truly a liqueur for guys, come and try this. It’s not actually that bad!” whatever flavor excites your taste buds, and some can The most common bitters are Angostura bitters, be very affordable, so don’t be afraid to experiment. which have a distinct flavor of herbs and spices. Classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, and Manhattan are a few popular drinks that use Angostura bitters. Orange bitters are also a versatile Florence abroad kids, now is your time to shine. flavor and can be added to many different cocktails, Aperitif is just a fancy (read: French) word for an or substituted in Angostura’s place if you’re feeling alcoholic drink served before a meal to get your citrusy. Not only that, but bitters can be used in food appetite going. Think of Aperol or Campari. The as well, like in dressings, sauces, and sweets. Try digestif, aperitif’s after-dinner cousin, is served after adding a few dashes of orange bitters into a latte for a a meal to, as you might have guessed, help you digest. subtle orange note in your coffee. The two are emerging from their European slumbers If you wade your way into bitters and find yourself and making a, come si dice, comeback. intrigued or obsessed, there are hundreds of classic Many aperitif and digestifs are liqueurs, but don’t and craft flavors to try, from rhubarb or celery to let that confuse you. Aperitifs and digestifs aren’t sarsaparilla or cardamom and even black pepper or an entirely different type of alcohol — even some smoked chili. You can even try making your own if you, champagnes are considered an aperitif. The main like, really get into them. difference is just when they’re traditionally served, though who cares about when you’re supposed to drink alcohol? Most have lower alcohol contents than do spirits, so they can be a great option for a laidback night or a before-dinner drink (that’s what they’re for, after all!). If you want a classic setup, make sure you have a sweet and dry vermouth. Grant recommends Carpano or Dolin vermouths, though as always, any will do. A bottle of Amaro never hurt anyone (okay, debatable), and a bottle of Aperol and Campari are classics if you’re into a good Italian spritz. If you can’t resist a classically millennial-branded product, look into Haus, a new aperitif with captivating flavors like Ginger Yuzu, Bitter Clove, and Lemon Ginger, that can be enjoyed by itself or in fun cocktails. Like with liqueurs, experimentation and preference are key when deciding which to keep on hand.


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BITTERS This is an alcohol purchase that’ll really make you feel like hot shit. Bitters can seem scary or unnecessary if you’ve never tried them, but they’re a cheap, easy (and fancy, okay!) way to step up your cocktail game.

No Sunday Scaries Here It may help, but you don’t need to drink to have fun — here’s how.

words by Vivian Whitney illustrations by Thanh Thai

Okay, okay, enough of the college-kids-love-to-binge-drink-cheap-alcohol stereotypes. There are plenty of us who choose not to drink alcohol at different points, but who says we have to miss out on the fun too? The designated driver shouldn’t be stuck drinking their third La Croix that they randomly found in the fridge at a function. Not knowing what to order at a bar when you’re sober except for a virgin screwdriver — actually, can you make it a virgin mimosa? — shouldn’t be so stressful and annoying. But luckily, the mocktail and non-alcoholic drink industry is experiencing a renaissance so you can enjoy your favorite alcohol sans alcohol. Many non-drinkers and mocktail aficionados are also matching this energy with innovative and experimental non-alcoholic mixed drinks that are made to stand alone without alcohol but give the same intrigue as a fun cocktail. Find the scenario that sounds most like you to see what non-alcoholic drink you should try on your upcoming vacci-cation.

Have no desire to ever taste alcohol again? Get yourself into the world of elevated mocktails. We’re not talking mojitos and piña coladas without rum. We’re talking non-alcoholic mixed drinks that don’t even need to think about alcohol to be cool. While there’s plenty of resources out there to find recipe ideas, recent books like Julia Bainbridge’s Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason feature beautiful and ingenious recipes for non-alcoholic drinks that stand proudly on their own, and also suggests bars to visit that serve great non-alcoholic drinks. Using simple ingredients like juices and tonics with less expected ones like basil-matcha syrup, yuzu koshu, and homemade spiced mushroom salt, you can be your own mixologist. Never settle for a boring virgin beverage again!

Don’t want to be seen at the function with a soda can in hand? Indulge in a non-alcoholic beer of your choice. A handful of well-known beer companies like Heineken and Budweiser have created non-alcoholic renditions of their classic brews, but craft beer hasn’t forgotten about you either! There are plenty of non-alcoholic craft beers in whatever style you like hitting the shelves. Athletic Brewing Co. and Surreal Brewing Company are both non-alcoholic breweries that offer a variety of styles, from IPAs and stouts to kölshs and cervezas. Or try your favorite craft brewery’s non-alcoholic option, like Brooklyn Lager’s Special Effects Hoppy Amber or Lagunitas’ Hoppy Refresher (okay, Lagunitas hasn’t been a craft brewery since 2015, but it has craft vibes). So grab the brewski of your choice and own that function with no alcohol and no fear.

Go for a non-alcoholic wine alternative like Fre’s alcohol removed wines or Tost’s non-alcoholic sparkling beverages. Fre’s wines are fermented and made using traditional winemaking techniques, except afterward, the alcohol is “gently removed.” Tost’s alternatives are grape-free, using ingredients like carbonated water, tea, fruit concentrates, and natural extracts. But both look great in a wine glass or champagne flute.

Love the taste of vodka so much you miss it? Stomach up and down a shot of a 0 proof spirit. While it’ll probably take a lot of us a while to get to the point where we, like, enjoy the taste of liquor, there’s an abundance of non-alcoholic options to try. Seedlip, Ritual, and Lyres all offer a range of options that mimic the flavors of classic spirits and give you the same disgust without the drunk. You’ll probably want to use these as substitutes for alcoholic liquor in cocktails, but if you want to join in on the pain that’s a tequila shot with friends, be our guest!

Miss the effects of alcohol when your friends start to drink and you’re left out of the fun? Try a booze-free cocktail. Relatively new to the market, brands like Kin and Curious Elixirs are non-alcoholic beverages made with fancy things called nootropics and adaptogens that boast the same effects as alcohol. A drink or two of these, and you should experience a tipsy-like feeling thanks to these ingredients — and no headache or hangover in the morning. Kin is available in three options: the aperitif-like High Rhode for when you’re feeling social, the similar Dream Light which is perfect as a nightcap, and the Kin Spitz, a canned option for any time on the go. Curious Elixirs offers five different intriguing flavors, like spicy Elixir No. 2 made with the Mayan herb damiana and Elixir No. 5 with flavors of smoked cherry and chocolate. While nootropic-filled drinks like these may cost you a bit, they’re worth a shot if you want a buzz without the booze.

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Need a drink pairing for a classy night with the roommates or a candle-lit dinner?


Give non-alcoholic botanicals and aperitifs a go. These alternatives like Ghia, Proteau, and Three Spirits are inspired by flowers, fruits, roots, and spices and can be enjoyed alone over ice or in one of the many cocktail recipes the brands provide. The flavors and mystique behind these beverages give you the same excitement a beautifully designed bottle of gin might, with the same possibility for experimenting and making awfully delicious — or just awful — drinks. With Ghia’s “Potent plants. Heady herbals. Blithe botanicals,” Proteau’s “uniquely combined notes of blackberry, chrysanthemum, black pepper, and dandelion,” and Three Spirits’ “exotic, fiery, and fun” elixir, you’ll get the same experience of ordering a $15 cocktail at a bar.



Not tied to any typical alcohols but have an appreciation for drinking and miss the fun of mixology?

Scan to listen to a classic 2014 Tumblr playlist.



The coolest social’s aesthetic is making a comeback, but so is its dangerous rhetoric. words by Alycia Cypress | graphic by Madison Miller POV: It’s 2021. You’re scrolling through TikTok, and you see a girl in a short tennis skirt, a black and white striped tee, and a pair of classic Doc Martens ranking the best “Coming of Age” music. You’re immediately transported back to your 2014 Tumblr phase, back when black and white photos with “edgy” quotes and grungy pictures of teenagers running around at night were all the rage, Halsey, The Neighbourhood, and Arctic Monkeys dominated our playlists — and of course, we were obsessed with The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. But why is our adolescent phase suddenly a trend? A year or two ago, I would cringe at the thought of who I was when I used Tumblr. But now, I wish we could go back in time. Fortunately, the generation of kids who grew up on Tumblr is now on TikTok keeping the iconic era alive. Plus, now mid2000’s babies are bringing back M83, The Strokes, and the 1975 while donning black eyeliner and Converse all over again. At some point, it was bound to happen; after all, bike shorts, flared pants, and sweater vests have made comebacks, but we weren’t expecting to feel so nostalgic about trends from less than a decade ago. Well, living through a pandemic doesn’t make life easy, so attempting to relive one of

the more comforting parts of our childhood seemed to be a pretty damn effective coping mechanism for dealing with 2020. Tumblr was like a high school cafeteria. There were grunge kids, emo kids, soft pop girls, space girls, the cosplay kids, and even the people who were obsessed with Superwholock (for those of you who luckily missed out on that side, that’s the combined Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock fandom). There were so many hyper-specific subgroups that it was easy to find your perfect niche. But Tumblr wasn’t just great music, bomb fits, and fandoms. There were also some harmful narratives and discourses happening on the site. At a time in our lives when we were susceptible to learning about ourselves and the world from literally anybody, Tumblr was promoting damaging attitudes on sensitive topics like addiction, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. We were bombarded by “thinspo” blogs posting photos and videos of girls that made us think we weren’t “skinny enough.” We were launched into this world of despair as young people, and unfortunately, many of us were destroyed by it. A lot of kids who lived on the internet became obsessed with the negative content they saw, and it manifested in unhealthy ways.




words by Sarah Dolgin | photo provided

Sounds like: Haley Heynderickx, HAIM, Emily Blue Jerks to: Florence + the Machine, Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Carlisle

JM: What do you write your songs about? SG: A lot of my experiences come from my personal friendships and romantic relationships, so I do tend to write a lot about myself and how I react to those kinds of things. I really love the idea of telling someone’s story or someone’s journey through a song, and I try to emulate that the best that I can. JM: What are some of the fundamental steps of your creative process? SG: I have this junk file of random lyrics and stuff that I go to when I’m feeling uninspired or I just need

JM: Who are your favorite artists that you’ve collaborated with? SG: When I joined TikTok I just didn’t think that anything would come out of it, but recently it’s been my main platform. Emma Jane is a really cool independent artist that I’ve met through the internet, and Kate Yeager, who is a huge inspiration for me, she’s the one that I’m actually gonna be collaborating with pretty soon. Other than that, Sammy Rae is a huge inspiration. I really love this neosoul sound that people are kind of making. JM: Where do you see yourself and your music in the future? SG: I can definitely see myself collaborating with a lot of people in the future and hopefully touring. I just always want to be sure I’m making music that I’m genuinely in love with in that moment and just learning from whatever music that I’m engulfing myself in.

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JM: How would you describe your sound? SG: If Kacey Musgraves and Maggie Rogers had a baby, I hope that’s what it would sound like. Definitely an Americana-Pop kind of feel. I really love folk music and country music, so a lot of inspiration comes from there.

to pull inspiration from somewhere, which is cool because it’s almost like a collage of things that I have felt and experienced. Then I start to think about how I want the story to unfold, and then I start to write the music based on that.


Jerk Magazine: What inspired you to make music? Sarah Gross: I started seriously making music when I was in ninth or tenth grade. I was a dancer for a lot of my life, so I was really inspired by people like Ingrid Michaelson and Florence + the Machine — these very lyrical folk artists that I would very often dance to.

RIP, Princess Diana. You would've loved Jerk. @jerkmagazine

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