Jerk April 2017

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CONTENTS APRIL 2017 Too Close to Home 24 As of July 31, the Syracuse Continuum of Care will no longer supply funding to the YWCA's supportive housing program, which keeps formerly homeless women off the streets. This summer at least 20 women must find somewhere else to live.

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Pushing Dasies 38 Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking. Just as our extended winter months aren’t exactly conducive to blooming flowers, we reflect our severe lack of Vitamin D in our redefinition of spring florals. We celebrate our two weeks of spring with roses stitched onto black leather and foliage embroidered on mesh.

Seeing Stars 52 Mercury moves into retrograde this month, so shit is obviously about to hit the fan. In our cover story we take a closer look at what's in store for the signs in April, debate the credibility of astrology, and teach you some mystical party tricks.

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Cover Design & Illustrations by Erin Reeves


JERK THIS What you should hit up and bitch about this month.


21 +/Spill the Tea




SEX Familiar Faces




22 Uphill Resistance Sanctuary Campus Now!



Free Mary Jane


Not Interested Unlike our GPAs, student loan interest rates are on the rise. A Hard Pill To Swallow Grab them by the patriarchy.


Rewind Harry Potter


NO JUDGMENT RuPaul's Drag Race





A Dog to Heal Service dogs help local veterans ease back into civilian life. No Vacancy Look inside some of Syracuse's 2,000 abandoned homes that are getting a second chance.

BITCH OPINIONS To be blunt, SU needs to decriminalize marijuana.

Let's Get Physical There are certain things that Spotify Premium can't buy.






DISCOVERSYR Introducing Oompa Loompyas, your golden ticket to authentic Filipino cuisine in Syracuse


SPEAKEASY Where's Wally?




CLOSET CASE Not your dad’s golf hat.


FORM AND FUNCTION How To Dress For Mayfest


The Naked Truth Teaser Ditch the cake face this season; here’s a brand guide for your #nofilterfriendly look.


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Susanna Heller EDITOR IN CHIEF

Eric King

Chelsea Portner

Erin Reeves










Sarah Kim Hayley Schimmer, Jacqueline Akerley, Yuxin Xiong, Zifan Wany, Ting Peng



Claudia Lewis Fiona Lenz STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Claudia McCann, Minjung Kim ILLUSTRATORS Arielle Nagar, Ariel Dinero ILLUSTRATION DIRECTOR



Aidan Meyer WEB EDITOR Leah Strassburg ASST. WEB EDITOR Caroline Cakebread , Emmy Gnat, Olivia Bosar, Bridget Whitfield SOCIAL EDITOR Jensen Cannon, Jordan Cramer ASST. SOCIAL EDITOR Kate Kozuch WEB DESIGNER Jena Salvatore PHOTO EDITOR Chaz Delgado DIGITAL INTERN Sam Berlin DIGITAL DIRECTOR

Anagha Das Rachel Young, Hadassah Lai, Larry Stansbury, Olivia Berger, Brooke Tanner, Liam Keyek, McKenna Murtha, Kennedy Smith



Esmeralda Murray Christina Tornetta



Melissa Chessher

Julie Mebane, Jasmin Park, Alec Erlebacher, Trusha Bhatt, Zifan Wang, Chris Chomicki, Sarah Stoebner, Annika Hoiem, Aline Martins, Julia Scaglione, Sarah Heikkinen, Divya Murthy, Elissa Candiotti, Jackie Pereira, Olivia Davis, Nicole Engleman, Bobby Davison

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 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 2017 by their respective creators. No content may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the Jerk Editorial Board.

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Sorry Not Sorry Of all my bad habits, over-apologizing is certainly my worst. I didn’t know I had a problem until sophomore year when a professor kicked me out of his office. Reeling, I hurried to gather my belongings and scurry out into the hall. What just happened? I replayed the events over in my mind: I went to his office hours to get feedback on a paper I had recently turned in and met every point of criticism with a squeaky "sorry." Fast forward several apologies and the professor said, “If you apologize one more, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” I choked out a feeble, “sorry” and gathered my things. And then I walked down the hall and changed my major from TRF to magazine. I punctuate nearly everything I say with an apology—and no matter how hard I try, I cannot stop. In the past few days alone, I apologized to my friend's Longchamp bag when I stepped on it, in class when I asked a professor a reasonable question, after telling a joke that made people laugh, and for—you guessed it—saying sorry. But, to be honest, nine out of 10 times, I have no reason to be sorry. More often than not, I say sorry to fill spaces I cannot otherwise, shouldering blame for actions that are almost entirely blameless. Maybe I should take a cue from the pages of this issue and stop apologizing for who I am, what I believe in, and things that I cannot control. This month, we urge you to delete your finsta—that shit’s not funny and is somewhat problematic (page 65); we raise a middle finger to your two-hour contour routine, instead opting for no-makeup makeup (page 46); and we retreat into our favorite young adult fantasy novel rather than face the reality of fascism in our democracy (page 58). And we do it all without an apology—like true jerks. Sorry you had to read this,


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Hate Mail We’d by lying if we said we truly gave a shit about what you have to say, but if you can find time in your busy schedule between being left on read and refreshing Tinder, send us some nudes–err, feedback.




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SHOW US SOME LOVE Jerk Magazine 126 Schine Student Center Syracuse, NY 13244

backwoods barbie, @GabDizzonxO [Feb. 23,2017] dome in the dome during the duke game, someone put me in @jerkmagazine.



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contributors Photography by Fiona Lenz

Sarah Heikkinen / Graduate / Too Close to Home This magazine, newspaper, and online journalism graduate student saves time throughout her busy schedule by eating bananas and drinking orange juice simultaneously in what she calls a “smoothie minus the blender.” Hekkien may be over her middle school pseudogoth phase, but will never get over the Gorillaz, and rightfully so. A fan of pasta, Donald Glover, and Sundays, you can check out Sarah’s feature on the defunding of the YWCA on page 24.

Liv Davis / Junior / A Hard Pill To Swallow Like many Disney channel original movie stars, Davis used to wear her tank tops over a T-shirt. She has a few weird habits, including eating marinara sauce like soup and wiggling her ears, which comes in handy at parties. When this international relations major isn’t busy listening to Biggie Smalls, she might just be writing an article for Jerk about birth control in the Trump era, which you can check out on page 20.

Annika Hoiem / Sophomore / Let's Get Physical If Hoiem had a superpower, she would want to teleport so she could be everywhere at once. She dreams of renting a private jet and treating her friends to adventure. Perhaps this ties to her belief that everyone has a story, and she would love to get coffee with as many people as she can to hear them. Lucky for us, this magazine journalism and creative writing major put this passion and did us a diddy on innovative music releases which you can read on page 48.

Julie Mebane / Freshman / Pushing Daisies Pissed that her first name is Julie and not Hikari, her Japanese middle name, Mebane begrudgingly grew up in Texas and is enjoying her first year at Syracuse as an international relations major. Before we met her, we didn’t know bananas are curved because they grow towards the sun. Now that this great mystery is solved, check her out in this month’s Gawk feature on page 38.


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HIT Shit we like

St. Baldrick's Day April 2 Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant hosts St. Baldrick’s Day, which raises money to combat childhood cancer. Shave your head, donate money, volunteer, or just come for the booze.

Diet Cig's Latest Album

Great News

April 13 Time to go back to our lives of sin!

April 25 The premiere of Great News, the new NBC comedy from Tina Fey and her Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt team. Set behind the scenes of a cable TV show—not so different from 30 Rock—it stars Nicole Richie and Andrea Martin. So really, how can you go wrong?

Earth Day

The Handmaid's Tale

Swear I'm Good At This Drops April 7 Put it on when you want to convince your friends you have good taste, or stare pensively out a car window.

Lent Ends

April 22 Enjoy the planet while you can. Time to go back to our lives of sin!


April 26 This 10-episode Hulu original series tells of a dystopian future-turned-fundamentalist dictatorship where women have no rights and are enslaved for reproduction—damn, a little too close to home.

Shit we like to avoid

Breakfast With The Bunny April 2 Pay $18 to go sit and eat with a rabbit at the zoo. No, really.

Syracuse Chiefs Opening Day April 6 Oh great, another racially insensitive name in a city literally built on a Native American burial ground.

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Gabriel Inglesias Kicks off his Fluffymania World Tour

The Price Is Right Live

April 8 20 Years of Comedy. Comedy is defined pretty loosely nowadays.

April 15 Head to Turning Stone Resort and Casino if you want to see a live version of a show you watched as a kid when you faked the flu to stay home sick.

National Egg Salad Week


April 9-15 The Egg Salad Lobby is powerful and poised for attack.

April 20 The day everyone you know who smokes weed makes sure that you know they smoke weed.


Spill theTea Photography by Fiona Lenz

Picture this: You’re a southern belle, relaxing on your porch, drinking a nice cold beverage. The weather is hot, the life is easy, and you peer into the distance to see men lining up to ask you for your hand in marriage. Can you see it? No? That's probably because we live in Syracuse, it’s still cold as fuck, and this isn’t some movie that your sort of racist grandma loves. You might not be a rich white woman living below the Mason-Dixon Line, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink like one. Jerk gives you our take on Twisted Tea. Ingredients: 4 oz of unsweetened tea 1 oz of cranberry juice ½ oz of honey whisky Blueberries for garnish or health Mix the tea, cranberry juice, and honey whisky in a cocktail shaker— or a blender bottle, if you’re in Sammy. Pour over ice, top with blueberries, and enjoy.


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What We're Getting Off To On The Web This Month

JERKMAGAZINE.NET We can’t get enough of us either.

Light up in Luxury Once viewed as a taboo street drug, marijuana has become so normalized and glamorized that your standard a dime bag simply won't do. Craft cannabis could become the next major market as the U.S. drifts towards the legalization of weed.

The Privilege Of Higher Education Sure, skipping a class isn't a big deal, but having the ability to do so is. Higher education affords students the opportunity for self-improvement, while also allowing us to look down at others who did not have the same access— which is fucked up. Check your privilege and get woke.

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Divination with Deniz Even if you don't believe in astrology, destiny, or any other mysteries of fate, the proof is in the coffee grounds—the Turkish coffee grounds. Our resident divinator and assistant arts & culture editor will explain how your stars align to tell you the deep internal mysteries that will play out in your future.

21+/- Spill the Tea The mouthwatering pizza-stuffedcheeseburger-deep-fried-partydip you see daily on your newsfeed can't be beat, unless it’s a video showing you how to make a "fancy" cocktail for those porch-sitting days when Natty Light just isn't cutting 1 it. Head our website and get drunk with Jerk.



While you were looking for your W2 from your summer internship, Jerk surveyed 100 broke-ass college students in Bird Library and Schine Student Center to ask, "What's in your wallet?"


A. C.

I have at least six Grubhub accounts,



Enter an email

since first semester freshman

address to get

year. (20%)

because I never win

20% off my “first”

B. Once, because my

Yummy Rummy. (6%)


roommate’s ex hookup stole her

Sign me up. (58%)

copy she was going to let me

I take advantage of the deals, but I would not make a fake email. (26%)



When I online shop, I sort from highest to lowest price. (10%)

HOW METICULOUSLY DO YOU DO YOUR TAXES? A. I claim the government as a dependent. (8%)

wearing clothes with tags on

B. I close my eyes and wait for

them right now. (10%)

the sweet, sweet refund. (16%)

B. I would if I knew I wouldn’t

C. My parents help me fill it out

get beer on it. (34%)

and I can only hope they do that

C. People do this? (46%)

forever. (62%)

D. No, I only wear clothing

D. Like some presidents, I’m so

made out of money from

rich I can somehow get away

dissolved countries. (10%)

with not paying taxes. (14%)

WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A CHEAPSKATE? A. I am so rich, I hired someone to read this for me. (10%) B. I haven’t checked my bank account in months out of fear. (46%) C. I cut coupons, but just at Skytop Liquors. (26%)

borrow. (16%) C. I like my textbooks like I like my hookups—used. (52%) D. The same person I hired to read me this survey also just tells me what I need to know. (12%)

WHAT'S THE MOST AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU HAVE SPENT ON A GIFT FOR SOMEONE ELSE? A. $20 limit. Always. Sorry, mom. (24%) B. I think macaroni frames are an acceptable gift. (2%) C. I’ve dropped some serious cash, but only because it was for someone really important to me. (58%) D. Gifts? Like, you mean for other people? (16%)

D. What the fuck is a cheapskate? Did a 70-year-old man write this? Grandpa, is that you? (18%)


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FAMILIAR FACES It’s the morning after Flip Night. You wake up, roll over, and see an all-too-familiar face. You realize the person you just got down and dirty with is your friend’s ex. Your T.A. from freshman year gives you yet another D. How did this happen? How could you do this? Maybe it has something to do with your five-beer win streak at Faegan’s and the half-priced pitchers at Chuck’s happy hour. Illustration by Kim Truong

Sister, Sister

Last year after hitting up Flip Night, my friends and I decided Chuck’s was the best spot to go next. After having a few drinks and dancing on the tables, I started chatting it up with my friend and twin sister’s exhookup. Next thing I remember is waking up in his bed looking over in shock that I became bajingo sisters–girl version of Eskimo brothers– with my own sister! He made me breakfast and walked me home, so I guess at least it was with a nice guy.

Everyone and Their Cousin

It was the second week of my senior year, and I thought my senseless hookup days were over. But then, I met this random kid, went to a house party, drank a little too much jungle juice, and relived all my sophomore year mistakes. I got up the next morning, sticky boobs in hand, and walked the three blocks back to my house. My housemates were there to ridicule me when I walked in. I recapped the night to them, and as it turns out, the mystery boy was my housemate’s cousin. I sobered up pretty quick, and then brought him over again to piss my housemate off.

Hook Right, Hook Left

What do two drunk, irresponsible, and naïve freshmen do after a party? DJ’s, obviously. We split a fishbowl and had a grand ole time—then we both had to pee. Low and behold, as my friend is peeing she drops her current hookup’s name, and what do you know, my best friend is fucking the same dude as me and has been for a month and a half. Best part? He met me that Friday and her that Saturday of the same weekend. Worst part? He has a hook dick.

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Kilo Camille Avarella Junior, Communications Design "This is an album cover commission I painted for a local artist from my hometown. The dimensions are 10x10", and I completed it in oil paint —it took me about 32 hours. When it comes to fine art, my favorite mediums to work with are oil paints and charcoal pencils. Portraits are definitely my favorite subject. I love to capture the emotion on someone's face in a two-dimensional space."

To showcase your work on Framed, email



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Free Mary Jane As other universities continue to decriminalize marijuana, will Syracuse University take a leaf out of their books? By Jackie Pereira : Illustration by Ari Dinero

Hark the herald stoners sing, glory to the legal green. In 1973, Oregon heard our cry and gloriously decriminalized weed. Then, in 1996, California said “suck it” to the feds and medical marijuana was born. And on Election Day—R.I.P democracy, I’ll miss you—four more states stood up, reclaimed their right to #staylifted, and legalized recreational toking. Now, the push for decriminalized marijuana is sweeping across the nation once again, penetrating the ivy towers of college campuses, much to the delight of drug-rug wearing, incense-burning students everywhere. I know you’re thinking, “What? College kids? Marijuana?! Outrageous!” Despite baby boomers’ common belief that weed is a gateway drug, there is a justifiable basis as to why marijuana should be legalized, especially on college campuses. Besides allowing for the allocation of resources to more important facilities on campus—ahem, health services—decriminalization will make access to medical marijuana relatively painless to students with illnesses treatable by the grass. I apologize for the shocking statistics you’re about to see, but the fact is that the devil’s lettuce is more common on college campus than all of us dedicated scholars might think. In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, researchers found that pot smoking on college campuses is at

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a 35-year high, and in 2015 nationally, one in every 22 college students took to the ganj on a “daily or near-daily” basis. Given this groundbreaking research, it’s not a shock that towns with large college populations, such as Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the State College borough in Pennsylvania are moving to decriminalize marijuana, directly opposing not only their own state’s laws, but also federal laws. Even closer to Orangeland, in his “State of the State,” our very own Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the decriminalization of marijuana in the state of New York, citing statistics that “almost 90 percent of marijuana law violations were for possession and not for sale.” Indeed, my toasted friends, change is on the horizon. Yet, as new laws are ushered in and the smoke settles, tokers are hardly free to walk down the street joint in one hand, blunt in the other. Universities that receive federal funding are still subject to our government’s outdated decrees and are even required to implement drug-prevention programs to be eligible for that cash money. On SU's campus, a violation for the use or possession of marijuana or paraphernalia means anything from community service to a disciplinary probation period—an undoubtedly effective measure for magically transforming even the laziest pothead into a productive, meaningful member of society.


According to the Department of Public Service’s Annual Security Report, in 2015 alone there were 18 reported arrests due to “drug law violations” and 147 incidents both on and off campus due to “drug law violations” that resulted in referrals and disciplinary actions. The public safety office is already straining to keep a campus full of intoxicated, impulsive fake-adults who have promised to “get their life together” every day for the past three years safe. We now have to ask ourselves if it is wise to continue to waste campus resources, as well as possibly tarnish students' futures, over a substance that 53 percent of adults believe should be legal anyway, according to the Pew Research Center. Beyond simply relieving a few grams of DPS’s burden and not screwing Little Bobby out of his dream job because of that one hit he took to impress all of Lawrinson 11, decriminalization is also an important step for an oft-forgotten demographic of our student population: those with medical marijuana cards. Medical marijuana is used to treat such illnesses as epilepsy and glaucoma that cannot be treated in traditional and standard ways. When students come from all over the U.S. and the world, they medicines they use on a daily basis suddenly become taboo. Ariella*, a 22-year-old SU alumna who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, struggled to obtain medical marijuana while in Central New York despite having had a medical marijuana card from her home state for over four years. “I had to drive it from my home state in order to have the product I needed,” Ariella says. “It actually made it so that I had to smoke more often because I wasn’t able to

obtain the CBD tinctures that I can get from the dispensary at home. After the marijuana ran out, my options became either don’t have this anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, anti-pain drug and substitute it with opioids, Zofran, and other much more harmful but more legal drugs, or buy illegally on the streets.” Medical marijuana not only eases the pain of students with chronic illnesses, but it is also used to treat anxiety and depression—two prevalent mental health issues on campuses across the country. Despite recent initiatives to implement programs such as meditation and improved counseling services on college campuses, 41.6 percent of students still struggle with anxiety and 36.4 percent with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. According to Psychology Today, medical marijuana has had substantial successes in the treatment of both conditions. And, with study after study proving that there are little to no health risks that come with legalization, I have to ask once again why we continue to debate this as a nation. Decriminalization is a step toward the utopia we’ve been promised, friends. Soon, we will rise up, bong in hand, and tell the man: Let us light up!

* Indicates name has been changed.


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Student loan interest rates are on the rise, preventing more and more individuals from affording a higher education. By Mary Catalfamo : Illustration by Jacqueline Akerley A lot of crazy things have already gone down in 2017, but student loan debt—that horrible, dependable little bastard—is not one of them. The amount of national student debt is higher than ever before, totaling $1.3 trillion shared by 44 million college graduates in the U.S., according to the finance management website Student Loan Hero. The site also projected the average amount of debt for a college student who graduated in 2016 to be around $37,172— up 6 percent from 2015 figures. I know recent times have been—ahem— divisive, but I think we can all agree that paying off student loan debt into our 30’s and 40’s is bullshit. Forbes weighed in on the

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matter, calling it a "crisis." And the upward debt trend has caused turmoil among as many as 6 percent of undergraduate college students who took out private student loans in 2011-12 according to data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. According to a 2016 report from the Institute for College Access & Success, an organization that advocates for higher education reform, private loans have varied interest rates, some as high as 13.74 percent. And as for deferment? Repayment based on income? Loan forgiveness?Maybe we should change Sallie Mae’ s name to Mariah Carey because she’s never heard of them.


Some of these contracts even require students to make payments while they’re still in school. That’s why taking out private loans from non-federal lenders like banks, credit unions, or states is considered to be the riskiest way to finance a college education. Many online resources—including SU’s Financial Aid Office—advise students to take out non-federal student loans only if additional funding is needed after receiving every possible form of federal aid and scholarship awards. The message is clear: Private loans are the fucking worst. College students should exhaust every other source of additional funds—apply for every merit scholarship and federal loan out there before trying to mess with any form of private lenders. But it shouldn’t be all up to us. Those private lenders—credit unions, banks, and states— need to abolish their current policies that exploit the vulnerable financial situations of young adults trying to attend college. According to data collected by Student Loan Hero, private loans are gaining popularity— especially, it seems, for students who don’t qualify for need-based financial aid but can’t finance their tuition out of pocket. “I’m kind of in that place where I can get merit aid and I can get those kinds of scholarships, but I really don’ t have any type of need-based aid," says Katie Ellsweig, a sophomore political science and economics dual major. “Yet, at the same time, my family isn’t going to support all of it.” Ellsweig took out a private student loan to help pay for her sophomore year of college. She says she’ s considered transferring

from SU multiple times exclusively because of the financial burden. “I’m not sure if Syracuse was the best decision of my life or the worst,” Ellsweig says. “For all of high school, whenever I was thinking about college loans I was thinking ‘Oh maybe I’ll have fifteen— twenty-thousand,' and that was including interest. That’ s what I always thought I was comfortable with, but it’ s going to be so much higher than that.” When statistically applied to SU, 800 undergraduate students are left with gaps in between what their financial aid and/or merit scholarships cover and the total cost of tuition. Trump, Clinton, and Sanders all proposed legislation on the campaign trail to alleviate student loan debt. A $1.3 trillion crisis is still a crisis, after all—and this issue trumps partisanship. If the job market continues to require bachelor degrees for traditionally vocational jobs, then free tuition at least for lower income students only seems reasonable. But such a perfect world may still be a long way off, and—in the meantime—there should be reputable, accessible pathways for college students to afford the higher education that’s become absolutely essential for even entry-level positions in some fields. The private student loan is a scam masquerading as a solution, cashing in on the career ambitions of lower and middle-income students. Yet, Ellsweig acknowledges that current plans to make college education free would most likely not make an impact on her situation. So until we pull the drain on this pool of debt, we’ll be drowning in unpaid loans until someone throws us a line.


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A HARD PILL TO SWALLOW Under the male-dominated Trump administration, access to reproductive healthcare will be stripped, leaving women to pick up the pieces—so get your IUDs now. By Olivia Davis

This past Christmas, while struggling through a hangover and a heated political discussion with family members, my older sister waves me over from across the room. “Liv, sit down, I want to talk to you,” she says. Begrudgingly, I oblige. She looks at me with a serious expression and says, “I don’t know what your situation is right now, but considering the result of the election, I want you to think about getting an IUD.” The IUD, or intrauterine device, is a form of birth control that is covered under the Affordable Care Act—or “Obamacare.” Under the act, women receive coverage for their birth control with no co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance, aiding those who previously could not afford it. For the time being, women are still able to obtain this method of contraception, and it’s an appealing option for sexually active women. But the reality is that women might be forced to cover the cost of birth control on their own in the near future, without any

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help from insurance, if the ACA is repealed or replaced. A hormonal IUD prevents pregnancy for three to five years and a copper IUD can stay in place for up to 10 years, so women who get the procedure now may not have to pay for birth control at all during the remainder of the Trump administration. Now, many young women who have never before considered a long-term birth control plan are seriously contemplating getting an IUD insertion. “The threat of potential policies helped sweeten the deal in getting an IUD,” says Dominique Pacitti, a senior at SU. The IUD procedure entails a doctor sticking a tiny T-shaped piece of plastic into the uterus, which itself is very uncomfortable. But the real pain kicks in after the actual procedure. Many women experience intense cramps for a couple days, and as a response to a foreign object in the uterus, some women experience

BITCH contractions as their bodies try to push the IUD out. Expulsion of an IUD occurs infrequently, with fewer than 10 of 100 IUDs being pushed out of the uterus during the first year. Despite the side effects, women still undergo the discomfort of an IUD insertion for the prospect of being childfree in the long run and never having to remember to take a pill, all while having it covered under Obamacare. If you wear a Canada Goose jacket to class or drive around in a Mercedes-Benz that Daddy bought you for your not-so-sweet 16, then disregard this next part. But if you have a uterus and find yourself eating ramen for dinner more often than not, then I would pay attention. Obtaining an IUD, including the cost of the procedure and follow-up appointments, could cost anywhere from $500-$900 without insurance coverage. If you are a woman and have health insurance, the cost of this procedure is essentially free under the ACA. This form of birth control is big step in women’s healthcare, and it’s a logical option for any 20-something woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant before the age of 30. According to a study done at the University of New Hampshire, women between the ages of 20 and 24 have the highest rate of unintended pregnancies, and 80 percent of sexually active college females don’t want to become pregnant. Of the 326 women interviewed, 77.1 percent of sexually active women used contraception, and most favored oral contraceptives and

condoms. Of the sexually active women who didn’t report using birth control, 25 percent of them listed cost as a determining factor. Under the Trump administration, the cost of birth control is likely to increase, as it could be wiped from insurance coverage. It’s no surprise that college-aged females are rushing out to get the IUD. Many of them feel that they need to pursue a longterm birth control plan before the Trump administration has the opportunity to strip away women’s rights to their own bodies. An IUD is a smart option for sexually active women to avoid becoming pregnant in the coming years, and at the very least, if you’re considering getting an insertion, speak with your doctor before doing so becomes inaccessible and unaffordable. Though only 10.3 percent of women who use contraceptives in the United States have IUDs, many of us have heard horrific stories about how painful the IUD procedure is. I can say from my own experience that it isn’t pleasant and that contractions are brutal. Despite the five-minute procedure that doctors say feels like “a quick pinch,” a study published in the journal Dove Medical Press found that women who had not had vaginal deliveries expected the pain to be a level six out of 10, and that’s exactly how they rated the insertion to be. But a couple days of pain is worth five years of pregnancy-free bliss, and you get the bonus of sending a big, metaphorical middle finger to Trump and his posse of womenhating dementors.


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Uphill Resistance As places of higher learning and critical thinking, protesting the around government’s actions should be commonplace. By Aline Martins : Illustration by Arielle Nagar

Chants echo off of the walls as the crowd grows at Hancock International Airport. “No hate. No fear. Refugees are welcome here.” It is Jan. 29, just two days after the Trump administration filed an executive order titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” which barred travel and immigration from seven muslim-majority countries. Soon, a group of young Syracuse City School District and older Syracuse University students join together to lead a new chant, “Hey hey, ho ho, Islamophobia has to go.” The rest of the crowd joins in. In the crowd, I run into a few professors, recognize teachers from the city school district, and notice that Stephanie Miner, the mayor of the city of Syracuse, is in attendance. Miner gives a long speech letting protesters know the city supports them and stands against discriminatory policies. If you walk into Hancock International Airport any other day, it is nearly silent. Today, the voices are deafening. Organizers

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yell into megaphones, and protestors clap, scream, chant, boast handmade signs, and call for action—one person yells out, “Where’s Katko?” At this time in our democracy, increased communication with government representatives seems to be a theme. At the Women’s March on Washington, organizers urged marchers to call their congressmen. On Twitter, journalists routinely tweet names and phone numbers for political figureheads, telling people thatnow is the time for action. Here at SU, people wondered where our administration stood on the issue. It took almost two full weeks for SU to craft an official response to the executive order. The acknowledgement came Feb. 9, and it was a strong one. It read: "To be clear, this university simply cannot support or abide by any policy that discriminates against, or makes a preference for, one person over the other based on religion, national origin or other inherent characteristics. Any such policy is wrong and antithetical to the constitution of


the United States of America and the values of this university." Chancellor Syverud made everyone aware of his exact stance, but during the two weeks of silence from the university, before he issued the statement, a group of professors had come together to file a petition urging the administration to take a stand. Dr. Osamah F. Khalil, a history professor in Maxwell and an organizer of the petition, says he believes that universities need to tell students their position on the travel ban. “One of the things you want to hear from a university, from the administration, from the faculty is,‘ We stand with you and we will support you to the fullest extent,’” Khalil says. “It’s important to get the message that this is a safe space and that you are welcome here.” Luckily, no Syracuse University students were detained when POTUS enacted the ban, but students from other universities, such as NYU, Stanford, and Stony Brook, were. It is crucial that universities, as places of growth and tolerance, maintain transparency around issues that could impede upon the learning process. That is a large reason why 62 universities in the Association of American Universities spoke out against the ban almost immediately, as is their prerogative. If the administration of a university feels the need to take a stance against federal legislation to protect their students and allow for a free learning process, then they should respond. If they feel a response could add to the theory revolving a piece of legislation or the constitutionality, then they should respond. If they feel they have academic resources that can protect our democratic institutions, then they should respond. If a piece of legislation has nothing to do with the university and its students

or the academic resources they have, then they should not respond. It's situational, but a university certainly has the right to respond. Freedom of speech extends to institutions for a reason University statements are not just symbolic gestures. Some schools, such as Yale, sent legal counsels from its law school to help the American Civil Liberties Union at the airports. Yale, along with 16 other universities, filed an amicus brief to give a federal district court additional legal information to aid a review of the ban. Statements from universities, in this case, were not just figurative to show support for inclusivity—they also called for a rededication of resources to fight against what they believed to be unconstitutional legislation. That, in essence, is the point of a university or any other place of higher learning. SU’s mission is “to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment, and service.” If it is necessary to speak out against legislation that impedes the process, then it is the university’s right to do so. Consider when the University of North Carolina decided to implement the state's law banning transgender people from choosing which bathroom to use. The law was clearly in violation of federal Title IX legislation, but UNC implemented it anyway—and was sued by the Department of Justice. Legal battles can also happen when universities choose to disregard federal legislation, but large universities like SU have prominent law schools with legal scholars and budding lawyers waiting for a chance to make a difference. If a university sees something happening in our federal government that could harm the students, as Dr. Khalil says: “The universities should welcome that fight in court.”


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Too Close To Home With its government funding to be yanked by July, the YWCA of Onondaga County is looking for new ways to serve formerly homeless women. By Sarah Heikkinen : Photography by Sarah Heikkinen

After struggling with alcoholism for 25 years and periodically living on the streets with her two children, Francine Whitman experienced the harsh reality that homeless mothers in the United States too often face. In 2014, Child Protective Services took away her youngest son. Now 45, Whitman regained custody of her son and works at the Syracuse Young Women's Christian Association, the female equivalent of a YMCA, as part of a supportive housing program for homeless women in the area. The program helps bring formerly homeless women to permanent housing. During this transition, the women are placed in temporary, apartment-style housing and have the chance to learn the skills needed to live without the help of YWCA advocates and case managers. The advocates and case managers provide advice for their clients at court hearings, help them find stable employment outside of the YWCA, and connect them with counseling services at Vera House, an organization in Syracuse that works to end domestic violence. But in 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a new mandate for the “rapid rehousing” of homeless women that threatens this transitional program. After July

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31, the Syracuse Continuum of Care, which is run by the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York, will no longer fund the YWCA’s Permanent Supportive Housing program. With these changes, 20 women— some of them with families—will be affected by the cuts. HUD’s new strategy will move homeless families directly to permanent housing after staying in an emergency shelter, with no funding set aside for permanent supportive housing programs like the YWCA’s. Based on a three-year study of homeless families across the country published in October 2016, HUD found that rapid rehousing costs $880 per month, while transitional housing costs $2,700 per month. With that, HUD cut transitional costs all together and concluded that rapid rehousing would be the most cost-effective way to ensure that formerly homeless families would stay off the streets, even though they also reported that families assigned to housing with intensive support services were less likely to end up in an emergency shelter situation again. Melissa Marrone, the coordinator of the Housing & Homeless Coalition of Central New York, says the YWCA’s transitional housing program will remain open because it’s not funded by the Syracuse Continuum


The YWCA's Permament Supportive Housing Program is located 300 Burt Street in Syracuse's South Side.

of Care. “We don’t need long-term shelters,” Marrone says, “we need housing.” Marrone says the HHC prefers funding permanent housing over shelters because transitional housing and long-term shelters are more restrictive—they prohibit drug use and drinking and are solely open to women. “We fund more of the permanent sort of housing and rapid rehousing that will allow people to transition and still feel connected to permanent supportive housing,” Marrone says. She declined to say why the Syracuse Continuum of Care decided to cut the YWCA’s supportive housing program. Fanny Villarreal, the executive director of the Syracuse YWCA for the past four years, says that rapid rehousing, while less expensive than transitional housing or consistent

emergency shelter care—which costs nearly $5,000 per month—may not be the answer for every homeless family. HUD conducted a three-year study, beginning in 2010, on homeless families across the U.S., but none of the research was done on homeless families in New York State. The YWCA will lose its funding because it decided against changing the Permanent Supportive Housing program to a rapid rehousing program, Villarreal says. Villarreal says she and her team are trying to raise funds to “keep the promise” they made to the women in the Permanent Supportive Housing program. As of now, many of the formerly homeless women who live in the YWCA’s residences might once again find themselves on the streets because of the Continuum of Care’s decision to cut the


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SMUT funding for the YWCA’s supportive housing program. After July 31, these women must find somewhere else to live—without the support of the YWCA. But for now, Villarreal and her team will continue to support their residents in any way they can. Villarreal says the most rewarding part of her work is seeing the impact she and her case managers, advocates, and support staff make on the lives of the women who come through the YWCA’s doors. For Francine Whitman, supportive housing programs like the YWCA's are the reason she finally feels stable and healthy today. After

I would go days without EatING JUST SO MY KIDS COULD, BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS CAME FIRST. -TORRY GLEASON, A PERMANENT RESIDENT AND VOLUNTEER AT THE YWCA two years with the YWCA, Whitman, along with her boyfriend and her 11-year-old son, left the program this February. Whitman also credits the YWCA for helping her find the strength within herself to reconnect with her three other children she put up for adoption 16 years ago. “The difference between now and then is that I’m able to advocate for myself,” she says. Still, Whitman described the difficult transition between homelessness and finding permanent shelter with the YWCA because of the lack of control she had over her life and the lives of her two sons. That

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transition from homelessness to living in a shelter is often one of the more challenging aspects of being a homeless woman, let alone a homeless mother. Suzanne Roupas, the former director of adult shelters at the Syracuse Salvation Army, sees the struggles homeless mothers endure after they leave the emergency shelter. “When the rubber hits the road, women with children will focus on their children’s safety and then on their needs,” Roupas says. “They’ll always put their kids first.” Torry Gleason, 56, a permanent resident and volunteer at the Syracuse YWCA, always put her children first. As a child, Gleason was physically and emotionally abused by her alcoholic mother. “I didn’t really know how to be a mom, because my mother was never really a mother to me,” she says. Gleason has five children, and despite her own struggles with alcoholism, she says she always put her children first—even when they were staying in emergency shelters or sleeping on friends’ couches. She remembers the years of bouncing from couch to couch and from shelter to shelter before she and her daughter, now 18, found the YWCA. “I would go days without eating just so my kids could, because they always came first,” Gleason says. “And they still come first.” Now, Gleason has been sober for 16 years and has lived with her youngest daughter, Caitlyn, in the Permanent Supportive Housing program at the YWCA for the past 15 years. When Caitlyn was in elementary school, she was molested by a friend of her father’s. Gleason's case managers and advocates encouraged her to read her daughter’s crime impact statement in the courtroom, something she says she did not have the strength to do when her two other children were sexually assaulted at young ages. Gleason remembers being supported in court by Felicia Hall, a case manager, advocate, and formerly homeless mother.


The State Of Homelessness In 2016 In November, the Department of Housing and Urban Development released their Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, or AHAR. The report, which is a compilation of a series of smaller reports on homelessness made throughout the year by the different branches of HUD across the country, came back with some positive news: homelessness in the United States has gone down since 2015. Here are some of the highlights: Homelessness went down by three percent to 14,780 people from January 2015 to January 2016. On a larger scale, homelessness has decreased by 17 percent since 2007. HUD reported that the number of homeless people with children went down by six percent since 2015. Chronic homelessness, which HUD defines as being an individual or family that has been homeless for more than one year, decreased by seven percent between 2015 and 2016, and 35 percent overall between 2007 and 2016. Only 32 percent of the entire homeless population went unsheltered in 2016, with 29 percent of homeless individuals and three percent of homeless families staying outside of shelter. Approximately 68 percent of the homeless population were in emergency shelters or alternative housing programs in 2016.

Hall has been a case manager and advocate at the Syracuse YWCA for 19 years. Two years before she started working at the YWCA, Hall, a mother of two, found herself going between sleeping on the couches of family members, living in homeless shelters, and stopping in halfway houses in Rochester and Newark, N.Y. Hall credits the program’s success to its empowering female environment. Joey Samora, another resident of the

Permanent Supportive Housing program and close friend of Gleason’s, agrees with Hall. Samora, 50, dreaded living in an allfemale environment when she first entered the program in 2009. Samora says she’s “a man’s person” who never mixed well with other women. Now, she considers Gleason, the other women, and the families who live at the YWCA to be her own family. “Without this, I would probably still be on the streets, I really


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Fanny Villareal (left), director of the YWCA, talks with Francine Whitman (right), a formerly homeless mother, about her new life with the YWCA.

would,” says Samora, who has been sober for almost 10 years. Samora moved from Colorado to New York in 2007 to marry her now ex-husband, whom she met online. She has five children, all of whom she’d lost touch with until recently. Samora was a victim of domestic violence for 14 years prior to moving to New York and was physically and emotionally abused as a child. Despite her difficult past, Samora believes that her life started again when she came to New York. Both Samora and Gleason say that learning how to trust new people was another challenge they had to overcome when they first came to the YWCA’s housing program. Hall says that as a case manager and advocate, building trust between staff and residents is essential—it just takes time.

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The time the YWCA’s case managers dedicate to their clients is something that the rapid rehousing mandate lacks, Hall says. With the shutdown of the permanent supportive housing program looming over the YWCA, it is unclear whether the trust between the case managers and advocates with their clients will be as strong as it was. Villareal and her case managers, like Hall, who help to rehabilitate the residents are currently toying with a variety of ways to raise the money necessary to keep the program afloat. Raising the monthly program fee and fundraising are both on the table for solving this problem, but nothing is set in stone just yet. Gleason and Samora are both scared for their futures after the program ends this summer. Both women have been comforted by the safety and security that the YWCA’s


As of now, many of the formerly homeless women who are living in the YWCA’s residences might once again find themselves on the streets because of the Continuum of Care’s decision to cut the funding for the YWCA’s supportive housing program. After July 31, these women must find somewhere else to live—without the support of the YWCA.

Without the YWCA, Gleason—among 20 other women—does not know where she will live at the end of July.

permanent housing has given them. Gleason, who lives in one of the YWCA’s townhouses with her daughter and granddaughter, is afraid of what the future holds for her family. All she knows for sure is that she wants to get out of Syracuse. “I don’t like it here,” she says, laughing. Samora interjects, saying she plans on moving out to the country, if she can. “Then I’m moving with you!” Gleason says. Samora fears going back into the world after the program comes to an end. Right now, she plans to move into another apartment in the building where the YWCA’s housing is located. This, she says, makes her feel a little safer, but she’s still scared. “I’m terrified of it, I really am,” she says. “But we’ve got this, Joey,” Gleason says. “We can do this. We’re strong.” "They're not just my friends, they're my family," Gleason (left) says about women like Samora (right) she's met at the YWCA. over the past 15 years.


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A Dog to Heal For veterans, the transition back to a normal routine can be difficult and emotional, but some organizations can make it easier with the help of service dogs By Divya Murthy : Photography supplied by Zackary Couch

Zackary Couch grew hadGerman shepherds in his life until hejoined the army at 18. He has served in the inactive reserves for the past eight years. But in 2016, another German shepherd made his way into his life: Brody, a service dog. Couch shared a more profound relationship with Brody than with any of his other dogs. “Brody and me got stressed,” Couch says. “When I got stressed, he got stressed. When I got irritated, he got dumb. And we were both trying to pull off alpha half the time.” But they were inseparable. “We argued with each other, but then we knew we needed to be around each other,” he says. “I mean, I love that dog.” During his army training, Couch brought Brody with him to drills and took him on walks around the base on Oswego Lake, where Brody enjoyed rolling around in the grass and chasing squirrels. These are Couch's fondest memories of Brody. As Couch, now 24, moved forward with his life as an undergraduate in the iSchool at Syracuse University, it got tougher for 6-year-old Brody to cope with the rapid changes in Couch’s life. Brody had to leave

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Couch’s life—and he now lives with another veteran in Central New York. But he did not leave without significantly impacting Couch's life. “Brody made me understand that I reflect my emotions on to other people and that I need to start retaining my emotions a little bit better,” Couch says. “He made me get close to something again other than family, which was hard for me.” Couch and Brody met at Clear Path for Veterans, a center servicing veterans in central New York. Clear Path for Veterans is located in Chittenango in Upstate New York. But beyond the 78-acre yard and the surreal view from this stone-walled building, something’s happening on the inside. You immediately can sense the dogs. Commands like “sit” and “stay” pierce the air along with the sound of paws scampering across the floor. It is not playtime for the puppies and dogs just yet—they're working. The Dogs2Vets program has graduated 65 pairs of dogs and veterans since its founding in 2011, according to its website. Service dogs at the center are trained to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic


Since it was founded in 2011, Dogs2Vets has matched 65 pairs of dogs and veterans­—including Zackary and Brody.

Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma. The success of the service dogs at the Dogs2Vets program at Clear Path for Veterans relies on the owner-trainerdog model. Instead of randomly pairing a trained dog with a veteran, the veterans work with a trainer and an assigned dog— or even their own dog, if appropriate. Kate Hannon, director of the Dogs2Vets, points out that the dogs at Clear Path grasp the distinct difference between worktime and playtime quickly. It’s part of the learning process that both dogs and veterans undergo to become effective companions for each other. “Dogs have evolved to help us,” Hannon says. “They’re very perceptive, and they’re one of the only species that watches us with that intensity and picks up on our emotions.” Like the treats and pats they receive

after obediently following a command, dogs in the Dogs2Vets program earn their service vests and patches after intensive training phases. But, it’s not just the dogs that have to pass the tests—veterans must be interviewed and provide proof of their military service and disability, after which they sign up with the dogs for a basic obedience course. The dogs are rescued from shelters and fostered at the Home for the Brave center at Clear Path, and that’s when the hard work begins. Once a week for six weeks, the veterans try to befriend and form mutual bonds with the dog. The relationship between the two has to hit certain benchmarks: both the veteran and dog are constantly assessed to see if they click and if the dog is able to follow basic commands like sit, stay, and down.


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SMUT Ryan Woodruff, a trainer for Dogs2Vets. “That’s what Harley does for me.” This connection generates constant “checkThe process for a service dog can last ins” from the dogs. “Every time the dog from one year to 18 months. During this looks at the veteran, the dog is checking in time, the connection between the dog and with him to look for guidance,” Woodruff veteran grows—a chance that would have says. “That’s one of the big things we look been lost if a service dog had been assigned for.” at random. Woodruff is a veteran himself—he served Once the dog and veteran pass the sixin the Marine Corps and was deployed twice week course, tougher tasks await them: to Iraq. Within a year of his discharge, he was The dog has to pass the American Kennel diagnosed with PTSD. When he heard about Club’s Canine Good Citizen test, which the the Dogs2Vets program, he immediately AKC website confidently terms “the gold interviewed and began training with his standard for dog behavior.” Next, the dog German shepherd, Harley. learns how to venture out in public, deal Easing back into civilian life can be one with distractions and in essence, be on A1 of the most daunting challenges veterans behavior. Once all these skills are checked face. During their service, vets become off, the veteran and the dog move together accustomed to living a rigorous routine. onto task-oriented behavior, tailored to the Strong bonds form between the people veteran’s needs and moods. who serve. When you get thrown back Task-oriented training teaches the service into civilian life, Woodruff says, you lose dog to deal with their vet's anxiety—it learns those bonds and are expected to act like a how to alert the veteran to an approaching civilian—and that does not come easily. stranger and pacify anxiety by pawing According to the National Institute of the owner or putting its head on their lap. Health Medline Plus website, PTSD affects Comfort in the home space is situational, nearly 31 percent of Vietnam War veterans, Woodruff says. 10 percent of Gulf War veterans, 11 percent “If a vet is having nightmares, we can of Afghanistan veterans, and 20 percent train a dog to wake up the veteran and of Iraq War veterans. The data adds up— turn on the light switch for instance,” he anxiety and discomfort rises for many says. “If the veteran wants to increase the veterans in public spaces, and the feeling space between him and another individual, does not fade in private spaces either. we teach the dog to block—the dog will With the help of a constant companion position himself between the veteran and like Harley, though, Woodruff has been able whoever else is approaching them.” to adjust more comfortably. “What Harley Service dog training picks up on just does for me is keep me engaged,” Woodruff how efficiently a dog can respond to human says. “Harley has helped me become less emotion. A former zookeeper, Hannon detached; I’m a lot more social, and I do a confirms that with observation, trainers can lot of public events with her.” subtly alter that behavior in a way that helps Woodruff has worked with Harley both parties. since last June and continues to build his “The dog is reading the veteran. relationship with her. “With the people Everything the veteran is sending down the you serve with, you always have someone leash, the dog is reading,” Woodruff says. watching your back,” Woodruff says. “The dog is pretty much feeling everything

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SMUT the veteran is feeling.” And that is the distillation of the relationship between the service dog and the veteran: If the veteran is not equipped to handle a situation, their four-legged companion steps in. If the owner is feeling overwhelmed or crowded, the dog steps in

“It’s like seeing someone in a wheelchair,” Woodruff says. “You’re not going to go up and touch their wheelchair for no reason.” “Never approach the dog thinking it might always be sociable,” Woodruff says. “If you have questions, you are more than welcome to ask away, but make sure you’re

front of the veteran and creates a “protective bubble.” Hannon says the presence of the

making neither the dog nor the veteran uncomfortable.” But that’s not to say veterans don't know how to deal with dog-lovers wanting to pet the animal. In most cases, veterans politely ask the individuals to wait until the dog sits and allows them to greet. Hannon describes this process as the dog thinks of it: “When I’m working, I have to be alert. I have to pay attention to my human. I have to behave in public. You pull my vest off, and I get to be a little kid again, and run around and bark and play at things.” Hannon hopes for more concrete laws surrounding service animals and emotional support animals. “Our laws are very vague,” she says. “It allows people to take dogs that aren’t well-trained, put a vest on them, and stick them in a public area.” In this case, many owners don’t have an answer when public places like restaurants ask them why the dog is not behaving. service dog in public can be a profound The training at Dogs2Vets is constantly thing for anyone making the transition to getting better with new trainers and ideas, civilian life. Woodruff says. Volunteers and trainers “They [veterans] don’t trust anybody,” now have three different scenarios to train Hannon says. “Now you have a trusting dogs outdoors to accommodate more relationship with the dog that has your back, veterans. When she comes to think of it, and you can walk into those environments Hannon says a lot of our own pets perform that may have caused you anxiety.” tasks without us even realizing it. Her own With that possibility in mind, Woodruff dog, Moonshine, lies on her chest at night advises civilians approaching service if she’s unable to sleep, prodding her dogs to avoid petting them. Dogs in insomnia away. any setting invite a crowd of “awwws" “Dogs just do that naturally,” she says. and instantaneous pats, but this can be “What we’re doing with a service dog is just extremely risky with a service dog and saying ‘I like that. Please keep doing it.” their owner.

Dogs have evolved to help us...They’re very perceptive, and they’re one of the only species that watches us with that intensity and picks up on our emotions.


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More than 2,000 homes around the Syracuse area have been abandoned for years, but now the city plans to demolish these zombie houses and turn them into homes again. By Amber Ragunas : Photography by Minjung Kim

In the suburbs of Syracuse, the DeWittshire neighborhood is eager for a new family to join their “tight-knit” community, says Maureen McManus, the woman who lives across from 102 Wellington Road. However, for now the abandoned house repels potential homebuyers because it’s a “zombie” property: a foreclosed and decaying house that shelters critters, attracts vandals, and lowers surrounding homes' property values. More than 2,000 of these so-called zombie properties litter the Syracuse area, but the Greater Syracuse Land Bank, created by Syracuse and Onondaga County in 2012, revitalizes these

decrepit buildings. This process takes months: Syracuse seizes a foreclosed building, collects its back taxes, and sells it to the Land Bank. Then the bank either flips and sells the property or auctions it to private investors. As of January 2017, the Land Bank acquired 1,283 properties, sold 408, and demolished 169, generating more than $728,000 in property taxes and $15 million in private investments, according to the land bank’s website and Instagram. The Greater Syracuse Land Bank works at a steady pace with no sign of speeding up. For one, most of the properties the

Home to over 2,000 zombie properties, parts of the greater Syracuse area feel like a ghost town.


Building demolitions cannot take place over the winter, as snow hinders the process. As warm weather approaches, the Land Bank will schedule more demolitions.

As of January 2017, the Syracuse Land Bank has acquired 1,283 of 2,000 zombie properties, sold 408, and demolished 169.

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The Greater Syracuse Land Bank will begin its Vacant Mural Project, allowing local artists to paint murals on zombie properties in visible neighborhoods.

Land Bank acquires are "fixer-uppers,” or buildings not in good enough shape for the market. Renovations take time. It starts with clearing out the building, making construction and renovation specs, sometimes demolishing the property, renovating the property, and finally getting a buyer. Private investors have a year to complete renovations, and they often like to take their time. Before rebuilding, the Land Bank sometimes supports the evicted families in vacating the property, which can take between three to six months. The Greater Syracuse Land Bank’s annual budget—$1.5 million in 2016—allocates

enough funds for just 50 to 70 demolitions per year. In a city pounded by over 100 inches of snow this year, demolition cannot take place during the winter due to inclement weather. The executive director of the Land Bank, Katelyn Wright, says the spring will bring more zombie property redevelopment. In May, the Vacant Mural Project implemented by the Land Bank will allow people to paint on the plywood securing the doors and windows of the zombie properties in high-traffic neighborhoods. The art will brighten up the neighborhoods as they wait for the Land Bank to get around around to rebuilding them.


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shing Daisies Pushing Daisies shing Daisies




Pushing Daisies shing Daisies Pushing Daisies 38 4.17




GAWK Global warming might have given us green grass in February, but the trees and flowers are still very much dead after the snow melts. It’s only fitting we corrupt cliché spring florals, letting them rot and decay. We toast Miranda Priestly and deck ourselves in embroidered daisies and sequined roses—on black, of course.

Left (Julie): Top: Jaded London $75 Shorts: Jaded London $60 Boots: Public Desire $60

Right (Jasmin): Robe: Jaded London $110 Bralette: Silence + Noise $18 Pants: ASOS $61



Stylists: Hairol Ma, Trusha Bhatt, Nick Della Sala Assistant: Tiffany Moran

Photographer: Alec Erlebacher Art Direction: Zifan Wang Illustrator: Bobby Davison Models: Jasmin Park, Julie Mebane


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Jacket: Bershka $100 Top: Jaded London $26 Skirt: Jaded London $50

Dress: ASOS $46 Joggers: Missguided $34

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Dress: Bershka $30 Top: ASOS $46 Belt: ASOS $22 Shoes: Reebok $90

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GAWK Dress: Jaded London $100 Skirt: Zara $50 Shoes: Zara $90



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Kimono: Zara $150 Derss: Ecote $40

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Bodysuit: Zara $40 Shorts: Adidas $8



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Launched as an online-only beauty startup in October 2014, Glossier is the no-fuss makeup brand that lets you achieve #iwokeuplikethis status. With beauty basics like skin tints and lip balms that promise to play up your features instead of masking your flaws, the brand talks to its audience in a similar fashion: down-to-earth with just a little bit of sass. The iconic Glossier soft pink makes the packaging whimsical AF, and the products are not only fun to look at but affordable, topping out at $35. Our picks: Boy Brow $16, Haloscope in Quartz $22 Pictured above: Haloscope in Topaz


Expanding into new territory, the ultra-hip, creative media company Milk Studios introduced their first beauty line in March 2016 at Sephora. Its edgy, gender-neutral packaging removes the need for brushes with makeup sticks and tubes and calls to the on-the-go, let-me-applymy-makeup-in-the-back-of-acab-with-my-fingers kind of crowd. The extensive line of low-maintenance products has natural ingredients to keep your skin healthy—even when you don’t have the time to properly care for it. Prices range from $10 blotting papers that double as rolling papers to a $42 skin tint, and you can catch them online at Sephora, Urban Outfitters, or on Milk’s site. Our picks: Blur Stick $36, Lip + Cheek $24 Pictured above: Lip Marker in TKO


Korean makeup is the farthest thing from a cake face. Sephora and Vogue may be touting the fresh-faced trend lately, but Korean makeup brands like Missha, Etude House, and Tony Moly have been refining the look for years now. The OG of no-makeup makeup, K-beauty places emphasizes youth and prioritizes skincare. Starting with a wide-spread obsession over their BB cream that doubles as SPF, the demand for more of Korea’s innovative makeup brands led to an increase in their availability here in the United States. Although they still aren’t super accessible, you can find some products at Sephora, Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom. Complete with adorable packaging and light, easy-to-apply formulas. Our picks: Missha Perfect Coverage BB Cream $22, Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream $36 Pictured above: Missha BB Cream, Limited Edition


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In honor of Record Store Day on April 15, here's a look at how artists are finding innovative ways to get music back onto shelves and back into the peoples' hands, streaming be damned. By Annika Hoiem : Photography by Codie Yan

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Growing up, my backyard was my playground—but it was also dance studio, a concert rehearsal space, an album cover backdrop. Random cars piled in the driveway and boxes of CDs filled the shelves of the garage in an age when music was still tangible. But that changed when Napster began in 1999, iTunes in 2001, followed by a slew of other platforms including Yahoo Music, Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music. Ultimately, music became an on-demand, all-you-can-eat buffet, where consumers pick and choose from an infinite digital catalog. Though streaming is now the predominant music medium, people still long for physical albums. As a response, artists are looking for ways to entertain their audience and get listeners to buy music directly. Indie artist and producer Je'kob Washington launched his career in 2001 when he and his siblings signed to Word Records under the name "Souljahz." Warner Brothers bought the label in 2004 and all of Souljahz creative partners were let go, which led to Souljahz breaking their contract in 2007. Since then, Washington and his sister, Rachael, have rebranded as "The Washington Projects," and also began solo careers. For Washington, the death

of the tangible form symbolized the beginning of the end for musical artists. "It takes almost a million plus spins a month for you to make minimum wage as an artist, to make what you could be making over at Pizza Hut," Washington says. Like the top 40 moguls who dictate our lives, even small scale musicians have had mixed reactions to this evolution. Derek Minor, a rapper, producer, and CEO of his own label, Reflection Music Group, found the initial transition nerve-wracking, but the Grammy-nominated artist has since switched his wariness to excitement. "No one likes change," Minor says. "Like everyone, when [streaming] was first introduced, I thought it could ruin the whole industry. Now that I’ve seen it develop, I think streaming is actually beneficial long-term. It allows artists to be creative and connect with the fan base on a level that's unique. In that sense, I love it." As streaming has slowly taken up all the storage on our phones, vinyl has also made a comeback. Stores like Urban Outfitters have capitalized on millennials’ longing for the sentimental feel and sound of vinyl. Local record stores, like The Sound Garden in Amory Square, enjoyed success recently.


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"People want something to physically appreciate, something that feels retro," says Patrick Tuohey, Sound Garden employee and owner of The Vault, a music venue in Syracuse. "Record stores are centers of culture for everything music.” Victoria Batista, a sophomore studying television, radio, and film and a vinyl collector, appreciates having something tangible that she can eventually hand down to her kids. Her favorite record is Saturday Night Fever because her dad loved it growing up. "Besides it being physically cool to own something that you can hold, I think there's an importance to keeping the art of making music alive," Batista says. "When you stream a song, you don't have the credits directly in front of you to see all of the actual work that was put into making it. When you're holding a record in your hands, you are contributing to the art continuously being made." Batista is a musical artist. She and her brother—rapper Daniel Victor—are about to release a project titled V. Though their music will only be available online, Batista hopes that one day they can create tangible work. "Eventually coming out with a physical record is going to be huge milestone for him and me," Batista says. "It's so much less about coming out with music that people can vibe to and so much more about how music makes you feel. Being able to physically give that to

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someone is an incredible thing." Though Batista enjoys collecting vinyl, she recognizes that records are dying—again. And Washington agrees. "I think it's a more than a pipe dream to think that we could ever go back to vinyl," Washington says. "Now that music is out there, it's a time where we can come up with new ways of consuming music that can be beneficial to the artist." But vinyl isn't the only way that music producers put content back in users' hands. Newhouse alum and indie musician Adam Ritchie wanted to create a similarly immersive experience for the listener. His band, The Lights Out, released their new album, T.R.I.P. via a secret hashtag on an artisan beer handcrafted by the band to match the sounds of the record. "The whole idea behind T.R.I.P. was to create a little bit of a surprise for people,” Ritchie says. “It's up to musicians to get creative about how they release their music. We just happen to choose a beer, because we wanted to create a sensory experience where you could taste something while you were listening to it. Any physical object can carry a release, and that's the fun thing about digital." ThoughThe Lights Out could have made their release available via CD or vinyl at their own shows, there was no way to get their physical album into stores without a distribution deal. Ritchie says that he still wanted to emulate the anticipation he felt when going to purchase a

Batista, a sophomore at SU, prefers listening to music on vinyl over streaming services, unlike her peers.

record down at The Sound Garden during his time at SU. "Some of the same people who used to go into record stores are now going into beer stores,” says Ritchie. “If you're a craftbeer drinker, you're looking to see what's new on that shelf, the same way you used to see what's new on that shelf at a music store. We don't have the luxury of brand awareness, so we had to game the system a little bit, and that's what we did.” For Ritchie, there’s a natural tie between taste and sound; The craft beer allows the band to add another dimension to the record. "When you're listening to an album, you're probably drinking a beer or eating a bag of chips anyways, and that's just incidental. When you make that intentional, it creates a memory associated with that song. For our next release, I'm almost certain we'll release it on something that will be drank or eaten. It's just more fun that way," Ritchie says. Since the album’s theme explores alternative realities, fans can purchase the beer at a store,

tweet the hashtag printed on the beer, and receive an individualized message about what they are doing in a parallel universe in addition to a link to the album. "If you're just giving out a download code on the object, you're missing an opportunity,” Ritchie says. “We turned it into a treasure hunt and we made it about the fans. That became a lot more engaging. You're bringing them into the story and the spirit of the album." Music isn't limited to one form. Even in the digital era, artists and consumers alike still cling to the idea of a tangible album. This lives on in traditional mediums, like vinyl, but has also evolved to visuals and virtual realities— even cans of beer. "It's so much more than just a file and a sound coming through headphones,” Batista says. “It is important to support the artist as much as you possibly can. They put endless hours into making something incredible, so if you care, even if you don't listen to vinyl, buy their record and share it with your friends."


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SEEING STARS Whether you believe it or not or just don't care, astrology could have the answers you're seeking. This month, we look to the stars for solutions to your problematic ass. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any. Illustration by Erin Reeves

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THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Are we all star-crossed lovers, destined to make out in DJ's, or are our connections just driven by dark lighting and a bad remix of "Closer"? Who can really say. A local astrologer and astronomy professor go toe-to-toe on physics and the metaphysical. Jerk Magazine: What is an astrological chart reading and what does it show you? Astrologer, Katrin Naumann: An astrological chart reading is looking back into past lives and the patterns you brought in with you to this lifetime. It has to do with karma, and karma is just energy that we put out through our thoughts, deeds, actions which is returning to us. It has nothing to do with good or bad, it’s physics, it’s science. Every force has an equal opposite force, so if I put something to the universe it’ll come back to me. It might not come back to me immediately; it may take lifetimes before I receive the effect.

Jerk Magazine: Why are you skeptical about astrology? Astronomy Professor, Walter Freeman: Even if we suppose there is some kind of mystic influence on what "star sign" you born under, well we aren't even getting the star signs right. The zodiac doesn't line up with months like it used to. Over the last 5,000 years since the Babylonians started looking at the sky for meaning, the Earth has wobbled on it's axis so that it was "in Cancer" during the winter solstice, it now is in Cancer during the summer solstice. Even if astrology were real, we're not even doing it right.

JM: Are people skeptical of the services you offer? KN: A lot of the concepts I’m addressing with people are things that they’ve never encountered before. And I certainly have people who came to me for a session, sometimes even more than one, and at some point they were like, "It just isn’t right for me." I never take it personally when somebody stops coming, and I don’t want to be see people for the rest of their lives. I want to teach you the tools that are helpful to lead a productive, fruitful, and fulfilling life.

JM: Why do you think people genuinely believe in Astrology? WF: Let me tell you a story about my aunt. She lives in Tennessee with her wife and their 17 dogs—I don't know how many dogs she has—and her parrot. One of her dogs ran away, so she went to the dog physic who said, "Oh, everything will be fine, your dog just wanted to adventure. He will be back in his own time." Of course, the dog wandered around for a while, got hungry, and came back. The next day my aunt says, "The dog psychic was a genius, she knew exactly what my dog was going to do!" [People are] really good at perceiving patterns, so good that we perceive patterns that aren't exactly there. I think a lot people believe in astrology basically out of confirmation bias. If you want to believe a lot of things in the world seem like they support your belief.

JM: Why do you think people are skeptical? KN: Typically because they haven’t had that experience themselves yet. We do have the capacity to tap into these other forms of


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HANDJOB The future is in your hands – if you can read palms. The Heart Line: Gives information on emotions, romantic perspectives, and cardiac health.

The Sun Line: Shows capabilities, talents, and propensity toward success. If it curves toward your thumb it means you'll have to work a little harder to get there.

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The Life Line: Reflects physical health, general wellbeing, and major life changes. Contrary to popular belief, a longer line does not mean a longer life.

The Fate Line: Not everyone has this line. It indicates the degree to which a person's life is affected by external circumstances beyond their control, hence the name.

The Head Line: Gives information on a person’s learning style, way of communication and intellectuality.


CARDS ON THE TABLE No, it's not Kings on a coffee table. TAROT CARDS The first tarot cards came to Europe in the 14th century from Egypt. However, for another four centuries, they were just playing cards. In 1781, tarot became a part of occult philosophy in France and England. Today, there is no “official” tarot deck, but a standard deck has 78 cards. Of those, 22 are “Major Arcana," which build the foundation of the deck. The remaining 56 are "Minor Arcana," and consist of four suits: Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. The Cups symbolize displays of emotion, expression of feelings and relationships. The Pentacles symbolize material aspects of life including work, business, trade, property, money, and material possessions. Swords symbolize action, change, force, power, oppression, ambition, courage, and conflicts. Wands symbolize primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition, and expansion. Come to a reading with a specific question in mind. Lay the cards out on the table in the traditional patterns to allow the illustrated Arcanas and suits tell your past, present, and future. Consult your local card reader for further details—just don't tell them we sent you.

COFFEE READING Essentially unknown in Europe and the U.S., coffee reading is common in Turkey, Bosnia, and the Arabian Peninsula. Turkish coffee reading is dependant on how you prepare the coffee—which is why your non-fat Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks won't cut it. Turkish coffee is made from coffee beans ground to a rough powder and boiled in hot water. The coffee is served in an espresso cup, and the unfiltered coffee beans sink to the bottom as you drink it. To get a reading drink the coffee, flip the cup over, and allow the left over grinds to create patterns and symbols for interpretation as they drip. There is no official legend for image interpretations, but there are several symbols with set meanings. For example, a fish means money, an eye symbolizes envy, and a chicken represents good fortune. It’s hard to find a good coffee reader when every Turkish coffee house claims to have an expert on tap. Luckily, our assistant arts and culture editor is a pro—watch her perform a reading on


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ASSTROLOGY April can be a weird fucking month here in Syracuse, and with Mercury entering retrograde on April 9, we're all fucked. End of the year thirst traps lead to so many unsolicited dick pics, you have the sinking suspicion you might fail your Beer and Wine final exam, and Phi Psi's new dog went missing again. Every day is a wild ride. Not sure what to expect in this happy, free, confused, and lonely last full month on campus? Jerk has your horoscope for the month of April. Aries: March 21st - April 19th It’s your birthday month, so treat yourself accordingly: buy that bath bomb you’ve been lusting over, spring for Cafe Kubal when you’re balling on a Dunkin budget, indulge in those extra number balloons that exist just to be instagrammed, or maybe order Bud Light instead of Miller Lite at Chuck’s because you’re worth the extra money. Self-love is so important. Sext you'll receive: A poorly lit dick pick

Taurus: April 20 - May 20 You are usually the one dragging your blackout roommates home from whichever afterhours they had to be at. But April will be different. This month will be all about you, Taurus. Your goals and dreams will be the priority this month. So whether you finally try to figure out where the fuck Newhouse 2 is or if you just want to make it to graduation at this point, you’ll get it done. Sext you'll receive: Had a wild dream about you last night ;-)

Gemini: May 21 - June 20 Good news Gemini, your motto for April is going to be C.R.E.A.M.—Cash Rules Everything Around Me. When you finally take a break from two-timing all your Bumble hookups, your career and financial success will become your priority. Will you finally hear back about that one job application you filled out on OrangeLink? Will you survive an entire night at Chuck’s with only $10 in your wallet? Look to the New Moon at the end of the month to help you evaluate why you spent all your money at Pita Pit. Sext you'll receive: U up? Wyd?

Cancer: June 21 - July 22 You’ll be hit with a major rejection this month and it will put your professional future in jeopardy. We blame Mercury moving into retrograde on April 9. But don't despair just yet Cancer, a new opportunity will arise next month—if you get your shit together, that is. In the meantime, get excited to spend the foreseeable future on your mom's couch. Sext you'll receive: A dick pic that's for someone else

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July 23 - August 22 Oh, Leo you’re always making moves. When the New Moon comes on the 23, your ego will inflate with false confidence, but do not trust your gut. This year on Mayfest you'll make moves to Castle too early and will arrive when actual Castle Court residents are, like, making breakfast. Your solo Insta in a parking lot clutching a bottle of Andre screams "Help me!!" instead of "I'm FUN!" Sext you'll receive: Come over. I just ordered Calio's.

August 23 - September 22 We hate to be the ones to tell you, but you’re going to end up at Health Services this month, Virgo. Was it from all those shared fishbowls at Lucy’s or from feeding your body a consistent diet of caffeine, carbs, and cheap liquor? Only time will tell. Whatever it is, they will definitely prescribe you the wrong thing and accuse you of having an STD. Sext you'll receive: Wait, I heard you have chlamydia?

September 23 - October 22 Libra you are going to find love this month. Whether it’s on the dance floor the night you end up at Harry’s by accident or while you’re scrubbing vomit off your favorite white shirt in the Watson laundry room, we can’t say. All we know is it will hit you faster and harder than a Jimmy John’s biker who isn’t paying attention. Stay alert, Libra! Sext you'll receive: I want you to call me "Mr. President" in bed

October 23 - November 21 On April 10, you'll see something totally fucking crazy on the Promenade, but you won't be able to Snapchat it in time, and no one will believe you. Blame it on the impending full moon and not the five Natties you shot gunned at East Adams before heading to your econ lecture. Day drink SZN is a lifestyle, damnit. Sext you'll receive: TELL ME YOU LOVE ME!!!





December 22 - January 19 When Mercury moves into retrograde on April 9, DJ's will finally realize that you and your ID are one in the same: fake. Without a safe haven for underage drinking at your disposal every Tuesday-Saturday, there’s nothing keeping you on campus. You’ll take a spontaneous road trip this month to a place where your debauchery is acceptable: perhaps just north of the border to Canada or to somewhere exotic down south, like New Jersey. Sext you'll receive: Send n00ds

January 20 - February 18 We know you’ve felt stuck lately, Aquarius, but this month will usher in new energy. You’ll experience a lot of aesthetic changes this month—and that’s a good thing! Shave off your hair, dye it bright pink, or cut your own bangs, who cares! Embrace your inner art hoe and ~posi vibes~ will follow. Sext you'll receive: Wanna Netflix and chill?

February 19 - March 20 Get ready, Pieces. April is going to be all about your grades. It’s time to turn those Ds into Bs. Head to the fourth floor of Bird and try to avoid eye contact with the stressed out engineering majors who have been there for 60 hours straight. You might not remember taking any of the notes or your professor’s name, but this arts and science elective is all that stands between you and today’s darty. Sext you'll receive: I'll do anything you ask me to.

November 22 - December 21 Even though you totally don't do drugs, you'll get super fucking high on 4/20 and order the Battle of Italy sandwich on Good Uncle while you're watching Big Little Lies reruns alone, in the dark at 2 a.m. But the sandwich will never come. Don’t worry, your month will get better from there. Check your email on the 25 for good news. Sext you'll receive: How about we skip the date and go straight to dessert? *tongue emoji*



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By Chelsea Portner : Illustration by Kim Truong

Milennials are re-reading childhood favorites to escape reality—and that might just be okay. It’s no secret that 2016 was a shit show. But if you had any hope 2017 would less chaotic, there’s no chance that hope has survived. Instagram stories are suddenly relevant, the wrong name for best motion picture was read at the Academy Awards, and Republicans are okay with Trump and his administration rubbing elbows with the Kremlin. But one thing that remains a shining light in our lives: the Harry Potter series. This June marks 20 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone was published in the U. K. We literally grew up with these books, and now people are turning back to them as a method of escapism. Milennials get bashed for being too coddled and detached from reality, but we can’t help that we were raised on the fantastical worlds portrayed in the novels. With everyone on Twitter pointing out how much our leaders happen to resemble Voldemort—but with more nose and less chin— and Dolores Umbridge—with the same utter lack of understanding about education—looking at you Besty DeVos—it’s comforting to watch a story that ends with love triumphing over hate. The best part about using the series as an escape is that a marathon viewing or reading will keep you busy for at least two weeks. Back to back, the eight movies provide 19 hours and 40 minutes of binge watching, plenty of time to at least dull the pain of Chuck’s closing. And the books have

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4,224 pages to flip through, so you won’t have time to remember women’s rights are slowly being stripped away by a sentient Cheeto. We consistently find ourselves turn back to Harry Potter because it’s easy to slip into the world created by J.K. Rowling. Whether you identify as a Ravenclaw or a Slytherin, there is a niche for you, a character to love or hate and a spell readily available to cast upon whatever fuckboi is messing with you. The series stays relevant because its themes and messages continue to ring true. It evaded the fizzling out that other fantasy series which dominated our formative years experienced—like Twilight or Hunger Games And with new movies like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Cursed Child play opening in London last year, and the multiple theme parks and exhibits around the globe, the series attracts more and more fans each year. And Rowling herself has become a force on Twitter, standing up to right-wing bullies, book burners, racists and misogynists. Who can really blame us for turning to fantasy when the things happening in our country are more unbelievable than any story? So go ahead disappear into the halls of Hogwarts, but once you’re done escaping reality, you can close your laptop, face the facts, and call your representative.



By Eric King

THE DEAL: The first season of the critically acclaimed and commercially sickening reality TV competition RuPaul’s Drag Race sashayed down the runway in February 2009. Since then, it has gained popularity among queer and straight audiences alike, with RuPaul snatching his and the show’s first Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program in 2016. The competition’s ninth season premiered on VH1 in March, switching channels from the less-watched, original carrier Logo, and features 13 queens lip-syncing for their lives—and $100,000. The show has gotten so big that it struck gay gold: Lady Gaga as a guest judge!

repeatedly rewards the queen who creates the most glamorous dresses, applies the most technically perfect makeup, and looks the most like a woman. It’s why the perpetually-corseted Violet Chachki won Season 7. Those queens didn’t break down gender standards—they built them up. Meanwhile, trans women in the audience watch as gay men attempt to pass as women, and receive for praise for doing so. But these trans women are subject to violence—physically, mentally, and legally— for their gender identity. On Drag Race, they refer to a queen as “fishy” if she looks too much like a cisgender woman. And when being “fishy” has a negative association for anyone trying to pass as a woman, it tells queer and hetero-normative audiences that trans women have inauthentic identities and must be investigated.

THE ISSUE: In March 2014, Drag Race aired a segment called “Female or She-Male,” which challenged the contestants to look at THE DEFENSE: pictures of faceless bodies and guess if the I’m not going to call this show a problematic person was a drag queen or a cisgender fave just yet, because queening is actually woman. Though meant to extrapolate on feminist when done correctly: exposing the the humor of drag queens, “passing” as absurdity of feminine beauty standards, and women received backlash from trans* subverting hegemonic femininity. rights activists because many trans people In a climate where the fear of overturning perceive the term “she-male” as a slur. same-sex marriage, transgender bathroom bills, and religous freedom— a.k.a anti-LGBT THE (LARGER) ISSUE: discrimination laws—plague the collective Unfortunately, the oftentimes gay men who queer conscious, having this kind of gay perform in drag can tend to ignore their joy on TV can help us get through. More intersectional identity as cisgender males importantly, it reminds gay kids in places like steering away from the political and relying Texas, North Carolina, or Whereverthefuck, on the pure showmanship of outperforming Middle America that it’s okay to dress up, women at their own gender. Drag Race and that they aren’t alone.


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SIG ROY Active since: 2015 | Sounds like: Post Malone, Russ, Bryson Tiller | What he plays: Drake, PartyNextDoor, The Weeknd, Russ By Danny Yarnall : Photography Supplied by Nick Sgroi

Jerk Magazine: What was your first experience making music? Nick Sgroi: I started putting pen to paper last year when I was living on my own. I’ve always wanted to do it; it was a dream of mine. I ended up messing around and making something. I showed my friends and they were like, "you should really put that out and do something with it." JM: Are you surprised about the success you've had? NS: I tell people this a lot: When I first made the decision to turn into a business, like "this is my career." I had the mindset that this was going to happen. When stuff starts popping up it’s like "this is unbelievable," but also "this is what I thought was going to happen all along." I’m not that nervous yet because this is a part of the whole destiny. This is what’s supposed to happen. JM: What's your end goal? NS: I don’t need all the millions of dollars that the entertainment business comes with. I want my career to be making music and performing so that I’ll be able to live comfortably. Of course I want to be very, very big, but I don’t need the millions of dollars to be happy. All that other stuff, it’ll come with because that’s how the business 60 4.17 • JERK

goes. You know, at this point I just want to live comfortably, not living out of my parents’ basement [laughs]. JM: When did you decide that this is what you wanted to dedicate your life to? NS: After I wrote my first song "Her" I sent it to a couple people and they were like, "This is literally amazing." So I thought "I got to go record this," went to a studio, recorded it, and just put out a snippet. That snippet absolutely blew up and everyone’s hitting me back. If I can get a reaction like that, let’s see what I can do when I put out the whole song. After that, it absolutely blew up. That’s even when my parents were like, "We are going to support you a 100 percent because that’s not normal." JM: How are you different from all the other "Soundcloud artists" out there? NS: People are going to judge by the first time they hear your music. I really tried to make that difference in the way I handled it as a business. A lot of people would just put out a song, hope it blows up, and that’s it. Two weeks ahead of time I’m planning what I’m going to do and how I’m going to market it, and what is going to be put out as artwork...That’s what I think put me out in front of a lot of people.


ZINE ON: PRINT OF THE 21ST CENTURY Jerk’s grungy beginnings have a lot in common with zines. Both share disgruntled creators looking to provide the world with its much-needed perspective, covering issues and topics deemed too taboo or irrelevant to feature in mainstream publications. People have created DIY, niche magazines, or zines, since 1920, and the medium exploded in the 70's, 80's, and 90's thanks to punk and underground subcultures. Thought to have faded into oblivion during the internet boom, zines have since made a major comeback. All hail the zine this Earth Day. Sorry, trees.

Que Sera Izel Villaraba’s zine takes its title from the saying "Que sera, sera" or "whatever will be, will be." Que Sera captures what it’s like to have no idea what the fuck you’re going to do next week, much less for the rest of your life. The inaugural issue, Adrift, features text message exchanges that could be your own, hastily composed poems with self-conscious emails accompanying them, and scans of artwork doodled on ruled notebook paper. Visit for two free issues and information on how to get your hands on a copy.

The Coalition This literature and arts zine is "dedicated to babes of colour invading and taking up as much space as possible," says the inside cover of each issue. Featuring a mix of interviews with female artists of color, poetry, fashion and art photography, and personal essays, it tells the stories of its contributors. The Coalition reads like a scrapbook, diary, or eavesdropped conversation—a must-read for anyone who thinks The New Yorker needs to loosen up a little. Free copies can be viewed at blckgrlsbrwngrls, or email for print copies.

The Tenth The Tenth represents and serves the "black, gay, and unbothered." The Tenth finds inspiration in every corner, from blooming art scenes in rusted-out midwest manufacturing towns to covering the intersection of the gay and black experience all across America. The grungy art collages throughout look like someone took a scissor to a monthly glossy and reimagined them. The Tenth explores the mainstream while remaining at the fringes of American consciousness. The Tenth is available for purchase at purchasegallery.


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Oompa Loompyas No, it's not a chocolate factory—Oompa Loompyas serves up some fine Filipino fare onthe North Side of Syracuse. By Julia Scaglione : Photography by Cassie Zhang

Venturing back to her roots in San Diego for the first-ever Lumpia Fest, a national lumpia-cooking competition, Azella Alvarez, the proud owner of Syracuse’s sole Filipino restaurant, took home the grand prize after battling it out with top Filipino chefs from around the country. Following her family's traditions, Alvarez shares her unique Filipino cuisine with Syracuse's diverse culture. It was important to me to bring to a place where people haven’t had it and dare to try it, Alvarez says. Her restaurant, Oompa Loompyas, grew from a small catering company for friends and family to a booth at Taste of Syracuse food festival and finally, became a storefront on the corner of North Crouse and Burnet Avenues in May 2015. A fifteen-minute walk down University Avenue for SU students, the Hawley-Green neighborhood restaurant emits a warm aura. The freshly painted brown and orange exterior is inviting, and the white walls are decorated with paintings that reflect Alvarez's Filipino heritage. Simple paper menus hang behind the metal counter next to a framed article browning with age. Upon closer look, the story highlights Alvarez’s mother—her inspiration and driving force

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for opening her own restaurant. "My mother was a silent giant," Alvarez says. Before moving to Syracuse in 1999, Alvarez worked at her parents’ Filipino bakery in San Diego from the age of 8, where her mother sold her best-selling pandesal bread that Alvarez now shares with the Syracuse community. Alvarez keeps her menu simple. She fuses the flavors of classic Filipino cuisine and Upstate New York, filling her lumpias—a pastry-like spring roll—with flavors like buffalo chicken and spinach artichoke, and serving burgers on her award-winning pandesal bread. Alvarez also uses her mother’s recipes for fried rice and pancit—stir-fried noodles with vegetables and mildly spiced meats. Alvarez has a clear vision of what’s next for her Filipino-American fused food. By the fall, she hopes to open a food truck to reach all the people that have yet to find the restaurant. Additionally, Alvarez is also looking for ways to produce large quantities of her lumpias and pandesal so she can continue sharing her family's love for Filipino culture. Although ambitious, Alvarez knows that with help from her six children, the Alvarez legacy will live on.


Similar to a spring roll, Alvarez fills her lumpias with non-traditional, Upstate New York favorites,like spinach artichoke and buffalo chicken.

In March, Alvarez won the first-ever national lumpia-cooking competition: Lumpia Fest.



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We spoke with Wally Feresten, the Syracuse Univeristy alum who has been on SNL , Late Night with Seth Meyers, and other late-night shows for more than 25 years. The only thing is, you’ve never seen him. By Elissa Candiotti : Photography Supplied by Lloyd Bishop + Getty Images

Jerk Magazine: What experiences as an SU student prepared you to become "Cue Card Wally?" Wally Feresten: What I got from Newhouse was the way I behave today on a set. You learn to be a professional at Newhouse. You don’t take anything for granted. Knowing how to handle yourself, knowing when to say something and when to shut up, is what I learned at school. JM: Tell me about the most difficult part of your job. WF: The most difficult part of doing cue cards is long, boring rehearsal days: on Friday, for Saturday Night Live, the day starts at 11 a.m. and doesn't end until midnight, and we’re back the next day at 11 a.m. JM: What purpose do satirical, late-night shows serve in today’s political climate? WF: We're keeping Donald Trump honest. Before the election, we all thought our jokes would have an effect on the election. Now we just have tochallenge everything he does, and I think that’s important to do through comedy.

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JM: What's the writing process like for jokes? WF: It’s knowing what to say. All the writers discuss what is or isn’t a fair joke. There’s a line that can’t be crossed, and the good comedians will look at the line and tread it but not go way over it. JM: What makes you enjoy your job still, after so many years? WF: It’s the same format every week but it’s a completely different show every time with new hosts and guests. The first few years were nerve-wracking, but now it’s just fun. JM: Which SNL host pleasantly surprised you? WF: I was nervous about John Malkovich. I didn’t think he’d be willing to have the fun you think of when you think of SNL, but he took advice from anyone like a true professional. JM: What advice do you have for SU students aspiring toward a career in entertainment? WF: Never be afraid to say yes to a job. You have no idea where that job can lead you. Tell people what you want to do. Also, don’t be stupid.


Finstas CAUSE OF DEATH: Grid Aesthetic

By Nicole Engelmen : Illustration by Ari Dinero

On October 6, 2010, Internet birthed a beautiful baby girl named Instagram. She became an overnight sensation, beloved by everyone that laid eyes on her. Instagram seemed so genuine— she encouraged people to put their best selfies out there and share them with the world. Still, this wasn’t enough. A few years after Instagram’s birth, Internet announced the arrival of her second daughter, Fake Instagram—or as she would come to be known, Finsta. From birth, Finsta was everything her older sister was not. Her name may have been "Fake," but her personality was anything but. Finsta commanded the room with her wit, honesty, and outlandish humor, while her sister Instagram spent hours adjusting her Valencia filter and rehearsing punny captions in the mirror. Finsta gave her sister the nickname Rinsta in order to poke fun at her vapid, "Real" tendencies. While Rinsta’s friends quickly became sick of the pressure she put on them to always look their best, Finsta’s popularity skyrocketed because of her DGAF attitude. Finsta encouraged her friends to show their true selves, even if that meant embracing how much of a hoe they really were. But don't worry: Finsta kept all of their secrets. She protected each of their true identities, disguising them under pseudonym handles.

Finsta eliminated the need to worry about getting more than 11 likes or the obligation to VSCO every single picture taken at Original Grain. College girls loved to use Finsta to recap nights out and document walks of shame. Rather than telling everyone about how you blacked out at Lucy’s and woke up on Euclid with a Turkey Tom in your purse, you could actually show your friends how fucked up you looked. Despite her obvious appeal, Finsta’s life was relatively short. It was only a matter of time before the secrets became too much for her to handle, and her friends began to find out about her numerous fake identities. After going off the grid and doing Wild—the movie, duh—Rinsta returned with a renewed sense of self. She began preaching about “grid aesthetic” and the importance of Instagram stories. This new purpose finally gave her friends the individuality they had been looking for. Rinsta’s fixation on consistency became not only more appealing, but also more time consuming. Suddenly, no one had time for Finsta anymore. However, Finsta’s quest for attention was not completely lost. Her legacy of honesty is survived today by our drunken 80-second Snapchat stories and the ongoing battle against Instagram Stories.


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These students transform the trendy dad hat into an ironic headgear statement piece—how millennial! Photography by Fiona Lenz Ellie Haines, Senior: In my eyes, there should be nothing secretive about nipples. We all got ‘em. To bring this idea to life, my friends and I decided to throw a “take your top off” party. I think a lot of the reason our society has such a problem empowering different bodies is because we spend so much time covering them up. Stripping down with all my friends was a liberating way to dance around and celebrate every shape and size. #freethenipple.

Collin Newberg, Sophomore: One day, my mom and I went to a thrift shop to bond, and as I was going through the aisles, I noticed that there was a hat section. In the hat aisle, there were three hats: this one and two other plain colored hats. Naturally, I chose this one. No regrets.

Niya Klayman, Freshman: I saw this hat when I was scrolling through Instagram and immediately went to buy it. Memes may come and go, but this boy is a classic. Don’t let your memes be dreams, kids.

66 4.17 • JERK

FORM & FUNCTION How To Dress for Mayfest

Corn dogs: I'm usually gluten-free, but not at Mayfest!

Bodysuit: This is so fun, but it's SO hard to pee.

Srat Fanny pack: Shit, can you still see my letters?

Dirty white Converse: I stepped in a puddle of vomit during ZBTahiti last weekend.

Timbs: I didn't get into a frat freshman year, but I'm still an asshole.

Choker You know what this means.

Bucket hat: My head-totrap ratio is off. This balances things out. iPhone: Are we making moves to Castle? What are the moves? Castle? Do they have PBR? Moves? Andre 40 Hands: Put it on the Campus Story so Becky back in Boland will know that I'm a fucking tank.

Jersey with sweatshirt underneath: I haven't taken this off since the Duke buzzer beater. Models: Sarah Toebner and Chris Chomicki Stylists: Hairol Ma, Nick Della Sala, and Tiffany Moran Photographer: Fiona Lenz JERK


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