Jerk Magazine March 2019

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March 2019 Vol XVI Issue IV Syracuse, New York Your student fee


There can be 100 people in the room and 99 don't pick up Jerk...

but you did :)




Audrey Lee

Vivian Whitney

Jacob Marcus





Katie Tsai

Annika Hoiem


Ariel Wodarcyk



Lydia Herne


Sarah Whaley

Cerinn Park, Fiona Gaffney,

Sophia Jactel, Rachel Schwartz, Blessing Emole, Darcy Feeley

Casey Russell


Annie Blay



Madi Bauman


Kali Bowden


Erin Thibeault


Elena Demet


Tara Gordon

Rebecca Balara




Sam Berlin

Chandler Plante Meredith Clark

Deniz Sahinturk



Kali Bowden,

Sam Berlin, Codie Yan ILLUSTRATORS

Emily Gunn, Echo Costello, Elena Demet,


Hadassah Lai

Jordan Cramer

Kerry Judge

El Juerg


Bryan Sanchez


Lauren Wilson


Ashley Roth


Caroline Cianci, Sally Rubin, Kate Kozuch, Mona Murhamer, Hannah Graf

Melissa Chessher ADVISER Through its content, Jerk is dedicated to enhancing insight through communication by providing an informal platform for the freedom of expression. The writing contained within this publication expresses the opinions of the individual writers. The 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 2019 by their respective creators. No content may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the Jerk Editorial Board.


Hey! What's up? Hello. Look at that! That’s me. He should model, you’re probably thinking. How can it be that someone with such a naturally perfect smile should relegate himself to a life spent toiling away behind a computer screen? Alas, dear reader, this is the path I have chosen, despite the endless purge of media jobs and the fact that ocean acidification and superstorms will probably wipe us out before long. But for now, at least, I’m here, smiling at you in the glory of full color. I started as a web writer at JERK during my freshman year, when I still unironically wore khakis and used vending machine Gatorade as a mixer—simpler times. But I’ve changed in the ensuing years. So has JERK. So, I’d hope, have you. Change is the throughline of much of our empowerment issue, whether it’s in professor Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s rapid ascent to fame (page 24), in pop music's big bubblegum rebrand (page 52), or in my argument to rethink gendered honorifics (page 22). So if you’ve read this far, continue with an open mind. We’ve worked hard to deliver this, our first issue of 2019, with an acknowledgment that there’s much to reconsider about life on campus and beyond. Except for climate change. That shit is real. Keep jerking it,




HIT/BITCH March Events


SIGN OF THE TIMES March Horoscope


SEX Coldhearted


FRAMED Kevin Tsai




21 PLUS/MINUS Bloody Carrie


LIFE, AFTER By Ariel Wodarcyk and Anonymous




EXCUSE ME, MX. By Jake Smith


DISCOVER SYR 14 Habiba's Ethiopian Kitchen

Photo by Codie Yan




FRIDAY THE 13TH 24 By Annika Hoiem SU professor Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah recently published his first book, a New York Times bestseller that tackles racism, materialism, and serial killers, while still managing to be hopeful.

LA FEMME ROUGE 40 Fashion Feature This year, we’re embodying red’s best features: boldness, intensity, determination. Choose to be la femme rouge.

POP PRINCESSES By Ariel Wodarcyk

STRIPPED Diamonds are for Never


REWIND Unbought and Unbossed





NO JUDGEMENT Female Nipples



FORM & FUNCTION 51 How to Dress like an E-Boy

OBITCHUARY Teddy Jackets



SYNAPSE Body of Art


AMPLIFIED Katie Napell







IN SICKNESS & IN HEALTH 5 6 By Mona Murhamer, Lydia Herne, and Hannah Graf

Annika Hoiem



March 8 Here at JERK, we’re sluts for Brie Larson. After the doom and gloom of Infinity War, we’re ready for a bit of hi-gloss fun, and this should do the trick.

March 8 Somewhere around the time they released perhaps the world’s most unnecessary cover of “Africa” by Toto, we all outgrew Weezer. Y’all are getting too old for this!




March 10-17 Whether you’re jetting off to Cancun or just going home, you deserve a goddamn break. You should probably be getting ahead on work, but we won’t blame you if you choose to work on your tan instead.

TRACY MORGAN March 22-23 at the Funny Bone Yes, the comedy at Destiny USA’s very own comedy club is usually shit. But it’s worth the drive and the crowds to catch Tracy Morgan, a living comedy legend and the breakout star of 30 Rock.

MOM JEANS. March 31 at The Westcott Theater Try as we might to forget XD and scene bangs, we’re all still emo kids deep down. Revel in your teenage angst to the sad sounds of Mom Jeans. with all the other indie kids of SU.

March 15 Finally, a movie about two teens with terminal illneses who fall deeply in love and, like, get sicker or something. Isn’t this just The Fault in Our Stars? At least Cole Sprouse is in it.



March 10 Chances are, you suffer from some form of SAD, but thankfully hope is right around the corner. We’re losing an hour of sleep to regain the will to live. That’s a pretty good trade.


March 17 Yeah, yeah, we’re supposed to love the day when everyone pretends to be Irish as an excuse to drink too much. We’re just done puking on the sidewalk at 3 p.m. on a Sunday.


March 20 Even though spring is supposed to be on the way, the sidewalks in the university neighborhood are still going to be sheets of ice until graduation. No thank you!

LES MISÉRABLES March 26-31 at The Landmark Theater The name of this show literally translates to “the miserable,” which is certainly not the vibe this month. Splurge on a fishbowl at Harry's or ball out on nice bread at Trader Joe’s instead.



We can tell you the future. Or maybe we made these up. Illustrations by Elena Demet

Oh you Geminis, always up to no good. March will bring change, but not necessarily positive. (Just dump them before they dump you and binge PEN15 on Hulu.)

You’re going to lose something this month. Just one thing. But it’ll be big! Something like your virginity, or maybe your AirPods. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst.

You’re gonna fall in love this month, baby! That booty call might just be your soulmate, so keep them around the next morning for some sweet, sweet post-sex brekkie.

ROB A BANK. Well, you don't have to, but we're sensing that you'll get away with pretty much anything this March. Don't blame us if you get caught, though. That's your own fault.

March is your month to dabble with psychoactive substances, Libra. Mushrooms are all-natural, but you’re less likely to have a bad trip if you do LSD. Take your pick and take a trip.

If you’re under 21, invest in a fake. You’re destined to look good in photos this month, and maybe it'll convince the Lucy’s bouncers that you’re actually 23 and from Connecticut.

You need to drink more water this spring—the stars are telling us your pee hasn’t been clear yet this year. Get a Hydro Flask or a Yeti or something like that, idk.

Your boyfriend is abroad, isn’t he? You miss him with your whole being, right? You want to get a stick and poke tattoo that reminds you of him, don’t you? Tread lightly, but have fun.

You’re halfway through spring semester and you’re definitely running out of money, so slow your roll, buddy. Invest in Bitcoin instead of eating out and stop buying candy. It’ll work out.

It's your month. Do something new! Watch that Netflix show you missed. Start the vegan beauty company you’ve been thinking about. Burn down Whitman. Something like that.

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Have you considered switching up your look? Throw away your teddy jacket, those ratty Fila Disruptors, and maybe even most of your hair. Get bangs! Who cares?


Get yourself out there this month, Aries! Spring is your time to conquer everything, whether that’s a new relationship, your midterms, or an island nation. You got this.




COLDHEARTED Three JERK readers share their stories of getting spicy when it's chilly. Health Code I worked at a snack shack over the summer that broke every health code. It was a great Violation job otherwise, especially because I was really into my hot coworker who was technically my supervisor. He was only a couple years older than me. I’m awful at making moves, but it was just the two of us working, and as I was walking into the freezer to grab more hot dogs, he was right behind me and our hands touched on the freezer door. We’d been flirting for weeks, and the time was right. I went in for the kiss. We started making out and ended up fucking inside the freezer. I was so cold the entire time, but it was so, so hot. When we were done we realized that there was a shit ton of deer meat hanging around the freezer because our boss apparently shot one with a bow and arrow and decided to store it there.

Vag-ice Cube

My boyfriend a couple years ago wanted to spice up our sex life because, like in many relationships, the sex began to fall flat. I read online that something you can do to spice up oral is suck on an ice cube before going at it. I had him do it first, so he was sucking on the ice cube and then put the cube DIRECTLY on my clit, and I immediately pushed him away. As dumb kids, we decided to keep going, and my boyfriend had the idea to put the ice cube up my vagina to see if it would do anything. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I thought my uterus would be frozen for good. Is that how they freeze eggs? For payback I used a fresh ice cube when I was going down on him in hopes that he would have the same reaction, but he actually enjoyed it. At least we found a new kink for one of us. We broke up a couple years later, though, because he cheated on me!

Playground When I was in high school my boyfriend wasn’t allowed in my room, but instead of Love being smart and having sex in a car or at his house like normal teens, we were so on edge one night that we just fucked in my backyard on my childhood playset. The only bad part was that it was February and the set was filled with snow. The feeling of being freezing, combined with hiding from my parents and my adolescence staring me in my face in the form of a plastic playset made for two minutes of bone-chilling, mind-blowing sex I’ll never forget.




KEVIN TSAI V. P. A. Film Junior @kevingtsai

Kevin is a filmmaker first and foremost, but he explores plenty of other mediums, namely photography and creative direction. Music videos and short films act as a bridge between his many interests. Kevin started out directing action scenes, which were a crash course in blocking and editing. In his work, he bases characters and scenes off of moments in his own life, even tiny ones. When filmmakers are on set, he says, there’s no way to know exactly how anything will look or fit together—he wouldn’t have it any other way. To showcase your work in Framed, email



Readers told us why they're pieces of garbage!

Not use toilet paper for a week Sleep with your ex again Eat off your sticky floor for a week

42% 2%



Not brush your teeth after you throw up


Not shower after you go to the gym


Your nastiest habits ... - I smoke cigarettes to mask the fact I haven’t showered in a day. - Throwing out sheets after sex instead of washing them.

What you do to feel better and cleaner ... - My idea of self-care is ripping a bong and forgetting about it. - Look at people looking at crystals.

- Leaving tampons in for - Cleaner? I barely over a day. I have no know her! excuse. - A face mask and - I use my spit instead of binging comedy water to swallow pills specials on Netflix. because I always have - Smoke more cigarettes. extra. - I should definitely brush my teeth after I throw up more.


Not doing laundry for an extended period of time because you're too lazy to walk to your basement


Not showering after you tramp around the town and frat basements


Not eating vegetables for a week because greens scare you


Hitting random Juuls to get that good good nicotine fix


Wearing the same socks day after day and even sleeping in them

19 11 8 5

Not washing your sheets all year


Holding a crystal and calling it self care Always having Mono Showering in a communal bathroom without shower shoes (you toe fungi MONSTERS) Licking your roommates before bed every night




BLOODY CARRY Alcohol by Volume: 35 percent Prohibitionist Carry A. Nation (yes, that’s her real name) became famous for wielding a hatchet and wrecking bars as part of her anti-alcohol crusade. We drink honor of our favorite saloon smasher—ironically, of course.

Ingredients 2 oz. whiskey 4 oz. tomato juice 1/2 oz. lemon juice 8 drops of hot sauce 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp. Horseradish sauce dash of black pepper funky garnishes (we went with celery sticks, olives, cheese cubes, and lime wedges.)

Instructions 1. Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. 2. Add whiskey, juices, sauces, and pepper sauce to shaker; cover & shake until condensation forms on exterior, 10-15 seconds. 3. Strain into a glass. 4. Garnish as you like. 5. Find a hatchet and terrorize your local bar.


HABIBA'S ETHIOPIAN KITCHEN Last October, Habiba Boru made history when she opened the first Ethiopian restaurant in Syracuse: Habiba’s Ethiopian Kitchen. An immigrant who journeyed to New York from a refugee camp in Kenya, Boru is now using her cooking to enrich the Syracuse community in a delicious way. interview by The Jerks | photos by Jacob Marcus Jerk Magazine: Describe your journey to the U.S. Habiba Boru: I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to come to this country at the age of 14. Life in the refugee camp was not easy. We used to go to school there, but it was not like schools here. I had one uniform that my mother had to wash and dry every single night. I grew up in poverty, and today I’m here. I was not only my father and mother’s child; I was my community’s child. I was that young girl who was always running around, helping everybody else, and I still do that because I’m passionate about helping people. JM: Have you always been drawn to cooking? HB: Yes, my mother used to do the same thing for a living back in the refugee camp in Kenya. At the age of seven, my mother says I always used to follow her and watch everything she was making. I would tell her, "Let me cook!" I wanted to do it so bad, and I told her, "When I grow up, I want to do what you’re doing," and so I feel like today I’m following that legacy. JM: Do you have one specific dish you liked cooking with her? HB: My favorite dish was red lentils. My mother always made them with so much love. My mom and dad could not afford to buy meat or chicken every day to feed us, but she made the best lentils ever. That’s something I always ate growing up, and it’s something I always loved making. It’s my favorite thing to make here. JM: Do you feel like you’re a kind of culinary cultural ambassador? HB: I’m not just serving food here—there is a lot of background people are learning. I’ve been

interacting with people through my food for twoand-a-half years now. I was involved with My Lucky Tummy and catered a lot for the With Love restaurant, Assumption Church, and the Westcott Community Center. It was so beautiful to keep that going and now just having a place where you can talk to each other every day is amazing. JM: Why do you love Syracuse? HB: Syracuse has my heart. I’ve never left it and I don’t plan on leaving it anytime soon. I fell in love with the people. When I first came here, I saw so much love, so much support, and people always just lending a hand, ready to help people they don’t even know. It’s not very easy to find people like that, and through my journey from the camp to Syracuse—from sun to snow—I’ve always had someone lending their hand to me in some way, shape, or form. I reach back out to the community the same way they helped me. I feel like Syracuse is such a special and loving community. It’s like a hidden gem. JM: What does your typical workday look like at the restaurant? HB: My role is the owner and the executive chef, so I’m always in the back of the kitchen making everyone’s orders. In our restaurant, we have two beautiful cultures; I am from Ethiopia and my husband is from Somalia, so we have the two cultures mixed together in the menu. I know there are a lot of things people see on social media about Ethiopia, about starvation and drought, but behind all that there’s a beautiful, rich culture and delicious, amazing foods, and I want you to come to Habiba’s Ethiopian Kitchen to explore that.



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life, after

Three women tell JERK how they reclaimed their power after sexual assault. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, one in six American women and one in 33 men are victims of completed or attempted rape. Victims often experience PTSD and depression after their attack, which can trigger flashbacks, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and self-harm. Moving beyond abuse is no simple feat; it means alchemizing fear into intuitiveness and pain into empathy.

"MY HEART SPED UP" words by Ariel Wodarcyk


t took me four years to confront him. I was boarding a plane from San Francisco to Syracuse when I hit send and immediately switched my phone to airplane mode, popped my headphones in, and sank into an ambient rockinduced trance. Before I contacted my abusive exboyfriend on Facebook Messenger, my emotions shuttled between a dissociative numbness and an engulfing sadness. I was swallowed whole by panic attacks and resorted to various forms of self-harm to break myself from the alternating cycle of anxiety and emptiness. Although I count myself lucky to be free of such destructive coping techniques, I still struggle to come to terms with what happened and sometimes wonder if I ever will be able to. Before my first boyfriend morphed into a needy, manipulative abuser, he seemed like the quintessential bad boy that only I could save. I fell in love with his eager compliments, the way he initially placed me on a pedestal and built me up to seem like I was the only thing that mattered in his life. The fact that he was expelled for fighting a month into our freshman year of high school failed to serve as a red flag; rather, it signaled to me that only I could heal and understand him. Looking back, I can see when his initial adoration morphed into something more sinister. But at the time, I took the 60 text messages he sent in a row, or the seven missed calls and voicemails asking with increasing urgency, “Where are you? Who are you with?� as just another sign of how badly he needed me. Later, in the backs of movie theaters and hidden behind photo booth curtains, I attempted to sit with my thighs clamped shut and willed myself to ignore his groping. I tried to say no, but I felt too cornered, too embarrassed, and too worn down by


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“ My anger felt like a pot of water on an electric stove.”

second I hit send. My heart sped up, and my phone dropped from my sweaty hands. The fear that came from pressing send brought a wave of relief. I had never felt comfortable confronting the memories I deemed too ugly and aggressive to see the light of day. I felt ashamed of what happened to me, and I also felt like some of it was my fault for continuing to date him after he revealed himself. I didn’t know it takes most victims an average of seven times before they finally leave their abuser. By admitting that what my ex had done was abuse and by confronting him in my message, I could finally start to forgive myself. That might be the real reclamation of power: the ability to forget. Not all, but some of it. The brain is helpful like that, wrapping up old traumas and sealing them away in shadowy corners that only a specific type of touch or feeling can illuminate. When the traumas from my relationship do come to light, the memories I picture manifest hazier and more diffused than the high-def flashbacks I experienced closer to the time. As I sat down to write this essay, several sections required many revisions as I coaxed the details of the most painful memories from their hiding places. Long before my first boyfriend, words served as my source of power, even when someone I loved ignored or denied them. I spent a long time staying silent, never telling my friends and family what happened to me out of fear and shame. With each subsequent boyfriend, I quietly folded to their wishes because I feared what would happen if I dared to say no—even to little things like going to restaurants I didn’t like. Five years after my abusive relationship, I say what’s on my mind more easily. Just a few weeks ago, I sat down in a therapist’s office and, for the first time ever, told someone what he did to me. I wrote this essay, something 15-year-old me would have lacked the voice to do. I’m glad she’s no longer silent.


his coercion, to fight his unwanted advances. When his constant surveillance and physical aggression eventually left me feeling trapped, it felt like there was no way out. I spent Valentine’s Day 2012 crying in a Panda Express booth an hour past closing time as I talked him down from a suicide threat—his response each time I tried to leave. My friend’s cousin who worked there asked me to leave. I still remember the pity in her eyes as I walked out the door clutching my phone, praying my texts were going unanswered because my boyfriend was ignoring me, rather than something more tragic. I felt disorientingly free when the relationship ended almost a year later, when my boyfriend left the juvenile court school in our town for a high school in the city his dad lived in, a little less than an hour away. The day I finally contacted my ex on Facebook Messenger, four years after we finally broke up, my anger felt like a pot of water on an electric stove. It took a little extra time to start boiling, but before I knew it, the whole pot bubbled over. He had tried to contact me before with some self-serving apologies and a couple of happy birthdays. I was always too scared to respond. By the time I entered college, though, I had grown tired of feeling like an abusive first boyfriend had ruined my entire life. I don’t remember typing the message, which began with, “Hi, fuck you,” and continued on in that vein for about a paragraph. Fuck you for forcing me to do things neither of us were ready for at 15, for never listening when I said no, for gaslighting me, for taking full advantage of my vulnerability. A rush of adrenaline swept through me the




words by Anonymous


ecovering from sexual assault felt a lot like recovering from losing a loved one. After being raped, sodomized, and physically abused, I felt like I lost a part of myself—my body, my self-esteem, and so much more. At first, I refused to believe I was the victim of such ruthlessly evil actions because I was in denial, a defense mechanism we use to buffer the immediate shock of a traumatic event that numbs us to our true emotions. I didn’t want to believe I was a sexual assault victim, but it was the reality I had to face. I tried to suppress my feelings and deny the facts, but it didn’t work. I found myself constantly replaying the events of the night over and over in my head, and couldn’t hide from them. The masking effects of my denial faded and I began to feel angry and confused by the reality I was unable to face for so long. These feelings only increased my isolation as I directed my anger towards my abuser, my family, my friends, and, most heavily, towards myself. I spent most of winter break by myself, and when I did come out of my shell, I felt on-edge and would get angry over the smallest things. This only made me want to isolate myself more. Rationally, I knew I wasn’t the person to be blamed. But emotionally, this anger was trapped inside me because I hadn’t shared my experience with anyone, making it easier to blame myself. I subconsciously tried to regain control through a series of “if only…” or “what if…” statements. These questions would run through my mind all day, every day, but instead of protecting me from my painful reality, it only allowed me to sink further into my guilt. After months of interpersonal challenges triggered by my assault, I realized I was depressed—a hard truth to grasp, especially when I had never been treated for mental illness

in my life. I suffered mood swings and anxiety. I lost weight and interest in my life. I was tired, irritable, and didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t want to wake up each morning. But I also knew I couldn’t let myself be consumed by these emotions. For me, the difference between losing a loved one and losing part of myself was the loneliness. My aunt had committed suicide at the beginning of the semester, and I experienced most of the same feelings. I was eventually able to find acceptance through expressing the denial, anger, confusion, and depression I felt. However, when I was sexually assaulted the process wasn’t as smooth. I couldn’t share my feelings right away, and I battled them alone for months: me vs. them. I became fearful of my own thoughts, but I soon realized I couldn’t let them fester in me any longer. On a cold day last December, I found a spark of courage and opened up to my dad, inspired by former gymnast McKayla Maroney, who spoke out against her serial abuser, Larry Nassar. The moment I felt strength to vocalize my pain and share the experience with someone who cared was the moment I decided I was no longer a victim, but a survivor. Being open about this side of me, reliving a memory I never wished to revisit, was incredibly challenging. I struggled with this for months, but since opening up to people who care about me, I have been able to regain power over myself, my body, and my life. I have been validated, and no longer have to experience my struggle alone. You are never alone.





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abuser. I felt weak and hid in my room under the covers for days. One morning I got a notification that he had followed me on Twitter. His profile was plastered with pro-Brett Kavanaugh tweets claiming that women lie about sexual assault to promote a “liberal agenda.” As a feminist, I was disturbed by these tweets. But as his victim, I was shaken that my abuser hadn’t learned. That’s when I knew it was time to break my silence. I responded to his tweets, informing him of his misogyny. But it was my final statement that caught his attention. I warned him that if he opened his mouth to talk about women this way, I’d open mine to speak my truth—a threat I had never made before. I immediately received hysterical text messages. He denied his abuse, taking no accountability for his actions. His last round of messages a year ago had stirred up an immediate panic attack. But this time I wasn’t scared or upset; I was empowered. Where I usually would have wilted, I broke free of the restraints I set for myself. I did not let the brutality of his actions silence me anymore. I recognized that it was OK to struggle with the traumatic memories of his actions without fearing him as a person. I finally saw in myself something he tried to suppress for so long: power. I have a voice, and a strong one at that. My words helped me regain the parts of myself I felt had been stolen from me. My 16-year-old self would never have thought I could accomplish everything I’ve done. But I have. This insignificant man will not stand in my way. It was this moment that gave me the strength to finally tell my parents about my abuser and, ultimately, write this article. Soon, not a part of my body will remember his, and I’ll thank myself for pushing forward. No matter how many times I stumbled along the path to recovery, I will have made it to the day that my body belongs fully, solely, and only to me.


n September 30, 2025, I will have replaced every single cell in my body. On that day, not a cell will know the grasp of his hands on my wrist, his sickening breath on my neck, the burn of his skin against mine. On that day it will have been 10 years since I last made physical contact with my abuser. I was 16 when I met my first boyfriend. He was as charming as he was manipulative. I was awestruck by his devotion. No boy had shown me that kind of affection before, and he made sure to remind me of that. On our eighth day of dating, he told me he loved me as he stole food out of my fridge. I said it back, because I couldn’t lose the only person I thought would ever care for me. For four months I suffered his torment, mistaking it for affection. My mind and body were his playground, free to toy with He toyed with every part of me however he pleased and without my consent. I could not see the damage he was causing me, both emotionally and physically. The relationship carried on like this until a friend intervened. After I left my abuser, I jumped quickly into something new. I choose to pour my trauma and emotions into this new relationship, rather than teach myself how to cope on my own. While the short-term healing in my new relationship was extremely beneficial, I needed to work towards feeling strong on my own. Four years later, I still struggle with the trauma I suffered. Reclaiming your power can take a lifetime. Recovery is not linear, and slow progress is still progress. I started by seeking out therapy, but my abuser continued with threatening phone calls and texts, keeping me tied to him. They had gradually died out until he contacted me this October, the first time in a year. My phone glowed with his number, a set of digits I’ve blocked too many times. But he always finds a way to me. Christine Blasey Ford’s televised testimony last September triggered memories of being with my

MONEY MOVES Know your your (net) worth.


words by Audrey Lee | illustration by Jenny Katz

ollege is a time to test the waters (and your drinking limits) all in the name of higher education. However, even with the startlingly expensive price tag attached to this “indispensable” knowledge, a majority of us still suck at managing our own money. When you factor in the stresses of newfound independence, recurring sleep deprivation, and measuring the perfect balance between academics and social life, even finding the time to clean the pile of dishes in your kitchen sink can seem like a victory. But when the biggest personal finance decision you can achieve is calculating the number of Juul rips you can take before having to buy a new pod, it’s clear there’s a more serious problem at hand. According to a 2018 study by the Federal Reserve, 70 percent of all college students in the United States graduate with student loans, and an estimated 44 million Americans hold approximately $1.5 trillion in student debt. In New York State alone, 2.3 million college loan recipients borrowed an astounding $78.4 billion dollars in 2016, as reported by the Institute for College Access and Success. Part of the problem is that a majority of students don't learn any form of financial literacy in their primary education. A 2017 APA survey revealed that money is the second leading source of stress in America, yet, the Council for Economic Education concluded in 2018 that students K-12 aren’t receiving adequate financial education. Only 17 U.S. states require high schoolers to take a personal finance course, and only 22 require

some sort of economics course before graduation. However, to avoid a financial struggle-filled future, it pays to learn how to act responsibly with your money in the present. On an individual level, an issue arises when students frequently splurge on superfluous items, like every day has become a Treat-Yo-Self day. Haphazard spending can be seriously detrimental to your bank account, and while the odd calzone or $3 beer might not seem like much in the moment, these small purchases add up quickly. Don Dutkowsky, a professor of economics in the Maxwell School at SU, who developed ECN 305: Economics of Personal Finance, says moderation is the name of the game. “One mistake is a failure to budget and a failure to live within a budget,” he says. “This is something you’ve got to do from the beginning, because if you don’t consistently live within your means, you’ll have to go to loans and run credit card balances.” At Syracuse University’s Office of Financial Literacy, Smart Money coaches help fellow students tackle common financial issues such as budgeting, understanding loan types, and maximizing savings in one-on-one appointments that can be made through Orange SUccess on MySlice. Melissa Marchetti, a junior policy studies major and Smart Money coach, helps students learn about these issues. “Money is uncomfortable to talk about for almost everybody,” she says. “It’s about spreading the wealth of information, not to be corny.” Marchetti helps students draw up an attack plan and develop a firm goal by the end of



their sessions with her. “There’re infinite solutions that can work for you,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to start small to understand exactly what is going to be the best practice for you. No matter where you start, that small bit of information is at least going to help you start to get into good habits.” Still, in our day and age, it’s difficult to live modestly when everyone’s Insta feeds are filled with celebrities flaunting mouths full of precious metals and gemstones worth as much as a four year college education. While flexing lavish purchases of any size on social media may have its allure, it’ll also have its consequences in the long run. Atlanta rapper and recently released ICE detainee 21 Savage said last year in an interview with SSENSE that he prefers to spend his money investing in stocks and real estate instead of jewelry. Last March, Savage even launched a campaign in collaboration with non-profit media brand Get Schooled called "21 Savage Bank Account," which aims to teach teens the basics of money management. Through the foundation, 21 deserving teens even received $1,000 to deposit in their own bank accounts. Banks like Chase and PNC offer college checking accounts to students for up to six years with perks like waived monthly fees, mobile banking, and online tools to help you track spending. When scouting out the right bank for you, choose a branch that’s close to campus and strive to pay little or no fees for services such as accessing money through an ATM. Another way

to alleviate the financial burden of school costs is to take advantage of scholarships. Fastweb. com allows access to more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling approximately $3.4 billion dollars to help pay for secondary education. Money apps like Mint also let users link all their financial accounts, cards, and bills in one place to understand their finances and create budgets, track investments, and identify where they can improve their spending habits. In a world where Twitter users urge one another to buy Gucci belts instead of paying rent, you must use common sense to keep yourself away from poor spending habits. While resisting the drunken impulse to buy another vodka Red Bull or avoiding the Chipotle line may be difficult feats, they’re an essential part of building up your own financial health. “In personal finance, you’re not supposed to know everything, but you’re supposed to have an idea and be able to draw from experts and make decisions that fit you,” Dutkowsky says. For the financial novice who doesn’t know where to start when it comes to managing their funds, determining necessities from luxuries and drawing up a simple monthly or weekly budget is a great first step. While college should be about enjoying your newfound independence and making a few mistakes, it’s best to take the time to educate yourself on money so you’ll have sufficient funds post-graduation. To quote Kendrick Lamar, “Money trees is the perfect place for shade.”


MX. It’s time to rethink gendered titles.

words by Jake Smith

“There is a power in gender anonymity.”


ne of the few awful requirements of adult life is email. You’ve been here before: subject line, greeting, body, farewell. But this ceaseless weekday ritual is a minefield in disguise. At some point you’ll need to reach out to someone—a hiring manager, a source, a professor, a client—and have no clue how to address them. Much of our correspondence relies on honorifics, those little indicators of respect placed before someone’s name: Mr., Ms., Mrs. They signify a certain level of respect, especially in a professional context, but they also rely on a gender binary that’s becoming more and more outdated by the second. Whether the recipient identifies as non-binary, their pronouns are unclear, or they would prefer not to be introduced by their gender, the mainstream honorifics feel wrong. But there’s a solution: Mx. Pronounced “mix,” it’s an honorific that conveys respect regardless of gender. While most of us haven’t heard the term, it’s time we rethink the way we communicate. It’s not enough to simply introduce it to the rotation, though—Mx. should be the new normal. The title is older than it may seem. A product of second-wave feminism, Mx. first appeared in print in 1977 in the pages of the now-folded magazine Single Parent. Like its much more famous cousin Ms., it was a title intended to empower women. This word takes it one step further, though; Mx. implies the same respect as other honorifics and also suspends the power dynamics of age, marital status, and, most notably, gender identity. In


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advised Times writers to use the names, pronouns and courtesy titles preferred by the subject. But these guidelines are based on the assumption that people would identify as either male or female,” Corbett wrote. “‘Mx.’ has gained some acceptance, but it remains unfamiliar to many readers.” In other words, Mx. hasn’t reached the cultural tipping point to be considered legitimate, especially among older Americans. A 2017 Pew study illustrates this age gap: 50 percent of Millennials believe that gender can differ from what is assigned at birth, but less than half of Gen X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation agree with us. They’re less likely to accept people of gender identities that could benefit from using Mx., which should enrage you. The title is subtly radical, robbing patriarchal and transphobic systems of their power to exclude people who are not cisgender men. Refusing to address colleagues by their gender first, as simple as it sounds, is a major disruption to the way gendering in English has been used as a kind of weapon. It’s one of the easiest ways to accelerate cultural change. Words come in and out of favor on an almost daily basis. As our society evolves to accept a spectrum of gender identities, so must our language. Mr., Ms., and Mrs. just don’t cut it anymore. Mx. is the honorific of a more tolerant future. And, if nothing else, it’ll make writing your next cold email much, much easier.


correspondence, for example, there’s no way to determine the sender’s gender, and therefore no way to apply overt or covert bias. There is a power in gender anonymity. Many Americans, as you probably know by now, have a hard time with change. (And even when we enact change, they try to make America great again.) According to a 2016 study by the Williams Institute, approximately 1.4 million Americans identify as transgender, meaning the number of people who would benefit from a widely-accepted gender-neutral honorific is likely much higher. While identifying as transgender is not automatically the same as identifying as gender non-binary, the removal of gender-focused honorifics would significantly decrease the frequency with which trans people are misgendered. However, it seems that certain people are just not ready to accept them. But Mx. already boasts a few impressive victories. Merriam-Webster quietly added Mx. to the dictionary in September 2017, citing it as a word to watch: “Used as a gender-neutral title of courtesy.” Huge corporations and companies have also slowly started to legitimize the title. In May 2013, the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail added Mx. to its list of default titles across its services. Multinational bank HSBC followed suit in 2017, rolling out 10 gender-neutral titles to its customers, chief among them Mx. Outside of the business world, gender-nonconforming personalities like actor Amandla Stenberg, musicians Angel Haze and Abdu Ali, and Transparent showrunner Jill Soloway are chief among a wave of celebrities who are drawing attention to the need for genderneutral honorifics. Even the New York Times, which always refers to people using honorifics, has started to introduce Mx. to its stories, though the paper still has not officially adopted it. In a 2015 oped, Philip B. Corbett, the associate masthead editor for standards, admitted the oversight. “Our guidelines on transgender references have long



words by Annika Hoiem photos by Codie Yan

SU professor Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah recently published his first book, a New York Times bestseller that tackles racism, materialism, zombies, and serial killers, while still managing to be hopeful.



ana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah began his fight against society’s ills in his childhood backyard. Alongside his younger sister and two neighbors, Adjei-Brenyah started calling himself the Guardian of Light, a warrior sent to save the world from destruction. The kids would pluck the names of their enemies from a dictionary, searching for something life-threatening and unimaginably terrible to conquer. Adjei-Brenyah’s desire to vanquish the hydras of fear, racism, and stigma only grew with age. Today, he’s in his office sipping tea out of a Late Night with Seth Meyers mug, the handle broken. He laughs at the irony. He appeared on the show on December 18, alongside Amy Adams and Stephan James of If Beale Street Could Talk. Adjei-Brenyah joined the ranks of only 17 novelists to speak on Meyers, as opposed to hundreds of actors and musicians. A framed copy of the New York Times bestseller list hangs on his wall, his first book, Friday Black, listed at number 13. He points to the frame. “Luckily, with this book, I did have a crazy amount of good things happen,” he says. Though he acknowledges a Pulitzer would be nice, he doesn’t believe these external validations contribute to any sort of true joy. After completing his M.F.A. in fiction at SU in 2016, Adjei-Brenyah signed a book deal for a collection of short stories (then How to Sell a Jacket, now Friday Black). His debut collection, released in October, became an instant New York Times



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Published Professors Quite a few published authors call SU home. Here, we take a look at some of their best work: Another Good Loving Blues , 1993 Arthur Flowers explores the Deep South with lyrical ease, drawing comparisons to James Baldwin and Zora Neale Hurston. The Liars Club, 1995 Mary Karr's acclaimed memoir details her childhood in the sixties in a small, industrial town in Texas. Innocents and Others, 2016 Dana Spiotta's fourth novel follows the twisting, lifelong friendship of two female filmmakers. Lincoln in the Bardo, 2017 George Saunders's first full-length novel was inspired in part by the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Maxwell courtyard.

bestseller and joined PEN America’s shortlist. George Saunders calls it “an excitement and a wonder.” Roxane Gay says it’s “a call to arms and a condemnation” and implores, simply: “Read this book.” Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead describes Adjei-Brenyah’s work as “a new invented style of grim warmth, mixing dystopic truth with undying empathy.” In other words, he’s good. In November, Adjei-Brenyah accepted a National Book Foundation honor as one of their 5 Under 35, a distinction presented to him by Whitehead. At the ceremony, Adjei-Brenyah joked about his early letters to potential agents, in which he wrote, “if you understood the depth of my resolve, you would drown in it.” He laughs now at that precociousness, but to know Adjei-Brenyah is to know that that intensity remained as he refined his work. Like his stories, he’s both self-serious and self-aware, a literary genius in the body of a downto-earth college student. Adjei-Brenyah was born to Ghanaian parents in Queens, but spent the majority of his childhood in Spring Valley, New York with a deep affinity for basketball and Japanese manga. He recalls the time with fondness, though the family moved frequently due to financial struggles. His younger sister, Afua, remembers those times with a similarly rosy outlook. “It was like, ‘OK, the TV doesn’t work today. What are we going to do?’” (The answer: "Now you can read more,” their mother once said.) In addition to pretending to be Power Rangers, Afua and Nana spent a great deal of time at the Finkelstein Memorial Library. “Reading ‘The Finkelstein 5’ was more than a little jarring, the setting being so familiar,” says Afua. “We both spent many, many hours there.” She sees herself, her older sister, and both of her parents throughout the book, particularly her parents' matter-of-fact approach to life. "There's nothing you can't do, but if you decide not to do it, that's your fault. If someone succeeded, it's because they decided to do it,” they told her and her brother. Nana inherited this determination.


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His sister laughs as she recalls her 16-year-old Another Good Loving Blues, describes Adjeibrother saying that he could beat Bruce Lee in a Brenyah as “old school” in his sincerity in writing fight, if only he had started training for the match about life and his experience as a black man. a few years prior. "His work reflects the ethos of literature and its The collection starts with a quote from Kendrick willingness to grapple with the grind and grit of Lamar: “Anything you imagine you possess.” Just the human condition,” says Flowers. “That is one adjacent is a dedication to his mother: “How can of the reasons it has been so universally accepted." you be bored? How many books have you written?” “Art and stories are sustaining for life, but they In “Things My Mother Said,” the collection’s aren't life,” he says. “I see that more clearly now. shortest vignette, Adjei-Brenyah describes her For a long time, being a writer was the only thing fierce love. “My mother’s favorite thing to say to that mattered for me.” Although his father’s battle me was ‘I am not your friend,’” he writes. “She’d continues, Adjei-Brenyah is grateful that his dad often say, ‘You are my firstborn son, my only son,’ lived to see the completion of the book (just as the as a reminder not to die.” narrator’s father did in his short story). “Having Friday Black is frequently violent, always the goal of being published and being wellabsurdist, and one of the most galvanizing literary received forces you to have to think about the real works in years. It opens with a dark satire called questions." His story “Lark Street” begins with “The Finkelstein 5” that depicts the murder of five aborted twins appearing to their father. Though black children by a white man with a chainsaw. Adjei-Brenyah’s work is clearly political, this story The story's protagonist, Emmanuel, describes his isn’t focused on policy; rather, he highlights the blackness as a number on a dial that he switches after-effects of a decision and the schism they can up or down depending on the scenario, a clever create in a relationship. “I get a lot of energy in conceptualization of code-switching. A not-so- trying to write the hard thing,” he says. “My work exaggerated reflection of life in the era of Trayvon in general is concerned with the violence and Martin and Donald Trump, the narrative follows erasure of taboo.” Emmanuel as he grapples with the nature of “Friday Black,” the book’s title story that takes justice and reckons with the relentless horrors its name from the shopping holiday, is one of around him. three that take place in a mall, similar to the Another short story, “The Hospital Where,” Palisades Center where Adjei-Brenyah worked conveys Adjei-Brenyah’s obsession with literature while completing his undergrad at SUNY Albany. through a character much more focused on the (He worked at several stores, including one called compulsion of writing than a far more distressing Against All Odds.) "I spent so much time feeling demon: his father’s declining health. In it, the like I didn't have worthy life experience. When I narrator takes his father to cancer treatment while wrote the book, I'd been on a plane maybe twice simultaneously being coaxed into a pact with a in my life,” he says. Time in the retail space gave twelve-tongued god. The god pushes him to write, him insight into humanity’s misguided search for promising the power to heal and transform his love through materialism. In the story, zombie life completely. Adjei-Brenyah’s own father was customers claw each other as if infected by diagnosed with cancer in late 2016, within two consumerism itself. months of his son signing with an agent. Three In “The Era,” a futuristic parable, citizens take months after that, Friday Black was sold. a daily pill called Good to stay afloat, passing up Adjei-Brenyah’s mentor-cum-colleague Arthur the niceties we’re used to. "Shoelookers," or those Flowers, author of I See the Promised Land and who forgo reality in favor of kindness, slowly

grow sadder until they can do nothing but look down. “It’s about these people trying to deal with something, and part of their difficulty comes from how afraid people are to talk about it,” he says. It would seem fear is foreign to Adjei-Brenyah, but he says “a lot scares me,” particularly the pressure and stress of living up to expectations— his own and those of others. (He shoudn't worry; he just optioned his book to Universal Studios.) He recently told some of his students to write a poem of things they’re not afraid of, listing his own fears on the board as inspiration. Teaching from a place of transparency and equality, he often sits in a desk prior to class on the first day so students believe he’s one of them. Adjei-Brenyah sees his pupils not as "aspiring" artists, but simply existing talent in need of assurance. “It’s really incredible to get a young person to buy into themselves and immerse in their own confidence,” he said during his time on Meyers. Four years ago, he taught ‘Living Writers’ as a grad student, wearing a black bomber jacket with a roaring tiger embroidered on the back. Now he's sitting in his office in a simple gray hoodie. “If a photographer can come and take a picture of me in my office wearing sweats, that’s how I’ll know I’ve made it.” He laughs. Adjei-Brenyah writes from a similar place of bravado and candor, believing himself— truthfully—to be able to call out society’s issues while being equally tied up in the same problems. “I think part of it is implicating yourself, that you're not outside of these systems that are inhumane,” he says. “It’s a worthy project to try and imagine something better.”


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Art and stories are sustaining for life, but they aren’t life.



Across the film industry, women are woefully underrepresented. A change is coming. words by Sally Rubin illustrations by Jacob Marcus


inety-one years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its first ever Academy Awards. All 270 guests, mostly just Academy members, gathered in honor of outstanding achievement in that year’s cinema. The ceremony took all of fifteen minutes, as Hollywood’s best and brightest cheered on their fellow man for outstanding filmmaking. The key word is, of course, “man”—not one woman was nominated in any other category outside of the gender-specific category of Best Actress. At the time of that first awards ceremony, it had only been nine years since women could even vote in political elections, so it’s no surprise they were largely excluded from the earlier nominations. Yet even after 91 years, no more than 25 percent of the non-acting nominations in the Academy Awards include even one woman, according to this year’s Women’s Media Center investigation. Despite the many major films made by women this year, including Chloé Zhao’s haunting The Rider, Lynne Ramsay’s relentless You Were Never Really Here, and Karyn Kusama’s breathtaking Destroyer, women were entirely locked out of the directing, original score, visual effects, cinematography and editing categories this year. Additionally, not one of the eight films nominated for Best Picture was directed by a woman. Despite several historic wins for women—especially women of color—last month, women still face massive guild discrimination. The WMC began tracking female representation at the Academy




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Awards in 2006, when only 18 percent of non-acting nominees were women. They report that at the current rate of progress, it will take approximately 50 years to reach equitable representation in each of the off-camera categories. In the nine decades following the 1929 Academy Awards, women have inched closer to equality. In 1947, women were considered equally capable of serving on a jury. The Equal Pay Act passed in 1963. Women have gained workers' rights, reproductive rights, and government protections against domestic violence in the years since that first ceremony, but they still can’t seem to find respect within the film industry. Now more than ever, female filmmakers are rising up to ensure that their vision is heard. Tejah Monét, a senior film major at Syracuse University, calls this years’ nominations “a bittersweet moment” with their slight increase in representation since 2018. “I personally want to do more,” she says. “When I hear those stats I think, ‘Alright, I guess it’s my turn,’ and I know I have to get my team together to get those numbers up.” She also stresses the importance of intersectionality in film representation, noting dismissal of women of color in all categories. It’s unreasonable to wait 50 years for women to get the recognition they deserve—the amazing, unsung female heroes of cinema should be celebrated right here, right now. Let’s start with Margaret Booth, Hollywood’s first real editor. In 1915, Booth first began working as what used to be

called a cutter in film, considered a woman’s job due to the way they cut and reorganized physical film, much like a seamstress would handle garments. After some time enhancing her skills under D.W. Griffith, who directed the notorious Birth of a Nation, Booth began working for Irving Thalberg at Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Studios. He quickly realized the crucial effect her artistry had in his films, and she earned the title of the firstever film editor. Despite the fact that the path to editing was paved by a woman, they have continued to struggle for recognition in the field. Thelma Schoonmaker, who edited Goodfellas is perhaps today’s most celebrated female editor, with three Academy Award wins and four nominations, yet even in her accolades she is noted mostly as Martin Scorsese’s right-hand-woman instead of an artist in her own right. Similarly, Sally Menke of Pulp Fiction was a highly acclaimed editor best known for editing many Quentin Tarantino films prior to her untimely passing in 2010. The female editors who have received recognition from the Academy without ties to major male filmmakers are few and far between. This year is no different: Jennifer Lilly of Eighth Grade, Carla Huffe of The Guilty, and Debbie Berman of Black Panther (who is also the only woman to edit a film nominated for Best Picture) edited some of the top-rated films of 2018 without Academy recognition. As for cinematography, its history with women is even shorter. The American Society of


Meet the first women nominated for non-gendered categories at the Oscars throughout history. MARJANE SATRAPI Best Animated Feature (2007) Satrapi became the first woman nominated for Persepolis, an adapted feature based on her graphic novel of the same name. That night the award would end up going to Ratatouille, and another woman wouldn’t be nominated in the category for another four years. LINA WERTMÜLLER Best Director (1976) Lina Wertmüller made history as the first female director nominated for her 1976 film Seven Beauties. In 2018 she told Variety, “To this day I get thank-you letters from directors who say they have been inspired by my experience.” JANICE LOEB Best Documentary Feature (1948) Loeb was nominated for her documentary The Quiet One, detailing the rehabilitation of an emotionally unstable African-American boy. Though Loeb didn't triumph, the next woman nominated, Nancy Hamilton, won in 1955 for her film Helen Keller in Her Story. JULIA HERON Best Production Design (1941) Heron made history as the first woman nominated for the Best Production Design category in 1941. She was nominated four more times and eventually won in 1961 for Spartacus. The first female production designer to win the award would be another consecutive nominee, Carmen Dillon, in 1948 for Hamlet. ANNE BAUCHENS Best Film Editing (1935) Anne Bauchens was nominated at the seventh Academy Awards for her work on Cleopatra. Less than 15 women have won the award in the Oscars’ 91-year run. However, Thelma Schoonnmaker, is among one of the few film editors to have won the most awards in the category, with three in total.


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her short film "Blue Toes," which received an official selection from several short film festivals both in and outside of the U.S. “Don’t let anyone tell you [that] you can’t be something,” Antelis says. “Don’t let anyone stop you from creating the stories you want to tell.” Even women who don’t work in one of this year’s neglected categories are starting to bring the heat on the industry to recognize its hardworking women. Alexa Junge, a writer and producer who has worked on shows like The West Wing and Grace and Frankie, says that when she first started out in writer’s rooms, the ratio was about thirteen men to one woman. She was that one. “What ends up happening is you tend to represent not only women, but minorities, and there’s nobody else to speak up for anyone that’s considered other,” she says. The problem extended far beyond the writer’s room, though. When she rose to a hiring position, she received pushback for wanting to hire women. “They would say they were concerned the staff was ‘top-heavy,’ and what they meant was there’s too many highlevel woman executives.” It’s harder for men to get away with saying things like that anymore, but she acknowledges that the Academy Award nominations are still emblematic of a concerning lack of representation. “As long as [men] are in power, it’s always going to be a struggle. It just is,” Junge says. "Hopefully some patriarchy tumbling will open doors.” Much like Monét and Antelis, Junge sees a light at the end of the tunnel for young women hoping to make it in the industry. “Don’t wait,” she advises. “Get your material to the best possible place it can be and don’t look back.”


Cinematographers didn’t even welcome its first female member until 1980. Brianne Murphy of Fatso made cinematographer history when she was admitted 61 years after the society’s founding, and it took another 38 years for a woman to earn recognition from the Academy. Although she didn’t leave with an award, Rachel Morrison became an inspiration to female cinematographers everywhere when her name appeared in the 90th Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography on Mudbound. That historical and inspirational moment in 2018 wasn’t enough for the Academy to include any women in their nominees this year, especially the work of Ashley Connor on The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Charlotte Bruus Christensen on A Quiet Place, and Julie Kirkwood on Frontrunner. Perhaps the most coveted non-acting category, Best Director, has done an incredible job of reaffirming the industry’s most successful male auteurs while simultaneously excluding an entire gender. The first woman to be nominated for Best Director was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties in 1977, with only four women following her and only one winning: Jane Campion for The Piano, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation, and Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. Bigelow became the first woman to take home the award in the history of the ceremony. Greta Gerwig garnered a 2018 nomination for Lady Bird, but lost to Guillermo del Toro. Despite the Academy’s sexist oversight, Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline, Coralie Fargeat's Revenge, and Augustine Frizzell’s Never Goin’ Back are stellar films from 2018. Isobella Antelis, a recent graduate of the film program at SU, is disheartened but hopeful. Antelis, with a strong focus in directing and cinematography, began paving her own way with

contingency trip



Saying your final goodbye to someone is a whole lot harder when you don’t know how much time they have left.


By Claire Miller

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hear a sharp clang in my grandfather’s kitchen. Then a grumbled, “Damn.” I turn to see him hunched in his black, motorized wheelchair in front of the open white fridge, staring down over his rimless glasses at a half-used can of string beans he just fumbled to the blonde wood floor. White cabinets wrap around us. Pictures of me and his eight other grandchildren cover the door and side of the fridge. “I got it, Papa,” I say, striding over and skirting the granite center island. I crouch and pick up the slimy, brown green beans. “Want me to throw them out?” I ask, holding them up lamely in a pathetic little pile. The murky bean water forms a tiny tide pool in the palm of my hand. “Nah, just throw ‘em back in here,” he says, shaking the silver can at me. I think, Is he really going to eat these? Now? But as I tip the beans back into the can, I realize, or maybe just hope, that he will feed them to the dog. I don’t stick around to find out. I can’t look him in the eye. Picking food off the floor for him, with my waist that bends and my back that’s strong, unbroken, feels wrong. Or maybe even cruel. Looking at those brown green beans makes me sad. I rip off a paper towel, swipe it across the floor, and leave the room in a hurry. The buzz of his chair inching around the kitchen fades softly.

But Upstairs, my sister lies curled up in a cozy white bed, the one we used to fight over every summer, crying over a boyfriend she left six months ago. I sit on the bed next to hers and let my feet dangle from the side. Planting my hands on either side of me, I hunch my shoulders up to my ears and let my eyes fall to the floor again. We always stopped here in Cary, North Carolina before driving on to Holden Beach each summer. That’s where most of my memories of him are. At the beach, in our waterfront house with its screened-in porch and its saltwater softened door that creaked and thudded shut. He’d have a book in his hands, or a drink, or a deck of cards warped by moisture and time. He’d sit on the sunflower patterned couch and scoop me and my sister into his powerful arms, squeezing our tiny bodies into fits of laughter. She hasn’t made the trip with us in a couple years because she grew up and got a life. But this time, she’s made sure to be present for what I call our "contingency trip,” or what she calls “her last chance to see him.” She tends to be a bit more dramatic. But that’s the thing. We don’t know if we’ll see him again. Back-to-back back surgeries have left him permanently bent at the waist, pulled closer to the earth. Now his torso hangs forward like he’s peeking over a precipice, or carrying something heavy. First, a cane propped him up. Now, a wheelchair does. His wife Betty called my mom a few weeks before to say, “He had a fall,” and my mom took this to mean he was getting closer to that precipice, nearing the end. So we tacked on a few days to our planned trip to Cary and prepared to say goodbye. Now, sitting in his house across from my weeping sister, I’ve run out of things to say to him, because really, I’ve been saying goodbye for a while. For the past few years, every summer that I leave him, I treat it like it’s for the last time, just in case.

that's the



thing. We don’t JERK 2 - 19


if we’ll see him again.

I turn away from my sister and look at the picture of me on my fifth birthday that’s sitting on the bedside table. In the photo, I’m standing on the ragged deck of our old house at Holden Beach, and I’m blowing into a toy cannon from my pirate themed party, air in my cheeks, magic in my head. Earlier that day, my dad had come down to the beach with a brass tube in his hand. He told me a crying woman with an eye-patch gave it to him at the gas station before climbing into her eighteenwheeler and driving off without a word. “Open it,” he said. I popped the top off and pulled out a heavy key and a fragile scroll. With my gentle, 5-year-old hands, I unrolled it in the wind. “It’s a treasure map!” I said. It looked real to me. The penmanship was superior to any I’d ever seen, and Blackbeard himself had signed it. After working through a few clues and pinpointing the exact location of the treasure using highly sophisticated counting and addition skills, my dad and I took up plastic shovels and dug into the dry, whispering

sand. A few feet down, he hit something solid. A small crowd gathered, offering “oohs” and “aahs” as he pulled up something wrapped in a skyblue bandanna with drawings of ships on it. I peeled the cloth away to reveal a smooth, wooden, glorious treasure chest. Dark as chocolate sauce. Old as dirt. It was a bit bigger than a toaster, with an arched top and twisting metal handles on the sides. A heavy, rusty lock hung from a latch on its front. My fist, now sweaty, clenched the key nestled inside my yellow vinyl Bob the Builder vest. Click. One turn of it made the lock fall away. For most kids, the outing of Santa erases some of the magic of childhood. For me, that moment arrived when I worked it out that my parents set up the treasure chest. It was my prized possession, a sign that fantastic things could happen to regular people. When I realized it wasn’t authentic, I didn’t feel so special anymore. They kept up the charade, though, and I followed along with the mythology. In fact, it wasn’t until I was driving back from college a couple years ago that my dad admitted he buried the damn thing. “No! Really?” I humored him. “Yep. Papa called me and said he’d built you a chest and asked me to set up the hunt for you. He’d gotten the idea from some show,” he said. My mouth formed a small oval as I stared back at him. It never occurred to me to wonder where the chest came from. I saw my Papa in his workshop, building that chest for me. Running his careful surgeon’s hands over the edges to check for splinters. Crafting his granddaughter's imagination. “I had no idea,” I said softly. My dad took his eyes from the road and said, “You should thank him the next time you see him,” and I knew what he really wanted to say was, “You should thank him while you still can.” I few months later, I did, and Papa laughed, brushing it off like it was no big deal. And I just let him chuckle because I didn’t have the words to contradict him. To tell him just how big of a deal it really was. But that was two years ago.

I look away from the framed photo of me at the beach. We leave in the morning, and downstairs, Papa falls asleep for the night in his anti-gravity chair. His whole body rests parallel to the ceiling. His legs extend and angle upward. He looks like the American astronauts who lie on their backs as they shoot into space. I start to wish I had saved my “thank you” for tomorrow. I grasp for something just as meaningful to say, but nothing was as meaningful as that chest. So the next day, I hug him. I tell him I love him. His chair buzzes, and it sounds like pirates and half-bent spacemen who engineer imagination and wonder. We drive away, and I think about green beans.



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Red is an undeniably powerful color. It’s the sign of sex and passion, of danger and risk. In most languages, it’s the first color to get a name. At a time of national unrest, red reminds us to love one another fully and unashamedly. This year, we’re embodying red’s best features: boldness, intensity, determination. Choose to be la femme rouge.



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Models: Kaya Pope Alexa Shephard Bria Huff Allie Wojo Styled by Annie Blay and Madi Bauman Photographed by Kali Bowden and Sam Berlin Edited by Kali Bowden Designed by Darcy Feeley All clothes: model's own


DIAMONDS ARE FOR NEVER Diamond sales are plummeting, but are millennials really to blame? Of course they are, but for all the right reasons. by Vivian Whitney | illustrations by Thomas Harris

We’ve all read the Buzzfeed articles and tweets calling out millennials for killing this industry and that. Everyone loves to blame the generation for the decreases in sales of paper napkins, fabric softener, even cereal. But a tweet from The Economist is what seems to have started the onslaught of accusatory articles. In 2016, the news publication tweeted a story with the headline, “Why aren’t millennials buying diamonds?” as if it the answer wasn’t obvious to every millennial on Twitter. Why aren’t millennials buying cereal? That’s a better question. And so, every Whitman professor's favorite magazine received the obvious answers it deserved. The top source of money stress for millennials is debt, according to Forbes, as all of us have probably experienced. It’s fucking expensive to pay rent and buy food. And in a world increasingly ruled by social media and experiences, the extra money millennials do have, is spent on things like concerts, events, eating out, and taxis or Ubers. According to CNBC, 72 percent of millennials have less than $1,000 and a whopping 31 percent

don’t have any money in savings at all. With a simple Google search, The Economist could’ve answered their own question. A one-carat diamond alone would cost on average more than most millennials have saved. In the unfortunately-titled article, the outof-touch magazine happened to mention the controversy surrounding the diamond industry that only furthers millennial reluctance to spend what little they have on gemstones, of all things. Diamond mining is plagued with exploitation, which sparked the term “conflict diamonds” to refer to illegally mined and sold diamonds that further conflict in mining countries. They're glittering reminders of horrible abuse. Of all generations, millennials are most likely to research the ethics and social responsibility of companies and what issues they support or to which they contribute, according to Forbes. And diamond companies are no exception. But even then, synthetic diamonds are still almost as expensive. We'll take cubic zirconia instead. Just one more thing Kanye was wrong about: diamonds aren’t forever.



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photos by Sam Berlin

AJ Seymour: I impulse bought them about two weeks ago, and they’ve really changed how I listen to music. They're super convenient and let me avoid all of the tangled wires and general obnoxiousness of regular headphones. One con: they’re super easy to lose. I have lost them multiple times already, including once about 10 minutes after telling my parents how hard they’d be to lose.

Tara Gordon: AirPods will change your life if you let them. Music sounds crisper, clearer. Talking on the phone is my new favorite activity. Even better, these were a gift from my parents, which was cool because they gave them to me but not my sister. Sorry, Gabby!

Jacob Marcus: I'm sorry, what's that? Sounds like broke in here. Yeah, so I'm "rich" and think I'm "better than you." But you'd feel the same way if you actually bought some of these babies for yourself. My go-to move is resting them behind my ears, like a pencil or a stray cigarette. There's something so powerful about it—I get to show them off without even using them. I'm not even that rich, but projecting wealth is so, so worth the fact that I can't afford groceries from Wegmans. Whatever.



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


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Marlboro Tee: Mac DeMarco only smokes Viceroys, but Marlboros just have a certain je ne sais quoi.

Cross Necklace: Don’t tell anyone this is from Urban.

Painted Nails: How else am I supposed to get a goth girlfriend?

Striped Shirt: Ever since Lil Uzi stopped making music, stripes just haven’t felt the same.

Dickies: If you pay more than $30 for pants, you’re not real.

Photocreds: Sam Berlin

Custom Shoelaces: In case you haven’t noticed, I'm weird. I’m a weirdo. I don't fit in. And I don't want to fit in. Have you ever seen me without these stupid shoelaces on? That's weird.

pop princesses The world is a stressful, scary place. Maybe that’s why we’re falling for with the sleek sounds of bubblegum pop again. words by Ariel Wodarcyk illustrations by Emily Gunn


aris Hilton, tan and glistening in a replica of the backless silver lamé dress she wore for her 21st birthday, materializes from a cloud of smoke in front of a sparkly pink altar dedicated to herself. Kneeling before the shrine is pop star Kim Petras, who is praying for her patron saint to shower her with the endless funds her sugar daddies can’t provide. The chorus swells with an auto-tuned prayer for a vacation in the Hamptons. Hilton smolders at the camera and hands over a glowing pink credit card to Petras. After a series of declines, Petras swipes the Paris card, and bing! Now she can buy “all her clothes designer.” The video for Petras’s single “I Don’t Want It At All” looks like it came straight out of 2002, along with Hilton’s dress. Petras is one of several current pop stars who have taken the glitzy electro-pop of the late nineties and early aughts and revamped it for today’s club scene. At the movement's helm are a new wave of femme chanteuses who are bending culture to their glittering, pleather-clad wills. As the outside world gets more confusing and difficult to navigate in the age of Trump, bubblegum pop is a pulsating, powder pink respite from the storm.



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Music critic and author of Love for Sale: Pop

Music in America David Hajdu says that part of the resurgence of sugary, upbeat pop has to do with where today's youth is partying. Like all things good and trendy, pop music from artists like Charli XCX, Kim Petras, and Slayyyter started gaining popularity in the queer club scene. Given that millennials have been dubbed “the gayest generation” and the kids of Gen Z (whether they were actually old enough to listen to early aughts incarnations of pop or not) are known for their acceptance of gender and sexual fluidity, it makes sense that we’re drawn to music that sounds like it was written after a heavy whiff of poppers. Many of today’s pop stars are also part of the LGBTQ community. “It’s not so long as it seems when gay anthems had titles like “I Think We’re Alone Now,” or “Secret Love,” Hajdu says. Even Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which was released in 2011, seemed groundbreaking in its mainstream celebration of queer culture. “We’re seeing musicians from all over the world coming to pop with ideas from all over the gender, sexual, and emotional map,” Hajdu says. Musicians like Dorian Electra, Tami T, and Fever Ray sing explicitly about queer longing, unafraid to spill their desires over four-on-the-floor beats. The question of whether or not today’s stars center their queer identity, or have a responsibility to do so, is tenuous. Kim Petras was one of the youngest people in the world to ever have gender confirmation surgery, though she tends to distance herself from her trans identity and queer politics in both her music and during interviews. In an interview with the New York Times last year, she said she doesn’t care “about being the first transgender teen idol at all,” although she admitted it would be “totally sick.” On her latest single, Petras collaborated with SOPHIE, a breakthrough, genderqueer pop star and producer. SOPHIE first revealed her face to fans in 2017, in the music video for her breathy, electronic ballad “It’s Okay To Cry.” Petras and SOPHIE, plus singers like Hannah Diamond and GFOTY are beloved in the


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iconic late ‘90s moments, from a Skechers ad to a Backstreet Boys music video. As raves, EDM, and synth pop regain their popularity, it’s only natural for electronic sounds to start leaking onto the airwaves. Hajdu says that after 20-odd years, the syncopated beats of nineties club kid culture and the sugary sweet design aesthetics of the 2000s have had just enough time to become ironic. We can listen to pop from our childhood, or pop that sounds like it, plus new releases from OG 2000s queen Robyn, from beneath a pulsing layer of irony. We can romanticize the years in which we totally would have rocked Von Dutch hats, low-rise jeans, and a spray tan worse than our current president’s. While most of us weren’t quite old enough to join the celeb clubbing circuit yet, many of us grew up devouring tabloids dishing every young blonde starlet’s exploit. Maybe the last time we were truly happy was at a classmate’s bowling alley birthday party, when our neon Limited Too shirts glowed under the blacklights and JoJo blared from the speakers. Life seemed easier in those halcyon days of childhood, so it’s only natural that we’re reaching back, obsessed with a candy-colored version of reality that maybe never existed in the first place.


LGBT community, but only some are particularly vocal about queer identities. Beyond identity, though, bubblegum pop illuminates more hard truths of our age group. Airy, petulant vocals and bratty demands (“I want all my clothes designer / I want someone else to buy ‘em”) hit right at our generation’s lack of financial stability and collective wishes for a picture-perfect lifestyle, minus the mind-numbing 9-to-5 or the frantic juggling of disparate side hustles. Sparkling, synth-heavy instrumentals make it clear that we’re in on the joke—we know it’s probably not possible either. Slayyyter, who told V Magazine her favorite year in pop culture was 2007 (“everyone was obsessed with who was getting DUIs”), bases her entire brand off early-aughts nostalgia. The promotional art for her single “BFF” features a pink flip phone emblazoned with the Baby Phat cat logo. The cover art features gothic font that would look at home on a MySpace profile, and two halves of a BFF charm necklace my eightyear-old self would have begged for at Claire's. Even the way the singer presents herself, with her platinum blonde hair, glossy lips, thin brows, and big boobs makes her stand out among the full-browed, bootylicious icons of today. It’s like dress-up, an arch reimagining of the excesses of a bygone, rhinestone-obsessed world. The main difference between old-school Britney and the pop darlings of today is their Internet presence. In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Slayyyter said when people ask how she got famous, she says, “You have to know how to play the Internet.” Slayyyter’s fans often compare the singer to Charli XCX, perhaps the most mainstream star to grow from this subgenre of pop. Last year, XCX collaborated with Sivan for Top 40 hit “1999,” a nostalgic bop yearning for simpler times, when teenage Britney Spears was in her prime and and all that mattered was getting a response from your crush on AIM. The song’s music video features Sivan and XCX recreating


IN SICKNESS AND IN Around here, it’s usually just in sickness. Between living in close quarters, sharing all sorts of drinks, and swapping spit with randos at house parties, we’re stuck in a nasty, intimate relationship with germs.

words by Mona Murhamer, Hannah Graf, and Lydia Herne | illustrations by Isabelle Collins


ollege is a Petri dish of germs. Within a week of move-in, the sniffling and coughing commences and spreads around the dorms faster than you can down a Four Loko Gold. From there, the common cold progresses to increasingly severe illnesses throughout the course of the semester until, one day, you decide to brave Health Services and they tell you to drink some tea and rest up. Thanks, healthcare professionals! According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 91 percent of college students surveyed at the University of Minnesota reported being sick at least once during the school year, 83 percent with a common cold and 37 percent experiencing more serious symptoms. Such a high number of college students seems absurd, but considering all the gross shit we do on a daily basis, we’re not that surprised. From showering without flip-flops (in communal bathrooms that see dozens of crusty toes per day,) to sharing chasers at an over-crowded dorm pregame, the “harmless” habits students pick up in college result in an endless cycle of illness. What’s the biggest culprit of our consistently declining immune systems, you ask? According to our own (non-scientific, non-definitive) research, it's sharing Juuls. Shocking, I know. “People share Juuls a lot because we’re friends, and they’re just handed to you at parties if you ask,” says freshman

and vaping expert Jude Slaughter. “If someone gets sick, they’ll hit Juuls through their shirt to not come into direct contact with it, but there’s a connection of people who just stay sick because, obviously, you can still get sick through that.” Needless to say, not everything in a shared environment should be shared. Along with declining to pass mango pods around a frat basement, maybe don't use your roommate’s mascara who’s not sure if her eye infection is pink eye or “just allergies,” or smoke from someone’s bong that probably hasn’t been cleaned since they purchased it on Marshall Street freshman year. Even worse, we stay sick because no one has the time to take care of themselves on top of everything else. “I have so much work for my major, and I go out during the weekend because of college culture, so I forget to take care of myself until it’s reached a certain point,” says freshman and cold-haver Natalie Holsinger. But as hard as it is to add recovery to your schedule, taking time to reach out to Health Services, disinfecting your door handle, and fitting in an extra hour or two of sleep may just be the difference between a cold and pneumonia. So for all of our sakes, wash your hands, drink the recommended eight glassed of water a day, and read JERK's guide to health on campus. And for the love of GOD, purchase your own Juul.



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YOUR HEALTH College is notorious for creating bad health habits, both physically and mentally. Luckily, there are plenty of resources on and around campus to help you get your shit together. Whether you’re struggling to maintain a good sleep schedule, can’t seem to stay away from the Ernie breadsticks, or have spent so much time in Bird you might fork your eyeballs out of your head, these local health resources are at your disposal.

VERA HOUSE Vera House helps victims of domestic and sexual assault, as well as victims of other kinds of abuse. They provide shelter, advocacy, counseling services, and education prevention programs. If you’re struggling in a relationship that you think may be abusive, physically, verbally, or emotionally, they're available to help. Location: 723 James Street, a 10-minute drive from campus Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m.—5 p.m. Contact: 315-425-0818, 24-hour crisis hotline at 315-468-3260


Location: 407 Tulip Street, Liverpool, a 15-minute drive Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.—4 p.m. Contact: 315-451-5544

MINDSPA MindSpa is a hidden gem of Syracuse University. Located in the Counseling Center, this free resource is a safe, stress-free zone where staff, students, and faculty can meditate, practice yoga, read a book, or simply relax. Take a break from your regularly scheduled programming and set time aside for being mindful. Location: 111 Waverly Avenue, below the Counseling Center Hours: By appointment Contact:

HEALTH SERVICES NUTRITIONIST Stop listening the Kardashians about their crazy diets and talk to a professional. Any SU student can arrange to meet with a registered dietitian through Health Services to discuss nutrition-related concerns or questions. Their services are confidential and the cost is covered by your student health and wellness fee. Located: 111 Waverly Avenue, inside the Health Services office Hours: By appointment Contact: 315-443-9005

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OPHELIA’S PLACE This non-profit organization provides education and treatment to those battling eating disorders. Ophelia’s Place offers online and in-person support groups, as well as book, video, and podcast recommendations on their website.


Location: 1120 E. Genesee Street, a 5-min. drive Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. Contact: 866-600-6886


PLANNED PARENTHOOD Don’t be intimidated by the pro-life protests outside of the East Genesee Street Planned Parenthood—they offer way more than just abortions inside. Think birth control consultations, emergency contraceptives, and STD tests and treatments. They also provide LGBTQ services, such as support groups, counseling, and even hormone therapy. Though most people associate Planned Parenthood with women, they offer men’s medical care as well.


BASICS According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016, and their rates have risen sharply among college-age people. Wrap it up, folks. photo credit: Syracuse University




Health Promotion Specialist We sat down with Michelle Goode, a Health Promotion Specialist in the Health Services Office, to discuss sexual health on campus and ways that the she's working to make all of our sex lives a little bit safer.

JM: How can students become more comfortable discussing sexual health with their partners? MG: I think part of it is about confidence and selfesteem. One thing that could be helpful for every single person is really exploring your own body. So, masturbation and exploring what’s best for yourself makes it a lot easier to communicate that

JM: What resources are available for students to comfortably learn more about and discuss sexual health with their doctors? MG: One of my favorite resources for this is Planned Parenthood. They have a really great guide right on their website to talk about different questions that you should know about and feel free to ask your healthcare provider regarding your sexual health. JM: In your opinion, what is the most important thing for students to know about sexual health promotion? MG: My most important thing is this: if you’re having conversations with people, one of our top rules in our office for sexual health is “don’t yuck someone’s yum.” As long as there’s consent involved, every single person has their own desires. We all have things that are intimate to us, or things that would be pleasurable or exciting, and that’s OK. That’s what makes our world so awesome and people unique individuals. We don’t want to “yuck” people’s “yum” or shame them for what they would like to do.

In April the Health Services Office will have Get Yourself Tested Month, during which they will hold free STI testing clinics. For students who are particularly passionate about getting involved with sexual health promotion, the Health Services Office holds volunteer opportunities to become a peer educator or a Safer Sex Express brand ambassador.

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That, definitely, is one of the main points of us having condoms and safe sex supplies that are accessible on campus. We think that the very best way to prevent STDs is consistent condom usage. Because they’re asymptomatic, someone might think they’re healthy, and that’s when they can pass it on to other potential partners. I think another problem that we see when we are testing folks is when we ask people if they use condoms, they might say “occasionally” or “most of the time.” Most of the time doesn’t really protect someone 100 percent of the time.

with a partner or potential partners. I think being familiar with yourself, knowing what feels good to you, and what you like, and then not being afraid to speak up.


Jerk Magazine: How has the introduction of free condoms on campus affected STI rates? Michelle Goode: Nationally speaking, we know that STIs and STDs have been on the rise—really, really on the rise—compared to the previous years. STIs are asymptomatic, which means they don’t really present with any signs or symptoms. Especially chlamydia, which has the highest rates typically in the college-age population.


UNBOUGHT AND UNBOSSED The truth pokes through. words by Lydia Herne | illustration by Emily Lundin

The year 1968 was transformative. It was the year we first set foot on the moon, the year that Rev. Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy were assassinated, and the year that Shirley Chisholm, a young African-American woman from Brooklyn, became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress. Chisholm’s parents immigrated from Barbados in the early 1920s, and settled in Brooklyn, NY where she was born four years later. Not only did Chisholm pave the way for women of color in Congress, she also encompasses the positive effects immigrants contribute to the U.S. and its governing body through her political prowess and revolutionary campaigns. Throughout her career, she fought for better federal programs and subsidies for families and served as an inspiration to American immigrants striving for more. Chisholm’s humble beginnings gave her a unique insight into the everyday struggles that impoverished families face. Unable to afford an ideal lifestyle for their children in America, Chisholm’s parents sent her and her three sisters to live on her grandmother’s farm in Barbados and attend school in a one-room schoolhouse. When she and her sisters moved back to Brooklyn in 1934, Chisholm completed high school, college at Brooklyn College and earned her M.A. from

Columbia in elementary education. Before running for Congress, Chisholm had a successful career as a preschool teacher, nursery school director, education consultant and member of the New York State Assembly. She eventually won her Congressional seat in 1968 under the slogan “Unbought and Unbossed.” Not only was Chisholm the first African American woman to win a seat in Congress, she was also the first African American woman to run for president as part of a major party. In 1972, she announced her bid for presidency and faced discrimination at every turn. She was shut out of participating in primary debates and only after taking legal action, was she allowed to make one televised speech. This year marks the 50th anniversary since Chisholm took office the U.S. Representative for New York’s 12th Congressional District that fateful January. She served seven terms from 1969-1983. Chisholm once said, “I want to be remembered as a woman … who dared to be a catalyst of change.” Today we remember the triumphs and struggles Chisholm faced as well as the foundations she laid for future congresswomen of color to come, including new faces like Alexandria OcasioCortez and Ilhan Omar. Her perseverance makes her a true American hero.




FEMALE NIPPLES The truth pokes through. JERK

words by Chandler Plante | illustration by Jake Smith

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The Deal: "provocatively" will distract their male counterThere are few things in this world that scare parts from learning. As if an exposed shoulder is to Americans more than female nipples (democratic blame for America's deteriorating education syssocialism, for example). Whether they’re poking tem. Many cite that our fear of the nipple comes out from underneath a sweater or completely from men telling us that breasts are only made for exposed à la Kate Moss, passersby clutch their them to look at, no matter how hungry your baby pearls and hide their children at the sight of is. Now if you’re thinking this sounds a little crazy, an uncensored breast. On the other end of the that's because you are correct! Public nudity is a spectrum, when bare breasts appear in movies bit much (although if you’re into that, keep doing and television shows a la Wolf of Wallstreet or you), but women should be able to dress without Game of Thrones, they’re meant to be titillating, shame, use their bodies for their both biology and not empowering. Male nipples, however, are pleasure, and live without the fear that their bodtreated like they’re no big deal. ies are constantly being fetishized. It’s almost like they’re a normal body part. Mind. Blown. The Issue: While it’s cool that female-presenting nipples are The Defense: “in” thanks to the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Had- Okay, we never thought we’d say this, but the men id, and fast-fashion slogan tees, this trend isn’t just might be right. The way those placental hormones edgy. After all, the primary difference between fe- trigger mammary growth? Hot! The necessary male and male nips is the former’s ability to lac- patterns of hormone secretion needed for lactatate. Breastfeeding, which is literally what boobs tion? Boner central! Male-presenting nipples are are made for, only became legal in all 50 states last great and all, but these biological powerhouses year. So what is it, exactly, about women’s nipples are just too sexy. Ladies, maybe it is time to covthat makes us so uncomfortable? er up. What with Rihanna’s daring fashion choices and the Kardashians flaunting their bodies everyThe Bigger Issue: where we look, it’s clear men won’t be able to last The culprit, in case you fell asleep in WGS 101, is much longer and society might fall into eventual the hypersexualization of female bodies. In mid- chaos! And if you’re a guy who has survived this dle schools and high schools across the country, nipple epidemic, shirts off to you. We don’t know boys' and girls' individual dresscodes are criti- how you do it. cized for their inequality and inherent bias. Their argument: that female classmates who are dressed


TEDDY JACKETS CAUSE OF DEATH: Forever 21 by Annie Blay | illustration by Elena Demet Every few months, there’s a trend that emerges out of the blue. It probably starts in the feed of your favorite IG influencer, then creeps onto the shelves of Forever 21, and soon, you’re seeing so many targeted ads you’d be remiss to not try some variation of the trend. This is when the trend metastasizes on Syracuse University’s campus, a.k.a. where cool trends come to die. The latest victim: the teddy coat. The jacket, named for its nostalgic resemblance to your favorite childhood stuffed animals, was undeniably cute when a fashionable few first strutted down the promenade around this time last year. Cuse girls took notice, finding inspo in street style stars from Stockholm and I.AM.GIA’s now-iconic pixie coat and flocking to the nearest Urban Outfitters to get their own so-soft teddy coats. As these things go, it was everywhere before long. Even designer labels got in on the trend—for only $3,590, you could own your very own Max Mara teddy. Suddenly, that trendy blonde girl in your 8 a.m. came in wearing it every day, and you noticed that every girl waiting on line at the Schine Dunkin’ had one of their own. Hell, even your “hip” WGS professor strutted into class sporting one (in black, of course).

To make matters better (actually, it’s probably worse), they started to pop up in different colors and silhouettes, the product of overzealous purchases from Asos, Amazon, and Nordstrom. Look across campus and it’s a veritable zoo of stuffed animal pelts: the pastel blue longline teddy, the red oversized teddy, the classic camel moto teddy. The beloved, cuddly coat is kinda like that high school relationship you try to make work when you leave for college. It's super cozy and you just feel so comfortable all swaddled up in that endless, plushy fabric. But when you try to put it back on after winter break, it’s old, matted, and probably smells like the mango New Amsterdam you threw in the back of your closet when your RAs were doing room checks. Let’s face it, the teddy coat only really looks good until the first wash. It’s almost March—you need to throw that thing in the washing machine. And since no one is going to put in the effort of dry cleaning, it's time to let it go. Our deepest condolences to the teddy coat—like so many trends before, it was simply worn to death.




BODY OF ART All bodies are beautiful. by Kate Kozuch | photos courtesy of artists

David Carver-Ford This San Francisco salon owner opened the Wig Bank so anyone can have a high fashion ‘do, believing the better someone feels about their self-image, the more successful their treatment will be. He works with adults and children with hair-loss due to chemotherapy or alopecia, crafting unique wigs for each of his clients. Carver-Ford even teams up with A-list drag queens for fundraising events to support his non-profit mission.

Arianna Warner Warner founded Ink Visible with Portland tattoo artists in an attempt to visualize invisible disabilities like depression, anxiety disorder, and diabetes using fine lines and bright colors. Because she has Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a chronic pain condition that prevents her from getting permanent tattoos, Ink Visible’s collection of custom designs are accessible and temporary.

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Cynthia Fraula-Hahn Fraula-Hahn’s body casting started out as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. She wrapped her friends’ torsos with plaster-embedded gauze, and embellished each cast with designs to celebrate the model and her strengths, even in the aftermath of disease. Soon after, Fraula-Hahn founded the Bodice Project, which exhibits the use body casting to support the emotional healing of those women and men facing the challenges of breast cancer.


Body-positive art is having a moment these days, from applying glitter to stretch marks to the trend of putting boobs on everything from earrings to mugs to t-shirts. But a new class of artists is using mixed media to take a step beyond traditional body-positive messages, transforming patients into muses and illness into art.



Sounds like: King Princess, Billie Eilish, Madison Beer Jerks to: Ariana Grande, Kacey Musgraves, Kehlani, John Mayer Katie Napell is a Syracuse student dipping her toes into the music industry with her online covers. She spoke with JERK to discuss her influences, music process, and future. by Vivian Whitney | photo provided

Jerk Magazine: How did you get into music? Katie Napell: I feel like I’ve been singing literally since I was a child. My dad actually is a musician, so he sings and plays drums, so it’s kind of always been a part of my life. JM: How do you make your music? KN: I can only kind of play the ukulele, so when I’m making music, if I’m doing covers or something, which is what I usually do, I just pull a karaoke version off YouTube. JM: How do you choose which covers you do? KN: I usually just sing what I listen to. People will tell me ‘Oh, you should sing this song. It would sound really good with your voice.’ So I have a list of songs that I should sing. JM: What are your influences on what you sing and your music in general? KN: In general, like I said before, my dad is a musician, so he’s definitely influenced me the most out of everybody, just growing up and watching him perform. He would perform with his rock band. I used to call him a Rockstar. What I sing is probably my love or R&B and for alternative at the moment.

JM: What musicians or bands do you look up to? KN: When I found Amy Winehouse, I think I fell more in love with music than I had ever felt before. She makes the kind of music that one day I can hopefully make myself. I love how she was so popular with such a different sound. She inspired me to study jazz a little bit, which is really cool. JM: Do you plan on being a full-time musician in the future? KN: That would be nice, but I have worked on writing on my own songs, or maybe finding someone that I could collaborate with. I’m aiming to be in the music industry after graduation, so hopefully I can be working with full-time musicians, which for me would be just as good. JM: What’s next for you? KN: Honestly, I’m just focusing on trying to get some sort of music internship this summer to be around other artists and see if I can really focus on my craft. I want to be able to kind of crack open the writer side of me and start writing my own music, so I need to start finding more people to surround myself with and get those creative ideas flowing.

See more of Katie's interview and listen to their music at




ANNIKA HOIEM Features Editor

Annika loves a great story, whether it’s a Joy Williams piece or a J.J. Abrams TV series. A born Seattleite, she knows how to speak the language of coffee and spends most of her days at home either drinking lattes or making them. She grew up with a backyard music studio, and though she can’t play any instruments, listening to songwriting makes her feel at home. Outside of JERK, Annika writes short stories and poetry; she believes in the curative art of words and their ability to transmit empathy. If she could write profiles or fiction for the rest of her life, she would be perfectly content. Making her day isn’t difficult, just send her a random text or a handwritten card. She’s an Enneagram 2, which means she tries to fix everything and help everyone. (She realizes this is out of her power, but she’ll still make an effort. A sweetheart, this one!) Ideally, she’ll settle down somewhere near an ocean.

We're far from the shallow now. @jerkmagazine

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