The IndependenT STudenT newSpaper Volume LXXIV, Number 2
BrandeIS unIverSITy SInce 1949
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
first round of Student Union elections on Friday, Sept. 10. By MAX FEIGELSON JUSTICE STAFF WRITER
After the Student Union sent out an incorrect ballot eight hours early, students were able to vote for their representatives in the Student Union on Friday, Sept. 10. Secretary James Feng ’22 had not responded to an email from the Justice asking about the cause of the error as of press time. The senate positions which were open to students in this round of elections were senators for the Classes of 2022, 2023 and 2025, as well as racial minority senator, North Quad senator, Massell Quad senator, East Quad senator, Skyline/Rosenthal senator, 567/Village senator and Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program senator. In addition, students ran for representative to Brandeis Sustainability
20 YEARS SINCE 9/11
Students elect new senators, justices to Union ■ Students voted in the
Fund Board, five associate justices and a one-year term on the Allocations Board.
Senator for the Class of 2022 Shannon Smally secured the position of Class of 2022 senator unopposed. Senator for the Class of 2023 Emily Adelson secured the position of Class of 2023 senator unopposed. In her candidate bio, Adelson said that she wants to incorporate student input to help make improvements to the school. Senator for the Class of 2025 Lia Bergen won one of two seats for Class of 2025 senator. She said that she hopes to incorporate her background in advocacy into her work at the union. Camaron Johnson won one of two seats for Class of 2025 senator. He said in his bio that he plans on taking students’ opinions into account before making decisions.
See STUDENT UNION, 5 ☛
NOAH ZEITLIN/the Justice
9/11 REFLECTION: A display of red, white and blue flags on campus commemorates the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
BRIEF Justice elects new editor in chief, managing editor The Justice unanimously elected Sofia Gonzalez ’23 to the position of editor in chief for 2021-2022. The election took place over Zoom, on May 6, and was prefaced by a Q&A session with Gonzalez regarding her plans and qualifications for the position of editor in chief. Gonzalez, a Biology and HSSP double major and Chemistry and Psychology double minor, began her time on the Justice in fall 2019, her first semester at Brandeis. She started off editing articles in the Copy section. One day she was lingering in the Justice office after a meeting for Copy and ended up joining a meeting for the Features section. It was there that her time writing for Features, and eventually serving as editor of the section, began. Gonzalez headed up the Features section until spring 2021, when she became deputy editor and began training to be editor in chief. Cameron Cushing ’23 joins Gonzalez in leading the Justice this year as managing editor. A Politics and Business double major, Cushing joined the Justice his first semester at Brandeis in fall 2019. Like Gonzalez, he began in the Copy section, before rising to co-Copy editor. He served in that position until spring 2021, when he was voted up to deputy editor. Later on in the spring, Cushing was voted up to his current position as managing editor. In a Sept. 8 interview with the Justice, Gonzalez spoke about her priorities for the paper this
year. After a year of exclusively publishing online due to COVID-19 safety concerns, Gonzalez said that her focus is primarily to help the Justice get back into the swing of publishing print editions. “Since I only did a couple of print issues, I think the biggest challenge has been trying to remember what that was like,” she said. Gonzalez added that “being able to identify how best to support everyone” is another priority of hers as the Justice makes the transition back to print. On Sept. 9, Cushing spoke with the Justice about his plans as managing editor. His focus for the coming year is on filling gaps in knowledge regarding Justice operations that may have gotten lost due to the pandemic, as well as “rebuilding office culture,” he said. After a year of virtual-only activities and meetings for the Justice, Cushing said he’s looking forward to getting people back into the Justice office to spend “real time together” and get to know students who joined over the summer. Gonzalez expressed a similar sentiment. “I’m really excited for everyone to be back in the office,” she said. “Last production night, a lot of people were here. It was really great because you don’t feel like you’re doing it by yourself. … It’s really nice to feel like you’re part of a small community that really likes journalism and really wants to see the paper thrive.” —Gilda Geist
University hosts series of events commemorating 9/11 terrorist attacks ■ The Community reflected
By HANNAH TAYLOR and JACKLYN GOLOBORODSKY JUSTICE EDITORS
In commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the University held multiple events for the community. The Center for Spiritual Life held 9/11 commemoration events on Sept. 9 and Sept. 11 at Fellows Garden. Both events were meant for students, faculty and staff to reflect on the lives lost. Another event, “Politics and Psychology: An interdisciplinary discussion of bias, perception, terrorism, and international policy after 9/11,” featured professors who used their fields of study to shed light on different aspects and perspectives of 9/11. Prof. Jytte Klausen (POL) and Prof. Gary Samore (POL) started the panel with an exploration of the technical details of the attacks and their effects on international policy. Klausen, a political scientist, began by recalling the exact details of the moments the planes hit. “The country was blindsided,” she said. The fact that these attacks were successful and the U.S. government so terribly missed what was happening still shocks her. Her research shows that there were presidential morning briefings saying Al-Qaeda was planning an attack, even though the “how” and “when”
but I think the efforts the U.S. made to prevent non-state actors from using nuclear weapons were successful,” Samore explained. The efforts Samore discussed are a part of the U.S. counter terrorism campaign, carried out by the U.S. Intelligence Community and the Department of Homeland Security — all of which weakened Al-Qaeda’s leadership and power. “For the foreseeable future, Weapons of Mass Desctruction (WMD) terrorism will be low likely but high consequence,” Samore concluded. Considering the U.S. military’s presence in Afghanistan for the past 20 years and Biden's most recent decision to pull U.S. troops out of the territory, it was undoubtedly a topic of conversation. In Samore’s opinion, the previous administrations’ (President Bush, Obama and Trump) decisions regarding Afghanistan — continuing the attack on the Taliban and eliminating AlQaeda — were “completely justified and successful.” Coming back to Biden's decision, Samore believes nation building in Afghanistan was, and continues to be, a futile effort. Biden was right that this mission is beyond America’s capabilities, according to Samore, but he could have kept troops there to sustain low levels of casualties.” Klausen voiced a stronger opinion on the matter. She disagreed with advocates of the phrase “ending the forever war [against terrorism].” According to her, this is in fact a
See 9/11, 5 ☛
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was unclear. After the planes hit, there was a flood of military defense reactions but none were successful because the United States was unprepared for an attack of this type and magnitude, Klausen explained. This detailed information about the attacks is what caused the budding, and now widespread, global war on terror. Samore then took the stage to speak about the impact of the 9/11 terror attacks on U.S. government policy, specifically nuclear policy. In this sphere, America’s primary focus prior to 9/11 was to limit the arsenal of countries with nuclear weapons and limit the spread of access to nuclear weapons. Post 9/11, the focus shifted to preventing non-state organizations from using nuclear weapons in the United States. The terror attacks not only transformed the focus of government research and policy but also of perception. “It was no longer amateur hour,” Samore said. The general public and government officials agreed that if Al-Qaeda had the ability to carry out such an effective attack, it was plausible that they could acquire nuclear weapons. Fear became more pronounced and widespread. As Samore looked back at the past 20 years, he observed that there has not been a mass casualty attack on the United States by nuclear weapons. “We may have exaggerated the threat in the shocking aftermath,
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POLICE LOG MEDICAL EMERGENCY Aug. 29—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Shapiro Campus Center. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Aug. 29—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Foster Mods. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Aug. 31—There was a report of a medical emergency in Theater Lot. The community member was treated by University Police and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Aug. 31—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Mandel Center for the Humanities. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 1—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Epstein Building. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 1—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Rabb Graduate School. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 1—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Rosenthal Quad. BEMCo staff treated the party who was then transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 1—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Olin-Sang American Civilization Center. The community member was treated by University Police and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 2—There was a report of a medical emergency in North Quad. The community member was treated by University Police and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 3—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Charles River Apartments. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 4—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Ridgewood Quad. The community member was treated by University Police and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 5—There was a report of a medical emergency in North Quad. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid.
Sept. 5—There was a report of a medical emergency in East Quad. The community member was interviewed by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 6—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Shapiro Science Center. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 6—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Stoneman Infirmary and Public Safety building. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 6—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Village Residence Hall. The community member was treated by University Police and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 6—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Charles River Apartments. The community member was treated by University Police and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 7—There was a report of a medical emergency in Massell Quad. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 7—There was a report of a medical emergency in North Quad. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 8—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Sachar International Center. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 8—There was a report of a medical emergency in the Charles River Apartments. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further medical aid. Sept. 9—There was a report of a medical emergency. The community member was treated by nursing staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 9—There was a report of a medical emergency. The community member was treated by nursing staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Sept. 10—There was a report of a medical emergency at the Charles River Apartments. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance.
Sept. 11—There was a report of a medical emergency at the Charles River Apartments. The community member was treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. HARASSMENT Aug. 30—A community member reported receiving harassment via email. A report of the incident was composed. Sept. 9—A community member reported receiving harassment via text message. A report of the incident was composed. LARCENY Sept. 2—A party claimed that their bicycles were stolen from Ridgewood Quad over the summer. A report of the incident was composed. Sept. 3—A party left a backpack and laptop unattended in the Usdan Student Center and went back to find that it had been stolen. A report of the incident was composed. MISCELLANEOUS Sept. 5—University Police surveyed Charles River Road due to a report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, all was clear and in order. Sept. 7—There was a noise complaint at the Charles River Apartments. A group of students was asked to lower the volume without incident. Sept. 7—There was a noise complaint at Rosenthal Quad. A group of students was asked to lower the volume without incident. Sept. 8—There was a noise complaint at Rosenthal Quad. A group of students was asked to lower the volume without incident. Sept. 10—A community member reported hit and run damage to their vehicle parked in Admissions Lot. A report of the incident was composed. Sept. 11—A community member reported a suspicious person in the Shapiro Campus Center. University Police interviewed the party in question and they were identified as members of the Brandeis community. There were no problems to report. —Compiled by Noah Zeitlin
Brandeis University COVID-19 statistics: Week of Sept. 5
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■ ‘The Jewish Experience’
website, which launched in August, explores aspects of Judaism. By JACOB GROSOF JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
COURTESY OF BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
FACULTY UPDATES: The University elected Wendy Cadge as the new dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
New dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences begins first semester plans for GSAS amidst changes in higher education. By GEMMA SAMPAS JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
This fall marks Professor Wendy Cadge’s first academic year as the University’s dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her service as dean formally began on June 1. Provost Carol Fierke and Undergraduate Dean of Arts and Sciences Dorothy Hodgson announced Cadge’s appointment in a letter to the Brandeis community on Jan. 28. In the statement, Fierke and Hodgson summarized the process of choosing Cadge and their initial impressions regarding her visions for the role. Their observations included notes on Cadge’s penchant for collaboration with students and outreach in the Brandeis community, as well as her work with nonprofits and the school’s antiracism initiative. The process of choosing the new dean involved gathering input from students and narrowing down a closed application pool of Brandeis professors. “The role was advertised last winter and it was an internal process, so it was for faculty already here at Brandeis,” Cadge said in an in-person interview with the Justice. Cadge applied for the position while serving as senior associate dean for Strategic Initiatives in the School of Arts & Sciences, according to her page on the Brandeis Department of Sociology Website. Her term as GSAS dean will be three years in length. As outlined on her website, Cadge’s initiatives as a teacher and mentor include improving spiritual care on a national level and
researching contemporary American religion and its permeation into public space. Cadge told the Justice that this role would be different from any of her past experiences in leadership and required unique preparation. Over the summer, Cadge studied the changing atmosphere of graduate education through data analysis and conversations with colleagues at the GSAS and across the country. “I did a lot of reading. I talked with all the Directors of Graduate studies in arts and sciences and many of the academic administrators. I worked with the staff to try to get up to speed as quickly as I could and to gather more systematic data about graduate students, how the graduate schools work and what’s happening in the national conversation about graduate education,” Cadge explained in an interview. During the spring, Cadge conducted a start-stop-continue survey: an assessment in which students provide answers to three questions, including what the institution should implement to improve and identifying current approaches that are and are not working. The process accrued data geared towards understanding what students already like and dislike about the school and what they believe GSAS should do to improve. To tie past experience to her present role as dean, Cadge said she applies skills learned through teaching, such as forming connections with students and discerning precisely what students are looking to get out of their graduate experience. “I teach and I work [at Brandeis] because I love students and students come first. I always think about and try to make decisions with the students first in mind, appreciating that different students and different programs have different needs and
TUESDAY. SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
Univ. launches new website on Jewish religion, culture
BRANDEIS FACULTY UPDATE
■ Cadge reflected on her
that we do our best work when we work collaboratively,” Cadge said. Cadge also understands that actively engaging students and Brandeis community members is a concrete way to foster positive change and growth. “When I teach, we do a lot of ‘everybody’s out of their seat and we’re moving around,’” Cadge said, pointing to large white sheets filled with handwritten notes mounted on her office wall in Bernstein Marcus. “We do a lot of collaborative thinking,” which, Cadge said, is one way she approaches her role as the GSAS dean. The landscape of higher education is changing and Cadge believes the greatest task at hand in her new role, and for the GSAS in general, is setting students up for success in this new climate of graduate education. Cadge said she believes it is important to consistently consider how GSAS can best serve its students. “We always have to be asking, ‘What’s the value proposition? Why should a student come to [the GSAS]? What can we offer at Brandeis that is unique and different?’” In deciding how to best guide Brandeis graduate students, Cadge reflected on her own time as a graduate student. At Princeton, where she received her MA in Sociology in 2000 and PhD in 2002, Cadge rarely saw the dean, John Wilson. His behind-the-scenes work gave students the freedom and space to excel while offering quiet guidance. “If we are doing our jobs well, we are leading and supporting from behind, and we’re making it possible for students to have the kinds of experiences that enlarge their professional lives and careers,” Cadge said.
The University has recently launched the Jewish Experience — a website “dedicated to exploring the most pressing issues facing Jews and Judaism today.” The site is a direct result of the “Framework for the Future” report finalized in January 2020 that seeks to revitalize and improve the University community for years to come. Open to contributions from Brandeis alumni, students, staff and faculty, entries on the website range from light-hearted recipes to serious discussions focused on social justice. One of the featured articles on the site is titled, “Sorry, So Sorry ... Did I Say I Was Sorry?” and is written by Josh Gondelman `07, an Emmy-winning television writer. In the article, the author details his personal take on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of Atonement, this year beginning Sept. 15 of the Gregorian calendar. He notes, “Yom Kippur, the official Jewish festival of ‘I’m Sorry’ is coming up.” Gondelman explains how his identity as a “secular-leaning” Jew collides with the tradition of Yom Kippur to prompt his yearly apology tour concerning mistakes, be they large or small. While Gondelman’s tours often consist of nothing more than “mass-email apologies,” he emphasizes the opportunity that the High Holidays offer to “erase myself from various people’s enemies lists,” whether or not these lists include God’s, the customary recipient of atonement on Yom Kippur. Elsewhere on the site is an interview with Reuven Kimelman, a professor of Classical Rabbinic Literature at the University. He offers a more academic, religious interpretation of another High
Holiday, Rosh Hashanah. An uncredited author compiled excerpts from the interview with Kimelman into an interactive annotation of the central prayer of Rosh Hashanah, which celebrates the Jewish New Year. Kimelman brings in an analysis of Biblical Hebrew and rabbinical history to his interpretation of the prayer, called the Amidah. He departs from the literal translation of promising endless supplication to God to highlight the prayer’s universality and its central focus on eradicating “tyranny” and “wickedness.” Kimelman explains that the prayer asks God to rid the entire world, not just the Jewish people, of political obstacles to spiritual harmony, in conjunction with a divine messiah that will come to save the world from these same ills. When viewed with some distance from the religious language, Professor Kimelman’s interpretation of the Amidah exemplifies the Brandeis creed of tikkun olam, a secular “repairing of the world.” All of the articles respond to the same central Jewish tradition and while they are written by individuals who lead very different lives, the commentaries find meaning in the millenia-old Jewish traditions in their own distinct ways. The Jewish Experience concerns itself with the activities and insights of the Brandeis community, trying to cohere the disparate experiences of the contributors into something of an intra-cultural dialogue. As university president Ron Leibowitz writes, “the Jewish Experience seeks to illuminate the great wealth of scholarship and knowledge about Jewish issues and Judaism — in all its diversity and richness — on campus and beyond.” The first articles were published in late August 2021, and the monthly newsletter curated by editor Lawrence Goodman promises an expanding repository of the “latest news, commentary and insight” for years to come.
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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 ● NEWS
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UNIV. IN NEWS
PARC’s Suggested Language List gains widespread media coverage ■ The list received a lot of criticism from news outlets and individuals, as well as support from University students. By DALYA KOLLER JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
NOAH ZEITLIN/the Justice
ORIENTATION EVENT: A member of the class of 2025 is enjoying popcorn at one of this year’s orientation programs.
Brandeis welcomes Class of 2025 at in-person Orientation ■Missed out on orientation?
Here’s a recap of this year’s in-person events. By LEAH BREAKSTONE JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
As if heading to college in the midst of a pandemic was not challenging enough, Hurricane Henri further complicated plans for first-year move-in and orientation. As the old saying goes, rain on a celebratory occasion is a sign of good luck, so fingers crossed that a great year lies ahead. Sunday, Aug. 22, was the designated time for first-years to arrive on campus, but due to the weather, students were urged to delay their arrival. Instead, students began moving in on Aug. 23. The multiple day move-in disrupted the intricately planned-out schedule for orientation events. According to Brandeis orientation leader Matthew Kolk ’22, “Sunday’s move-in being canceled caused us to shuffle all sorts of events around and made the already tight schedule even more logistically challenging.” The changes made posed a challenge to many first-years who found themselves having to travel and move in while simultaneously attending
orientation sessions on Zoom. “It seemed like new students moving in would have loved another hour or so to get settled before orientation events began,” Kolk said. After the initial confusion of move-in, students engaged in a variety of orientation programming such as Deiswood — a red carpet-themed event with mocktails, games and food — as well as Light the Night, mini-golf, drag bingo and a movie night. These lively events were attended by many first-years and helped get the year off to a spirited start. Although students were grateful to attend an array of fun-filled, inperson activities, some students also thought more structure could have helped to foster connection. “I expected to do more in the orientation groups and less of just being thrown into crowds without a whole lot of direction,” Nancy Wright ’25 said in an interview with the Justice. The rest of orientation was dedicated to attending seminars and presentations from organizations such as the Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center, Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps, the Hiatt Career Center and the Office of Equal Opportunity. While many of the seminars were a necessary introduction to student resources, “I thought [the seminars] were
not enlightening at all, and the time could have been used to get to know our peers,” Wright added. The University also hosted an academic fair and an involvement fair to give students the chance to ask questions, explore different departments and learn more about the plethora of clubs and organizations at Brandeis. Wright felt that “the highlight of orientation was probably the academic fair just because it was the most useful and guiding.” While first-years did spend time getting to know their orientation groups, they did not get to interact with many other orientation groups, so their ability to foster relationships with others were somewhat limited. “At times, I felt a bit isolated from friends that I had already made, simply because they weren’t in my orientation group,” Anthony Ruiz ’25 said. Despite the initial obstacles the storm brought to move-in and the few improvements some students would recommend for future years, first-years were grateful to be able to have a mostly in-person and somewhat normal orientation to kick off the year. As Kolk put it, “everyone was so ready to go.” Neither Hurricane Henri nor COVID-19 could rain on the spirit and excitement of the new Brandeisians.
Brandeis’ Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center compiled a list of terms and phrases that they recommend being cautious of using. Julie Jette, who is representing PARC in the media, said, “The list was never an official Brandeis policy, and no member of the university community was ever required to consult with or use the list. Brandeis has a deep commitment to free speech and free expression.” Rather, the list is a compilation of words that may be harmful or offensive to others, and a way for people to be more sensitive to other people’s emotions. On PARC’s website, the group says that the list is meant to be “a tool to share information and suggestions about potentially oppressive language. Use of the suggested alternatives is not a university expectation or requirement. The language you choose to use or not use is entirely up to you.” The list encourages the use of gender-neutral words and phrases, such as “y’all” or “folks” as opposed to “you guys”; “first-year student” as opposed to “freshman”; and “police officer” as opposed to “policeman.” Many of the words and phrases they suggest refraining from using have violent connotations, like “you’re killing it,” “wife-beater” and “picnic.” According to the list, “the term picnic can be associated with lynchings of Black people in the United States, during which white spectators were said to have watched while eating.” Once published, the list quickly gained publicity and attention from smaller, local news outlets as well as larger, national media sources. The Atlantic published an opinion piece by linguist and Columbia University professor John McWhorter that
was critical of some of the words and phrases included on the list. McWhorter writes, “We are being preached to by people on a quest to change reality through the performative policing of manners.” The Daily Mail and the New York Post also published articles about the list, the latter referring to Brandeis as an “ultra-woke” college. Pulitzer-Prize winning author Joyce Carol Oates critiqued the list in a series of tweets, saying, “what is strange is that while the word ‘picnic’ is suggested for censorship, because it evokes, in some persons, lynchings of Black persons in the US, the word ‘lynching’ is not itself censored.” Other examples of words and idioms on the list that provoked attention include “rule of thumb,” which PARC says “allegedly comes from an old British law allowing men to beat their wives with sticks no wider than their thumb; however, no written record of this law exists today.” Another is “trigger warning,” which can be replaced with “content note.” According to PARC, the phrase “trigger warning” can cause additional stress, as it signifies that something is imminent, and it would be impossible to address everyone’s triggers. On their website, PARC states that “language is a powerful tool that can be used to perpetrate and perpetuate violence and oppression. As a community, we can strive to remove language that may hurt those who have experienced violence from our everyday use.” PARC has been open and responsive to feedback. Due to the confusion regarding whether or not the list was official Brandeis policy, the list was taken down from the University’s website and is now on it’s own website. They have received hundreds of suggestions for words and phrases to be added to the list, and in a statement they made it clear that “true to the spirit of the list itself, sharing knowledge about the impact of language is a community effort; feedback from other Brandeis students has helped and continues to help the list improve.”The list remains open for suggestions and additional feedback from community members is welcome.
JACK CHENG/the Justice
PARC: The Suggested Language List put Brandeis into the spotlight in summer 2021.
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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
UNION: New senators elected 9/11: University in first round of elections commemorates CONTINUED FROM 1 Racial Minority Senator Rani Balakrishna ’25 won one of two seats for racial minority senator. She said in her bio that she wants to voice the concerns of students of color to the University's administration. Herry Wang ’25 won the other seat for racial minority senator. He said that he hopes to represent international students who were or are offcampus so that they are like a “family.” North Quad Senator Meli Jackson ’25 secured the position of North Quad senator unopposed. They said in their bio that they would like to be an approachable senator who will address the problems of their quad.
Skyline/Rosenthal Senator Asher Brenner ’24 secured the position of Skyline/Rosenthal senator unopposed. In his bio, he said that he would take all issues from students seriously, and that he cares about improving the campus. 567/Village Senator Nicholas Kanan ’23 secured the position of 567/Village senator unopposed. Kanan said that he wants to act as an “anonymous intermediary” between students and administration in addressing student grievances. Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program Senator Natalie Ramirez ’25 and Gonzalo Palafox ’25 each received four votes for the one seat of the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program senator.
Massell Quad Senator Peyton Gillespie ’25 won the position of Massell Quad senator. In his bio, he said he would listen to the voices of students and advocate for them.
Representative to Brandeis Sustainability Fund Board Jacqueline Wang ’23 secured the position of representative to the BSF Board unopposed. Wang said that she wants to replace straws and improve recycling availability on campus.
East Quad Senator Sahil Muthuswami ’24 won the position of East Quad senator. Muthuswami said that he is excited to bridge the gap between the student body and administration.
Associate Justices Matthew Shapiro ’24 won one of the five open seats on the Student Union Judiciary. Shapiro said he sees his role as listening and mediating conflicts between disputing parties.
Jonei Ettricks ’25 won one of the five open seats on the Union Judiciary. She said in her bio that she hopes to be a “nonpartisan pillar of support” for the union. Eamonn Golden ’24 won one of the five open seats on the Union Judiciary. Golden said he wants to improve the transparency of a judiciary which he said was a “somewhat clandestine operation.” Gabby Grunfeld ’24 won one of the five open seats on the Union Judiciary. Sidy Kante ’25 won one of the five open seats on the Union Judiciary. Kante said that he wants to push the school to continue to be an environment where diversity and inclusion are fostered. Allocations Board Emma Fiesinger ’23 was the only candidate to run for one of three open seats on the Allocations Board. Fiesinger said that she wants to conclude her work from her previous two years on A-Board by making sure that all club treasurers are aware of what funding they can and cannot request. In the email in which he announced the results, Feng said that the Student Union will hold an information session about the upcoming special elections on Sept. 19.
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historic attacks CONTINUED FROM 1
forever war and her prediction is that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan will return “really soon.” Her research shows that a direct attack by Al-Qaeda on the United States is unlikely in the near future, but there are significantly more affiliates of Al-Qaeda than before. The United Nations Security Council reports that 40,000-100,000 militants fall under the Al Qaeda umbrella. Although Al-Qaeda may not pose a direct threat to America, these militants and their possible collaboration do. “My professional opinion is that we have a lot of reasons to be concerned,” Klausen said. On a panel on Sept. 10 titled “Then and Now: An exploration of how 9/11 shaped personal and professional lives,” three University professors reflected upon the 9/11 terrorist attacks, speaking about their own experience and memories of that day. Prof. Carol Osler (IBS) began by recounting walking past the World Trade Center and witnessing a group of people looking up at the building, watching as some of the people inside were jumping in attempts to reach safety following the aftermath of the first plane crash. As she walked toward the ferry to get home, against the flow of people following the river out of the city, Osler said she had “this really interesting deep, deep upswell of fear.” She added, “It was, oh god, I wish there was a strong man right next to me. It was honestly biological. I’m not like that.” Osler then discussed her fearful experience of trying to get in touch with her family and keep them and her neighbors safe. As she was calling her family, the second tower collapsed. “There was a deep, deep rumble. It must have been like serious earthquakes. The whole ground was shaking and there was this deep sound,” Osler said. “It was terrifying to me.” She said that her children were in daycare at the time, just two blocks away from the collapse, and she had to run outside to ask people which way the tower had fallen, worried it may have hit the daycare center. After discovering that their children were safe, Osler and her husband decided to leave them with the daycare center while they focused on helping the crowds of people seeking safety at their apartment building. She said that her downstairs neighbor let in refugees: “Women, children and some men were coming across the river completely unprepared. We had people with no shoes. We had people with no money. People just came as they were.” Osler said that at first, no one realized the first plane crash was part of a terrorist attack because it was so unexpected. She said, “We allowed our own hopes to guide us and, in addition, we couldn’t think beyond our normal experiences.” Prof. Amy Singer (NEJS) followed Osler at the panel. Singer recounted a very different experience of 9/11, having been abroad on a trip back to Israel from England at the time of the attacks. Walking through the airport, she said that a kiosk had been playing news clips from CNN, but with subtitles instead of sound. Singer remem-
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bered watching the plane crash on the news, but assumed that it was “a tragic accident,” as she didn’t have the context behind the event. Singer said that her next memory was of boarding the plane to Tel Aviv but not taking off because of an issue with the engine. While the passengers were waiting, they turned their phones back on, and Singer said that they each began to gather the news of the attacks over phone calls. She added that most people on the plane were from Israel, and they had been concerned that the attacks would end up being connected to their country. “There was an atmosphere of complete uncertainty,” she said. Since she was far away from the United States, Singer was not concerned for her own safety following the 9/11 attacks, but once back in Israel, she finally heard the full story on the radio and began contacting family and friends in the U.S. She said that every conversation she had was similar, recounting how each person she spoke with was trying to express their emotions and fears. “They [were] telling me what they had seen, what they had experienced, and then trying to convey their confusion and anguish at being so obsessed about talking about those things over and over and over again and reliving those traumatic experiences,” Singer said. “When you are at the center of some lifethreatening event, you relive it, you talk to all the people around you, and you process it that way.” Prof. Neil Swidey (JOUR) was the last speaker at the panel. A journalist in Boston at the time of 9/11, Swidey’s experience involved trying to quickly gather the facts of the story and report on the terrorist attacks. He said that his first feeling upon learning about the collapse of the first tower was “selfish,” realizing that he had a long, hard day of reporting ahead of him. “If you want to find the place to delay dealing with trauma, a newsroom is one of the best places to be because rumination and reflection is replaced with action,” Swidey said. Swidey then described his experience of reaching out to people to interview in the aftermath, and how he found his undergraduate studies on the Middle East and Arab politics to be useful for covering this situation. He recounted speaking with Abdullah bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s youngest brother, who was studying at Harvard Law School, and added that he interviewed Abdullah bin Laden at a restaurant owned by Osama bin Laden’s oldest brother, Hamid Karzai. “You can imagine the intense interest in getting somebody from the bin Laden family to talk,” Swidey said. He said that he learned that Osama bin Laden, an “outcast” within his family, “was going to war with his family as much as he was with the United States” by orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. Swidey also reflected on his work as a journalist during such a large world event. “Journalism can play an important role in sort of creating and bringing up the floor of people’s knowledge of what we need to know so we can make informed decisions,” he said. “You’re trying to do that first draft of history, but trying to make that an informed first draft of history.”
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6 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 ● FORUM
Justice Established 1949
Jacklyn Goloborodsky, Hannah Taylor, News Editors Juliana Giacone, Features Editor Abigail Cumberbatch, Forum Editor Jacqueline Wang, Arts & Culture Editor Noah Zeitlin, Photography Editor Jane Flautt, Lynn Hann, Copy Editors Aiko Schinasi Ads Editor Samantha Goldman, Online Editor
Sofia Gonzalez Rodriguez, Editor in Chief Cameron Cushing, Managing Editor Gilda Geist, Senior Editor River Hayes, Deputy Editor Leeza Barstein, Jen Crystal, Gabriel Frank, Megan Geller, Hannah O’Koon, Associate Editors
EDITORIALS Shortage of resources lead to long wait times at testing centers As new variants of the coronavirus continue to emerge and affect communities around the world, maintaining the health and safety of the Brandeis community in the midst remains a vital yet challenging task. This board values the general efficacy of the University’s testing program, especially since not all universities have been as successful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through testing and other programs. Also, this board would like to thank the many faculty, staff members and student workers who have kept the testing centers running — their hard work and patience is greatly appreciated. However, in the first few weeks of classes, this board has observed that lines at the COVID-19 testing centers on campus have been unusually long and have caused some students to wait in line for up to 40 minutes. At the Shapiro Science Center, the line can even be out the door, which could become a bigger issue as the weather becomes colder. In general, people having to spend a lot of time in line causes scheduling problems, such as when students go to testing centers in the 30 minutes in between classes and end up being late due to the long lines. This board appreciates the location of the testing centers, as they are conveniently located in humanitiesand STEM-leaning quads. Part of the problem may be a shortage of resources. There have been a few instances of the centers running out of testing kits to send
home with people, resulting in more people having to physically collect their testing sample at the sites, which delays the whole process. This board recognizes that this may be the result of people forgetting testing kits at home and having to collect their sample in person, so we want to remind Brandeis community members to use the take-home kits provided by the centers to prevent a shortage of resources at the testing sites. In light of these logistical issues, a possible solution may be to open another center on campus to facilitate a faster testing process. Due to more students, staff and faculty being on campus this semester, having additional testing locations will help prevent long lines and lengthy wait times. Another benefit of opening an additional testing center would be the creation of more employment opportunities for students, especially work-study students, which in turn would reduce the stress and pressure on current testing center workers who have had to deal with an overflow of people at the testing sites. This board appreciates that the University has extended COVID-19 testing hours on Sundays and hopes to see more reforms like this soon. To conclude, this board would like to emphasize that we do not blame any of the testing center workers for these problems. We recommend that the University invests more resources in the testing centers to solve these logistical issues.
Clarification is needed regarding University’s COVID-19 policies This past year and semester, marked in particular by a global pandemic, have been unlike any other in the University’s history. To best balance both the health and safety of the community and ensuring a lively, memorable academic year for its students, the University has instituted a number of new protocols. These policies are influenced by advice from the Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and state law regarding mask mandates, vaccinations and capacity restrictions. Put into effect at the start of the fall semester, the policies were complemented by a return to mostly in-person activities. They include testing requirements for all students every 96 hours, quarantine policies and a rolling back of distancing requirements for vaccinated individuals, including in classrooms and the dining halls. This board applauds the University, alongside each and every member of the community, for everything they have done to ensure both a healthy and fun semester amid such difficult and uncertain times. However, this board notes that both within these policies and in how students are observing the rules themselves, there is need for improvement. One such area that has been observed by members of this board and in the larger community is a lack of social distancing when possible in classrooms and dining halls. Here, students and others fail to wear masks when required, such as when taking food at the dining halls and, at times, taking them off while speaking
in classrooms, defeating their very purpose. Masking requirements are unclear. For example, what should a student do if asked by a professor to remove their mask to speak in class? For the safety of all students, faculty and staff, this board strongly urges the University to clarify COVID-19 policies. Yet, within many of the in-person classes themselves, there is little to no accommodation for students who wish to attend class remotely; those who may be quarantined or uncomfortable coming to a larger, more densely populated space are often excluded from meaningfully participating and/or even attending. To best mitigate the risk of a possible outbreak on campus, the University and its community need to foster a culture that supports those who need or prefer to stay home, and the way this is best accomplished is through support from professors such as having an option to attend class over Zoom, an option to watch class recordings and an excused absence policy for students in quarantine. Additionally, this board has observed that many of the causes of the above problems stem from a disorganized dissemination of the University’s official pandemic policies. There is simply an overload of emails regarding nearly every aspect of the pandemic policies on campus, which can lead to uncertainty and confusion. The University would do well to better streamline the emails regarding different aspects of said policies to best ensure that community members do their part to be as safe as possible.
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TESTING CENTER CHAOS: Students wait in long lines to be tested at the Shapiro Science Center.
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THE JUSTICE ● FORUM ● TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
The sciences at Brandeis: action and accountability deferred By FOX BAUDELAIRE, RABIA ANJUM, ANNA HENKIN AND FARIA AFREEM CONTRIBUTING JUSTICE WRITERS
We are representatives of Anti-Racism Alliance in the Sciences (ARAS), a collective of current and former students that has operated since August 2020 to promote a culture of belonging and support in the Division of Science. We advocate for institutional changes that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in many aspects of STEM higher education. We have learned that each department has since formed its own diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committee. More than a year since our inception, we have observed that expressions of sympathy and mutual understanding have not yet been translated into progress. After evaluating responses to a survey we distributed in May among the Division’s undergraduate and graduate student bodies, we have been occupied with organizing a seminar series to educate the Division on the pertinence of DEI to research, and other activities in science, as well as opposing attempts to frustrate or slow DEI and anti-racist work in the Division. Attempts to recruit potential speakers from within the Brandeis community for our intended seminar series have had mixed success. Following a meeting with Division Head Prof. Bulbul Chakraborty (PHYS), Provost Carol Fierke and Dean Dorothy Hodgson, we now plan to pilot the series as 2-4 events for the 2021-2022 academic year. Some have intimated that “no one wants to hear anything outside of research,” a position that belies our current understanding of student opinion. We are, in fact, sympathetic with this view up to a point: we wish we could explore and perform science in welcoming and inclusive environments in which potential was developed equitably, trainees were at liberty to be their full selves in the lab and the classroom, and no individual ambition or status came at the expense of another’s professional development or personal well-being. Clearly, based on the lived experiences of students, this ideal case does not presently apply. We reiterate from our mission statement that students of color routinely experience manifestations of bias and prejudice that hinder their development as scholars and scientists, requiring time and significant mental and emotional labor to overcome. We cannot overstate how exasperating it is to have faculty who claim to value diversity, inclusion and student success but refuse to engage in any meaningful way with the work required to practice these values in real life. In mathematician Edray Goins’ words, “if you think talking about racism is distracting, imagine experiencing it...” Despite recent efforts, we have witnessed faculty and staff in the Division and across the University continue to give DEI short shrift
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and undue focus on performative, superficial activities uninformed by student feedback. We make this observation despite the reported lack of student response to departmental antiracist plans, a state of affairs which above all else emphasizes the need to improve climate, student-faculty interactions and concerted DEI involvement. Regarding inquiries we have made in the process of organizing the seminar series, the Science Council has told us that it is up to each department; Almost contradictorily, we have been told by individual professors that it is out of their hands. This evasion of responsibility continues to slow, not facilitate, progress. If members of our community do not feel comfortable with making their concerns more widely heard, it is because our institutions have failed to lean in and listen more closely. We have also seen Division leadership backpedal from the earlier goal of hosting regular town hall meetings to facilitate engagement with students, a tradition that was promised to begin earlier this year. Nevertheless, the Department of Physics is assisting the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies in hosting physicist and University of New Hampshire professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein for her upcoming talk, “Black Feminism in Space,” on Oct. 18. We look forward to this event and encourage the Brandeis
community to engage in Prescod-Weinstein’s science as well as her advocacy. With the understanding that each institution faces unique challenges, we will not hesitate to compare how departments at other colleges have dealt with DEI and anti-racist work, especially if the comparison can better guide efforts at Brandeis. The University’s procurement of an Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence grant (through which Brandeis was awarded $1 million in 2018 to advance DEI in our undergraduate science programs) and success with Posse STEM does not absolve us from criticism or the need to go beyond token efforts. As several BIPOC students have experienced, our fixation on change by the small-cohort model has led to a few embarrassing incidents in which some minority students have automatically been assumed to be part of such a program, as though their place in our institution would be otherwise impossible. Wellesley College, for instance, notes in its abstract for the Inclusive Excellence grant that “long-term change lies in changing community attitudes and practices through extensive professional development,” and stresses intensive training for faculty as well as staff and students in “evidence-based research around equity, inclusive pedagogy, cultural competency, stereotype threat, and unconscious
bias.” Meanwhile, Framingham State University, the state university geographically closest to Brandeis, recognizes that “educating [tenured and tenure-track faculty] on the painful effects of racism and exclusion within the academy will help to drive progress forward using more permanent avenues.” The abstract for the grant received by Brandeis has been updated this year to include programming for students on issues of inequity and racism in navigating science today, with an expanded reach of “30% of incoming STEM students,” but there is little mention of any effort to make change through our professoriate and administration. In further updates to the Brandeis community, we intend to report on our work and discuss issues of climate in classroom and research settings, the role of cultural capital and other topics pertinent to the navigation of diverse identities in STEM. To the extent possible, we hope to continue dialogue with Division faculty and leadership, promoting transparency and accountability within our own organization and across the Division. We admit that change can take time. However, we cannot and will not accept any claims of progress without action that is greater in magnitude than what is now underway.
The COVID-19 pandemic persists in spite of vaccination efforts By THABANG MATONA
CONTRIBUTING JUSTICE WRITER
With the rollout of vaccines in the United States and with tens of millions of people vaccinated, there may be a sense that the pandemic is a thing of the past. This sense is one that is harbored by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. This idea that the pandemic has come to an end is, of course, untrue. The United States, like the rest of the world, is still in a pandemic. According to data reported by the New York Times, America is still rocked by an average of about 146,000 new COVID-19 cases every day. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that about 750,868 people will have died from COVID-19 related complications by Dec. 1. The fact is that people have not stopped getting infected and people have not stopped dying from COVID-19. The entire country was starkly reminded last week on Thursday that we are still in a pandemic when President Joe Biden announced a new vaccine mandate. The White House has given all federal employees and contractors 75 days to get vaccinated. All companies with a hundred or more workers or those that work with the federal government need to ensure that all their employees are either vaccinated
or tested for COVID-19 at least once a week. This decision marks, perhaps, one of the greatest pushes by the government to increase the vaccination rates of Americans. Biden’s decision was not well received by several people, most notably Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. DeSantis went as far as threatening to take legal action to fight this new vaccine mandate, which he believes is unconstitutional. However, the decision comes after many democratic countries, such as Turkey, Germany and France, instated vaccine mandates to improve vaccination rates. From a legal standpoint, a vaccine mandate for people using federal property may be legal. The Public Health Services Act grants the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to impose measures that are geared towards preventing the spread of communicable diseases on federal property. Through the Secretary, the president could have the legal authority to impose regulations such as a vaccine mandate for federal employees. The vaccine is a measure that has been proven to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and thus falls under the authorities granted to the secretary. The White House could not impose a universal vaccine mandate, but they certainly could impose a mandate for people who use federal property within existing laws. The
data clearly suggests that the vaccine achieves the goal set in the Public Health Services Act — preventing the spread of a communicable disease. A lot of the rhetoric surrounding the spread of COVID-19 at this stage of the pandemic has been centered around separating the vaccinated from the unvaccinated. The idea is to help people understand that getting everyone vaccinated is an important part of beating this virus and eventually ending most of the risks that this pandemic poses. It is very easy to point fingers at anti-vaxxers and blame them for the continued spread of COVID-19, yet there is another very serious danger that stands in the way of making progress toward fighting this pandemic. That danger is people’s tendency to believe that once they have received the vaccine, they no longer need to worry about COVID-19. We are seeing this play out on the Brandeis campus, which fortunately has more than 97.1% of its staff and 94.9% of students vaccinated, according to the Brandeis COVID-19 Dashboard. We are seeing students no longer walking around with masks “at the ready,” some people walking past the sanitizing kit at the Hoot Market like it does not exist, while some other people have deemed it fit to host unapproved events in small rooms. All the while
we have students in isolation in 567 South Street and an expected but still concerning rate of breakthrough COVID-19 cases affecting vaccinated individuals. It is clear, as public health experts have always been saying, that no vaccine gives full immunity, but we are not acting like we understand this. The fact is that there are two components of this puzzle to ending the pandemic: the first being to get as many people as possible vaccinated, and the second being to ensure that everyone, including the vaccinated, remain aware that we are all still vulnerable to COVID-19. There is no getting away from this anytime soon; we need to do our very best to avoid contact with the virus regardless of our vaccination status. To forget the presence of COVID-19 in our community is a danger. It is bound to discourage everyone else around us from following the proper guidelines, exposing each one of us to contracting COVID-19. Public health experts have reiterated that absolutely no one is immune, regardless of whether or not they are fully vaccinated. Removing your mask, not washing your hands regularly and thoughtlessly engaging in acts that increase the chances of transmission has an effect that is perhaps not as great but similar to refusing to take the vaccine.
The opinions expressed on this page are those of each article’s respective author and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Justice.
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Editorial Assistants Forum: Anastasia Owen Arts: Amy Chen, Mello Wilsted Photos: Jack Cheng, Thea Rose Staff News: Max Feigelson, Ella Russell, Hannah Taylor, Ariella Weiss Features: Haven Dai, Josh Aldwinckle-Povey, Natalie Kahn, Talia Zitner Forum: Anastasia Owen, Samuel White, Vandita Malviya Wilson,* Reena Zuckerman Sports: Emma Ghalili* Arts: Vicente Cayuela, Zhongzhi Chen, Megan Liao Copy: Dina Gorelik, Rebekah Loeffler, Ella Russell, Ariella Weiss * denotes a senior staff member.
8 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 ● FORUM ● THE JUSTICE
Returning to Brandeis: our lives resume but our trauma persists By ABIGAIL CUMBERBATCH JUSTICE EDITOR
I thought I would be happy to return to Brandeis this fall. But as I drove to Theater Lot to check in and collect my dorm keys, the sinking feeling I had been experiencing all summer intensified. As the Department of Community Living student workers ushered cars through Theater Lot, many of them excited to see friends after a year and a half of virtual learning, I was caught in a state of disbelief. I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, this is happening. Everything is in person again, with limited to no restrictions.” The reality of living on campus during a pandemic hit me as one of the DCL staff members handed me my room key and informed me that if I did not get tested by 4 pm, I would have to quarantine myself for two days, whether or not I tested positive for COVID-19. When I arrived at the Shapiro Science Center, I was astonished to see the line extending down the hallway. As I fumbled to pull up my campus passport, I observed signs of the pandemic everywhere, from the masks we wore and being tested every 96 hours, to completing the daily health assessment. But I wondered, how will we ever return to normal(ish) after experiencing both collective and individual traumas? Mentally, I am stuck in March 2020. I vividly remember when Brandeis sent out an email explaining the decision to shut down campus due to the emerging COVID-19 virus. I still remember the sighs both my roommate and I simultaneously exhaled as we looked at each other with both confusion and fear in our eyes. For some, we simply cannot be thrust back into the ebbs and flows of daily life and expect to adjust at the snap of a finger, especially when many of us still grieve for the time, opportunities and people we have lost over the last 18 months. It was not until last week, as I was sitting bored in my dorm room, when I came across an article in The Atlantic entitled “What Happens When Americans Can Finally Exhale.” Journalist Ed Yong describes returning to “normal” as the following: “If you’ve been swimming furiously for a year, you don’t expect to really reach dry land and still feel like you’re drowning.” Last year, we generally worried about when the vaccines would be made and safely administered to the public. Now, even with the joy the vaccines have brought back to people’s lives, they are not enough to reconcile the many traumas individuals have experienced. Over the summer, the more I became inundated with commercials, posters and jubilant announcements that proclaimed that New York is back, the more I asked myself — back to what, exactly? The more opportunities I had to get out of the house and experience our post-pandemic summer, I found more excuses
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for staying indoors. I realized that the person I was before and after the intensity of the past 18 months differered entirely. Dr. Christine Crawford, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Boston Medical Center, explains this feeling distinctly: “When we’re thinking about the pandemic, for a lot of young people, this was the first time they experienced loss in their life. So, it’s almost like a test.” And this loss, while it can be interpreted as the loss of a person, also must be understood to include loss of time with friends and family. It includes the loss of personal and professional opportunities and, in some instances, a loss of self as we try to navigate a new semester where Brandeis looks the same — we look the same too, but we do not feel the same. Jean Rhodes, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts, remarks that
“Often when there’s an event of this nature, like a global pandemic where they may have suffered loss, it really does act as an inflection point.” For many, the pandemic has marred our perception of reality, in the worst cases demolishing any certainty and hope we had prior to the pandemic. If this is our inflection point, what exactly were we supposed to learn from this experience? Even as we are more aware of ongoing racial injustices, the tumultuous results of climate change and the dangers of COVID-19, our eyes are peeled so far back that it becomes difficult to see anything else. The repeated traumas never seem to end, but our period of hibernation has. So, how can those excited to jump into the new “normal’’ and others who resist the stress and anxieties both live more meaningfully during this time? It first comes
with an understanding that while this time may be deemed a “post-pandemic reality,” the truth is that many are still experiencing the compounded stresses of the last 18 months. Even if and when we reach an eventual “end” to the pandemic, many will still be experiencing its effects. As journalist Laura Ellis beautifully puts it, “...as we enter into this new time of partial liberation, we carry with us wounds that have not been given the luxury to properly heal...and even though ballparks, bars, and churches are reopening, that doesn’t mean the trauma experienced by many in the wake of this pandemic is magically healed.” As we adjust to a new “normal,” we should allow ourselves to experience the range of human emotions, and understand that where joy is found, grief can also linger. Not doing so would be a loss in itself.
Getting a driver’s license is a milestone for some By SHANNELL CIRUSO
JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Imagine that you are 16 years old and excited to get your driver’s license alongside your friends, only to be told you cannot obtain one. This is the reality for Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented journalist, and for millions of others in the United States. Vargas crafted a support system to bypass the system, but lived in fear every single day that his truth would come out. It is hard enough to be undocumented in the United States without access to many public services and benefits. A driver’s license would expand the economic and social prospects of individuals and families. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 250,000 undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts who are unable to obtain their driver’s licenses. The Center for American Progress reports that over 233,000 Massachusetts residents have at least one undocumented family member, and over 88,000 children have at least one undocumented parent. The lack of a driver’s license for undocumented parents ripples into the quality of life for their children including those that are U.S. citizens. The ability to drive is critical, especially where there is a lack of reliable and decent public transportation, like in areas outside of Greater Boston. Not only is it empowering to have the option to drive yourself to work, but having a driver’s license is a matter of both economic and racial justice, as well as community health.
Over 71% of Massachusetts workers over 16 years old drive themselves to work. Shortcomings of the public transportation system in Massachusetts limit where people can go and how fast they can get there. It eats away at the valuable time that could be spent doing other things like grocery shopping, working or spending time with their family. The IZA Institute of Labor Economics found that undocumented women were able to increase their work availability in states in which they had access to driver’s licenses. Undocumented residents would be able to spend less time on public transportation, during and after the pandemic, and more time working or with their families if given the opportunity to become licensed drivers. State driver’s licenses are often the primary form of proving identification. Having the ability to show proof of identification can be taken for granted by American citizens. Routinely, an ID is necessary to make purchases, pick up packages and participate in other interactions in society. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the top countries of birth for undocumented residents of Massachusetts are Brazil with 15% of the total undocumented population, followed by El Salvador (12%), Guatemala (8%), China/ Hong Kong (8%) and the Dominican Republic (7%). Denying driver’s licenses on the basis of immigration status further marginalizes people of color. Research has described how individual, structural and even perceived discrimination
against immigrants and their families can lead to deteriorated health outcomes and barriers to accessing care. However, after Utah began issuing driver’s licenses for those without immigration status, “...immigrant mothers who obtained them were better able to get adequate prenatal care — possibly because medical providers stigmatized their undocumented status less.” Having access to a driver’s license would also assist undocumented parents in their efforts to safely complete basic tasks that we take for granted, like picking up their children from school and taking them to doctor’s appointments or little league games. Women like Alicia Lopez, a mother of five, would no longer need to fear being pulled over for driving without a license. Undocumented residents would be able to open a bank account, provide proof of residence for their child’s school and have the autonomy to engage in their communities. As a California native, I was shocked to realize that Massachusetts does not have a form of legislation extending driving privileges to undocumented immigrants. 16 states, as well as Puerto Rico and D.C., have already passed laws granting access to driver’s licenses for residents regardless of immigration status. The state of New York, for example, passed the Green Light Law expanding the access of nonfederal-use driver’s licenses to undocumented residents 16 years and older after years of grassroots organizing. Meanwhile, organizers in Massachusetts
The opinions expressed on this page are those of each article’s respective author and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Justice.
have struggled for more than a decade to gather sufficient support for the law to pass in the state. Even Republican-led states have recognized the need for undocumented residents to be able to get driver’s licenses. After Utah and New Mexico allowed undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, uninsured driver rates dropped by 80% and 60% respectively according to MassBudget. The Driving Families Forward Coalition has been leading the way to gain support at the statehouse, and across the Commonwealth, for the Work and Family Mobility Act, the joint S.2289 and H.3456 bills that would grant access to a driver’s license in Massachusetts regardless of immigration status. Remaining compliant with the REAL ID requirements, the Work and Family Mobility Act would ensure that undocumented residents of Massachusetts can become authorized to drive in the Commonwealth. A legislative hearing earlier this summer heard the voices of many community members and advocates testifying in support of the bill, but there has been no movement to the floor for a vote. While immigrants and community advocates await a pathway to citizenship for those that are undocumented, Massachusetts must utilize its authority to extend driver’s licenses to all, regardless of immigration status. It is a matter of economic and racial justice, as well as family and community health. An important milestone in life should be attained by all, not just a select few.
THE JUSTICE ● FEATURES ● TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
VERBATIM | FRIDA KAHLO At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
ON THIS DAY…
In 2012, Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as the youngest man to serve as U.S. President.
Elephants can’t jump.
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Photo Courtesy of THE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAM’S INSTAGRAM
NEW MINOR ALERT: The Climate Justice, Science & Policy minor officially launched on Sept. 9, 2021.
Minor responds to “student interest and the Brandeis mission — ‘justice’” The Justice interviewed the Chair of the Environmental Studies Program, Prof. Colleen Hitchcock, about the development of the Climate Justice, Science & Policy minor. By JULIANA GIACONE JUSTICE EDITOR
In a tumultuous past year, among hot button topics (a global pandemic, a national racial reckoning and an onthe-edge-of-your-seat presidential election), stories of natural disasters around the world dominated the daily news cycle feed. From the record-breaking wildfires on the West coast to the “monster hurricanes” on the East coast, climate change is one of the most devastating and urgent issues of our time. According to Prof. Colleen Hitchcock, Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Brandeis, this is precisely the motivation behind the recent launching of a new minor called Climate Justice, Science & Policy. “This is going to be one of the biggest challenges students have to face as they go out into the world and having knowledge on the topic will be key to almost anything you might want to do,” Hitchcock said in a Zoom interview with the Justice on Monday, Sept. 13. When asked about the evolution of the creation of the minor, Hitchcock explained that it was originally “the brainchild” of faculty mem-
bers Prof. Charles Chester and Prof. Brian M. Donahue, who both proposed the idea a few years ago. But the minor, which was initially going to spotlight sustainability, pivoted to climate justice when Prof. Warner joined in fall 2020 as a full-time faculty hire. “With Prof. Warner as a full-time hire, we had an expert on climate science as a resource, with new courses to incorporate into the curriculum,” Hitchcock said. From there, the Environmental Studies Program was able to submit the minor proposal to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee by the end of spring 2021, and it was approved this fall.
This is going to be one of the biggest challenges students have to face ... having knowledge on the topic will be key to almost anything you might want to do. Prof. COLLEEN HITCHCOCK
The Brandeis Environmental Studies Program centers on an interdisciplinary approach to the undergraduate curriculum. According to their website,
this approach “expose[s] [students] to both the natural and social sciences, including ecology, physical sciences, economics, history and policy.” Hitchcock said an important step in the process of approval for the minor entailed combining insights from both the science and social science divisions at Brandeis. “You are getting both the science knowledge and relevant societal context and gaining the ability to relate that to policy action with the interdisciplinary aspect,” Hitchcock said. Requirements for the minor, which can be found online, include five courses and one professional development activity: • ENVS 39B Climate Change: Causes, Impacts, Responses and Solutions • 1 Climate Social Science or Humanities Course (with a Justice focus) • 1 Climate Science Course • 1 Climate Policy Course • 1 elective • 1 Professional Development activity (PD opportunities could include climate justice or advocacy workshops, training or conferences) “The idea behind the professional development activity is it’s an opportunity for students to connect with cli-
mate change issues outside of Brandeis — and not limit them to only what the curriculum provides. This also encourages students to network and build and develop relationships in the field,” Hitchcock explained. Hitchcock added that since it is often difficult to obtain an environmental internship for the applied learning experience requirement during their time at Brandeis, this would be a more accessible and flexible alternative to students. “The minor is a direct response to student interest and the Brandeis mission — ‘justice’ being at our core,” she said. Environmental justice, as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” For Hitchcock, applying the “justice” part to this minor will give students the tools to make connections between climate change and society’s major equity problems and provide an opportunity to put their knowl-
edge into action. Brandeis is displaying a commitment to confronting contemporary environmental issues involving the University, and they are facilitating student participation in the dialogue. In fact, student representation through the Brandeis Sustainability Committee — a subcommittee of the president’s Task Force — sparked discussions about integrating climatespecific curriculum and student input starting last year. According to Hitchcock, “the student members of the committee helped review the minor, create its name and sent out a survey asking students for feedback.” This feedback was essential in the process of developing the requirements and course possibilities for the minor. As chairperson, Hitchcock is hopeful in the growth trajectory for the new minor and the Environmental Studies Program in general at Brandeis. “We anticipate a high demand for this minor in the next few years because we’re facing the climate crisis together as a society — and we think it will be an attractive and expanding option for students, regardless of whether or not it is their primary field of study.”
10 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 l SPORTS l THE JUSTICE
Brandeis Women’s Soccer team kicks off the season with two wins, one loss and a tie
Photo Courtesy of BEN SEGAL
Yasla Ngoma ’24 runs with the ball down the
PROOF OF CONCEPT: Ben Segal ’20 and his team utifield. lized various software, hardware and prototyping hacks
Ruby Siegel ’23 passes the ball to a teammate.
By NOAH ZEITLIN JUSTICE EDITOR
n The Brandeis Women’s Soccer team lost to Clark University on Wednesday, Sept. 8, with a score of 2-1
Photos by NOAH ZEITLIN/the Justice
Brandeis’ Lexi Krobath ’24 makes her way down the field with the ball in the Judges’ game against Clark University on Wednesday, Sept. 8.
Makenna Hunt ’22 gears up to kick the ball.
Vol. LXXIV #2
September 14, 2021
Vol. LXX #2
September 12, 2017
arts & culture
Images and Design: Jack Yuanwei Cheng/the Justice
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, |2021 I ARTSJANUARY & CULTURE31, I THE JUSTICE THE JUSTICE | ARTS TUESDAY, 2017
Shang-Chi: Marvel’s response to Orientalism By MELLO WILSTED JUSTICE EDITORIAL ASSITANT
One of the concerns when a major American company like Marvel does a film about Chinese or Eastern cultures in general is that they will portray a stereotype of that culture or misrepresent it. In the past, white actors have been cast to play the roles that Asian actors should have played. Instead of being cast in the lead roles, the Asian actors were given supporting roles or extra roles. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings” does not do this. Instead, the movie takes its time fighting its cinematic predecessors and bringing Chinese culture squarely into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The usage of Mandarin in the movie was probably one of the more unique ways the movie leaned into the representation of China. The entire introductory dialogue is done in Mandarin and important conversations in the movie are also held in Mandarin — for instance, scenes where the father is being a good father to his children and when the mother is around are scenes depicted in Mandarin. When he is being shown as a conquering force, he speaks English. Also, several of the father’s henchmen are European to add to this theory. Dialogue — especially
with characters from the magical city of Ta Lo — about important concepts, fighting style, or the love the mother had for her children are said in Mandarin while ordinary dialogue is conducted in English. Another way that Chinese culture is incorporated into the movie is through the magical, protective creatures featured in the movie that all originated from various writings and visual depictions of Chinese culture and mythology. The lions from the movie are almost direct copies of guardian lion statues used in the real world as architectural ornaments. The horse creatures shown in the movie are Qilin unicorn creatures from mythology created as a response to the Chinese learning about giraffes. The nine-tailed-fox, dragon and the dijiang, a cheerful personification of chaos, are also represented. The evil in the movie, besides the obvious soul-stealer/ dweller-in-darkness issue, was Westernization. While the father was Chinese, he had made it his mission to wipe out the magical village full of mythical Chinese creatures. The village condensed representations of Classical Chinese culture and seemed to represent tradition and respect of the old culture. Ta Lo’s fear of outsiders coming in and not only killing them and their creatures, but
also releasing the evil they are protecting the world from adds to the feeling that globalization is creeping into traditional Chinese culture and threatening to wipe it out. The movie also shows the juxtaposition of the old Chinese culture from China vs. American-born Chinese (ABC) culture. Awkwafina’s character, Katy’s, family in San Francisco mentions some of their beliefs: “moving on is an American trait.” Her grandmother also often asks when Katy and Shang plan to get married, which represents the older generations’ wishes for familial stability. Katy, however, enjoys going out and being independent and irresponsible, which is seen as a representation of the new generation and the disapproval her family has of these actions. A side note is that we are introduced to Morris (the dijiang) outside of the magical town taken from his homeland and held captive by a great destroying force, almost like a cultural icon being taken away from his homeland. Feminism was another issue addressed in the movie. Katy tried breaking away from the stereotypes, as seen through conversations with her family and friends. Shang’s sister learning martial arts on her own and then building an empire and taking it over from her father also showed her capa-
bility and independence. This capability was solidified by the end credit sequence when she has entirely taken over her father’s empire and is teaching the women to fight side by side with the men.
Photo Courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS
DiJiang: Morris, divine spirit and descendant of the creator of the universe PanGu.
STUDENT ARTS AT BRANDEIS
STAFF’S Top Ten
In summary, I felt like the movie did a good job of proving, through the sensitivity they showed, that Marvel can respect other cultures and hopefully embark on a new decade of inclusive cinema.
CROSSWORD PUZZLE Across
2. What we should all say to each other at the start of this new school year! 4. Don’t have one! 6. Ages 8. A type of tea with a flowery taste 9. A soda for when your tummy hurts and what’s causing your tum to hurt in the first place* 11. Iron-rich, sweet, wintertime beverage and where you can find your homework assignments* 12. An orange blast with an indie band* 14. Some lack the enzyme to process this. 16. A foresty smell 17. __ + 5 = 7 20. You are 70% of this and what you agree to when you sign up for an app or website* 23. A operatic solo 26. A cola combined with a gynecological exam* 27. An abstract concept, except when you’re late for class 28. A calming liquid, or gossip colloquially
NOAH ZEITLIN/the Justice
Top 10 Broadway musical songs By JACK CHENG EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
These songs are from some of my favorite musicals. Some of them are well-known classics and others are (in my opinion) hidden gems. And, you can enjoy them without watching the actual performances. 1. 2.
Cats - Memory The Waitress - You Matter to Me 3. The Waitress - She Used to Be Mine 4. Dear Evan Hansen - Only Us 5. Hamilton - Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story 6. Rent - Season of Love 7. Phantom of the Opera - Think of Me 8. Wicked - For Good 9. Les Misérables - I Dreamed a Dream 10. Hamilton - Dear Theodosia
Down MEGAN LIAO/the Justice.
Image Courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS
MIRANDA SULLIVAN/the Justice
1. A tart summertime drink combined with a helper* 3. He has an upcoming movie about Bob Ross... woooow 5. How you may describe the “outcry” from an answer’s family in the wake of a conservatorship legal battle 7. A door hangs on these 10. Don’t make me say it... 13. Numerous 14. Don’t get caught making this! But drink up 15. Tie this to seal the deal 18. free her!!!!! 19. And now for something completely different 20. Don’t drink this if you’re under 21 ;) 21. A fizzy concoction 22. They come in many flavors at ball games and 7/11’s 24. How you may want your summertime beverages to be 25. Shvitzing, yenta, and mensch are all examples of words in this language
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