The Independent Student Newspaper Volume LXXII, Number 20
B r a n d e is U n i v e r sit y S i n c e 1 9 4 9
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Prof. Anita Hill the 1991 ‘Woman of the Year.’ By JEN CRYSTAL JUSTICE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
For the past 72 years, Time Magazine has named a “Man of the Year.” Beginning in 1999, women were allowed to hold this title when Time broadened its parameters to “Person of the Year.” However, women were still largely unrepresented in these issues — only 11 women were featured, and three women were named Woman of the Year prior to the 1999 change. On the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Time re-examined each year, starting in 1920, to analyze which women had the greatest impact on history — both good and bad — in the hopes of recognizing the women’s stories that had been overlooked. Prof. Anita Hill (Heller) was among these 89 newly selected people for her “courage to speak,” according to Time’s website. This “courage” is in reference
to Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas. Hill said she experienced this harrassment while she was an aide to Thomas, her then-supervisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Federal Bureau of Investigations’ background checks for Supreme Court Justice nominees are extensive, so Hill — along with many others — was approached because of her past, professional relationship with Thomas. In a private interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hill detailed Thomas’ alleged misconduct, citing numerous instances of discussions of sex acts, bestiality and pornography. When these interviews were leaked by the press, Hill was called to testify publicly before the United States Senate. “What happened next and telling the world about it are the two most difficult things — experiences of my life,” Hill said during the Oct. 1991 trial. “It would have been more comfortable to remain silent, but when I was asked by a representative of this committee
STUDENTS LEAVE CAMPUS DUE TO COVID-19
Prof. Anita Hill recognized for her ‘courage to speak’ ■ Time Magazine named
ANDREW BAXTER/Justice File Photo
RAPIDLY CHANGING SITUATION: University President Ron Leibowitz, whose office is housed in Bernstein Marcus (above), sent updates to the Brandeis community as the COVID-19 threat expanded.
Administration responds to Expert panel discusses COVID-19, classes go online See HILL, 3 ☛
voting in America ■ A Boston city councilor, a Massachusetts state senator and the Ethics Center Board chair spoke on March 9. By ELLA RUSSELL JUSTICE STAFF WRITER
The International Center of Ethics, Justice and Public Life hosted a panel, “Voting and Democracy in 2020 and Beyond,” on Monday, March 9 in Rapaporte Treasure Hall. The panelists were Boston city councilor Lydia Edwards, Massachusetts State Sen. Becca Rausch ’01 and Ethics Center Board chair John Shattuck. Scheduled panelist and mayor of Framingham Yvonne Spicer was unable to attend due to complications relating to COVID-19. Former Rep. Jay Kaufman ’68, MA ’73 (D-MA) moderated the event. Shattuck began by arguing that while voting is the cornerstone of democracy, the U.S. must “think twice when we claim the first years of our democracy [were] the most democratic,” since the only voters were white male property owners. In addition, growing diversity and an expanding voter base coincided with attempts at voter suppression, Shattuck said. Gerrymandering
■ Amid public health
–– outlining districts to disproportionately benefit one party or the other –– has increased over the 21st century. In 2013, the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision made section five of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. Section five required states with a history of racial discrimination to seek permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws. Shattuck noted that there has recently been a concerted pushback against voting suppression: The 2018 elections had the highest voter turnout in 40 years. Rausch highlighted key points of voting rights infringement. Unfortunately, one prevalent method of voter suppression is clerical error, she said. If the registration information of a voter is inputted incorrectly, that voter is not allowed to vote because there is no capability to register or reregister a voter on the day of the given election. Rausch noted that there is active legislation in Massachusetts to allow same-day voter registration. Another voting rights issue is the debate over how to implement automatic voter registration, Rausch said. She noted that in Massachusetts, people are registered to vote when they get their driver's license. However, that style of vot-
See SIPCHIP, 3 ☛
concerns, the University sent an email requiring students to leave by Wednesday. By EMILY BLUMENTHAL, JOCELYN GOULD and JEN GELLER JUSTICE EDITORS
In response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the University has moved its classes online and required that students who live on campus leave by Wednesday, instead of the previous date of March 25, University President Ron Liebowitz announced in an email on Monday. In a previous email on March 11, Liebowitz explained, “COVID-19 presents the Brandeis community with an unprecedented challenge due to daily changes in guidance from state and federal authorities and the lack of knowledge of the virus. It is clear, however, that we must take steps to help limit the spread of the coronavirus by reducing our density of population on campus.” In a joint interview on March 16 with University President Ron Liebowitz, Provost Lisa Lynch, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and Vice Provost of Student Affairs Raymond Ou and The Brandeis Hoot, the administrators all touched upon why there was a sudden change on Monday requiring students to be off campus a week earlier than anticipated.
COVID-19: Myths vs. facts Debunking some of the most common misconceptions about COVID-19.
“What changed is that it is changing as we speak,” Liebowitz said. He referenced Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s statement, which, among other things, closed Massachusetts schools for three weeks, in addition to information from Massachusetts State health officials that students should leave as soon as possible. Lynch added that the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center and the Library will be closed starting Tuesday, according to the University's Monday announcement, as these were areas that needed to be closed to help in lessening the virus’s spread. “People are saying go out and take a walk. Go outside, breathe some fresh air, but don’t do that in the gym,” she said. The gym will be closed for recreational access. “With respect to the library, it became increasingly clear that we would have difficulty being in compliance with the governor’s directive” in terms of people being in small enough groups spread across the library. The library resources will be accessible via email and Zoom. On Tuesday, the dining halls food service will be take-out only in Lower Usdan, Upper Usdan and Sherman Dining Hall, Uretsky said. The Brandeis Food Pantry closed Monday based on public health advice, Lynch announced in a separate email on March 16. Although there have been no confirmed cases of the virus on campus,
Senate discusses ‘uncertainty’ amid COVID-19
The 1995 film 'Outbreak' reminds everyone to wash hands frequently, especially during this time.
By EMILY BLUMENTHAL
By ELISABETH FREEMAN
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See COVID-19, 3 ☛
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A love letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren By REENA ZUCKERMAN
Coronavirus concerns cancel sports seasons
By SOFIA GONZALEZ Photo Courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS
there are “a number of community members who are under quarantine because they have been notified by public health officials that they had close contacts with a person being tested for COVID-19,” Liebowitz wrote on Monday. All of the affected individuals are self-quarantining, according to a March 13 email from Liebowitz. During the Monday interview, Ou explained the University’s planned protocol for how to handle a situation in which there was a confirmed case on campus, although there have been no positive tests so far. “We have been planning for this for quite a while,” he said. If a student thinks they could have been exposed to the virus, Ou said, the University would put this person in touch with the Administrative Director of the Health Center, Diana Denning. The Health Center would also consult with the Department of Public Health, Ou explained, to follow state guidelines and to make sure Brandeis is not handling the situation alone. Students are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, the current guideline, during which time Student Affairs will check on the student’s condition and to see if students need anything, Ou said. Ou added that once the school knows that exposure is possible, even before a positive test result, the University will reach out to others who may have been exposed to the virus.
By HANNAH O'KOON
COPYRIGHT 2020 FREE AT BRANDEIS.
TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020
NEWS ’DEIS CELEBRATES PURIM
St. Patrick’s Day parades have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns Several local St. Patrick’s Day parades have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, including parades in South Boston, Worcester, Holyoke and on Scituate St. and Newport St., according to a March 12 Wicked Local Waltham article. As of March 15, the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed indefinitely, as has the Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In Connecticut, the Mystic Irish Day Parade has been postponed with a rescheduled date of Oct. 25, according to its website. The Boston USA website recommends that, in lieu of the parade, those looking to participate in Irish culture look to other cross-cultural activities or traditional Irish foods in Boston. The Waltham Wicked Local article pointed out that St. Patrick’s Day parades have a history of worsening the spread of contagious diseases. It cited the 1918 Philadelphia parade to promote Liberty Loans, which led to the spread the Spanish Flu to thousands of audience members. St. Patrick’s Day parades first started in 1601 in Spain, according to the History Channel website. The same article reported that the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston was in 1737, more than a century later. —Jason Frank
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The Justice will not be printing for the rest of the year due to COVID-19. The next issue will publish at the start of fall semester.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS n The Justice has no corrections or clarifications to report for this week.
NOAH ZEITLIN/the Justice
HOLIDAY: On Tuesday, Brandeis students celebrated Purim, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rescuing of the Jewish people from Persian Empire official Haman. Above, students engage in Purim activities in Goldfarb Library.
SENATE LOG Senate discusses ‘uncertainty’ surrounding issues impacted by COVID-19: extended housing, communication, supplies In the Senate’s first meeting since the University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, senators discussed the Union’s response to “uncertainty” surrounding communications from the administration and how they could help students who will remain on campus. The Senate ordered 800 boxes to help students move out of their residence halls, which were all taken, Rosenthal Quad and Skyline Senator Leah Fernandez ’22 reported. Fernandez emailed Assistant Dean of Students Stephanie Grimes, who drove the BranVan to deliver the boxes to Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, requesting more boxes, but Grimes denied the request, citing a lack of need. The administration does not want to purchase more boxes than will be used, Fernandez said. Marathon, the period when clubs request funds for the coming academic year, will be extended until April 3, Senate Representative to the Allocations Board Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22 reported.
Appeals will run through next semester. Senators discussed “uncertainty” surrounding conditions and qualifications for students who have applied to stay on campus after Wednesday’s deadline to move out. The Department of Community Living has told students applying to stay on campus that they must demonstrate “significant need,” but has not laid out the qualifying criteria. DCL has been struggling to process the high volume of applications because “everyone’s in a precarious situation where they’re very nervous,” Fernandez said. “I think what we can really do is tell people that if they’re planning to stay on campus, they need to have a plan B, because, honestly, if anything happens, if there’s even one case, it doesn’t matter what DCL said,” Student Union Vice President Kendal Chapman ’22 said. Fernandez suggested creating a new feedback form specifically for students staying on campus. The form will be run in a
partnership between students staying on campus, Union members and administrators. Class of 2022 Senator Joseph Coles suggested that one senator serve on the task forces designated to respond to COVID-19, so that a student representative “will always be in the loop.” The Union has responded by increasing its volume of posts on Facebook and Instagram, and has sent several emails to the Office of Communication warning that it would post information on its platforms if the Office of Communication did not post it within a certain amount of time. Chapman said that the Union is double-checking any information it receives before posting it. For now, the Student Union Executive Board and other Union elections are on hold until the beginning of the fall semester. Chapman asked committee chairs to create a guide for their successors to facilitate the transition during the fall. —Emily Blumenthal
MEDICAL EMERGENCY March 11 — A party in the Science Complex reported feeling unwell. BEMCo arrived on scene and the party was transported to NewtonWellesley Hospital via Cataldo Ambulance. March 11 — A party in the Stoneman building reported feeling unwell. BEMCo arrived on scene and the party was transported to NewtonWellesley Hospital via Cataldo Ambulance. March 12 — A party in the Shapiro Life Sciences Building reported feeling unwell. BEMCo arrived on scene and the party was transported to Urgent Care via University Police. March 12 — There was a report of a medical emergency in Ziv 128. The party was transported to Newton-Wellesley Hospital via Cataldo Ambulance. March 12 — There was a report of a medical emergency in Ridgewood B. BEMCo reported on scene and the party was transported to NewtonWellesley Hospital via Cataldo Ambulance. March 13 — A party in Goldfarb Library reported having an allergic reaction. BEMCo staff treated the party with a signed refusal for further care. March 13 — A party in the Science Complex reported having a nosebleed. BEMCo staff treated the party with a signed refusal for further care. March 14 — BEMCo staff responded to a call in Scheffres Hall for alcohol intoxication. The party was transported to Newton-Wellesley Hospital via Cataldo Ambulance for further care. March 14 — There was a report of a party with an ankle injury on Loop Road. BEMCo staff treated the party with a signed refusal for further care. ASSAULT March 10 — A party was arrested near the Sachar International Center for a domestic assault and battery. DRUG VIOLATION March 11 — Department of Community Living staff confiscated drug paraphernalia from a party in Rosenthal North. University Police took custody of the item and compiled a community standards report. HARASSMENT March 9 — A party in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management reported receiving harassment via email. University Police compiled a report on the incident. DISTURBANCE March 9 — There was a noise complaint at the Charles River Apartments. University Police requested the group to vacate the premises without incident. March 9 — There was a noise complaint at Massell Pond. University Police checked the location, but the area was quiet upon arrival. March 13 — University Police responded to a call from the Charles River Apartments for a noise complaint and spoke to the residents. March 14 — There was a report of a loud party in the Foster Mods. Students dispersed upon arrival of University Police. March 14 — There was a report of a loud party in Ziv 129. Students dispersed upon arrival of University Police. March 14 — There was a report of a loud party in Ziv 127. University Police requested the volume be lowered without incident. March 15 — There was a report of a loud party in the Foster Mods. Students dispersed upon arrival of University Police. March 16 — There was a report of a loud party in Ziv 127. University Police advised the volume be lowered without incident. —Compiled by Noah Zeitlin
A JUSTICE CARTOONIST SAYS GOODBYE TO BRANDEIS
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ZIHAN QIU/the Justice
TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020
HILL: Professor was named COVID-19: ‘Woman of the Year’ for 1991 Campus community
CONTINUED FROM 1
to report my experiences, I felt that I had to tell the truth. I could not keep silent.” This trial was one of the first, and perhaps one of the most famous of its kind, Time said. The hearing against Thomas occurred during a time when people infrequently talked about sexual harassment, and when it rarely resulted in disciplinary action against the perpetrator. Although legislation that confirmed that a woman could sue her employer for harassment under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was introduced in 1977, this legislation wasn’t used in the context of sexual harassment until the 1986 Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson case, according to a Time article. Thomas pleaded not guilty, and although he was found innocent on all accounts and was confirmed to the Supreme Court, this hearing became instrumental in the fight for the recognition of women's consent within the justice system and society. Hill spoke up “nearly three de-
cades before the start of the movement that might have supported her, and spoke alone as a Black woman in front of an all-white, allmale Senate Judiciary Committee,” Time’s profile on Hill said. Time credited her with broadening the conversation about sexual misconduct. The magazine explained that in the months following her testimony, “Congress passed a law extending the rights of sexual harassment victims. And the following year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received a 50% increase in sexual harassment complaints than it had the year before.” In 1992, outrage about the results of the hearing echoed across the country and resulted in a record 24 women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, marking the largest number of women elected to the House in any single election. In Illinois, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the first Black woman senator in U.S. history, “rolled to victory in the primary over a Democratic incumbent who had supported Supreme Court Justice
Clarence Thomas, then won in the general election over an ex-Reagan official,” according to a 1992 article by Time. 1992 was named “The Year of the Woman” in Time’s “100 Women of the Year” issue. Hill’s “courage to speak” is still relevant in today’s conversations, with many crediting her with the creation of the platform upon which the #MeToo movement was able to develop and flourish. The starkest parallel to her experiences was when in 2018, Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their teenage years. “Like Thomas, Kavanaugh denied it and was confirmed, stirring up the same lasting questions about gender and power,” the profile said. “But as more women come forward and push for change, Hill’s courageous voice resounds.” “I really found my voice in 1991, and having found it, I won’t lose it again,” Hill said in a 2014 documentary, “Anita,” made about the hearing. “So when I say raise your voice, I mean raise your voice wherever you find it.”
‘2020 AND BEYOND’
ZACH KATZ/the Justice
DEMOCRACY IN THE U.S.: State and local government members gathered in Rapaporte Treasure Hall on Monday, March 9, to discuss democracy and voter engagement in the American democratic process.
VOTING: Ethics Center hosts panel of government leaders CONTINUED FROM 1 ing registration, known as front end registration, gives people the choice to opt out of voter registration when registering for their license. Other concerns Rausch highlighted were the implications of COVID-19 public health crisis on voting, particularly for caucuses, and the problem of when elections are held. She ended by saying, “We have much work to do. … We are certainly not as bad off as certain states and certainly not as well off as we could and should be.” Lydia Edwards highlighted the importance of local politics. She explained that there is very low turnout in her district — which includes East Boston, Charlestown and the North End — because many people have little interest in local elections. Meanwhile, Edwards explained that she and other politicians on her level “control most aspects of [citizen] life,… how [you] interface every single day, … [whereas higherlevel politicians] don’t come that far down in terms of your everyday lives,” so she found it “interesting to see such low voter turnout.” Edwards argued that culture and tradition play an important role in voter turnout, saying that Boston used to be run by large families committed to voting, giving them important power in determining the fate of a
candidate. Edwards said that she was not expected to win because certain areas of her constituency were heavily gentrified, expecting a certain mold of politician that she did not fit. Nevertheless, she was able to win by “meeting people where they are,” knocking on thousands of doors and listening to people’s concerns. She realized that in East Boston, the population is around 60% Latino but many did not vote because voting materials were not reaching them. She argued that the focus of politicians should not be on defeating Trump, but instead on speaking to “the issues in everyday life.” According to Edwards, some members of her constituency voted for her even after they voted for Trump in 2016. She remarked that it was encouraging that people are working so hard to suppress the vote, because it shows that Democrats are voting in large numbers and that the Republican Party feels are threatened. The panelists were asked about their opinion on ranked choice voting, and all panelists said they are supportive of this system. With ranked choice voting, if a candidate wins 50% of the vote, they would be declared winner of the race. If not, the people who voted for the lowest ranked candidate would be
transferred to their second choice. Rausch mentioned that ranked choice voting for statewide and federal elections in Massachusetts will likely be on the ballot later in the year. Edwards added that she is also pushing participatory budgeting, allowing people to vote on where to put their money. Shattuck said ranked choice voting can have a role in reducing polarization by compelling candidates to appeal to a broader audience in hopes of being a second and third choice. He argued that this would reduce the election of extremist politicians, who might be first for a particular group but last for everyone else. Kaufman added that conversely, voters can choose a niche candidate that most appeals to their views, yet they can also have a centrist vote as their second choice. In response to a question regarding student voting, Edwards turned the question to the students in the audience. One student pointed out that politicians often try to appeal to the youth through stereotypically youth based issues such as legalizing weed and student loan debt, but that students “are people too.[Students] care about more diverse issues.” Kaufman ended the discussion by saying, “If we raised any questions in your minds and hearts, we did a good job.”
reacts to everchanging situation CONTINUED FROM 1
All University classes will now be online, most often live-streamed through Zoom, an online web conferencing software. The University had initially planned for lectures with more than 100 students to be virtualized on Monday and the remaining classes to be moved online by March 26, but it accelerated the transition to contend with the growing number of global travel restrictions and to encourage students to leave campus sooner, according to Liebowitz’s Sunday email. To accommodate the large number of students taking online classes, the University has upgraded its Zoom software to allow 500 users at a time. In the Monday interview, Lynch shared that in conversations with faculty, she has emphasized that “we can’t try to set a standard for ourselves that we are literally going to move from an in-person, intense, residential experience that we take great pride in and move online and expect that experience to be identical.” She called on the campus community to be “a little forgiving to one another” and to recognize that staff, faculty and students are “building the airplane while we’re flying it.” Lynch also highlighted messages for faculty. Normal expectations for in-class work and participation “need to be modified” because students will be traveling and living in different time zones for the rest of the semester. The University is also “suspending all exams” through March 26, a detail of Liebowitz’s March 15 email that Lynch has called on department chairs and deans to reiterate to faculty. The University is working with Brandeis’ Center for Teaching and Learning to ensure that online learning remains Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act compliant, Director of Presidential Communications Terence Burke wrote in an email to the Justice on Monday. The implementation of online instruction is in line with a practice known as “social distancing,” which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Social distancing involves avoiding large social gatherings and close contact with others as much as possible to slow the spread of disease. All events and meetings with more than 20 participants will be canceled or postponed, and Liebowitz encouraged students in his March 11 email to virtualize any gathering with fewer than 20 people. Brandeis follows several other Boston-area schools, including Harvard University, Boston University and Tufts University, in moving to online classes and working to get students to leave campus if they are able. Lynch explained that, starting a week ago on Sunday, the University spoke to healthcare leaders in the Greater Boston area for “guidance and support with respect to the kinds policies that we needed to put in place at the University.” Although we are not aware of just how widespread the virus is in the Greater Boston area due to a lack of testing, “it is here,” she said, and experts predict it is likely that by the end of the summer probably 50 to 70 percent of the population in Boston will end up having coronavirus, even if most people will have no or mild symptoms. The University is trying to contribute to the effort to spread out when people with more acute reactions will need access to medical services. “In this way we hope to lower the mortality rate associated with the coronavirus,” Lynch said, referring to the effort that is widely known as “flattening the curve.” Leibowitz added that all of these
administrators are in touch with their colleagues at other institutions to “exchange information daily with them.” As of Monday’s email, students are now required to leave by Wednesday, a week earlier than the previous move-out deadline of March 25. This new requirement does not apply to students who received a waiver to stay past March 25 or who are waiting to hear back if their waiver application has been approved, and also excludes students who “can demonstrate that they have made firm travel arrangements for a date after March 18 but before March 26,” per Monday’s email. If a student’s housing waiver application is denied, they have until March 25 to leave. Brandeis will grant waivers to stay “on a case-by-case basis” for international students, students with on-campus jobs, those who cannot access online classes at their homes and students “for whom going home is not an option,” Liebowitz said in his March 11 email. In his March 15 email, Liebowitz said that over 500 people have applied to stay on campus past the original March 25 move-out date. This number of applicants has made processing requests “very difficult for the Department of Community Living,” and Liebowitz urged students who “do not have a significant health, safety or financial need to remain on campus” to withdraw their applications. Liebowitz encouraged students who need help covering travel costs to apply for a Student Emergency Fund Grant. By Monday afternoon, the Student Affairs team had reviewed over half of the requests to stay, Ou said in the interview. Students will be notified this coming week if their application was accepted or rejected. In some cases, the University may reach out to students for additional information to clarify their situation. Ou also noted that some students’ requests to stay are rooted in “extenuating circumstances.” He said that Student Affairs is looking to “help students resolve those extenuating circumstances, so they can actually go home” whenever possible. “I’ve never seen a community mobilize so quickly to help one another,” Ou said during the interview, adding, “That has been very uplifting for me.” He said that the anxiety of this constantly changing situation is “neutralized somewhat by knowing how wonderful the students are.” On Monday, University Registrar Mark Hewitt announced that early registration for the fall 2020 semester was delayed until April 20-24, and the Department of Community Living delayed the 2020-2021 housing selection process, which was set to occur on Tuesday. The University has “not made any decision yet” about the summer and fall academic terms, according to Lynch in the interview. “Hopefully, everything that we’ve been doing here puts us in a place so that we have an opportunity to actually be open in the summer and ... the fall,” she said. The CDC advises anyone exposed to COVID-19 to self-isolate for 14 days and to contact their doctors and local or state health departments, according to its COVID-19 informational page. To prevent the spread of the virus, people should wash their hands, avoid touching their face and practice social distancing. —Editor’s Note: This article is accurate regrading the status of how the University is operating as of 11 p.m. on Monday, March 16. The Justice does not guarantee that the University is still operating under the information presented in this article.
TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020 ● FEATURES ● THE JUSTICE
VERBATIM | MICHELE RUIZ If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.
ON THIS DAY…
In 1905, Albert Einstein finished his paper detailing his Quantum Theory of Light.
The name “virus” was coined from the Latin word meaning slimy liquid or poison.
Debunking coronavirus myths By SOFIA GONZALEZ JUSTICE EDITOR
The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been the center of public attention since the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China this past December. According to Johns Hopkins Medical, “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).” Most of the viruses in this family are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted from animals to humans. At first, it was believed that
COVID-19 was transmitted to humans via contaminated seafood at a market in Wuhan, China. Recent studies have shown, however, that the first patient to have contracted the virus did not visit the presumed seafood market. Since the outbreak began in December, there have been a total of 181,305 cases of COVID-19 reported in 155 countries, the majority being in mainland China. The United States confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Jan. 21 in Seattle, Washington. The person infected was a 35-year-old man that had traveled to Wuhan and had developed a cough and a fever prior to seeking help in a local hospital. From then, the virus rapidly spread across the country, with most of the cases
being linked to recent travel to affected areas. On Feb. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of community spread — meaning the patient had not been in contact with anyone who had tested positive or had traveled to affected areas — in California. As of press time, the United States has confirmed 4,392 cases and 75 deaths, with every state except West Virginia having at least one case. Several states, including Massachusetts, have declared a state of emergency in response to the swift spread of COVID-19. As a result, schools and universities have shut down, major cruise lines have canceled upcoming trips, large gatherings have been canceled and government officials have urged employees
to work from home if possible. On March 13, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and received $50 billion from Congress to address the situation. Fear of the virus has caused people all over the country to panic-buy canned food, overthe-counter medications, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and water, which has left most supermarkets and pharmacies empty. The uncertainty associated with the outbreak has also fostered the spread of false information about the virus, with people implementing incorrect preventive measures to fight the disease. Below are the answers to some of the most commonly held incorrect beliefs about the coronavirus and ways to dissipate its effects.
The coronavirus cannot spread to warm or humid places, so as soon as the summer season starts, the virus will quickly die.
The World Health Organization has established that the virus is likely to continue despite warmer temperatures. In fact, several countries — including Australia, Vietnam, Panama and Argentina — that are currently experiencing warm and humid temperatures have reported cases and deaths related to COVID-19.
Taking a very warm shower/bath or sitting in the sun for an extended period of time can kill the virus.
As the WHO points out, “the normal human body temperature remains around 36.5ºC and 37ºC, regardless of the external temperature or weather.” Thus, taking hot showers or baths and laying in the sun for long periods of time will not affect the livelihood of the coronavirus. On the contrary, resorting to these methods can cause serious skin burns and exposure to ultraviolet rays has been linked to other health conditions like cancer. The same concept is applicable to extreme cold temperatures: The virus will not be affected by snow or ice.
Pets can get and spread coronavirus.
While several social media posts have shown cats and dogs wearing surgical masks during their daily walks around affected cities, there is currently no evidence that these animals can get or spread the virus. Given the little information that is known about the virus, the CDC advises individuals with COVID-19 to “restrict contact with pets and other animals ... just like you would around other people.” Additionally, the CDC recommends that a person wash their hands after interacting with any animal, since they may be are potential carriers of other diseases.
Wearing a surgical mask will diminish the likelihood that you will be infected.
Surgical masks have become popular among the general public as a way of preventing infection. As infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner pointed out during an interview with Live Science, “the thinner surgical mask is intended for surgeons, because these products do a good job of keeping pathogens from the doctor’s nose and mouth from entering the surgical field.” When it comes to the coronavirus, however, only N95 respirators can fully protect a person from exposure to the virus. As Schaffner explains, these are a special type of mask that can only be worn for short periods of time because of the way it tightly wraps around the nose and mouth of the individual, often causing feelings of suffocation. While normal surgical masks can help those who are infected with COVID-19 reduce the spread of the virus through air droplets, the best way to avoid infecting others is to remain isolated. It is important for people to refrain from buying N95 respirators and common surgical masks, since this could potentially exhaust the supply and deprive medical personnel from having accessing to them.
Mosquitoes can spread coronavirus.
According to the WHO, there is no evidence that mosquitoes can spread COVID-19, which is mostly transmitted through air droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, mosquitoes are still carriers of other dangerous diseases, including dengue, malaria and Zika. As summer approaches and mosquitoes become more prevalent, the CDC advises individuals to dispose of standing water, close doors and windows whenever possible and consider wearing mosquito repellent in the outdoors.
Antibiotics can treat the coronavirus.
COVID-19 is a virus, antibiotics — which are only effective against bacteria — will not curb its effects. As the WHO points out, “if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you might receive antibiotics since bacterial coinfection is possible.” Unless prescribed by a physician, individuals should avoid using antibiotics, since misuse of antibiotics is contributing to antibiotic resistance, which is making bacterial infections harder to treat and manage.
Spraying yourself with chlorine or alcohol will kill the coronavirus.
Alcohol- and chlorine-based products can be used to disinfect surfaces, including door knobs, elevator buttons and furniture. Spraying yourself with these will not, however, prevent infection from the coronavirus. Instead, it can cause harm to your body’s mucus membranes, like the eyes and the mouth, potentially causing more issues long-term. Simply wash your hands frequently with soap and avoid touching your face.
Eating garlic will prevent you from getting the coronavirus.
There is no current evidence that would indicate that eating garlic can prevent coronavirus infection or transmission.
With fear predominating the political and social discourse, it is important to be informed about the properties of COVID-19 and do research to verify information available on social media. Per the CDC and the WHO, “the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands” and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes after coming in contact with possibly contaminated surfaces. As we prepare for a spike in cases in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security issued the following advice:
Design: Yael Hanadari-Levy/the Justice
• • • • •
Store a two-week supply of water and food. Check with your pharmacy about supplies of prescription medications. Purchase over-the-counter medications that can be used to combat the flu. Practice social distancing: stay three to six feet apart from others. Stay home when you feel sick.
Sleeping at least eight hours a day, remaining physically active, keeping a healthy diet, managing your stress and drinking plenty of fluids can strengthen your immune system and keep you physically healthy during this time. Additionally, make sure to take care of your mental health by practicing self-care and reaching out for help when necessary.
THE JUSTICE ● FORUM ● TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020
Jocelyn Gould, Editor in Chief Luke Liu, Managing Editor Jen Geller, Avraham Penso and Natalia Wiater, Senior Editors Gilda Geist and River Hayes, Deputy Editors Andrew Baxter, Emily Blumenthal, Gabriel Frank, Hannah Kressel, Eliana Padwa Yvette Sei, Lily Schmidt-Swartz, Judah Weinerman and Maya Zanger-Nadis, Associate Editors
Leeza Barstein, Acting News Editor Sofia Gonzalez, Features Editor Abigail Cumberbatch, Acting Forum Editor, Megan Geller, Sports Editor Lizzy Freeman and Jacqueline Wang, Acting Arts and Culture Editors Noah Zeitlin, Photography Editor Yael Hanadari-Levy, Graphic Design Editor Cameron Cushing and Hannah O’Koon, Copy Editors Frances Hoffen and Yona Splaver, Ads Editors Samantha Goldman, Online Editor
EDITORIALS Responding to the University’s COVID-19 policies On March 11, University President Ron Liebowitz sent an email to the Brandeis community outlining the changes the University would be implementing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The email came a day after the governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, declared a state of emergency following a spike in the number of confirmed cases in the state. This board sympathizes with the team of administrators that was forced to make these difficult decisions. A global pandemic leading to the widespread closure of universities is unprecedented, and entirely new procedures needed to be developed. University employees, just like students, have been inundated with constant news updates, and are not immune to the fear and stress that the world is grappling with. We thank them for placing the health of this community first, and wish them success in balancing their professional commitments with the needs of their families. In the meantime, this board would like to thank all University staff members for their continued work in campus offices, dining locations and residence halls to keep our home operational. We appreciate the risk that they are exposing themselves to, and call on the University to treat them with dignity and care — and consideration for their livelihoods — following our departure. We ask for measures to offset any work hours lost in the early closure and paid sick leave for all staff who need it. We also want to recognize professors, department heads and other staff for working to transition to online instruction rapidly, along with adjusting attendance requirements and exam schedules. University communication efforts This board appreciates everything the University is doing to manage the rapidly changing crisis, but we also recognize clear issues that have plagued the University’s communication efforts that have made the situation more confusing, stressful and chaotic for the Brandeis community. Liebowitz’s March 11 email to the community was long and unclear, leaving many students confused about the basic details of when classes would be in session and the future of the housing situation. The email’s concluding section seemed focused on encouraging students and faculty to maintain academic rigor and focus, with little recognition awarded to the fact that students’ academic world is about to change drastically, and that academic focus is a faroff idea for many students unsure of where they will be living in the coming weeks. The email also came after an announcement that classes were moving online had already been
posted to various Brandeis websites, referring students to read an email that was not yet in their inboxes. The announcement that all student club events were canceled — made in an email sent to the Club Leaders listserv on March 10 — was particularly destructive to student morale. Coming before any announcement was made about classes, the statement from the Department of Student Activities threw student life into chaos and panic. Additionally, only sending the email to club leaders — instead of announcing it in a formal way to all of campus — created unnecessary confusion among students, who had to screenshot and forward the email to everyone who was impacted by, but not included in, the announcement. Exacerbating this confusion, Liebowitz’s email the following day banned inperson events with more that 20 attendees, but made no mention of club events. This board recognizes that the University is facing a difficult and unprecedented situation, and we appreciate all efforts to keep us safe, healthy and informed. Moving forward, this board calls on the University to ensure its communication efforts are streamlined and clear, aimed at minimizing student confusion, uncertainty and panic. Housing issues: an especially uncertain time for international students Liebowitz also urged students not to return to campus after March 25 and explained that the University “will allow some undergraduates, on a case-by-case basis, to remain on campus in the residence halls” with appropriate permission from the Department of Community Living. International students, individuals with campus jobs, those with limited internet access at home and those for whom going home is not an option will be considered for extended housing on campus, among others. Students who wish to apply for extended housing must complete a form, which asks students to explain their reasons for staying in 600 characters or less. We appreciate that DCL wants to finalize housing arrangements quickly and efficiently, but 600 characters is simply not enough for many people to summarize their life circumstances. According to DCL, students who submit the form will receive further instructions in the next few days and will learn whether their application was accepted. However, on March 11, Student Union President Simran Tatuskar ’21 sent an email to students saying, “Any student who wants to stay on campus can stay on campus,” a message that did not completely align with what Liebowitz had outlined. This board acknowledges that this is a complicated time and it is
logistically difficult to make the situation flow smoothly, but for something as essential as the availability of housing for those who need it, all representatives of the University should be sharing a clear, consistent message. This is especially important for international students, many of whom are choosing to travel home out of fear that they will not be granted the extended housing they need. Additionally, because Brandeis has an international undergraduate population of about 20%, offices on campus should provide more guidance to students whose homes are in places currently experiencing a high number of cases, including China, Japan, Italy and South Korea. With the uncertainty surrounding the new travel ban placed on foreign nationals arriving from Europe to the United States, many students are concerned about the implications such restrictions could have upon their return in the near future. This board encourages the University and the International Student and Scholars Office to reach out to international students to highlight their options if they choose to stay, to inform them of the effects of policies being implemented around the world and to address misconceptions about possible changes to their immigration status. Expectations and requests for the administration As it is one of the primary, lingering questions students face, this board asks that Brandeis set a date to make a decision about whether to hold Commencement. Many other universities are treating mid-April as a point to reevaluate their campus closures and assess whether they should ask students to return. We ask that the administration set April 17 as the date by which the community will know whether Commencement is taking place. This would alleviate some uncertainty and provide people a month to make travel arrangements. In general, we ask that the administration make decisions about the status of summer programming — such as Alumni Weekend and summer classes — at least one month before they are set to begin. We recognize that these are difficult and complex decisions that will take time to make, but urge the University to balance thoughtful decisionmaking with keeping students informed as early as possible. This board also asks the University to restore April 11 to 14 to their original status of non-instructional days, as they were previously part of Passover recess. Many students and faculty have already made plans for this time period that would conflict with online classes. If the University is concerned about a lack of instruction days, they could
treat these days as “snow days,” or simply extend the semester by a few days, since the final exam schedule has been thrown into disarray regardless. Additionally, we recognize that many students who rely on Federal Work Study may not be able to continue working because of this situation, and we ask that the University continue to pay FWS students for the hours they would have worked, as Amherst College has pledged to do. According to an announcement on the Federal Student Aid website about COVID-19, institutions are allowed under federal law to continue to make FWS payments “under certain limited circumstances to disaster-affected students who are unable to continue working.” This board urges the University to evaluate whether it meets these standards and if so, to pay FWS students for the time they would normally be scheduled to work to help alleviate the financial burden of this sudden change. Expectations and requests for professors This board requests that professors understand the stress this transition continues to cause students and be considerate when taking attendance, assigning work and grading assignments. We urge professors to adjust their assignment expectations, deadlines and grading policies in light of the upheaval students are facing — and will continue to face — this semester. Although the content of most courses will not change with the transition to online instruction, the structure, comfort level and cohesiveness of traditional in-person meetings will be profoundly affected. Additionally, the material taught in studio art, music, theater and laboratory courses, among others, will not be maintained in online instruction. Adjustments to these courses necessary to accommodate online instruction will affect content, and therefore the ability of professors to adequately and fairly grade student work. Additionally, this board urges professors to consider changing the times and expectations of their class meetings to accommodate students who will be traveling to, and residing, in different time zones. Similarly, professors should recognize the last-minute change in the structure of spring break when taking attendance and scheduling class meetings during that time. Finally, this board thanks everyone on campus who is doing their best to contend with this situation and to support each other in the coming months. —Editor’s Note: A version of this editorial was originaly published online on March 12.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: THE STUDENT UNION’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 Dear Brandeis Community, The past few days have been hectic, and full of change and uncertainty. Just like you, we’re devastated that the semester and our terms are ending like this. This past week, however, has shown the strength of our community. Whether it has been contributing flight points, donating laptops, or helping one another pack and giving rides, you have proven what the core values of Brandeis are about. For this, we can’t thank you all enough. We are both so incredibly proud of how quickly the Student Union mobilized and unified during this hectic process. We would like to thank Union, not just for what you’ve done this year and what you were doing, but also for the immediate response to help the Brandeis community. We want to extend a special thanks to all of the members of our team who have
been meeting with administration, posting updates and working on box procurement for the past week straight. Thanks to you all, we’re able to end the semester in the right way and show some Union pride. The same goes for the Brandeis administration who in an unprecedented situation, have been doing their best to adapt and continue to support students as much as possible. We are particularly grateful that they have allowed the Student Union to act as a partner to facilitate voicing student feedback as well as student concerns. Both students and staff are struggling during this time and we appreciate their efforts to move classes online as fast as possible. We also want to draw attention to the fact that Brandeis is not closing, unlike many of our neighbor institutions. Drawing back to Brandeis’s founding values, this show of support to our students
across all demographics makes us proud to represent this University. In terms of Union updates, Marathon has been extended to end on April 3rd, 2020. All decisions will be made by the end of the semester and appeals will be occurring in the fall. The Student Union Treasury will be extending the reimbursement period, but please get in your forms as soon as possible by scanning them and sending them both to the Treasury and the Department of Student Activities. Resources to be able to support clubs during this time will be provided via the Club Leaders listserv courtesy of the hard work of our Club Support Committee. We will continue to update our Facebook (Brandeis University Student Union) and Instagram (@brandeisuniversitysu) with new information as we continue to work with the administration. Please consult
our resource guide and send in your questions to our ongoing form. Make sure to take the precautions necessary to protect you, your family and others. On a lighter note, it has been a privilege to be your Student Body President and Vice President. Having had the opportunity to have an influence and meaningful impact has made all the countless hours of hard work completely worth it. This experience has truly changed our lives, and has taught us both so much more than we ever could have expected. Please hold onto the positive memories as well when you look back on this moment of how powerful the Brandeis community is and can be. —By students, for students, Simran Tatuskar, Student Union President, and Kendal Chapman, Student Union Vice President
6 TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020 ● FORUM ● THE JUSTICE
The NFL’s new CBA is a risky proposition for play Judah
This is my surprise last article ever for the Justice. It’s been a pleasure to serve as your annoying columnist for the past four years. After all, everything else isn’t exactly hunkydory in all walks of American life right now, and our usual refuge of sports is unfortunately no different. The NBA is suspended, March Madness is canceled, the MLB delayed and the NFL is in no man’s land. But that doesn’t mean we’re wholly bereft of sports content. By this Saturday, the members of the National Football League Players Association will decide whether they will agree to a new collective bargaining agreement, which, if adopted, would remain in place until 2031. Over 2,000 players are voting on the deal under a “one member, one vote” system, meaning that hundreds of anonymous backups and roleplayers have just as much of a say as superstars like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. If this agreement is approved, it would be the most radical change to the fabric of the NFL since the league expanded to a 16-game season in 1977. In exchange for adding a 17th game to the schedule and a longer playoff format, a new revenue-sharing scheme will give a boost to most players’ paychecks and make life easier for backup players whose roster spots are always at risk. Currently, players receive 47% of league revenue. Under this new Collective Bargaining Agreement, that number would jump to 48% right away in 2021 and is posed to increase to anywhere from 48.5% to 48.8% if the NFL gets an expected revenue boost from a bevy of new TV deals with their current broadcasting partners. Although a jump of 1.8% may not sound like a lot, keep in mind that that little percentage is coming out of the staggering amount of money the league brings in each year.According to the Chicago Tribune, the NFL’s total profit was $15 billion dollars in 2018; the league expects that number to be $25 billion by 2027. At the start of the 2021 off-season, an extra $15 million would be available for player salaries, the vast majority of which would be added to the salaries of those players making the roster minimum of $480,000. Under the new CBA, that minimum salary would likely start closer to $600,000. If all goes to plan for the NFL’s profit projections, which would hit the
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aforementioned 1.8% kicker, the NFL’s salary pool would be a full $450 million larger by 2027. Additionally, any salary currently graded for a 16-game season will be adjusted to compensate players for the extra game played. All players on the roster for that 17th game will make an extra 1/17 of their 16-game salary. This new CBA also limits the number of off-season practices players can be forced to participate in and does away with suspensions for marijuana use. However, it does little to address concerns about how the NFL treats retired players, many of whom continue to struggle financially. None of these changes do much to help the NFL’s stars, whose maxed-out salaries will be completely unaffected by these new payment schemes. Instead, they will be asked to put their body on the line at least one extra time — if not twice, as many of these players are on the elite teams who will assuredly be featured in an additional playoff game — for no real gain outside a small boost to postseason pay. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has served as the most prominent face of the “no” campaign. In an interview with ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde and Mark Tauscher, Rodgers lamented the lack of thought many in the league were giving to the details of this new agreement, declaring that “unfortunately — or fortunately, however you look at it, — for the people wanting to push this deal through so badly, that’s kind of a win because nobody’s critically looking at this or thinking about it. They’re just like, ‘Oh, what’s my salary going to be? Oh, OK,
cool.’ Not like, ‘Are we taking care of former players? What kind of additional player risks are we taking on? What are we getting in return for that?’” Rodgers’ basic argument is that the addition of a 17th game and playoff expansion were never options on the table when players wanted to negotiate, and that they put players at risk for no real reason. Combine that with the lack of attention being paid to retired players, and you can see why a player who stands to benefit little from the salary changes like Rodgers would be frustrated. Other star players seem to be on the same page. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman boosted Rodgers’ message and added on his Twitter that the “Health and Wellness of our men is always the most important aspect. There is no price you can put on that and that is why I voted No. I respect the men that have been part of this discussion and stood up for their locker rooms.” Sherman’s former teammate, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, has also been vocally opposed, disparagingly comparing the NFL’s treatment of its players to the MLB’s and NBA’s and opining that “WE should not rush the next 10 YEARS for Today’s satisfaction. I VOTE NO.” Additionally, longstanding concerns over disability benefits and betting regulation aren’t addressed by this new CBA, and some players have made their displeasure known. Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid took a different route in announcing his opposition, choosing to instead highlight what he saw as these moral failings of the new CBA. According to Reid, “This proposal asks us
to give in on moral issues, like protecting disabled players and give in on economic issues, like gambling exclusions, and then lock those concessions in for longer than any deal in history. VOTE NO!” Reid is a role player not quite in the same class as the likes of Sherman or Wilson, but his ethical concerns cannot be ignored. However, his sentiments are hardly universal. Those players in favor of this deal do not have thousands of Twitter followers to whom they can broadcast their thoughts and feelings, and have no sports news outlets ready and waiting for their quotes. Many of them are willing to chance that 17th game if it means getting another opportunity to play and a huge material gain for themselves and their families. The average NFL career lasts about 3.3 years, a dangerously short tenure for a profession that takes a tremendous toll on one’s mind and body and comes with no real exit strategy. An extra $100,000 every year during that 3.3 year span might make the difference between financial independence and bankruptcy for some of these players. Like all labor negotiations, this deal is hardly perfect, bringing along a bevy of benefits to soften the sting of one massive problem. For all the spirited public opposition from stars, this deal might pass, powered by votes from their largely anonymous teammates who fill the NFL’s benches and practice squads. We’re saying goodbye to a lot during this period of quarantine and distancing – who knew the 16-game NFL season would be one of them?
A love letter to my senior Senator Elizabeth Warren By REENA ZUCKERMAN JUSTICE STAFF WRITER
I was 11 years old on Nov. 6th, 2012, and I still remember my parents letting me stay up to watch the news that night. It truly was a historic night as Elizabeth Warren, in beating the Republican incumbent Scott Brown, became my senator and the first woman senator from the state of Massachusetts. I became interested in politics at the age of six or seven by listening to National Public Radio in the backseat of my mom’s car. During the 2008 primary, I was proud to campaign for Hillary Clinton. It made no sense to me then — and I guess still today — that there had never been a woman in the White House. Although the Senate is not the White House, I was extremely proud to have Warren be the first woman to represent my state. The 2012 Massachusetts Senate race was the second most costly race that year, behind only the U.S. presidential race. This was despite Warren creating and Brown signing the “clean campaign pledge,” meaning that no Super PACs were allowed to put money into the race. The pledge is a great example of Warren fighting for the everyday people of Massachusetts, ensuring that special interest groups, with their millions of dollars, not be allowed to influence the election. Warren grew up “in Oklahoma on the ragged
edge of the middle class.” After college, she started as a special education teacher, though she was fired at the end of her first year because she was visibly pregnant. Warren then attended law school, practiced law and started teaching as a professor at Harvard Law School in 1995. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Warren created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama Administration. This was a culmination of her decades of fighting for working families and against the financial industry. After being elected Senator, she has continued to work on behalf of working families while sitting on the Banking Committee and grilling bank CEOs during committee hearings. On Feb. 7, 2017, Senator Warren started trending online and became a national phenomenon after the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, during which she tried to read a letter from Coretta Scott King. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to silence her and in doing so, created a movement: “She was warned,” McConnell said of Warren. “She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” On that day the country started to see her in a similar way that I did — a person who cares, and fights hard for families and the ideas in which she believes. On Feb. 19, 2019, Elizabeth Warren stood in front of the mills of Lawrence, Mass., the site of the Bread and Roses strike, and announced she
was running for the Democratic nomination for president, continuing her fight. The signature of her campaign was, “she has a plan for that.” She had hundreds of well thought out and clearly paid for plans for everything from a blue new deal to combatting redlining and from universal child care to gun control. Because I was on a semester abroad in England that fall, I was not able to help the campaign in any way. However, as soon as I got back, I started volunteering for my Senator. Over the course of two and a half months, I canvassed five times in two states, spent all of Super Tuesday texting thousands of people from all over the country and called about a hundred in South Carolina, Nevada and Massachusetts. I am extremely proud of the volunteer efforts put forth not only by myself, but also by my friends, Brandeis for Warren and so many other people who volunteered on behalf of my senator. Sadly, after a very disappointing finish on Super Tuesday, including coming in third place in Massachusetts, Warren ended her campaign two days later, on March 5. However, the legacy of her campaign and her ideas continue to live on. Just last week, former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed the Senator’s bankruptcy plan, which would undo a 2005 law that he strongly advocated for. Some loud and annoyed Senator Bernie Sanders supporters have told her — and sometimes
me over Facebook — that she should have either dropped out earlier because she was stealing votes, or that she should have come out and endorsed him once she dropped out. “Many have attacked the Massachusetts Senator for not dropping out earlier to endorse Sanders before Super Tuesday, where he fell short in several states. ‘We are responsible for the people who claim to be our supporters,’ she said.” However, I disagree. Warren has the opportunity to be a party unifier, enjoying support from both the progressive and moderate wings. Endorsing either Biden or Sanders would create a bigger rift within the party. Right now, the party needs to unite in order to defeat President Donald Trump. I turned 18 last year, and Super Tuesday was the first time I was able to vote. I was — and still am — proud that I cast my first vote for Senator Warren. None of my stickers, buttons, shirts or posters are coming down any time soon, though they have to move from my dorm room to my room at home. I am proud of her as a candidate, I am proud of her as a teacher, I am proud of her work to create the CFPB and I am extremely proud of her as my senator. Thank you for everything you brought into the conversation during this primary and I cannot wait to see what you continue to do as my senior enator and potential Senate Majority Leader. #neverthelessshepersisted.
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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Filseth*, Angela Self, Vandita Malviya Wilson*, Mehmet
News: Jen Crystal
Photos: Thea Rose
Sports: Emma Ghalili*, Jonathan Sochaczevski*
Online: Ruohan Chen
Arts: Caylie Jeruchimowitz, Huilin Li, Rachel Sterling, Mendel
Graphic Design: Megan Liao
Production Assistant News: Ari Albertson Features: Victor Feldman Photography: Thu Le Staff News: Jason Frank, Chaiel Schaffel*, Ella Russell, Hannah Taylor, Jackie Tokayer Features: Haven Dai, Talia Zitner Forum: John Chen, Leon Kraiem, Harrison Paek*, Trevor
Photography: Lauren Berk*, Haven Dai, Zack Katz, Vera Shang Copy: Anika Chakrabarty, Jane Flautt, Lynn Han, Raden Sorli Hawk, Jennifer Reznik, Ora Rogovin, Emily Shen Graphic Design: Sara Fulton, Shinji Rho, Grace Sun * denotes a senior staff member.
THE JUSTICE | ARTS | TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017
TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020 I ARTS & CULTURE I THE JUSTICE
Surviving ‘Outbreak’ By ELISABETH FREEMAN JUSTICE EDITOR
This might be difficult so bear with me, but imagine you are lying on a couch at home, practicing “social distancing,” with the option between writing a paper that has now received its third extension or watching a movie. I was supposed to cover an arts event at school this weekend, but unfortunately, it got canceled, so I found myself in such a predicament, and me being me, I thought, “Netflix is exactly the type of escapism I need.” So, I took to Netflix, and the very first movie listed, one of the top trending movies at the moment, is the 1995 film “Outbreak.” The premise is exactly what the title suggests: there is an outbreak of a deadly airborne virus in the United States. Sigh … come on, guys. “Well,” I thought, “I am a shill for sci-fi action thrillers.” So I watched it, and my verdict? I was thoroughly entertained for two hours, but I believe that it felt by-the-numbers. Before watching, I had never heard of the film, so I was surprised
by the star-studded cast: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Donald Sutherland. Even Patrick Dempsey played a minor role (“Outbreak” was a decade before his claim to fame as Dr. McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy”). Despite the star-studded cast, the writing and direction did not require these talented actors to do much other than to act ill, shout angry military orders at each other or make the occasional quip. Nonetheless, the actors were the strongest asset of the film, because their performances helped me care more about the characters. The problem with “Outbreak” stems from its writing. It has about as much nuance as, well, an airborne virus with a virtually non-existent incubation period and a 100% mortality rate. For example, the opening shot is the following quote from Nobel laureate Joshua Lederberg Ph.D.: “The single biggest threat to man’s continued dominance on the planet is the virus.” Really
makes you think, huh? In the film’s defense, it did attempt some subtext surrounding utilitarian morality — the question of sacrificing a few to save the majority. However, despite taking a strong antiutilitarian stance, the film itself felt utilitarian. I’d be surprised if the writing room wasn’t filled with screenwriting textbooks and a drawing of the threeact structure pyramid on a whiteboard because the characters had little (if any) personality beyond what their archetypes and the plot strictly required. Now, I’m going to make a transition about as subtle as the writing to what most likely made you decide to read this film review. I will say the following once, and only once: DO NOT COMPARE THIS MOVIE TO COVID-19! All of the comparisons that could be made between the movie’s virus and COVID-19 are superficial: they are both viruses, people are getting sick and scared and crazy things are happening. As I am sitting at home and not at school right now, I will concede that the current pandemic is an emergency scenario.
Photo Courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS
AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR: German director Wolfgang Peterson was nominated twice for the Academy Awards.
However, the epidemic (not pandemic) in “Outbreak” is a dramatized nightmare scenario — beyond anything we ever have experienced. If you want to make legitimate comparisons between “Outbreak” and the real world, look no further than one of the opening scenes. The mid90s experienced an ebola outbreak and was also in the throes of the AIDS crisis, so, to contextualize the severity of the virus, the viewer is taken through levels of clearance for viruses. The fictional virus had a security clearance beyond HIV and Ebola. Moreover, the effects of the
virus are similar to that of Ebola, and the virus comes from a capuchin monkey, which draws parallels to how monkeys are thought to be the source of Ebola and HIV. I will end my review here. The movie was fun to watch but not groundbreaking by any means. However, when I told my mom I would be reviewing “Outbreak” for the Justice, she said she saw it in theaters and freaked out during the scene when a man coughed and spread the virus over an entire movie theater, so I cannot call “Outbreak” forgettable. Take that as you will. Wash your hands and be safe.
Brave New World:
Society as a machine and the pandemic outbreak today
By JACQUELINE WANG JUSTICE EDITOR
“Brave New World” is a dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley back in 1931 when most of our grandparents were born. Yet, strangely, it is scary 90 years later. This book almost became a prophetic vision of what happened in some autocratic or even democratic societies today — the pursuit of utilitarianism and power play exactly as described in the book. In the world of fiction, everyone was genetically preprogrammed to fit in different social statuses. The lowest social class is given ‘lower’ intelligence and has to work in factories. The upper class individuals were described as being goodlooking, having (usually) perfect body shapes and being blessed with an affluent life. They can spend time going on vacations, taking drugs and having sex for fun. The higher the social status, the more intelligent and wealthy an individual would be. As readers, we are introduced to the story of a “savage” man, John, who came from the “uncivilized” area and interrupted the order of this new world. People come chasing after John; he brings huge fame to his friend Design: Jacqueline Wang/the Justice
Bernard, who utilizes him and brings him to the “civilized” place. John is even invited by the beautiful girl Lenina to have sex with her. In this book, everyone was chasing after his or her own interests — the only exception was John, and he symbolically died at the end. These “civilized” people, to some extent, were just wantons — they had desires but did not consider the reasoning behind their desires, only knowing to chase the strongest one. This is why Lenina invited John to have sex with her when she found him to be sexually attractive, regardless of the fact that there was a huge social status difference between the two and their sexual intercourse was prohibited. Lenina had followed instructions since she was an infant, and she essentially lost her free will to do things, without the ability to even try to gain it back. This small episode is epitomic, and from there, Huxley askes us a few questions. Why did Lenina choose to have sex with John (even though John later rejected her) instead of following the instructions that had been inscribed to her? Why is there a clear boundary between different social classes? Are social classes pre-determined, and are they
purposefully kept within a range by those in power? And the ultimate question: do people really have free will under this huge society machine? When this issue comes out, many of our readers will have left Brandeis or will be busy packing up their belongings on the last day they are allowed to stay on campus. Many college students, including those from other colleges, have been discussing the move-out policy and how much trouble it brought to students who are unable to go home or those that just have nowhere to go. Unfortunately, the problem does not just lie with the move-out policy. As soon as the outbreak started, the huge societal machine began running smoothly as described in the book. When the outbreak first started in China, local officials delayed updating information to cover up the inefficiency of their work. When the cities fell into quarantine, only the wealthy were able to purchase basic protections, such as face masks, at extremely high prices. Some poor people in rural areas even died without being diagnosed. When the virus spread across continents and became pandemic, we saw a series of similar policies enacted by governments, from calling on their citizens to be
Photo Courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS
DYSTOPIAN WORLD: ‘Brave New World’ is a famous dystopian story depicting future technological developement and a highly centralized government.
calm to restricting airlines from traveling to the main outbreak areas, and eventually to quarantine regions or even the whole country. Some people followed the initial instruction to remain calm and later failed to purchase basic necessities such as toilet paper. Some were afraid to go to hospitals because of the high expenses. We all think that we have the free will to do whatever we want, until we don’t — when we buy the pricey toilet paper just to go to
bathroom, when we are kicked out of our residence halls by an email saying ‘get ready in two days and I am sorry,’ and when we were fleeing from Wuhan or from Northern Italy for all good and bad reasons. Brave New World is a heavy book, an epitomic novel and a prophecy. We, however, should not mourn over it. But rather use it to warn us — to build up a more transparent government and to push forward social equality.
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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY... In 1876, Marshall Jones Brooks became the first recorded person to high jump over six feet. In 1932, Montreal Canadians center Howie Morenz scores his 334th point. In 2013, University of Mississippi beat University of Florida 66–63 at the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Ball Talk: the world of sports coronavirus
SO, WHAT IS NOT CANCELED?
■ The coronavirus outbreak has overrun the world of professional sports. By JONATHAN SOCHACZEVSKI JUSTICE SENIOR STAFF WRITER
MEGAN GELLER/the Justice
CANCELED: With the recent coronavirus outbreak, many sports seasons have been canceled or postponed.
What’s up with pro sports? ■ The coronavirus has one by one shut down the sports world. By HANNAH O’KOON JUSTICE EDITOR
Professional sports in the United States — tennis, basketball, football, hockey and baseball — are all being suspended, postponed, or canceled altogether, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Tennis On March 8, the BNP Paribas Open, located in Indian Wells, CA, was canceled by tournament organizers, becoming one of the first professional sports entities to cancel an event in the U.S. because of the coronavirus outbreak. Following the cancellation of the prestigious Indian Wells tournament, several other tournaments in the country have done the same, such as the Miami Open (another WTA Premier Mandatory/ATP Masters 1000 event), as well as lower level tournaments internationally. All Association of Tennis Professionals Tour events have been canceled or postponed until April 27, while the Women’s Tennis Association followed, canceling all tour events through the Charleston clay court tournament. While the ATP instituted a six week suspension, the WTA was more reluctant to enact a full suspension, and instead opted to cancel only upcoming tournaments. Furthermore, the International Tennis Federation has suspended all events until April 20, when the upcoming tournament schedule will be reevaluated. As of present, the next two Grand Slam tournaments — the French Open and Wimbledon — are still on schedule, though the start to the clay court season will be significantly delayed.
Basketball On March 11, the National Basketball Association announced the suspension of the regular season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Since news of Gobert testing positive broke, teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Also with this news, the NBA said that Gobert came into contact with more than 50 players and 15 referees, in addition to his own teammates and coaches. Since the beginning of March, Gobert and the Jazz have come into contact with several other teams, which is the primary reason that the NBA suspended the rest of the regular season until further notice. Though Utah’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was immediately cancelled, the Jazz had played the Pistons, Celtics, Knicks, Cavaliers, and Wizards. As a result, many members of these various teams are engaging in self-quarantine measures, as are various other teams around the league. Some view the suspension of the NBA’s regular season as abrupt, as most teams only have around 20 games remaining, and playoffs are set to start in April. Football After the National Football League canceled its Annual League Meeting due to the threat posed by the coronavirus, individual teams have responded, suspending all travel before the draft for coaches and scouts. As of March 12, teams including the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints have opted to suspend or adjust their predraft travel plans. Further, the NFL intends to evaluate their plans for the 2020 NFL Draft, with the league contemplating the state of the draft in the coming
days — though at present, the draft remains on schedule to take place on April 23. Hockey A week prior to this announcement, the National Hockey League took steps to restrict media access to NHL clubhouses, while players were brought to designated interview areas. Now, the NHL has suspended the rest of the regular season. On March 12, the NHL informed teams that the rest of the regular season was being suspended. Prior to canceling the rest of the season, the league had already canceled morning practices, informing teams that they should plan to reschedule games for later dates. While no NHL player has tested positive for COVID-19, the league will not resume play until it is deemed safe to do so. Baseball Major League Baseball announced on March 12 that the remainder of spring training in Arizona and Florida will not continue, thereby also delaying the start of the regular season. While MLB suspended all spring training games, games continued the afternoon of March 12. In fact, the league’s announcement came while some spring training games in Florida were in progress. Additionally, the start of the 2020 regular season will be delayed by at least two weeks, not beginning until after April 9, according to a statement from MLB. The season was originally scheduled to begin on March 26. However, with spring training canceled, MLB has not announced plans for player practices before the beginning of the regular season. Notably, MLB was the last major sports league in the U.S. to act in response to the new developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, following the decision of the NHL earlier in the day on March 12.
The coronavirus has taken over professional sports and everyone is asking questions: Do we cancel the season? Do we play without fans? How will the players know to shoot the ball if I don’t yell it at them? As of right now the NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NCAA have suspended their seasons — including March Madness — due to the outbreak. The first professional athlete in the U.S. to test positive for the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert. Gobert was incredibly careless, touching other people’s belongings, touching every reporter’s mic at a recent press conference, and intending to play when he was feeling ill before he knew his illness was actually COVID-19. On Tuesday, Gobert received his positive COVID-19 test results before the Utah Jazz were scheduled to play the Oklahoma City Thunder and the game was immediately canceled, as were all other games that were not already in progress. After Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, the Utah Jazz tested 58 people they believed to be at risk of having been in contact with the disease. The only person who tested positive was fellow All-
Star Donovan Mitchell. On Wednesday, the NBA officially suspended their season. The league is expected to review the suspension in 30 days to decide if the season will continue. On Thursday, the NHL also suspended their season, but apparently has no intention of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The owners believe that the season does not need to be finished. Also on Thursday, MLB delayed opening day by at least two weeks. The amount of money that will be lost by all of the organizations involved is staggering. Much of the teams’ revenues come from the playoffs that may be deferred this season. I want to give a big shout out to Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, for caring about the little guy. Cuban is working on setting up a program to make sure his team’s arena workers, who are now out of a job due to the season being over, are still making enough money to live despite being out of a job. Since then, several players, including Zion Williamson, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and others have announced that they are donating at least $100,000 to ensure workers will be paid for the next 30 days. I do not want to make any assumptions about this disease and whether or not professional sports will be back — quite frankly, everyone’s health is much more important. For now, keep washing your hands, stop sneezing in people’s mouths, and just try to stay healthy, people! Good luck.
Eurosoccer has ended ■ The recent outbreak across Europe has caused various leagues to cancel or suspend their seasons. By JONAH WHITE JUSTICE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread through Europe, soccer leagues all over the continent have paused their seasons indefinitely. The first major league to suspend matches was the Italian Serie A, which did so after playing a handful of matches behind closed doors. France’s Ligue 1, Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga also announced plans to postpone matches over the course of last week. The English Premier League appeared determined to not only carry on playing, but to do so with fans in attendance until Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum HudsonOdoi tested positive for the coronavirus late last week. Arsenal was scheduled to face Manchester City on Wednesday, a match that was set to be played as normal until Arteta’s case had been announced. Still, the Premier League hesitated until Friday morning to officially postpone last weekend’s games. By that point, several more teams had players self-isolating after showing coronavirus symptoms. The Union of European Football Associations Champions League played all four of its scheduled matches last week, but two of them took place with no fans in attendance. The UEFA Europa League played six of its eight scheduled matches on Thursday, though notably England’s Wolverhampton Wanderers had asked the governing body to postpone its match in Greece against Olympiacos, whose owner had previously tested positive for the coronavirus. Each of the postponed matches featured a team from both Spain and Italy, where travel restrictions would have complicated matters. Both continental leagues have since paused. The state of European soccer competitions is now the subject of much speculation, especially since the structure of teams and leagues is far more complex than any American sports league.
For example, the status of 2020 UEFA European Championship, due to take place this summer between the best national teams across the continent, is now in doubt. UEFA’s 55 governing members met on Tuesday via video conference to discuss the status of the league’s competitions, which are now likely to come into conflict with each federation’s domestic leagues in terms of who gets priority to make up its postponements once games are deemed safe to play. All of this leaves a plethora of questions regarding what may be canceled and how leagues will decide to conclude their seasons, if they are able to do so. In England, each Premier League team has either nine or 10 matches remaining, but Liverpool is on track to soon clinch its firstever Premier League title. Until the season’s status was in doubt, Liverpool was the champion in all but name, needing six points out of nine remaining matches to claim the trophy. Now, it appears likely that the iconic club’s long-awaited title may come with an asterisk, if at all. It is hard to imagine Liverpool not being awarded the title even if the rest of the season is altered or canceled, but whatever happens will have direct implications for the other competitions and next season’s Premier League. If no more games are played, and the Premier League declares the season over and the table intact as is, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City would be forced to play next season in the far less profitable second tier of England’s league pyramid, despite the fact that each club has a plausible chance of escaping relegation were the season played to its natural conclusion. The only certainty is uncertainty, and this unprecedented situation — both inside and outside of the sporting world — will undoubtedly lead to political wrangling and negotiations that may call into question the integrity of the competitions themselves. In the meantime, followers of European soccer may find themselves scanning the archives for their favorite matches of yesteryear. Mine is Chelsea v. Spurs on May 2, 2016. As we try to maintain hope during the difficult weeks ahead, perhaps it may be prescient to remember that miracles do happen.
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