The Justice, December 7, 2021

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The Independent Student Newspaper Volume LXXIV, Number 13


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, December 7, 2021


Waltham, Mass.


Students participate in Shabbat Across Brandeis ■ The Chabad Club hosted

the celebratory biyearly event for the seventh time on Nov. 19. By DALYA KOLLER


On Friday night, Nov. 19, over 250 people simultaneously sat down to 24 different Shabbat dinners across campus, participating in an event called "Shabbat Across Brandeis." "Shabbat Across Brandeis" is an initiative run by the Chabad Club, which was started by students in 2016. The event consists of students signing up to either host a Shabbat dinner or be hosted, with the end result being dozens of intimate Shabbat dinners run completely by students for other students. Anyone can sign up, no matter what their

personal experience with Judaism is, resulting in participants ranging from “students who observe Shabbat every week to students who have never heard of a Shabbat dinner,” as Chabad Club board member and "Shabbat Across Brandeis" coordinator Kyra Fischer '22 stated in an interview with the Justice. What is unique about this initiative is that hosts don’t need to do anything but host –– everything is planned and prepared by Chabad and the Chabad Club. Each host receives a personalized box of paper goods, candles, challah covers, silverware, tablecloths, flowers and of course, enough food for an elaborate three-course dinner. In an interview with the Justice, Chanie Chein and Rabbi Peretz Chein, the Chabad couple at Brandeis, said that the event was initiated by students who “re-imag-

See CHABAD, 5 ☛

BRIEF President Liebowitz announces anti-racism plans


FUNDRAISING: Students fundraised on Tuesday, Nov. 30 by giving out gifts and food in a booth in Fellows Garden.

University collects over $1 million in donations ■ The University collected

donations as a part of its annual "Giving DEISday" on Tuesday, Nov. 30. By LEAH BREAKSTONE JUSTICE STAFF WRITER

"Giving DEISday" has been an annual Brandeis fundraising tradition since the day’s founding six years ago. The day lines up with “Giving Tuesday” — described on their website as “A movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world” — which occurs Tuesday following Thanksgiving. This year, Brandeis raised $1 million and counting, according to Lindsay Roth, Director of Direct

Marketing and Participation in the Institutional Advancement office. While around one-third of these donations usually come from alumni, this year, “Current students also stepped up –– over 200 undergrads made a gift to Brandeis in honor of Giving DEISday, too!” Roth wrote in a Dec. 4 email to the Justice. Donors have the ability to choose where their money goes, including but not limited to locations such as The Brandeis Fund, which allows the University to put donations wherever it is most needed, athletics, scholarships, different schools and departments within Brandeis, clubs and more. Roth explained in her email that “the momentum and popularity of this event is catching on.” For example, the Intercultural Center “engaged donors for the first time and met their goal of 30

[donations] for their 30th anniversary,” Roth said. Additionally, she outlined that Waltham Group collected donations from their alumni network for the first time and the Athletics Department collected $150,000 — three times the amount they made two years ago. Lucas Malo, Director of Community Service, works closely with the Waltham Group and told the Justice that this year’s donors were able to send their donations directly to the Waltham Group. “By supporting our students, we are ultimately raising funds that provide programs, a diversely talented pool of student volunteers and awareness about our mission which has more benefits than we know,” he said in an email to the Justice on Dec. 1. The organization decides how to

In a Dec. 2 email to the Brandeis community, President Ron Leibowitz announced the release of a revised version of the University’s anti-racism plans. The website for this revision compiles the individual plans for each academic and administrative department along with a general overview of the University’s process in creating the plans and what the University hopes to accomplish. Liebowitz explained that this revision to the ani-racism plan was prompted by the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. Citing a November 2020 report, he explained that 130 universities are currently undergoing a review of best approaches for addressing institutionalized racism in academia. Along with Liebowitz, former Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Mark Brimhall-Vargas led the process for understanding and confronting institutionalized racism. According to the email, all departments “were asked to engage in critical self-reflection and collaborate with colleagues to consider how the policies, practices, and attitudes relating to their work have a disproportionate and adverse impact on members of the Brandeis community.” From these internal reviews, the departments drafted plans that sought to address the areas in which they fell short in addressing institutionalized racism. These plans were released for review by students, faculty and staff in November 2020 and then again earlier this semester. This newest release is the final draft of the plans.

Liebowitz stressed the importance of student input in creating these plans. The anti-racism initiatives used the Black Action Plan, a student-run program led by Sonali Anderson ’22 and DeBorah Ault ’22, for reference. The email notes that the BAP “recognizes and directs what necessary change at Brandeis might look like so that the University can better meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff alike.” Liebowitz referenced the history of student protest at Brandeis in 1969, 2015 and 2019 for a more inclusive environment. Although noting that each department used different approaches to their plans, Liebowitz identified common priorities and institution-wide themes. Liebowitz promised that Brandeis would focus on diversifying the University’s community through admission and hiring practices, providing training on diversity, equity and inclusion, increasing financial support for opportunities that benefit diverse students, faculty and staff and creating teaching materials and office resources to inform inclusivity. Liebowitz acknowledged that the anti-racism plans are imperfect and are considered a first step in confronting the racism “inherent in virtually all America’s institutions.” Looking forward, he said that each department would submit a yearly review documenting “progress and obstacles encountered.”


—Ella Russell

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Equity in STEM

Top 10 songs of 2021

 New initiatives focus on fighting racism in science and healthcare.

A list of the top ten songs released in 2021. By JASON FRANK

The Justice interviews retiring Professor McNamara



Self-care during the month of December




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WALTHAM BRIEF Author David Baldacci to speak at Waltham Public Library The Waltham Public Library will host author David Baldacci to discuss his latest book, “Mercy.” The Tewksbury Public Library, Wellesley Books and several other Massachusetts libraries collaborated in planning the event, which will be held on Zoom on Dec. 9. Baldacci’s new novel, according to the Waltham town community events page, tells the story of an FBI agent as he searches for his long-lost sister, who was abducted at a young age. Members of the public can register to attend the free event, which will take place over the course of an hour on Dec. 9. Those who register can expect to learn more about Baldacci’s novels as well as his nonprofit organization, the Wish You Well Foundation, which he leads alongside his wife, Michelle Baldacci. According to its website, the Wish You Well Foundation “works to support adult and family literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs. The Foundation makes donations to programs and projects that aid in this stated mission.” According to his website, Baldacci’s 40 published novels, most of which contain plots of mystery and suspense, have been published in 45 different languages. —Gemma Sampas

CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS The Justice welcomes submissions for errors that warrant correction or clarification. Send an email to editor@

Student Union hosts State of the Union address, reports on semester’s activities, future plans The Student Union hosted its semesterly State of the Union address on Friday, Dec. 3, at which Union leadership reported on their activities this past semester and their future plans. Numerous administrators, including University President Ron Liebowitz, attended the talks. Student Union President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 opened the event with a reminder about the Midnight Buffet, which the Union is hosting from midnight on Dec. 8 into Dec. 9. Sourirajan also said that the Union created an allocations board task force this semester in order to address club leaders’ issues with the allocations process. She talked about the Union’s other activities from the past semester, including organizing funds for the Thanksgiving Turkey shuttles and holding a food drive for the Waltham community. Inaara Gilani ’23 and Sonali Anderson ’22, the respective junior and senior class representatives to the board of trustees, said that they have continued working on the University’s anti-racism fra-

mework. Anderson said they will continue updating the framework as an “ongoing and living” document. Allocations board chair Emma Fiesinger ’23 spoke about both the challenges her board faced this semester and what went well. “We finally have a full board,” Fiesinger said. She also said that the initial voting for marathon had concluded, and that the appeals process had started. Co-head treasurers Amanda Schneider ’22 and Joshua Hopen ’23 talked about how the treasury has successfully processed hundreds of transactions this semester, including for the turkey shuttles, kindness day and a variety of other Union events. Schneider said that although she is pleased with how the treasury is operating, they are always open to feedback and suggestions from students. Chief Justice Eamonn Golden ’24 spoke briefly on the judiciary’s review of bylaws surrounding new Union members, and that they want to provide an intro to the Union for incoming officers. He also thanked former Chief Justice

Sophia Reiss ’23, an “incredible source of knowledge,” for her advisory role towards the entirely new members of the judiciary. Courtney Thrun ’22, the Vice-President of the Union and President of the Senate, listed the accomplishments of the various Senate committees. She referenced the Health and Safety committee refilling the condom dispensers and the Sustainability committee working to increase the Union’s use of compostable utensils at their events. Executive Senator Joseph Coles ’22, who spoke after Thrun, also emphasized the work of committee members. Shelley Polanco ’24, the undergraduate diversity, equity and inclusion officer, spoke about her work with the Intercultural Center, to improve communications between the Union and the ICC. Director of sustainability and climate justice Selah Bickel ’24 opened her address with a brief land acknowledgement to the Indigenous groups who previously lived in the area on which Brandeis now resides. Bickel con-

tinued that she helped bring in an Indigenous speaker who “debunked the Thanksgiving myth” and gave students an opportunity to participate in Indigenous justice. Additionally, Bickel said that she is working to ensure that all student organizations, including the Union, have access to sustainable materials for their events. Clay Napurano ’24, the director of health and wellness, said in his statement that he was working to make sure that the Brandeis Counseling Center is well advertised as a “robust resource for all students, regardless of needs or language.” Other executive board members and Union leaders gave brief statements as well. Sourirajan concluded the address with a summary of some of the Union’s work from the past semester, as well as appreciation for Union members. “Every day I’m amazed and inspired by the work of our student leaders,” Sourirajan said.

bulance. Dec. 1—There was a medical emergency in the Athletic Staff parking lot. The party was treated by staff and escorted to the Brandeis Counseling Center for further care. Dec. 2—There was a medical emergency on Loop Road. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and signed a refusal for further care. Dec. 4—There was a medical emergency at the Charles River Apartments. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and trans-

ported to a local hospital via ambulance.

Dec. 3—A community member reported that the catalytic converter was removed from their car overnight. A report of the incident was composed.

—Max Feigelson

POLICE LOG MEDICAL EMERGENCY Nov. 29—There was a medical emergency in East Quad. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Nov. 29—There was a medical emergency in Rosenthal Quad. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and signed a refusal for further care. Nov. 30—There was a medical emergency at the Charles River Apartments. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via am-

TRAFFIC INCIDENT Nov. 30—There was a report of a car struck in the Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex. The responsible party left contact information and a report of the incident was composed. LARCENY Dec. 1—A party stated that they were a part of a texting scam. A report of the incident was composed.

MISCELLANEOUS Nov. 28—A community member at the Charles River Apartments reported the smell of burning marijuana. University Police arrived on scene and were unable to smell anything unusual. —Compiled by Noah Zeitlin

This will be the last issue of the Justice published before winter break. Our next issue will be published on January 25.

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McNamara speaks about 35 years at University ■ The Justice interviewed

Prof. Eileen McNamara on Dec. 1 to learn more about her experiences and insights. By JULIANA GIACONE JUSTICE EDITOR

Prof. Eileen McNamara first joined Brandeis in 1995 as an adjunct faculty member while maintaining a full-time career as a columnist at The Boston Globe, where she worked for nearly 30 years covering a vast array of topics from the nightly police beat to Congress. An award winning reporter and columnist, McNamara won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary “for her many-sided columns on Massachusetts people and issues” in 1997. She began teaching full-time at Brandeis in 2007, and eventually became the Director of the Journalism Program, a position that she held until last year. She is known for her role in exposing “the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston.” Her columns about various cases of repeated abuse by clergy members, as well as her recommendation to Globe editor Marty Baron that the newspaper investigate these cases, led to the famed investigation by the paper’s Spotlight Team, which brought international attention to the issue and won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003. “Spotlight” (2015), the movie based on the team and their coverage, won two Academy awards in 2016, including Best Picture. McNamara’s authorship includes: “Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World” (2018), “The Parting Glass: A Toast To The Traditional Pubs of Ireland” (2006) and “Breakdown: Sex, Suicide and the Harvard Psychiatrist” (1994). ___________________________________ Q: How did you come to pursue a career in journalism? What did you study in college, and is there a professor who inspired you? A: I wanted to be a reporter since discovering in high school that journalism was a license to ask impertinent questions of powerful people, especially Sister Ann Dominic, the principal. I was an American Studies major at Barnard College where my advisor was Professor Annette Kar Baxter, an inspirational scholar of women’s history. She also paid me what I thought was the ultimate compliment, although I am pretty sure she did not mean it to be: “You write like a journalist,” she said. Q: Did you work for a newspaper during college — what was that like for you? A: I wrote for a couple of years for The Columbia Spectator, but writing for a daily campus newspaper at a big university was a commitment that meant skipping too many classes for a scholarship student. I got a job, instead, with The Daily News as their Columbia University campus correspondent and had the thrill of my first professional byline in what was then New York City’s largest newspaper. Q: Why Brandeis? What made you choose to work at Brandeis instead of other colleges? A: I began teaching at Brandeis in the mid-90s while writing full-time for The Boston Globe. I joined the faculty in 2007. The appeal and the strength of the Journalism Program here has always been that it is grounded in the liberal arts. No valuable news reporting is possible without the context and background provided by a serious education in the humanities and the social sciences. Q: Tell me a little bit about the variety of classes you have taught at Brandeis. What is a journalism class that you have particularly enjoyed teaching at Brandeis and why? A: I have taught courses on Media and Public Policy, Political Packaging in America, Opinion Writing, Report-

ing, Journalism in the 20th Century and Ethics in Journalism. I‘ve also taught a course in American Biography for the American Studies Program. The Ethics course has been my favorite because we wrestle with the concrete dilemmas journalists actually face in the field. We use real case studies so students put themselves in the shoes of reporters, editors and photographers. Our discussions are always spirited and thoughtful about balancing the rights and responsibilities of journalism. The conversation differs fwrom year to year as the particular challenges confronting reporters change, but the energy level is consistently high. Q: Tell me about a book and/or article that you have assigned to students that particularly enhanced the coursework. A: I assign Janet Malcolm’s “The Journalist and The Murderer” every year. It begins with one of the most cynical assessments of journalism ever written: “Every journalist who is not too stupid or full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people‘s vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.” It is my personal mission to demonstrate to my students why Malcolm’s sweeping generalization could not be more wrong. The journalists I have worked with all my professional life view their work as a public trust. Far from “the enemies of the people,” reporters I admire have devoted their careers to giving voice to those without one in the public square. Q: How have your experiences and skills as a journalist informed/applied to your experiences as a professor? A: The experience of having had editors kick my copy back for revision for decades inspires my belief that there is no good writing, only good rewriting. My students get that message early and often. Journalism is less an academic discipline than it is a craft learned by practice, even when that means trial and error. I‘ve had plenty of both, whether it was covering the Boston police, the U.S. Congress, a school shooting in Littleton, Colorado or a famine in Africa. Only a few weeks ago, when I wrote a column for The New York Times about the Boston mayoral election, I was able to show students in my Opinion Writing class how the changes an editor asked me to make in that piece made the column stronger. Q: What has been the most impactful interaction you have had with students? A: Finding legal representation for campus reporters and editors who faced disciplinary charges for quoting students who spoke at a public rally which the entire community, including the press, had been invited by email to attend. The student journalists stood accused of violating the privacy of their classmates. They had done no such thing. They had done their jobs. Q: Describe what the experience of teaching online during a pandemic was like for you. A: I was ambivalent about Zoom. I was grateful that the technology allowed us to continue classes without interruption, but I missed the informal interaction with students that you can only have in person. l live on six wooded acres in New Hampshire so I slipped photographs of visiting wildlife into random classes. The owls and deer and black bears distracted us a little from the limitations of a flat screen classroom. Q: How have you amended coursework during your time at Brandeis to coincide with the constant changes that the journalism industry is undergoing? A: We talk a lot about the collapse of the business model in legacy journalism and the innovations that will be needed to replace advertising as a main source of funding. But the te-

nets of responsible journalism do not change just because the delivery platforms do. Whether we get our news from podcasts or Substack or multimedia presentations on The New York Times website, the standard of responsible journalism will always be the same: verification, verification, verification.


Q: What do you envision/hope for the future of the Brandeis journalism program? A: Under the direction of Professor Neil Swidey, the program will be forward-looking, innovative and committed to attracting students from across the academic disciplines. A stellar journalist, Professor Swidey is bringing his ongoing professional experience into the classroom. He has already bolstered our internship advising and outreach efforts and expanded our course offerings, including a science reporting course focused on the pandemic. Talk about being on the news! Only exciting developments are ahead. Q: What will you miss most about teaching at Brandeis? A: My students. My students. My students. Q: What are your plans post-retirement? A: I have some book ideas that need much more thought than I have given them. Q: Did you ever become disillusioned with the journalism industry? Why, and what drew you back into it? A: Every day. There is a reason reporters call their newspapers “the daily miracle.” Under tight deadlines, journalists produce a snapshot of the world. These days, on internet time, that mission is more like “the hourly miracle.” It is not possible for that snapshot to be comprehensive, but it should not be — as it often is — distorted by the narrowness of our lens. Our newsrooms do not look like America. They are whiter, straighter, wealthier and more male than the population at large. That’s a big problem. Speed is sometimes the enemy of accuracy. The desire to give readers what they want sometimes conflicts with the responsibility to give them what they need. Trying to be fair sometimes devolves into false balance, giving equal weight to both sides of an issue when the facts rest squarely on one side. None of this is new, but in a time of such political division, it is crucial for reporters to be as thorough and truthful as they can be in order to counter the flood of misinformation being peddled by partisan players. Why do it? Because an independent and fearless press keeps the public informed and only informed people can act in their own interest. It is the best defense against political corruption and the insidious slide into authoritarianism that can happen when those with power feel confident that their power will go unchecked. Q: What advice do you have for students who want to pursue jobs in the media/journalism industry? A: Be curious. Study broadly and deeply, in an interdisciplinary way, during your time at Brandeis. Learn that history is not unrelated to economics, that literature has as much to teach us as the law about society, that psychology, anthropology and neuroscience all have insights to share about human behavior. Be humble, too. The world is a big, messy, complicated place and a reporter, on any given day, is one individual trying to make sense of a small slice of it. I kept this quotation by Walter Lippmann above my desk when I was a columnist at The Globe to remind myself that whatever I wrote should always be the beginning of a conversation with readers, never the end of the discussion: “What kills political writing is this absurd pretense that you are delivering a great utterance. You never do. You are just a puzzled man making notes about what you think. You are not building the Pantheon, then why act like a graven image? You are drawing sketches in the sand which the sea will wash away.”

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JOURNALISM: Prof. spoke about her professional and academic experiences.

BRIEF Univ. awards psychologist 2020 Gittler Prize In The 2020 recipient of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize, Howard C. Stevenson, received the award on Nov. 18, 2021. The ceremony and subsequent residency, which took place from Nov. 17 to 18, had been postponed due to the pandemic. The Gittler Prize recognizes “outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions” to religious, ethnic and racial studies. Stevenson, who was named as the annual recipient in 2020, is a “nationally recognized clinical psychologist,” according to the webpage for the prize. He is known for his research on racial stress and trauma, and is currently the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. He is also the executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Racial Empowerment Collective. Stevenson is director of the philanthropic organization Forward Promise, which “promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color” and aims to help them heal from the “trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization,” according to the organization. Stevenson also led two research projects studying mental health and racial literacy, and has authored the bestselling book “Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference.” The Gittler Prize was cre-

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ated by and named for the late Professor Joseph B. Gittler, and also named for his mother, Toby Gittler. The prize is awarded annually and each recipient receives a medal and a cash prize of $25,000. The ceremony includes a reception and a lecture given by the recipient. The residencies, which are typically two to three days, include meetings with students and faculty, class discussions, public talks and interviews. At his ceremony, Stevenson gave a lecture entitled “Crops With No Plow: Racial Literacy as Antidote –– Not Cure –– to Racial Threat.” He discussed how to engage with others during encounters concerning race as opposed to avoiding the difficult conversations. The ceremony took place at Rapaporte Treasure Hall in the Goldfarb Library. For his residency, Stevenson visited three different classes to give guest lectures: The Police and Social Movements in American Politics, Global Justice and Societies in Transition and Purpose and Politics of Education, discussing topics such as public policy and human rights. He also participated in a conversation and a workshop on racial literacy, a form of antiracist training, at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. —Isabel Roseth

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Students petition, demonstrate in support of dining workers ■ Students from the Brandeis Leftist Union protested with members of the University dining staff and created a petition with other campus organizations. By NATALIE KAHN


As the end of the semester quickly approaches and the holiday season is in full swing, there’s no shortage of events and festivities happening across campus. And, of course, what’s a party without food? Now, however, the question of who provides this food has become a point of contention among dining workers, students and the Brandeis administration. On the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 1, students from the Brandeis Leftist Union bundled up in scarves, hats and layers of coats and gathered at the bottom of the Rabb steps. Behind them hung a banner reading “Protect Those Who Feed Us. Support Dining Workers.” They were joined by members of the Brandeis dining staff, some of whom were on their shift break and still wearing their name tags. Demonstrators encouraged passersby to sign the “Petition to Support Union Dining Workers,” which was originally announced in a post on the BLU Instagram page on Nov. 21. “We have recently become aware that Brandeis University has been hiring outside contractors and temporary workers to cater events — workers whose wages and benefits are not protected by a union contract — instead of giving the jobs to union catering workers here on campus,” states the petition, which is sponsored by BLU, the Brandeis Labor Coalition and the Brandeis Nordic Skiing Team. As of Monday evening, 530 students and 14 student groups had signed the petition, along with faculty members, alumni, parents and area residents. Brandeis was originally planning on picking a food service vendor in spring 2020, but due to the pandemic, the contract with the current company, Sodexo, was extended two years, meaning that the school will be making the decision on future dining contracts this upcoming spring. If a company other than Sodexo is chosen, it will replace Sodexo as the vendor on campus. On Sept. 22 of last year, “Summary of the Contract Extension with Sodexo” was released on the Brandeis website, outlining the changes to dining on campus that would be made starting in fall 2020 as a result of the newly signed contract between the University and Sodexo. It states, “catering is no longer limited to Sodexo so that there can be more flex-

ibility in event planning.” According to dining workers and union representatives, neither Sodexo nor Brandeis notified them of this change. Due to the lack of events on campus last year because of the pandemic, it went unnoticed by workers until around a month into the current school year. Kevintz Merisier, who has been working in the dining staff at Brandeis for 10 years, said in a phone interview with the Justice on Dec. 5 that he was walking from Usdan to Sherman one night in late September when he noticed trucks from an outside catering company parked outside and saw people dressed in catering uniforms. This was how he first became aware that non-Sodexo workers were being hired for campus events. At the demonstration on Wednesday, Merisier told the Justice that the first time he saw outside workers catering events he was “a bit puzzled,” but his confusion turned to worry and anger as he started to see it happening more often. As a Catering Supervisor, one of Merisier’s main responsibilities is managing catered events on campus. He says that in prior years, he would get 10 hours or more of overtime a week through catering. This semester, with the return of inperson events, he expected that this would continue. However, Merisier says that he and the other Catering Supervisors are receiving far fewer requests for catering this semester than in the years before the pandemic, and when they do get hired for events, it is often just to drop off tablecloths. While he is still working full-time due to Sodexo placing him in various dining service positions on campus, which he refers to as “filling holes,” the reduction in overall hours has led to increased financial strain for Merisier and has led him to start working as a Doordash and GrubHub driver in order to pay the bills and support his children. Merisier said that he and the other workers, especially the catering team, are concerned about the long-term security of their jobs because Sodexo is actively looking for new hires to fill the empty positions, or “holes,” that are currently being filled by the catering and other Brandeis dining workers to make up for the reduced catering hours. “[Catering team workers] are fulfilling the role of jobs that are currently posted on the Brandeis website, as in, Brandeis is currently looking for other hires. You can see how once Brandeis hires people for this work combined with them outsourcing all catering work is a danger to current unionized catering workers,” Ellis Huang ’23 said to the Justice over Instagram on Monday, Dec. 6. Huang is part of BLU and is actively involved in the efforts to push back against the new catering policy.

When asked about these concerns in an email interview on Monday, University Services Jeffrey Hershberger told the Justice, “There is no job security issue here. The dining workers in these positions are not in jeopardy of losing their jobs.” In an email response sent by Hershberger on Thursday to BLU member Cassandra Anderson ’25, which he forwarded to the Justice, he spoke about the decision to make the change to allow for outside companies to cater events, saying, “The shift you are observing was in direct response to community feedback stating the desire to seek and utilize third-party service providers.” The demands listed in the petition are directed to the University, Hershberger and University President Ron Liebowitz. They include pledging to utilize the current unionized workers, rather than non-union workers from outside companies, for all catering, dining and event services and changing the dining contract to make catering exclusive to the Brandeis dining staff. The other two demands are less specific to the issue of catering and ask that the University guarantee the current dining service workers job security and continue to honor their union contract whether or not it decides to change contractors. However, the union contract currently in place and effective through June 2024 is between Sodexo and UNITE HERE Local 26, the union that all Brandeis dining workers belong to. Brandeis does not sign onto this contract. According to the text of the petition, the union that the dining workers are part of cannot directly influence the University’s decisionmaking because it is only able to negotiate with Sodexo, not the school. It goes on to say, “As students, we are uniquely positioned to influence Brandeis’ decision making, as we are the ones who pay tuition.” Speaking to the Justice on Sunday — her 21st anniversary as a Brandeis dining worker — Lucia Hsiung said that many members of the dining staff have not yet realized that this change has occurred or haven’t recognized it as a serious issue. However, she says that if catering continues to be outsourced, the current dining workers will lose “big, big business.” In his email to Anderson, Hershberger explained, “It has been proposed and outlined in the current Dining Services RFP that future catering (commencing July 12, 2022) be primarily exclusive to the oncampus food services provider. Purchases or food orders that total $250 or less would be permitted to seek services from a third-party provider, no strings attached.” In his follow-up email to the Justice, he said that “primarily exclusive” means that while the University will encourage groups to utilize the company that Brandeis selects



SUPPORT DINING WORKERS: Members of the University dining staff attend the campus demonstration.



PETITION: A student passes out flyers with a QR code linked to the petition. for campus dining services to cater events, the proposed RFP states that “Brandeis reserves the right to engage other sources for catering services in the case of meals to support cultural events when the awarded Bidder is unable to satisfactorily fill the need.” During the phone interview with the Justice on Sunday, Merisier said that when it comes to cultural events, the catering team is open to requests for all types of food and has consistently been able to successfully fulfill these requests. He said that before September 2020, campus groups were able to request “waiver vouchers” that, when granted, allowed them to utilize outside vendors to cater events. When asked about his response to potential concerns from students regarding limited options at the demonstration on Wednesday, Merisier said, “We’re open to any and every conversation. We're always open for feedback from students, clients, staff — we're open for anything, but the resolution we want is to have our

jobs back.” Speaking to the Justice at Wednesday’s demonstration, BLU member Phoebe Ogun ’25 asked of Brandeis students, “Please join us in the fight to stand with the dining workers and to stand with other workers who are being exploited or underpaid or mistreated by Brandeis. Let’s stand with them and let’s stand together so that we can make Brandeis a better place.” Josh Benson ’23, a leading organizer for the BLU, said that by supporting the current dining workers petition and other efforts to support workers and labor unions at Brandeis (including the ongoing effort to push for higher pay for library workers), students are helping to build “popular power” on campus that will allow them to push the administration to address issues such as student-worker wages and poor residence hall conditions. “As a student, you should not see yourself separate from labor, but totally conjoined to it. And this is your fight, too,” Benson said.



PROTEST: Students in the Brandeis Leftist Union gather to support the union dining workers.




CHABAD: Campus community DONATIONS: 2021 Giving DEISday joins to celebrate Shabbat CONTINUED FROM 1

CONTINUED FROM 1 ined the Shabbat dinner experience at Chabad –– that would reach a few hundred students in new ways –– and reflect a value of Chabad, Ufaratzta, which means to disrupt the familiar routine." In this case, Chanie said, “the familiar rhythm of Shabbat dinner at Chabad.” This year, at the seventh "Shabbat Across Brandeis" event, 54 people signed up to host meals and 196 people signed up to be hosted. The goal of "Shabbat Across Brandeis" according to Fischer and the rest of the Chabad Club board, “is to empower you to engage with Shabbat in a meaningful and delicious way, by encouraging you to thoughtfully create your own Shabbat experience amongst friends and with those whom you meet at Shab-

bat dinner.” The Cheins told the Justice that the event grants the opportunity to anyone who wants to experience Shabbat “in a smaller setting that nurtures intimacy and deeper interpersonal connections” and provides a chance to meet new people and foster new friendships. The Chein family outlined their goals for the hosts as giving students the opportunity to “design and lead a multi-faceted Shabbat dinner experience for their peers” and allows them to practice hosting Shabbat dinners on their own in preparation for life outside of college. This, according to the Cheins, “reflects a core value of Chabad at Brandeis –– where we foster independence and a maturing relationship with Judaism.” Fischer said her hope, after the event, is that “people left this event wanting to experience Shabbat again and wanting to perhaps host

their own Shabbat dinners in the future.” Rabbi Chein walked around campus, visiting many of the dinners as they were occurring, and said he was able to truly witness the impact the dinners had on the students. After all the dinners concluded, each group met at the Chabad House to come together for a dessert buffet. Fischer loved being able to see “the many people who participated in this experience and how happy they were … people were laughing and exchanging stories from their dinner meals.” Rabbi and Mrs. Chein and the Chabad Club Board continued to hear anecdotes and feedback from students throughout the week, from guests and hosts alike, expressing gratitude for the experience and sharing stories about new friendships and meaningful connections.


allocate the donations, and for the Waltham Group, one of the greatest need areas is “funds to provide scholarships/stipends to students who want to volunteer, but may have financial barriers that prevent them from fully engaging,” Malo said. Regardless of where the money collected is going, Roth stressed that each donation counts, whether it be $5 or $100,000. “Giving DEISday is important because it showcases the impact of the group,” she said. In his email, Malo recognized that there is more to fundraising than money and wrote that people can make contributions to organizations in ways besides making a monetary donation. Fundraising offers an opportunity for people to share their stories. “As we explore giving, we often have to explore our values and experiences and when members of our community share stories, this helps to spread awareness about the experiences, organizational goals and community needs,” Malo explained. One less discussed aspect of

"Giving DEISday" relates to how individuals are impacted by the day in a different way than benefiting from the funds. “In the Department of Community Service one of our learning outcomes is ‘Reflective Thinking’ and I truly believe that the day provides an intentional moment for members of our community to reflect on their growth and experiences that Brandeis offered or facilitated,” Malo said. An additional benefit of "Giving DEISday" is the recognition of Brandeis’ strong community, Roth pointed out. “It is such an important reminder that Brandeis is a global community extending far beyond the Waltham campus and is not limited to students or alumni. It's families. And friends. And faculty and staff. And they all care a whole heck of a lot about keeping Brandeis around for future generations to come, which is what this event is all about!” she said. While "Giving DEISday" is over for this year, the University is still accepting donations. Visit for more information.

Do you have a nose for news? Photo Courtesy of THE CHABAD CLUB

SHABBAT: Rabbi Chein and students helped prepare for the campus wide Shabbat dinner.



To celebrate 8 nights of Hannukah, students set up and lit menorahs in the Shapiro Campus Center.

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Contact Jacklyn Goloborodsky and Hannah Taylor at







VERBATIM | JANELLE MONÁE It’s a big universe. To stay in one tiny place is doing a disservice to yourself.



On Dec. 7, 1995, American rock band The Grateful Dead broke up.

Made up of 60% fat, the brain is the fattiest organ in the human body.

Despite progress towards equity in the sciences, there’s still a long way to go The Justice interviewed the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students and the Anti-Racism Alliance in the Sciences about the recent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives and ways that DEI efforts can be elevated in the future.


This semester, Brandeis PreHealth Advising launched several initiatives that incorporated student contributions and institutional collaboration in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work for the department. These initiatives included releasing an anti-racism statement in addition to an amendable Black Action Plan (both of which were based on student feedback) and forming a discussion group on social justice in healthcare in collaboration with the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students. In an op-ed published in EdSurge, a nonprofit membership organization for educators dedicated to providing independent news and research, Sana Shaikh, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program manager at the education company Curriculum Associates, identifies critical ways educators and institutions must address DEI work. These include being clear about the progress, goals and strategic metrics involved in DEI work, incorporating student voices into decisions and honoring the knowledge and expertise of Black, Indigenous and people of color in the development of school-wide DEI initiatives. “We wanted to commit to

equity, but we had to ask ourselves if we were really doing the hard work it takes to achieve it,” she said. In a Dec. 3 Zoom interview with the Justice, MAPS Co-President Mariuxi Diaz-Rodriguez ’22 described the success of the discussion group initiative. “It’s a unique initiative,” she said. “There aren’t many things on campus like it, where BIPOC students can just come together to talk about these issues of race that relate to current events and what’s happening around the country with health and medicine.” According to its website, MAPS “aims to provide underrepresented pre-med students with knowledge, skills and experience … through workshops and community building.” DiazRodriguez explained that when the pandemic hit last year MAPS faced difficulties with visibility among the student body and had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Pre-Health Advising, in partnership with MAPS, has held monthly discussion group meetings at the Intercultural Center since September, which will continue through the spring 2022 semester. At these meetings, members form


MAPS: The club’s e-board poses at at the club fair in fall 2021.

Design: Natalie Kahn/the Justice

groups and talk about social justice and equity issues in healthcare. Discussions are based on selected episodes from a podcast series called “Antiracism in Medicine.” Students listen to the podcast independently and discuss the selected episodes at the monthly meetings with MAPS leaders and the rest of their small group. For Diaz-Rodriguez, the podcast format proved to be a perfect platform for facilitating student discussion: “The podcast is more effective in that the series we are listening to in particular, provides a lot of guest speakers, different perspectives and covers a wide variety of topics,” she said. “And the fact that it’s a podcast is super convenient and accessible because, at the end of the day, we’re college students — nobody has time to read a 100 page paper or watch a two-hour movie.” The group’s listening material and discussions were centered around police violence related to health, inequities in health care created or exacerbated by the pandemic, as well as issues surrounding “race-based medicine” and how to dismantle it. Diaz-Rodriguez defined “racebased medicine” as the practice

of healthcare professionals taking into consideration a patient’s race, which can range from structurally correcting clinical algorithms to make note of race to acknowledging the impact of race on a patient’s health to evaluate possible treatments in a clinical study. While the events that MAPS hosts are primarily intended for minority students, the podcast discussion group is open to any Brandeis student who wants to participate. Diaz-Rodriguez explained that the DEI initiative has caused MAPS to rethink and expand their definition of “minority” beyond race to include members of the LGBTQ+ community. “When I was a [firstyear] the advice and mentorship that I got from older students [in MAPS] was essential for me. Just letting these minority students know, ‘Yes, STEM is hard, but you have a goal and we’ve all been through it and these are the tools that you can take in order to succeed’ — that has been the part that is the most rewarding for me,” Diaz-Rodriguez said. While MAPS’ collaborations with pre-health administration and DEI initiatives had a successful turnout and featured growing cooperation between students and faculty, some campus organizations remain unsatisfied with the University’s commitment to DEI. One of these groups is the Anti-Racism Alliance in the Sciences. ARAS is an activist “collective of current and former Brandeis students working to promote a culture of inclusive excellence and advance structural changes toward diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), justice and healthy workspaces” in the STEM departments at Brandeis. “We have tried to work with the Science Division to organize an interdepartmental seminar series but have been frustrated by a tepid response from most Division faculty and leadership,” said ARAS representatives Fox Baudelaire ’20 and Ph.D. candidates Rabia Anjum and Anna Henkin in a Dec. 5 email to the Justice. While they commended the work that studentled groups like MAPS have done “to increase access to opportunities to students of underrepresented backgrounds,” they wrote in their email that the Science Division and the University as a whole have not adequately prioritized the institutional advancement of anti-racist work and the development of DEI infrastructure. According to ARAS, the biggest risk that comes with a lack of engagement with DEI is the continued belief in the myth of meritocracy (the idea that underrepresentation in science is connected not to larger inequalities or systemic dysfunction, but to a lack of ability or intelligence in individuals who do not find success). ARAS representatives say that because of this false narrative, systemic injustices in

the medical field persist in a “cycle of denial and self-justification.” Within the sciences in particular, they said there are “unique structural problems and cultural attitudes that need tailored solutions for the discipline as a whole,” as minorities face egregious struggles in the field. ARAS stated in their email that the bottlenecks that threaten progress in DEI in the STEM fields can consist of: beliefs about the face of STEM (i.e. what kind of person comes to mind when one thinks of a scientist), implicit bias, hiring and admission practices, the absence of role models, lack of an affirming and inclusive climate and work culture, lack of educational opportunities and mentorship, inequitable and noninclusive teaching practices, power imbalances, academic bullying, the myth of meritocracy in science and overt racism and discrimination. With regards to power imbalances, ARAS points out that Brandeis currently has no policy for addressing academic bullying in the Division of Science or in other departments. They explained that a “hierarchy while working in a lab consists of the principal investigator (PI) in a position of unregulated control and authority over the trainees (postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students) … where rigor is still commonly cast as an excuse for hostility, retaliation and academic bullying.” They explain that at Brandeis this presents the most noteworthy challenge in the advancement of DEI work. According to the ARAS representatives, educating students and faculty in DEI and including direct student collaboration remains imperative. But they believe that to stimulate meaningful change in academia at Brandeis, future DEI initiatives supported by the University must actively combat systems of power, which are the root of institutional inequities. Both organizations agree that while the events of 2020 seem to have exacerbated racism and inequities in healthcare and other fields of science, they have also led to more media attention and widespread public advocacy. “The COVID-19 pandemic was able to bring to light a lot of issues that were already in place. … The disproportionate inequalities that Black and Brown communities faced related to their health and socioeconomic status was further evidence of issues within the system,” said Diaz-Rodriguez. “But I think younger generations are demanding a call to action … There’s a new momentum [in the advocacy] for BIPOC [communities],” she said. Special thanks to Kate Stutz, prehealth director, and Joanna Da Cunha, program administrator of pre-health advising for their assistance in providing contacts and coordinating interviews.



A Night of Remembrance and Resilience At Remember the Dearly Departed, hosted by the GSC in partnership with BLSO, students honored the transgender lives lost to violence this year. By CAYENN LANDAU JUSTICE STAFF WRITER

Remember the Dearly Departed took place during Transgender Awareness Week on Nov. 16, four days before the National Transgender Day of Remembrance. Organized by the Gender and Sexuality Center and the Brandeis Latinx Student Organization, the event was held in honor of TDOR as well as Day of the Dead. The student-facilitated discussion featured hot chocolate, cookies and a patchwork Pride quilt placed in the middle of the discussion circle in Winer Lobby. Guest speaker Leo Austin-Spooner handed out a list of places to get involved with LGBTQIA+ organizations in the greater Boston area, including The Boston Alliance of LGBTQIA+ Youth’s Youth Leadership Committee, or BAGLY, before opening the discussion for participants to share their thoughts, feelings and anecdotes about grief and hope within the trans and genderqueer community. Austin-Spooner, a first-year student at Boston University, is the cochair of BAGLY’s Youth Leadership Committee, and was involved in the “Yes on 3” campaign, a successful 2018 ballot initiatve to uphold a Massachusetts law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public places. “I met other trans people for the first time, I met trans adults for the first time, being happy and joyful together, and that was new ... it made me feel really loved and it gave this purpose to me,” said Austin-Spooner about the campaign. Transgender Day of Remembrance — held on Nov. 20 across the country — was started in 1999 by a small group of trans people in response to the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman, in Allston, Massachusetts. “Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight Photo courtesy of CAYENN LANDAU

QUILT: A Pride quilt was placed in the middle of the discussion circle during the event.

the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence,” said TDOR founder and trans rights activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith on the GLAAD website, “I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.” The importance of intersectionality was also noted during the event. One participant described the ways in which ballroom culture — founded by Black and Latinx trans and genderqueer people in the 80s — was co-opted by non-POCs who then popularized it in mainstream culture as their own (for example, Madonna and her “vouging”). TDOR itself has been criticized for its role in allowing white trans people to center themselves, thus erasing the lives and experiences of trans and genderqueer POC — who are disproportionately affected by the fatal hate crimes that TDOR intends to raise awareness about — from mainstream LGBTQIA+ narratives. The resilience of trans and genderqueer POC in the face of these issues was a prevailing feature of the event. “You’re carrying your people and your culture and your gender with you despite what everyone else is trying to do to you,” said AustinSpooner, who refers to himself as Black and white biracial. “It’s not that we’re new, it’s not that we’re coming out of anything, it’s just that we’re holding on to who we are despite the force of whiteness.” Eli Sobel, the Program Administrator at the Gender and Sexuality Center, also highlighted the importance of hope within TDOR. “While

Photo courtesy of CAYENN LANDAU

REMEMBRANCE: The GSC partnered with BLSO to create an event held in honor of TDOR and Day of the Dead.

Trans Awareness Week may focus on educating people about the cruel realities of anti-trans violence, TDOR focuses more on lives lived than lives lost. It is a time to honor the memories of the deceased, to acknowledge the inherent dignity of their lives rather than emphasize the indignity of their deaths,” they said in an email correspondence with the Justice. At least 44 trans people were killed in 2021 in the United States. The majority were women of color. “Brandeis prohibits discrimination and harassment against students, staff, and faculty on the basis of gender identity/expression, including transgender identity, under applicable federal and Massachusetts law. For Brandeis-specific resources, please contact the Gender and Sexuality Center Director Julián Cancino at To report an experience or concern regarding discrimination, harassment, or sexual violence please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at oeo@ or the University Om-

buds at brandeisombuds@brandeis. edu.” — Julián Cancino, director of the Gender and Sexuality Center In memory of: Dustin Parker, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Scott/ Scottlynn Devore, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Layla Pelaez Sánchez, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, Tony McDade, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Jayne Thompson, Selena Reyes-Hernandez, Brian “Egypt” Powers, Brayla Stone, Merci Mack, Shaki Peters, Bree Black, Summer Taylor, Marilyn Cazares, Dio H. Ova, Queasha D. Hardy, Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, Lea Rayshon Daye, Kee Sam, Aerrion Burnett, Mia Green, Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas, Felycya Harris, Brooklyn Deshuna, Sara Blackwood, Angel Unique, Skylar Heath, Yunieski Carey Herrera, Asia Jynae Foster, Chae’Meshia Simms, Kimberly Fial, Jaheim Pugh Jaheim Barbie, Courtney “Eshay” Key, Alexandria Winchester, and all other transgender and genderqueer people who lost their lives this year to violence.

Design: Natalie Kahn/the Justice




Established 1949

Brandeis University

Sofia Gonzalez Rodriguez, Editor in Chief Cameron Cushing, Managing Editor Gilda Geist, Senior Editor River Hayes, Deputy Editor Leeza Barstein, Jen Crystal, Jane Flautt, Gabriel Frank, Megan Geller, Hannah O’Koon, Noah Zeitlin, Associate Editors

The board also recognizes that the break period following finals can be an even more challenging time for some. Although the majority of students leave for the winter, a large number remain on a campus that looks little like we are accustomed to. For those staying here, we recommend getting to know your new neighbors in Winter Break Housing, taking advantage of the programming put on by campus organiza-

tions and enjoying the events that Waltham and surrounding communities have to offer. For those whose situations worsen after leaving campus, we suggest staying connected with friends and support systems through regular and intentional communication. We wish everyone as painless and stressfree a finals period as possible, a restful break and happy holidays!

Jacklyn Golobordsky, Hannah Taylor, News Editors Juliana Giacone, Features Editor Abigail Cumberbatch, Forum Editor Jack Yuanwei Cheng Photography Editor Thea Rose, Acting Photography Editor Ariella Weiss, Lynn Han Copy Editors Aiko Schinasi, Ads Editor Samantha Goldman, Online Editor


The editorial boards advice during the emergence of Omicron Though Waltham has not identified cases of the Omicron variant, it is only a matter of time before cases are reported. This board urges all eligible members of the Brandeis community to get vaccinated or receive the booster shot. The first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant was confirmed in Massachusetts on Dec. 4. The variant, first identified in South Africa on Nov. 24, was classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26. The first case in the United States was reported in California on Dec. 1. Since then, multiple states — including Hawaii, New York and Colorado — have reported cases of the new variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement on Dec. 1, emphasizing “the importance of vaccination, boosters, and general prevention strategies needed to protect against COVID-19.” As of Dec. 1, boosters are recommended for everyone over the age of 18. BioNTech, Moderna Inc. and the University of Oxford stated that new boosters would likely need to be developed to guarantee immunity against the Omicron variant, but that current vaccines should provide protection against severe forms of the disease. Until more data is available we urge readers to remain calm and be critical of unverified information — very little is known about the variant as of yet. Brandeis Human Resources is hosting several COVID-19 booster shot clinics on campus on Dec. 8, 9 and 21 in the Hassenfeld Conference Center. All students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the broader Waltham community, can sign up to receive either the Pfizer or

Moderna booster. Walgreens and CVS are also offering booster shots to anyone over the age of 18 who has already completed their vaccination series. While this board recognizes that individuals might be discouraged from getting the booster during finals, it is essential that we take the necessary precautions to protect at-risk members of our community as soon as possible. For information on how to manage booster side effects, visit the CDC website. Receiving the booster shot and maintaining other public health precautions are especially crucial during the holiday season, which is marked by high rates of travel across the country and abroad. Given that much remains unknown about the transmissibility and severity of the Omicron variant, this board would like to remind members of the community who are leaving campus over winter break to social distance and remain masked during travel regardless of vaccination status. Even when not on campus, it is our responsibility to remain vigilant and ensure a safe return for the spring semester. Lastly, this board would like to acknowledge the feelings of disappointment and desperation many must be overwhelmed with as we enter a new phase of the pandemic. As new information about Omicron emerges, we would like to remind everyone to take care of themselves and avoid getting consumed by claims made on social media, especially as it pertains to our return to campus in the spring. We must be patient and trust that the University will do what is best for the entire community.

Self-care during the month of December The Justice editorial board commends the University community for persevering through another challenging semester characterized by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the work that staff and faculty have put into helping the community transition to mostly normal operations, and congratulate students — many of whom came to campus for the first time this August — on their perseverance. With finals season rapidly approaching, we wanted to take a moment to share some of our tips for navigating this particularly stressful few weeks and the break that follows. First, this board believes that it is important to acknowledge that the pandemic rages on, as does its effects on us as people and students. Readjusting to in-person classes and packed pre-pandemic extracurricular schedules has been incredibly draining, as has living these past months with the fear of you or someone you know getting sick. Everyone should be proud of what they have accomplished during these — dare we say — unprecedented times, even if you feel that you are not performing at your pre-pandemic level. It is more im-

portant than ever not to compare oneself to others, and to be gracious and patient with yourself. Whatever the result of the semester, you have something to be proud of. We cannot recommend strongly enough that, during finals period, you maintain your routine as much as possible — consistency is key in feeling grounded. Ensure that you are getting plenty of sleep and limit your intake of caffeine. Continue to eat multiple balanced meals a day. Exercise when and how you can — a walk around campus is a low-impact way to get blood f lowing and clear your mind. While it may seem counter-intuitive, take breaks to give your mind a rest and allow yourself some fun — meals with friends can be a great opportunity to socialize and step away from studying for a time. Breaking up large projects into smaller tasks and rewarding yourself for completing each step is also a great way to manage assignments, with the most important step being to start. Additionally, various campus organizations host stressbuster activities and fun events during these next few weeks, including the library — attend some!

Photo Courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS

on Views News the

Kyle Rittenhouse, a man who shot and killed two protestors and wounded another, was sent to trial in early November of this year. Throughout the case his attorneys argued self-defense, making his slaying of two innocent people permissible. He was found not guilty on all six charges in court. What does this say about how our current criminal justice system operates? Are there biases that impact marginalized communities? What can we do going forward to mitigate social injustice within the legal and judicial system?

Prof. Aaron Bray (LGLS) In my humble opinion, a jury of Kyle Rittenhouse’s peers used a very powerful tool called ‘jury nullification’ to obtain their version of justice for a member of their community. Going forward, I hope members of our community begin to see jury duty not as a burden to avoid but as an opportunity to combat mass incarceration and to fight back against laws that we find unjust. For instance, when members of our community are prosecuted for drug offenses that carry excessive mandatory minimum sentences, we can use jury nullification to ensure that our definition of justice is served. Juries are more powerful than judges. But we can only exercise that power if we are willing to show up for one another by actually serving on juries.

Aaron Bray is a lecturer in the legal studies department specializing in criminal law.

Sharon Fray-Witzer It is painful and scary that we cannot tell a cocky white teenager that carrying a semi-automatic rifle –and shooting three protesters, was illegal. The long-barreled weapon fell through a loophole in Wisconsin’s juvenile-carry law, and the prosecution’s own witnesses admitted that Rittenhouse was not the first aggressor; the men he shot chased him, hit him and pointed a gun at him. In a dangerous cycle, rampant gun-carrying makes shooting in selfdefense more “reasonable.” The jury found that a “reasonable” person in Rittenhouse’s situation could fear that lethal force was needed to repel lethal force – regardless of how “innocent” the men he shot may have been. The trial of this white-on-white shooting was a model of due process, even if the outcome seems distressing. It is doubtful that a person of color in Rittenhouse’s situation would have received the same due process. Black defendants are disproportionately arrested, charged and convicted–and receive sentences more severe than white defendants’. Moreover, there could be no more egregious denial of due process than the suffocation of George Floyd under an officer’s knee. So, it is painfully ironic that the men Rittenhouse shot were protesting rampant police misconduct. Indeed, the “reasonable person” standard which acquitted Rittenhouse contributes to the cycle of systemic racism: white jurors, awash in images disproportionately of Black and Brown criminal defendants, may think it more “reasonable” to fear such people. Fixing this toxic mix of racism and guns requires the very protest which is threatened by Rittenhouse’s acquittal; it will embolden white supremacists. Luckily, however, we can each protest, every day, from the safety of our desks, funding candidates committed to change and registering people to vote. Anyone can start work, at

Sharon Fray-Witzer has been an appellate criminal defense attorney, and legal studies instructor for over 20 years. Photo: Prof. Aaron Bray, Sharon Fray-Witzer


A reflection on justice and education: Legal Studies Practicum By AMY SCHRODER


This fall, through the Legal Studies Practicum (LGLS-145A) with Prof. and Chair of the Legal Studies Department Rosalind Kabrhel, my classmates and I were able to get involved with a diverse array of hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Through this practicum, we were able to experience the importance of educational interventions in the communities we worked with, as a way to marginally counteract systemic disadvantages. The hands-on approach to experiential learning allowed us to synthesize and apply the themes of this course’s readings through a critical and concrete lens. The class is formulated similarly to a seminar in that it is composed of a small cohort of students who gather weekly to discuss course readings as well as share updates on their program. Our discussions are student-centered with reflections on readings: the readings include Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow,” articles on the War on Drugs and the 2018 Criminal Justice Reform Act and Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s “Is Prison Necessary?” Our programs included virtual teaching opportunities through organizations such as the Petey Greene Program, How to College, the Clemente Course and the Partakers Empowerment Program through the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative. In-person opportunities were also available, with students assisting Prof. David Sherman (ENG) in a poetry class at Suffolk County House of Corrections. For my own experiential opportunity, I was matched with Prof. Aaron Bray as a student facilitator for his Pre-Trial Litigation course taught in Nashua St. Jail, situated just outside of North Station in Boston. This course was part of a wider educational curriculum called the I-Can Academy conducted within the facility and supported by its internal Education Division. In addition to Prof. Bray’s class, there are a variety of courses provided to incarcerated students in English, personal

finance and religion. In addition, a hi-set exam preparation class for high school equivalency credentials is offered. Many of these classes are similarly taught by other college students and faculty from the Greater Boston Area. Through I-Can Academy with Professor Bray, I learned a lot about the criminal justice system as well as how the Criminal Reform Act of 2018 has shaped the system in Massachusetts. By becoming familiar with these changes that include diversion programs, show-cause hearings, motion to suppress and reforms to Criminal Offender Record Information, I came to appreciate these changes (albeit incremental) in Massachusetts law and realize that there are in fact people out there who are working against the system to produce more favorable outcomes for justiceinvolved individuals and communities. The spirit of this change has been maintained by this practicum and the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative. The Brandeis students, faculty and justiceinvolved students who partake in these programs have all been a part of this movement of change. Below are some of their testimonies. Yael Perlman ’23 on her experience facilitating Clemente’s Art History course: “I am so glad that Brandeis offers these different experiences for students to get a foot into the real world of activism which includes education as much as anything else. Education is a universal human right [and] providing these tools for incarcerated people is one of the best ways to help rehabilitate and reintegrate people into society. I hope to see Brandeis continue to increase these opportunities and bring the conversation surrounding criminal justice towards a greater focus on campus as a whole.” Christie Louis ’24 on meeting the needs of Partakers Empowerment Program students as an education workshop facilitator. PEP is held weekly through Zoom and facilitates a variety of educational workshops for formerly incarcerated individuals: “I know that we can’t change the negative experiences that [the students] have had. However, I would like to assist them in understanding that these experiences should not deter them from pursuing

educational opportunities. I want them to know that they have the right to quality education and their learning disabilities do not define them. I hope that next week’s PEP talks can encourage them to reimagine how learning can differ from traditional standards yet still be impactful.” Tammy Walker, former PEP student and teaching fellow, on her experience: “What I got out of the PEP program is a sense of belonging. Like I belong to something. Because when you’re in prison you don’t feel like you belong to something and when you come home, you can’t pick up where you left off. [PEP] has opened my eyes to the fact that my life isn’t completely over. I came home to a support system. Some people [in my PEP cohort] didn’t know how to go on Mass Health or get an ID. With a Masters degree I was turned down for a job to make sandwiches. My education meant nothing because the criminal record supersedes what I’ve studied for 6 years. We need this program. It makes you think that you’re not alone and that you can give back. [Criminal Justice] is a field that I want to go into and PEP gives me an idea of what kind of job I can get. [The criminal justice system] wants you to get back out into the free world post-release and not have the tools to navigate it. Employers don’t want you because you have a criminal record. I did 12 years and 3 months. I’m done with my punishment, so now they should give me that second chance they promised me when I got in there. We have a long way to go but PEP and the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative have been amazing.” Matt Shapiro ’24 on structural challenges while facilitating a poetry class at Suffolk County House of Corrections: “It was hard to hear that students who chose to voluntarily participate in this class [...] weren’t able to because of how much else they would have to sacrifice. The fact that they had to decide between learning opportunities and calling people for legal advice felt wrong. This dynamic also makes it harder to progress with the class in general because so many students come in and out, and so each one is basically on their own individual track. Overall though, I was still able to appreciate and personally grow from the

class time by getting to know the student[s] who did show up better and seeing how invested they were in attending.” Rebekah Loeffler ’24 on her first time at a correctional facility: “I had a very interesting time when I went into Suffolk House of Corrections for the first time this week. I was struck by the banality of the whole process; everyone I was talking to, from the guards and the educational professionals, to the incarcerated people, were, of course, used to the system. For something that is so sensationalized in American media, there was no big drama or obvious conflict like I was expecting. Why was I expecting something different? What does that say about me? Or the media I consume?” One big concept that I have internalized throughout the semester is this: If prisons are supposed to be rehabilitative in carrying out justice, why are there so many roadblocks to providing education behind bars? Why are there additional collateral consequences, like a criminal record (CORI), that are used to prevent folks from pursuing a better life for themselves? If a prison sentence is supposed to absolve the crime committed and restore justice, why is it that once the sentence is over, there are other punitive measures taken to further disadvantage folks in blocking educational, healthcare, employment and housing access? Collateral consequences and the existence of a criminal record are proof that the carceral system is majorly flawed in that it does not actually carry out justice — it is purely punitive. The rehabilitative initiatives in place are implemented by individual actors and advocates like us, rather than part of the system itself. Even then, these initiatives are discouraged from taking place. Consequently, when incarcerated individuals recidivate due to this lack of support, it is clear that the system itself is to blame. It is easy to get dissuaded as a legal studies student when witnessing all the ways that the system works against justiceinvolved individuals. Participating in this practicum has helped me see first-hand the potential for large-scale, tangible change, and my potential to be a part of it.

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Points Per Game Case WashU NYU Rochester JUDGES Carnegie Emory Chicago

UAA Conf. W L D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Overall W L D Pct. 8 1 0 .889 7 1 0 .875 6 1 0 .857 6 2 0 .750 5 2 0 .714 4 2 0 .667 4 2 0 .667 4 3 0 .571


Tommy Eastman’M.A23 leads the team with 16.8 points per Player PPG Tommy Eastman 16.8 Collin Sawyer 16.7 Nolan Hagerty 12.7 Chandler Jones 10.1

BASKETBALL: Brandeis women's team loses CONTINUED FROM 12 with missed layups on both sides. With 8:38 left in the game, Obar made a 3-point jump shot. From then on, the teams fought to bring the final score to 74–73. In the last two seconds, the Judges attempted to take the lead in the form of a missed layup by Gresko.

Thus far in the season, the team is led by Camila Casanueva ’22 with 13.9 points per game. She is followed by Gresko and Emma Reavis ’23 with 9.8 and 9.5 points per game respectively. Casanueva also leads the time in minutes per game with 32.6 followed by Franchesca

Marchese ’23 and Revis with 27.9 and 27.1 minutes per game. Next Tuesday, the Judges are scheduled to play Eastern Nazarene College followed by Gordon College on Friday Dec. 31.

Rebounds Per Game

Nolan Hagerty ’22 leads the team with 9.1 rebounds per game. Player REB/G Nolan Hagerty 9.1 Tommy Eastman 8.8 Chandler Jones 7.0 Collin Sawyer 4.1

Dec. 7 vs Lasell Dec. 11 vs. Colby



UAA STANDINGS UAA Conf. W L D NYU 0 0 0 Rochester 0 0 0 Chicago 0 0 0 Emory 0 0 0 Carnegie 0 0 0 JUDGES 0 0 0 WashU 0 0 0 Case 0 0 0

Points Per Game Overall W L D 7 0 0 6 3 0 5 3 0 5 3 0 3 2 0 4 4 0 3 4 0 3 6 0

UPCOMING GAMES: Dec. 7 vs Eastern Nazarene Dec. 31 vs Gordon College

Camila Casaneuva ’22 leads the team with 13.9 points per game. Pct. Player PPG 1.000 Camila Casaneuva 13.9 1.667 Caitlin Gresko 9.8 1.625 Emma Reavis 9.5 1.625 Francesca Marchese 7.6 .600 Rebounds Per Game .500 Camila Casanueva ’22 leads .429 with 6.3 rebounds per game. .333 Player REB/G Camila Casanueva 6.3 Kerry Tanke 5.6 Emma Reavis 5.5 Caitlin Gresko 4.3

SWIMMING AND DIVING Results from Gompei Invitational

TOP FINISHERS (Men’s) TOP FINISHERS (Women’s) 200-yard Freestyle

200-yard Freestyle

SWIMMER TIME Sam Dienstag 1:44.58 Dylan Levy 1:48.62

SWIMMER TIME Bailey Gold 1:56.50 Chloe Gonzalez 1:59.59

UPCOMING GAMES: Dec. 22 vs Keene State. Dec. 22 vs Bridgewater State

BASKETBALL: Brandeis men's wins Big 4 Challenge CONTINUED FROM 12 to keep their lead and prevent any minuscule chance that Babson had of a comeback from ever

materializing. The next day, the Judges faced off against the Tufts University Jumbos. Despite getting off to a strong start in the first half, the Jumbos were able to bring it back level at the end of the second half. The Judges and the Jumbos went into overtime,


DECISIONS: Judges player handles the ball.


where Chandler Jones’ led the team with three points scored in the five minute overtime. He continued to lead the Judges in scoring until the fourth overtime when Harris scored eight to finally ice the game. Other than Hagerty and Harris, the starting lineup all played above 48 minutes in what was a gruelling game to win the Big 4 Challenge.


WRESTLING: Judges player hustles to grab the ball in a game against Wheaton on Nov. 12.


CONTACT: Grad student Collin Sawyer dribbles.

just Sports Page 12

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LOSES TO BRIDGEWATER STATE Judges fall to the Bears, 73-74, p. 11.

Waltham, Mass.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021



Brandeis wins the Big 4 Challenge over weekend ■ The Brandeis men's basketball team beat Babson College and Tufts University on Friday and Saturday, securing the Big 4 championship. By TAKU HAGIWARA


The Brandeis men’s basketball team overcame Babson College and Tufts University, the latter won after a gruelling five overtime game, to win the Big Four Challenge. The Friday, Dec. 3 game against Babson saw the Judges start Dylan Lien ’23, Collin Sawyer M.A. ’22, Sam Nassar ’22, Nolan Hagerty ’22 and Toby Harris ’25. The Judges and the Babson Beavers remained relatively even throughout the first half, as neither team were able to cement themselves on offence and build up a rhythm. On some possessions, the Judges were able to pass the ball effectively to find open shooters at the 3-point line or cut towards the basket and draw a foul. Despite being a first-year, Harris was given the starting job and a significant amount of shots. Although he is a forward, he is able to stretch the floor and take pressure in the paint away from cutters. Harris almost always got

a touch in every offensive set and was given the green light to shoot seven 3-pointers in both the Babson and Tufts games. Babson employed a trap defense throughout the second half of the game, where two defenders crowd the ball handler to try and force a turnover. Brandeis’ main ball handler, Nassar, was able to overcome the trap though, as he only had one turnover. Going into the second, the Judges led by five, but after a series of strong defence, initiated by a full court press from Darret Justice’ 23, they were able to bring the lead up to 10. From then on, Brandeis was able to maintain a comfortable lead with the help of some 3-pointers from Sawyer and Lien. Despite being up over eight points with minutes remaining, Babson decided to foul the Judges, sending them to the line to regain possession and hopefully get a basket that could bring them back into the game. Not only did the Judges do a good job of making their shots at the line, Babson was rarely able to make shots on their possessions, which allowed the Judges to maintain their lead. Much to the chagrin of the audience, Babson kept on fouling, extending one minute of game time into over 15 minutes of fouling and free throws. However, in the end, the Judges were able



FREE POINTS: Senior Kerry Tanke is at the charity stripe to take free throws against Wheaton.

Women's basketball loses by one to the Bears ■ Judges womens basketball lose by one to Bridgewater State University. By MEGAN GELLER SENIOR STAFFER


POINT-GOD: Senior Sam Nassar brings the ball up for the Judges.

Last Thursday, the Brandeis women’s basketball team lost to Bridgewater State University 73-74. This loss means the Judges have a four-game losing streak and fall to 4-4 overall this season. At 3:37, the Judges were trailing the Bears 11-0. Of those 11 points, seven came from Bridgewater’s Sydney Bradbury ’23. The Judges called a 30 second timeout and

finally, with 6:04 left in the quarter, Christina Bacon ’24 made a layup after an offensive rebound. The next point for the Judges was not earned until 3:56 left in the first half, when Caitlin Gresko ’25 made a layup. The Judges continued to make layups and closed the gap between themselves and the Bears. With 50 seconds left in the quarter, Tathiana Pierre '25 made a 3-point jump shot. The quarter ended with a score of 15–13 favoring Bridgewater State University. The second quarter started out with a 3-point jump shot by Mollie Obar ’25, which resulted in the Judges taking the lead with a score of 16-15. This lead was short lived,

however, as the Bears earned four points from two layups bringing the score to 16-19. The Judges continued to trail the Bears for most of the second quarter which ended 32-25 favoring the Bears. The third quarter started with a 3-point jump shot by the Bears. In this quarter, the Bears obtained their largest lead of 11 points with 4:54 left in the third. After this, the Judges fiercely caught up with a layup by Gresko and back-to-back 3-point. jump shots by Obar. The third quarter ended 56–48 favoring the Bears. The fourth quarter started off


December 7, 2021

Vol. LXXIV #13 Vol. LXX #2

September 12, 2017

just >> Pg. 14


arts & culture Waltham, Mass.

Images: Noah Zeitlin/the Justice. Design: Noah Zeitlin/the Justice.




End of semester theater perfomances By MEGAN GELLER AND NOAH ZEITLIN

MEGAN GELLER/the Justice


MEGAN GELLER/the Justice

IT’S MINE: Clara, portrayed by Elefteria Topalogou ’24, attempts to keep her toy nutcracker away from Fritz, her older brother, portrayed by Irina Znamirowski ’24. In this scene, Uncle Drosselmeyer has given Clara the Nutcracker, and Clara and Fritz fight over it until the toy breaks. At this point, Uncle Drosselmeyer steps in to repair the toy and returns it to Clara. The party goes on and Clara goes to sleep.

With the exception of 2020, the Nutcracker has been an annual performance put on by the Brandeis Ballet club. The Nutcracker is the story of a little girl named Clara who receives a toy nutcracker from Uncle Drosselmeyer and subsequently goes on an adventure. The show involves an epic battle with the Rat Queen and lovely dances in the Land of the Sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Flower Queen and various other magical friends. The performance is a Brandeis Ballet Club tradition. The club has been around for 12 years now and offers classes in Gosman for beginner and intermediate dancers. In an interview with the Justice, Destiny Kluck ’25 shared her dance experience, stating, “Ever since I was 2, I have been dancing! I danced at The International School of Ballet for 5 years in the Pre-Professional Program. In addition to bringing me comfort with dance, I joined the Nutcracker to share my passion for dance and meet other dancers!” When asked about the show, Kluck stated that “My favorite scene in the show is Act II Intro. As the storyline of the Nutcracker goes, Clara is taken by the Nutcracker to the Land of Sweets. The Act [II] Intro foreshadows all of the variations including Hot Chocolate, Candy Cane, Tea, Coffee, Marzipan and Flowers. I enjoy how this scene follows the storyline and highlights the dancers.”

SWEETS: In the Land of the Sweets, the Sugar Plum Fairy, portrayed by Emma Rivelese ’22, leaps and turns to music by Lindsey Stirling. In an interview with the Justice, President of the Brandeis Ballet Club Rivelese said, “My favorite part of the performance was watching all of our dancers’ hard work throughout the semester and especially during the long hours of tech week come together to make the show great!”

MEGAN GELLER/the Justice

JUMP: At the party, Uncle Drosselmeyer gives the children three toys, all life-like dolls, a soldier, a princess and a harlequin doll, portrayed by Claire McDonald ’25, Maya Schultz ’25 and Penélope Hernandez ’23, respectively.

NOAH ZEITLIN/the Justice

Emma Ward, played by Laya Fridman ’25, talks to her husband, Samuel Ward, played by Nicholas Kanan ’25, at their dinner table to discuss a protest that the IRA was going to hold against British rule in Northern Ireland.

NOAH ZEITLIN/the Justice

Working class characters Rory Byrne, played by Alex Ross ’22, Rosemary Blake, played by Anika Hahn ‘25 and Kaelan Lynch, played by Chris Martin ’23, discuss their grievances living in Northern Ireland under British rule.

—Editor’s Note: Justice Editor Hannah Taylor is a member of the Brandeis Ballet Club and did not participate in the writing or editing of this article

Design: Megan Liao/the Justice





The top 10 songs of 2021 8. Japanese Breakfast — “Be Sweet”


A note before beginning: 10 is an arbitrary number, so if you’re annoyed that your favorite songs of the year are not included in this list, feel free to assume that they were the next to be included if 10 wasn’t the standard.

10. glaive & ericdoa — “f**k this town”

It’s an odd thing to praise someone for, but the best thing about glaive is that he’s annoying. A 16 year-old hyperpop wunderkind, glaive manages to singularly capture the pubescent high school experience in a way that few have ever achieved. He throws every sound he can manage at the wall, and then doesn’t bother to see what sticks. “f**k this town,” in particular, captures the bleakness of smalltown high school life by being as loud as possible, both literally and figuratively. It’s not nice to listen to, but that’s the point: it’s also not nice to feel stuck in your hometown; it’s not nice to be a teenager.

9. Bartees Strange — “Weights”

Did anyone have a better 2021 than Japanese Breakfast’s frontwoman Michelle Zauner? She released a bestselling memoir, got a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and released one of the best indie-rock records of the year in ‘Jubilee.’ “Be Sweet,” the lead single from that record, is one of the most buoyant songs 2021 has to offer. The bassline thumps and pumps like a runaway train, and Zauner’s voice is bright as can be. The song, which is pleading with a lover to “be sweet,” isn’t happy, but something better: invigorating.

7. Tyler, the Creator — “Lumberjack”

Two years ago, Tyler, the Creator released his album ‘Igor,’ won a Grammy for it, and then correctly decried the fact that he was slotted into the “Urban” category solely because he’s Black, instead of the pop category where ‘Igor’ would fit better. This year, he released ‘Call Me If You Get Lost,’ one of the year’s best rap records. Of course, he didn’t create an album just to troll the Grammys, but that narrative points to the fact that Tyler always seems to create his work with a smirk. “Lumberjack,” one of the album’s hardest hitting songs, is bracing and exciting. Especially when taken in the context of ‘Igor,’ this song is the biggest flex possible. Whatever you want Tyler to do, he can do it. In a year when Kanye and Drake, two of rap’s household names, produced sprawling, unedited albums that went nowhere, it’s nice to look over the year and see this rap superstar showing off his range and knowing it worked.

No song rocked harder this year than “Weights.” Strange is known for bringing indie-rock and rap together into one whole, uniting rap with a genre that has long denied its own aesthetic influence from Black culture. “Weights” doesn’t necessarily feel rap-influenced in the way Strange’s previous masterworks like “Boomer” do. Instead, it proves Strange’s worth outside of the rap and indie tagline that is easily pinned to him. “Weights” rocks hard and fast, with hooks on top of hooks and an unflinchingly die-hard performance from 6. SZA — “Good Days” Strange. When he sings that “we The best Billboard hit of the can get out tonight,” you’ll want year, “Good Days” is a perfect to go with him. daydream. SZA’s been knocked

online for her imprecise diction, but here it’s perfectly suited to her material. The way she sings allows her to float through “Good Days,” wishing to be in a better moment than the one she finds herself in. Though it sounds blissed out, “Good Days” is, in the tradition of much of our best music, deceptively depressing lyrically. The masking of that depression through soft instrumentation and SZA’s vocal sensibility perfectly suits the themes of the longing for the time when you’ll be over a bad relationship. During a difficult year like 2021, “Good Days” gave voice to the many of us wishing to be just a little further ahead in time.

5. Little Simz — “Introvert”

The song might be called “Introvert,” but it’s one of the most audacious of the year. “Introvert,” the opener of Little Simz’s album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert,’ is a song of epic proportions. It’s six minutes long, has gigantic horns and a chorus section, and toward the end, Emma Corrin, known for her role as Princess Diana on “The Crown,” does a spoken word section in character as Diana. Somehow, Little Simz holds it all together with a confident yet loose rap that feels both up to the challenge of everything around it yet never worried with over-precision. This song is one of the year’s most impressive balancing acts.

4. Yves Tumor — “Jackie”

“Jackie” is the year’s most seductive song. Yves Tumor sings with a prowl in their voice, pleading and sexy. While a lot of our most popular indie-rock artists (Stevens, The War on Drugs) are talented eunuchs, Tumor is breathtaking in their deployment of sexuality. The song is sexy in a way that never feels related to this world — “Let’s Get It On”

this is not — but also seems to be working within rock tradition — there’s more than a note of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in the hook. “Jackie” is about obsession, desperation and deep rumination, and all of that follows through into the instrumentation and the performance. As the guitars thrum and Tumor growls, it’s hard not to fall prey.

3. Indigo De Souza — “Hold U”

With due respect to the efforts of super-talents like Snail Mail, MUNA and Phoebe Bridgers, the best moment in queer-girl indie rock of the year is the music video for Indigo De Souza’s “Hold U.” As De Souza’s blissful ode to interpersonal connection plays, a group of queer people parties with such force that the audience can’t help but want to join. It’s joyous, it’s gay, it’s excited. Luckily, the song they’re partying to more than holds up to the force of its video. The way that De Souza lightly touches the notes of her hook without committing to any individual one is simply impossible not to smile at, and when she breaks into a full belt toward the end of the song, the release is all the better for her earlier restraint. No song this year was less self-consciously ebullient and in 2021 unabashed ebullience is exactly what we needed.

2. Caroline Polachek — “Bunny is a Rider”

“Bunny is a Rider” seems expressly designed to avoid any answer to the question “what’s this song about?” It also avoids answering “who is Bunny?” and “what does it mean that she’s a rider?” Trying to decode all that is not the point. The point is how this song eludes any attempt to pin it down: the lyrics are impossible to follow and Polachek performs them as if each word is slippery, flying out of her mouth

without any thought given to what she’s saying. “Bunny is a Rider” forces itself to wash over you, eschewing the very 2021 desperation for analysis (Lyric Genius won’t help you here). Polachek’s voice seems to operate on a different frequency from normal human, her opera training creates a tension between the pop production and her highflying vocal performance. When Polachek performs the song, her movements are uncanny, just slightly removed from the reality we live in, just like the song, just like Bunny.

1. Jazmine Sullivan feat. H.E.R. — “Girl Like Me”

“Girl Like Me,” the final song on Jazmine Sullivan’s recent EP ‘Heaux Tales,’ is not one that’s particularly easy to listen to — in fact it’s brimming with Sullivan’s worst moments of introspection. Over the course of one song, she gives into internalized misogyny, hopelessness and self-judgement. Her voice powers through those emotions, continually building in desperation until it hits climax where she’s basically screaming. Yet, somehow, her vocals never seem strained except when she needs them to. It can be vulnerable to be sad, but there’s a pride in righteous sadness; it’s even more vulnerable to show yourself feeling what you’re not proud of. Sullivan has been singing about failed relationships since 2008, but here she hits a new peak of soul-baring work. H.E.R. matches Sullivan’s energy, her parts changing the song from aria to a moment of commiseration. It’s an artful song, modern in its details (Fashion Nova) but classic in its themes (feeling incapable of being loved). “Girl Like Me” is a difficult song, but it’s all the better for it.


Chamber music recital: a euphony a long time in the making By ADITI BHATTACHARYA JUSTICE STAFF WRITER

This past weekend, Brandeis University’s music department organized a Chamber Music recital—for the first time in over a year—that allowed a live audience to join in appreciating the performing arts. “Wonderful” would be an understatement when describing the performances. Students shared their hard work by performing pieces from the likes of Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Felix Mendelssohn as well as two jazz pieces. The recital enticed audience members from various walks of life. The students, music department and recital clearly demonstrated the mastery of the performers, drawing the audience with a euphony of instrumental duets and trios. Throughout the whole fall semester, the performers, who were part of the Chamber Music courses (MUS 116A-1 and MUS 88A-1), prepared meticulously under the guidance of Brandeis faculty. Celia Wu-Hacochen, class of ’23 and Leonard Berstein

Design: Megan Liao/the Justice

Fellow of Music Performance, said “In terms of preparation for the concert, it has been incredibly time-consuming, stressful and rewarding all at the same time. Our chamber groups are fortunate enough to get weekly 1-hour coachings from members of the Lydian String Quartet [a performance group of associate music professors] every week, which is incredibly valuable. In addition to that, the groups usually find 1-2 additional hours during the week to rehearse on their own, and there is also a lot of individual practice as well.” The Chamber Music course certainly showcases an excellent opportunity for the performers to build experience with the guidance of valuable faculty feedback. In doing so, students personified the phrase “practice makes perfect” by not only rehearsing technically challenging pieces, but by mastering the pieces. However, mastering these challenging pieces was not the only difficulty the performers faced during their semesterlong preparation. Wu-Haochen continued, “Another big part of preparing for

the concert is getting used to playing in a recital hall. The acoustics are very different from the typical classrooms that we practice in. While on stage, we tend to run into issues with timing and balance. Every sound made in the hall echoes, so notes become muddled and it’s often difficult to stay in tempo together or even hear if the sound is balanced. Through a handful of rehearsals in the hall leading up to the concert and help from our coaches, we have come to understand how to listen to each other and maintain a balance between all the instruments to create a cohesive sound.” This was something highlighted immensely by Wu-Hacochen’s own performance, a rendition of Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D. Minor, op.49, with Wu-Hacochen on piano, Noel Cho ’24 on cello and Altana Schweitzer ’23 on violin. The trio produced a melodious sound that resonated throughout the auditorium and showcased not only the technical skill of the instrumentalists but also how synchronous they were: this beautiful sound was an embodiment of three people

attuned to each other, working as a unit to create a work of art. Additionally, the performance showcased a wide variety of musical pieces: there were upbeat melodies to contrast flowing, mellow pieces. A particular highlight was the jazz trio, composed of Sungwon Cho ’23 on alto saxophone, Prof. Bob Nieske (MUS) on Bass and Dakota Lichauco ’25 on piano. The trio delighted the audience with two jazz pieces, “Let’s Cool One,” by Thelonius Monk, and Samba de Orfeu (composed by Luiz Bonfá), which all featured solo spots for each of the instrumentalists to shine during the performance. The rendition was almost magnetic, showcasing not only the immense technical skill of the performers but also their charisma. It was abundantly clear that the audience was having fun with the instrumentalists, making their performance an almost interactive experience. This interaction of mutual joy between the audience and performer was present throughout the concert. As audience mem-

ber Maia Lefferman ’25 commented: “I felt a lot of joy, sitting there and soaking in the music, and the performers seemed like they were having a great time, and it was nice to hear live music again.” A common theme among many music enthusiasts and performers alike lies in the adaptation of passion in the lens of safety. These past two years presented perseverance, especially since Brandeis’ COVID-19 policies presented challenges and restrictions in regards to live music events. The department put on shows with no live viewers and put together videos of group ensembles. WuHacochen commented, “For many of us, this was our first in-person performance in two years. Although we definitely felt the pressure to perform our best, especially after the two year break, we also felt the excitement of performing in front of a live audience again.” The performers can rest assured knowing that they put on a truly wonderful concert that certainly made their family, friends and the faculty proud.




MEGAN LIAO/the Justice


GILDA GEIST/the Justice



18. where?

34. “don’t worry about it,” in text

1. North American marsupial

20. pronoun referring to the


5. movie


35. opposite of knit?

8. ___ boy (southern sandwich)

21. study starting the night before

38. goes with id

9. yuck

24. abbreviation for personal stink

39. leak slowly through

11. type of court

25. “Planet Earth” narrator

40. inquires

15. also not

29. villain’s hangout spot

42. polite title for a man

17. an extra word that appears in a

30. view

44. evaluate

speech JFK delivered in Berlin

31. boot-shaped country

46. body of water, for one


circle 14. “A” in U.A.E 16. conjunction that offers a choice 19. channel and streaming service 20. the world’s largest seal 22. currently, in text speak 23. personal beliefs on how one should act and treat others 26. Angelina Jolie’s character in “Kung Fu Panda” 27. Human _________ Project 28. “_____ Alien” (Lane’s band in

“Gilmore Girls”) 31. type of bag, in medicine 32. what one can do to texturize their hair 33. affirmative 36. close 37. friend of Jane Goodall 41. decorative backyard pond fish 43. animal that killed Steve Irwin, for short 45. prefix meaning “new” 46. intrinsically (with “per”)

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