Brandeis Leftist Union protests U.S. Marine recruiters
■ The BLU protested for three hours as U.S. Marines attempted to recruit Brandeis students.By SOPHIA DE LISI JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Brandeis Leftist Union held a military recruitment protest in the Shapiro Campus Center, tirelessly chanting and showing off their signs in the presence of several Marine recruiters.
The unrecognized club announced its plans to protest a day after an email from Marine Captain Austin R. Lorah reached Brandeis students’ inboxes informing the community that recruiters would be on campus to offer information about the Marine Corps Officer Selection Program, “a no obligation, paid summer training program” that would give participants the opportunity to become Marine Officers after graduation. Shortly after this announcement reached students, the BLU posted a call to protest over its Instagram, urging students to join them from 10:30 to 1:30 p.m. in
a show of support for “international solidarity” and “resistance to global U.S. imperialism.”
Four members from the BLU awaited the Marine recruiters in front of the Hiatt Career Center, engaging with students and handing out their flyers covered with designs inspired by social movements that protested the Vietnam War. However, they quickly learned that the Marines would be setting up at the Shapiro Campus Center instead, and the BLU members changed course accordingly. The BLU deliberately established itself across from the Marines’ table and set to work, engaging with students, chanting, and attempting to steer any potential recruits away.
As some might know, the BLU is no stranger to protests.
In a written follow-up interview, the BLU highlighted its key activities and protests as “anti-fascist, anti-imperialist, and anti-racist demonstrations.” Furthermore, it has been involved with “mutual aid efforts with Food Not Bombs Waltham and Warm Up Boston” and rallied both its club members and students in support of dining and library workers on campus. In this case, these members wrote that they were protesting to “drive U.S. imperialists off [the] campus, make a
Two cheerful, family-run discount stores light up Moody Street.By ARIELLA WEISS
stand against the U.S. war machine recruiting students from Brandeis,” arguing that the University’s past social justice and “anti-imperialist” efforts are the antithesis of its cooperation with the Marines.
When asked to define the connection between campus military recruitment efforts and United States militaristic imperialism, an anonymous BLU member answered, “imperialism requires bodies [to refuel] Saudi jets, bomb buses with children, repair drones to murder people across South East Asia and North West Africa,” drawing the connection between recruitment to the soldiers who are responsible for these actions.
Along with protesting to point out Brandeis’ “complicity” with the U.S. military, the BLU also defined its desire to spread its uninhibited spirit and inspire other students to protest in the same way.
In its desire for visibility, the BLU was not shy about its feelings towards the military and the Marines’ presence. Anyone in the vicinity of the SCC — surrounding students, Einstein Bros. Bagels’ staff and patrons — heard the megaphone-augmented chants of six students over the span of three hours:ARTIST TALK
Artist Becky Behar gives talk for photo exhibition, ‘Interlaced’
■ Behar’s photos emulate themes of motherhood, domesticity, and transience.By GRACE DOH JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
In celebration of photo-based artist Becky Behar’s solo exhibition “Interlaced,” the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis hosted an opening reception and artist talk on Jan. 26 at the Kniznick Gallery, where Behar’s photographs will remain on display until Feb. 22. Behar discussed her artistic process, the series of works on view in the exhibition, and her current studio practice.
Behar started photography at the age of 45, and as a mother of three, she began her career at a point when her children were transitioning into adulthood. One of the series in the exhibition, “Seeing You, Seeing Me,” contains posed portraits of her 21-year-old daughter and still lifes of domestic scenes.
Heavily influenced by painter
Johannes Vermeer, the photos have a highly luminous quality as sunlight pours through windows onto the rich tones of the subject matter. This series examines the fleeting nature of time as Behar captures images of her daughter, flowers, and fruit in her home environment. She ruminates on how the time of day, the time spent photographing her daughter, and the experience of motherhood are all transient moments in her life. The opening reception welcomed not only Brandeis community members, but also friends and family of Behar who came to see the arrangement of works. Works on display included portraits, still lifes, monitors that detail the stories behind select photo series, and ceramic tile baseboards with cyanotype patterns of various items that can be found throughout her works. Curator and artist Olivia Baldwin collaborated with Behar in the arrangement of pieces for “Interlaced.” The two initially considered using only one of the See EXHIBITION, 5 ☛
Tressie McMillan Cottom awarded 2023 Gittler Prize
Brandeis has selected Tressie McMillan Cottom as the 2023 Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize Recipient, in recognition of her celebrated work as a sociologist, author, and New York Times columnist. Cottom is also a professor at the Center for Information, Technology and Public Life at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a 2020 MacArthur Fellow.
Created by the late Professor Joseph B. Gittler, a sociologist and faculty member at several universities, the Gittler Prize is an annual award that recognizes “outstanding and lasting contributions to racial, ethnic, and/or religious relations.” Cottom’s bodies of work, including “Lower Ed” (2017) and “Thick: And Other Essays” (2019), spans a variety of topics, from the racial hierarchy of beauty standards and dress codes to the concerning rise of for-profit colleges from the perspective of someone who was once a recruiter for two for-profit colleges herself.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) praise
Best indie albums
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“Lower Ed” for insightfully disclosing the unjust dynamics that enable higher education meritocracy to exacerbate social inequality and for sparking important conversations about the benefits and harms of higher education. In 2019, her collection of essays, “Thick,” received many accolades, including a nomination for the National Book Award, not only for her analysis on personal experiences with body image as a Black woman but also for its powerful storytelling, poetic prose, and innovative form. Cottom will be in residence at Brandeis from Oct. 25 to 27, and she will be hosting a public lecture on Oct. 26. On the same day, Brandeis will host a ceremony to officially award Cottom the Gittler Prize, which includes a $25,000 cash prize and a medal.
Rent prices spike in WalthamBy JEN CRYSTAL JOSH GANS — Anika Jain
Student Union discusses new science research club, bylaws regarding Senator elections
The Student Union Senate gave probationary status to the Brandeis Science Research Connection Club, approved a Senate Money Resolution, and passed a bylaw amendment relating to elections at its Jan. 29 meeting.
SRCC co-President Michelle Lin ’24 explained that the club’s purpose is to provide knowledge, skills, and community to Brandeis undergraduates interested in gaining research experience on campus. Lin said that students often do not know how to approach professors about joining their lab groups.
Sen. Koby Gottlieb ’26 expressed doubt about the club’s uniqueness.
“My concern with this club is basically that it basically does what others do,” Gottlieb said, whose field of study is in the humanities. “I don’t think there’s that much of a need for this club.”
In a separate comment to the Justice, Sen. James Brosgol ’25,
Jan. 22—There was a medical emergency in the Stoneman Building. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further care.
Jan. 22—A party fainted in the Usdan Student Center. They were treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance.
Jan. 22—A party in North Quad requested BEMCo staff to look at a dog bite. They were treated by BEMCo staff and refused further care.
Jan. 22—There was a medical emergency in the Golding Health Center. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and transported to a local hospital via ambulance.
Jan. 22—The Waltham Police Department advised the Brandeis Police Department of a medical call received from the Charles River Apartments. Brandeis Police Department responded to the call.
Jan. 23—A party reported they fell and injured their nose in the South Residence Lot. An officer in charge was notified.
Jan. 24—A party reported they felt ill in Sherman Dining Hall. They were treated by BEMCo staff and refused further care.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
■ A sports article incorrectly portrayed the Brandeis vs. Emory men’s basketball game 73-71 (OT). It was corrected to 71-73 (OT) (Jan. 24, pg. 10).
■ A sports article misrepresented a Brandeis men’s basketball player’s name. It was corrected to David Perez-Miralles ’24 (Jan. 24, pg. 11 and 12).
■ A features article incorrectly stated that seven Massachusetts Starbucks stores have unionized. It was corrected to 15 stores. (Jan. 24, pg. 6). The Justice welcomes submissions for errors that warrant correction or clarification. Send an email to email@example.com.
a chemistry major, said “the current resources are not enough, and there is a need that the non-science people are unable to [understand].”
The Senate voted to give probationary status to the SRCC, with 12 senators voting in favor, three voting against, and Sen. Nicholas Kanan ’23 abstaining.
Student Union President Peyton Gillespie ’25 presented a Senate Money Resolution for the purchase of a lilac-colored Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 camera to replace one owned by former President Krupa Sourirajan ’23. Sourirajan had lent her camera to the Union for use at events. The camera recently stopped working after use at a Union-sponsored event. The Senate expedited and approved the SMR by acclimation.
Gillespie also presented an amendment to the bylaws which would prevent Union officials from running for positions within
their current branch before their term is up, unless their current term is concluding within 30 days. Gillespie said that this is intended to prevent officials from guaranteeing themselves a seat in office by running for a seat that would extend their term.
The Senate voted almost unanimously to approve the change. Only Kanan abstained, explaining that he contributed to the “wordsmithing” of the amendment.
Sen. Eamonn Golden ’24 said that he would be working on getting Halal food in the dining halls. Golden said this was available last semester, but that Harvest Table no longer served specifically Halal foods.
The Justice is the independent student newspaper of Brandeis University. The Justice is published every Tuesday of the academic year with the exception of examination and vacation periods.
Jan. 25—There was a report of a choking person in Skyline Residence Hall. A police unit was on scene first and BEMCo was paged.
Jan. 26—There was a medical emergency in Massell Quad. The party was treated by BEMCo staff and refused further care.
Jan. 26—An off-campus doctor requested medical assistance for a party in a mental health crisis. They were transported to the Brandeis Counseling Center and no further action was needed.
Jan. 27—An area coordinator on call reported a student had a knife pulled on them in Skyline Residence Hall. Police units responded, and the party was transported to a hospital via ambulance. A report was filed.
Jan. 27—A party reported a shoulder injury in Rosenthal Quad.
Jan. 22—A party reported their headphones were stolen in the Mandel Center for Humanities.
Jan. 27—A party reported they continuously have to leave their room because of an odor of marijuana in the Rosenthal Quad. The area coordinator on call was notified.
There was no smell of marijuana.
Jan. 28—Waltham Police Department reported a disturbance off campus on South Street near the Weston town line. They later updated that the disturbance had crossed over to the Weston line. No action was taken.
Jan. 28—There was a minor motor vehicle accident with no injuries in the Theater Lot. A report was composed.
Jan. 28—There was a report of an unknown male party asking questions to a group as they got off the train at the Brandeis Roberts station. Police units responded and checked the area of the train station, Ziv, Ridgewood, and Village Quads. The party was gone on arrival.
Rent prices burden Waltham community, drive out many residents
■By JEN CRYSTAL JUSTICE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Editor’s note—Reporting for this story was originally completed in the 2022 fall semester for a JOUR 89A class project titled “Smells Like Zine Spirit.”
As Brandeis class sizes grow larger and larger, the housing lottery has become even more competitive, pushing many students off campus and ultimately resulting in fierce real estate battles throughout Waltham. But the demand from Brandeis’ student body for off-campus housing in Waltham, among other things, is causing real estate prices in Waltham to soar, and the cost of living has driven many who grew up in Waltham to search for housing in different communities. This especially poses a risk to renters — and in a city like Waltham, comprising 50% renters, it can be difficult to compete with rising property and rent values
According to a Oct. 19 interview with Josh Kastorf of Grouches of Waltham — an independent group that covers local government, city council meetings, issues pertaining to the Waltham community, and local happenings — the “people who are getting priced out are not low income people.”
The current housing costs push everyone out, making “it impossible to have an intergenerational community,” Kastorf said. As he put it, people grow up here and don’t know if they can live in Waltham when they retire or if their kids can live here when they grow up — few people are permanent.
There are numerous organizations within Waltham, such as the Waltham Housing Authority, that work to address housing disparities and to mediate the impermanence of the community. Affordable and low income housing offerings aid in creating more options for people, but the criteria for affordable and low income housing itself is very specific and not available to all families who could benefit from these options.
Affordable and low income housing rates are established based upon Area Median Income figures of the average working family that are collected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
However, per Councilor Jonathan Paz (Ward 9), the term “average” can skew these figures. “It’s not just about how do we create more affordable housing, it’s how do we define affordable and how do we preserve what’s affordable and what’s dignified,” Paz said in an Oct. 11 interview with Channel 781 News. There are also numerous basic living expenses — facilities, food, transportation, childcare, etc. — that leave families “rent burdened.”
“Our mission is to provide safe, clean, affordable housing for people so they can live with some sort of dignity, comfort, and safety,” the Executive Director of the WHA John Gollinger said. The WHA provides low income housing to people at or below the 30% AMI rate, according to Gollinger. In 2020 Waltham had a median income rate of $95,851, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau defines the average family size in Waltham as 3.02, and a family of three can have a maximum income of $51,750 to apply for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.
Currently, the WHA manages 22 sites with over 800 units, the newest of which date back to the late 1970s, according to Gollinger. Even if the Waltham city government found a way to
double the amount of affordable and low income housing in the city, it would not even begin to “put a dent into what is needed in the community,” Gollinger said.
Despite the growing need for affordable housing, the WHA doesn’t acquire new properties because they struggle with staffing and resources for the current properties that they manage. The majority of their budget, therefore, goes toward property maintenance and upgrades, according to Gollinger. Other organizations that are either government-run or non-profits could fill in the slack and adapt vacant properties, but this would require a lot of work that the city has not necessarily shown interest in supporting, Kastorf explained.
Over the years, numerous people have proposed refurbishing abandoned spaces like the Company F. State Armory into affordable housing units. Most recently Daria Gere — the executive director at the Waltham Alliance for Teaching, Community Organizing and Housing, a Community Development Corporation — gave a presentation to the 2020 ad-hoc committee on affordable housing. WATCH CDC is a local organization that advocates for affordable housing and “empowerment through civic engagement,” per the organization’s website. During her presentation, Gere stated her agency’s intention to develop the vacant armory. This proposal was essentially shot down on procedural grounds because the nonprofit developer failed to provide a signed purchase and sale agreement. “In other words… it was killed by the city council, because supposedly the application was out of order,” Kastorf said.
“I think that realistically, the only way to fix our housing problems is to build new housing,” Kastorf said. Another potential solution that has been proposed by a variety of advocates over the years, most recently WATCH CDC, is to focus efforts on redeveloping vacant properties. Both of these solutions would require ongoing cooperation with developers — something the city has struggled to do in the past.
Public housing is a critical issue, Gollinger explained. Having adequate housing for families is “such an important factor of our lives.” He continued, “we need to bring more people into our profession who have ideas [on how to] alleviate… the pressing issues that follow when you have an inadequate housing supply for people.”
Change in Harvest Table leadership results in hiring of new resident district manager, Kory Laznick
In a Jan. 12 email from Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Andrea Dine, the University announced a change in Harvest Table Corporate leadership. Clayton Hargrove is no longer the resident district manager, and this position has been filled by Kory Laznick. Laznick has a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in many areas of the food service industry, including leading campus dining programs and working as a professional chef. He has also worked with special event companies in the New England area and has experience with menu development. According to the Brandeis Hospitality website, the best advice that he has ever received is “Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can; don’t worry about the future, just live the now and work hard.”— Anna Martin
As more students seek off-campus housing, costs of living rise, and ultimately produce gaps in affordability that the community is unable to meet.
PROTEST: BLU wants imperialism gone
“U.S. imperialists, numberone terrorists!”
“U.S. Marines: you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide!”
“Ho, Ho Chi Minh, U.S.A. will never win!” Ho Chi Minh was a former President of North Vietnam and the founder of the Indochina Communist Party in 1930.
However, the BLU did not limit their jeering to the United States and the Marines. Instead, they booed any students who approached the Marine recruiters, calling them “losers” and crying out “shame.” A protester called the desire to serve the country “extremely cringe” and even asked how a student would want to kill people — suggesting that they could do so “from far away, [they] could starve people, [they] could bulldoze their homes” because the Marines “offer a lot of options.”
Since they were in uniform, the Marine recruiters said they were unable to comment on the BLU’s political claims about campus recruitment exacerbating U.S. imperialism. However, they were able to clarify why the military recruits on college campuses and their goals as recruiters. The requirement to become a Marine officer is a 4-year degree from a university along with necessary training, making undergraduate students the best audience and on-campus recruitment displays one of the most effective means to find prospective recruits.
A Marine explained that the recruiters did not intend to “sell [the program] or trick students, [they were] just distributing information to those who did not know about it.” The officer also said that all recruits “can opt out of the training” if desired and that there is no service requirement for those who complete the summer program in the first place — becoming a Marine officer is an option for those who are interested.
In fact, an active service member and Public Policy graduate student at Brandeis — for active duty purposes, they did not want to provide their name — emphasized that paid training programs such as this one and ROTC aid “many people of lower socioeconomic status who would not have had these [academic] opportunities” without aid from
EXHIBITION: Photos on display
the military. Although they were “not unsympathetic” to BLU’s protesting, they found it relevant to express how being a service member benefited both themselves and their family, notably saying that one has to either “sell [their] soul to a bank for student loans or to the Army for GI Bill” in order to afford higher education in the United States.
That being said, the service member expressed that they came to Brandeis to see different perspectives and “engage with different ideas” such as the BLU’s protest, the student’s respect for protest outweighing the variation in ideology between theirs and BLU’s.
Much like the opinions of this active service member, student responses were divided. Some found the BLU’s conviction and fortitude to gather and chant for hours in support of a cause they found important to them “impressive” while others found the display polarizing and disruptive. In a followup interview via email, the BLU noted that they “received a mixture of support and opposition” and found only a “small contingent of ideologically motivated students” who interacted with the Marine recruiters positively.
While some students respected BLU’s passion, those who did not share the same opinion had multiple reasons as to why that was.
In fact, some of BLU’s critics took no issue with their cause — protesting U.S. imperialism and the University’s complacency with the military — but instead, with the Soviet Union flag and communist symbols from within the protest, as well as the BLU’s harsh words for students that positively responded to the Marines: “losers” and “terrorists.”
A student found the protest to be a “boatload of ignorance” and that the protest could not be considered peaceful because the BLU called students names.
The same student found the Soviet Union symbolism to be “viscerally uncomfortable” because of the number of students with families “as close [as] grandparents” who associate the Communist flag negatively. The student felt that using that flag in a student area “[ignored] the experience” of Jewish students attending the University and claimed they received a dismissive response from the BLU when they brought their discomfort to the protesters’ attention.
In the same follow-up interview, the BLU explained their use of communist symbolism, writing: “the hammer and sickle, the flag of the Soviet Union, and other related symbols represent the many things accomplished under these banners.” They outlined some of these achievements: “the triumph over oppressive monarchies, the seizing of state power by oppressed classes, the advancement of women’s rights, the advancement of and material support for national liberation movements around the world.” The BLU explained its foundational ideology comes from Marxism, and they are open to welcoming anyone who aligns with their “basic principles and wants to engage in the struggle for progressive change.”
Furthermore, while not all of its members are communists, BLU added that “many identify themselves that way.” They then compared their self-identified communists to activists from the 1960s and 1970s and the Black Panther Party. The BLU said that they “[look] upon the history of an international communist movement with great fondness [and seek] to learn from its victories and correct its mistakes in [their] own journey.”
Even if not all students can relate to the discomfort that the sight of two Soviet Union flags causes on a heritage-level, the student also questioned the choice to disrupt student life, disdainfully noting the BLU’s use of a megaphone in a closed, indoor space such as the SCC. The student felt that the protesters made the student center too aggressive of a place to productively work — their perspective aligning with a student teaching assistant who had been holding office hours over Zoom. BLU’s amplified chanting and taunting forced the TA to pick up and hold their office hours elsewhere.
The demonstration ended with the BLU following the Marine recruiters out of the SCC after taunting their struggle to fold a table: “Look at you, barely defeated a table. No wonder you lost to Vietnam.”
The protest left the Brandeis community to ponder its implications — the definition of a peaceful protest, the right to free speech versus the right for all individuals to feel comfortable in a public setting, and even the military’s ability to advertise on university campuses.
CONTINUED FROM 1
series currently on display but decided to put all four series into direct conversation and allow viewers to see what reoccurs throughout the pieces. This interseries cohesion is evident in her signature usage of dramatic lighting over subjects that emerge from dark backdrops and largely depict scenes of family, faith, and tradition.
Prof. Harleen Singh (WGS, SAS) commenced the artist talk portion of the evening, which was followed by Baldwin’s official introduction of Behar. The artist began by explaining the title of the exhibition by explaining how the variant readings of the word “interlaced” are relevant to her photography. Behar shared how influences such as Judith Black, Imogen Cunningham, and Sally Mann are interlaced into her work, as each of these artists demonstrate the relationship between motherhood and photography. “Photography, much like motherhood, happens both in milliseconds — as you open the
camera shutter — as well as in years and decades as you see a static record of what was and compare it with what is,” she said.
All of Behar’s photographs are choreographed, even those with human subjects. She spoke on how she collaborates with her children to tell their stories and hers. Instead of taking candid photographs, which Behar believes could interfere with their lives, she chose to construct formal images. “In doing so I create visual stories that are both a perfect document and a complete fiction of my current life,” she said.
Each of her three children appear in her series, “Homespun,” which utilizes yarn and threads to metaphorize their family life. She writes on her website: “Just as tension determines the body of a fabric, I use yarn, string, and rope to interlace a narrative. A textile carries its own qualities: tenacity, strength, and resistance. My images portray our fears, hopes, and comforts – the lives we stitch together.”
One large 27 x 36 inch piece called “Fringes” from the
“Homespun” series distinguishes itself as the only photograph on one of the gallery’s walls. Baldwin considers it one of the most striking pieces in the entire collection and decided to leave it as a stand alone piece to not only create a balance between the denser areas of the gallery, but also to recognize its exceptionally evocative nature.
Another one of the included series is “Tu Que Bivas,” an ongoing project that explores Behar’s background and contains elements of oral tradition and the passage of culture from one generation to another. Behar has spent the last 18 months doing research and talking with her mother and daughter to create a portfolio that studies their Sephardic roots.
Behar concluded her presentation by noting that with these photographs she wishes to investigate the fragility of life and capture scenes of fractured items intermixed with vulnerable moments. “There's decay and there's healing. With my camera, I stopped time with intent.”
We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.
ON THIS DAY…
In 1929, Leon Trotsky was expelled from Russia to Turkey.
FUN FACT Crows can hold grudges against specific people.
What’s in a name? Angélica María Aguilera hosts writing workshop on language and identityBy MADDY DULONG JUSTICE STAFF WRITER
On Jan. 27, Brandeis welcomed poet, artist, and educator Angélica María Aguilera for the “Say My Name Poetry Workshop” held in Ridgewood Commons. Aguilera is a Chicana poet and musician originally from Los Angeles. A finalist of the National Poetry Slam, the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the author of “They Call Me,” her work has been featured by organizations such as TEDx, Puma, and the United Soccer League’s Women’s League. Attendees listened in on Aguilera’s spoken word performance, whose themes included Latinidad machismo, womanhood, culture, and immigration. All present were then invited to write their own poetry — the prompt being an ode to their name — with tips and assistance from Aguilera. Throughout the two-hour event, conversations about identity, European colonialism, heritage, and cultural roots were fostered, and poetry on all these topics and more was shared and workshopped.
The event was co-sponsored by the Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies program; the Hispanic Studies Department, the Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation program; the Brandeis Library; the Creative Writing program; and the Brandeis Latinx Student Organization. Members of BLSO — Daphne Ballesteros ’24, Jose Gonzalez ’26, Anthony Andino ’24, and Ana Loza Pérez ’25 — aided in seating and tech preparation. Upcoming events such as a Feb. 13 general meeting for all interested, a soccer tournament, and a “represent the flag” party sets the BLSO’s intention to “provide spaces for Latinxs to feel welcome while engaging in conversations about our identities and experiences,” according to their site.
Ballesteros opened the event by introducing attendees to Angélica María Aguilera. Aguilera kicked off the spoken word session with a reading of her poem, “La Exótica.” The poem tackled Aguilera’s experience of the word “exotic” being used as a “compliment,” and her experiences on the receiving end of it: “to him, I’m a white tiger / an amazonian snake / you know, something people love to try / to own / before it turns them into a meal / he says I look exotic, I say he looks like an easy dinner / like a tooth to add to my necklace of teeth. I mean, / doesn’t he know the rules of the jungle?”
“Assimilation robs us of our magic … What do we lose when we assimilate?” Aguilera said, before her second reading of her poem “For The Girls with Long Names.”
In this poem, Aguilera writes, “esperanza-milagro aguilera, lina maría cañon, gladys teresa hidalgo / I like the names that introduce themselves / I like the names that
wrap their lengthy letters around your strong hand / and shake like they mean business / I like the names that get all dressed up to attend a party in their best friend’s kitchen / I like the names that bust open the door, bring their own music, and demand the DJ play the song that sings to them / that even with their pushy insistance, their urgency to salsa everywhere / somehow they remind you / every floor is waiting to be made a stage, / why stay seated when you can fly? / why have a body if not to turn it into an instrument?”
After a few more readings, Aguilera and the attendees transitioned into a workshop. Aguilera stressed the importance of language in the context of culture and identity, and why it is so crucial to protect and celebrate. Language, she emphasized, could function as a double-edged sword: a secret weapon of colonization, but also a representation of culture, ancestry, beliefs, and history.
Prompted by a Maya Angelou quote — “I will write on the pages of history what I want them to say. I will be myself. I will speak my own name” — Aguilera instructed the attendees to write an ode to their own name. “How do we say our names, or better yet, what do our names say about us?” Aguilera asked. “Throughout our lives, our names are our primary identifiers. In the United States, in classrooms and the workplace, names with accents and non-English pronunciations are often stigmatized and shortened or changed into a more American nickname.
As we head into this workshop I want you to reflect on your name … what is your relationship to your name?”
Following 15 minutes of individual work, Aguilera brought the group back and encouraged them to read their poems out loud. The first volunteer was Jose Gonzalez, who described his family’s history and his pride in his identity in his poem, “I am Jose.” “I, unlike my parents, am blessed to be living in a country of opportunities.
I am proud to be Mexican. I am proud to be me,” his poem concluded.
Ballesteros followed Gonzalez with a reading of her poem. It centered around her middle name, which is also her grandfathers’ first: “The source of my power, the source of my strength, the energy of a man who was only four foot eleven yet still moved mountains.”
Vaishnavi Bulusu ’24 also shared her poem. “I catered to my white counterparts rather than embracing my beautiful name and culture. I even started to question and feel almost embarrassed of my Indian identity and culture,” she said. “Was embracing the mispronunciation necessary for validation in this country? I then realized that I didn’t need anyone’s validation … I’ve come to accept and love the uniqueness of my name and pronunciation.
I don’t feel ashamed. My name comes from Hindu origin
and literally represents a goddess of wisdom, prosperity, and power. Why would I not want to embrace that?”
One of the last poems of the night came from Susana Bulnes Rodriguez ’24, who described her struggles with heritage connected to her name. “I haven’t been able to identify with my full name. Because I feel like a Susana but I don’t feel like a Bulnes or a Rodriguez, since I have never heard or experienced the stories of my heritage,” she said. “I am writing this to uplift myself, because I am the reason my parents have faced comments and violence in order to give me the American dream. I love my name because it shows that although they can take away my country and family, they can’t take away my will to live and my will to fight.”
After the open mic was concluded, Aguilera stayed behind to autograph her books for attendees to purchase, answer some questions, and request that those who were interested in her work sign up for her newsletter.
“Poetry is important because it allows us to rewrite our narratives in a way that empowers us,” Aguilera said. “It lets us imagine a world that honors our truth and the truth of who we are.”
The Chicana poet was welcomed by a number of collaborating departments and programs on Friday. In a spoken word presentation and subsequent poetry workshop, Aguilera and attendees honed in on the relationship between language, culture and identity.Photo courtesy of AIKO SCHINASI POETRY: Students pose for a group photo with copies of Aguilera’s book “They Call Me.” Photo courtesy of AIKO SCHINASI WRITING: Aguliera gives a writing workshop.
Instead of the Family Dollar, try family-run
Discount stores on Moody Street honor community and affordability.By ARIELLA WEISS JUSTICE EDITOR
Editor’s note—Reporting for this story was originally completed in the 2022 fall semester for a JOUR 89A class project titled “Smells Like Zine Spirit.”
A single block of Moody Street in Waltham, between Whitney Street and Taylor Avenue, is home to not one, not two, but three dollar stores. One is the ubiquitous chain store, Family Dollar. The other two, however, are local, family-run establishments, staples of the bustling shopping district: Shah Dollar Value and J & M Dollar Discount.
Located at the intersection of Moody and Taylor streets, Shah Dollar Value has been owned and operated for fifteen years by husband and wife duo Biba Fatima and Syed Shah. Their prices, Fatima said in a Nov. 14, 2022, interview, “aren’t as cheap as they used to be, but compared to other stores, people don’t think it’s as expensive here.” She continued by saying their commitment to keeping prices reasonable is something “we still have to honor,” and that they are trying their best to do so in the face of inflation.
The setup at Shah is visually striking: novelty lights flash, spin, and even bubble in the form of small fountains around the store. The Family Dollar, a national chain with a location further north up Moody Street, also carries novelty lighting, but not of the same wild variety Shah does. Winder Mayen, an employee at Shah said they had ordered 50 unique lamps that looked like a tornado spinning inside a candle after Fatima said to put one on display at the counter. Three days later, their stock was emptied.
A block north of Shah, J & M Dollar Discount has been housed on the corner of Moody and Gordon streets since owner Harry Singh opened the store in 2005. He and his family live in Waltham and are frequent customers of Moody’s many grocery stores. They eventually decided to open their own store on the street, figuring that the area’s high foot traffic
would bring customers into the store.
In his 17 years of running J & M, Singh has seen customers “get married, and their kids growing up.” During our conversation, a customer came in to buy lottery tickets — he greeted Singh with a “nice to see you again.” Singh offered him a cup of tea or coffee while the man sat down at a folding chair, nestled among the various surfaces overflowing with merchandise, to do his scratch-offs.
“If two or three customers ask for something, we get it,” Singh said, describing the prioritization of customer satisfaction as a key part of his business model.
Finding everything you need in one store is rare; finding it all to be reasonably priced, as well, is almost unheard of. J & M has a long-lasting relationship with wholesale sellers Singh met at trade shows. Singh said this process was about “finding vendors we know customers can afford to pay.” When he chooses to buy an item wholesale, “[It’s] me saying I’d be [personally] comfortable paying this [price] for this item.”
On a Monday afternoon in mid-November, it was City employee Eddie Callahan’s first time at J & M. He was immediately enchanted. “This store is awesome,” he exclaimed, after Singh told him they had the exact remote control model Callahan was looking for. “I’m so glad they have this remote … and they have everything,” he said.
Singh said that as a storeowner, he keeps the needs of the Waltham community in mind.
“People aren’t driving Ferraris here. We… keep it [at] Honda Accord prices,” he said. But when asked what kept customers returning to J & M, Singh did not mention low prices or customer satisfaction: “My personality,” he said with a smile. “How many places do people remember your name?”
Jen Crystal, Editor in Chief
Jane Flautt, Managing Editor
Cameron Cushing and Sofia Gonzalez, Senior Editors
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Aiden Guthro, Sports Editor
Megan Liao, Arts & Culture Editor
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Anna Martin, Acting Layout Editor
Zachary Goldstein, Eden Osiason, Online Editors
Brandeis fines getting out of control
Brandeis currently ranks as the 57th most expensive college in the country with an average cost of attendance around $75,000. As the Justice editorial board, we find it hard to comprehend why a university as expensive as Brandeis would be on the hunt to fine students every chance they get.
Students with a car on campus are no stranger to tickets on their windshield. Luckily, Brandeis generously offers residential students parking passes for an additional $250 a year and $120 for commuter students. Unfortunately, these passes do not grant access to all parking lots and available spaces on campus. For example, with a commuter parking pass, students are only allowed to park in T-lot and the Athletics Lot at Gosman. Residential passes are only valid for “South Residence” X-Lot, the Charles River Lot, and the Foster Apartments Lot.
These lots are not conveniently located for many academic buildings on campus, especially in north campus, which is why many students choose to park “illegally.” With many students needing a vehicle for work, transportation, or disability purposes, an additional $250 may not be feasible for all students who require their vehicle.
However, if someone refuses to pay for a parking pass and accumulates tickets, they will receive a plethora of unwelcome emails, registration holds, and possible graduation implications.
A student currently living at Foster Mods apartment complex reported over $600 worth of tickets. After receiving multiple phone calls and emails from University administration, the student refuses to bring their car back to campus. That car was used for transportation to-and-from their home, as well as off-campus work opportunities.
A Brandeis community advisor was cited for parking violations after moving their vehicle to their residence. Even after paying for the parking pass and communicating that the move from one lot to the other was for an off-campus appointment, the University refused their appeal and upheld the $25 fine.
The University urges their students to pursue opportunities in the Waltham community and beyond, yet forces students to pay additional fees in order to park on campus. While we recognize Brandeis’ Branvan and bus transportation services, there are a variety of places these modes of transportation cannot reach. These services are also unreliable at best. Furthermore, just by looking around the campus, it is quite rare that the entire University’s parking will be at full capacity. Excluding move-in day and large campus activities, which could be and are communicated to students through email, a large majority of campus parking lots and spaces remain open through the day.
University fines do not stop at parking tickets. From late fees at Student Financial Services to unreasonable and inconsistent SIMS lab fines, campus officials have become professionals at nickel-and-diming students every chance they get. The board understands that the University must maintain some sense of balance and respect. However, fining students and sending worrisome emails are not always the answer, especially considering that monetary punishments place unequal burdens on students based on income level and socioeconomic background. Students want the opportunity to engage with the community the best they can. We urge the University to meet them halfway and listen to their experiences.
No one should have to worry about where their next meal will come from or skip meals because they can’t afford to eat — certainly not at a university with abundant resources which they pay to attend.
Over the past few weeks, signs have gone up around campus, and emails have gone out, encouraging students to donate their extra guest meal swipes to help Brandeis students facing food insecurity as part of the Swipe Out Hunger program. For the second semester in a row, the meal swipe drive gives students the opportunity to donate up to five guest swipes over an approximate two-week period, which students experiencing food insecurity can then request through an online form over the course of the semester. While this board fully supports this and any efforts to address hunger on this campus, the University’s emphasis on this specific program raises questions and concerns among this board about Brandeis’ overall response, or lack thereof, to food insecurity among its student body.
According to Swipe Out Hunger, the national nonprofit organization that Brandeis has partnered with for the swipe drive, one in three college students faces food insecurity nationwide. The problem is certainly present on our campus. A 2017 report by the organization Challah for Hunger found that Brandeis was among the colleges at which school administrators said “food insecurity was a problem on their campus” and that “there is no official campus-wide policy to address food insecurity.”
Undergraduate and graduate students alike face hunger at Brandeis. In 2021, former Senior Coordinator of Graduate Student Affairs Steve Weglinski told The Greater Boston Food Bank that an estimated 50% of Brandeis graduate students struggle greatly with food and housing costs and told the Justice earlier that year that 10-12% of the overall student population have been identified as food insecure.
Being a college student comes with an array of responsibilities and challenges; as students, we are expected to balance these while constantly thinking and performing at our highest capabilities. Maintaining the level of effort needed to succeed at an
institution like Brandeis isn’t possible if students are being deprived of the proper amount of food or important nutrients, or stressing about how to afford to eat that week.
The University is clearly aware that food insecurity is an issue among its student body; this board feels that addressing this issue by whatever means necessary to make sure that all students are well-fed should be Brandeis’ top priority.
We are grateful for the efforts of various groups and departments to address hunger on our campus, such as the swipe drive and the FRESH Pantry in the Usdan Game Room. Yet we are disappointed that the University does not have a more comprehensive, reliable system to ensure that all students are able to access meals both on and off campus. The swipe drive asks students to take on the responsibility of supporting those of us facing food insecurity. While Brandeis students have shown themselves time and time again to be more than willing to support fellow students in need, this board feels that the University should be using its money to address such a pressing issue impacting the health and wellness of its students, rather than relying on students to use our limited resources.
Of course, the Brandeis community has a mutual responsibility to support one another, but when students are going hungry and the institution is aware of the problem, it is hard to understand why providing for its students’ most basic survival needs is not the University’s top priority. Every day, Brandeis makes choices as to where it will invest its money — why isn’t student hunger first on the list?
Food is a right, not a privilege. We would hope a university that touts its commitment to social justice would support this value. When students do not have consistent access to nutritious food, they are put at a disadvantage academically, and their physical, mental, and emotional health is negatively impacted in a myriad of ways. Students come to Brandeis for its renowned academic experience, top-notch professors programs, and engaged community, but Brandeis is failing its students by not doing everything it can to ensure every student’s most basic needs are met.
Asking for a friend
If you are interested in submitting advice for the upcoming column, follow our Instagram: @thejusticenewspaper.
Q:What is one tip you would give to Brandeis students wanting to get involed in the campus and Waltham community?
A:Our general advice is that you have more capacity than you think, and that means factoring community involvement into your schedule and that people want to build connections with you.
Our organizational advice would be to join us of course, as we offer a variety of forms of community engagement on and off campus between study groups, movie nights, protests (on-and off-campus) and involvement in various mutual aid organizations off campus. Specifically we work with Waltham Food Not Bombs, who cooks and serves meals to working class and unhoused people right here in Waltham, as well as Warm Up Boston which does material support, including food and clothes along with other stuff, in Cambridge as well as Worcester in addition to running study group, tabling at benefit concerts and leading Narcan trainings. Being involved with BLU doesn’t just mean being involved with BLU stuff on campus, but getting integrated in the Boston area activist-organizer community.
We’d also be glad to have one of our members talk in person if you want more of our thoughts, just let us know how we can best accommodate
We have an upcoming general meeting on Feb, 2!
For more information follow @brandeisleftistunion on Instagram —Brandeis Leftist Union
To the editor,
After the protest by the Brandeis Leftist Union and the biased article in The Hoot all but praising their actions, I feel the need to speak out. This protest was pointless. The Marines were not visiting Brandeis for a political event. They were not here to proclaim support for the murder of civilians or imperialism or any other wrongdoings the BLU accused these soldiers, and through them the United States military, of. They were here to inform students of job opportunities. They were greeted by screams and personal attacks. Such actions are
an embarrassment to the student body of this school and only served as a form of attention seeking. A nuanced conversation can be had on the extent of the United States’ military-industrial complex and actions abroad, but from their cries of “baby killers,” it is clear that the BLU does not want to have one.
Farewell to soccer: struggles as a student athleteBy AIDEN GUTHRO JUSTICE EDITOR
You’ve probably seen us around campus, maybe we were wearing the big parka jackets or styling the Nike backpacks. For many of us, Gosman Athletic Center has become another home; somewhere where we have experienced our highest highs and lowest lows. Yes, I’m talking about Brandeis athletes.
This article isn’t an attempt to inspire some form of “school spirit.” I am not that naive. I’ll even admit that the judge mascot can be a little off-putting.
Those eyes… That gavel… It’s some serious nightmare fuel.
No, this article is addressing the mental health of student athletes across the Brandeis community. This is meant for the people who may have struggled in silence, and this is to let them know that they are not alone.
Brandeis is a Division III university, and we do not compete or practice at the same level as higher divisions. However, that doesn’t mean our commitment to the sport is inferior. Most of us have played our sports for our entire lives; it’s part of who we are, has taught us invaluable lessons, and has given us lifelong friendships. I know for myself, and many others, it has become an identity. I know I said I wouldn’t try to inspire any school spirit, but for a second I am going to hype up athletics, so please bear with me.
Brandeis is a part of the University
Athletic Association. For those who don’t know what that is, it is one of the most competitive Division III leagues in the country. Teams in the league include University of Chicago, University of Rochester, Emory University, Washington University, New York University, Case Western University, and Carnegie Mellon University. Among all these universities, there have been 62 national championships.
Since 2011, Brandeis has had 67 AllAmerican athletes across all sports. To make a long story short, there are a lot of good athletes across these schools and many of them are right here at Brandeis.
Alright, I’m done with the Brandeis hype. Now, I’ll discuss all the good and bad that comes with this commitment. First off, the good stuff. Through four years of athletics here, (not really counting the pandemic interruption) I have had some of the best experiences of my life. I spent two preseasons in Vermont, basically going to summer camp before school started. I beat nationally ranked teams with some of my best friends. I traveled to different states and stayed in hotels, primarily eating Italian food. I shared amazing experiences with people who have totally different backgrounds than me. I grew as a player and a person, and I wouldn’t trade these memories for the world.
However, like anything, it wasn’t always an easy and fun ride. As any athlete knows, with every unbelievable victory there comes crushing defeat. There were days when I blamed myself for a loss or poor team performance — times when I couldn’t
separate myself from me as the person and me as the player. There were days when I needed to do school work but I couldn’t actually do it. I would even sit in class and think about a single moment in a game and before I knew it, the class was over; spending hours thinking about a single moment that had already passed.
My competitiveness is what got me here, both figuratively and literally. It literally got me to play college athletics; I strived to be the best I could be, and I wanted to succeed at any cost. But it also brought me here: consumed by the thoughts of a single moment, unable to move on. It was a double edged sword, but it is a part of who I am, and I recognize that.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have some great people in my corner during my career. From friends and family to coaches, I’ve had people who are willing to do whatever is necessary to see me succeed. I am eternally grateful for this, but it also comes with a few caveats. If I had a nickel for every time I heard “just forget about the game” or “it’s easier to just move on,” I could probably pay off my student loans. I know they’re just trying to help, but the advice is pretty obvious. I’d love to “just forget about the game” or “move on,” but it’s easier said than done. I used to get frustrated at these people when they would try to help, so I buried my feelings.
This past year I was a captain for my team. Ever since I got to campus and played with the team, I knew I wanted to be a captain. Both my brothers were captains of their teams at college, and they were
my role models. When I was named, I felt an immense amount of pride in myself. But, sometimes leadership can make you feel like you’re alone on an island. You’re expected to be consistent, stable, a pillar for the team to rely on. When you’re on the top, where does the top turn to? I buried these feelings again. It was easier to help others than help myself.
As captain, I tried to lead my team with love and compassion. While it isn’t very macho or tough, people recognize when someone is being genuine. I wanted to make sure that my teammates knew I was there for them anytime they needed, no matter the circumstances. I would tell my teammates that I care more about the person than the player. However, I was living in direct contrast with what I was saying; separating the player and person felt impossible to me.
Now, as I end my athletic career, I want to impart some wisdom on those who may feel similar struggles. First, you won’t be able to just forget a performance or move on — try to come to terms with it, though. Understand that it happened, but it isn’t who you are. Second, remember the people who are in your corner. They might not offer helpful advice all the time, but they are there for you, and most of the time they are willing to listen. If you feel like you need to talk to someone else, then try and find those people as well; sports psychologists, Brandeis resources, whoever. And finally, take a step back every now and then. Look at how far you have come. Play for the little kid that started, because that little kid would be so proud of you.
SUPER BOWL: Kelce brothers make history
exceptional talents the NFL has ever seen. At only 27 years of age, it will be interesting to see if Mahomes can continue this success into the later years of his career. But for now, Mahomes and the Chiefs are only worried about the next game; The biggest game of the year. All in all, you could feel for both teams that lost, but the attention is pointed to the big game which is set to take place on Sunday Feb. 12. Among the top and
more heartwarming storylines, Philadelphia All-Pro center Jason Kelce is set to play his brother and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce in Arizona. This will be the first time that brothers will square off in the Super Bowl; talk about ultimate bragging rights! From a spectators view, all you can do is hope for a good game, as this Super Bowl is featuring the number one ranked teams from both conferences.
PREMIER LEAGUE: Title race cools off as relegation battle becomes intense
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the appointment of former club captain Mikel Arteta as manager. He has offloaded many of the big personalities and deadweight players, instilled a strict but healthy environment, and made smart signings that have created a culture that players want to be a part of. Though many people could see the progress, nobody imagined they would have just one defeat in their opening 19 matches and lead the title race by the halfway point. With the youngest squad in the Premier League and the second youngest manager, Arsenal certainly have a bright future ahead.
During the early days of preseason, second place Manchester City were heavy favorites to win the league for a third consecutive time. Though they have stumbled, they still have a significant shot, especially with Norwegian phenom Erling Haaland leading the line. Signed this summer from German club Borussia Dortmund, the 22-year -old has smashed many records.
In 19 matches he already has 25 goals and 3 assists, on pace for 48 goals this season — the current record is just 34. He also has four hat tricks, by far the quickest to ever achieve that feat. However, the team around him has struggled to find similar success and will have to work hard to catch up with the Gunners.
Another surprise is Newcastle United. A year ago, the Magpies had one win and 11 points in their opening 20 matches and became one of the favorites to be relegated to the Division II EFL Championship. Today, they sit comfortably in third place with 10 wins and 39 points, boasting the best defense in the Premier League. The team was inspired by managerial and ownership change — even though the new
WNBA: Star player accuses management of discrimination
CONTINUED FROM 12
ownership, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, comes with severe controversies of its own.
This season has also seen the rejuvenation of once-buried Manchester United and the rise of three surprise teams: Brighton, Fulham, and Brentford — who sit graciously, yet cautiously, above powerhouses and preseason favorites Liverpool and Chelsea.
The league has seen the fall of Leicester City — former Premier League champions in perhaps the most incredible underdog story in the history of sports — who are now fighting to avoid relegation.
Nottingham Forest, one of the most successful teams in English soccer, have triumphantly returned to the top flight for the first time since the turn of the millennium.
We now see a relegation battle for the ages, with eight teams realistically in the hunt, including Everton, a club that has never been relegated; West Ham United and Wolves, two sides that competed for a UEFA Champions League spot a year ago; and Leeds United, a club that has embraced an American approach with manager Jesse Marsch and three other key starters from the United States.
work out… even on days where it was uncomfortable to walk.” However, the Aces, allegedly, did not believe she worked hard enough and did not anticipate her to be ready by the start of the season. Hamby described the behavior as “unprofessional and unethical,” especially for an organization “who preach[es] family, chemistry, and women’s empowerment.” “We fought for provisions that would finally support and protect player parents. This cannot now be used against me," she contested in her post.
This is by no means a simple issue, nor is it the first encounter the WNBA has had with working mothers. One of the more notable cases dates back to 2018 when the six-time All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith played the whole WNBA season pregnant. In a 2020 interview with Women’s Health, Diggins-Smith revealed that a big part of her decision to hide the pregnancy was based on fear. “In the past, there’s been players that I’ve known who have only gotten half their salary,” Diggins-Smith said during the interview. Already having to play overseas to make ends meet, taking a pay cut could pose great challenges to any WNBA player.
Another noteworthy example of pregnancy discrimination came from Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall-of-Famer Sheryl Swoopes and her pro-ball debut six weeks after her delivery during the inaugural WNBA season in 1997. Swoopes battled against harsh sarcasm, lack of assurance from her franchise, and
public scrutiny of her fitness being a mother as a professional athlete throughout the entire season. She proved that it is possible to play as a mother and invited the basketball world to take a deeper look into this controversial issue. Considering Swoopes’ return to the court and Diggins-Smith advocacy for working mothers, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association struck a deal in the 2020 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that guarantees players fullypaid maternity leaves, with $5000 stipends, and other benefits. There are several aspects to explore in Hamby’s case. First, some compare WNBA players’ pregnancy to injury, a familiar analogy for men’s leagues in the male-dominated world of professional sports. The logic is simple: if a player gets injured, their market value as an athlete decreases and their team has every right to trade them for an active player. That said, being injured (unlike having children) is never a pursuit of anyone’s life. It is the nature of the game to be injured, and players bear parts of the responsibility of preventing themselves from injury — as every athlete reasonably does. Yet, to be pregnant or not should always be the decision of a person, as it is the right of every person to become pregnant at any stage of their life. The complexity of this issue begs the question of how a player’s pregnancy should fall into the market equation of professional players, and the attitude of the management largely
dictates what the formula would look like. Secondly, based on the spirit of a woman’s right to become pregnant when employed, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) prohibits “discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” However, after a trade, the player rarely suffers any loss of benefit or reduction in salary, which is in agreement with both the PDA and the 2020 CBA. One might argue that Hamby’s scenario qualifies as what the PDA describes as an “unfavorable job assignment,” but that would entail further legal interpretations. As a result of such inattentive clauses to the specific circumstances Hamby faces, the jurisdiction over the case might boil down to the alleged comments from the Aces’ management. If it were true that the Aces called Hamby a “question mark” and wished her to stay away from pregnancy, that would be evidence of clear-cut pregnancy discrimination.
The WNBPA has already begun its investigation of Hamby’s allegations and promised to “ensure her rights” under the 2020 CBA as well as state and federal law. Whether this specific case is pregnancy discrimination or not, it definitely requires a further look. The WNBA, considering its long history of dealing with pregnant players from the first WNBA season, should start exploring ways and taking actions to better protect their working mothers in the league.
CREATIVE COMMONS Photo courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS 10 TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2023 ● SPORTS ● THE JUSTICE Write for Arts! Contact Megan Liao at firstname.lastname@example.org! Interested in music, theater, film, comedy or museums?
BASKETBALL: Judges lose close contest against Case Western
■ The Brandeis Women’s Basketball team came up short in their weekend match-up vs. the Case Western Spartans on Jan. 27 at Auerbach Arena.By AIDEN GUTHRO JUSTICE EDITOR SENIOR SNIPER: Tathiana Pierre ’23 has been solid from behind the arc. Pierre averages 5.9 points per game, shooting 32.5% from three. UP AND OVER: Captain Emma Reavis ’23 rises above the Spartans. Reavis finished the night with 16 points and nine boards. SETTLING DOWN: Mollie Obar ’25 prepares to attack the basket. GATHER THE TROOPS: Judges head coach Carol Simon calls her team in for a timeout. POINT GOD: Lulu Ohm ’25 sets up the offense as the Judges march down the court.
Sports just JUDGES
Arsenal stays on top as Premier League marches on
■ As the Premier League season wages on, Arsenal and Manchester City look to pull away from the pack as the competition at the top gets fierce.By JOSH GANS JUSTICE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The English Premier League is widely regarded as the most prestigious domestic league in the world of sports. In addition, it is the most popular — and subsequently the richest — league in soccer, as it accumulates an estimated $5.3B in revenues per season and has more viewership than any league in any sport on Earth. It is historically known for its intense physical play, incredible upset stories, as well as for showcasing many of the best players in the world — this season has been no different.
While the talent across the league has been top-class, many players have felt the toll of a long and grueling season. Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the world in 2020, this was the first time in the Premier League’s 30- year history that saw a pause in the middle of the season. This was
thanks to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, taking place from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18. Along with the many human rights controversies of that World Cup, there have been concerns regarding the wellbeing of players in the Premier League. This has forced the league to condense its season, creating a more rigorous schedule of intense matches. Amid the unfamiliarity of this season, it has been one of the most unpredictable and exciting campaigns in the league’s history. Now at the halfway point of the season, Arsenal leads the league by five points, with a game in hand. In August, they were given 25-1 odds to win the Premier League, or less than 4%. At the halfway point just two years ago, Arsenal sat in 11th place en route to an eighth place finish in which they accumulated just 61 points. Today, they sit on 50 points — on pace to equal the Premier League record 100, only ever achieved by Manchester City’s “Centurions” in the 2017/18 season.
Historically, Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world but has failed to win the league title since their “invincibles” side went unbeaten 19 years ago, Since then they have tailed off as a club. The broken culture at the club over the past couple of seasons has begun to shift since
Hamby calls out Las Vegas Aces
■ Hamby, after being traded to Los Angeles Sparks, claims to have been “bullied” and “discriminated” against by the Aces’ management for her pregnancy.By JACKSON WU JUSTICE STAFF WRITER
After a successful 2022 Women’s National Basketball Association season, the reigning champion, Las Vegas Aces, sought to make some lucrative moves this offseason.
Preceding the recent announcement from future Hall-of-Famer Candace Parker to join the franchise, the Aces agreed to trade their bench leader Dearica Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for negotiating rights to Amanda Zahui B. and a future second-round pick. Hamby was drafted 6th overall in 2015 by the Aces’ predecessor, the San Antonio Stars, and has stayed with the organization until the recent trade. She is a two-time WNBA
FALL FLAT IN WEEKEND GAMES
Brandeis Women’s Basketball lost a close contest with Case Western in their UAA match-up on Jan. 27, pg. 11.
MVP finalists set to square off in Arizona for Super Bowl
Sixth Woman of the Year and a twotime WNBA All-Star. Her story of motherhood has also been one of the social media spotlights of the Aces.
In an Instagram post on Jan. 21, Hamby released a statement accusing the Aces’ management of “traumatizing” comments and behaviors around the Los Angeles trade. “Being traded is a part of the business,” the WNBA star first acknowledged, “being lied to, bullied, manipulated, and discriminated against is not.” She signed a multiyear extension with the Aces last June and announced her pregnancy during the championship parade last September, which seems to be the root of the controversy. According to Hamby’s statement, the Aces accused her of signing the contract “knowingly pregnant” while calling her a “question mark,” saying she “didn’t hold up [her] end of the bargain,” and blamed her for “not taking precautions to not get pregnant.”
Hamby made it clear in her post that she planned to return to action after her pregnancy and had “pushed [herself] throughout [her] entire pregnancy and have continued to
■ The Philadelphia Eagles will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs on football’s biggest stage.By PRATEEK KANMADIKAR JUSTICE STAFF WRITER
This past weekend, the American Football Conference (AFC) championship was held between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Earlier in the day, the National Football Conference championship took place between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field.
There was high anticipation for both games, and while the AFC game lived up to the hype, the NFC game was rather disappointing. Rookie quarterback sensation Brock Purdy, who is also a finalist for Offensive Rookie of the Year, injured his right elbow early in the game. San Francisco was forced to play Josh Johnson, a 15 NFL journeyman who has bounced around the league. Johnson struggled to find
his footing as the lead quarterback as he fumbled the ball early when he took the field. In addition to Purdy’s exit, All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner also left the field in the first quarter due to an injury. The Eagles were able to take advantage of the 49ers’ injury struggles and took a commanding lead by the second quarter of the game. Jalen Hurts, the quarterback for the Eagles, and a finalist for Most Valuable Player, played decently, but it was the Eagles’ backfield that secured the win for Philadelphia. Pro-Bowl running back, Miles Sanders, and his backfield partner, Boston Scott, put up three touchdowns between the partnership. The Eagles showed the entire NFC why they were ranked number one in the division with their 31-7 victory over a strong San Francisco team. This result also marked the first loss Purdy sustained since taking over the reins on Dec. 4. While the game will be a tough pill to swallow for any 49ers fan, they can look forward to a bright future with some star talent at the helm.
The AFC game was far more entertaining from a spectator's perspective. A majority of the match-up was a back-and-forth
shootout with each team able to answer the call when needed. With time winding down in the fourth quarter, the score was tied at 20-20. Joe Burrow, the quarterback for the Bengals, threw a costly interception that put the Chiefs back on the field with a scoring opportunity. The Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes charged his troops down the field to try and get within field goal range. Yet, with less than minutes left on the clock, the Chiefs were still 15 yards from field goal range. Things took a turn for the worst for Cincinnati when Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai was flagged for an unnecessary roughness hit on Mahomes. This devastating penalty moved the Chiefs into field goal range, and there was just enough time for Harrison Butker to run on the field and kick the game winning field goal to seal the win. Media swarmed Ossai after the devastating loss, but teammates shielded their comrade from the hurling question. This win sends Mahomes to his third Super Bowl appearance with a chance to secure his second Lombardi Trophy. Mahomes has been one of the most consistent and
Most heartfelt & underrated animated films of 2022By MINA ROWLAND JUSTICE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
I think last year — more than ever — we saw different styles of animation and a fair amount of praise going to more mainstream films like Pixar’s “Turning Red” and “Lightyear,” and other studio productions like “Minions: Rise of Gru” and “Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio.” However, we need to give praise to some underrated but equally heartfelt films released in 2022. If you have not seen any of these films, please watch them. Like, right now.
PSA: I am doing this list based on when I watched these, not on which ones are best, so don’t come at me for the order.
“The Sea Beast,” July
“The Sea Beast” — an overlooked gem — was released in the summer of 2022 on Netflix. I absolutely loved everything about this film. This magical movie explores life at sea, mixed with monsters and brave hunters, proves how complicated war is, and explores what defines a hero. Our story centers on a young Black, orphaned girl Maisie, played by Zaris-Angel Hator, whose parents died
on a monster hunt. She stows away on the ship “Inevitable” with the famous Captain Crow, voiced by Jared Harris, and his team of hunters including Jacob Holland, voiced by Karl Urban, and Sarah Sharpe, voiced by Marianne Jean-Baptist. Jacob befriends Maisie when the two become shipwrecked, and they both realize that the Monsters are not as dangerous as they seem. While a seemingly simple plot, one of the most important themes the film touched on was respecting animals and species — that we may not be familiar with — and their right to exist, as well as anti-hunting which is really important to me as someone who cares about animal rights. Overall this film is an inspiring and gripping adventure-filled tale.
“The Bad Guys,” April Dreamworks is best known for “Shrek,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Kung Fu Panda,” but their most recent film, “The Bad Guys,” is one of the best comic animated films I have seen in a while. The film, based on a graphic novel series of the same name by Australian author Aaron Blabey, tells a fun and hilarious story about
crime, stereotypes, and goodwill. Dreamworks has been a bit of a laughing stock when it comes to animation, but the fast-paced and action-packed film has a striking difference in tone and lessons. It follows a crime squad: Wolf, voiced by Sam Rockwell, Snake, voiced by Marc Maron, Tarantula, voiced by Awkwafina, Shark, voiced by Craig Robinson, and Piranha, voiced by Anthony Ramos, attempting to prove they are model citizens with no urge to be cunning. The film stands out to me, because it almost humanizes the ‘bad guys’ while clearly emphasizing that stealing is wrong. Observing that we should not always judge so quickly allows us to grasp how nuanced decisions can be in real life. The film is a great basis for conversation around implicit bias and stereotypes, especially for children, while not failing to add a classicDreamworks great laugh.
Another amazing, yet extremely underrated, animated feature is “Fireheart” which came out in February 2022 on Hulu. This amazing film follows 16-year-old Georgia Nolan,
voiced by Olivia Cooke, in her journey to follow her dreams and become the first female firefighter in early 20th-century New York. Georgia runs into plenty of problems, from her father’s lack of validation to failing to meet social expectations.
When a mysterious string of arsons hit the great city, she finds a creative way for her talents and voice to be heard. The film has a large focus on gender.
The closing credits end the film with a tribute to the real-life female firefighters in 1982 who worked for the fire department in New York. As a young woman who often finds herself in male-dominated environments, this film explores gender roles and proves that women are just as talented and strong as men. It is not only an emotional journey of the pursuit of equal rights, but also brings up important topics about adoption, family, and empathy. One of the main takeaways, of course, is to not play with fire.
“My Father’s Dragon,” October
Lastly, the film “My Father’s Dragon” is Netflix’s adaptation of the 1948 Newbery medalwinning children’s book of the same name. The story follows a
boy named Elmer Elevator who is a runaway and meets a fantastical dragon named Boris. Though the film has very little resemblance to the book, it is a beautiful story. The animation is particularly unique as it is produced by Irish studio Cartoon Saloon — known for “The Breadwinner” and “Wolf Walkers” — and is hand-drawn. Our lead Elmer — played by Jacob Tremblay — is a bit unhappy despite having a loving family, so he runs away. On his journey, Elmer discovers a Wild Island and a friendly baby dinosaur, Boris. The film cultivates the vitality of imagination through Elmer’s courage to save Boris and provokes conversations about how to deal with fear as he deals with threats of other animals and environmental disasters. The idea is more gentle, but it still makes an impact on questioning why rising sea levels are a threat to the earth. Although all these animated films are very different in animation style, and in the stories they tell, they each share family-friendly values and unique storylines that have not been explored before and prove that animation is cinema.
Best albums of 2022By JANE FLAUTT JUSTICE MANAGING EDITOR
In a year that saw everything from the return of Beyoncé to the release of yet another Taylor Swift album — which brought with it a deluge of Ticketmaster drama — the indie music scene has also gifted its fans with an explosion of new music. With such musical excess, it seems almost criminal to limit the best of 2022 to 10 albums, but here we are anyway: the 10 best (indie) albums of the year.
10. “Sometimes, Forever,” Soccer Mommy
Is this a love song or a twisted metaphor about desire? You can never quite tell with Soccer Mommy where the pain ends and euphoria begins, and for Sophie Allison, lead singer and songwriter, love and torture might be one and the same. For instance, in her single “Shotgun,” Allison sings, “So whenever you want me I’ll be around / I’m a bullet in a shotgun waiting to sound,” as the drums beat in quick succession like a gunshot in the distance. Soccer Mommy’s songs on “Sometimes, Forever” are all about this push and pull of wounds of love. Love is carnage, “so carve me up,” sings Allison on “Unholy Affliction.” Her lyrics are visceral, bloody, and a hellscape of emotions — but she can’t seem to cut herself off from this addiction. This torturous tug-of-war at the heart of her most recent album is what makes it so relatable, if painful, to experience alongside her. Perhaps, an answer to Soccer Mommy’s war of love and agony lies in the title, “Sometimes, Forever”: the temporary and the infinite, irreconcilable but inextricably next to each other.
9. “Blue Skies,” Dehd
There’s something nostalgic and timeless in Dehd’s music. Their 2020 album, “Flowers of Devotion,” is dripping in reverb and longing. It provides an escape from the hell of pandemic isolation, while embracing the euphoria of the uncontrollable. However, Dehd didn’t stop there. With their 2022 album, “Blue Skies,” we get an album that builds on all the dreamy, ambient, and soaring sounds of their previous work with a more consistent sonic edge pushed forward by the
fearless belting of bassist/vocalist Emily Kempf. More than often supported by guitarist/vocalist Jason Balla, Kempf’s voice leads us along a road of redemption and clarity in “Blue Skies,” a bright and dynamic fourth album for Dehd.
8. “Laurel Hell,” Mitski It was a good year for depressed people: Mitski released her sixth album, “Laurel Hell.” In the opening track, “Valentine, Texas,” Mitski sets the tone for the rest of her album with a transcendent compilation of shaking, reserved vocals, and slow chords building to a storm of synth and piano worthy of a spiritual reckoning. Mitski is at her best when she is emotionally devastated, and “Laurel Hell” is no different from her previous work in that regard. Track 2 is a perfect example: “Working for the Knife” is a song of loneliness and disillusionment, abundant with imagery devoid of free will or any hope for the future. Yet, throughout “Laurel Hell,” Mitski also pairs emotional surrender with beautiful and haunting instrumentals, as if there is something still worthwhile in the dark — something that still glimmers through the grime.
7. “Tell Me That It’s Over,” Wallows
In their sophomore album, Wallows continued to embrace the messiness of love in your 20s, with all the emotional reservation and driving guitar chords their Gen-Z fans love them for.
In 10 tracks of barely-controlled frenzy, “Tell Me That It’s Over” is a fast-paced indie rock album done right, laced with emotional confusion and pleas for an end to jumbled love affairs. There are moments of desperation and denial, and Wallows is more often than not caught up in the regrets of the past. As the album works itself down from the climax of Track 8, “Hurts Me,” the final two tracks strike a quieter tone. Through the best and final track of the LP, “Guitar Romantic Search Adventure,” Wallows leaves listeners longing for lives unlived. “Wish we could cancel time / Or let it all fly by,” lead singer Dylan Minnette pleads, and we can’t help but mourn all the things left unsaid and the time wasted on past loves alongside him.
6. “God Save the Animals,” Alex G
Alex G is an artist you can never quite predict. His latest work, “God Save the Animals,” is no exception. Alex G, the stage name of Alex Giannoscoli, has created another baffling, genre-melding album, with an undercurrent of folksy instrumentation that evokes rural countrysides and quiet failures. His lyrics are peppered with religious imagery: failed missionaries, desperate prayers, and drug-fueled miracles. The gentleness of tracks like “Miracles” and “Mission” is contrasted sharply by the harsher sound of “Blessing,” with Giannoscoli’s whispered vocals and Christ-like rebirth narrative more ominous than melancholic. Like in his past work, Alex G’s lyrics hang around you long after you finish listening. He has a gift for making songs like Track 6, “Ain’t it Easy,” that seem to emerge as much from his mind as from the mire of your own emotions. When you listen to “God Save the Animals,” you go down into the darkness with Alex G, emerging not with peace, but maybe some comfort in better knowing what haunts you.
5. “And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow,” Weyes Blood “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be Natalie Mering’s, aka Weyes Blood, mindset for her second LP in an expected trilogy of albums. Building on the epic and haunting sound of her previous album, “Titanic Rising,” “And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow” strikes a similar feeling in listeners, bringing together mythological metaphors with soaring vocals that leave you transcending the mundane landscape of modern life. Mering’s music is as much a spiritual experience as a purely auditory one. In Track
4, “God Turn me into a Flower,” the singer pleads for a fate fit for a tragic Greek hero, alluding to figures like Narcissus, whose fatal flaw is to be brought down by his own beauty. While her new album may be nothing we haven’t seen before, Weyes Blood doesn’t care — instead, she asks us to dive deeper into lore, into apocalypse, and into the glow of love.
4. “Texas Moon,” Khruangbin and Leon Bridges
One of the best partnerships in indie & experimental R&B over the past few years, Khruangbin
and Leon Bridges came together again for their second EP, “Texas Moon,” a sequel to “Texas Sun,” released in 2020. What Khruangbin and Bridges do so well together is their immaculate creation of the Texas landscape — arid, endless, seductive. In “Texas Moon,” Bridges’s voice is a perfect accent to the dreamy and smooth instrumentals of Khruangbin, a threeperson band that masters genres from psychedelia to reggae as much as defies them. Khruangbin and Bridges lull you into the sultry and dark Texas nighttime, where you’re as likely to find shelter as a never-ending stretch of road on the path to absolution.
3. “Blue Rev,” Alvvays
After five long years, the Alvvays drought is over, and when it rains, it pours — “Blue Rev” promised a lot and delivered beyond expectations. Alvvays is not a band to release music for the hell of it — they have only released three albums in almost 10 years. Indeed, they are methodical, and fans’ patience has been rewarded with the explosion of dream pop that is their third LP. College drop-outs, internet addicts, a drunken and jealous ex, a perpetual runaway — these are the characters of “Blue Rev.” On a track that feels like a refreshing deviation from the rest of the album, “Very Online Guy” is making fun of the stereotype of a modern, media-obsessed man. The song mows you down with a crescendo of synth and sarcasm.
“Belinda Says” has every feature of an Alvvays song you could ever want: a gentle intro that screams into a wall of sound, lead singer Molly Rankin’s impossibly perfect powerhouse of a voice, lyrics about mistakes from “ankle sprains” to an unexpected pregnancy which are ecstatic as much as paralyzing, and a final cry of Rankin’s voice that bleeds into an overpowering guitar outro. As always (wink), Alvvays’ dreamy power-pop in “Blue Rev” is consuming, irresistible, and boundless.
2. “Wet Leg,” Wet Leg Wet Leg is one of the best new music acts to emerge from 2022. Indeed, they even got a Grammy nod for Best New Artist this year.
Hailing from the Isle of Wight, England, Wet Leg isn’t exactly doing anything we haven’t seen
before. They’re angry, they’re screaming, they’re doing incredible guitar riffs. But something about their sound still surprises listeners with its humor — I mean, who doesn’t love a line like “Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?”
In their first album, there’s an incredible mixture of joy and irreverence in Wet Leg’s lyrics and driving instrumentals, which has been on full display throughout the 2022 live music festival circuit, where audience members are encouraged to literally scream along to the outro of “Ur Mum.” More importantly, Wet Leg is taking what might seem like an overdone and repetitive genre and elevating and refreshing it. Wet Leg’s indie rock is hilarious, energetic, and simply fun. And, most exciting of all, Wet Leg is just getting started.
1.“Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You,” Big Thief Big Thief has once again done what they do best: an album that’s more than just a loosely related collection of songs, but instead a narrative, an experience, a time and place as contradictory as it is intriguing. If the album’s title gives you any idea, “Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You” is never just one thing. “Spud Infinity” seems hilariously, incongruously, and wonderfully silly with its twangy, country energy, and “Red Moon” could easily be heard playing at a honkytonk with its fiddle and rolling bass. These two tracks come on either side of “Certainty,” a song more reminiscent of Big Thief’s lyricism and instrumentation in their previous four albums. Adrianne Lenker, lead singer and songwriter for Big Thief, is at her best on this album. She is gentle and mournful on the titular track: “Crying out / Take me to the limits of your love.” In “Simulation Swarm,” she sings a lyric as devastating as a gut punch — “Eat the gun as it feeds you” — with unforgettable ease and informality. And just as Lenker says that her “certainty is wild, weaving,” Big Thief deftly weaves their way through an astounding, wonderfully fresh yet timeless 20-track album. It is no surprise that their album tops this list as the best of 2022.
BC3 CULTURE SHOWBy MEGAN LIAO AND MINA ROWLAND JUSTICE EDITOR AND EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
The Brandeis Chinese Culture Connection celebrated its annual Lunar New Year in Levin ballroom this past Saturday. They featured several musical and dance per
culture on campus.
group associated with the International Cultural Center that promotes Chinese
Chinese Culture Connection, known commonly as “BC3,” is a cul-
celebration featured both on-campus and off-campus groups.
Top 10 books
I am a proud owner of 470 books, including 44 editions of my favorite novel, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane
The hardest part of my weekend is choosing which book to read next. Below are my 10 favorite go-to books to read and enjoy!