The Justice, March 28, 2023

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Orientation Leaders go on strike, declare unionization

■ Former Orientation Leaders list their demands for reforms needed before they are willing to return to the program.

Orientation Leaders drive the University’s incoming class’s experience on campus as resources and role models to first-years, guiding them through their busy Orientation programs. However, the extent of their involvement in welcoming new students to the community is more taxing than their cheerful dispositions let on. Instead, OLs report that Orientation is an exhaustive experience that has been undercompensated in past years, causing a group of OLs from the August 2022 Orientation to write a petition to the administration, declaring proportional pay to the extent of the work they dedicate to the program.

According to the Brandeis Department of Orientation and First-Year Experience, “Orientation Leaders are representatives of Brandeis University who assist new students in their transition to Brandeis University. OLs serve as role models and resources to incoming students and are provided opportunities to develop leadership skills, interact

with students, faculty, staff & administrators, and learn more about the Brandeis community and its resources.”

However, it’s clear that isn’t the full story.

Following the August 2022 movein and Orientation, former Orientation Leaders wrote a petition explaining that this description does not adequately describe the full extent of their work. Instead, it causes students to apply for work that has not been described in detail, failing to outline hours of breakless work, high physical and emotional demands, and low compensation. In their petition, the OLs highlight a variety of issues such as unfair compensation, extended hours, and lack of job transparency, as well as provide solutions to each of these problems. Included on the petition is an OL Pledge that explains that any OL who signs it agrees “to no longer sign up to be an OL until the University implements the demands and changes outlined in the Unionization Plan.”

The Unionization Plan’s writers

— Tamara Rubin ’25, Edgar Garcia ’25, Jason Gordon ’24, and Marcus Sutton ’25 — met with the Justice on March 25 to talk about their experiences leading the 2022 Summer Orientation, their reasoning behind unionization, and how administrators have responded to their claims up to this point. Each student had

Shuttle driver Bob


Department of Community Living assigns housing selection numbers

■ The Justice helps clarify the complicated and often fraught housing selection process.

On March 21, Brandeis rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors received their numbers for the upcoming housing selection process. The Department of Community Living informed students of their randomly assigned number through the MyHousing portal. Rising sophomores were assigned a number between 126-1200, while rising juniors and seniors were assigned a number above 1200. The lower the number the student received, the earlier their time slot for picking their housing for the upcoming school year will be.

DCL’s Assistant of Dean of Student Affairs Tim Touchette explained in a March 22 interview with the Justice that the reason numbers are initially assigned as


a personal reason for becoming an Orientation Leader, whether it was to recreate their positive experience for incoming students and help integrate them into a community that had previously welcomed them, or to form more valuable connections with students and other OLs.

Sutton explained that Orientation is crucial to first-years because it provides them with the opportunity to create lasting friendships among one another and their OLs. “I appreciate the establishment of such connections,” Sutton said. Since “Brandeis is small, such connections are valuable because we’re going to be seeing each other all the time, I think fostering that nice sense of community as soon as you land on campus is so crucial to your success on campus — or your comfortability adjusting — and I wanted to be a part of that for the [nextyear’s] students.”

Although they were passionate about joining the OL ranks in August 2022, none of them were entirely certain as to what their new job entailed. The job description explained some intricacies of helping new students transition into the Brandeis community, attending training and Orientation, and supporting the Orientation staff. However, most of the descriptions were brief. For example, “leaders are

opposed to time slots is because as students decide that they are going to try and find off-campus housing or rising sophomores decide they want to live with rising juniors/ seniors, they may forfeit their assigned housing number. Students forfeiting their numbers would change the time slot that the person behind them gets for housing. If selection times were all assigned initially, they would likely be frequently changing. Students with lower numbers have priority over popular living areas such as the Rosenthal Quad or the recently developed Skyline Residence Hall. Due to the unpredictability of the housing selection process, students have turned to forums such as Sidechat to see what type of housing is available for their specific number. It’s difficult to know what will be available based purely on numbers, but when students are assigned specific time slots in the coming weeks they can look at what was available during that time in past years in order to better predict what will

See HOUSING, 7 ☛

Schusterman Center explains Israeli democracy

■ Six political experts gathered to discuss the current political crisis in Israel.

Editor’s Note: Justice Editor Dalya Koller contributed to the reporting of this article.

On Wednesday, March 22, the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies hosted a panel titled “The Future of Israeli Democracy: Judicial Reform and Political Crisis.” The Chancellor of the Hebrew University and former Chair of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, Menahem Ben-Sasson; Prof. Jeffrey Lenowitz (POL); Prof. Yehuda Mirsky (NEJS); Prof. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe (NEJS); Prof. Rima Farah (HBRW); and Prof. Alexander Kaye (NEJS), dove deep into the political implications of the recent potential judicial reforms rocking Israel and the Jewish world.

The Israeli government is working to pass reforms that will grant less judicial review power to Israel’s Supreme Court and give the

‘Pride and Prejudice’

 Isabel discusses adaptations in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Predjudice.”


Knesset, Israel’s parliament, more power than it currently holds. The proposed reforms will allow a simple majority of one in the Knesset to overrule court decisions. The government will also have decisive say regarding who will become a judge. Additionally, ministers, by law, are currently required to obey the advice of legal advisers who are guided by the attorney general, but the new reforms will no longer require ministers to do so. A reform that removed the power of the attorney general to deem the sitting prime minister unfit for office has already been passed. There has been talk of the current attorney general planning to do so with Netanyahu, after the attorney general warned Netanyahu that he has violated the country’s law regarding conflict of interest for working on these proposed reforms while himself undergoing a trial for corruption, according to the Associated Press.

The panelists explained that if these judicial reforms are passed, the Knesset will have a much easier time changing basic laws without the judicial branch being able to step in. “[The change of basic laws] is cruel; it doesn’t give an opportunity for the opposition to talk…


Jimmy Kang leads audio workshop

Brandeis housing falls short


Softball sweeps Carnegie Mellon

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Bob Castiel talks about driving the BranVan as he prepares to leave the Univ.
FINALE : Orientation leaders lead “Light the Night” for first-year students at the Rose Art Museum in August 2022.
LEA ZAHARONI/the Justice

Student Union Senate charters multiple new clubs, votes on constitutional amendment

The Student Union Senate approved several clubs and passed multiple Senate resolutions at its March 26 meeting. Executive Senator Eamonn Golden ’24 also introduced a constitutional amendment which the student body will vote on in the near future. The amendment would change the way representatives of the Brandeis University Alumni Association are selected. Currently, the position is elected, but if the amendment passes, the alumni association would select the two representatives themselves. The Student Union Senate would then have the ability to confirm or reject the association’s choices. The amendment would also allow the association to remove the representatives at any time, with a majority vote of the Senate. In order for the amendment to be adopted, two-thirds of students must vote in support of it, not including abstentions.

Golden also presented a Senate bill to change the policy of confidentiality surrounding the executive board. In the past, the contents of all executive board meetings were considered confidential. The new bill, which the Senate passed by acclamation, makes it so that executive board discussions are no longer secret by default. Instead, either the president can declare, or executive board members can decide by a majority vote to make items confidential.

Sen. Tyler Hupart ’26 proposed a Senate bill that he said would



Mar. 19—There was a report of a sprained ankle at Ziv Quad. BEMCo and Brandeis police reported to the scene, and the patient signed a patient refusal.

Mar. 19—A party called to request a report for a previous injury. Brandeis Police took the report.

Mar. 19—A party called to report a student with a stomach virus. The patient refused further care.

Mar. 20—A party called to report a patient with cold and flu-like symptoms in the Goldsmith Building. BEMCo and Brandeis police reported to the scene, and the patient signed a patient refusal.

Mar. 21—A party called to report spraining their ankle outside of Schwartz Hall. BEMCo and Brandeis police reported to the scene, and the patient signed a patient refusal.

Mar. 22—A party called to report spraining their ankle at the Spingold Theater. The patient signed a patient refusal.

Mar. 23—A party called to report flu-like symptoms in North Quad. The patient signed a patient refusal.

Mar. 23—There was a medical emergency in East Quad. The patient was treated by BEMCo and signed a patient refusal.


clarify language in the bylaws surrounding what it means for a senator to abstain from voting. The Senate expedited and approved the bill by acclamation.

Jacob Krah ’23 and Ohemaa Pipim ’24 presented their club, Salvation Youth, to the Senate so that it could be chartered. Pipim said that the club’s purpose is to “spread the Gospel and get closer with Christ.” The Senate chartered Salvation Youth by acclamation.

Logan Miller ’26 requested that the Senate give probationary status to the Brandeis Jewelry-Making Club. Miller said that jewelry is a “wonderful form of self-expression,” and that the club will hold workshops for students interested in learning various jewelry-making techniques. The Senate gave probationary status to the club by acclamation.

Ethan Ott ’25 and Rashail Wasim ’25 requested that the Senate give probationary status to the Brandeis Angling Student Society. They said that the club would give interested students the opportunity to learn how to tie knots and participate in catchand-release fishing in the local area. The Senate gave probationary status to BASS by acclamation.

Rebekah Loeffler ’24 and Jana Antic ’23 asked the Senate for probationary status for the Carceral Awareness, Reform, and Education club. Antic said that the club’s purpose is to host for-

merly incarcerated people as speakers to educate students on the problems with America’s criminal justice system. The Senate approved the club by acclamation.

The Senate also voted by acclamation to de-charter several inactive clubs. Golden said that the clubs have not completed necessary club leader training, have not held any events, and have no active members.

The Senate also approved by acclamation funding for Acappellooza, a concert with all of Brandeis’ a cappella groups. According to Vice President Nicholas Kanan ’23, the groups are not able to fund the event themselves because a different Brandeis group had promised to fund them and then not followed up.

— Editor’s note: Justice Production Assistant Noah Risley ’24 is the chief justice of the Student Union and did not contribute to the reporting or editing of this article.

Mar. 24—There was a medical emergency in East Quad. BEMCo and Brandeis Police were dispatched, and the patient signed a patient refusal.

Mar. 24—A party requested BEMCo’s assistance for an intoxicated student off campus. The patient refused further care.

Mar. 25—A community advisor called to report an intoxicated student in Massell Quad. BEMCo and Brandeis Police were dispatched, and the patient was transported to a local hospital via ambulance.

Mar. 25—A party called to report a knee injury at the Athletic Fields. BEMCo and Brandeis police reported to the scene, and the patient signed a patient refusal.

Mar. 25—There was a well-being check on a student in Ridgewood Quad. Brandeis Police responded to the scene, and the student was transported to a local hospital via ambulance.


Mar. 19—An area coordinator on-call requested help for an off-campus noise complaint. Service was rendered.

Mar. 23—There was a noise complaint outside of North

Quad. Brandeis police were dispatched to the area and reported that all was quiet.

Mar. 24—There was a noise complaint in North Quad. The area coordinator on call was notified to respond.


Mar. 20—A suspicious and possibly intoxicated person was reported near Ziv Quad. Brandeis police were dispatched to the scene, and no issues were found.

Mar. 22—A party called to report someone using their social security number. An investigation is to follow.

Mar. 25—A party called to report a previous motor vehicle accident. An investigation is to follow.

NEWS 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. Editor Managing News Features Forum Sports Arts Photos Copy Layout Ads Online The Justice Brandeis University Mailstop 214 P.O. Box 549110 Waltham, MA 02454-9110 Phone: (781) 736-3750 The Managing Editor holds office hours on Mondays from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Justicethe 2 TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2023 ● NEWS ● THE JUSTICE
Compiled by Dalya Koller
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Neali Ngo, illustrator of Healing the Whole Family, spoke at the Brandeis Asian American Student Association’s closing event of the semester, called “Sounds at Dusk,” which took place on March 25.

Industry expert Jimmy Kang leads audio engineering workshop

Producer Jimmy Kang held a workshop on March 25 in music production in the Shapiro Campus Center multi-purpose room where he relayed knowledge of the entertainment industry for students interested in the business. The event, sponsored by Basement Records, the Samuels Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation, and the Sound and Image Media Studios, drew in a diverse group of creatives, from aspiring producers to songwriters spanning a multitude of genres. Recently striking a distribution deal with Sony Orchard, Kang realized the opportunity for students to collaborate on a song to be released under the company.

The Digital Audio Workstation utilized for this workshop was ProTools, the software preferred by professional producers in the hip-hop genre. Kang emphasized the importance of learning the ropes of ProTools as it is widely considered the industry standard. “Copy something that’s actually working and learn to master it,” he recommended. Dizzy, one of Kang’s mentees, echoed him in speaking on the value of investing in ProTools, as opposed to other less expensive DAWs: “When was the last time you bought something from the Dollar Tree that lasted more than three months?”

Dizzy also emphasized the fact that it doesn’t matter where you’re recording, but the software and hardware used are highly important. “A chef can cook you a five-course masterpiece meal anywhere if he has the proper ingredients,” he said. The nature of the event proved this aphorism accurate, as the attendees managed to craft a track together in a makeshift studio, which consisted of only a laptop, an interface, a couple of midi keyboards, a mic, and a set of headphones — all scattered across a single desk.

Kang divided the attendees into two groups: the songwriters and the producers. The songwriters collaborated on ideas and provided feedback for one another as each wrote their own verses to sing or rap over the producers’ instrumental track. “[The workshop] brought to my attention how talented a lot of the student body is and the potential we have when we work together,” musician and Basement Records’ Artistic Director Simon Fidlin ’24 said. One student connected their electric bass into the software and recorded variations of potential basslines for the song.

“There’s a place in the industry for everyone,” Dizzy said.

As the producers polished and refined the instrumental track, which played aloud on a loop, Dizzy began to rap a set of freestyled lyrics, grabbing ideas from his surroundings, from the text on people’s graphic hoodies to the brand names of their sneakers. He seamlessly passed the spotlight to other students who followed suit in freestyling over the ongoing beat.

Once the instrumentals were set, each of the songwriters recorded layers of their vocals into the track, from the main melodies to the minute ad-lib details.

After the song was mixed by another one of Kang’s mentees, Kang himself demonstrated how to master the sounds of the track and level the frequencies. He noted, “You don’t want the

person who mixed it to master, you need a different ear.”

With a refreshingly realistic outlook on the state of the industry today, Kang advised attendees on how to get their foot in the door. He iterated that in order to navigate the industry, you need money to publicize and market. “Everything is about marketing,” he said, “the thing that costs the most in the music game is marketing.” He explained that if an artist doesn’t have money, it’s helpful to find an investor.

Kang is known for his perceptive business sense as he runs multiple businesses, within and outside of the music industry, such as Str8Up Entertainment Group INC, Wu-Tang Management, a custom clothing shop, and even a convenience store in downtown Worcester, Massasschusetts. “You have to figure out in the music game, you’re not going to consistently make money. There’s ups and downs in this game. So while you’re at your low point you have to have other businesses.” He strongly emphasized the need to be independent as an aspiring musician to protect one’s own vision and avoid being controlled by others in the business. He pointed out Dizzy as a positive example, who screen-printed his own merchandise.

Another piece of wisdom that Kang offered is to keep in mind that there are only three major record labels — Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group — all others being mere subsidiaries of them. He advised against striving to get signed with one of the big labels, and he said to rather seek out distribution companies, such as Sony Orchard. Kang believes the platform will elevate his artists from the underground music world to the mainstream. Through Basement Records, the Orchard will remain open to the Brandeis community indefinitely, offering services that include marketing, advertising, rights management, physical and digital distribution, and more.

■ The hip-hop producer and manager showcased to Brandeis his expertise in the process of mixing, mastering, and networking. THOMAS TIANCHENG ZHENG/the Justice MUSIC : Hip-hop producer and manager Jimmy Kang led an audio-engineering workshop for Brandeis musicians, sharing tips for the industry and providing students an opportunity to practice their skills.

ORIENTATION: OLs unionize, demand fair compensation and hours

needed for certain roles which are always explained during training,” but this “training” was not explained in detail, either.

Rubin spoke about the short job descriptions, saying that she had no idea what she was getting into. “I knew we had training days and then Orientation would start, but I didn’t know what we’d be doing in training,” she said. The other three students agreed with her, each stating that they had a small idea of what they would need to do from what they experienced that previous year. But since Gordon’s Orientation was virtual due to the pandemic, he specified that he was only aware of the hours needed because he had to fit his training schedule with his job, but prior to that week, he did not know anything more.

Along with describing how they needed to go through the same series of presentations about the University’s resources — first for their training, second for Orientation — the students also explained that the OLs’ role in move-in day was not described, and because many of them did not receive assistance on their own move-in days, whether from the aftermath of a hurricane or due to the pandemic, they were unaware that part of their responsibility would be to physically help incoming students move their belongings into their dorms for hours on end.

Having to unexpectedly engage in strenuous effort was taxing for the Orientation Leaders: “seven strenuous hours of physical labor, carrying mini-fridges up three or four flights of stairs, it’s a lot. For some people, if they don’t know what they’re getting into, it’s a big ask,” Garcia said. The group also recounted that one OL suffered from heat exhaustion, since they each felt a shared burden to work fiercely the whole day to avoid feeling like they were slowing the group down.

Rubin described this sense of responsibility, saying that anytime she wanted to take a break she felt like she would be letting the rest of the group down and felt too guilty to do so. She described that the OLs formed a tight bond over that time, referring to it as a “survival” day centered around working together. “I don't like to bond through trauma, but I think that’s part of why we all feel so close,” Rubin said.

This intense physical labor also lasted throughout the rest of Orientation, a factor that pushed many OLs to burn out before their classes even began. The group expressed that between the densely-packed Orientation schedules and mandatory evening events, they had little to no time to unpack their own belongings or prepare for their classes. Sutton even said that he struggled to find time to go grocery shopping during the Orientation period, and it took him four days to gradually settle his things in between his responsibilities. He called it a “rinse and repeat” cycle where they would start the day at seven in the morning and end it around midnight, having to spend extended hours preparing for the next

day’s events.

“You’re [running] through Orientation, and then you hit classes immediately, and you have to transition from doing everything at once for ten days and then adjusting to the social situation and class,” Gordon said, describing how it felt to adjust from a busy Orientation schedule to then having to start classes without a break in between those. Furthermore, Rubin said that she had no time to attend to work that her professors assigned before the first day of classes. She recalled having to email her professors about how she could not do her classwork and explained how she felt unprepared without proper time to look at her syllabi, either.

The OLs interviewed explained that being an Orientation Leader was also emotionally draining, given that they had to keep their groups of first-years — “grouplets” — in high spirits, while they, in turn, were beginning to burn out from the tight schedule. Gordon described how one of his grouplets slowly declined in attendance because they were exhausted from being on a full schedule and in a new atmosphere with no time to explore on their own.

The morale steadily declined in the firstyears and OLs during Orientation, which culminated at the Museum of Science trip — where most of the attendees left early. “We were on our feet the whole time, and you could just tell by the end of it. At the Museum of Science, the OLs were so dead,” Rubin recalled. “I think that added to why the grouplets didn’t find it very fun or interesting, because we were all dead, so we couldn’t really hype anyone up. We didn’t have anything left in us.”

Another concern that the students emphasized was for all of their physical and emotional labor, they felt their work was not reflected in their compensation. In their petition, they described that they were given a $250 stipend, no offset of Community Living’s early arrival fee, and 19 meals for the training period — five fewer than needed to attend all required meals with their grouplets. They found that the monetary equivalent of using all 19 of these meals, deducting the early move-in fee, is $460.

In comparison, the OLs had to work 56 hours over a span of six days for training and another 40 hours of work over the four Orientation days. Giving Orientation Leaders $460 for 96 hours of work equates to about $4.80 per hour, which is less than one-third of Massachusetts’ minimum wage and below the federal minimum wage.

Rubin clarified how compensating students minimally for intensive work leads to exploitation. “One of the main issues we point out in the document is what leads to the exploitation and the overworking is when you’re not being paid hourly, or when your pay is very low. It turns into a treatment of volunteering without the option.”

Gordon said that he mentioned their compensation concerns in a meeting with the Andrea Dine, vice president of Student Affairs

and an individual from the Orientation Leader Core, and he explained that their general response was that the job was primarily a leadership position that students should sign up for out of passion for the work, rather than compensation. However, Gordon expressed his disdain for that reply, stating, “I should be able to want to do the job, and I should be able to want to be adequately compensated for the work that I put in. [Expecting] that I should do it out of pure passion and expect not to get much for it is ludicrous.” He also mentioned that expecting students to become OLs because the work is meaningful to them is exclusive, because it assumes that all students have the financial stability to take on long hours of work without needing strong pay to sustain them. Gordon said that he needed to coordinate his OL training with his job because he needed the money for his part-time job to pay for his off campus housing.

The Unionization Plan expands on the job accessibility, saying that higher pay could “lead to a more diverse cohort of leaders as a byproduct.” The petition echoes the University’s Mission and Diversity Statement, saying that its concept of diversity being “crucial to academic excellence” should be reflective within the group of students who act as leaders to the incoming class.

Gordon said that he also met with Laura Flynn, the director of Orientation and Firstyear Experience, and Shelby Harris, the assistant vice president of Student Engagement and Campus Life, along with Dine. He said that they each emphasized that they were new to their positions — Harris joined Brandeis in 2021 and Dine began her current job this semester — rather than responding to the OLs’ compensation concerns. However, he learned that allocation for the OLs’ payment does not come from the University directly — instead, it comes from the sum of first-years’ extra Orientation fee. Although Gordon said Flynn seemed unwilling to change the way OLs are paid, he acknowledged that she agreed with some of the petition’s other claims.

Sutton outlined that some of the changes Flynn is considering for next year’s Orientation address their conditions surrounding the OLs’ unnecessary tasks, long hours, and role in move-in. Flynn told Sutton that there would be a new online training for first-years to complete before coming to campus, which would avoid making the OLs sit through the same presentations about campus resources twice, as well as make Orientation more efficient. He also explained that she is planning a new system to implement breaks between their programs during the day and night events, as well as only making one night event mandatory per OL to give them more personal time and shorter work days. Lastly, they discussed a new move-in Crew system, which would be made up of undergraduate students who moved to campus early. In exchange for covering the early move-in fees, they would have to help OLs move the first-years’ belongings into

their dorms, giving them two and a half hour shifts. Sutton said that they could not agree in terms of OLs’ roles on move-in day; while the group believes move-in day is not a part of Orientation and not OLs’ responsibility, Flynn disagrees.

While the group acknowledges that these are steps in the right direction, the OLs are determined to continue pressuring the University to fairly compensate Orientation Leaders. “We’re going to do everything that we can to make sure that [this initiative] doesn’t keep getting shut down, because every four years there is a new batch of students at the University. We need to make sure we don’t forget about this movement and we continue doing it, so we’re not here again in four years,” Rubin said.

After all, the group clarified that they are not pushing for these changes out of malice towards Orientation itself or only for themselves. Garcia explained how, while they love and appreciate Orientation, that does not mean they are unable to point out its flaws and push for change. “We’re doing this because we love Orientation, ultimately. And just because we love Orientation doesn’t mean it can’t be improved, so we’re ready to go public with [this]. We know that our message will touch the hearts of many Brandeis students,” he said.

Their petition has already garnered notable support with 77 signatures from students, current OLs, and alumni, showing that the need for change is already well-supported. Sutton spoke about how receiving alumni support is significant: “It’s a testament to this feeling being not limited to this Orientation … Like if people feel the need to sign this, having already graduated, it’s not a good thing,” he said.

Sutton expressed that they want this cause to be more emphasized within the community to show the University that the OLs’ treatment is a noteworthy problem that is deserving of attention. “If this hits the right people, I feel like we’ll start getting the answers that we want, the change that we want, and I feel like this added exposure will definitely contribute to that,” he said.

Rubin emphasized that they are pushing this change for the good of the whole community and the future of Orientation, as the petition explains how undercompensated and overworked Orientation Leaders are unlikely to do the program again, leading to a shortage in OLs in the proceeding years. “We love Orientation, and we all did it because we were passionate about welcoming people into the community that we felt so welcomed,” she said. “Our hopes are for people to feel good about Orientation and for it to be considered something all people at Brandeis should be able to do as part of a leadership opportunity … It’s still an experience we want people in the future to enjoy and have the right goals come out of it.”

CECI CHEN/the Justice
Brandeis Men's Tennis won the doubles matches against Skidmore College on March 26; the number one doubles team won 8-4, and the number two doubles team won 8-7.

Creating a legacy of student activists

PHEBEAN OGUNSANWO ’25 revolves her activism around the intersectionality of being a Black woman. She aims to educate and advocate about issues that are not covered in the mainstream media, such as Black women who go missing and often end up dead, the maternal mortality rates of Black women, the lynching of Black transgender women, the Black femicide rate, the breast cancer rate for Black women, and more.

“The definition of activism, in my opinion, is narrow and does not encompass a lot of the work people do. You don’t just have to campaign to demand change to make change. Bringing water, masks, and snacks; volunteering for underserved communities; educating others; etc. are many ways to make change, and those ways matter too. So start where you are.” —Phebean

KYLA SPEIZER ’23 advocates for justice on behalf of all menstruators on campus. As the current president of Period Activists at ’Deis, she co-led a pilot program to implement 52 complementary menstrual product dispensers in North Quad, East Quad, and Massell Quad. Speizer also fosters informed dialogue on campus to help reduce the stigma of menstruation.

“Brandeis students are some of the most enthusiastic and change-focused people that I have had the privilege of working with. I have been honored to work with the members of PAD, because PAD is such an inclusive space with a lot of momentum to bring change to Brandeis. My experience with activism on campus has been defined by the people that I have worked with in order to advocate for change.”

ALLISSA MASSE ’23 is a co-founder, along with Priscilla Appentang ‘23 of Brandeis Black Maternal Health. Masse is a student of Health: Science, Society, and Policy and Sociology with a focus on infant and maternal health, and she has long-term aspirations to work in public health and support underserved communities, especially in attempt to lower infant and maternal morality rates.

Masse was inspired to work in the public health domain after hearing a lot about the Black maternal and infant health crisis and witnessing family members experiencing various health issues. She felt as if conversations regarding female health were not happening at school, and as a rising junior started BBMH to create a space for students of color to talk about the issues.

Please fill out this form to nominate student activists at Brandeis who you think should be interviewed and featured in the Justice newspaper. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to

Design: Anna Martin and Eliza Bier/the Justice
Photo courtesy of PHEBEAN OGUNSANWO SMILEY HUYNH/the Justice Photo courtesy of ALLISSA MASSE

DEMOCRACY: Profs. discuss Israel amid chaos in government


thirdly it is changing the rules [of] the game while it is still running,” Ben-Sasson said. Just one election in Israel will lead to the complete control of the state, according to Lenowitz. Israelis in favor of democracy are against changing the judicial appointment process for many reasons, but especially because it gives the Knesset the ability to control policies about minority rights, settlements, and other polarizing issues without checks from other governmental branches.

Israeli citizens have responded to the proposed reforms with fierce backlash: Hundreds of thousands of people gathered for demonstrations across the country for 12 straight weeks, and Israeli unions launched days-long, nationwide strikes. Large numbers of the Israeli military’s reservists — who largely make up the backbone of Israel’s armed forces — have refused to report for duty. Both the president and the defense minister of Israel, Yoav Gallant and Isaac Herzog, respectively, urged Netanyahu to back down from the proposed judicial reforms, which led to Netanyahu abruptly firing Gallant just hours after his public statement. Tel Aviv’s biggest highway was completely blocked by protesters on March 26, subsequent to the firing of Gallant.

As of March 27, Netanyahu announced via a televised address to the nation that he would delay voting on the reforms until after the Knesset’s Passover recess in April. According to CNN, Netanyahu stated that he was “aware of the tensions” and is “listening to the people, but he clarified that this was not a permanent backing down and rather will just “give time for a real chance for a real debate.” He continued to insist that the judicial reform was necessary.

The panelists explained that some of the various political groups represented in the current government’s coalition, including the Religious Zionists, Ultra-Orthodox, Mizrahi Jews, and center-left, see reforms differently. The Ultra-Orthodox block wants to secure funding for their own institutions and lifestyle. Mizrahi Jews see the conflict as perpetuating the socioeconomic conflict

HOUSING: Lottery numbers released

between elites and non-elites within Israel, so they negatively view the theocratic aspect of Israeli law. Religious Zionists are split in two: the elite and those who partner with secular Israel. The center-left block of Israeli voters are not involved in discussions about religion and culture as opposed to right-wing parties and have no strong ideological position. The dynamic between the groups is causing increased polarization. For example, center-left leaning opposition leader Yair Lapid supports the implementation of a written constitution with Israel’s founding democratic ideals at heart, but right-leaning leaders do not support writing a constitution. Mirsky mentioned that the judiciary will no longer be legitimate in the eyes of the population at large if the Knesset approves the judicial reforms, explaining that many identity politics play out in the judiciary sector, and Israeli liberals see the court as the last defender of minority rights in Israel. Identity and politics clash heavily in Israel because different groups imagine the combination of Judaism and democracy differently depending on their religious practice, socioeconomic status, family history, race, nationality, gender, and ethnicity.

The panelists discussed how the judicial reforms suggest a right-leaning, theocratic direction of the government and how that will affect the future of Israeli democracy. Both Mirsky and Ben-Sasson talked about the importance of maintaining Israel’s liberal socialist founding values, but with the current judicial reforms, right-leaning leaders have been shaping Israeli institutions and governmental rights. Implementing the judicial reforms is a step away from the liberal democracy upon which the Jewish people founded Israel.

Though it is unclear how the future of the proposed judicial reforms will play out and how they may affect Israeli democracy and society, many of the panelists expressed optimism and hope that the government will listen to the rallying cries of the protestors and definitively back down from supporting the undemocratic judicial reforms.

be available this year. This year’s freshman class was the largest in the University’s history, and because of this, just because certain rooms were or were not available in previous years doesn’t guarantee they will be the same this year.

Brandeis students are guaranteed housing for their first two years on campus. However, rising juniors and seniors don’t receive the same luxury. The higher their number, the less of a chance they have to live on campus in the coming year. Hana Miller ’25 began stressing about this possibility when she received her housing selection number of 2390. Miller is hoping that her friend who has the housing selection number 1245 is willing to choose to room with her in a six-person suite. But, if they don’t, Miller will likely need to find options off campus. “I think it adds a lot of unnecessary interpersonal tension to the situation because it's essentially forcing a friend, a student, to decide whether or not their friend is going to get housing,” Miller said in a March 23 interview with the Justice.

As opposed to the simple process of selecting a dorm in April and moving in at the start of the semester in August, living off campus comes with a different set of responsibilities. “I don’t know what a good lease looks like. I really don’t know how to read [a lease] and to decide what is good and what is bad. I haven’t really budgeted my financial situation in terms of how I would pay monthly rent. And that information is all now required of me to learn in a very short timeframe,” Miller explained. DCL lists several resources for students searching for off-campus housing. These include which is housing posts targeted at Brandeis students, other apartment searching websites such as Zillow or Craigslist, and local community resources such as the Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen, local Facebook groups, and the Waltham Public Library.

The homes and apartments available for rent on websites such as range in both price and location. Some listings vary from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand a month. Houses and apartments on the website are as close as South Street and others are as far as Worcester, Massachusetts.

Some students such as Miller are concerned that they may not necessarily be able to afford to live off campus. Although not all students can live on campus, Touchette expressed in a March 24 email to the Justice that students who reach out to DCL over the summer will likely find a bed on campus. “We have never in my time at Brandeis turned anyone away. We might not have exactly what the student is looking for, but we offer each student multiple opportunities to select from what is available,” Touchette said.

Although some students are stuck dealing with poor housing selection numbers, others haven’t had to stress about it. Josie Casper ’25 has spent the last school year working as a community advisor in Shapiro Residence Hall. She did it both to help new Brandeis students feel comfortable and for financial reasons, she explained in a March 23 interview with the Justice. While there were stressful aspects to the job, Casper ultimately decided that she wanted to continue being a CA in her junior year. “I think I was really debating not being a CA because I think it’s a good experience living with your friends. And I know, having roommates is a really good way to learn what you like, and what you don’t like, and how to communicate with others. I think I really wanted to live with my friends, but I realized I really do like my own space” Casper explained.

Casper, who may be studying abroad in the spring, only committed to being a CA for the fall semester. Casper is still waiting to see how much it costs financially to study abroad before officially committing to a program in Greece, but if she decides to not go abroad, she hopes that she would be able to continue working as a CA in the spring. While Casper was fortunate enough to be hired for the CA position, it is a lengthy process that includes several rounds of interviews and short answer questions.

DCL held an information session on March 22 to respond to student questions about the housing process. They will be holding a second information session over Zoom on April 3 at 6 p.m.

—Editor’s note: Editor Cameron Cushing ’23 is employed by the Department of community living as a Community Advisor. He did not contribute to or edit this article.




Don’t take life too seriously.


In 1986, Stefani Germanotta, more commonly known as Lady Gaga, was born in New York, NY.


The longest bus route in the world runs between Lima, Peru and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and takes over 100 hours to complete.

Shuttle driver Bob Castel says farewell after six years of service

Brandeis shuttle driver Bob Castel spoke candidly to the Justice about his unconditional care for students, his takes on how to be a better passenger, and efficiency within the Branvan system.

With Brandeis pursuing partnership with new transportation services, campus shuttle driver Bob Castel spoke with the Justice on his experiences with students, changes he’d recommend for future contracts, and tips on how to be a respectful passenger.

When approached for an interview about his working conditions as a shuttle driver on the campus route, Bob Castel seemed uninterested in sharing his perspective, thinking his daily routine too dull for a profile. However, it wasn’t long until he started speaking passionately about the treatment he received as one of the most essential members of the Brandeis community. It was clear that at first, he simply didn’t believe someone was interested in hearing it.

“They [the administration] think we’re machines. It’s like they don’t even see us. I’m a human being,” he told the Justice in a March 24 interview during the last couple of loops of his shift.

As many students may know, the campus shuttle runs from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on a 15-minute loop. But few are aware that Castel is responsible for the first nine-and-ahalf hours of that runtime, Monday to Friday, with an hour break for lunch. When asked about his daily routine, he replied, “there’s not much to say — it’s around and around and around.”

Fifty years ago, Castel immigrated from Haiti to New York, where he drove an elementary school bus for seventeen years. Then, he moved to Boston to be closer to his sister and has worked with Joseph’s Transportation ever since. Before coming to Brandeis, Castel drove a Tufts University shuttle, an experience which has informed his criticisms of Branvan services. “At Tufts, we knew who was in charge, and it was very efficient. Here, it’s different,” Castel said. For example, Tufts outfitted their routes with much more frequent bus stop posts, rather than the handful of bus shelters on the campus route. The Tufts shuttle would stop at every post, and under no circumstances would it stop at any other point, regardless of students waiving or flagging down the driver. Castel says that this was a much better system: in case of an accident, students can prove for liability reasons that they were waiting for the shuttle in the correct place, and additionally, the driver can stay on schedule and refrain

from frequently stopping for tardy passengers. In fact, Castel stressed several simple changes to passenger behavior that make drivers’ lives much easier, presented below:

1. Be on time. Drivers count on tiny gaps in between loops to use the restroom and get food and beverages. Stopping for late students jeopardizes that essential personal time.

2. Board and depart the shuttle at the designated stops. Until Brandeis implements more bus stops, it’s important that drivers stay on schedule by only stopping when they have to.

3. If you absolutely must board or depart late or in an undesignated area, do so quickly and in a focused manner.

Castel spoke of students casually moseying their way to his van, on their phones, all the while not knowing that he was counting on that loop being his only time for the next five hours to use the restroom. Despite this, Castel will choose to get students from Mandel to the International Business School on-time for their classes over his own needs every time; take that into account when you’re dawdling on the Rabb steps. “You see kids everywhere, expecting you to stop for them,” Castel says. “I expect you to run.”

Additionally, Castel indicated that the lack of one-way signs throughout Loop Road was extremely worrying to him — visitors and delivery drivers often go the wrong way, missing the infrequent signage that the road becomes a one-way at a certain point. “I swear,” he said, “if they don’t put in more signs, one day there will be something fatal.” Castel says he doesn’t know anything about the tragic bus crash that occurred in November 2022 and that drivers have been kept in the dark about it by administration.

Despite the grueling shifts, physical struggles, and other frustrations, Castel said he was sad to be leaving Brandeis. “Even though the schedule is way too tight, the kids make time to learn my name, and I learn theirs,” he said. Castel has two grown children in high-earning jobs who would be happy to support him, but he emphasized that he’ll never stop providing for them — he gushes about his daughter, who works as a nurse practitioner in Virginia, and shows off the watch she bought him.

What Castel implores of the Brandeis community is to really see the workers they’ve deemed invisible, who contribute so much to our lives. Without Castel, residents of Foster Mods and the Charles River Apartments would be hung out to dry. In exchange for his reliable presence at 7 a.m. sharp, he’d appreciate some recognition, echoing the sentiments of the similarly-exhausted facilities workers who spoke to the Justice last fall.

“They don’t take a good look at the human element,” he said. “They don’t see the drivers. We’re human, too.”

Design: Hedy Yang/the Justice
BUS STOP: Bob Castel declined to be photographed. BUS STOP: Castel’s shuttle stops at Admissions, toward the bottom of campus. LEA ZAHARONI/the Justice CAYENN LANDAU/the Justice

Boston’s queer nightlife scene, in photos

Many students find themselves drawn to documenting, as well as experiencing, the spaces they encounter — not just through pictures and videos, but also in analysis. “In my Queer History class last year, due to all of the gay clubs and specifically lesbian bars that were shutting down in the pandemic, me and people from my class did a project about different places in Boston — bars, venues, and other queer spaces,” Jules Lillywhite ’24 said in a March 27 correspondence with the Justice.

“I could dance and be myself authentically … I knew based on the crowd that people weren’t judging me,” Lexi Lazar ’24 said in a March 27 text correspondence. Astrid Schneider ’24 agreed.

“There’s a really great scene of people really trying their darndest to have safe, inclusive, and intentional spaces,” said Nicholas Ong ’23 of queer Boston nightlife in a March 27 text correspondence. Ong emphasized the need for more queer and trans people of color-specific events and spaces. “18+ is a pretty hard gig for the queers but once I turned 21 I def [sic] found myself with more options in queer nightlife Bostonia.”

“I was able to meet a bunch of new people who were interested in the same things as me,” said Mae Zhang ’23 of Club Cafe.

Design: Hedy Yang/the Justice THE JUSTICE ● FEATURES ● TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2023 9
Boston’s queer nightlife scene may still be on the down-low, but for many local students and community members in the area, going out to LGBTQIA+ spaces is an aspect of every weekend.
Lines for places like Back Bay’s Club Cafe often wrap around the block — perhaps because it’s one of the city’s only two well-known LGBTQIA+ dance club venues (the other being Tremont Street’s Legacy). Jacque’s Cabaret is also popular for fans of drag performances, and Midway Cafe runs a cult-favorite Thursday night “queeraoke” extravaganza every week. Other places, such as the Middle East, host themed nights that pull in queer folks
Boston, and recently, Haus of Fag has been hosting events aimed at reviving the queer party experience amid the mass closures of lesbian bars across the country. The Justice spoke to Brandeis students on their experiences within the queer nightlife scene.
from all across
Justice DISCO BALL: Many
venues decorate their spaces with attention to lighting.
CAYENN LANDAU/the Justice CLUB CAFE: The packed queer nightclub boasts a fully-stocked, LED-lit bar. NATALIE KAHN/the Justice DANCING: Community members let loose. CAYENN LANDAU/the Justice GETTING READY: Students often get ready together before going out. ARIELLA WEISS/the Justice ON FILM: Many students document the experience of going out through photography. ARIELLA WEISS/the Justice VIBING IN THE DARK: Lexi Lazar 24 poses at a Haus of Fag event. CAYENN LANDAU/the Justice CELEBRATION: Queer dance venues can act as a place to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. CAYENN LANDAU/the Justice CLUB CAFE: Crowds gather in and outside of Club Cafe to dance and mingle. CAYENN LANDAU/the Justice STYLE: Style in queer spaces can act as a powerful form of self-expression. Photo courtesy of SAMUEL BENDIX THE MIDDLE EAST CLUB: Justice editors Lauryn Williams ’25 and Tibria Brown ’25 dance together. NATALIE KAHN/the Justice HAUS OF FAG: Dancers are hired to perform at Haus of Fag’s venues.

Jen Crystal, Editor in Chief

Jane Flautt, Managing Editor

Cameron Cushing and Sofia Gonzalez, Senior Editors

Lauryn Williams, Deputy Editor Juliana Giacone, Samantha Goldman, Megan Liao, Natalie Kahn, Jack Yuanwei Cheng, and Ariella Weiss, Associate Editors

Dalya Koller, Leah Breakstone, News Editors

Cayenn Landau, Features Editor

Tibria Brown, Forum Editor

Aiden Guthro, Sports Editor

Mina Rowland, Arts Editor

Smiley Huynh, Owen Chan, Photography Editors

Julia Hardy, Isabel Roseth, Copy Editors

Anna Martin, Layout Editor

Maddy Dulong, Ads Editor

Zachary Goldstein, Eden Osiason, Online Editors


Losing big in the Brandeis housing lottery

In light of room selection numbers for the 2023-2024 academic year being released, this board urges the University to fix the ongoing problems that exist within Brandeis as it pertains to its housing system.

Besides the various email reminders that housing applications are open, the Department of Community Living has provided little communication on how that process currently operates. This lack of transparency continues to bring confusion and frustration among students, contributing to the stress that housing selection facilitates.

Additionally, this board recognizes the existing problems for students who are currently studying abroad to participate in housing selection. As chaotic as the process already is, engaging in it abroad presents an increasingly stressful experience.

Notorious with the housing selection process is the lottery, which also presents its own problems. For those who need housing accommodations, the lottery is a frustrating experience. Despite the lottery being touted as “fair,” those who need special accommodations or any other services are sometimes at a disadvantage. Additionally, the lottery presents issues regarding plans to live with peers, as your designated number is the only determining factor of the options available for living.

Another issue of the current lottery system is its failure to take into account financial aid packages that often supplement the costs of on-campus housing. Students depend on this aid for housing, and if they receive poor numbers in the housing lottery and are pushed off campus, they lose part of the necessary benefits of their financial aid packages. We call on the University to factor financial aid packages that specifically assist in housing cost of living into the housing selection process, whether that be in the lottery or in another part of the campus housing process.

This board also continues to reiterate problems surrounding available housing options. As addressed in a previous editorial, Brandeis has increasingly accepted more students each year, which was evident in the class of 2026 being the largest in school history. This results in less housing space for upperclassmen since

Brandeis guarantees housing for a student’s first four consecutive semesters. Available spaces for upperclassmen diminished as well, with a new age requirement for the Foster Mods mandating residents to be at least 21 years old by September 2023. This requirement reduces the number of housing options for many upperclassmen, as the Mods are an upperclassmen living space and class year isn’t a representation of age. An increasing number of first-years also leads to crowded living conditions. Instead of shoving more first-years into a room, the appropriate solution would be to build more housing spaces. If the University doesn’t have the funds to scale up housing options to match the growing number of students, then they need to decrease the number of students they admit.

Housing inaccessibility at Brandeis and Bentley University has increasingly pushed students off their campuses, subsequently causing rent prices to spike. This trend has priced longtime residents out of the city, contributing to gentrification. In light of the increasing number of undergraduate students moving off-campus, we call on the University to create a resource for undergraduates similar to the Office of Graduate Affairs’ service, which assists graduate students seeking housing near the Brandeis campus.

Through the current structure of the housing system and the increasing admissions, there is a clear disconnect between the admissions offices and the housing needs on campus. In order to provide the best experience for students living on campus, there must be serious changes to how both admissions and DCL are operating. If both were functioning together in unison, these issues wouldn’t persist. As students of this University, we expect our needs to be taken care of promptly. Therefore, we call on the University to make the appropriate changes that provide a better experience for all those living on campus.

—Editor’s note: Editor Cameron Cushing ’23 is employed by the Department of Community Living as a community advisor. He did not contribute to or edit the parts of this article pertaining to DCL.

A message of support for DCL

Although this board has criticized the housing selection process and the general housing options on campus, we also recognize that the individual employees at the Department of Community Living are doing their best to accommodate students’ housing needs in the face of limited resources.

We recognize that some of these employees are students who are also in the process of securing housing for next year, and we appreciate the effort they put toward helping their peers while simultaneously balancing the worries and difficulties they might have with their own housing. We were concerned to hear that students were encouraged to during the March 22 informative session “be near” the DCL office in case something went wrong with the website in their room selection process. Student workers should not have to bear the brunt of their peers’ understandable panic over a system that administrators casually mention might malfunction or break at a pivotal moment.

In the same vein, the broader problem of on-campus housing is a systemic one. The administration has chosen not to invest more resources and funding into improving student life on campus, even as the price of tuition continues to rise.

This is not an issue that the individual

DCL workers — both employees and students — can change. This board asks that students experiencing the frustrations of the housing selection process be patient and empathetic with members of DCL who are simply doing their jobs within a flawed and unaccommodating system they do not have the direct power to change.

More generally, this board also would like to express our support for fellow students who are going through the stresses of securing housing for next year. We realize how difficult and anxiety-inducing this process can be. Several members of the editorial board are facing issues in securing housing ourselves; trying to figure it all out while also managing midterms is overwhelming. Ultimately, finding a home on campus should be something to celebrate, not something to fear. If the University wants to cement itself as a place for all students to learn, grow, and thrive, they have to start with a promise of security: that all students will have a safe and affordable space to do so if they choose to live on campus.

—Editor’s note: Editor Cameron Cushing ’23 is employed by the Department of community living as a Community Advisor. He did not contribute to or edit the parts of this article pertaining to DCL.

Asking for a friend

If you are interested in submitting advice for the upcoming column, follow our Instagram: @thejusticenewspaper.

Q: A:

Now that spring is here and summer is approach ing, what is your favorite warm weather activity to do in Walthm and/or Boston?

“When it’s warm outside I like going into town with my friends and get gelato, sitting outside and soaking up the sunlight and talking walks and breathing in the fresh air.”

— Nathalie Vieux-Gresham, Undergrad Student 2023

“I like going on picnics, especially in the Rivertown Commons near the Charles River to look at the water and feel the breeze.”

— Anthony Ruiz, Undergrad Student 2025

“I take walks around campus while listening to audio books. The campus is really hilly so it ends up being a nice work out in nice weather, and the books are interesting so it ends up working out my mind too!”

— Xavier Wilson, Undergrad Student 2025

Established 1949 10 TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2023 ● FORUM ● THE JUSTICE Justicethe
Brandeis University
ANNA MARTIN/the Justice

Source relationships and ethics in journalism

Journalists can spend weeks, months, and even years with sources getting to know their everyday habitual routines, their familial relationships, and even their darkest fears. Within this process, reporters may share certain personal information to relate to their sources and make conversations feel less one sided. However, for this relationship to function ethically, it is imperative that journalists follow the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics and are transparent and forthright not only with their sources but also with their readers.

The SPJ code of ethics states “a journalist’s job is to seek the truth and report it,” but this can be incredibly difficult to balance, especially when a reporter knows a source personally. This is evident in the case of Nina Totenberg, a prominent National Public Radio legal affairs correspondent who often covered the Supreme Court. In Totenberg’s 2022 book, “Dinner with Ruth,” she describes how she and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg were long-term best friends. After RBG’s passing, she stated, “What we shared was the special warmth and closeness of longtime friendship.” We were present in each other’s lives, especially when it mattered most. We showed up.”

This was clearly an example of a conflict of interest, as she was able to get the “insider” scoop on not only Ginsburg but also politicians across D.C. Totenberg recounts that she hosted a dinner party and invited Justice Antonin Scalia, who among other things was instrumental in the District of Columbia v. Heller case in 2008 that cemented the right to bear arms, even in the wake of America’s rampant gun violence epidemic. During the party, Totenberg provided water guns to the guests, and her husband even aimed a super squirter at Scalia. Totenberg claims that this joke “brought the house down with laughter.”

Despite her closeness with Washington’s political elite, Totenberg did not fully

disclose the extent of her friendship with Ginsberg to NPR readers until well into her career. Rightfully so, this led many people to feel betrayed and question if her coverage of the Supreme Court was hard-hitting and fair. When people develop personal connections to their sources, they might not ask the necessary questions or fail to be critical of their sources’ professional and even personal choices. They may stop searching for the truth in fear of losing or damaging the friendship. This is incredibly dangerous to the foundation of journalism because it diminishes accurate reporting and blurs the line between the role of a source and a friend.

Moreover, Totenberg’s actions are not an isolated incident. Going back a few decades to the late 70s, the case of Joe McGinniss and Jeffrey MacDonald is a prime example of what happens when a journalist and a source’s personal relationship undermines the goals of objective journalism. In 1979, MacDonald, who was accused of the murder of his pregnant wife and two children, was invited McGinnis, a journalist, to write a book about his murder trial from the perspective of his defense team. After the seven week trial, MacDonald was convicted of murder. However, after the trial, McGinniss and MacDonald began a letter correspondence that continued over the next four years. In the novel “the Journalist and the Murderer,” Malcolm states that when MacDonald was sent to prison in Aug. 1979, he wrote to McGinniss, “And I don’t know what to say to you except it is not true, and I hope you know that and feel it and that you are my friend.”

On Sept. 11, 1979, McGinniss wrote in response: “Dear Jeff, … Total strangers can recognize within five minutes that you did not receive a fair trial .… Frankly, I am not sure what Keeler’s attitude toward you is. I’m not implying that he believes you are guilty — I just don’t know, but I think it would be better on many counts if you did nothing to encourage or to assist anyone else who might be planning to write about this…. It’s a hell of a thing — spend the summer making a new friend and then

the bastards come along and lock him up. But not for long, Jeffrey — not for long.”

McGinniss clearly crosses an ethical line by calling MacDonald a friend and encouraging him not to talk to other writers. The SPJ code of ethics warns that journalists must “Be cautious when making promises, but keep the promises they make.”

McGinniss broke this code as he later revealed he had no intentions of exonerating or actually being friends with MacDonald. Instead, he deceived him to keep him close and to finish the project. The finished product was a best-selling book called “Fatal Vision” which brought fame and money to McGinniss, while MacDonald was painted out to be a “cold-blood killer, a narcissist, and a psychopath.” This was incredibly unethical. Although journalists do not have to disclose every thought they have about a subject or situation to their sources, they do owe it to their sources to be transparent about their objectivity and/or intentions. Due to this misstep, McGinniss was brought to court in 1984 by MacDonald and sued for fraud and breach of contract. The trial was examined extensively in

Janet Malcolm’s book “The Journalist and the Murderer,” and at the trial, writers and journalists testified that it was okay to lie to subjects for the sake of the story. Joseph Wambaug, a best selling non-fiction writer and a witness for the defense, asserted that “A lie is something that’s told with ill will or in bad faith that is not true,” while an untruth is “part of a device wherein one can get at the actual truth.” Janet Malcom builds on this sentiment in “The Journalist and the Murderer,” as she characterizes all journalists/source relationships as having a “self-satisfied tone and a fundamental falseness.”

I believe that this culture of lying is present within the journalism industry as people are forced to get the “first scoop” or the most sensational stories. I think that perspectives like Malcolm’s are problematic and do not challenge this “insider” culture, but rather normalize it. In general, I believe that the fate of journalism is threatened when journalists begin building a reputation for conning sources as people will refuse to be interviewed in fear of being used or betrayed.

The Justice welcomes letters to the editor responding to published material. Please submit letters through our Web site at www. Anonymous submissions cannot be accepted. Letters should not exceed 300 words, and may be edited for space, style, grammar, spelling, libel and clarity, and must relate to material published in the Justice. Letters from off-campus sources should include location. The Justice does not print letters to the editor and op-ed submissions that have been submitted to other publications. Op-ed submissions of general interest to the University community — that do not respond explicitly to articles printed in the Justice — are also welcome and should be limited to 800 words. All submissions are due Friday at noon. Write to us The opinions stated in the editorial(s) under the masthead on the opposing page represent the opinion of a majority of the voting members of the editorial board; all other articles, columns, comics and advertisements do not necessarily. The Justice is the independent student newspaper of Brandeis University. Operated, written, produced and published entirely by students, the Justice includes news, features, arts, opinion and sports articles of interest to approximately 3,600 undergraduates, 2,000 graduate students, 565 faculty and 1,300 administrative staff. The Justice is published every Tuesday of the academic year with the exception of examination and vacation periods. Advertising deadlines: All insertion orders and advertising copy must be received by the Justice no later than 5 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the date of publication. All advertising copy is subject to approval of the editor in chief and the managing and advertising editors. Fine Print The Staff For information on joining the Justice, write to editor@ The opinions expressed on this page are those of each article’s respective author and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Justice. Editorial assistants News: Sophia De Lisi, Anika Jain Photography: Ceci Chen Copy: Jenna Lewis, Madison Sirois Production assistants Features: Noah Risley Photography: Eliza Bier s News: Maria Antonio, Amanda Chen*, Sydney Duncan, Max Feigelson, Anna Martin, Isabel Roseth, River Simard, Ariella Weiss, Hedy Yang, Lea Zaharoni Features: Zev Carlyle, Maddy Dulong, Jessie Gabel, Natalie Kahn, Isabel Roseth, Meshulam Ungar, Ariella Weiss, Lea Zaharoni Forum: Tasha Epstein, Mirabell Rowland, Lauryn Williams Sports: Josh Gans, Zachary Goldstein, Megan Liao, Prateek Kanmadikar, Jackson Wu*, Aki Yamaguchi Arts and Culture: Elijah Chen, Craig Disken, Ethan Gerstman, Megan Liao Photography: Natalie Bracken, Jack Yuanwei Cheng, Thomas Tiancheng Zheng* Copy: Wenli Cai, Solana Jolly, Elizabeth Liu, Daniela Zavlun, Nataniela Zavlun Layout: Eliza Bier, Ceci Chen, Elizabeth Liu, Hedy Yang Ads: Elizabeth Liu, Sophia Stewart Online: Amanda Chen, Sabrina Waddell * denotes a senior staff member. THE JUSTICE ● FORUM ● TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2023 11
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SOFTBALL: Kannan and Cohen dominate


on the mound. The success of these veterans will be crucial as the team squares off against elite programs such as Case Western Reserve University and Washington University in St. Louis.

While experienced players are making their mark, the incredible impact of the first-years cannot be overstated. Kannan has had a dream start to her collegiate career with a 6-0 record, a complete game in all five starts, just three total earned runs in 36 innings, and a 0.58 ERA. Kannan has set the entire country on notice with her elite performance, and the Judges will rely on her come bigger games. She is accompanied by Erin Hunt ’26, Elle Ehrlich ’26,

Bells Burdenski ’26, and Maddie Manes ’26 as the main first year contributors. Hunt is a shifty center fielder who is batting leadoff with a .400 average. Ehrlich has found her spot in the outfield and is batting a respectable .375. Burdenski joined the middle infield this past weekend and has crushed two home runs so far this season. Manes is getting it done across the stat sheet — playing some elite defense at first base and recording a .316 batting average with one home run to her name.

The Judges travel to Emory University in Atlanta this weekend to begin a 10-game road trip. Their next home games will be on Tuesday, April 11 against Endicott College.

NBA: Celtics and Bucks nabbed as favorites for title, per Vegas reports


in the playoffs, the Grizzlies will have a great shot at making the finals. However, standing in their way is two-time MVP Nicola Jokic and the Nuggets. Sporting the best record in the Western Conference, the Nuggets have been an absolute powerhouse all season long. The Sacramento Kings are on the verge of their first playoff berth since 2006 — to give you an idea of how long ago that was, iPhones didn’t even exist yet! The defending champs Golden State Warriors recovered from their earlier season mishaps and are attempting to lock up the six seed in the West.

Although the most interesting storyline in the west may be the play-in tournament — the play-in tournament was introduced in the 2019-20 season and showcases the seven through 10 seeds playing against each other for the final two playoff spots. This year the race to the play-in tournament is fierce — the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Dallas Mavericks are all in contention for the tournament. The most notable teams from the list are the Lakers and Mavericks. The Mavericks

column following weekend losses

reached the conference finals last year and added Kyrie Irving to their elite line-up this season. Irving and Luka Doncic haven’t been able to find their rhythm with one another, and Maverick fans are fearing the worst as they sit just outside the play-in tournament at 11. The Lakers, on the other hand, have been playing some of the best basketball following the trade deadline. Even with Lebron James on the sidelines nursing a foot injury for the majority of March, Anthony Davis and the Lakers’ supporting cast have been able to re-enter the playoff discussion. Now with James back in the line-up, the Lakers are looking to make a serious push for a higher seed.

The first round of the NBA playoffs is set to begin on April 15. Only a few teams have punched their ticket to the postseason, so the race to the finish line will be intense. At the end of the day these are the best basketball players in the world — anything and everything is possible. Specifically, keep an eye out for the Western Conference play-in tournament; some of the NBA’s best talent may be on the verge of missing the NBA’s biggest stage.


This was a big improvement from the scoreless loss against the Gulls earlier in the season. Endicott did not score a run until the top of the fourth. However, the Judges responded in that same frame as they loaded the bases from a combination of a double, error, and bunt. King singled to get Kim home while Nugent and King scored off a walk and fielder’s choice respectively. Endicott reclaimed the lead for the rest of the game in the top of the sixth. The Gulls scored a go-ahead single off starting pitcher Sean DeckerJacoby ’24 to take the lead 4-3. In the ninth they added another insurance run to make it five runs on the day. The Judges were unable to get their runners home in the next innings and ended the rest of the game scoreless. Decker-Jacoby struck out four runners, allowing two hits and one unearned run in the first five innings. Maestri took the loss, falling to 2-1

with the team’s record dropping to 3-7.

Judges 2, Lions 7; Judges 6, Lions

9 In this non-conference doubleheader, the Judges dropped both games to the Emerson College Lions in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Brandeis took the lead at the bottom of the third when Simon singled and brought first baseman Nick Heafey ’24 home, and second baseman Mike DiCenso ’24 scored unearned. However, the six runs the Lions hammered in blew open their scoring, including a grand slam that gave Emerson the early lead. There were three more runs — one in the fourth and two in the fifth to complete the Lions’ scoring.

Rookie pitcher Tyler Hill ’26 took the loss, allowing three hits and six runs across 3.1 innings.

The Judges got on the score sheet first again in game two at the bottom

of the first. King singled an RBI while the bases loaded and a wild pitch led to two more runs being scored. The Lions were able to get out of the inning and regain control thanks to a productive sixth frame. They had six runs on four hits, taking the lead 6-3. The Lions tacked on two more runs between the fourth and the fifth to extend their lead to nine runs. The Judges got some runs on the board at the bottom of the final seventh inning. Michaud sent a three-run home run out of the park to give the Judges hope. However, they were unable to convert runners to runs and the Lions brought it home. Pitcher James Murphy ’25 took the loss over 2.2 innings. He gave up four runs on two hits, two walks, and two hit batters. Michaud’s home run was his first of the season and the fifth of his career. Brandeis will not be home again until their UAA campaign against Emory on April 7.

BASEBALL: Judges fail to get in the win
WINNING WAYS: Last weekend the Brandeis Softball team swept Carnegie Mellon to start their season with a 9-1 record.
to the
three of
Baseball has had
tough start
season, dropping
their past four match-ups.
ELIZA BIER/the Justice


Judges softball host and sweep Carnegie Mellon for first UAA series of the year


Sports just JUDGES

NBA playoff race gets tight as end of season approaches

■ The NBA Playoffs start on April 15, and teams are trying to finish off the regular season strong to ensure themselves a postseason berth.

Only 16 teams can make it to the National Basketball Association Playoffs, and competition at the top is getting tougher and tougher. The difference between playing in the playoffs and watching them at home can be marginal for NBA players — one game, one shot, one moment can be the difference it takes. This season, there have been quite a few notable headlines and surprising developments. Some teams have met expectations while others have collapsed under the pressure.

In the Eastern Conference, three main front-runners have appeared — the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers. The Bucks currently hold an NBA-best record of 53-21, and with Giannis Antetokounmpo at the helm, it will be tough for any eastern opponent to take down Las Vegas’ title favorites.

Following the Bucks in the title odds are the Celtics. Led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics have been one of the most exciting teams across the association. Ranking third


in offensive and fourth in defensive efficiency, the Celtics have been able to get the job done on both ends of the court. Rounding out the third seed in the Eastern Conference is the 76ers.

Joel Embiid, the 76ers’ leading big man, has been nabbed by Vegas as the favorite for the Most Valuable Player award. Averaging 33.3 points per game with 10.2 rebounds a game, Embiid has stepped up his game exponentially. However, the playoffs have always been an Achilles’ heel for Philadelphia — making it to the past five NBA playoffs but never even reaching a conference final. Each of these teams have already secured a spot in the postseason, yet the playoffs are where true champions are made.

Outside the three top dogs, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat look to be some of the next best competition in the east. After losing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to trades during the regular season, the Brooklyn Nets are hanging on to their six seed playoff spot by their fingertips.

Shifting focus to the Western side of the bracket, the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies have already claimed a spot in the playoffs. Following some serious controversy and the suspension of star guard Ja Morant, the Grizzlies have been able to find their footing once again — winning their last six games. If Morant is able to produce the same mid-season magic we saw this year

Judges baseball fall to 3-9 on the season after tough weekend

■ The Judges were able to secure a win against mid-week opponent Wentworth, but they fell against Endicott and Bates over the weekend.

Judges 7, Leopards 4

The Judges were able to prevent a Leopard comeback at the top of the ninth inning to win a nonconference match-up and improve to 3-6. Brandeis took an early lead at the bottom of the first inning as they scored four runs on six hits. Captain and center fielder Sam Nugent ’23 opened up the scoring with a single. This brought designated hitter Alex Kim ’26 home. Catcher Justin Keeler ’25 and first baseman Matthew Motiwalla ’26 singled to bring in three runs — one and two respectively — and finished out the first inning


The Brandeis Softball team hosted and swept the Carnegie Mellon Tartans from March 24-26 at Marcus Field, pg. 15.

Brandeis Softball sweeps Carnegie Mellon and improve to 9-1 record

4-0. Third baseman Brian King ’23 singled as well to score left fielder and captain Steven Simon ’23 extended the lead to five. Asher Kaplan ’23 retired 13 Wentworth hitters in a row through the sixth inning until the top of the seventh. The Leopards were able to get a runner home off a hit, making it 1-5.

At the bottom of the same inning, the Judges fought back and tacked on two more runs to bring the score up, 7-1. Motiwalla got his third RBI of the game and shortstop Drew Michaud ’23 scored off a wild pitch. In the ninth inning, the Leopards finally caught up to Kaplan, scoring three runs and nabbing four hits off him. Pitcher and captain Marc Maestri M.B.A. ’23 got his fourth career save when he had the final out of the game to relieve Kaplan. Motiwalla had a great game going 3-4 with his first career hits and three RBIs. Kim was the only Brandeis batter with an extra-base hit.

Judges 3, Gulls 5

Although the Judges jumped to the lead against the #8 Endicott College Gulls, they were unable to secure the win and came up short on the upset.

■ The Brandeis Softball team swept the Carnegie Mellon Tartans this past weekend, and they have moved to an impressive 9-1 on the season.

The Brandeis Softball team is off to a red hot start. With a combination of veteran and first year talent, this team could be poised for a serious shot at an NCAA tournament appearance. They currently sit 9-1, with four of their wins coming from a “run rule” — they scored too many runs for the seven innings to be completed. The Judges have allowed just 14 runs in the ten games they have played, eight of which came in their first two games. They are a perfect 4-0 in University Athletic Association play after sweeping Carnegie Mellon University this weekend.

During their games this past

Friday, offense was the main difference-maker between the teams, winning the first game 11-1 and the second 9-1. The first game ended thanks to a three-run bomb by Anna Kolb ’25 which enacted the run rule. This home run was Kolb’s first of the season and second for Judges in that contest. In the later Friday game, Alex Cohen ’24 started on the mound and also drove in the first run for Brandeis. From there, the game slowly got out of control for the Tartans — they were unable to match the offensive prowess from the Judges and fell to the run rule once again.

Their Saturday match-up was a tough fight for the entire game as the offensive success of the previous day failed to continue. It was a cold New England day, and the players were feeling the stiffness of the weather.

Luckily, first-year standout Ragini Kannan controlled the Tartans’ fate from the mound — Kannan only allowed three hits throughout the entire contest and helped give Brandeis the win.

On their final day, the Judges fell behind 3-0 after a Carnegie Mellon player hit a three-run home run to put the opposition ahead in the top

of the third inning. However, in the bottom of the fourth, the Judges responded with three runs of their own. As the fifth inning rolled around, extra innings looked to be a possibility, but Cohen had different plans. With two Judges on base, Cohen sent a moon shot to center field for her third home run of the season. After the three-run home run, the Judges tacked on two more runs to pull away from the Tartans. Kannan came into the game late to help crush the dreams of Tartan players and fans. This game wrapped up their weekend and gave Brandeis its first UAA sweep of the season.

Many veterans are carrying their weight, picking up where they left off a season ago. Third baseman Haley Nash ’24 is batting .379 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. Kolb, who has moved around the middle infield, is batting .480 with a .618 on base percentage and 14 runs scored. Cohen, who was selected to the 2022 UAA first team, continues to do it on both ends this year for the Judges. She is batting .406 with three home runs and 12 RBIs, while boasting a 3-1 record with a 2.63 earned run average and 33 strikeouts

BEAST IN THE EAST: Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks currently boast an NBA-best
See SOFTBALL, 13 ☛
See NBA, 13 ☛
Tuesday, March 28, 2023 Page 16 Waltham, Mass.
Photo: Smiley Huynh/the Justice. Design: Ceci Xilei Chen, Smiley Huynh/the Justice.
March 28, 2023 Vol. LXXV #18
Waltham, Mass.

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged’: Visualizing ‘Pride and Prejudice’

“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” that a classic novel in possession of critical acclaim must be in want of a faithful adaptation. Jane Austen’s novels in particular have been the subject of many different film and television adaptations, ranging from those highly beloved — such as the various “Emma” adaptations, which, yes, do include “Clueless,” or the 2007 film “Northanger Abbey” — to those widely despised, such as the disaster that was Netflix’s 2022 adaptation of “Persuasion.”

Translating Austen’s nuanced and intricate writing to the screen requires much thought


and care, and clearly, not every iteration has or will succeed. Arguably her most famous novel, “Pride and Prejudice,” which was published in 1813, has spawned a number of films and television series, with some adhering to the time and place of the novel, others borrowing the plot, including “Bride & Prejudice” (2004) and “The Lizzy Bennet Diaries” (2012-2013).

The primary two adaptations of the novel, however — the 1995 miniseries and the 2005 feature film — are arguably the most popular and renowned of the slew of media that the novel has produced. Both attempt to stay true to the novel, but with varying levels of success. While this may be a controversial opinion, this is a hill I’ve decided to die on: The 1995 miniseries is the definitive adaptation, and the 2005 film, while a good movie on its own, is a terrible adaptation of

the novel. It’s true that neither adaptation has been deemed definitively superior by the general public, and both received great critical acclaim and boast diehard fans. The miniseries “Pride and Prejudice,” directed by Simon Langton and starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, is generally considered to be the most popular adaptation, has an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is praised for following the novel faithfully — nearly scene by scene. It set out to capture what other adaptations in the past have not, using its ample resources to shoot on location and design costumes accurate to the period in which the novel is set, for which costume designer Dinah Collin won an Emmy. Similarly, the 2005 film, directed by Joe Wright and starring Matthew McFayden and Keira Knightly, has received much praise since its release, including multiple Academy Award nominations and an 87% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film cuts out and alters many details that make it unrecognizable when compared to the original text. It is true that the 1995 series has the advantage of six hour-long episodes to explore the story in more depth while the film only had two hours, but the film still made certain changes that led it astray from the heart of the novel. It is not the responsibility of every adaptation to do so, but when a film is claiming to be an accurate depiction of a text, it helps if they actually get it right.

The quality of adaptations is something that is highly subjective and difficult to reach a consensus on, which is evident in the debate over the best adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice.”I won’t dwell on the minute details that I like or dislike about each. I do prefer the fashion and hair in the 1995 miniseries, and I don’t love the inaccuracies in the film — the hair nor the fashion is actually era-appropriate. Such things do impact the adaptations but are not the most important things

to consider. What is much more important is how accurately they translate the characters, themes, and tone of the novel — something which the 1995 miniseries nailed and the 2005 film either didn’t care about, or the creators of the film greatly misunderstood the entirety of the novel.

It’s difficult to address every element in only 1,000 words, so my compliments and criticisms must be abridged. Ultimately, I adore the 1995 miniseries. It matches the tone of the novel quite successfully; “Pride and Prejudice” is a social comedy, and while it explores real and serious societal expectations and standards, the overall tone is still light and quite witty. The nuances of all the relationships are quite clear, and the characters are all depicted as Austen herself wrote them. The creators appear to understand that there is a lot of drama in the original novel itself, and nothing needs to be exaggerated in order to engage the audience. It’s true that the miniseries inserts a scene in which Darcy walks the grounds at Pemberley, dripping wet from a swim, a detail certainly not written in the novel, but this changes nothing about the plot.

Alternatively, I have a laundry list of criticisms when it comes to the 2005 film, and nearly every one is something that the 1995 miniseries conversely did right. On a general level, the movie prioritizes romance over all else, and while that is a central and beloved part of the novel, it is not the only thing that matters. The novel is a social commentary, but the film ignores the titular themes — the pride and the prejudice.

They cut out Mrs. Hurst, one of Mr. Bingley’s sisters and turned Caroline Bingley into a seductress as opposed to focusing on her pride and her prejudice, losing Austen’s commentary on class. The director has said that the Bennets have a happy marriage and that Mrs. Bennet is a hero, both of which Austen

refuted within the novel. In the novel, Charlotte Lucas is not a romantic and views happiness in marriage as entirely a matter of chance; meanwhile, her famous speech in the film refutes this idea. She marries not out of desperation but out of practicality. Jane and Elizabeth’s relationship is also rendered useless; they barely discuss anything and have virtually no notable correspondence. Conversely, in the novel, whatever they did not discuss was notable because they shared everything with one another. Knightley’s Elizabeth is overly emotional and puts herself at the mercy of others such as when she begs her father not to force her to marry Mr. Collins, whereas Austen’s protagonist is strong and independent. The miniseries, however, hits every one of these points.

Indeed, the cinematography is stunning and the score is lovely, but watching the film, it feels more like an adaptation of a Bronte novel than anything else. “Pride and Prejudice” does not have love confessions in the rain. Mr. Darcy doesn’t dramatically walk across a field at sunrise to declare his love — that happens on a walk in the middle of the day. I will never understand the obsession with the “hand flex” scene — why is that more notable than Darcy helping her into the carriage at Pemberley and Elizabeth gazing back at him as her carriage pulls away, signifying her changing opinion of him, as Ehle’s Elizabeth does in the miniseries?

All this being said, my love for the miniseries stands on its own. It’s a remarkably well done series that I’ve watched five times in the last year; although, maybe that’s not something I should admit. I understand that my diatribe against a film that is so beloved may be off-putting, but if you’ve made it this far — I cannot recommend the miniseries more. It may not alter the way you see the film, but it is a genuinely lovely piece of media that I think any Austen fan would love.

The last chapter: A review of ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’

“Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back.”

After a long four year hiatus, precipitated by the pandemic and other conflicts, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has returned. And with his return arrives the greatest action film of the last 10 years.

Directed by Chad Stahelski, Keanu Reeves’ former stuntman on “The Matrix,” “John Wick: Chapter 4” is the latest entry into this original action thriller franchise that has thus far dominated both critically and popularly. I have been looking forward to this film since the third one ended four years ago. So when I entered the theater on the March 23, I had nothing but high expectations. It did not disappoint. In this film, John Wick finds himself forced to fight the High Table, the mysterious organization of assassins that governs the hyper-realistic world of John Wick. His allies are the former manager of the New York Continental Winston, the Bowery King, and the friends he has made in his decades involved in the assassin trade. His travels take him to Osaka, Berlin, and ultimately Paris, where he seeks to destroy the Marquis, the man hired by the Table to dispatch John.

At the end of the day, the John Wick franchise is a masterclass in stunt work and action set pieces. From the Red Circle nightclub fight in “John Wick 1,” where the kills are synchronized to the music, to the infamous dog

scene in “John Wick 3,” the John Wick films has given us more high art action than any modern franchise. Somehow “John Wick 4” outdoes its predecessors. Essentially, the film can be broken down into effectively five extended action sequences. The first is the absolutely stunning Osaka Continental scene. The way the incomparable Hong Kong action legend Donnie Yen directed the action throughout the sequence sets a new bar for how action should be done in Hollywood. Although his character is blind, he manages to not only compete with Wick but consistently surpass him. Their hand-to-hand duel is a balletic entrancing dance of brutal violence.

We then move to Berlin, where John must find the Ruska Roma, his crime family. There, they task him with killing Berlin Continental manager Killa, played by martial arts cinematic mainstay Scott Adkins, in revenge for the death of Pyotr, John’s mentor in the Slavic underworld. Of course, this new enemy is in a modern nightclub, incidentally surrounded by a system of waterfalls. Here, Stahelski gives us the best individual action moment since “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Killa and Wick fight surrounded by waterfalls amid the raving crowds of intentionally oblivious dancers, all to the sound of pounding techno music. This carefully choreographed exercise of martial arts precision and unambiguous brutality is something to behold. Fighting on various levels, they find themselves echoing many classic duels in pop culture. In Adkins’

performance, we see echoes of a Kingpin like character from the Daredevil/Spiderman universe, especially in how Killa uses his gravity and immense size to essentially bat John around. The combat we witness in this sequence is unlike anything that has been done in the franchise, much less Hollywood. Attention to detail is something that Stahelski never seems to abandon. Despite the distractions of the dancers, waterfalls and the seemingly unending wave of soon to be dispatched henchmen, we never lose sight of the main players and the way they weave together art and violence.

The last hour of “John Wick Chapter 4” is the greatest continuous hour of any action movie that has ever existed. There is more action in this hour than in most movies. In this clearly third act, John is given one task: to get to the top of Sacre-Coeur before sunrise. The Marquis sends everything it can to prevent him. The first scene alone would be a sufficient conclusion to this film. Stahelski has him fighting in the center of the Arc de Triomphe roundabout, and the results are expectedly off-the-wall insane. While people are flung into moving cars, John moves in and around traffic like a real life Frogger game, and this is all being done with as few cuts as possible. The amount of work that a sequence like this must have required is astronomical. Although the cars are sped up digitally, stuntmen are really being hit at 30 miles per hour, and even at that lessened speed,

things can go wrong. As if following a scene like that is even possible, “Chapter 4” continues to elevate itself with its next action sequence. Having escaped from the onslaught of vehicles and armored cars, John enters an abandoned apartment complex, where he quickly finds himself having to kill 30+ men armed with guns that are essentially mini flamethrower shotguns. Any other action director would deliver this scene with a bunch of quick cuts and hard to see gunfire, but Stahelski is unique. Instead, halfway through the sequence, the camera begins to pan up and eventually give us an eagle eye perspective above the various rooms. We see John almost blissfully putting an end to these disposable red shirts from a Hotline Miami-like perspective. At this point, my theater neighbors were smiling.

Personally, I knew “Chapter 4” was going to be good, just not this good. But the stuntman-turned director is not done. We still have the greatest achievement of the film on the horizon, the Sacre Coeur stairs scene. There are 237 steps leading up to the church, and John has to fight his way up them. Many critics have commended the franchise on its action, style, and clear focus, but I think there is something missing as to why these movies are successful. They use the environment perhaps more creatively than pretty much any film in its genre. The stairs sequence illustrates that. Stahelski and his team choreograph these scenes in a manner that forces the audience to keep the environment

in focus. Everyone is tumbling down this intimidatingly steep hill, with the absence of cuts reminding us that these dangerous falls are being done by actual stuntmen. Amid this tapestry of controlled chaos, a consistently building tension remains in the background. Time is ticking, and we need John to get up this climb. Only films made by stuntmen for stuntmen can replicate this level of action filmmaking. There is an obvious intentionality behind the choreography that simply does not exist in the genre. While this is likely the last John Wick, spinoffs aside, I am grateful that I was able to experience seeing all four entries theatrically. They elevated action filmmaking, and we should all recognize their achievement for what it is. As for this one, my only advice is this: See it in a crowded theater while you can. It’s worth it.

THE JUSTICE | ARTS | TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017 18 Design: Mina Rowland/the Justice
Photo courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS KEANU REEVES: “John Wick: Chapter 4” stars Keanu Reeves who plays a legendary hitman. PORTRAIT: Jane Austen is a well known English novelist and poet. “Pride and Prejudice” is one her best known novels. Photo courtesy of CREATIVE COMMONS


Brandeis KAOS KIDS, one of the many dance groups on campus, held the Organized KAOS show on Saturday, March 25. This show pulled in a large audience, filling Levin Ballroom to the brim with cheers and excitement. In addition to KAOS KIDS, other Brandeis dance groups performed including Hooked on Tap, Platinum Step Team, Adagio Dance Company Dance Ensemble, Rebelle Afro Caribbean Dance Team, and Chak De. Other local colleges and universities also participated including the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Northeastern University, Wellesley College, Lasell University, Boston College, and Harvard University. This show ran for two hours with a fifteen minute intermission during which audience members were invited to write messages of love to all KAOS KIDS performers. The seniors of KAOS performed a senior piece, following which, they were presented with bouquets of fresh flowers. The show opened with a video made by KAOS executive board members, sharing some behind the scenes of their rehearsal process. The camaraderie and support shared by the team members was evident while watching the team perform.

Design: Anna Martin/the Justice.
Photos: Smiley Huynh/the Justice.

Top 10 grammar mistakes everybody makes

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a lover of English, poetry, epics, and of course the classic novel or two. Growing up the granddaughter of a Boston Globe reporter and the daughter of a lawyer, I had to be particularly careful of making the all-too-common grammatical misstep in both my writing and speaking. Since coming to college, I can’t help but notice not everyone was faced with the same household grammar gauntlet. The following mistakes are the grammatical pet peeves that I’ve witnessed from both students and professors on campus. Don’t feel bad, I still make some of these mistakes myself every so often … but not really.

1. Refer Back

2. Off of

a. Look out for this from your professors: “this relates back to” and “if we refer back to” ALL WRONG.

a. Think of this the next time you want to talk in class and say, “Piggy Backing off of that.”

3. Interesting — Most of the time, it’s not. A quick tip: A thesaurus can be your best friend if used wisely!

4. Ending in a preposition — sentences like “And, in the end, that’s what it came down to.”

5. None agreement — none is actually “not one” so you should say “none of us was at the C-store taking Jenna’s favorite Oatly Ice Cream Bars” not “none of us were at the C-store buying the last of the caramel flavor to make Jenna sad”

6. Overuse of “it” or “thing” without context

7. Unnecessary use of “like”

8. Alumna, alumni, alumnus — alumns or alumn are simply not words

9. Between vs. Among

10. “He/She/They go” when you really mean, “He/She/They said”

Honorable mention: The Oxford comma, let’s bring it back! #OxfordCommaGang



Megan Liao is an illustrator and photographer. She likes birds, flowers, traveling, books, and coffee, which are all frequent motifs in her works. If you can’t find her in the Justice office battling her thesis, she’s probably taking photos in the gym. Her favorite color is cobalt blue.

MEGAN LIAO/the Justice
STAFF’S Top Ten 20
Puzzle courtesy of OPENSKY SUDOKU
JENNA LEWIS/the Justice