The Miscellany News
Burlesque embraces sensuality
Ferry voices concerns over new dining plan Brooke Thomas Guest Reporter
Laurel Hennen Vigil/The Miscellany News
Matt Stein Reporter
rom a young age, kids who maybe do not fit societal notions of “ideal” beauty standards or don’t fit the hourglass figure are constantly compared to what they are not. This seeps into self-image and causes insecurity, anxiety and more issues to arise. Luckily, ad campaigns and policies are sprouting to promote a body-positivity movement. And now at this campus, there’s Vassar Burlesque. On Feb. 10 and 11, The Susan Stein Shiva Theater set up a spotlight for the inaugural Vassar Burlesque performance. This special event, presented by The Philaletheis Society, featured a variety of performances, from choreographed dances to stripteases to original songs. Performers adopted burlesque names as aliases throughout the night, with “The Slut Superior” as the Mistrex of Ceremonies. The creative directors of Vassar Burlesque are Madeleine Briggs ’18 and Daisy Walker ’18, and Lindsay Matheos ’19 was stage manager. The concept for this group originated from talks between Briggs and Walker last spring. Briggs found interest prior to that at Northwestern University, where their feminist theatre group, Lipstick Theatre, performs an annual burlesque show. Both shared a mutual fascination for iconic burlesque performer Dita Von Teese and the empowering core that lied within the theatre style. Walker recounted the initial development that generated this group: “The more that Madeleine and I talked, the more we realized that this whole burlesque thing might just be a possibility, and a possibility with endless possibilities, at that. Here seemed to be an opportunity to create a space for anyone of any body type, gender, race, ability, age, sexual orientation, or any other identity to explore and celebrate themselves, no matter where they were in the self-exploration or self-acceptance process.” See BURLESQUE on page 16
On Feb. 11, groups of pro-choice and pro-life protesters congregated near Poughkeepsie’s Planned Parenthood. The pro-choice contingent resolutely supported the organization while the pro-lifers called to defund it
Protest draws rivals on abortion dispute Laurel Hennen Vigil News Editor
t Planned Parenthoods in more than 40 states across the nation on Saturday, Feb. 11, thousands of demonstrators from both sides of the abortion debate gathered to both decry and defend the embattled women’s health organization, which provides services to more than 2.5 million people every year (Planned Parenthood, “Planned
nformation about a contentious new meal plan has been floating around campus since last year. The January dining message sent by Dean Roellke confirmed that along with the new dining partner, Bon Appétit, Vassar would be receiving a new “all students on the all access” meal plan. Dean Roelke’s email reads: “We believe very strongly this plan will be of great benefit to all of our students– encouraging community-building over meals while allowing for increased flexibility around individual schedules. Part of this plan will also include the ability of students to use their i.d. cards at selected off campus locations. We are currently finalizing details and will have a full program outline for you and for parents by the start of the March break.” Although not fully briefed on the finalized version of the meal plan, many students are concerned with the implications of the change, specifically those it has for students who generally don’t have a meal plan: students living in the Town Houses, Terrace Apartments, South Commons and Ferry House. Current and past residents of Ferry have begun to organize around this issue, creating a Facebook group for Ferry alumni and having meetings with Luis Inoa to talk about how Ferry will work once the new plan has been implemented. Discussions in the
Playoffs approaching, New exhibition series a season on the line centers queer artistry Lindsay Wolk
lthough the Vassar women’s basketball team has been playing since mid-October, the Brewer’s fate rests upon two days: Wednesday, Feb. 15, and Friday, Feb. 17. In the last two weekends of intense conference play, VC went 2-2 as the team defeated No. 1 Skidmore College and No. 7 St. Lawrence, but fell to No. 5 Union College and No. 3 Clarkson University. With these results, the squad currently stands at sixth place in the Liberty League with a conference record (8-6) tied with No. 4 Rochester Institute of Technology and Union. To advance to post-season play, Vassar has to hold a spot within the top four teams. Therefore, the women’s basketball team must defeat both Bard College and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to potentially earn a spot in playoffs. On Friday, Feb. 3, The Brewers took on the Union Dutch on Vassar’s home court. The first quarter of the game held numerous lead changes prior to the Dutch taking control of the game in the second quarter, heading to half with a 32-23 lead. Nevertheless, the Brewers regained momentum with a more connected offensive unit and outscored Union 18-6 in the third quarter. This surge, however, stumbled again as they entered the fourth period.
Inside this issue
Parenthood at a Glance”). After the pro-choice Women’s March on Jan. 21, over 70 anti-abortion groups organized #ProtestPP, a nationwide rally calling to defund Planned Parenthood. In many cities, even more pro-choice activists gathered to counter protest in support of the organization. At the counter protest in Poughkeepsie, several hundred people congregated See PROTEST on page 4
Facebook group have shed light on the reasons why people see Ferry’s dining traditions as a valuable asset for Vassar students. I joined Ferry for a haus dinner on Feb. 9th to talk about the upcoming changes. As with many Ferry dinners, because of busy schedules and other conflicts, not every resident was in attendance. Those who were there and did speak to me all mentioned that their opinions were their own and they did not claim to speak for the group. They also made clear what it is about Ferry that makes it different from other living situations on campus and what is at stake with the new meal plan. One of the most prominent similarities was the emphasis on Ferry as a place for community building and the concern that this would be damaged by the new plan. Jason Albertson, a Ferry resident from 1982-85, said of his and some of his housemates’ experiences: “We were all Ferrites; we all ran the house at various times, we all believe, strongly, in commensalism, the practice of sharing food and cooking for each other as a way to enhance the experience of community. I lived at Ferry for four years, and as a non-typical, older student, the community that we evolved around shared meals, shopping, cooking, meal planning and self determination through those behaviors was key.” Annie Hope ‘18 shared many of AlSee FERRY on page 5
Fair on healthy sexuality aids student mentality
Head Coach Candice Brown noted that, despite better ball movement and the team’s ability to find good looks at the basket, shooting proved to be an issue throughout the final period. Notably, despite outshooting Union by 23 shots from the floor, the Brewers made only 27 percent of those while the Dutch scored 44 percent. Sophomore guard Nicole Teta and freshman forward Sophie Nick each scored 10 points to lead the Brewers, as well as leading the team in rebounds with eight rebounds and seven rebounds respectively. Sophomore forward Sabrina Ulsh also added a seven-point effort. Vassar rebounded quickly from the tough loss and stepped up to the challenge of playing No. 1 Skidmore the next day, Saturday, Feb. 4. Prior to the game against the Brewers, Skidmore had only lost two Liberty League games. Sophomore Maeve Sussman commented, “We worked really hard on having selective-memory-loss. We recognized that we didn’t play well against Union but didn’t get caught up in the loss.” Sussman continued, “We looked at the game and what we needed to do better and took it as a learning experience. The next day when we played Skidmore that was the only thing we were thinking about.” The game against Skidmore proved See BASKETBALL on page 18
If fashion is your passion, with Contrast you’ll cash in
cting as a mirror to one’s self or to society as a whole, a work of art is a manifestation of environment, beliefs and experiences, or a juncture of all three. Thus, art is unavoidably an expression, as well as an exploration, of the constructs and characteristics that inform individuality, whether the
message is intentionally encoded by the artist or decoded by the spectator. Throughout its history, art has proven to be an effective tool of communication by giving a voice to diverse groups and communities across the planet. It is through such artistic creations that the nuances of intersectional identities can be explored. When it See ART on page 14
Courtesy of Hien Nguyen
Courtesy of Leo Hilton
Madeleine Briggs ’18, pictured above, was one of the dancers in the body-positive and identityaffirming Vassar Burlesque shows this past Friday and Saturday.
Volume CXLIX | Issue 14
February 16, 2017
Since 1866 | miscellanynews.org
Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
Hien Nguyen ’20 is the first artist featured in the LGBTQ Center’s new series of art exhibitions as part of the Queer/Trans People of Color Art Initiative, which will be highlighting a new artist every 1-2 months.
After Brown had them beat, fencers back on SPORTS their feet
The Miscellany News
February 16, 2017
Editor-in-Chief Anika Lanser
Senior Editors Emma Jones Elena Schultz
Contributing Editor Yifan Wang
News Features Opinions Humor and Satire Arts Sports Design Online Copy
Courtesy of Rachel Ludwig
Rachel Ludwig writes: “I decided on a whim to track down this illustrious falafel place that I had read about and after a delicious...lunch of 14 falafels, I just walked around the Marais and then over to the Notre Dame. No pictures, no map reading, just enjoying the view from across the river, trying my very best to not look like a tourist.” To read more about the adventures of Rachel and her classmates, visit farandaway.miscellanynews.org!
The Miscellany News 16
Rugby Skills for All
4:30pm | Kenyon Gym | Athletics
5:00pm | CC 223 | Campus Life
Nicolai Petro Lecture: “Are We Reading Russia Correctly”
6:00pm | RH 300 | Russian Studies Dept.
“Eastern Boys” Screening
6:30pm | Taylor 203 | French and Francophone Studies Dept.
Planned Parenthood Benefit Concert
7:00pm | Villard Room | CHOICE 7:00pm | UpC | Merely Players
Lunch & Learn: Landed the Interview...Now What?
No Such Convention
Open M/W Rugby
Tennis (W) vs. Muhlenberg College
12:00pm | Rocky 200 | CDO
5:00pm | Kenyon Gym | Athletics
Basketball (W) vs. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 6:00pm | AFC 102 | Athletics
Basketball (M) vs. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 8:00pm | AFC 102 | Athletics
Romeo and Juliet
8:00pm | UpC | Merely Players
10:00am | College Center North Atrium | NSO
12:00pm | Walker Bays | Athletics
Women and Femmes in Radio Podcasting Workshop
Reporters Sasha Gopalakrishnan Meg Howell Kaitlin Prado Andrea Yang Columnists Jimmy Christon Jesser Horowitz Steven Park Kirk Testa Design Scarlett Neuberger Maya Sterling Yoav Yaron Copy Adele Birkenes James Bonanno Gabriela Calderon Leah Cates Jillian Frechette Tanya Kotru Gode Sumiko Neary Jessica Roden
The Donald and Kathleen Pearson Memorial Organ Recital
3:00pm | Skinner Recital Hall | Music Dept.
9:00pm | Rose Parlor | The Miscellany News
3:00pm | Alumnae/i House Living Room | OAAD
8:00pm | Rocky 301 | Big Night In
Indecent Exposure Valentine’s Day Show
Romeo and Juliet
9:00pm | Sanders 212 | Indecent Exposure
Assistant Copy Claire Baker Assistant Social Media Hannah Nice Web Master & Technical Advisor George Witteman
12:00pm | Rocky 201 | Fem Alliance
Exhibit Opening Tour—Edna St. Vincent Millay: Treasures from Steepletop
Big Night In
4:15pm | Main Library | Library 8:00pm | UpC | Merely Players
Latinx Concert Night 8:00pm | Shiva | WVKR
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
Courtesy of Wenjie Xie
Romeo and Juliet
Laurel Hennen Vigil Emily Sayer Nick Barone Evelyn Frick Noah Purdy Patrick Tanella Olivia O’Loughlin Talya Phelps Charlotte VarcoeWolfson Sarah Dolan Kelsey Quinn Laila Volpe
CORRECTION POLICY The Miscellany News will only accept corrections for any misquotes, misrepresentations or factual errors for an article within the semester it is printed. The Miscellany News is not responsible for the views presented within its Opinions pages. The weekly staff editorial is the only article which reflects the opinion of the Editorial Board.
February 16, 2017
YES! resource fair promotes education on sexual assault Hanna Stasiuk Guest Reporter
Courtesy of Darci Siegel
n Friday, Feb. 10, representatives from organizations and offices on Vassar’s campus assembled in the College Center MPR to educate students about sexual assault safety, awareness and solidarity resources. Vassar’s organization Yes for Equality and Safety of All Bodies (YES!) coordinated this informational event. According to YES!, at least 153 reported acts of sexual violence have occurred on Vassar’s campus in the last four years. Despite this, the College has only suspended four students and expelled five in connection with these acts of violence. Students founded YES! in 2016 to promote safety and solidarity on campus. Its name gives voice to those who were denied their right to consent in the past. As its mission statement describes, “The situations we are fighting against are those in which some of us or our friends were unable to say no or our no was ignored. In our efforts to prevent sexual assault, we say yes to safety for all students. We say yes to a sexual assault-free campus.” Darci Siegel ’20, a member of YES! and a Women’s Center intern, said that YES! organized the fair to make students aware of the numerous resources available to them. The fair specifically wanted to reach first-years, who may not know what each organization does. Siegel commented, “The goal of this event is to educate students about the resources on this campus. A lot of people, especially freshmen, may have heard of CHOICE or SAVP, but might not understand what they mean. This fair helps people know the faces behind the organizations and lets the organizations be as transparent as possible.” Chocolate chip cookies and Swiss Miss hot chocolate awaited students at the fair’s entrance. Once inside, students were free to wander to any and all of the resource booths. Most organizations had pamphlets for them to take, along with treats such as Oreos, tortilla chips and candy bars. Vassar’s Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention program (SAVP) provided a unique opportunity for students to discuss consent. In their “Red-
Light, Green-Light, Yellow-Light” game, a SAVP representative read a consent-related scenario and asked students to categorize it as either red-light, green-light or yellow-light. There were no wrong answers and the SAVP leaders had participants defend their choices. After listening to their peers, many revised their answers, realizing something that they had not considered before. The Office of Health Education also provided an interactive activity. It asked students to brainstorm qualities that make them feel safe in a relationship. Students wrote their answers on a poster decorated with construction paper hearts. Representatives from the Office of Health Education said that it will either hang in the second floor of the College Center or in the Office, so students can read it as they await their appointments. Several offices and organizations used the fair to highlight their new programs and initiatives. Constanca Vescio, staff therapist at Metcalf House, provided students with information about Phoenix Rising, her support group for survivors of sexual trauma. According to the flyer she handed out, “The goal of this group is to provide a safe, healing, and empowering space for survivors to discuss their experiences.” The Phoenix, the symbol for the group, is a bird known for its strength, beauty and experience of rebirth. Vescio’s flyer states that it is supposed to represent the strength, courage and resilience of survivors. The Listening Center (TLC), a peer-run support group, also announced a new program. Trained Vassar students will now respond to posts on the therapy website 7 Cups of Tea from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Students can sign up to anonymously chat with a Vassar listener on the site through TLC. They can also use the site during non-designated hours. During these times, however, they will communicate not with Vassar students but other volunteers. Throughout the fair, organizations stressed the resources available to students of all identities. A representative from the ALANA Center described how the Center is always available for students to come and discuss their problems. They commented, “The ALANA Center is a center for students of
Students visit booths run by various organizations related to sexuality and health at a resource fair on Friday, Feb. 10. The fair was organized by newly founded student group YES! color. Although it is not specifically dedicated to issues of sexual assault or sexual violence, students can come and talk about any issues that they are having. Wendy Maragh Taylor, the Center’s director, is an excellent resource.” Several organizations offered specific resources for LGBTQ-identifying students as well. The LGBTQ center, TransMission and the Vassar Queer Health Initiative (VQHI) provided information for LGBTQ survivors and about relationships in the transgender community. In addition, VQHI highlighted LGBT+ inclusive STI testing that it offered on Saturday, Feb. 11. Hudson Valley Community Services provided the testing and it was free and confidential for students. Other organizations and offices at the fair included the Campus Health Organization for Information, Contraception, and Education (CHOICE),
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
the Title IX Office, CARES, and the Women’s Center. Siegel spoke about her role as a Women’s Center intern and some of the projects she has participated in. She stated, “My work in the Women’s Center has focused on sexual assault prevention, awareness and solidarity. I worked on the Take Back the Night Rally last October. The Women’s Center wants to do a lot of work for women and women-identifying people on this campus...We are always trying to pump out different programming.” As for her goals for this event, Siegel hoped that it would be both reassuring and inspiring. She commented, “I hope that students find support and solidarity at this fair. I hope the having all of the resources in the room builds a big sense of community. I hope that those who come are inspired to take action. Vassar is already such a wonderful activist campus, but we can do better.”
February 16, 2017
Opposing protesters fight to defend and defund PP PROTEST continued from page 1
Laurel Hennen Vigil/The Miscellany News
on all four corners of the intersection of Church and Market streets. They waved enthusiastically to the passing cars, many of which honked in solidarity. The crowd was overwhelmingly dressed in pink, and many attendees sported “pussy hats” from the Women’s March. Event organizer Analiese Dorff explained the rationale for this counter protest, saying, “We need to show our solidarity for an organization that helps so many people everyday, especially in the face of such political turmoil. We need to show that there are more of us [who support reproductive choice than oppose it].” Beyond the actions of pro-life organizations, there have been repeated recent attempts by lawmakers at the state and federal level to limit access to abortion. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, for instance, Oklahoma lawmaker Justin Humphrey introduced a bill to the state House of Representatives that would require pregnant women to get the permission of their baby’s father before getting an abortion. In defense of the bill, he said that he believes pregnant women shouldn’t make this decision alone because their bodies are merely the “hosts” of their unborn children (New York Magazine, “Oklahoma Anti-Abortion Lawmaker Says Women Are ‘Hosts,’” 2.13.2017). At the counter protest, a huge portion of those in attendance carried official “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” signs, while many others had made their own, proclaiming, “My health is not a political issue,” “Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries” and “Nevertheless, she persisted”—a reference to the remarks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made after silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor on Feb. 7. The phrase has since been embraced by feminists, similar to when Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman.” One sign declared “Never again” above the image of a coat hanger–a brutal reminder of a time when abortion was illegal and the only options for terminating an unwanted pregnancy were to seek out a “back alley,” often unlicensed, provider or to perform a dangerous self-induced abortion, which
Protesters gather along Church St. in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, Feb. 11. There were two groups of demonstrators in attendence, one against and one in support of Planned Parenthood. . sometimes involved using a wire coat hanger. Before Roe v. Wade, in which the United States Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide, an estimated 5,000 women, mostly Black and Hispanic, died from illegal abortions in the United States each year (The Atlantic, “Abortion in American History,” 5.1997). Though they are much less common today, self-induced abortions are still utilized by women with few other choices, due to regulations that make abortion clinics inaccessible to women in many areas. In Texas, for example, between 100,000 and 240,000 women aged 18 to 49 have attempted to induce an abortion in the last five years (The Atlantic, “Texas Women Are Inducing Their Own Abortions,” 11.17.2015). Across the street from most of the demonstrators, a group of a few dozen pro-life protesters stood, holding signs reading, “Defund Planned Parenthood” and “Planned Parenthood lies to you.” One of these protesters, Maureen Haege,
commented, “We’re here to rally people to defund Planned Parenthood so the government will move funds for women’s health from Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider in our country, to other health care agencies that provide more comprehensive health care and not just reproductive health care. [Planned Parenthood tries] to claim that they serve women’s health care, but in fact their largest business is abortion.” While Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States, abortions make up only three percent of its total services. Much more common services include providing contraception (31 percent) and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (45 percent), which are available to both men and women. The organization also provides routine health care, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, to nearly a million women each year (Planned Parenthood, “Planned Parenthood at a Glance”).
New York Times, “FBI Interviewed Flynn in Trump’s First Days in Office, Officials Say,” 2.14.2017). The FBI informed the White House on Jan. 26, fearing that Flynn could now be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference and announced that President Trump was informed “immediately” by White House counsel Don McGohn after McGohn himself was briefed (The Washington Post, “Trump Knew Flynn Mislead Officials on Russia Calls for ‘Weeks,’ White House Said,” 2.14.2017). President Trump was interviewed on the matter on Friday, Feb. 10 after the Washington Post broke the story. Trump asserted that he was unaware, saying, “I don’t know about that. I haven’t seen it. What report is that? I haven’t seen that. I’ll look into that.” In his press conference on Feb. 14, Spicer maintained that this answer had been pertaining to the Washington Post’s report and not the call itself (The Washington Post, “Trump Knew Flynn Mislead Officials on Russia Calls for ‘Weeks,’ White House Said,” 2.14.2017). Though President Trump was aware of the true nature of the call for weeks, Vice President Pence did not find out until Thursday, Feb. 9. The Vice President reportedly learned about the situation via the media, rather than from a briefing (The Washington Post, “Pence did not learn that Flynn misled him on Russia until last week,” 2.14.2017). It remains unclear what the exact fallout of this scandal will be, beyond Flynn’s resignation, especially considering that this is not the only Trump administration scandal involving clandestine talks with Russia. On Feb. 14, for instance, it was reported that members of President Trump’s 2016 campaign team have repeatedly been in contact with Russian intelligence officials in the last year (The New York Times, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts with Russian Intelligence,” 2.14.2017).
Officials Investigate Death of Kim Jong-nam
Next to the pro-lifers was another group of counter protesters shouting, “Fuck Trump, fuck Pence, community self-defense!” Hearing this, a woman muttered, “Hey guys, let’s keep it peaceful. There are kids here.” One young man in the group started yelling his disagreement when Dorff announced that the pro-Planned Parenthood demonstrators would start marching around the block, angrily arguing against moving away from those rallying to defund the organization. Later on, when asked if he would be willing to answer a few questions, he abruptly turned and walked away. The crowd did indeed march, to Academy Street, then down Noxon Street and back to Market, where the demonstrators gathered in Hulme Park on the southwest corner of Church and Market. The demonstration was originally intended to take place in front of the Planned Parenthood building on Noxon Street, but was moved to respect the space and privacy of Planned Parenthood’s patients. Along the way, the marchers chanted, “Pro life, that’s a lie. You don’t care if women die” and “Her body, her choice.” Madeline Bankson ’18, who attended the counter protest, remarked on why the issue matters to her in an email, saying, “To me, having open and financial access to autonomy over one’s own body (including reproduction choices, free gender expression, and the right to be healthy, all of which Planned Parenthood supports) is absolutely essential for a liberated and socially just society.” Attendee Bridget Smith added, “It’s really important to protect women’s health, to protect the people who can’t afford health care, to protect both those who want to have abortions and those who want to have a healthy baby. We need to protect all women.” She continued, “[People looking to get involved] need to make sure they’re reading reputable news, that they’re well informed and that they listen to both sides of the issue so they can have an informed argument and counterargument.” Smith’s mother, Cathie Lang, chimed in, “Young people need to register to vote and they need to vote. We would not be in the mess we’re in if more people who opposed Trump had voted.”
News Briefs National Security Advisor Forced to Resign
On Monday, Feb. 13, President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned after it was discovered that he had not been honest with White House officials about a conversation he had with Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. Retired Army Lieutenant General Joseph Kellogg has since been appointed as acting national security adviser (The New York Times, “Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Advisor,” 2.13.2017). Though Flynn had previously denied any significant conversations with Kislyak, he had in fact spoken with the ambassador on the phone in late December, discussing the sanctions the Obama administration had placed on Russia due the discovery by U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russian government had attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Though Flynn reportedly did not tell Kislyak that the sanctions would be lifted under the Trump administration, he may have implied as much, saying that Russia should not retaliate. Flynn then told Vice President Mike Pence and other top white House officials that the call had consisted of small talk (The New York Times, “Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Advisor,” 2.13.2017). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been wiretapping the call, standard procedure for calls involving diplomats, resulting in an investigation to determine whether Flynn had violated the Logan Act, a 1799 law that prohibits private citizens from intervening in diplomatic conflicts. Since the call took place before then-President-elect Trump took office, Flynn was a private citizen at the time. The FBI interviewed Flynn shortly after President Trump’s inauguration. Though Flynn did not deny the conversation, the FBI reportedly believes that he may not have been completely truthful, which would be a felony, could it be proven. In public, Flynn maintained for more than a week that the call had not involved a discussion of sanctions (The
-Laurel Hennen Vigil, News Editor
Kim Jong-nam, estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was reported by South Korean government officials to have been assassinated on Monday, Feb. 13. Deceased at 45 years old, Kim Jong-nam was 12 years Kim Jong-un’s senior, and was the eldest son of the former leader Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011. While waiting to depart the international airport in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, Kim Jong-nam was allegedly approached by two people and attacked with poison, and died en route to the hospital. His death was not publicly confirmed until a day after, however, as he was traveling under the alias “Kim Chol” and his identity was thus not immediately apparent to authorities. It is not clear if he was traveling alone or with bodyguards (New York Times, “Kim Jongun’s Half Brother is Reported Assassinated in Malaysia,” 2.14.2017). The attackers had been identified through airport video footage as two women, who later exited the airport via taxi. One of the women, Doan Thin Hoang, 28, was arrested on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at approximately 8:20 a.m., according to the Royal Malaysia police. The details of the attack itself remain unclear, as officials and eyewitnesses have recounted seeing the assailants use a variety of tactics in Kim Jong-nam’s assassination, including splashing him with chemicals, covering his face with a cloth, and using either spray or a needle. An autopsy is being performed to confirm his cause of death, according to Chief Police Officer of Royal Malaysian Police, Datuk Sri Abu Samad (BBC News, “Kim Jong-nam: Killing could be sign of ‘brutal’ N Korean regime,” 2.15.2017). Kim Jong-nam, once a potential successor to his father Kim Jong-il, fell out of favor with the regime and lost his chance to usurp power when he was caught attempting to enter Japan with a fake passport in 2011, which resulted in his detention and deportation
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
to China (NBC News, “North Korea Leader’s Half-Brother Dies in Malaysia: Report,” 2.15.2017). When he did not appear at his father’s funeral, national suspicion was heightened surrounding his tentative position within the family. Following this, Kim Jong-nam was reported to have lived in semi-exile, moving between Macau, Singapore and Malaysia and living as a quasi-playboy. However, Kim Jong-nam’s sudden and mysterious death has raised further cause for suspicion, especially in light of his half brother’s propensity for executions and history of targeting other family members in assassinations. For instance, Chang Song-thaek, Kim Jongun’s uncle, was executed four years ago, and a total of 340 executions have been reported as being ordered under the current administration (CNN, “Kim Jong Un’s half brother murdered with poison, South Korea says,” 2.14.2017). Due to his fall from grace following the passport incident in 2011, Kim Jong-nam no longer posed a direct threat to Kim Jong-un’s position in the line of power prior to their father’s death. However, analysts had speculated that if Kim Jong-un were to fail to perform his job or deviate from the wishes of powerful generals, the older Kim Jong-nam might have been summoned to step into the role of power instead. Thus, an order to assassinate Kim Jong-nam stood ever since Kim Jong-un’s succession of power in 2011, according to Director of the South’s National Intelligence Service Lee Byung-ho. After one hit-and-run attempt targeting him in 2012, Kim Jong-nam wrote to his half brother begging for his life, and lived in paranoia of the same event happening until his death this week (New York Times, “Kim Jong-nam, the Hunted Heir to a Dictator Who Met Death in Exile,” 2.15.2017). -Elena Schultz, Senior Editor
February 16, 2017
Ferry still pro-cooking in response to meal plan change FERRY continued from page 1
Ferry functions as a co-op, that is, it functions communally. Eating, cleaning, creating and passing down traditions, learning to care for each other and learning responsibility for the space all seem to be characteristics that those who’ve lived in Ferry view as essential. Additionally, many of the students I spoke to in Ferry shared the opinion that Ferry works as a communal space precisely because its residents are there intentionally and that an attempt to build community with unwilling participants, as they see the new meal plan as doing, will not be as effective or cooperative. Zoë Bracken ‘19 mentioned that Ferry has offered and has the potential to offer a place for people who have anxiety surrounding food or those who experience disordered eating to find support. A few Ferry residents mentioned that when they ate at the Deece they either ate too much or too little due to anxiety caused by the atmosphere of the space and/or by the restricted hours it is open. They shared the opinion that for the most part, a renovated Deece and new hours would not fully eliminate these problems. Ferry residents have been meeting with Luis Inoa, the Director of Residential Life, as well as a few other administrators, to discuss the changing meal plan. During these meetings, one issue that the administrators brought up was food insecurity and the costs of eating at Vassar. If the meal plan is unlimited, students won’t run out of swipes and not have the resources to eat near the end of the semester. Additionally, if all students not on financial aid have to pay for the full price– which would then be the only option– there shouldn’t be a problem with funding the cost of food for those who are on financial aid. It was also implied during the meetings that food insecurity is a problem amongst students currently. In response to this, alum Albertson said, “I am happy to advocate that all campus dining privilege is something that should be extended but not mandated... I’d advocate that if food insecurity is to be cited as a reason to mandate a meal plan, it be actually examined with a survey
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
bertson’s impressions about what makes community building work in Ferry. Hope mentioned the act of sharing food as Albertson did but went on to talk about how community in Ferry is also formed through learning to live cooperatively in many aspects of life and space through activities like cleaning together, purposeful communication, and working to make the space more safer for all inhabitants. Joanna Horton McPherson ‘04 also described the way food is central to the functioning of Ferry as a communal space and gives insight into the way this community has affected her life after Vassar: “I learned to cook and clean at Ferry. In the co-op, we make meals for 20 other people twice a week. Managing the system of rotating cleaning and cooking jobs enabled many of us to not only learn responsibility for our space, but to learn to care for ourselves and others. To this day, I remain interested in healthy eating and interested in local, organic farming because of the exposure Ferry friends gave me to vegan-friendly meals and food philosophy.” McPherson continuted, “Meals reinforce the Ferry community. Last year as the dean at a private boarding high school in Sedona, AZ (Verde Valley School), I shared the tradition of banging forks on our plates to appreciate the cook. Ferry is known for being activist, entrepreneurial, healthy, funky and sustainable. Eating together is what brings it all together 5 days a week. The tradition is core to the community and is integral.” Ferry has been known on campus for being a hub of environmentalism, sustainability, activism, vegetarianism, veganism and general funkiness, as McPherson put it. As Elise Ferguson ‘17 said, “Ferry is about all of this stuff but it’s also just a co-op.” Ferguson, as well as other Ferry residents, brought up that the house is made up of people who are there for different reasons. Some may be interested in environmentalism and some may be there for more control over their food, but the thing that is most essential to the functioning of Ferry is not those things– it is that
Since a rumors of a new meal plan started floating around campus last year, Ferry residents have voiced concerns about their communal space based on collective cooking and healthy eating. of Ferry residents to verify if food insecurity is a part of a Ferry resident’s experience. I do wonder what would happen if, as a compromise, individuals were allowed to opt-in to meal plan.” This curiosity was shared amongst many of the current Ferry residents, proposing that students not living in the dorms should be able to opt into a full meal plan. Alum Joanna Horton McPherson also mentioned cost as one of the reasons Ferry was significant to her: “The cost was literally 10% of the meal plan in the dining hall. I cannot overstate the significance of Ferry residents learning to order bulk produce, grocery shop, and cook on their own to be sustainable. For many on financial aid and saddled with debt, Ferry enabled a great quality of life at a fraction of the cost.” For reference, the approximate cost per Ferry mem-
ber per semester for the shared Ferry food is $400, although that number fluctuates depending on what the house decides each semester. Ferry residents hope to find a way out of the proposed changes. Instead, they would like to see a shift toward the creation of more cooperative living arrangements in order to create spaces that actually work for students. It is likely that Res Life will move forward with the proposed changes regardless. Ferry residents and Res Life are continuing to work on a compromise that will allow Ferry, and the ideology of cooperative living, to continue. I’d like to thank and give credit to Tika Peterson ‘19, Saskia Globig ‘19, and the other Ferry residents present at the dinner whom I did not quote directly but shared opinions that influenced the writing of this article.
NSCon connects community with art, cosplay, fandoms Andrea Yang Reporter
or fans of comic, manga, anime, sci-fi, fantasy and video games, No Such Convention is a perfect amalgam of all aspects of geekdom. Run by the No Such Organization (NSO), No Such Con 2017 is taking place Feb. 17-19, with the theme of “Knaves, ne’er-do-wells, and rapscallions: an experiment in villainy.” Vendors will centralize in the Villard Room and CCMPR to attract passersby. Miscellaneous panels will be set up in the College Center while comedy and musical performances will take place in the Mug during the evenings. Big panels and the annual cosplay contest will be held in the Aula. Head of Guests Candace Osterhout ’19 introduced what’s in store for this year, “We try to cast a wide net to bring people of many ‘geeky’ backgrounds to appeal to the Con crowd. Most popular panels and guests are usually writers, artists and professional cosplayers, but this year, we have several podcasters and webcomic groups attending.”
Osterhout continued, “Carlos Ferro is flying in from LA. [Ferro] is a video game voice actor known for his roles in Assassins Creed, the Godfather 2 video game and Gears of War. We are also bringing Sneak Attack! a Dungeons and Dragons podcast with over one million downloads and a steadily climbing and expansive fanbase. We also tried to expand the fandoms represented at the Con this year and are bringing members of Eagle Ordinary to Vassar to represent Warhammer 40K, a popular miniature tabletop game.” Co-president of NSO Ezekiel Maben ’17 added, “We have a lot of guests we’re excited for, but my personal favorites going into this year are the Trio of Adam Tilford, Natalie Van Sistine and Amber Lee Connors– who are going to talk about voice acting, podcasting and an online animated show they made together– and Matt Farley, an incredibly prolific musician who will be performing on Saturday and Sunday.” Amid the flurry of activity, Con-goers in cosplay will gather in the Aula on Saturday afternoon to have their costumes judged.
Andrea Yang/The Miscellany News
As a perfect amalgam of comics, manga, anime, sci-fi, fantasy, video games, cosplay and beyond, No Such Convention 2017 seeks to offer something for every community member.
Osterhout explained, “A huge staple of the con is seeing everyone in Cosplay hanging out in the retreat and chilling on Vassar’s Campus. Most people cosplay from anime, but there are many from newer American media as well, including Gravity Falls and Adventure Time.” Co-president of NSO Bridget Claflin ’18 noted, “Many people put many hours of work into making cosplay they get to wear to conventions. We encourage people to come in cosplay and even bring a cosplay group to the convention to run a cosplay contest. It really displays people’s hard work and gives people who would have never met otherwise a chance to connect.” NSCon’s compact schedule takes hard work to plan and prepare ahead of time. Osterhout recounted, “We start prepping for the con well in advance, beginning around October with polling the NSOrg community for guest ideas and recommendations.” Claflin shared, “Throughout the fall we send close to one hundred interest emails because we want to get as diverse a guest list as possible. For those we get responses from we then negotiate payment, travel and accommodations based on NSO’s budget.” The convention is also a collaboration of a lot of people. Maben disclosed, “This year, we went for a much more decentralized system for planning the con, and involved a lot more people than just the exec board in our creation of the con theme and arrangement of vendors and guests.” During the weekend of the convention, Claflin and her partner would be busy driving guests from the train station and taking care of every detail of the event. She stated, “There are many small things that go into making the convention run smoothly and everyone on the exec board works extremely hard as well as our volunteers. Those of us working the convention rarely get a break to enjoy any panels or the convention itself as we are so dedicated to making it a good experience for everyone else.” Osterhout said her responsibility as Head of Guests is to reaching out to guests, maintaining the Facebook page and directing inquiries to the Con planning committee. She noted that the hardest part is trying to appease everyone. “Many people on campus are naturally perturbed when the College Center fills up with hundred of guests, but I also believe it is a rewarding experience opening up Vassar to members of the
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community, especially members that elsewhere may feel rejected because of their hobbies and interests.” It’s also a challenge for NSO to improve the Con each year because of the limited number of people at hand. Maben shared, “We plan to run more video game events and try and push the Con theme more. We’re also either at or near gender parity this year in terms of guests, which is something we’ve been working towards over the past few years, and is a really exciting development.” The NSCon has been a cherished tradition and well-loved by members of the Poughkeepsie/Duchess County Community. Osterhout expressed that the NSCon is relied upon by local vendors who share their art, passions, and work, saying, “NSCon is a huge supporter of local artist and musicians, and so while we consistently bring people from all over the US to the con as guests, many of our consistent and most important vendors and panelists live right here in the Hudson Valley. We rely on them each year to keep coming back with amazing and inventive ideas to improve the Con and keep it growing.” She acknowledged, “The Con is by no means perfect, but for an entire weekend of activities, comedy performances and musical guests and concerts, it’s a huge feat and a huge success, and has been for a long time.” The Co-presidents of NSO find it’s most rewarding to put the con together for all the guests and fans. Maben said, “I really enjoy meeting our guests, all of whom come from interesting backgrounds and do interesting work, and I always get a nice warm feeling when I see people coming here from al around the school and the surrounding area and just enjoying themselves in the environment we create.” Claflin seconded, “Many people feel that conventions are the only place they can be themselves as a community that attends conventions is very welcoming and accepting, more so than any other place. Providing a place where people can have fun and be themselves, as well as bringing together so many people that would normally never cross paths is what makes organizing NSCon worthwhile for me.” She concluded, “This year will be my seventh NSCon. No Such Convention is an event unlike any other on campus. It brings people from the Poughkeepsie community and all over as well as many alums to campus.”
February 16, 2017
Late night cravings? Personalize your pizza on the grill! Penina Remler Guest Reporter
Courtesy of Pixabay
lthough this article will be published a few days after Feb. 9, it feels wrong to neglect national pizza day—especially as a contributing food columnist. Though, in truth, every day (for me at least) feels like national pizza day. If you don’t wake up drooling over fresh cheese, secret sauce and dreamy dough, what do you wake up thinking of? The biggest issue with my pizza addiction at Vassar is that come junior year, the options can start to feel limited. Don’t get me wrong, Bacio has always been there for me when I needed them (even at 4 a.m.) and Marcos always comes in clutch by throwing in some extra garlic knots, but I’m from New York so you can’t really blame my loyal taste buds for constantly craving some classic NY “za.” Dealing with my addiction at school isn’t easy though. There comes a point when scrolling through food Instagram’s goes from motivational to plain old mean, which brings me to my favorite coping mechanism: cooking! Luckily for me, I’ve got some pretty hungry friends with some pretty humble kitchens (courtesy of the TAs and THs) to help ease the pain during some of my strongest withdrawals. If any of this sounds familiar to you, it is important to know that you are not alone. Many students suffer from a lack of pizza in their lives which is why it our job to utilize the many accessible resources around us. For some, this addiction is easier to come to terms with than others, but it is crucial to note that there are available options and support systems that run around the clock to cure your cravings. One of the most successful forms of treatment is often overseen, which is why it is time to resurrect the best kept secret for college students: pizza on the grill. This therapeutic process begins with accepting that the grill is not limited to a traditional barbeque. In fact, the grill provides enough heat to cook up the perfect crunch in your crust that you’ve been missing. And that’s not all— with the grill, your pizza experience is as personal as you make it down to the servings, toppings, techniques and so
on. In the mood for a personal pizza? Do it. Overestimated your appetite? Freeze it. Prefer thin dough over thick? Roll it. It’s no surprise that so many addicts get hooked on the grill considering its execution eliminates nearly any and all excuses. The road to recovery starts with strategy and like any treatment, is a process. When experts advise you to maintain a realistic mindset, they want you to consider the simplicity of your favorite slice in order to avoid sunken or soggy dough. Stay sane with the amount of toppings you pile on over no more than 1/4 of cup of marinara sauce for the classic 10-inch dish. Dough-not worry about the dough–just because it is handmade doesn’t mean it has to be hard. In fact, the key is not expertise, but rather patience as you allow the ingredients to sit and dissolve into one another. When it comes to combining the yeast mixture with flour, slow and steady wins the race. Rather than kneading your dough rapidly, allow the speed to build at a gradual rate so your dough comes out with the perfect consistency. After assembling your base, allow the dough to sit (anywhere from 1 to 2 hours) in a warm spot until it has risen twice from its original size. Meanwhile, prepare your ingredients before gearing up the grill in addition to olive oil, paper towels and some tongs. Once the grill is hot, use your tongs to dip the paper towels in olive oil and completely smother the rack in it before positioning the dough. After two to three minutes expect to see some big air bubbles as you rotate the dough for an even and consistent crust. When it is brown (but not burnt) use your tongs to transfer the dough onto a baking sheet so that the uncooked side is now exposed to the heat. Finally, add a little more oil before the tomato sauce comes into play. After the sauce comes shreds and slices of cheese and toppings. At this point, the heat can be reduced as all the contributing ingredients melt into each other and the tongs transfer your pizza from the grill to the cutting board. Lastly, allow your pizza to cool in order to optimize the perfect crunch.
Ingredients Pizza Dough: 2 teaspoons active dry or fresh yeast 1 cup warm water 1 teaspoon suar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/4 teaspoons salt Toppings: 3/4 cup marinara sauce (fresh or canned tomatoes) 6 ounces shredded or sliced fresh mozzarella Fresh basil leaves Additional toppings
Celebrate the spirits of spring with an ode to chocolate Sarah Evans & Rafaela Vega del Castillo Guest Colunmists
Courtesy of Pixabay
Ingredients 1/3 cup sugar 5 oz bittersweet chocolate 3 egg yolks 6 egg whites Pinch of salt Dark cocoa powder to coat ceramic soufflé dish (optional)
ebruary has come around and the ghost of Saint Valentine is lingering in the air. Snowflakes are falling as hope for the first signs of spring start rolling in. Friends and lovers alike seem to still be cuddling from the past season, but little by little the layers start to shed and the spring spirits awaken. This time of year doesn’t let us forget that it’s the season for love. From the hopeless romantics to the ones who walk around carrying cupid repellent, we should all agree that what everybody deserves this Valentine’s day is everybody’s ultimate love: chocolate. For lots of us, one of the most awaited days this month is (not surprisingly) February 15th: the day all the Valentine’s Day candy goes on sale. There’s nothing more beautiful than eating heart-shaped chocolate for half the original price. It is overwhelming to think about all the possible ways to eat chocolate: baked into a decadent cake, covering fresh strawberries, melted into fountains of fondue, or just plainly eaten by the bar. If you know me at all, you surely know that I live for chocolate. As an Ecuadorian, I was born and raised to love the golden bean with all my heart. Ecuador is the primary producer of fine cocoa in the world, which is why this Valentine’s Day away from home, I’ve decided to publicly declare my love for chocolate. This declaration goes hand in hand with sharing my family’s all-time favorite recipe: chocolate soufflé. This recipe is simple, and besides the bittersweet chocolate, it can be assembled using ingredients taken straight from the Deece. It has been adapted over the years from Epicurious.com. This is an ode to the one thing that will never fail to love us back; chocolate, this is for you.
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
To begin, preheat the oven to 375F. Butter two to four soufflé dishes and sprinkle them with dark cocoa powder to coat them. Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a metal bowl in a double boiler. Do not let the water boil, it should be simmering throughout the melting process. Stir occasionally. Remove bowl from heat and mix in the egg yolks. Beat rigorously, otherwise eggs will scramble. Egg yolks are mixture thickeners; therefore the mixture will quickly stiffen. Separately in a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. If you do not own an electric mixer, utilize a whisk; it should not take much longer but the process will require a little more physical work. Gradually add the sugar to the egg white mixture while continuing beating at medium speed. Switch to high speed until whites hold stiff peaks. Stir half of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and combine with folding movements. Once the mixture is homogeneous, pout the chocolate mixture over the remaining egg white mixture and fold gently. Distribute mixture evenly in ceramic soufflé dishes and put in the middle of the oven. The trick with chocolate soufflé lies in taking it out of the oven right before it fully cooks, which will cause the center of each ramekin to remain molten. The time required for this vastly varies with differing ovens, but it should take anytime between 15 and 25 minutes. The soufflés should be puffed on top but still jiggly in the center. Serve immediately. A good accompaniment for chocolate soufflé is vanilla ice cream, but let your imagination fly and experiment with different garnishes and toppings; your friends, family, and even the anti-cupid people in your life will fall for this dessert over and over again!
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The Miscellany Crossword
MISCELLANY NEWS | VASSAR COLLEGE
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February 16, 2017
The Miscellany News Staff Editorial
Community Fellow would alter House Team dynamic
or the past few weeks, house teams have been abuzz with the prospect of new Student Fellow applications, selection of House Student Advisors (HSAs), and the overall prospect of turning over the torch to a fresh cohort of community leaders. House Advisors have added to the action with the announcement of a new House Team position: the Community Fellow. The creation of this position, which would integrate student Campus Patrol workers into House Team and put them under the purview of the Office of Residential Life, brings a range of concerns around the evolving roles of House Team members and a potential shift towards punitiveness. The online mission statement of The Office of Residential Life states that it “strives to provide a socially conscious, responsible and empowering residential community, where students are asked to reflect and commit to being socially just for self, others and society. The office incorporates restorative practices and non-violent communication.” The rhetoric of this statement emphasizes the notion of peer accountability. It has been the experience of those at The Miscellany News that the current positions of House Team work toward this goal. Specifically, the construction of Student Fellows as non-disciplinary mentors has been positive in creating a system that is both supportive and holds residents accountable. It is out of this focus on peer-to-peer accountability that the changes were proposed. However, it will be a challenge to assimilate student Campus Patrollers into House Team, a position originally rooted in the disciplinary connotations of Safety & Security, the office that currently supervises student patrollers. According to their website, in its current iteration, the student branch of Campus Patrol consists of “a worker at a desk each evening in the lobby of each Residence House.” Patrol-
lers are tasked with responding to disruptions, performing building checks, and looking out for medical emergencies and safety hazards. A former patroller stated that they are trusted to use their judgement in how to handle various situations that arise while on patrol, including speaking to residents directly, liaising with the senior patroller and calling Safety & Security. One of the most important issues concerning student patrollers is compensation. At the Vassar Student Association Senate meeting on Feb. 5, 2017, Safety & Security director Arlene Sabo informed students of the issues regarding the high turnover of Safety & Security professionals. She attributed this turnover in part to low pay; incoming hourly wage is $15.50, among the lowest of neighboring colleges. Additionally, Sabo stated that over 200 events per year are staffed with employees working on overtime. Ideally this would not be the situation, but with such high turnover it is difficult to improve. These difficulties have implications for student patrollers as well: Going forward, will compensation continue in the form of workstudy wages? Currently, the House Student Advisor is the only work-study position on House Team. While having student workers as members of the team is not necessarily a problem on its own, it does set up a hierarchical dynamic between those paid at $10.00 an hour and the rest of the team members, who are currently paid $200 per semester. Moreover, we at The Miscellany News are concerned that the student patroller position could end up filling the gap created by understaffing in Safety & Security. This could imply the role is becoming more punitive–exactly what it should be moving away from if it is to fit into the House Team mission of community building and peer-topeer support. Moreover, with student workers helping to relieve the difficulties created by understaffing to some extent, it might also make
it harder to demand better pay and working conditions for security staff. Furthermore, this year’s updated party rules place additional strains on dorm security. Since registered Town Houses and Terrace Apartments parties are now limited to 25 attendees and prohibited from serving hard alcohol, dorms are likely to become even more concentrated party spots–and students are liable to drink more heavily in their rooms before heading to senior housing in order to compensate for the liquor ban. This means that patrollers might be confronted with not only increased noise complaints, but also a higher incidence of alcohol-related medical incidents. In its ideal form, the new Community Fellow position will merge seamlessly with the rest of House Team by removing some of the burden of accountability for community interruptions from Student Fellows and House Officers, while also serving as an additional resource for concerned residents of all classes. To achieve this latter goal, it is crucial that Community Fellows are a visible part of House Team, attending events such as Study Breaks and publicizing their availability to dorm residents. They must also attend the same training that the rest of House Team does, including workshops in nonviolent communication, conflict resolution, bystander intervention, and dealing diplomatically with community interruptions. Our hope is that Community Fellows would take an active role in conflict resolution within the residential community, both in specific instances that come up while patrolling as well as more broadly. As it stands now, one of House Team’s greatest assets as an institution is the variety of roles its members fill and the different resources they provide. Student Fellows serve as mentors for a specific group of first-years, and HSAs and House Advisors as higher-up
contact points for anyone experiencing issues in the residential community. We hope that the creation of this role would fill a niche not currently being filled on House Team: a resource for concerns of safety. While all House Team members are trained to contact EMS and other on- and off-campus resources, no one position is currently designated for this duty. As administrators think through the creation of this role, we urge them to consider that this position will alter the dynamic of House Team from previous iterations. The addition of new members may bring about more than a simple change in the internal structure of the House Team. Its relationship with the rest of the residential community would shift as well, when the team includes members whose primary role is to address safety concerns and possibly bring punitive measures to dorm residents. To the former point, the sheer size of House Team, coupled with the numerous checks and balances required to obtain funding or host events, as well as the lack of institutional and perceived authority vested in House Team members, creates a pernicious issue of ineffectuality. Thus, it will be crucial that the addition of these new members serve to ease inefficiency, not aggravate it, by relieving other members of a set of clearly-defined responsibilities. This is a critical moment in shaping the future of the residential experience. The spike in Student Fellow applications this year indicates a positive influence by House Teams, and we are poised to continue this upward trend–provided that administrators continue to center the mission of the Office of Residential Life and maintain the best parts of House Team while working to minimize its ineffectual aspects. — The Staff Editorial expresses the opinion of at least 2/3 of The Miscellany News Editorial Board.
Left resistance must shed narratives of exceptionalism Nick Barone
n Jan. 27, 2017, former host of “Celebrity Apprentice” and President of the United States Donald Trump signed an executive order that closed America’s borders to immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely. The decision, a fulfilled promise initially made by Trump during his presidential campaign, provoked the ire of progressives, leading to mass demonstrations across the United States. Liberal pundits and politicians (and many conservatives as well) rightfully excoriated Trump for his callousness, noting the cruel irony of this Order being signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day (FDR’s administration turned away several Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, citing national security concerns. Many of these refugees would later be killed). Although (due to both diligent activism and the legally heinous character of the order) the Executive Order would eventually be stopped by a temporary restraining order issued by Judge James Robart in Washington, Trump and his cronies’ persistence on the matter signifies that his opponents are in for an arduous fight. Actively resisting racist Executive Orders like these are, of course, essential to protecting this nation’s most vulnerable people. However, at the same time, much of the rhetoric condemning the travel ban invokes strains of American exceptionalism and historical amnesia that depicts a fictionalized United States where something like this couldn’t happen. Charting the ideological and historical underpinnings of this Executive Order are crucial to debunking and problematizing some of the discourse surrounding it. As such, many critics (such as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton) responded to the immigration ban with the oft-repeated, ahistorical bromide of, “This is not who we are” (Twitter, @ HillaryClinton, 01.28.2017). While I understand the practical necessities of public figures appealing to liberal-nationalist sensibilities in the wake of such decisions, Clinton’s response here erases America’s dark history when it comes to immigration.
Historically speaking, Trump’s Executive Order fits into a larger pattern of ethnically/racially prescribed immigration policies in the United States. From the Nationalization Act of 1790 (which limited naturalization to “free white persons...of good character”) to the Chinese Exclusion Act, xenophobic paranoia and state-sponsored racial exclusion have long tainted American policy since this nation’s founding. From a perspective of immigration policy, the United States has long tried to exclude people who they deemed “undesirable” or a “threat,” almost always along racialized lines. The overt racism and Islamophobia of the EO, however, would suggest this is the 1920s: the era of ethnic quotas, the return of the KKK and widespread scapegoating of immigrants. The nearly-euphemistic, smoke-screened language of Obama and Bush’s drone strikes and no-fly lists is now a thing of the past. With a stroke of his pen, President Trump sent a signal to the rest of the world that he believes Islam is a problem to be dealt with. Subsequently, Trump’s callous, bluntly cruel Executive Order functions as the logical inheritor of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism in the United States. Contemporaneously, state-sanctioned discrimination and racism against Arab Muslims over the past several decades disrupts idyllic (though fallacious) conceptions of the United States that figures like Hillary Clinton attempt to conjure. Pieces of legislation like the PATRIOT Act effectively legalize unfettered surveillance, interrogation and illegal seizures of information and property, mostly aimed at people (immigrants and citizens alike) from the Middle East. As Farhana Khera argued in 2011, “Little is publicly known about the full scope of the FBI’s activities. Much of it is shrouded in secrecy. But we do know that, according to one former senior FBI counterterrorism official, the FBI conducted nearly 500,000 interviews of Muslim and Arab males from 2001-2005, and not a single one of those interviews led to information that would have allowed the government to detect or prevent the 9/11 attacks” (CNN, “Reform the un-American Patriot Act,” 10.26.2011). This paints a very different from picture of the United States than Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham’s invocations of “all that is
decent and exceptional about our nation” (John McCain’s website, “Statement By Senators McCain and Graham On Executive Order on Immigration,” 01.29.2017). Since Sept. 11 in particular, discriminatory language, rooted in Orientalist thinking, has marred popular discourse surrounding the status of Muslims in the United States. As I’ve written before, Islamophobia has become a cornerstone of the rhetoric weaponized by figures on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum, from Bill Maher to Ben Carson (The Miscellany News, “Islamaphobia (sic) permeates GOP rhetoric,” 09.23.2015). To effectively resist and upend such ideological paradigms, one must look to the pervasiveness of such racism in both major political parties and their supporters. At the same time, Trump’s particularly noxious and terrifyingly influential brand of bigotry is unlike any seen before. It would be a grave mistake to say Obama’s (extraordinarily harmful) continuations of Bush’s foreign policy are morally similar to this Executive Order. Though the logical brainchild of such policies, such overt, modern bigotry at the federal level is alarming and unprecedented. The ideological impacts of Trump’s rhetoric on (predominantly white) American citizens is equally alarming. Trump’s anti-Muslim sentiments (such as his call for a Muslim ban back in late 2015) have implicitly encouraged extremist acts of violence and hatred. Even before his election, a report from California State University-San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate saw “that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.S. rose sharply in 2015 to the highest levels since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks...[T] he report looked at daily data following terrorist attacks, and found that ‘a tolerant statement about Muslims by a political leader was accompanied by a sharp decline in hate crime, while a less tolerant announcement was followed by a precipitous increase in both the severity and number of anti-Muslim hate crimes’”(The Atlantic, “Donald Trump and the Rise of Anti-Muslim Violence,” 09.22.2016). Trump did not conjure hatred from nowhere, but he sure did unearth, encourage and weaponize it.
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Though luckily gutted by the court systems, this victory for progressives and immigrants should not encourage passivity. Trump has vowed to write a new executive order, “indicating that the administration may try to quickly restore some aspects of the now-frozen travel ban or replace it with other measures” (The Washington Post, “Trump considers ‘brand new’ immigration order,” 02.10.2017). Any progressive or supporter of immigrants’ rights should understand that the struggle against Trump’s racist policies must be rooted in historical understanding and larger ideological trends. Leaning into rhetorics of American exceptionalism, as Hillary Clinton and numerous other liberal pundits have, erases the harmful impacts of interventionist foreign policy and state-sponsored discrimination of the United States government over the past few decades. There are a multitude of other issues tied to these histories that my analysis neglects–I don’t discuss the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, America’s (mostly) uncritical attitude towards the Israeli occupation of Palestine, no-fly lists and the like. The ideologies and histories which form the backbone of these issues must be confronted if Trump’s neofascist administration is going to be properly resisted. While critiques should and must be leveled against Trump’s administration, they must not neglect the United States government’s shameful history when it comes to the relationship between immigration and legalized discrimination. The Hillary Clintons and John McCains of the world miss the point when they try to claim Trump’s disgusting travel ban is anything but a logical progression of the anti-Arab racism that has permeated national discourse and policy for decades. I do not seek to purport that Hillary Clinton or John McCain or their colleagues are ideologically or morally equal to Trump, whose presidency has already eschewed any respect for the rule of law or basic human decency. What these individuals must reckon with is the harm that stems from their proclamations of American exceptionalism and acknowledge and seek to rectify their own complicities in the propagation of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism, both at the governmental and societal level.
February 16, 2017
Administration must be trimmed, financial aid upheld Don Foster
Professor of English
[Editor’s note: This is a response to “More nuance needed in discussion of Vassar’s finances,” written by Joshua Sherman ’16 published in the Opinions Section on Feb. 1, 2017. Sherman’s piece was a response to Professor Foster’s, “The Vassar Bubble Has Popped,” published in Boilerplate Magazine.]
riting for the Miscellany News, Joshua Sherman (class of ’16) assures the Vassar community that a loss of $54 million (as reported in Boilerplate Magazine) is hardly breathtaking: “Vassar is not on the brink of its extinction.” Josh is right. Vassar remains among the richest colleges in America. We still receive more revenue in tuition and fees (even after generous financial aid discounts) than most other colleges. No one’s talking bankruptcy here. (For your parents, maybe. For the College, not so much.) Josh frets that someone may think “Vassar isn’t a valuable institution to attend.”
“No one who matters thinks that. Vassar is one of the most valuable colleges in the world.” No one who matters thinks that. Vassar is one of the most valuable colleges in the world. It’s also one of the most expensive. Faculty and administration have therefore a responsibility to deliver top value to each student, no matter what he or she may have paid to be a member of the community. “If we’re on a financial highway to hell as Professor Foster insinuates,” alleges Josh, “then we’re in good company.” Setting aside the ascribed hyperbole, Josh is right again: Vassar is not alone. Many of the nation’s wealthiest schools have spiked tuition and hiked adminis-
tration costs exponentially, while the workers’ wages have been held in check, and the budget for student services slowly chokes. The CEOs earn more; the consumer pays more and receives less. If you maintain a slick advertising campaign for your brand, all’s good. And yet, in 2016, several of the worst-offending schools saw significant losses to their endowments that could not be offset by high tuition. The net declines were not chiefly from unlucky investments but from bad spending by college officers who drained endowment-cash on the expectation of capital gains that did not materialize. Every endowment suffers a loss from time to time. Money spent is cash over the dam. How we recover financial equilibrium, as we move forward, will depend on which budgets get cut, and on how well we are able to restore alumni confidence. Nuance is good. So, too, is factuality. When Josh states that 2016 was Vassar’s first net loss since 2007, he’s mistaken (2007/8, 2008/9, 2011/12). Josh writes that Vassar’s 2015/16 loss of 5.5 percent “happened to almost all other colleges with large endowments.” Fact: Of the 97 schools that had more wealth than Vassar in 2015, seventy-one had a better year than we did financially. Berry College—with its $56 million gain against our $54 million loss—sailed right past us. Among 39 liberal arts colleges in New York State, 28 endowments performed better than Vassar, and 10, worse. Oswego College topped the list with 21 percent growth. It’s true that big spenders took a big hit. But the #1 biggest loser, Harvard, will hardly feel the pinch: with $35.6 billion remaining, Harvard can lose $54 million a year for the next 658 years and still be left with pocket change. In reporting that the S&P 500 “declined 3.05 percent,” Josh is mistaken: July 2015-June 2016 the S&P 500 actually went up (slightly). Meanwhile, Vassar suffered $20.6 million in realized and unrealized losses on investments. By Josh’s math, that sum represents “only 1.7 percent” of
the college’s $54.1 million net loss to the endowment (but 20.6/54.1=38.1 percent). “That’s right,” says Josh. “Vassar beat the market last year.” Kellyanne Conway could not have said it better. Vassar’s 2016 investment losses (as opposed to unrecouped spending) were due largely to high-risk, high-fee hedge funds, exacerbated by our administration’s dogged commitment to illiquid investments in oil and gas partnerships. In defense of oil, Josh reports that the S&P Energy Index—Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, that crowd—declined by only 3.4 percent. Another mistake. The Energy Index suffered a decline of 5.8 percent.
“Elite institutions imitate one another’s good and bad behavior.” Josh reports that Vassar’s long-term debt has “almost doubled.” On the last day of President Fergusson’s administration, Vassar held $77 million in long-term debt; 10 years later, (weeks before Hill’s departure), that figure stood at more than $248 million (a more-than threefold increase). In FY2016, Vassar paid more than two million just to service its debt. Vassar’s not broke, far from it, but the trustees and senior officers will be making some hard choices. The unhappy fact that other wealthy schools have burned through their cash at an even faster clip than Vassar is nothing to feel good about. Big ships cannot turn around on a dime. Nor does it help if one well-meaning passenger on board cheers for the crew that drove us into the iceberg, saying that it’s nothing really to worry about. Action must be taken. Our trustees will keep Ship Vassar afloat, you may be sure of that, even if it takes their own
money to do it. Meanwhile, the crew (faculty and staff) will do their best to provide a safe and pleasurable journey to the paying passengers, regardless of their ticket price. But we all have deep cause to be concerned. Captain Cappy has jumped ship, Commander Bradley has not yet arrived. In the interim, baggage must be thrown overboard. (One possible strategy: let the passengers keep their goods and services unmolested; trim the administration to 2006 levels, and we save more than $10 million a year. Don’t count on it. The objects being floated about instead: need-blind tuition, and about 5 percent of everything else.) Elite institutions imitate one another’s good and bad behavior. You may soon see a chain-reaction of schools announcing discontinuation of need-blind admission. Here’s why everyone who cares about Vassar should care about that: if low- and middle-income students are priced out of the private college market (and it’s already happening), then all of the priciest private schools will be forced to compete for an essentially stable population of wealthy high school students. Those colleges that cannot provide luxurious dorms and student services will be squeezed harder. Many will be forced to lower their academic standards or reduce their services, or both. Dartmouth is one of the schools that outspent Vassar in 2016 and took a big drawdown on the endowment. Executive Vice President Richard Mills is not terribly concerned (his personal compensation package for FY2016 stood at $668 thousand). Dartmouth is “wealthy enough,” said Mr. Mills, “with a well-established brand and a clear quality level, that there are going to be people [sic, a telling slip of the tongue] below us— that there are places that are less affluent than us in terms of brand or academic quality—that are going to be affected first....We have a bit of a cushion...whereas other institutions may have less time.”
Being single offers plenty of tangible health benefits Steven Park Columnist
or some reason, society seems to believe that having a significant other to exclusively call your own should be the goal of every young person’s social life. The widespread popularity of Valentine’s Day, and the subsequent media bombardments we are forced to incur, are a testament to this phenomenon. Sure, friends are nice and fun, but fulfilling, breathless love is what everyone desires the most, right? Society is obsessed with the idea of passionate love and everyone is pushed to believe that being alone, much less wanting to be alone, is abnormal. But let’s see what science has to say (Hint: Societal expectations are wrong, as always). First, a lot of young people believe in the popular myth that everyone is in a relationship and being single puts you into the lonely minority. While it may seem that way, especially around Valentine’s Day, a myth is just myth. In 2011, the United States Census Bureau found that a total of 102 million Americans 18 years and older were unmarried, making up 44.1 percent of all U.S. residents 18 years and older (“Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” 07.31.2012). Not only that, 53 percent of them were women and 47 percent of them were men–a pretty even split. But you may ask: How do you account for couples who are not married but dating, as well as people who want to be in a committed relationship but can’t find a partner? Even though determining this specific demographic of people is difficult, we can make estimates based on what is available. According to the same U.S. Census report mentioned earlier, 55 million households were maintained by unmarried men and women in 2011, comprising 46 percent of households nationwide. In contrast, only 6.8 million households consisted of unmarried romantic partners. Regarding those who desire romantic relationships but keep finding themselves without luck, we can use research on online dating. Giv-
en that we’re in the age of technology and social media, it should be a good indicator of how many people are actively seeking love, or some manifestation of it.
“How do you account for couples who are not married but dating, as well as people who want to be in a committed relationship but can’t find a partner?” According to a 2015 study on online dating, about 40 million Americans use online dating websites, with young adults making up only 27 percent of the group (eHarmony, “10 Online Dating Statistics You Should Know,” 2017). While that may seem like a lot of people, don’t forget that 102 million people were reported to be single. These two points should blow that myth out the water. But of course, the most significant signs are the changes in cultural trends over time. In 1970, there were only 38 million single people in the U.S., making up just 28 percent of the population (New York Magazine, “The New Science of Single People,” 08.16.2016). In 1950, married couples represented 78 percent of American households (The Christian Science Monitor, “Singles Nation: Why So Many Americans are Unmarried,” 06.14.2015). Not only that, the Pew Research Center recently found that only 30 percent of Millennials agreed that marriage is “one of the most important things” in life, which decreased from 47 percent of Generation X in 1997. Four in 10 Americans went even further and stated in 2010 that marriage was becoming “obsolete” (The Christian Science Monitor). The sheer number of single people who want to stay single has grown to insane proportions.
Just the number of single women is so large that social scientists are starting to see them as their own voting bloc (New York Magazine). This naturally leads us to the obvious question: Why are so many people choosing to be single? What factors are contributing to these decisions? There are numerous personal reasons, such as ambition and the desire for independence, but scientists have found that choosing to be alone has significant benefits on both your health and your mental well-being. The person spearheading this field of research is Bella DePaulo, a Harvard-trained professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her presentation at the American Psychological Association’s 124th annual conference, DePaulo stated that single people have more fulfilling social lives and experience greater psychological growth than many married people, citing her investigation into 814 research studies as evidence (The Guardian, “Psychologists say single people are more fulfilled,” 08.10.2016). Her research also shows that single people not only value meaningful work more than married people, but single people also have stronger connections with parents, siblings, friends, neighbors and coworkers (American Psychological Association, “Psychologist Reveals Science Behind A Fulfilling Single Life,” 08.05.2016). “There are people who thrive on solitude and get important benefits from it like spirituality, creativity and rejuvenation. They’re not single because they have ‘baggage’ or ‘issues,’” DePaulo explained (Today, “Single ladies: You might be healthier and happier than married friends,” 08.05.2016). There are plenty of other benefits as well. According to a Canadian study of more than 11,000 people, researchers found that lifelong single people reported better overall health than married people. In an Australian study of more than 10,000 women in their 70s, researchers found that “lifelong single women without children had the fewest diagnoses of major illnesses, the healthiest body mass index and were least likely to
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smoke, compared to married women, or women who had been married in the past” (Today). Being single also tends to improve your health. A survey conducted in the United Kingdom found that, of the people who are not getting the proper amount of exercise, 73 percent of them were unmarried (Business Insider, “8 science-backed reasons being single can be better than being in a relationship,” 02.13.2017). Finally, a 2009 research study found that self-sufficient single people are less likely to experience negative emotions. For married people, the opposite tends to be true (APA).
“So to all the single people out there, raise your glass and celebrate your life of independence and self-sufficiency this Valentine’s Day.” Professor DePaulo cuts to the heart of the issue: “[Married people are bolstered by] the relentless celebration of marriage and coupling and weddings that I call matrimania. Single people, in contrast, are targets of singlism–the stereotyping, stigmatizing, marginalizing and discrimination against people who are single... It is time for a more accurate portrayal of single people and single life–one that recognizes the real strengths and resilience of people who are single, and what makes their lives so meaningful” (Independent, “Being single beats being married, psychologist claims,” 09.2016). So to all the single people out there, raise your glass and celebrate your life of independence and self-sufficiency this Valentine’s Day. Science is very much on your side. Focus on your hobbies, your friends and your ambitions, and realize that one is not the loneliest number, but the most rewarding number.
February 16, 2017
Call For Papers The Vassar College English Majors’ Committee is proud to announce the launch of the Vassar Critical Journal, a student-run publication sponsored by the English Department that publishes critical works on literary topics from Vassar undergraduate students. The goal of the Journal is to stimulate public intellectual discourse among students on literary topics, to acknowledge the high quality of the written work created by Vassar literature students, and to provide opportunities for Vassar students to learn about the academic publishing process. For the inaugural 2017 issue of the Vassar Critical Journal, the English Majors’ Committee would like to invite the submission of papers on literary topics from all current Vassar students. Students from all disciplines are invited to participate, as long as their work focuses on some literary work or aspect of literature. The papers should be academic in content, style, and tone, and should adhere to MLA guidelines for citation and formatting. In order to encourage the inclusion of underclassmen writers, the Journal will not be accepting full theses. However, thesis chapters which are edited to stand alone are acceptable. Papers will be read and evaluated by a volunteer editorial board from the English Majors’ Committee, under the guidance of English Department faculty. Works will be selected for publication based on the originality of ideas, strength of argument, and effectiveness of academic techniques in the paper. Submission guidelines: All papers should follow MLA style, focus on a work or works of literature or engage theoretical approaches to literature, and should be literary/critical in content, form, and style. Submissions should be at least five pages double-spaced, and no more than 20 pages (excluding Works Cited). All essays must be submitted in English, and any essays that analyze a text in a language other than English should provide translations for quoted material. Each student may submit up to two papers for consideration. All materials should be submitted online via the Vassar Critical Journal website no later than February 20, 2017. For papers that focus more on philosophical ideas than the analysis of literature, we recommend that students submit to the The Vassar College Journal of Philosophy instead. We encourage students focusing on literature relating to Jewish Studies to consider submitting to Neshama, Vassar’s Jewish Studies journal, as well. If you are submitting the same piece to more than one journal, please indicate this on your submission. No identifying information should appear on your document. Members of the The Vassar Critical Journal editorial board may submit their own work for consideration, but the Editor will ensure that any board member’s anonymized submission will be reviewed only by a different member of the board. Visit pages.vassar.edu/VassarCriticalJournal for more information.
February 16, 2017
Trump’s rhetoric may have saved PRI Sylvan Calko Perlmutter Guest Columnist
or all of Trump’s posturing and threats against Mexico, he might have saved the ruling party, PRI, from certain defeat in the next elections. Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president from PRI, is spectacularly unpopular. Currently his approval ratings stand at 22 percent, and Mexicans routinely compare his intellect to George W Bush’s. In a telling episode, Trump made headlines during his election campaign in 2012 for struggling to name a favorite book other than the Bible. Unfortunately, events in Mexico during his term have not been so humous. For three years now the government has been haunted by the disappearance of 43 student-activists that attended a teacher’s college in the state of Guerrero. It is widely believed that local police cooperated with the area drug cartel to stage and cover up the murder of the students. The federal government’s slowness and ineffectiveness in investigating the issue raised continuing concerns about corruption and unaccountability. Even when government bodies have dealt with the cartels harshly, there has been political fall out. For example, last year the chief of the federal police was fired for the extrajudicial killing of 22 suspected drug dealers. This scandal revealed how deeply intertwined the methods of the cartels and the government had become after years of struggle. Most recently, massive protests, sometimes devolving into violence, have taken place all over Mexico in the wake of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration’s 20 percent increase in gas prices–the gasolinazo. The main Mexican oil company, PEMEX, is under government control and so the government has far more ability to determine its gas prices that the United States does. This impacts the working class the most because a far greater percentage of their income is devoted to transportation than the middle class or the rich, making them especially sensitive to price increases. Nevertheless, the protests have to be seen as an expression continuing outrage against the previous issues
covered in addition to the current price increase of gas. What we are currently continue to witness as protests of Enrique Peña Nieto take place in greater anti-Trump protests, is a mass rejection of the current administration. Given this information, one would think that even though Peña Nieto is not running again, the ruling party would certainly face defeat in the 2018 Mexican elections. However, the rise of Trump has provided PRI with a convenient distraction from domestic issues. By becoming the party of resistance to the wall and Trump’s bullying over the next year, PRI could restore its legitimacy in time for the election. PRI also has the advantage of having been the only party in power for 70 years until the victory of Vicente Fox of PAN, a center-right party, in the 2000 elections. Despite the end of its one party state, PRI still has the vast patronage network it built over the decades and can draw upon it when necessary. The best worst-case scenario for PRI would be another victory for PAN, which has been smoothly integrated into structures of power after its initial insurgent victory. PRI and PAN are both so vested in maintaining the current order of Mexican Politics that critics have dubbed them PRIAN. On the most fundamental issues of Mexican policy, namely continuing liberalization and integration with the US economy, both parties have stuck to the neoliberal consensus behind the creation of NAFTA , and so little would change in US-Mexico relations if a power transfer occurred. And yet, there is also the increasingly likely chance that a Left populist breakthrough will take place in Mexico if Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a former head of the Mexico City federal district, and current leader of the left-wing political party MORENA, were to win the 2018 elections. He came close to the presidency two times in the past, but twice lost to the establishment candidates. Because of his populist leanings and less compromising stances regarding the environment and workers rights, he might be a better candidate for Mexican people to feel dignified and in control of their own
destinies in the face of Trump. Furthermore, he supports reversing the militarization of the Mexican police that has led to unnecessary deaths and escalation in the drug war. However, his penchant for organizing spontaneous street demonstrations could easily transform turn from a way of mobilizing people for justice into a vehicle to support unaccountable demagoguery. Ironically, there would be no better Mexican partner for Donald Trump than Obrador. Donald Trump has long said that he either wanted to eliminate or renegotiate NAFTA, and Obrador himself has made anti-NAFTA statements. To appeal to Mexicans, in southern corn regions like Oaxaca and Chiapas where corn and other staples are grown on small family farms, he has said he would not honor provision in NAFTA on dropping tariffs on US corn and beans. When this provision came into effect in 1994, the Mexican market was flooded by US agricultural products and many small scale farming operations and local economies were destroyed. There is a reason why almost every Mexican immigrant you come across in Poughkeepsie is from Oaxaca. Although NAFTA did help the Mexican economy grow and develop into an industrial powerhouse, it is obvious that certain aspects of it need to change. However, with Trump as a partner, Obrador will not be able to create the more equitable trade arrangements he strives for. Following Trump’s “America First” creed, a renegotiating NAFTA would be even more skewed in the interests of the United States and Mexico would be worse off than under the current deal. The Mexican economy is too small in relation to the United States’ to exercise the leverage Obrador would desire. Before Trump’s election I would have had greater expectations for an Obrador victory, but now I think that the current establishment parties will be able to channel anti-Trump outrage into staying power. In the climate of uncertainty ushered in by Trumps victory, many people in Mexico will be inclined to choose the safe and familiar political options. But then again, in this new political era anything can happen.
Political discourse requires more nuance Andrew Solender Guest Columnist
f you have discussed or witnessed any discussion on politics since the beginning of the Trump era, you will have noticed that something is missing. Maybe it’s all the ad hominem attacks, disturbingly reactionary language and “alternative facts” that are shrouding and displacing substantial rhetoric and factual arguments. Whatever the case, debate is suffering. Before Trump was elected, I did not take him and his supporters seriously; a folly shared by many on the left from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders to Barack Obama. A few liberal intellectuals such as Van Jones and Michael Moore not only took the phenomenon seriously, but took Trump’s diehard supporters seriously. When it became clear to myself and the rest of the left that these individuals were correct in their predictions, I decided to try understanding the perspective of Trump voters. By interviewing some Trump supporters at rallies and subjecting myself to reading the chaotic yet enticingly fanatical forums of 4chan, Breitbart and Trump subreddits, I have attempted to gain some perspective on just how Trump supporters see the world. One thing I have learned is that, while they do have some legitimate concerns on certain issues such as government corruption, their arguments have many flaws both in substance and style. Despite the politically diverse coalition of Trump supporters from different backgrounds, cultures and worldviews who use all kinds of means of communication to express their views they all have flawed ways of doing so. Not only are they flawed, but some are fundamentally and severely lacking in logic, facts or evidence. Other arguments are riddled with fatal fallacies to the point where they should lose all relevance. Yet, for some reason, they don’t. So let’s now discuss some of the mistakes and fallacies these debaters make. They set up straw men, creating a distorted or simplified caricature of what they’re arguing against (“If Hillary Clinton were here she’d probably call you deplorable, so you shouldn’t vote for her”). They use ad hominem attacks to delegitimize those who disagree with them (“Well you only believe that because
you’re a coastal snowflake elite who can buy their way out of any problem”) or circumstance ad hominem (“You’re only voting for Hillary because you’re a woman”). They try to imply guilt by association (“The Democrats are the party of the KKK therefore they’re the real racists”). One Trump supporter I talked to, a pastor, used false relativism to defend Trump’s travel ban, saying, “Well you lock your home at night to keep out intruders, right? Well that’s exactly what Trump is doing with our borders.” All of these arguments have logical flaws, referred to as fallacies, which make them weak in structured arguments. What about Trump himself? He’s guilty of the undistributed middle fallacy, asserting that because two things share a property, that makes them the essentially same thing (“To all of those Bernie Sanders voters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates, we welcome you with open arms”). He has many a time been found to make sweeping generalizations (“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, they’re murderers”). Of course, he is a master of the red herring, which is diverting attention to something irrelevant to distract from an issue that hurts the debater’s side (“I looked out, the field was -- it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.”) Before liberals jump on the idea that all conservatives are bad debaters, it should be noted that I have witnessed plenty of bad, if not some of the worst, arguments from the liberal side. A lot of the difficulties for liberal debaters stem from identity politics and their quickness to make harsh judgments, whether deserved or perceived, upon their opponents. To be sure, if you were to dismiss your opponent’s arguments in a formal debate setting by calling them racist, homophobic, transphobic etc. without offering any evidence that back up those diagnoses, you would lose. Furthermore, assigning these labels based upon weak evidence such as the person being a Republican, a Trump voter or supporter or based on isolated remarks or incidents would also fail to substantiate any argument. Whether or not the target of these labels is truly a racist or sexist or homophobe is not important,
because it doesn’t delegitimize that person’s argument. If they are correct or convincing, and you are less so, labeling them negatively will not change anybody’s mind about who won the debate. Nor is it acceptable to call your opponent idiotic, foolish or naive, even if their arguments suggest as much. It would, however, be acceptable to make an argument that proves their argument to be foolish or even idiotic. That really feeds into the whole issue that liberal debaters face: presenting a logical flow for arguments. Liberals who are often convinced of their correctness, a typically justified notion in my opinion, sometimes feel it unnecessary to explain their points and instead simply jump to conclusions. This can be a fatal mistake and one that is easily fixable. Everywhere on the political spectrum you will find shortcomings. Why did this happen? There is no easy answer to that question. Perhaps it is the growing importance of TV, and specifically reality TV, culture that makes us value entertainment value over proper diction and poise. Maybe it is the new habit we have with obtaining our information in as brief a form as possible. Perhaps it is the one minute sound bytes that politicians use that spoil us on good sounding phrases with little value to them. Or maybe it is the slow, agonizing death of long-form journalism at the hands of self-professed “explanatory journalism” sites like Vox which boil the news down to manageable doses. Finally, there is the question of how to fix this issue. This is quite simple; there are various methods through which you can improve their debating skills. The first step is recognizing that while you can improve you can improve your own performance, you cannot force your opponent to improve. This means that they might still attempt to troll or frustrate you, or hurt you by making personal attack. The victory for you comes when you know you have made a truly logical and sustainable argument. After you do that, the next step is to learn more. Go to online forums such as procon. com or debate.org where people try to construct relevant and convincing arguments to support their sides. Finally, be open-minded about both sides of every argument, keep reading, learning and expanding your ideology and try as best you can to think logically and rationally.
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Word on the street Will you be my Valentine? “I have a boyfriend” — Max CantyHilchey ’19
“Honestly, it’s a step up” — Jaimeson Bukacek Frazier ’19
“Absolutely not. My girlfriend is right here” — Ashley Hoyle ’18
“Of course!” — Elise Matera ’19
“Is this a non-binding agreement?” — Yvette Segan ’19
“Yes” — Aaron Linker ’19
Evelyn Frick, Humor & Satire Editor Michael Chung, Photographer
HUMOR & SATIRE
February 16, 2017
Breaking News From the desk of Evelyn Frick, Humor & Satire Editor The staff of the Misc currently editing the paper while jamming to ‘Single Ladies,’ saddest Valentine’s party ever Pat Toomey is a bad senator A fun kink to try this V-Day: and I want him to read this fixing a feisty, leaky faucet Evelyn Frick
Proud in Pennsylvania
enerally, I think that conversations about politics should be kept civilized. Each side should approach each other with gracious decorum and humility. Above all, both sides of the aisle should try to avoid alienating one another so, in spite of their differences, they can work together. This, however, is not one of those times. From the bottom of my little Grinch heart, I sincerely and truly mean it when I say that Senator Pat Toomey can fuck completely, all the way off. I hope his oversized clown vibrator-dildo isn’t currently switched on. Because he seriously needs to fuck off. For those of you who aren’t from the beautiful and the sometimes rural wasteland that is the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, let me explain. Patrick Joseph Toomey, otherwise known as “Pat” Toomey (real original, “Pat”), is currently a junior Republican Senator representing Pennsylvania. However, I use the word representing very lightly because most of the decisions he makes aren’t for the general good of Pennsylvanians. First of all, he isn’t really from Pennsylvania. He was born in Rhode Island, for goodness’ sake. When was the last time that Rhode Island had to deal with lower-middle-class miners wanting better health care? Or needed help to bolster the farming industry? Or desperately needed to improve the national image of one of its major cities? (I’m looking at you, Philadelphia. Seriously, how does a city that held the Second Continental Congress have such a bad rep? Oh how the mighty have fallen.) All Rhode Island ever has to deal with is an inferiority complex for being so small. Rhode Island surely did not give Pat Toomey enough background knowledge to help him legislate the beautiful Appalachians and glorious fields of cow shit that constitute Pennsylvania. Other reasons that I find myself taking serious issue with my Senator is that he has a shaky record regarding issues such as climate change, treating Muslims, immigrants and the LGBTQ community like humans, meanwhile he treats
tiny clumps of cells like humans, and for whatever reason has a strong stance on the scourge that is online piracy. Glad you care about the things that matter, Pat. Did you know that approximately -2 Pennsylvanians a year are affected by online piracy? (To clarify that statistic isn’t relevant, but neither are Toomey’s views so...) But mostly the reason that I’m particularly peeved at Pat Toomey right now, is his vote for the Secretary of Education. He voted to confirm Betsy DeVos saying he was, “pleased” to do so. Which really means that he was pleased to tow the party line because he doesn’t care about children in the Pennsylvania public school system learning about the Lincoln-Douglas debate as opposed to what they would learn about: The Wawa-Sheetz Debate. (To be honest though, I do have a special place in my heart for Turkey Hill.) Also, where do your children go to school, Senator Toomey? I assume your vote for Betsy DeVos won’t affect them as they go to private school. That’s like volunteering for the Hunger Games, except that you’re not volunteering yourself, you’re volunteering that kid who lives in a low-income neighborhood and really wants to learn the clarinet but won’t be able to because your nominee for the Secretary of Education definitely doesn’t see the value of performing arts unless you’re singing Gregorian chants. That extended metaphor got a little convoluted at the end, but I think you understand my meaning. And now, can any of you dear readers guess how much money the DeVos family contributed to Pat Toomey during his career? Did I hear $6,000? No, no, just because Pat Toomey doesn’t have any balls doesn’t mean you need to lowball your guess. Did you say $10,000? Nope, still not enough. $1,000,00? Oh okay, that’s a little high. Toomey isn’t Trump. What about $60,500? And BINGO was his name-o. (Actually it’s Pat. Seriously, it’s Pat. Could he be anymore white?) All in all, Pat Toomey is generally the worst and I hate that he is my senator. If you agree, feel free to call his DC office at (202) 224-4254. Make sure to tell him why you disagree with him and that Evelyn sent you.
Jaimeson Bukacek Frazier Plumbing Pundit
ello Dear Readers, Love is in the air this week! Tuesday was Valentine’s Day and to celebrate, I thought I’d write a little article about ways to spice things up in the bedroom (note: as a male-bodied person, this article will be focused on male-bodied people). Now, I’ve never felt the tender embrace of another, but I hear a lot of people talking about “cleaning out the pipes.” With that thought in mind, I’d like to present a fun, new way to help any male-bodied person clean out their pipes–fixing a leaky faucet. Now, you eager beavers, fixing a leaky faucet with your loved one isn’t something you can just do. Like any good bedroom (or bathroom) fun, this will require some prep work. So, before you start going to town on those pipes, remember to turn off the water to the sink fixture. Find a handle in that cabinet underneath the sink you only open when you need a new sponge or maybe some trash bags, and turn it clockwise to shut off the water supply. Also, consider covering the drain. That’ll keep pieces of the faucet from falling in while you’re getting down and dirty. (If you’re someone who likes a little danger with your partner, keep it open! You never know what’s going to slip in.) For our next step, you and your special someone should determine what toys you’re working with. By toys I mean faucets. There are four main kinds of faucets–ball faucets, cartridge faucets, ceramic-disk faucets and compression faucets. I would take notes by the way. This will be on the test. To know which kind of faucet you have, look at it. Does it have a ball? Does it have a cartridge? What about a ceramic disk? Does it compress? If you answered no to all of these questions, try again. Look harder. There are four types of faucets. I already said that. It’s one of the four. Come on. It’s not hard. So, now we’re a good half way through this article, and I have a confession for you dear reader. This is not actually an article on fixing a leaky faucet with your loved one of choice.
Would you like to be my lover? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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This is about fixing a compression faucet with said loved one. Sorry if you read this far and have one of the others. You can go ahead and stop reading now. Anyway, back to all you cooing lovebirds and your leaky compression faucets. Where were we? Right. We were just about to start actually fixing the leaky faucet. Prep work is done. Let’s start with the basics: the screw. If you really want to fix their leaky faucet, you’re going to have to unscrew the handle from the sink fixture. Have fun with this! Consider it a “fourplay” to the actual nitty-gritty of faucet repair. Remember: lefty-loosey. This next step is a personal favorite of this author’s, and sure to be a pleaser in any bedroom: use a wrench to remove the nut. You read that right; just fucking wrench the nut right off. Quick anatomy lesson for a faucet’s nether-regions: underneath the nut you should find the stem, the O-ring and the seat washer. A worn-down seat washer is the likely cause for all your leaky compression faucet woes. Alright, so you’ve had yourself a screw and wrenched out a nut. Now what? Our next step is to pull out the stem. Take it slooooowww here. Make it a power play. Lock eyes with your lover, don’t blink, and really grip that stem. We’re talking white-knuckled. Yeah. That’s what it’s all about. Now slide that stem up like it’s a one-eyed snake trying to clog your drains and you gotta clean out the pipes. Nice. Ideally this step should take 15-20 minutes. When you’ve finally removed the stem, take a moment to breathe. You can blink now too if you feel the need. Let your heart rate get back down to normal. Then replace the seat washer. Oh yeah, by the way, you have to buy a new seat washer for your leaky compression faucet. Maybe that should have been step one. Anyway, do that. Coat it in plumber’s grease (gross) and pop that bad boy in there like it’s what you have to do to finish fixing your leaky compression faucet. Then you can reassemble the handle, clean up, and voilà. Consider your leaky faucet fixed!
HUMOR & SATIRE
February 16, 2017
Woman disillusioned with men, turns to monsters for love Lily Horner
is the season of love, but I’m not here to talk about that. Instead, during this time of affection, I’m left missing the season of hate and scariness. That’s right, I do miss me some Halloween. As I sit at home on my couch, watching scary movies and romantic comedies for days, I wonder which Halloween monster I’d most love to date. What follows is the list of Most Dateable Monsters that I have compiled while sitting on the couch. Number one: Dracula. Duh! I mean not only is he very sensual and strong, but he is also super duper rich. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a poor vampire; they must save a lot of money because they don’t buy groceries. I personally would date any vampire, but not because I used to love Twilight (though that might have something to do with it...). I would date Dracula or any vampire because they don’t go out in the daylight. I already never leave the house, and people give me a lot of grief for that. But if I dated a vampire I would have a foolproof excuse for never leaving the house: my significant other cannot be in the sun. Sure, Dracula would eventually kill me for my blood, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make to briefly date a rich agoraphobe.
Number three: A witch. The only reason that witches aren’t higher on the list is because I’d be too intimidated; they’re so cool. I could never measure up to their magic skills or sense of style. They would wind up disappointed with my mortal ass and I would feel bad for letting them down. But witches would be amazing to date. They can put curses or hexes on anyone I want and make a potion to improve my skin. I’m not sure what I would personally bring to the relationship except willingness to do their bidding; I’d be a great henchwoman. Like a flying
March 21 | April 19
April 20 | May 20
May 21 | June 20
June 21 | July 22
July 23 | August 22
August 23 | September 22
one of the only upsides for me, but it definitely depends on the ghost and how they died. For example, if the ghost died while saving a puppy from a burning building I’d be all over that. But if they died from a skateboarding accident that would be a hard pass.
Number four: A ghost. I’m not really sure how this would work. I saw that Casper movie with Hilary Duff and it just didn’t seem like it would’ve worked out between them. I do think that dating a ghost would be cool because I could have them haunt people I don’t like. I would probably miss physical contact pretty quickly, though. Revenge is sweet, but cuddling is pretty nice too. And I wouldn’t like being cold all the time or communicating through an electronic voice phenomena box. The hauntings are
Number five: A zombie. While I love movies about zombies, I like people with whom I can have an intelligent conversation. Not only that, but zombies make no money. They can’t hold a job, their credit is in the trash, talk about a scrub. They could use a good scrubbing, too. Dirty dirty dirty. Overall, this doesn’t seem like a match that would work. I hope zombies are able to find love someday, hopefully it will detract from their thirst for brains. I’m used to college students being thirsty for hook ups but not for flesh-eating. Number six: A mummy. First of all, a mummy isn’t afraid to get down and dirty. I’m into that. Also, you never know what’s under all that gauze and if you wanted to take it off it’d be forever. Enough said. Number seven: The cast of Monster University. I think they would be tender lovers. It would make for a real monster mash.
monkey who can’t fly and who would be willing to collect the eyes of newts and warts of toads. If there are any witches out there reading this who need a sidekick, hmu, I’m willing to do your dirty work if you cast a spell on anybody that looks at me wrong.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Number two: A werewolf. Say what you will about them, but I do love a hairy chest. (If you’re thinking of judging me, remember that Dad Bod was a thing. I think this is way less bad.) I also like the fact that they are very in-tune to the moon cycle, which means I probably won’t have to keep track of my period anymore, they can tell when I’m about to get it. A werewolf would also be very good at cuddling, whether as a human or a wolf. I wouldn’t be scared about whether or not they’d claw me to pieces,
because they’d know I’m the one that gives them treats and without me, no more Beggin’ Strips or Scooby Snacks. I could also help them find some vampires to fight if Dracula ever broke my heart.
An illustrated depiction of a witch being literally cooler than anyone else in Salem, proof that witches would be an amazing choice to take on a date this Valentine’s Day.
John Tyler, Thomas Jefferson Okay so this is pretty underwhelming but that doesn’t mean you are. Try to make the best of this situation, you know like Thomas Jefferson did when he helped ruin Alexander Hamilton’s reputation. Is that even real or just part of the show?
James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, James Monroe, Harry S. Truman I would say this is a fairly average collection of presidents. Sometimes average is a good place to be though, you know? Maybe you can look for a standout Taurus candidate to run in 2020 to elevate your status. John F. Kennedy, George H. Bush, Donald Trump Wherever JFK is is a good place to be. Although…
Calvin Coolidge, John Quincy Adams, Gerald Ford, George W. Bush Interesting group. All I know about Calvin Coolidge is that he took daily naps. Also George W. Bush just adopted a new puppy. You’re just a puppy-loving heavy sleeper and that’s a good place to be in the scheme of things. Herbert Hoover, Benjamin Harrison, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama POWER GROUP. You go Leo. You are fiery and amazing and did you see those videos of Obama windsurfing? Watch out though, because the rest of us are not going to let you hold onto this impeccable reputation long. Lyndon B. Johnson, William H. Taft Taft was the one that couldn’t fit in the bathtub, so uh idk. This is where Bernie Sanders would’ve been so perhaps like Bernie it is up to you to change the Virgo discourse.
I never really understood why Bella Swan was so into Edward, he’s not a real vampire. He’s Vampire Lite. My monsters are not Monsters Lite, they will be way intense and probably never play baseball or try and protect me. They are vicious. There are a million other monsters out there that I haven’t put on this list, but they are all basically different iterations of these monsters. Tune in October for my list: “Romantic Comedies that I Wish Had Actual Monsters Instead of Jennifer Lawrence and Matthew McConaughey.”
In honor of President’s Day, everyone’s favorite February holiday. Seriously fuck Valentine’s Day. Here are a list of all the US Presidents who have your astrological sign and what that means about the reputation of your sign. This is not political in the least, it’s just what the stars have determined.
September 23 | October 22
October 23 | November 21
November 22 | December 21
December 22 | January 19
January 20 | February 18
February 19 | March 20
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Jimmy Carter, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester Arthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower Excluding Eisenhower, I would say this is the group of presidents with the best hair. This is huge for Libra. Good hair helps success,. Libra presidents are all about a good hair, full hearts, can’t lose motto. Theodore Roosevelt, John Adams, James K. Polk, Warren G. Harding, James Garfield A lot of combative/war-type presidents here. Perhaps this gives the Scorpio an aggressive personality. Of course you don’t have to channel that aggression. You could get some silly putty or a stress ball.
Franklin Pierce, Zachary Taylor, Martin Van Buren Okay so there’s probably some good presidents here but they’re also kind of the ones people forget. You could certainly do worse but in reality can you name a single thing Zachary Taylor did? And if you can, well then okay I take it back. Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Johnson, Millard Fillmore, Richard M. Nixon Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon? Sorry Capricorns, this is really not the reputation you needed. Need I say more?
William McKinley, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, William H. Harrison, Abraham Lincoln Listen, you’ve got some real winners in this group. Things look good at first. Seems like a good place to be. But William Henry Harrison is the one died a month into office. I’m sorry but I just can’t say that this is very good for the Aquarius reputation. George Washington, Andrew Jackson, James Madison, Grover Cleveland Mixed bag here. George Washington of course is great and whatnot. But Andrew Jackson was pretty bad. I would say to Pisces, try to accentuate your strengths and help people see the best in you, because not all of your presidents are doing it for you, —Amy Lieber
February 16, 2017
Play by Drama Dept. chair explores identity, resilience Noah Purdy Arts Editor
Courtesy of Shona Tucker
was, and remain, fascinated by the idea of an audience as a community of people who gather willingly to bear witness,” stated playwright August Wilson. Mere listening and watching are vital steps on the way to understanding both oneself and others, an art form in and of itself that many media attempt to coax out and help along its way. This weekend, the Vassar community has a unique opportunity to bear humble witness in such a shared space. Three performances of “Trippin’ Through Mud: A diversity reading” will be given this Thursday, Friday and Saturday—Feb. 16 to 18—at 8 p.m. in Vogelstein’s Martel Theater. “Trippin’ Through Mud” was written and directed by Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Drama Department Shona Tucker, a working actor and writer herself, as part of her “Mississippi Mud” trilogy. “Trippin’” is the third in the trilogy, and thus will run 1 hour and 5 minutes long. In describing the show’s plot, Tucker wrote, “It is ostensibly about two African American women taking a road trip to do some genealogy research of their past in central eastern Mississippi. But from the start of the trip, things don’t go the way they expected and they end up uncovering much more.” Tucker’s script brings the audience along for the ride, immersing them not only in the two women’s lives, but also in common experiences of Black Americans. “Prof. Tucker has managed to create an entire ride for the audience to join the characters on with various stops and adventures and an ensemble of wacky yet honest characters,” expressed Mariah Ghant ’17, who plays Celeste, one of the two main characters. “I think that for a story of this nature, the theater provides a perfect space for holding a mirror up to the past and being able to sort through that personal and historical weight.” For Tucker, hearing stories told by women was a common occurrence in her family, most notably from her grandmother, whom she called a griot in reference to West African oral storytellers. Tucker learned about many family members, including an
Mariah Ghant ’17 and Becky Whittaker ’18 co-star in “Trippin’ Through Mud,” the third part of a trilogy written and directed by Associate Professor and Chairperson of Drama Shona Tucker. uncle who found alternative ways to make money besides picking cotton, even robbing banks. When he got to jail, he did not let his entrepreneurial spirit die, selling candy and other items to fellow inmates—“THAT is enterprising,” Tucker wrote. “And the women were equally creative,” she continued. “I suppose I thought, August Wilson tells the stories of the black everyman. I needed to hear the women’s stories.” And thus “Trippin’ Through Mud” was born. Echoing her griot grandmother, Tucker incorporated—metaphorically—a call-and-response approach to the rehearsal process for this play. “She has very unique visions, but she is always open to change and feedback,” stated Imani Russell ’18, a member of the ensemble portraying a tour guide and various family members of the main characters. “I have always felt heard and that’s wonderful
and honestly very rare ... This process has taught me to speak up and ask questions more.” Meeting for only four rehearsals before tech week, however, meant the production functioned more like professional ones do, with the actors needing to put in a lot of time working independently on their parts. “I am an actor through and through, so it informs everything about my process,” Tucker explained. “I tend to write big characters that happen in an instant because I love that kind of challenge as an actor.” She went on: “I write my lines from an oral perspective. Many times, I have to hear it come out of the actor’s mouth or out of my mouth to say—‘Okay that was clunky’ or that doesn’t have the ‘juice’ I was expecting. It also gives me, I hope, a healthy amount of humility because I...[know the value in allowing] the actors to have a healthy
amount of collaboration...” This method was challenging for the cast and crew, considering they all received updated scripts right before starting tech week. All of them, though, found that working under Professor Tucker’s guidance, grappling with and exploring the words she wrote, has been incredibly rewarding. “It is inspiring to work with Professor Tucker,” said Becky Whittaker ’18, who plays the other main character Mona. “She sets the tone. She is enthusiastic about discovery and throughout the entire process she encourages collaboration...It is rewarding and special to see all of our ideas come through into the world of the play.” Stage manager Turner Hitt ’18 summed it up nicely: “I’ve found that the most rewarding parts of doing this have come from them being most challenging.” Tucker’s ultimate vision was not to shy away from these technical challenges because the complex stories demand them. People’s lives are not clear-cut, and history—especially the narratives that are painfully lost or that far too often go untold—certainly is not either. In describing her hopes for what audiences can take away from “Trippin’ Through Mud,” Tucker conveyed the following: “That humor and pathos co-exist. That this story/these stories touch upon moments in their own lives so they can relate. That they will feel a little smarter and pleased that they took the time when they walk out the door.” In live performance, Hitt explained, “You have real bodies, real people, exploring human emotion that is constantly changing. Someone is taking another person’s pain, joy, fear, love and putting it through their being for an audience.” Whittaker agreed, expressing, “In a piece like this that explores such an important, deeply personal, sometimes painful story, the stage is a space where we can give voice to those whose voices are usually hindered.” With this in mind, let us gather together as an audience and bear witness—to a family’s past and its descendants’ present, to the beauty of artistic reflection and to the unique power of a story well told.
Monthly Art Initiative series kicks off in LGBTQ Center ART continued from page 1 comes to the queer and transgender communities, however, their own history and art is often overlooked by the mainstream. Particularly, predominant narratives are historically known for diminishing or completely expunging the contributions of trans and queer people of color. This narrative of erasure within the artistic community is what inspired the creation of the Queer/ Trans People of Color (QTPoC) Art Initiative, which held its first ever reception on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the LGBTQ Center. As the creator of the initiative, Spencer Gar-
cia ’18 explained, “The QTPoC Art Initiative provides queer and trans students of color with a space to display and celebrate their creative projects.” They continued, “Many art spaces within and outside of Vassar ignore and actively devalue the artistic contributions of queer and trans people of color. The QTPoC Art Initiative recognizes the importance of these creative works, and strives to center them within the larger artistic conversation at Vassar.” Garcia was inspired to develop the QTPoC Art Initiative in the spring of 2016 after taking a class
Courtesy of Hien Nguyen
The QTPoC Art Initiative, created by Spencer Garcia ’18 in collaboration with the staff of the LGBTQ Center, unveiled its first show at an informal opening reception on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
taught by the Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow Elías Krell entitled, “Race, Anti/Colonialisms, and Queering Music Performance.” Predominantly composed of queer and trans people of color, the class participants created several visual, music and performance art pieces throughout the semester. Referring to the class as an “affirming experience,” Garcia was inspired to create another space on campus where the art of queer and trans people of color could be celebrated. Also stemming from comments from the LGBTQ Center staff that the majority of artwork in the Center does not reflect current queer community needs and wants, the cozy space seemed to be the perfect venue. After discussing the initiative with the Director for the Campus Life LGBTQ Center and Women’s Center Jodie Castanza, the idea was proposed and was met with great support from the rest of the staff. “The LGBTQ Center staff are in frequent discussions about how to assure the Center is the most affirming space it can be,” said Castanza in an email. “To us, this meant changing the art on the walls to reflect the works of Vassar students who are queer and/or trans people of color. This not only changes the ‘feel’ of the Center, but also is an opportunity for students to showcase their works in a specific space, in a specific way.” Anyone identified as QTPoC interested in showcasing their artwork was encouraged to submit an artwork portfolio to the Initiative. The submissions were then reviewed and selected by a group consensus of all LGBTQ Center staff. In heavy collaboration with the artist, Garcia is responsible for planning current and future exhibitions and opening receptions. In its first exhibit, the QTPoC Art Initiative decided to showcase the work of Hien Nguyen ’20, who took a serious interest in art during his senior year of high school. Since then, he has been perfecting his painting and observation skills in the hopes of becoming a professional installation artist. The work on display reflects this goal, with the exhibit including Nguyen’s most recent works, many of them practice sketches of places familiar to Vassar students, such as the Old Bookstore study space.
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“My artworks right now are nowhere near the levels I want them to be and I understand that as a student artist,” explained Nguyen. “I simply aim for people to look and think, whatever they take away will be what they take away. I specifically did not write an artist statement to be read because of this. The message is subliminal and a monologue of my progression as an artist and as a queer person.” The intimate exhibit also includes a few painted works, such as a piece called “Enséñame a volar, mi mariposa hermosa,” which Nguyen describes as his most favorite work due to its representation of his coming out and self-acceptance. Nguyen’s art will continue to be on view through Mar. 8. In a casual opening reception, the Vassar community was encouraged to stop by to see Nguyen’s artwork, have some light refreshments and meet the artist, showcasing what can be expected from QTPoC artists in the future. Besides celebrating Nguyen’s work, the event encouraged the Vassar community to be reminded of the Center as a place for gathering and as a resource for Vassar’s queer and transgender community. Currently, the QTPoC Art Initiative has two more exhibits planned for this semester, with opening receptions on Mar. 8 and Apr. 12. While the exact nature of these receptions has not yet been made concrete, they may include live performances, music or film screenings. While lack of representation and the appropriation of queer and trans people of color’s culture are still ongoing issues, initiatives such as these are taking a step in the right direction by simply providing an outlet to celebrate and showcase people’s voices, a factor which the QTPoC Art Initiative intends to promote in the future. Nguyen reflected on this issue and on his hopes for the future. “The western art world’s constant exchange of ideas and dialogues often neglect people of color, especially queer people of color,” he expressed. “This initiative gives people like me a hope that my voice, daring and defying (of stereotypes), also will be heard—perhaps only amongst friends for now, but I do think the world one day might just listen intently.”
February 16, 2017
Contrast highlights fashion, culture in the modern age Patrick Tanella Arts Editor
ontrast, Vassar’s art and style magazine, is published at the end of each semester, marking a celebration of the current fashion dominating campus and pop culture. While they prepare for the issue ahead, The Miscellany News sat down with style editors Dana Chang ’19 and Hannah Nice ’18 to discuss the publication [Disclaimer: Nice is the Assistant Social Media Editor at the Miscellany News]. Miscellany News: How did you become involved in Contrast?
Nice: I personally have always been interested in fashion. Growing up, I read magazines such as Elle, Vogue and Marie Claire. I loved looking especially at their photo shoots, and I would cut out photos and make collages of them. So when I saw that there was an opportunity at Vassar that had a fashion-focus, I was beyond excited. I had done some things my freshman year with the styling of the publication, and then got quite busy my sophomore year with other activities. However, when I saw that there was an opening for a leadership role in the beginning of my junior year, I definitely jumped at the opportunity to get more involved. Misc.: What does a style editor do?
Nice: I feel like everything. It’s really exciting because you would think that a style editor would just be focused on styling the garments and getting the clothing together, but there’s so much in the process that goes behind the scenes. You do everything from putting together model castings and choosing models, and then you have to find time to fit them, get the clothing and brainstorm the concepts for the photo shoots. Then you have to run meetings and schedule stuff. This was especially apparent last semester when we put together our 1969 fashion show in the Loeb, which involved collaborating with the Drama Department and the staff in the Loeb, so there were a lot of moving parts. It seems as though the styling is the smallest part of the job, as it’s more about coordinating and making sure everyone is on the same page. Misc.: What is Contrast’s goal as a magazine?
Misc.: What do you think separates Contrast from other fashion magazines?
Chang: The biggest thing is that it’s run by students, and it’s not like it’s a work study or an independent study. We need to really carefully plan out the time we want to put into it. Since it is made by students for students, it definitely affects how it’s created and what the magazine ends up looking like at the end. Contrast also changes who the exec board is each year. As we are the ones that end up making the decisions and every team has a different vision, individ-
Misc.: Vassar truly is a place of firsts, including breaking out in terms of fashion, social issues and the publication of a college newspaper decades before most schools. As different publications, how do you think the Misc and Contrast intertwine in the promotion of the arts?
Nice: As Dana said, one thing that I think is really impressive with both publications is that they’re both student-run, and people on the receiving end may not realize how much work goes into the finished product. There’s deadlines and a lot of moving parts. Working with the Misc and being the style editor for Contrast, you constantly see how passionate people are about their work. In terms of promoting the arts, people who are writing, researching and interviewing are learning things themselves, which can definitely be difficult at times. The fact that they’re able to promote that and get the word out is amazing. This is a school that shines in a variety of fields, which I think really is something that’s valuable.
do before. Chang: The biggest thing is teamwork with other creatives, and learning early on that all of your ideas are not always going to work, and allowing other people to shift your vision. I find that I get attached to an idea but at the end of the day when creatives collaborate on one thing it’s not just one set idea but rather a collective. That’s when the real magic happens. Having to abide by schedules and take into consideration other people’s ideas and visions is definitely something I hope to take with me. Misc.: Do you have any final comments?
Chang: If you are interested in joining Contrast, definitely watch out on our Instagram and social media, as we’ll put the meeting times there. The thing I find hard about clubs here is that at the end of the day the exec boards are the one that make the decisions, so it can be
hard to just be a member. I realized that I wanted to have my ideas in the magazine, so rather than being frustrated by a lack of input, I got more involved so my voice would be heard and I could make the changes that I want. I’ve just heard people complain about organizations, but if you have a vision for something, stick with it and make those changes. People are so willing to talk but won’t put in the work to get what they want. If you want your voice to matter, you have to make it matter. Contrast encourages anyone with an interest in art or fashion to join the publication. Their semester is off to a great start, and they are having their first photoshoot this Friday. Be on the lookout for future events, as they are always visually stimulating and brilliant, which can be seen in their jaw-dropping 1969 fashion show.
Misc.: Where do you see Contrast going in the future?
Nice: We have been trying to take things up a notch, which you can see in our last issue. We had the president of IMG Models speak at our fashion show, which isn’t something a lot of schools can say. In terms of photo shoots, we have tried to be a little more creative and push the boundaries. This upcoming semester, expect to see more than you even wanted. We also want to tap into current Vassar style. Our street-style photos, which we post on our Instagram (Vassar Contrast), are not just us doing fantasy play but also trying to be connected to the student body. Chang: I want Contrast to be taken seriously. I’m not saying that it’s not taken seriously now, but I want it to be well-received. One of the biggest thing is this is an extracurricular but creating content is a full-time job. So, sometimes it’s hard that people may not be able to put in all the effort that’s needed to create a publication. I’m excited to try to not fall into pushing Contrast aside. Although I’m not getting paid, this truly is my job and something that I love to put my ideas and creativities into, and especially collaborating with my fellow community members. I hope that it’s good, thought-out, well-received work. I really do see it expanding in the future. I think we can do more in regards to social media. Hannah and I are thinking of doing a podcast or even zines to promote street styles, or even just creating content that could be readily available rather than just having build-up. As we expand and get better as a collective, we can put out more content because fashion is always on the go and changing. It would be cool to capture moments in the now.
Courtesy of Vassar Contrast
Nice: It seems like a lot of people here are interested in what they wear and how that can be a form of expression. We attend a school that, compared to a lot of universities, is very accepting, and so fashion plays a large role in people expressing themselves in ways they might not be able to do in other communities they find themselves in. Contrast not only helps to promote the fun that can come from fashion but also how it can be a way to express yourself, which you can see in our 1969 fashion show.
ual issues of Contrast are a different version of the magazine. However, each one still delivers the quintessential style and flair that Contrast is known for.
Misc.: What have you taken from your experience as a style editor, and how do you see this carrying with you in the future?
Nice: It has definitely helped my communication skills, and also visually to be able to combine the studio art aspect of my creativity to something I’m really passionate about (fashion) is something I’ve never had the opportunity to
Contrast’s Instagram, depicted here, shows highlights from past photo shoots and current street fashion that students are loving to wear. You can find their account at vassarcontrast.
Courtesy of Vassar Contrast
Courtesy of Vassar Contrast
Through the work of style editors Hannah Nice ’18 and Dana Chang ’19, Contrast has continued to grow and strengthen itself as a pubication, and hopes to continue expanding.
This photo, depicting Miscellany News Senior Editor Elena Schultz ’19, is from the magazine’s previous issue and illustrates the profound beauty that perpetuates throughout the publication.
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February 16, 2017
Empowering dance group celebrates, frees the individual BURLESQUE continued from page 1
luminate the narrow gender roles in place by society. It turned what may on the surface seem like a raunchy presentation into a piece of art. Burlesque may have its dissenters, but Vassar Burlesque shows that the art form isn’t irrelevant. Briggs spoke of the rewarding experience last weekend’s shows yielded: “I’ve had a lot of fun performing in shows throughout my life, but this was by far the most fun performance I’ve ever been a part of. It was such an adrenaline rush and I’ve never felt so powerful on stage or anywhere else. In addition to being incredibly fun, though, I knew while I was doing it that this is the most important theatre I’ve ever worked on. Seeing and speaking to my fellow performers as they came off stage and hearing how empowered and confident everyone felt, I knew that this performance had a big impact on the people in it.” She continued, “Having ownership of your own body, your own sexuality and deciding how the audience sees you is remarkably empowering. Weeks of intense rehearsals, self-doubt and nerves about actually going through with the show had quite a few of the performers on edge, but the payoff was huge. I am so, so proud of every single member of this group and the growth I’ve seen in all of them.” For the future, the group, which has recently applied to make Vassar Burlesque a pre-org, intends on having more performances and workshops. Also, in the fall, there will be another opportunity for students to join the group. While Briggs and Walker will be graduating next spring, they have established a firm group and created an interest in burlesque that they don’t foresee dwindling. Performer Acacia Willis ’19 further explained the liberating and empowering feelings Vassar Burlesque has reaffirmed: “It’s a medium that is publicly declaring that I own this part of myself. What I’m doing on stage, that is about me, for me. It’s not about being sexual to attract someone or land a job or please someone in some way. It’s simply a public celebration of who I am, and an invitation for people to both share that experience with and celebrate that aspect of themselves.”
Courtesy of Liindsay Matheos
After getting approved to be a special event through The Philaletheis Society, Walker and Briggs held interviews and established a group of 25 performers, most with little experience in burlesque, but all with a desire to redefine outdated standards of self-image. Performer Maddy Ouellette ’19 discussed the body-positive elements that inspired them to join: “[Body-positivity] has always been very important to me and having the platform on which I have to creative freedom to display my sexuality and my confidence has been so rewarding. I want other people on this campus to have the opportunity to feel empowered in their bodies and sexualities and I feel like burlesque offers that.” In order to perform a very vulnerable and intimidating genre like burlesque, it was necessary for the group to have a bond of trust, ensuring that everyone be supportive and open. Besides the group’s weekly meetings, Briggs and Walker held workshops and ran very open rehearsals to familiarize the members with burlesque’s style. Each of the members had the option of creating a Burlesque name, or an alias, to create a more freeing experience onstage. These names, like Cherry Poppins, Charles B. Gangly and Rose Gold, are tongue-in-cheek in nature and a tradition to the burlesque craft. One of the performers and choreographers Philip Macaluso ’19 enjoyed the ensemble nature that Vassar Burlesque built, saying, “It’s a very collaborative process in burlesque, I haven’t had a theater experience quite like it. It’s very different from anything anyone in the group had done previously, so there’s a great feeling of community and us all having each other’s backs. At the end of the day, everyone wants to put on a fun, sexy and informative show.” Burlesque may not appear to be inherently political, but the performers in last weekend’s show used this art form as a source for social change. Taking a common staple of the burlesque show, the striptease, the piece “Gender: A Performance” used different ways of dressing and stripping to il-
Vassar Burlesque embraces sensuality and liberates individuals as they celebrate who they are on the stage. This pre-org will hold another workshop in the fall for those interested in joining.
“John Wick” sequel expands on earnestness of first film Jimmy Christon Columnist
John Wick: Chapter 2
Stahelski Thunder Road Pictures
ohn Wick: Chapter 2” is an experiment in absurdism. You have Keanu “The One” Reeves acting as stiffly as ever, kicking ass and taking names. Sure, you can watch a broad-shouldered middle-aged white dude kick ass in almost any movie nowadays, but there’s something about this movie that had me thoroughly enjoying my time in the theater. I think what makes this film great is its earnestness. The movie is stupid, and it knows it, but director Chad Stahelski really put his heart into making it as enjoyable as it can be. Stahelski
knew how cheesy it was to make a movie about a hitman who goes bloodthirsty after some punks kill his puppy, and he knows how absurd it is to then make a sequel to that film. “John Wick: Chapter 2” is that sequel. No, the dog doesn’t die again, but would anyone really be surprised if it had? The instigating incident in this movie is the destruction of Wick’s house, which takes place almost immediately after the events of the first film. While the house gets destroyed, that alone isn’t what makes Wick come back this time around. I was pleasantly surprised with how the exposition set things up in this movie. I’m going to try not to spoil much in this review, so I won’t go into the details of the plot, but I do think the story told in the film is solid. One thing I will spoil is that the world-building in this movie is excellent. In the first “John Wick,” we got hints of this “other world” of high-class hitmen, but it was all very much from
Courtesy of BagoGames on Flickr
“John Wick: Chapter 2,” directed by Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves, is a typical, over-the-top action movie that artfully continues the story of this charismatic hitman.
the perspective of someone trying their best to distance themselves from this environment. This time around, we get to see much more of this world from a wide array of characters that inhabit it. Speaking of unique characters, I really liked how much the script was able to wring out so much character definition from so little. Seriously, some characters only had like six lines total, but you still got a sense of who they were more than just “concierge guy” or “sign-language girl.” Then there’s the man himself, the man who’s “thinking he’s back.” John Wick is a great character for this film, and Keanu plays him to perfection. “Chapter 2” really focuses on how Wick interacts with the world around him and just what it means to constantly be ready to dole out vengeance, and I feel that the film is stronger for it. Not to say that Wick is a great character period, but the focus of the film is almost entirely on Wick. And sure, Keanu is very stiff with some lines, but that’s how the character works, and I couldn’t imagine him being played any other way. Keanu is probably where the earnestness of the film is most notably channeled. His performance is perfect for this film: Keanu lays the cheese on thick while still maintaining a level of seriousness to keep the plot grounded. His performance is like Wesley Snipe’s in “Blade II,” a completely ridiculous one that is ridiculously perfect for the film in question. On the topic of “John Wick,” I want to talk about the one-liners for a second. While there aren’t any lines as off-the-wall awesome as “I’m thinking I’m back” from the first film, there are a literal ton of one-liners that come close. I won’t say any, but just know that they’re there and that they’re great. These one-liners and Keanu’s performance as John Wick are almost the centerpiece of this film for me. Of course the real centerpiece is the action in this movie; everything else is just an excuse to get it onto the screen (not to say that everything else is subpar—it isn’t). In this sense, I’m happy to say that “John Wick: Chapter 2” had me
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feeling the same way leaving the theater as with “Mad Max: Fury Road.” That is to say, I left the theater pumped-full of adrenaline. There’s almost too much action in this movie, in fact. I feel like it might have been a little bit stronger if John Wick hadn’t killed as many people as he does. It’s awesome to watch Keanu Reeves jump, shoot, spin and stab, but there comes a point right before the last big set-piece where I was getting a little bored with the killing of faceless thugs. But then the final set-piece came around— and wow, I was completely blown away. This last monumental scene mounted the tension to the breaking point, and the camera work was astounding. While this set-piece isn’t exactly original (it reminded me of a particular Key and Peele sketch), the execution was absolutely flawless. It looked cool, the action in it was great and, most importantly, it kept with the style of the movie. Speaking of style, this movie is a joy to look at. The first “John Wick” had a style to it—a pretty gray one. It was sleek, modern and a little bit colorless. “Chapter 2” brought colors into the mix this time around and I really liked it. Everything was bright and really helped to set this movie apart from most of the other popular action movies. I’m going to finish up my praise with other noteworthy things about the movie: Common was excellent in this movie. He met Reeves pound-for-pound on the physicality and gave a performance to match (the fights on the stairway and subway were fantastic). The whole supporting cast was very strong. The car stunt work was leaps and bounds above the first movie’s. And finally, I think the score was perfect for the film. “John Wick Chapter 2” is awesome. I loved this movie. I seriously can’t recommend it enough if you were a fan of the first one like I was. There might be a little bit too much action—and the action might go a little over the top sometimes—but I felt like “John Wick: Chapter 2” artfully juggles its absurdity with its seriousness, and the result is a movie that I can’t wait to see again.
February 16, 2017
ARTS A weekly space highlighting the creative pursuits of student-artists
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Excuse me, What’s your Tinder bio?
“My grandma says I’m nice and funny so I guess I’ve got that going for me” — Ilya Rozenblat ’19
“[Insert witty caption here]” — Jordan Peyer ’18
“I’m a Jesus Freak, an extreme cliche, every pic is me #thecurseofglasses” — Jami Joy Gibson ’20
“My Instagram bio is ‘extravagant love of food and delirious enough to believe running will be enough’” — Allegra von Hirschberg ’19
“Open for threesomes” — Ifeacho Awachie ’20
“Spongebob quote. Leave it at that” — Steve Palecki ’18
I love taking photographs to document the important people, places and events of my life. I want my photographs to be a frame for my quirky view of the world. —Leah Pan ’17
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Evelyn Frick, Humor & Satire Editor Michael Chung, Photographer
February 16, 2017
Fencing sweeps Northeast Fencing Conference opponents Fiona MacLeod Guest Reporter
Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton
tarting off the season with a 14 game winning streak, the Vassar men’s fencing team has maintained a remarkable season record of 28-9. This past Saturday, the Brewers faced off against five teams in their second Northeast Fencing Conference of the season. They pulled out a win against each of their opponents, beating the University of New Hampshire 26-1, Dartmouth College 21-6, Boston University 25-2, Sacred Heart University 17-10 and the University of Massachusetts 22-5. With these wins, the Brewers earned a new school record for dual match wins in a single season. The 28 victories under the team’s belt trumps the record of 25 that was set by last year’s team. Throughout the program’s last handful of seasons, the team has been consistently improving, earning some of the best-ever records for the program. These recent victories came as reassurance to the fencers, who have been trying to improve their game since a tough loss to Brown University, in which the Brewers lost the competition 11-16. Junior captain Tom Racek noted, “This weekend was absolutely crucial for the team and will allow us to move forward with a positive attitude. It is no secret that we stumbled in our outing at Brown two weeks ago. The aftermath of the Brown match allowed us to test ourselves and become a stronger team mentally than we were before.” Sharing these sentiments, Head Coach Bruce Gillman expressed, “Our outing at Brown a couple of weeks ago was disappointing. But I think that this weekend gave the team a boost of confidence moving towards the Northeastern International Fencing Championships and Regional matches.” In the first match of the day, the Brewers took on the University of New Hampshire. They swept the competition, allowing their opponents to take only one point and winning 26-1. Both the foil and the epee groups were undefeated throughout this opening match. The sabre group almost went unbeaten as well, earning eight bouts out of the nine played.
Junior George Whiteside faces opponent in epee. After an undefeated weekend in NFC play, the Brewers are off to New York City to face NYU and Columbia on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Both freshmen foils Jack Holmes and Noe Berger finished victorious, as Holmes finished with a perfect 3-0 record as Berger claimed two wins. Head Coach Gillman and his players believe that the new freshmen have contributed significantly to the success the team has encountered this season. “The freshman class has rounded out our already-talented team,” junior epee George Whiteside noted. “They have improved our chances to be a real competitor in the NFC this year.” Against Dartmouth, the Brewers won 21-6. Each of the three weapons won seven points each. Both Holmes and Berger won two rounds for Vassar, and junior Jonathan Alperstein won three, winning each of his bouts in epee. Racek took home another two of his bouts in foil. Alperstein went undefeated in his three epee bouts, only receiving five touches throughout his challenges. These wins pushed Vassar ahead, along with the help of four combined victories from junior epees Daniel Swerzenski and Whiteside, who each won two rounds. Junior sabre Eli Polston added three more wins on top of this, while Mills took two and Lee won his only bout.
Against Boston University, the foil team took home nine bouts, as the rest of the squad won all but two bouts. Holmes finished with three more wins, taking his total for the day to 8-0. The Brewers’ mass of victories was supplemented by another two wins by Racek and three by Farley. Vassar then took on Sacred Heart University, one of its biggest rivals to date, winning 17-10. The players wielding sabres dominated the victories for the Brewers, scooping up successful bouts for their force. Holmes led with two wins, while Farley and Alperstein both went 2-1 in epee. Whiteside earned a crucial 5-4 victory over a competitive Sacred Heart opponent. The most significant aspect of the battle against Sacred Heart came from the team’s sabre forces. Senior captain Campbell Woods won each of his three bouts against his opposition, as did Mills and Polston, whose scores ended reading 5-3, 5-3 and 5-2 accordingly. After this intense round, the Brewers moved onto their final match against the University of Massachusetts, taking the 22-5 victory 22-5. Whiteside, Farley and Swerzenski each won two bouts, while Woods and Lee contributed to the scoring
efforts with three each. These scores brought Vassar up to fifth place in the National Fencing Championship standings for a tie against MIT. With the championships coming up soon, the team is determined to continue its winning streak. The Brewers will return to their competitive schedule on the road this coming Wednesday. They will travel to New York City in order to compete against New York University and the defending national champions, Columbia University. This Feb. 15 showdown will mark the end of team matches, as the competition will become based off of individual performance. “The ultimate goal for the end of this season is to qualify as many of our fencers as possible to the NCAA Championships,” Racek reflected. The players are going to use the practice and skill that they have taken away from their triumphant matches so far to prepare themselves for upcoming obstacles. Racek continued, “We have several weeks before that, so those weeks will be spent wisely in preparation for that task, which is attainable by many of the players on our team.” The Brewers hold their heads high after their recent success. “This weekend was a great way to start moving into the championship season,” Whiteside declared with confidence. “A lot of our fencers did absolutely amazing at the meet, and that will definitely give us a boost of positive momentum moving into the final part of our season.” Regardless of how many individuals go to the championships, the team will support each player in further competition. “We want to perform our best at the championships and NCAA regionals,” Whitefield explained. “There are many people with the potential to play well enough at the NCAA regionals to qualify for nationals. We have had a great season so far, and qualifying any of our players would be a great way to cap it off.” Given the strong foundation set by this year’s players, Coach Gillman believes that the team will continue to excel. Coach Gillman predicts, “This season has been one of the best in history for us. And I think moving forward, we will be able to be even more successful in 2017-18.”
Women’s basketball heads to final regular season contests BASKETBALL continued from page 1
played our game we would beat them just like we beat Skidmore.” On Friday night, the Brewers played for the sweep of the season of St. Lawrence, defeating the Saints for the second time this season, this time with a score of 72-70. Vassar is no stranger to extremely close games at this point having just defeated Skidmore by two points six days prior. The first two quarters of this game proved incredibly tight as there were multiple lead changes and a close score throughout the entire first half. Following halftime, however, the Brewers struggled to pick up where they left off, and it showed as they entered the third quarter down by 13 points. Immediately upon entering the final quarter, the comeback began as the Brewers reemerged, led by freshman Isa Peczuh who scored the first five points of the final quarter. After the Brewers went on a 9-0 run, it was the Saints turn. The Saints led 64-55, at which point the Brewers staged a miraculous comeback in which they outscored St. Lawrence 17-6 for the rest of the game. Nick completed the run by scoring a game-winning layup with just three seconds on the clock. Nick shared, “We work everyday in practice for moments like that, and there is no greater feeling than winning a close game. In intense moments like that, you stop thinking and natural instinct takes over. Your body knows what to do, and you have to trust that all your hard work will pay off and you will get the job done.” Coach Candice Brown reflected, “Coming off a big win over Skidmore was definitely motivation to hang in there against St. Lawrence. I think what was more motivating was how the New England Patriots came back in the Super Bowl and I just reminded our team of this going into the fourth quarter of the game.” Vassar looked to win its third straight game as they traveled to Clarkson just one day after their amazing come-from-behind victory, but fell short as they lost to the Golden Knights by a score of 75-81. Despite strong scoring performances by
Rosenthal, Nick and Teta, the Brewers struggled with the Clarkson defense which forced 23 turnovers that led to 28 points. Clarkson started the game strong, scoring 30 points in the first quarter making it nearly impossible for the Brewers to ever catch up. “Clarkson was a tough game for us. We played as individuals rather than as a team. In practice we will definitely be working on executing our offensives and playing team defense. We also discussed the energy, or lack thereof, we had during Clarkson. Everyone is looking to step up and get pumped for our next couple of games and leave it all out on the floor,” stated Sussman. Despite the loss against Clarkson, Nick picked up her eighth Liberty League Rookie of the Week honor for her outstanding performance throughout the 1-1 weekend which included a game-winning layup. “Sophie is a really good player. She works tirelessly in practice and on her own. She is a player that never stops until she gets it right. I am very proud of her,” Coach
Brown shared. Even though the Brewers went 2-2 over the past two weekends, Vassar still has hope to earn a spot in the Liberty League playoffs. Explaining their chances, Sussman stated, “To put ourselves in the best possible position to make playoffs, we need to win our next two games. Outside of that it’s more or less out of our control. We’re in a 3-way tie for 4th place at the moment, so we need the other teams tied with us to lose to either the top 3 teams or teams below us.” With high spirits, Coach Brown noted, “We are continuously improving. We are working on playing a solid team defense and holding onto the ball. If we do these two things against Bard and RPI we give ourselves a great chance of winning.” With its season on the line, Vassar will battle the Bard Raptors on Wednesday, Feb. 15 away and the RPI Engineers at home on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.
Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton
to be monumental for the Brewers in more ways than one. Vassar redeemed itself by winning by three points with a score of 52-59 after falling to the Thoroughbreds by only two points earlier in the season. All the while, junior Ariella Rosenthal also scored her 1,000th career point, making her the 12th Brewer in program history to reach that milestone. Coach Brown smiled, “Ariella is a great player that works hard. She is very deserving of hitting the 1,000 point milestone. Her being able to accomplish this as a junior is attribute of her hard work.” Teta earned a prominent accomplishment herself as she secured the game while collecting a huge rebound with only 12 seconds left on clock and Vassar leading 60-59. She was immediately fouled and placed on the line where she perfectly executed both of her free throws, putting the Skidmore Thoroughbreds just out of reach of the win. Rounding out the successes, Nick secured her seventh Liberty League Rookie of the Week honor following her impressive performances against Union and Skidmore. “I feel really lucky to have been named Rookie of the Week several times over the course of the season. I owe it all to my teammates and coaches who have put me in the position to be successful,” Nick shared. “It is really fun to play for such a good team, and it is easy to play well when you are surrounded by other amazing players. I am really lucky to have coaches that have helped me to be the best version of myself, and that has largely contributed to my success and the team’s success this season.” The momentum from defeating the highest ranked Liberty League team carried through to the next weekend as the Brewers traveled north to Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University for two more conference contests on Feb. 10 and 11. Nick stated, “Beating Skidmore gave our team a lot of confidence going into our game against St. Lawrence, and it helped us to stay composed even when we fell behind during the game. St. Lawrence is a good team, but we knew if we
Sophomore Maeve Sussman drives for an layup in battle against Skidmore College. The women’s team will next play Bard and RPI on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Friday, Feb. 17 respectively.
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February 16, 2017
Soccer players threatened High hopes for Yankees as by lack of concussion policy MLB spring training begins Desmond Curran Guest Columnist
et us go back to the final of the 2014 World Cup. Germany was matched against Argentina, a clash between two frontrunners of international soccer. After just 17 minutes, German midfielder Christoph Kramer was concussed after being violently struck in the head by the shoulder of a defender. There was no malice, no brutish intent behind it. Yet Kramer immediately collapsed to the ground, as if he were a stone dropped into a pond. This past weekend, an eerily similar incident occurred in the English Premier League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea. Attacking a floating ball near the Arsenal goal, Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso ran with blistering pace to head the ball in hopes to reach the back of the net. But in his leaping movement, his outstretched left arm and elbow struck the jawline of Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin. And just as Kramer collapsed, Bellerin was knocked out upon impact, falling to the ground only to roll around looking dazed. If you watch any NFL game today, you will see that after any severe hit, the players are now taken off the field and examined. There is a system, a procedure and protocol for handling concussions. None exists in the field of professional soccer. Both Kramer and Bellerin were allowed to continue to play. Kramer was eventually taken off and replaced, but this happened 15 minutes after his concussion. Talking with the press after the match, he recalled that shortly after the hit he approached the referee with one question: “Is this the final?” He also admitted that he had little to no recollection of the first half. And in the case with Bellerin, footage of his injury is simply disturbing. These raise the question: how were these players allowed to stay on the field and not even be examined? It goes without saying that concussions are a terrible injury that can have haunting implications for a player’s future. But maybe players ar-
en’t aware of the specific dangers that they could face as symptoms of multiple concussions. That would explain why players are so driven, similar to Hector Bellerin, to “brush it off.” A more sinister explanation would be the effects of the concussion itself. If Kramer were in such a state that he could not remember that he was playing in the most important game of his life, perhaps he was in no state to realize that he was concussed. The teammates of these injured players are also culpable in these situations. Teammates more likely to see firsthand the symptoms of concussions in their teammate and can step in at any time to inform the referee, the coach or the player him or herself. But this doesn’t happen. In fact, in the case of Bellerin, his teammates helped him back up only moments after he was knocked out. Once diagnosed, the culture around concussion recovery is another treacherous aspect of these injuries. The first time a player may suffer a concussion, he or she will be itching to return to play as soon as they are “cleared.” Not only will they simply want to play again, but their teammates and coaches will also pressure a return to play.. There is someone around every corner waiting to tell the player, in some shape or form, to rush back to the sport after a concussion. And meanwhile, no one is there to warn a player of the potential brain damage they may sustain after repeated concussions, nor the increased likelihood that after their first injury they are now more likely to suffer another. Where is the accountability? Within professional soccer there is a systematic and nefarious lack of consciousness surrounding concussions. Players can and will return to play after suffering a concussion and put their mental health on the line for a mere game. Short term results, long term loss. It is a scourge to modern soccer. Years from now, fans and players alike will recall this tragedy. “How was it possible,” they will ask, “that even with extensive medical knowledge of concussions, they allowed players to suffer repeated brain trauma?”
Robert Pinataro Guest Columnist
n Tuesday, Feb. 14th, the day that baseball fans have been waiting for finally arrived: pitchers and catchers reported to spring training for most Major League baseball teams. This day marks the beginning of Major League Baseball spring training. Half of the teams in the league play in the “Grapefruit League” in Florida, while the other half play in the “Cactus League” in Arizona. The games played in these leagues are where current Major Leaguers get back into the swing of things, get used to playing games again and hone their skills. There is also a large group of Minor Leaguers from each organization asked to play games with the Major League team during spring training for a chance to earn a spot on the roster. It is an exciting time for fans to watch their favorite teams prepare for the season. Now that spring training has begun, the baseball analysts are submitting all of their predictions for everything from the next World Series Champion to the win-loss records of each individual team. USA Today put together this year’s projections with a panel of six people, all very knowledgeable about baseball statistics. In the AL East, the Boston Red Sox are projected to win the division with 94 wins. The Cleveland Indians are projected to win the AL Central with 95 wins. The Houston Astros are predicted to edge out the Texas Rangers for the AL West pennant with 90 wins. The Washington Nationals, led by Bryce Harper, are strong candidates to win the AL East, as are the Mets, with 90 and 89 wins projected for the teams respectively. As is to be expected with human prediction, these are certainly imperfect. And as all baseball fans know, there is always an underdog: a team expected to perform poorly that has a phenomenal season and makes a playoff run. Similarly, there is also always a team that is supposed to make the playoffs that severely
underperforms. One team with the potential to exceed expectations is the New York Yankees. Over the off-season, the New York Yankees reacquired “The Cuban Missile” Aroldis Chapman after trading him to the Chicago Cubs during the 2016 season. He was a huge part of the Cubs’ World Series victory, throwing a fastball exceeding 100 miles per hour. Joining Chapman, Greg Bird will be returning after spending the 2016 season on the disabled list due to a torn labrum. In the outfield, it is likely that Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier will earn spots on the Yankees roster. These two are arguably the two best outfield prospects in the game, and it appears that they are Major League ready. When coupled with last year’s breakout star catcher Gary Sanchez, rapidly maturing shortstop Didi Gregorious and the ever-dangerous infielder Starlin Castro, there is reason to believe the Bronx Bombers could do something special in 2017. Only time will tell how they will perform. Potential trades present great opportunities for teams to get ahead. One of the prime free agents right now is former Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. He is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, and he swings a power bat. He would make a huge addition to any team in the league, and his contract with the O’s is up. Bleacher Report analysts predict that the veteran catcher will end up with the Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals or Los Angeles Angels. The Rays and Angels would seriously benefit from his presence, as neither team has been predicted to do particularly well this season. If he were to end up with the Nationals, they would be a very difficult force to stop, being that they are already projected to win the AL East. Spring training presents a lot of unique opportunities for teams to prepare themselves, develop their prospects and acquire new talent before Opening Day. With so many shifts in talent and exciting new players to watch, it will be another great season of Major League Baseball.
Squash makes a racquet after Seven Sisters performance Kelly Pushie
Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton
he women’s squash team traveled to South Hadley, MA, to compete in the Seven Sisters Championship this past Saturday, Feb. 11th. Competing against Wellesley College, Smith College and Mount Holyoke College, the Brewers walked away with one win and two losses. With this 1-2 record, Vassar finished in third place, ahead of Smith College (0-3) and behind Mount Holyoke (3-0) who took first and Wellesley (2-1) who finished in second. Due to impressive performances, junior captain Hannah Nice and sophomore Jiamin Wu were both named to the All-Seven Sisters team. Nice was the only Brewer to finish off the day undefeated. She beat Meera Nayar (Wellesley) 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2, 11-1, topped Josephine Surer (Smith) 11-0, 11-0, 11-1 and edged Brandy Williamson (Mount Holyoke) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9. She goes into the CSA championships with a team-high 12-1 record. The only other members of the squad to pick up several wins were freshmen Sydney Nemphos and Allie Pilkington and junior Emma Glickman. At No. 6, Pilkington defeated Meredith Curry (Wellesley) in a close 8-11, 11-1, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 match and Amanda Lee (Smith) 11-7, 11-7, 11-2. With these wins, Pilkington advanced her record to 12-2. Since returning from abroad, Glickman has been solid performer for the squad. Glickman now holds a 5-1 record after securing two wins this past weekend. At No. 8, the junior came out victorious against Elena Ubeda (Wellesley) 11-7, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 15-13 and then beat Mieko Kuramoto (Smith) 11-7, 11-3, 11-4. The tournament started on an unfortunate note for VC as the team was unable to secure a win against the Wellesley Blue, falling 4-5 in a close contest. Returning to the courts, the team turned this around against Smith College, grabbing a 9-0 win. The Brewers then finished off the day against Mount Holyoke, unfortunately falling short 1-8. After the Brewers topped the Paws 7-2 earlier in the season, Mount Holyoke switched up its lineup and used this new configuration to pull out the win. Nice has been a solid player for the Brewers all
season, asserting her dedication and tenacity for squash on and off the court. Nice shared positive thoughts on the weekend and expressed happiness towards the team’s adjustment to an early start and long day of competition. Nice reflected, “The Seven Sisters tournament is always a lot of fun, but also a long, busy day, since we play three teams, one right after the other. While we had an early-morning departure, once we got to Mt. Holyoke, everyone did a great job warming up and getting into the right mindset to compete.” She also highlighted the way the team stepped up and paid attention to the different environment that they were in. Nice mentioned, “everyone was really attentive and adjusted well to Mt Holyoke’s courts and the style of play of the other teams’ players. Even though Vassar fell to both Mount Holyoke and Wellesley, it should be noted that there were a lot of close, well-fought five-game matches by Vassar players. The outcome of these matches really could have gone either way!” Nemphos also had a stellar showing at this past weekend’s contest. At position four, Nemphos beat Ruby Fend (Wellesley) 11-4, 11-7 and 11-3 and defeated Leah Jeon (Smith) 11-5, 11-9 and 11-1. Nemphos now boasts an 11-3 record on the season. She was especially impressed with how the team as a whole performed this weekend. “As a team, I feel like we had our best showing yet. Everyone was playing their best and working really hard. I thought our compete level was really high and, even though we had three matches in quick succession, everyone gave every game their all,” Nemphos commented. As for what has pushed the team to go into their last few weeks on such a strong note, Nemphos points to the leadership of the team’s returners. The upperclassmen are “really good role models on and off court and hold us accountable for our play,” she explained. “They make me excited to come to practice every day.” This excitement is especially important when getting toward the end of a long season. It is easy for a team to feel drained after months of practice and matches. Luckily, this does not seem to be a problem for this Brewers squad. Interim Head Coach David Ames was very pleased with the performance of the squad at the Seven Sisters Tournament. “The team played tre-
Junior Hannah Nice winds up for a swing in match against Tufts University. After performance at the Seven Sisters Championships, Nice earned All-Seven Sisters team accolades. mendously well last weekend,” Coach Ames noted. “There were many four and five game matches.” Specifically, Coach Ames points to the women’s hard work in matches tough against Wellesley. He pointed out, “In the match vs. Wellesley there were 3 different matches that with a coin flip would have gone the other way.” He was also incredibly happy with how the team did not give up or get down on themselves. “I was really pleased with the way the players adjusted their play to suit their opponents and with the tremendous grit they showed,” Coach Ames stated. With the team’s performances and positive attitudes, Nice thinks that the team is in a good position, especially coming off the team’s showings at the Seven-Sisters Tournament. “We really want to use the momentum from the tournament and finish the season out strong! Particularly since we’ve been training in Kenyon since the start of last semester.” Nevertheless, the team acknowledges that there
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is room for improvement. Nice feels the team needs to focus on game strategy: “This past weekend pointed out specific aspects of our games we need to work on, such as when to attack and when to be more defensive. The next two weeks of practice will be spent improving such aspects of our games.” Meanwhile, Coach Ames shared, “For the next two weeks, we will be working on position on the court, deception and attacking shots.” As a captain, Nice wants to make sure the team is confident going into the last few weeks of season and that all their hard work at practices and in matches will pay off. “Everyone on the team goes into their matches ready to compete, which is great! I mostly want to make sure everyone realizes just how much work they have put into practice this season and that now is the time (aka the last chance!) to show that this year,” Nice stated. Up next, the team will compete Friday, Feb. 24 through 26 at the CSA Championships. The time and location are undecided as of now.
February 16, 2017
In season beginnings and endings, Vassar finds success Olivia O’Loughlin Sports Editor
Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton
The Brewers swept the Vassar Invitational this past weekend, defeating Johnson & Wales University (3-0), Stevenson University (3-1), Ramapo College (3-0) and the College of Mount Saint Vincent (3-1). With these four wins, VC advances its record to 10-5. The men started off the weekend against the Johnson & Wales Wildcats, and claimed the win in three sets with scores of 25-14, 25-16, 25-12. Although the Wildcats continually earned the first point, Vassar answered with authority and earned commanding leads in each of the three sets. Senior captain Christian Lizana lifted the team to victory with a match-best 10 kills, two blocks and an ace. Meanwhile, fellow senior captain Quinn Rutledge posted five kills and three blocks, as junior All-American Matt Knigge contributed eight kills, six blocks and two aces. Freshman Ghali Khalil also contributed to the Wildcat’s defeat, earning his first collegiate kill during the third set of the match. Senior captain Trey Cimorelli added a game-high 11 digs while junior Zechariah Lee finished with 26 assists and three blocks. The game ended on an impressive play from junior Brian Manley and sophomore Daniel Halberg, as Manley earned the point off of an assist from Halberg. With this victory, the team headed into a match against Stevenson. The match against the Mustangs was a closer one as the Brewers earned the victory in four sets with scores of 25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 25-13. In the first set, while Vassar topped the scoreboards, Stevenson trailed close behind and inched within two points 19-21. However, VC claimed the set thanks to a kill from Lizana. In a similar manner, Knigge finished with a kill to lift the Brewers to a 2-0 advantage going into the third set. The men faltered in the third set and the game was forced to a fourth. However, VC came back with great energy and earned the win with the biggest lead, 25-13. In this fourth set, the team collectively hit 0.522 while the Mustangs fell with a -0.125 hitting percentage. Against Stevenson, Lizana tallied 14 kills, Knigge notched 13 kills and four assisted blocks and sophomore George Diehl added nine kills, three digs and four blocks. Freshman Yoni Auerbach had a great match with nine termination and seven rejections. On Saturday, Feb. 11, Vassar continued its winning streak as the team defeated Ramapo 27-25, 25-17, 25-13 and trumped Mount Saint Vincent 2521, 25-17, 22-25, 25-19. Against the Ramapo Roadrunners, VC defense earned the win as they caused 24 errors and held Ramapo to a 0.034 hitting percentage. Multiple Brewers were very strong against the Roadrunners, including Knigge who finished with eight blocks and eight kills, Lee who added 25 assists, two service aces and four digs and Diehl who tallied nine terminations while hitting 0.583. Auerbach continued his impressive weekend performance with eight kills, five digs and two blocks, as Rutledge tabbed five kills, two blocks
and an ace. VC finished its undefeated weekend with a four-set win over the Dolphins of Mount Saint Vincent. Rutledge led the team’s efforts as he contributed a season-best 11 kills, six digs and four assisted blocks, while also hitting a season-best 0.421. Knigge and Lee dominated yet again: Knigge contributed nine kills, three aces and five blocks, as Lee finished with 37 assists, two aces, seven digs and three total blocks. Knigge finished with a .750 hitting percentage, the team’s highest of the season. Meanwhile, freshman libero Kevin Ros tallied six digs as Manley and Diehl finished with six kills each. After their dominant weekend, the Brewers will travel to Elmira, PA to face the Stevens Institute of Technology and Elmira College on Saturday, Feb. 18. Men’s Basketball
The Vassar men’s basketball team traveled to Potsdam, NY to serve a significant upset to Clarkson University while also putting up a good fight against top-ranked St. Lawrence University. On Friday, Feb. 10, the Brewers fell to St. Lawrence 88-77 due to a late run by the Saints. Despite the final deficit of 11 points, the competition was a battle with six ties and seven lead changes. In fact, Vassar was the first team to get on the scoreboards with a three-pointer from junior captain Jesse Browne. Throughout the contest, Browne tallied a total of 12 points, eight assists and three rebounds. Sophomore captain Alex Seff led the scoring efforts as he added 16 points, followed by sophomore Mason Dyslin who contributed 15 points. Freshmen Mattie Mrlik and Kyle Kappes also tabbed eight points each. Freshman Owen Murray was a standout for the team in terms of rebounds as he grabbed 16 total rebounds, 12 of which were defensive rebounds. Murray also finished with seven points and six assists. With these strong efforts, Vassar entered halftime only down 36-39. However, the Saints went on an early run in the second half and widened the lead to 15 points with a score of 57-42. After a crucial time-out, the Brewers came out with energy and cut down the deficit to two with 2:45 left in the game. The Saints then unfortunately went on a 14-5 run to eventually take home the win. With this victory, Saint Lawrence improved its record to 18-4 and further solidified its spot in the playoffs at the No. 1 spot. The Brewers then returned to the court on Saturday to take on the Clarkson Golden Knights. Although they fell to the Golden Nights 60-76 earlier in the season, VC took the court with extreme energy and enthusiasm to upset Clarkson during the team’s Senior Day. Even though Clarkson scored the first points of the game, Vassar answered with seven points to take the lead 9-2. For the rest of the first half, the Golden Knights attempted to regain the lead but could not outperform the Brewers. Vassar entered the break with a 42-30 advantage. Entering the second half, Clarkson began cutting into the deficit and eventually shortened
Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton
Senior Juan Felipe Laso takes a shot in home match during Spring 2016. The Vassar men’s tennis team will compete in its second and third matches of the year on Feb. 17 and 18.
Sophomore Mason Dyslin dribbles down the court in recent home game. Dyslin scored buzzer-beater layup to lift the Brewers over Clarkson 78-76 on Saturday, Feb. 11. the margin to single digits. With this momentum, the Golden Knights tied the game at 76 apiece with only 14 seconds left in the game. It was all down to the wire. With three seconds left, Browne looked to take the lead with a layup. As the ball bounced off the backboard, Dyslin went for the rebound and missed, followed by another rebound and miss from Seff. Then with less than a second left on the clock, Dyslin grabbed another rebound and scored a game-winning layup! On top of scoring the game-winning basket, Dyslin added six additional points, 10 rebounds and one assist. Meanwhile, Seff contributed an impressive 28 points, Browne tallied 17, Mrlik added eight and sophomore Chris Gallivan finished with five points. Collectively, the Brewers outshot the Golden Knights, scoring 57.1 percent for field goals and 50 percent for three-pointers. Additionally, Vassar’s subs outscored those from Clarkson 20-9. Although Vassar is unfortunately unable to qualify for playoffs, the team’s triumph over Clarkson greatly reduced the Golden Knight’s chances of post-season qualification. The week of Feb. 13 will be the team’s final week of the season, as they face Bard away on Wednesday. Feb. 15 and play their final game of the season against RPI on Friday, Feb. 17 at home. Men’s Tennis
Vassar had a commanding start to its 2017 season with a 8-1 win over Clark University on Saturday, Feb. 11 in Worcester, MA. Starting the domination early in the day, the Brewers captured wins in each doubles match. Senior Juan Felipe Laso and junior Jamie Anderson started the winning streak as they earned a 8-3 victory at No. 3 against Clark’s Jimmy Keogh and Ian Levy. Up next, freshman Jeremy Auh and sophomore Nick Zuczek claimed another 8-3 win at No. 2. Then to sweep the doubles competition, senior captains Nick Litsky and Alexander Luckmann clinched a 8-5 victory over Clark’s Barun Gill and Andrey Samodaev. Moving into singles play, the wins continued for the Burgundy and Gray. Laso started the winning efforts again as he finished with uncontested scores of 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4. This victory moves Laso’s dual meet record to 4-0 for the season. Then at No. 1, Litsky claimed another win with scores of 6-1, 6-1. Litsky leads the squad in total victories with six on the year. Anderson also earned a victory with scores of 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3. In a nail-biting match, freshman Zamir Birnbach finished victorious at No. 6 as he took home a 7-6 win with a tie-breaker of 7-5. Auh then wrapped up the wins on the day as he posted a one-set 6-0 victory. Defeating Clark, the team record improves to 3-2 for the season. VC looks to continue the victories against the Rochester Institute of Technology and Skidmore College on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18 at home. Women’s Fencing
VC shined on the last day of the Northeast Fencing Conference, Saturday, Feb. 11. Out of the seven meets of the day, the squad earned five
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victories. The Brewers bested the University of New Hampshire (23-4), Boston University (198), Sacred Heart University (14-13), the University of Massachusetts (19-8) and Smith College (21-6). Unfortunately, the women faced two losses at the hands of Dartmouth College (12-15) and Wellesley College (13-14). To begin the day, the Brewers handedly defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats. Against the Wildcats, the foil team went 9-0 while the epee team went 8-1. In foil, senior Elsa Stoff and sophomores Mirit Rutishauser and Sophie Blumenstock all earned three victories. Similarly, in epee, senior Olivia Weiss and sophomore Rose Hulsey-Vincent both finished with 3-0 wins while freshman Sasha Czarnik finished 2-1 against New Hampshire. Junior Annie Innes-Gold continued the success with three wins as fellow junior Lilia Hutchinson ended with a record of 2-1 in sabre. Next up, the Brewers fell to Dartmouth in a close match 12-15. Despite the loss, Blumenstock and Rutishauser each collected two victories in foil, while Weiss finished with another perfect 3-0 finish in epee. Hulsey-Vincent and InnesGold also tallied two wins against the Big Green, in epee and sabre respectively. Against the BU Terriers, the foil squad had a second 9-0 finish, leading Vassar to another victory. Weiss continued her undefeated streak of the day as Innes-Gold also collected a 3-0 victory. To wrap up the victories against Boston, Hulsey-Vincent, Czarnik and freshman Samantha Lottick all finished with wins. In the toughest match of the day, the Brewers were just barely outdone by the Wellesley College Blue. Nevertheless, VC had successful fencers, including Stoff (3-0 in epee), Rutishauser (2-1 in foil), Weiss (3-0 in epee), Hulsey-Vincent (2-1 in epee) and Innes-Gold (2-1 in sabre). Vassar then turned things around to win a nail-biting 14-13 match against Sacred Heart. This victory is the program’s first triumph over the Pioneers since the 2010-2011 season. Against the Pioneers, the epee team finished 6-3 as the foil team collected a 5-4 win. To contribute to such success, Hulsey-Vincent and Innes-Gold tallied three wins each as Weiss collected another two. Hungry for more victory, VC then topped the UMass Minutemen with the help of the epee team (8-1) and the foil squad (7-2). Stoff, Rutishauser, Czarnik and freshman sabre Kati Kim all earned two wins against the Minutemen as Blumenstock and Weiss finished with perfect 3-0 records. The Burgundy and Gray continued its winning streak, topping Seven Sister’s rival Smith College. Against the Smith Pioneers, all three weapon squads finished victorious. The epee team finished on a high note with a 8-1 win as Weiss and Hulsey-Vincent both captured three wins. Additionally, Rutishauser picked up three wins in foil while Blumenstock tallied two victories. To round out the wins, Innes-Gold finished with yet another 3-0 win as Kim tabbed another two wins. After such a strong day of competition, the squad will head to Columbia University to face Columbia and New York University on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m.